Monday, October 30, 2017

No Fuss Caramel Apple Treats

Easy and delicious caramel apples
During this time of year, the one treat I find myself craving constantly is a caramel apple. That is the one thing I always buy at fall festivals and fairs. Because I have never felt like bothering with the mess of melting the caramels, I never have them at home. Fortunately, there are a few delicious ways to take care of my caramel apple cravings without the fuss and muss. In this review I will show you a few of those caramel apple treats.


Ms. Prindable's Caramel Apples


There is no fuss or muss if you buy your caramel apples already made. Food stands at local apple harvest festivals or state fairs have the most amazing caramel apples. But what if you want a caramel apple and don't feel like leaving the house? 

I believe it was two years ago when someone gave me a wonderful gift of a Ms. Prindable's caramel apple. That gourmet apple was divine. I don't recall which flavor I had, since Ms. Prindable's carries a variety of caramel-covered apples, but I do recall it was covered in roasted nuts. It was rich, delicious, and it was one of the large apples. That gourmet apple was a very welcomed and thoughtful gift.

A few of the delicious selections that Ms. Prindable's offers on Amazon

Werther's Sugar-Free Caramel Apple Hard Candies


The least fussy-mussy caramel apple flavored treats are the Werther's sugar free hard candies. Even though they are hard candies and  even though they are sugar-free, these are some of my favorite autumn candies. 

These Werther's candies truly taste like caramel and green-apples. They are small treats that are individually wrapped - small enough to carry several of them in your pocket or your purse. Because they are hard candies there is no mess other than having to throw away the wrapper.

In addition to the sugar-free hard candies, Werther's offers caramel apple flavored hard candies and caramel apple flavored soft candies.

The Werther's caramel apple candy selections on Amazon 

Caramel Apple Pops


Caramel Apple Pops are green apple-flavored hard candies on a stick with a coating of caramel. They are wonderful but not quite as easy to carry in your pocket or purse.  You can definitely keep them handy at home or in your desk drawer. And they are a popular Halloween treat. 

Caramel Apple Pops

Making Caramel Apples at Home with AllRecipes


Well folks, I've now spent so much time thinking about caramel apples that I looked for a tutorial on making them at home. AllRecipes has this "recipe" and video showing the steps of melting the caramel in the microwave and coating the apples. 

You can be sure that I'll be snacking on the caramel apple treats above, but I also may end up making some caramel apples at home this year with the help of allrecipes.


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Three Affordable Holiday Accessories to Deck Out Your Christmas Dinner Table

Get Set of 8 Santa Hat Chair Covers Here
Get a jump on the Christmas Holiday season by having all the little things addressed early.

Too often we leave those small decorative items we've always wanted until the last minute then think, 'nah', maybe next year.

Don't do that this year. Life is short.

Christmas Chair Covers

Chair covers make a lovely addition to a Christmas table setting; when you're aiming for a red-green table setting, they complete the festive look and feel.

They're not a one trick pony: Chair covers can also be used for home Christmas parties or even holiday birthdays.

Featured in the photo are a set of 8 Santa Claus Hat Chair Covers. You'll be surprised by how affordable they are. Get a jump on your holiday plans. Generally you'll want to allow 3 to 7 days for order processing and 2 to 8 days for shipping. Start today and you'll have plenty of time.

Christmas Silverware Stockings
Stocking Stuffed for Dinner Display - Get them Here


Imagine each place setting graced with a funky Christmas stocking stuffed with silverware.

When you visit the link on the featured photo you'll see that two stocking sets are included. They indicate that a knife and fork and stocking come with each one. Although the photo does show a spoon, the description doesn't mention one.

Also, you can easily DIY this idea. Simply use a small stocking from other décor items you've collected, or make them. Place your silverware inside and you're done.

Use this idea to hold dinner cutlery for buffets. Place your silverware inside and tie a Christmas ribbon around it if the stocking is too loose to keep it held in place. Display them on your buffet to enhance your holiday presentation.

Wine Bottle Sleeves Here
Holiday Wine Bottle Cover Decorations

Accessorize the table with these funky Santa and Snowman wine bottle sleeves. Place them anywhere the wine is on display. Use them and re-use them as need be during the holiday season; they'll add whimsy to your holiday party.

Give them out as a Hostess or holiday gifts. When bagging or wrapping a bottle of wine isn't your thing, these decorations do the job.

