Thursday, October 28, 2021

Review of The Keeper of Happy Endings

 

Book Review: The Keeper of Happy Endings
This was another book I downloaded from Amazon Prime and I was absolutely captivated from page one.  In this book the author, Barbara Davis, weaves a wonderful tale of two woman decades apart whose lives are very similar.  Both have a fiance' who is missing and they fear they have lost. Both are devastated by their tragedies and at first have trouble finding the strength to continue on with their lives.



Soline

Soline Roussel has learned the bridal industry from her family.  For generations the family has had a bridal shop in Paris where they are well known for the magic in their dresses that bring happy endings to the brides who wear them.  The dresses are all hand made and beautiful and Soline learns to carefully stitch the dresses.  All is well till the war comes to Paris along with the German occupation.  Dresses are no longer in demand and Soline is pulled in many directions including working with the resistance.  Heartbreak and grief lead her to America where she starts a new life.

Rory

Decades later Rory comes in contact with Soline when she leases Soline's old bridal shop for a gallery for unknown artists.  Rory has a tragedy herself in a missing fiance' and a domineering mother.  She is torn between hiding and moving forward.  I would love to tell more of the story but do not want to spoil the surprise and twists and turns of the story.  Let us just say that the two women meeting will become a turning point in both of their lives.

Other Books by this Author

I  first read a book by Barbara Davis when it was an Amazon Prime first read last year.  The Last of the Moon Girls was another book the captivated me right from the beginning.  Here is a review I wrote about 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 27, 2021

October A Month of Many "Awareness" Days! Learn Something New Today!

October is the month that most people know is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, but it is NOT the only disorder we should be aware of.

 

Every year beginning on the First of October, you will start to see ads and lots of references on Social Media about Breast Cancer and getting your mammograms done.  For the women out there who have not done so yet, there is still time to book your screening before the end of the month.  Prevention starts with getting that mammogram done.
 

 



I have several friends that over the years have had Breast Cancer or are still dealing with this cancer.  Some,  unfortunately,  have also died from this disease!  Do whatever you can to help prevent Breast Cancer from invading your life or that of someone you love.  Encourage your gal pals to get their screening done every year!  We have enough statistics already and no one wants their friends or family to join that long list.  


October is also  SUDEP Action MonthSUDEP is the acronym for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.  Most unexplained deaths are subject to autopsy and when someone presents with this type of death, no other reason can be found for their demise, it is called SUDEP.  Epilepsy affects 50 million people around the world.  I have a young nephew who has been diagnosed with epilepsy.  With medication he is living a life that is normal in most ways.  He loves everything, plays sports, swims and hikes just like any other child!  



Awareness and action are needed to make this neurological disorder better understood and you can also learn how to reduce your risks.  If you want to know more about this here is the official website dedicated to teach everyone about this disorder!



 And while we are at it, October is for SUDEP  and November which is just around the corner is the official month to make people aware of Epilepsy as this disorder continues to affect many people young and old.
 

 

More October Awareness Days


October is also the month where DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is brought to the forefront.  There are so many people that are suffering from violence within the home.  Some is physical, while other forms of this violence might not be as noticeable.  I'm talking about the mental and verbal abuse that can happen within a family.
 
I'm sure that there are many of us that can say we personally know someone who is in this situation.  We need to encourage those who find themselves in the cycle of abuse to come out and find the help they need.  Quite often friends and family of someone in a domestic abuse situation will try to help, but find themselves hitting the proverbial brick wall.  When you try to help, the couple all of a sudden stand together in trying to make people believe there is no problem.  Worse yet, if you step into that situation, you yourself could become the target of the violence. 
Most often Domestic Abuse has the wife/mother as the recipient of the abuse, but there are also signs that Men can be abused as well.  Domestic Violence in either form is not acceptable.
 
