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Customer Reviews: 821
Top Reviewer Ranking: 98
Helpful Votes: 5020

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Desert Gypsy "A Brooklyn Girl Out West" RSS Feed (Southern Utah, USA)

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Panda Small Compact Portable Washing Machine(6-7lbs Capacity) with Spin Dryer
Panda Small Compact Portable Washing Machine(6-7lbs Capacity) with Spin Dryer
Offered by johnsoncorp
Price: $168.99
6 used & new from $164.99

456 of 464 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Panda does it again! Even better than my first love, the Panda mini....edited to add RINSE TIP!, June 12, 2013
Length:: 6:48 Mins

Although my old mini Panda (blue machine) is still going strong, my niece just had a baby this past year and I am sending the Panda mini off to her to help make surviving toddlerhood a little easier for her and her little man. I have upgraded to this new Panda small compact portable washing machine that includes the spin dryer too - all in one small unit! Since I am still living in an apartment with no washer and dryer or hook ups, this machine is even easier and better than the Panda mini/blue washer in every way for my laundry needs. With a stated 6-7 pound capacity, it has the ability to do larger loads, and with the electrically assisted pump I find that rinsing and draining are much easier! What more could I have wanted but an attached spin dryer which is now on board too; it does a fantastic job of wringing the clothes almost bone dry. Having loved the Panda mini washer for nearly two years, I am even more impressed and happy with my new Panda Small Compact Portable washing machine! Here are a few more notes and hints I have come up with for getting the best results with the Panda small compact washer:

Use a mesh bag with any articles of clothing that have long sleeves, or long legs, especially items that get very heavy when wet like jeans or sweaters. The agitator in the washer side is very powerful and therefore free floating long articles of clothing can get tangled or twisted together during the wash cycle. I have found that the clothing still gets perfectly clean when mesh bags are used, but with no tangling or damage to the fabrics.

When using the washer for the first time try adding the load of laundry with NO SOAP, just water and set the timer for 3-5 minutes. Frequently there is a great amount of soap residue and buildup trapped in the clothing fibers and you will see this as foam or even suds appearing when the clothing is just agitated with clean water. As you wash those same clothes in the Panda a second or third time you will need anywhere from teaspoon to about a tablespoon of high efficiency liquid soap per load depending on the type of fabric, type of detergent, size of load, and how soiled it is.

When not in use, leave both doors to the washer and spin dryer open. This will help any water droplets left behind to evaporate, avoiding any issues with moisture, mold or mildew.

I am attaching a detailed video comparing the two machines so if it has not appeared yet, please check back in a day or two. If you have a question that has not been covered here please use the comments section to ask; I will do my best to answer.

06/27/13 Edited to add: Regarding rinsing: The instructions do NOT state the following tip, but after using the machine for over two months I have tried this rinsing trick with great success. Because my method is NOT part of the original use instructions, I can only recommend you try this next tip "at your own risk". By following these steps, you can quickly and efficiently rinse the just cleaned load to be completely soap free AND you can save the soapy water for re-use with next load (assuming the water is not extremely dirty from the previous load).
Step 1: do NOT drain soapy side. Just transfer the wet soapy clothes to the spinner basket.
Step 2: with *both* spinner doors OPEN, add 5 minutes time on the spin timer. This will cause the spin side to continuously drain any water you will be adding while you rinse. For this step, to add water you can use a diverter/sprayer, the original hose, or small bucket with a pouring spout.
Step 3: When feel you have finished adding enough water to rinse the clothes, use the plastic screen gadget that is included with the spinner to press the clothes down, compacting as them as firmly as possible.
Step 4: Close the lid and allow the machine to spin the clothes as dry as possible.

Compacting the clothes shortens the spin time by effectively wringing at least part of the excess water out and also prevents a waterlogged, unbalanced load from making the whole machine "shimmy". This is also why it is a GOOD thing that the spin side is SO small - for optimal performance in spinning the clothes.

Step 5: If you still see any soap residue in the water being drained, re-set the timer for another 2-3 minutes and use either the hose provided or even a small measuring cup to slowly pour a small amount of additional water into the spin side inlet hole; the added water will be very rapidly dispersed into the garments and provide an even cleaner rinse. Repeat any of the steps as necessary but just make sure there is at least 1-2 full minutes of uninterrupted spin time left where no additional water is added in order to have the most water wrung from the clothes and have the shortest possible drying time. Good luck! - DG

