Saturday, December 31, 2022

Goal Setting Guides: Reviewing Ways to Get Organized

As the year ends and the New Year approaches, one's thoughts turn to items needed for a new beginning. The setting of goals becomes a priority and, in aid of that, certain items lend themselves to the task. 


These include calendars and planners. While sounding mundane and ordinary, today's planner products are anything but. So many choices are available that there will always be that certain style that will appeal to you. And if you are pleased with the calendar/planners you are working with, you will be more apt to follow through with 'getting organized' and 'tackling life ambitions'. 


Here are a few suggestions for a calendar or planner for a truly organized life!


Calendars


Calendars come in many sizes and in a large variety of styles.  



There are large desk calendars with ample space to write your schedule in ruled daily blocks. Some also have spaces for notes and to-do lists.


There are wall calendars which come in a very large style containing all 12 months at a glance (excellent for a board room or a home office). And wall calendars with large writing blocks to keep your schedule current.


There are medium size ones with wire binding and hanger so that you can hang it up in your office, bedroom, or kitchen. They come in cute patterns and designs that pair well with your home décor.  


Then there are the popular daily desk calendars in designs that fit every personality, whether it's your favorite hobby, pet, places, sport, etc. There are motivational ones, inspirational ones, jokes and funny calendars, plus trivia or fun facts. They are called Daily Desk Calendars, Page-a-Day, or Year-in-a-Box Calendars. 







Planners



In addition to regular calendars, to become truly organized, one needs a planner. The one I get each year has to be a Weekly/Monthly Planner with the year's dates on the pages and tabs for each month. I've tried blank ones, but never seem to remember to fill in the correct dates! :) But there are Planners that suit anyone's style and way of keeping track of tasks, holidays, birthdays, appointments, errands and chores. Anything and everything fits well into a Planner. 


I also prefer the 8-1/2” x 11” Planners that fit well next to my computer. I can quickly see what I have scheduled or planned on any given week/month and easy to add things as they come up. But Planners also come in a variety of sizes (from pocket or purse size to large desk size) to suit your way of doing things. 


Summary



So, whatever you need in a calendar or planner, the size, style and designs are endless. It's such fun to choose the ones you like best, which makes getting organized for the New Year easier than ever. 


 Happy (Organized) New Year! 


*Calendars and Planners for your New Year goal setting - review written by Wednesday Elf


Amazon Links to Calendars and Planners Featured in this Review:






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Friday, December 30, 2022

How to Make a Water Bath for Cheesecake Baking Review

Cheesecake Water Bath
There are benefits to preparing and using a water bath when baking cheesecakes or custards.  For one thing, it will keep your cheesecake from cracking and will prevent the filling from drying out.  Plus, it will prevent the cheesecake springform pan from leaking in your oven. 

A water bath is simply a pan of hot water, which will low boil when baking your cheesecake.  It will be very hot!  Be sure to leave your cheesecake cooling in the oven, in the water bath, for an hour after the baking is complete.  Just turn your oven off, leave the oven door slightly open and walk away for an hour.

Since you will be setting your filled cheesecake springform pan in the water bath, it is important to select a pan that your springform pan can easily sit in without tilting it or forcing it.  I have an oversized cake pan that I use.  The size of your springform pan will determine what size you need for the water bath.

For instance, I use a 9" springform pan and an old 18" x 12" sheet cake pan.  (that is all I use that cake pan for now because the coating is ruined)

Water Bath


How to Make a Water Bath for Cheesecake

When you have used a water bath for the first time, you will realize how very easy it is to set up.  

Since I have been asked the "what" question several times, I realize that just saying "bake your cheesecake in a water bath" is lacking in information.  Therefore, I'll share exactly what to do to make a cheesecake water bath here.

Cheesecake Water Bath
Step 1:  Wrap your springform pan in aluminum foil to prevent the water leaking into the cheesecake pan. I use heavy duty 18" wide aluminum foil, but you can use two pieces of standard, everyday 12" aluminum foil by folding them together with a seam that will not leak to create one large piece of foil.     

Step 2:  Set your filled cheesecake springform pan in the wider cake pan.

Step 3:  Add hot water in the wide cake pan, halfway up the outside of the springform pan.

Step 4:  Place in the oven & bake according to recipe.

