Saturday, May 19, 2018

Reviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes

Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Taken by Louanne Cox
Here at Review This it seems that a few of us enjoy our smoothies.  I have been having a smoothie nearly every morning since I first did a 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan*.

I do like to take my smoothie up a notch some days though (especially on the weekend) with a smoothie bowl.   My very first smoothie bowl was essentially just a chocolate one topped with hazelnuts and it was like having a delicious chocolate treat ... that was healthy - how much better does life get?

What is a Smoothie Bowl?


Essentially a smoothie bowl is a thick smoothie served in a bowl with different toppings and it is delicious.  You can have a myriad of different flavors and there's really no rules as to what you can pop on top - I have seen some amazing looking ones on instagram.

Smoothie Bowl Recipes


The smoothie bowl that I have the most for breakfast is a chocolate cherry one.

200 ml water
2 scoops vegan chocolate protein powder (I use the Arbonne one as it's the only one I really like the taste of)
1 scoop greens balance (this powder contains fruit and veg goodness and gives me energy during the day)
1 scoop daily fibre
1 tsp cacao powder
8 frozen cherries
1/2 avocado

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl
I blend all of this together and the combination of the avocado and 50ml less water than I use for my 'normal smoothie' makes this into a lovely thickness.

I serve it into a bowl and then add toppings.  Sometimes I add fresh raspberries and chopped nuts, sometimes I sprinkle coconut on it as I love cherries with coconut.

We couldn't get frozen cherries for a couple of weeks so I would use frozen strawberries, frozen blackberries or a combination of the two and this was also delicious.

I sometimes don't feel like chocolate, but I've never been sure what avocado would taste like in a vanilla smoothie.  As I was looking through my instagram feed I came across a recipe that used zucchini in a smoothie so I reached out to the person and asked about it.

This next smoothie bowl was delicious ..

200 ml water
2 scoops vanilla protein powder (the Arbonne one of course!)
1 tsp acai powder
6 x frozen strawberries
6 x frozen blackberries
1/2 zucchini

Berry Smoothie Bowl
I blended this up and it made a vibrant delicious looking smoothie (that tasted delicious too by the way).  I topped it with chopped mixed nuts and some fresh raspberries.

Now the zucchini added a thickness and creaminess to the smoothie, but you couldn't really taste it which was good.  I wanted it a little thicker the second time I made it so I added a whole zucchini - big mistake!   Zucchini has a high water content so if you want it thicker than this one reduce the water to 150 ml do not increase the amount of zucchini!

On Mother's Day my daughter took me out to breakfast where I had a smoothie bowl that was out of this world.

Decorated with not just fruit, seeds and coconut, but flowers too!

I don't have their recipe, but I really need to up my game as you can see here -

vegan healthy smoothie bowl recipes
The Ultimate Smoothie Bowl!


Check out some of our other smoothie reviews -


Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe ReviewedTropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed
The tropical fruit smoothies taste really good and they are very easy to make. Simply gather your favorite tropical fruits and the blender and you have a quick and healthy snack for breakfast, lunch or after dinner!

Reviewing Chocolate SmoothiesReviewing Chocolate Smoothies
Enjoying your chocolate is easy when you make it into a smoothie. Yes, I have gotten into smoothies lately. And since I can't not have chocolate as part of my day, a chocolate smoothie sounded great.

Healthy and Delicious SmoothiesHealthy and Delicious Smoothies
Some time ago I began trying to eat healthier foods and cut things from my diet such as soda. One of the things I've enjoyed are green smoothies.


*By the way if you're interested in finding out more about my 30 days to healthy living and beyond plan please message me via my facebook business page or instagram. Personally I have lots more energy, my hormones are balanced, the inflammation from my rheumatoid arthritis is non existent and I've lost 13.4kg over the past 6 months.

Back to smoothie bowls - have you ever made your own smoothie bowl and what was your favorite flavor combination?


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

Friday, May 18, 2018

Crooked House Movie (2017) Review

Agatha Christie's Crooked House - 2017 Movie Reviewed
Agatha Christie never disappoints!  Crooked House is an awesome mystery. 

