Saturday, October 31, 2015

For Love of the Game – a Movie Review

As the baseball season winds down once again, I begin to make plans for my wintertime baseball replacements.  I am a died-in-the-wool, I LIVE for This baseball fan who is not happy without a daily dose of baseball in some form or other.  This means that during that WINTER season (as per my favorite Bill Veeck quote “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball”) I find books and movies about BASEBALL to fill the time until Spring Training returns once again!


For Love of the Game



For Love of the Game Movie

I have many favorite (baseball) movies I love to re-watch each winter.  One of the top ten on my list is For Love of the Game which stars the actor I consider the best and most believable at playing the part of a baseball player ~ Kevin Costner.

Costner's character in the movie is a Detroit Tigers pitcher named Billy Chapel.  Billy has an on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jane (Kelly Preston) who tells him she's leaving him just before what is most likely Billy's last professional game.  It's the last game of the season against rival team the New York Yankees.  Vin Scully (playing himself) announces the game.


This 1999 movie was filmed in the real Yankee Stadium where a 40-year-old pitcher (Billy Chapel) is pitching the final game of his 19-year career. Battling a sore arm and coping with the news that the team has been sold and he will be traded, on top of learning that his long-time girlfriend is leaving to take a job in London, Billy enters the game fighting both physical and emotional limits.


The movie opens with Billy taking the mound to pitch.  The loud sounds of the crowd slowly diminish as Billy enters his 'zone' where he blocks out everything to concentrate on pitching, leaving a total silence as he winds up for the pitch.  We hear his thoughts as he approaches each batter and each pitch, giving us a glimpse into what a real life professional baseball pitcher goes through. 


What makes the movie most interesting is that the entire movie takes place during this one baseball game and the story of everything that led up to this day is reflected in flashbacks.  Girlfriend Jane is shown in subsequent scenes as she watches the game on TV at the airport while waiting for her overseas flight.  The suspense of the game builds as one out after another is recorded, leading toward the crowning glory moment for a baseball pitcher, a Perfect Game


Movie Trailer

 

Kevin Costner as Billy Chapel giving us 'one more day of summer' in the movie For Love of the Game





To me, For Love of the Game is the perfect title for this baseball movie, as it is exactly how I feel about the game of baseball.  My wintertime will be filled with this and my many other baseball movies and my home library of books about baseball until my favorite time of year (Baseball's Opening Day) returns. 


Enjoy the off-season and join me again when my favorite phrase resounds in baseball parks around the country ~ “Play Ball”.


For Love of the Game is available on Amazon.


*Kevin Costner has starred in several movies with a baseball-theme, such as Chasing Dreams, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game and The Upside of Anger. I own most of them!



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Friday, October 30, 2015

Crimson Peak Movie Review

This movie actually has a lot to recommend it.  Crimson Peak is not just a scary horror movie with ghosts, it has a fantastic mystery plot.
Crimson Peak is the perfect mystery movie for Halloween!  Of course, it would be a great horror flick anytime of the year, but the release of this movie was perfectly timed for Halloween this year.

This movie actually has a lot to recommend it and I was not disappointed.   Crimson Peak is not just a scary horror movie, even though the ghosts are the scariest I have ever seen, bar none.  The movie has a fantastic mystery plot.   At one point, you may think you have it figured out, only to be stunned by the truth when it is revealed.

Tom Hiddleston is also a huge draw for this movie.  He has that perfect "innocent", disarming and enchanting personality with just enough edge to be fascinating and mesmerizing.  Just like his performance as Loki in the movie Thor, as Sir Thomas Sharpe in Crimson Peak, the audience embraces him.  We want to trust him!

The two beauties in his life are equally beguiling.  His sister, Lady Lucille Sharpe (Jessica Chastain), is the embodiment of old world grace and style on the surface with just enough arrogance and talent to broadcast her existence of entitlement.

Even though she is from an equally wealthy background, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska) is like an open book.  Her childlike charm and exuberance announce her naiveté.  It is obvious that her father has protected and cherished his only daughter.


Synopsis & Review of the Crimson Peak Movie Plot

Written by Cynthia Sylvestermouse

 Crimson Peak Tom Hiddleston as Sir Thomas Sharpe Poster Promo 8 x 10 Inch PhotoThe movie starts at a very difficult time in young Edith's life when her mother has just died of black fever.  We are told how she never got to even say goodbye to her mother.  It isn't long before Edith is visited by the ghost of her mother with a warning to "beware of Crimson Peak."   Years pass, and unfortunately, it isn't until after Edith is married that she even identifies the location of Crimson Peak.

Sir Thomas Sharpe breezes into Edith's life and doesn't hesitate to show his interest in the pretty young woman.  He peruses her and singles her out publicly as his choice of dance partner.  Although Edith has a long established affection and friendship with Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), she is still totally and completely captivated by Sir Thomas's attention.

