Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review of Favorite Christmas Cookies - Rosettes Recipe

Review of Favorite Christmas Cookies - Rosettes Recipe
Nothing says Christmas to me like my grandmother’s rosette cookies.  Coming together as a family during the holidays means making, and then inhaling, these Scandinavian treat delights (my highest dessert rating).

These lacy snowflake-like cookies are as much eye candy as they are absolutely the tastiest lighter-than-air, flaky pastry you will ever eat.  I don’t think there is a more beautiful holiday food than rosettes.  Just having a plate of these delicate cookies on your table will instantly make the season more merry and bright.

If you are looking for a unique gift for friends, family, neighbors, teachers, or co-workers, this is a delightful way to share the warm spirit of the season.  Simply create a gift basket filled with rosettes, or even better, offer a kit with the recipe, a set of rosette irons, and the mix.  You just might help someone start a treasured holiday tradition.

Ingredients:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk your eggs, sugar, and salt until blended.
  2. Use a sifter to mix in your flour.  Add milk and vanilla.
  3. Add three to four inches of cooking oil to a deep fryer or stove top pan.
  4. Use candy thermometer to heat oil to 365 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  5. Heat rosette iron in the oil for at least two minutes.
  6. Remove heated rosette iron from the oil.  Let excess oil drain off the iron.
  7. Carefully dip the hot iron into batter (leaving a 1/4 inch margin at top of iron).
  8. Immerse rosette iron into heated oil.  Fry batter until golden.
  9. Use skimmer to remove rosette from oil.  Drip off excess oil.
  10. Place rosette on drying rack.  Sprinkle with sugar (granulated or powdered) just before serving.
  11. Reheat rosette iron in hot oil for one minute and repeat the process.
Serves: 10     Prep Time: 15 Minutes     Total Time: 30 Minutes









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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

3 Outstanding Picture Book Stories to Win Little Hearts

Three Outstanding Picture Books to Win Little Hearts (A Review)

Today we will look at three books written by Pat Furstenberg


Everyone knows that children love Pictures and Picture books with lots of interesting words and sounds.  Part of every childs' development comes from those times when they are snuggled up with mom or dad, Grammie or Grandpa listening to the words and looking at the pictures.  It's also a wonderful time to bond with our children and grandchildren in a way that will bring fond memories back to them one day.


From my own experience, there is nothing quite like the quiet time spent with my little ones telling a story, listening to them describe how they see the pictures and teaching them some great life lessons all at the same time.  Books and the words they contain are stepping stones that children love to learn and hear.  So when you come across some books that you know children will love, it's only fair to share what you have found.


Rhyming and word-play are an important part of every child's verbal development.  There are word rhymes that are still taught to children today that go back at least 60 to 70 years and we are still teaching these same rhymes with their sing song rythms.  The kids just love them all.



These three books by Pat Furstenberg are all written in this way.  The pictures are delightful and the stories themselves are ones that will resonate with big and  little hearts.  Children will enjoy the stories of unlikely friends, while parents and grandparents can tell little side stories too. 


The Cheetah and the Dog are an unlikely pair, yet they become and remain good friends even though no on thought this was possible.  Too many differences don't matter when your hearts are in the same place.  How many times does that happen in real life?  Do you have a friendship that is still as strong as the Cheetah's and the Dog's? 



The Elephant and the Sheep is an endearing story too!  How often we make friends but don't think beyond what we see right in front of us.  Each of our lives are different, but, the one thing we all need is a friend.  A friend that can see beyond our hardships and differences. Only when we try really hard do we sometimes find out the truth.  Little sheep learns a valuable lesson about friendship,  love, and family.  Elephant learns something too,  family can be much more than living with other elephants.  Family can be living with those who love us!


The Lion and the Dog is another story about our differences and how they really don't matter.  What matters is how we care and treat each other.  Lion is so sad, yet the little dog Milo doesn't give up on Leo, even when he is less than friendly.  Milo knows what every good dog knows,  everyone needs a friend!  


If you have children, reading them stories about friendship and caring for others is a great way to encourage empathy at a young age.  The world needs more of that!  Word play and stories with great illustrations makes it easy for parents and grandparents to instill little life lessons in a very heart-warming way.  

If you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can get these books and so many more by Patricia and other authors as well, delivered right to your Kindle device and some are free with Prime Membership.









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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Science Academy Lip Balm Lab Reviewed

Promote the Sciences to Girls

female scientist
Female Scientist courtesy of Pixabay.com
When I can, I love to give my grandchildren educational toys. Recently I purchased a Science Academy Lip Balm Lab as a Christmas gift for my youngest granddaughter. I thought it was worth a review as a gift idea for the readers of Review This. 

