Fresh Cab Rodent Control Product Review

ratOne night I was working late into the night in my home office as I often do. Unfortunately it was hard to concentrate. And that was because of this little guy in the picture above. Well not him exactly but some of his cousins. Roof rats to be exact.

My whole neighborhood has been invaded with roof rats! It’s so hard to deal with these guys. They go from house to house. They like to live on roofs and in attics. When one house gets rid of them through pesticides or whatever,  the rats just pack up their belongings and move to the next roof and attic!

Unlike the rat in the photo above, roof rats are kind of cute. I ran into them a few times out in my backyard at night. But they aren’t all that afraid of humans. I walked right up to one that was in a small tree and looked eye to eye and that rat never budged until I yelled at him to ‘Get out of here!’

And though they are cute, they can do major damage to homes. So it’s important to get rid of them. We started putting industrial strength mouse traps up on our roof and would catch one almost every night but still they just kept coming.  I would hear them having a party in my attic every night. Hence the reason I was having trouble concentrating while working.

At the point where I was almost at my wit’s end, I got an email asking if I would be interested in trying a new kind of pest control. This pest control supposedly was safe around pets and kids and wouldn’t actually kill the rodents, but would drive them away. Well, I was all over that!  Killing them wasn’t actually helping at all. And I have a small child here and pets, and I have asthma so I wasn’t thrilled about using poisons in my home.

Of course I said I would give it a try and write a review, and within  a few days I got my sample of Fresh Cab. My sample consisted of 4 packets of a very fragrant smelling substance. One packet will cover about 8 feet of space. So it was plenty enough to cover my attic.

So  I waited to see what would happen that night. Well unfortunately, that first night I was disappointed to hear my little friends having their usual rodent party. I wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and say the Fresh Cab didn’t work but I was having some doubts.

The second night, I heard….NOTHING!! Yay, they were gone, right? Well not quite. The third night I head a little activity but not as much as I usually did.

It’s now been about 2 weeks and they are definitely gone! No More roof rats! We aren’t even catching them in the traps on top of the roof anymore so they are avoiding our house altogether. Meanwhile my neighbors are still having problems. Even the ones that had professional exterminators come in. Yes, I have been telling them about Fresh Cab.

So this stuff does work.

Here’s what I like about it:

  • It’s natural and non toxic.
  • It doesn’t kill the animals, just discourages them from living in your home (I hate having to kill anything).
  • It has a strong spicy odor instead of a chemical smell.
  • It works!
  • Free shipping.
  • Works for all rodents.

Here’s what I didn’t like about it:

  • It’s rather costly. At the time of this writing a box of 12 costs $59 (but then that’s still much cheaper than a professional exterminator).
  • You have to replace it every 30 days so that means once a month, I have to crawl up in the attic and replace it which is a pain in the butt.
  • You cannot use it in places where you spend a lot of time at like around your bed or couch.
  • The smell, although pleasant and spicy, is really strong. I can smell it in my office even though it’s above me in a closed up attic. The smell is mild from this distance but if I had within my house itself, it would be much stronger.

So will I continue to use this stuff? You betcha! It works and that’s the important thing to me!

Here’s a link to buy Fresh Cab or to read more about it:

Fresh Cab

Fresh Cab pouch


Oh by the way, I’m required by law to tell you that I am not getting paid to write this post. I did receive a free sample of the product to try out but all opinions are mine and mine alone.


Article by Cathy Ratcliffe






The Best Slow Cookers

best slow cookerThere are so many great options for slow cookers out there, it’s hard to know which one to pick. This lens will let you see which options customers consider the best in slow cookers.

You can decide for yourself which crock pot is the best for your needs. When you find the right one, you will totally be hooked on slow cooking. It makes meals so easy to do and even non-cooks can do a great job of making a tasty meal.

How I Picked The Winners

Hamilton Beach Slow CookerI was actually looking to replace my 10+ year old crock pot that was still working, but not very well. I knew there were things I was looking for in a new slow cooker but I had no idea there were so many options out there.

It’s amazing what slow cookers can do now a days. It makes them even more of a “must have” for your kitchen.

With so many options though, I had to research a lot of different slow cookers to figure out what the best cooker is for the money. I wanted one that had the least amount of complaints and the most amount of customer satisfaction.

I came up with a list of the top 5 slow cookers. Many of them have special features that other slow cookers on the market don’t have.