After the unexpected death of her father, Sir Thomas Sharpe swoops in as a buffer to Edith's indescribable pain over the death of her remaining parent.   She marries him without hesitation and moves to his family mansion in England which she soon learns is also known as Crimson Peak.

At Crimson Peak, Edith is haunted by even more ghosts who are trying to communicate with her.  When she suspects she is being poisoned, she starts to summon the ghosts and to listen to her eerie messengers.



Recommendation of Crimson Peak

First, let me start here by telling you that Crimson Peak is rated "R" for a reason.  Not only is it violent and scary, it also has crude language and adult content.  In all honestly, there were a few times when I had to hide my own eyes.  I knew I didn't want those images replaying in my head for years to come.

As a whole, and largely because of the mystery plot, I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who has the stomach for it and an interest in horror flicks.

Ironically, considering the mystery plot, the ghosts and grotesque scenes seem to "fit" this movie.  They are not contrived to booster the rating to R.  It is truly a well earned "R" rating, but do be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

It is truly the perfect Halloween movie!


Happy Haunting!







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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Realistic Cat Tree With Leaves

Today (October 29th) is Cat Day and I'm missing my cats. Oreo's been gone over a year now, so our household has been cat-less for some time. I'm not sure when we'll be ready to add a feline to the family, but I have decided that when that time comes, the new kitty will be treated like royalty, as no doubt she (or he) will demand. First order, buy kitty a deluxe cat tree and I've found the one I want. Take a look.
Treat your cat with this amazing realistic cat tree with leaves!

Is this not an awesome accessory for a household with a cat? Frankly, the picture doesn't do it justice so let me describe this for you in more detail.

This realistic cat tree with leaves is approximately 5 feet high with a nice heavy base that's 26 inches in diameter. Hidden among its silk leaves are three platforms on which my future cat (or yours) can sit, recline, play, sleep, or, most importantly, hide as he keeps a close eye on his surroundings. Isn't that awesome?

I already have a spot picked out for our cat's cat tree, next to the window in my office. The room could use a green plant there anyway, even a silk one. It's certainly prettier than a carpeted cat tree or wooden cat condo, but what I like best is that cats can feel hidden and safe as they nestle in the "branches," exercising their instinct for spying.

People who own this tree say that it looks nice in their homes and their cats love it. The cats quickly learn how to go from one platform to the next and they use the bottom of the trunk for scratching, which is definitely a good thing.

The tree arrives in four pieces and assembles quickly and easily. The entire piece weighs 40 pounds, so it should be quite stable even for larger cats.

The tree is a bit on the pricey side but mid-range in the selection of cat trees with leaves that I found and that you can see, too, on the CatsPlay.com site. I would encourage you to check out this page for other alternatives both to fit your budget and your lifestyle. In fact, if you have both more space and a bigger budget than mine, don't miss this large Sapling Cat Tree that is hand crafted from real trees and includes multiple levels, silk leaves, plus a cat-sized covered house at the bottom. Wow, it's amazing!
Spoil your cat with a realistic cat tree with leaves.

If you have a cat, be sure to give it some special attention today even if it isn't officially Cat Day when you read this. All pets deserve special treatment every day. Do let me know if you'll be treating yours to one of these fabulous cat trees and which one you like best.

~ Susan Deppner

Read More of My Reviews 




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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reviewing Betty Crocker 3 Tier Oven Rack

Oven Racks Help For Those Big Dinners

On a daily basis, my oven is sufficient for baking the items I need for just my husband and myself. However, when the holidays come around and I need room to bake several dishes at a time, there is not enough room to fit everything in there. I saw a terrific idea on Pinterest the other day and I have decided that a must have for me is a 3 tier oven rack. 

A 3 tier oven rack like the one above will help me make the best use of my oven space and not have to worry about how to keep one dish warm while I cook the next dish for the meal. I will have enough room to cook my turkey for Thanksgiving plus the pumpkin pie, sweet potato casserole and the stuffing all at once. Obviously on different holidays the menu will change but I won't have to worry about how to get everything in the oven anymore.

What I noticed when I began researching my options is that many of the racks that are available are actually cooling racks and may not be made to sustain the heat of an oven for very long. The Betty Crocker model shown above is made of chrome plated steel and can withstand being in the oven at high temperatures for extended periods of time.

I like that it is easy to store, also. It just folds up flat when you are not using it. It will fit nicely in the drawer that I have my cookie sheets in. That is a nice feature since for the better part of the year, I won't need to use this rack. Although, if I wanted to I could pull it out and use it to cool my cookies and cupcakes on. Gosh, that makes it even more appealing. A cooling rack when I need it and it is sturdy enough to use for baking, too.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners looming on my horizon, I have decided that this is a must have item for my kitchen this year. How about you? When it comes to those large family dinners, do you have enough space in your oven for all the dishes on the menu to be in the oven at the same time or do you need a rack like this, also?





