Saturday, October 31, 2020

Reviewing Right Behind You by Rachel Abbott

 The idea behind this book is just horrifying for any parent, let me paint you a picture .....


Purchase Right Behind You by Rachel Abbott on Amazon - photo by Lou16

Imagine you have a young child and one day the police come to your door to arrest your partner for child endangerment, at the same time a social worker and another police officer inform you that your daughter has to go with them and you can't accompany her because you may influence what she says.

Wouldn't you go out of your mind with worry about your child as well as wondering if you knew your partner as well as you thought and going over every little detail that you could think of?

Now let's say you wait and you don't hear anything so finally you decide you're going to call the police station because, seriously, your daughter must be worried not being with her mum for so long.   The next thing you discover is the police have no record of your partner's arrest and certainly don't have your daughter.   It was an elaborate ruse to kidnap your child and now you have to work out why - will there be a ransom, was your partner involved?

This book was a real page-turner and if you enjoy suspenseful fiction then you will absolutely love this.   I did work out who was behind it before the book revealed which I found very frustrating, but that's something I'm known for with both movies and books!

This book gets a big thumbs up from me, although I am very glad my daughter is an adult now, the author's idea is truly terrifying to any parent and I'm not sure I would've wanted to read it had my own daughter been a pre-schooler.   That's how good it was.

I have never come across Rachel Abbott before but I will certainly be looking out for some of her books in the future.   I actually got the kindle version of this book for free as I have an Amazon Prime account.   I love having a Prime membership because I can try different authors and even different genres of books for free before purchasing more books.

Rachel Abbott has several other books available in book form, in Kindle form as well as audiobooks, in fact, a couple of them are available for free if you decide to trial audible (I don't have this yet, but a number of people have been telling me to try it).





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, October 30, 2020

Fall Leaves Placemats & Tablerunners Reviewed

Fall Placemats
Like many of our Contributors, I love the fall and the beautiful colors of nature.  The yellow, gold, orange, and red leaves falling all around are simply stunning.

With the fall, we welcome cooler weather which tends to keep us indoors more and looking out the windows at the beautiful landscape.  That makes me want to bring some of the beautiful leaves inside, which I have certainly done in the past.

Several years ago, I was doing a bit of early Christmas shopping when I spotted the gorgeous fall leaves cutwork placemats.  There were only two left, but that was fine for my kitchen table, which only seats two.  

We removed our large kitchen table decades ago and replaced it with a couch & chair.  Not only does that provide comfortable seating in the kitchen, but it forces us to use the dining room, which was previously only used for holidays.

The fall leaves cutwork placemats are perfect for my husband and myself at our smaller kitchen table.  Plus, they provide really beautiful fall decor in the center of our kitchen.

fall placemats


Fall Leaves Placemats

Forest Blanket with Poly-Suede Cutwork Round Doily - 16 inch placmats (Set of 4)Forest Blanket with Poly-Suede Cutwork Round Doily - 16 inch placmats (Set of 4)Check PriceMy fall leaves placemats are made of a faux suede material.  The cutwork design gives them a nostalgic look that appeals to us.  Our table is wood, a gift from my grandmother's home.  The wood table provides the perfect background for the fall leaves placemats.

When our daughter visited last fall, she commented on how pretty these placemats are on the table.  Normally, we all have very different decor preferences.  Apparently, these fall leaves placemats appeal to a variety of decor tastes. 

The current fall leaves placemats that are available are slightly different from mine in colors.  That is common with fabric due to different runs or fabric selection.  It could also be due to a different manufacturer.  Photography lighting can also affect an image.  Regardless, they are still stunning!

If you stop by my article about my grandmother, you will see the table in it's original place in her home.  That photo was taken on Christmas over 30 years ago.


Fall Leaves Tablerunner

Owenie Fall Leaves Table Runners,Thanksgiving Centerpieces for Tables, 13Inch x 34Inch Embroidered Maple Leaf table decor for Harvest, Autumn Farmhouse Decorations for Home Settings, Machine Washable.Owenie Fall Leaves Table Runners,Thanksgiving Centerpieces for Tables, 13Inch x 34Inch Embroidered Maple Leaf table decor for Harvest, Autumn Farmhouse Decorations for Home Settings, Machine Washable.Check PriceOur kitchen opens up to our dining room where we have the large dining room table that seats 8-12 easily.  Recently, I came across a fall leaves tablerunner that compliments my placemats.  That ties the decor in the two rooms together nicely.  

The tablerunner is not an exact match, but that is not really noticeable unless you place them side by side.  That doesn't matter to us since they are used on different tables.  Plus, there is something naturally eclectic about them not matching, just as hundreds of leaves don't match when blanketing the yard.

If you were going to use the table runners and the placemats on the same table, I would recommend buying the exact same pattern all at the same time.  