08/18/13 Edited to add - Immediately after posting the original review I had submitted a revision with a disclaimer stating the source of the item(s) under review. I was not aware until today that the revision was not accepted or posted by Amazon, possibly due to the fact that the video portion of the review depicts TWO products with two different sources. To be 100% clear and transparent, I have created and posted over 800 reviews, and as of this edit, all except three items were purchased by me with my own funds; the reviews are either marked by Amazon as such, with a badge stating "Amazon Verified Purchase" or I often state where I purchased the item in the written review, ex. big box store, Walmart, etc. Since I am entirely new to having a product submitted to me for review, this video is unique as it features a product of both circumstances. The video demonstrates my experience two units; the one referred to as the "blue machine" I paid for with my own funds through in Nov. 2011. I received the "white machine" (the greater subject of this review) directly from Sepgo, Inc. at no cost to me for the purpose of testing and review in May 2013. Regardless of source , the opinions expressed are 100% my own with NO influence from any other person or company. Thank you to a youtube user whose question alerted me to the fact that my disclaimer stating such had not been added as requested; my integrity as a reviewer is very important to me and I am glad to have the opportunity to clarify the matter. Sincerely, -DG
Comment Comments (69) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 12, 2014 3:08 PM PDT

4x Silver Magnifier Pendant with Chain
4x Silver Magnifier Pendant with Chain

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful.... magnified, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had been having some trouble with fine print in some new cookbooks and looked at several options to magnify the pages - sheets, sticks, glasses, etc. This necklace is unique and attractive, and with four times magnification it makes it easy to read the very smallest print.

I like that the decorative silverwork gives me a place to hold on so I don't get fingerprints on the magnifying surface. The black silk cord is just long enough that if I'd like to wear it while reading it is just the right length away from the book on my counter top but of course it works just as easily to have it loose.

Very pleased with this purchase and highly recommended.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 3, 2012 8:58 PM PDT

Aris A Womens Quilted Appliqued Jacket Large Orange
Aris A Womens Quilted Appliqued Jacket Large Orange
Offered by Aris A
Price: $449.99

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wearable art!, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This a a beautifully made, wonderfully detailed jacket that to me seems to have that one of a kind feeling like a wearable piece of art. The embroidery pattern quilt stitching imparts visual interest yet also gives support and structure for the ruffles of the collar and the bell or tulip shape of the body of the coat. From the deep pumpkin color which has a unique hand dyed feel to it, to the areas of applique with its multi-tonal velour fabric, to the tiny wooden seed beads and custom/matched buttons.... every aspect is exquisitely crafted and detailed.

The close up/zoom photos of the listing are very accurate to what I have received yet somehow this coat is still even more spectacular in hand.

Very pleased with this purchase and happy to recommend.

Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS 6MP with 12x Image Stabilized Zoom
Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS 6MP with 12x Image Stabilized Zoom
51 used & new from $79.94

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars takes beautiful portraits and more...., March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got really lucky with this camera; I purchased a used model for under one hundred dollars, fulfilled by Amazon so I had the confidence of a thirty day window to test the unit I received. The seller (Nextworth Solutions, Inc) did a great job and everything was in even better condition than advertised.

I am a true novice as far as cameras go, but I am learning how to use both manual and SLR features with this and my Panasonic Lumix LX5. The buttons to control the various functions on this camera are set up in a very self-explanatory, intuitive way so I barely have to reference the manual to figure out how to navigate the various functions.

Notes from usage:

For comparison, in auto focus mode on both cameras, the Lumix LX5 takes pictures that look slightly crisper and more "stylized"; the Canon photos have a slightly softer portrait quality to the pictures. I would trust the Canon to any event like weddings, baby pictures, birthdays, etc.

It paired immediately with my Macbook Air and there were no problems transferring the files to iPhoto with the cable provided.

I like that there is a dedicated button for shooting video.

I like that the majority of glowing reviews for this camera mention that this is a well loved camera owned for many years (generally five plus) and that the owner would still pick this camera again over newer/faster/more-bells-and-whistle options available.

I did notice the shutter speed is slightly slower than the Lumix but that may have to do with a higher quality ScanDisk card I am using in the Lumix.

Still getting to familiar with the features and functions of this camera but so far I'm very pleased with it's performance and would definitely recommend.

Cook's Illustrated (1-year auto-renewal)
Cook's Illustrated (1-year auto-renewal)
Price: $24.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars elevates the art of cooking...., March 15, 2012
I have loved this magazine for many years and have a nice collection of issues from both my on/off subscription years and one-off bookstore purchases. Even though you can supposedly find out anything and everything on the internet, including on the CI website, I still refer back to these magazines for tips, hints and recipes.

The recipes in the magazine are especially expanded upon in ways that I don't always find in the CI books or annuals. I also like the ratings of gadgets and explanations of "what is it?" as far as older or obscure kitchen items. The illustrations are clear and very helpful in teaching proper techniques like trussing poultry for example. Beginning cooks will appreciate the foolproof qualities and encyclopedic explanations of the recipes, and seasoned cooks will likely tweak tried and true recipes for even better results.

