Friday, January 28, 2022

Snowkissed - Hallmark Movie Review

Snowkissed
As autumn has turned to winter in our area, the trees and grounds have already been kissed by snow several times. When I saw the movie entitled "Snowkissed", I immediately thought it was a rather romantic way to describe a light snow.  

When it is below freezing outside, I tend to stay inside with a cup of hot cocoa, a warm blanket, and a romantic Hallmark movie.  When the title caught my attention, I decided to check it out.

Setting my first thoughts aside, I read the movie description and thought it might be a nice love story, but I watched it because the title evoked lovely mental imagery.  

Because I prefer clean and wholesome movies, I most often scan Hallmark movies first for a new film to watch when I just want to relax, not have to think too deeply, and simply be entertained by beautiful settings and likable people.

When a movie makes me smile, or even laugh, I know I have discovered a  cinematic gem.  As it turned out, the love story was sweet, I laughed several times, the scenery was fabulous and was definitely snow kissed.

This movie clearly has it all and was a wonderful escape for an hour and a half.

 

"Snowkissed" Movie Synopsis 


 SnowkissedCheck Price Kate (Jen Lilley) is really excited when she is offered an interview with a popular author, but her excitement is quickly diminished when she finds out she will have to travel to conduct the interview.  She hates to travel.  She likes her well organized, clutter-free life in Manhattan and she has no desire to change anything. However, with the prospect of becoming a staff member instead of a freelance writer, and a lot of encouragement from her photographer friend who will go with her, she decides to face her travel fears and take the assignment.

They arrive at the B&B in Canada to find a struggling business run by two single men who are desperate to get the endorsement of an international travel company that will send a lot of business their way.  As the only two guests for the week, the guys ask Kelly & Jane to go through their 3 day tour and give them honest critiques and suggestions.  However, constructive criticism is not always easy to take, even when it is given by request.

While the set-up of two single men and two single women may seem like the perfect situation, it isn't always a guarantee that they will end up as friends, much less anything more to each other. After all, they live in different countries, all have jobs and responsiblities, and at least one definitely does not like change.

 



If you enjoy a romantic movie with a touch of humor and a lot of gorgeous scenery, then you will love Snowkissed

Watch on Amazon Prime or Buy a Hallmark DVD that includes Snowkissed.




More Great Movies Reviewed


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Snowkissed - Hallmark Movie Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Reviewing The Joy of Bird Feeding

 

Eastern Bluebird


My husband and I enjoy watching the birds in our backyard.  We can sit at our kitchen table and watch the view through our sliding glass doors.  We were very excited when we received a Christmas gift from a friend to give us lots of great ideas for attracting and feeding our feathered friends. This gift was a book entitled The Joy of Bird Feeding. In this post I will give you a preview of the tips found in each chapter of this book.  I will also share some of the photographs that I have taken of birds in our backyard.




Chapter 1: The Five Steps to Bird Feeding Mastery

The first chapter gives a thorough plan on setting up your backyard to attract the biggest variety of birds.  It helps you to set up a plan to decide what foods to serve and when to serve them.
Downy feasting on Suet Pellets


Chapter 2: Thoughtful Bird Feeding Stations Elements in Detail

Details of the elements needed for feeding birds are described in this chapter.  One of the items suggested is year-round water.  In the photo below you see a group of bluebirds enjoying fresh water from the heated dog bowl I have placed on our deck on a cold winter's day.


Chapter 3: The Birds

This chapter gives us some interesting information on the birds that are found in our backyards.  The introduction talks about year-round birds, seasonal residents and migrant birds. It is also talks about how the birds find feeders.  The chapter then goes into photos of various birds and identifying information.  It is quite comprehensive.  Here is a Carolina Wren that is a frequent visitor to my backyard.
Carolina Wren

Chapter 4: The Foods

Great detail is given on the various foods that are available for birds. There is also a section on foods from your kitchen that are good for birds and a section on fun food shapes.  Here is a bird on a Penguin feeder that we received for Christmas.
House Finch on Fun Feeder


Chapter 5: The Feeders

Are you undecided about what types of feeders to purchase?  This chapter goes into detail on each type of feeder and tells you the pros and cons of each.  I like to have a variety of feeders in my backyard. Here is a photo of some Cardinals and a finch on one of my feeders.
Cardinals and Finch


Chapter 6: Poles and Hangers

Here we find some great ideas for poles and hangers including a nifty pole system.  I will need to look into that.

