Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hobby Time from the Review This! Contributors




hob·by - an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure. 

January is known as National Hobby Month.   The contributing writers here on Review This! each have their favorite ways to enjoy a relaxing pursuit and have written many reviews of various how-to books, crafting supplies and DIY tutorials, gardening tips, recipes & kitchen aids for the cook, photography lessons, reading or listening to music, sports, and a host of other hobbies. 

These are but a few of the hobbies enjoyed by the Review This crew. The list of hobbies is almost endless.  If you are interested in looking for what we writers here have reviewed, type in the name of your 'hobby' either in the box in the top left-hand corner of any Review This page, or in the search box down the right-hand side. By looking at the author's name, you won't have any problem figuring out which HOBBY is each writers' favorite! For instance, mine  (Wednesday Elf) is crochet and my hobby is shared by several other contributors here, so we learn and share with each other. A more comprehensive list is shown below.


National Hobby Month




Begun by the Hobby Guild of America in 1955,  National Hobby Month was celebrated in April until 1976, then in October until 1986.  Since then, it has been celebrated during the month of January. 

January was most likely chosen for National Hobby Month as it is the beginning of a new year and a good time to start a new hobby.  Many people have never had hobbies during their working years or while raising a family and begin one in their retirement or after the children are grown.  Others try many hobbies throughout their life before finding one or two that gives them the most enjoyment. 


Hobby Examples on Review This!



Hobbies can be passive (such as crafting, reading, writing, listening to music or watching a movie) or an activity such as gardening, cooking or participating in sports. Many people have more than one hobby and often combine them, such as listening to music while crafting. 

In addition to writing reviews here on Review This!, most of the contributing writers here write for their own blogs and websites.  Writers consider writing to be more work than hobby, so time away from writing is important. That's where the activities done in our leisure time become such a pleasure. It is also interesting to note that the passion we feel for our hobbies is shown in many of the subjects we write about.


  • Barbara Tremblay Cipak (Brite-Ideas) is crazy about country music and frequently writes about the artists and their music she is so passionate about.  She is also loves to experiment with color in home décor. 
  • Dawn Rae does crochet and participates in a group of fellow jeep owners.  She also enjoys gardening and lately 'learning about homesteading'.
  • Cynthia Sylvestermouse is a freelance writer and photographer who loves all different kinds of crafts, including crafting in the kitchen, creating fancy cakes and cupcakes. 
  • Barbara (BarbRad) is an expert on books and loves to read.  She is also a nature photographer who most enjoys photographing her central California area. 
  • Mary Beth Granger (MBGphoto) is a fabulous photographer who continually takes photography classes to learn more.  Photography has become her passion in her retirement, along with traveling.  Lighthouses and beaches are her favorite subjects. 
  • Wednesday Elf loves crochet and needlework, watching baseball and reading. 
  • Beverly Owens is busy researching her Native American Indian heritage and loves to write about spirit animals and the wisdom of her ancestors. She also enjoys crocheting. 
  • Olivia Morris loves gardening and following the fashion world.
  • Brenda Little (Treasures By Brenda) collects coffee mugs and researches the history of vintage cups and other vintage items which she shares in her eBay store.  She also loves reading, great movies, cooking, and pop culture. 
  • Diana Wenzel (Renaissance Woman2010) enjoys an off-the-grid lifestyle where she pursues her interests in animal rescue, wonderful nature photography, and DIY projects. She also loves to read. 
  • Louanne Cox (Lou16) loves reading, 80s music, zombies and dolls, among a host of other interests. 
  • Heather Burns (Heather426) is an artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Her hobby is her artistic accomplishments, including the colored pencils she has created for coloring pages and coloring books. 
  • Coletta Teske is a published book author and loves to sew. 

These are just the highlights of hobbies and interests I have observed from the articles they publish and the interaction we have as a team here on the staff of Review This!.  I am sure there are other interests each of them have.  


Quick View Home Page



By clicking on the Quick View Home Page button at the top of any Review This! page, you will have weekly examples of many of the articles your hobbyists here enjoy (plus many non-hobby reviews).  

Stop by the comments section and tell us your favorite hobby or activity. The Review This! staff would love to hear about what gives you pleasure in your leisure time.