Step 5:  Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the water bath in the oven for one hour to cool.

 

Note:  The cheesecake and hot water together can be very heavy.  You may prefer to set your cheesecake in an empty cake pan in the oven, then add the hot water using a oven proof measuring cup.

 

Click Here to See My Cheesecake Recipe Published on Review This Reviews!

 Wilton W6516 Perfect Results Sheet Cake PanCheck Price Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Spring Form Pan, 9-inchCheck Price Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 18 inch, 37.5 Square-Foot Roll (Pack of 1)Check Price

 

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How to Make a Water Bath for Cheesecake Baking Review Written by:
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© 2022 Cynthia Sylvestermouse
 



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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Year End Traditions and Goal Setting for 2023: A Product Review

Hopefully you have all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!  Now, we are in the last few days of 2022 and it's time to reflect on the year past and make some plans for the New Year to come!

If you don't make plans, then maybe it's time that you started a new tradition in your own life.

You are never too old to change paths if the path you are on no longer fits your views of the future.,  But you must take some time to reflect on the changes that you might need to make.



I know from experience that my diet and activity levels were not where they should have been.  So a few years ago I decided to make a few changes.  I had to plan my strategy just like I would have planned a big business idea.  

It started with getting more active. My mobility was suffering and something needed to change.  I started small, but made sure that I could do what I set out to do.  I started walking around the block!  It doesn't sound like much but when you have been fairly sedentary for a long time, around the block may be all that you can do!  Make sure your goal is attainable and sustainable!  



After a little while you will find that your stamina will let you walk a little further.  When it feels right, increase your distance, again making sure it is an attainable goal.

There are many ways to help yourself with those goals and one that I have found very useful and helpful are my Nordic Walking Poles.   Sometimes my balance isn't all that it should be and these walking poles really help me feel much more confident when walking outdoors. They just give me that little bit of stability and they make my walk much more effective in distance covered and calories burned.  After 2 years of walking I am now working my way to 10kms a day.  If I can do it, you can too!

The other part of walking that I love is the quiet!  Sometimes you just need to get away from everything that keeps your mind jumping all over the place.  Getting out in nature is a wonderful way to let go of the "stuff" that keeps your mind going around and around.  As Raintree Annie wrote yesterday, getting out in nature and really observing all the changes in our world can be very cathartic and wonderful.  Check out her Review right here!

Now if you need some help with making your plans, maybe you could use a workbook to help you center yourself and help you create a way forward for 2023.  Barbara Tremblay Cipak, another writer here at Review This Reviews has taken a path to writing about our emotional and mental well-being.  Her book, "I Need Help Thinking Positive" would be a great help in marking out a new path for you to follow in 2023!


 

  

A Gratitude Journal might be another way for you to hone in on the changes you'd like to make or give you some direction in where your interests lie.  

One thing is certain, there are unlimited ways in which to make changes in your day to day lifestyle if that is what you are interested in doing. 

The World Wide Web is a resource for learning all kinds of new things.  Broaden your horizons by learning a new language, visit another country virtually, take a course on hobby that you have been thinking about or check out a university and see what kind of on-line courses are available.  Many of them are free to join and you could learn about something that twigs your interests.  2023 is unmapped territory and you can make some plans to make the New Year a whole lot more interesting, just by preparing a path.  

Might I suggest that you take a walk, think about some things that would interest you and then when you are back home, check out what the internet has available.  You just might find something that really adds a whole new dimension to your life.  

Happy New Year to All and may all your plans be accomplished as you take a new step forward!






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Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Reviewing Winter Walks In Nature For Wellbeing

 


When we are in mid-winter it is all too tempting to stay indoors warm and cosy and away from the wintery weather. Often that is a really lovely thing to do. However, I find if I stay indoors for too long I start to feel a bit down and a bit sluggish especially in the winter. We suffer from the lack of daylight hours and the same scenery. Also, we may well miss out on some beautiful scenes in nature

So as long as the weather is not too bad or dangerous conditions, my husband and I agreed that every day we will go for a winter walk. We like to wrap up warmly take our camera and go out to find the beauty in this season.




We find it very uplifting to become absorbed in nature in this way even if only for half an hour. It lifts our spirits and clears the mind. I always feel better after a winter walk. A few hours is ideal and when we can do that and drive deep into the countryside it is so beneficial. However, when it is too cold to stay out that long we just take a short walk and even if it has only been for fifteen to thirty minutes I really notice a difference. 

