Franklin Goose + A Cloth Diaper Giveaway

In our previous Adventures in Cloth Diapering posts, we have talked about the beginning of CDing, how the first two days went, lessons we have learned so far, and how the first two weeks went. I wanted to also dedicate an entire post to the store and experts that we have turned to time and time again to help us feel comfortable, confident, and actually attempt this new adventure: Franklin Goose.

If you have read my other posts on CDing, you will know that I have mentioned this store and the help we’ve received from them many times. I can’t stress enough how they have been such a huge reason for our success in CDing at the age of 15 months! I’m thrilled to be partnering with them for some posts (and more to come in the future) and a giveaway today! So without further ado, here is some information and pictures from Franklin Goose:

Franklin Goose Logo

Location: 3401 West Cary St. Richmond, VA 23221
Website: http://www.franklingoose.com
Phone: 804.355.0595
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / YouTube / Blog

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Franklin Goose is a boutique-like store in Richmond’s Carytown district that focuses on customer service and education first and foremost (can you tell why I love them already?). While not an incredibly large space, it’s truly incredible how much merchandise they have.

They have an incredible assortment of teething toys and products (which was the reason why we originally found them months ago).

Their baby bath and care products are fantastic as well- a great variety of types and prices.

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I love the toy selection that they have. Again for it being a small store, they have picked out really versatile and fun toys. I love the brands that they have picked to feature in the store as well- good, reliable toys that will last. Their bath toys are precious as well! I always have to control myself or I would go overboard shopping from here.

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They even have a clothing section with beautiful sleepers and outfits. Now that Audrey and David aren’t growing as fast, I think we are going to have to get a special outfit from here. I love the idea of them in organic material!

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Their bedding section is fantastic as well, as they have a wonderful selection of Aden + Anais and other brands as well. I seriously want to just crawl up here and take a mommy nap.

I go absolutely crazy over books, and the ones that they have picked out here are simply perfect. Unique, creative, and so perfect for many different ages.

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Their cloth diapering room is just incredible (and I will admit, a little overwhelming at first). More on their cloth diapering room later.

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Keep circling around, and there is a train table to keep the little shoppers entertained (oh so important).

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Then there is a feeding supplies area with highchairs, and carseats and strollers along the back and side wall.

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Up the stairs, you will find the baby wearing section, where you can try on samples and learn how to use them by someone trained and experienced.

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Back to the cloth diaper room, however. Amazing! When you come in, ask for a quick tour so you can have one of their employees point out the different sections, selections, and options. I hesitate to talk about the different areas of the CD room, because I know that I will leave something out.

There are cubby after cubby of cloth diaper covers, hybrids, all-in-ones, all-in-twos, inserts (so many different materials), prefolds, wool covers, and more. In the picture below, you can also see the additional supplies such as liners and laundry helpers.

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They also have upcycled cloth wipes, and more organic prefolds (in various materials and sizes),

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There is a wall of washable diaper pail liners and travel wet bags (so you can cloth diaper while out and about as well) as well as travel changing pads.

 

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The window has been turned into shelves where they have potty training supplies. Did you know that it’s actually easier to potty train kids that have been using cloth diapers? At least, that’s what they tell me!

 

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And to the side of the trainers, they have all of the cloth-diaper safe balms, powders, and creams.

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And they even sell wool dryer balls so you can ditch the fabric softener!

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In addition, though, they aren’t just a store. As I said at the beginning of this post, they are really a community education team. They have regular (free) classes on a variety of parent/child topics, such as Cloth Diapering 101, DIY Baby Food, Birth Talk, Dogs and Babies, Infant Massage, Babywearing, Mothering Circle, and so many more topics.

Oh, and you can create a registry as well!

If you aren’t local to Richmond, I would still highly recommend you to look up FG and use their resources (especially their blog, IG, FB page, and YouTube). Call them up and ask them questions! With the digital age we live in now, you don’t have to rely on some place local to you in order to find a dependable community or even shop. I promise you will be amazed at the level of service that you will receive with this store, even over the phone or email. When I say that they are here to help you find the solution that works best for you, that has truly been my experience.