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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Garlic and Sapphires Book Review

Garlic and Sapphires Book Review

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise Book Review


I am not sure now what inspired me to pick up this book originally for it has been in my reading pile for awhile. I expect that I was looking for something entertaining. I would like to say that I was not drawn in by the cover artwork of spaghetti and wine but that might not be true.

The back of the book says that it is Ruth Reichl's "delicious and compulsively readable account of her exploits as a New York Times food critic" and I can tell you that the book lives up to that promise.

It tells the story of food critic Reichl's move from being food critic at Los Angeles Times to being food critic at the New York Times in New York City and it is funny.  You can imagine that a food critic needs a certain amount of anonymity. However, Reichl was known in Los Angeles and that visibility carried over to her work in NYC, which necessitated her visiting restaurants incognito.  As the Washington Post says, "at times laugh-out-loud funny."

Garlic and Sapphires was my kind of book. It was a great break from normal life and one that kept calling my name when I tried to stop reading. Hopefully, it will not keep you up past your bedtime the way it did me but, if it does, at least you will be having fun.

I can HIGHLY RECOMMEND Garlic and Sapphires. I believe that anyone who loves food will enjoy it. I also think that someone who has NYC on their bucket list, who lives in that city or who once lived there would enjoy it whether or not they can afford to eat at the restaurants that Reichl visits.  Finally, anyone who has followed Reichl's career will likely enjoy this record of her time at the New York times.

I am sharing my copy with my book-loving friends and I have added more of Reichl's books to my book list.  If you read it, I am sure that you will feel the same when you put it down.

Happy Reading!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Garlic and Sapphires from Amazon.
Clara's Kitchen, a Great Depression Era Cookbook Review.







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Monday, October 26, 2015

Do you know how to keep your Gal happy?

All the girls I know love bling!  Moms, Grandmas, Sisters, Nieces and any other Gal in your life will love a special piece of jewelry given for a special occasion.

You know all the pretty shiny things that catch a girl's eye and keep them fixated on that sparkle until it is theirs. There is only one problem with aforementioned fixation, and that is, in a few weeks the sparkle on that gal's bling, is starting to wear off.

Now most of the fellows I know can't just keep on buying bling, week after week, just because the original is not quite as sparkly as it was just coming from the jewelers. So what's a guy supposed to do. You want your gal as happy as the day she got that piece of jewelry, but you can't afford to re-buy it just to keep her smiling....

Enter to the rescue, a handy dandy, not so fancy Ultrasonic Cleaner! It may not be fancy, but it certainly has a place in almost everyone's life. If you don't have one yet, I would strongly suggest getting one. You will be amazed at what this little machine can do for you and those you love. It will help to keep all your gal's fine jewelry sparkling clean and shiny. The stones will look like they did on the first night you gave them to her. The rings and earrings, necklaces and bracelets, will all sparkle like they did in the jeweler's showroom. Her eyes will need sunglasses to admire the shine and sparkle that is now on her cute little hands and around her wrists and neck.

But WAIT just a minute! The Ultrasonic Cleaner isn't just for her jewels. It can be used by many members of a household. It is great for cleaning toothbrushes, combs, eyeglasses, small parts for hobbies. It can clean anything that you can submerge in water, and only takes 10-20 minutes to get the object clean and germ free. Grandma and Grandpa could each use one for their dentures. Added to the nightstand, they can put their teeth in the container and in the morning, their dentures are clean, fresh and sanitized using utrasonic sound waves to power out the most stubborn of stains. No chemicals are needed to have this machine do it's work! You will be amazed, I'm sure.

These little units are very affordable, and look really neat and tidy in anyone's powder room, or on a nightstand. My daughter and Daughter in Law will both be receiving one of these units, for their Christmas gift. They may not appreciate it right away, but I know that both of them will be smiling when their beautiful rings are sparkling and shiny as the day they got them. It is so much easier than using an old toothbrush to try and get between the claws that are holding all those beautiful stones in place. I already know that they will call me afterwards and tell me that they always meant to buy one of these for themselves, but never got around to it!

Well isn't that what a great mom or MIL does? She makes sure that her daughter and DIL have great things that they never seem to buy for themselves.......I'm sure to score a touchdown with this gift.





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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bunk Beds With Stairs and Storage

For those who have a large family, bunk beds with stairs and storage are ideal for combining practical space saving with creative and unique designs


Most of us are learning to go vertical to save space, especially when we have kids who share a room. 

Well there's no need to settle for just a standard bunk bed or twin bed system any longer; you can combine beds with dressers and desks and save space all at the same time.