(c) Written by Wednesday Elf on 1/20/2018







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

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Kristin Hannah’s Home Front Book Review

HOME FRONT is an excellent fictional story by Kristin Hannah. I previously reviewed and loved Hannah’s The Nightingale, which sent me looking for more titles by this author.

It is a relationship story and a war story. It features a husband and wife who seem to be perfectly situated with a wonderful marriage, great careers and lovely children. However, as happens, they have drifted apart and are headed for disaster and when she is sent overseas to Iraq and the rift is almost too much for this family to bear.

This novel presents an interesting role reversal with the mother a helicopter pilot and the man trying to maintain order at home. What happens is dark and dreadful and presents a mountain for this family to surpass.

Here is the official video book trailer. In this trailer, I think the book is represented in a very light and fluffy manner especially given that divorce and military service are not easy things to deal with.



I believe that this second video, in which Hannah Kristin discusses the book, does a better job of representing the issues faced by the family in Home Front and by families in the same situation.



Hannah calls the book “the best, most emotional book she has ever written” and goes on to say that it is about “love, honor, duty, commitment, sacrifice.” I agree that it was an emotional book. It is RECOMMENDED by me and yes, you will cry. For what it is worth, I preferred the book The Nightingale.

Have you read either book? What did you think?

If you are interested, you can see all of Kristin Hannah’s books including Home Front on Amazon here.

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Home Front from Amazon.
See all of Hannah's books on Amazon.


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

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

IKEA Food Reviewed

And You Thought It Was A Furniture Store!

ikea has food
IKEA image courtesy of pixabay.com
We recently visited the new store that just opened in our area and were surprised that IKEA food was even an option. My husband and I were prepared to see interesting types of furniture in the huge store. Well, let me rephrase that. We had heard from others that we should be sure to try the meatballs while there.

To be honest, I had envisioned something like Costco or a weekend at any given grocery store where there are people offering samples of food to try. I wasn't sure why IKEA would offer samples other than a sort of hospitality type gesture. Perhaps I thought that it was a way to celebrate the Swedish culture and their style of meatballs. Was I in for a surprise? You bet ya!

It seemed like there were miles and miles of furniture. The place is huge! Let me tell you the place is a virtual maze of interesting vignettes of ideas for the home or office. I oooed and ahhhhed at every corner, but I digress. There are signs overhead to guide you to different areas and at one point I noticed that the sign showed that we were on a path that would lead us to the restaurant. I said to my husband, "These people have thought of everything! Since this place is so enormous, they know a person can get hungry from all of this walking. So, they feed you too!" I should probably mention that upon entering the store we saw an area for parents to drop their children off so that they could shop in peace. Anyway, we headed for the restaurant...

It appeared that others had entertained the same thought, the place was packed with people. We got in the cafeteria style line and quickly got waited on. I chose the meatball dinner and my husband chose the salmon dinner, both were very reasonably priced. Oh my word! The food was really good. My meatball dinner included five or six meatballs, mashed potatoes and a vegetable dish of carrots and cauliflower. The potatoes and meatballs had a gravy like sauce over them and there was this other stuff next to the meatballs that almost looked like cranberry sauce. Well, I was in heaven! 

I really liked the gravy like sauce that covered my mashed potatoes and some of the meatballs. I said to my husband that I would really like to get some of it to use at home. Turns out, I could get some right there in the store along with frozen meatballs and all sorts of other food items. Who knew, right?

For some reason I only purchased one packet that day. Silly me! I was delighted to see that there is an option to get the cream sauce online!

Oh, and that stuff that looked like cranberry sauce on my plate. First of all, it was extremely good and tasted great when I dipped a piece of meatball in it. It was not a Swedish version of cranberry sauce but instead it was Lingonberry jam. This stuff is awesome! Kind of sweet but also tart much like cranberry sauce. I enjoy it with meat but it is also good on a piece of toast in the morning.

So, here is the deal. If you find yourself close to an IKEA store, you need to go inside. Prepare to spend some time there because there is a lot to see. Treat yourself to some of their food! I'm telling you; you will not be disappointed! By the way, the salmon that my husband had was wonderful. You can buy it frozen in the store, too. 



