Monday, July 31, 2017

Review of a Great DIY Back Pain Relief Tool

Body Back Buddy on Amazon
A co-worker has brought a pain-relief tool to the office and has offered to share. I have since used this Body Back Buddy self-massage tool multiple times to find relief for chronic pain and to help relax my shoulders and back. If you experience chronic pain in your back or shoulders, this little gadget may also be helpful to you. I know that it has been so helpful to me at work that I'm ordering one of my own to keep at home.

Migraines and the Search for Pain Relief

My co-worker and I suffer from chronic migraines.  She and I are constantly discussing ways we find relief and things that are not as helpful. When she brought this massage tool to work my initial thought was that it was a gimmick. But I gave it a try anyway. With chronic migraines,  you become willing to give most anything a try.

As soon as I picked up this plastic hook with knobs, I found relief. It was intuitive to use. I just hooked it up over my shoulder and started "rubbing" the knots near my shoulder blades and spine.  

I had thought the hard plastic knobs would be uncomfortable. But the hardness of the knobs was, in part, what makes it so effective. And the curve of the item helped me to apply hard pressure to my tender spots. I was able to both press against and rub the stubborn knots as well as run the plastic knobs up and down my spine. 

Tender Points or Muscle Knots?

My sibling is officially diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and talks about her tender points and pain. We compare notes. I have similar painful points that I call my "traveling bumps". There never seems to be an explanation for the location of these tender areas.  I have not been officially diagnosed with Fibro and while my pains may be caused by whatever causes my migraines, the pain is similar to my sibling's Fibro. I am planning on suggesting that my sister give the Body Back Buddy a try.

This massage tool has been wonderful at reaching and releasing my painful "traveling bumps" no matter their origin.

Three of my four favorite moves with the Body Back Buddy (photos courtesy of Amazon)

The Pros and Cons of the Body Back Massage Tool

There are many pros and only a couple of cons that I have found with this wonderful pain relief tool. I am sure that you'll have your own opinion of the Body Back Buddy massage tool, but this is my list:

Body Back Buddy Pros:

  • immediate relief where you are - without the time commitment and expense of massage appointments
  • heavy duty and sturdy plastic - it does not feel as though it will break while in use
  • the curve and placement of the knobs are intuitive - I picked it up and used it effectively without looking at any instructions
  • compared to other pain relief tools and mechanical massagers - it is very affordable
  • I can easily massage my neck, spine, shoulders, and back with this tool (it also massages your feet, but I have kept my feet off of it, since it is borrowed)
  • the Body Back Company has made this, in the US, since 1995 and has a good track record and good reviews

Body Back Buddy Cons:

  • beware of copies and knock-offs that seem to be more cheaply made and less sturdy
  • it is large and can't be hidden in a small bag or purse for transport
  • I am overweight and cannot do the technique that involves placing the Back Buddy around my middle (seen below) 
the only technique I cannot do (photo courtesy of Amazon)

Related Pain Relief Articles:

Barbara's husband suffers from neck pain and finds relief by using magnesium oil spray. For more information, take a peek at her article My Husband Loves Using Magnesium Oil for Neck Pain

Over time, I have found that peppermint essential oil often eases migraine pain. I use Dr. Bronner's organic castile soap and hot steamy baths to find pain relief. Dr. Bronner's soap has many uses and if you aren't familiar with this fantastic soap, let me introduce you with my review of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap

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, July 30, 2017

How to Decorate a Room with Purple

Photo Via Pixabay
Last week we covered how to include the color Orange in home décor, so let's talk Purple this week

While orange in home décor is the most misunderstood, purple may be the most feared.

However, there's no need to be shaking in those boots.

Since there's various shades of purple ranging from very soft to royal bold, you can choose what works best for you. Also, don't think purple is just for bedrooms either, you'll be surprised just what you can do with a living room decked out in purple.

Still have doubts? Then, scroll to the bottom of this page to see the collection of rooms decorated in different shades of purple.

Before Decorating with Purple Make One of These Three Decisions:

1. You only want to add a little purple to your space
2. You want a more sophisticated look in your purple room
3. You want the room to have a deep rich look of purple

Let's Discuss How to Use Purple Based Upon Points 1,2, and 3

Just a Little Purple in Your Living Room:

Start by adding a touch of soft yellow. Why soft yellow? Because yellow is a complimentary color to purple and will help the small amounts of purple you add, to pop.