As always, Agatha Christie held me spellbound until the very end.  I had no idea who the murderer was and the ending was completely unexpected.

I don't know how I previously missed seeing one of the movie versions of Crooked House.  Apparently, there have been several.  I was thrilled to discover an Agatha Christie book plot that I had neither read, nor seen a film adaptation of the story.   

If you love a great mystery, if you are an Agatha Christie fan, or if you happen to be seeking a wonderfully suspenseful movie, I highly recommend Crooked House.   I don't know about any of the other movie versions, but I do know this 2017 version is phenomenal and Glenn Close is superb as Aunt Edith.  


The Plot of Crooked House by Agatha Christie


Crooked House Movie (2017) ReviewedWhen Aristide Leonides dies at the age of 85, every member of his family and household are murder suspects.  He was extremely wealthy and each family member had reasons why they would want him dead.  Since they all lived together in his mansion, they all had opportunity and access to his medicine, which was mixed to create a lethal poison.

The family was not sad over Leonides death.  In some ways, it was a relief to several of them because he was a controlling patriarch who enjoyed playing games with their lives.  He used his money and their dependence upon him, to wield power over them.  Now, they were free from the overbearing, oppressive bully in their lives.

Everyone thought they knew what would happen to his estate in the event of his death, but they were all wrong.  Unbeknownst to his sons, his grandchildren and his first wife's sister, Leonides had neglected to sign the will that left them all heirs.  Because there was no legal will, his young wife stood to inherit everything by default.  

Even before they knew about the unsigned will, family members were not particularly fond of his wife and they were more than willing to cast the blame for his murder on her.  Even the police suspected that his wife, Brenda, and her lover had poisoned Leonides.   

As you would expect, Brenda did not like the family either and was thrilled to find out she would inherit everything.  She did not hesitate to show her happiness over this turn of events. 

Leonides granddaughter, Sophia, hired her previous lover, who also happened to be a private detective, to investigate the murder.  She worries that Scotland Yard will not be respectful of the families privacy and she wants Charles Hayward to protect them from unnecessary probing. 

You now know the basic plot.  Two sons, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren, a sister-in-law, a young wife and her lover all living in the same house, who all have means and motive to kill the head of the family, Aristide Leonide.  Scotland Yard is even depending on Charles Hayward to figure out which one is the murderer.  See if you can figure it out before the last 10 minutes of the movie!


Glenn Close in Crooked House

Glenn Close stars as Edith de Haviland in Crooked House.  As always, she is fabulous.  I can't imagine any other actress ever coming close to her performance.  She was totally and completely believable as Aunt Edith.

Edith was Aristide Leonides sister-in-law by his first marriage.  Therefore, she was his children's aunt and his grandchildren's' great aunt, but they all call her Aunt Edith.  She is a bit eccentric, self-assured, intelligent and strong willed.  I loved her!  

In my opinion, Glenn Close as Edith made what is clearly a wonderfully suspenseful book plot into a phenomenally superb movie.  



House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, May 17, 2018

DIY Mason Jar Bird Feeder - Tutorial and Product Review

One of my favorite things in all the world is to spend time observing and photographing wild birds.  Most avid bird-watchers and photographers know that providing food is one way to ensure a steady stream of visitors and photo moments.  For some time now, I have wanted to make a new feeder for the birds that bring me such great pleasure.

Right away I knew that a mason jar bird feeder would be perfect for my country home.  Who doesn't love the charm of the ever-popular mason jar?  I thought I would share this project and a few tips for those out there who might also enjoy treating their feathered friends.  It is likely you already have most of what is needed for this easy do-it-yourself craft.  Let's get started.






