A ring light for looking cute on video, Father’s Day gifts and soap-making stuff

Last week I signed up for a new affiliate network where they pair you with companies. However I started googling them and even established brands have bad reviews which make me question whether to recommend them. I would make a terrible influencer. I’m not about to pair with the skinny tea people and they did email me. I’m still trying to figure it out, but we may feature links outside Amazon in the future. Here some Amazon products to help you look cute on Zoom, some products for soap-making and some possible Father’s Day presents. Let me know if there’s anything I can look up and if you’ve already asked and I forgot please remind me.

An adjustable ring light so you can look cute on video

The easiest thing you can do to look cute on Zoom is to set the filter. When you’re in Zoom, click the little up arrow next to the video icon in the lower left. Choose then click “touch up my appearance” under “my video.” You may want to choose “enable HD” too, I think I look better with that, but it’s up to you. I’ve read so many recommendations to get a ring light so you have the perfect lighting for your video calls. This is a ring light with a separate gooseneck stand for your camera or webcam that clips to a desk or table. It has 95 ratings, 4.5 stars and an A from Fakespot. I picked it because it’s more affordable than other ring lamps and can be used with a phone or webcam. I might just clip this to the table and leave the webcam at the top of my monitor. Reviewers say “I see a great different in my videos even on the [lowest] setting,” “definitely makes a difference and was exactly what I needed” “really boosts my webcam quality and focusing ability,” and “The holders stay in place very well and can be adjusted easily.”

If you’re looking to spend a little more money for a bigger light, this 10″ selfie ring light with a tripod stand and phone holder is $65. It has over 1,200 reviews, 4.3 stars and an A on Fakespot.

An affordable sous vide cooker for perfectly cooked meat every time

I have wanted one of these for years, so when it came up as a suggested Father’s Day present I had to read about them. Sous vide is a French method of cooking where you put meat in plastic and cook it at a low steady temperature. The meat ends up juicy and perfectly cooked. I looked through so many Fakespot ratings for these cookers, they’re just little devices you clip to a pot to circulate water and keep the temperature steady. None of them had over a C on Fakespot and most had D or F ratings. The Auag was the most inexpensive model I found, it’s just $40 and has 4.3 stars, over 118 ratings and a C on Fakespot, making the adjusted rating still over 4 stars. Home chefs call it “whisper quiet,” say the meat comes out “really tender” and that it’s a “great bargain for the price.” Some say the setup is tricky but there are tips in the top reviews for setting it up. It only takes half an hour for chicken or fish and steak is recommended to cook for six hours, there’s a graphic below.

A three piece set of nesting glass mixing bowls that you can serve in

Some of my favorite, most-used items in the kitchen are small to medium-sized bowls I use for mixing and serving. Sometimes I have to wash them as I’m prepping so I can use them for something else. This is a set of three glass mixing bowls by Pyrex for under $13. They have 4.8 stars, over 4,000 ratings and a B on Fakespot. You can also buy lids for them separately. These are oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Reviewers write that they “take up little space” and that “The quality is so great that they will last you for many years. The glass is hard to break and never stains and food easily comes right off.” These are also said to be pretty enough to serve in, and that they’re great for sauces, dips and more.

Update: these are out of stock. You can get a set of 10 nesting glass Anchor bowls for $30. Those have 4.4 stars, 606 ratings and a B on Fakespot.

Soap-making supplies so you can make some as gifts

The other day my neighbors helped me call my landlord after my son and I got locked out of the house. I wondered what I could make to thank them. It’s weird to give people baked goods at this time, right? There’s a pandemic and people might not want food. I saw an interview with Marcia Gay Harden where she was making soap! (I’m covering that separately because why not?) I got inspired to make some myself. You can send little soaps to friends in the mail or leave them on their porches as a gift.

A set of 12 soap molds with gorgeous patterns

This is a set of two silicone soap molds with 6 chambers each for a total of 12 soaps. It’s $16 and has 4.9 stars, over 1,200 ratings and a B on Fakespot. There are lovely intricate patterns like hearts, trees and butterflies and it’s said to “make absolutely beautiful soap.” Another reviewer writes that “The silicone is super easy to get the soap out of and the design imprint is flawless.” They’re also said to be “easy to clean and fill” and to “create a nice full-sized bar of soap.” Each soap is supposed to be about 4 ounces.

5 lbs of goat milk soap base

If you’re making soaps that are about 4 ounces each you can make 4 soaps per pound. If you’d like to buy enough to make about 20 soaps you can get 5 lbs of goats milk soap base for almost $20. (This is not a cheap hobby, but handmade soaps are expensive.) This has over 1,000 ratings, 4.6 stars and a B on Fakespot. People say this formula is great for mixing in things like oatmeal and that the soap “lathers nicely, doesn’t disintegrate in the shower, and smells lovely and fresh.”

32 shades of mica powder for bright and pretty soaps

If you want to have colorful soaps, this set of 32 mica powders should do the trick. They have 4.7 stars, over 465 ratings and a B on Fakespot. Reviewers say “I love every one of these colors and have made multiple loaves of soap,” and that they are a “great selection of colors” and “worked beautifully.” These can also be used for candle-making, pottery and other crafts. There are also little dried flowers you can buy to embed in candles and soaps. Ok I went off on a tangent about soap-making.

A silent, easy-to-program retro alarm clock

This retro battery-powered alarm clock would make a thoughtful Father’s Day gift. It’s a cool looking cool that’s easy to set. It’s 5.5” tall and has big numbers so it’s easy to read. It has a backlight and a touch light along with a snooze feature and is just $18. It also comes in a glow-in-the-dark version and other colors. It has 721 ratings, 4.3 stars and an A on Fakespot. Reviewers call it “exactly what I needed,” “perfect,” “a nice throwback” and “easy to see and set.”

A black acrylic tray for remotes, bedside storage and more

This black 10.2 x 8.5 inch tray would make a great gift. It’s under $20 and has 39 ratings, 4.4 stars and a B on Fakespot. It can be used for car keys, phones, remotes, jewelry and toiletries. It’s said to be “perfect for the nightstand,” “very lightweight” and to be “great for holding items.”

A multipurpose tool that fits in a wallet

We’ve featured the Wallet Ninja before. I got one for my son for Christmas and he loves it. Built-in tools include four different screwdrivers, a box opener, can opener, bottle opener and more. This is an updated 2.0 version with a little mirror and nail file. People call it “super durable,” “very useful” and “better than similar wallet tools.” This does not have a great Fakespot rating, and some people complain that the TSA will confiscate it at the airport.

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