Monday, February 28, 2022

The Wedding Veil Trilogy: Hallmark Movie Review

Who doesn't love a Hallmark movie Trilogy?! Welcome to the The Wedding Veil Trilogy a romcom which helps ease the way through a snowy February here in the midwest. Three tried and true Hallmark starts led by Lacey Chabert as the actor, developer and executive producer bring the mystery of the wedding veil to life and leaves the viewer eagerly awaiting each part of the trilogy.



The story behind the mysterious vintage wedding veil is the fourth star of the trilogy as we travel along with three long time girlfriends and how the wedding veil they discovered and purchased on their annual girls trip brings future fun, intrigue and romance.

As usual with a Hallmark movie the believability of the storyline does tend to lie with the chemistry. The three movies in the trilogy have an abundance of chemistry between each of the female co stars along with their respective love interests. Movie 2 of the trilogy was filmed in Italy and the authenticity is not only believable, but gorgeous!

Hallmark fans should keep an eye out for the movies which are currently being replayed and will continue to stream on the Hallmark channel this month (and I suspect much longer due to their popularity already!)

Movie 1 The Wedding Veil Lacey Chabert & Kevin McGarry

Movie 2 The Wedding Veil Unveiled Autumn Reeser & Paolo Bernardini

Movie 3 The Wedding Veil Legacy Allison Sweeney & Victor Webster

 

Watch The Stars Chat about the Movies 

View on Youtube here >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jN5JDDU4uLw


Do I need to watch the Wedding Veil movies in order?

I don't believe it is necessary to watch the movies in order! A recap of the interweaving veil theme is given at the beginning of each movie and is self explanatory. While related via the veil, the characters of each movie and the storyline can easily stand alone. 

 

More Hallmark Movie Reviews

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age

Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age

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




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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Affordable Good Quality Bed Sheets

Affordable Sheets that Feel Good

If you're looking for an affordable set of good-quality bed sheets, be sure to give these a second look.

Deep Pocket Sheets in Multiple Colors

These bedsheets fit our very thick mattress with two foam toppers. So if you have a standard oversized mattress minus the toppers, these should fit your bed without a hitch. The sales page indicates that these sheets accommodate mattresses up to 16 inches in depth.

Brushed Microfiber Material

The material is soft and comfortable, however, for me, they are not the highest quality compared to other sheets I've purchased, but for the price, they're perfect, they'll certainly do.

Multiple Colors to Choose From

What I like the most about this particular brand of bedsheets is the wide selection of colors. You get nineteen various choices. We went with navy blue, and it's lovely. I have to say the purple drew me in, but unfortunately, it wasn't a match for the room.

Available in Seven Sizes

These sheets come in the standard choices; King, Queen, Twin XL, Twin, Split King, Full, and California King. Of course, the deep-pocket option is available on every one of these size choices.

What I Liked Most About These Sheets

That's easy, the price. In Canada, bedsheets can sometimes be expensive. Typically, in Canada, sheets tend to range on average from $75 to $200, depending upon the quality. Recently a family member of mine purchased a set of king-size sheets for $165; however, theirs were an upgrade from the ones I bought from Amazon.

I kept my eyes open on Amazon for good-quality sheets on sale. There are better quality sheets; however, for the price, these are great.

After washing them, they went on the bed wrinkle-free.

These bedsheets are comfortable, especially considering the price.

What I Liked Least About These Sheets

They're not a top-quality set of sheets. However, the softness and price help to overlook that fact. As a backup sheet set, they're ideal.

Here They Are on Amazon:




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Saturday, February 26, 2022

By Hook or By Crook – Book Review

 

 

*Created with Pixabay & Fotojet

 

I love books and am a big fan of mysteries. I also love to crochet. So finding a mystery book that is a crochet mystery was a delight. And discovering that the author, Betty Hechtman, has written a whole series of these cozy mysteries starring a crochet group was even more fun.


Today's review is on By Hook or By Crook by Betty Hechtman.


Story Characters


The characters in this story are known as the Tarzana Hookers ~ that's hookers as in crochet!


They are a group of ladies (and even one man) who crochet and meet regularly in a small book store in Tarzana, California (thus the name). The crochet group's main focus is to crochet for charities. The group is headed by Molly Pink (main character), a widow with two grown sons who works as the event planner at this book store. Somehow, Molly keeps finding herself involved in mysteries she becomes determined to solve. And, of course, various members of the crochet group get involved.


