Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sensational Colors in the Garden 10 Must Have Annuals

Summertime is a great time to enjoy the great outdoors.  Let's Review how to make that great outdoors colorful and attractive. 

Everyone loves the warmth of the summer season and I'm no exception to that rule.  What I enjoy even more is the colorfulness of the season.  Everywhere you look there are yellows and reds, greens and oranges. Reds and purples falling together into a riot of color.  

Pictures from Pixabay clockwise starting top left:

https://pixabay.com/get/e830b70f20f0013ed1534705fb094093ea71e6dd04b015489df
https://pixabay.com/get/eb36b80e21fd003ed1534705fb094093ea71e6dd04b015489
https://pixabay.com/get/eb31b1092ef6003ed1534705fb094093ea71e6dd04b015489df
https://pixabay.com/get/e833b80d2ef5013ed1534705fb094093ea71e6dd04b015489

Whether you are gardening in your yard or on your balcony, annuals that add color are readily available to brighten up all of your spaces where ever they may be.


What is an Annual Flower?


Let's get our definitions right!  Annual flowers are different than Perennials.  The definition of an annual is:
"An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seed, within one year, and then dies. Summer annuals germinate during spring or early summer and mature by autumn of the same year." *from Wikipedia.


10 of the Most Prolific Annual  Bloomers 


Now that we have the definition straight, we can look at those plants that give you the biggest return on color and length of bloom.  

1.  Geraniums
2.  Snapdragons
3.  Marigolds
4.  Petunias
5.  Lobelia
6.  California Poppies
7.  Cosmos
8.  Four O'Clocks
9.  Impatiens *
10. Begonias *

These are my top ten favorites but there are many more that I am very fond of as well.  If I had to add another it would be Sweet Peas.


Let's learn some more about these choices!


Just For Your Information (FYI)

Geraniums come in a variety of colors from white, red, pink, coral and many shades in between, they are a bushy annual that you will find in almost every mixed planter.  Why? Because they stand out with their flowers that are actually many small flowers on a single flower head. Cutting off the spent flowers will encourage the geranium to set more flowers all the time. It is a non-stop flowering annual.

Pictures from Pixabay:
https://pixabay.com/get/e832b1082afd013ed1534705fb094093ea71e6dd04b015489df
https://pixabay.com/get/ef33b0082cf31c22d9584518a34a439fe573eac818b5184990f

Snapdragons  like geraniums come in many colors and bi-colors too.  Yellows, whites, pinks, oranges, reds, all of these colors are born on a stalk with many flowers on each stalk.  Again if you cut them back they will re-bloom on new stalks.

Marigolds are a must have in the garden.  They will do double duty flowering freely and at the same time encouraging the bees to pollinate your other plants.  Marigolds are even planted close to patios and outdoor areas as the scent is supposed to keep mosquitos at bay.  Marigolds come in light yellows, oranges, rusts, and can be short or tall depending on the variety that you plant.  One thing is certain, once they start to bloom they will not stop.  Dead-heading them is always a good idea.  You can also save seeds from the spent flowers for next years plants.

Petunias are a favorite of many gardeners.  They are not fussy plants and bloom non-stop. There are varieties of Petunias that you don't even have to do anything like dead-heading they are self-cleaning.  Once they start to bloom you cannot stop them.  Petunias come in a variety of colors from the deepest purples that look almost like black velvet, to the brightest whites in the garden.  They also come in bi-colors which are really quite impressive.  Red with white, Purple and white, Yellow and white are all combinations that are stunning.  These are trailing plants that love to hang over the edge of a container or pot and will flourish with little more than watering when it's dry.  By the time August rolls around, they sometimes get leggy looking, so give them a really good cutting back and a little fertilizer and they will start growing again like they were just planted.  

Lobelia is another must have annual plant!  These are small plants growing to a height of about 6 to 8 inches.   They have little purple, dark blue or white flowers and are like a cloud of color just bursting out of a pot.  Used mostly at the outer edges because it is rather shorter than most annuals, it will have a tendency to hang down over the pot edge giving your container a soft appearance.  