More Articles on Fall Decor


Check Out More Home Decor Reviews at
ReviewThisDecor.com

House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Citizens of Campbell - Book Review

Have you ever loved a book so much you wish you had been written into it?  That is the feeling I came away with after reading Citizens of Campbell.  Ann Reed's debut novel felt, in many ways, like a story I had already inhabited while growing up in small town America.  More than anything, this was a homecoming for me.

The heart of this novel is the bond between two quietly heroic men—Earl Johansen and Nearly "Walking Elk" Kelly.  One is a hero for saving a man's life; the other for simply being who he is—a good and decent man.  

I'm sure Earl and Nearly would be surprised to find themselves between the covers of a book.  I imagine Earl would be a little embarrassed and Nearly secretly delighted.  The dailiness of their lives, to them, wouldn't seem worthy of mention, but they would be wrong.

Citizens of Campbell reveals the soul of what it means to be essential to someone else.

Ann Reed, the author, is an extremely gifted singer/songwriter.  More than writing the story of Campbell, Iowa, and its citizens, she has sung it.  The song is an anthem all kindred spirits will recognize.  You will feel the chords, the true notes that are the music of living simply and beautifully alongside, and in concert with, your chosen family.

Highly recommended.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Show a Little Love: Stuffies That Will Make you Smile

Today is National Stuffed Animal Day!  Guess What?  I love my "Stuffies" and I'm not alone! 
A Gift Review

Is there anything more fun than going out and getting a new stuffed animal for the child (ren) in your life?  I don't think so.  Every kid I know, by the time they are 5 or 6 years old, are the proud owners of at least 5-10 stuffed animals.  Let's try to understand why these are such a great gifts at any time of the year, for kids and grown ups too!

From newborns to seniors, stuffed animals are always a favorite toy/gift.  Whether it's baby number one or more, each newborn is sure to receive a Teddy Bear!  They are the #1 stuffed toy that people reach for.  I have witnessed the connection kids can have with that first stuffed animal first hand as my granddaughter (12) still has her Teddy Bear right there in the bed beside her every night.  My other granddaughter happens to love her unicorn and my grandson has his favorite bunny and dog snuggled right up to his pillow every night.

Some people love Teddy Bears, others love Sheep, Lady Bugs, or their favorite Cartoon Characters.  All of them are available as Stuffed "animals", although that is really a misnomer.  Not everything that is stuffed is an animal,  there are lots of stuffed "characters" as well.  That's why I prefer to call them "Stuffies", because you just never know!  

For years past, children loved their Raggedy Ann and Andy stuffed toys. It was a great way to engage children with the story books too.   Today, Raggedy Ann and Andy are not quite as popular, but there are many others that have taken their place.  Mickey and Minnie Mouse have been favorites for years as well. Paddington Bear and Winnie the Pooh all have story books to read to the little ones while they are busy hugging  their "Stuffie"!

Whenever a new Family Movie comes out, there are at least six or seven (or more) new stuffed toys that are offered in the marketplace.  Monsters Inc.  was a fantastic movie for kids and afterwards, there were kids that wanted "Mike" or "Sulley" stuffed toys to add to their collection.  Toy Story also had a great run with kids and there were so many stuffed animals and characters out on the marketplace after that movie as well.  Buzz Lightyear and Woody come in a variety of toy styles.  Add the Little Mermaid,  Gremlins, Wookies and a host of other "Other Worldly" characters and you know that the list of Stuffies is almost endless.  

Whether they are a character from a movie or cartoon show, or just your favorite Bear, Bunny, Elephant, Sheep or other animal.  There are so many out there and each one has it's own pull on your heartstrings.  If you need some help figuring it all out, here's my Favorites that you can go through. Olivia's Favorite Stuffies

Kids need to have a toy that is cuddly and soft.  They love to carry them around and even share their treats with their little stuffies.  I know my grandchildren had fun watching movies and snacking with their best buddies tucked comfortably in the crook of their arms. The connection that kids make with their favorite stuffed toys is really heartwarming to see.  My one granddaughter has shared her times in hospital with her favorite bear!  If you want to know more about that you can read about her need for some comfort right here!

Stuffed Animals and Characters really do play an important part in a child's life and so I really do believe that it's great to celebrate these toys with a special whimsical holiday. 

This year especially due to our restrictions, this just might be a great way to celebrate Halloween with the little ones in our lives.  A great movie and some treats along with their favorite stuffie and you have a party to remember!
 







Happy Halloween everyone, stay safe and healthy! But please find time to have some fun too!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Smoking Meat for Beginners Book Review

Smoking Meat for Beginners Book Review
Everyone knows that I have a passion for preserving old family recipes. These are recipes passed down from my grandmother, mother, and aunts. You can find these old family recipes along with some new ones on my blog, Sam's Places.

During grilling season here in Western NY I love cooking on my grill. I'm always looking for new ideas and recipes to try on the grill.

A few years ago I started to follow David Farrell's blog oldfatguy.ca. I quickly became a fan and very interested in David's recipes and methods of smoking meats.

