Category: Blog

I May Have Gone a Little Overboard with Phones

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I did post a little bit about one of my retro handsets for cell phones before, but it appears my collection has grown.  Since they were so affordable, I wanted to try out a few to see which I liked best.  My collection now includes the original Echo Logic one on the left, the mini Bubble Pop phone in the middle and the really cool looking Sodial brand antique style one on the right.  I will say that as far as how they work – they all work great but do have some minor differences that I’ll point out below.  Each one is just simply plugged into your phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack or into your computer for internet calls.    This keeps your radiation exposure lower since you aren’t holding the actual cell phone to your head, as well as allows you to use your smart phone at the same time to do other tasks.  All three worked great on both my android phone and Igor’s iPhone.  And the receivers can stay plugged in to the phone because if you get a call, you will still hear the ring.

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Starting with the Sodial antique style handset, I have to say it is very comfortable in the hand and it’s shape allows for excellent sound and hearing for the person on the other end of your call since the mouthpiece is curved and aimed right at your mouth.  However, because of its shape, this one does not allow you to cradle it between your shoulder and ear.  Mine is working wonderfully but I do notice the coiled cord is not as thick as the Echo Logic one so wonder if it will last as long.

The mini Bubble Pop handset also worked great and fits in my purse!  Because it is smaller than a full-sized handset, the earpiece does not cover your entire ear and is a bit less comfortable – I had to find the right angle to hold it at to keep it comfortable while using it.  Also, there is a volume control button but I have just kept it at the highest setting and never adjusted it.  There is also a button for picking up and ending a call. And again, since this is a smaller phone, the coiled wire is also much thinner than the Echo Logic one so although it is working great, I’m being very careful with it when putting it in or taking it out of my purse.

The Echo Logic handset is my favorite.  The feel is just like the phones of yesteryear, it is easy to cradle between shoulder and ear, and it has a button for picking up or ending a call.  The cord on this phone is pretty heavy duty and much more like the phones of yesteryear as well.  In fact some of the reviewers purchased this handset for elderly relatives who were having a hard time holding cell phones to their ears and hearing well.  I love all my fun new handsets but this is the one for me when I’m home on a long convo with a friend or relative!

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Hula at the Luau

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I dressed Maddy in a Hawaiian hula costume last year for Halloween. But now that the weather is getting nicer, I realized she can wear it to any number of luaus and barbecues this season! Here she is doing a little dance for you.

And here is where you can get your own costumes!  I actually wore a hula outfit to my great niece’s birthday party one year as it was a costume party.  These are what I used (I did wear them over regular clothes though).

Adult set of three grass skirts with floral waistbands

A set of three for the kids

And some floral clips for the hair (set of 12)!

And don’t forget the coconut bras (set of 3 adult sized)

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Phoney Fun

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I adore gadgets that make life easier.  It could have easily become a problem when I first started cooking from scratch because there are innumerable kitchen gadgets I might have found enticing.  However, I had to draw the line somewhere.  Kitchen storage space is not infinite, after all.  So I decided long ago that when I purchase a gadget it has to not only be cute and useful but has to perform a function that something else can’t.  For instance, I really found that an egg slicer was sort of a waste of space for me when I could do the same job with a knife.  And that gave me more room for my spiral slicer which makes wonderful raw veggie spaghetti from zucchini like nothing else I own can.

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My latest purchase has me as giddy as a schoolgirl though and it has to be one of the most affordable things I’ve bought for the amount of joy it is giving me.  I just have to tell you about it.  You see, I’ve always been concerned about the radiation emitted from smart phones, and even more now that Igor and I have decided to give up our landline to save on monthly bills.  There are a couple of family members who I do tend to have long conversations with.  The thought of holding an uncomfortable smart phone up to my head, having it get all hot on me, and then having to worry about accidentally disconnecting the call with my big cheeks, had me thinking of ways to deal with it.  So I bought a blue tooth headset which sat in my ear and worked really well.  But I actually lost it after only a few months.  Those darned things are so small that they are easy to misplace and lose when you aren’t home.  I finally bought another one but when I called an out of state campground to try and make reservations with it, the sound kept dropping and the person on the other end couldn’t hear me!  I finally had to have Igor call from his phone without using a blue tooth device to get the job done.

