Monday, May 31, 2021

How to Install a New Faucet

 

How to install a new faucet
How to install a new faucet - Reviewed

It was time to replace that old bathroom faucet. It was an old single lever push, pull-type, and was difficult to turn on and off, especially for our youngest grandson.

Replacing a faucet whether it is a bathroom faucet or a kitchen faucet is not that difficult. But sometimes Murphy’s Law takes over, and what can go wrong, will go wrong. The problem I had was my shut-off valves were frozen so I could not turn off the water under the sink. This was not a problem, I just had to turn off the main water supply and replace the shut-off valves and supply lines under the sink. But this review will only instruct you on how to install a new faucet.

 I am by no means an expert and I am not a plumber by trade. I can tell you how to do this because I have done it many times before.

Installing a new Faucet Step-by-Step:

Step 1

The first thing you need to do is to turn off the water supply. Most bathroom and kitchen sinks have shut-off valves under the sink, if not you will have to turn off the main water supply.

Step 2

Once you are sure the water is off, turn the faucet on to let the water out. Then, remove the hot and cold supply lines using an adjustable wrench. You will also have to unlatch the sink stopper lever from to ball lever on the drain. Leave the ball lever in the drain, as you will need to attach the new sink stopper lever to it later.

Step 3

Now remove the retaining nuts that are holding the old faucet, a basin wrench is the handiest tool for this task. After removing the old faucet measure the hole pattern on the sink. Make sure you purchase a new faucet that will fit the hole pattern in your sink.

Step 4

After removing the old faucet, clean any residue left behind with a tub and tile cleaner and paper towels. If you must use a putty knife, use a plastic one.

Step 5

Your new faucet will have a built-in gasket, but you will still need a bead of caulk or plumber’s putty around each hole. This is needed to make a good seal.

Step 6

Place the new faucet and fasten the retaining nuts to hold it in place. It’s always a good idea to have somebody hold the new faucet in place while you get the new basin nuts snug. Be careful not to over tighten, you can use the basin wrench, but I like to just hand tighten.

Step 7

Now fasten the hot and the cold-water supply line to the new faucet. You may need to wrap Teflon tape around the new faucet threads. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on the new faucet. Now, it is time to connect the sink stopper lever to the ball lever in the drain. You will find several adjustments on the sink stopper lever.

Step 8

Remove the aerator from the new faucet and turn on the water supply. Then, turn on the cold water. The aerator is the little screen inside the faucet spout. This is to make that it does not clog with any debris that may be in the water lines. Replace the aerator and check for leaks. That is all there is to it.

Find more  Crafts & DIY projects on Review This here: ReviewThisCrafts.com

This basin wrench will be your best friend when replacing a faucet.

Superior Tool 03811 Eleven Inch Basin Wrench-Infinitely Adjustable 11Superior Tool 03811 Eleven Inch Basin Wrench-Infinitely Adjustable 11Superior Tool 03811 Eleven Inch Basin Wrench-Infinitely Adjustable 11

 




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Sunday, May 30, 2021

10 Free Personal Gift Ideas to Honor Dad


These days, the thought counts more and more.

If you're looking for ways to celebrate dad that involve a personal touch, check out these suggestions.

1. Framed Handprint Art

Have the kids, whether little or big, create a collage of their handprints. If the kids are all grown up, do it anyway, it still makes a beautiful, personal gift. In fact, for adult kids create a collage of everyone's feet - how funny would that be, lol - then frame it. 

2. Create a Collage of Personal Love Messages for Dad

Have the kids write out what they love about dad, glue the messages to a board, frame it, or have it laminated. Keep dad's personal messages from family, from every special occasion in a scrapbook or album. It doesn't matter if you haven't started this tradition in the early years; start it today.

3. Spend Time with Dad

Spend the day with dad, watch movies, go for walks, or play games. Show interest in the things he loves. Or just sit and talk to dad. When our parents are gone, we wish for one more day to be with them. Treat this special day as if it were a magic wish you've been granted.

Have you ever heard "One More Day" by Diamond Rio - Listen to the lyrics; they say it best; they're a moving reminder of why we should spend time with those we love while we can. Don't take dad for granted; he won't always be there. If you're reading this via mobile, here's the link to the song.

4. Cook Dad's Favorite Meal

This is a standard in our home for birthdays and other celebrations. The person of the day gets to pick the menu. We spend time together having dinner as a family.

