Friday, November 24, 2017

Bibles Make Great Gifts - 5 Different Types Reviewed

Bibles Make Great Gifts - 5 Different Types Reviewed

The Best Christmas Gifts

What better gift could you give for Christmas than the very book that explains the reason for Christmas.   

I personally own 5 different bibles.  All but one was a gift given to me by someone I love and is a treasured keepsake.  Each one serves a different purpose, but I own them all for the same reason:  to know my creator better.   

When purchasing a Bible as a gift, you must first determine how the Bible will be used by the recipient.  I have a family Bible, a display Bible for immediate reference, a pocket Bible to carry in my purse, a Study Bible and a Bible that has been my companion for 30 years.   

The Family Bible

We own 2 family Bibles.  One is a family bible where births, deaths and marriages are listed. This bible will be passed down to the next generation to add to the records.  Family Bibles are often used in genealogical research.  After all, who would knowingly write a lie in the Holy Bible. 



The Family Bible in our Den

There is another large bible that lays open in our den.  Sometimes it is open to my favorite passage, Psalms 139.  Sometimes it is opened to a particular scripture to comfort, reassure, or remind us of what we have to be thankful for.  It is always there, waiting for whichever family member passes by and needs to search the scriptures. 

This Bible was selected because of the beautiful artwork by Thomas Kinkade.  The images are an inspiration and are lovely illustrations to accompany the Written Word. 




 Holy Bible: KJV Pocket Edition: BrownCheck Price

The Pocket Bible

I have a small pocket bible that is over 30 years old that I carry in my purse or pocket.  There have been times in my life when just being able to lay my hand on the leather cover in my purse, has given me the strength I needed for that moment.  At other times I have had it with me to read when I had to wait for someone or when I was on my lunch break.

I haven't worked outside of our home since shortly after our oldest child was born.  When I was employed, I worked in an office setting and a few of my co-workers were not Christians.  Where they might have taken exception to me bringing a large Bible to work, no one ever complained about my small, leather pocket Bible.  



Ryrie Study Bible

I also have a Ryrie Study Bible which I use just for that purpose, in-depth study. 

I found this particular study Bible to be essential when I taught Sunday School years ago.  The cross referencing and commentaries help with preparation to teach, understanding the Word, and certainly with personal study. 



My Companion ~ Study Bible

Last, but by no means least, I have the bible I read regularly.  It is the one that has accompanied me for decades to church, Sunday school, bible studies and at night, it rests in my night stand.  It really is over 30 years old.  The leather is worn, but the Word is still remarkably refreshing. 





Bibles and Gifts

As you can see, I believe there are several types of Bibles that serve different purposes, so when you are selecting a gift, choose the one that best suits the needs of the recipient. 

For those who don't need a new Bible, I recommend a Bible cover, or perhaps the Bible on cd.

 Embassy Black Solid Genuine Leather Bible CoverCheck Price

Bible Cover

Because our Bibles are carried from place to place, read often, and expected to endure a lot of handling, I highly recommend a Bible cover to protect your Bible.  I purchased a Bible cover for my companion several years ago to help protect the leather cover and I am really glad that I did, especially when it rains and I am trying to get to the car. 

There are many styles of Bible covers available to purchase.  This just happens to be the style I prefer.  The extra zipper pocket provides a place for my small wallet and car keys so I need not carry a purse to church.  There is also room for additional notes and the church bulletin.  I personally keep a small note pad and pen for making notes. 

Bible on CD's

Years ago I was thrilled to get the Bible on cassettes.  It was so awesome to be able to listen to the Bible being read when I was in my car or traveling. 
 




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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review This wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall Grape Leaves

Happy Thanksgiving from the Review This Staff! May you be blessed with the love of family and friends.  Thank you for stopping by Review This and spending some time with us throughout the year.





Our Thanksgiving Holiday

This year we are spending our holiday week on the beach at Panama Beach Florida.  Here are a few photos from our trip.






God Bless you during this Thanksgiving Holiday.




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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Art of Racing in the Rain Book Review

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was the latest book for my book club. As usual in the weeks leading up to my book club's meeting, my husband could be heard uttering his usual reminder, "Have you finished the book?" This time, however, he was particularly interested in the book because the main character is a dog named Enzo Ferrari. Yes, Ferrari as in the car.