Add the yellow to a feature wall. Then add a lightly pattern neutral drape that contains both the yellow and purple. Keep your couch a neutral color, like white, then add two accent chairs in a medium toned purple (slightly darker).

Finish the space off by adding multiple pillows in a combination of the purples and yellow featured in the space. Mix the pillows up with solids and patterns.

A More Sophisticated Look Using Purple:
Photo Via Pixabay

Start by painting a feature wall in a lighter purple-grey shade.

You can paint more than one wall. If you're color-brave go ahead and paint the whole room in that color.

Next choose a couch in a solid charcoal grey color, and choose accent chairs that are closer to the lighter grey-purple you've painted the walls.

For your drapes, bring in a third neutral color like a light tan or beige.

Finally, end the look with pillow accessories but use darker shades of purple on a few solid color cushions and then choose patterns for the others that have both a mix of light purple-grey and tans.

A Deep Rich Braver Attack of Purple in Your Living Room:

So you're gutsy and ready to go all out purple. First choose a deep rich violet purple for a large feature wall. Or better yet, on a fireplace wall.

Next go with the same or similar rich purple that you chose for the wall for the couch. For the drapes continue with the bold theme by using a deep pink-purple.

For the accent chairs, you'll need a neutral tone, and believe it or not, a lovely burnt orange will work. Lastly, bring all the shades you've included in the room into various plain and patterned pillows.

Check Out This Collection of Rooms Decorated in Purple as Well as Purple Accessories

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.”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Book Review of Will's Red Coat by Tom Ryan

will's red coat book cover
Will's Red Coat by Tom Ryan
What would happen today if we gave ourselves over, wholeheartedly, to a hurting soul?  What if we could let go of all expectations and simply concentrate on pure giving?  Tom Ryan, author of Will's Red Coat, lived the transformational answer to these questions when he responded to a Facebook post about a soul in desperate need.  Little did Ryan know at the time how that seemingly straightforward act of kindness would dramatically change him and forever alter the course of his life.

On the surface, this book would appear to be yet another memoir of a man and his dog.  Oh, but this is so much more than that.  There is a man, yes -- Ryan, the New York Times bestselling author of Following Atticus.  And there is a dog -- a deaf, mostly blind, senior dog that is raging against the dying light.  But this is not your typical rescue story of human saves animal, or animal saves his person.

This is a story of finding the life you have always wanted, and needed, by submitting to that which you would never have knowingly chosen.  Up front, Ryan thought he was providing a temporary last home for a dog that was expected to live only a very short time.  In essence, it was a hospice situation.  Ryan was offering Will a place, and space, to die with dignity.

Things are never this simple, though, are they?  This weak, angry dog wasn't ready to die without a fight, without experiencing the underlying beauty that is so easy to miss in life.  The heart of this book is how two souls, Tom and Will, became the beauty they were each seeking.

As an animal welfare volunteer who deals with abandoned, forgotten souls on a daily basis, I found myself deeply moved by the profound truths of this poignant story.  The truths you will discover when you read this book are these:
"It's never too late to trust again, to love or be loved again; and it's never too late to live again."  ~ Will's Wisdom
 Yes, this book will make you cry, but the tears will be joyous and healing.  They will be a celebration of the triumph of a life lived in full.  I found this book to be an incredibly beautiful tribute to what happens when you become who you were always meant to be.

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, July 28, 2017

How to Grill the Perfect Steaks - Beginner Tips Reviewed

Learning to Grill the Perfect Steaks

Easy Instructions:  How to Grill the Perfect Steak
I decided to learn how to grill steaks myself after reading so many great recipes and ideas for the grill written by my fellow online writers. 

In our family, it has always been the man's job to cook out.  Previously, I just accepted the gift gratefully and I was content to defer to my dad, one of my brothers, or to my husband's expertise on the grill.  However, with visions of kebabs and grilled pound cake, I was inspired to learn how to use the grill. 

I photographed all of my husband's steps to preparing the grill and preparing the food.  Now I will be ready to grill our next steaks.   I am willing to share my new knowledge.  Perhaps, this article will help you get started too.  