Synopsis of By Hook or By Crook


Book Review of 'By Hook or By Crook'
Available on Amazon

“Nobody noticed the bag at first”


The story begins as the group is packing up their table at a charity fund-raiser they had been involved in for a local state park. After the leftover crochet blankets, scarves and teddy bears from the sale had been put away, they noticed a plain brown grocery bag sitting on the end of the table. With nobody claiming the bag, naturally they had to look inside. 


The bag contained some curious items ~ an unfinished note that spoke of remorse, ending in Please....., a single-page diary entry written 20 years ago, and a piece of filet crochet with a group of complicated pictures that don't, at first, make any sense. The pictures on the panel of filet crochet include a building, a house, a couple of cats, what looks like a guy with a bow and arrow, and a vase of flowers.  What could it mean and who crocheted this piece?


As time goes on, Molly discovers that the aqua thread used in part of the filet crochet piece is a specialty thread and she tracks it down to the local yarn store which carries it. The shop owner keeps good records, so Molly is able to learn who bought this particular thread. When she goes to return the bag, she discovers that the crocheter it belonged to has been murdered.


Since the note in the bag began - "I did something a long time ago that I now regret and would like to make right.....” Molly decides she has to discover what that is and help make it right. She thinks the pictures in the crochet piece could be clues to solve this mystery and, with the help of fellow crocheters in her group, she sets out to learn what it is all about. Her discoveries take her to Catalina Island where things get very strange. Her life is also complicated by her parents suddenly deciding to visit and taking over her house, her two dogs, only one of which is hers, the bookstore demanding her attention, especially because a TV program is being scheduled to film an episode there, distractions caused by the lives of her crochet group members, and just life in general. 


Defining a Cozy Mystery


Loosely defined, a Cozy Mystery is a gentle subset of the genre of crime writing.  It's a comfort read that leaves you satisfied, rather than scared to sleep alone with the lights out....


These mysteries are enjoyable, most often starring a female amateur detective, and with the crime and detection taking place in a small community. They are a comfortable and quick read.


Author Betty Hechtman


Betty Hechtman

Betty Hechtman has (to date) written 14 books in her 'crochet mystery' series. Betty loves mysteries, which began with reading Nancy Drew. She has also been doing handicrafts since she was a child. She states it was like a dream come true to be able to mix mystery and yarn craft in her books. 




Summary


By Hook or By Crook meets the requirements of a cozy mystery and the series of 'crochet mysteries' this book belongs to is particularly interesting to not only lovers of mysteries, but also anyone who enjoys crochet.

Although the series appears to be a continuing one with the same characters, I don't believe they need to be read in any particular order. I began with this book, which is #3 in the series, and had no trouble figuring out who everyone was and what roles they played in the story. I now look forward to reading the rest of the series and learning more about Molly and the other members of the Tarzana Hookers. They sound like a group I'd love to belong to. 

 

*By Hook or By Crook Book Review Written by Wednesday Elf





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Friday, February 25, 2022

Protective Apparel for Motorcyclist

I have wanted to write this review on protective apparel for motorcycle riders for a long time.  I have hesitated because I am not an expert on motorcycle gear, but I am an expert on loving a motorcyclist.  Therefore, I have a vested interest in buying and wearing the best apparel when riding a motorcycle.

The day my husband brought home his first "married life" motorcycle, I threatened divorce.  Not because of the money, but because of the dangers associated with motorcycling. 

Of course, I recognize how much fun it is to ride a motorcycle, to feel the freedom associated with the wind blowing through your hair (if you have any!)  I know it feels like you are blowing the cobwebs from your mind and experiencing nature.  I sincerely want everyone to be allowed to enjoy life and adventurous activities, but I would like for them to do so as safely as possible.

Whether you are riding a motorcycle in busy city traffic or bouncing a cycle on off-road trails, there is the danger of injury.  I have seen firsthand what those injuries look like on the way to emergency care facilities.

