Saturday, February 26, 2022

Deflecto Room Refresh - a peek into my #Tryazon Party and how I organized with the Stackable Cubes

Complimentary chair mats and organizer cubes were provided to me through Tryazon so that I could share them with friends and through my blog.

One of the things that often brings enjoyment are the unexpected things in life. They don't have to be big or monumental to make a difference, sometimes just the smallest unexpected experience can provide fun and humor to your day. A few weeks ago, I received a text from FedEx letting me know that a shipment was on its way. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what I was expecting, and from a small town in Ohio nonetheless. My husband were sitting down, relaxing, catching up on some episodes of Aerial (enjoyable and education series if you haven't watched it) when the text came in. We sat there and racked our brains. We checked the websites for typical retailers and shipment e-mails for special items that we had ordered recently. Nothing matched. The small town happens to be near some of our friends, so he reached out to say, we are getting a package from that city, any chance they know what is coming? Of course, they didn't but their curiosity was piqued. Let us know when you get it, they asked. Of course, it didn't arrive the day it was supposed to but when it did - we shared the unboxing with them. We had a good laugh about it and they were the first to see the products that I had received as part of my Deflecto Room Refresh Tryazon Party.

Turns out that first shipment was only a partial shipment and there was a delay with the other part. That didn't stop me from partying but it did lead to me have to break the party up into a couple of different 'parties' instead of what I had planned, since the product wasn't all here in time.

I took advantage of a planned visit from an out of town friend to share with one group of friends about the product, I grabbed the samples I did have and headed out to hang out for the afternoon. Most of our day was focused on catching up but made sure to find time to share with them. I snagged examples and images from the party guide and website to share to show them the organizers in action. We talked about how versatile they would be in the kids room to hold art supplies. Combining the two drawer and four drawer units, clipping them together so they stayed together, was a great way to do just that. The smaller drawers worked perfectly for markers and pens and paint brushes, the larger drawers for paints and small stencils. Also, isn't it nice how the full drawer pulls out making it easy to access the right color too! We also talked about using the chair mat under the art table to help protect the flooring from any paint spills or other art mishaps. My friend with the youngest kiddos wasn't able to join us but I did tell her about the mats and how they work great under a high chair too.

When the rest of the product arrived, I set up for an 'around the house' party. I decided that I wanted to showcase the product in action. Since I had to move the party, I went with an open house style, to allow people to swing by when they could. It wasn't the gathering that I had planned but it was great and I got to spend time with everyone.

The art table:

When I was setting up, even though my art table has long been in storage (they just use their desks when they are doing something creative), I went ahead and filled a bin like I had discussed with my friends to share with others.
The kitchen:

In the Kitchen, I decided that the Deflecto Cubes were the perfect option for storing coffee and tea and associated supplies. I initially toyed with storing k-cups in the drawers but then decided that sweetener packets, drink mix and tea was a better combination. My k-cup caddy was able to easily sit on top of the unit, letting me store more in a small space. I also discovered that I could exchange drawers between sets - giving me two small and one large drawer in the unit.
The home office:

Who doesn't like to keep something sweet at hand. At our house, we do a mix of sweet and minty hard candies and the Deflecto Stackable Cubes gave me the chance to keep them all easily on hand with out them being in one container.
The homework/study desk:

Whether the desk in the bedroom is used for school or work, keeping it stocked and organized is helpful in providing a good environment to learn or complete that project for work. Here we again swapped some drawers around and used it to store pens, highlighters, dry erase, post it notes and more.
The bathroom:

One area that seems to be ever overflowing with small stuff, the bathroom counter was where I put to use a couple more Deflecto Stackable Cubes. Mix and match on the drawers was a great way to store the items of differnt sizes. The top makes a great space for those vitamins and pain releiver bottles too.
The computer desk:

My kids are older, so the floor mat works best in my house for the computer desk in the family room. It provides a pop of color and an easy way for the chair to roll at the desk. As you can see, I had some assistance from the cat in flattening it before placing it at the desk. That's an empty organizer on top of the desk there, perfect location for me to stock some pens and pencils for the desk and some candy too since it is often a place to game.

As I shared with friends about the product and the versatility, I shared some cubes and chair mats with them so that they could try them out for themselves. My friends shared with me how they decided to use their Deflecto Stackable Cubes that they took home. It was great to hear about other uses for the organizers - use in the camper to hold miscellaneious supplies neatly in the cabinet. Children using them to store their Calico Critters accessories. A teacher using one on her desk at school to organize desk supplies. A new at home office being set up with a chair mat to provide a pop of color to the room and an organizer on the desk for desk supplies.

Everyone agreed, the use of the product is varied and diverse. The product is well made and everyone liked how you could clip the units together to stack or have them stay together side by side. If you are looking to check them out, you can find them at Walmart, Office Depot and of course online at Amazon too (where I discovered the so many other organizers that they offer beyond the cubes and the chair mats).

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. Complimentary chair mats and organizer cubes were provided to me through Tryazon so that I could share my experience with friends and through my blog, with enough to share some with my friends too.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

A Coffee Maker for All Types

I was one of those people. I had a drip coffee maker. I had a K-Cup maker. I had a My K-Cup adapter.

I kept the drip coffee maker in the cabinet, pulling it out only if we had a number of guests.

I kept the K-Cup Maker on my counter and the adapter in a drawer.

Then, several years ago, I upgraded to a new K-Cup Maker but it had updated 'technology' to ensure that you were only using 'Keurig' cups and not any others, which unfortunately meant that the My K-Cup Adapter didn't work anymore.

