Friday, December 30, 2016

Appetizers on Ice Buffet Serving Trays Review

For many years, I have made appetizer and fruit trays for our guests during the holidays.  The smell of food cooking always makes everyone hungry long before the dinner is ready.  Fruit and vegetable appetizers are the perfect way to take the edge off hunger without completely ruining the meal.

Appetizers on Ice Buffet Serving Trays Review

The only problem with cut fruit and vegetables is the short counter life.  Both fruit and vegetables start to "age" as soon as they are removed from the refrigerator.  Once they have set out for a short while, there is absolutely nothing appetizing about looking at them, much less eating them.   This year I tried something new.  I purchased several iced buffet serving trays and they were fabulous!

I actually left the cut fruits and vegetables out for hours.  At the end of the day, they were just as ripe and delicious 10 hours after I first set them out.  I did have to change the ice several times during the day, but that was easy.  I was also able to save the leftovers to eat later.


Buffet on Ice Serving Trays with Lids


Because I wasn't sure whether I wanted the iced trays with or without lids, I purchased one of each.  After using them both, I now have a clear preference for which one works best for our family.  I actually liked the lidded appetizer on ice tray the best.  Since the appetizers were set out for all day "grazing" instead of a short duration luncheon style buffet, it was wonderful to have the food covered.  

 Prodyne AB-5-L Appetizers-On-Ice with Lids
  • Revolving Tray - Lazy Susan Style
  • Pretty Scalloped Edge
  • 3 Lidded Sections
  • Lids have Handles 
  • Removable lidded Dip Dish included
  • Clear
  • Lightweight 
  • 16 3/6" wide
  • 5" deep
Note:  Before I purchased this tray, I read the reviews.  Several people complained about the vent holes.  They were not a problem at all for the fruit, vegetables or cheese that I served.  However, if you are serving an appetizer that has sauce, then I would recommend the tray below.

As you can see in the photo, you fill the bottom tray with a layer of ice, set the tray section over the ice, then cover with the lids.  When the ice melts, you remove the lidded sections, pour off the water and add a new layer of ice.


Buffet on Ice Serving Trays without Lids


 Clear 2pc Appetizer Server with Ice TrayThis is the second iced buffet serving tray I purchased and used.  It does not have lids, it does not turn, and it does not have the vent holes like the tray above.  The sections have solid bottoms.  This is a two piece design where the entire top tray lifts away from the lower tray of ice.

However, there are no lids and no removable dip dish.  This style would be an excellent choice for a luncheon or buffet dinner where an open server would be preferred. 

This is a perfectly acceptable appetizers on ice buffet serving tray and I will certainly use it again.  But, my first choice would be the pretty scalloped tray with the lids and separate dip dish above. 

Both serving trays would need to be hand-washed.  


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Appetizers on Ice Buffet Serving Trays  Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Site Review of Teabag Folding|Paper Facets

Review of Teabag Folding Site


Teabag Folding rosette from Teabag Folding website
Rosette from Teabag Folding Site
If  you are a fan of hand made cards you will love the site: http://paperfacets.com

It has many beautiful cards for you to purchase and they are very reasonable for such unique designs that are made entirely by hand. Even the shipping is much less than it is on other sites. 

Teabag folding is sort of an obscure paper craft but the results are gorgeous and your card recipients are going to be stunned by the beauty of the cards you give them. I was blown away by all the beautiful cards available on this site.

Learn the Art of Teabag Folding


And if you would like to learn about the craft of paper folding you are in for a treat as the owner has many many tutorials with clear and precise directions to help you from start to finish. (Tea bag folding is also known as flat fold origami.) She also lists and reviews many sources of the supplies you will need to get started making your own beautiful cards and the craft of teabag folding. 


Hand Made card from Paper Facets site
Hand Made Card from Paper Facets
From the beginning of learning the craft, to learning some of the techniques and patterns, to sourcing some of the materials, and her reviews of some of the suppliers and supplies, you will find everything you need to get started and to become an expert on this very unique paper craft. You will also find hints on how to run an arts and crafts business if you want to take it that far. 