Therefore, my best advice, and what I can live with for my own motorcyclist, is to wear protective apparel.  This apparel provides a double layer of protection for my husband.  His skin, bones, and brain are better protected in the case of an accident, plus he is protected from my verbal assault each time he tries to sneak out alone with his girlfriend (of course, I mean his motorcycle).

 

Protective Motorcycle Apparel
Both Driver & Passenger Need the Same Level of Protective Apparel

These recommendations are based on my own personal experience as well as my husband's shared experience.  He has tried a greater variety of items and I had the benefit of his expertise when making my own motorcycle apparel selections.

#1: Helmet -  From birth as a motorcyclist, we all know a great helmet is imperative for protection, as well as the law in many places.   There are a lot of considerations and options when selecting a helmet.  To start with, you may prefer an open face helmet to a full face helmet.  Plus, size matters!  I highly recommend visiting a local cycle shop and trying on several helmets.  In doing so, I found I could not tolerate a full face helmet myself.  I personally chose the Shoei J-Cruise Helmet.  It is lightweight to wear and I love the retractable inner sun visor (goodbye sunglasses).  The top ventilation allows air on my scalp which keeps me from sweating.

 Shoei Neotec II Helmet (X-Large) (Wine)Check Price Shoei J-Cruise II Helmet (Medium) (Blue Metallic)Check Price

 


 KLIM Induction Touring Motorcycle Jacket Men's Medium Hi-Vis - Monument GrayCheck Price#2: Armor Plated Jacket - Many motorcyclists don't consider how vulnerable their backs, elbows and shoulders are to severe injury if they happen to lay down a bike.  In fact, those injuries could take you out of the motorcycling world for a long time, if not forever.  You need your back, shoulder & elbow strength for driving a motorcycle.  Therefore, we wear and recommend motorcycle jackets with removable armor, which allows you to wash the jacket.

I would also note that I recommend a jacket with high visibility strips or contrast on the back so automobile drivers are more likely to see you.  

Other reasons I selected my Tour Master Pivot Motorcycle Jacket shown below, I love the ventilation, the wrist velcro that allows me to tighten around my gloves, and the removable quilted liner that makes it all-weather wear.

My husband has several motorcycle jackets (all with armor), but his favorite motorcycle jacket is the lightweight KLIM Induction Touring Jacket shown below because it is cool enough to wear in the summer.  

In summer, all jackets get too warm off the cycle, but some, like the recommended KLIM, are comfortable when riding.

 TourMaster Women's Pivot Textile Touring Motorcycle JacketCheck Price TourMaster Women's Pivot Textile Touring Motorcycle Jacket (Back)Check Price

 


#3: Pants - Pants with protective armor in the knees and abrasion resistant fabric to protect legs is truly imperative.  I see a lot of riders wearing jeans, but they are no match for asphalt or gravel.  Missing that trip to the ER over asphalt burns or ripped skin with embedded gravel will make this purchase well worthwhile. 

I chose the Tour Master pants for myself mostly because I wanted the pants that would zip to the jacket giving my center body complete protection.  However, there are several reasons why they make a great choice including the removable liner, adjustable velcro waist, and zipper pockets.

My husband also prefers his Tour Master Caliber 2.0 motorcycle pants.

 Tourmaster Venture Air 2.0 Women's Textile Motorcycle PantCheck Price Tourmaster Men's Caliber 2.0 Motorcycle PantCheck Price


#4: Protective Motorcycle Boots - When I see a rider wearing sandals, all I can say is "seriously!".  Please value your feet and ankles enough to cover them with protective boots made for motorcyclists.  You use your feet constantly.  Give them the needed support and protection they deserve.

I chose the Oxford Valkyrie leather boot with a bit of a heel.  As you can see, they have a more feminine appeal with their attractive stitching, but they do provide the needed protection with a reinforced shank and ankle.  Plus, they are waterproof!

The Firstgear Kilimanjaro boots are made of durable leather and have comfortable, waterproof, & breathable lining.  Plus, lots of protective reinforcement in the shin, ankle, toe and heel.  That makes them a great choice for safety and function.

 Oxford - Women's Valkyrie Waterproof Leather BootsCheck Price Firstgear Kilimanjaro Waterproof Boots (11) (Black)Check Price

 

 

 KLIM Inversion Pro GlovesCheck Price#5: Gloves -  Please, please, please, protect your hands!  Bicycle gloves are not motorcycle gloves.  