Chapter 7: Critter Solutions

Unwanted critters can play havoc with your feeding stations.  This chapter gives you ideas on how to mitigate the critter issues.  We have lots of squirrels in our yard and I have some squirrel proof feeders and others that the squirrels love to visit.  We enjoy seeing their antics too.  Here is a squirrel at one of our feeders.

Chapter 8: Situations and Solutions

Have you wondered why the birds aren't coming to your feeders or what you can do about the messy deck?  The answers to these and other issues can be found in this chapter.

Chapter 9: Buying and Storing Bird Food

Here you will find lots of tips for buying the best foods and storing solutions for your bird food.

Chapter 10: Common-sense Bird Feeding Hygiene

Here I find a lot of tips for making your bird feeding stations safe for the birds.  Some I have done, but there are certainly a lot of areas where I can improve.  

Chapter 11- Fun Bird Feeding Activities

This chapter is full of some great bird feeding activities including things like hand feeding birds and watching birds when you are not at home.  The activity that most interests me is photographing birds.  I love to set up my backyard to make some good backgrounds for taking bird photos and this book had lots of tips. 
 Here is a favorite photo I caught of some bluebirds turning their backs to the camera.  I thought it made a good ending for this review.





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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Electric Fireplace Television Stand

 

Electric Fireplace Television Stand
Electric Fireplace TV Stand Reviewed

Many homeowners dream of having a comfortable living space with the beauty of a fireplace. Although many homes do not have a wood-burning or gas insert fireplace.

 Some homeowners are turning to electric fireplaces to give them that cozy ambiance in their homes. 

The technology of electric fireplaces has come a long way over the years giving you the look and feel of a real fireplace. Along with the added benefit of generating real heat for your living space.

 We recently purchased a Walker Edison Electric fireplace television stand for our living room.


 Our television is located in a corner of our living room so we purchased a corner unit. There are so many options to choose from for electric fireplaces so, I'm sure there is one to fit your home's decor.

The Features of our Electric Fireplace:

  • First, it fits perfectly in the corner of our living room
  • Two tempered glass doors
  • Storage on both sides
  • Each side has two adjustable shelves
  • Fireplace insert with blower for heat
  • Will heat a 400 square foot area
  • The top is large enough for a 55-inch Television
  • The fireplace display can be operated without the heat on
  • Available in 10 different colors
  • Plug-in fireplace; no electrician required (Caution here: see below)
The unit was well packaged with easy-to-follow instructions and was not difficult to assemble. Although I do recommend having a second person to help with the assembly. My grandson Bobby helped me with the assembly and we had the unit assembled in about 3 hours.

Over time an electric fireplace may help you save on your heating bill. By heating the room you are in you could lower your home's thermostat. On the other hand, the average cost of using the heater on an electric fireplace is about .15 cents per hour.

The outlets in our living room are all wired to a 15 amp breaker. The heater unit draws 1400 watts so, with the other draw of the television and lights the heater tripped the breaker. I did have to call an electrician to wire one outlet in our living room to be on its own 20 amp breaker just for the heater unit.  This was not a huge problem and it's much safer to be on its own breaker.

Although, our daughter and son have the same 1400 watt fireplace insert and did not need an electrician.

We are very pleased with our electric fireplace television stand. On a cold winter night, it adds the perfect ambiance to our living room along with some additional heat to keep us warm.

This is the Walker Edison unit that we purchased. You can shop for many options and styles.