As an aside, I met the owner, Sherry, at an event in 2010 and she was very lovely and funny.  I am not surprised that her art is so wonderful. And that's what it is, art. Each and every card is a little work of art. She told a hilarious story of making her designs while on break when she worked at the phone company for many years so she could rush to craft fairs with her beautiful cards and sell them.

Buy Hand Made Cards at the Teabag Folding Website



Rosette from Teabag Folding site
Cut Out Rosette from Teabag Folding Site
I am so glad she now has them online so you don't have to find her at a crafts fair. You can just go to her site: Tea Bag Folding or http://paperfacets.com and look at some of her beautiful cards or you can order custom work too by contacting her on the site. There is lots of information for everyone. from the customer to the beginner to the expert paper craft artisan.

I totally recommend Teabag Folding, both the craft, and the site. Prepare to be enthralled. 

Photos on this page are courtesy of  http://paperfacets.com.


Two books about the paper craft of Origami to get you started:



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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Light: A Review

Why Do You Need a Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Light?

Night lights are wonderful. They keep you from tripping over things in the dark when you don't want to turn on some other light. We have them in the bedrooms and the bathroom. The ones we have now are not only rechargeable but also dual-purpose. They turn into flashlights during a power failure.  I have used these GE Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Lights for years now. 


What's Special about These Night Lights?

When these nights are plugged in providing light in a room, they are also recharging. If there is a power failure, they not only stay lit so you can find them, but you can unplug them and use them as flashlights. 

Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Light: A Review
Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Light Plugged into Bedroom Wall After Dark, © B. Radisavljevic


Although the night light is always charging when plugged in, it automatically senses when it's dark enough to need to be on. So it comes on at dusk or in a dark place and turns off when daylight reaches it. It also turns off if another light is turned on to make a night light unnecessary. You don't need to worry about forgetting to turn it off in the morning. 

My Experience with These Rechargeable Night Lights

I inherited a house from my mom in 2005. When the night light she had been using burned out, I decided I wanted one that had a sensor to turn it on and off automatically. I tend to be forgetful. I wanted the light to be bright enough to help me find my way to the bathroom after dark, but not bright enough to keep me awake when I was trying to sleep. 

I looked at a lot of night lights and decided to try this one. It's never failed me yet. When I discovered how many power failures this house seems to have in a year, I knew I needed more of these, so I bought two more -- one for the hall bathroom and one for the hall itself. I think I will buy two more soon -- one for the family room and one for the kitchen. 

I had learned my lesson during our last unexpected power failure that happened at night. I was totally unprepared and that bedroom night light was the only light in the house. Since it could be used as a flashlight when I unplugged it, I could use it to find candles and the only other flashlights we had. That's when I decided to buy more of these night lights and some emergency lanterns. 


Rechargeable Power Failure LED Night Light: A Review
Rechargeable Night Light Slightly Smaller Than Actual Size, © B. Radisavljevic


Now I'm Prepared for Power Outages

I have emergency lanterns spread around the rooms we use most, and I have these rechargeable night lights in my bedroom, the bathroom, and the hall. My husband also keeps a flashlight by his bed. A night light will do him no good since he doesn't have a place to plug it in that is accessible. He can use his flashlight to find the closest emergency lantern.

I can easily see my way through the hall or bedroom to the bathroom, which has its own light, without turning on a brighter light. As night lights these give enough light to follow 2 am bladder calls without turning on the bathroom light and thoroughly waking ourselves up. There's just enough light to find what we need. That saves the energy that turning on larger lights would use. 

I highly recommend these lights. The one in my bedroom has lasted over ten years now. If I wanted to store it or pack it for a trip or moving, the plug is retractable. 

Why not pick up some of these for your home now while you're thinking about it? Then you, too, will always have enough light to see your way around -- even when the lights go out. Get enough so you have one for every room that is used after dark. 





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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Meadowland Wall Calendar Reviewed

Sam Timm 2017 Calendar For Lovers Of Nature

Calendar Year 2017 from Pixabay.com
I am still a little old school when it comes to keeping track of the days of the year. I love to keep at least one wall calendar in the house and I have a lovely one to monitor the months of 2017 to share with you.