Even as a passenger, I wear my motorcycle gloves. I chose the Cortech Heckler Gloves.  They provide excellent protection & warmth while being attractive.

Let's face it, your hands or head will most likely take the first contact with the ground in an accident. 

My husband prefers the Klim Inversion Pro Motorcycle Gloves. They have goatskin leather palms, high tech padding on the back of hand and fingers, and wind-stopper liner to keep your hands from getting cold.




 

The items shown in this article are our motorcycle protective gear choices.  I hope this helps you select your own riding apparel.  Have fun, but above all else, stay safe!


Motorcycle Protective Apparel
Cynthia Sylvestermouse & Her Mr. Motorcycle Mouse


House of Sylvestermouse




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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Reviewing a Veterans Museum

 

Scenes from Front of Museum

 
In early February of 2022, I had the privilege of visiting the St. Charles County Veterans Museum with a group of people from the Willows Way photography club where I am a photography mentor.  This museum is just over two years old and I had never visited before. I was in for a wonderful surprise.  The museum was a delight with lots of memorabilia and stories of veterans from World War I through the present day.  

The volunteers who worked at the museum were wonderful and really made our whole experience very inspirational.  They gave us time to explore on our own, but were always available to answer questions and tell the stories of the veterans that were featured at the museum.

On this post I will share with you some of the photos I took in the museum and also give your more information about the museum which I gathered from their website St. Charles County Veterans Museum

World War I Era Uniforms



After you enter the museum the first display you see is from World War I.  Here are some of the uniforms from the display.

Mission of the Museum

Plans for a museum that honored all of the veterans from the area was a dream of Ralph Barrale (1924-2018) a veteran of World War II.  He was able to get the location secured and the dream was becoming a reality when he passed on in 2018.  Unfortunately he was unable to see the actual opening in 2019.

Here is the stated mission of the museum. 
" Inspiring, informing and engaging the residents
of St. Charles County to honor the memories of County Veterans who served the United State of America with patriotic valor."

Korean War


There was a section of memorabila from the Korean War and several stories of county residents who had served there.  One of this heroes was a volunteer on the day that we visited and was very knowledgable about that era.

Telling the Veterans Stories

The museum is in the process of developing a program where high school students interview veterans to find out their stories.  The program is called "Interview our Heroes- Our Military Veterans."  The goal of the program is to unite generations and tell the stories of veterans.  The interviews will be on video and will be put on the museum's website along with being sent to the Library of Congress in Washington D. C..  This sounds like a wonderful program and I am looking forward to seeing these interviews on the website and on future visits to the museum.

Vietnam Era Memorabilia

Several stories have been collected  from Vietnam veterans.  Here is some of the memorabilia that is in the museum from that era.

World War II

There is an entire room devoted to the World War II veterans.  It includes uniforms, models, and a tent from the era.  Here are some of the photos I took in that room.







Paintings

There were some beautifully done paintings hanging in the museum.  This one was done by a local artist and depicts women in the military.

Wall Honoring Residents who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice


In closing I would like to encourage you to visit a Veterans Museum.  It is a very moving experience.  If you are in the St. Louis/St. Charles area or traveling through please stop at the St. Charles County Veterans Museum.  It is located at 410 E Elm St in O'Fallon, Mo.

If this location does not work for you, I encourage you to look for a veterans museum near you to visit.






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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The Best Affordable Microfiber Cloths for Cleaning Eyeglasses, Screens & Lenses

Many of us wear prescription eyeglasses, magnifying readers or sunglasses to help us see clearly and protect our precious vision from UV rays. More and more of us rely on our mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, laptops, Kindle or Nook e-readers, smart watches, fitness trackers, digital cameras and other electronics and mobile devices with screens or lenses for working, staying in touch, virtual visits, news, entertainment, hobbies, banking and other important activities. The best and safest way to clean those lenses and screens, especially if they have any type of coating, is with a soft, smooth, tightly-woven, lint-free microfiber cloth, either dry or moistened with water or a good quality cleaning solution designed for that purpose, depending on the type of lens or screen.

This is my product review of the Care Touch microfiber cleaning cloths I purchased recently to replace our older, worn cloths that were no longer cleaning effectively. I highly recommend these excellent, lint-free microfiber cloths for cleaning all types of optic lenses and electronics display screens gently and safely.