Winter Trees

I love to see the beauty in the trees this time of year. All the leaves have fallen now and all we can see is the structure and majesty of their gorgeous limbs and trunks. My favourite tree this time of year is the Silver Birch which once it has lost all its leaves and stands proud with its silver trunk takes on a magical quality especially if covered in frost or snow.

 

Silver Birch Trees In Winter


Noticing Nature and Colour In Winter

I find at mid-winter when we are not distracted by gorgeous colourful flowers and trees in full leaf we notice other natural things that we overlooked before. Like an old fallen log that is covered in fungi and the shape of a tree. The spider webs are clearly visible now all covered in sparkling frost.

Winter is not devoid of colour though. we may need to look harder for it but it is there. Of course, there are the Holly berries shining out bright red against the dark green of their evergreen leaves. Cotoneaster is covered in red berries and looks especially lovely with a light dusting of frost. Equally one of the more beautiful things to look for are wild rose hips, so red and shiny and in abundance. The one below was a gorgeous wild rose covered in flowers in summer, now a thicket of red rose hips. 

Rose Hips



Cotoneaster berries


Christmas Lights On Winter Walks

Around Christmas time we find it lovely to take a walk at dusk so that we can wander around our neighbourhood to look at all the beautiful lights and decorations. 

It is a real joy to see all the sparking lights and different colours at the time of year when daylight is in short supply. 

Then when we get home is a large mug of hot chocolate and maybe a warm mince pie to warm up.  

Frosted Plants In Winter

In the winter I like that you do not need to travel far to view gorgeous plants. Often if the roads are icy or poor traveling conditions or just very cold and threatening rain or snow we prefer to walk locally.

By walking around your own neighbourhood you can see lovely beauty in people's gardens like this frosted Smoke bush. It normally has reddish frothy seedheads that look like smoke but as you can see the freezing temperatures have transformed it into an ice spectacle! 


Frozen Smoke Bush


Also, watch the bare branches of any shrub in your garden or the road you live on, you will start to see tiny buds. They are ready just waiting, resting steady for now but ready to burst forth into leaf once the weather warms and the days become longer. 

Winter Sky Can Be Stunning

My other recommendation in winter is to look up at the skies. They can be spectacular at this time of year in daylight hours on a clear day taking your breath away with their sheer beauty. At night if it is clear and dark there is something amazing about gazing up at the bright stars and feeling like you can reach out and touch them.




Feeding Ducks On A Winter Walk Brings Joy

I love to get out and feed the ducks, geese and coots at a local wildlife center. They are invariably hungry at this time of year and it is often quiet and calm with few people around. Unlike in summer we often have lots of space to ourselves and it is a joy to feed the birds and get close to them. 




Winter Solstice

The winter solstice on or around the 21st December is one of my favourite days. It is the day with the shortest hours of daylight but it also means that from now on each day is getting a little lighter, a little nearer Spring and that gives me such a feeling of hope and happiness in mid-winter. We always light a candle and feel thanks for the new life to come. 

So if winter is getting you down with its short hours of daylight and poor weather and it seems still a long time until spring do weather permitting, try to get out there for just a little while. The fresh clean air and exercise will do us good, lift our spirits and with the added benefit if it is sunny of the sunshine on our faces to brighten up the darkest days of year.

 

Wellbeing And Nature In Winter

We need to be safe and clearly not to go out in severe weather but if and when conditions allow we can wrap up warmly and take a little wander. There is no need to go too far but your body and mind will benefit from time out of the house absorbing yourself in nature for just a little while. 

If the weather is so bad that you cannot get out at all, as I know it is in some areas of the world right now,  then sit awhile by your window to watch nature from the safety of your home.

In these bleaker times we let the world of nature come to us. Hopefully, you can see some winter sky, shrubs or trees and maybe birds, squirrels and other wildlife will pass by. Frost, ice and snow make everything in the garden or sightline look and feel different.

We can take comfort in the fact that this winter will pass and Spring is invariably on its way as it always does. Winter can be the harshest of seasons yet it too has its beauty. 

I always take great comfort in the delicate, exquisitely beautiful and strong hardy snowdrop that is ready under the ground now just waiting to burst forth often into so cold weather and snow shows us that there is hope in the deep mid-winter for brighter, lighter days to come. 






