Monday, July 15, 2019

Reviewing the NuWave Gourmet Accessory Kit

NuWave Air Fryer Accessories
With my recent purchase of the NuWave Brio air fryer I also purchased the NuWave Gourmet Accessory Kit. At first I thought the little pan and cooking rack were over-priced and I felt silly for spending that extra money. But after using them for nearly every healthy meal - multiple times a day - I consider them invaluable.

If you aren't at all familiar with the NuWave Brio air fryer, you can read my review here. The Gourmet Accessory Kit is sold separately here


NuWave Gourmet Accessory Kit


Because I am typically cooking only for myself I purchased the Gourmet Accessory Kit.  It sounds much more fancy than it is. It is really just a 6" x 6" square pan (2 Qt) with a handle and a 6" x 6" cooking rack.  Rather than cook my foods in the pan included with the machine or on it's existing rack, I use the little pan the most often. 

Easy Clean Up: The pan has been keeping mess to a minimum. The juices and splatter stay in the accessory pan. It is non-stick so it is easy to lift out and wash off. 

Portion Control: The Gourmet Accessory Kit also helps with portion control - without leaving me feeling deprived. The pan holds just a small amount. I cook that small amount and after a bit, if I'm still hungry, I can quickly cook a bit more in the Brio air fryer. However, I haven't felt like I needed that second portion very often.

Cooking Items Separately: I can also cook two different items at the same time. I place one item in the pan - sitting on the original rack in the machine - and cook veggies on the original rack next to it. I have not yet cooked a meal large enough to have to use the Accessory rack in addition to the original rack. But it's good to know that I will have that extra space if I need it.  

Weight Loss: After loosely following the eating habits recommended by the Embry family in Living Proof and using the NuWave Brio air fryer, I have lost 4 lbs in approximately 2 weeks. That doesn't sound like much, but I am thrilled with that much loss after just changing what I eat. 





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Sunday, July 14, 2019

5 Steps to Help You Pre-Plan Your Dorm for Maximum Organization and Comfort

5 Steps to help you maximize space in your dorm
If you're planning to live in a Dorm, you already know that managing space is critical to creating a comfortable, livable room.

Step 1 - A Checklist of Needed Items

Before deciding upon how you'll furnish your dorm room, you'll need a college checklist of things to bring. If you don't have a list, there's a convenient ready-to-use list at BigFuture. Their list breaks down suggested items you'll need by category.

Here's a Summary of the Categories on the BigFuture Checklist:
  •  Items for the Room's Décor and Storage Considerations
  •  Linens and Laundry Supplies
  •  Your Office and Desk Supplies
  •  Electronics
  •  Items You'll be Sharing with a Roommate
  •  Toiletries and Clothing 
  •  Household and Kitchen Items
Be sure to head over and check out their ready-to-use checklist, it's very detailed. You'll find the site a helpful resource for your college planning.

Step 2 - Acquire a Layout of Your Dorm Room

Take a dorm room photo or acquire a floor plan layout from your college or university. Get or take the measurements of the room itself. Be sure to mark or know where the main door, closet doors and windows are located in the space. Mark them on your photo or floor plan.

Step 3 - Do You Have a Roommate?

You'll know the answer to this fairly quickly. As basic as it sounds, it's critical to maximizing space in your dorm. Determine which items you'll both share and where the dividing line in the room will be. Is the window centrally located and accessible to both or will one of you have the side with a window? How about the closet or hopefully closets?

Step 4 - What Furniture Comes with the Dorm? Can It be Replaced With Your Own?

Is there a bed and a desk in the space? Do you like them? If not, can the school's items be removed and replaced with your own? Does the Dorm come with a mini-fridge and or microwave? If not, can you bring your own?

Step 5 - Where Can You Maximize Storage Space?

Traditionally in dorms, you create storage under the bed or by going vertical. If you want to see how some of the pro's have done it, check out these designs. You'll see ideas for mini-fridge and microwave storage, raised beds to create storage space and hutches above the bed and over a desk.

What Size and Style of Storage Bins or Containers Will Work Best?

Bringing a bunch of storage containers without knowing where they'll go and if they'll fit is unwise. Double check what will work for your dorm's design. The way to do this is by measuring your space, your furnishings, and knowing ahead of time the bed you'll be using.