California Poppies are just as pretty as little ballerinas in the garden.  Perfect for fairy gardens their flowers look like Tutus.  Again this plant comes in a variety of colors from white to yellow, pink and salmon, orange and red.  Truly a pretty little annual that will bring you pleasure at all times.  One flower fades and the next two are ready to burst forth.  These are also easy to keep for their seed heads.  Once they mature you can save those seeds to sow for 2018!  

Cosmos Birds and butterflies just love this flower.  Born high on stalks that can be up to 18 inches high, the sight of these pretty pink, white or puplish flowers are a sight for sore eyes. Bees, butterflies and lovely little finches will be visiting your garden on a regular basis.  In the fall I would leave my Cosmos plants because the seeds are a natural attraction for the lovely little gold finches.  In my zone 6 garden, I would not even have to plant these, the birds did it for me.  They come out of the ground when it warms up, ready to bloom non-stop.  I don't dead head these at all because all through the summer the birds are feasting on the seeds. 


Four O'Clocks as their name implies start blooming later in the day.  Early morning all the buds on your plants will be tightly closed, but as noon and beyond comes closer, the buds start to open.  By mid afternoon there is a riot of color happening in your garden.  These annuals come in a variety of colors as well.  White, yellow, pinks, reds and more variations are abundant.  I have some Four O'Clocks that are bicolored, hot pink with a red cross and they are almost Neon bright.  There is no way to make these plants look less than fabulous.

Impatiens or Busy Lizzie as they are called colloquially, are great plants for shady spots in your garden.  Sometimes it's hard to find an annual that will bloom in the shade.  If your garden is shady, then Impatiens are the best shady flowering annual ever.  They also come in a variety of colors and color combinations.  Red, white, pink, purple, white with red stripes or red with white stripes, purple and white combinations and a whole host of others as well.  If you are looking for a multicolored garden or you have a preference for a certain color, Busy Lizzies or impatiens are a great choice for you.  They flower non-stop and are really easy to care for.  

Begonias  are another shady plant that will flower for you in the darkest corners of your garden.  They are easy to care for and will flower from morning to night without too much coaxing.  They come in shades of white, pinks and reds.  Depending on the type of Begonia you buy they may be short or taller but never more than 12 inches in height.  Used in hanging baskets as well they really are a pretty little flower that will keep you smiling all through the growing season.

Now I mentioned Sweet Peas only because I really love them.  They are an annual but they are a climbing plant.  So if you don't  have space for a trellis on your balcony, I would not recommend these.  If they do not climb, they are not nearly as pretty as when they are allowed to grow vertically.  If you do have the space and the height, don't miss out on these very pretty and nicely scented flowers.  

If you want to learn more about annual plants and their growing needs you can arm yourself with at least one of these books :



Not only will they help you with taking care of your annuals, but they may also spur you on to try something new and different for your garden this year or maybe for next year. A gardener always needs some good reference books and these are really good choices.

I hope that this lesson in non-stop flowering annuals has encouraged you to try your hand at growing some of them.  Don't fret either because even though it is the end of June, you can still plant these flowers and they will give you a burst of color for the remainder of the growing season.  








Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Harry Potter Twentieth Anniversary Reviewed

It is now a classic 

Harry Potter Train Image from Pixabay.com
It might seem a little silly to do a review of Harry Potter since it has literally been around for twenty years this week. That is kind of my point, though. June 26th marked the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the first book in the series by J. K. Rowling.

The fantasy series geared to the young adult audience soon became an international phenomenon. Children (of all ages it turned out) were captivated by the young wizard Harry Potter and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Their adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry tickled the imaginations and funny bones of children and their parents. The most remarkable feat of all is that it created an awakening of sorts. A generation of new readers rose up out of the fog to READ books.

As each new book in the series was published parents were convinced by their children to wait in long lines at book stores to get their own copy of the book. Libraries couldn't keep the books on the shelves. I don't know about you but I think this was a most wonderful event. Anything that can introduce a child to the joys of reading is a very good thing and J. K. Rowling encouraged millions of children to do just that.

Let's get the next generation reading

So, I've been thinking that there is something we can all do to help the next generation fall in love with reading. It could start with our little friend Harry Potter. To celebrate his twenty years in children's literature, let's get another generation excited. How can we do this, you ask? 