If you're hosting a non-alcoholic dinner, place these around other bottles on the table, and when dinner is done, hand them out to the kids.

Theses type of accessories serve multiple purposes. Collect a variety of whimsical decorations so they're handy for additional table décor, or to have available as occasional gifts to hand out during the holidays.

Note that when you visit the link under the photo, additional information will be provided, including the price. These wine bottle sleeves don't come as a pair, you'll have to order each separately.

Get planning, the Holidays are around the corner - beat the rush this year!


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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Baby Crochet Pattern Book Review

Baby Crochet available on Etsy and Amazon
When you create a handmade gift for a baby shower, or to welcome a new arrival in the family, your gift becomes extra special. A 'Made with Love' gift.

For those who love to crochet, this pattern booklet by Lois Daykin called 'Baby Crochet' is filled with 20 wonderful designs for newborns and little toddlers. 

The collection includes garments such as booties, a wrap cardigan, and practical & pretty bibs and bottle warmers.  There are also patterns for soft toys and nursery decor, along with a crochet cushion and blanket set.




Teddy Bear Scarf and Hat




The teddy scarf and hat for a toddler is adorable. The scarf has pockets for tots to carry around little stuffed animals. This pattern is very easy to crochet if you do the simplest form (as seen in the image on the left).  


There is an alternative version that has little teddy decorations that are crocheted and stitched on after the scarf and hat are finished (image on right). The little teddy bear motifs take a bit more crochet skill, but are not all that difficult and add a really cute finish, along with the bear ears with tassels, making the set truly TEDDY!


Nursery Decor


This pattern book also has cool accessories for decorating the nursery, such as a little rabbit diaper holder and a mobile of crochet hearts.  


Soft Plush Toys


Soft plush toys for toddlers are also included in this baby crochet book.  Choose a cat, a curly snake or some big soft crochet building blocks!  Use simple bright primary colors for these soft toys, to catch baby's eye, or choose soft baby pastels.  Any color yarn makes crocheting for babies fun to do. 




Baby Crochet



Many of the projects in this book can be done in a few hours and the instructions are easy enough for even novices to make successfully.  

The book was published in 2007.  It is a soft cover book with 120 pages and is nicely illustrated with color photographs.



Author Lois Daykin


Lois Daykin is a very successful knitwear designer whose designs are regularly featured in the prestigious Rowan magazine. She is the author of some of their best-selling pattern booklets, including Little Treasures


Baby Crochet, along with Baby Knits, is her first book to be published in the United States. She lives in Derbyshire, England with her husband and their three small children.



Little Treasures and Baby Knits

 

Little Treasures on Abe Books & Baby Knits on Amazon

Baby Crochet Front & Back Covers


Quick Links:



(c) Wednesday Elf 10/28/2017


*Images shown in this article were photographed by or compiled from stock photos by (c) Wednesday Elf.





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Friday, October 27, 2017

Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery Reviewed

Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery
(Roni Rainer Mysteries Book 1) 


Death Takes A Spin:  An Up-cycling Mystery - Book Reviewed
When I first started reading "Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery" by Beverly Owens, I did not want to put it down.  I was quickly pulled into the lives of the characters in the book, as well as the mystery surrounding the murder of the bicycle shop owner.  Somewhere around chapter 9, my life interrupted my reading.  I was forced to set the book aside for a few hours.  I honestly don't know why my family thinks they should eat! 

However, during those few hours of preparing and serving dinner, I found myself thinking about the characters and wondering what was really going on in their lives.   That was one of the things I loved most about "Death Takes a Spin".  There is a lot of detail, mystery and mystic woven throughout the pages about each individual's life that was separate from the actual murder mystery of the story.  Each character was more like a real person with real lives, real concerns and even real fears and danger.

I was also captivated by the idea of having an up-cycling store that gave old furniture new life by salvaging usable parts and creating something new and beautiful.  In my crafter's mind, I could easily envision the finished piece because the written descriptions were so vivid.  Since one of my own favorite pastimes happens to be exploring antique malls looking for something special, that concept very much appeals to me.  Although, I readily admit I am not creative enough to take apart several pieces and recreate a new gorgeous piece, I do love the idea. 


Death Takes A Spin:  An Up-cycling Mystery
The Plot 


When Roni Rainer inherits her grandmother's antique store, she opts to give the store a more current day appeal.  Instead of selling antiques, she focuses on redesigning antiques and giving them a modern day appeal.  Her unique approach is well accepted and her business is flourishing.   She has no idea that her life is about to be turned upside down.  She has already heard rumors about her husband, but she dismisses them as being incidents of mistaken identity.  

 Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery
(Roni Rainer Mysteries)
Available for Kindle or Paperback
Check Price
Roni is well known in town since she grew up there.  Like many small towns, people know a lot about each other's daily business, as well as their past.  When Roni's old boyfriend, Mitch, returns to town as a deputy sheriff, old questions as well as forgotten hurts, are revived.  

One of his first stops in town is the old antique store.  Mitch is happily surprised to find Roni is there.  She is more than surprised to see Mitch Denton in her shop.  With the initial shock of seeing each other again now behind them, they chat about furniture and Roni accepts a consignment job to make a masculine tea cart for Mitch.  In order to create the tea cart she envisions, she will need bicycle wheels from Willie's bicycle shop.  When she walks into the bike store, she finds Willie dead behind the counter.  Why would anyone kill this benevolent and beloved gentleman who thrived on helping others?

With the mystery of Willie's murder, the return of Mitch Denton, the rumors about her husband, and the need to hire more help in her store, Roni finds herself juggling life events.  During all of it, she has a old and steadfast friend that she can turn to for support.  Kitchi is actually more like a grandfather to her.  He has an unworldly insight coupled with wisdom that helps them all be prepared for what will happen next.  

There are a few other characters who are a very important part of the story.  They are both Roni's employees and are actually pretty endearing themselves.  I found myself wishing to protect both Charlotte and Clay from the cruelties of the world.  Although, life has already prepared them.


Conclusion


I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did!  It is truly fabulous, and I can hardly wait to start reading the second book in the series, Illegal Harvest!  

The first time I ever read an article written by Beverly Owens, I made the comment, " I want to write like that!".  Now all I can say is, I WISH I could write like that!

If and when you have read the book, I would love to hear who your favorite character in the book is.  I can't seem to choose between them. 

One other note, I thought it was pretty cool when I realized the author's husband did the illustration for the book.  Those of us who read on kindles now, often miss seeing the images.  Now that I have a Fire Tablet, I get to enjoy the pictures too.  Well done Beverly and Terry Owens!
  



Read More Book Reviews at
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Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Reviewing Fall Photo Fun at a Farm

I recently accompanied a group I volunteer as a photography mentor  to a farm for our October outing.  I was expecting the usual opportunities for photos with the pumpkins and corn maze, but was delighted to discover lots of other photo opportunities.  So when you visit a farm in the fall look past the obvious and you will discover a rich array of photo opportunities.

Old Farm Equipment


Old Farm equipment can make some interesting photos.  Tips for good photos.
  • Watch you surroundings so that you can focus on the item you are photographing.  There can be a lot of distractions.
  • Move around to get the best angle.
  • Pay attention to the lighting.
I thought this old farm truck made an interesting photo.  There were a lot of distractions that would take away from the photo so I zoomed in on just the front of the truck.

Farm Animals

Don't feel you always need to get the full animal.  This donkey sticking his head through a fence tells a story.  He seems to be saying "Pet me...Pet me!"
Make sure you capture the eyes of the animal you are photographing.  It will make you photograph much more interesting.

Weathered Wood

Old barn doors and weathered wood can make an interesting photo.
I like the fall wreath against the weathered board.
 Zooming in close on an old weathered barn door can make an interesting photo.

Corn Maze

Of course the corn maze is always a fun activity.  Taking a photo inside the maze is not always the most interesting.  Here are two different views that I found interesting. 
Here I used a 5.6 aperture to get the foreground in focus and blurring the background.
In this next photo I zoomed in close to capture a single ear of corn.




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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Debbie Macomber's A Girl's Guide to Moving On

Moving On after a Divorce is Never Easy


Debbie Macomber's new novel, A Girl's Guide to Moving On, follows the emotional journey of two women after they divorce their husbands. Nichole had watched her mother-in-law Leanne look the other way for decades while her husband Sean had serial affairs. When she found her own husband Jake was cheating on her, she filed for divorce quickly, not wanting to suffer the humiliation Leanne had lived with for thirty-five years.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay


After Nichole filed for divorce, Leanne almost immediately followed her lead and divorced Sean. He had been a good provider and had tried to be mostly discrete, but Leanne's friends at the Country Club they belonged to always let her know what a tomcat Sean was. Though he was always polite about the small things, like opening doors and helping with chairs as etiquette dictated, he had no problem with betraying Leanne where it mattered most. Though he showed Leanne affection in public, he had not privately shown any for ten years in or out of the bedroom.