Domestic Abuse, especially if it involves children, cannot be tolerated, and our efforts should go to finding safe places for moms and children to be.  There are websites that strive to help anyone who finds themselves in a position where violence seems to be the answer to every problem.  Children as especially vulnerable to the ravages of domestic violence and there are places to get help for them too.
 
https://ncadv.org/2021DVAM is a great place to start your search for yourself or someone you love or know needs help.   Many hospitals will have information for you as well.  Don't wait to get help, it is there if you need it.  In Canada you can visit the website : https://endingviolencecanada.org/about-us/


During this month of October, let us become more involved in a cause that can help so many people.  If you cannot help this month, maybe making a Christmas donation to one of these causes would be something you could do.  If everyone helps we can move mountains!

May you enjoy the rest of October and remember those fighting Epilepsy in November 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 26, 2021

National Pumpkin Day Review

 



An unofficial holiday celebrated annually on October 26th.


The pumpkin is one of the main symbols of Halloween (in the U.S.) and is a central component of many fall festivals, Oktoberfests and similar celebrations.  It is also delicious when served as food in a variety of ways.  So it really shouldn't be a surprise that this orange squash has its own holiday.


Pumpkin Facts and Trivia


  • The name of this squash comes from the Greek word Pepõn – a word that means “Large Melon.”   
  • Pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America, as seeds were found in Mexico dating back about 9,000 years.
  • Pumpkins and other forms of squash were an important food staple to the Native Americans.


Jack-o-Lanterns



Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jack-o'-lanterns carved from pumpkins are a yearly Halloween tradition brought to the United States by Irish Immigrants. Read all about the origin of the Jack-O-Lantern here.


Pumpkin Dishes


There are many ways to cook and enjoy this squash called a Pumpkin:


  • Cook as a squash vegetable dish.


Pumpkin Chiffon Pie - Photo & Recipe by Sylvestermouse
as seen on her Cooking for the Holidays site.


Pumpkin Bread - Recipe by Sylvestermouse

  • Pumpkin Bread - See a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Bread by Sylvestermouse.
  • Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes


Handmade Pumpkins


Pumpkin Beverage Coasters on Etsy

Crafters also like to get creative with pumpkins. This set of Pumpkin beverage coasters can be found in the Etsy Shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts. They are perfect for home décor in the season of Harvest-time, Autumn and Halloween.


Striped Crochet Pumpkin - Etsy

Angela of Colorado hand-crochets this beautiful pumpkin in an earthy peach and creamy white stripes.  It is stuffed with poly-fil, and features a birchwood stem and two faux fall leaves are secured to the pumpkin center with a dab of hot glue.


This pumpkin measures between 3” tall (4” with stem) and 15"-16” around which is approximately 4” wide.  It is featured in her Etsy Shop 209 Divine, along with a variety of other holiday items.


The Pumpkin Patch


So get ready for National Pumpkin Day by visiting a pumpkin patch near you for a selection of pumpkins to cook, decorate your home for the Fall Season or carve into Jack-O-Lanterns for Halloween. 


Tyler in the Pumpkin Patch

My favorite photo of a pumpkin patch was taken by my son of my grandson Tyler as a  toddler on his first-ever visit to a Pumpkin Patch.


*National Pumpkin Day Review written by 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:

Monday, October 25, 2021

3M Lens Repair Tape Reviewed

 Whoops! Crunch! Ouch! From the "that does not sound good" to the visual inspection of "No, that is not good." And so goes the tail light or a healthy part of the tail light. Which began the search for a DIY tail light fix until the professionals can attend to the injured party.


After the inevitable google and youtube search for a tail light bandaid I decided upon the 3M lens repair tape to repair the injured party. The red part of the tail light was missing about 25 percent and it is a large tail light! 




Application

The tape is very easy to apply. Simply decided upon the length and cut the tape. The tape adheres very quickly and is very sticky. If absolutely necessary (though I would not recommend) the tape can be removed after applying, but for maximum adhesion another piece of tape should be cut.

There is enough tape on the roll for a few applications which does allow room for a redo if necessary.

TIP! If you desire to trim the tape I highly suggest the tape is trimmed prior to attaching the tape to the tail light. The tape is very sticky and difficult to trim once the tape begins to adhere to the tail light. All trimming is easier accomplished after the tape is unrolled to the desired length.