Here are options for different types of storage items:
  •  Over-the-door storage hanging units
  •  Under the bed storage containers (what size, how big - check under the bed height)
  •  Benches that double as storage
  •  Hanging wall storage items
  •  Cabinets with storage
  •  A hutch over the desk for storage
  •  Shelving units for the wall
  •  A bed headboard with storage
View a collection of the above items plus many other storage product ideas here.







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Saturday, July 13, 2019

Reviewing Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea

Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea - Arbonne's Detox Tea
Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea photo by Louanne Cox
I was first introduced to Arbonne's Essentials Herbal Tea as part of the 30 days to healthy living program which literally changed my life.   Since finishing the 30 days program I have continued to drink this tea every day for two reasons: it tastes good & it's good for me.

This tea is part of Arbonne's Essential range and is just called herbal tea here in Australia, but in some other countries it goes by the name detox tea as it works on the eliminatory organs.   Let's have a look at exactly what is in this tea -



The combination works really well with the flavor as dandelion root can be bitter on it's own and yet the combination of licorice root adds a sweetness and the peppermint stops that sweetness from being too strong while adding a refreshing flavor.   Basically it works to create a delicious tea that is lovely to drink on it's own.

Personally I drink mine in the morning as I just like to have a hot drink first thing, but as it's a caffeine free tea many people choose to drink it before going to bed.

A little tip from me - I drink a mug of this tea and I will keep the tea bag and make two mugs out of the same tea bag which means that my box of 20 will last me 40 days if I drink it just once a day.

Dandelion Root - What Are The Benefits


Dandelion's are highly nutritious and have been used for centuries,   Dandelion root is dried and used as a tea, in fact the first time I tried it the root was made into a granular form and you made it up like instant coffee - I found it way too bitter on it's own (mind you I was still a teen with a very sweet tooth!).

It is high in a soluble fibre called inulin that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy intestinal bacteria which are essential for your gut health.

It's been promoted as helping to support your liver for many years (one of the reasons I was first introduced to it years ago was as a liver tonic).

There are many other benefits often cited for dandelion root including anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant levels, helping the digestive system, the list goes on.   I personally believe it's been included in the tea because it helps support and protect the liver as well as aiding gut health.

Peppermint Leaf - Benefits


As you may already know I love peppermint tea and used to drink it every afternoon.   I will admit I don't drink it every day now, but I do still have it regularly and it is always in my cupboard.   I talk more about it below.

Why drink peppermint teaWhy Drink Peppermint Tea
I love the taste of peppermint tea, but that's not the only reason I drink it, peppermint tea also has a lot of benefits including aiding digestion and helping with concentration which is why I enjoy it after lunch when working.

Parsley Leaf - Health Benefits


I first tried parsley leaf tea in my early 20s as it was touted as being great for kidney health (it's use as a diuretic doesn't appear to have been tested by scientists however so I'm not sure where I got my information from).   It was very easy to make, but at the time I didn't really like the taste and my husband wasn't very impressed with me using the parsley in my tea instead of him using it as a garnish!

It turns out that the dried form of parsley (used in this tea and other commercial herbal teas) contains 17 times more antioxidant properties than it's fresh form (reference)

Parsley is high in antioxidant nutrients and is also believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and hormone levels.

Elder Flowers - A Traditional Heath Tonic


I must admit I don't recall ever trying elderflower tea although I had heard of it as it was traditional health tonic drunk in the UK.  I may very easily have been given it without remembering.

This tea is traditionally drunk to keep colds and flus at bay and a study published in the Online Journal of Pharmacology and PharmacoKinetics in 2009 backed up the effectiveness of elderflowers in treating the flu.

It appears that the anti-oxidant levels in elderflowers combined with it's anti-viral properties work really well to keep the immune system healthy.

This could be part of the reason why my immunity has been really good for the past 18 months since taking this tea daily.

Sweet Fennel - The Health Benefits


I first came across sweet fennel tea when I was working in a Health shop in my 20s, we used to recommend breastfeeding mothers drank it if their babies had colic and we had very positive feedback on it's effectiveness with the local midwives regularly sending new mothers to us.

With this experience I'm not surprised to find that it's known to improve digestion, is anti-spasmodic and can relieve symptoms of IBS.   It also helps keep your liver and kidneys healthy while boosting immunity, reducing inflammation and balancing hormones.

Licorice Root - Sweet & Healthy


Did you know the Egyptians used licorice root tea as a cure-all concoction?   This tea has been used for centuries by the early Europeans and the Chinese for it's health benefits.