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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Reviewing Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera

Barbacoa Sauce by Frontera
I have just returned from a camping trip. During that camping trip I used the Red Chili Barbacoa Slow Cook sauce with roasted tomato and chipotle by Frontera. These little packets of sauce are my favorite. I use it in roasts, soups, tacos, quesadillas, and tamales. If you like Mexican foods and Mexican inspired recipes, I think you would like this barbacoa sauce.


Beef Barbacoa Red Chili Slow Cook Sauce


I learned about these sauce packets from my son, who typically likes food that is spicier than what I can tolerate. However, he thought I'd like the flavor of the soups he makes with this sauce, and he was right. It is spicy but not too spicy - the label lists it as "mild". In my opinion (and I am not a chef) it has a smokey, spicy, rich flavor.

He calls them soups, but to me they are thicker and richer, more like a beef stew. We both make these soups with a variety of ingredients; beef, carrots, hominy, potatoes, yams, onions, peppers, and so more. Basically, you start with a base of beef and the barbacoa sauce, then add what you have on hand.

While camping, I only brought along the packet of barbacoa, and roast, and some potatoes. I slow cooked it in an enameled pan on top of the wood stove. What a wonderfully easy and delicious meal.

Delicious barbacoa roast with potatoes


Frontera Foods


Frontera Foods may or may not sound familiar to you. But the
click for more information
name Chef Rick Bayless may sound more familiar. He appears on a public television cooking show called Mexico - One Plate at a Time
Also, Chef Bayless has written several cookbooks. 

I enjoy watching his shows, I like his recipes, and am very thankful for this sauce that helps me easily create meals with an authentic Mexican flavor. In fact, thanks to a lesson from my son and this wonderful barbacoa sauce, I recently made tamales in my own kitchen. 

Where to Buy Frontera Beef Barbacoa Sauce


I have trouble finding the sauce in the stores local to me. I am fortunate that my son always stocks up on packets and saves them for me. He easily finds them at his local Target store. They are available on Amazon and the Frontera Foods website has a list of participating groceries. My local groceries, that are not on the list, carry the Frontera products in a hit and miss fashion.

Side Notes: 

For more information about The Shack (my current camping trips and my future retirement/homestead plans) take a peek at my blog Treasures, Travel, and Tales. Also, the pan in the photo may look familiar. I purchased it for The Shack and wrote a review about it in February 2016. I still believe that Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey but Worth It. Unfortunately, it looks like these little pans by Martha Stewart are a little more difficult to get. Good thing there are many other brands still easily available.

A few of the cookbooks by Rick Bayless on his Amazon author page



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

Sunday, January 14, 2018

3 Ways to Add Color to Your Wall Without Painting

Three Ways to Add Colors to Your 
Walls Without Painting
Photo by: Funkthishouse.com
Colorful décor comes in many funky ways, simple but true.

If painting the walls just isn't in the cards, but adding color is, you can do it by including wall and furniture items that hold colorful, necessary home accessories.

Use Your Nail Polish as a Colorful Wall Art Display - Featured Below

Instead of having a drawer filled with a collection of colorful and expensive nail polish, display them in a stylish metal rack on the wall. 

The functional dual purpose of a nail polish wall rack makes it an original accessory for a washroom, dressing room, vanity desk area, or the bedroom.

The racks themselves are fairly reasonable in price so acquiring a couple to fill a large nail polish collection won't break the bank. Best of all, with two metal wall racks you have double the wall art. 

Don't hesitate to give a nail polish wall rack as a gift. These items tend to be labelled 'perks' that most people won't bother treating themselves to, so receiving one would be a treat. If there's someone in your life who's known for their massive collection of nail polish, this item could be a hit!

Wall Unit Plant Stand for Multi-Colored Plants - Featured Below

Plants add energy, freshness and style to a room. Often times we want to add plants, but after looking around the room, come to the conclusion there's no place for them.

If you use a wall to feature a Ladder Plant Stand, you're able to locate that stand in one appropriate place in the room to display multiple plants.

Most importantly, you've added color to the room without painting the walls by using multi-colored flowers and plants. How nice is that ... instead of toxic paint, you have lovely air freshening plants.