If you're living in an apartment you'll love the idea of bunk beds with stairs and storage! Even a very small room can benefit from vertical decor.

Here are Several Styles of Bunk Beds to Consider when trying to Save Space:

  1. Twin over Twin with stairs/desks/
  2. Twin over Double with stairs/desk
  3. 3 in 1 Beds - Twin over Twin/Double with a Trundle
There's no need to look at an 8ft by 10ft space and think
Loft Beds for Adults
horizontally! Here are some visual tips to help you along the vertical decorating process:
  1. Measure the room or gain a sense of it's size before you start anything
  2. Determine which wall would best suit a Bunk Bed system
  3. Assess whether a bunk bed system with stairs would interfere with the flow of the room
  4. If the staircase is positioned out of the path of the door, and wouldn't block the closet or window, that should be the place you decide to work with
  5. Get the measurements of the bunk bed units you like best
  6. Cut a piece of string the length of each side of the bunk bed system - that string will be used on the floor to create a visual aid of the area it will take up
  7. Don't forget to mark the height of the unit on the wall (in chalk or a piece of masking tape) 
  8. Be sure that the bunk will be positioned away from any ceiling fans or light fixtures
  9. Now stand back and look at the area the string on the floor and the marker on the wall take up, and decide whether the bed system you're choosing will work
  10. If you've decided upon a 3 in 1 bed system (a Trundle too), don't forget to allow for floor clearance so the trundle bed can be pulled out
In Regards to Dressers:

If the unit you're selecting has built-in dressers, be sure to allow for clearance for when the drawers are pulled out. 

Here's a Useful Tip (One I've implemented in every bedroom of my own home)

How to Get Use from Your Old Dressers!
If you find that the built-in dressers of a bunk bed system aren't enough, and you don't want to buy additional dressers, but have old ones - put the old dressers in the closet. 
By using your own old dressers in your closets, you'll get a closet organizer without having to spend big bucks having one custom designed! 
This is easy to do! Measure the dresser and the closet first to be sure the depth of the dresser will fit inside the closet. Position the dresser inside the closet so that when the closet doors are opened, there's clearance to open the dresser drawers. You may have to be creative to get everything to fit neatly, but that's the fun part!
If you're fortunate enough to have a walk-in closet, they're a perfect place to use old dressers.

You Can Find a Wide Selection of Bunk Beds with Stairs, Loft Beds, and Space Saving Beds Here 




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Friday, October 23, 2015

Review of The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales

The Book and the Record: The Haunted House and other Spooky Poems and Tales

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/
When I was in elementary school, I purchased "The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales".  One of the most exciting events during the school year was selecting our book purchases from the scholastic readers.  I remember pouring over those pamphlets, marking books I wanted and then having to go back and choose which ones I could buy that month.  I honestly don't remember my parents putting a limit on how much I could spend, but there must have been some type of limit because I clearly remember having to make those difficult choices.

My all time favorite selection was a book and record set entitled "The Haunted House and other Spooky Poems and Tales."  I spent hours reading the stories and poems in the book and when I really wanted to scare myself, I would listen to the vinyl record.

Oh, how I loved that book and record!



The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales Book


Review Written by Sylvestermouse

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/
This is such a great little book.  We still have the book and I used to read stories from it to my children when they were little.  I believe this book currently sits on my son's bookshelf.

"The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales" book has all of the tell-tale signs of being read over and over again.  In places, the ink is smudged from use and some of the pages are loose from the spine, but they are all still there even though they are yellowed from age.  I have copied two of the pages in the photo on the right.

It seems a little odd that this little paperback book would be such a treasure to our family, but everyone loves it.  Some of the stories are eerie, actually quite scary, but some of the poems are hilarious.  I still have one of the silly poems memorized.

"Here lies the body of Anna, done to death by a banana.  It wasn't the fruit that laid her low, but the skin of the thing that made her go!"

I know it is down right ridiculous, but it always made me laugh.  I envisioned poor Anna in a long, black Victorian style dress with lace trim, all prim and proper, slipping on a banana peel.  In my mind, as she was falling, her face registered shock and indignation over the annoying banana peel on the floor just waiting to do her in.  I bet she cut the fruit up into a fruit salad earlier that day and the peel was just seeking revenge.


The Story Exactly as Written on the Pages Copied Above


The Flattered Flying Fish (The Shark and the Flying Fish)

 

http://reviewthispersonalreviews.blogspot.com/ Said the Shark to the Flying Fish over the phone:

"Will you join me tonight? I am dining alone.
Let me order a nice little dinner for two!
And come as you are, in your shimmering blue."

Said the Flying Fish: "Fancy remembering me,
And the dress I wore at the Porpoises' tea!"

"How could I forget?" said the Shark in his guile;
"I expect you at eight!" and rang off with a smile.