At the time I didn't have a smoker, I had a gas grill. I really wanted to try one of David's methods. So I followed his method for his 3-2-1 Spareribs on my gas grill. I picked up some wood chips wrapped them in tinfoil then poked some holes in them. 

I followed his method for seasoning, temperature to maintain, and cooking time. They were delicious and I was hooked.

 

The Old Fat Guy's Guide To Smoking Meat For Beginners

When his book came out I couldn't wait to buy it. I knew that I wanted a smoker but had no idea what type of smoker to buy. After reading the very first section of the book where David explains the benefits and downsides of every type of smoker. I decided that I wanted an offset smoker.

Char-Griller Offset Smoker


 And, low and behold, for Father's Day my daughter bought me this Char-Griller offset smoker. Now I was all set. 
 I had the book and the smoker.

The next part of the book will explain all about accessories for your smoker. What you need from temperature control, cleaning your equipment, cooking utensils, types of wood for smoking, and much more.

Then, David tells us how to get your smoker ready no matter what smoker you have. There is a whole section dedicated to food safety. I found this to be very helpful with tips on cross-contamination, dangerous ingredients, and improper storage.

You will find classic recipes and methods along with appetizers, rubs, sauces, and marinades. Read about David's many successes and some of his failures along the way. 

This is my go-to book along with David's blog whenever I'm preparing to smoke something. You'll find this book easy to read and non-technical. This is a perfect gift idea for not only beginners, but even the most experienced smokers will find useful information in this book.

The Old Fat Guy's Guide to Smoking Meat for BeginnersThe Old Fat Guy's Guide to Smoking Meat for BeginnersThe Old Fat Guy's Guide to Smoking Meat for Beginners

 

More Book Reviews on Review This: ReviewThisBooks.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, October 26, 2020

Christmas Tree Lane: Hallmark Movie Review

Hallmark opened up the 2020 Christmas movie season with a winner! Christmas Tree Lane will not disappoint Hallmark fans and will definitely not disappoint Hallmark Christmas fans. 

A delightful romance with all the necessary Hallmark elements will delight fans and will leave you eagerly awaiting the newest Hallmark Christmas movies along with past favorites.


The Stars

Hallmark brought out the A team actors of Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker to create the chemistry for the Christmas Tree Lane story. Each actor has starred in multiple Hallmark movies and are fan favorites. Andrew plays an architect whose family business has its' eye on the infamous and beloved Christmas Tree Lane. Alicia plays the owner of her families shop threatened by the redevelopment along with all of Christmas Tree Lane.

I won't spoil the love story; however, the story line may sound familiar to Hallmark fans and that is just fine with Hallmark fans! It is the chemistry and acting which makes the story and both stars bring this romance to life.

Fun Facts

Alicia Witt not only stars in Christmas Tree Lane and executive produced the movie. But wait there is more. She also created the story, brought the story to Hallmark,  wrote the theme song, played the piano and performed the song in the movie. 

One Life To Live fans will recognize the actor who plays Alicia's father - guess who?

Catch a sneak peek here of Christmas Tree Lane while you are waiting for the replay!





More Hallmark Christmas Movies

I recently wrote a review for the Hallmark Christmas movies 2020 and did pick this movie out as a movie to bookmark! Christmas Tree Lane is on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

There will be 40 new Hallmark Christmas movies for 2020 and let's hope all movies will be as good as Christmas Tree Lane! The new movies will be shown on both Hallmark channels: Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review by Cynthia

Happy Hallmark Christmas!






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Sunday, October 25, 2020

High Protein Chocolate Waffles for Bodybuilding or General Fitness

Chocolate Protein Waffles

Waffles are a popular daily choice for one of my bodybuilding sons. Our waffle maker gets used daily, and on occasion, several times a day.

You can review similar single-use waffle makers to ours here on this product page.

For this article, my son Jesse has offered up his favorite high protein breakfast waffles. He makes them every day before his workout. 

He has, on occasion, modified the recipe for me (his Ketogenic mom), and I personally approve. Yum.

 Chocolate Protein Waffles

( Recipe makes 2 waffles)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup egg whites

1 scoop of protein powder (Preferably a casein protein blend or at least non-vegan. The consistency of certain vegan proteins can make the mixture not thick enough to make fluffy waffles).

1/2 cup oatmeal OR coconut flour (for low carb/keto waffles)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp powdered peanut butter (PB2)

1 tbsp stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cap full of vanilla extract

          1 tsp baking powder 

Nonstick cooking spray for the waffle iron

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until batter holds a thick consistency

2. Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray or brush with butter/coconut oil

3. Measure out 1/2 cup of mixture onto waffle iron and let cook for 45 seconds (1 minute for each waffle)

4. Top with your favorites - nonfat greek yogurt, chia seeds, bananas, and/or sugar-free pancake syrup

Approximate Macros (With Oatmeal):

60+ grams of protein

35+ grams of carbs

7+ grams of fat

Approx. Macros (With Coconut flour)

60+ Grams of protein

8-10 grams of carbs

14 grams of fat


Whether you make the recipe with coconut flour or oatmeal does not affect the waffles' protein content since most of the protein comes from the protein powder, egg whites, and cottage cheese. As mentioned above, coconut flour makes it keto-friendly.