I was thrilled when I discovered the Science Academy lab kits for children! Obviously, both boys and girls can have fun with  observing first hand the chemical reactions to different materials. Either gender can be a potential scientist in the making. Since I have little girls to buy for, I love the idea of promoting any of the sciences to them. When I was a little girl, my gender did not get much in encouragement when it came to fields of science. Society has changed and I think we are doing a better job of promoting a career in science to girls but we can do better, in my humble opinion. 

There are 5 choices when it comes to the options for a gift for the child on your list. I chose the lip balm for a couple of reasons. First of all, my little six year old is obsessed with lip gloss and lip balm. Secondly, she has very sensitive skin so I was leery of the soap and bath bomb choices. The lip balm lab seemed a good option for her to have fun with while learning about chemicals and how to produce a product that she can actually use.

I love that she is going to learn about formulas while working with the kit. She will decide on colors and shimmers and can even add SPF to help protect her little lips from the sun. While experimenting with her own lip protection with her mom's assistance, she will be exposed to the possibilities that a career in science might offer to her. I am a firm believer in presenting the concepts of different professions to children as they play. We never know what might plant a seed in their young minds that later grows into a passion in their adult lives. To me, that is always a good thing!

Will my sweet little grandchild grow up to be a chemist or work in the science field? I don't know nor does she at her young little age. What this educational toy will do is give her some practical experience so that later on she will have more information to base her decision on what she wants to make a living with. Whatever she decides we will applaud her decision.

How about you? Are you planning on giving a child on your list an educational toy this year for the holidays?



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Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments

Today I am reviewing an easy way to make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments using tri-beads. This is a great project to make with children. 

The best ornaments I've ever placed on my Christmas tree over the years were these ornaments made by my children made in school and given to me as gifts. The ornaments were special because they were made by my children. They were beautiful then because they were made by children's hands. They are beautiful still today because of the sparkling colors.

Yes, I wrote that they are beautiful still today. These ornaments are durable. I still have those ornaments from years ago. I loved these ornaments so much that I have replicated the project with the students at work. Over the years, I've sent many children home with these ornaments as gifts for their caregivers.

Now I'm sharing the step-by-step instructions how to make these incredibly simple ornaments with the children in your life. Or perhaps you want to make your own ornaments. I have to admit that sometimes I make these ornaments when I'm alone and have used them for decorations when wrapping gifts. There are many ways to enjoy these easy-to-make decorations. 

Finally, remember that the best gift you can give this season is the gift of your time and attention. Especially when you are spending time with a children. 

Materials:
plastic tri-beads 
pipe cleaners (either tinsel or chenille)
1/8" wide ribbons (optional)

Tools:
heavy-duty scissors
pliers 




Instructions:
Gather your beads and pipe cleaners. Ribbon is options (but preferred by the children).

Gather your tools. Heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters are needed to cut the pipe cleaners. And pliers to bend the wire tips are optional but highly recommended.

Be aware: Take care when cutting pipe cleaners. This project is extremely easy, with the exception of trimming the pipe cleaners. The wire is sometimes difficult to cut and the tips of the pipe cleaners are "pokey". Younger children may need to be supervised closely to ensure they don't poke or scratch themselves.


Candy Cane Ornament Instructions:


1. To make the candy cane bead ornament, knot the end of the pipe cleaner and pull the knot tight.

2. Carefully cut the end off; just below the knot. If a sharp end remains, bend it with the pliers or your fingers toward the knot, tucking it into the bulk of the knot (in order to be safe for little fingers)

3. Allow the child to slide beads onto the pipe cleaner; snugging the beads up against the knot. The tri-beads fit together beautifully and create a "round" shape. Some children like the traditional red and white candy cane stripes. Some children prefer psychedelic colors. Have fun with it.



4. Fill the pipe cleaner to the desired length; making sure to leave enough material to make a knot.( make the knot shape loosely then work to snug the knot up toward the last bead in order to hold the design together snugly).


5. Note the knot is snugged up to the last bead. Check the end for any sharp points and bend it up, out of the way, if needed (a point is visible in the photos. It is probably not unsafe to leave it, but I prefer to  bend it out of the way - just to be safe.

Finish the candy cane with a bow if desired. The ornament can be hung in the tree by the hook of the cane. Or traditional ornament hooks can be purchased and added. Occasionally, the children choose to use the ribbon for a loop at the top of the candy cane for hanging. 



