Friday, March 31, 2017

Midnight Masquerade Hallmark Movie Reviewed

Midnight Masquerade Hallmark Movie Reviewed
Midnight Masquerade offers a new, modern day twist to the timeless Cinderella story.  Instead of a female Cinderella, one of the main characters is Rob, the "prince" who has to leave the masquerade party before midnight.  His crown is accidentally knocked off as he is leaving, but he doesn't have time to retrieve it in his mad dash out.  Elyse Samford, his princess, finds the crown when she searches for Rob who simply disappeared from the party.

This is a very sweet, romantic movie that I can easily recommend to anyone who enjoys a simple love story that ends with "happily ever after".

Midnight Masquerade Synopsis

Rob Carelli is a lawyer who is employed at the law firm of Higgins Attorneys and Sons.  Since I compared the movie to Cinderella earlier, you may have already guessed that Higgins is the father who owns the law firm and he has two sons who also work for the firm.  The two sons have been given positions of authority and both men shove their work off on Rob, who then has to spend countless hours basically doing the work of three attorneys.  Mr. Higgins frequently takes the opportunity to deride Rob telling him he should strive to be as productive as his sons and chastising him when he is late for work.

 Midnight Masquerade
Buy the DVD
Elyse Samford has just been made the CEO of her father's successful candy company.  Samford Candy is a client of Higgins Attorneys and Sons.  When Elyse needs their legal assistance, she meets all of them in the office, but she recognizes Rob, whom she has previously met at the bowling alley.  Rob is immediately attracted to Elyse, but she has the stress of her newly acquired responsibilities pressing on her mind.  She isn't really looking for romance.

When Elyse invites every employee of Higgins Attorneys and Sons to their companies annual Halloween masquerade party, Rob asks his sister and niece for help with costume ideas.  His sister makes him a gorgeous Prince costume.  Both his sister and his niece step in to help him learn the basic steps of waltzing too so he will be able to dance at the party.  

However, when Halloween arrives, he is told that he cannot attend the party.  That he has to work all night.  When his niece hears that he will have to miss the party, she brings him a mask so he can slip into the party incognito.  When Rob overhears Higgins tell one of the sons that he needs to go back to the office for something, Rob has to leave immediately to beat him back.  He would lose his job if it was discovered that he had left his work and come to the party.  That is when he loses his crown that is subsequently found by Elyse.

Determined to find her prince, Elyse calls Higgins to ask his identity.  Higgins says his own son was the man dressed as the prince.  Elyse calls his son, who confirms that he was dressed as the prince and they agree to meet for a date.  

The Higgins law firm is also plotting to help a competitor candy company buyout Samford Candy Co. from Elyse.  That competing company has already been causing problems for Elyse by imitating their advertising and packaging.  

Between the duplicity of the law firm, the intrigue surrounding the real identity of the prince, and of course the romance, this Hallmark movie is an entertaining way to spend 82 minutes. 
By the way, they do make a really sweet couple.

Check Out More Movie Reviews at

Midnight Masquerade Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The One Man Book Review

the one man book cover
Set in Poland in 1944, Andrew Gross’ The One Man tells the story of a man and his family rounded up and sent to a Nazi concentration camp after a failed escape attempt. Alfred Mendl carries with him his important research but that work is promptly burned on his arrival at the camp.

You have likely guessed that Mendl is not just another prisoner. It turns out that his knowledge in the realm of physics is information that only two people in the world know. The other man with this knowledge currently works for the Nazis and the Americans are desperate to gain Mendl’s knowledge so that they can win this war.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Nathan Blum works steadily away at decoding messages from occupied Poland. Previously, he had escaped the Krakow ghetto. Because his entire family was executed after his departure from home, Blum wants to reap revenge for his family and eventually agrees to go back to Poland to break INTO the concentration camp with the end goal of helping Mendl escape and bring back his physics research. Of course, breaking into a concentration camp is unheard of but getting out is really the difficult part.

This book is part historical fiction and part thriller and it is definitely a page turner. It is emotional and it will take you on a horrifying journey. I don’t think it is a spoiler if I say that I finished reading this book with tears running down my face, which is pretty unusual for me. Yes, The One Man comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a gripping story.

Author Steve Berry says, “Haunting and thrilling…A masterful blend of family and duty laced with heroism and characters that are intriguing and richly drawn...You must read it!"  You can read more about The One Man on Amazon here.

Do you enjoy historical fiction? Will you be checking out The One Man?