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a gorgeous wall calendar with the art of Sam Timm included on each of the 12 month sections.Each month showcases one of his incredibly detailed paintings of scenes from a meadow land including birds that are seen in his native Wisconsin. Mr. Timm would appear to be connected to my soul as he sees the same beauty surrounding his life as I do in mine. 

Several of the pictures in this wall calendar include my favorite bird, the cardinal. Although there is not one picture that I dislike, I think my most favorite is the one for August which shows two gorgeous cardinals resting on sunflowers. It just takes my breath away. That image also happens to be the cover image of the wall calendar.

I was also delighted to see that for the month of April (the month of my birth) the picture chosen was of a male and female cardinal perched on a fence among daisies. March which is the month of my husband's birth is a lovely painting of a male and female deer. Anyone who knows me knows my spiritual connection with the deer and would see the symbolism that this picture would have for me.

Sam Timm is not just an artist but also a minister and I think that might explain his choice of scenes to paint. He is a man of faith and it comes through in the images he chooses to share with the world. He obviously sees the beauty of our creator in the simplest of images in the wild. A couple of birds surrounded by flowers or a bald eagle flying over a church. The wonders of nature and creation caught in a glimpse by this most talented artist.

The calendar itself is published by Lang so the paper is a high quality and the pictures are so beautiful that I will probably keep them even after the year of 2017 is complete. They would be lovely to frame!

So, if you are like me and like to have a wall calendar in your home or office and also enjoy nature scenes, birds and flowers I can highly recommend this 2017 wall calendar showcasing the art work of Sam Timm. I am pretty sure that you will not be disappointed!



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Monday, December 26, 2016

Reviewing Wrapping Paper Storage Solutions

Every single year, as Christmas approaches, I pull out my random rolls of unused Christmas wrapping paper. Every year I find that it is wrinkled, ripped, and not suitable for wrapping gifts. Year after year I throw out wasted paper that could have been saved - if only I had known how. It is wasteful, expensive, and frustrating. Today, I have researched and found the perfect solution for storing my unused wrapping paper. I am implementing an easy and inexpensive solution for saving my rolls of wrapping paper for next year.


Wrapping Paper Storage Woes


Last year, I thought I was slick.  I had a box that was nearly as tall as the rolls of paper.  I stood the wrapping paper on their ends in that box and thought they were stored safely until this year.

Lo and behold, I pulled them out of the edge of the closet and discovered that I still needed to go buy new rolls of wrapping paper.  Ugh! Even in this box, that had seemed perfect a year ago, the rolls had loosened and the ends had crinkled and wrinkled.

In prior years, I had tried to re-wrap the rolls in their cellophane as well as I could and stand them up in a closet corner. That didn't work. I have just laid all of the rolls on a pile on the closet shelf.  That didn't work either. In all of those prior years the paper becomes dusty or wrinkled.


Wrapping Paper Storage Solutions 


Pinterest is a great resource. You can find photograph images of almost anything you could think of. This includes storage solutions for rolls of wrapping paper. You can choose from dowel rod racks, a large variety of re-purposed baskets, modified shoe storage bags, and so many more storage ideas. I love the dowel rod racks - what a great idea. But in my small living space, I need a storage solution that is more compact.

I've chosen my solution.  And I think it'll be perfect.  It will keep the rolls from loosening.  They will be protected from dust and wrinkling. The entire thing will be kept in an out-of-the-way place in my closet.  I  think it is a perfect solution.

I will be using a combination of toilet paper rolls and a clear garment bag for wrapping paper storage this year. The process is as easy as:

1. Save empty toilet paper (or paper towel) rolls
2. Cut the toilet paper roll cardboard from end to end
3. Slip one of these cardboard rolls over each end of the gift wrap  (The gift wrap roll is then held snug enough to prevent loosening)
4. Place the secured gift wrap rolls into a garment bag
5. Close bag and hang in the closet

Easy.  And the end result will be less expensive than replacing rolls of gift wrap each year.