The story is told from Enzo's perspective. The idea of reading a book from the point of view of a dog might seem weird but it worked. It doesn't actually seem like a dog talking although the narration definitely looks at the world from the Enzo's point of view.

Enzo believes in reincarnation and really wants to be reincarnated as a human being so that he can voice his views (and so that he can have thumbs.) He understands everything that people say and wants to add his thoughts to the conversation.

Did I say that the story is about a race car driver, too? Enzo's master is a driver and Enzo is therefore often immersed in the world of race car driving. Don't let that put you off though. If you are not into race car driving, you will still enjoy this book. Race car driving is simply the world that the characters in this book live in though if you are like me, you might also learn a bit about race car driving. There is never anything wrong with learning about another world.

Enzo is not like other dogs. He is a philosopher and is almost human in a number of ways. He is self-educated with the help of his television and his master, Danny Swift. In the story, Enzo reflects back on his life, the life of the Swift family, on what he has learned about being human and, as the book says, "how life, like racing, is about so much more than simply going fast."

I expected my book club book to analyze this book. However, they did not. Instead, they pretty much unanimously agreed that it was a pleasant book and a nice read. Some questioned a few life-changing decisions on the part of the main characters and some including myself particularly enjoyed the comical moments in the book.

So is it recommended? Yes. The Art of Racing in the Rain was a New York Times best seller for many weeks. It is a good story. It is lighthearted though sometimes sad and there are definitely some things between the covers to think about. I think the book is perfect for dog lovers and enjoyable for the rest of us, too.

The way, the image that I think most reflects what Enzo looks like is at the top of the page. That image just seems to capture Enzo's spirit. You don't have to agree with me on that point but you can see all of the artwork available on the covers of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon by clicking right here. Of course, you can also order yourself a copy of the book at that location, too.

This book is set to become a movie though originally Universal Studios picked up the rights and then did not follow through. However, The Hollywood Reporter says that Walt Disney Studios has picked up the rights so now all we have to do is wait and see what Disney puts together for us. Disney has made a lot of successful dog movies; let's hope they do this one properly.

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Would you recommend it? What else have you read lately?

See you at the bookstore!

Brenda
Treasures by Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon here.







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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christmas Wrapping Paper Reviewed

Gift Wrap For The Holidays

Christmas image courtesy of Pixabay.com
As I write this review this morning we only have two days until it is Thanksgiving here in the United States. After the turkey and stuffing have been devoured on Thursday, my thoughts and deeds will turn to decorating for Christmas and wrapping gifts to put under the tree. 

My wrapping paper supply has dwindled down to almost nothing so I have been looking for some Christmas Wrapping paper to use this year. I often go with a theme for the paper that I use so that it looks nice under our tree. For some reason this year I am drawn to plaids. In the past I have used whimsical Santa paper or vintage patterns and even Victorian themed papers. The plaid will be something different for me and our tree.

I think that something like the image shown above will look nice under the tree this year. I particularly like that each roll is reversible which will give me the option of adding even more variety. The rolls are 30 inches wide giving plenty of area to wrap gifts. The paper set is a Hallmark product so I won't have to worry about flimsy paper that tears easily. Don't you just hate that? You are wrapping a gift and the paper rips from just brushing a corner of a box.

Another thing that I like about going with plaid gift wrapping paper this year is that it shouldn't be too difficult to find ribbon and bows to coordinate on the packages. I can see that a few of the plaid patterns have some blue in them. I can't tell you how many bows that I have stored away that are pretty shades of blue but don't normally work with Christmas wrap. Looks like this year I can use up some of those neglected little blue bows. Hooray!

So, how about you? Do you theme your gift wrapped packages under the tree or do you just use what is on hand for an eclectic look? There is no right or wrong way, it is a matter of preference I think. As much as I love giving gifts to my loved ones, the real gift that can't be wrapped is the joy of being with your family for the holidays. 



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Monday, November 20, 2017

Preparing the Food and Mood for Thanksgiving

The Review This! contributors are very talented holiday hostesses and Thanksgiving is no exception. If entertaining isn't your best talent, or if you feel you are forgetting something, have no fear  - we have tried and true recipes and entertaining ideas right here at your fingertips.