My suggestion is a simple one, really. If you have children in your life who have not been introduced to young Harry, get them a boxed set of the books to begin their reading adventure. Another idea is to purchase single books and donate them. Donate to your local library or to a children's hospital. Find out if there is a local shelter for mothers and children and donate a book or two for them to read. Volunteer to read at the local library or on the cancer ward at a pediatric hospital.

I used to be involved in an outreach program at my church. Every month we visited a shelter for battered women and their children. We had a birthday party for the kids that were there and having birthdays. This would be a great time to give each child a Harry Potter book. So, ask around and see if there is a church near you that does something like that. Donate a book for a birthday child. You could also just visit the shelter and inquire if you could just leave a copy or two for any child that might enjoy reading it.

Let's get another generation of young people excited about reading by introducing them to the magical world of Harry Potter. And thank you J. K. Rowling for sharing your wonderful imagination with the world!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Reviewing Garden Tags by SimplyYoursByDesign

I just received my custom garden tags by SimplyYoursByDesign and I have to write a review immediately. Whether you are an organized and skilled gardener or a hopeful and forgetful gardener like myself, you may be as excited about these garden tags as I am. I am thrilled about these customized, metal, durable, and beautiful garden tags.


Why are Garden Tags Important?



Perhaps you have a really good memory and can recall exactly what you planted where. Or perhaps, someone purchases land with existing plants and can identify every tree, bush, flower, and shrub. That's not me. No matter how hard I practice, I'm not very good at plant identification. And my memory is horrible.

I realized the importance of plant identification when I was looking for a certain type of rose bush that I had in a yard many years ago. That search has proved impossible without having more information than I have about that particular plant. As a result, I am determined to try to keep track of the plants I plant on my land.

I especially want to keep track of my PawPaw trees.

I have recently fallen in love with PawPaws. PawPaw is a tree that produces wonderful "tropical" fruit. I am planting PawPaw trees on my land at The Shack. Like apples (Red Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, etc) there are different types of PawPaws. Some I like better than others. If I am successful at growing PawPaws, I want to be able to keep track - with certainty - which tree is bearing which fruit.

These wonderful tags by SimplyYoursByDesign will help me do that.


Recommended Custom Garden Tags by SimplyYoursByDesign



I need long-lasting tags to identify my PawPaw trees. Also, I need customized tags - after all, who mass produces tags for PawPaw (Sunflower) versus PawPaw (Mango) trees? No one. 

Luckily I found this shop on Etsy that makes customized tags.

With low expectations, I ordered two tags for the two PawPaw trees I just planted.  I expected poor quality. Or paper-thin "metal". Happily, these tags have far exceeded my expectations. They are perfect!


Why I recommend these garden tags


  • customized - I was able to request (and received) both the tree name (PawPaw) and type (Sunflower)
  • communication and customer service - the shop owners messaged me to confirm what I was requesting - avoiding possible confusion (i.e did I want one PawPaw tag and one Sunflower tag, or two tags with PawPaw Sunflower)
  • I requested that they not send the included plant stakes - as I would be hanging these on the trees - and that request was honored
  • several choices in metal types/colors 
  • good thickness - the tag is as thick as a dime 
  • the words are permanently stamped into the metal
  • packaged in a simple but attractive manner
  • a mother/daughter/grand-daughter family owned business (how cool is that?!)
  • located in the US
shipped in a simple but attractive manner

There are only two very minor things about these tags/this shop that might cause someone concern. Neither of these things concerned me, but I feel that they should be mentioned.
  • the corner designs on the tags are random (for example: the bee & tree and the frog & sun on my tags)
  • a bit of time passed before I received my order
Because the items are customized, I did not receive my items immediately. It looks like I ordered on June 4th and the postmark on the envelope was June 19th. In my opinion, that was an expected amount of time for a custom order. Unfortunately, in such an instant gratification culture, some folks may not want to wait. The good news is that the shop owners clearly list their current production time on their policies page so you can decide if you can stand the wait. 


my two customized PawPaw tags


Personally, I found it to be well worth the wait. It is refreshing to get exactly what you ask for. In fact, to get better than you asked for. Thank you, women at SimplyYoursByDesign, for these beautiful, durable, and custom PawPaw tree tags. 