Franklin Goose has been incredibly generous and will be giving one lucky winner the following cloth diapering package:

  • 3 Bummis prefolds (100% organic cotton) – infant size 7-20 lbs
  • 1 diaper cover, either:
    • Girl: Bummis cover – size small – 8-15 lbs
    • Boy: Imagine cover – one size – 6-35 lbs
  • 1 white Snappi

Let me just say that I have seen the difference between these organic cotton prefolds and the kind that you get from those other stores. Trust me… the material does matter when it comes to absorbency! When we use covers and prefolds, these are the exact brand that we use, and we absolutely love them! They work so well and are rather easy to learn how to put the entire diaper together.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Disclaimer: I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. I did receive a sample of Bummis prefolds and fleece liners to try before hosting this giveaway.*








Adventures in Cloth Diapering: 2 Weeks In

Ok, so we haven’t been cloth diapering for a full two weeks yet, but since I started seriously playing around with the idea 2 weeks ago, I think we can call it 2 weeks (at least for the title of this post).

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- 2 Weeks In

If you were to have asked us a month ago if we would be cloth diapering, I would have sadly said, “No, it would just be too hard to learn and too expensive to do it with two of them. Plus, I just can’t handle the laundry I have now. I don’t think I could do it with cloth diaper laundry as well.”

I am so glad we decided (totally on a whim) to take the plunge and try this.

Research: While we are absolutely NOT experts, please rely on your mom and dad friends to help you at first, and then go to a trusty store (like our Franklin Goose) to fill in the gaps and get a thorough education (and also for continuing expert advice). And be prepared to ask a lot of questions. Soon, I will be posting actual information about diaper types, detergents, and other cloth diapering topics, but for now please trust me when I say that your friends will help you more than you realize. I had no idea the amount of friends that CD their kids until I posted on Facebook that our first day was an epic failure. Since then, I have some amazing mom friends that I know I can turn to immediately for help and advice.

Amount Spent (For Twins): I spent about $250-300 on diapers of all varieties. I got some covers, good cotton prefolds, and washable liners at Franklin Goose. I bought 12 GroVia all-in-one diapers off of a local buy/sell/trade cloth diapering group. I bought another 12 or so pocket diapers and inserts from a consignment sale. If you are starting out, definitely get a variety of styles and brands until you figure out what you like best.

Fail: Yes, you will have failures which will pop up as pinched skin, diaper rashes, and leak throughs. You may drop poop on the ground as you are cleaning it up, and you may throw the cloth diaper in the wrong bin. But it’s ok! We make mistakes and we get into a new habit and then we are ok!

Trial-and-Error: Again, this is where your cloth diapering store comes in. Be prepared for a couple days or weeks or trial and error as you figure it out. We were lucky and found success with pockets and then fell in LOVE with all-in-ones pretty quickly after that. But then there are questions about your water type and detergent and washing routine. So find that store (or better yet, just call Franklin Goose since they will chat with anyone ANYWHERE to help them out), call them or go in, and enjoy some mistakes or successes. Think of how many diapers you change. You will figure it out quickly.

Surround Yourself with Supportive People: While some think that CDing is “gross” or old-fashioned, ignore those haters. Surround yourself with the people that are excited for you to try this new adventure. We have been so lucky and our parents (who are the others that regularly watch our twins) have been so happy for us to try this (and willing to do it themselves). Surround yourself with the positive people. Bye-bye negativity!

Save: Oh my gosh, 1 week after we started to CD, a big order of disposable diapers from Amazon Mom came in… 3 HUGE BOXES. We contacted them right away, and sent two of them back in (keeping 1 for traveling and backup), and we LOVED getting that money back. We don’t mind changing diapers now, because we don’t see it as money out the window. In fact, it’s fun to change diapers and pick the new fashion. Just be warned, if you use disposables every now and then, you will be heavily disappointed when your child doesn’t poop in it. Oh man, that was such a waste of a disposable! 

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: The First Two Days

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- The First 2 Days

Well, on our first day of CDing (last Wednesday), it was a leaky mess. Turns out those prefolds that you get from Babies R Us are really poor quality and don’t absorb at all. After a quick bit of research and help from lots of friends that also CD, we confirmed that.

So we switched back to disposable for a couple of days so I could research more and get a game plan.

Enter a child consignment sale where I found about 20 pocket diapers (various brands) and some covers for about $120. Score! I figured that it would be enough to try them out a bit more and really get a chance to see if we liked them. If not, we could always sell our stash.

Day 2 of Cloth: Let’s just say that I love the look of Audrey and David in cloth. Those big fluffy butts are just totally precious. And with the microfiber inserts, it definitely was much more absorbent. Tim and I both cleaned our first poops (the big test), and it wasn’t bad at all! I think we are hooked!