5. Go on a Hike Together

Plan an all-day outing with dad. Take him on a hike. Spend the day outdoors and treat him to conversation and physical activity. 

6. Assemble His Family History in a Book

Research dad's family history and present dad with a book that highlights his ancestors and the entire family all the way up to the current time. Dad will love this gift; it's one he can hand back and pass along to grandchildren.

7. Plan a Family Soccer or Baseball Game

Organize a day at the local baseball or soccer field and spend the entire day playing sports, laughing, and eating. Pack a picnic and make it a full day of outdoor fun.

8. Clean Dads Car and Garage

If dad rarely has time to do those weekend cleaning tasks, do it for him. Have him sit outside with his favorite beverage, in a comfortable chair, with his favorite music blasting, watching you all work as you clean up the garage and wash his car.

9. Create a YouTube Video Music Playlist

Create a YouTube video playlist featuring all of Dad's favorite songs. Make the list public, and write a beautiful personal message in the video description area for all the world to see. You can also create a list of songs that honor dad from a daughter's point of view. You can find a list of ten suggested father/daughter songs here. Here's are songs to honor father/son relationships.

10. Write a Poem or Create a Video Poem

If creating video poems isn't your thing, simply write a poem from everyone or just from you and frame it. 

Here's a video poem I wrote long ago for my husband on the passing of his father: If you're viewing this via mobile, the video is here on YouTube.


Enjoy your day with dad. Time with dad is truly the best gift for you and for him.

For My Dad In Heaven: "Last night I had a crazy dream, a wish was granted just for me, it could be for anything, I didn't ask for money or a mansion in Malibu, I simply wished for one more day with you, but then again, I know what it would do, leave me wishing still, for one more day with you" (Lyrics - One More Day by Diamond Rio). 

Dad, I'll love you 'til the end of time, and time never ends.




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Saturday, May 29, 2021

How Bed Socks Can Equal a Happy Marriage!

 Today I want to review bed socks because they really can help keep a marriage happy!  If your partner has cold feet, keep reading.


Reviewing bedsocks and how they can save your marriage
Original photo, Pixabay.com adapted by Lou16

May is my birthday month and after giving me a cow onesie last birthday, my husband went for something that would be a gift for both of us - bedsocks!

I imagine that there could be nothing worse than encountering a couple of blocks of ice when you're snuggled up in bed, but pushing your partner away probably isn't great for your marriage either, so - bedsocks!

I have always had cold feet, but as newlyweds, my husband acted as my human hot water bottle and would warm them up for me.   As he's gotten older he feels the cold more and if I rest my feet on the back of his calves to warm them up, I don't get a great reaction!

I will be honest, I didn't appreciate losing my little feet warmer which is why I recommend adding bedsocks to the marriage if you're in a similar situation.   No hurt feelings and no freezing feet to move away from, they really are a win/win item.

Socks are great and we've written a number of different reviews on this site about them - sock reviews - however, don't think that you can just wear a pair of socks to bed, that is not the same as bedsocks!   Bedsocks should be soft and, in my opinion, they should be fluffy.   All of the bedsocks I have owned have been very fluffy.

A bonus as you get older are the bedsocks with grips on the bottom - I really should be wearing these as I walk around the house in my bedsocks, but my husband always goes for the ones that feel nice and soft and did I say fluffy!

I think cold feet must be genetic because I can remember as a teenager my dad buying my mum a couple of pairs of bedsocks for Christmas one year.  I remember because he wrote a poem to go with them which I thought was really romantic (but I'd never have admitted that as I was a teenager!).   It was no prize-winning poem but a' roses are red' type of poem.   I think it went something like this:

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Your feet are cold

So these are for you

Now I didn't get a poem from my husband, in fact I did tell someone 'hang on romance must be dead as I got flowers from my mum, jewelry from my daughter and socks from my husband!'  They knew I was joking as the socks were really appreciated, I just wish he could've found some that looked like hoofs to go with the cow onesie, but apparently, he couldn't find any like that.   On a side note, I HAVE discovered some (although they're not bedsocks) so if you would like hoof socks check these out!  I'm thinking about getting some - if I do I'll definitely review them for you and even photograph them with my cow onesie just so you can really appreciate them!

Now, who's going to admit to having cold feet?   You know they say cold feet mean a warm heart (or is that cold hands?).