Today licorice root tea is used to promote digestive, respiratory and adrenal gland health and you will find it included in herbal tea blends that promote both bronchial wellness as well as cleanse and detox.

Summing Up My Daily Herbal Tea


I have taken this tea every day for the past 18 months except for 2 weeks when I was on holiday (I think it's good to take a break occasionally when you're regularly using herbs).   I have made a number of lifestyle changes and have attributed my results to using the whole range of the 30 days to healthy living program that Arbonne have.

When I look at the individual benefits of the ingredients in the herbal tea I can see how they have applied to me.   In all honesty I don't believe a tea alone can do all this, but in conjunction with other changes I have found the following has happened to me personally -

My hormones are more balanced (I am going through menopause and the symptoms (crankiness, night sweats, hot flushes, etc) have abated.

I have an autoimmune disease (Rheumatoid Arthritis) and haven't even had a little flare up, plus I've been able to go back to the gym with no problems for the first time in decades.

My immune system has dramatically improved - I had been getting sick constantly before starting this tea, I can joke now that someone just had to sneeze in a 10 block radius and I'd get the flu, but it actually did feel like that was happening at the time.

There are lots of other things I could say, but I will just mention one thing if you want to try the Arbonne Essentials Herbal Tea and you don't like it Arbonne have a 45 day money back guarantee, so try it for a couple of weeks and if you don't like it send it back!


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Friday, July 12, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home Movie Review

Spider-man: Far From Home Movie Review
Spider-man is one of the best known Avengers.  All over the world, people recognize Spider-man and love him!

If you are a Marvel comics fan, most likely you knew the names of all of the Avenger superheroes long before they became superstars on the silver screen.  However, movie-goers have been entertained by the friendly neighborhood Spider-man for decades and he has been able to stand his cinematic ground all alone.  Multiple actors have had the opportunity to don the suit and become our favorite young hero.  However, none of the previous actors have represented Spider-man better than Tom Holland.

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we are reminded that Peter Parker is a teenager still in high school and not a "man" as his superhero name would imply.  He simply happened to be the one bitten by that radioactive spider when he was 15 years old.  He may have the physical strength of some of the other Avengers, and he may be extremely smart like the Hulk or Tony Stark, but he is still "just a kid".  If you have seen The Avengers Infinity War, you will recall that Tony Stark (Ironman) loved Spider-man for his intelligence, his enthusiasm, his natural defender instincts, and his natural physical abilities, but Tony also tried to protect Peter.  

Unfortunately, Peter Parker no longer has his Ironman protector and he has to face a fierce opponent without the aid of any of the other Avengers.  Plus, he has some really hard personal decisions to make.


Spider-man: Far From Home Movie Synopsis


 Spider-Man: Far From HomeCheck PriceAs Peter Parker is making plans to go on his class trip to Europe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is calling.  We all know, when Nick Fury calls it is important, and you better answer.  However, Peter doesn't want to "play" superhero this week.  He wants to go on his trip with his classmates.  So, he ignores the phone calls.  He even intentionally does not pack his Spider-man suit.  Peter is determined to enjoy his trip!  But, as they say, the best laid plans of spiders and men often go awry.  (You know they say "spiders"!)

When Peter is stopped by customs and his luggage is searched, he sees that his Aunt May added his Spider-man suit for him, like any good parent or guardian would do, of course.  That turns out to be a good thing, because Peter isn't in Venice for long before he needs that suit.

When Venice is attacked by a water monster (Water Elemental), what appears to be a new superhero, flies into the scene to defend the city.  However, Spider-man is soon needed to help protect the people in the area and his suit is back in the hotel.  Peter realizes he can't just let the surrounding buildings fall on his friends and other tourists.  He goes into action with only a carnival mask to hide his identity.

Once the Water Elemental is defeated, Peter finally meets with Nick Fury who gives him a gift that was left to him by Tony Stark.  It seems Ironman has entrusted Peter with his most precious legacy.  (No spoilers here.  You will have to watch for yourself!) 

Peter is also officially introduced to Quentin Beck, who has now been publicly dubbed Mysterio since he so heroically saved Venice from certain destruction.  Peter is relieved to have another superhero around to talk to and to fight alongside.  It seems Beck is content to be Peter's new mentor.

For comic fans, you will already know all about Mysterio.  You will recognize him immediately.  However, for those who only follow the stories through the movies, this film will reveal several tremendous revelations for you.