This is a great recipe for bodybuilding, general fitness, and overall health. You'll get a ton of protein from clean sources, and my son says it's very satiating. He also says this waffle recipe keeps him full for the better half of 6-8 hours, which, according to him, is quite the diet hack.

If you're interested in a single-use waffle maker, you can check out the product page here.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Saturday, October 24, 2020

A Review of Handmade Halloween Home Decor


Halloween is a favorite time to decorate your house and yard, most especially if you are like my daughter-in-law who goes 'all out'. Their outside yard décor is so elaborate and fantastic that they have even won local 'Halloween Decoration' contests in the past.


But it is 'inside the home' that can lend itself to creating a Halloween atmosphere limited only by your imagination. You can go scary with ghosts and goblins, skeletons and spiders, or sweetly seasonal with pumpkins, or cute with black cats and bats.


The following are a few ideas to get you started. They are the creative results of fellow handmade artists on Etsy.


Pumpkins


A Pumpkin Table Runner


Halloween Pumpkins Table Runner


Decorate your table with a seasonal table runner for the Halloween season


This table runner is made with 2 different prewashed cotton fabrics so that it is reversible. One side has decorated orange, white and black pumpkins that are outlined in gold on a black background. It also has gold stars and the words "Boo" and "Trick or treat". The reverse side is orange with Halloween words and phrases, spiders and crows in black, gray and white. The words and phrases are "Trick or treat", "Spooky", "Happy Halloween" and "Boo".  


This table runner is 14" wide and 39 1/2" long and can be found in Kathie's Etsy Shop she calls CutePurseNalities.


Pumpkin Coasters


Pumpkin Beverage Coasters
Pumpkin design beverage coasters are perfect for home decor in the season of Harvest-time, Autumn, or Fall. They can also be fun all year round for anyone who likes pumpkin designs.


This is a set of 4 drink coasters with a pumpkin design measure 4 x 4 inches each. They are created using plastic canvas and acrylic yarn in two shades of orange, plus brown and green. The pumpkin design sits on an ecru/off-white background. Perfect colors for your Harvest time decor. 


They are available in the Etsy Store of Coastal Crochet Crafts.


Black Cats & Bats


Black Cat


Wooden 
Black Cat
This rustic wooden black cat figurine is handmade from whitewood or reclaimed pallet wood


Approximate measurement: about 6 inches tall x 4.3 inches wide.  


Handmade by Christina and found in her Etsy Shop Tinkerbinks.



Scary Bats


Halloween Bats Decor
Scary 3D bats all over the wall / window. Arrange them as you wish. You definitely want them in your Halloween Party. Comes with easy to apply style.

-Easy to apply to walls, doors, glass and other hard surfaces. For use on smooth walls -- can also go on glass

-Material: waterproof pvc. Color: black. Leave no residue or damage when peel off from wall / window. 


Find these bats at AJProducts on Etsy.




Halloween Kitchen Decor


Handy for Halloween are these decorative and useful dishcloths, potholders and refrigerator magnets for your kitchen.


Pumpkin Set


Pumpkin Kitchen Set

Pumpkin Kitchen Combo. Pumpkin shaped cotton dishcloth/washcloth with matching pumpkin potholder and pumpkin magnet

Washing dishes is a chore made easier with dishcloths made of 100% cotton yarn. This dishcloth in the shape of a pumpkin makes kitchen chores more fun.

This pumpkin-shaped handmade-in-crochet dishcloth can also be used as a washcloth in the bathroom - especially fun for kids in the bathtub. 

The matching pumpkin potholder is crocheted in washable orange acrylic yarn with a green top. It measures 9.5 x 11 inches and is made double-thick.

This pumpkin set makes a cute Halloween home décor item or can be used as a gift. (Makes a unique hostess gift when invited out to dinner, especially during the Harvest-Time season).

The kitchen set comes with a matching pumpkin refrigerator magnet.  Available at Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy.


Ghost Set


Ghost Washcloth & Magnet
This cute ghost kitchen set includes a fun novelty washcloth in the shape of a ghost. A cute way to entertain children at bathtime or to make choretime in the kitchen washing dishes more fun. Or just display it in your kitchen for a Halloween decoration. It comes with a cute ghost magnet for your refrigerator. Find it at Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy.








Related Links:


  • For more Halloween home decor ideas, check out Fun Halloween Home Decor by Sylvestermouse.
  • For Halloween recipes, costumes and more decorating ideas, check out this group of Halloween articles reviewed for you here on ReviewThisReviews. 