A Spice Rack: Use a Decorative Rack in the Kitchen- Featured Below

New kitchen's normally have spice drawers, and older kitchen's tend to have spice cupboards. Who says you have to use either. 

If you're not one of the fortunate who have a modern pull-out spice cupboard located along side of the oven, then you're free to take all your colorful spices and feature them on the wall by using a Spice Wall Rack.

The metal spice racks are particularly stylish. They fit with virtually any décor style; modern, rustic, country, contemporary, and traditional. Place it for all to see, as you would any piece of wall art.

And there you have it, three easy-peasy ways to add color to the walls without painting.




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

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Easily Increase Your Vegetable Intake with a Spiralizer

how to make zucchini noodles with a vegetable spiralizer
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs
If you're looking to increase your vegetable intake or reduce some of the heavy carbs like pasta from your diet then a spiralizer could be the answer.  Let me review why I think you'll adore having a vegetable spiralizer - I personally love mine, I don't know why I didn't get one sooner.

At the time of writing this I'm doing the Arbonne 30 Day Plan to Healthy Living and Beyond and basically that means that (for this month at least) I can't eat pasta, I can eat zucchini however ... enter zoodles! 

I have been meaning to try and made zoodles aka zucchini noodles for ages which is the whole reason I purchased my vegetable spiralizer.

Making the zucchini noodles was so easy and I'm now seeing lots of other recipes using other vegetables in place of pasta.  What a cool way of getting your child to eat more vegetables than to make their spaghetti bolognaise with zoodles?

So my vegetable spiralizer came with three different blades like the Paderno World Cuisine one below, but you can also get them with 7 blades, Amazon's best selling vegetable spiralizer comes with 7 blades and is the second one featured.




The actual one that I have doesn't seem to be available online which is why I've given you two alternatives.  Now I've only used the blade to made noodles so I'd just get the 3 blade one personally, but...

They were super easy to make you simply placed the zucchini (or vegetable of choice) on the spiky guard, making sure that the other end is in the middle of the round thing that is going to basically core your zucchini so that it looks like a very weird toadstool after the noodles are all made.

The next step is to simply turn the handle, however if that is all you do you won't get very long noodles, you'll just get little curls (they don't say that in the instructions).  What you need to do is as you're turning the handle you need to also be applying a gentle pressure inwards (towards the vegetable) then it will work beautifully.

It is super quick and I simply popped the zoodles into boiling water for a few minutes - basically treating them like fresh pasta noodles.  I've since been told of other ways of cooking them that involve almost sauteing them in coconut oil, but I haven't tried that (and probably won't).

how to make zucchini noodles so that your kids want to eat their vegetables
Image by Louanne Cox, Arbonne Independent Consultant

I would recommend starting with zucchini as it's quite a bland vegetable which makes it ideal to replace spaghetti.  I would also recommend a pinch of salt in the water when cooking it, I didn't do this the first time and it was much better when I did do it.

You can use sweet potato, carrot, parsnips and who knows what other vegetable, just use your imagination.

I will be trying out sweet potato next as I think that will go really well with a number of dishes I enjoy.

Have you ever tired zoodles or thought about making them?  If so then why wait, just do it as Nike would say!

Let me know in the comments if you've tried any other vegetables as I'd love to hear how they went.


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

Friday, January 12, 2018

Reviewing Within Temptation Band - Music That Speaks to My Soul

An Accustic Night at the Theater by Within Temptation
available on Amazon.com

My Constant Companion 


Music has been my loyal and constant companion my entire life. It often sets my mood, changes my mood or soothes my soul. If I want to grieve, it will grieve with me. If I want to rejoice, it will join my celebration. If I want to dance, it will set the pace. If I want to love, it will put my feelings into words and express what I do not have words to say. 

My mother is an extremely talented pianist. She can play anything without music and in any key. She is every vocalist dream of a perfect accompanist. No doubt, I owe my love for music to my mother. When she plays, her music resonates throughout the house, in our hearts and in our souls. Because of her influence, I don't just hear a string of notes, I feel the song and it's message. 