A Must for Avenger Fans


There are many reasons to love the movie, Spider-man: Far From Home.  It is delightful, funny, and entertaining, but for Avenger Fans, it holds greater significance as a continuation of the beloved Avenger movies.  The Endgame was definitely not the end!






FOR A LIST OF AVENGER MOVIES AND THE RECOMMENDED WATCH ORDER, CLICK HERE



More Marvel Movies Reviewed Here on Review This!


 
Avengers: Endgame movie provides fans with opportunities to laugh, cheer out loud & a few unexpected moments that reduced us to tears.



In the movie, we discover the background story to how Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel and aligns herself with the Avengers.



Marvel fans love Avengers: Infinity War!  All of our favorite Avengers, plus the Guardians of the Galaxy join the battle to save the world from evil domination and genocide by Thanos. Expect some very shocking and even upsetting deaths in this movie. Real Mavel fans will need Kleenex!


The movie Doctor Strange is based on the Marvel comics character. A fabulous fantasy fiction movie that is quite accurate with the depiction.



Guardians of the Galaxy is a truly fabulous Marvel movie that I would recommend for anyone! The movie is a mix of sci-fi, great animation, engaging stories, & witty dialog.



Ant-Man & The Wasp Movie ReviewAnt-Man & The Wasp Movie Review
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Michael Douglas (Dr. Hank Pym), and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp / Dr. Pym's daughter), join together in battle. However, this time it is against a very unexpected mysterious foe, while also having to elude the FBI.



Ant-Man Movie ReviewAnt-Man Movie Review
Dr. Pym (Ant-Man suit inventor) & his daughter, Hope, train Scott Lang to work with ants and to become Ant-Man in preparation to "defeat" Darren Cross and his Yellowjacket invention.




The movie Iron Man sets the foundation for all of the following Avengers movies. Every Marvel fan, old or young, needs to see the movie Iron Man.





House of Sylvestermouse



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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Review of Attracting Birds to My Backyard

                                                    

Black-capped Chickadee


I have often been asked how I attract the large variety of birds to our backyard.  In the past  several years I have documented 31 different types of birds.  I believe that the wide variety of food that I put out for the birds helps to attract different types of birds.  These birds provide hours of entertainment for my husband and me.  In this post I will share with you the different types of bird food.

Mixed Variety Bird Seed

In several of my bird feeders, I use a mixed variety of bird seed. This type of mixture includes sunflower seeds along with other mixed seeds.  I have not found any one brand that seems to be better in attracting birds, so I usually buy whatever is on sale.  Here is the type that I purchased last.

                                                   



In the photos below you will see the variety of birds that enjoy the mixed bird seed that I keep in several different feeders in our backyard.





Nyjer Bird Seed

I have a finch feeder that I keep filled with Nyjer seed.  These seeds are small black seeds that don't fall through the small mesh of the feeder.  This feeder attracts many different birds, but it is particularly popular with finches.  In the photo below you will see Goldfinch enjoying the Nyjer seed.


The birds in this photo look like they have spotty or dirty looking feathers.  That is due to the fact that this photo was taken in early spring and they were still molting.

                                              


Suet Nuggets

This year I have started to put suet nuggets in a feeder.  This food has become very popular with woodpeckers.  Downy woodpeckers are frequent visitors of the nugget feeder.




I sometimes put whole peanuts in this feeder.  They last longer than the nuggets but I find it hard to tell when the feeder is empty because the empty peanut shells are left behind.  Here is a Red-bellied Woodpecker enjoying the peanuts.




                                                            


Suet Cakes

Another popular bird food is suet cakes.  I keep one hanging in my backyard feeding area year round.  They are frequented by a wide variety of birds.  In the photo below you see a Grosbeak that visited the suet cake this spring.


Hummingbird Feeder

Each spring I look forward to seeing my first Hummingbird of the year.  I hang out the feeder starting in early  April.  I make my own food for the feeder boiling 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in my microwave.  After cooling the mixture I add it to the feeder.  It is important to change the mixture every week to ten days and more often in very hot weather.



Bird Bath

In addition to the various bird feeders I provide a bird bath on our back deck.  This gives the birds a place to get a drink and in the case of Robins to take a bath. This spring I looked out one day to see a whole group of Bluebirds lined up on the edge of the bird bath.

 I love to see the Robins splashing in the bird bath.








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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Let's Review Some of Disney's Pook-a-Looz Plush Toys

Disney's Pook-a-Looz Plush Toys

Disney's Pook-a-looz Plush Toys Are Too Cute!