Happy Halloween


Halloween Yard Décor (c) Elf


*Handmade Halloween Home Décor written on 10/24/2020 by (c) Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Friday, October 23, 2020

Forever By Your Side by Tracie Peterson Book Review

Forever by Your Side
As soon as I saw this book available, I requested a copy.  Tracie Peterson is one of my all-time favorite Christian fiction authors.  I always love her books.  

I didn't realize this was the third book in the series, Willamette Brides, but that was not a problem.  I had already read the first two books, so I was familiar with the characters and the background story for the book.

A reader would probably enjoy this book without reading the first two in the series, but I'm not sure it would mean as much to them.  Knowing the complete backstory, what brought us to this point in time on the Indian reservation, fills in what might otherwise be blanks in the book.  I do recommend reading the first two books first, but you will definitely want to read the resolutions in "Forever By Your Side". 


Synopsis of Forever By Your Side

 Forever by Your Side
(Willamette Brides)
Constance Browning is thrilled when she is hired to catalogue the history of the American Indians on the Oregon reservation, her own childhood home.  Constance's parents are still missionaries there and she is excited to return after years away at school.  

Tom Lowell, Connie's best friend, is the second half of the team hired to record the historical facts.  Together, they travel from the East Coast to the Oregon reservation.  Once there, they are welcomed to stay with Connie's parents instead of other government accommodations.  This is an optimum arrangement for Connie & Tom since they also hope to find out who is supplying the Indians with whiskey and guns.  It has been rumored that her parents are behind the shipments and are organizing an upraising.  

Connie is certain her parents are not involved in anything that would put the Indians in danger.  She knows their hearts and their mission to help the people they love.  Unfortunately, her opinion doesn't matter when there is evidence that her father is part of the operation.  

Since Connie knows some of the Indians, she & Tom plan to use their research as a cover for inquiring about a potential upraising.  They are stunned by some old friends who now consider Connie's family the enemy.  

Connie is equally surprised by the government agent, Clint Singleton, on the reservation who now expresses a romantic interest in her.  She had a childhood crush on him years before and he had totally dismissed her then.  She has to ask herself, is she still in love with Clint?

All the changes are confusing, but Connie is determined to prove her parents are innocent.  With the evidence against her father, that won't be easy to do.


My Recommendation

As I stated in my introduction, while this could be a stand-alone book, I believe the entire series should be read in order.  Connie's cousins, their marriages, and most especially one husband's murder, are important to understanding the entire Willamette Brides story plot and the resolutions in this book.  

Personally, I was glad to finally know the true identity of Mr. Smith and the reasons behind his actions.  

The previous books in the series, Secrets of My Heart and The Way of Love are wonderful books, full of love, mystery and an excellent story that carried through the series.  I highly recommend the Willamette Brides series by Tracie Peterson, especially now that we have Forever By Your Side that provides the answers and resolutions.


 

 

I received an advance copy of "Forever by Your Side" to review from NetGalley. I would like to express my appreciation to Netgalley, the author, Tracie Peterson, and the publisher, Bethany House, for this opportunity. 
 



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Last Correspondent Book Review

The Last Correspondent is a work of historical fiction written by Soraya M Lane.  It takes place during World War II just prior, during and after the invasion of Normandy.  The scenes are set in London and France during the war.  

This story is about three woman who fight to use their careers to tell their story in a man's world.  They show a tremendous amount of courage, grit and determination in order to get the story told.  This then is the story of a war correspondent, a photographer and a model.

I found this book to be a real page turner.  In fact after I was about half way through the book, I couldn't put it down till I read the whole book.  It is one of those books where the author does such a good job of making the characters believable that I couldn't wait to see what happened next.

The Three Women

  • Danni-  Danni is a seasoned photographer, who has photographed the war on several different fronts.  As the days close in on the Normandy invasion she finds herself in London.   Only the  men are allowed to get passes to cover the war during the invasion, but Danni is determined to find a way to get to the action.  She has teamed up with a correspondent, Andy, who has been with her during her last several assignments.  They have become good friends and cover each others backs.  Danni enlists Andy to help her sneak aboard a medical ship that is sailing toward Normandy.
  • Ella-  Ella is a reporter who has written stories  under a man's pen name in order to get her works published.  When she is found out, her publisher fires her.  She finds a job with a magazine reporting on the war from a women's point of view.  She interviews women working on the war effort and the magazine is so pleased with her work that they send her to London to report on the war.  Like Danni, Ella also finds she is limited in her access because she is a woman.  Ella goes by herself to try to find a way to the action and find herself on the same medical ship as Dani and Andy.  After a rough night hiding on board they decide to team up as they make their way to shore.
  • Chloe-  Chloe is Andy's sister who was a Vogue model prior to the war.  When she was in Paris on a modeling job she met Gabriel, an editor, whom she fell in love.  At the beginning of the story Chloe is at her home in England, longing to find a way to be with Gabriel in Paris.  She says she is a showgirl in order to make her way into Nazi occupied Paris.