So, let's have some fun!

Choose your Steaks Carefully

Although they were expensive, we chose to cook 4 USDA Choice Rib Eye Steaks.  They weighted 3.82 lbs total weight.  They were purchased the same day we cooked them and they were never frozen.  In this photo, they have already been seasoned and are ready to grill, but I have included our steak preparation instructions below

Selecting the Right Steaks to Grill


What You Need to Cook the Best Steaks You will Ever Eat!

In our family, grilling steaks was always man's work. 
After decades of relying on my father, brothers and husband,
I decided to learn how to grill steaks to perfection myself. 
Let me show you how!

    Grilling Supplies for Great Steaks
  • A Grill
  • Charcoal
  • Chimney Grill Starter
  • A Sheet of Newspaper
  • A Match or Lighter
  • Food ~ We chose 4 Rib Eye Steaks ~ Total weight: 3.82 lbs.
  • Seasonings ~ We only use salt, pepper and olive oil lightly rubbed on steaks 

Setting up the Grill

Slide Through the Photos using the Arrows at the Bottom of thia Google Slides Frame

  • Start with a clean grill
  • Stuff a sheet of newspaper in the bottom
    of your chimney grill starter
  • Turn over starter and fill the chimney grill starter with Charcoal
  • Light the paper at the base of the chimney grill starter with a match or long lighter
  • Wait for charcoal to get ready. It will be mostly gray. This takes approx.
    35 - 45 min.
  • When the charcoal is ready, use a pot holder on the handle of your chimney grill starter and dump the charcoal into the grill.
  • Carefully place the grill rack in place over the hot charcoal on the lowest level closest to the charcoal.
The grill we used is named Maude.  She is my dad's grill and she is over 30 years old - Her handles are gone and her paint is worn, but she still cooks! 

Using a Chimney Grill Starter

  The Chimney Grill Starter is a lot safer than flicking a lit match at lighter fluid doused charcoal.
Food tastes better without the use of lighter fluid too!


Preparing Your Steaks to Grill

If you do it our way, it is really easy and absolutely delicious!  Do not poke or pierce the steak with a fork, knife or any utensil at any point in the preparation or cooking process.  This will allow the meat to retain all of it's flavor and juices.
    How to Grill the Perfect Steak
  • Rub Olive Oil lightly on both sides of each steak
  • Salt and Pepper both sides of each steak
  • Place seasoned steaks on the grill rack
  • Cover grill and steaks for 9 minutes
  • Turn steaks ~ ONLY ONCE
  • Cover grill again and cook an additional 7 minutes for medium or 12 minutes for medium well.
  • Remove steaks from the grill and wrap in aluminum foil.  Allow to rest in the aluminum foil for 5 minutes before you eat.

Step by Step Photos of the Grilling Process

grilling steaks processTurn Steaks Only ONCE
cooking steaks on the grill Cover grill again and cook an additional 9 minutes for medium rare or 12 minutes for medium well.
grilled steaks Remove steaks from the grill and wrap in aluminum foil. Allow to set for 5 minutes before you eat.

How to Grill the Perfect Steak - Step by Step Instructions for Beginners
This is my cut steak. I like mine cooked medium well.
I thought you might like to see the inside color of one of
our finished steaks.
This one grilled for a total of 21 minutes.

Now, Isn't that easy!  These steaks are quite delicious too.  They are best you will ever taste anywhere.


More Cooking & Grilling Fun

Join me at Cooking for the Holidays for More Cooking Tips & Recipes

You may also wish to try Grilling Shrimp on the Grill with this Easy Recipe from Sam's Place
For a Recommended Grill, check out this review of the Char-Griller Duo 5050 written by Dawn Rae

Check Out More Recipe & Food Reviews at

How to Grill the Perfect Steaks - Beginner Tips Reviewed 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, July 27, 2017

Review of Owls Head Maine

Owls Head Lighthouse in Maine photo by mbgphoto
Owls Head Lighthouse

Owls Head Lighthouse

Owls Head lighthouse is located in Owls Head Light State Park.  It is at the eastern point of Rockland Harbor and it sits high on a cliff overlooking the harbor.  When I had visited Rockland Breakwater light, I could get a glimpse of it on the hill at the far end of the harbor.