If you're reading this page it is probably not because you do not know what a Pook-a-looz is but rather because you are seeking one or the other of Disney's tremendously popular line of Pook-a-looz. But just in case you don't know, let me make an introduction. Pook-a-looz are a group of plush toys considered in the words of Disney, "too cute for their own good." They are soft and cuddly and collectible and they present the Disney characters you know and love in a slightly different format than we are used to. Pook-a-looz are popular with all ages including because they represent classic Disney characters with a modern twist.

If you've been searching for a specific Pook-a-looz or for that matter any Pook-a-looz, you will find a large selection on this page of wonderful, colorful, fun Pook-a-looz toys. ENJOY.

I first discovered the Pook-a-looz via a series of short, fun advertising videos that started with this one, called Gentleman Caller:




Mickey and Minnie Mouse 
Mickey Mouse Pook-a-Looz


Minnie Mouse Pook-a-Looz

Wikipedia says that Mickey Mouse was first created by Walt Disney in 1928, which means he is getting to be near a hundred years old. He's anthropomorphic. That is, an animal, though in my mind he barely resembles a mouse, dressed in human clothing. Here are Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Pook-a-Looz form. Both done in their classic Disney style. Which one is your favorite character? Which is your favorite Pook-a-looz?

Toy Story 

Toy Story Buzz Lightyear Pook-a-Looz

Toy Story Woody Pook-a-Looz


Toy Story continues to be a particularly popular franchise. My children grew up with the first and second movie and, therefore, I quite enjoy the characters, Woody and Buzz Lightyear. If I had to pick one, I could not because they are both important to the movie and in my mind you cannot have one without the other. Who do you love better? Which is your favorite in Pook-a-looz form?

Alice in Wonderland  

Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat Pook-a-Looz


The Cheshire Cat character from the book and the movie versions of Alice in Wonderland is a very popular character and I think this bright and cheerful pink striped version by Pook-a-Looz is well done. As a matter of fact he's one of my favourites from this story franchise. That's not to say that I don't like the others, of course. Other Pook-a-Looz from the Alice in Wonderland story line include Alice, the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter, as shown below. Who is your favorite Alice in Wonderland character? Which Pook-a-looz version do you like the best?

Nightmare Before Christmas  

Nightmare Before Christmas Pook-a-Looz


The Nightmare Before Christmas has attained cult status and is another movie that has been reproduced by Disney in Pook-a-looz form. Here you can see your favourite characters, including Jack Skellington, the Santa version of Jack Skellington, the Oogie Boogie and Sally. Which Nightmare Before Christmas Pook-a-Looz do you like the most? Which is your favorite character from Tim Burton's movie? Do you like these ones?

The Muppets  


The Muppets Pook-a-Looz
Well, you will not find all of the Muppets made into Pook-a-looz dolls but you will find Kermit, Fozzy Bear,Gonzo and Animal. I found those characters on Amazon but had to turn to eBay to find Miss Piggy. If you are interested in buying Miss Piggy or just in seeing the Pook-a-looz version on eBay, just click here. Anyway, I am a particularly big fan of The Muppets so once again hard pressed to pick a favourite in Pook-a-looz form. How about you?


Winnie The Pooh and Friends 


Winnie the Pooh Pook-a-Looz
Yes, Disney has recreated the Winnie the Pooh characters as Pook-a-looz and shown here are Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet versions. I love them all. I think that Eeyore is very realistic, don't you? At least as realistic as he can be.  Which one is your favorite Pooh character? Which is your favorite in Pook-a-looz style?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Pook-a-Looz
Fans of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will not want to miss these Pook-a-Looz dolls. I do not know if all seven of the dwarfs were produced in Pook-a-looz form. I have been able to find Dopey and Grumpy and, of course, Snow White, as shown above. They're both adorable, don't you think?

More Pook A Looz Plush Toys


As Disney says, these Pook-a-Looz are too cute! There are many Pook-a-Looz available and I have just shared a few here with you. You can also find Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Chip N Dale, Lilo and Stitch,  Pinocchio and more of both Mickey Mouse and  Alice in Wonderland's friends. Are there any specific ones that you are searching for?