Related reviews:

The Review This! contributors enjoy their gardens and reviewing items and gifts related to gardening. To see more of our gardening recommendations, check out the articles under the gardening tab.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It's Easy to Combine Rustic and Modern Decor - A Decorating Review You Can Try

Add a Brick Wall to Warm Up a Contemporary Space
It's not an exaggeration to say young people today tend to prefer a cleaner, slick, modern décor theme.

In fact, if you've recently visited renovated or new homes currently for sale, you've probably noticed that Staged homes are geared toward a contemporary look.

What about People who Prefer the Combination of Two Types of Decorating Schemes? Tying a Little Old with a Lot of New?

Let's take a look at the above featured photo as a how-to guideline for combining rustic with modern.

The obvious focal point and the one that adds the rustic aspect to the space is the brick-wall treatment. The exposed brick contributes an old world tradition to an otherwise modern youthful space.

With exposed brick, you're essentially decorating one (or two) walls to add a cozy, warm, inviting feeling to the space.

Contemporary décor, void of softer tones, texture and color, can come across as cold and uninviting. Texture is especially critical when you want to add warmth. With walls and floors being the two largest most impactful parts of a room, put-your-brave-on and go for it - add texture.

But Exposed Brick is Too Hard to Do Right?

Wrong. Most people avoid it because they're not ready to hire a craftsman to install the brick. However, if you're wearing-your-brave, take that leap, do it! The professional install will only add
Dress-up Your Brick Wall with Canvas Art
and Creative Lighting
value (in most cases) to your home.

But guess what, you can DIY this project. That's right. Yes you can. Faux brick is something you can find and order online, and depending on the type of brick you choose, most go up with a peel and stick backing.

DIY faux brick walls are the easiest and least expensive way to add texture to your space. If you're too nervous to try a large wall, order just enough to do a small feature wall in your home. Once it's up, then decide if it's a look you're interested in pursuing further.

In terms of accents against an exposed brick wall, incorporate furniture with wood and rod iron. Rod iron in particular looks outstanding against exposed brick. Closely check the above photo and you'll see that the chairs have rod-iron legs on them.

Another point of interest in the above photo, is the mix of wood tones. Since the wood flooring, painted walls and kitchen area are completed in light colors within the same family and the exposed brick is in a darker shade in the tan/light brown family, the wood table set works perfectly.

So although you're looking at a space with white/grey/blonde wood floors and a darker wood table, it flows beautifully because the exposed brick wall ties the entire space together.

Give it a try!




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Reviewing the Aire One Floor Fan

Aire One 12 inch Floor High Velocity Fan
With summer and its subsequent hot weather now upon us, our thoughts turn to things that keep us cool.  Naturally, this includes fans.  

Most people have home air conditioning for sizzling summertime  heat. But there are days when the temperatures are mild, the air conditioning isn't needed, and the windows can be open. On those days, a fan is often all that is needed for a bit of air circulation and to keep us comfortable.

There are box fans and floor fans and desk size fans. There are many styles and sizes of fans to fit your need. Today I want to discuss the high velocity floor fan I just bought for my living room.



Pedestal Fans


Image from Pixabay

I have a tall oscillating pedestal fan that I like to keep near the window in my bedroom. It's perfect on low for those Springtime, early summer and early Fall nights where the air conditioning is not needed and the bedroom windows can be open.  My pedestal fan is tall enough to provide air circulation over my bed and keeps the bedroom comfortable for sleeping.  For several years I have been carrying this pedestal fan into the living room on evenings when the air is warm and stuffy and a bit of circulating is needed. Then I'd carry it back to the bedroom for sleeping. Recently it suddenly occurred to me that there is a solution to all this carrying back-and-forth – buy another fan!


I went looking for a smaller fan to place opposite my living room sofa where I usually sit evenings to watch TV and crochet. It didn't need to be a pedestal fan (which wouldn't really fit in the place I planned to put it) and it didn't need to be oscillating.  My requirements included size, price and stability.  I found all three in the Aire One High Velocity Floor Fan.