Thanksgiving - the Good Food



The Thanksgiving Turkey ~ Part I of Thanksgiving Recipes

Our Cynthia Sylvestermouse shares her love of Thanksgiving and a peek at how she manages the preparation during the week prior as well as the timing of cooking the turkey on the day of. It is clear that family and family traditions are very important in her home. Follow the link and you can get expert tips at baking a turkey from the designated turkey cook at the Sylvestermouse home.


Thanksgiving Side Dishes ~ Part II

This article is a compilation of favorite Thanksgiving meal side dishes from a variety of contributors. If you still aren't quite sure what else to prepare, or are looking for that special "something", you are likely to find that perfect addition to your holiday list here.


Holiday Desserts ~ Thanksgiving Menu Part III

Desserts. Definitely my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal menus. A pumpkin whoopee pie recipe is included in this list of dessert ideas. 


Thanksgiving Menu of Recipes Review

This is another compilation of recipes perfect for the Thanksgiving feast - including several bread recipes. Mary Beth's Cranberry Nut Muffin recipe makes my mouth water. 


Gatherings - Setting the Mood

Barbara has some of the best ideas for setting the mood - in both decor or entertaining. In How to Create a Positive Environment for Your Thanksgiving Dinner she lists 10 ways to keep a calm and kind gathering. 

BarbRad shares a large selection of Thanksgiving Praise Music. She writes "songs of praise can often bring gratitude back to our hearts".

Heather shares with us her favorite Thanksgiving hymn and her childhod memories attached to particular piece of music: The Thanksgiving Canon.

After The Feast


And of course, there is always the dilemma of what to do with all of that food after Thanksgiving. If in doubt, refer to Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers.

When the dust and the food has settled, relax with a good movie. These three movies have become Thanksgiving classics at my house. Especially The Other Sister. Carla Tate teaches us about love and things to be thankful for. 

Photo credit: public domain/creative commons 2.0



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Sunday, November 19, 2017

3 Completely Useless Gifts that Nobody Needs but Might Absolutely Want

A Review of Completely Useless Gifts that Aren't Necessarily Completely Useless

These three completely useless but useable gifts can be given with the intention of making someone giggle and then the shock that they can actually be useful.

If you think outside the gift-giving box, you'll appreciate these three ideas:

Nobody Really Needs Knee Warmers Do They?

Looking at these funny items, my first thought was; not something I need ... but with my bum knees something I could throw on from time to time for a little added support and warmth.

Another thought that ran through my head, if I ever washed the floors on my knees again (highly doubtful) I could put these on for comfort.

How about creating a new fashion trend - well teenagers maybe. For added warmth, they could put them over leggings.

Figure skaters would be the best candidates for these. Having spent over 10 years in this sport in my youth, I can safely say that falling is a part of learning ... especially when you're learning jumps. Learning jumps normally involves a harness, but not usually outside a lesson with your coach. Give these as a funky knee covering for the figure skater in the family. Who knows, you may encourage a new trend in the Skating Club. Anything's possible; I think I invented the skating skirt?

How About a Brain Hat? What?


Is there a genius in the family? Get a big laugh from the person who opens this wacky gift.

If you know how to knit, DIY this puppy. If not, get a few as freaky odd ball gifts for the out-standing people in your life.

We all have weird superstitions: This hat could become their needed 'Thinking Cap' to inspire new ideas. When creativity is required, they may pull on the hat and believe in it's powers. After-all, we're only limited by our thinking. Everybody in the family may want one. Better yet, wear them skiing.

Use them for Halloween. Mom and dad would look very confident trotting around with their brains on their head whilst the kids trick-or-treat.

Of course, a brain hat is just what the doctored ordered for the little-Miss-or-Mr-Know-it-All in the family. Better yet, collect a few for the Secret Santa draw.

An LED Cocktail Glass? Is There Really a Need for These?

Need? Nope. No needing these. But they sure area a funky way to light up a room. Imagine collecting a set of these and having a party where everyone is served a lighted drink. The ambience would be magnificent.

Use them for weddings, birthdays, Halloween parties, Christmas and especially New Years. Begin a collection for someone; keep adding to it - After-all, funk makes the world go 'round.

Imagine movie night at home with these cool glasses ... All the lights out except for people's drinking glasses.

