Monday, 15 July 2013

MCB Solutions: Innovations for Professional Disability Accessibility

My dad is an optometrist (eye doctor).  As a teenager, I worked in his office for several years, and I've had the chance to visit many times since (mostly because I have horrible eyesight).  I realize that I'm a bit biased since he's my dad and everything, but I have been to other eye doctors, and it made me realize what a good optometrist my dad actually is.

In years of performing exams, my dad realized how difficult it was to treat patients in wheelchairs.  It was awkward to examine them out of their wheelchairs,  but virtually impossible to move the heavy exam chairs out of the way and provide another option.  Having attended well-known engineering school Georgia Tech before becoming an eye doctor, my dad set to work on a solution.  He spent years working on it, and finally made the mobile chair base.  It helps doctors move their exam chairs out of the way so that patients can be examined in their own wheel chairs.  It's easy to use (even I can do it), discrete, and it solved an obvious problem.  Originally made for his own office, my Dad, Dr. Baker, realized that other doctors were facing the same problem.  In fact, many doctors are facing lawsuits for breaching ADA laws because they do not have an acceptable way to treat wheelchair patients.  So my dad started selling them to other doctors.

This is a product that he is passionate about because it has allowed more patients to be treated with the dignity and comfort that they deserve, and allows doctors to better treat them.  It's one of those things that most people won't ever think about...until it's their problem.  This is a great solution for disability accessibility within a doctor's office setting.

Check out MCB's website by clicking here.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Follow Up Posts on PhotoBarn

There are numerous businesses on Etsy that offer pictures transferred onto wood.

In the past, I published a few posts about a company called PhotoBarn.  As this blog is called The Honest Shopper, I feel compelled to follow up on those posts with some brutal honesty.
Yes, the pictures printed on wood look cool, and are a great idea.  They were not PhotoBarn's idea; there are actually loads of other companies that do the same thing, and PhotoBarn owners got the idea from a friend who showed them a tutorial on YouTube.

The reality of ordering from PhotoBarn is that most orders are delivered extremely late, some people never received their orders at all, mistakes are common, and the products often don't live up to expectations.  There is absolutely no concern for the environment.  Heaps of wood (not sustainably sourced, just chosen for the low price tag) get piled up and wasted, and there's not even a company recycling policy, so paper and cans just get tossed out with the normal trash.  The company itself is fraught with problems.  This isn't an expose, so I'm not going to get into all of the details here, but it is a company that I will not have any more association with.

Disclaimer: I have not had any dealings with PhotoBarn in several months.  I find it hard to believe that they have drastically improved since then, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and admit that it is possible.

Please help: I would LOVE to hear from any of you that have placed orders with PhotoBarn.  It is easy to find PhotoBarn created reviews and promotions on the internet, but there aren't many objective customer reviews available.  I would really appreciate it if you would help post your experiences here so that future shoppers can get an honest look at what to expect before ordering.

Options: If you love the idea of having your pictures on wood, you can actually do it yourself for a lot less money.  It is a little time consuming, but it's also not difficult.  There are also some other, far better companies out there that offer basically the same products.  Woodsnap, for example, is a far more ethical company that only uses sustainable wood and inks.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Best Way to Keep Your Hands Germ Free

I get through a lot of hand sanitiser.  Between working in education, having young kids, and general life, my hands get exposed to a lot of germs.  I always have a small container of hand sanitiser with me.  Most of these hand sanitisers do the job of killing germs, but they leave my hands dried out and smelling like a hospital room.

Having clean hands doesn't have to be that way.  Bath & Body Works has a range of hand sanitisers (available in both small travel size and large home size dispensers), that smell great and moisturize your hands (in addition to killing germs).  They give you a little boost every time you use them because they feel and smell great.

For my longer review of Bath & Body Works Antibacterial Hand Gels, click here.
To visit Bath & Body Works' official website (and buy some hand sanitiser of your own), click here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Follow Up on Facebook

In my last post, I mentioned the company PhotoBarn.  I just wanted to follow up to let you all know that PhotoBarn has a contest going on right this very second.  I LOVE contests and entering to win free stuff on the internet, so I wanted to share.  Participating is fun even if you don't enter, and if you submit your summery pictures you could get them printed on a PhotoBoard for free.

Happy Summer Everybody!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Unique Photo Displays From PhotoBarn

These 10x10 PhotoBoards were printed with Instagram pictures from Heather Cox Photography
I have professional photographer friends, and I'm a little embarrassed around them when I pull out my camera.  I have only minimal photoshop knowledge and although my camera has multiple lenses, I always use the same one.  Having admitted all this, I love photography.  I love taking and editing pictures, and I love looking at pictures (both mine and--even better--great photos).