In addition, I went back in to our local cloth diapering store Franklin Goose, and they hooked me up with some amazing 100% cotton prefolds and fleece liners. They are going through the wash now, so I will be reporting on them again soon.

In the meantime, I have learned so much in the past week, such as the difference in types of cloth diapers, the varieties of methods of cleaning, various schools of thought on cloth diapering, what can/cannot touch your child’s skin, how different materials absorb, and much more.

I have also learned that it’s really important to have a few trusted people and communities to go to with questions. I have read in forums about using bleach to clean diapers, but something about it made me very uneasy. Even if it’s highly diluted and gets washed afterwards, it just didn’t feel right. The whole point of our family CDing was to get away from chemicals. So why would I introduce something that harsh into our diapering?

After talking to Sheri at Franklin Goose, I felt much better about my decision to skip using bleach. Over time it would break down the diapers, causing us to buy more. Now, if the STORE that SELLS these cloth diapers is encouraging us NOT to buy more, then I feel like I can trust their advice. Instead, Sheri offered that if anyone has questions, we should not hesitate to call and ask questions. She said that they have customers from states away that will call in to ask questions, and they love helping out whenever possible. Customer service is such a big aspect of the shopping experience for me. I will happily pay a little more for good service and good quality!

Stay tuned for more on our #adventuresinclothdiapering

Adventures in Cloth Diapering: A Beginning

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- A

Before I got pregnant with our twins, I dreamed of cloth diapering. But I didn’t want to clean the poop. There is a service here in our area that will pick up and clean your soiled prefold diapers so you don’t have to worry about it. That seemed perfect for us!

Then when I found out we were having twins, I quickly put aside the dream of cloth because I understood that I would have a lot on our plate to get used to two babies at once instead of just a singleton. That’s ok! I was being totally realistic.

And then I fell in love with Young Living essential oils. It was my second step into crunchy-dom, as I was already making the majority of the twins’ baby food at that point (about 6-8 months old at that time). I loved being able to have a more natural and chemical-free environment in our house. I became even crunchier when I turned the love of EOs into my One Breath at a Thyme business.

Then, a few days ago, my cloth dreams resurfaced when I was talking to an online group of mommies about their babies and the metallic smell of their child’s wet disposable diapers. Someone spoke about that probably being the chemicals from the diaper reacting to the urine. I realized very quickly that I knew that smell all too well. Ew. That was not what I wanted for my family.

But our babies are 15 months old. Who knows how much longer they will be in diapers! 4 months? 2 years? I couldn’t go out and buy all new diapers for them! So instead, I decided that we would work with what we have already and purchase the bare minimum.

We have about 60 prefold diapers that we used as burp cloths when the babies were younger. 30 each. That will do to start! Then I just needed to get covers. I went to a local cloth diaper and all-things natural store called Franklin Goose (Shout out FG! Love you guys!) and got a quick tutorial. With 3 covers (1 main one for each child + 1 extra) and 2 Snappi fasteners, I was ready to start!

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We had some fun last night (the night before the adventure started) with “pretending” to wear our cloth diapers. Hopefully you saw our silliness on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

And then, today the Adventures in Cloth Diapering began!

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I promise we will update as we get the hang of what we are doing with the wipes and the prefolds and get more experience! For now, I’m sure I’m doing a hundred things wrong, so I’d rather wait until I get a better feel of it.

Do you have any advice for us as we tackle this new adventure?

Up-Themed Birthday Party – A Preview

I’m so thrilled to share a couple photos from the twins’ first birthday party! Even more pictures will be up on The Wise Baby as soon as we get them all!

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And some of the details (there were many more):

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A Father’s Words

I love that my Etsy business allows me to “meet” some amazing people and talk to them about their stories. Every now and then I am touched beyond words by the meaning behind their commissions.

This customer’s father passed away this year, and this list was read at his funeral. She asked me to turn them into signs for her family for Christmas.

A Doodle and Bug Personalized Signs and Frames

I won’t lie- signs are not easy. They take about 2 hours each from start to finish in many different sessions. You can’t mess up. If you do, it is really hard to fix your mistake.

As I sat rewriting these words over and over, I felt like I was becoming a better person by absorbing the messages. I wish I had known her father.

 

To see more from A Doodle and Bug, you can visit my Etsy shop, Facebook page, follow my shop on Instagram, or see my DIY page on this blog.

How To Clean a Doll’s Hair – FAIL

Fail Cleaning Doll's Hair

When we went back to our hometown for Thanksgiving, I picked up one of my old Cabbage Patch dolls, Nellie, because I thought that Audrey might like to have a talking doll that looked like her.