The lighthouse is a very short, stubby looking lighthouse.  When we visited the lighthouse we parked in a lot just before the trail.  I then walked the trail up a hill and around a bend which ended at the Coast Guard station.  From there I climbed a short ramp and then the stairs up to the lighthouse.

It was a foggy day near the lighthouse so it was hard to get good views away from the cliff.  The fog horn was blaring and several people on the trail told me it was too loud to stay their long, however by the time I got to the lighthouse the fog horn had stopped blaring and I was able to photograph in peace.

There was a hill full of wild flowers in front of the lighthouse, mainly daisies which were very pretty.
Owls Head Lighthouse in Maine photo by mbgphoto
Owls Head

Owls Head Harbor

I had read in my guidebook that there was a wonderful small harbor in Owls Head. It is very small harbor but a great place to capture photos of the lobster boats and the gear that is used in the lobster industry.  I enjoyed seeing all of the traps stacked on the dock and the colorful ropes all piled high.  On an old shed across the drive were colorful lobster buoys hung on the outside wall.
colorful lobster buoys photo by mbgphoto

Lobster Boats in  Owls Head Maine photo by mbgphoto
Lobster Boats in Owls Head Harbor

ropes photo by mbgphoto
Fishing Boats in Owls Head Maine photo by mbgphoto

lobster traps photo by mbgphoto
Lobster Traps

Owls Head on Zazzle

I  enjoy making my photographs into Zazzle products like magnets, cards, buttons, mugs and much more.  You can see what I have to offer by clicking the link below.

Photographers Guide to Maine

This is the guidebook I use when traveling in Maine.  It gives me lots of great ideas of places to photograph, directions and many helpful hints.  

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, July 26, 2017

You Have to See This! Excellent Dog and Cat Strollers Reviewed!

We Love all our Fur Babies!  Dogs and Cats are an integral part of our families!

When they hurt, we hurt too!  So let's review how we can help our Fur Babies thrive in whatever difficulties they may be experiencing!

Just last week I got the funniest (I thought at the time) phone call from my uncle.  He is a "Doggie Lover Extraordinaire!"  He knows all of the dogs in his building by name and they all know him too!  It's a win-win situation for him.  He is elderly and could not take care of a dog by himself, so he gets to love all the dogs and not have to worry about their day to day care.  The dog owners love it too, because he gives their fur babies a little extra attention and treats.  The dogs all love him.  Anyways,  I digress, back to the phone call.

The Phone Call!

He calls me almost in a frantic state and begins to tell me about this elderly dog in his building.  He's been worried about him for quite some time.  Mr. Beasley (the dog) is suffering from bad eyesight and the ravages of age, arthritis.   My Uncle was worried that the owners would put Mr. Beasley to sleep!  So the phone call continues, he says to me, "Olivinha (my pet name) you will never believe what I just saw!"

dog strollers, Review This, Pet Accessories, help for elder pets
Happy Fur Babies Going for a Walk!

The Reveal!

He proceeds to tell me about Mr. Beasley and his new "pet stroller".  He is gushing with excitement that Mr. Beasley's owners have found a way to make their fur baby's life easier in his later years. As he was telling me all about this it occurred to me that many of my friends are in a similar position.  Their fur babies are growing older and suffering some of the same effects of aging that we go through.  So with all this excitement I decided that I would check out these wonderful Pet Strollers and give you my honest review!

So here we go!

From Amazon's pages I have chosen to show you these four Dog/Cat Strollers! I have read many of the reviews given to the items by "verified purchasers" and can honestly say I have also spoken to many people about their own dog/cat strollers! So let's take a look and see what we have available, shall we?  People in my own building also have dogs and dog strollers.  I have made it a point to talk to them about their choices and why they like them or not!  I personally don't currently have a dog so my opinion is based on what I have seen and what I have heard from other dog owners, including Mr. Beasley's fur parents and more fur parents who have dog strollers.
heart shape made of dog paw prints

Hits and Misses

Dog Strollers are basically a baby type carriage for your fur babies.  Like real baby strollers, they have wheels and a "bed area". So why not just get a baby carriage and modify it for your pet?  Well, let's just say that safety, is the name of the game and keeping our pet safe and secure is our ultimate goal.  In order to retrofit a baby carriage,  you would be making a big investment in time and trouble, when there are products already available for this purpose.
dog in purse
Not the ideal way to transport your pet for long periods of time.