Supplies Needed

  1. A regular mouth canning jar.
  2. A chick feeder base.
  3. A bowl or plate for the canopy over the jar.
  4. E6000 glue (or another super strength clear adhesive).
  5. Birdseed.
  6. Chain or picture wire (plant or basket hanger).
  7. Optional: Decorative knob.
Step One:  Acquire a regular mouth canning jar and proportionately sized dish for its canopy.  You can find inexpensive mason jars at thrift stores, any of the dollar stores, craft stores, etc.  Though I already had some canning jars at home, I fell in love with The Pioneer Woman's embossed Betsy mason jars.  In addition to being especially lovely, the jars are 32 ounces, which means you won't have to fill your bird feeder as often as with smaller containers.

Step Two:  Buy a screw-on chick feeder base that fits a regular mouth mason jar.  Most feed stores will have them, or you can purchase one online.  I get mine locally from either Tractor Supply Company or Big-R.  Typically, I pay $2.99-$3.99, depending on whether I buy a plastic or a galvanized metal feeder.  There are usually a few colors from which to choose.  My store has red, green, yellow, purple, and the galvanized silver feeders.


Step Three:  Determine if you are going to hang your feeder or place it on a post.  If you plan to hang your bird feeder, you may wish to use a decorative knob on the canopy (to provide an anchor point for a chain or hanging wire).  The ceramic knob I chose couldn't be glued on, so I used my Dremel and a tile bit to drill a hole in the center of my canopy dish.  The bit worked perfectly and created a very neat little hole for the screw that holds the knob in place.  Tip:  Keep the surface wet and go slow while you are drilling.  Angle the bit slightly.


Step Four:  Insert a screw and use two washers (one for the interior screw and one for the exterior knob) to protect the bowl's surface.  I used a 3/4-inch long machine screw (#8) that fit the thickness of the bowl and the knob threads.  Tip:  Be careful not to over-tighten the screw.  You wouldn't want to crack that beautiful bowl (part of the vintage floral pasta bowl set by The Pioneer Woman).  *You can skip steps three and four if you choose a scalloped edge bowl and hook your plant hanger chains between the rounded curves.







Step Five:  Apply E6000 glue on the bottom rim of the mason jar (around the entire rim).  Follow the instructions on the glue label to ensure the best adhesion results.














Step Six:  Center bottom of mason jar inside canopy bowl and apply gentle pressure while the glue is bonding.  Set aside for the glue to cure.  Depending on the temperature and weather conditions, curing time can take 1-2 days.  It's important not to rush this step.

*In this photo, you are looking down inside the open mouth of the jar.  You can see how it is centered over the screw for the canopy knob.  Tip: Use a flathead screw so the jar rim can sit flush on the bowl.










Step Seven:  After the glue is fully cured, fill mason jar with birdseed.  I used safflower seed.  Supposedly, squirrels won't bother a feeder with this kind of seed.  It is also said to keep bully birds from hogging all of the seed.  Safflower seed attracts the kind of birds I am hoping to feed.  I plan to hang my feeder, but decided to wait one extra day to ensure the glue is totally cured.

Because my hummingbirds are attracted to red feeders, I am thoughtfully considering the best location for this bird feeder.  You can see from the introductory photo on this page that the first bird to check out my new feeder was a hummer.

I love how my DIY mason jar bird feeder project turned out (so much so that I am making more than one feeder).  In addition to the Betsy mason jars, the dishes I purchased for the canopies are a part of The Pioneer Woman Collection.  The pattern on the red bowl matches the embossed pattern on the glass jar.  I bought everything at Walmart.


Now I'm excited to see who shows up at the feeder today.  More photos to come soon!



















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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Catnip by Valerie Tate: A Book Review

Catnip: A Hilarious Cat Mystery


What happens when a cat does really run the house? If, in fact, the cat owns the house? Find out in this first book of the Dunbarton Mystery series that stars the orange cat named, of course, Marmalade.

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay, Text Added in PicMonkey
Though the title of this book is not unique, the book is.

The Characters 


Lawyer Christopher Mallory narrates the story, which begins in his office in the fictional city of Dunbarton on the shores of Lake Huron, as he reads a will. The family of longtime widow Amanda Dunbar has gathered to see how rich they will become. All that remains of the family are son James, daughter-in-law Alice, and granddaughter Alicia.The one most concerned about the inheritance is Alice. She had pressured Mallory to read the will right after Amanda's burial.