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Monday, December 26, 2022

Reviewing Herbes de Provence for Stews and How I Made Venison Stew

I've never been a fan of stews. Over my lifetime I've occasionally had a stew that was delicious. But typically, I'm just not a fan of the flavor. I never knew what the difference in flavor was and I never thought to ask. Now I believe that I know the answer: Herbes de Provence! I am a fan of Herbes de Provence.



What is Herbes de Provence?

I'd never heard of that seasoning blend until recently. While searching for a recipe for venison stew I found a young lady that uses Herbes de Provence in her recipe. I listened to why she recommended it and I looked it up. 

Herbes de Provence is a blend of herbs that were used in the Southeastern region of Provence France. These herbs were widely used because they were widely available in that area. The blend began to be bottled in the 1970s and became more widely available. The bottled version that I have contains:

  • Thyme
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • parsley
  • oregano
  • tarragon
  • marjoram
  • lavender flowers
I was a bit hesitant when I learned that lavender was included. In my opinion, lavender has become one of those scents and flavors that is becoming too widely used. And used with a heavy hand. But I decided to give a try just once. It turns out that the hint of lavender with the other herbs in a stew adds a wonderful flavor.

How Did I Make Delicious Tender Venison?

Venison is a very lean meat making it a healthy choice. Because it is so lean it can be overcooked and become rubbery. I have made the mistake of overcooking venison. This is why searched for tutorials on making venison stew. I wanted something other than a roast made in the crockpot and I wanted to attempt a flavorful stew.

I decided to use the recipe from Miss Allie's Kitchen, Her recipe includes venison, celery, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Her recipe is also how I heard about Herbes de Provence.

I seared the chunks of venison and removed them from the pan. I placed the other ingredients into the pan for just a bit to aid in softening them. I didn't realize that I didn't have diced tomatoes. So my first attempt did not include that ingredient but the stew turned out great despite that omission.  I then removed the vegetables from the pan, added the venison back into the pan with a sprinkle of flour as other recipes suggested to thicken the stew. I added the remainer of the ingredients and closed the pressure cooker.

Because venison is so low fat, I used a small pressure cooker. I prefer a stovetop pressure cooker although my son is trying to convince me to purchase an Instapot. I am accustomed to the stovetop style pressure cooker and get good results. But there are several ways to cook this stew and you can choose what works best for you.

(note: The brand shown in the Amazon link is the brand I use and prefer. However, at the time of this writing, the product listed on Amazon is double the price of the same product in local stores)

Related Links:

Watch Miss Allie's Kitchen Classic Venison Stew video tutorial here

Find the ingredients and Miss Allie's Kitchen written recipe here

I recently began baking popovers which are perfect with venison stew! You can see my review of popovers here






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Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays From ReviewThisReviews


happy holidays from reviewthisreviews

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

On behalf of the Contributors on ReviewThisReview, we send you good wishes for a peace-filled holiday season.

It's been a challenging 2022 for many. Thus, our Christmas wish for everyone is a kinder, gentler 2023. 

A quote to be guided by for the new year:

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" - by Buckmister Fuller (1895-1983)

Here's to a wonderful year ahead for everyone...maybe with a helping hand...

"I believe there are angels among us, sent down to us from somewhere up above; they come to you and me, in our darkest hour, to show us how to live, to teach us how to give, to guide us with the light of love."






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Saturday, December 24, 2022

One Shot at Forever by Chris Ballard

 A baseball book review. 



This is the story of a magical baseball season with an unlikely coach in a small town in Illinois.  


Synopsis


The year is 1971. The town is Macon, Illinois, a very small rural farm community in central Illinois. The team is a rag-tag high school baseball team in a school population that is so small that the boys have to play every sport in order to have enough players to make a team (football, basketball, baseball). The unlikely coach of the baseball team is the school's English teacher with no coaching expertise. 


This is a charming true story of a small-town baseball team, playing in hand-me-down uniforms, who emerged from a field of 370 teams to make an improbable run to the State Final.  


The boys of Macon renew our understanding of why baseball matters.