Why I Chose The 3M Tape

After researching my options the 3M Lens Repair tape was highly rated with over a 4.5/5 online rating. One of the main factors is the design of the tail light. Is it rounded? The tape allows easy application for tail light fixtures that are rounded and this is key for a waterproof repair. I had looked at a repair tape that in a sheet and many reviewers mentioned - for obvious reasons- how difficult it was to make a sheet bend to fit a rounded corner.

Recommendation

The tape and what is left of the tail light is holding up well until its' repair appointment. I recommend the tape as an easy fix to keep the tail light working and sealed from the elements until a permanent fix can be installed. And yes as I found out ... the entire tail light fixture is one unit so no repairing just the red part - of course that would be too easy. 






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 24, 2021

The Christmas Word Search Book - A New Release


In the October 10th, 2021 article "What to Write in a Birthday Card," I mentioned a new expansion into another area of activity books - Yep, it's Word Search Books.

Since October 2019, my journey into the self-publishing world has been, shall we say, intense. I'm not going to pretend that self-publishing is easy; however, the more research you do and the more books you publish, the easier it gets.

Why Word Search Books?

I've been writing riddles and publishing them in books since 2019 and recently decided that it's time to expand out into another type of activity book. 

The reason for expanding my self-publishing horizons is to have enough topics to reach the initial goal of 100 books published. There's a long way to go! The Christmas Word Search book puts my current publishing total at 11 books.

Another reason for expanding into word search books is that I was looking for fun, activity-driven books. Given the world's never-ending problems, I want to continue contributing to the "light, love, and learning" side of life.

What's The Christmas Word Search Book About?

It's precisely what it states; word search puzzles about Christmas. It's been written with the entire family in mind and is good clean fun for adults and kids. I would say kids over eight years old could tackle some of these puzzles. 

  • Features one puzzle per page
  • Each puzzle covers a separate Christmas related topic
  • The puzzles are large and easy to read
  • Moderately easy for both kids and adults
  • The answers are included at the back
  • There are 60 puzzles in the book
  • There are over 1800 words to find
  • It's available on Amazon

Here's a look at the interior:




More on The Christmas Word Search Book here - Note that it's a gift under $5(us)





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 23, 2021

The Woods by Harlan Coben – A Book Review



Family loyalty and dark secrets are the theme of this twisty page-turner novel by Harlan Coben.


Synosis


The Woods
Twenty years ago, while Paul Copeland was a counselor at a summer camp, his sister and three other teens disappeared into the woods surrounding the camp. Two were found murdered; the other two were never seen again.  The event changed the lives of four families forever.


Today, Paul (called by his nickname Cope) is now a prosecutor in Essex County, New Jersey. His mourning of the loss of his sister has only just begun to subside. He keeps busy with his job and raising his six-year-old daughter as a single father after his wife died of cancer. His busy life distracts him from his past traumas.


But when a homicide victim is found with evidence linking him to Cope, the well-buried family secrets are threatened.


Is it possible that the homicide victim is one of the campers who disappeared with his sister? If so, where has he been all these years?  And is it possible that his sister could be alive?


Cope left so much behind that summer 20 years ago ~ his first love, Lucy, his mother who abandoned the family, and the secrets that his Russian parents might have been hiding even from their own children.


Summary


Which is better – secrets that are best left in the dark or truths that should be brought to light? A dilemma the reader will find themselves in as they near the end of the story. 


The Woods is a  suspenseful and compelling story with bizarre plot twists by best-selling author, Harlan Coben. It is definitely a page-turner.


More Harlan Coben Book Reviews found on ReviewThisBooks



*The Woods – a book review written by 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 22, 2021

Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer - Book Review

Full Steam Ahead
Sometimes you pick up a book and know you are going to love the plot from the very beginning.  That was the case for me with Full Steam Ahead by Karen Witemeyer. 

I want to start this review by saying that I don't think the cover does this book justice.  It looks too whimsical in my opinion for a story that is not silly or juvenile.  I almost didn't read this book because of the cover image, but since I am familiar with the author, I trust her to provide an excellent story.  I am really glad I ignored my first impression based on the picture and read the book.  Frankly, I was rather sorry when it ended and I found out there isn't a second book to continue their story.

The book is set in 1851, but begins with a prologue that is essential to the plot.  It is about a catastrophic event in 1849 that changes the course of Darius Thornton's life which puts him right in the path of Nicole Renard, who is also experiencing unexpected life changes.