Treasures By Brenda

More Book Reviews:

Steve Berry's Amber Room
John Sandford's Extreme Prey
Tarashea Nesbit's The Wives of Los Alamos 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is an Easter Classic

This classic Easter picture book has been with us since 1939 and has stood the test of time. I still have the hardcover edition of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes I received when I was just learning to print. It no longer has the dustjacket because little girls don't always know how important the dust jacket is if they grow up to become booksellers. They also don't realize that proudly printing one's name in big letters on the front pastedown to show possession decreases the value of the book. 

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward

As I look now at that proud possession about 68 years later, I see that the cloth binding is frayed at the edges and almost completely worn off the bumped corners. It is evident that this book, like the famous Velveteen Rabbit, has been loved very much. 

I Loved The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

In this book, children learn that there are really five Easter Bunnies -- not just one. They must be the five kindest, swiftest, and wisest bunnies in the world. All the bunnies know this. They also know that when an Easter bunny becomes too old to run fast anymore, The Grandfather Bunny, who is old, wise and kind and lives at the Palace of the Easter Eggs, will pick a new Easter Bunny from all the bunnies in the world. 

So every bunny tries to become fast, wise, and kind with the hope of getting picked someday. One of these young bunnies was a country girl Cottontail bunny. She told the other bunnies she would grow up to be an Easter Bunny someday, but they all laughed at her. 

She grew up, got married, and had twenty-one baby Cottontail bunnies. She put her childhood dream at the back of her mind.  It no longer seemed possible that it could come true. The elegant white rabbits and the jackrabbits continued to laugh at her, telling her, 'What did we tell you! Only a country rabbit would go and have all those babies. Now take care of them and leave Easter eggs to great big men bunnies like us.'

Cottontail did take care of her babies, and she trained them well to help her with everything that needed doing to take care of the house. They worked in teams of two, usually a brother and sister together, doing household chores, garden tasks, and even singing and dancing to entertain their other siblings as they worked.

When the little rabbits were half grown, Cottontail got word that one of the Easter bunnies had gotten too slow and everyone was gathering at the Palace of Easter Eggs to see whom Grandfather Bunny would pick as the next Easter Bunny. Naturally, Cottontail took her little Cottontails to watch the fun, but she was sad, knowing that she was only going to be able to watch some other rabbit get the job she'd always wanted. 

As the larger rabbits showed how fast they were, the Grandfather Rabbit wasn't happy. He could see they were neither wise nor kind. Then he saw Little Cottontail Mother with her children and started asking her questions. 

Did having all those children take all her time? No. She had trained them so well that they did most of the household work. Grandfather Bunny determined she must be very wise to train them so well. 

Did her children always look so happy? Yes. Her household never had tears or cross words. Grandfather Bunny decided she must be very kind to have such happy children. 

Surely, though, having all those children must not leave her time to practice running to be swift. Little Cottontail Mother whispered to her bunnies and they all raced away in different directions.  She quickly rounded them up and they stood again in front of Grandfather Bunny. He appointed her as his fifth Easter Bunny. 

But what about the little gold shoes? Little Cottontail was awarded those after quite an adventure. You'll have to read the book to see how she got them. 

I felt quite insignificant as a child. I did not yet have any big dreams. But Little Cottontail demonstrated that even an ordinary person like me could accomplish great things if she learned to be wise and kind. 

The illustrations by Majorie Flack have stayed with me for a lifetime. The introductory image shows the Cottontail family standing in front of the Grandfather Bunny at the Palace of the Easter Eggs. My favorite pictures were of the bunny sibling pairs doing their chores, Mother Cottontail rounding up her children to demonstrate how fast she could be, and most of the illustrations that show her earning her little gold shoes. I would pour over those pictures often as I relived the story, and not just at Easter time.

A Remarkable Book When It Was Published

This story by DuBose Heyward, who is more famous for his novel  Porgy, which inspired the musical Porgy and Bess, was written long before most people were thinking about women's issues. Yet many many women today believe The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes proves that women are just as capable as men, even as Easter bunnies.

Although DuBose Heyward was an aristocrat himself, he pokes fun at aristocrats in this book. I see that as an adult reader. Adults will see deeper meaning in this book than very young readers will. 

DuBose Heywarddubose heyward
Heyward was a Southerner who lived from 1885 to 1940. He was one of the first writers from the South to portray blacks without condescension in a novel. He was able to see beyond race and class to show people as they were without prejudice. Find out more about DuBose Heyward in DuBose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and BessFind all the books mentioned on this page and others by Heyward on eBay.

Review of The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Zeiss Lens Wipes Reviewed

Pre-Moistened Wipes For Eyeglasses

My husband and I both wear eyeglasses so one item that we always keep on hand is a box of Zeiss Lens Wipes. We have used other brands but have not found them to be as reliable as the ones made by Zeiss. 