Wreath Ornament Instructions:


1. Making a wreath is similar to making the candy cane except, Do Not knot either end. Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner and gather them in the middle of the pipe cleaner.

2. Leave approximately 2" or more of empty pipe cleaner at each end. Bend the ornament into a round shape and begin to tie a know at the top (as though you are tying the first portion of a shoelace knot).

3. Pull the ends together, twisting lightly to form a single pipe cleaner from the two ends.

4. Bend the end down to form a loop; wrapping the very end around the portion of the pipe cleaner that is holding the bead. If there is a point piece remaining (as shown) use the pliers, or your fingers, to carefully wrap it more tightly around in order to hide the end.

5. Add ribbons as desired.




And with that, you have the finished products. Happy Holidays to you and yours. And remember to give the gift of your time and attention.

Note: This article was previously published elsewhere. The instructions and photographs are by the author.


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Sunday, November 26, 2017

3 Kooky Affordable Rugs You Can Give as a Gift

Original gifts come in all shapes and sizes. If you've been looking for a creative gift idea, rugs make an excellent choice.

An area rug can be used in any part of the home or office and are generally items that people look upon as a perk, or something they never get around to buying for themselves.

Accessories complete the look of a room, and rugs make a huge contribution. Although the rugs featured here are not overly large, each offers something fun.

A Hopscotch Area Rug

In reviewing area rugs, the first crucial consideration is to determine if it blends into the décor of the room you're buying it for. If it's a gift, you'll want to be sure there's an appropriate space for it, and also have a sense of whether the colors blend with the recipient's home décor.

Give a hopscotch rug to a child as a gift. It will add to their room's décor and provide physical fun at the same time. The featured hopscotch rug is made of durable nylon and measures about 70cm (27.5 inches) by 140cm (55.11 inches).

A Rug Featuring a Funny Quote

Does someone in your life enjoy quips, jokes or one-liners? Consider this cheeky quote rug if they do. People who like to wear t-shirts with 'words' on them may appreciate this functional home décor accessory that doubles as a conversation piece.

You can be sure that very few people would consider giving this goofy but pretty rug as a gift, thus making you the original sort they always thought you were.

If you're certain a quote rug would be well received, they also make a funny and useful Housewarming Gift. Best of all, the quote rug featured here is quite affordable with a price under fifty dollars at the time of writing.

A Lemon Lime Rug - For Real

You'll probably generate a belly laugh from the recipient of this kooky gift. It's different, but ideal for several areas in the home; the porch, a sunroom, a citrus themed space, a child's room, a playroom and of course, the kitchen.

At the time of writing, this lemon rug is under thirty-five dollars. It's affordability also makes it an excellent gift choice.

Be creative with a round funky rug when you have to decorate a large space in your own home. Get three or four lemon lime rugs and position them all over the room. Put them under end-tables, a coffee table, or in front of chairs.

When the theme of your space screams bright, open, airy, and crisp, a citrus rug is ideal.

All three of these funky rugs are under fifty dollars at the time of writing, making them an excellent choice for budget gift giving.



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Saturday, November 25, 2017

Guy Harvey Saltwater Fishing Apparel Review


Guy Harvey Fishing Hat
Working part-time in a store located in a coastal community, I've discovered that one of the most popular brands of clothing we carry is saltwater fishing apparel by Guy Harvey.  Men who are fishermen and/or love the sea especially love Guy Harvey shirts and hats.

Guy Harvey hats are among the most popular items in his clothing lines, especially among fishermen.  The signature logo of a Marlin with the Guy Harvey name stitched across it has become synonymous with deep sea fishing. 





Guy Harvey Apparel


Guy Harvey Marlin Boat T-Shirt


The Guy Harvey line of apparel includes shirts featuring various forms of marine life, hats, belts, shorts, footwear and gift items.  Popular saltwater fishing designs, especially on T-shirts, include Marlin, Tuna, Sharks, Sailfish, Redfish, and the Dolphin Fish. Many of the designs on these Guy Harvey clothing items are from the original artwork by Mr. Harvey.



We have stacks of Guy Harvey shirts in many designs and styles in the store I work for as they are extremely popular here in Coastal Georgia with the Atlantic Ocean so very near.







Guy Harvey



Guy Harvey
Guy Harvey is a world famous marine wildlife artist.  Growing up in Jamaica, he spent many hours fishing and diving with his father. Those early years created a deep love for the creatures of the sea and led to Harvey becoming a marine biologist. 

