The product tagline really should read:eo sunreaders costco package

Sunreaders: Sun protection with reading glasses

 

I probably shouldn't have taken that "shortcut" through the mystery product aisles at Costco.  You know those aisles, the ones that change regularly and where seasonal products are kept.  I stopped to look at reading glasses; we never seem to have enough when playing board games.  I picked up the card containing two pairs of Sunreaders.  "Hmm," I wondered to myself.  "These might be good outside.  Maybe they'd even cut the glare when reading my phone in the sun."

I bought the set of two tinted glasses: one with a classic gray tint, the other with amber.  I gave the gray pair to my husband and kept the amber, a tint I'm partial to.  As it would turn out, I bought them on the eve of Tropical Storm Darby.  It would be another two days before I could properly say I'd tested them out in the sun.

These particular "readers" got terrible reviews on the Costco site.  The real issue, to me, isn't that they're a terrible product.  Rather, their primary purpose isn't magnification.  Fact is, they make terrific sunglasses with the small bonus of a magnifier. At $16.99 for two pairs of sunglasses with 100% UVA/UVB protection and anti-reflective coating, they're a good deal.  Problem is, if you bought them for reading, they're not what you were looking for. 

eo sunreaders lensThe magnifier on these glasses is a small section of each lens, roughly the size of a nickel.  It's so discreet that with the tint I didn't know it was bifocal-style until I unwrapped it.  Personally, I can't see through the magnifier unless I adjust the glasses manually.  My husband -- whose head is slightly bigger than mine -- says he can see through it by looking down.  Clearly, if you were hoping for readers, by now you're already disappointed.

However, as sunglasses go, I like them.  I took them on a drive around the Windward side and the tint is just right: not too dark and not too light.  Because the reader portion is so small, I hardly noticed it as I drove.  Just a FYI: Most sunglasses don't fit my head.  This one was no exception.  However, the product comes with nosepads, a must for me.  Once I attached a Croakie, it was as good a fit as I'll ever get. 

The quality is good: solid and sturdy.  These are a product of DesignOptics, a Foster Grant division.  My take on them: buy them if you need sunglasses and have an occasional need for far-sighted reading in the sun.  Don't buy them if what you really need is reading glasses.

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downy unstopables costco

 

We tried it two months ago and liked it enough to buy it again.  Granted, our family found it strange that we were using Downy's In-Wash Scent Booster to boost our specifically-designated "no perfumes" laundry detergent.  Truth is, aside from the fact that sometimes the kids clothes require a little extra TLC -- when are they getting air conditioning in our public schools, anyway -- we've found uses other than the suggested one.

The suggested method is: "Shake a little or a lot into the cap.  Toss into the washer at the beginning of the wash. . .Downy Unstopables go directly into the washer to give a fresh scent boost." 

Here are two additional uses that merit mention:

  1. A couple of pea-sized pellets in the disposal for a fresher smelling kitchen sink
  2. A tablespoon or so of pellets mixed with two cups of hot water for a homemade version of air freshener or neutralizer.

Throwing a few pearls into the disposal is fairly self-explanatory.  Personally, I like to partially melt them in a full sink before turning on the disposal and sending them down the plumbing.  They do sud up just a tad, so I'm hoping they're also cleaning the inside of the pipes.

Turning your Unstopables into an air neutralizer is really cost-effective.  Procter and Gamble is also the maker of the leading odor neutralizer, so it's no surprise that the product is similar.  It's just a lot cheaper to buy Unstopables, melt them and put them in a spray bottle.  I find that Unstopables' odor neutralizing effect is better than ready-made products.  It doesn't smell like much, but when you're done spraying, the offending scents are gone.

I'm quite sure there are additional uses for this product.  For those into sachets or potpourri, I bet these would go well with them.  They're also quite pretty.  The fresh scent version is a lovely aqua color, and I believe the Hawaii Kai Costco also carries the pink "Shimmer" version.  If you're concerned with color, there are a total of six fragrance/color combinations available, but not all of them are available at Costco.

Because they are so attractive, a word of caution here.  Please be sure to keep them out of reach of children and pets.  There have been too many reported incidents where children mistook laundry products for candy.

Until August 31, 2016. Downy Unstopables are $3 off at Costco.

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Living here in Hawaii, aren't you envious to find that onions keep for months on end in a Midwest cellar?  Here's are three ideas on how you can preserve your round onions in our humid paradise without waste.

 

Preserving Bulk OnionGrilled Onion

1.  Simply wrap each one in newspaper and store it in your refrigerator.  It's as good as a cellar.  The onion won't sprout and keeps for at least 3 months or more.  Trust me, this one works.

2.  Onions don't do well in the freezer as the water content causes it to become soft and mushy.  However, if you grill them beforehand, you can freeze them in portion-sized clumps and they're very convenient for burgers, vegetables or whatever you would normally use grilled onions for.

3.  Make a duxelles out of them and freeze.  In addition to preserving your onion, it preserves your mushroom too.  It's great for stews, shoyu chicken and anywhere you need a flavorful broth.

 

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I just finished shopping at Costco and was pleased to see this display:

Costco Pizza Preorder

On the mainland, it was common practice to order food from the food court while checking out at the register.  Looks like the practice -- at least for whole pizza -- has finally reached Hawaii Kai. Notably, because there is a side window for pizza pickup, it means you won't have to wait in line outside again just to place the order.

A couple of other tidbits I learned by eavesdropping these past few days:

  • Costco offers rainchecks on regularly stocked items that have run out.  This can be useful if you're using the coupon book and stock is out.
  • You can still get sauerkraut for your hot dog at the counter.  Just ask.  (The guy in front of me asked for the "white stuff in the container" and looked a bit baffled when the cashier asked if it was sauerkraut.  It was.)
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Warehouse clubs offer great bargains, but only if you can take advantage of the quantity.  This article highlights the preservation of peeled garlic.

You've seen the bag of garlic at Costco and Sam's Club.  It's fresh, it's peeled, and it comes in a whopping three pound bag.  Most of us can't use it fresh all at once, but if you prepare it in a food processor, add some salt and oil and freeze it, it will keep for six months or more and be more flavorful and useful than fresh.

First, wash the garlic in a colander.  Pat dry.  Then, place half of it in a large food processor and add a few tablespoons of oil and a teaspoon of salt.  Pulse to desired size.  Scoop the contents into a gallon Ziploc bag.  Repeat with the second half of of garlic.  Place in the same Ziploc.

Put the contents in the freezer and check on it in 3-4 hours.  Gently break up frozen chunks and place back in the freezer.  Repeat one more time.  The mixture will keep for at least six months.  Your frozen garlic can be used as you would use fresh garlic with the added benefit that it doesn't burn as easily when stir frying. Personally, I think the flavor is better than fresh because of the addition of salt and oil  and because the chopping action releases more intense flavor.

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