One of my pet peeves when it comes to lens cleaners is that often you open the little packet and the wipe is completely dried out and of no use whatsoever. I have not found this to be the case with the Zeiss lens wipes. Each packet is moist and ready to use when I open it up. That was one reason I started using them exclusively in our home. 

Another brand that we tried was so wet that it actually dripped when we removed it from the packet and it did not clean our glasses well. There were actually streaks left on our lenses. Well, that was not acceptable at all. The Zeiss brand of wipes cleans our lenses well with no streaking.

I also like that the wipes do not tear when I am using them. One brand that we tried did and that was a royal pain. Before you had the lens cleaned it ripped and now you had fingerprints! I have not had this happen with the Zeiss brand. 

A bonus to these wipes is that they work on many optical lenses not just eyeglasses and sunglasses. I use them on my cell phone to clean off those fingerprints that look so awful. I also use them on my computer screen, my tablet and my camera lens. 

I keep a few packets in my purse in case I need to clean my glasses while I am out and we always have a few in the car which come in handy when we are traveling.

The ingredients are pretty simple. Each wipe contains water, isopropyl alcohol, proprietary detergents and preservatives. They are free of ammonia which is one of the reasons that the wipes do not streak or leave a residue on the lens that you are cleaning. I have never had a wipe scratch any surface either.

So, if you wear glasses or have optical lenses that need cleaning; I can highly recommend this brand of individual lens wipes for you to use. They are economical at just around a nickle per wipe and most important they are reliable and safe to use. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

Essential Oil Room Humidifier and Diffuser

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser and Room Humidifier
I typically write and review things I already own and use that make me happy. Occasionally I write about things that are owned and recommended by friends - things I covet. Today I am writing about my new excitement about room humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. I just learned about these dual purpose items yesterday and am shopping one for today. I believe it is exactly what I need to make my office more comfortable.

Making the Office More Pleasant with Essential Oils

I have already written about the need for pleasant scents and room deodorizers in the work place along with my concern about sprays and chemicals. I am increasingly aware of people and their chemical sensitivities.  

I currently use essential oils and baking soda to create a subtle fragrance in my office in an attempt to refrain from over-powering sprays. I try to be mindful of people who may have allergies or asthma and I am ever-conscious of possible migraine triggers for myself.

Yesterday, I walked into a co-worker's office and just stopped, stood, and sniffed. There was a fairly new and strong scent in her office. For a split second I wondered if this somewhat strong scent was going to trigger a migraine. But she also suffers from migraines. As I stood, taking in the peppermint scent, I found it soothing to the slight headache I had at that moment.

While I've been aware of the Reed Diffuser styles for some time, I didn't care much for most of the scents people chose to use with them.  They were often too strong for my personal preference.  So I was never very tempted. Although, in hindsight, I bet I could find some scents that suit me.

Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

But the diffuser in my co-workers office seemed different. The scent was strong, but not overpowering. The subtle glowing light was soothing. I instantly liked her diffuser and wanted to just sit and stay awhile. Perhaps I felt like that because I am partial to peppermint. But perhaps the way the diffuser works makes it more pleasing. I'm not sure.  Regardless, I liked it enough to start shopping for one as soon as I had a moment.

Essential Oil Diffuser and Room Humidifer

While shopping for this electric diffuser, I was still a bit skeptical and thinking that I would stick with my baking soda and essential oil method.  I really like the simple method. It is inexpensive and about as natural as you can get.

Then I realized that many of these electric diffusers are also room humidifiers. PERFECT!  Maybe that is why her office felt so welcoming.

My office is often extremely dry. As a result, my hair gets so full of static that it becomes bothersome.  Not to mention the dry nasal passages, itchy dry skin, the plants in my window that are struggling, and other signs of a dry environment. I am tired of the sparks that go flying every time I touch my metal file cabinet! 

Viva Naturals Aromatherapy Diffuser

I'm very excited about these diffusers and their ability to humidify a room. And there are so many styles to choose from. I'm not yet sure if I prefer the tall, vase-like version or the short, squat, round versions. I like both the lighted diffusers with the changing colors and the faux wood grain styles. So many of the version are visually pleasing and choosing the "right" isn't as easy as I had expected.

If you are sold on essential oils and need increased humidity in a room, this may be exactly the thing for you too.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feature Family Photos in a Unique and Decorative Way

Do You Have a Wall that's Been Waiting for Just the Right Photo or Photos but are Unsure What to Feature on it?

If you do, you're in the club of just about everyone. Resorting to old habits usually wins the day when it comes to decorating. However, if you're feeling creative and have the time for a worthy family project, you have to look at the idea of featuring a large family tree wall graphic.