Nichole had seen enough watching Leanne to know that financial security wasn't worth paying the emotional price of ignoring Jake's infidelity. She knew if she did, it would become a pattern with Jake as it had with his father. Even though she knew living separately would be hard on them all, especially their three-year-old son Owen, she refused to let Jake shred her self-esteem by treating her as his father had treated Leanne.

Leanne and Nichole were both concerned that Owen might follow in the steps of his father and grandfather if there appeared to be no consequences. Nichole's filing to divorce Jake gave Leanne the courage to finally divorce Sean. Both women faced fear and insecurity in making this change from the comfortable life they had been used to.

The Country Club was no longer a comfortable place. Edited from Morgue File image.


More than financial security was at stake. Both women were emotionally shaken and had moved from the homes they had shared with their spouses when married. Both women also needed new friends, since the old ones they'd made at the Country Club seemed only interested in keeping them up-do-date on their ex-husbands' latest exploits. Debbie Macomber shows the steps they took to get on with their lives.


The Guide to Moving On is Born


After Nichole and Leanne had filed for divorce they moved into apartments across from each other and became even closer friends than they had been before. They had common hurts and common problems. They wanted to support each other emotionally as they faced their journey into new experiences. They made a list of what they needed to do to get on with their lives and heal. They called it A Guide to Moving On. This guide contained only three items (quoted from novel):


  1. Don't allow yourself to wallow in your pain. Reach out. Volunteer. Do something you love or something to help others.
  2. Cultivate new friendships
  3. Let go in order to receive
Image created on paid version of Stencil


Both Women Form New Relationships 

Nichole and Leanne follow the steps they created for moving on well. Each found a volunteer job she loved. For each the job paved the way for a new and very different man to enter her life. Nichole met Rocco, a tow truck driver with some very uncouth friends, when he hauled her out of a ditch she had backed into. 

He asked her to return the favor by helping his teen-age daughter, the result of a one-night stand, learn to dress appropriately enough to stay out of trouble. He endeared himself to Nichole's son Owen by giving him a tow truck driver uniform and letting him "drive" a real tow truck. It's obvious to the reader a relationship is developing. But Rocco had a criminal record. After becoming responsible for his daughter, he had turned his life around to the extent that Nichole  trusted him. 

Photo Credit: Don Hankins, Creative Commons 2.0


His tattoos and rough manner would not have made him welcome at the country club, but Nichole could see that under his rough exterior he had a good heart. He still occasionally hung out with his biker pals at bars, but he now owned the tow truck company he used to work for and he hired some other ex-cons who needed a second chance to become good citizens. None of them disappointed him. 

Meanwhile, Leanne, who had a master's in education, took a volunteer job in night school teaching English as a foreign language. One of her students, Nikolai Janchenko from the Ukraine, was about her age. He adored her and began to bake her bread as a sign of love. 

Bread image from Pixabay


 He was a widower whose wife had died of cancer years ago. Gradually they began to date. Leanne began to return his affection. 

Both Relationships Reach a Crisis Point


Just as the reader is getting ready for a happy ending for Leanne and Nichole, relationship disasters strike both of them. Leanne had promised Nikolai she would never again do things for Sean like clean his house or help him. Then Sean got terminal cancer, his other women ran from him, and Leanne felt she needed to step in. She could not simply desert him in his time of trouble after so many years of loving him. Nikolai stopped seeing her and even dropped the English class. Leanne was broken hearted. 

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

About the same time Jake threatened Nichole that if she did not stop seeing Rocco, he would file to take custody of Owen from her. He had discovered Rocco's criminal record and insisted he was a bad influence on Owen. Nichole could not risk losing Owen. Without revealing the reason why, she told Rocco she could not see him anymore. He indicated he was walking out of her life forever, since he believed Nichole thought he wasn't good enough for her after all. Owen can't understand why his pal Rocco isn't visiting him anymore. 


My Review of A Girl's Guide to Moving On



I picked this up at the library in the new book section when the ebook I was reading couldn't keep me awake. I had fled the noise of workman at my house and wanted to read something that would interest me enough to keep me from falling asleep before I could go home. Debbie Macomber got me interested in Leanne and Nichole from the first page. 