Stroller Size

Pet strollers are rated for the size of the dog or cat.  Pet strollers can be used for any four legged pets that you may have. Depending on the overall size of the stroller, you can fit one or two small dogs or cats into these beds.  Most will have a certain "pound rating".  If you have a very big dog, you will need to look for a stroller that will take your pets weight, or the tires and frame will not hold up for prolonged use. Pet Strollers are generally rated by weight of the pet or pets.  Many come in doubles too, for people who have more than one animal in their care.  


You can get a very inexpensive dog stroller for a small dog if you are a city dweller and use it on paved walkways and roads. If this is good enough for you then you can purchase a doggie stroller for about $50.00.  As I said earlier I do not have one of these myself so I did rely on the comments and found some really disturbing ones that rated the inexpensive strollers as "terrible".  So buyer beware.  The smaller wheels and portability of the stroller would be ideal. But the smaller wheels do not lend themselves to a nice smooth ride for your pet.

The stroller that cost upwards of $180.00 are considered the "Cadillac" of pet strollers.These pet strollers have wheels that are 12 inches in diameter and are pumped up with air, like a bicycle tire.  They offer a smooth ride and are made especially for joggers or walkers that like to go the distance on terrain that is not smooth.  Winter would also be a great time to use these strollers,  to save the dogs from getting "salt burns" on the pads of their feet.  

Transportation of the Pet Strollers

All of the pet strollers are made to be easy to transport.  One handed collapse is not uncommon.  Weight of the pet beds varies but most are easy enough for anyone to load them into a car.   Not all of them have the storage  basket on the underside of the "bed".   To me this "extra" is essential, but more on that further in the Review.  Tubing and construction are much better with the premium types of pet strollers.

Bed Area

Some of the pet strollers come with a "bed" already for your pet.  Some make this an add on feature.  Premium strollers come with everything included, meaning that you have a sun shade, bolster pad and bedding as part of the whole package.  If you buy a less expensive model, you will need to add these extras to make your pet stroller compete with the upgraded models.  The bed is "screened in" so that your dog will not be able to jump out and wander off.  Some even sport a window at the bottom area of the bed, so that your dog can lie down and still be watching where you are going. If your dog likes the wind in his face, there are tethers to attach to a harness!  Then let the hood down and the screen off and your animals will still be safe!  Everything will fit nicely into the boot of the carriage.


Premium strollers are also great for fitness buffs who love to run.  The three wheeled construction allows the front wheel to lock into place for joggers.  If you prefer a leisurely walk, then the front wheel can be unlocked.  You will be able to turn your pet stroller on a dime.  It handles like a "Ferrari", where the more inexpensive strollers will chug along like a freight train in comparison.

Boot or Storage Area

Underneath the "bed" there is a boot or storage area, that will hold everything you might need while you are out and about.  A water dish, water bottles, treats and even their food can easily be stored until needed.  If you are out with your dog for the whole day, this storage area is wonderful and will save you from having to make several return trips to the car for items you might need.  Going to the dog park was never so easy for you or your dog. And after a strenuous day of play, your pet will be ready for a nice nap on the way back to the car.  Everyone exhausted but happy with a day's outing made easy.


If you are purchasing a pet stroller for your family pet, then I would strongly suggest going for a model that is in the higher price range. You will get your money's worth out of it, with the superior construction and usability.   When your dog gets older and can no longer walk for long distances, this is the ideal way to help your pet still enjoy his later years.  He still gets out and for short periods of time can get out of the stroller for a little walk and then get back in to rest.  It's one of the little things we can do for our pets who have given us so much love during their younger years.  Elder dogs are still part of our extended family and as such we can only try to make their latter days as easy a possible.

We have so much fun with our four legged family members that in their latter years we can go just that little bit further.  After all, these are the pets that we have dressed up for Halloween, taken pictures of for our Family Christmas Cards, and made them a part of our world for so many occasions.  When they get old, we owe it to them to make their senior years as wonderful as they have made all of our days.
never underestimate the warmth of a wet nose plaque

Dog safety is one of the most important things we can do for the pets we love.  Keeping them safe and comfortable is part of our duty as a pet owner and lover.  If you want to read about more ways to keep your pets safe and happy there are lots of Reviews available for you!

