Category Archives: Made in the USA

Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Royal Apparel

This is a first for me. I have showcased many “American Made” companies, but never one that was in my county. Royal Apparel has been making sweatshop free, eco friendly clothing in NY since 1992 and they are about a 20 minute drive from my house. I bought a bunch of stuff from them for myself and my infant son back in September.

I received my purchase and have worn my “Royal Apparel” attire and I can say equivocally that I love it. More importantly I love how it looks on my son. I bought him two long sleeve thermals, USAtwo organic cotton onesies, and a hooded sweatshirt. The fit and quality of these clothes is top notch.  In addition to that the feel of their organic cotton it so soft and comfortable. I can already tell that I will wear these pieces for a long long time.

Unfortunately for my son he will outgrow all of his clothes in the next few months, but I certainly plan on buying him more as he grows. I also want to buy the two of us exact matching outfits for a family party. I am corny that way.

If you are looking for some high quality, butter soft organic cotton clothes to give as a gift this Christmas, you can’t do much better than “America Apparel”.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Round House Jeans

For me personally the “Made in the USA” movement began with my feet and then progressed to my jeans. I’ve owned several pairs made by “All American Clothing Company” and I found them to be excellent. I love their jeans and have continued to buy from them. Recently though I have decided to share the love and buy my next pair from another domestic jeans maker. At first I worried that this might prove to be difficult, but I was quickly proven wrong.

I actually feel bad admitting that. So many people fail to even try to buy American because they think their is nothing out there for them. I have tried for almost three years now to debunk that thinking, but it is so pervasive in our culture that even I will occasionally fall into that trap. It is wrong and I was wrong. I could buy my new jeans from the Hartford Demin Company, or Texas Jeans, both are great companies making great products.

I decided to go with one of the oldest jeans manufactures in America. A company that has been in the business for over 100 years, Round House. Based in Shawnee Oklahoma, these guys have been making jeans since before they were adopted by the public at large. Many of  Round House’s employee have been with the company for decades. Here is a short little video showcasing their operation: Seeing the faces of those workers and the care and quality they out into their jobs reminds me of why I decided to buy American in the first place. I looked through their site and found a pair of relaxed fit jeans that suited me just fine. I don’t go for skinny jeans or even slim fit. I like to be comfortable, I also like to be able to bend over with out sever pain or discomfort. I’m old fashion that way, but to each his own. The jeans I selected look great and the best part about them is that they cost $29.95.  I don’t know if I could even find a pair of cheap, foreign, child slave labor jeans for that price! Made in American jeans at rock bottom prices what a combo. I’ll write more when I receive them, but if you are looking to replace a few pairs of old jeans that need replacing you probably can’t do much better than Round House Jeans.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Dr. Brown’s Baby Bottles

Many an inventor has taken up the task to “build better mouse trap”, most have found very little success. In a majority of cases the simplest design is often the most effective.  This is true of mouse traps and even more so when applied to baby bottles. The standard bottle that my son drank from this morning was very similar to the one I drank as a baby builder and to the one by father enjoyed in infancy. Sure plastic has replaced glass in the materials department, but other than that not too much has changed.

Why should it? Why replace a bottle that gets the job done? The fine folks at Dr. Brown might argue that while perfect is often the enemy of good, better often rules the day. BottlesIn their patented bottle design they have figured out how to deliver a steady stream of fluid that reduces many of the problems associated with traditional bottles. Their “natural flow” internal vent system provides positive pressure, vacuum free, feeding that reduces colic, burping, spit-up, and gas by eliminating air bubbles.

This new bottle design caught my interest and when I saw that it was they were the number one selling bottles on Amazon that interest grew. When I discovered that they were “Made in the U.S.A.” and that a five bottles set was only $19.99 I couldn’t help but pull the trigger.

Having owned these bottles I can say that the hype is real. Every morning I feed my son and I can attest that Dr. Brown’s claims are true. These bottles deliver a steady, smooth, air bubble free stream of formula. We have several different brands of bottle and Dr. Brown’s is my go to choice. The other bottles are fine, but Dr. Brown’s are the best.

From the moment you hold one of these bottles you can feel the quality and knowing that it is made domestically of BPA free plastic is very reassuring. I was a bit concerned that they would be hard to clean, but the dismantle and reassemble very easily. We are still primarily using that 4 ounce bottles, but it won’t be long before we climb on up to the 8 ounce bad boys. I am very please with this purchase and would highly recommend these bottles to other parents. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Baby Liberty – Baby Spoons

With days away from fatherhood I am a little bit busy and a little  bit distracted. With baby matters so heavily on my mind I will focus this weeks article on a baby product. Specifically spoons, baby spoons.