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Friday, May 28, 2021

Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer Reviewed

No Touch Thermometer
At the beginning of the pandemic, I realized I didn't have a very good thermometer in my home.  All of our existing thermometers were decades old and took temperature in the ear or mouth.  Because we were warned about how easy it was for the virus to spread, I decided we needed a no touch thermometer.

I promptly went to Amazon and bought a no contact infrared thermometer.  After waiting weeks for it to be delivered, it didn't work at all upon arrival.  I returned that one and ordered another one that was available.  

Again, I had to wait weeks.  Upon arrival, the second thermometer would turn on, but it definitely did not show correct temperatures.  Not only were the readings way too low, but they were inconsistent.  I returned that thermometer too.  What seemed apparent to me was that there was a lot of trash being sold on the market and the sellers were price gouging.  

Both of those thermometers exceeded $100 price tag, but I really wanted, actually felt we needed, a no touch thermometer.  I was quite frustrated and had no idea how I could get a working non contact sensor thermometer.  Frankly, I was wary of ordering another one so I ordered from a different site.  Same results!

After 3 unsatisfactory orders, I gave up on buying the thermometer online.  I had expressed my frustration to my husband and clearly he was listening because one day he came home with the Kandio No Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer and it works!!!  

He purchased ours at our local independent pharmacy.  It was in the window when he drove by.  He spotted it and promptly bought one for our household.  Pretty awesome and greatly appreciated!

Before writing this review, I checked the major online sites and couldn't find anyone carrying the Kandio thermometer, but I do see there are sellers on Ebay carrying them.

My recommendation, don't waste your money and time on others!  Seek out the Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer.


The Kandio Non Contact Infrared Sensor Thermometer

Below is the information on the thermometer that my husband bought for us. Along with the model number, I am sharing what we paid for ours so you know if you are getting a fair price or not.

No Touch Thermometer
Model: GDTWQ36 

Our Kandio thermometer cost: $59.99

Temperature is taken by aiming the thermometer at the forehead (1 - 2 inches away) and squeezing the trigger button on the handle.  Therefore, the thermometer never touches the "patient" and you can easily stand an arms length away.

  • Fast, accurate reading in 1 second
  • Large, easy to read display screen
  • Back-lit display (you don't have to disturb patients rest)
  • Beeps when temperate is taken
  • Auto Shut-off after 1 minute
  • 2 AAA batteries required
 
This has been the only reliable no contact thermometer that I have found available.  How about you?  Have you found a reliable no touch/non contact thermometer?  If so, please share the thermometer product information in the comments below.  We want everyone to be able to check and monitor their own temperature accurately.

Stay Safe & Healthy!
 

No Contact Thermometer on Ebay


 




Read More Health Related Reviews
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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Review of Shark VacMop

 

Shark A1 Robot  VACMOP
After a month with our new dog, Dixie, I knew I needed another solution for keeping our floors free of dog hair and paw prints.  We have had a robot vaccum for several years and I really liked how it worked, however it was getting older and even though we had replaced the battery, it just couldn't handle the whole house without several recharging sessions.  Also, after two very rainy days, I saw that paw prints were also going to be a problem and the vacuum just didn't solve that problem.  I had seen the new robots that had both vacuum and mop features and I was intrigued.

Checking out the Features of the new Vacuum/Mops

There are many new vacuum and mop robots on the market and I found I had to read everything carefully to find one with the features that would work best for our house.  I didn't know much about them when I started out , but I did know I wanted one that both mopped and vacuumed at the same time. That feature alone eliminated several of the models who did one or the other, or that you had to change trays to switch from vacuuming to mopping.  I didn't want that.

I also found that several of the new models were wifi connected and would do a lot using my smart phone.  I even found a few that would work with Alexa or the Google Assistant.

I also wanted one that would really pick up the pet hair and one that would be easy to clean.

Features of the Shark AI Robot VACMOP(TM)

After my research and then checking out the sales, I decided on a Shark Robot. The ads said it was perfect for pet hair, had advanced navigation and a self cleaning brush roll.   Here are the features that helped me make my decision.
   1.  VacMop mode vacuums and mops at the
         same time.
   2.   Vac Mode has several speeds of suction, 
          allowing it to efficiently pick up  debris
         and pet hair.                  
   3.   Row by Row cleaning that has a laser vision 
         to detect and avoid objects.
   4.   It has WiFi and works with both Alexa and 
         Google Assistant.