Nellie, however, needed to go to the salon for some serious help on her hairdo. I looked up ways to fix dolls hair, and I can across one post that seemed easy enough (“How to Clean and Restore Doll Hair” by The Krazy Coupon Lady).

So I took a quick before shot,

Nellie Hair Before
filled the sink with a little fabric softener, and gave Nellie a hair washing.

Nellie Hair Fabric Softener Conditioner

As I worked through the knots with a comb, I realized that we had a serious problem on our hands. Nellie’s hair was in awful shape. Because she had electronics in her head, I had to be careful not to soak her hair up to her scalp. Yet I also had trouble combing through the knots. They were impossible to get through without pulling out her hair.

Clump of Doll Hair

Now I know why all of my Barbies had short haircuts. Knots in a doll’s hair  = pull out the scissors.

No, I didn’t cut Nellie’s hair short. We will let Audrey do that in a couple years if she wants to. For now, Nellie just has a very clean and shiny, but very knotty hairdo.

Nellie Hair After

Happy Halloween 2014!

Happy Halloween from the Doyle Family! May you have many treats and no tricks!

Halloween 2014 Collage w Text

 

By the way, if you are looking fo those awesome hats, you can get them from Bumble Beeds Bowtique on Etsy. The shirts are from A Doodle and Bug on Etsy (my shop).

Creating Long Signs and Changing Text with Silhouette Studio

Adding and Editing TextPiecing Together a Sign

 

I’ve been meaning to do another Silhouette Studio tutorial for a while, as my previous tutorials have been some of the biggest hits on the blog. Plus, they have been pinned thousands of times on Pinterest. How cool! In case you want to read those, here are the links:

Today’s tutorial will cover two topics:

1. How to piece a sign together if it is longer than the size of a cutting mat, and

2. How to edit fonts.


Piecing Together a Sign

Part 1: How to piece a sign together if it is longer than 24 inches (the size of a cutting mat)

*All images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Pick how long your finished product will be and make the changes in the “Page” setting. I always like to design in real-size, so I can get an idea for proportions. In this case, the sign will be 29 inches long and 12 inches tall… just a tad too long for one sheet of 12×24″ vinyl and a cutting mat.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

 

 

Open up a text box and type in your text. From this step, we are going to skip to the final look of the text that we want. If you want to know how to edit the text, skip down below for that tutorial.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Voila! After playing around (remember to skip to the tutorial below if you want to know how to fix the font), we have the exact font and size we would like!

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

We can even play around a little bit by changing the color of the font, just to make sure. I always do this, as I am very visual and like to see how it will look as close as possible. This is also helpful if you are showing mock-ups to customers. First, highlight all of the text. Then go to the “fill” box (on the top right string of icons).

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Pick your color. You can get more advanced, but for a quick change, you can just pick one of the colors listed.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

You will notice that the red lines are still outlining the text, so I like to get rid of them. It also will help you see proportions a little more, as those outlines will distort the look of what gets cut and what stays the same. Click on the “line color” icon.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

And then click the cross-hatched option, which means “no color.”

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Now, the rest of the tutorial will continue as if we didn’t change the color. Highlight all of the text and click Object > Modify > Weld. This will make each of the letters act individually of each other.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

In order to weld, you can also click the icon, located at the bottom left of the screen.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

Now, everything is by itself.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

You could take any of the letters and move them around.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

But don’t do that. In order to keep the words together, I like to group them together by highlighting a word at a time.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

And pressing the group button, found on the bottom left row of icons.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Once you have grouped the letters in both words, you can independently move the words around. If you wanted to, you could stop here and cut one word (in this case “Happy”), move it out of the white area, load another piece of vinyl, move in “Holidays” and then cut that.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

However, if you want to get it all cut at once, , you can get a little creative with your layout by rotating the words to fit on one page. Remember you will want to stop at that vertical red line, as that’s where it will stop cutting because of the mat size.. If you are using this as a stencil, remember to give yourself plenty of space around each word.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com
So there you go! That’s how you can squeeze a longer sign on one sheet of vinyl! Let me know if you have any questions!


Adding and Editing Text

Part 2: How to Edit Fonts

So, starting with the font that automatically comes with the text box. You can do some playing around with the box and size. Start by moving that vertical bar back and forward. You can get rid of all that extra space, or you can collapse the words so that they are on two lines. You will need to use that bar later on.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

In order to make the text larger, you can take the corner (any of the corners) and click-and-drag. Your text can become huge!