Walker Edison Alcott Classic Glass Door Fireplace Corner TV Stand for TVs up to 55 Inches, 48 Inch, EspressoWalker Edison Alcott Classic Glass Door Fireplace Corner TV Stand for TVs up to 55 Inches, 48 Inch, EspressoCheck the Price

 


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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Why Insect Hotels Are Good For Wildlife And Gardeners Reviewed


Insect Hotel


Bug hotels or Insect Houses are an essential item in our garden. They are a feature in themselves and are a vital component of our wildlife-friendly garden.

Insect Hotels can be bought or handmade and are both equally effective. When you have a bug house you are aiming to attract all manner of insects and wildlife to gain a balance of insects in your garden which is vital if you are aiming to have a harmonious wildlife garden.


Insect Hotels Benefits To The Garden

Having an Insect Hotel in the garden is not entirely altruistic. The aim of any wildlife gardener is to use no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides at all. 

These chemicals kill "pests" and beneficial insects equally in most cases and are not good for wildlife.

For the gardener, an insect hotel can attract all manner of bugs and many predators that will help us to keep a good balance in the garden thus eliminating the need to use pesticides. 

Bee on Daffodil

In the early days of converting a normal garden to a wildlife pesticide-free garden, this can take some nerve. A garden needs a natural balance of predator and prey.

If you or a previous garden have been using chemicals then stop, undoubtedly in the first year or so you will see greenfly and blackfly and all manner of pests eating our plants. This is because your garden became unbalanced. It is now for us to redress this balance and installing insect houses is one easy step.   

However, if we want a wildlife friendly garden we must resist the urge to use chemicals. Instead, we must attract the beneficial insects, spiders and predators to our gardens who will easily and quickly dispatch those pests eating our plants.

 A great way to do this especially in the early days is to have an Insect Hotel or several bughouses. Provide insects shelter and a food source and they will arrive. 

Insect Hotel In Garden

Personally in the first two years of taking on this garden, I simply did not grow plants I knew would be susceptible to aphid attack. The previous gardeners had used chemicals and had a very non-wildlife friendly garden, so I knew once I stopped all chemical use I would face some difficulties. 

It took a year or two to fully balance the garden again. I was lucky as my neighbours also stopped using chemicals which helps a lot as wildlife do not know about boundaries. It was so worth it as since then I have not had to spend any money on insect prevention, the predators do it all for me free of charge night and day! 

In this article, we will mainly talk about insect houses with a mention and further resources to our ground-dwelling beneficial creatures need as well.


Location Of an Insect Hotel.

A Bughouse is best located in a warm undisturbed spot in your garden. For insects, it is important it is in a fairly dry area so under the house or shed eaves, in a tree or against a sunny fence. 

Some may be a thing of beauty or they may be something you wish to hide from full view. Either way, it does not matter to the bugs as long as they can go about their business undisturbed. We like the look of ours so we do not make any particular effort to hide them. 


Who Lives in an Insect Hotel?

Close Up Of Insect Hotel

So what can you expect to live in your insect house?

Generally, you can expect a variety of insects such as ladybirds and woodlice. You will get spiders of course and hopefully bees or maybe wasps.

These are all beneficial creatures to your garden. These creatures need a place to shelter, raise their young and keep themselves and their young hidden from predators. 

You can of course just put up your insect hotel and forget about it, but It can be good fun to carefully observe your insect hotel to see who has taken up residence.


Types of Wildlife Hotels. 

It is better to have several insect-specific bughouses around the garden in suitable locations than one great big multi-bug house.

The idea is that each will be more suitable for one species than another. Of course, there is no way of knowing who will decide to take up residence! 

The rationale is that different species require different approaches. For example, a home to attract bees requires a warm sunny dry location. Ideally, it should face south or as near south as possible and the area in front of it would be clear of vegetation. It is important to be a few feet off the ground and secured strongly to a wall, tree or fence.   

Insect Hotel In The Woods

Spiders are happy in a site with more cover where they can spin webs between tree branches and the insect hotel but in my experience, they are not too fussy.