Fore me personally, I wanted one that would automatically switch to warm after it finished cooking as I have a family that eats at different times. It’s also good if you know you won’t be home in time to turn it off when it’s done.

I wanted one with adjustable settings. My old crock pot only had 2 settings, high and low. It would be great to have several more settings or better yet, one that could be adjustable for a wide range of temperatures.

Though not mandatory, it would be nice to have a cooker that can be used on the stove first to brown the meat and veggies (like onions).

Of course just about all the newer models have an cooker insert that lifts out for easy cleaning and serving. I wanted that and the lid too to be dishwasher safe.

It would also be nice to have some decent handles as my old crock pot didn’t have any handles at all.

I didn’t need to have everything listed. I would have been happy with just some of them. Surprisingly though, I found several models that had all these features and more. Also surprisingly, most were relatively inexpensive, with many being under $50.

After I picked my new slow cooker, I decided to get 2 more for my 2 daughters for Christmas. Though they are young and relatively inexperienced with cooking, crock pot cooking is something just about anyone can do with great results.

Comparisons of Top 5 Slow Cookers


West Bend 84915

Hamilton Beach 33967

Crock-Pot SCCPVL610

Cuisinart PSC-350

Frigidaire Professional


1 Year

1 Year

1 Year

3 Years

None Listed

Quart Capacity






Programmable Time






Adjustable Temperature






Auto Warm Function














West Bend 84915 5-Quart Oblong-Shaped Slow Cooker Review

What I did and didn’t like about this slow cooker


West Bend 84915 5-Quart Oblong-Shaped Slow Cooker with ToteWest Bend 84915 5-Quart Oblong-Shaped Slow Cooker with Tote price button

This is a great little slow cooker with lots of features for a relatively small price.

I liked that there were so many good reviews for the product with few bad ones.

I’ll talk about the pros below but I think my favorite thing about this appliance is it’s several kitchen appliances in one. You can use it as a griddle or use it on the stove top or in the oven, and of course as a crock pot too.

Here are the pros for the the West Bend 84915

Stove, Oven and Freezer Safe – This is one of the most kitchen friendly slow cookers out there. You can freeze food in it (Hint* If you have leftovers,that you want to use for another meal in the future, just freeze the cooking pot with the food in it. When it’s frozen, pop out the frozen food and transfer it to a gallon size freezer bag and put back in the freezer. Next time you want it, you can pull out the food and either pop it in the microwave or put it back in the slow cooker and warm up on the stove, oven or slow cooker).

Another great thing about being able to use it on the stove top is you can brown your meat and veggies first on the stove before adding the remaining ingredients and switch to slow cooker setting.


Griddle – Speaking of this being a versatile product, you can pull off the cooking pot and use the base as an electric griddle. Two kitchen appliances for the price of one! It takes up less space than 2 kitchen appliances too.


Keep Warm Setting – This is great if you have a busy family like mine who eats at different times. Just put it on the warm setting and they can have a warm meal ready whenever they get home.


Insulated Tote – If you have a church social or party to go to and need to bring your crock pot, well this slow cooker has it’s own insulated carrying case.


Easy to Clean – The cooking pot and the lid are both dishwasher safe. But from what some customers are saying, you really don’t need to put it in the dishwasher. It cleans off very easy with just soap and water.


1 Year WarrantyXX -This cooker comes with a 1 year warranty which is always good to have on any product you buy.


No product is completely perfect and they are a few drawbacks to this slow cooker.

Not Programmable – Some of the cookers are programmable where you can set them for a certain amount of time and they either shut off at the end of that time or swithc to the warm setting. This slow cooker doesn’t have that feature. It does have several temperatures you can set it on but you can’t program for a period of time.


Non Stick Coating -This is actually a “pro” for many people as it helps to keep the food from sticking to the cooker and cleans easily. However, someof us are concerned about the non stick coatings used in cookware and would prefer not to have it.


  Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker Review

What I did and didn’t like about this slow cooker

XX REPLACE WITH PRODUCT NAMEHamilton Beach 33967 Set 'n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker price button

I love that this slow cooker has so many positive reviews. It’s obviously a very popular slow cooker. It also has several interesting features that the other slow cookers on this list don’t have. Read the pros to find out more about it.

Here are the pros for the Hamilton Beach 33967.