You can see Amazon's complete collection of Pook-a-Looz by clicking right here and if Amazon does not have the ones you are looking for, you might also check eBay. I notice that the Snow White pair have commanded the highest price on eBay recently followed by Mickey and Minnie as Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus and then Dumbo. The highest price in the past year went to the alien Stitch from the movie Lilo and Stitch, who sold for a whopping $170. Mary Poppins, a pink Angel version of Stitch and Oogie Boogie from the Nightmare Before Christmas all fetched around $50.  In general, however, these toys have not yet become extremely expensive so at this time you can start building or keep building your collection. See for yourself what Pook-a-Looz are available right now on eBay by clicking right here and happy shopping!

See you
in the toy aisle!
Brenda

More Disney Gift Ideas:


Disney Gift Ideas
Disney Frozen Gift Ideas
Disney Coffee Mugs








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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Dorm Storage Bins Reviewed

Maximize Storage In The Dorm

dorm clutter
Dorm Space Is Limited
image courtesy of pixabay.com
A review of dorm storage bins might come in handy for many as the time for young adults to go off to college approaches. The students who are required to live in a dorm room or opt to continue dorm life will quickly find that storage space is at a minimum.

Small spaces shared with at least one more inhabitant can become crowded and cramped very quickly. The old adage "A place for everything and everything in its place" applies particularly well in a college dorm room. For freshmen students, this will be the first time living away from home. Mom or Dad won't be around to pick up after them. If there is a mess, it will be up to them to clear the clutter they created. 

A great solution is to provide your college student with the option of storing much of their necessaries in storage bins. Of course, we need to understand that they may promise to use them but may not for a while. It might take some time for them to tire of tripping over things left on the floor to see the beauty of those bins you so lovingly provided. A few or maybe many times of not being able to find something they need might be the catalyst for them to use those bins. Well, at least, we can hope! Another adage comes to mind, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." Some will embrace the concept while others will forever wait for someone else to clean up the mess. At least they will have the option if the storage bins are there waiting for them.

A collection of different sized containers in a dorm room can be so very handy. They can be placed under beds, stacked on the floor, placed on shelving units, or just about anywhere to conserve space and add to the storage dilemma. We as parents and grandparents know the value of having containers to help prevent clutter so we can gently remind out young adults of the value as they leave on the adventure of living away from home.

One option that I found appealing was a collection providing medium, large and jumbo sizes. The fabric is a durable bamboo blend and comes in either a gray and brown color or a dark taupe. Nothing flashy just colors that will blend-in nicely. There is also a sturdy rope handle that will allow for easy moving if heavy items are placed inside. 

What do you think? Would the college student in your life benefit from a storage solution like this for their dorm room?




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Monday, July 8, 2019

A Dog's Life By Peter Mayle


Are you ready to smile? Smiling, laughing and nodding are the side effects from reading this delightful book, A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle. This book is actually two books in one with the engaging illustrations by Edward Koren. So onward with a two books in one review!

A Dogs Life Book Review


The Point Of View

This is a story of a rescue dog in Provence named Boy by his new parents. What is different about this narrative is the tale is told by Boy ... in his own words.

Boy is thoughtful, introspective, funny, witty, dry and very on point with his observations of the household, his city, his new furry sisters, his parents and how life rolls in Provence.

I'm still laughing over his description of rolling in the grass, why it is a good idea, why he likes to roll over smelly 'things' in the grass and then the consequences of the behavior. Which leads us to ...


The Other Point Of View

Boy is also a philosopher and keen observer. As he says one of his best strengths is his keen ability to observe then adapt; definitely a strength when being adopted into an established household.

I very much enjoyed Boy's take on his new humans, siblings and household. In A Dog's Life he tells his story enhanced by his view of what others are thinking, the why behind their actions and how he will fit in his new home.


The Furry Topics 

Boy runs the gamut of topics he finds interesting but are also of interest to dog parents. He answers those human questions of "Why would...?" "How could ..." "Did you really do that...?" of:

  • Picking The Dog's Name (and lifelong implications)
  • Dog Birthday Parties
  • Rolling In Stuff!
  • Baths
  • Cats
  • New Siblings
  • Food Bowl Etiquette
  • Tasting Parties
  • The Art Of Communication

and much more!

The Illustrations

I love hand drawn illustrations and the illustrations by Edward Koren are fabulous. The illustrations are an integral component of A Dog's Life and can be enjoyed on their own merit. I liken the illustrations to editorial cartoons drawn from a dog's point of view.

Recommendation Of A Dog's Life

I highly recommend this book for all dog owners or dog fans. It is a perfect gift for all occasions including a fun gift for the new dog parent. Smiles and are guaranteed throughout the book along with frequent nods of agreement as to why dogs are so special, so beloved and so part of the family.

