Tag Archives: Product Review

Don’t Let Dangerous Mosquitoes Ruin Your Day

by Tammy Taylor~

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Y’all know since we’ve added our Porch Addition, RancherMan & I love to spend our evenings out there.  Aaaaaahhhh – it’s been a hard day, it’s been hot & humid and our bodies are tired, let me tell ya!   So we get together in this lovely outdoor living room, swinging gently, sipping something cold and talking about our day.  This is our comforting routine almost every night.

But, this time of year there’s something threatening to cut short these special evenings together – Mosquitoes!  Dang they’re everywhere!  Their bites can transmit all kinds of nasties!  You really do have to be careful and protect yourselves.  What’s a country girl to do?

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Wearing Sun UV Protective Clothing

by Tammy Taylor

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Summer’s HERE, y’all!  We’re experiencing above-normal temps and have once again gone from winter directly to summer with no delightfully-cool spring temps between.  RancherMan & I work our homestead every day, so much of our daily activity involves being outside.  Sun protection is important but we both hate the feel of sunblock.  Plus I don’t like the thought of slathering chemicals on my skin every day either.

So we’re careful to protect our skin by covering it instead – wide-brim hats (helllooooo cowboy!) and long-sleeved lightweight shirts are often worn while mowing the yard or doing hours of tractor work.  But c’mon – although it helps, that’s not much actual sun protection.  I need to find clothing that protects us while keeping us comfortable.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I've opted to protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Low-Waste Option: Snap Toothbrush

by Tammy Taylor~

As hard as I try to eliminate waste, there are some places where I just sigh & accept that plastic landfill-bound trash is just a part of my life. To eliminate the revolving trash of replacing my worn toothbrushes over & over, I tried bamboo toothbrushes.  I loved the concept of compostability, and was willing to power through a different experience for this lower-waste option.  But I had some issues with the bristles coming out in my mouth.  And more importantly I just could never get used to the feel of bamboo in my mouth.

Plus since it had nylon bristles, the toothbrush head portion wasn’t compostable.  So that meant at the end of the toothbrush’s life I either had to snap off the head and throw it away, or soak & pull the bristles out with a pair of pliers and throw them in the trash before composting the rest. Ugh…  So with a sigh I went back to traditional plastic toothbrushes sold in a big plastic package.  Eco-fail?

Then I heard about a more traditionally-styled toothbrush where you only replace the small brush head & reuse the handle.  Now color me intrigued!

I got to try a Low-Waste Toothbrush Option - replace only the worn heads and reuse the handle over & over again to lower toothbrush waste by 93%! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Pyrex Easy-To-Read 2-Cup Measuring Cup Review

By Tammy Taylor~

I’m 55 years old, y’all. Old enough for my eyes to require reader glasses. But I can’t wear glasses all the time because otherwise the ole eyes still see well. That means I’m always searching for my readers when I need to see finer detail.

This creates more problem in the kitchen than anywhere else.  I’m constantly fetching my readers to measure when I’m cooking.  What a pain!  I really loved the look of the new larger-print Pyrex measuring cup so I reached out to Pyrex and asked them if they’d send me one to review.  Hey, ya never know…  Glory be, they said yes!

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Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead: Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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Our great state of Texas has been hit hard by Mother Nature.  Hurricane Harvey barrelled onto shore recently, leaving devastation in his path.  Streets were impassable and the damage was great.  Even if a home was undamaged, thousands were without electricity for several days. Some are still without electricity and have no idea for how long.  These natural disasters get me to thinking about emergency preparedness.

Recent natural disasters get me to thinking about our emergency preparedness plans. A solar oven is a must when electricity is out. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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GO GREEN – Compostable Utensils & Wooden Plates!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Did y’all know there’s such a thing as ‘Plastic-Free July’? Me neither! But you know I hate plastic so I’m loving anything that has to do with eliminating more of it.  And it’s perfect timing since recent buying decisions had me looking for disposable utensils.

Wait a minute, WHAT Tammy??!  I thought you hated disposable things!

Yes, you’re correct… But we were hosting an outdoor family reunion I didn’t want my good flatware going outside & being lost or thrown away accidentally.  And you KNOW I’m not gonna use anything plastic!  So I went online searching for options.  I was intrigued to find compostable forks, knives and spoons.  There are many manufacturers out there but PerfectWare utensils by Perfect Stix were actually WAXED.  I knew right then & there that I’d be buying those!