Putting up a family tree wall decal isn't an instant project, so you'll have to put aside time to get it finished. Also, there are several informative how-to videos on YouTube that you can review before you take the leap. Even though manufacturers vary, the videos give you a first hand account of what to expect when putting up large wall graphics.

This Popular YouTube How To Video is One I Personally Like Best - However there are more:

This particular video shows you how to put up a large wall tree decal versus an actual family tree graphic, however the process is essentially the same. For the purpose of gaining an understanding of what's involved, it's helpful.

Taking the Family Tree Leap

In terms of creating a visible display of your family and for your family, it goes without saying that this project is worth every cuss word you may utter while tackling it.

Imagine your family and friends entering your home to see a wall that not only features your clan, but does it in an incredibly artistic way.

There are numerous designs, colors and styles to choose from. The decal featured at the very top gives you an example of one designed for staircases; truly a gorgeous way to utilize the often empty wall space you see on a staircase.

You'll want to allow yourself lots of time to do this, but if you're handy, go for it!

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Friday, March 24, 2017

Clever Travel Companion Women's Shirts & Tops with Secret Pockets

Clever Travel Companion Women's Tank Top & T-Shirts
Almost a year ago, I introduced our readers to Clever Travel Companion Leggings for women.  When I wrote that review, I knew I loved those leggings more than any other single garment in my wardrobe.  The safety factor alone simply makes those leggings priceless.  Today, I would recommend that you also take a close look at the Clever Travel Companion Tank Tops and T-Shirts. 

I personally own several of the Clever Travel Companion Tank Tops and one of the t-shirts.   I originally bought the tank top to wear while cutting the grass.  Everyone knows what a hot job yard-work can be, so I have no doubt that you will understand why I wanted a tank top.  Plus, I needed a tank top that would give me full coverage.  After all, I still have to consider that we have neighbors and most of them have no desire to be flashed.

I know you are already wondering why this particular tank top is better than any other.  Well, let me tell you.

The Clever Travel Companion Women's Tank Top 

As I previously mentioned, I own several of the tank tops.  I wanted the white for my outdoor work.  White is simply cooler in the summer months.  However, I discovered this little top was a lot more valuable than a simple work shirt!  Now, I wear them year round. 
 Clever Travel Companion Unisex Tank Top with Two Secret Pockets
I wear my Clever Travel Companion tank tops under almost all of my blouses.  I don't have to explain to any woman why a tank top is fabulous under a blouse.  I never have to worry if the buttons come unbuttoned or if the blouse pulls open between buttons.  Everything is all nice and covered underneath by the tank top.  This much we all know and understand.  But what makes this brand of tank top better?  The secret pockets!

In all honestly, if anyone looks closely enough, they will see the zippers for the pockets.  They are not totally camouflaged.  But, I will tell you this, anyone studying that part of the shirt better be more concerned about my reaction than they are about whether they can see a zipper.  

The pockets are actually just under the arms and the zippers are set approximately 1.5" in front of the center seam of the top.   Clever Travel Companion Unisex Tank Top with Two Secret Pockets, White, MediumBecause of the way the pockets are set in sideways, it is very easy to place my drivers license and house key in one pocket and my cell phone on the other side in the other pocket.  This allows me to lock up the house while I am working outside.  And, of course, if I am going somewhere, there is no need to carry a purse.

I have to tell you, being able to place all of those things in shirt pockets is a lot better than putting them in my jeans pockets.  For some reason, I have never been able to find a way to put my cell phone and house key in my jeans pockets without having them ride up and out of the pockets while I am working.  Or jabbing me in the leg.  I don't know if you have ever experienced having a key stab you in the leg when you are trying to lift garbage bags or plants, but I have and it really hurts.

The Clever Travel Companion T-Shirt

I recently purchased the Clever Travel Companion T-Shirt to wear under my motorcycle gear.  Now, don't freak out on me here fellow contributors.  I know you find it shocking that I have motorcycle gear, but I do.  I don't drive a motorcycle, but I do ride and I am a firm believer in safety first.  I have a full set of armored cycle gear.  After all, I am rather partial to my bones and skin. 

The secret pockets in the t-shirt allow me to store my keys, driver's license, a credit card and my cell phone.  If I take my jacket off when we stop somewhere, I don't have to worry about those items because they are safe in my t-shirt pockets.   

Benefits of the Clever Travel Companion Tank Tops & T-Shirts

  • 2 Secret Pockets with Zippers
  • Pockets are Lined
  • Safe from Pick Pockets
  • 100% Cotton (tank) 
  • 95% Cotton & 5%Spandex (t-shirt)
  • Machine Washable
  • Hang Dry or Tumble Dry Low
  • Available in Black, White or Gray 
  • T-Shirt is also Available in Pink    

I know at least one of you is going to ask me if I feel uncomfortable reaching into those pockets.  Or, if the bulk of my cell phone bothers me under my arm.   The answer to both of those questions is "no".  I am a lot more comfortable knowing that my key, id, credit cards, cash and keys are safe than I am concerned about someone seeing me reach into a pocket under my arm.