The deceased, Amanda Dunbar, had been widowed for twenty-six years. Her husband had been a prominent citizen and financier, descended from the town's founder. Among other assets, he had owned a furniture factory. Robert Allen Dunbar had been very wealthy and had left everything to Amanda. When he died, he had meant for his sons James and Robert to take over the factory.

Robert was as talented as his father in handling finances and James loved creating the fine furniture. Then Robert died in an auto accident and James had to handle everything. He was not good at business and the factory was not in good financial shape. James was hoping his inheritance would help save it.

James had married Alice against the  wishes of his mother, who couldn't stand  her. Alice dominated him, but James still adored her. Their daughter Alicia had gone off to college as a strong independent woman and came home broken, a shadow of her former self. We later find this was because of unrequited love.

The family had lived with Amanda and her cat Marmalade for twenty-six years. When she became crippled and confined to a wheelchair, they had to help out with her care. From Alice's point of view, she had waited on Amanda hand and foot while Amanda made Alice's life miserable. There was definitely no love lost between the two. Alice also hated Marmalade. Alicia loved Marmalade, and Marmalade at least tolerated her.

Those are the major characters, all of whom will suddenly find their lives changing after the will is read.

The Plot (without spoilers)  

The Reading of the Will


Amanda knew her family well. Christopher (henceforth called Chris) described Amanda this way as he remembered the day she called him to her home to witness her signing a new will she had written. He sized her up as "an autocratic lady with a shrewd expression and an underlying core of steel... a person not to be trifled with."  She had insisted her new will must be kept secret from everyone -- especially her family.

At the beginning of the book when Chris describes the family members entering his office, he recalls that James "seemed to fade into the wallpaper beside his more flamboyant spouse." He recalls that Alicia "drifted in behind her parents, gazed around with a disinterested air, and melted gracefully into a chair by the wall." Alice had "sailed into his office...with the assurance of the flagship of the fleet...about as warm as a Huron January....A gleam in her Ice Queen eyes...said she was about to get everything she had been waiting for." She showed no signs of grief.

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review


Chris knew an emotional storm was about to break in his office when he read the will. The old lady had made him executor and trustee and explained what his duties would be when she died. She had made her intentions very clear. He knew she was using the will to tell her family what she really thought of them. She admits in the will that living together had been uncomfortable for all of them.  She stated it was a wonder "That I have chosen to tolerate the chronic irritability of my daughter-in-law, the infuriating ineptitude of my son, and the vague placidity of my grand-daughter (sic)."

Chris proceeded to read the will. Here's what each got:

  • Alice: two gallons of vinegar with the hope it would sweeten her disposition
  • James: a can of starch to stiffen his backbone that hadn't been firm since he married Alice
  • Alicia: her jewelry "in the hope that one day she may prick her finger and awaken from that perennial slumber she now enjoys."
 Alice had then turned purple with rage and exclaimed with fury: "That old witch!...She made our lives a living hell for almost thirty years and now this...outrage!....When I think of how I waited on her!"

At this point, Chris called his secretary to bring in the last beneficiary -- Marmalade, who immediately spat at Alice, scratched his way out of the secretary's arms, and proceeded to rub against Alicia's leg. She stroked his head. He seemed totally in command of the proceedings. And he actually was. After all, he, as Amanda's "only true friend," was inheriting the entire estate.

 From the will: "since I know my family only too well, should anything happen to Marmalade that even suggests foul play" that anyone in the family had a part in, the estate will go to the Animal Protection Society. The will further stipulates that if Marmalade should die of natural causes, the estate would revert to Alicia "the only member of my family I have any use for."

Amanda appointed Chris as executor and Marmalade's trustee. The family would be allowed to continue to live in the house and care for Marmalade (who would have full run of the house) with all house expenses paid. Each person would get  a monthly allowance which Chris would determine. Chris would check on Marmalade at both scheduled and unscheduled times to make sure he was being cared for properly. If anyone mistreated him, they would lose their allowance and have to leave the house. Then Chris would hire a new caregiver and companion.

