Sunday, April 30, 2023

Indoor Plant Grow Light - Bought it, Use it, Love it

If you're looking for a grow light for your indoor plants, check out this indoor plant grow light that I'm using and love.

I recently relocated one of my plants from near a window to a dark corner, and knowing it would suffer from lack of light, I invested in this plant grow light, and I swear I heard my plant thanking me! Here's a photo of it:

Indoor Plant Grow Light
Indoor Plant Grow Light - Available on Amazon

Here are Some Benefits of an Indoor Plant Grow Light:

  • Energy Efficiency: The grow light uses LEDs. It is designed to be energy-efficient.
  • Adjustable Height: It has a 31-inch telescope grow rod, so you can adjust it to the height of most medium-height house plants.
  • Full Spectrum: The grow light offers a full spectrum of light wavelengths, providing the highly-uniform light that plants need to grow. 
  • Self-Dimmable Control: The grow light can automatically simulate the intensity of natural sunshine, making it an excellent option for plants that need varying light levels. You can also adjust the light manually if you prefer.
  • Full Range Timer:  The remote control lets you set the auto stop and start times automatically between two and twenty-four hours.
  • Nice Lighting Ambiance: When the grow light comes on automatically in the dark corner, it provides lovely lighting decor.
Easy to Use: 

The grow light is easy to use and doesn't require any tools to set up:
  • Plug the connecter into the top of the lamp
  • Then plug it into an electrical outlet
  • Adjust the rod extension bar to the height you need for your plant
  • Put the rod directly into your plant 

I took a guess about the light my plant needed, comparing it to its previous location, which was by a window. I chose the option "Real Sunshine" on the remote, and 4 hours.

The steps to use the remote are easy:

  1. Press "On" for the automatic timer settings ("M" is for manual settings, I don't use that one)
  2. I selected "S" for Real Sunshine
  3. I selected 4H for four hours of light
  4. Note: The real sunshine option slowly brings the light on, like the rising sun on a plant outside
Here's a photo of the remote:

I'm not a gardening guru by any stretch of the imagination, but my plant is even happier with the grow light than it was by the window. It's perkier, and I'm hoping the dark unhappy edges on a few leaves cease to occur. 

However, I've recently read that those dry burnt-looking edges on the leaf tips may be from inconsistent watering and letting my plant dry out too long in between waterings - yep, I am guilty of that sometimes. I prefer to under-water, but in this plant's case, I may be under-watering too much. 

This plant should do much better with this grow light and a better watering schedule.

Five stars for this grow light.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Goodbye Again by Mariah Stewart – Book Review

Goodbye Again is Book Two in the Wyndham Beach contemporary romance series.

An image of a book shop


Goodbye Again Book Cover
In Book 1 (An Invincible Summer reviewed here on ReviewThisReviews!) we met Maggie Lloyd as she moved back to the small town community of Wyndham Beach, Massachusetts. Her best friends since high school, Emma Harper and Lydia (Libby) Bryant helped her adjust to all the changes her widowhood and then her reuniting with her first love from high school, have brought.

In Goodbye Again, it is time to learn more about Libby Bryant, whose husband left her after the suicide of their daughter. 

Libby desperately needs to move on and make some positive changes in her life.  When she discovers that the long-standing bookstore in town has closed due to the elderly owner's Alzheimer condition and is for sale, Libby decides to buy the neglected bookstore and bring both herself and the shop back on track.

With a little help from her friends, she is well on her way with new paint and new ideas for the new and improved bookshop. One friend Libby has known forever, local contractor Tuck Shelby, begins to make himself indispensable. Not just in the rehab of Libby's shop, but in her life. Tuck now wants to be more than just a 'friend'. But then her ex-husband, Jim, returns with a long overdue apology, hoping for forgiveness and a chance to start over.


The book shop has rejuvenated Libby, along with the attention of two charming men.

When the shocking truth of her daughter's unexplained suicide comes out, Libby suddenly has a life-changing choice to make.

Moving on doesn't mean leaving everything behind.

Related Links:

+Note: The third book in the Wyndham Beach Series, All That We Are will be reviewed soon. This book features the third friend of the three women the series is about ~ Emma Dean

For more book reviews, check out

*Goodbye Again Book Review is written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Friday, April 28, 2023

Mini Cheesecakes Recipe and Mini Cheesecake Pan Review

Mini Cheesecakes Recipe and Mini Cheesecake Pan

I have always preferred making cupcakes because they offer a way to have individual serving sized cakes without requiring utensils and plates.  When I came across the Norpro Mini Cheesecake pan, I had to have it!  

