June 21, 2017

Infinity Jars-Review and Giveaway

I was given the opportunity to do a product review for an amazing company called Infinity Jars.  I had never heard of them but after perusing their website I was very eager to try out their jars.

Infinity Jars are ultraviolet storage jars which claim to "slow down the decaying process of organic matter while maintaining the freshness of whatever you put inside".  Their pigmented jars block harmful light rays and come with screw on glass lids which block odors and make them airtight.

As you can see, very little light passes through even when held right under to a fluorescent light.

I like to preserve everything. Fruits and veggies, herbs, seeds, nuts, you name it.  I wanted to put these jars to the test.  So, I decided to test them with something I knew couldn't last too long in a jar.  Especially since I didn't want to spend a year waiting to see if my chia seeds went stale.

I decided to see just how long these jars would keep red raspberries fresh.  I put one batch of raspberries in a standard glass mason jar with a standard metal lid and ring.  I put the other bunch in a screw top Infinity Jar (500 ml)

Fresh berries ready to go in the jars.

Both jars packed with berries and ready for the fridge.

I went back and checked the berries in each jar after 1 week.  I was fairly surprised with the results. I thought they were probably beginning to go bad. The berries in the mason jar were getting mushy, overly juicy and starting to sour.  The berries in the Infinity Jar, well, they looked just as good as the day I put them in the jar. Firm, sweet and perfect.

The berries in the mason jar were going downhill fast.

I put the berries back in their respective jars, placed them back in the fridge and waited...another week. 

The following week I did the same test.  Poured them out onto a paper towel to see just what changes had occurred with the berries. I immediately noticed juice in the bottom of the mason jar. Of course I couldn't see the bottom of the Infinity Jar so I turned it upside down to see if any juice ran out- It didn't. The berries in the mason jar were all mushy, rotting, molding and definitely smelling.  Time to throw them out. They were not going back in the fridge. The berries in the Infinity Jar....still perfect.  UNBELIEVABLE!  Never have I had red raspberries for two weeks! Those things are usually beginning to mold at the store!

No question which jar is doing a better job preserving the fruit.
The berries from the Infinity Jar are virtually the same as they were two weeks prior.

I am amazed at the results.  I tested blackberries with this same method he blackberries lasted over 6 weeks! They probably would have kept going if I hadn't made a cobbler. Same with the raspberries. Who knows how long I could have kept them fresh.  I'm guessing another two weeks at least.

I am so happy with my Infinity Jars I will be purchasing more.  I currently have my chia seeds in one and pecans in another. Two items are so pricey these days I want to keep them as fresh as possible.  If I bring home more berries I'm sure I know where I'll be keeping them.

The great folks at Infinity Jars are so generous they are going to also give one lucky reader the chance to try out their jars! You can win a $30 gift coupon code to get your choice of products from Infinity Jars.  They not only have the great jars like I chose, but apothecary jars, jars for oils, makeup and more! I can hardly decide which to get next. Not to mention they just look great sitting out on your countertop.

To enter the giveaway, you must sign up to follow my blog. AND, leave a comment.  The winner will be drawn  Tuesday, July 4th.  Good luck!

June 13, 2017

Goodbye Old Friend.

Last week I lost a dear friend that I've had for many years.  It is with a sad heart I say goodbye to..
my washing machine...
That's right, were "those people with the washer in their yard."
(But only for a few days, seriously)

Its been a great washing machine and I've been holding out on buying a new- bigger, quieter, more effiecient, HE machine for some time now.  But when your washing machine starts sounding like you have an ATV running in your basement, its time to let go.  And I don't mean on-Let Go because no one wants this one.

So, after some craigslisting and visits to some different sites, we made it easy on ourselves and just purchased on at our local Lowes store on sale.  I save a whopping $220 on my new Maytag! So of course I don't plan on needing a repair man, ever.

The control station

It has some pretty cool features such as the Affresh-self cleaning mode.  It also has a bulky setting for bedding and sheets.  You guys may all be saying to yourselves, so what? But hey, my old machine was made in the 80's so I feel fortunate it had a wash in hot or cold option.

Look mom!  No agitator! This thing is almost big enough for me to fit in!

Maytag, you had me at 4.3 cubic feet.  I think it has twice as much space as my old machine.  Not to mention its super quiet and my clothes have been really clean.  Who could ask for more?  I had a huge frontloader for many years before I went back to the old, small top loader.  I was not impressed with the frontloader who could wash 16 pairs of jeans.  You could fit them all in there but they did not seem to get very clean.

It has a nifty little pull out drawer for the detergent and softener.

The new washer with my kinda-new dryer.

Just last year I lost my dryer and we bought this Speed Queen gas dryer which to this day is my favorite appliance.  It dries a load of clothes in 20-30 minutes where as my old electric model took over 45. And its so energy efficient.  Before we had it connected to our gas system my husband put it on a grill bottle and I dried 35 loads of clothes.  The grill bottle wasn't even full.  It is amazing.

I am SO happy with my new washer and my Speed Queen dryer that I had to do an entire post about them.  I didn't even get it for free or, get any sort of kick backs from either company. 

I did however get to test a new product in my dryer that I will be doing a review on next week and you might get to try it out for free too!  So stay tuned and enter my the giveaway coming up soon.  I promise the post will be much more entertaining that this one. 

June 6, 2017

Refinishing Hard Wood Floors-the easy way.

For the past year or so our hardwood floors have been looking pretty bad. First I noticed they were really dull, then they seemed to take forever to dry after I'd mop them.  They desperately needed some TLC not to mention polyurethane.

Since they are there for me everyday, I decided to take matters into my own hands and give them a little love.  In the form of Minwax Polyurethane.

This stuff is amazing and really does dry in 4 hours.

I would have had a LOT of before pictures however, early last week my phone died and I was not able to resuscitate. Apparently it had a living will through US Cellular.  I was forced to move on earlier than I was prepared from my Samsung S6 to a new Samsung S8+.

So, I do not have any pictures of my hideous hallway before I began or, while I was sanding.
Step 1: Sand your floors.  It doesn't have to be a huge sander you rent from the hardware store.  I used my little DeWalt hand sander and some small squares of sandpaper.  You really just want to rough up the floors and remove any spots of paint or stains you don't want around anymore.  I went over my hallway pretty quickly.  The entire sanding process took me about 15 minutes.  Of course the constant barking of Gemma (the black and white piebald dachshund) made me rush the process.

Step 2: Sweep/Vacuum up your dust and debris from the sanding.

Step 3: Go over your floors with a lightly damp mop or rag to make sure you have all removed all the dirt and dust particles.  Let the floor dry completely.

Step 4: Apply a thin coat of polyurethane.
Make sure you use an applicator designed for polyurethane. 
Brushes and rollers tend to apply it too thick. I should have used a longer handle, but its all I could find and my hallway is very small.

I could immediately tell a big difference. That's what I love:
Instant gratification. : )

Step 5: Let them dry and enjoy your newly refinished floors.

Gemma seems pretty pleased with the results. 
She thinks she helped.
Shiny and beautiful!  And this was after they were dry!

If your floors are in really bad shape, you may want to re-sand after your first coat dries and apply a second coat. Just lightly sand your first coat and apply another very thin coat.  It will make them more durable in the long run.  I would have done this but did not have time to let another coat dry before we had to walk on them again.

Now on to the living room! Too bad I couldn't do all the floors in one day but because live here, its one area at a time. Oh well, slow and steady win the race, right??

Good luck and happy sanding!