 

How I Like my New Robot

I love my new Shark Robot.  When I first got it, I had it do a run to map out our house.  That was really cool how it navigated the house and then I was able to pull up a little map on my Smart Phone.  I then was able to mark carpets or any other area I did not want the robot to mop.  

I have found that it does an excellent job keeping my floors clean and free of pet hair.  I could choose to have it go at a scheduled time, but since we are always home I just tell Alexa when I want it to run.

I have found it easy to clean after using.  I just empty the dust pan and shake out the filter.  I will want to wash the filter once a month.

I am very pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend this brand and model.

                                                               



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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Wonderful Tools to Help You Age Gracefully-A Product Review

Aging is not for the Faint of Heart, but it's better than the alternative! 



This is a quote that many older folks often say and as I'm getting older I would have to agree with them.  There are so many things to be thankful for when we reach that "Golden Age"!   But (and now comes the truth), there are also many things that start to go wrong! Things that we never noticed in our youth.  Like the effects of arthritis on our joints especially hips and knees, fingers and such.

My other half and I look after two more elderly than us, relatives.  My uncle turns 91 today and my mother turns 90 in August!  While we "look after" them, they are still both in good health (relatively speaking) and only require help with shopping, doctors appointments and such.  So we are blessed that they both still have their wits about them.

reviewthisreviews.com



One thing that they both complain about is getting up and down.  Stairs and getting up off of the couch or chair causes them both some measure of discomfort.  They are both showing signs of age related arthritis that can be very painful at times.  That seems to be their most difficult and constant complaint.  They can't get up as easily as they used to!

So we started to look for things that would raise their chairs and couches up a little bit more so that they didn't have to work so hard to get up.  What we found were several options that were affordable, easy to install and provided that extra lift!


Buying new furniture was not an option for either of them or we might have suggested that!

Now my uncle is tall (over 6 ft.) and my mother isn't a shorty either, so we decided to go with something that would give them enough of a lift so that when sitting their knees were at 90 degrees to their hips. Right now, without these risers, their "bottoms" are lower than their knees, making it hard to rise up out of the chair or couch. 

Medical equipment specialists, have chairs that will electronically almost stand a person out of the chair when activated, but that was over doing it where my family was concerned and they are very pricey ($400+).  

Furniture risers seemed to be a great answer and we decided to try it ourselves first because I have very bad arthritis in my knees and was having the same problems that they were having.  We ordered and installed the "iPrimio Furniture Risers" and it could not have been easier.  Simply lift each leg and slide the riser under the foot of the couch and place it back down again.  No holes to drill, no marking up the floors, no slipping either as they have a rubber foot that doesn't slide.  Within minutes our couch was 3 inches higher than it was before.  

reviewthisreviews.com These are the risers that we have installed on our couch.

Added bonus is that now it is even easier to vacuum under the couch.  With that extra bit of space underneath, the vacuum head easily reaches under the couch!  

You can see in the ad, that there are also risers for bed frames too.  No need to buy a whole new bed assembly, just lift and install the risers and I know you will hear words of thanks coming from your loved ones.  

Bathrooms are also problematic.  Just recently toilets are being  made to what is called a "comfort height".  If they live in their own homes you could hire a plumber to install one of these but again be prepared for a cost that is not average.  A regular standard height toilet will cost  about $150. dollars without installation.  You can get regular height toilets that can cost much more for "decorator styles".  Comfort height toilets will start at $270. plus!  Again that is just for the toilet, installation will cost extra. 

But, when getting up and down is a real effort or causes pain, then you have options that can help your loved ones live life easier with just a few modifications. Safety and comfort for our aging population are important as we try to keep them as independent as possible.

I hope that my experiences with these really easy additions might help you with whatever joint related issues you or one of your loved ones might be having.  

The risers are wonderful and you would never guess that they were added after the fact!  Everyone who comes to our house enjoys sitting on the chairs and couch, not realizing that the extra height makes it so much more comfortable.  Rising from them is no longer a pain in the knees or anywhere else.











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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The Joanna Brady Mystery Series – Book Reviews.


The Brady Novel of Suspense series is written by J.A. Jance, the New York Times bestselling author of the J.P. Beaumont series and the Ali Reynolds series, plus five interrelated thrillers about the Walker Family.