I've chosen a clear garment bag because I am forgetful. If I can't see the wrap through the bag, I'm likely to forget where I've safely stored my gift wrap rolls.  I'd imagine that a darker bag would also provide the added benefit of protecting the wrapping paper from light and possible fading.


40" long, clear hanging garment bag


Hopefully, you have already found a storage solution that works for you and have eliminated the waste of ruined paper. If you haven't already, you might want to give this a try.






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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas - The Needed Power of Faith

Faith is the bird that feels the light and
sings when the dawn is still dark
FAITH

The greatest gift we can give or are willing to receive is Faith.

Faith holds the secret key to the universe.

Think of all the things we treasure but cannot see: Those untouchable, intangible valuables that matter most and ultimately hold the power of good to shape our world.

Love - We feel it, we know it's real but we cannot touch it, bottle it, sell it, or earn money from it. It's the biggest, richest gift anyone can receive and it comes straight from faith in ourselves that it exists.

Compassion - We all matter. Every single soul on earth matters. No one is greater than another and the gift of compassion shows we have faith in and believe in this untouchable energy.

Hope - Without hope, we cannot have faith. Even though hope in our hearts is not visible to those who walk by us, our body language, our energy and our demeanor have the power to pass along the gift of hope. All of it, unseen, yet felt. One life touches another every single day.

Like butter and eggs, the years blend together. Before we know it we've lived through over 50 or more Christmases. No matter the number we've had, each one blends into the other and over-time, our traditions shape us and our family.

Our children and extended family are the carriers of our roots, and passing along even the smallest sense of tradition in today's crazy-busy world has more value than decades ago.

This year, let us pass along the greatest gift, especially to our children ... the priceless Gift of Faith.

Enjoy this beautiful song by Tim McGraw, Humble & Kind - Song Review can be found here, and most of all....

Merry Christmas xxoo







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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Buttery Pasta and Shrimp Recipe Review

Buttery Pasta & Shrimp Dish

Our Favorite Seafood Meal


Having lived in coastal communities a number of times over the years, from the California Central Coast to the Gulf Coast of Florida to (today) Coastal Georgia, seafood dishes are popular favorites in our household. 

While living on the California Central Coast in 1980, I came across a shrimp recipe put out in a little cookbook leaflet by Land O Lakes, using real butter (yum) in the recipes. This shrimp/pasta buttery combination has become a standard for company dinners and has also become a family favorite for Christmas Eve dinner every year.







Ingredients



Ingredients, prepped and ready

  • 3 cups cooked spaghetti, (7 oz. Uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Cream Butter
  •  1 cup chopped green pepper, (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 (12 oz.) packages frozen cocktail shrimp (or fresh shrimp as noted below)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper
  • 2 cups cubed fresh tomatoes
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese 

*Cooks' Note

The recipe calls for frozen cocktail size shrimp, which is fine, but living near the coast where fresh seafood is available I naturally substitute fresh shrimp for the cocktail shrimp.

I take about one pound of medium shrimp, peeled & deveined, cut them in half most times, and sauté them separately in a bit of butter & garlic before adding them to the pot of vegetables simmering in the butter & seasonings. I've also added fresh sliced mushrooms to the original vegetables of chopped onions and green pepper in the recipe. As you can see, your own preferences are easy to substitute in this dish.


Instructions


Angel Hair Pasta - Cooked
  • Cook spaghetti; set aside.  I used angel hair pasta in this recipe, but you can use any pasta that you desire.

Sauteing the vegetables in real butter
  • In a 3 qt. Saucepan melt butter over medium heat (5-7 minutes).
  • Add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes and spaghetti. Stir to blend.
  • Cook over medium heat (5-7 minutes).
  • Add cooked spaghetti; stir to blend.
  • Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally until spaghetti is heated through (3-5 minutes).
  • Remove from heat; add chopped tomatoes. Cover; let stand 1 minute or until tomatoes are heated through.
  • To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Pasta dish with garlic toast & coleslaw

Serve this buttery pasta and shrimp dish with slices of garlic bread or Texas Toast, and either a salad or coleslaw, and you have a very delicious and satisfying meal anytime you crave shrimp & pasta.