Main image: Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Safe for Any Lens or Screen!

Both my husband's single-vision glasses and my progressive, no-line bifocals have were expensive, with Transitions lenses and anti-reflective coatings. Each of us also has a pair with single-vision prescription lenses and an anti-glare coating (John's are very dark sunglasses, while mine are for doing close-up work, such as making jewelry, crafting, sewing or pulling out a splinter). We also have a collection of smartphones, tablets and other devices with built-in cameras and displays. Together, they represent a  significant investment that we need to protect with proper care, cleaning and maintenance.

Frequent washing of the cloths you use to clean your optic lenses and display screens is important, since even tiny dust particles or your fingerprints can scratch or smear the delicate surfaces and coatings. So, when I started researching the best microfiber eyeglasses, lens and screen cleaning cloths for our needs, I not only looked for ones that could safely and effectively clean our expensive prescription eyeglasses as well as the camera lenses and display screens on our phones and other devices, I also decided to buy enough so we could swap in clean cloths for dirty ones that needed to be laundered.

As I was comparing products and reading Amazon customer product reviews, the Care Touch microfiber cleaning cloths really stood out. However, since I hadn't heard of this brand before and they don't sell the individually, was a bit hesitant to order a bulk pack of 12 sight unseen. (There was also a pack of six, but the difference in price between the 6-pack and the 12-pack was negligible.) 

I'm very glad I decided to go with my gut and take a chance on them.

Package of 12 Care Touch microfiber cleaning cloths
Inside the bag are 12 microfiber lens and screen cleaning cloths, each folded and individually wrapped in its own cellophane envelope/pouch

What We Love About Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Here are some of the key features, benefits and other considerations that impressed me enough to choose the Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning Cloths 12-pack over other, better known and much more expensive brands, such as Zeiss or Nikon.

  • Safe to use on all lenses and display screens, even single- or multi-coated prescription eyeglasses, camera lenses and filters!
  • Machine washable and air dry quickly when laid flat (I recommend a clean cotton terrycloth towel).
  • Durable fabric and construction including pinked, heat-treated edges that resist fraying, so they hold up well through frequent machine washing cycles.
  • Smooth, silky, very finely woven, lint-free microfiber that cleans lenses and screens gently and thoroughly without scratching, smearing or leaving any residue, either with or without water or a cleaning solution, as long as the cloths are kept clean and free from any dust.
  • A generous 6" x 7" size, identical to the lens cleaning cloths we get from our optometrist, which is ideal for eyeglasses, camera lenses, mobile devices and other portable electronics. (Although I prefer a larger size for large-screen TVs and monitors, these work great for those, too, in a pinch.)
  • Individually wrapped in cellophane envelope pouches. 
    • Even though these cellophane pouches were designed to be discarded after opening and removing the cloths, I have been refolding and carefully placing the cloths (except the ones I keep inside my hard eyeglasses cases) back inside the pouches to keep them clean and dust-free between uses. When the cellophane pouches tear, as I'm sure they will at some point, I'll probably store the cloths in sandwich-size food storage bags or make some small drawstring bags from scrap fabric.
  • Great for removing fingerprints from other surfaces, such as crystal glassware, watch crystals and smooth or brushed metal surfaces.
  • A terrific value! When I purchased them on Amazon last month, the price was less than nine dollars for a pack of 12 individually wrapped microfiber cleaning cloths. That's less than 75 cents each! And a dozen gives you enough for multiple pairs of eyeglasses, phones, tablets and other devices, with a couple of extras to swap out for laundering, and you'll still have a couple leftover to share with a friend or family member. 
    • Note: Although a few Amazon reviewers have complained that they received only 10 cloths instead of 12 that was not my experience.
  • Excellent reviews from Amazon customers.
  • Responsive customer support including monitoring and responding to many customer questions on Amazon and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee (return the cloths in their original condition within 30 days or for a full refund or replacement).
My Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning Cloths 12-Pack with five of the individually wrapped cloths

Care Touch Lens Care Products Make Affordable, Thoughtful and Practical Gifts

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't appreciate receiving some new, high quality, durable, gentle and effective microfiber cloths, pre-moistened wipes or spray lens cleaner for keeping their eyeglasses, camera lenses and device screens clean and free of fingerprints, smudges or streaks. Here are my top picks for both personal use and gift giving.