You can read the entire prologue by clicking here and opening the "look inside" tab at the top of the book image. 

 

Full Steam Ahead Synopsis

 Full Steam AheadNicole Renard is summoned home before the end of the school year due to her father's deteriorating health.  When thieves break into their home and threaten her parents, an unusual plan is made to secure the family's future and fortune.

Nicole's father needs an heir for his business.  While his beloved daughter is smart enough to run his business, she is not a man.  Therefore, he needs her to get married before he dies.  Since he previously agreed to allow her to choose her own husband, an arranged marriage is out of the question.  However, he believes if he sends her to New Orleans, she can choose a husband from his business acquaintances and their sons.  After all, it is preferred that she marry someone knowledgeable about the shipping business since he will not have time to teach them.

Because they know the brothers who broke into their home, they want to secretly get Nicole on a ship bound for New Orleans. However, when they discover the men are watching the docks, Nicole leaves her luggage behind and jumps on a boat headed to Liberty using an assumed name.  She believes she can book passage to New Orleans once she arrives in Liberty.  However, once she is there, she realizes she doesn't have money for a ticket to New Orleans.  Therefore, she needs a temporary job and is eventually hired as a secretary by Darius Thornton, a man who the whole town believes is quite mad because he has spent the last year blowing things up.

Casting all caution and warnings aside, Nicole moves full steam ahead!


 



Read More Book Reviews at
ReviewThisBooks.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:

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories

Acrylic fabric paints, iron-on appliques and other embellishments are a fun and easy way to transform ordinary t-shirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets and jeans into special, one-of-a-kind clothing designs. 

Even if you don’t feel especially artistic, it’s extremely easy to add striking hand painted designs to basic wardrobe items by applying acrylic fabric paint through a stencil with a foam pouncer. 

Embellishing clothing with fabric paints is also a wonderful project to do with kids. Both my fashionista niece and her younger brother used to love taking solid color T-shirts and creating their own hand painted and stenciled designer tees, which they wore with pride.

Some fabric paints also work well on other materials, including leather and vinyl, so they’re great for painting shoes, sandals, handbags, belts and other accessories to give them a whole new look with fresh colors, color blocking, patterns or painted accents.

I have researched and used different types, brands and formulas of fabric paints in different price ranges. In this review I will share my favorite acrylic fabric paints for decorating clothing and accessories. 

The Best, Most Versatile Acrylic Fabric Paints for Embellishing Clothing & Accessories

Why Use Acrylic Fabric Paints?

Acrylic fabric paints, also called acrylic textile paints, are formulated specifically for use on fabric clothing and other textiles. Unlike fabric dyes and alcohol-based textile paints or inks, they do not spread and saturate the fibers. Most work best on untreated or pre-washed, natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics whose fiber content contains at least 50% natural fibers. 

Acrylic textile paints are usually thinner, penetrate fibers better and dry more flexible than standard acrylic paints formulated for art or craft uses. Fabric paints also contain a binder that helps them adhere much better to natural fibers after the paint dries and is heat-set (usually with an iron). This binder makes the painted designs more durable, so they can better withstand repeated washing and resist cracking, peeling or flaking when the fabric is gently stretched or folded, such as when you put on, move around in, take off or put away your painted clothing.   

More transparent colors usually have a thinner consistency and are softer to the touch when dry compared to more opaque fabric paints. They are great for lighter color fabrics, since the color of the clothing will show through them. For the same reason, opaque fabric paints will show up much better on darker clothing, although they are slightly thicker and will dry a bit stiffer than more transparent formulas.

Good Quality Fabric Paints Give the Best Results

Jacquard makes moderately priced, high-quality, highly pigmented paints, dyes, mica powders and other art and craft supplies. Jacquard's Textile, Neopaque and Lumiere lines are my go-to acrylic paints for painting fabrics.