Every decade or so, I hear a musician who just has that touch. One who takes my breathe away by their sheer natural talent.  I would like to introduce you to a talent that I originally discovered in my son's vast collection of cd's. I was searching for a current day song to recommend to a promising soloist and I found a real treasure. 


"All I Need" by Within Temptation

This song has a haunting melody and lyrics! 

Ever since the first time I heard it, I find myself humming the tune or even singing it out loud at some of the strangest times.  This is one of those songs that crosses two areas of emotion for me. It will cry with me when I am depressed or it will sooth my soul when I am hurting. It isn't the lyrics to this song, although they are beautiful, but the melody and her comforting vocal quality that just calms me. 

I love the idea of making "my heart a better place."  A phrase from this song is actually my cell phone ring.  I hope you enjoy this song as much as I do. 



Lyrics to "All I Need"
I'm dying to catch my breath. Oh why don't I ever learn? I've lost all my trust, though I've surely tried to turn it around.  Can you still see the heart of me? All my agony fades away when you hold me in your embrace.

 

Within Temptation ~ The Band

 Within Temptation 24X36 New Printed Poster Rare #TNW815387Check PriceThis group has actually been performing together since 1996. Because they were all still in college, they took a hiatus in 1999 to finish their studies, but returned in 2000 to the stage to become not only Holland's biggest selling musical export, but also one of the fastest growing new rock acts internationally. 

I am extremely impressed with the longevity and commitment of this group. As usual, in the beginning "Within Temptation" had to replace a few band members for various reasons, but nothing reports that they had any volatile splits or dissension within the group.  Most often a band will split several times due to internal differences and squabbles. These young people seem to have been able to handle fame and a rigorous schedule together without all of the petty jealousy and fighting that usually destroys a group on it's way up the charts.

"Stand My Ground" by Within Temptation

This song speaks to a totally different side of me altogether. A side that my family is very familiar with and probably wish I would hold back sometimes. I am a warrior at heart and I will fight for what is right.  I definitely "Stand My Ground." 
 


WITHIN TEMPTATION LYRICS - Stand My Ground
I can see when you stay low nothing happens, Does it feel right? Late at night Things I thought I put behind me Haunt my mind / I just know there's no escape/  Now once it sets its eyes on you But I won't run, Have to stare it in the eye / Stand my ground

 

Awards for "Within Temptation" 

There are multiple notable awards worldwide.  Some are internationally known.  Others are perhaps more regional or genre specific, but the list is quite impressive!
 
2002
* Silver Harp (Dutch Music Award)
* TMF Award in Holland - Most Promising Act
* TMF Award in Belgium - Best Rock (International)

2003
* Edison (Dutch Music Award) - Best Live DVD: Mother Earth Tour
* Conamus Export Award now known as the Buma Export Award
     (given to Dutch artists who have sold the most records abroad)

 
2004
* Conamus Export Award aka Buma Export Award
 
2005
* Edison Award - Best Band
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Rock National
* Conamus aka Buma Export Prize
* World Music Award - Best-selling Dutch Artist
 
2006
* 3 FM Award - Best Rock Artist
* Golden God (Best Video: Angels)
* Buma Culture Export Prize

2007
* 3FM Award - Best Rock Artist
* TMF Awards Belgium - Best Live Act (International)
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Live Act
* TMF Awards Holland - Best Video
* MTV Europe Music Awards - Best Dutch & Belgian act
* World Music Awards  - Best Selling Dutch Artist

2009
* Golden Harp
* 3FM Award - Best Live Act
* Female Metal Voices Fest Awards – Best Album for The Heart of Everything

2011
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Album of the Year - The Unforgiving
* Loudwire Music Award - Artist of the Year
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Goddess of the Year given to Lead Singer, Sharon den Adel  

2014 
* Metal Hammer Award (Germany) - Best Live Band
* Loudwire Music Award - Rock Goddess of the Year given to Lead Singer, Sharon den Adel

2016
* Buma Export Award


Confirmation Source: Wikipedia

 

"Somewhere" by Within Temptation 


This song has a double meaning to me and it depends on my mood which meaning I embrace at the time. One part is romantic. The one that says "I will wait for you. You are a part of me now and always." 

The other is introspective and very personal. I sometimes search inside myself for the "whys." 
 