Lynn Sweet arrives in Macon in 1966.  He's a long-haired hippie, a dreamer and an intellectual who brings progressive ideas to a town stuck in the 1950s. The son of a hard-driving Army Sergeant, Sweet is the opposite; fond of bucking convention and convinced the world is full of good people who occasionally have bad ideas. The students love him; the administration not so much! 


Call me 'Sweet' he tells his students on the first day of school. This in a school who wants and expects proper behavior, such as calling their teachers by Mr. & Ms/Mrs. His classroom has four round tables instead of desks. There are posters on the walls and rows of bookshelves. The bookshelves have novels and short stories unlike any before seen in Macon. There are also magazines and comic books.  But there are no grammar textbooks. Sweet teaches with unconventional assignments and tells the students “Have fun with it.”


Summary



When Sweet takes over the baseball team (because no one else wants the job) he becomes intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball. Inspired by coach's unconventional methods, the undersized Macon Ironmen embark on a postseason run that amazed everyone, infuriated rival coaches, and buoyed a little town that was suffering from a damaging drought and the shadow of the Vietnam War ~ a town in desperate need of something to celebrate. They became the smallest school in Illinois history to appear in the championship game, and that distinction still stands. The experience would change the lives of this high school baseball team forever. 


Author Chris Ballard


Chris Ballard is a senior writer at Sports Illustrated where he specializes in the narrative. One Shot at Forever is delightfully written in a gripping narrative as it tells the story of the members of that special 1971 team, and its coach. A true story well worth reading. 




For more Book Reviews, Check out ReviewThisBooks.Com


For more Baseball Stories, click on ReviewThisReviews: Baseball


*One Shot at Forever Book Review written by 

~Wednesday Elf, the Baseball Contributor on Review This Reviews


Book available on Amazon


*Image sources: Pixabay















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Friday, December 23, 2022

A December Bride Hallmark Movie Review

A December Bride

Daniel Lissing, once again, charms his way into our hearts in the movie, A December Bride.  This Hallmark movie is sure to be a favorite on the list of many Hallmark romance fans. 

Jessica Lowndes, another beloved Hallmark actor, joins Lissing to create a love story just in time for a December wedding.  The movie takes a difficult situation and turns it into a fun, romantic and even humorous story.

This movie was released in 2016, but I only recently discovered it. Turns out, it is one of my own favorite Christmas movies for this year.


A December Bride (2016) Hallmark Movie

Layla O'Reilly is right on track, following in her mother's footsteps, to be a December bride.  It has been her life-long plan to have her own wedding in the month of December, just like her parents.  However, her plans are shattered when a casual friend, Seth Murphy, introduces Layla's fiance, Jack, to Layla's cousin, Jessica.  

 A December Bride
Available on Prime Video or DVD
Check Price
It is pretty obvious that it is love at first sight for Jack and Jessica.  Not only does Layla lose her fiance, but she loses her opportunity for an upcoming December wedding.  Now, she must decide if she is going to attend her ex-fiance's and her cousin's wedding.  Of course, this wedding is important to her family, just as her wedding would have been.  She is hesitant to accept the invitation, but decides she really should make peace and go, but she does not want to go alone.

When she sees her neighbor, Cooper in the hall, she decides to ask him to attend the wedding with her.  He initially agrees, but when he ends up with the flu, he is unable to attend.  Desperate to find a "date" for the wedding, she asks Seth to go with her.  After all, they are both attending the wedding.

Things are made even more "interesting" when Seth tells everyone at the wedding that he and Layla are engaged.  He meant to make Layla feel more at ease around Jack and Jessica, but that created more uncomfortable situations, and humor for the those of us watching.

Seth also gets roped into adding his home to the Holiday of Homes charity project by his bosses wife.  Since Layla is an interior decorator, it seems logical to ask her to decorate his home for the tour. Plus, Layla would love to land a job staging homes for a big realty company and Seth is friends with the owner of Malcolm Realty.  That means spending a lot of time together over the next 3 weeks.

One thing all Hallmark fans know, it doesn't take long for romance to develop. Much less than 3 weeks! In fact, in less than 2 hours, these two actors can create the perfect love story.  