Living With Marmalade

 Catnip by Valerie Tate:  A Book Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay


As you can imagine, the Dunbar household was very tense living with a cat who was the boss. Nowhere in the house was off limits for him. He seemed to delight in destroying things Alice valued. The last straw was reached when she was carrying a family heirloom tea service that had belonged to her grandmother to the table during one of Chris's visits. Marmalade tripped her, and the china broke spilling tea all over Alice's gown. She grabbed him, intent on doing him violence when Chris shouted a warning to remember the will. She told Chris to get the cat out of her sight for a while.

Before the death of Amanda, Marmalade had been a cat-about-town visiting his neighbors at night as he pleased. He had usually let himself in and out through the window in Amanda's room.

When Amanda died Chris took Marmalade to the vet to get a microchip inserted and obtain a DNA sample from him.  For obvious reasons the family and Chris were reluctant  to let him start roaming free again.  But the cat was getting into so much mischief indoors, they decided his confinement in the house might be a contributing factor. So they began to let him roam when he wanted to again. That seemed to help calm things down in the household.

Marmalade Goes Missing

Once the information got out to the public that Marmalade was rich, he was in danger. Although he was pretty good at defending himself, he finally was abducted. This put the family into a panic, since family members were the first suspects. And if Marmalade wasn't found safe and sound, they would lose their home and their allowances. Chris did not believe they were guilty, and he and Alicia began to search for him with help from some of their friends. You will have to read the book to see what happens to Marmalade and all of them. 


My Review and Recommendation


I loved this book! It's not just about solving a mystery. It's about how people can change when they are motivated. Amanda's strange will was intended to help her son become all he could be by motivating him to take leadership. Amanda also hoped it would help Alicia regain her spirit and independence. And Alice? I don't know if Amanda had any hope that she would ever be good for James. But even she changed for the better by the end of the book.

I laughed all the way through this book as the characters interacted with each other and the cat. I enjoyed watching the romance begin to develop between Chris and Alicia. Although the book is a mystery, I felt the development of the characters was the heart of the book. And, of course, Marmalade behaved as you might expect a pampered cat to behave. He seemed to know he was in control and flaunted it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves cats or mysteries and likes to laugh. I was glad I was able to discern who kidnapped Marmalade by using the author's clues. This was just the book I needed to read when I didn't feel up to working and wanted to completely relax. I think you will find it a fun, relaxing read, as well. Why not get it now?







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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Laxanip For Cats Reviewed

When Kitty Struggles With Elimination

Laxanip works well for your cat when struggling with hairball elimination or if he or she has a constipation problem. Our older cat has begun to have some issues with relieving her bowels. So, I have begun giving her this product with her meals. 

I know this is a bit of a yucky topic but when your feline companion struggles you want to do something to relieve their discomfort. Laxanip is easy to use and has helped our cat with her problem. She is an icky, picky little thing when it comes to eating but she does not seem to mind having this added to her food bowl. 

The first time I added a little squeeze of this to her food, I held my breath. I didn't notice any sort of smell at all but I don't have the enhanced ability of smelling that a cat does. She sniffed around the food and the bowl, turned and looked at me and then started licking the product. I was relieved! She was going to eat it! It probably helps that this hairball/constipation remedy has catnip in it. She does love her catnip!

It took about a week before I noticed that her stools didn't look as hard and she wasn't yowling when she used the litter box. She seems to be feeling some relief and I am so thrilled that I was able to offer her some comfort.

The substance is pretty thick and a little hard to squeeze out of the tube but it isn't too awfully bad on that count. The ingredients are not anything that will hurt you or your feline. Petroleum, corn syrup, malt syrup, molasses, soybean oil, mineral oil and catnip. It must taste pretty sweet but I am not going to taste it to find out! She seems to like it and it does appear to be working and that is what matters.

So, if you have a cat or cats that seem to have a problem getting rid of their hairballs or are struggling in the litter box; try some of this Laxanip for cats. I think you will be pleased with the results and your cat will feel better. 