If you're looking for a great way to view photographs, then check out the company PhotoBarn.  Their specialty is printing unique photo keepsakes on wood.  That's right: the pictures are printed directly on wood.  You can choose from one of their art prints, or have them print your pictures for you.  There's a whole range of sizes from 2x2 PhotoBlocks to poster sizes.  My favorites are the mid-size PhotoBoards like the 10x10s and 12x12s.  They pictures are printed and sealed on specially treated pine wood, and they look fantastic.  I really like the way that no two prints are alike because of the characteristics of the natural wood used to print.

If you're looking for a unique gift or a way to show off your photos without adding another canvas or frame to your wall, PhotoBarn offers a unique way to turn your pictures into works of art for your home.  If you are interested in PhotoBarn, they have given me permission to give my readers an exclusive 10% off discount!  Just enter the code BLOGTHANKS in the coupon box at checkout at and it will take off 10% of your total.  (This code is valid until June 13, 2013 and can't be combined with other coupons.)

Monday, 6 February 2012

Cereal Wars: Asda Store Brand Vs Name Brand

Grocery shopping gets expensive.  If you're like me and trying to feed a family, then it can be worth it to try to save any money you can by buying the knock-off brands.  Sometimes the knock-off brands taste like cheap knock-off brands.  Sometimes they surprise me with their quality.

Asda (the UK extension of Wal-Mart) has a wide range of their own store brand cereals.  The packaging isn't always as fancy as the name brands, but I wondered how the product compared.  Asda has its own version of every major cereal (Cheerios, Rice Crispies, etc.).

I'm not going to say that every Asda cereal tastes as good as the real thing or that you won't be able to tell the difference.  However, at about half the price of name brand cereals, they actually hold up pretty well when you compare them.

To read my article  comparing Asda brand cereals and name brand cereals, click here.

PS-This is my 50th post!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Pink Ginger Cordial from Thorncroft

I like ginger anyway, but I know that it's not everybody's cup of tea.  Even so I really want to share this delicious drink with everybody.  Before tasting Thorncroft's pink ginger cordial, throw out all of your preconceptions of what ginger is like.  This drink is subtle, textured, delicate and delicious.  Just writing about it makes me want a glass.

For my full product review of Thorncroft's Pink Ginger Cordial, click here.

Friday, 4 November 2011


Awhile ago I signed up for a free trial box of snacks from Graze.  My expectations weren't particularly high, but as it was a free sample, I was willing to give it a chance. 

It turned out that Graze is actually pretty fantastic.  They deliver snack boxes (they come through the mail and can be delivered to your home or office or whatever) full of healthy and delicious snacks.  I've been really surprised by the quality of the food.  The standard is really high whether it's on honeycomb flapjacks, olives, or dried fruit.  It feels like a treat even though it's healthy food, and a lot of the snacks are designed to help fill you up for longer or give you something guilt-free to munch on. 

Their website is also surprisingly fun to use as you can rate each item you receive, request to have (or not have) certain snacks in your boxes, etc.  There's a good balance of control and surprise.

To visit the Graze website and find out more, click here.

If you'd like to try your own free Graze box, just use the voucher code ZGHC2RCD.  That's right.  You can use that code to get your own sample box absolutely free. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Trick or Treat Halloween Coupon for Etsy

Have I mentioned that I have an Etsy shop?  Usually I try to keep this blog about my shopping experiences with other companies, but today I've got a little gift for you.

Because I appreciate everyone who visits my blog and networks with me, I'd like to give you a special Halloween treat.  Also I just really love Halloween.

So here it is.  You can use the code HAPPYHALLOWEEN2011 at the Hidden Domestic Etsy Shop.  It will give you 20% off any order through the 1st of November.  So here's your treat.  The only trick is that there's only one of each item in the shop as they're all handmade, so you need to be the first to order if there's something you want.

Happy Halloween everybody!

One of the heart mobiles in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Putting Dishwasher Tablets to the Test

I have a busy family with kids.  The last thing that I want to be spending a lot of time on is the dishes.  I love my dishwasher, but I've realized that which tablets we use can make a big difference on how well it works.  I've tried out a lot of different types of dishwasher tablets.  My resounding favorite is Fairy (especially their platinum tablets).  Dishes get cleaner; the dishwasher seems cleaner; my glasses get that commercial clean sparkle.  I've tried lots of tablets, but I always seem to come back to Fairy.

For my more in-depth comparison of Asda smart price dishwasher tablets, Finish quantum powerball dishwasher tablets, and Fairy Platinum tablets, click here.