Temperature Probe – This is great for roasts or poultry. You can make sure the food cooks to the right temperature internally.


Clip On Spoon – There’s a handy clip on spoon. This is definitely something you don’t see on other crock pots.


Control Panel – The Hamilton beach 33967 has a programmable flat panel control psnrl with 3 different ways to cook your meals: programmable (for a certain perios of time), manual (set high or low and turn it off when you are ready) and probe (use the thermometer probe).


Auto Warm – When using the programmable setting it will turn off to Auto Warm when done so your food will be still be warm when your family is ready to eat it.


Dishwasher Safe – The stoneware insert and glass lid are dishwasher safe making it easy to clean.


Cliptight Lid – If you need to travel with this slow cooker, it has a cliptight lid so it won’t spill.


Full Grip Handles – The full grip handles also make it easy when travelling to carry.


1 Year Warranty – Always good to have for any appliance you buy.


There are a few things I don’t like about the Hamilton Beach 33967

Short Cord – A few people complained that the cord is so short, you have to use this cooker right next to an outlet. Persoannly, I like the shorter cords as I hate having a tangled mess of cords all over my countertop.


Cooks Too Fast – A few folks complained about the cooker cooking too fast. Really this is all relative to what you are used to in a slow cooker. The first few times you use it, you might want to moniter how fast your food is cooking until you are used to how this slow cooker works.


Only 2 Settings – There were some complaints that there were only 2 settings: hot and low. But when you include the auto warm feature and the 3 different modes you can cook in (programmable, manual or probe) there are more options than just the high and low.

 Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Oval Slow Cooker Review

The good and the bad about this Crock Pot


Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Oval Slow CookerCrock-Pot SCCPVL610-S 6-Quart Programmable Cook & Carry Oval Slow Cooker price button

This crock pot had very few complaints and was described as a good sturdy basic crock pot. It does have some nice extras though.

Here are the pros for the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610

Programmable -You can program it for up to 20 hours!


Auto Warm – When it’s done with it’s cooking cycle, it switches to warm and will stay there for up to 6 hours.


Countdown Timer – The timer counts down to how many hours and minutes you have left until your food is done. Conveniant for planning on when to cook the rest of the meal.


Locking Lid – The lid locks so you can easily travel with it.


Easy Carry Handles – The handles make this crock pot easy to carry if need be.


Dishwasher Safe – The stoneware and lid can be cleaned in the dishwasher.


Oven and Microwave Safe – The stoneware can also be used in the oven and in the microwave.


1 Year Warranty – It’s always good to have at least a one year warranty with small appliances.


Here are the cons for the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610

Runs Hot -About the only real complaint I found was some said it cooked too hot. But then someone else thought it didn’t get hot enough. Go figure. Anyway, like I mentioned in the review above this one, keep tabs on it the first few times you use it until you are comfortable with how it cooks.

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker Review

What was good and not so good about this slow cooker

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow CookerCuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker price button

I wante to include at least one smaller slow cooker for those who are cooking for only themselves or for a small family. This Cuisinart one fit the bill nicely. It has lots of features most of us want in a slow cooker and had few complaints.

Below are the positives for the Cuisinart PSC-350.

Touchpad Control Panel – For a modern look and ease of use.


Programmable – The Cuisinart PSC-350 is programmable for up to 24 hours of cooking time.


Countdown Timer – It counts down so you can easily see how much time until your meal is ready.


4 Cooking Modes – This little slow cooker has 4 cooking mdes: High, Low, Simmer and Warm.


Auto Warm – After the cooking cycle is over, it automatically switches to auto warm and stays on the warm setting for up to 8 hours.


Stay Cool Side Handles – The handles will stay cool so you can easily move it without having to use pot holders.


Dishwasher Safe – The ceramic pot and glass lid are both dishwasher safe.


3 Year Warranty – This the only slow cooker I found that actually had a 3 year warranty instead of the typical 1 year warranty..


Here are the cons for this slow cooker

Short cord – A few folks complained about the short electric cord. But like I said before, I see that as a plus as you don’t have a long cord hanging on your kitchen counter.


Small but Deep – A few complained about it’s size. True, this cooker won’t be big enough to cook a large pot roast. The larger slow cookers are better for that. This model is best for small families who will be cooking smaller meals.


Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker Review

The good and bad about this slow cooker


Frigidaire Professional 7-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker price button

The largest of the bunch, the Frigidaire Professional is a classy looking work horse. WIth lots of great features, it’s a must for anyone cooking for a large family.