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

Monday, May 14, 2018

Reviewing Vetericyn Antimicrobial Ophthalmic Gel for Animals

The best relief for Dog's eyes.
It is spring allergy season. And our allergies are raging this year. I'm struggling. And poor Willy, my dog, is struggling. This is always a rough time of year for him. Fortunately, I have found something that helps alleviate his eye irritation. Vetericyn products are recommended by farmers and homesteaders as a brand that is reliable for the treatment of their livestock and pets. It was from these recommendations that I learned about Vetericyn Antimicrobial Ophthalmic Gel.


Vetericyn Plus Ophthalmic Antimicrobial Gel


Willy has very sensitive skin. Every year we struggle with his allergies. He looks like he has mange, we go to the vet and get him tested, and we learn that it's allergies. 

Willy gets itchy and scratches until he loses patches of hair. Shampoos and creams alleviate some of the body itching. However, his eyes are often extra sensitive. When his eyes are itchy, he ends up rubbing the hair off from around his eyes.

It is very difficult to treat a pet in areas near their eyes. The creams and shampoos that provide the most itch-relief are usually not safe for use near their eyes. The prescription eye cream from the vet is the only other thing that is safe for use on and in the eyes - and it is expensive and comes in a very small tube. It runs out very quickly.
click to enlarge

Because of his allergies, and my frequent rubbing him down with something-or-other, Willy hates for me to approach him with any cream, spray, or gel. Hates it. I have to follow him to catch him. I typically take him to the bathroom to decrease the chance of his escape before I am able to administer whatever it is I have to administer.

But, when he sees me with this little blue bottle he dances around and whines. He wants to avoid me and yet he wants the relief in his eye. It's easy to see by the way he dances around, finally approaching me with his head down, that the Vetericyn provides relief. 

I keep Vetericyn eye gel on hand for poor Willy's itchy eyes. But even if his allergies end some day (fingers crossed that day comes), I will always keep a bottle on hand for as long as I have pets. Vetericyn is a brand I've come to trust.





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Sunday, May 13, 2018

I Am Your Child - Happy Mothers Day, We Love You

Photo: Via Pixabay

Happy Mother's Day from the Writers of ReviewThis

To all the moms of the world, thank you.

Whether you're a dad occupying a dual role, a fur baby mom, a step-mom, a guardian, two dads, two moms, or a family member who has had to step in and be that soft place to land for others, a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, know that your contributions and sacrifices are never forgotten.

We've noticed it all:
  • When you handed us the full plate of food, and kept the smaller portion for yourself
  • That time you reached in your pocket to hand us your last few dollars, and said, 'oh that's ok', I don't need it
  • Your picking us up late at night when you were exhausted
  • The trips back and forth as you taxi us to our events for years
  • Planning our birthdays on a shoestring and making it memorable
  • We heard you cry from time to time and watched you pick yourself up every time
  • You laughed at our jokes that weren't funny just so we could smile a little more
  • You held your pain inside so as not to worry our young minds
  • You let us have our childhood and didn't demand we grow up too soon
  • You held us when we were sad or upset, and it always worked
  • We hurt your feelings sometimes, we know we did, and you held yourself with grace, just for us. When we look back, especially as parents, we see where we erred, and how it hurt you.
  • You made us face our weaknesses and when we had to grow a pair, you showed us how
  • You put our needs ahead of your own more often than we can possibly count
  • When we accomplish something we are aiming for, you are proud of us
  • We watch you continue to worry about us as grown-ups, and in that we learn from you how to balance that never ending scale of worry-don't worry
  • Remember when you held our child for the first time, and that tear rolled down your cheek, we felt that too
  • That soft shoulder you have .... we're still trying to figure out how a rock can be so soft
"Whatever I am, you taught me to be, I am your hope, I am your chance, I am your child" (Lyrics)

This Song is for You: "I Am Your Child, by Barry Manilow"






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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cuddlekins Plush Red Panda Review

Wild Republic Cuddlekins Red Panda Plush
My grandson, David, had a birthday coming up the end of April, so I asked his dad for some ideas for 'grandma gifts'.  The internet makes such requests so simple these days, as my son easily posted a list of 'David Wants' in a shared Wish List on Amazon.