This was frustrating. I liked being able to have options and to buy ground coffee, which was a better value. So, I started looking for options. I wanted flexibility to still make a single cup of coffee from ground coffee but having one coffee maker would be better. There were a few options out there but none of them were quite right for me. Several of the options brewed the cup and the carafe in separate spaces, making the coffee maker much larger than my counter could accomodate.

Then, I saw it, in an ad. The Ninja DualBrew Specialty Coffee System. It had everything! I could make a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) using a k-cup, I could make a cup of coffee up to a full pot of coffee with grounds, I could make a cup to a pot of hot or boiling water, I could froth milk for my coffee or hot chocolate. And, it's footprint was smaller than my current K-cup maker. Win-win! Of course, it was more money than I wanted to spend, so I started to watch.

Finally, there was a sale and I had 40% off and I earned Kohl's cash. Another Win-Win!

I went and bought the coffee maker. I cleaned everything and set it up. I ordered some cone coffee filters. Then I began to use the coffee maker. I was pleased with the results. The k-cups use an insert and can brew up to 12 oz.
I liked that the hot or boiling water didn't deliver through the space where the coffee brewed (of course, that was an issue when I tried to brew a cup and hadn't changed it off of water - I got a cup of water, even though I had a k-cup in place.)
I love that the filter basket is spring loaded, so when I remove it from the coffee maker to dispose of grounds, it doesn't drip. When I wash it, I have to squeeze to get water through the drip point and/or turn over to dump out the water. When you brew into the pot, it fills from the bottom...which I read years ago helps with the flavor of the coffee. When you brew from 1/2 carafe up to carafe, the burner will keep the coffee warm and shuts off after a set amount of time. I learned that there were two settings - classic and rich for the coffee. And, there is an option for over ice, which my daughter loved for making iced coffees over break. The coffee scoop guides how much coffee to use for a mug, a travel mug, a 1/2 carafe, a full carafe. The frother doesn't heat but does make a nice foam and is easily detached for cleaning.

Once I knew it was going to work for me, I sold both my K-Cup Maker and my Drip Coffee Pot, helping me further reduce the effective price of this new investment. I enjoy the flexibility. On days where I only have a cup, I will still use K-Cups out of convenience mopst of the time but if I want a couple of cups or we have company, I can make from 8 oz -18 oz in a mug or travel mug and anywhere from 28 - 55 oz (classic brew) in the carafe (I supposed i could make 8 oz in the carafe but that seems silly).
My daughter has used the hot water for hot chocolate and for oatmeal, she uses the Iced Coffee setting to make a single cup of iced coffee from grounds.

This new kitchen addition was a great decision and made me glad that I had waited to find the one that was right for me.

I bought this product and all opinions are my own.

Monday, February 21, 2022

Finding a Better Way to Drain Dishes

This year I did some shopping for myself to solve problems that I have had for a while and wanted to find a better solution for.

A few years back we updated our kitchen. I love the new kitchen layout. An area where we had a narrow cabinet, we rotated and put the cabinet doors on the 'side' allowing for a wide but not deep cabinet. i use it for my spices, my food storage containers and some of my baking dishes. It utilizes the space so much better than the old style and since it backs up to the fridge, it helps encase the fridge. On the other side, we replaced a bifold door with wire shelf pantry with a pantry cabinet with roll-out shelves. Again, being able to use and access all of the space was a huge improvement. We added a credenza style cabinet that replaced our desk and added a computer shelf under the penisula so we can use it as a workspace but store the computer out of the way when we cook or entertain. We added an open shelf unit at the end of the peninsula, allowing us to display a few pieces and store cookbooks within easy reach.

One other thing we did was upgrade to granite countertops, and in so doing, went with an undermount sink. The undermount sink we chose is asymetrical, with one larger than normal well and one smaller than normal. This works great for washing dishes and food prep but it was a challenge for us when it came to drying the dishes.

We tried to find a small drainer that we could put in the small side of the sink but none of them seemed to work. It also didn't do well accomodating larger pans and dishes because of the narrow space. I could have gone with any size and had it always on my counter (or would have had to find a place to store it), which I didn't want. So, for several years, I would lay a dish towel on the counter, wash dishes and then let them dry for a bit on their own before drying and putting away. I wasn't a big fan of the wet towel laying the counter for a period of time. The dishes sitting on the wet towel only partially dried on their own with that moisture filled towel below them. I would go through 2-3 dish towels at a minimum each day too.

So, I was constantly on the outlook for a better way to solve my problem. Late last year, I found the solution. A roll-up dish drying rack. It was perfect for me. It solved the problem of drying dishes on towels all over my counter, it allows for the water to drain from the dishes, I can drain dishes large and small and it rolls up for easy storage.

Now, I can wash my dishes, leave them to drain for a while and come back and give a quick dry and put them away. No more need to put them away immediately after washing to keep the wet towels from lingering on the sink. The dishes can breath, helping to prevent those weird smells that were in water bottles after being left to drain even for a short period on a damp towel. I go through fewer dish towels on a daily basis.

When I am done using it, I give it a quick wipe dry to get rid of any excess moisture and then I roll it up. I have a tendency to leave the drying rack rolled up in the sink most days so that I can simply unroll it when I am ready to do dishes but it is also compact enough to stow under the sink when we are entertaining.

What problem have you recently solved with a new tool?

I bought this product and all opinions are my own.