More Dog Reviews

Favorite Dog Harness - The Puppia

Kong Cloud Collar




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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A Quick Review of Unique Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Unique Ways to Add Value to Your Home

If you're a fan of extreme home décor, you'll want to take a look at the professional designs featured below. There's a link to each in points 1, 2 and 3.

You can hire a decorator or use these designs to inspire your DIY side. Visit each of the three featured professional designs to view the architecture, color combinations and accessories.

1. Professionally Designed Baby Rooms with a Nautical Theme

If you love the crisp, fresh and airy feel of nautical décor, you'll appreciate these four creative designs. One features a boat shaped crib, while the others utilize the walls and floors for the greatest impact. The fourth baby room has a partial seafoam colored wall and soft rustic wood floors. It's my favorite. The space is open, airy and cheerful. The few pops of color use carefully positioned accessories. Check out the baby room designs here.

2. Design an Indoor Playhouse Using the Area Under a Staircase

Whether the staircase is on the main or lower level, that unused area can serve a purpose. Some of the playhouse designs featured at the link below are over-the-top, but they make an excellent addition to the higher use and value of the home itself. If you're lucky enough to know a handy person, use these ideas to inspire your own unique under-the-stairs design. If a playroom isn't practical, design the area for storage, a closet, or a pet house.  Check out the staircase playhouse designs here.

3. Add a Dog Washing/Cleaning Station to Your Home

This particular design will require a renovation. If you're planning to make structural changes to your home consider a dog washing or cleaning station. Some of the designs are extremely elaborate while others are as easy as removing the laundry sink and replacing it with a walk-in or walk-up mini shower. A dog washing station, which also serves other purposes, will add value to your home and best of all is a perk most houses don't have. You'll separate yourself from the crowd with this particular addition. Take a look at several pet washing stations here.

Features in a Home that Buyers Prefer

Home Buyer Must Haves
The above suggestions qualify as perks. Adding any one of them can help to generate a quicker and/or higher price.

Most sellers understand a home must be prepped for sale with neutral color tones. However, neutral doesn't mean lacking in texture and distinctive elements. To secure the undivided attention of a potential buyer, don't hesitate to add textured walls, wainscoting, unique storage ideas, feature walls, or, money permitting, some of the above perks.

If you're renovating before selling, Extraspace.com lists 15 features buyers prefer.

You're more than likely familiar with most of their suggestions; hardwood floors, open concepts, modern kitchens and finished basements.

However, they mention a few less standard ideas such as a full bathroom on the main level and flexible rooms (rooms left to the discretion of the buyer). A full bathroom on the main level is a tremendous idea especially in combination with a main floor guest room. With an aging population and multi-family living, a home with this feature can appeal to several demographics.

Your home is your sanctuary until you decide to sell. You can always change the colors, but it's difficult to change the layout. When renovating, think ahead and renovate wisely.








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Saturday, July 6, 2019

Book Review of The 9th Girl and the sequel, Cold Cold Heart


Author Tami Hoag has written over 40 books. first in the Romance genre and then in the crime/mystery/suspense/thriller genres. She has written several series, my favorite being the Kovac & Liska series. 

I have been currently re-reading my collection of Tami Hoag mysteries, beginning with my favorite series with characters Sam Kovac and his partner, the wisecracking Nikki Liska whom Sam calls 'Tink' (for Tinkerbell) because she's petite, though tough and determined. They are homicide detectives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

After finishing the fourth book in the series (The 9th Girl), I happened to pick up one of Tami Hoag's standalone books to read next (Cold Cold Heart) and realized it was a sequel to The 9th Girl. Therefore, I will review both of these books for you today. 


The 9th Girl



Available on Amazon
It is a frigid New Year's Eve in Minneapolis when a body falls from the trunk of a car into the path of oncoming traffic. Detectives Kovak & Liska are called to the scene. Unidentified, she is the ninth nameless female victim of the year. The detectives need to find out not only who she is, but who wanted her dead. 

Not only is she the ninth Jane Doe of the year, but she may be the ninth victim of a vicious, transient serial killer the police call Doc Holiday. Doc Holiday chooses his victims at random, snatching them in one city and leaving them in another, always on a holiday.

When another young woman disappears, the case heats up while the detectives try to find the promising young TV reporter, Dana Nolan before she becomes another victim.