By MrPanyGoff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Band Members of Within Temptation

* Sharon den Adel - vocals (since 1996) 
* Robert Westerholt - rhythm guitar, death vocals (since 1996) 
* Ruud Adrianus Jolie - lead guitar (since 2001) 
* Jeroen van Veen - bass (since 1996) 
* Martijn Spierenburg - keyboards (since 2001) 
* Mike Coolen - drums (since 2011) 
* Stephen Helleblad - rhythm & lead guitar (since 2011)

 

"The Truth Beneath the Rose" by Within Temptation

This song is a combination of all of my emotions. It evokes my passion to right every wrong. To stand my ground until I reach my own final destiny and it certainly speaks to the seeker in me. It also touches another part of me. The one that seeks forgiveness for any wrongs that I have ever committed, knowingly or unknowingly. It is the hardest for me to easily dismiss.

 


By Olarcadia (Own work)
[CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)],
via Wikimedia Commons

The Choice

It was really difficult to choose only a few songs by "Within Temptation" to share with you. Every song possesses and exudes great passion and depth. 

This band has the unique and rare combination of a songwriter with the heart of a poet, a band with remarkable musical ability and a vocalist with an unbelievable range, clear voice quality and tremendous breath control. I even like the background death vocals. They are not overused or out of place in this music. 

This is easily one of the best groups recording today!





Check Out More Music Reviews
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Reviewing Within Temptation Band - Music That Speaks to My Soul Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Review of Facts on the Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Eurasian Tree Sparrow

Distinguishing Features

The Eurasian tree sparrow is similar to the house sparrow but with a few distinguishing features.  The most notable one is the black patch in the middle of a pure white cheek.  You can see that feature in the photo above.  These birds also have a rich chestnut colored crown and nape.  Both sexes are similar and the young birds are just a duller version of the adult birds.  

I had seen these birds in our yard for several years and did not realize they were different from the house sparrows until I took some photographs and started to study their features.  Since they are only in a limited region of the USA I did not find them in my pocket field guide to birds and had to do a bit more searching online to find more information. 


History in USA

Eurasian Tree Sparrows were first introduced in the USA when 20 birds were brought to St. Louis, Missouri from Germany.  It is said that these birds probably would have multiplied and spread except that the House Sparrow was introduced to the US at about the same time.  The House Sparrow is a tougher bird and kept the Eurasian Tree Sparrows from spreading.  Today you mostly find these birds around the St. Louis area, although you may find them in other parts of Missouri, Illinois and southern Iowa.  We live about 40 miles west of St. Louis and have quite a few of the birds in our yard year round.  They seem to stay in some of our low shrubs around our house.  They are frequent visitors at both our finch feeders and our wild bird feeders.  They also like to visit our birdbath.

More Information

If you would like to read more about these interesting birds, I would suggest the following link where I gathered much of my information. Audubon Field guide   At this site you can also listen to the calls of the birds.

Bird Guide

I find this bird guide to be  valuable tool for identifying birds in my backyard.  It did have a small blurb on Eurasian tree sparrow under the heading Old World Sparrows.

                                                               


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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How to Encourage a Young Entrepreneur!

Have You Ever Heard of the Secret Millionaires Club?  Here's a Review!

I am the Lucky Grandmother of 4 grandchildren.  Each one has their strengths and weaknesses and one in particular has a penchant for having her own business.  Who would have thought that at the age of 7 1/2, she would want to know how to earn, how to invest and how to make some serious choices in her little life!

It all started out with wanting a horse!  Did I tell you my granddaughter loves horses?  Well the truth is she does!  She is lucky enough that her parents are also a little "horse" crazy!  Mom used to ride, so when the children were looking for a sport, horseback riding was right up there front and center.  It also helps that they live fairly close to farms and stables. 

Horses are not like cats and dogs though!  If you think they are high maintenance, you haven't seen anything yet!  Horses can  break anyone's bank!  They are expensive to buy, expensive to keep and they need grooming, training, riding and treats too, just like any other pet!  

So when my granddaughter asked for a horse, her parents did the smartest thing I could think of.  They sat her down and explained the differences between having a horse and having a cat or dog or any other kind of animal as a pet.  They also explained and had her do the arithmetic to see how much difference there was in this kind of pet ownership.