She powdered her nose; she has put on her things;
She is off with one flap of her luminous wings.

O little one, lovely, light-hearted and vain.
The Moon will not shine on your beauty again!

E. V. Rieu


The Haunted House and Other Spooky Tales Record

Sadly, I no longer have this album, but I remember the voice of the gentlemen reading the stories was enough to send me shrieking under my bed covers.

I found excerpts from the record on YouTube.  These stories still send chills down my spine. I have included them below. Listen to them for yourself and let me know what you think.


The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales ~ 
Video I

Includes: "The Haunted House" Poem, "Winter Moon", "Sir Roderick's Song" Poem, "The Young Lady from Glitch", "Ruth & Johnny" Poem and more.
 It also includes "The Bat" and the tale, "The Velvet Ribbon", two of my personal favorites!



The Haunted House and Other Spooky Poems and Tales ~ 
Video II
Includes: "The Earl King" poem (this is the hardest for a parent to hear), "Dust" poem, and the story, "The Cradle that Rocked by Itself"



So What Do You Think? Does the Reader's Voice Alone Send Chills Down Your Spine?



Want Your Own Copy of the Book or Record? 

These records are hard to find. I sure wish I still had mine.

There is absolutely nothing better than the original vinyl records.
 

 



You may also wish to search Ebay for these hard to find items. Simply place your search terms in the box below.


The Photos used in this article were all scanned from my original book 


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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween Outdoor Decorations

A Tour of Outdoor Halloween Decorations

When did Halloween Decorations get so Elaborate?

I remember when Halloween decorations consisted of a pumpkin that we carved into a Jack-O-Lantern and sat on our front porch. But then that was a simpler time.

In our neighborhood Halloween outdoor decorations have become as elaborate as Christmas decorating. The cute Jack-O-Lanterns have been joined by spiders, webs, grave yards, and a wide array of ghoulish characters. I'm not sure when this tradition started, but it seems to get more elaborate each year.
I decided it would be fun to take a tour of our neighborhood and photograph the various Halloween decorations.
I hope your enjoy this look into Halloween in our neighborhood in O'Fallon, Missouri!

photographs by Mary Beth Granger

Skull Heads - Halloween Lights

This new addition is a neighbor's yard that has their sidewalk lined in skull heads. They light up in the dark making an eerie walkway. I have found there are lots of different skull head Halloween decorations on the market. 

Giant Spiders add to this Halloween Look

These spiders give this house an eerie feeling.  Perfect for that Halloween affect.
These spiders give this house an eerie feeling. Perfect for that Halloween affect.

Scarecrow with Jack O Lantern Head

Here is another decorated yard. They have stuck with the more traditional jack-o-lantern, ghost, and scarecrow theme.

A Traditional Witch sits on this Doorstep - spider webs created eerie decor

Scarecrow gives a Traditional Halloween Look

Scarecrow gives a Traditional Halloween Look
Scarecrow gives a Traditional Halloween Look

Witch climbs up Front Porch

Giant Bat on Balcony - wonderful Halloween effect

Do you like to decorate for Halloween?

What do you think? Is Halloween decorating for you or do you prefer to leave the decorating for the Christmas holidays? Perhaps you don't like outdoor decorating at anytime. Let us know what you think.


Halloween Skeleton Flamingos - unique Halloween yard decor

I love these Halloween Flamingos. They would make a really unique yard decoration.

Ghost Trees are a Common Sight

Ghost Trees are a Common Sight
Ghost Trees are a Common Sight

Graveyard Theme is Popular - RIP Halloween Theme

Halloween Decor for the Graveyard Effect

These hands reaching up out of the ground would be a nice addition to the graveyard effect.

Graveyard and Ghosts




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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Reviewing Play-Doh Disney Royal Palace

Make A Palace For The Disney Princesses With Play-Doh

I have been looking for some items to get for my youngest grand-daughter for Christmas and since she loves to play with play-doh I thought the Royal Palace set would be just the right choice for this year. She loves the royal girls from Disney, so this seems to be a perfect choice, but is it?

The Play-Doh Royal Palace looks like so much fun with the different molds that can be used. There are two dolls included in the set, Princess Ariel and Cinderella. Their dresses can be decorated with the neat colors of play-doh included in the set or you can pull out other colors from your toy chest. I love the sparkle dough of green and turquoise that are included!

Rapunzel's tower can create long strands of hair that can be used for other decorations if you choose or just leave it hanging from the tower for a neat look.

At first glance of the box and seeing everything that comes with it, I am inclined to think that my little munchkin will love this set. She has been playing with play-doh for a couple of years now and still refers to it as "my may-doh" which I think is adorable. Even though it is suggested for 3 years old and up and she is now 4, I have to wonder if it might be frustrating for her to play with. She has reached an age where it matters to her if the creations she works on are not just like the picture shows. I watched a video showcasing this set and I am waffling on my choice of this particular set.