The Joanna Brady series are filled with beloved characters, small-town charm, vivid history, intriguing mystery, all with the scenic Arizona desert as a backdrop.

~ Quote from the book jacket of Book #18 'Field of Bones'



Joanna Brady (main character) 


Desert Heat - Book 1 in the Joanna Brady Series

When the series begins in “Desert Heat”, Joanna is a young widow with a 9-year-old daughter (Jenny). Her husband Andy, a police detective in Bisbee, Arizona, was running for sheriff when he was killed by a hit man sent by the Mexican Drug Cartel he had been investigating. Encouraged to run for the office in his place, Joanna, who is also the daughter of a former Bisbee Sheriff, may have originally been elected on a sympathy vote, but she goes on to prove herself as a boots-on-the ground law enforcement officer. 


Cochise County in SE Arizona is 80 x 80 miles square with the southernmost county line the international border with Mexico and the eastern country line the state line with New Mexico. The stories in this series of books take place in and around the town of Bisbee, AZ and throughout the 6400 square miles of the sheriff's office domain.  As you can imagine, this large of a territory to police produces a wide variety of crimes which often have to be investigated under extreme conditions of difficult 4-wheel drive locations and desert weather.


Each book begins with a Prologue which sets the scene for the storyline and introduces you to one or more of the characters. Sometimes the character is a victim; sometimes it's the protagonist whose identity we learn as the story progresses.


Another interesting thing about this continuing series is quite often when a new character is introduced in one book, we find that character appearing in subsequent books. We meet the character in one book and when they appear in later books, the author gives a brief summary of who they are as a reminder to the reader. It is a great way to keep track of who they are and what parts they played. From book to book, the characters all become very familiar to the reader. It also becomes a good way to know what happened to that character we first met, and what they are doing now. 


*Note: It's rather like your new neighbors who just moved to town. They are strangers at first, but after awhile they become familiar friends. 


The storylines in the Joanna Brady series may have murder and mayhem, but they are also filled with family life, interactions with friends and neighbors, introductions to new babies and the latest dog or cat or horse. After all, the sheriff, the deputies and detectives and support staff of the Cochise County Sheriff's Department are also people with family lives that exist outside of work. The stories also give fascinating descriptions to the countryside of southeastern Arizona filled with both desert and mountain areas complete with the sizzling heat of desert summers and the cold of mountain winters. 


Summary


If you enjoy novels of suspense with a good story-line which also gives you the back-story of the interesting characters, you will enjoy this Joanna Brady book series. 


Book #19 in the Joanna Brady Novels of Suspense


List of Joanna Brady Books:


Joanna Brady, a deputy sheriff's widow, daughter of a former town sheriff, and now elected sheriff in Cochise County, Arizona.


  1. Desert Heat(1993)
  2. Tombstone Courage (1994)
  3. Shoot, Don't Shoot (1995)
  4. Dead to Rights (1996)
  5. Skeleton Canyon (1997)
  6. Rattlesnake Crossing (1998)
  7. Outlaw Mountain (1999)
  8. Devil's Claw (2000)
  9. Paradise Lost (2001)
  10. Partner in Crime (2002)
  11. Exit Wounds (2003)
  12. Dead Wrong (2006)
  13. Damage Control (2008)
  14. Fire and Ice (2009)
  15. Judgment Call (2012)
  16. Remains of Innocence (2014)
  17. Downfall (2016)
  18. Field of Bones (2018)
  19. Missing and Endangered (2021)


*Reviewer's Note:  Author J.A. (Judith) Jance grew up in Bisbee, Arizona, a small copper mining town in SE Arizona. I find it interesting that she bases her stories in a real town. one she is so familiar with, and includes real location descriptions. It makes the fiction stories appear very real as if they are happening right now, along with giving you a bit of history of the town and the area. It's a history lesson, a murder mystery, and a suspenseful story, all with interesting characters  who, although fictional, seem like people you have always known. 


I highly recommend the 'Brady Novels of Suspense' series by J.A. Jance.


Related Links:

Book Review of the Ali Reynolds Series by J. A. Jance


(c) The Joanna Brady Mystery Series book review written by Wednesday Elf





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Monday, May 24, 2021

ReadeREST Magnetic Eyeglass Holder Review


I was going to title this review the "Where Did I Put  My Glasses Review?" Those pesky and elusive reader glasses that one seems to own many, but can never find one? Help is on the way with this simple and so practical solution to keeping those reader glasses handy and safe.