  • If you want to know more about Indoor Dog Gates, you can click on that link and read about them. Cynthia let's you know all the ins and outs of Indoor Dog Gates.
  • Dressing up our pets for special holidays is something we pet owners do too just for fun.  Our fur babies enjoy the attention and we get so much pleasure and fun with the interactions too.  Susan writes about dressing up our dogs in this review: Patriotic Dog Bandanas, Collars and Clothes.
  • If you are new to bringing home a puppy, you might want to read Bringing Home a Puppy Day!

One thing is certain, once there is a dog in your life, you will never ever stop having things to talk about.

If you ever get the chance to rescue a dog, you will find that they will change your life even more for the better!  My friend Diana Wentzel, rescues dogs and she just recently had then need to get a dog stroller for one of her rescues.  In her words, "Mr. Muffin's dune buggy. Let me tell you, it's a good workout pushing a dog stroller through a sandy creek. Still, I would do anything for this precious guy. I'm waiting for him to tell me where he wants to go for his next field trip."  She goes on to say, "I have found this to be an essential piece of equipment. For Mr. Muffin, it is definitely a quality of life accessory. I'm sure many dogs would benefit from having one. It means I can take Mr. M. places he would never be able to experience without it.

dog in stroller
Along with her beautiful comments, she allowed me to post this picture of Mr. Muffins in his "Dune Buggy"!  Photo courtesy of Ms. D. Wenzel!
All pictures except Mr. Muffins's, on this blog post are from Pixabay.  

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, July 25, 2017

Caladryl Gel For Poison Ivy Relief Reviewed

Relieve The Itching Of Poison Ivy

poison ivy
Poison Ivy Image courtesy of
I'm currently suffering from a bout with poison ivy and am using Caladryl Gel to relieve the itching and pain associated with this nasty rash.

I don't know why but it seems we have a more than normal growth of this vining plant in our yard this year. I am usually extremely careful about not getting around it because I react to it very easily. Somehow, it snuck up and surprised me this year.

The only thing I can figure is that the oil from the plant must have been on some brush that I picked up to take to the curb for pick-up. I certainly didn't see any of the plants or I would have steered clear of it. Needless to say, no matter how careful I was; I ended up with a poison ivy rash on my midsection. Right were I was holding the brush as I carried it to the curb. I had gloves on so it didn't get on my hands but my poor tummy area wasn't so lucky.

If you have ever had the poison ivy rash, you know it itches like crazy and sometimes even becomes painful. I have always been super sensitive to the plant and try to avoid it as much as possible. We had just had some dead trees removed and I have a feeling some vines were disturbed in the process and it doesn't take much for me to react. I once had it on my face from the oil being airborne from a farmer mowing a ditch and all I did was stop to say hi with my window down. That is all it took.

When I was a kid, we used Calamine lotion. That pink stuff that looked awful but worked. Today, we have Caladryl that comes in a clear gel which is nice because it isn't so unsightly. It works the same relieving the itching, helps dry up the rash, and relieves the pain a little. I'm so sensitive that I also take some benadryl and an occasional Tylenol but you may not need that.

The rash is caused from an allergic reaction to the oil found on the leaves, stem and roots of the poison ivy plant. The rash will appear where the oil has come in contact with the skin. I always wear gloves and wash my hands immediately after working in the yard but I didn't consider that it might have gotten on my shirt while working with that brush. I had spent a couple of hours cleaning up the mess that the tree removal guys left and did remove the shirt and shower but apparently not soon enough. The oil had already began to work on my skin. Ugh! It isn't fun!

If you find you have had a reaction to poison ivy, sumac or oak; relief can be found with the Caladryl Gel. You can use it up to 3 or 4 times a day. Wash the area with warm soap and water, apply the gel and within 5 to 10 days you should see the rash starting to go away. Contrary to popular belief, you can not spread the rash by washing it or applying a lotion. It sometimes appears that it is spreading but that is more from the oil and your reaction. The area that was exposed the most will show up first and the area with less contact may take a little longer to show the rash. The little blisters in the rash do not contain the oil and will not spread the rash.

Be careful out there and try to not expose yourself to the plant but if you do, I hope this little review will help you with the rash.