After having watched the adult struggle with getting the dress molds to stick and making some of the accessories, this may be too difficult for a 4 year old little girl to play with. Now, the good thing about the video is that the adult does show how to correct some of the easily made mistakes in order to get the molds to work so it was beneficial to watch. It would help me or my daughter to help our little one to learn how to create the different pieces from the molds. 

The set is just so cute and I know she will love the idea of making dresses for the two Disney Princesses, I just don't want her to be disappointed or frustrated when she begins to work with the molds and play-doh. What I am thinking is that it might not be a bad idea to get this as a gift, knowing that this is one that will require some adult attention for a while. It would be a good challenge for her and will help strengthen her dexterity and work with her fine motor skills. 

So, my conclusion is that I will probably purchase the Play-Doh Royal Palace for her and make sure that either myself or my daughter sit down to play with her when she opens the box the first time. When it comes to toys like this, it is a good idea to really look it over and make sure that it is going to be something that a child will have fun with. I think we have to be realistic in our expectations and understand that the examples on the box are always going to look much better than anything our children will be able to accomplish or even ourselves for that matter. Will they be disappointed? Will they get frustrated to the point that they will not play with it? It might not be a good choice if you feel that they will experience either one or both of these emotions. Then again, if you look at it as a challenging way to play, a learning experience and a way to encourage the child to try new things and practice so that they get better; it could be a wise choice after all. 




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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Review of BlogJob.com: A Great Free Host for Your WordPress Blogs


Is BlogJob a Writing Community That Has Everything


Update, May 4, 2016

AS of May 4, 2016, BlogJob has "temporarily suspended" its rewards program as described below. You can still blog there, but you will not get points for any site activities or blog posts until the site straightens out certain issues. It is still a good place to socialize, and those who have monetized their blogs themselves can still earn from them. I would not advise anyone to join at this time, though. Although the site may solve its issues and begin making enough income to begin paying again, there is no guarantee that will happen.  I have posted an updated review of BlogJob in Transition

Have you been thinking of starting a blog? Perhaps you are already an experienced blogger who would like to start a new blog. Maybe you'd like to  use WordPress without the cost of buying domain names and paying expensive hosting fees. It would also be advantageous to be paid something for your efforts as soon as your posts are published while you are waiting for traffic to build. I believe you will find a happy blogging home in the BlogJob writing community.

Ravens Discuss BlogJob, created on Shareasimage.com

I want to emphasize the word community here. I've not been so happy at a site since Squidoo died.  Here's why. BlogJob is like Facebook, Tsu, and just about any content writing site that shares revenues all rolled into one. It functions well as a social network with forums, groups, and friends. The active friends interact with each other often and comment on each other's blogs as Squidoo lensmasters used to comment on each other's lenses and as Hubbers comment on each other's hubs. You can start or join groups. You have forums for discussing whatever is on your mind. You write your content on your own WordPress blogs which are hosted for free on the site as folders on the BlogJob domain. You earn for everything you do.

Blogging on BlogJob


Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/cms-wordpress-265129/
On BlogJob, you  have almost total control over your WordPress blogs. It's not limited and difficult to use as it was on Seekyt, a site that finally closed to most writers. As long as you follow the usual Google content rules and keep everything G-rated and free of spam, you can decide what to post without any unreasonable restrictions. You can use affiliate and referral links to reputable sites. You can choose your own theme and customize it. You can add widgets. You can place Goggle ads or others. You can do almost anything you could if you  were hosting the blog on your own domain.  Your blogs must be at least 300 words long. Most of mine are about three times that.

There are some limitations,  however. Aren't there always? As this point in time, some of the tools that make affiliate selling easier don't function because of software conflicts. Amazon native ads don't work unless you use them in place of a regular ad, like one from Google. I haven't tried that yet. Easy Product Displays only show buttons and links, no images, when viewed. I'm hoping the EDP developers and the BlogJob website owner will figure out how to make it work. Meanwhile, Zazzle and Amazon regular codes work just fine.

 Another limitation is that you don't fully control the placement of all ads on your site. BlogJob administration places a couple of them where you might not want them to be, but I found when I complained they changed the placement and type of ad where it would not be so distracting.

Can't I Get Free Hosting Elsewhere?


Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/blog-tweet-like-share-parts-710670/
BlogJob is a Community
Yes. You can use Blogger or WordPress.com to host free blogs for you. They also network you with other bloggers, but not in the same way. Those networks offer little incentive for bloggers to interact with each other. BlobJob bloggers are motivated to read and comment on other members' blogs because they are rewarded for it. They are also motivated to share the blogs of other members on social media. Blogging on your own can be a lonely business, especially at the beginning. Building traffic takes time, and income only arrives with traffic. BlobJob bloggers get help with both traffic and earning at this early stage.