Among the suggested gifts were a set of artist pencils (David loves to draw and is quite good), some Minecraft figures, and a plush red panda, particularly this one pictured here by Cuddlekins of Wild Republic.  I was a bit surprised that David still liked stuffed animals at age nine.  I thought he might have outgrown them by now, but my son insisted it was one of the gifts David was hoping for. 


Cuddlekins Red Panda



Turned out, David did not expect he would get his plush Red Panda, so it was a delightful surprise for him, as you can see by the expression on his face as he opened it. 

I was particularly pleased with the quality of this stuffed animal.  It has smooth, red fur, a big bushy tail, white markings, and lifelike, highly-detailed, realistic features. It's softly stuffed and measures 12 inches tall.  





You can see that it is a wonderful, hugable armful for a 9-year-old. 





About Wild Republic


Wild Republic has been creating nature-related animals and educational toys and gifts since 1979, with their specialty being their realistic stuffed animals.  The line of stuffed animals is extensive and includes just about any animal you can imagine, including farm animals, jungle animals, sea creatures, dinosaurs, reptiles and prehistoric animals, birds, butterflies & bugs and dogs & cats. I am also pleased with how reasonably priced they are. 

Their headquarters are in Twinsburg, Ohio, but they have offices around the world and their international distribution serves zoos, museums, and aquariums, as well as retailers. 

In addition to this plush Red Panda, Wild Republic has a whole line of these cuddly wild animals which look like the real animal.  They also carry a line of gift items that are related to nature, such as jewelry, home décor and seasonal items. You can visit the Wild Republic Website here





Happy Birthday, David



David, Age 9

David LOVES his new buddy, the Cuddlekins Plush Red Panda.  He had a wonderful 9th birthday!





The Real Red Panda


Red Panda Poster by Sylvestermouse

Sylvestermouse has a delightful article all about the 'real' red panda which is filled with interesting photos and facts at Reviewing What We Know About the Red Panda.








(c) Review of the Wild Republic Cuddlekins Red Panda Plush by Wednesday Elf






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

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer Reviewed (Model 63325)

Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer Reviewed
I love my Hamilton Beach 63325 6-Speed Stand Mixer! 

For many years, I was tempted to buy a stand mixer, but I simply couldn't justify the multi-hundred dollar cost of the one I thought I wanted.  Every time I entered a department store, I would mosey over to the kitchen appliances and allow myself to be mesmerized by the beauty of a shiny new stand mixer.   

Several times my husband offered to buy one for me, but I refused to let him spend that much money on a mixer.  He even ordered one online as a surprise for me once and I cancelled the order myself citing the ridiculously high price was just too much.  I told him if it ever went on a 70% off sale, we could talk.  Of course, that never happened.   

However, my daughter and son-in-law did the unthinkable without my permission a few years ago.   They gave me a stand mixer for Mother's Day.


The Gift of the Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Stand Mixer


Hamilton Beach 63325 6-Speed Stand Mixer
I should note that the children were smarter than me.  They knew I needed a stand mixer, but they didn't choose the shiny and pretty model I was entranced by in department stores.  They looked at a durable, dependable, yet lightweight beast.  

I confess, I hadn't even considered the weight of the "beauty" I thought I wanted.   It's a good thing they thought of the weight though because I do have to move my stand mixer (11 lbs) each time I use it.  I would never have been comfortable lifting and moving the "beauty" (26 lbs).  Lifting my "beast" and carrying it from counter to counter is almost effortless for me.

The first time I used my Hamilton Beach stand mixer, I stood back and watched, amazed at how it did that work for me.  I definitely appreciated everything about it.  

You might think that being lighter weight would cause the mixer to hop around on the counter while mixing.  It does not.  It has nonslip feet and they definitely work!  