From time to time I will read an article or hear about items with toxic or dangerous plastics in them that have caused serious health problems from those unfortunate enough to use them. This is concerning and even more so when baby products are involved, like spoons. As a parentspoon its important for you to know that your child is eating with a safe product, free of lead, BPA’s, or other nasty chemicals.

Baby Liberty is a reliable “American Made” brand that makes soft bite coated spoons that meet the highest safety standards. They can be purchased on Amazon for $5.99 for a two pack and have a perfect review rating, five stars all the way. You can’t do much better then that.

If you are having a baby or are buying a gift for a loved ones baby shower, you can;t do much better then a safe made in the USA spoon from Baby Liberty.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – CoverPlug

In 13days, God willing, I am going to be a father. It has been a very exciting time for the Bride and and and with that joy comes responsibility. Time to child proof the house. I realize that it will be some time before my son can crawl or walk, but why wait. No time like the present. Time to buy some outlet covers, the little white plastic ones that my parents used when I was a toddler. I bought a whole big box of them, more than enough for every outlet in the house.

Then I noticed one behind the crib. I was concerned. Can he reach down and touch that outlet? What if he pulls out the plug cover? Now we have a choking hazard and an exposed outlet right next to my sons crib. Should I move the crib? All of the walls have outlets and I want the crib visible from the doorway. What to do? 

A quick web search yielded a solution, Coverplugs. coverplugThis device covers the entire outlet and can be painted as well. It allows you to not only cover the outlet, but camouflage it was well. This should make the outlet less appealing to any curious fingers and much harder to pull off. In the event that it did come off its way too big to be a choking hazard.

Coverplugs are a patented American made product that sells for $8.50 for a 2 pack on Amazon. With such a low price and such strong reviews I snatched up a pair. It came yesterday and I am very pleased with them. They are very sturdy looking, I can’t wait to paint them a place them in my nursery.

Of course nothing is 100 percent effective, but a Coverplug and of course the parental supervision, are a good start. If you have an outlet that you a looking to conceal I don’t think you could do much better than this American made product.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Worx Chainsaw

Americans don’t makes those anymore. A phrase spoken by cynics masquerading as realists used to dismiss those of us who still believe in the American worker. That’s not to say it isn’t true, we haven’t made a TV in this country for quite some time. It’s difficult to find and American made watch or power tool, difficult but not impossible and that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look.

When the snow finally melted in my backyard last week I went out to inspect the property.  I noticed that a dead tree on the edge of  my backyard had deteriorated at an alarming rate. I felt this growing sense of dread that this tree could topple any day and come crashing down on my neighbor’s house. I like my neighbor, I certainly don’t want to see that happen for several reasons. I also don’t want to to crash into my other healthy trees and damage them.

I would have to cut it down. One problem, I have no saw. work chainsawI paid a quick visit to Amazon and started researching models. As you know I always try to buy American but didn’t think that would be possible. I am happy to report that I was wrong. The number one selling electric chainsaw  on Amazon is the WORX WG 303.1, and it is “Made in the USA”. Why an electric chainsaw? One word, maintenance.

I called several friends to ask if I could borrow their chainsaws. In all three cases I heard the same reply, they had one but it wasn’t running. If you let a gas engine sit too long it stops working. With an electric chainsaw you need not worry.

Is this a lumberjack grade chainsaw, no. I don’t need that, I need one for a suburban yard and this one seems to fit the bill nicely. At $95.99 it fits the bill nicely. The reviews are almost perfect and with over 350 people weighing in I feel pretty confident in this product. Another quality “Made in the USA” product, we do make those and we make them well.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Suncast Snow Shovel – My Personal Experience

I realize that we only have a few weeks left of Winter, but I wanted to give a review of this product based on my personal experience. Last year I bought a a Suncast 20 inch snow shovel. My primary reasons for doing so was that it was “Made in America” and it had excellent reviews.

shovelSince then NY has gotten walloped pretty badly by the snow. My Suncast shovel certainly saw a fair bit of action this year and it performed amazingly. I can honestly say that this is the best snow shovel I have ever owned. The steel weather strip is great at breaking up ice, the handle is sturdy and easy to grip, and the scoop is deep and generous. You can use it to push snow or scoop it, the versatility has allowed be to push aside smaller accumulations or tackle the heavy storms.