Although both Leanne and Nichole divorced their husbands, they felt they had no other choice because of the infidelity. Neither believed it would stop. But the divorces still hurt them and left them grieving the loss of their marriages. Neither was really looking for a new relationship when Rocco and Nikolai walked into their lives. Both women were courageous and supported each other emotionally as they faced an uncertain future and the problems in dealing with the changing relationships.

 Macomber's portrayal of their struggles and their triumphs is emotionally realistic. Although the book is heavy, some of the minor characters added humor to lighten it up. Owen is a precious little boy who reminded me of my own when he was the same age.

I liked that neither woman took divorce lightly and neither violated her moral standards or set a bad example to her children, even though they did face temptations. I appreciated that. I was also impressed by each woman's desire to do the right thing, even when it hurt.

I think women going through the aftermath of a divorce will appreciate and probably identify with Leanne and Nichole as they attempt to get on with their lives. Those of us who are happily married will learn more about what those whose marriages failed go through so we can be understanding and supportive.

If you are a Debbie Macomber fan already, you will find this book a bit different than her usual romances, but you won't be disappointed. I won't spoil it by revealing the ending, but I found it satisfactory. I did not cry after reading it. I don't think you will, either. I wish there were a sequel. These are some of the other Debbie Macomber books I have enjoyed.



Here are the reviews I have written about these Debbie Macomber books.



Find more of my book reviews at Bookworm Buffet.

See the book reviews from our other contributors at Review This! here. 


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hidden Figures Movie Reviewed

Historically Based Movie Worth Watching

John Glenn astronaut
Astronaut John Glenn image from Public Domain
My husband and I enjoy watching movies together, I thought that I would review Hidden Figures for you today because we really enjoyed it.

The movie appealed to me on so many levels. I have mentioned before that I am a bit of a history nerd. What was exciting about this movie based on the early space race between the US and Russia was that my husband and I actually lived during this era of history. I was ten when John Glenn orbited the earth for the first time. I remember how nervous and excited we all were. We were glued to the television or radio awaiting the news of the event.

If you are old enough to remember the late 1950s and early 1960s, you will recall that we of the female gender were looked at very differently. Girls weren't supposed to be good in the sciences. Math was not something that we should even try to excel in. Girls should learn to cook, clean and look attractive. Not many would encourage a girl to aspire to a career in any field. Our job was to be a good wife and mother, sad but accurate. 

So, to have a movie based on a true story about the women who secretly worked at NASA was thrilling to watch. To find out that there were women, smart women working on getting the US into space was uplifting to me. For those ladies to not only be female but to also be African-American well it was incredible. 

The movie, Hidden Figures, did an excellent job of showing what life was like in the US during that time. Without taking away from what was happening at NASA, it also touched on the civil rights movement that was growing across the nation. It shows how difficult it was for a person of color to work in an environment that was segregated. As I watched the movie, I remember being appalled at what poor Katherine (a most brilliant mathematician) had to endure just to go to the bathroom. There was not a restroom in her building that was to be used by "Coloreds" so she had to run something like a mile to the nearest one. Appalling, disgusting and shameful; unfortunately it is also accurate in its portrayal. Thank goodness our country is no longer like that.

I truly loved this movie and think that if you have not already seen it, you will too. After watching it, I called both of my daughters and recommended that they watch it. It is moving and inspirational and I think important for women, especially, to watch. I think that it is important for women who are too young to have lived during this time in history to see where we have been so that they can appreciate where we have come and most importantly that there are still miles to go before we are where we should be as women.





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Monday, October 23, 2017

Reviewing the Many Flavors of M&M's

Chocolate is my guilty pleasure.  M&M's are my favorite chocolate candy.  I love that I can keep a large bag of the little chocolate treats around and sometimes just one or two pieces are enough to satisfy my craving. Other times, I sit down with an entire bag. As Mars began adding different flavors to the M&M's line, I was fearful that they would ruin the original thing. We can all think of examples of when the "new and improved" isn't as good as the original. But that is not the case with M&M's. The original plain and peanut M&M's are as good as always. And the newer flavors are amazing. Are you familiar with all of the flavors? 


What are M&M's?


I can't imagine that there is a single person reading this review that doesn't know what M&M's are. But as a responsible reviewer, I will explain - just in case.

M&M's are delicious, roundish bits of chocolate covered in colorful candy shells.  