Land O' Lakes Chicken and Seafood Cookbook


Land of Lakes Cookbook
Land O Lakes Chicken & Seafood Cookbook

The buttery pasta with shrimp recipe featured in this review can also be found in this cookbook of recipes for chicken and seafood made using real butter. I've used my copy for years!





This 44-page booklet from 1980 has recipes for both chicken and a variety of seafood, all using delicious butter.

Shrimp Lovers Recipes

 

Forrest Gump knows ways to eat shrimp - shrimp kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, shrimp cocktail...

Looking for more shrimp recipes, you'll find them here! 

Over 75 Shrimp Recipes from Forrest Gump
 


For other delicious recipes, shrimp and otherwise, check out ReviewThisReviews Recipes for a variety of yummy dishes from our contributors.




+Images are personal photographs by (c) Wednesday Elf

(c) Wednesday Elf. Article originally written in October 2013 on another site.


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Inn Movie Review

I simply cannot go through the holiday season without watching the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  Not only is the movie fabulous because of the actors, it also features a huge repertoire of Irving Berlin music.  In fact, Berlin actually wrote several new songs just for the movie.

Holiday Inn Movie Review

One song we all know and love is "White Christmas".  Because there is an actual movie named White Christmas (1954) that also features the Irving Berlin song, many people assume the song was written for that movie.  It was not.  The song, White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby, was first performed in Dec. 1941.  A few months later it was recorded and sold as part of the musical soundtrack for the movie Holiday Inn.

In my opinion, Holiday Inn is a better movie than White Christmas.  It is a real shame that so many people associate the song with the movie that bears the same title.  Sadly, they often miss the best!


The Plot of the Movie Holiday Inn


Fred Astaire, or should I say Ted Hanover, is a famous dancer who is part of a 3 person act.  Bing Crosby plays the part of Jim Hardy, a sensational crooner who is tired of show business.  He is engaged to Lila, the third person in the act.  Together they plan to leave the stage and "retire" to a life of leisure on a farm in Connecticut.  But, Ted has other schemes. 
 
 Holiday Inn (Special Edition)
Buy on DVD or Blu-ray
Ted loves show business and he likes his dance partner, Lila.  He is certainly not ready to lose her, so he tells her that he loves her and wants her to stay with him.  Lila chooses Ted and show business over Jim and the farm.  That is pretty heart-breaking for Jim, but at least he has his future at his farm ahead of him. 

After nearly a year of isolation and working the farm, Jim finds it is not what he expected.   He dreams up an alternative that includes his beloved farm, but also allows him to take the stage again to preform.  By turning his farm into Holiday Inn, he can write his music and host shows on holidays only, which would be 15 shows per year.  He visits Ted to pitch his plans in hopes that Ted will join him.  Even though Ted is not interested in working at Holiday Inn, their manager does send Linda Mason to Connecticut to work when she recognizes him and asks for his help.

Linda proves to be the perfect song and dance partner for Jim and they officially open Holiday Inn for the first show on New Year's Eve.  

Back in New York City, Lila has left Ted for a millionaire and Ted rushes to the Holiday Inn to commiserate with his friend, Jim.  When Ted dances with Linda, he "knows" he has found his new dance partner.  Jim fears history will repeat itself and that Linda will leave him for Ted and show business.

Holiday Inn Movie Review


Conclusion


Holiday Inn Movie Review
This romantic movie is pure entertainment!  The dancing is fabulous, the music is outstanding, and of course, Bing Crosby is sensational.  He truly was a gifted singer and actor.
 
By the way, you won't have any trouble recognizing the importance of the song "White Christmas" to Jim and Linda in the movie.

The song, "White Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby is the top selling single of all time.  You may find it interesting to know that the current day Holiday Inn hotels were inspired to name their hotel chain by this movie.   




Note:  The movie cover art has been colorized, but the movie is black & white. 