Below are what’s great about the Frigidaire Professional.

6 Cooking Options – The Frigidaire Professional has 6 cooking options: Buffet, Soup, Low, Medium, High and Warm.


Touchpad Control Panel – The touchpad sports a bright LED display for easy reading.


Auto Warm Function – After the food has finished cooking, it switches over to the warm mode and will stay there up to 3 hours.


Ergonomic Handles – To make it easy to carry.


Dishwasher Safe – The ceramic crock and glass lid are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.


Beautiful Design – Many customers remarked on how beautiful this slow cooker is.


Below are the bad  things about this cooker.

Too Hot – Some complained about it cooking at a too high temperature.


Lid Not Tight – There were several complaints that the lid was loose but one person reported after several uses, the lid “settled” in to fit correctly.


What size slow cooker is best?

Slow cookers come in all sizes. I have seen them from 16 ounce capacity to 8 1/2 quart capacity. It just depends on how big of a crowd you are cooking for.Hamilton Beach 3 in 1

When I had 6 people living here, my 7 quart slow cooker was just right.

Now that there are only 4 of us living here, the 5 quart works well. The only time I wish I had a bigger one is if I’m cooking a large roast or if I need to take my slow cooker to a party or a church thing.

So, the question is how often would you need a large slow cooker? If it’s often, even if you have a smaller family, then go ahead and choose a larger slow cooker.

Or you could choose a crock pot like the one shown in the picture above. The Hamilton Beach 33135 3-in-1 Slow Cooker has 3 different sized crocks to fit in it: 2 quarts, 4 quarts or 6 quarts.


Here’s a Yummy Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Recipe



Article by Cathy Ratcliffe







Review of All Out Of Pads

all out of padI have to admit that I got this pad to review awhile back, and just now getting around to reviewing it.  I’d almost forgotten about it until my daughter mentioned something about it.

This pad comes from Knock Knock Stuff and several months ago Priscilla contacted me and asked if I would like to try one of these pads out. I said sure and soon got one in the mail.

The All Out Of pads are basically a grocery list with most of the ingredients that you would buy at the grocery store already filled in. All you have to do is check off the things you need, pull the sheet off and head to the store. The pad is magnetized so you can keep it on your fridge.

I thought the idea of this was great but implementing it is a little harder. It took me forever to find the ingredient I needed to check off on the list. I finally just went back to jotting down what I need on the notepad on the side of the fridge.

My daughter saw it and asked if she could try it out if I no longer wanted to use it so I gave it to her. She loves it and thinks it’s much easier to use than writing things out. So maybe it’s just I’m too old to change.
Anyway this would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas for your mom or whoever else you know that has to buy groceries.

The All Out Of pad is not the only thing Knock Knock Stuff has. They have a lot of cool stuff, mostly paper related. I love the 5 Days A Week To Do List mousepad. It’s a great way to keep your weekly to do list right in front of you and then at the end of the week, just pull it off the pad and start another.

Check out the site. There’s lots of things on there that are funny, irreverent, or organizational that would make great  gifts for co-workers, or Secret Santa gifts or stocking stuffers. Here’s the link again:



Article by Cathy Ratcliffe



KitchenAid Cookware Review

KitchenAid Gourmet Distinctions Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

kitchenaid cookware

Click here to see today’s price!


I decided it’s time for another product review and my choice this time is the 10 piece  KitchenAid Gourmet Distinctions Stainless Steel Cookware set.

If you have read any of my other reviews, you know I only review products I have personally used. And I tell the good things and bad things about the product.

If the bad things can be remedied, I also give the remedy.


Why Buy Stainless Steel Cookware Anyway?

Well by now, I assume most people know that the non stick pots and pans that we have been using for 30 odd years is very unhealthy for us. It may make cooking easier but you are paying a price for that convenience with your long term health.

I love that quality stainless steel cookware lasts forever. I am in my fifties and when I was a child, my mother bought me a set of bake ware made from stainless steel to put in my hope chest (this was back in the days when most girls, Southern girls anyway, had a hope chest that they filled throughout their childhood with things to start their own households with as young adults).

Anyway, I still use those stainless steel baking pans and they still work beautifully and look great. They are over 40 years old and have been used on a regular basis for well over 30 years. I am sure they will still be in good enough condition to be passed down to the next generation after I’m gone.