More Travel Related Articles of Interest

Review of Clever Travel Companion LeggingsThe Clever Travel Companion Leggings
Security is my #1 concern when I shop, travel, hike, bike, or just walk around the block. These leggings give me the safety of 2 hidden pockets and allow me to retire my purses completely.

How to Pack for Your VacationHow to Pack for Your Vacation
Pack Right, Pack Light My traveling motto is “To Pack Right, Pack Light.” After you have made you travel plans, one of the hardest things to do is pack your suitcase for the trip. Here are my best packing tips!

Travel TipsTips for Traveling
Tips from an Experienced Traveler! In this article, I will share my best travel advice and tips for traveling to help reduce the stress related to travel, which will help ensure a successful vacation.


Review of the Clever Travel Companion Women's Tank Tops & T-Shirts with Secret Pockets Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review of The Heart of the Ocean Necklace

 The Famous Heart of the Ocean Necklace

Titanic Heart of the Ocean Necklace

The Heart of the Ocean Necklace is an iconic piece of jewelry from the blockbuster movie, Titanic. This ocean diamond necklace is probably the most famous necklace in movie history. And the Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace worn by Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic is a piece of that cinematic history. 

Although you might not be able to afford the original Heart of the Ocean pendant (even if it were for sale), you can find Titanic Heart of the Ocean replica jewelry online that is sure to dazzle and sparkle just like Kate's did in the movie.

The famous Blue heart necklace is featured in both films, the original from 1948 and the newer movie featuring Leonardo Dicaprio and Kate Winslet in 1997. Both movies feature a heart ocean pendant. If you like the Blue heart necklace that looks like the one from the Titanic movie you can find one here in a variety of colors.

A diamond Titanic heart in Blue, Pink or Crystal clear is a gorgeous and elegant fashion jewelry piece. The Pink Titanic heart replica of the original Blue heart necklace is stunning and would look amazing for prom. There is also a Crystal clear diamond Titanic heart that can be worn by a bride on her wedding day. The famous Titanic necklace replica is a beautiful addition to your jewelry box. If you already know you want it now, click here!

If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.
~Emily Dickinson

*All of the following necklaces can be purchased at by clicking on the photo.
The Heart of the Ocean Necklace in Blue
Blue Sapphire Heart of the Ocean Pendant

In Titanic, The Heart of the Ocean necklace was one of the stars of the movie, central to tying the present exploration to the past and its heartbreaking story. That Blue heart necklace was not only beautiful, it signified the life Rose gave up for the love she chose instead of the arranged one of her mother.

Pink Heart of the Ocean Necklace

Wouldn't this Pink Heart of the Ocean Necklace be perfect for prom, or a wedding, or the opera? If you are more a Pink type than a Blue type, this Pink Heart Crystal replica of the Heart of the Ocean is just your style. I love Pink myself, might have to get two necklaces!

There is no charm equal
to tenderness of heart
~Jane Austen

Clear Heart of the Ocean Necklace 
Titanic Crystal Heart

Red Heart of the Ocean Necklace 
Red Titanic Heart Necklace

Ruby Red Heart of the Ocean Necklace is dazzling and will work with many looks, but Red goes really well with Twilight style, or for a bold statement for any dressy occasion. The one pictured here is fine jewelry, but if you are looking for costume jewelry, just click it to see more choices.

More Colors of The Heart of the Ocean Necklace
Heart of the Ocean Sets

There are lots of other colors available in the iconic style of the Heart of the Ocean, so if you have a different one in mind, just click any necklace photo on this page to see more. There are sets too, featuring earrings and in a few cases, bracelets. It's such a beautiful design, don't you agree? I am having a hard time choosing the best color to get!

Wherever you go,
go with all your heart.

Titanic, the Epic Movie
One of the Most Romantic Films of all Time

The Heart of the Ocean is the necklace central to the story in the Titanic. It is one of the threads running through the movie, and a symbol of what Rose gave up to be with the man she loved. The movie won all kinds of awards and is a tearjerker for sure. A love story for the ages, so well told. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. Celine Dion's fantastic song, "My Heart Will Go On" is featured in the Titanic movie.

History of The Titanic Heart of the Ocean Necklace
The Famous Titanic Necklace

The Heart of the Ocean (also known as Le Coeur de la Mer) is the name of a fictitious Blue diamond featured prominently in the 1997 film Titanic.
Historically, there was a Blue diamond pendant on the Titanic. It was given to RMS Titanic passenger Kate Florence Phillips by her married lover, Samuel Morley, as the pair fled to America to make a new life for themselves.