Compostable Waxed Flatware? YES! These waxed utensils are inexpensive and fully compostable. Used for backyard BBQ's & weddings! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Environmental Awareness On The Homestead: No-Spill Fuel Can Eliminates Spilled Fuel

by Tammy Taylor~

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Living and working on a NE Texas ranch means RancherMan & I spend lots of time on our tractors.  He has a heavy-duty red beast and I have a smaller one that we affectionately call ‘Ole Blue’ .  She’s very reliable older-model Ford tractor.  When I became a breast cancer survivor, RancherMan painted the wheels of Ole Blue bright pink in celebration!  (How much do I love him??) 

Aaaaanyway he often prepares for the day’s tasks by fueling both tractors.  As much as I love ‘Ole Blue’ it always made my crunchy-green heart CRINGE when RancherMan would put fuel in her.  Almost every time the fuel would spill all along the top, drip down the sides and onto the grass.

Of course I’d never say anything to him.  He knows how I hate it and he tries his best to deliver the fuel without spilling but…  With the design of the typical 5-gallon fuel can it was always hard to get the fuel from the can to my tractor’s fuel tank without splashing corrosive diesel on my tractor and even spilling some onto the pasture grass.  OOHHHH, my heart!  There just had to be a better way!

Hard as he may try, RancherMan would always splash fuel when filling my tractor's tank. Let's try this No-Spill can & see how it works! #TxHomesteader

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Sun Protection: Rigid Canopy for Our Mid-Size Tractor

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I work outside every day, rain or shine.  We’re either working cattle or fixing fences.  There’s garden work and tractor work.  Day in, day out – we’re outside working.  Now we LOVE our lives here don’t get me wrong, but sun protection is something we take very seriously.  We’re careful to wear our Sun-Protective Shirts when we’re working outside.  And for my small blue Ford 32 hp tractor, RancherMan made sure I had a heavy canvas canopy to protect me from the sun. But his larger tractor didn’t come with a canopy, just a ROPS (roll bar).

Now I hated that he wasn’t protected and constantly nagged I mean reasoned with him to get something to protect himself from the sun.  But he protested mightily, saying: “I’m having trouble finding one that fits the ROPS on my tractor.  Plus I’d want a rigid canopy. And since I often work around trees when I’m mowing I just don’t know if I should get one for my tractor”

Sun protection is important! See what we did to assure we are properly protected from the sun while on our tractors. #TxHomesteader

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Repurposed Water Bottle Plant Watering System

by Tammy Taylor~

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WHEW! It’s summer in Texas, and as it typically does it’s turned hot and DRY!  I’m doing everything I can to keep my outside plants watered –  I have an 18-ft deep underground cistern that stores the rainwater that falls on our roof and I use it for watering our vegetable garden.  I also have a 55-gallon rain barrel that attaches to another gutter down spout for hand-watering potted plants and such.

But there are a few footed concrete planters that I have on my porch holding things such as chocolate mint, spearmint and my favorite herb Thyme!  Now the mints do pretty well in their planters because, well you know, MINT!  But I struggle to keep the Thyme healthy & watered and I’ve lost the plant and had to repurchase and replant thyme repeatedly in this cement planter over the years!  Thankfully the Plant Nanny folks agreed to send me one of their terracotta plant stakes to try.

Plant Nanny Watering System uses a porous Terracotta stake & a repurposed water bottle. Take the hassle out of keeping plants watered! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Review: Compostable Bamboo Toothbrush

~by Tammy Taylor~

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Y’all know I’ve had the ‘live sustainably’ mindset for years – neigh, decades even!  Over the years I’ve taken first one step and then another to live more gently on this big blue planet we call earth.  Recently I became interested in something I’d previously never really given much thought to: our toothbrushes.  What a shame that these things are sold entombed in a hunk of plastic (not recyclable in my area) and the toothbrush itself was made of plastic too.  How crazy did it now seem to use this plastic toothbrush for 3-4 months and then toss it in the trash only to replace it with a new one and repeat ad infinitum.

Although I’d not paid much attention to that wasteful fact before, now all of a sudden that really, really bothered me.  Maybe it was time for me to put my money where my mouth was (groaaaaan – bad pun intended.  LOL!)  So I started researching and found there are toothbrushes made of biodegradable, compostable bamboo.  I’m intrigued!  The Woodzee company graciously sent a small supply of their bamboo toothbrushes for me to try – read on to see how they fared!

COMPOSTABLE, BIODEGRADABLE BAMBOO TOOTHBRUSHES reduce contribution to the 50 million pounds of plastic toothbrushes thrown in landfills yearly. See my review. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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