Photo of Jacquard Textile acrylic paints "Exciter Pack" assortment

Jacquard Textile 

Jacquard Textile paints have a medium- to light-bodied consistency and come in 39 semi-transparent colors. Mixing any of the other colors with 123 White will create a pastel shade. You can make any color more transparent without affecting the quality or consistency by mixing it with Jacquard Textile 100 Colorless Extender. (Another option, which I don’t recommend, is diluting the paints with up to 25% water, since it will reduce their viscosity and negatively affect the quality.)  Mixing any other Jacquard Textile color with #220 Super Opaque White will make it more opaque. 

The Jacquard Textile Color Exciter Pack is an economical assortment that includes small bottles of nine of the most useful colors in the line. It's a great way to try these paints without investing a lot of money.

Jacquard Textile colors can also be mixed with Jacquard Lumiere, Neopaque or Dye-Na-Flow paints or with Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments to create custom colors and effects.

Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere

Neopaque is Jacquard’s line of light-bodied, opaque acrylic paints. They come in 21 colors plus a Flowable Extender medium that can be used to make the colors more transparent without altering the paint’s texture, consistency, adherence and other key properties. Lumiere is a companion line of 33 beautiful metallic and pearlescent paint colors designed to complement the Neopaque solid colors and have similar characteristics. My favorite Lumiere paints are the color-shifting duo-chrome colors!

Even though the Jacquard Neopaque and Jacquard Lumiere lines have not been optimized specifically for painting on fabrics, like the Jacquard Textile line, they have many of the same characteristics and are also considered fabric paints. After they have dried and been heat-set, both Neopaque and Lumiere paints adhere to textiles very well, remain flexible and resist cracking, peeling and chipping. I have used them to paint fleece sweatshirts, both freehand and with stencils, and they have withstood many washings well.

Both formulas are opaque, highly pigmented and provide good coverage, even on dark fabrics. You can mix any Neopaque or Lumiere shade with Neopaque Flowable Extender to make it more transparent without changing its consistency, thickness, flexibility, adherence or other important characteristics. 

Similarly to the Jacquard Textile line, you can mix pastel shades by blending a small amount of Neopaque White into any of the other Neopaque colors.

Photo of Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paints
I've been using my first Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paint Exciter Packs for many years. 

There are also a Lumiere Exciter Pack with 9 pearlescent and metallic colors and a Lumiere & Neopaque Exciter Pack with 7 metallic Lumiere shades plus black and white Neopaque. As with the Textile line, these two Exciter Packs are a great way to get a nice variety of colors in smaller quantities for a very affordable price. I have purchased both of these Exciter Packs as well as full-size bottles of the Neopaque black and white and Lumiere duo-chrome colors I use most. I recently bought another of the Lumiere assortments because some older colors have been discontinued and newer ones added.

Another advantage of Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paints is that they adhere well to a wide range of surfaces including paper, wood, rubber, vinyl, leather and rubber, in addition to fabric, and can be used for many different types of projects. I have gotten more than my money’s worth out of mine. 

For example, I completely transformed an old pair of boring, frumpy, beige comfort sandals by painting the leather with Lumiere for the uppers and black Neopaque to edge the sole, and then sewing on some faux jeweled trim. 

Before and after photos of beige sandals painted aqua and blue

Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium 

You also can achieve successful results by mixing permanent, highly pigmented art or craft acrylic paints 50/50 with a good quality fabric medium, such as Golden GAC 900 Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium or Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium. 

Pébéo Setacolor

If you are painting a very special piece of clothing or textile, you may want to consider the Pébéo Setacolor line. These superb fabric paints come in an extensive range of beautiful colors and finishes. Although they are more expensive than the Jacquard fabric paints, superior quality, performance and product selection make Pébéo Setacolor products a favorite among many professional painted clothing artists and enthusiasts. 

Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics are transparent and include 44 matte, metallic, glitter, and fluorescent shades. Pébéo Setacolor Opaque comes in 77 matte and “shimmer opaque” shades with glitter, pearlescent, metallic and iridescent finishes that dry softer, smoother and more flexible than most other opaque textile paints. There are also Pébéo Setacolor 3D fabric paints that come in tubes with small nozzles that are great for adding raised outlines or dimensional accents to your painted clothing designs. 