In addition, while you are siting your bug houses spare a thought for ground dwelling creatures like hedgehogs who are also very beneficial to our gardens.

Hedgehogs are a species in serious decline. A lovely pile of wood and leaves in an undisturbed corner of the garden will go a long way towards helping these enchanting and ancient creatures. If you would like to take it a step further you can purchase a special house for them known as a Hogitat. Please read more about How To Help Hedgehogs In Your Garden  


Well Established Wood Pile 

If you are wanting to attract frogs and toads they will love a warm wet, damp environment in a shady spot down on the ground.

You can start a wildlife hotel at any time though you may be more successful if you put one up in early Spring or Autumn/Fall. 


Materials For An Insect, Bee Or Spider Hotel.

Ideally, you will have a bug house made of natural materials. The wood is best untreated with no paint or preservatives as that will only deter and harm insects.

Wooden tubes for insects in Bug House

If you are making your own do try to use items already in your garden to promote recycling within the garden. So small branches, hollow stems tied together, dried leaves, seed heads will all contribute to your insect hotel.  

The structure needs to be strong and solid with a sloping and wide roof to keep the rain out.

If you are buying a bug house with pre-drilled holes in the wood they should be smooth and if doing it yourself make sure there are no splinters. 

Think about the types of creatures or insects you want to attract and the habitat they require. 

Wood shavings for insects in bug hotel

Looking After An Insect Hotel.

You can expect an insect hotel to last about 2 years on average, maybe longer depending on the materials used. As it is made of natural material it will degrade over time. 

During this time it is recommended to clean it out at the end of each summer to remove any dead cells or insects and replace any worn-out sections. That is all that is really needed. 


Insect Houses Are A Learning Opportunity For Children

Bug houses are a great learning experience. It is also a wonderful fun and educational opportunity for children to learn about and appreciate the natural world. 

In a small wood near a busy residential area, primary school children have made insect houses to site all over the wood to help the local wildlife and they take great pride in their creations and interest in the inhabitants. 

Bug Hotel In The Woods Good For Winter Shelter

In our garden, we have a dry insect house 3 feet off the ground on a sunny fence, a log pile in a shady but warm corner to attract hedgehogs and in a corner near the garage a large saucer of water with dense habitat around it to attract frogs and toads. The spiders seem to make their home in many of these locations as well. 

 Having a bug hotel or two and making a habitat for wildlife is very enriching in our gardens and our lives.

Insect houses take up very little room, so most people could have an insect house in an outdoor space. The end result of all this care is a garden that is filled with the sound and sights of beautiful insects.

 Yes, we do still get greenfly and blackfly, but predator insects soon become aware of them and keep the numbers down or even eradicate them for me. We do perhaps have to accept some level of pest attack on our plants but when you achieve that crucial balance it becomes less of a problem.

I am certainly prepared to have some plant damage to know that I am not killing all insects indiscriminately. Chemicals kill both "pests" and beneficial insects.

I once had a houseplant that became invested with a type of whitefly, so as it was summer I put it outside during the day for a few days and the wasps ate all the flies for me and the plant survived.

Other insects like this gorgeous butterfly happily live in the garden now going about their daily lives and bring me a lot of joy. 

Beautiful Butterfly In Summer

People often think about the beautiful more visible wildlife like birds, but it all really begins with the small perhaps less beautiful or more scary insects. If we take more care of them they will help our gardens be more healthy and we will certainly see more birds and other gorgeous wildlife as well. 

 Without our negative influence of chemicals, over time the garden adopts an easy give and take, ebb and flow of natural processes and our plants and us benefit from that.

There are many useful and fun things you can do for wildlife in our own garden spaces, having a few insect hotels is a great start. 