M&M's were first manufactured by Mr. Mars in the 1940s. It is thought that the idea for M&M's began in the 1930s when soldiers covered chocolate in a sugary coating to prevent it from melting. Mr. Mars created the shell coating over his small bits of chocolate for a similar reason - to be able to sell chocolate in even the warmer seasons. Thank you Mr. Mars!


Plain M&Ms and Peanut M&M's


Plain milk chocolate covered by the candy coating and peanuts covered by chocolate covered by the candy coating were the original M&M's. At least in my memory. I grew up eating them. They were my favorite thing to find in my bag at Halloween. I loved to find them baked in cookies. 


Peanut Butter M&M's

It is an entire bag of M&Ms day

More recently, Peanut Butter M&M's have been my favorite (as shown in the photo). These little treats are made with real peanut butter and I believe that is why they taste so good to me. I do not enjoy artificial peanut butter flavored candies. 


Caramel M&M's


Oh yes, caramel M&M's! I was so excited to find these on the store shelves. I love caramel treats: caramel squares, Rolos, and caramel apples - just to name a few. Even though I have been an M&M's fan over the years, I wasn't optimistic when I tried this flavor. I half expected the "soft center" to be a yucky, runny, caramel-flavored ooze. That is not at all what Caramel M&M's are like. They are delicious! 


The Many Flavors of M&M's


I guess rather than highlight each flavor, I'll just list them here. And leave it with my thought that there's not a new flavor of M&M that I haven't loved.  

  • M&M's Crispy
  • M&M's Pretzel
  • M&M's Dark Chocolate
  • M&M's Almond
  • M&M's Dark Mint
  • M&M's Dark Chocolate Peanut

Mars also offers seasonal flavors and limited editions. Some examples of those are:

  • M&M's Candy Corn Chocolate
  • M&M's Pecan Pie
  • M&M's Pumpkin Pie
  • M&M's Coffee Nut
  • M&M's Strawberry Nut

Intro photograph courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Related Links:


Amazon is one of the places that you can easily find any limited edition flavors that are still available. Have your chocolate treats delivered right to your door and eat chocolate without leaving that house. Click on one of the items below to search Amazon for M&M treats.

Are you already an M&M's fan? Do you want to design your own M&M's? Choose your own colors? Create candies that match your wedding or celebrate a special occasion. Would like like to give them as personalized gifts? Believe it or not, you can add your own letter, word, clipart, or photo with MyM&M's







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Sunday, October 22, 2017

3 Ways to Increase Sleeping Space when You Have Company

Full Over Full Bunk Beds to Maximize Space
With the holiday season approaching, making room for company can sometimes be a challenge.

If you're looking for practical ways to either increase sleeping space or provide privacy in open areas, here are three product reviews to solve that problem.

Double Bed Bunk Beds

That's right, there is such a thing as full sized beds as bunk beds. Full sized bunk beds provide double the space for kids. They're great for couples with kids, or just as a place for all the children to bunk together.

Two double beds stacked on top of each solve major space issues. With limited space you can provide sleeping arrangements for four people. Again, if you have a young family visiting, sleeping is solved with approximately six feet by seven feet of floor area for the bed itself.

Join Two Single Beds Together to Make a King Sized Bed
Use a Twin Bed Connector to Convert to a King


If all you have are twin beds in a spare room, there's a way to turn two twin beds into a king size bed.

Pushing the twin beds together is not enough: The dip in the middle makes two mattresses abutted against each other difficult to sleep in. That's where a twin-bed-connector comes into play.

With a connector you can remove that dip in the middle as well as secure the mattresses so they don't slip. You can read more about how to do this here.
Find Canopy Tents Here

Put a Canopy Tent Over a Single Bed in an Open Area

If you have an open area in the home with several twin beds (like a dorm room) you can add a Canopy Tent over each of them to give people their own private area without the need for dividers or walls.

They're easy to put up and of course just as easy to remove.

They're also ideal for kids who share a room. It provides privacy without having to go to the expense of redecorating or giving each child their separate room.

Of course, these items work all year around. Plan ahead, and you'll be all set for the holidays.





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Saturday, October 21, 2017

How to Create Pinterest Images with Photoshop


How to Create Pinterest Images with Photoshop - A Step by Step Guide
Today I'm going to review how to create Pinterest images with my favorite photo editing software - Photoshop!  I create most of my Pinterest images with Photoshop, I have tried a few other places, but I always come back to Photoshop.