I check my records and I paid about 30 bucks for this shovel. Is that high? Yes and no, sure I could find a 10 dollar shove at some big box store. It would do the job well enough and probably break after a season or two. I decided to go the other day, spend a little extra and get a whole lot more. I got what a paid for, an American made shovel that is second to none in utility and quality.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop -Purchase

When It comes to buying American I try to lead by example, I like to put my money where my mouth is. Many of my articles are about products that I already own, others are a about items I plan to or hope to buy. A few days after writing about the Zeroll 1030 ice cream scoop I received one of my very own.

ScoopsI have used it twice and have been very impressed. The 1030 feels good in the hand and it makes digging out a few scoops of ice cream very easy. The scoops from the 1030 are perfectly round and small. The 1030 is a 1 ounce scoop model, which is exactly what I wanted. For those of you that prefer “normal sized” scoops I recommend the 1020 or the 1012. I may purchase one of those model for parties, but for now the 1030 works just fine.

The quality in the build of my Zeroll scoop is evident from the moment you open the box. The smooth aluminum handle has a clean look and the scoop portion of the scoop has machined texture. I have no fear of peeling coatings or rust because the design of this scoop is top notch. My food is safe with this Zeroll scoop and with the right care it will last me a lifetime. At $15 I can’t recommend it enough. Summer is right around the corner, buy one now.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Zeroll Ice Cream Scoops

I love ice cream, I know I am not unique in this regard. The Bride and I experiment with brands and flavors with our tastes changing over time. I am currently partial to the “Three Twins Vanilla”. We usually keep a pint or two in the freezer and our ice cream scoops sees a fair amount of action, but lately I have been alarmed by its appearance. Our ice cream scoop is corroding and this has me a little concerned. Am I contaminating my food? Where did this scoop come from? The answer to both questions is “I don’t know” and that won’t do.

I need a new scoop and I want it to be safe and made with quality in mind. scoopFor the last 70+ years the Zeroll company has been at the top of the ice cream scooping game. Next time you visit you local ice cream shop take a look at the scoops, they are probably using a Zeroll design.

Zeroll scoops are made out of aluminum and have a fluid inside that conducts heat from your hand to the ice cream. Their scoops are know for making perfectly round professional looking scoops. Each handle has a color that indicates scoop size. The most common is the 2 ounce gold model.  The Bride and I opted for the Red or 1 ounce model. The thinking is to have more smaller scoops as a form of portion control.

The 1030 model that we bought is selling on Amazon for $14.91, this includes shipping. The price of these scoops varies greatly so do your research to find the best deal. Please keep in mind that with the right care a Zeroll scoop can last a lifetime, value through longevity. 

Summer will be here before you know it, grab an American made icon for your next party or gathering, buy a Zeroll.

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Naturepedic Organic Cotton Crib Matress

I think most people have gained a new appreciation for what the things they own are made of.  We typically view our skin as a protective barrier, but it can also absorb toxins with increased amounts of exposure. As a soon to be parents, my wife and I are trying to be extra vigilant about the things our newborn child will come into contact with.

Low VOC paint for the nursery, a wool area rug, toys made out of safe plastics, a safe crib, and in that crib a safe organic mattress. It may seem trivial, but if you really think about it you touch your mattress more then anything else that you own. Clothes are on you all day, but you change them one day to the next. The mattress and what’s in it is more important than many of us realize.

With this in mind I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to select the safest and best mattress. mattressMy search brought me to Naturepedic and their “No compromise organic cotton classic lightweight crib mattress”.  This little mattress ticks all the boxes for me, first off it waterproof, super important. Its also certified organic and meets Greenguard’s chemical omission elimination standards. 

In Naturpedic I have found an American made mattress that is chemical and allergen free and safe for my child. The reviews on Amazon are very strong, 4 out of 5 stars. I have read  all of them and it seems that in the cases where the parents raised an issue with the mattress Naturepedic was quick to resolve the issue. Good support is very important to me.

At $259.00 I feel that this mattress is well priced, more expensive then most non-organic mattresses, but we feel that the piece of mind it brings is worth the extra cost. I should have the nursery up in a few weeks and will report back to you with my preliminary findings.

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