Finally, I thought that maybe I should look into some type of headset like the old call centers used – it would sit on my head like a headband with a microphone and leave me hands-free.  So I did some online window shopping and I found something I loved the look of even better:

It’s an Echo Logic Retro Handset that plugs into your smart phone’s headphone jack.  At first, I just laughed.  How totally cute and retro!  Then I read the reviews and was very intrigued.  Many mentioned the comfort and nostalgia of using such a handset, how they didn’t have to worry about accidentally hanging up on someone with their face, and how well they could hear and be heard, as well as being able to cradle it on their shoulder just like with the old phones they were designed to resemble.  While it didn’t leave you completely hands-free, it DID allow you to use other apps on your smart phone while using it since you didn’t have to be holding the phone up to your head.  You could actually be looking at your phone and doing things on it at the same time.  All this, PLUS reducing the radiation you were exposing to your head made me decide it was worth a try for a purchase under $10 (and with free shipping because Igor is an Amazon Prime member).

I received the handset yesterday.  I am in love.  It is super comfortable, a bit lighter than the original handsets would have been, but perfectly shaped, features a sturdy cord with a decent length, and I can hear the phone ring through the speakers even when I leave the handset plugged into the headphone jack.  I had to call a few people right away and I felt like a teenager on the phone with her besties!  It was so much fun!  I talked to my niece and was able to look things up on the internet at the same time as we were talking, and I was able to type notes for some crochet ideas I had as well.  I seriously did not want to stop using it.  Normally I can’t wait to get off the phone when I’m using the cell phone so this is a big thing for me.  It’s one of those things that you just want to buy one for everyone you know.  Igor sort of laughed at me when he saw what I’d bought.  But after he tried it out and I seriously told him that I thought it was one of the best purchases I’d ever made at that price, he seemed impressed as well.

I’m definitely going to order some of these as gifts for friends and family.  But I have to run now.  Call me!  🙂

P.S. For a funny story about what happened when I first got my smart phone plus a free pattern, see The Phoney Drip post.

 

 

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Yogurt – Behind the Scenes

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I love cooking from scratch. It is one way I find that I can be a bit healthier and control what I put into my body. And fortunately for us these days, there are many gadgets that help us along. One thing I’ve gotten back to doing is making homemade organic yogurt. And although a yogurt maker is not necessary – it can be incubated using other methods, it is the most convenient for me since I have an electric stove with no pilot light and I don’t feel comfortable that it will be keeping an even temperature any other way. So I dug out my old yogurt maker and have made 4 batches in the last 2 weeks already. I love just being able to make a plain batch of organic yogurt and then sweetening it using only organic or all fruit jams and a bit of fresh fruit and/or granola. I have also been using it to make overnight oatmeal for quick and convenient breakfasts that we pack for camping in our cooler.

I bought my yogurt maker years ago and a lot of thought went into it. At first, I tried one that came with the individual cups but I soon realized that although it might work well for others, it didn’t for me.  Since you don’t flavor the yogurt until it has been made, it didn’t make much sense to me to bother with all those little containers so I ended up with one that makes a quart at a time in one container. This works well for me since I like to use it in different ways and always retain a small portion of the plain unflavored yogurt to start a new batch. Amazingly, I found that the one I use is still available! I’m thinking of getting a few as gifts for others in my family who tried my yogurt and loved it.

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With this yogurt maker, I’ve also been able to use one quart Ball Mason jars right in it, instead of the plastic container it comes with, which means that once the yogurt is made and refrigerated for a bit, it’s ready to be given to a family member if I want.  But I also like using glass for foods over plastic anyway.  The cover of the yogurt maker doesn’t fit perfectly snug over the glass jar, but well enough that the heat doesn’t escape while it is incubating and has worked well.

I also use these plastic lids because they are easy to clean, don’t rust, and I don’t worry too much about the plastic since the caps themselves aren’t actually touching the yogurt.

When I use the yogurt to make overnight oatmeal, I use these jars to create the single servings and a great bonus is that the lids I mentioned above fit on these jars as well!

I also may look at this yogurt maker for gifts because it is simple and affordable.  It’s also pretty cute, in my opinion.  LOL.

People in my family with dental or digestive problems have benefitted from the probiotics in yogurt and I really enjoy being able to make it again.  But of course, all this thinking about yogurt is what lead me to my Cro-Fucious cro-toon™ on the subject matter, which you can see here.  So now you know! Enjoy and thanks for reading.  Do you have any funny yogurt stories?

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