I came upon this handy gadget from the beloved handyman which keeps old houses alive. His work and eyesight required him to be constantly taking his glasses on and off. What a great! idea - no more searching for reader glasses which are never where they need to be - or so many pairs of reader glasses around the house they are becoming apart of the decor.

Kidding aside, if the readers are prescription reader glasses then the cost of replacement cannot be overlooked ...

Easy As 1-2-3


I love a gadget that is easy! And 'installing' this gadget could not be easier. Two pieces plus a few seconds and you are good to go (assuming you can actually find the glasses to add to the gadget.)




  1. Position the clear base to the location desired on the inside of the shirt/top/coat.
  2. The top base with the eyeglass holder is positioned on the outside of the shirt/top/coat on top of the clear base.
  3. The magnet will attach the two pieces making an eyeglass sandwich.
  4. Voila! The eyeglass sandwich is complete and just add the glasses.

Practical and Convenient


These eyeglass holders are one of the most practical gadgets in my collection. A top purchase! The holders can be easily stored whether on a piece of clothing, purse, wallet, briefcase, the kitchen window. Small, unobtrusive, portable and lightweight and of course extremely practical.

A great stocking stuffer for the holidays!

Shark Tank


What I did not realize until this year was the ReadeREST holders were a product from Shark Tank. I happened across an update article from Shark Tank about the evolution of the glasses from the presentation to present day sales.

The ReadeREST eyeglass holders are available at major retail stores across the country and of course online. I always love an entrepreneur who begins making a product in the garage and succeeds to bring the vision to the marketplace.



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Sunday, May 23, 2021

What I've Learned on My Self-Publishing Journey So Far

 


I'm not a self-publishing guru, just someone who decided to jump in with both feet and give it a try.

In October of 2019, I self-published my first book on Amazon. The book features a collection of 50 years of my personal poetry.

After that, I went on a tear and self-published seven more books in approximately twelve months; two are sayings for cards, and the other six are personally written riddle books. I'm currently writing my seventh riddle book. When I look back, I still can't believe I accomplished all that in such a short time. I get tired thinking about it!

My self-publishing journey involved teaching myself every step along the way. It wasn't easy. 

A Quick Summary Review of What I've Learned About Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Books So Far:


1. Pick a Niche

After writing a poetry book and two books about "What to Write in Cards," I decided that I needed a niche topic. Since I have this crazy ability to write riddles, I decided riddle books would be my niche. However, if you're a fiction author, you can write a series or individual books. 

2. Why I Wanted a Niche Topic for my Books

Of course, you can write on any topic and self-publish on multiple topics. That's perfectly fine. However, I wanted to select one area to build a website and social media platform to tie into that topic. For fiction writers, an author website is all you'd need, no matter the variety of topics you write about.

3. Pick a Name for Your Niche Topic That Can Tie Into Your Social Sites, Books, and Website

I chose #Stumped Riddles, which I use in some form or another on all social media sites. I found it best to tie everything together.

Check out the links:

StumpedRiddles.com

Facebook.com/stumpedriddles

Twitter - @stumpedriddles

Instagram.com/riddlechallenge

4. Set Up Your Amazon Author Page

Here's the link where you can set up your Amazon Author page. You can take a look at my completed Amazon Author page here.

5. Market and Advertise Your Books

Unless you already have a huge fan base or following, you'll need to advertise. I use KDP Advertising and Facebook Advertising at the moment.

6. Set Advertising Goals

Do you want to build traffic to your website or simply sell books? I send my advertising links to my website, and from there, customers can link over to the associated amazon page. I choose not to link directly to Amazon as my goal is to build authority and traffic to my own site.

7. Converse With People On Your Social Media Posts

I post individual riddles on my website and all my social media links. The riddle answers link back to my site. When people take a guess at the answer, I always respond to each person who posts. When the volume becomes too much, I plan to get a helping hand in that area. 

8. Check the Negative Reviews on Other Books Similar to Yours

I read multiple negative reviews on books like mine. Those comments give me ideas on what to avoid and add to my books to make them better. 

9. Don't Be Afraid to Change the Design of Your Book

Based on input from others, or sales volume, don't get stuck with a design that turns out to be ineffective. I redesigned my books at least three times before settling on the final layout and content structure. I'm currently revamping all of the riddle eBooks. 