 

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A December Bride Hallmark Movie Review by:
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Thursday, December 22, 2022

Review of Nativity Scenes

Nativity Scene within a Cross

 Nativity sets and scenes are a wonderful part of my Christmas decorating.  They point us to the true meaning of Christmas.  I think they are a wonderful item to pass down to future generations.  In my house I have several nativity sets: one from my grandparents, one that my mother made and another that my daughter purchased on a trip to Bethlehem.  I also have a nativity scene within a cross that I believe is a wonderful reminder of the purpose of Christmas. It shows the Jesus is the reason for the celebration. That cross is depicted in the beginning photo of this article.

Nativity Cross on Amazon

I found a nativity cross similar to mine on Amazon.  I think it would be a great gift for grandchildren.

Nativity Sets Passed Down to Me

My Grandparents Nativity Set


The photo above depicts the nativity set that was my grandparents.  They would have it under their tree each Christmas. When they passed away it was given to me, the oldest grandchild. 
Mom's Nativity Set
This is a nativity set that my mother made in ceramics class.  She displayed it in her house each year and when she died, I got it.  It now is on my fireplace mantle each Christmas.  It is very special to me since Mom made it.

Right above my fireplace mantle is a window with a shelf, on it I display angel figurines that have been given to me over the years.  I think they make a good addition to the nativity display with the angels all above the manager scene.  


My Bethlehem Nativity Scene

When my daughter was 10 years old my parents took her on a trip to the Holy Land.  When they were in Bethlehem, she bought us a nativity scene. It is very special to us and we display it each year.  


Nativity Sets on Amazon

If you are looking for a special gift for a grandchild or godchild or a special person in your life, you may want to consider a nativity set.  Here are a couple I found on Amazon that I thought would make great gifts.

The set above was made in Bethlehem from Olive wood.  It is a modestly priced set that is still very nice.  There are many other sets from Bethlehem that are listed on Amazon in a variety of sizes and price ranges.




The set above is a beautiful traditional set that comes with a stable and 10 figurines.  It is just one of the many to choose from on Amazon.

May you and your Family have a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!



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Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris: A Wonderful, Delightful, Inspiring Movie

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is an absolute gem of a movie. I discovered it while perusing American Airlines' in-flight entertainment selections during a recent flight home from California. This comedy/drama was released earlier this year and received enthusiastic positive reviews from film critics and audiences alike. However, likely because it wasn't promoted heavily or well, it had only a short run in theaters and I hadn't heard about it before. (Such a shame to stint on the marketing for such a terrific picture!) It deserves a much wider audience.

I am delighted to share my review of this wonderful, delightful, inspiring movie, which is available to purchase or rent via DVD or streaming media.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris Movie Review

Based on the First of Paul Gallico's Bestselling 1958 Novel Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris

Paul Gallico started his career in the 1920s as a sportswriter, sports columnist, and sports editor of the New York Daily News. After switching to writing fiction in the late 1930s, the prolific author wrote 41 books, numerous short stories, 20 theatrical movies and 12 TV movies and had a TV series based on his Hiram Holliday short stories. Two of Gallico's most famous works were the short story The Snow Goose (1941) and the novel The Poseidon Adventure (1969), which was also adapted for the big screen.(Source)

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (1958) was the first of Gallico's four novels about the adventures of Mrs. Ada Harris, a war widow and hard-working charwoman for London aristocrats. Mrs. Harris's adventures continue in the subsequent books in the series, Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York (1960), Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament (1965), and Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Moscow (1974).

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris has been adapted multiple times for stage and screen:

  • A 1958 American TV episode for the television series Studio One starring British comedian Gracie Fields.
  • A 1982 West German TV film, Ein Kleid von Dior (A Dress by Dior) starring Inge Meysel.
  • A 1992 television movie starring Angela Lansbury, Diana Rigg and Omar Sharif (produced by Lansbury's production company and directed by her son, Anthony Shaw).
  • A 2016 musical-theatre adaptation, Flowers for Mrs Harris (the Gallico novel's UK title) produced by Sheffield Theatres in May 2016, with a new production mounted in 2018 at Chichester Festival Theatre, which was streamed online in April 2020.
  • The 2022 feature film adaptation I am reviewing, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (note the tweak to the title).