How You Earn

As of may 4, 2016, what follows has been suspended until further notice. People may redeem points they have already earned, but cannot earn any more points. We don't know if the rewards system will be reinstated or not at this point in time.

Image Courtesy of https://pixabay.com/en/dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-499481/
Points add up to gift cards or PayPay cash at BlogJob
BlogJob has a reward system that works on points. You get points for almost anything you do -- commenting on blog posts and in forums, responding to comments of others, making friends, starting a group or interacting in a group, referring new members and site visitors and making blog posts. You get 50 points for each blog post. As the points add up, you will be able to redeem them for gift cards or PayPal payments. You can get a $25 payment to PayPal with 5,000 points or $100 for 10,000 points. Patience pays off.

I accumulated 5,818 points between November 5, 2015 and April 30, 2016. That's an average of 33 points a day, and that's because I did not have time to do at least one blog every day. You are limited to earning 100 points a day until you are able to complete a project. That means if you earn all 100 points a day, it will take you 100 days to cash out for $100 in your PayPal account.

A completed project raises your point ceiling. A project is something like a merit badge was in scouting. You have a step-by-step list of jobs to do and then you apply for the project. They involve blogging and attracting people to your blog or to the site. The first project most people complete is Social Networker. It includes instructions for getting your blogs set up.

Promoting Your Blogs


Sharing Buttons on BlogJob (Screen Shot from one of my BlobJob Dashboards
On every BlogJob blog you publish, there are special sharing buttons for social media. (See screen shot above from one of my blogs.) When you use them while logged in, they will include your referral in the links. If people use those links to visit your blog, they  are considered referred visitors and if they come as a referred visitor and sign up, they will become part of your network of referred new members. Only referred visitors give you points and count in completing  a project. As I update this on April 30, 2016, the site has been migrated to a new server and the sharing buttons have not been put back yet. Members have been advised to use a compatible plug-in for sharing, but referral codes must be manually added at the time being.

You will not work alone in getting more visitors to your blogs. Other logged in BlogJob members who use the buttons will also send visitors, but those who come to your blogs on their links won't be credited to your account. They will, however, see your ads and affiliate links. You don't get points for visitors who haven't come via your referral links, but you don't really get anything for visitors to your self-hosted blogs either unless they buy something or their view increases your Google earnings. You can profit the same way from un-referred visitors to BlobJob blogs.

One thing I like about the built-in share buttons is that there is a Hootsuite interface for posting to Facebook and Twitter. That means I can schedule tweets to all three accounts at once and then go back to Hootsuite and refine the scheduling.  Facebook links can be posted to your personal profile, a page you manage, or a group. Unfortunately, it can't post to a specific group thread in the way some groups require. (This is no longer the case unless you use the recommended Super Socialize plugin with both Hootsuite and Buffer interfaces.)

I Highly Recommend BlogJob


Would you rather not start your own self-hosted blog or website for your unhosted articles or posts you still plan to write? Please consider BlogJob as an alternative. It has a built-in community where you can connect with friends so you can work together to make each other successful. It has integrated promotion tools. It helps you begin to earn before your blog is established. Please join me at BlogJob by clicking this referral link. It may  be just the solution you've been looking for.

Keep in mind though that when writing on any site you don't own, you don't have full control. If you'd rather self-host and you want to start a blog you can monetize properly from the beginning, I recommend you enroll in the Pajama Affiliates blogging course described below that meets your particular need. There is usually at least one course on sale at any given time.

A Review of BlogJob.com: A Great Free Host for Your WordPress Blogs


To be up and running quickly you may want to start with WordPress Site in a Day. If you're serious about making an income blogging as your business, you may want to go all in for the Affiliate Marketing Business Bundle that has the works. You will find a full description of each course when you click through. I have purchased these courses and can tell you they are worth every penny I've spent on them. The teachers are making thousands of dollars a month from affiliate marketing in their blogs, so you know you won't be getting useless information.

 If you aren't sure about making even this small investment, there is even a trial course for a dollar that not only gives you access to some of the most useful videos in the course, but also admittance to the private Facebook group for those taking the course. You will probably discover that you already know some of the others if you've been writing for third-party sites.

This has just been a whistlestop tour of all the features BlogJob offers. BlogJob also provides business opportunities for network marketers if you are inclined that way. There are job and resume boards, as well, where you can look for blogging jobs or submit your resume if you would find that useful. Most members will probably never even click on the tabs that lead to those extra earning possibilities, but they are still available if you need them.

Hope to see you at BlogJob soon.

Update, After being temporarily closed to new members, BlogJob is now open again. Those now wanting to join need to fill out an application that demonstrates they can write in English.