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, July 24, 2017

Movies Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

Movies Reviewed on Review This Reviews!
I love watching a good movie. Clearly, the other contributors on Review This Reviews! also enjoy watching movies. While our preferences in movie genres range widely, we all have something in common. The contributors at Review This Reviews! want to recommend the movies we've seen and enjoyed. 

Granted, tastes in movies vary. What one person thinks is a remarkable movie, the next person may find it to be just "okay". But outside of these differences in preferences, you can count on our reviews to be genuine. I know I trust the opinions here to be honest and I've seen some movies that I hadn't otherwise planned to watch, based on the reviews found on this site. And not only enjoyed the movies, but have watched a few of them more than once.

Sylvestermouse Cynthia's review of The Jungle Book (2016) is a perfect example. I really hadn't made any effort to watch the movie as I had expected just one more "reheated" re-make of a previous movie. Yes, The Jungle Book is a classic book and movie, and frankly it is a re-make. But it was a wonderful movie that I have enjoyed immensely. I would not have seen it if it weren't for her review.

On the Review This Reviews! site, you can either click the movie reviews tab near the top of the page or you can click the site directory for the movie reviews.  By using the movie reviews tab, the movie reviews in their entirety will be shown - listed from most recently written review to the oldest. By using the site directory link, you will scroll down and locate the movie reviews category. In this list you will see the titles of the reviews. Either way is a quick and easy to locate movie reviews on this site. 

If you are a Pinterest person, you can see our movie reviews listed on our Pinterest Movie Reviews board.

No matter how you access our movie library, I am quite certain you will find something that entertains you; making you laugh, cry, or wonder. Happy movie watching to you - from the Review This Reviews! contributors.

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, July 23, 2017

Understanding the Color Orange in Home Decor

Orange Home Décor Ideas & Accessories
Most love the color orange, however, think about it ... how many homes have you seen use the color orange in their decorating scheme?

Let's Review T
he Color Orange, and What it Evokes

The most misunderstood color in the paint deck is Orange.

When we think about orange what tends to come to mind is Food, Halloween, or Autumn. However the feeling that orange gives to a space may surprise you.

Orange, especially a child's room can encourage a warm, friendly, youthful, and socially inviting space. Don't hesitate to add orange accessories to the room, such as pillows, book shelves, a rug, drapes or go ahead and create a focal point and pop of color by painting one wall a bright and inviting orange hue.

Spaces and Ways to Include Orange

1. Since an outdoor space is meant to be socially inviting, cheerful and a positive space to gather,
orange makes an excellent choice when decorating a deck or patio.

2. If your room has a lot of light, adding orange can help to further brighten the room and even help to make the space seem larger. Pops of orange add positivity and energy.

3. Pair orange with a color on the opposite side of the spectrum such as a deep blue. Pairing these two colors together can lead you down the path of creating a Moroccan theme. By combining opposite colors you balance the space.

4. How about a tropical theme? If you're a brave decorator you can take an orange room to the beach by combining orange with hot pink and yellow. Since all of these colors are positioned close together on the color wheel, your space will have an analogous theme.

Try a couch in yellow, a loveseat with orange, yellow and pink stripes, and a solid dark pink chair! Lighten the space up with a pale multi colored small patterned floral rug and then go all out with one wall painted in deep orange. 

Characteristics Associated with Orange
  • Cheerful
  • Self Confident
  • Flamboyant 
  • Warm Hearted
  • Adventurous
  • Comical
  • Able to handle what life dishes out
  • Sociable
  • Enjoy being part of a group or team
For those who lived through the 1970's, you'll recall Orange being a popular color in home décor. My baby brothers room was decorated with orange and white furnishings and an orange shag rug! Cheerful, fun, inviting...yes, that was his space.

Orange is fun, put your brave on and 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.”

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Fishy Tales Book Review

Fishy Tales - a DK Reader for Pre-School Age

Fishy Tales book cover
Fishy Tales on Amazon

This is part of the DK Readers series, which includes 4 levels for you to choose from to match your child's reading ability.  The levels include:

  • Pre-Level 1 - Learning to Read - These books include simple sentences to introduce and reinforce vocabulary.
  • Level 1 - Beginning to Read - Books which have short and simple stories to engage interest.
  • Level 2 – Beginning to Read Alone - Books with longer stories to develop fluency and understanding.
  • Level 3 – Reading Alone - These include more complex stories to build confidence in reading. 