So obviously buying stainless steel cookware is a wise investment. The right set should last a lifetime.

Why I bought The KitchenAid Gourmet Distinctions Set

kitchenaid box of cookware

I bought this set almost a year ago as a Christmas gift to myself.  My old Teflon pans had lost a lot of their coating and it sickened me to think my family was ingesting that stuff when I cooked a meal for them.

As I planned this to be the last cookware set I will ever buy, I wanted something high quality. I also had limited funds to buy cookware with.

After several weeks of reviewing cookware on Amazon,  and asking friends what they used, I decided on the KitchenAid gourmet 10 piece cookware set.

It was reasonably priced, looked beautiful, had mostly positive reviews and is made by a brand I trust.

I wanted to wait awhile before I reviewed these pots and pans to be able to give an accurate view of them. I think enough time has passed now.

What’s IncludedKitchenAid Gourmet Distinctions Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set

(Doesn’t it look nice on my stove?)

  • You get 10 pieces but 4 of those are glass lids.
  • You get one 8 quart stock pot with lid, which is my favorite! You can even poach a whole chicken in this baby. I use it for pasta, soup, and also as a dutch oven.
  • You get 3 saucepans. One is 1 1/4 quarts, one is 2 and a half quarts and one is 3 and half quarts. All 3 have lids.
  • You get 2 skillets, 8 inches and 10 inches. The lid for the largest saucepan also fits the 10 inch skillet.

Features and Benefits

  • Each piece has 4 layers at the base: aluminum, copper, aluminum and stainless steel. This protects the cookware from burning and allows even heating with no hot spots.
  • Cookware and lids are oven safe for up to 500 degrees.
  • 18/10 stainless steel which is something you want in all your stainless steel pots and pans.  It indicates high-quality, durable construction that will be highly resistant to stains, rust, and corrosion while maintaining a bright shine.
  • The long handles stay cool (but not the lid handles).
  • Dishwasher safe.
  • The glass lids clean up very easily. They also allow for you to see your cooking food without lifting the lid.
  • Will work on all types of stove tops including induction, convection, gas and electric.
  • The sides flare gently which is not only stylish but helps reduce splatter from boiling liquids.
  • They can be nested for easy storage.

The Pros


  • All of the features listed above.
  • High quality for the price.
  • Beautiful and durable.
  • It has a limited lifetime warranty.
  • The glass lids fit snugly which keeps in nutrients and the moisture and heat.


frowny face

The Cons


  • The biggest complaint was that this set didn’t come with a 12 inch skillet. I actually bought a 12 inch skillet several months before I bought the whole set of pots and pans, just to see if I’d like stove top cooking with stainless steel cookware (I did). You can see the 12 inch skillet I bought here.
  • The handles on the stock pot and the handles on the lids do get hot. This is really to be expected and is not so much a negative as it is something to be aware of.
  • A few folks said their pots had leaky rivets. Most stated that theirs are fine so maybe that’s a flaw the company has taken care of. Mine are not leaky at all.  Even if by some chance, you get some with leaky rivets, and if you didn’t want to return them; the easy solution is not to fill the pot all the way up to the top. The rivets are towards the top so as long as you don’t over fill your pot (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway) you should be fine if you are the rare customer with this problem.

Who Should Buy This Cookware

  • Anyone who is concerned about their long term health.
  • People who are looking for quality cookware at a reasonable price.
  • Those who know how to or are willing to learn how to cook with stainless steel. It isn’t hard but it is a little different.

Who Should Not Buy This Cookware

  • If you have an Induction stove that does NOT have a small burner option, you will not be able to use the smallest sauce pan. The rest of the cookware will work fine. You may want to measure your burner before buying to see if the burner is small enough to accommodate the small pan.

Is There a Warranty?

  • Yes there is a limited lifetime warranty but I don’t know what the “limited” part is. Here is KitcheAid’s warranty page if you want to see it:


Where to Buy This Cookware

  • You sometimes can find this set at Kohl’s or Macy’s but the best price is usually at Amazon.
  • Plus Amazon offers free shipping and exemplary customer service. To read more about it or to buy it, click here

So there you have it. Would I buy this set again? Definitely! I love my KitchenAid Gourmet Distinctions cookware! You can also check out the KitchenAid site here to see all their wonderful kitchen products:

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading,