Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rectangular Serving Plates Reviewed

Serving Platter For Large Dinners

turkey needs plate
This turkey needs a serving plate (image from Pixabay.com)
Let's review an option for rectangular serving plates, today. I know, as I write this we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet this year. Before we know it, it will be time to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner and then in December there will be the Christmas Dinner. Do you have enough serving plates to accommodate those larger portions of food?

I have found a set of three serving plates that will come in mighty handy for those dinners or parties that we often host during the year. What I love about this set is that they do not have a design that will make you feel like you can only use them for one specific holiday. I have always been fond of those wonder old turkey platters with the turkey design on them but they look a little silly if you use them for anything other than Thanksgiving. So, they sit in the cupboard to be pulled out once during the year. That is not very practical is it? 

What I love about this set of three is that you have three different sizes of plates to serve on: small, medium and large. The largest plate is 15.6 inches by 8.8 inches and will serve nicely for a large turkey, ham, or pot roast. The medium size is 13.8 inches by 7.5 inches and will work well with a variety of dishes for the dinner or party. The smallest plate is 12.2 inches by 6.5 inches and is perfect for appetizers or just about anything! 

I also love that they are white in color. There is nothing that will distract from any pattern we might have on our dinnerware. They can be used for any occasion we plan to serve a lot of people and will stack nicely in the cupboard. 

This set of three rectangular serving plates are made of porcelain so that can be used in the freezer or oven and can be washed in the dishwasher. Now, I think that makes them even more practical! 

How about you? Do you think that this set of serving platters would function well for your large gatherings of family and friends during the year? 





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

Monday, October 15, 2018

Halloween Reviews on Review This!

 Halloween Reviews for Review This!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This!


Halloween is fun and sometimes a bit scary.  The contributors of Review This enjoy reviewing the fun parts of Halloween.  Plus, we review some of the scary parts of Halloween, but even that is meant for fun and entertainment.

Our contributors have reviewed Halloween recipes, some are adorably cute for children.  Others are more macabre and are intended for adult Halloween parties.  You will even find a few Halloween cookbooks reviewed.  If they are featured here, it is because we believe they are exceptional cookbooks full of fabulous Halloween treats.


We also review Halloween decor for decorating inside and out for Halloween.  Our reviews often include extra tips to make parties more fun.


Plus, what would Halloween be without movies and books?  As you would expect. the contributors of Review This review Halloween movies and books, both for children and/or adults.  


Costume reviews are also included on Review This!  You can find some truly awesome costume ideas here for both adults and kids.


Several of our contributors write for Halloween websites.  Links to some of those articles are included on the Pinterest board below.  We want to make sure all of your Halloween needs are covered here.

Welcome to Our Special Halloween Library of Reviews!


A Preview of the Pinterest Board - Halloween Reviews 







Halloween Reviewed on Review This!


For a written list of all Halloween related articles reviewed on Review This, please visit our Site Directory and select "Holidays" from the "Fast Click" category tabs at the top of the page.   As you would expect by the category title, there are many additional holidays articles under that category along with the Halloween reviews.

To see all of our Halloween articles on Review This!, simply click the Halloween tab in the sidebar menu in the right sidebar.
 


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

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Easy No-Sew Halloween Chair Covers

Add Halloween Chair Covers for Parties or Just Because You're the Mommy with Magical Detail Decorating Powers

Small details create a finished décor scheme. Expert party planners think of the most mundane items to include when they decorate. 

The walls, the lawn, the windows, the doorways and table settings are the first choice areas most of us tend to decorate. Rarely do you see chair covers.

You Can DIY Your Own Chair Covers Simply By Decorating the Chair Backs

If you love to dip your paws into artsy festive projects, start with chair covers. 

The easiest way to DIY chair covers is to focus strictly on the backs of the chairs. The seats of chairs are little more work, so avoid those unless you're into more work.

Simple No-Sew Halloween Chair Backs:
  1. Use Pillowcases to put on the backs of each chair. 
  2. First check the size of your chair backs to see if a pillowcase will fit over it. Most likely it will. You may need king size pillowcases if your chair backs are quite high.
  3. Decorate the pillowcases.
  4. If you're not into decorating the pillowcases then purchase plain orange or black pillowcases and simply slip them over the chair backs as is.
  5. Or, get the kids involved with decorating each one.
  6. Decorate them anyway you want. Draw on them, tape or glue cut-out designs on them, use felt, or markers. Let your inner artist lose.
  7. Or buy pre-made Halloween themed pillowcases.
When Halloween is over, pack them away for next year.

Not a DIY Guru? No Biggy, Get them Ready-Made

We're not all the crafty type. Not to worry, you can find some creative pre-done Halloween chair covers online. Most are quite affordable. Here's a super cute cover for a little girl's Halloween Party:


You can find additional ready-made Halloween chair cover styles here.

Have fun, and Happy Halloween :)


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

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Favorite Christmas Pop Up Books By Robert Sabuda

Pop Up books always bring a smile to my face! My favorite pop up book creator is Robert Sabuda. I was first introduced to Robert Sabuda when moonlighting at Borders Books (ah, I remember it well, we miss you Borders!). His pop up books bring the Christmas classics to life and are a must on the Christmas list for all ages!
Robert Sabuda pop up reindeer.

Christmas Pop Up Books By Robert Sabuda


 My first Christmas pop up book was The 12 Days Of Christmas! One of the special treats in the pop up books are the extra pop ups intertwined in the story. Loved finding a reindeer in my 12 Days Of Christmas !
The 12 Days Of Christmas

The Christmas pop up books by Sabuda cover the Christmas and winter classics like no other and are a wonderful addition to your library. These books will be a permanent addition to your library.


  • The 12 Days Of Christmas
  • The Night Before Christmas
  • The Christmas Story
  • Christmas Alphabet
  • Winter In White
  • Winter's Tale
  • Cookie Count
  • Believe




Who Is Robert Sabuda?


Robert Sabuda is the author, creator and renowned paper engineer who creates intricate pop up books for kids. The books are unique, whimsical and visually stunning. His artistic career spans many mediums with a specialty in 3-D paper engineering which uses to transform children's stories into stunning pop up books.

Find out more about Robert Sabuda in the video > (in his own words.) It is fascinating to hear the authors' view of his craft.

How To Make Pop Up's?


Feeling crafty? Robert Sabuda's website offers step by step tutorials on how to make your own pop up! The tutorials are organized by category and skill level plus provide pdf templates, instructional slideshows and motivation to DIY a pop up. My next DIY is the Pop Up Lion and Reindeer for the holidays.

Christmas Pop Up Books For All Ages


What I love about the Robert Sabuda collection of Christmas books is the appeal to all ages. If a book lover is on your Christmas list I guarantee delight when a Sabuda pop up book is received. Half the fun of giving a popup book is watching the facial expressions as the pages are turned and each page brings spectacular artistry mixed with the classic stories of Christmas.

More Robert Sabuda Pop Up Books


Classic children stories and topics are also artistically created by Sabuda and a wonderful gift for any occasion. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, The Wizard Of Oz, Beauty And The Beast, The Little Mermaid, The Movable Mother Goose and Cookie Count are among my favorites. Dinosaur fans will love -  absolutely love the Dinosaur book.




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

Friday, October 12, 2018

Halloween Pocket Size Candy Tins Filled with Jelly Beans

Halloween Pocket Size Candy Tins Filled with Jelly Beans

Halloween Candy Tins Available on Zazzle

Each year I look for a special treat to give to the trick-or-treaters that I personally know.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  Out of dozens of children who trick-or-treat in our neighborhood, I only personally know my friend's children or grandchildren who come to my door.  I like to have a really special gift to give to them, not just the candy I give to everyone trick-or-treating. 

It is also true that I like to have a special treat to give my own grown children for Halloween.  These Candy Tins filled with Jelly Beans are the perfect special treat for each of them.  Plus, the candy tins are refillable and not very expensive.  Therefore, they could actually keep and use their "special Halloween treat" year round.

By the way, there is a volume discount when you order 10 or more of these candy tins on Zazzle.  Plus, if you subscribe to "Zazzle Black" (standard subscription - currently $9.95/year), you will get free shipping on your orders on Zazzle.  I have personally saved over $300 by subscribing to Zazzle Black. 

Also, anytime you buy on Zazzle, be sure you check their current coupons for savings!

 

Halloween Candy Tins with Jelly Beans or Mints

Halloween Grim Reaper Candy Tin
There are a few reasons why I enjoy giving these pocket candy tins as special Halloween treats.  

First, Jelly Beans are a very popular candy.  It seems like everyone loves them.  

Second, as I mentioned earlier, they are refillable, which means the gift will last well beyond Halloween.

The candy tins come with a variety of images on the front.  You simply choose the picture you think is appropriate for the recipients.  Obviously, the grim reaper on the right would be for adults, but I have also featured some of my own favorites for children below.

Plus, the candy tins are small enough to slip into jeans pockets or the interior pocket of a purse, which makes them very convenient to carry.  The tins are approximately 2½" wide.

You choose the flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans in the tin.  Select assorted or one specific flavor from the options available.  The tin holds 20 jelly beans.   

Mints are also available as a choice instead of jelly beans.  Or, you can choose to have the tin shipped to you empty and fill it with whatever you wish.

Oh, and lest I forget, they make great Halloween party favors!

 

Halloween on Zazzle

 

Read More Product Reviews On
ReviewThisProducts.com

 


House of Sylvestermouse




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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Old Courthouse

In this post I will give you a pictorial review of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis Missouri. 


History of Old Courthouse

First I'd like to give you a very brief history of the Old Courthouse.  In 1816 land was donated for a courthouse in St.  Louis.  This land is just west of the St. Louis riverfront.  A federal style brick courthouse was first built on the site in 1828.  By the mid 1830's St. Louis had already outgrown this courthouse.  In 1839 construction began on the current courthouse which incorporated the original courthouse as part of the east wing.  Other revisions have been made to the courthouse over the years and the courts remained in the building until 1930.  In 1935 the courthouse became a National Monument and today it hosts many visitors.   The view below is from the southwest.



Important Events at Old Courthouse

There have been many important decisions made and events happening at the Old Courthouse.
Two of the most well known include:

  • 1847 and 1850  Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
  • 1872  Virginia Minor sued for the right to vote.
Both of these cases ended up going to the Supreme Court and lost.  But they are both considered to be key  turning points in history.

Prior to the Civil war slaves were sold on the courthouse steps. See the plaque below along with  two photos depicting the Dred Scott case.




Photographing the Old Courthouse

I was able to go down to the Old Courthouse on two different occasions in September and was able to photograph the Old Courthouse from different angles.  The photo below shows the courthouse in a distance as I was walking through the park just west of the courthouse.
In 1965 the opening of the Gateway Arch changed the landscape of downtown St. Louis.  Since that time a popular photo of the Old Courthouse is one where it is framed by the arch as you see in the photo below.
On my second visit during September to photograph down by the arch and courthouse we arrived before sunrise and were able to get some photographs in the early morning light.

Zazzle Items from my Photographs





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

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review & List

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review
Despite the recommendation of every member of my book club and many of my other friends, I have only just finally found my way into the world created by Louise Penny. Penny is a Canadian author who, since the year 2005, has written a series of murder mystery novels that are set in Canada in the romantic Eastern Townships of the province of Quebec.

I was happy to at last have the first book, Still Life, in my hands. I read the first few pages and wondered what all the fuss was about. I can honestly say that I did not like the book until page 59, when I met the main character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. It is he who makes this series great when he solves crimes with careful observation and integrity.  When I met him, I was hooked.

I love Penny's realistic portrayals of people both good and bad, of the careful and sometimes instinctive detective work and of the idyllic, almost cottage-like setting.

Three Pines is a village so small as not to be found on the map and I have yet to look and see if it is a real village or not. It has cozy homes with fireplaces, friendly community gatherings and lots of home cooking. This book, Still Life, and presumably subsequent ones in the series, will make you want to visit and stay at the village's lone bed and breakfast.

I am a city girl but Penny’s books have me wanting to move to a quaint little village somewhere 'away from it all.' However, as we all know, it is impossible to truly be away from it all and despite the lovely location, the people who live here enjoy real life issues. They struggle through whatever life throws at them and even, sometimes, experience a murder or two. When that happens,  Chief Inspector Gamache and his team of of provincial police officers are called in from Montreal to solve the crime.

In Still Life, Chief Inspector Gamache arrives to investigate the suspicious death in the woods of a local school teacher and secret artist. Is it an accidental hunting death or is it something more sinister? You will have to read the book to find out.

Is Still Life recommended by me? Yes, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as is the second book, A Fatal Grace.

In 2006, Kirkus Reviews wrote that Inspector Gamache was, “Cerebral, wise and compassionate" and that "he was destined for stardom.” They were absolutely correct on both counts and, as they also said, this first novel was a “stellar debut.” Since then, Louise Penny’s books and Gamache’s adventures, have kept fans reading and anxiously awaiting the next book. Yes, I will be reading more of the books in this series in the order as presented here on this book list:

Still Life
A Fatal Grace
The Cruelest Month
A Rule Against Murder
he Brutal Telling
Bury Your Dead
The Hangman
Trick of the Light
The Beautiful Mystery
How the Light Gets In
The Long Way Home
The Nature of the Beast
A Great Reckoning
Glass Houses
Kingdom of the Blind

If you enjoy a clever mystery solved in an interesting environment, you should check out the first book, Still Life. You can find it here on Amazon or see all of Louise Penny’s books by clicking right here.

Still Life has been made into a television movie. I have yet to see it but the general consensus of avid Inspector Gamache fans is that the movie was disappointing, which is not really surprising considering the popularity of the books! If you are going to watch the movie, make sure to read the book first!

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Still Life in book, Kindle or audiobook formats on Amazon.

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review & List




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

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Play Doh Party Bag Reviewed

Great For Party Favors Or Stocking Stuffers

play doh creation
Play-Doh Creation image courtesy of Pixabay.com
A Play Doh party bag might not be on your radar but if you have parties for children to plan or stockings to stuff perhaps it should be. Children of all ages love to play with this modeling dough; at least in our house they do. 

It is sometimes hard to find small little things to include as a party favor for children. A party bag of Play-Doh seems like a good idea to me. Each bag contains 15 small little containers of dough that can even be personalized on the top. It doesn't get much easier than that! 

When I saw this option, I immediately thought of the ease of placing a few of the containers in a Christmas Stocking. Our grandchildren still love to create things with this modeling clay like substance. Truth be told, Grandma still like to sit with the kids and make things, too.

The containers only hold about 1 ounce so they will be light weight in the stocking. There is a variety of colors so some might help replace a color that has dried out or provide a color that we don't have. I am sure not one of them will go to waste. 

Getting a bag or two is a nice idea for a Birthday Party but also if there is a classroom party. It would only take a couple of bags to make sure that each child could receive a container. A very economical solution that will provide something that the children will play with and not just toss away or break. Both genders of children will appreciate a container of Play-Doh, too. 

I am so thrilled that I found this party bag! It is not going to make much of a dent at all on my budget, the grandchildren will love it and it is something that we can play with together. It doesn't get much better than that, in my humble opinion. How about you? Would you consider getting a Play Doh Party bag for your children or grandchildren to play with? 



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

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Robin Revue: Watching Our Baby Robins Hatch

Oh what a show I enjoyed this Spring! I enjoyed an up close and personal seat to a family of baby robins being born. As a nature and animal lover I was in awe of two industrious robins persevering in a city neighborhood to expand their family on my front porch. I usually write reviews on Review This!, but thought this was a revue all could enjoy.

Day 1 What Is On The Porch Light?


As I drove into the driveway I noticed something hanging on the front porch light. Hmmm. The something looked like straw. Upon further investigation I determined the something was dried lawn clippings and a few pieces of string. Hmmm. The light bulb had not quite shown brightly yet.

The light bulb began to glow a wee bit brighter when hours later I drove down the driveway and noticed quite a bit of activity on the porch light; I saw a bird flying to the porch light with a mouthful of string. When I returned hours later I discovered a nicely built nest on top of the porch light. (It took awhile for the light bulb to burn brightly, some days are like that!)


I wasn't sure this would be the best place for a nest - but what do I know. I love all animals, but admit I know little about birds. At this point I wasn't sure what type of birds had built the nest as I had not gotten a good look at the nest. Although the nest looks lopsided and perhaps flimsy the nest was actually anchored around the point of the top of the porch light.

 Mom And Dad Robin Continue Nest Building


The nest became a very popular hangout for Mom and Dad Robin. I had identified the birds as robins and they must have been doing a little internal nest housekeeping with the amount of activity to and from the nest from the trees nearby. I was still questioning if this was a great place for a nest. I tried to look at the location from the robins' point of view. Yes, the nest was high off the ground and well, that was about all I could come up with ...  I thought about not turning the light on at night or what would happen if the light was accidentally turned on? I thought about the UPS deliveries, the dog walkers, the dog who lives in the home of the nest! The porch light did not seem like a great location, but of course I was vested in keeping this nest safe.

As the robins did housekeeping in the nest I found both robins quite nonchalant about the location and the bustling activity in and out the door. I was warned robins could dive bomb you if you are too close to the nest, but these two robins were pretty laid back. Until.... the eggs were laid.

We've Got Robin Eggs


Disclaimer: The photos are not always are not always the best quality as the porch light is 8 feet high and I had to get on a step ladder and then blindly hold out the camera over the top of the nest while trying not to fall off the ladder! 

One egg and Two Newborn Robins


And then there were 3 baby robins. Okay, not exactly the cutest little fuzzballs!



But growing fast!


Starting to get feathers!


Dad Robin Is An Excellent Guard


As Mom robin tended to her duties on the nest it was clear Dad Robin was not going to allow anyone near the nests. He was either in a tree about 50 feet away chirping or on this bush 10 feet away standing guard. If you opened the front door or he saw you approach the front door from the interior through the storm glass he would start shrieking and start dive bombing the door. (Dive bombing bird = not good photos!) I was so curious to see the robins, but did not want to disturb their newborn family or stress the birds. 



Taking photos of the bird nest became a two person challenge. If both birds were gone I would very very quickly try to take a photo.

The Family Of Three Robins Grows


Since I could not see what image I was taking it was always a surprise when I checked the photos.


I can't believe how quick the baby robins grew. The average baby robin takes two weeks to reach the size of their parents. The nest was quickly becoming a tight fit for the three babies.


The babies would hold their heads up and cheep cheep waiting for mom to return.


By ten days old the feathers had grown and it was difficult to find the babies in the nest with all the feathers.



I don't know if there is a runt of the litter in the bird world, but one little robin always seemed to be buried in the nest while two of the babies were adept at sticking their heads up above the nest.


Day 12 brought a nest full of what appeared to be very mature robins. By this time the family had become very territorial of the robins and anxiously checked all day to make sure they were safe. However due to their size it was clear leaving the nest was in the imminent future.

Time To Say Goodbye!


Right on schedule Day 13 brought the departure of the baby robins. I did not want to disturb the robins as we anxiously awaited lift off so did not take any photos. My family kept their distance to nervously watch the departure. It was more of a kerplunk then lift off. Thankfully the exit was a safe kerplunk into the fluffy tree and then the babies and parents flew to the tree about 50 feet away.

Whew! I was definitely vested in this little ole family and was relieved it was a successful journey from egg to exit.

All that was left was the nest as a reminder of our time together! As if on cue after the babies exit the nest fell off the porch light on Day 14. 






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

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Should I Use a Knee Brace Support for My Arthritis

When it comes to physical aids, I'm a bit stubborn. After suffering long enough, I finally broke down and answered the above question honestly. Yes, the answer is yes.

On a really bad day, technically I need a walker when I'm out and about, and there's no way I'm ready to consider something like that. No way. On an average bad day, I would say I could use a cane, and yep, you guessed it, no way am I using one. Well, at least at this stage.

I'm a few years into my ailment now and refuse to jump into these mobility aids at this point. On a good day I do pretty well without any aids whatsoever.

The question of whether I should use a knee brace is about those really bad and just plain bad days.


I Finally Gave In and Said Yes to a Knee Support Brace

I had tried stretchable cloth type wraps that you slip on, but found them too tight. So I opted for an actual brace support.

I went to a popular drugstore chain here in Canada called Shoppers Drug Mart. After trying on several, I ended up choosing the Formedica Adjustable Knee Support. It's important to know your knee measurements to ensure you have the right size.
In-Store Purchase from
Shoppers Drug Mart
in Canada

The price was reasonable, less than $30 Canadian. They're manufactured in Quebec, Canada. It's designed to stabilize and protect the patella (knee cap). It gives weak knee muscles and ligaments stress support.

The knee brace sat in the box until a 'really bad knee day' occurred and grocery shopping was on that to-do-list.

So off I went with my knee wrapped nice and snug.

Wowza! Was I ever wrong about holding off to get one.

On a bad knee day, grocery shopping is brutal. With the knee wrap, it's 50 percent better than without it. Of course I still have pain, but the knee brace wrap provides the support needed to walk confidently without feeling I'm damaging it further, or that I'll fall.


EXOUS Knee Brace Support Protector - Relieves Patella Tendonitis - Jumpers Knee Mensicus Tear - ACL Lateral & Medial Ligament Sprains Comfort Design True Non-Slip FIT for Arthritis - Sport - RunningEXOUS Knee Brace Support Protector - Relieves Patella Tendonitis - Jumpers Knee Mensicus Tear - ACL Lateral & Medial Ligament Sprains Comfort Design True Non-Slip FIT for Arthritis - Sport - RunningMy Online Store Choice Would Have Been EXOUS Knee Support Protector

If you're in the market to get a knee wrap via online shopping, this brand is quite popular.

It's available on Amazon and best of all when you visit the product page, you'll see a handy video that tells you everything you need to know about the product, including how to measure for the right size.

Although I haven't tried this product, after doing some research, it was my online pick based on features and price.

If you have bum knees, don't hold off getting a knee brace support. Personally speaking, they've really helped me on those not so perfect days.




The Obvious Statement:

I'm not a doctor, so of course, anything medical related you should seek the advice of a professional. There I said it.


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