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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sayings to Write in a Get Well Card

Funny Sayings to Write in Cards
One of my personal 'crazy skills' is the ability to quickly create lists of 'sayings' - Yes It's a bit strange
If we were face to face and you gave me a 'Topic' and 5 minutes to come up with 20 quote-sayings about it, I would most likely be able to get it done. In fact, here's an entire section I've created on original sayings you use to write in cards.
So onto today's challenge:
Review a List of Things to Say in a Get Well Card
Finding just the right thing to say in a get well card can be challenging, so I've put together a collection of things to say according to the emotion you want to convey: humor, sarcasm, or inspirational. You'll find things like, 'If you're really sick, I'm sorry, if you're faking it, you're my hero!'
Yes it's always easy to get a card that has something written inside of it, and then just sign your name, however even if you select a pre-written card, it's makes for a lovely personal touch to add some words in your own handwriting.
Humorous Get Well Sayings you Can Choose from:
  1. Getting well is hard work, being well is harder work - so milk it!
  2. Don't be a baby when you're sick, I heard you do that when you're well !
  3. The world found out you were sick today, and the whole planet was given the day off !
  4. I was so upset to hear you were sick today, that I held a party in your honor (too bad you were sick)
  5. When you're sick, I'm sick - because I have to do your job!
  6. You need to get better fast, I can't take the pressure!
  7. You don't look sick, you don't sound sick, those Acting Classes are paying off
  8. You're probably the best looking sick person I've ever seen in my life
  9. You look better sick than I do well !
  10. Natural healing - it isn't fun is it
  11. So you thought getting sick would keep me away from you, well you thought wrong there pumpkin
  12. Here take these two Heal-Me Pills - possible side affects; your nose will fall off, your ears will turn green, your house may get termites, you could wake up with four flat tires on your car, and your eyeballs could end up on the side table when you're sleeping - other than that, you should feel better by 6am (OH! and you're dog might hate you)
  13. If being sick is some sort of a grand plot to get the attention of everyone at work, well congratulations you little genius it's working! In fact I think you've received a raise and a promotion while you've been off!
  14. As long as you're sick, I was wondering can I borrow $1000 bucks to buy you the best present ever!
  15. Did you get sick to just give us all a break ... well we all got together to thank you and to say that you would be happy to know that NOTHING is getting done while your sick!
  16. Don't worry, nobody is stealing your glory while you're sick, 'cause everyone refuses to do your job! (apparently your job makes people sick)
Inspirational Things You Can Say In a Card to Someone's Who Isn't Well:

If someone you know is quite ill, often times it's hard to know what to say when you want to say something nice. So below you'll find some ideas. Feel free to use them as is, or simply as an idea to expand upon with your own words.
  1. You deserve a medal for perseverance and fortitude; the way you've handled this illness is an inspiration to all of us and we're very lucky to be in your life
  2. You always carry yourself with dignity and grace no matter what challenges come your way
  3. We want you to know that you can count on us to be there for you because you've always been there for everyone else
  4. Time takes a hold of our heart and with a gentle squeeze it reminds us why we're here - to love deeply, and to live with purpose
  5. We've all signed a petition and asked God to help you through your illness because we all love you and need you here with us
  6. When we face a severe challenge, we are given an opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves, but everyone agrees you're the only exception to the rule - you've lived with honor and are a rare bird; a triple A person in every aspect of life
  7. Good health is a gift you deserve more than anyone we know
  8. When you're at your best, all of us are at our best - you're an amazing inspiration to us all
Sarcastic Funny Things to Put in a Card for Someone Who's Not Well and Appreciates a Laugh
  1. So you decided to get sick to avoid me right!
  2. You are the sunshine in my life, the reason I am who I am - what a load of garbage, just get well ok!!
  3. You're really sick right? Really right? really honestly and truly right? Darn 'cause I needed you to paint the house!
  4. Give me six reasons I shouldn't be mad 'cause you're sick, go ahead...I'm waiting...see NOTHING! I'm mad that you're sick, 'cause I miss you
  5. In order to get well you have to actually be sick, so this card is a 'stop faking you're sick card' so you can actually get sick so I can get you the right card..a get well card. Gheesh you frustrate me!
  6. There's a chance you're just faking sick to avoid responsibility right? You better puke soon or you're done!
  7. Not everyone is scared to touch a sick person - hope those people can visit you 'cause I sure the h*ell can't !
  8. You want to know why you're sick, it's because you do too much, talk too much, help too much ... the only cure is to become totally selfish and useless like me
  9. If I could find the answers to life itself, I would be able to become the kind of person who writes extremely profound diatribes in a card - aren't you glad I'm a selfish tool now!
  10. Give me three reasons you became sick...never mind allow me....(1) You needed an excuse to get some time off, (2) You're looking for payback by making me do all the work now, or (3) You're really sick and I'm an A-hole.



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