Aire One Floor Fan

Aire One Floor Fan
The Aire One floor fan has all metal construction and includes three 12 inch aluminum blades. While it is not a fancy fan with built in timer or remote control, and does not oscillate, it does have an adjustable 360 Degree tilt range for custom air direction,  and three speeds which put out plenty of air for your comfort.  It sits in a triangular base, which keeps it from tipping over even if you accidentally bumped it.  It is also whisper quiet, even on high, and does not drown out the sound on my television.  And it is an attractive little fan with a powder coated black finish. 

On a recent visit, my son liked it so much that he bought one to take home to use in their bedroom.

After looking at a variety of fans in different styles and sizes, I am very pleased with my choice of this 12 inch Aire One High Velocity Floor Fan.  I purchased mine from Ace Hardware, but similar fans are also available at Home Depot and Lowes. 



*Product Review by Wednesday Elf







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest Reviewed

Complete Guide to Needlework Reviewed on Review This!
I have a very extensive craft library in my craft room, but there are a few books that stand out as the very best.  The Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest is by far the very best craft reference book I own.  I refer to it more often than any other book in my library.

Actually, I use the book for reference, but anyone who wanted to learn basic techniques in embroidery, smocking, quilting, needlepoint, knitting, crochet, tatting, or just about any other needlework technique, will find excellent "how-to" guides for beginners in this book.



Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest


 Reader's Digest COMPLETE GUIDE TO NEEDLEWORKCheck PriceI know this book was published in 1979, but it is far from outdated.  Basic needlework techniques don't change with time.  As a matter of fact, we need these types of instructional books to ensure the techniques won't be lost in time.

Because I enjoy all of these crafts, I tend to set one aside for a while and pick up another.  Eventually, I go back to the first one and I need to refresh my memory on certain stitches or even reading a pattern.  I pull this book off the shelf, look it up and, voilà, I am ready to stitch again! 

For example, I recently came across "featherstitch" in an embroidery pattern.  I sat staring into space as if the vision of how to make that stitch would miraculously appear before my eyes.  It only "miraculously appeared" when I pulled my Complete Guide to Needlework down and looked it up.  On page 214, I found exactly what I needed.  A verbal description as well as excellent illustrations.  

I have also found that I tend to forget certain crochet pattern abbreviations if I have not used them in a while.  For those of you who crochet, you will laugh when I tell you I recently had to look up what "dec" meant on a pattern.  Yes, I was embarrassed when my trusty book gave me the answer, but amazingly, the pages didn't laugh at me.  Another crocheter would have laughed with reckless abandon.


Patterns in Complete Guide to Needlework



Complete Guide to Needlework Book Reviewed on Review This!
There are also some wonderful patterns in the Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest.  I tend to forget that those are there.  While flipping through the book today, I came across this awesome pattern for a baby quilt appliqued with baby animals.  The pattern includes the drawn animals and gives the instructions on how to enlarge the animals on a grid.  I love the detail!  It is so wonderful to have a step by step tutorial with the pattern.  

This particular pattern uses several needlework techniques to complete the baby quilt as shown.  Applique, quilting and embroidery are all a part of this fabulous piece, but you could make the quilt based on your own skill level.  Leave off the quilting and the embroidery to simplify it.  It would be an excellent way to learn how to enlarge the pattern with a grid and make a lovely applique baby quilt that would be forever treasured.

There are patterns for many of the needlework techniques.  It truly is a "complete" guide to needlework!

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Complete Guide to Needlework by Reader's Digest Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Because I said so!

A Review of the Book "But Why Can't I", a book about rules for young children.

 
Available on Amazon
We've all said it at one time or another. Everyone who is a parent says 'because I said so' in answer to a child's WHY in resistance to following a command or rule.  The reason we say it probably stems from a reluctance or an impatience to explain an adult's reasoning in a way a child would understand.  Perhaps the parent feels they shouldn't HAVE to explain why; that their command should simply be obeyed.

Let's look at the child's point of view, and perhaps delve back in our own childhood memories to times we also questioned a parent's command.  Because I said so doesn't answer the  'why' of the situation and tends to leave the child with the feeling that they don't count or are not important enough to be given a proper answer.  This surely is not the parent's intention, but quite often that is how the child perceives it.