10. Your Book's Cover Design is Key

Pretty much all the gurus stress one particular point over and over ... 'Hire a professional to design your book cover." Of course, I didn't listen, lol.  However, I did re-do my covers multiple times and do have a knack for creating graphics. If cover design is not your thing, consider paying a professional to do it.

11. Watch Self-Publishing Tutorials on YouTube

There are many self-publishing gurus (actual gurus) who create useful instructive videos. I've probably watched 35 videos or more. You'll pick up little tidbits here and there from each one of them. 

Additional Self-Publishing Articles:

Basic Tips for the Newbie Self-Publisher

Matte or Glossy Book Covers

Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher

5 Helpful Self-Publishing Tools

3 Tips for a Newbie Self-Publisher

How to Get Started on Your First eBook





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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Reviewing World Turtle Day

History and Origin of World Turtle Day:


World Turtle Day was created in 2000. It was founded by Susan Tellem and Marshall Thompson. Today it is an annual event sponsored by the American Tortoise Rescue organization.


Date When Celebrated:  This holiday event is always celebrated on May 23


World Turtle Day was created for two reasons:

  1.  To celebrate and enjoy both turtles and tortoises.
  2.  Bring awareness to the disappearing habitat of turtles and to educate people on how to protect them.


Facts about Turtles and Tortoises.


  • Turtles and tortoises have a long life span. Many species live 35 to 50 years and some have been known to live a lot longer.
  • Some species are carnivores, while others are herbivores. 
  • According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 129 of 300 species of turtles and tortoises are on the endangered  species list.      

  

What's the Difference Between a Turtle and a Tortoise?


Source: Pixabay


Both turtles and tortoises are reptiles, dating back over 200 million years. 


The major difference stems from the fact that a tortoise lives on land and a turtle lives in the water for most of the time. Now  I'm sure you realize that "Turtle" you bought at the pet store and the one you saw in the park or even your back yard, was actually a Tortoise.  But even knowing the difference, it's okay if you want to refer to all species as simply “Turtles”. 


Crafty Turtles


TMNT

TMNT - Donatello-Raphael-Leonardo-Michelangelo


Favorite cartoon turtles in Amigurumi Crochet inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.


These crocheted turtle dolls are hand-crocheted in a sage green acrylic yarn. Each turtle has a different color headband - Red for Raphael, Orange for Michelangelo, Purple for Donatello and Blue for Leonardo. The turtle's belly is in yellow yarn. The turtle shell on the back is done in dark forest green. There is a brown belt around each turtle. The eyes are black craft safety eyes.


The turtles are stuffed with a new soft polyester fiberfill. They each measure 6 inches tall and 4 inches across the arms and body. 


Tiny Turtles Plush Animals



Tiny Toy Turtles

These tiny turtles measures 5 inches from head to tail and about 3 inches from the tip of the head to the little turtle feet. Tiny turtles are handmade in the Amigurumi style of crochet using acrylic yarn and filled with soft polyfil.


Tiny Turtles make a darling baby gift or a fun plush toy for any age child. 


Terrance the Tortoise


Terrance the Tortoise

Meet Terrance, a plush stuffed toy tortoise. Terrance is an Amigurumi toy turtle handmade in crochet. You can call him by his nickname, Terry.


Terrance the tortoise is crocheted in yellow, tan and sage green acrylic yarn and filled with soft new polyfil. He measures approximately 10 inches long and 11 inches wide including his legs (about 5 inches across his body with 3 inch legs each side).


Toy tortoise has a tan body with a sage green shell. His head, legs and tail are done in yellow. His eyes are embroidered. He's soft and cuddly and fun for any age child.


All the crafty turtles above are available in the Etsy shop of Coastal Crochet Crafts.


Famous Turtles


The most famous turtles are:

  • The four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello
  • Squirt and Crush from Finding Nemo


Related Links:


Plush Turtles and a Tortoise – Plush Toy Animals Story

World Sea Turtle Day – June 16




World Turtle Day review written by (c) Wednesday Elf






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Friday, May 21, 2021

The Widow and the Highlander Book Review

Widow and the Highlander
The Widow and the Highlander by Martha Keyes is the first book in the Tales from the Highlands series.  After I finished the first book, I immediately wished to move to the second book in the series. It isn't that Keyes didn't wrap up the first novel.  She did. It was simply that I wasn't ready to move on from the story. 