The Men in Their Lives

  • Cameron- Cameron is a Lieutenant that Danni first meets and has a conflict with when she is covering the war in Sicily.  She meets up with him again in a bar in London and then in Normandy.  They have a real love/hate relationship.
  • Andy- Andy is a war correspondent and best friend to Danni.  They have been together on several war zones and he always has her back when she is pushing the envelope.
  • Gabriel-  Gabriel is Chloe's lover and she sneaks in to Paris to be with him, only to find out the it is very pre-occupied working for the resistance.  
  • Michael - Michael is also a war correspondent and Ella first meets him at the bar at the Savoy in London.  This is a meeting place for many of the correspondents and photographers.  She next meets up with him in Normandy.

Recommendation

If you are a lover of historical fiction this is a wonderful  read.  It is full of history, women's fight to be treated as equals, and just a bit of romance.  A great read all around.  I highly recommend it.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Recently, I wrote about my successful experience with growing microgreens, using Hamama Seed Quilts. I thought it would be helpful to also review both the decorative accessories and most helpful extras I use and love for growing these delicious and extremely nutritious microgreens indoors, in the comfort of my living room.

Although the Hamama's bamboo grow tray frame, seed quilt label holder, and other decorative accessories are designed specifically for the company's innovative, patent-pending growing system, the other recommended products I'm reviewing here would be both useful and beneficial to anyone who enjoys gardening, cooking, or both!

Photo of bamboo accessories and other supplies for Hamama micgrogreens growing system, overlaid with title text, "Hamama Seed Quilt Microgreens Growing Accessories"
My favorite accessories and useful supplies for growing microgreens with Hamama's seed quilt growing system
Microgreens are a delicious, nutritious way to add essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes for those of us who try to live a healthy lifestyle. Since health was my primary motivation for losing nearly 60 pounds on a keto diet, my new healthier lifestyle focuses quite a bit on healthy eating, and especially on getting more nutrition from food and relying less on supplements, something that is especially important when following a ketogenic approach to eating.

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Growing System Accessories and Helpful Supplies

As I shared in my previous post, the Hamama microgreens seed quilt growing system is so easy, even this “brown thumb” gardening amateur is successfully growing delicious, healthy, nutrient-dense microgreens throughout the year, even here in New England. Now that my husband and I are no longer are at the mercy of the unpredictable and often scant selection of packaged microgreens at our local stores, we use our fresh, home-grown microgreens for more than just garnishes. In fact, they make up half the dark, leafy greens in our large, nightly dinner salads!

Along with Hamama's seed quilts and grow trays, the core of their unique container gardening system, I've also purchased a few accessories and supplies that have made the process of growing my own fresh, nutritious kale, broccoli, clover, daikon radish, zesty salad mix, and other varieties of microgreens more enjoyable and convenient. 

Hamama's Custom Growing System Accessories

Bamboo Grow Tray Frames and Seed Quilt Label Holders

Photo of two side-by-side Hamama seed quilts with decorative bamboo grow tray frames and seed quilt label holders
I love the way the bamboo grow tray frames and seed quilt label holders dress up my microgreens growing setup by our living room windows
Since counter space in our small kitchen is at a premium, I grow my microgreens in our living room, which has a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows (although Hamama microgreens seed quilts don’t require a lot of light). So, I successfully harvested a few different varieties of microgreens using this unique growing system, I decided to spring for Hamama’s proprietary bamboo frames and seed quilt label holders. The bamboo frames fit either style of the company's grow tray. I started with Hamama's white ceramic tray. See how nice the bamboo frame looks with it?
Photo of microgreens growing in white ceramic Hamama grow tray with bamboo frame
The white ceramic grow tray is thicker (and heavier) than the black plastic tray.
Not long after, I decided to switch to the black plastic grow trays, which weigh very little and are much easier to carry back and forth to the kitchen (on the other end of our house) for cleaning. Although I try to avoid buying plastic for disposable items, these trays are reusable, and I plan to be using them for the foreseeable future. The walls are much thinner, allowing a narrow margin around the seed quilt, so it's much easier to check the water level in relation to the coconut coir mat (and to add a bit more water, if it's evaporating faster than expected). The marked fill line is also thinner than on the white ceramic tray, so it's easier to gauge how much water to add for soaking the seed quilt.

Whether you prefer the black plastic or white ceramic grow tray, the simple, sleek and stylish bamboo frames make them much more attractive and blend well with any style of home décor. There is a Hamama logo in the lower left corner of one side of the frame. Usually, I'm not a fan of displaying brand names, especially on decorative items. But in this case, I think the logo has been done quite tastefully and doesn't detract from the look. However, it can easily be hidden by facing that side of the frame toward the window, if you prefer.