He was also inspired, from an early age, to draw the various types of fish he observed, which eventually led to his creations of marine wildlife art.  Many of Guy Harvey's marine art are today featured on his line of fishing apparel and gift items, especially popular with fishermen and coastal residents who love marine life.

A marine wildlife artist, Guy Harvey combines his unique artistic talents with his background as a marine biologist, diver, photographer and angler, to create marine wildlife art. You can view his artwork on his website.  He lives with his family in Grand Cayman and is devoted to his family and his love of the sea and all its living creatures.




Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF)

 

Save Our Seas Turtle Poster on Amazon

With his line of clothing apparel, Guy Harvey has established the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF.org) and a portion of the proceeds from all his official merchandise benefits the marine conservation research and educational work of GHOF.  The foundation tags and tracks sharks and billfish to ensure that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ecosystem. 



Related Coastal Clothing Links:





(c) Wednesday Elf 11/25/2017






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Friday, November 24, 2017

Bibles Make Great Gifts - 5 Different Types Reviewed

Bibles Make Great Gifts - 5 Different Types Reviewed

The Best Christmas Gifts

What better gift could you give for Christmas than the very book that explains the reason for Christmas.   

I personally own 5 different bibles.  All but one was a gift given to me by someone I love and is a treasured keepsake.  Each one serves a different purpose, but I own them all for the same reason:  to know my creator better.   

When purchasing a Bible as a gift, you must first determine how the Bible will be used by the recipient.  I have a family Bible, a display Bible for immediate reference, a pocket Bible to carry in my purse, a Study Bible and a Bible that has been my companion for 30 years.   

The Family Bible

We own 2 family Bibles.  One is a family bible where births, deaths and marriages are listed. This bible will be passed down to the next generation to add to the records.  Family Bibles are often used in genealogical research.  After all, who would knowingly write a lie in the Holy Bible. 



The Family Bible in our Den

There is another large bible that lays open in our den.  Sometimes it is open to my favorite passage, Psalms 139.  Sometimes it is opened to a particular scripture to comfort, reassure, or remind us of what we have to be thankful for.  It is always there, waiting for whichever family member passes by and needs to search the scriptures. 

This Bible was selected because of the beautiful artwork by Thomas Kinkade.  The images are an inspiration and are lovely illustrations to accompany the Written Word. 




 Holy Bible: KJV Pocket Edition: BrownCheck Price

The Pocket Bible

I have a small pocket bible that is over 30 years old that I carry in my purse or pocket.  There have been times in my life when just being able to lay my hand on the leather cover in my purse, has given me the strength I needed for that moment.  At other times I have had it with me to read when I had to wait for someone or when I was on my lunch break.

I haven't worked outside of our home since shortly after our oldest child was born.  When I was employed, I worked in an office setting and a few of my co-workers were not Christians.  Where they might have taken exception to me bringing a large Bible to work, no one ever complained about my small, leather pocket Bible.  



Ryrie Study Bible

I also have a Ryrie Study Bible which I use just for that purpose, in-depth study. 

I found this particular study Bible to be essential when I taught Sunday School years ago.  The cross referencing and commentaries help with preparation to teach, understanding the Word, and certainly with personal study. 



My Companion ~ Study Bible

Last, but by no means least, I have the bible I read regularly.  It is the one that has accompanied me for decades to church, Sunday school, bible studies and at night, it rests in my night stand.  It really is over 30 years old.  The leather is worn, but the Word is still remarkably refreshing. 





Bibles and Gifts

As you can see, I believe there are several types of Bibles that serve different purposes, so when you are selecting a gift, choose the one that best suits the needs of the recipient. 

For those who don't need a new Bible, I recommend a Bible cover, or perhaps the Bible on cd.

 Embassy Black Solid Genuine Leather Bible CoverCheck Price

Bible Cover

Because our Bibles are carried from place to place, read often, and expected to endure a lot of handling, I highly recommend a Bible cover to protect your Bible.  I purchased a Bible cover for my companion several years ago to help protect the leather cover and I am really glad that I did, especially when it rains and I am trying to get to the car. 

There are many styles of Bible covers available to purchase.  This just happens to be the style I prefer.  The extra zipper pocket provides a place for my small wallet and car keys so I need not carry a purse to church.  There is also room for additional notes and the church bulletin.  I personally keep a small note pad and pen for making notes. 

Bible on CD's

Years ago I was thrilled to get the Bible on cassettes.  It was so awesome to be able to listen to the Bible being read when I was in my car or traveling. 
 




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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Review This wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall Grape Leaves

Happy Thanksgiving from the Review This Staff! May you be blessed with the love of family and friends.  Thank you for stopping by Review This and spending some time with us throughout the year.