How about an original teacher gift? There's no way Teacher is going to be buying herself/himself one of these, and you're sure to be the only one to show up with it.

Well there you have it, three affordable things nobody needs but somebody wants.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Perfect Mugs for Your Christmas Hot Chocolate

 Christmas Elements Mug
I love drinking hot chocolate while we decorate the Christmas tree and it has become a bit of a tradition in our house. I do think that if we had Christmas mugs it would make it even better though so I'm on the hunt for some cool Christmas mugs!

So let's review some festive mugs that will help make our holidays jolly and bright!

I fell in love with the featured mug a few years ago when I first saw it on the site Zazzle. I have designed a few of my own Christmas mugs on Zazzle as well and I love recommending them because I have had a Zazzle mug since 2014.

My Zazzle mug has been used constantly and still looks like new, the print hasn't faded and the inside has been easy to keep clean despite the amount of tannin that it's held!

I personally love the weight of the mug and it's a perfect feel for a festive hot chocolate.


Everyone Needs a Christmas Mug!

Even if you don't drink hot chocolate you need a Christmas mug - you can add coffee, egg nog, tea, just about anything you enjoy over the festive season.

If you don't like the Christmas Elements mug above then you might like to check out one of the Christmas mugs from my Zazzle store that features Santa himself...




I do think that this mug is pretty cute as well and you know even if you already have a Christmas mug for yourself they also make great gift ideas for people. You can add lots of things to a mug to make it a perfect gift.

Now I've already told you my favorite mug is the elements one and that's because it combines lots of things about the holidays on one mug.  I think Santa mugs are probably the most popular of the Chrismtas mugs, but if you don't like the one I've added then feel free to check out a great selection of some of the best Christmas mugs available which includes snowmen, Christmas trees, reindeer and more.

Find the perfect mug for your Christmas hot chocolate!


Let me know if you have your own Christmas mug or not and if you do is it from Zazzle or somewhere else?

Now hot to make your hot chocolate?  You can use a coffee machine - my moms coffee machine makes a great hot chocolate - or you can use this delicious homemade hot chocolate recipe.


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Friday, November 17, 2017

Hot Tea Recipes for Fall and Winter Reviewed

Time Time Card is Available on Zazzle

Hot Tea Anyone? 


I really love discovering new hot tea blends and hot tea recipes!  Not only is hot tea good for our health, hot tea recipes are often simply delicious. 

January is National Hot Tea Month, but long before January, I need my hot tea.  After all, November and December are very cold months and we are constantly looking for something to warm us up inside and out. 

Truthfully, most tea-lovers drink hot tea year round.  We don't wait for the cold weather, but hot tea is essential when freezing temperatures settle in for the fall and winter months. 

There are many great hot tea blends and hot tea recipes.  It is often hard to choose a favorite hot tea, so we simply must sample them all!  Hot tea is especially delicious when shared with loved ones.  


Choosing the Right Hot Tea Recipe

What is the Difference in Teas?


Green, Black, and Oolong tea are all made from the same tea leaves.  It is the actual processing of the tea leaves that makes the difference.

Green teas ~ The leaves are steamed before they start to ferment. Tea leaves are not allowed to ferment for Green teas.

Black teas ~ The leaves are fermented for a limited time and then heated to stop further fermentation.

Oolong teas ~ The leaves are partially fermented.

Herbal teas ~ Not actually made from tea leaves.


Herbal Tea

Even though they are called tea, herbal teas are not made from tea leaves.  They are drinks created with flower leaves, peels, spices and/or herbs.

Make Your Own Herbal Tea ~ From the National Gardening Association:  Herbal Tea Recipes

 

 Lipton Premium Black Tea Bags, Natural Energy 40 ctCheck Price

Black Tea

According to the Tea Association of the United States, "recent research findings have reported that drinking black tea may improve the body's defenses and quicken the response to bacteria and viruses."  

This is just awesome news and an excellent reason to raise our tea cups and toast tea!

Black tea is considered the tea choice for energy.  If you need a boost in your energy level, this is the tea choice for you.

Black Tea Recipes

Thai Tea Recipe - Made with Milk


 

Green Tea

Green tea is considered to be healthiest tea.  It is lower in caffeine and contains antioxidants that promote better health.  Some studies show that it may even help prevent cancer, heart disease and tooth decay.