  • Care Touch Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
    • Instead of giving the entire 12-pack to someone who may only have use for a few, consider breaking it up into several smaller stocking stuffers for multiple recipients. At less than 75 cents apiece, tucking a few of these individually wrapped, lint-free microfiber cloths into someone's Christmas stocking will only set you back a couple of bucks. It's rare to find such an inexpensive product that is also well made, truly useful and nice enough to be gift worthy.
  • Single-use Care Touch Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes
    • Care Touch Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes are gentle alcohol prep pads saturated with a 39.5% isopropyl alcohol solution that is milder and safter for cleaning coated or special lenses than the 70% concentration of isopropyl alcohol in the solutions used with typical alsohol prep pads that can damage these types of lenses.
    • Generous 5" x 6" size for cleaning larger as well as smaller lenses and screens.
    • Convenient, compact, and individually sealed so you can easily tuck a couple into your purse or briefcase for quick, streak-free cleaning of fingerprints and smudges on your eyeglasses, phone or tablet screens on the go.
  • Care Touch Lens and Screen Cleaning Set
    • 200 of the pre-moistened lens cleaning wipes
    • 6 of the microfiber cloths
  • Care Touch Eyeglass Cleaner Spray Kit 
    • This kit has everything you or your gift recipient needs for lens and screen care, which makes it a wonderful gift idea for family members and friends, from school-age kids to seniors:
      • Two Care Touch microfiber cleaning cloths
      • Two 8-oz. bottles and one 2-oz. TSA-friendly travel size bottle of Care Touch Eyeglass Cleaner Spray, a gentle yet effective alcohol-free and ammonia-free formula designed to be used with the microfiber cloths for cleaning all lenses, screens, and glass surfaces, even those with anti-reflective, transition, anti-fog or other special coatings.
      • 26 Care Touch Pre-Moistened Lens Cleaning Wipes
    • At publication time, this kit was selling on Amazon for only $9.99—45% off the list price of $17.99. That's a terrific deal!

The Best Affordable Microfiber Cloths for Cleaning Eyeglasses, Screens & Lenses by Margaret Schindel

Read More Product Reviews by Our Review This Reviews Contributors

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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Swiss Cheese Plant Or Monstera Reviewed As A House Plant And Fashion Trend


There was always a Swiss Cheese Plant in our home when I was growing up. I did not know then that its Latin name is Monstera, but as a striking and larger than average house plant, it is certainly appropriate. As a child, I loved its jungle feel and the fact that it was bigger than me! 

It is a beautiful and stunning indoor plant. In the 1970's it was a staple houseplant in many people's homes and was a background feature along with other plants. 

Now it is again a very popular houseplant but it has taken more of a center stage being used as a real statement plant in a prominent position and even as a fashion trend. 


Monstera Leaves and aerial roots.

 

The Beauty Of A Swiss Cheese Plant

Grown as an indoor house plant this plant can grow to about  3 to 8 foot so it is a substantial house plant. 

The leaves are pliable and very soft to touch and a pretty light or dark green glossy colour. 

When the leaves are young they are of a solid heart shape. As they grow older the leaf develops splits in the leaf and this process gives it its name as it can look a little like swiss cheese. 

It can grow large but we can also keep it at a manageable size to fit the space. Though if you can let it grow as large as it will it looks even more stunning.


Mature Monstera Leaf With Split Against My Hand 

Native Growing Conditions Of The Monstera Or Swiss Cheese Plant 

It is often useful and interesting to learn where the plants we have in our homes come from and what their native conditions are so we can better replicate them and keep them happy in our homes. 

In native conditions in Central and South America, it grows under large trees in a jungle. In natural conditions, it can grow to up to seventy foot in height but it will not reach anywhere near this in a pot indoors. We can expect our plant to grow to approximately no bigger than eight foot if left to grow as big as it can. 

Monstera does like to climb and has aerial roots which grow downwards from its main stem. As a houseplant, we can help it mimic its natural conditions by putting in strong support like a stake. As it can grow quite floppy and sprawling otherwise it can brace itself against the stake and do what it would in a jungle pushing itself onto a neighbouring tree or tangled vine for support as it grows upwards. 