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Holiday Inn Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Rubber Ducky Tea Infuser Review

Check out this fun tea infuser - a rubber duck tea infuser
If you're after a bit of fun with your cup of tea then you will love to read my rubber ducky tea infuser review.  I absolutely love this fun tea infuser, because let's face it what's not to love about a rubber ducky?

I received this cute rubber duck tea infuser for Christmas from my daughter a couple of years ago.   I'd said I wanted a fun tea infuser and she wanted to know what I meant by that so I mentioned a rubber ducky one as an example.   My mum was Christmas shopping with her and told me (after the event) that she was searching high and low for it ignoring other fun tea infusers like the sloth tea infuser or the geeky space capsule tea infuser for examples.

Aside from looking cute floating in a mug of tea instead of someone's bath this rubber ducky hides a mesh tea infuser underneath which you simply add the loose tea to, attach the rubber duck and let it float around dispensing flavor to your hot water.




Personally I only use my rubber ducky tea infuser for making my own peppermint tea.   I simply pick fresh mint leaves, pop them in the mesh and leave it to brew for about 5 minutes before enjoying a lovely tasting aid to digestion.   The peppermint tea really sets me up for the afternoon as it not only tastes nice, but stops indigestion and also helps to keep me refreshed and invigorated, but back to the tea infuser.

This fun tea infuser comes with a blue stand which looks rather like an egg cup, with a wavy 'top' and lets you simply lift rubber ducky out of your cup and into the stand when you want to drink.   Once washed and in the cupboard it lets you sit the tea infuser neatly until use.

If you're a loose tea drinker, or you just want to try some of your own herbal infusions then I recommend this rubber ducky tea infuser as I dare you not to smile when you see it's cute face!

Fun rubber ducky tea infuser













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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Thoughtful Last Minute Hostess Gifts for Gardeners

Christmas is Just Around the Corner.  

Let's review some lovely Hostess gifts for your friends who love to garden.  

If you are anything like me, even though we've had fair warning, Christmas seems to have been sprung upon us in very short order.  Along with Christmas coming so quickly, invitations to visit with family and friends have also been coming in quicker than the squirrels can empty the bird feeders.


What can you do when you really know you'd love to visit, but refuse to come empty-handed?  The first thing is Don't Panic. Let this list help you figure out the best and nicest hostess gift to bring to your friends on your upcoming visit.

Gardeners by their very nature love Plants!

Everyone loves flowers, but gardeners love things that grow!  So a really nice idea would be to bring a potted plant to your host or hostess.  At Christmas time you will find lovely bulb sets that will surely be enjoyed by your gardening friends.  Amaryllis and Paperwhites are typically sold around this time of year as Christmas gifts, but they also make lovely and thoughtful Hostess Gifts.  Most of these are sold with a pot, all the planting media and the bulb which may already show signs of growth. All it needs is a lovely gift bag and a bow!  
Amaryllis will grow for years after the initial gift has had its day and bloomed.  Gardeners will take care of the bulb so that it will bloom for them again and again in years to come. It will remind them of you and your thoughtfulness.
gifts for gardeners who have everything. great garden gifts, best gifts for gardeners
This plant will give your gardening friends something really beautiful to look forward to.  These blossoms are just out of this world beautiful.  I can't think of a single person whether they are gardeners or not, that wouldn't marvel at this beauty.  

Can we spice it up a bit?

Along with things that grow, you will find many herbs available at this time of year as well.  Rosemary makes a lovely scented gift that your gardener friends can use to make the kitchen smell really nice and they can use the herbs for cooking as well.  Just add a nice little pot and you have a lovely gift. Gardeners can get creative with the rosemary, as it prunes really nice and can be trained into shapes that are really quite interesting. Something to keep your gardening friends happy during the cold months of the year. 

best gifts for gardeneres, gardeners best gifts, great gifts for gardeners who have everything

How about something More Christmassy?

Typically available at this time of year are Christmas Cactus.  Not at all prickly, they are usually covered in either white, pink or red flowers at the end of their scapes.  A very pretty and easy to grow plant that any gardener would enjoy wholeheartedly.  Give them some light and water and they will happily bloom for a few weeks or more.  These will also continue to grow throughout the year and rebloom the following year again on new growth.  Each year these plants become more beautiful and larger in size. They are easily contained though if space is at a premium.  
best gifts for gardeners who have everything, great garden gifts, best gardening gifts

Remember that Plants are Living and Cold will Affect Them.

Just one word of caution, if you are bringing plants as a Hostess Gift, and you live where winter is cold, please take care to wrap your gift well so that it doesn't freeze or suffer from getting cold.  Preheat your vehicle and wrap the plant with two layers of plastic and tie or secure it shut so that the cold air doesn't touch the plant and all will be well.

My friends already have too many plants, don't you have any other suggestions?

If you don't want to bring a plant and would prefer another gift that is not subject to the weather, let me let you in on some little gift ideas that every gardener I know would appreciate. 

Every gardener I know never ever has enough pairs of gardening gloves.  I have at least 4 pairs on the go at any one time.  So a pair of gardening gloves and a few packets of seeds done up in a little package will bring smiles of gratitude from your Host or Hostess.  

A nice hand cream is also something that we can never have enough of either.  Hands even when protected by gloves, can become rather dry.  A lovely scented hand cream would be nice and not too expensive.  

Another handy gift would be a thermal mug or cup for coffee, tea or water.  Sipping while you work in the garden is a luxury and much needed in the summer months.  Not having to stop what you are doing to get that sip of water is even better.

Gardeners love a great apron.  One with pockets in them to hold the seed packets, clippers or gloves when they stop for a minute.  It also helps to keep them just a little cleaner while they are working away in their little paradise.  

Do you need more suggestions?

There are many more gifts for the Gardener Friends on your list. Just for your enjoyment and for their pleasure I am including another list of  Host/Hostess gifts that would be sure to please. So here goes:

  1. Garden Stakes or Markers
  2. A Small Watering Can
  3. Books or a Magazine subscription, Farmer's Almanac
  4. Funny Garden inspired T-shirts
  5. Bonsai Gift Set (available at Amazon)
  6. Garden inspired Coffee Mug
  7. Kangaroo Garden Bag (a collapsible compost bag, also available at Amazon)
  8. Gardener's Journal
  9. Windchimes or Suncatchers
  10. Willowtree (tm) Figurine "Angel of the Garden"
All of these suggestions are under $25.00, and I know from personal experience that Gardeners who love to entertain, would enjoy any of these suggestions.

Let the Friend who invites you over the holidays know how much you appreciate his/ her efforts in the garden and I'm sure you will see the biggest "Thank You" smile for miles around.
Appreciation of family and friends never gets old and at Christmas time or over the holidays even more so.  

May your Holidays be filled with good friends, and family!  May there always be smiles and lots of laughter!  Happy Holidays.

You can read more about Gardening or Gardening Gifts on Review This or follow the links below!
Pictures on this Review This Post all come from Pixabay in the order that they appear here!




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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Aboard The Great Iron Horse Series Reviewed

Continuation of a Steampunk Fantasy Series

iron horse engine
Iron Horse Style Engine from Pixabay.com
Aboard The Great Iron Horse is a book series that continues the story line from another series that I introduced to you back in November which began with the book The Tinkerer's Daughter. I so thoroughly enjoyed the story of Breeze the half human and half Tal'mar in the first set of books and was thrilled to find that the story continued in a different series. 

I do not normally like to ruin a story for anyone but in the first set of books Breeze eventually has a daughter that she names River. That is as much as I will spoil for you if you have not read the Tinker series of books. I do advise that for the most enjoyment of Aboard The Great Iron Horse series that you first read the first set of books. You wouldn't have to but, you will understand the continuation of the plot if you do. 

River (Breeze's daughter) is one of the main characters in the Iron Horse series of books. After, an event in Sanctuary that is certain to have life changing results for this fantasy world; River embarks on an adventure in a great steampunk style train. The expedition is led by Socrates who is a machine of sorts. I find Socrates most fascinating and a wonderful addition to the story line and a most imaginative and mysterious creation by the author.