A Fabulous Cast of Characters

Here are the main characters of this charming movie set in the mid-1950s:

  • Ada Harris (Lesley Manville), a charwoman in London who cleans up the messes of her well-heeled, arrogant clients. She learns that her beloved husband, Eddie, a soldier who had been missing for seven years, was killed in action. 
  • Violet Butterfield (Ellen Thomas), Ada's best friend, who also works "in service." Vi encourages the grieving war widow to try to enjoy herself and get on with her life now that she finally knows Eddie's fate, taking her out to a dance club in the evening and to greyhound races on their day off.
  • Archie (Jason Isaacs), another friend and bookie who takes their bets at the races. Although he fancies Ada, she thinks it's too late for her to love again and makes it clear their relationship is strictly platonic.
  • Giles Newcombe (Christian McKay), a womanizing bachelor and house cleaning client.
  • Pamela Penrose (Rose Williams), another of Ada's clients, is a beautiful but spoiled, scatterbrained, pouty and self-centered actress who is also a slob, tossing and leaving her clothes and accessories all over the floor for Ada to pick up and put away.
  • Lady Dant (Anna Chancellor), another client who spends lavishly on parties and clothes (including a one-of-a-kind, beaded and sequined Christian Dior dress that Ada falls in love with at first sight), yet repeatedly deflects Ada's requests to be paid her long-overdue wages.
  • Christian Dior (Philippe Bertin), the world-famous haute couture fashion designer whose first collection under his own label in 1947 was dubbed "The New Look" by the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar.
  • Claudine Colbert (Isabelle Huppert) is the directrice of the house of Dior and guardian of its refined, elegant, exclusive image. She is offended and supercilious when an English charwoman invades the hallowed halls of Dior, mistakes Madame Colbert for a shopgirl and naïvely assumes she can purchase one of the master's iconic, one-of-a-kind haute couture creations just because she has brought enough money to Paris with her to pay with cash.
  • Marquis de Chassagne (Lambert Wilson), a wealthy, aristocratic widower whose late wife used to enjoy attending the exclusive Dior couture shows. He continues to attend in her honor and, when Ada is rebuffed by Madame Colbert, the marquis invites her to attend as his guest. He subsequently buys her roses and invites her over for tea.  
  • Natasha (Alba Baptista), Dior's top model with an Audrey Hepburn-eque, waif-like beauty. She would rather be at home curled up on a couch, wearing a plain black sweater and reading Sartre than parading around as a fashion model. 
  • André Fauvel (Lucas Bravo), an accountant at Dior who has ideas about how to save the fashion house from its (fictitious) financial woes that Madame Colbert refuses to discuss with Monsieur Dior. André falls in love with Natasha, with whom he shares a superior intellect and love of Sartre, but doesn't pursue a relationship with her, feeling she is "above his touch."
  • Monsieur Carré (Bertrand Poncet), the head of Dior's atelier and a fussy "artiste" who shares Madame Colbert's snobbery and lack of respect for the pedestrian Mrs. Harris.

A Feel-Good Movie

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris is a story about how kindness, courage, honesty, hard work, a willigness to dream big and a single-minded commitment to achieving your goals can, indeed, make your dreams come true.

It's a modern fairy tale grounded in some historical fact. Director Anthony Fabian takes some liberties with Gallico's story. In an interview for a July 22, 2022 article in Town & Country magazine, Fabian said, "The key to this story is that it is magic realism, so it has to have an equal dose of magic and reality. If you go too far into magic, you won’t believe it; if you go too far into the realism, it wouldn’t have that uplifting fairy tale quality." 

Check Out the Official Movie Trailer

If you are reading this on a mobile device and the video player doesn't display, you can click on this line to watch the MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS Trailer (2022) on YouTube.

Stream, Rent or Buy This Heartwarming and Inspiring Film

There are multiple options for watching this movie, including:

Read or Listen to the First Two Books in Paul Gallico's The Adventures of Mrs. Harris Series

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris and Mrs. Harris Goes to New York Kindle edition.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris & Mrs. Harris Goes to New York Paperback

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris and Mrs. Harris Goes to New York Audible audiobook (Unabridged) — narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Juliet Stevenson.

Makes a Great Gift for Yourself or Someone Else

This wonderful story encourages us to dream big but also keep our priorities straight. I definitely plan to rent or buy the movie so I can watch it again and plan to get the audiobook as well. Both the movie and the book would make a lovely gift for any occasion, as well as a great stocking stuffer.


Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris: A Wonderful, Delightful, Inspiring Movie — Reviewed by Margaret Schindel


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