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

I also sometimes like to get rid of the grid, by clicking on the grid icon and unchecking “Show Grid.” The grid is helpful when I’m about to cut (I can count and make sure I have the vinyl placed correctly), but normally it’s just too distracting while I work.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

 

Back to resizing. In the font selection screen (top right row of icons, looks like a letter A), you can make changes to the font. I never worry about the font size in this screen, as I manually change it.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Some fonts you pick will be huge and go onto two lines.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

That’s when you will take that bar (you may have to double click the text box to get it to show up), adjust it to be longer, and then scale it down.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Keep adjusting until you are happy with it. You can also stretch the font vertically by dragging the middle square (when the text is selected) or horizontally by clicking on either of the side squares.

Silhouette Studio Fonts and Long Signs Tutorial by DoyleDispatch.com

Remember, when you are changing the font, you will want to either highlight the text itself and make the change OR if you are changing everything in a text box, just click on the text until it looks like the pictures above. I like this option because I can then click on one font and then use my down arrow and scroll through the other fonts, seeing what they look like in the words I will use. Again, visual learner here and it’s what works best for me.

So how were these tutorials? Clear as mud? Let me know if you have any questions or need clarification!

 

Smart Weigh Digital Pro Pocket Scale Review


Smart Weigh Digital Scale example and direction book

When I was a teacher (in the classroom, as one can argue that I’m still a teacher every day with A and D), I had these amazing pocket scales in my classroom, that I received after participating in an amazing summer course to help write exemplar lessons for the Virginia Department of Education. I’m telling you, these were amazing, and we used them in so many projects. When I left the classroom, I thought that it was only fair that I passed them along to another teacher that was also in that program.

Since then, I have wanted my pocket scales a bunch of times, and I couldn’t use them! This is why I was thrilled to receive one via Tomoson.com and their review site!

Smart Weigh Digital Scale Top

As a small business owner with my Etsy store Personally Yours by Dory, I am always looking for a better way to ship my products. I come up with the shipping based on past sales, but I always try to be fair. Usually that means that I underestimate, which means that I lose business. I’m so excited to be able to accurately predict shipping now, because I can weigh the product (in the box), calculate it on the USPS Postal Calc site, and I can even print my shipping label ahead of time. Then I can just drop the package off and be on my way! It can’t get any easier than that! The biggest issue, however, is that this has a 500 g weight limit (just a little over 1 lb), so anything heavier than that, and it won’t work. It’s great, though for those lighter items.

Smart Weigh Digital Scale On

When A and D get older, I plan on using this handy little scale to talk about weights and do comparisons of objects.

Smart Weigh Digital Scale example oz

I’m sure, as I start cooking more, I will even be able to use it for cooking!

Smart Weigh Digital Scale Example grams

In addition, now that I’m getting into my Young Living Essential Oils business as a distributor, I know this will help with shipping costs.

This thing is accurate, small, portable, and so necessary to have in your home. Plus, since it’s only $20 on Amazon, it’s such a great gadget to have!

By the way, here is information from the company about this product:

Have you been looking for the perfect on-the-go pocket scale?
One that is lightweight, accurate, and reliable? Look no further – the Smart Weigh Digital Pocket Scale with its sleek and portable design is exactly what you have been looking for!
Advanced!
Tired of inaccurate weight readings? Ready for an upgrade? The Smart Weigh scale features the highest grade precision with the latest technology.
Weigh Master!
This scale will help you accomplish a wide variety of weighing needs. It will do so accurately and to perfection!
Style!
Features a unique and simple design with its stainless steel 3.94” x 3.7” platform. It is easy to operate by using the four sleek chrome buttons.

  • Features – the top500 is strong, accurate, fast, and user-friendly; will work great for any of your mailing, jewelry, reloading, and cooking needs
  • Functions – this scale can double up as a postal scale; the pcs function gives you an accurate count and the hold function will lock weight readings
  • Design – features a clear LCD screen lit by a bright blue backlight; will display readings in g, OZ, OZT, dwt, GN, and CT
  • Precision – manufactured with high precision sensors to provide the most accurate weight readings; weighs up to 500 grams in 0.01 Increments
  • Includes – 2 AAA batteries with a two minute auto shut off feature; the tare function will provide a net weight

 

Smart Weigh Digital Scale  Box

Buy it on Amazon here.

#TOP500

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.