Whether it's a small child resisting bedtime or a teenager being refused permission to do something or go somewhere, taking the time to give a simple explanation produces much better results and reduces resentment and resistance.  Try it next time you are tempted to just answer children with 'Because I Said So!'



But Why?



Available in Children's Books on Amazon

For smaller children who have trouble understanding an adults' reasoning or explanation about something they are told, this book "But Why Can't I?" might be helpful for both parent and child.  


It's a book about rules from the Our Emotions and Behavior series by Sue Graves and illustrated by Desideria Guicciardin.


Synopsis:


Children sometimes find it hard to follow rules. This encouraging book joins Noah and his babysitter, Jenny, who shows him how rules help keep people safe, healthy, and happy. 



About the Author


Sue Graves is a former teacher and a published author. She writes fiction and nonfiction for children from preschool to high school.

This book is for ages 4 to 8 years. It is a cheerful, brightly illustrated, story designed to help kids understand how their emotions and actions are related—and how they can learn to manage both. At the end of the book there is a two-page series of pictures which invite kids to tell a story in their own words.There is also a special section for adults with discussion questions and ideas to help parents get their children to talk about their feelings.

This book is perhaps a much better solution than just quickly saying "Because I said so".


Coffee Mug for Father's Day Because Father Knows Best!

This mug design is professionally created and permanently inked in South Carolina, USA by Melissa of DrageynDesigns on Etsy.  Melissa also has a similar coffee mug available with -Mom as the signature.  

Each coffee mug is made to order, and is not created beforehand. This is *not* a vinyl decal design. The design is inked and professionally processed with a high heat press to bond permanently with the mug itself, and the design will not crack or peel off. Also, the design will be on both sides of the mug.  

Visit Melissa at Drageyn Designs on Etsy and see the fabulous choices of ceramic coffee mugs and travel coffee mugs, plus beer steins and much more she has created for her shop.  There is sure to be one that is perfect for you. 







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer: A Review

What's Unique about the Time Timer?


The Time Timer is different than other timers I've used. When you set those there is an audible alert -- a ding or a buzz -- when the time is up. The Time Timer has a red disk you set for the time needed. As the time passes, the red disk gets smaller in a clockwise direction. This makes it very easy for a person to see how fast time is passing and how much time is left before time is up. Most models also come with an optional audible alert. 


Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer


Is it Time Now? How Much Longer Do I Have?


How many times do parents and teachers hear these questions every day? Sometimes it can appear to children that time is just standing still. Whether it's a preschooler wanting to know how much longer a time-out will last or a student taking a timed test wanting to know when it will be over, children wonder about the passing of time.

Small children have not yet developed the concept of how long a minute is, let alone three of them, or twenty of them. Children practicing an instrument or taking a scholastic achievement test may not have noted a starting time and just want to see quickly how much time they have left to work.

The Time Timer is a helpful visual aid in all these situations and more. It comes in many sizes. Some are audible as well as visual. There is sure to be one to meet your needs as a parent or a teacher. When a normal clock or timer just doesn't communicate clearly to a child, a Time Timer will help.


How much longer do I have to practice?

Ever heard that question?



Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

When my children took piano lessons, I heard this question quite often, mostly from Jason, who wasn’t as fond of practicing the piano as Sarah was. It doesn’t matter which instrument it is — violin, tuba, clarinet — most children are resistant to practicing unless they absolutely love their instrument, and even then they sometimes tire of practicing.





Enter the Time Timer. I recommend the eight-inch model for this because you can mount it on the wall or let it stand up nearby. Put it where your child can see it easily during practice time and he will always know exactly how much longer his practice time will last. He may also get an idea of how long it takes to play each piece in proportion to his total practice time.

This timer is also used in many school districts and offices for effective time management. It's useful for all ages and abilities. Whereas it can teach children the concept of time passing, workers can see at a glance how much time they have left to work on a task before their next appointment. For those who want to hear when the set time is up, this timer has an optional ding to notify you.