More Wildlife And Gardening Articles

6 Ways To Help Wildlife In The Year Ahead

Spring Woodland Walks For Wellbeing Reviewed

Wildlife Gift Ideas Reviewed

Diary Of  A Wild Country Garden

Essential Wildlife Gardening Gifts

Gardening And Wildlife Articles On Review This Reviews 




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Monday, January 24, 2022

Cozilife Silicone Egg Poacher Reviewed

Why Are making poached eggs so tough? Well at least for some and I include myself in the group of egg challenged egg poachers. That is a mouthful! Sad, but true. I was harkening back to the days when my Grandma made the perfect poached eggs where the yolk was the perfect runny, not too runny, but toast dipping perfect runny.



Being realistic I decided to investigate if there is an easier way to poach eggs with a high degree of success and came upon the Cozilife Silicon Egg Poacher Cups. This sounded right in my lane of egg expertise and I so I embarked upon the journey to make a poached egg in about 30 seconds.

Learning Curve

There is a slight learning curve with the egg poacher as the success does depend upon the strength of the microwave. Just like stove burners and ovens each accomplishes the task, but the length of time does vary. The same holds true with the egg poacher. 

The timing for each microwave is just a little different. A few seconds does make a difference with the egg poacher as a few seconds can determine the difference between a soft runny yolk or a semi hard yolk or a hard boiled egg!

I suggest using doing an experimentation trial with a few eggs and your microwave. It will quickly be apparent if the egg is poached to your satisfaction. 

Cooking Spray Is A Necessity

The silicone poaching cups as recommended by many users should be sprayed with a very light coating of cooking spray. This ensures the egg is easily released from the cup when done. I also used a dab of butter on the bottom of the cup (as also recommended by users) and enjoyed the little extra butter added to the egg.


Also a necessity is using a toothpick to poke holes in the egg yolk prior to cooking. If the holes are not made the yolk will blow up like a balloon. Needless to say that is not the goal! Interesting to watch, but definitely not poached. 

The egg cups can also be used on the stove with a pan of water to make poached eggs. Directions are included with the egg cups on making poached eggs two ways.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Yes! The cups can poach eggs, but can also make really quick hard boiled eggs. What a time saver and no need to use a pan or deal with peeling egg shells. 

I love the versatility of the egg cups as they can double as baking molds too. I see mini cakes in the future with the baking cups. The cups are also versatile in that since the cooking time is so short the 4 cups can easily be made to order per person in the family. After all as any egg cooker knows - everyone likes their egg just a little different! Once persons over easy is another person's fried. And so it goes.

I will say noone made better poached eggs than Grandma old style, old school! But for this egg poaching hack, the silicon cups made me want to make poached eggs!




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Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Shirt Extender is Ideal When You Wear Leggings

 

Very Handy to Use with Leggings - Shirt Extenders - A Review

Do you have a lot of leggings? I sure do.

The problem with my lacking wardrobe is that I don't have enough long tops that cover my behind when I wear leggings.

I'm 61 years old, and I'm not comfortable wearing leggings with short-waisted tops; with blue jeans, no problem, but not with leggings.

The tightness of leggings is unforgiving, and it's only my personal opinion, but I don't feel I'm dressed age-appropriate in leggings unless the top drops below my behind.

Since most of my sweaters, hoodies, and tops don't drop below my behind, and since I only have two tops that do, wearing my nice leggings has been a problem.

A shirt extender allows me to use my existing shorter tops with my leggings.

An Ad was Served Up on My Computer for Shirt-Extenders (Finally a Useful Ad!)

I thought, what in the heck is that? Hmm.

After watching it, the item reminded me of the figure skating skirts I used to wear in my youth. However, these ones are a bit longer.

They fit around your waist like a skirt and drop below your behind, to either mid or upper thigh. 

There are many shapes, sizes, designs, styles, and colors.

Here is the Shirt Extender I Recently Purchased

I Headed Over to Amazon to Check What Was Available

Turns out there are many styles of Shirt-Extenders to choose between. 

Before selecting the one I've featured in this article, I considered all the different colors and styles I wear. 

I decided on a simple black extender for my first purchase. It was under twenty dollars at the time of purchase, and of course, if it didn't look right, I could easily return it.