You know you have found a wonderful series of books when you hate the idea of starting a different book by another author. Unfortunately for me, the second book in Tales from the Highlands has not yet been released. 

It is doubtful the I will forget the MacKinnon clan and I have added the The Enemy and Miss Innes (Tales from the Highlands Book 2) to my wishlist so I will know as soon as it is released. I am certain, no matter what else I have started reading, I will move back to this series to continue reading about Catherine and her sister, Elizabeth.

I highly recommend this historical fiction and I am certain I will enjoy the entire series once it is published. 


The Widow and the Highlander Synopsis
Historical Fiction - Scotland 1762

 The Widow and the Highlander
(Tales from the Highlands Book 1)
Check Price
Christina isn't certain what to do next!  She is actually relieved, perhaps even happy, to be a new widow.  After her abusive husband, Gordon, dies due to illness, she finds she can breathe again. That is, until his cousin, Angus MacKinnon, "suggests" she marry him.  Angus and several of his family members had taken up residence at Dunverlockie after the funeral, and don't plan to leave.

Because Christina's father invested deeply in Dunverlockie, he made MacKinnon sign a will that would legally transfer ownership of the estate to Christina if Gordon died before a child was born, Christina now solely owns Dunverlockie.  That does not bode well with the MacKinnon clan and they are determined to regain control of the estate one way or another.

The MacKinnons had originally established ownership of Dunverlockie after Gordons' father betrayed a friend, then set back and watched him executed for treason.  MacKinnon's reward for turning him in as a traitor to the crown, was Dunverlockie.

Christina was not married to Gordon at the time of the execution.  In fact, she would have been a child.  Therefore, she did not know the family that had been removed from the home.  What she did know, was that the MacKinnons were a vicious clan and she didn't wish to remain a part of their family.  However, she had her own siblings to consider and she needed the income Dunverlocke provided.  When she suspected she was being poisoned, she knew she had to do something whether she wanted to or not. After all, aside from her own sister, she didn't know who was an ally and who was an enemy inside or outside of the castle.




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Thursday, May 20, 2021

DIY Cat Bed Fit for a Queen

 


The ruler of my household happens to be a cat of a certain age known as Miz Grizz.  She is The Queen, and as such, deserves royal treatment.  I noticed that Her Royal Highness is quite fond of the reimagined drawer beds I made for Gracie and Minnie (two Kingdom of Grizz subjects).  The time has come to honor Her Majesty with a cat bed fit for a queen.


I still had a drawer left over from my first foray into creating upcycled pet beds, so I claimed it for this project.  As I looked around the house for additional inspiration, and potential supplies, a theme quickly presented itself.  One of the first items I found was a metal honeycomb that I decided to use as a stencil for the sides and back of the bed.  Now that I knew I was going with a queen bee motif, it was time to get started.  First, I removed the drawer's hardware.  Then, I sanded all of the surfaces to prep for painting (and filled holes).  


Next, I primed everything with spray paint.  On the outside of the drawer, I used Rust-Oleum Chiffon Cream Chalked Paint.  The drawer's inside surfaces were painted with Rust-Oleum Metallic Gold.  Choosing to go with a metallic finish provided an unexpected, and very appealing, outcome.  How I love the way the underlying wood grain is highlighted by the shimmery play of light.




Following the application of the first coats of paint, I used the metal honeycomb sheet to overlay the creamy background with metallic hints of ongoing hive activity.  While working to evoke this effect, an additional idea came to mind.  If I modified the metal sheet for use on the front of the Queen's new bed, it could frame a name plate.


That is when I began to envision another feature: an acid-etched brass bee emblem.  Though I had recently experimented with etching copper, I wasn't sure if the same method would work with other metals.  I discovered that the technique worked perfectly with brass.  My new etching became the centerpiece of The Queen's nameplate.


In keeping with the bee theme, I used decorative jelly jars (think royal jelly) for the legs of the bed.  It was just a matter of painting the jars and then attaching the lids to the bottom of the drawer.


Finally, I added a luxurious faux fur mattress fit for a queen.  Miz Grizz works hard keeping everyone in line and has more than earned an extra measure of comfort.  I hope Her Majesty is pleased with my humble offering.  Though it is a small gift, it was made with great love.  She is the Queen of My Heart.





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