Green tea also helps to increase your metabolism, which can result in slight weight loss and it helps lower cholesterol. 

For more health information, see:  Green Tea Health Benefits

 

Oolong Tea

Oolong Tea is often referred to as the "weight loss tea" and it has been said that it is the most effective tea in aiding weight loss.  Some report that it aids in the relief of eczema, diabetes and allergies.

Oolong tea is my personal favorite.  I've never tried any Oolong blend recipes.  I simply stick to the standard Bigelow teabag and add a teaspoon of sugar for taste.  I don't drink Oolong tea for weight loss.  Honestly, if it affects my weight, I wouldn't know it.  I have been drinking it for decades. 


Holiday Hot Tea Recipes

From Halloween to New Years, we are celebrating, chatting, sipping tea and visiting with friends and family.  It is wonderful to have a variety of hot tea recipes to serve and to share.
 




 

 

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More Hot Tea Articles

I am not the only hot tea loving Contributor! Here are a few more articles that you can read right here on Review This!


There are lots of great options available from a selection of teas to strainers, mugs, tea pots and much, much more.

Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift SetManatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set
The Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set is really cute - I love the casual look of the mug and the 'go with the flow' inscription



Why drink peppermint tea? As well as being delicious this tea has a myriad of health benefits.


Looking for good medicinal teas? You can't do much better than Lifestyle Awareness teas. Here's my review after trying them.


Hot Tea Recipes for Fall and Winter Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Zack & Zoey Nor'easter Dog Blanket Coat Review

When you live in the mountains, the weather can turn on you without warning.  My adventure companion, Toby, has to be prepared for a wide range of conditions on our daily hikes.  One of the most important pieces of outdoor gear for my dog is his all-weather jacket.  Toby’s new Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat just arrived and we gave it a test run this afternoon.  Here’s our review of the coat’s performance.

First, I must mention that I specifically looked for a dog coat that came in a high visibility orange color.  With hunting season in high gear, Toby’s safety was my top priority.  Having a dog that loves to root around in the brush for rabbits and bones made it imperative that he not be mistaken for wild game.  I am extremely happy with the color of Toby’s new coat.  He can be seen from a great distance and the reflective stripe and paw logo on his coat provide for additional safety with darkness coming on so early these days.  Score: 10/10

Next, I wanted a waterproof outer fabric that would offer a shield from the wind that blows down off the 14,000-foot peaks here in our stomping grounds.  Toby's new Zack & Zoey dog coat has a polyester shell with just the right weave and weight to keep him comfortable.  Any hiker at high elevations knows that every ounce counts.  You need to find performance gear that won't weigh you down.  The weight of Toby's new jacket is just perfect.  We didn't have any precipitation to contend with during our test today, but we'll score this based on wind-breaking capacity.  Score: 10/10

The third feature on our must-have list for a new dog coat was that it be fleece-lined.  We found that the Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat offers just the right amount of warmth.  Being a rugged, outdoorsy kind of guy, Toby really likes the camo print lining, but you can select another lining style if your dog has different fashion tastes.  As an added bonus, this coat is reversible.  We flipped the jacket inside out during our test so you could see how it looks when reversed.  You can choose from eight different coat colors and lining prints.  Score: 10/10

Our final expectations, in terms of the dog coat’s features, centered on the ease of getting it off and on, as well as on the sizing adjustability.  The chest and belly straps on this dog coat make it quick and simple to gear up.  I’m pleased with the quality of the Velcro closures.  Some brands of dog coats have leg openings that require a dog to step into his jacket.  That would never work for us.  Those kinds of openings constrain movement and rub the wrong way on a dog’s body.  Toby and I much prefer the Zack & Zoey style of strapping.  We found the sizing to be very accurate.  I ordered an XL coat for Toby and it fits just right.  Score: 10/10


In summary, we couldn’t be happier with the Zack & Zoey Nor’easter Dog Blanket Coat.  The coat is everything we wanted and the price was extremely reasonable (much less than other dog coats).  We paid $14.59 on Amazon.  I will buy this same coat again for my other dog, Finn.  Highly recommended.  Toby gives this dog coat an overall score of 10/10 bones.




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