About This Shirt Extender:

Here I am at 61 Years Old - Wearing My First Shirt Extender

What I Like:

  • I decided to go with a laced bottom shirt extender - It looks nice
  • These particular shirt extender size choices are very small, so I selected XXL
  • It fit snug, so although the material isn't high quality, I was still able to stretch it out and give the bottom lace section a bit more flare
  • The waist doesn't bulk you up - which I was worried about
  • It solves the problem and covers my behind with leggings
  • Easy to slip in and out of 
What I Don't Like:
  • It feels cheap (but for daily use with leggings, that's ok)
  • It looks more like a slip when I wear a short top, so I solve that by wearing a longer sweater with it. In the above photo, I'm wearing two tops; the short one underneath, and a hoodie on top.
  • The sizes are very small - I definitely needed an XXL - I'm 5.6" tall
  • Since it's black, and many of my clothes are lighter colors, I won't wear this one with many of my other tops. However, with a colorful sweatshirt that isn't too short, I'd probably give it a try.
A Close-Up of the Shirt Extender, with a Short Black Top

Would I Buy More Shirt Extenders?

Yes, I would.

However, I plan on choosing different styles. Some are designed to look more like the bottom of a dress shirt. I'm thinking about trying this one next.

If you decide to give one of these a try, mind the sizes carefully. Most of my time was spent assessing the measurements to ensure I ordered the best size for my body.

The one I purchased is here, on Amazon.

In Summary:

The idea of shirt extenders, 5 stars.

This particular shirt extender, 3.5 stars.





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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Reviewing Harlan Coben's Stay Close, Netflix Series

I really enjoyed watching Harlan Coben's The Stranger so when I saw another series based on one of his books I was interested. James Nesbitt & Cush Jumbo as two of the leads were another draw for me and I am so glad I watched it. 

Reviewing Harlan Coben's Stay Close television series
Image from Pixabay, adapted via Canva by Lou16



If you're interested in Harlan Coben's books then you really should check out my fellow contributor, Wednesday Elf's Harlan Coben book reviews as she is a huge fan of his books.

This series is only eight episodes long and episode one is a little slow, it is well worth persevering, however because the next seven episodes more than makeup for it.   The series is full of twists and turns and red herrings that lead to an ending my husband never saw coming.

I did predict the killer earlier in the series (I can't remember which episode as we binge-watched this over two days), my husband did not believe me and I have to say there were a few moments where I started to second guess myself too!

The series is based in the North West of England and it opens with a young man disappearing after a night out at The Vipers (a nightclub).   One of the detectives who is handed this case to investigate is convinced that it is linked to the disappearance of another man, Stewart Green, last seen at The Vipers seventeen years previously.

We are also introduced to a family of five - Dave, Megan and their three children.   We soon discover that Megan used to be called Cassie.   Cassie worked at The Vipers as an exotic dancer and also disappeared on the same night as Stewart Green seventeen years ago.

I won't go into too much detail as I really want you to discover all the twists and turns for yourself, but I will let you know that after the killer is revealed, everything else gets revealed too so that there are no loose ends for you to continually wonder about.

I really do have to start reading Harlan Coben's books as I love all the plot twists in the television series and just be reading reviews of his books they sound like they are made for me.

Have you seen Stay Close or The Stranger yet?






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Friday, January 21, 2022

Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Dinner Fast & Easy Recipe Reviewed

I am always searching for fast and easy recipes for dinner.  I enjoy cooking, but I don't always have time to prepare a meal that takes hours to cook.

I recently accidentally purchased the Knorr chicken flavored broccoli and rice packet instead of the chicken flavored broccoli and pasta packet.  Because I hate to waste food, I decided to play around with the rice packet to see if I could create a quick meal.

As with any premixed packet of food, the ingredients are not fresh and it is only chicken flavored.  There is a small amount of broccoli in the packet, but the vegetable itself tastes good.  As it is, it would make a delicious lunch or side.  However, after adding chicken, it becomes suitable to serve as an entree. 