Morley perished in the sinking, and it is believed that this tragic love story was the inspiration for James Cameron's film. The necklace has recently been featured in many Titanic exhibits.

London based jewelers Asprey and Garrard created the necklace used during the filming with a Blue cubic zirconia set in White gold. The cost of the necklace was approximately $10,000. Today, it resides in Twentieth Century Fox's archives. They were also commissioned during the release in 1997 to make a real "Heart of the Ocean" necklace using the original design. The result was a platinum-set, 170-carat (34 g) heart-shaped Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a row of 65 round diamonds, totaling 36 carats (7.2 g).

The necklace was valued at $3.5 million. It was sold at a benefit auction for the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Southern California's Aid For AIDS for $2.2 million, with the condition that Celine Dion would wear it to the 1998 Academy Awards ceremony. She sang the film's theme song "My Heart Will Go On." The necklace now belongs to the daughter of a wealthy Asprey client.

During the same period, jeweler Harry Winston used a 15-carat (3.0 g) Blue diamond in his interpretation of the "Heart of the Ocean" necklace. This $20 million necklace was worn by Gloria Stuart to the 1998 Academy Awards. (She played the older Rose in the movie.)

~Excerpted from The Heart of the Ocean at Visit for more fascinating history about this famous necklace.

The way is not in the sky.
The way is in the heart.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

5 Ways to Guarantee Hummingbirds will Come to You! Feeder Reviews

Hummingbird Feeders and Bright Red Plants are the best way to ensure that these little birds will indeed find you!

Everyone loves these little birds who fly thousands of miles to visit their summer homes.  We will review a few of the ways to entice these little birds to visit and maybe even call your backyard their home for the season.  
hummingbird on bird feeder

Every gardener I know loves to have a backyard full of birds, bird houses and bird feeders.  Nothing thrills them as much as the return of the elusive hummingbirds that flit through the air like little dashes of light.  The whole idea of having these little birds in the garden makes me happy.

So what's the secret to having them come and stay a while? 

First and foremost, you have to make your yard more appealing to these little birds.  If they feel you are putting out a welcome mat, they just might come to visit.  If they like what they find, they will probably stay a while.  So let's see what we can do to make them feel welcome.

Knowledge about their likes and dislikes!

Hummingbirds are migratory birds.  They do not stay all season long in the north, it's too cold for them.  But once spring and summer arrive, they do head north for a visit.  They will come and breed, stay for the summer and then head back to the south for the winter.  Hummingbirds are tiny little creatures that weigh just a few ounces.  They require lots of nectar to keep them going.  Their metabolism is one of the fastest working metabolisms that you will ever find.  They need lots of nectar to keep them flying.

That is the first secret to attracting the hummers to your yard.  You need to provide a source or two of that nectar that they must have to live.
The second secret is to have lots of colors that hummers like in your yard.  This can be done by attaching red or orange colored ribbons to trees and bushes.  The hummers as they are headed north, scope out these colors and are attracted by them.  They assume there are flowers full of nectar for their feeding purposes.

The third secret is to then have lots of plants that are in fact good nectar producers.  Feeders are great, but they also like plants,  they will use the soft leaves and petals for their nests and spider webs to hold them all together.  So leave those spider webs out there.  

The fourth secret is to have lots of hummingbird feeders in your yard.  When plants are dying back and not producing flowers full of nectar, the hummers will need an alternative source of nectar. Hummingbirds can also be quite possessive and will fight over the feeders.  It's better to have one too many feeders than not enough.  If you set them out, they will come. 

The fifth secret is to have a water source handy.  They love fountains or water misters.
If you don't believe me watch this short video and you will see the difference that a water feature can make...Hummer's Bathing and Drinking Station.

Have you ever wondered why Hummingbird feeders are always red and yellow in color?

The quick answer is that these are the colors that really attract hummers.  Many red and reddish-orange plants are great nectar providers.  This color can be spotted by the hummers from miles away.  If you have red flowers and feeders in your yard, they will make a beeline for your yard.  Even before the flowers are in bloom in your area, put out some hummingbird feeders and they will find you.  Once summer is in full swing, the flowers will enhance their nectar likes.

What are the best flowers to grow for hummingbirds?

As stated earlier, red, reddish-orange and red with yellow flowers are the favorite colors for hummers. Some of the flowers and vines that fit this bill will be:
Columbines, Salvias, Cardinal climbers, Agastache, Liatris, Bees Balm, Trumpet vines, Morning Glories, Scarlet Runner Beans, and Honeysuckles.