Fishy Tales & Friends

Fishy Tales Book and crocheted 'friends' (stuffed animals)

Fishy Tales is a DK Reader in the Pre-Level 1, for children ages 4-6.  The Fishy Tales story takes a journey in the deep blue sea where we see fish swim through through a coral reef.  There is also a starfish on the sandy ocean floor and a jellyfish floating up and down in the waves, plus pages about the sea turtle, Sea horses, jellyfish, sharks, octopuses, crabs, eels, rays and dolphins.

There are 12 different sea-life creatures shown in two-page spreads with color pictures and simple one sentence descriptions.  Each sea animal has words that describe different parts of the animal. 


For instance, the turtle page says:
Turtles – The turtles play in the ocean. 

The words Shell and Flipper are labels which point to those matching parts on the turtle. 

Plush tortoise reading about turtles in Fishy Tales
Terrance Turtle reading Fishy Tales

A handmade plush tortoise from my Etsy Toybox loves reading about the sea turtle who lives in the deep blue sea. This plush turtle is named Terrance (Terry for short) and he is hand-crocheted. 

A handmade in crochet turtle
 He has  a tan body with a sage green shell. His head, legs and tail are done in yellow. His eyes are embroidered. He's soft and cuddly and ready to be hugged by a child who loves turtles.

Crabs & Clams


Plush clam toy reading about ocean clams in the book Fishy Tales

My Etsy Shop currently has several toy clams, like this little yellow yarn clam in her clamshell.  They are fascinated by the ocean crabs who can hide in the coral and in big shells. She can imagine how  much fun it would be to be 'real' and live by the seashore like the crabs in this story. 

Handmade plush clam
Plush Clam in Clam Shell - Etsy
This two-piece set includes a bright yellow clam with black safety eyes and filled with soft polyfil. The 'clam' measures 3 inches across. She comes with her own 'clamshell' crocheted in brown and tan. Clamshell measures nearly 4 inches across.

Yellow clam loves the sandy beach, but she'd be just as happy living in a child's toy box or reading books with a child.  She could also be a friendly plushie sitting on your desk.


Plush toy tropical fish reading Fishy Tales

Colorful fishies swim everywhere through the Coral reef and elsewhere in the ocean. This plush toy tropical fish pretends he could join them when he reads about them in the book. 

tropical fish plush toy
Plush Toy Tropical Fish

The Tropical fish in my Etsy Shop is handmade in the Amigurumi style of crochet. Fish has two back fins, two side fins, one top fin and one bottom fin -- all crocheted in royal blue yarn. He is stuffed with non-allergenic polyfil and measures 12 inches long from nose to the top of back fins and about 4 inches across the body. Fish is 6" tall from bottom fin to top fin.



Plush toy octopus find the page about the octopus in the storybook Fishy Tales to be their favorite

The many toy octopuses in my Etsy Shop find the page about the octopus in the storybook Fishy Tales to be their favorite, of course. Two of these plush yarn octopuses are busy reading about the octopuses who live in the sea.



Plush toy dolphin reading the dolphin page in Fishy Tales

My favorite page in Fishy Tales is the one about the dolphin, as there are multiple dolphins in plush in my Etsy crochet toybox.  And, since I live near the ocean, I also get to see real dolphins swimming and leaping in the sea close to my nearest beach.

Bottlenose Dolphin in crochet
Plush Toy Crochet Bottlenose Dolphin
Come meet my replicas of a plush, stuffed toy version of a bottlenose dolphin, a favorite sea animal.

My current dolphins measures about 14 inches long and 9 inches across the side fins. They are about 3.5 inches high (6 inches at the dorsal fin). The eyes are craft safety eyes.



A page in the book Fishy Tales

Any child would enjoy reading all about these marvelous sea creatures shown here in Fishy Tales. And we hope you have enjoyed the featured crochet plush sea animals who have also enjoyed reading about the real-life sea animals which were their creators' inspiration in crochet.

  • For more DK Reader books for pre-school and older children, visit their website at

Quick Links

*Children's book review of Fishy Tales by Wednesday-Elf

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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