I made it for lunch the first time, but have served it several times since as our evening meal.  It only takes about 15 minutes to throw together and cook.  It is the perfect warm meal at the end of a hard day. 

Plus, it is actually very tasty!


Easy Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Recipe

Swanson canned chicken is a fast way to add cooked chicken to any recipe.  It is packed in water and has no artificial flavors or msg, but I still prefer to drain and rinse the chicken before adding it.  


Prep Time Cook Time Ready In Yields
5 min. 7 min. 15 min. 3-4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 2 packages Knorr Rice Sides - Chicken Flavor Broccoli
  • 2 cans White Premium Chunk Chicken Breasts, drained & rinsed 
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2¼ Cups Water

Directions

  1. Combine Chicken, Water, Butter, and Rice packages in a large saucepan
  2. Bring to a Boil
  3. Stir, reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer for 7 minutes
  4. Let Stand for 2 minutes, then serve!
    It really is that simple to make this delicious dinner.

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Chicken, Broccoli & Rice Dinner Fast & Easy Recipe Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





© 2021 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January, the Longest Month in the Year for Gardeners!

January is a month that has many of us dreaming and planning for better things to come!

As a  avid gardener, I know that this month in particular is probably the one I wish would pass by quickly.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing my time away, rather, I want to see something other than snow and cold temperatures.  

In past years I get through this month with a trip to the south where I can soothe my soul on a beach or sitting poolside and dreaming about how to bring this beautiful weather back home with me.


Alas, as we all know this has not been possible for the past couple of years due to pandemic travel restrictions.  
 
So what can I do to combat this seasonal depression that seems to envelope me and many of my friends?

Well let me tell you what works for me and maybe, just maybe you could try it and see if it works for you too!

The internet is wonderful for daydreaming and even most browsers will send you lovely pictures from all over the world,  When I find one I particularly like, I will google that location and see what I can learn about that particular spot.

This past week I had pictures of Machu Picchu, Portugal and  Columbia!  That's just to name a few places I have had come up on my screen just this past week.   

If that doesn't get you dreaming, I don't know what will.

But let's get back to some reality.  I don't think travel will be in my near future (at least until our COVID situation changes) so I'm back to dreaming closer to home.

As an avid gardener, my other daydreaming is all about growing things when the season moves from winter to spring.   

Seed catalogues are a staple in our home.  If you are looking for a magazine to read, it will usually be a Gardening magazine!  In between those magazine, you will find seed catalogues from several different suppliers and growers.  

Now you have to be careful with seed catalogues and where they originate.   Many countries will not allow over the border sharing of plants and seeds (rightly so).  My feelings on this are that this is a prudent way to do business, especially when it comes to live plants.  We have seen invasions of many detrimental and invasive species take over when they find a new hone that they happen to like.  Just one small example is the KUDZO vine which seems to grow unhindered in the south.  

Please don't try bringing plants across borders without the proper growth certificates and permissions.  

But we are supposed to be dreaming, not having nightmares, so let's get back on track.

I love my Gardening Magazines and keep them for reference and the pretty pictures.

In Canada we have many to choose from including The Gardener Magazine.  I love it because it does focus on Canadian sources, growing zones and is full of really good information!




In the USA, you have several different choices as there are so many more growing zones in your country.  You can focus on magazines that will show you beautiful shrubs, vines, plants and vegetables that will grow well in your particular "zone" or you can get magazines that encourage you to become a better gardener.  The Spruce has a list of 9 of the best magazines for gardeners in the States (you can also use some of these here in Canada as references) !  

There will be pictures of birds, flowers, garden plans and anything else that will make a true gardener's heart go pitter pat for a long time.  

You can treat yourself to a magazine subscription to some of the best magazines available right here at Magazine Deals.com!  You just need to put "Gardening" in the search box. 

I know that you will find something that just tickles your gardener's fingers. I know that are itching to get back in the ground. This will keep you dreaming and planning until you can actually get your hands dirty!  It works for me and I always learn something new too!  