There is a Time Timer for Every Need


Time Timer Audible Countdown Timer - 12 inch - BlackTime Timer Audible Countdown Timer - 12 inch - Black
This 12-inch Time Timer Timer is actually the largest model. It runs on battery operated quartz movement and can be free standing or you can hang it on a wall. This one is great for classroom use since it can be seen from farther away than the smaller models. It has an audible option you can use if you so choose.

People appreciate the 3-inch timer because it's the most portable Time Timer.

The Time Timer Plus is also portable because of its handy handle. It is available in either gray or white. 





The Time Timer Can Help Children Ease into Bedtime


Do you remember when you were young and you had no concept of how much longer it would be before bedtime, even if you knew that bedtime was at 7:00? You judged time by a sequence of events before you could tell time. First came dinner. Then there might be a TV show or story. Then it was bath time. Shortly after bath time might be bedtime. Or maybe not. Whatever the order of events was at your house, you probably wondered just exactly when you would have to go to bed. Just how much longer did you have to play quietly? How long could you stall?


Math Squid Bedtime t-shirt





Suppose you had had a Time Timer set about an hour before bedtime so that you could get a better idea of how much time you had and could actually see it disappear? How much better would that have been than just getting interested in an activity only to have a parent whisk you off to bed before you could finish it? I think it would have been better, and it would have been equally helpful to know how long until I needed to help set the table or do some other assigned chore. Along with learning the concept of time, seeing time pass helps a child learn to plan what he can do before his free time is gone. It's a step toward teaching a child time management.



There Are So Many Ways to Use the Time Timer



  • Timed tests
  • Practice time
  • Time-outs
  • Independent reading time
  • Free time before a chore needs to be done
  • Time before bedtime
  • Time before a lesson starts
  • Time to leave for an appointment
  • Time to take a medication
  • Time to dress and be ready for breakfast
  • Time to get ready to leave for church

How Will You Use the Time Timer in Your Home, Classroom, or Office?


Why Parents and Teachers Need the Time Timer: A Review
Bedtime Photo Credit: Pixabay




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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Flowtron Bug Zapper Reviewed

Environmentally Friendly Way To Control Mosquitoes

Mosquito Image from Pixabay.com
In my neck of the woods and I'm sure in yours too, it is insect season. I would like to review a bug zapper for you today that I have used for about 25 years. 

Just recently I discovered that my trusty little bug light had finally zapped its last mosquito. I was disappointed until I thought back to how long it had guarded my yard from those pesky mosquitoes every year. I'm thinking 25 years of service is pretty darned excellent. So, I will be purchasing another one and I do not see any reason to get a different brand since this one worked so well.

I don't know about you but as far as I'm concerned the only good mosquito is a dead one. That is a bit of an unusual statement for me because when it comes to critters I usually am on the side of the little creature and want them to live a healthy life as a part of the eco system. I can't say that for the mosquito, though. I don't see that they do much good at all except for transmitting diseases and uncomfortable bites to our bodies. We already have reports of West Nile Virus in our area this year and I just heard about a young mother who has contacted encephalitis from a recent mosquito bite. So, I don't have any qualms at all about zapping those little blood suckers with a bug light. 

I like that I am not putting harmful chemicals in the ground or the air that my family and I are breathing by using a bug light. It might seem like cruel and unusual punishment to get electrocuted if you are the mosquito but at least it is quick and complete. The other good thing is that the spiders and some birds will feed on the dead bodies of the "skeeters" without getting sick from some toxic substance.

We have always hung our bug zapper in a tree and turn it on about dusk in the evening. It doesn't do much good to have it on in the daylight. As the evening gets dark, the black light attracts those little pests in and zap boom bang those suckers are fried. Hundreds if not thousands meet their doom every night. As heinous as that might make me sound, it is a good thing in my mind!

One year an industrious spider spun a huge web between the tree trunk and the bug light. It was quite clever on her part! As some of the mosquitoes were flying towards the light, they were captured in her web! I couldn't help but think of Charlotte!

So, if you have a mosquito problem (I can't imagine an area that wouldn't); I highly recommend the Flowtron Bug Zapper to help eliminate many of them.  



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Monday, June 19, 2017

Books Reviewed on Review This

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