So how do we go from wanting a horse, to the "Secret Millionaires Club?"  It all lies in affordability!  Ask anyone who owns a horse and they will tell you that you need to have really deep pockets in order to own a horse.  

how to start your very first business, horse ownership, horses as pets
There is always something that the horse or the rider will need, and it usually costs more than a sack of  Dog or Cat Food!

So now I'll let you in on the rest of the story!  My granddaughter, not to be underestimated, has decided to open up her own business so that she can help to buy and take care of a horse!  Her parent's are quite impressed with the fact that she came up with this idea herself.  In order to help her think and plan accordingly, my son (who happens to know a little bit about money and how it works) gave her a great book to study.  Warren Buffet, likes to encourage people to start thinking about money early.  To that end, Warren Buffet has written "How to Start your Very First Business"!  It contains lots of ideas for kid-run companies and stories about awesome kids that are doing just that!
  



When I saw this book on my granddaughter's desk, I just had to take a closer look at it. Her words to me were, "Grammie, I need to make my lemonade stand more profitable!" I almost fell on the floor. She was so serious though, that I just could not laugh, rather I had to take a step back and really look at what she meant.

So this book is now in my hands and I'm reading it with interest for my own sake, for sharing it with others and for my granddaughter!  When she comes to me with an idea for raising some money, I can sit with her and encourage her as well.  As Warren Buffet shows the kids in this book, it's not all about money and how to make it, it's also about giving back and helping others as well.  Success comes from working hard and working smarter too. 

I am impressed with this book!  Not only does it go through the steps to building a business, but it also encourages children to not only set up a great business from the start, but also to think beyond their own wants and desires.  Kids are amazing at what they can accomplish if they are encouraged to do so and this book will definitely give them some really good food for thought and action too!

If you have an entrepreneurial child in your family, this would be a great investment for them and maybe even for you!  Being able to give them good advice is always a bonus!

As for the horse in my granddaughter's future, I'm pretty sure it will happen one of these days.
secret millionaires club, horses, earning money to buy a  horse







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

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Logitech Wireless Mouse M525 Reviewed

My Corded Mouse Died

wireless mouse
My new wireless mouse
Last week I found myself with a computer mouse that no longer worked, I purchased the Logitech Wireless Mouse M525 to replace it. There are several reasons that I love my choice, so let me tell what they are.

To begin with, the size surprised me. Let me explain. I have small hands which may seem like a silly thing to bring up. In this case, the size of my hands is relevant. You see, my hands are small enough that to get the best fit in gloves I have to get a size for children. To get back to my point, most of the computer mice that I have owned were rather big for my hand. My wrist would have an uncomfortable bend to it while I used the mouse. Not so, with this wireless mouse! It is small, fitting nicely into my hand. My wrist now lays flat which is much more comfortable. When I made my purchase this was not a factor that helped me make my decision; it was just a very nice surprise.

My first choice was that it was compatible with several OS (operating systems) so I wasn't concerned that it might not work with my older laptop. I plugged it in and voila it worked immediately. 

The tiny little USB receiver can be stored in a little compartment on the underbelly of the mouse. That makes it convenient for travel. I also liked that the batteries have a considerably long life. Depending on how much mileage you have on your clicking and scrolling activity, the batteries can last up to 3 years. Another feature on the underbelly is an on/off switch. I love that! I can save some juice on those batteries by turning off the mouse when I power down each evening.

Now for the important part, the performance! I am thrilled with how this mouse allows the moving of the cursor across the screen, it is smooth and precise. What really impresses me is the scrolling wheel. Those long pages on the internet are not so difficult to scroll through now. Another feature is that I can use the wheel to go forward and backward on pages by pushing the wheel to the left or right. My corded mouse couldn't do that. It has turned out to be a nice feature.

So, if you are in the market for a new computer mouse, I can highly recommend the Logitech Wireless Mouse M525. I am extremely happy with my purchase. It fits nicely in my hand, works with speed and precision and it did not put much of a dent into my budget. You will even have a choice in the color of the mouse, I loved the red but you might like the black, navy or white one. 



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