iPad Air (2013) Accessories That Works

Not being one who wants to die with lots of toys, I selected these products from the reviews and with the intention to try things out. This iPad Air* was a gift to my Father from my sister. My job was to outfit the iPad Air* for him.

(*not for older iPads, iPad 2 or newer)

Tech Armor HD ANTIGlare Screen Protector for iPad Air

Tech Armor HD ANTIGlare Screen Protector for iPad AirMy Father had used the iPad Air without the screen protector for 1 week before I installed this film for him.

  • He found no difference and it did not effect handwriting Chinese input method.
  • He noticed no change in the image quality.

Installation was pretty easy for me. I started by watching all the installation videos Tech Armor provided on their site. I did not install it in the bathroom as suggestion by some. I suggest you find a clutter-free area and remove dusts in the area as much as you can.

Once you have it positioned, the film lays itself down nicely. I used the sticker they provided the remove the dust particles. Do remember some might be stuck on the film rather than the screen.

amPen Hybrid Stylus (Interchangeable Hybrid Tip Feature)

amPen Hybrid StylusI bought both amPen Hybrid Stylus and amPen Capacitive Stylus.

  • He picked Hybrid right away. The Capacitive was definitely not as good.
  • The Hybrid reduced the frustration of the screen not responding to his touch.
  • It works even with the Tech Armor HD ANTIGlare Screen Protector.
  • The tip is replaceable.
  • Handwriting Chinese input seems to work better using his finger.

Lightning Digital AV Adapter by Apple

Apple Lightning Digital AV AdapterFor older folks’ viewing pleasure, this adapter can be hooked up to a TV with HDMI inputs. Whatever you see on the iPad will show up on the TV screen, control still comes from the iPad.

I’ve heard that, for this, it’s better to get an Apple made part. For what he needs, Apple TV was not necessary.

hdmi_cableYou will also need a HDMI cable to go between the Lightning Digital AV Adapter and the TV’s HDMI input.

Be sure to measure the length you need before selecting the cable.

Best Baking Pans Made in USA

USA Pan 9" round after bakingI wanted baking pans that are:

  • Easy to use
    (no greasing, spraying, scrubbing)
  • Eco friendly
    (no need for parchment paper or foil)
  • Made in USA

USA Pan has what I want. This is the result from baking with their 9″ round cake pan.

Easy to Use

I’ve made cookies, cake, and bread from this pan–all without greasing. After I removed the bake goods, if there were any residues, it washed off with some water.

Eco Friendly

The bake goods came off without any effort–eliminates the need to use parchment or foil.

I did have some crumbs left at the bottom of the pan with my modified pound cake recipe but the cake was still in a pretty nice shape.

Performance

usa pan bottom of baked rollsNot only it’s made in USA, I was impressed on how even it bakes.

As you can see from the images of my Honey Wheat Rolls. Mind you, I have to bake in a toaster oven (it takes a 12″ pizza pan).

You can see that it leaves ridges at the bottom but that doesn’t matter much to the presentation.

Note on Care

Don’t use dish washer and don’t scratch the surface. You don’t want to damage the silicon coating.

Tip on baking with a toaster oven:
To prevent charring the top, get a piece of parchment paper (“If You Care” is reusable) large enough to cover your dough, but just lay it on top. You want air to go though and block the direct heat at the same time.

Foil is not a good option because it blocks too much heat which produces uneven temperature in your dough.

Best Yet Non-Toxic Bug Spray

Since spring, some mysterious tiny bugs moved into my basement. I resisted in using the bug bumb. 1. Hoping that they’ll leave so I don’t have to kill them. 2. If I have to kill them, I don’t want to poison people by come in contact with the poison that’ll be everywhere in the room.

CedarCide Best Yet Quart Spray BottleThen I heard about CedarCide, 100% natural, non-toxic, people/pet safe, and made in Taxes, USA. Out of desperation (since the bugs didn’t hear my plead for them to leave), I bought a Best Yet 32 oz spray bottle to try.

I started by cleaning the shelfs and carpet, then sprayed along the base of the wall. It didn’t work so well. Before I gave up, I sprayed the ceiling (a wood encased compartment for recessed lighting). That did the trick.

The effect was immediate. No more feeling that some things are crawling up my legs to hide in the seams of my cloth and ready to bite.

According to CedarCide, Best Yet kills bed bugs and their eggs. They also say that it is safe on pets and human skin as a bug repellent, and since it is oil based, it won’t be sweat off easily.

There is also a gallon size available for refills or bigger jobs but so far I’ve only used up 1/4 of the bottle for a 200 sf room.

Although the scent is not too strong but if you spray a large amount at once, I suggest you leave the area closed for a day or over night. I also covered electronics with newspaper, just in case the droplet go into the machines, but I’m just being paranoid.

So, thumbs up for CedarCide Best Yet Bug Spray!

Bandages, Not Made in USA?

Check the bandages in your first aid box, are you sure they are made in USA?

People all over the world trust the quality of US brand because products made in the States are usually safer and better. But on a trip to drug stores for bandages, I realized, even with first aid items, US brands might not be US made.

I started with the brand that took up most of the shelf space, none of this brand was made here. Next, I moved to the 3M Nexcare, thank havens, these are made in USA. Then I got curious about “green” bandages.

From the bandages I found at Whole Foods, it looks like “latex-free” is the feature, since some people are allergic to latex. These are what I ended up getting.

Nexcare Waterproof Clear Bandage

Nexcare Waterproof Bandage Made in USANexcare Waterproof Clear Bandage is made of a clear material that lets the air in and keeps the water out. At first sight, I thought, how can this thin, clear layer handle my frequent hand washing. It also took me a while to figure out how to put it on. (see this application demonstration, 28 seconds into the video.)

As Nexcare advertised, it stayed on until I decided to take it off a few days later. My cut was healed and it didn’t leave a ring of stickiness.

Nexcare Soft’n Flex Bandage

nexcare soft'n flex bandages made in usaIf you would rather have the traditional bandage, Nexcare Soft’n Flex Bandage is the pick. It is latex-free, comfortable to wear, and flexible to the movements. It stays on well but I must say the waterproof ones did much better.

Before you run out to the store for these US made bandages, make sure to visit Nexcare’s Coupons & Rebates page and save some money!

[NOTE] Please see the 2015 update on more USA made options.

Made in USA Measuring Spoon Set

It’s hard to find everyday things that are made in USA. For this reason, I’ve been searching for measuring spoons for over a year.

Pourfect 12-Piece Measuring Spoon SetLast week, I found them – Pourfect 12-Piece Measuring Spoon Set. They came in 8 different colors. Each set comes with a leveler and hard to find sizes like 2 tablespoon and 3/4 teaspoon. I like the wide handle, big text, and they are not at all flimsy like the old set I have.

Besides the fact that I appreciate the quality, I’m happy to support Pourfect, who manufacture all their products in the States. And I will continue to search for US made products and hope you will, too.