Photo of Hamama microgreens germinated seed quilt in tray with decorative bamboo grow tray frame and seed quilt label holder
The Hamama bamboo grow tray frames and matching seed quilt label holders give my microgreens growing setup a more attractive, "finished" look.
The matching bamboo label holders are great for displaying the coated cardstock labels that come with each seed quilt at an easy-to-read angle. These labels provide a useful reminder of which type of microgreens I’m currently growing, as well as the approximate number of days until the paper cover should be peeled, and the total number of days until harvest. Before I got these label holders, I used to tape the cardstock labels to the grow trays. The tape left a sticky residue and wasn’t very attractive. Now, my bamboo seed quilt label holders coordinate perfectly with my grow tray frames.

Each holder is a nicely finished, rectangular block of bamboo the exact length of a Hamama seed quilt label, with a thin slot for the label. Whenever you start a new seed quilt, simply slide the label that comes with it into the slot, which holds it upright and angled slightly back for easy reading. When you finish harvesting your microgreens crop, just remove and discard the label from the holder, so it’s ready for the label from your next seed quilt.

More Matching Bamboo Accessories

Hamama makes a matching seed quilt holder for storing your extra seed quilts, but since I don’t store mine out where people can see them, I didn’t need one. The company has just announced its brand new bamboo "grow shelf," a gorgeous self-standing, five-shelf, open shelving unit to current customers, who can preorder one now. I expect it to be added to the Shop section of the website soon, so everyone who wants will be able to order one.

Extra Hamama Grow Trays

Once I knew I was going to be using this unique microgreens growing system regularly, I ordered two additional grow trays. As of this writing, the price of two black grow trays is only four dollars more than the price of just one. And, since it’s essential to clean each grow tray thoroughly after harvesting one seed quilt and before starting another, it’s nice to have an extra tray so there’s a clean one standing by to start my next microgreens seed quilt as soon as I harvest the previous one. I can soak, scrub, and disinfect the used tray at my leisure (it’s also safe to clean in the top rack of the dishwasher).

Hamama Microgreens Harvesting Kit

The company offers a convenient set of three tools for harvesting the microgreens grown with their proprietary seed quilts and grow trays. The kit contains:

  • 1 reusable Stasher silicone bag (sandwich size)
  • 1 pair of scissors (with the Hamama logo)
  • 1 bamboo scrub brush with natural fiber bristles (for thoroughly scrubbing your grow tray)

It's a very useful kit, particularly if you prefer to harvest your microgreens by trimming them just above the top of the seed quilt, rather than pulling them out, roots and all. Alternatively, you can purchase a Stasher silicone food storage bag, a pair of sharp, stainless steel scissors, and a bamboo scrub brush with natural fiber bristles (or use equivalent items you may already own) to create your own customized microgreens harvesting kit.

Save Money on Your First Hamama Grow Kit, Seed Quilt, or Accessories Order

Helpful tip: Don't miss my Hamama shopping link and discount code at the end of this article to save 10%!

My Favorite, Practical Products for Growing, Harvesting and Storing Fresh Microgreens

Stasher Silicone Food Storage Bags

You don't have to grow microgreens to fall in love with these fabulous food storage and cooking bags

In August 2019, I wrote a review of my favorite silicone kitchen tools and accessories, including silicone food storage bag. But, after trying the Stasher silicone bag in my Hamama Harvesting Kit, I fell in love with it. I purchased three more in larger sizes, and I definitely plan to add more over time. Although they cost more than other silicone bags, they're totally worth the price!

These Stasher silicone bags are a cinch to open and close, unlike any other brand of silicone food storage bags I've tried. Yet, they're also airtight and watertight. Many people use them for sous-vide cooking, placing the sealed bag of raw food in a pot of boiling water. And since these bags are leakproof, They're also perfect for marinating meats, poultry, seafood, fish, or vegetables to infuse them with extra flavor.

Photo of four Stasher silicone food storage bags
The Stasher silicone food storage bags I have purchased to date

The Stasher bag that came with the Hamama Harvesting Kit is the sandwich size (7.5" x 7.5" x 1"), which has a 15 oz. capacity. (It's the smallest one in the photo of my current Stasher bag collection.) However, since I wrap my harvested microgreens loosely in a paper towel before placing them in the bag to store in my refrigerator, I find that I need a larger size if I want to harvest all (or most) of a seed quilt at one time.

The sizes I use to comfortably contain an entire crop of paper towel-wrapped microgreens from a Hamama seed quilt are the tall Stasher Silicone Reusable 1/2 Gallon Food Storage Bag (10.25” x 8.25” x 1.5” with a 64.2 oz. capacity), and the Stasher Silicone Reusable Stand-Up Food Storage Bag (7.75" x 7" x 3" with a 56 oz. capacity) that, true to its name, stands up on its own for easy filling and removal of the contents.

Dedicated Scissors

If you prefer to harvest your microgreens with scissors, it's a bad idea to use your general-use utility scissors that are also used to cut paper, crafting materials, etc. I highly recommend dedicating a pair of scissors exclusively to harvesting microgreens and herbs, and cleaning the blades scrupulously before each use. They don't need to be fancy kitchen shears, but they should be sharp and comfortable and have stainless steel blades. (Who wants specks of rust in their microgreens or herbs?) 