I've been asked quite a few times how I create my images for Pinterest which is why I thought I'd just show you.  Now I can't promise you that your images will take off in popularity on this social media platform, but I can promise you that the steps will be easy to understand.

I have been using Photoshop for a few years now, but the way I create the majority of my images are easy for beginners and experts alike to follow.

The first thing you have to do is open up your Photoshop and select a new file, I simply press Ctrl N to do this, but you could use the file menu and open it that way.

You will be greeted with a pop up box where you have to select your image details, it looks like this -


I only change two things on the default and that is the width and height as you can see on the image.  I have changed the image height a few times, but the majority of the time I just use the standard 738 x 1105.

The next step means finding the image you want to use for your pin so I've decided that I want to do a pin for my welcome to Lou16.com post (I can't believe I was missing a Pinterest image on that post until I wrote this!)

I'm going to use the image I have in my introduction as the main image for my Pinterest image as well so let's have a look at what we're going to do....


So the first thing I do is create a new file, then I open up the photo I want to use and drag it onto the new file.

1.  Here you can see that this image has a border that I created previously.  I'm going to use this color for the background so to do this I need to use the eyedropper tool to select the exact color.
2.  This is the eyedropper tool.  To use this you click on the tool and then click on the color that you want to select.
3.  After selecting the color I make sure to select the correct layer (in this case the blank one as I'm using this for background.
4.  The paint bucket tool will cover the layer with the selected color.

After doing all of these steps you'll be left with the next image.


3.  I'm going to do things backwards here and get you to look at number 3!  When I did the background color the teal was on top and the white was underneath, as I'm thinking of doing the text in white I switched them around.  Sometimes when you're using two colors you can just change between these two to save having to use the eyedropper tool again.

Back to our image..

Now I want to add some text to the image so I have to select the text box.

1.  This is the Text box and you have to click on this before adding any text.
2.  This is the text tool bar, you can change the color from here (it will default to the top square at number 3 unless you change it), you can also alter the font, the font size and whether you want to use a bold or italic or both.


As you can see I dragged the image down a little so that I could add text above and below it.  Above I just used regular and underneath I selected italics.  You can also highlight just one or two words and change their color or size in order to make an impact.

1.  There are different things you can select on the side including a border which I always use for my Pinterest images.  You select the border (or arrow as I have done on these images for you) and click apply - the color on top of the color box is what color the object will appear as.

I didn't want to use white as a border because the website background is white so I used the eyedropper tool to select another color from the photograph.

I always try to pull either the border, background or text (sometimes all of them) from the actual photo as you know it's going to go.


I always keep Photoshop open until I see the final image uploaded to the website.  In this case I uploaded the border from a light green in the foliage that really made it pop on Photoshop, but looked strange on the white background of the website.

I then changed the border to the blue of my t-shirt, but again on the white background of this site it just didn't look quite right.  The third and final one is what is pictured above and I've use the brown of my hair!

Now you don't always have to use a photo, sometimes I'll use a graphic from a site like Pixabay and use that.

This is a very basic way to create a Pinterest image using Photoshop, as you get used to using it you can get more and more creative with using several images merged together like this one from another post I created -


In this image I used an image of traffic which I reduced and played with to get it to fit onto the laptop screen.  The background is taken from the laptop color and you can see I changed the color and font size of the 21 in the image.

Start off simple and as you get used to using these tools you'll find yourself creating all kinds of images, try not to become too addicted to Photoshop as once you start down this rabbit hole you can lose all sense of time!

You might be interested in my other Photoshop tutorial (and there will probably be more to come!) -


Peach Cobbler RecipeHow to Remove Blemishes From Photos Using Photoshop
Let's review how easy it is to use Photoshop to remove blemishes from photos, trust me it's really simple and well worth the time spent to restore old family photos.



Our contributors here on Review This also use other platforms to create their images for Pinterest so be sure to check out our tips for writers including -




... and let's not forget our Pinterest tips -




Before leaving I'd like to tell you one of the things that really helped me with getting traffic from Pinterest (obviously the images help!) and that was using Tailwind, I highly recommend this scheduling tool for anyone who wants to harness the power of this visual social media platform.

If you've found this article helpful please share on your favorite social media platform.

A Step by Step Guide to Creating PInterest Images with Photoshop
Image by Lou of Lou's Designs




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