One year I planted a whole row of Canna across my front garden.  I was delighted when I was out there and a hummingbird was right by my ear.  I could hear his wings flapping and I watched in delight as he swooped in and out of the flower row.

What are the best feeders for hummingbirds?

First Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird FeederFirst Nature 3055 32-ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird feeders are usually red in color to attract the birds as they are flying. They can spot this color from far away and will make a straight path to the feeders they find easily. Filled with sugar water they are an instant boost for their feeding needs.

It is not necessary to add red food coloring to the sugar water contained in the feeders. Some experts suggest that the red food coloring actually harms the birds. All you need is one part sugar to 3 parts water to keep the hummingbirds happy. You make your own syrup by boiling these two ingredients and then cooling the mixture.  Placed in the feeders the birds will be super happy.

Having more than one feeder in your yard will keep the birds from fighting over the food supply.
Hummingbird feeders need to be kept clean. If the sugar water stands for more than a day or two it may become contaminated. This will make the birds sick. So once you start to put out food for them, you must remain attentive to the feeders.
They are easy to clean with soapy water, rinse them well and refill them with nectar. Hang them back outside.

As you can see with these examples of hummingbird feeders, all of them have wide openings so that cleaning them out will be much easier.  I have purchased hummingbird feeders that are more artistic looking, but they are impossible to clean completely.  I don't want to harm the birds with unclean feeders.  These are my favorites from the ones available through Amazon.

The Migration of Hummingbirds for 2017

migration of hummingbirds map

As you can see from the map, the Hummingbirds are already on their way north.  This is the current map for 2017 and you can log when you see your first hummer on the map by going to this site:
Migration Map 2017

It is part of the link below and will allow you to enter your information.  Will you be the first one in your state to log a sighting?
A Great Resource for Hummingbird Lovers

The BBC has amazing nature videos available and the one I have highlighted for you below is wonderful.  In our climate we don't have all the beautiful hummingbirds that are in the world, so you can enjoy and see some of the other species of hummers and their beautiful plumage.  Some species are really quite impressive in both color and their way of life.  It's a great resource for sure.

Super Hummingbirds BBC

My Conclusions

Putting up hummingbird feeders is a little bit of work, but it is worth the time and trouble when you are treated to the sight of these little miracles flitting about in your backyard.  The most important thing is to keep the feeders clean and filled.

I love my hummingbirds and will do everything in my power to make sure they know they are welcomed into my yard.  How about you?  Will you put up a feeder or two?  I can assure you that once you have been treated to hummingbirds in your yard, you will want them to come back again and again.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jhirmack Silver Plus Shampoo Reviewed

Great Shampoo For Gray, Blonde, or Bleached Hair

beverly owens
My choice of shampoo happens to be Jhirmack Silver Plus. I have been using this shampoo for quite a long time to help my graying hair look better. 

I wish that I had inherited my paternal grandmother's hair which was the most beautiful white. My father also has gorgeous white hair. I, on the other hand, got my mother's genes when it came to hair. My hair has a mousy kind of dull look if I do not use the Silver Plus shampoo by Jhirmack. As you can see from the picture on the left, the shampoo brightens my hair and gives it a nice white look. 

I am not embarrassed to have gray hair, in fact I embrace the aging color that adorns my head. I sometimes laugh that I would never consider trying to hide the gray because I have earned every single gray hair on my head. I don't mind being gray, but I do want it to look nice and not dull and unattractive in color.

Silver Plus is formulated for gray, blonde, bleached or highlighted hair. The shampoo has a purple color and there is something about that purple that tones down any brassy or yellow tones in the hair. 

The shampoo has Green Tea Extract and Folic Acid which help to strengthen and condition my hair. Macadamia Nut Oil moisturizes my rough and limp hair without making my scalp feel greasy. I find that I do not need to use a conditioner when using this shampoo but it may depend on how easily your hair might tangle whether you will need a conditioner or not. It is enough for my hair.

So, if you would like to tone down any brassiness to your hair or help your graying hair look whiter, I highly recommend this shampoo by Jhirmack called Silver Plus.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, March 20, 2017

Is Elvis Alive? Losing Graceland Book Review

Is Elvis Alive? Losing Graceland Book Review

Losing Graceland: What Would Elvis Be Like If He Were Alive?

For the life of me, I cannot explain exactly why I read Losing Graceland: A Novel. I know why I picked it up - in part because it is a fictional story about what Elvis might be like if he had faked his death and was still alive and in part because I have always been interested in Elvis Presley.

Of course, you cannot and probably should not judge a book by the cover and in this case sandwiched between the two covers was some content that I was not comfortable with. That's your warning. This book has sexual content that might make you uncomfortable. It did me. And did I mention violence? There is some of that, too.