If I were putting together my own harvesting kit, it would include the Fiskars 01-004761J Softgrip Scissors with 8-inch stainless steel blades (or something similar), which are backed by a lifetime warranty. 

Bamboo and Natural Fiber Bristle Scrub Brush

It's important to clean Hamama grow trays very thoroughly before starting each seed quilt. Although the trays are top-rack dishwasher safe, the top rack or our modestly sized dishwasher is usually filled to capacity with glasses, cups, bowls, long-handled spatulas, cooking tongs, etc. So, I prefer to scrub my grow trays by hand.

It can be challenging to clean between the ridges inside the black grow trays, particularly at the corners and around the perimeter. That's why the Hamama Harvesting Kit includes the small, round, bamboo handled scrub brush with natural fiber bristles, which I find invaluable for this purpose.

When I looked for a similar brush, most of them had either synthetic bristles or components made of plastic or other non-biodegradable components. After considerable searching, I finally found a palm-sized, mildew-resistant round bamboo scrub brush with organic, natural fiber bristles, very similar to the one in the Hamama Harvesting Kit. As a bonus, it comes with soap dish that can also be used to store the scrub brush out on the counter, if desired (just make sure both the brush and the dish are completely dry first). 

This versatile brush has medium-hard bristles that can also be used to clean even non-stick pots and pans, dishes, vegetables, and more.

3% Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide and Fine Mist Spray Bottle

Only one of my Hamama seed quilts has ever developed mold, back when I was still a seed quilt "newbie." It was hot and humid in our living room, since we don't have central air conditioning and only turn on each room's A/C unit when we are actively using the room. I made the common rookie mistake of over-watering that one seed quilt, so that the paper covering was wet. When, unsurprisingly, about a third of the sections failed to germinate. I then compounded the problem by covering those water-logged sections with strips of newspaper for two days, after reading a troubleshooting tip for a different problem. (I did say I had a brown thumb!) Of course, when I pulled off the newspaper strips at the end of two days, there were signs of mold, and unfortunately, the seed quilt was unsalvageable at that point.

Before throwing away the moldy seed quilt, I took a couple of photos and shared them in the Hamama Friends group on Facebook and asked how I could prevent a recurrence. The answers were very instructive. One of the best recommendations I got was from a woman who recommended that spraying the surface of the water in the grow tray with food-grade 3% hydrogen peroxide before soaking future seed quilts. She also said she mists the leaves with it after peeling off the paper cover, and hasn't had any mold issues since she started doing that.

I immediately ordered a bottle of food grade 3% hydrogen peroxide. A while ago, I had purchased a dozen small, cobalt blue glass mister bottles. I filled one of them with the 3% hydrogen peroxide and labeled it (since the rest of my cobalt glass misters are also filled with clear liquids), and it now lives next to my Hamama grow trays to remind me to spritz the water before soaking each new seed quilt. And, like the helpful person who suggested I use the 3% hydrogen peroxide for this purpose, I haven't seen a speck of mold since I started following her excellent advice!

I find these pretty and practical cobalt blue glass spritzer bottles useful for many different purposes. They spray a very fine mist, which makes them ideal for evenly and lightly moistening metal clay with distilled water, since this material dries out very quickly when exposed to air while working with it. I keep another filled with isopropyl alcohol for sanitizing makeup brushes, tweezers, manicure implements, etc. in between full soap-and-water cleanings. I also find that they don't leak, so I'm considering keeping another bottle filled with a CDC-approved alcohol-based disinfectant in my purse for when I leave the house. The cobalt glass isn't just pretty; it also helps protect the contents against UV rays.

Save 10% on Your First Hamama Order!

If you haven't ordered directly from the Hamama website before, you can use my Hamama shopping link (or click on the image below), add the products you want to the shopping cart, then use the discount code SUPERGREENS during checkout to get 10% off your product total. And if you're lucky enough to have receive a Hamama grow kit as a gift, you can use this link and discount code to save 10% on the beautiful bamboo accessories made exclusively for the Hamama seed quilt and grow tray system.

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories by Margaret Schindel

Posts In This Series About My Keto Diet Journey

My Favorite Hamama Microgreens Seed Quilt Accessories

Hamama Microgreens Growing Kit Review & Success Tips

Good Dee’s Keto Cookie Low Carb Baking Mix Review

Low Carb Keto Chocolate Yogurt Granola Chip Pudding Recipe

Low Carb Muffins & Cupcakes: Treats to Enjoy on a Keto Diet

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part Two

Preparing to Succeed on the Keto Diet, Part One

My First Year on The Keto Diet


Reviews of the Keto Diet by Barbara C. (aka Brite-Ideas)

My Personal Keto Testimonial

How I Stayed Committed to the Ketogenic Way of Eating


Read More Reviews About Health and Wellness by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More Gardening Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelSam MonacoSam MonacoRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X