Socrates is considered an automaton which we would define as a robot or an android. Oh my goodness he is so much more than that! I often think of C-3PO in Star Wars except that Socrates was made to look like a gorilla. There is no other machine in this fantasy world that can compare to the ape with the blue fur. He can function very much like a human. He thinks, reasons and it sometimes appears even feels emotion. He knows the history of the world, has been around for centuries and leads the small crew on a most incredible journey. He runs on steam power along with a mysterious energy source called Starfall. Part of the expedition entails finding more of this energy source or Socrates and the other machines will eventually cease to function.

On the journey Socrates, River and the rest of the crew encounter other civilizations that they were not aware even existed. This makes for a most interesting and entertaining reading adventure.

If you enjoyed the first of the steampunk fantasy set of books by Jamie Sedgwick; I think you will also enjoy reading the continuation of the story in Aboard the Great Iron Horse. I have enjoyed it, myself!



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Monday, December 19, 2016

Now You See Her - Book Review


Available on Amazon

Domestic Fiction by Joy Fielding

Marcy Taggart's life is in shambles. She's 50 years old and her husband has left her for another woman.  Two years ago her twenty-one year old daughter, Devon, disappeared. They say Devon drowned in a canoeing accident in Canada's Georgian Bay, but her body was never found. Devastated, Marcy continues to see Devon's face in crowds and has even stopped strangers on the street, certain she has finally found her.

Marcy & her husband had originally planned to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to Ireland.  Now newly divorced, but with the planned trip already paid for, Marcy decides to take the trip anyway, hoping to heal her heartache.  Except, while visiting Cork, Marcy is certain she spots Devon walking down the street. When her daughter disappears into a crowd, she begins a desperate search to find her -- and to uncover the disturbing truth that might, in the end, be her only salvation.



Devon is dead, Marcy.”
“You’re wrong. She’s here.”

Marcy's Search for her Daughter


During her search, Marcy manages to meet two interesting men ~ one her age who is a widower on a trip to learn to cope with his grief; the other a handsome young Irishman working in a local pub.  She also has run-ins with the local police (called Garda in Ireland from the term Garda Síochána na hÉireann (Guardians of the Peace of Ireland), and seems to get herself involved in a number of strange happenings, including the possible kidnapping of a baby.  

Throughout the story we learn the background information about her ex-husband, her daughter, her bipolar mother, and her sister who has been married 5 times and thinks Marcy is crazy for going on a second honeymoon alone.  This information is presented as 'memories' and sometimes as thoughts in Marcy's head, often like dialogues of the time the events took place. 


Because of the way the book is written, you often feel as if you are Marcy, experiencing what is happening to her.  This makes Now You See Her quite a unique and interesting read.  It held my attention throughout the story.



Video Trailer for Joy Fielding's 'Now You See Her'

 



Author Joy Fielding


Joy Fielding (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Joy Fielding is a Canadian novelist and actress from Toronto, Ontario.  Born Joy Tepperman, she had a brief acting career (see her bio on Wikipedia), then gave it up to write full-time.  As a  writer, she changed her last name to Fielding (after Henry Fielding, an English novelist from the 1700s who was famous for writing Tom Jones).

Her website is JoyFielding.com which contains information about her novels and also has an interesting segment where she writes a fun-to-read monthly letter to her fans about her recent 'happenings'.  

Joy has published 27 novels since 1972, with Now Your See Her coming out in 2011.  Two of her novels have been made into movies.

Fielding's Latest Book



Available on Amazon
Her latest book published in February of 2018 is "The Bad Daughter".


A gripping thriller of  family intrigue and dark secrets.







Have You Read Any Joy Fielding Books?


I enjoyed reading Now You See Her so much that I will now be looking for Joy Fielding's other books. Have you ever read any of her stories?  If so, I'd love to hear what you thought of them. 


(c) Wednesday Elf 12/19/2016.  Updated 11/29/2018





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