The most affordable way to try these terrific paints is with one of the 10-color introductory sets, the Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics Discovery Kit or the Pébéo Setacolor Opaque Discovery Kit

Use Fabric Paints and Stencils for Beautiful, Affordable, One-of-a-Kind Handmade Gifts 

Stencils are made in just about any pattern or theme you could want and require no artistic talent to use.

I have used inexpensive fabric stencils of flowers, gardening tools and bees to decorate a sweatshirt for my mother-in-law who loves to garden. 

One of my husband’s favorite gifts from me is a forest green sweatshirt I purchased for him many years ago and stenciled with a cascade of metallic and pearlescent autumn leaves. It has been worn and washed so many times that the fleece is pilling, and the color has faded. By now, the paint isn’t quite as bright or shiny as it once was, either, but it’s still hasn’t cracked, flaked or worn off, and he still wears it proudly.

Photo of man wearing dark green sweatshirt with a stenciled metallic leaf design
My husband still loves and wears this sweatshirt I stenciled for him many years ago. 

You can use alphabet stencils to personalize a T-shirt, hoodie or other garment with the gift recipient’s name or add a meaningful word or message. 

Older children will also love using fabric paints and stencils to turn simple, inexpensive pieces of clothing into personalized gifts for special friends and family members.

Stenciled or hand painted tablecloths, napkins, placemats and table runners also make wonderful gifts. Painting them with snowflakes, pointsettias and other seasonal designs makes any holiday a bit more festive. 

I hope I have inspired you to give fabric paints a try!

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories


The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories by Margaret Schindel


Read More Crafts Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

Read More DIY 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:

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Make Fresh Basil Pesto

 

Make Fresh Basil Pesto
Fresh homemade basil pesto reviewed

It’s easy to grow your own herbs. Every year in the spring, Fran buys fresh basil plants, we re-pot these plants and set them out on our deck.

We enjoy fresh basil all season long and into the fall. The plants just keep reproducing. This basil pesto is so easy to make and can be enjoyed in many ways.

Basil pesto is perfect tossed over pasta, spread on crackers or toast, try adding some to your favorite salad. Try it on Garlic bread or a baked potato. 

I’ve even made pesto pizza you can find my recipe here for Fresh Tomato and Pesto Pizza.

Our grandson Bobby loves to cook, and especially with fresh ingredients. This fresh basil pesto is one of his favorites to make. Bobby makes this basil pesto in about 10 minutes. So, it’s easy to have a meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Basil Pesto Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup fresh grated Romano or Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves fresh garlic (We love our garlic so, you can cut this in half if you like)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can be omitted)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Add the basil leaves and pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the food processor several times to chop and mix.

Add the garlic, cheese, and lemon juice and pulse several more times

Place the lid on the food processor turn it on and pour the olive oil in a steady stream.

Stop and scrape the sides with a spatula and turn it on again for about 10 seconds.

Add salt and pepper to taste. If you use the red pepper flakes add them now and pulse a few more times to mix it all in.

We served our basil pesto over fresh Fettuccine that we made with our Emeril Lagasse Pasta and Beyond machine.

Read my review here: Emeril Lagasse Pasta and BeyondReviewed.

Basil Pesto

Our basil pesto with homemade fettuccine was on the table in 30 minutes or less for a delightful family meal.

We used our Ninja Food Processor to make this pesto. Any food processor or blender will work. If you don’t have a basil plant, you can buy fresh basil at your local grocery store and have this basil pesto at any time. 

It's easy to freeze the pesto to enjoy anytime on crackers or toast. Pour the pesto into ice cube trays and place them in the freezer. After the pesto freezes place the cubes in a freezer bag.





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 18, 2021

Wear a Halloween Apron This Year!

Love Halloween? Wear a Halloween apron this year!

WHY NOT WEAR A HALLOWEEN APRON THIS YEAR?


A Halloween apron is not necessarily meant to be a costume though it certainly can be one. It also is a rather practical accessory designed to help you get into the spirit of Halloween. Why not treat yourself to one this year? On this page we review five fun reasons to buy a Halloween apron and five great places to source one.  


FIVE REASONS TO WEAR A HALLOWEEN APRON

(Just in case you need a good reason!)