Cold Cold Heart



Available on Amazon
The 9th Girl novel ends with Dana Nolan becoming the only one of Doc Holiday's victims to survive. Cold Cold Heart is her struggle to recover from the physical, emotional and psychological trauma she endured.  After months in the hospital and a rehab center, Dana returns to the small Indiana town she left to work in Minneapolis.  

Cold Cold Heart begins with Dana still in the hospital and Kovak & Liska making a brief appearance in the first 2 chapters (a continuation from The 9th Girl) where they try to learn the details of what happened. The problem is, Dana doesn't remember much due to suffering a brain injury at the hands of the killer. 

As Dana continues to recover and returns to her family home, media interest brings up the unsolved case of Dana's childhood best friend who disappeared without a trace 7 years ago, the summer after their high school graduation. Viewing life differently because of her injuries and needing something to focus on other than the flashbacks and nightmares and the torment of post-traumatic stress disorder she suffers, Dana begins to look into her past. But the truth of her friend's disappearance may prove to be too terrible to be believed. 



Notes from the Author:



Author Tami Hoag
Tami Hoag suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) as a child which went undiagnosed for many years. Luckily, her only side effects are occasional severe headaches. She also has a friend whose husband suffered a TBI in the military. Combine the consequences with PTSD and the problems worsen.  PTSD is not a condition exclusive to the war-injured military, but also experienced by victims of crimes and other tragedies.

Ms. Hoag believes that many people are not aware of how these injuries affect the people suffering from them and their loved ones. The post-brain injury person is often not ever again the pre-brain injury person remembered by friends and family and this becomes difficult to deal with and understand. 

Tami thought perhaps having her character in Cold Cold Heart suffering from TBI and PTSD would help readers understand both people who are afflicted and those who live with them.

A well-written story ~ with a message.  



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(c) Written by Wednesday Elf 7/6/2019




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Friday, July 5, 2019

Missing in Beaver Falls Book Reviewed

Missing in Beaver Falls Mystery Reviewed
Roni Rainer Mysteries Book 4 

Missing in Beaver Falls Book Reviewed
The Roni Rainer Mystery Series written by Beverly Owens is my favorite cozy mystery series ever.  I find the characters easy to love and fun to know.  There have been times when I wished they were real life people so I could interact with them. I would really like to sit down and have a long chat with Kitchi, the old Mide.

Roni Rainer, the main character and owner of the Revived up-cycling shop, is always trying to help everyone around her.  That is a character I can easily respect.  I have no doubt we would be immediate friends.  Her employees, Charlotte and Clay are just quirky enough to adore, yet also wish to protect.

Charlotte's ability to take something useless and make it into a work of art, fascinates me. While I enjoy recreating the item described in my minds eye, I would love to see them in reality.  


Missing In Beaver Falls


When a local girl goes missing, the town is divided on what they believed happened to her. Some believe she ran off, while others believe she was abducted. 

Most of us already know, new residents in a small town are not always immediately embraced, especially if they arrive with an arrogant attitude.  Being attractive and young doesn't help either.  The local girls often feel an immediate dislike due to jealousy.  After all, single men are limited and the new competition is not appreciated.

Tiffany Abbott was not well liked by most of the residents in Beaver Falls. While they appreciate her ability to cut and style hair that best flatters every face, that is the extent of their praise for her.  However, the men seem to find her very appealing.  Her admirers include Zack Maxwell, a young, local deputy. 

Several of the Beaver Falls residents are empaths, which literally means they are "a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual."  Because they have visions of where Tiffany is, Roni believes Tiffany is alive and she starts searching and watching for the things that have been "seen" by the empaths.




To find out what really happened to Tiffany Abbott, you will need to read "Missing in Beaver Falls".  This book could be read and enjoyed alone.  However, if you wish to really get to know the characters, you might prefer to start with Book 1, Death Takes A Spin: An Up-cycling Mystery.




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Roni Rainer Series Books Previously Reviewed on ReviewThisReviews.com


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

A truly fabulous story with several very endearing characters. Each character was more like a real person with real lives, real concerns and even real fears and danger.



The small town of Beaver Falls is shocked when the body of Mateo Hernandez is discovered. Why was this innocent young man murdered? What had he witnessed? A spellbinding mystery that you will definitely want to read.


Roni Rainiers peace and tranquility is shattered when she discovers a dead body in her favorite place for solitude. Why would anyone wish to kill this gentle giant of a man.



Missing in Beaver Falls Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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