Don't let yourself get caught up in what you can't do right now, rather spend that time dreaming up ways that you can do something new in the coming months.  

Plant a garden, learn a new technique for growing your favorite vegetables or learn about keeping the bees and birds happy!  All of these topics and more are right at your fingertips when you immerse yourself in a great gardening magazine.  

Here is hoping that you don't find the winter too long and that your itchy fingers will find some relief when your eyes behold some of the beauty that can be yours with just a little dreaming and planning.



 



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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Flying Fish Bar & Grill - Restaurant Review



SLOGAN: “Where the Fish Fly” 


We spent 13 years living on Tybee Island, Georgia, then later lived another 6 years on Wilmington Island located off Highway 80 east of Savannah and just minutes from Tybee Island.  As you can imagine, we had a lot of visitors over the years drawn to the area the same way we had been.  Between the historic sights of Savannah and the Atlantic Ocean off Tybee Island, not to mention the temperate winter weather in Georgia, our northern friends loved to come visit. 

As a result, we quickly found our favorite restaurants to take our visitors to.


Flying Fish


(c) Elf
One of our favorite restaurants was the Flying Fish. This was especially true during the years we lived on Wilmington Island, GA. It is located less than 2 miles away from where we lived, conveniently located on Highway 80 between Savannah and Tybee Island, just a short 15 minute drive east from downtown Savannah. 


Locally known as simply “The Fish”, the restaurant was started by Mike McMahon in 2007. Mike is a local Savannahian who has worked in the seafood industry all his life. Because Savannah is known for a wide variety of tasty local seafood, Mike took his knowledge of seafood and applied it to a tasty menu of fresh Georgia Shrimp, Flounder and Oysters, along with crispy fried calamari and crab claws.  And, of course, the famous Low Country Boil, consisting of spicy peel-and-eat shrimp, sausage, corn and new potatoes, which is a classic Southern recipe along the Georgia and South Carolina (low country) coasts!


If you are not a big seafood lover, The Fish also caters to “landlubbers” with dishes of Chicken Alfredo & Pasta, chicken fingers and wings and beefy burgers. They also feature a full service bar. 


Our Favorite Dishes 


Image Source: Pixabay

Love their fried shrimp or fried oyster dinners and several times have had their Shrimp for 2 meal, which is a very plentiful platter of fried shrimp with French fries, cole slaw and hush puppies. (Mmm, I could go for a plate of that right now!)


For many years, the Flying Fish was open daily, beginning with lunches, and had 'lunch specials'.  My brother and I loved going out to lunch on Mondays when the 'special' was pork chops deliciously prepared (our favorite non-seafood dish).  Due to the circumstances of the past couple years, I see that the hours have been reduced to just 5 days a week and not opening until 4:30 p.m, except on the weekends. It is still an eatery well worth visiting. And I have truly missed the Flying Fish since moving back to the Midwest.  I still have their menu, which is occasionally fun to 'drool' over. Click here for the Menu to see for yourself.


Location


Flying Fish Bar & Grill

7906 East US Highway 80

Savannah GA 31410 

(912) 897-2009

Hours: Open Wednesday and Thursday 4:30 and Fri thru Sun 11:30 am … until the party stops! 

Website: Flying Fish https://www.flyingfishsavannah.com


Summary


So, if you are a snowbird planning a trip south in the winter, or vacationing in the Savannah, Georgia area, add The Flying Fish Bar & Grill to the “restaurants” section of your itinerary. You won't be disappointed in the food or the relaxed atmosphere. And Tell Mike hi for me.  :)


Related Links:


My family & I do seem to seek out seafood restaurants wherever we may find ourselves. I may miss the Flying Fish Bar & Grill in Georgia, but have since found another here on the Mississippi River in my current location. Another FISH-named restaurant equally as tasty ~ the Go Fish Marina Bar & Grill.


Flying Fish Bar & Grill Restaurant Review written by Wednesday Elf


Seafood Restaurant Recipes to Make at Home:


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