But still, I read it right through to the end. Something compelled me to keep reading. I wanted to know what would happen to the aging Elvis impersonator (who might really be Elvis) and the young man he hired to help him find his granddaughter. The adventures were entertaining. Along the road there was a fight with biker gangs (and befriend them), a visit with an oracle and a battle to save a hooker from her pimp.

At first glance, this book is a light read but it also deals with two interesting lives: that of an old man whose body is unwell, who has an addiction to pain killers and who lives with an incredible legacy and that of a young man who is heart broken and unemployed.

Reviews of this book are a mixed bag with most people saying they enjoyed reading it. Take one old man with a lifetime of regrets, add a young man with his future before him and what do you have? An emotional story, perhaps a bit too short. If you're a fan of Elvis, the consensus of the reviews is that this is an enjoyable lightweight fictional story. It will make you think about what Elvis Presley might be like today if he were still alive.

Click here to order your copy of Losing Graceland: A Novel from Amazon.

What would Elvis Presley be like if he were alive?

I want to close by telling you about a scene in this book when Elvis takes the stage at an impersonator contest and the crowd really goes wild just as though they were seeing the real Elvis.  A lady faints. A young mother hardly knows her child needs her. Another woman screams that she cannot breathe. Two men have a fist fight. A young girl vomits. Hands grope on stage for Elvis. The crowd screams. The announcer begs people to be calm. Elvis leaves the stage and says to his travelling companions, "Heartbreaker still breaking hearts. You like my show?" I did like your show, Elvis, and I will admit, you gave me goosebumps.
What was it like to be Elvis Presley? And finally, what would he be like today if he were still alive?

If Elvis was still alive, he would be 82 today. I think that it would be interesting if he were still alive, although not so much if he was in the condition of the impersonator in Losing Graceland. I cannot help but wonder what it must have been like to have seen Elvis Presley in person. What was it like to be Elvis Presley? And finally, what would he be like today if he were still alive?

What do you think Elvis Presley would have done with the rest of his life if he had lived past the age of 42?

Treasures By Brenda

More Elvis Presley Reading

The Best Elvis Presley Movies
Elvis Presley starred in 31 movies and 2 concert documentary films all of which were released in movie theatres. On this page, we celebrate the three of the films that are considered his best...

Elvis Presley Christmas Duets
In 2008, long after his death, Elvis Presley released this album, Elvis Presley Christmas Duets on which he could be heard singing Christmas songs with some of today's top female vocalists. Learn more...

Copyright 2011 Treasures By Brenda

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Add this Unexpected Piece to Complete a Dollhouse Themed Room

Momeni Lil Mo Whimsy Dollhouse Rug
Personally, a Dollhouse Themed Bedroom would be My Second Favorite Theme for a Little Girls Room (The First Being a Barbie Theme)

Being a little girl in the 60's and 70's may be the reason I grew up to love Dollhouses and Barbies, however my independent nature tells me the real reason is .. I simply loved both.

I look back and remember how fortunate I was to have a mom who decorated my room in a way I wanted; It was a purple, pink and white room with hand painted purple and pink furnishings and best of all, a purple shag rug! For the 1970's where shag rugs were the thing, a purple shag rug went against the grain of the colors of the day which were Avocado Green and Harvest Gold.

Best of all, I had a fabulous collection of Barbies; and mom even knit clothes for them! Next to Barbies, dolls and dollhouses were my fave - In fact, anything dolls; dollhouses for Barbies, life size dollhouses, clothes for dolls, furniture for dolls, and paperdolls - especially paperdolls!

Time marched on, and being the mom of four sons, I never had the chance to create a dollhouse themed space for a daughter.

Seriously, I could go nuts today creating a dollhouse themed space - the décor choices are almost endless! However in dollhouse décor one of the most unique pieces to add is a dollhouse area rug. Why? because it's unexpected, and not often incorporated into a room.

Floor Décor Grounds a Space, Literally and Figuratively

Most of the time we consider a dollhouse rug for a child's playroom or play corner, and of course, that works, however, imagine the impact if used as the focal point in a bedroom.

Depending upon the dollhouse rug, most come in a variety of sizes. With the average bedroom size tending to be 10ft by 12ft, a dollhouse rug of at least 5ft by 7ft can anchor the space and provide enough detail and color to draw out from to complete the room.

The impression of a busy, colorful artistic rug defines the space. The additional dollhouse themed items complete the room, but the rug serves multiple purposes; it adds warmth, texture, color, playful interest, and most of all is a functional piece of art.

We all know that floors, walls and windows are the fundamental space definers, however, choosing pieces that also double as art, or make a stylistic contribution, takes a space from 'eh to wow.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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