Our Thanksgiving Holiday

This year we are spending our holiday week on the beach at Panama Beach Florida.  Here are a few photos from our trip.






God Bless you during this Thanksgiving Holiday.




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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Art of Racing in the Rain Book Review

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was the latest book for my book club. As usual in the weeks leading up to my book club's meeting, my husband could be heard uttering his usual reminder, "Have you finished the book?" This time, however, he was particularly interested in the book because the main character is a dog named Enzo Ferrari. Yes, Ferrari as in the car.

The story is told from Enzo's perspective. The idea of reading a book from the point of view of a dog might seem weird but it worked. It doesn't actually seem like a dog talking although the narration definitely looks at the world from the Enzo's point of view.

Enzo believes in reincarnation and really wants to be reincarnated as a human being so that he can voice his views (and so that he can have thumbs.) He understands everything that people say and wants to add his thoughts to the conversation.

Did I say that the story is about a race car driver, too? Enzo's master is a driver and Enzo is therefore often immersed in the world of race car driving. Don't let that put you off though. If you are not into race car driving, you will still enjoy this book. Race car driving is simply the world that the characters in this book live in though if you are like me, you might also learn a bit about race car driving. There is never anything wrong with learning about another world.

Enzo is not like other dogs. He is a philosopher and is almost human in a number of ways. He is self-educated with the help of his television and his master, Danny Swift. In the story, Enzo reflects back on his life, the life of the Swift family, on what he has learned about being human and, as the book says, "how life, like racing, is about so much more than simply going fast."

I expected my book club book to analyze this book. However, they did not. Instead, they pretty much unanimously agreed that it was a pleasant book and a nice read. Some questioned a few life-changing decisions on the part of the main characters and some including myself particularly enjoyed the comical moments in the book.

So is it recommended? Yes. The Art of Racing in the Rain was a New York Times best seller for many weeks. It is a good story. It is lighthearted though sometimes sad and there are definitely some things between the covers to think about. I think the book is perfect for dog lovers and enjoyable for the rest of us, too.

The way, the image that I think most reflects what Enzo looks like is at the top of the page. That image just seems to capture Enzo's spirit. You don't have to agree with me on that point but you can see all of the artwork available on the covers of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon by clicking right here. Of course, you can also order yourself a copy of the book at that location, too.

This book is set to become a movie though originally Universal Studios picked up the rights and then did not follow through. However, The Hollywood Reporter says that Walt Disney Studios has picked up the rights so now all we have to do is wait and see what Disney puts together for us. Disney has made a lot of successful dog movies; let's hope they do this one properly.

Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain? Would you recommend it? What else have you read lately?

See you at the bookstore!

Brenda
Treasures by Brenda

Quick Link:

Order your copy of The Art of Racing in the Rain on Amazon here.







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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christmas Wrapping Paper Reviewed

Gift Wrap For The Holidays

Christmas image courtesy of Pixabay.com
As I write this review this morning we only have two days until it is Thanksgiving here in the United States. After the turkey and stuffing have been devoured on Thursday, my thoughts and deeds will turn to decorating for Christmas and wrapping gifts to put under the tree. 

My wrapping paper supply has dwindled down to almost nothing so I have been looking for some Christmas Wrapping paper to use this year. I often go with a theme for the paper that I use so that it looks nice under our tree. For some reason this year I am drawn to plaids. In the past I have used whimsical Santa paper or vintage patterns and even Victorian themed papers. The plaid will be something different for me and our tree.

I think that something like the image shown above will look nice under the tree this year. I particularly like that each roll is reversible which will give me the option of adding even more variety. The rolls are 30 inches wide giving plenty of area to wrap gifts. The paper set is a Hallmark product so I won't have to worry about flimsy paper that tears easily. Don't you just hate that? You are wrapping a gift and the paper rips from just brushing a corner of a box.

Another thing that I like about going with plaid gift wrapping paper this year is that it shouldn't be too difficult to find ribbon and bows to coordinate on the packages. I can see that a few of the plaid patterns have some blue in them. I can't tell you how many bows that I have stored away that are pretty shades of blue but don't normally work with Christmas wrap. Looks like this year I can use up some of those neglected little blue bows. Hooray!

So, how about you? Do you theme your gift wrapped packages under the tree or do you just use what is on hand for an eclectic look? There is no right or wrong way, it is a matter of preference I think. As much as I love giving gifts to my loved ones, the real gift that can't be wrapped is the joy of being with your family for the holidays. 



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