I always know I can trust the recipes to come out right when working from my CI collection. Very pleased to recommend.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 20, 2014 10:56 PM PDT

No Title Available

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars makes quick clean ups a breeze, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This little Eureka vac works well for me to pick up cat litter, crumbs, and easily tackles quick clean ups on the hard surface floors around my home. It also works well to get pet hair off both carpeted and fabric surfaces; I've used the beater brush setting on my couch and has the couch looking new again every time. On carpets it does a good job grabbing surface dirt except when *really* close to the baseboards. I find it lightweight and easy to handle for quick tasks.

I love that it came with two batteries so it's always ready to go. I don't use the extended handle portions so for me this stores in a really compact space. The beater brush setting can be on on or off. The dust cup is relatively easy to empty.

This model provides just enough power for the tasks I need it to do and I leave the bigger tasks to my full size vacuum. Pleased with this purchase and recommended for light cleaning tasks on all flooring types and low to medium height carpet.

Thumb Lite LED Travel Flashlight, Four Pack
Thumb Lite LED Travel Flashlight, Four Pack
Price: $11.22

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great product + great value, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These tiny lights are just as promised in the description. I've put one on my dog's Flexi Leash which helps me make sure he's taking car of "business" during our night walks. I also put one on my keys which helps if I need to see the lock better or I can use that same key to find things in my purse. The light is of course every small but it's just enough to be helpful in finding things in the dark.

The adhesive is pretty strong when it sets; I had thought that the one I placed on the leash might have an issue since it's on a slightly curved surface but it has held up well. Pleased with this purchase and recommended.

Suede PotHolder - Mustard
Suede PotHolder - Mustard
Offered by NapaView
Price: $11.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best potholders ever!, March 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I've been running some really hot temperatures in the kitchen these days, mainly with a stone hearth kit for perfecting my pizza margherita, trying out some new recipes in smokin' hot wok, and seasoning some new carbon steel on an induction burner. These chores could be dangerous with the wrong equipment but these suede pot holders are making a world of difference in grip, heat resistance, and safety over my old pair.

Grip: with arthritis and joint replacements in my hand I definitely appreciate the ability to get a good feel the object through the fabric. The suede is remarkably heat resistant yet the fabric conforms to the pots in a way that lets me grip the object more securely. For me, it's sort of like the difference between wearing a fine leather glove and a shearing mitten.

Heat resistance: I have been running my big oven at 550*F and the convection toaster oven with a cast iron pan at the same, 550*F. While handling pots and pans I can barely feel any warmth at all transfer from the pot to my hand. These are generally quick transfers that I'm doing but if I had any concerns about holding something hot for a long time I could definitely layer two of the pot holders for added protection.

Safety: The suede has a bit of texture and "grip" to it which makes me feel secure holding smooth, very hot handles. The fact that it conforms so easily around what I'm holding is also part of how/why I feel more secure when handling hot items.

They do get dirty pretty fast, especially in the mustard color I love and picked; no worries here though, I bought them for the function more than the pretty form and they are machine washable so when they get really dirty I'll chuck them in the machine and hopefully the color will stay relatively the same. I'll update the review after washing them.

Very pleased with this purchase and highly recommended.

Niederegger Chocolate Covered Marzipan Loaves - 50 g / 1.6 oz
Niederegger Chocolate Covered Marzipan Loaves - 50 g / 1.6 oz

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars marvelous marzipan, March 13, 2012
Neideregger makes the best marzipan treats that I've ever tried; these little loaves are very dense and have a wonderful almond taste to them. This brand has the truest almond flavor in my opinion and is less sweet in a good way than lower quality brands. They are enrobed in a thin coating of dark chocolate that is just enough of a contrast in flavor to heighten the almond flavor. Although this is shaped like a traditional candy bar, they are so rich I tend to eat them as shown in the picture, a small slice at a time. If you like the flavor of almonds this is definitely an excellent confection to give a try.

Very pleased with this product and highly recommended.

No Title Available

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars perfect for a girl's night in!, March 11, 2012
This henna kit is a really great addition to a girl's night in; last summer I used this with my daughter to create some really cool designs on her, ones inspired by the images in the packaging. Creates a very exotic look without a permanent commitment to a tattoo. Comes with everything you need to apply the henna and the directions were pretty clear and specific about how to get a good result.

I will say that drawing on skin is a little harder than I expected; I found it was a good idea to have a few extra drawing "tools" around to help - clean toothpicks are a good idea and some q-tips for blobs or where you change your mind.

The product does takes its sweet time to dry/set up so having a movie/dvd handy to pass the time is also a good idea.

Pleased with this purchase and recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 9, 2013 7:37 PM PDT

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