🎃 No time to prepare a costume for yourself.
🎃 No money to spend on an expensive costume that you'll wear once.
🎃 No time left after creating costumes for your children.
🎃 Not going to a party so wearing an apron at home seems more reasonable.
🎃 No costume appeals to you.

If you have any of these problems, I say, "Go ahead, buy yourself a fun Halloween apron!"

FIVE PLACES TO SOURCE A HALLOWEEN APRON


If you don't have much choice at home, you might consider sourcing your Halloween themed apron from one of the following online sources:

AMAZON - A simple search of Amazon, by clicking here, turns up more than 1,000 Halloween-themed aprons! They're abundant and affordable.

EBAY eBay has a much larger selection of Halloween-themed aprons, new and used, available than Amazon does and they have vintage ones, too. However, the number of vintage Halloween aprons is somewhat limited I expect because wearing a themed apron is a newer idea. For new aprons on eBay, click here and for vintage Halloween aprons on eBay, click here.

ETSY - The sellers on Etsy are a pretty creative bunch and Halloween aprons are found a plenty on that website. Check them out on Etsy by visiting this link.

MAKE YOUR OWN - You can make one on your own. If you are a seamstress, you might like to look through the resources shown on the page How To Make An Apron, from where you might find inspiration or assistance in crafting the exact Halloween apron that you have in mind.

Do you already have a Halloween apron or are you searching for the perfect one right now?

Happy Haunting!
Boo-renda

MORE HALLOWEEN AND APRON READING:

How about a Hocus Pocus T-Shirt?
Fans of the cult-favorite Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus will love this tee!

Have a youngster clamoring for scary movies? Here are a few safe choices.

Hey Monkeybrains! Real Men Don't Wear Aprons, Do They? 
Check out a fun debate and maybe even throw in your two cents worth.

Five Grandfather-Themed Aprons
Grandpa spends time in the kitchen? There's an apron for him!

If you love working puzzles and Halloween, you will enjoy these treats. They're calorie free!





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 17, 2021

Care Of The Intriguing Carnivorous Venus Fly Trap House Plant Reviewed.

 

Venus Fly Trap
 

I am the recent caretaker of a Venus Fly Trap house plant.

I wasn't sure I wanted one of these carnivorous houseplants plants but hubby has wanted one for a long time so I purchased it for his birthday this year. 

From being really quite indifferent to this particular plant, I have developed a real interest and curiosity about it.

To be fair I had heard they were quite difficult to care for and I wasn't sure I was wanting the task of trying to keep it alive. 

However, I love how it is growing and flourishing in our home and it has been interesting learning all about it. The plant looks happy and has grown and developed well so that gives me joy! 

It is also named the species Dionaea muscipula -though there are many named cultivars with some different looks and habits. Part of the family of carnivorous plants, it only grows in a few places in nature now. Sadly habitat destruction has obliterated it from many of its sites. It can still be seen in the coastal bogs of North and South Carolinas.


Soil Conditions For A Venus Fly Trap

As for most of us, we will keep this plant in a plant pot so we need to copy its natural environment as much as possible. It likes to grow naturally in soil with very low nutrients and dampness all the time. However these days it is not advisable to use endangered peat supplies. So without using at-risk peat mixes you can buy specialist mixes or try the plant in sphagnum peat moss, or fine-milled bark mixed with lime-free horticultural sand or perlite, or just simply in pure sphagnum moss.

Repotting if needed should be done just before the end of winter, so around February for us before all the new regrowth begins.




Watering And Feeding Venus Fly Trap

With Venus Fly Traps watering is a fine balance. They do need the soil to be moist but not waterlogged, neither do they wish to dry out.

 So in the growing season, they like to be in a little standing water so I put a saucer under the draining pot and the saucer has a covering of water in it as it simulates the conditions it would have in the wild damp with higher humidity.

During winter the plant should be kept damp but they do not need so much water so I will likely remove the saucer and just make sure the soil is damp to the touch. 

This plant by far prefers rainwater. So I now keep a bucket outside to collect rainwater for this plant. If I forget then I do use tap water that has been left to stand for about 3 days to help dissipate the minerals and chemicals but even so, to be honest, it is not ideal and long term use of tap water is not good for Venus Fly Traps and will kill them.  

Venus Fly Traps which are kept outside will be able to find enough food for themselves. We put ours outside as much as possible on fine sunny days and the rest of the time on our sunny kitchen windowsill with the window mostly open and it certainly found enough food. 

If you really can't do that then it is possible to feed it yourself with freeze-dried mealworms, which can be bought from shops, but it is a specialist skill to read up on a specialist site. To be honest, it is not something I really want to have to do, so we will stick with a sunny open window and putting it outside as much as possible in summer! 

We do not need to use a plant fertilizer on a Venus Fly Trap, it is adapted to grow in nutrient-poor soil and feeding it in this way will only be harmful. 


Position in The Home For A Venus Fly Trap

A Venus Fly Trap will always require a sunny position in its growing season but does not like being in the direct hot sun all day. 

So aim for about 5 hours of bright sunlight. A sunny windowsill with the window open for part of the day is good. However, do not let it get scorched by the sun.

I have also during this summer put it outside in a sheltered sunny spot for a few hours and it really did seem to like that. 

I would also keep it out of reach of small children and pets, not so much that it is any danger to them but constant touching of the plant's traps, which are often fascinating to children,  may cause it to die. 


 


Winter With A Venus Fly Trap

We have not yet been through a winter with our plant but there are a few things to bear in mind for its survival. 

They do need a period of winter dormancy which in the UK is around November to the beginning of March. As they live in our homes, not the wild environment we need to try to replicate that so they need to have somewhere cold to rest.

We will therefore be moving ours from its sunny warm spot on our kitchen windowsill to a colder place in our home. If I had an unheated greenhouse it could go in there but instead, I will move it to a cold windowsill that is north facing. It's the coolest place in our home and I am hoping it will be cold enough. 

I have been warned not to panic during winter as the leaves will turn black and the beautiful little plant will die right back. At this point, we will trim off any dead growth. Then it is just a matter of keeping it damp and waiting for new growth in Spring! 


Information About the "Traps"

As it is a carnivorous plant its method of gaining nutrition is a little more gruesome than with most plants. It first needs to attract its prey which it does by exuding sweet nectar. 

The flies come in and movement triggers the tiny hairs and then the trap snaps shut just like a cage from which the insect cannot escape.

After that digestive enzymes dissolve the insect and use it for nutrition. The traps stay shut for about 5-8 days then open up again to restart the process with the added bonus, if you are a Fly Trap- of the leftover carcass also being used to attract more prey. 

I feel I should say at this point that we have not noticed any more flies coming in due to having this plant. In fact, we probably have less making it past the plant into the house now!

New Young Traps Forming On Venus Fly Trap


The Cycle Of The Traps

When a trap has opened and closed a few times, probably around five times, it goes black and dies off. For that particular trap, it is the end.

However, before that happens we see several new traps growing to take their place.

At first, I did not think they would grow large enough to keep the plant alive before the older ones died but nature knows what it is doing and the new traps grew and were big enough by the time the older ones died. 

I am more than happy to see now that when I bought it only had 4 traps and now it has double that amount so this shows the plant is happy. Over time and with care it will get better and bigger. 

Children find these Venus Fly Traps fascinating and the book below is a great informative and fun introduction to these amazing little houseplants. 


 


 A Word Of Warning About Venus Fly Traps

If you have one of these fascinating plants it is very important not to test out the traps by putting your finger or a pencil etc inside them. 

While it may seem like fun, to the plant it is torture. Every time the trap shuts it uses up energy and if there is no food in the trap then it has just wasted so much energy. Traps only close about 5 or 6 times before they die so if it is tormented like this with no food it will deplete the plant and eventually the whole plant may die. 

However, you cannot really hurt yourself on this plant. Just avoid touching it as much as possible for its own sake. 


Venus Fly Trap On Sunny Windowsill


So having been initially quite wary of this carnivorous houseplant the Venus Fly Trap, I am now more than fascinated with it and it is an unusual addition to our houseplant collection!


More Gardening And Houseplant Reviews




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:
Review This Reviews Quick View Home Page

The Review This Contributors



Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieSam MonacoSam MonacoBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta 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