I also thought I wanted a glass bowl, but the Hamilton Beach stand mixer has a stainless steel bowl.  As it turns out, the stainless steel bowl is fabulous!  It is also much lighter than a glass mixing bowl, plus it won't break if I drop it.  Now, I have to tell you, I am thrilled that it came with stainless steel instead of glass.

Features of the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer, Model 63325


Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer Reviewed (Model 63325)
  • 6 Speeds
  • 3 Attachments:  Flat Beater, Whisk, & Dough Hook
  • Head tilts up and locks into place to easily add ingredients 
  • Beater has excellent bowl coverage - very little need for scrapping sides
  • Nonslip Feet
  • Lightweight (11 lbs)
  • Mixer Unit Wipes Clean
  • Attachments and Bowl are Dishwasher Safe
  • Inexpensive by Comparison 

I want to take a moment to address how well this stand mixer mixes.  When I make a German chocolate cake, I do stop and scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure it is getting completely mixed.  That truly may be more habit on my part than necessity.  However, heavier batters, like my carrot cake, do not require scraping the sides of the bowl at all.  The flat beater does an excellent job of scraping, stirring and mixing.

The only advantage I now see to the beauty over the beast is that you can purchase separate attachments like a food grinder, pasta maker, ice cream maker, etc. that work by using the motor of the stand mixer for power.  If I ponder that for long, I realize I'm not likely to ever buy or use either of those separately purchased attachments.  If I want either of those things, I can buy the individual machine that is made for that specific purpose with it own motor.  

In case I forgot to mention, the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer (the beast) costs almost 1/4 of the price of the one I thought I wanted (the beauty).  Ironically, that even beats that 70% off sale I was waiting for before I would make a purchase.

Thank you again to my daughter and her sweet husband for giving me what I really needed, the Hamilton Beach Stand Mixer. 
   

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review of Daniel Boone Home Site in Defiance Missouri

Daniel Boone Home
On a recent April morning a group from our photography club visited Boonesfield Village on the grounds of the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance Missouri.  This area includes the area where Daniel Boone lived his final days and a village of shops, a church, schoolhouse and homes all built in the 1800's in mid- Missouri and moved to the Daniel Boone site.  The buildings are set up to give us a peek into what frontier life was like in 19th century Missouri.


A Bit of History

Daniel Boone was born in Pennsylvania in 1734, into a family who made their living from hunting.  When things became too crowded in the northeast, they moved to North Carolina and then to Kentucky.  In Kentucky Daniel Boone made his reputation as a great hunter and explorer.  He also held several government jobs and he flourished living in Kentucky.  By 1799 Kentucky was becoming too crowded so Daniel Boone and his family moved to Missouri.  Daniel Boone was 65 when he moved to Missouri.  He lived their until his death in 1820.

Peace Chapel

Peace Chapel

The Old Peace Chapel was built in the 1800's as a dance hall and general store in New Melle, Missouri.  At the turn of the century a German Evangelical church purchased the building and remodeled it into a church in 1983 it was moved to the Daniel Boone site.  Today it is a focal point in the village of 1800's buildings.  It is often used for weddings and renewing of vows.
Here are a few photos I took inside the chapel.

One Room Schoolhouse

I found the one room schoolhouse to be very interesting.  My father attended school in a one room school house in rural mid Missouri and I imagine it was much like this one.  

Inside there is a chalkboard that goes across the front of the classroom.  Across the back of the room is a wood burning fireplace, which is the only heat for the building.

Can you imagine going to school in this tiny schoolhouse where all grades were educated in one room?

Sites around the Village

Here are photos of several of the other buildings in the village.  An old covered bridge is on the property.

Here is one of the barns.



How would you like to use this washing machine on laundry day?
This is the general store


Beautiful Spring Flowers

I loved all the spring flowers that brightened up the village.  The vase of wildflowers in the last photo was sitting in the window in the general store.



For more information on the Daniel Boone Historic site and directions to the property go to The-Historic-Daniel-Boone-Home

Zazzle Card

Here is a notecard made from my photos.




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