In its native conditions, this plant can flower a lovely white flower but it very rarely does as a houseplant. I have never seen a flower. So when you grow this plant indoors grow it for its beautiful glossy leaves of shades of green from light fresh green to mid and then dark green. 


Swiss Cheese Plant or Monstera

Care of The Swiss Cheese Plant.

For such a big statement plant it requires remarkably little care. If you do not think you are good with houseplants then this is one that is hard to get wrong. I think it is one of the easiest plants I have. 

It likes moist soil but never waterlogged, so regular consistent watering is best. As usual with house plants the best guide is the stick a finger about an inch into the soil if it is wet do not water but if dry or in this case nearly dry then water. 

The soil should be water retentive but not too claggy so a good houseplant and compost mix on the neutral to acid side is best. 

In its native situation it grows in the shade of large trees so do not place this plant in a sunny position. It needs a bright but shaded spot. It can cope with a few hours of the morning sun but absolutely no more than that. 

As its large leaves can get dusty over time I like to take a cotton wool ball soaked in warm water and just gently wipe across the leaves. I only do this when they look dusty. This used to be one of my jobs when I was a child and I still enjoy doing it. 

Monstera likes to be warm and loves humidity so an ideal situation is a heated bright bathroom where the light is filtered via blinds or obscured window panes and where the family take showers or baths.

Feed it regularly with Baby Bio or similar once a month and you will have a happy plant.       

  

 

Swiss Cheese Plant Issues 

It can have pests and diseases such as whitefly, mealybug, spider mites, powdery mildew to name a few but I have never had an issue and if you keep it in conditions it likes it will be healthy. 

These infestations will rarely kill this plant anyway but look unsightly and weaken it so we have to control them and in this case I would use an insecticide or fungicide depending on the issue.

There are two things to watch for with the leaves. If you see a leaf or many leaves turning black then it is effectively that the plant has been sunburnt or scorched by being kept in a sunny place for too long. 

The individual leaf cannot recover from this so the best thing is the prune away that leaf from the bottom of the stem. This will only happen if it has been exposed to too much direct sunlight so is easily avoided. 

If you see the leaves turning yellow then we have overwatered. we must stop watering immediately, turn the pot and drain off any excess water and leave to dry. If very waterlogged we may be best repotting the plant into fresh dry soil and starting again with light watering. 

While it likes moisture it hates sitting in wet soil so this can easily be avoided by only watering when the plant is nearly dry.

All parts of this plant are toxic to pets so it is best to keep it well away from them. Another reason a bathroom may be the best spot.

The plant featured here was one I bought as a sale plant a few months ago and I had to do a lot of pruning away of damaged leaves and sun scorched leaves. It was very large but uncared for.  I have left one scorched leaf for you to see. This will need to be pruned away at the base. The plant was also unstable in its pot and rocking from its roots so I repotted in a new deeper pot so it is stable. My next job is to install firm support so it can climb. 

I reduced the plant considerably in size but as you can see there is a lot of new growth and one leaf is already mature enough to have developed splits. So I was really happy I rescued this plant! 


Swiss Cheese Plant old sun damaged leaf next to new young leaf. 

Monstera In Fashion Trend

Who would have thought this plant would have become so fashionable. I tend not to grow plants indoors or outdoors for fashion trends but because I love them. 

However, the trend is there for this plant to be used in wedding flowers, as centerpieces and large statement plants in prestigious offices.

People even cut a single stem with a large leaf on it and use it much as flower decoration in a vase of water, where it does look very striking.

It really suits an environment that is minimalist, clean and unfussy or where flowers would look too much. Its large size and dark glossy leaves do add understated style and substance.

There is even Monstera wallpaper which can look amazing as a real statement in the right place.


The Swiss Cheese Plant was so popular in the 1970's and then like many houseplants fell out of favour. However, now there is a thankfully increased appreciation of the beauty of houseplants and how good they are for us as well as looking beautiful and enhancing our home decor. 

Fashion and trends come and go but I hope the love and appreciation for houseplants are here to stay now and I will never fall out of love with this amazing plant. It will grace our home with its simple stunning good looks for a very long time. 




More Gardening And Houseplant Reviews

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


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