My family loves cheesecake and I thought it would be awesome to have individual serving sized cheesecakes.  They have been quite a hit!  I've made them several times since receiving the pan.  Having the mini cheesecakes has allowed everyone to serve themselves whenever they wanted a snack or dessert.  The pan makes 12 mini cheesecakes, which is the perfect number for my acrylic cake plate that fits in my refrigerator. 

There is a cheesecake recipe on the side of the Norpro Mini Cheesecake pan, but I preferred to use my own easy cheesecake recipe since that is the cheesecake my family loves.  I also lightly butter the individual cups in the pan to make the mini cheesecakes lift out easily.  Since it is a nonstick pan, they might push out without the butter, but I haven't been willing to test that theory.  Also, I do hand-wash my mini cheesecake pan. I want it to last for many years.

Mini Cheesecake Recipe by Sylvestermouse

Prep Time Cook Time Cool Time Total Prep Time Fridge Set Ready In Yields
15 min. 15 min. 45 min. 1 hrs. 15 min. Time 4 hrs. 5 hrs. 12 servings


For the crust: 

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (8 graham cracker sheets) 
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • 5 tbsp butter melted 

For the cheesecakes: 

  • 16 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature 
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 egg 


mini cheesecake recipe

  1. Set out the cream cheese and butter to soften at room temperature for at least an hour before you start
  2. Wrap the mini cheesecake pan (or muffin pan) with aluminum foil in preparation of water bath baking.  (I wrap each cup separately and then wrap the bottom & sides of the pan with a single sheet of aluminum foil
  3. Lightly grease each mini cheesecake cup with softened butter
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. (Convection Oven 325°F) 
  5. Combine the crust ingredients until well combined
  6. Using the crust tapper tool, press the crust firmly into the mini cheesecake pan cups (about 1½ tablespoon each)      
  7. In a large bowl with spout, beat together softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth
  8. Add egg, beating until just until incorporated (do not overbeat)
  9. Pour mixture evenly over crusts in the mini cups
  10. Place mini cheesecake pan in larger pan for water bath (Pour enough HOT water in the pan to reach half way up the pan.) It is easier to set it on the shelf in the oven and then add the water. Pan is really heavy when filled with water 
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 17 minutes in waterbath. Do not over-bake – middle of cheesecakes should be set
  12. Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and allow the mini cheesecakes to cool in the oven for 45 minutes. 
  13. Remove from oven 
  14. Remove from mini cheesecake pan and cool completely in the fridge at least 3 hours   
Serve topped with cherry pie filling or other toppings if desired. 


mini cheesecake recipe

 Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan, 13Check Price


*An alternative to the Norpro Mini Cheesecake pan would be using cupcake liners in a cupcake or muffin pan.  The mini cheesecake pan eliminates the need for liners.

I store all of the removable discs in a plastic sandwich bag inside one of the cheesecake cups.


Related Articles 

 Norpro Mini Cheesecake PanCheck Price Fox Run Tart Tamper, WoodCheck Price Wilton Sheet Cake PanCheck Price Philadelphia Cream Cheese CookbookCheck Price




Check Out More Recipe Reviews at

Mini Cheesecakes Recipe and Mini Cheesecake Pan Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

© 2023 Cynthia Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Book Review - A Girl Called Samson


historical female soldier
A Girl Named Samson (photo created in AI)

I love reading historical fiction, and although I have read lots of books from the World War II era, I had not read any from the American Revolutionary War period.  The title on this book is what first intrigued me to download this book.  What an amazing story!  It kept me interested from page 1 and now I feel I know a lot more from that period of history.

The Story

Deborah Samson was born in 1760 in Massachusetts.  When she was quite young her father abandoned her family, and her mother was unable to provide for Deborah and her siblings.  Deborah ended up being bound out to be an indentured servant at age 5.  She stayed with various people in her early years, but when she was 10, she was indentured to a young farmers family that had 10 boys.  It was Deborah's duties to help look after the boys.

The family was very kind to Deborah and from them she was able to learn a lot.  Although she didn't go to school herself, she had a thirst for knowledge and was able to learn from the boys as they were growing up.  She had a friend and mentor in the Reverend Conant and when she was 15, he gave her a journal for her birthday.  In this journal she would discover her longings through her writings.  The Reverend also put her in touch with his niece Elizabeth, who became Deborah's pen pal. Elizabeth was older and married and provided Deborah with advice and someone to share her ideas.

When the American Colonies were gearing up for war, each of the 10 boys in turn ended up enlisting in the Continental Army.  Deborah yearned for a life of freedom and equal rights for women.  She had learned much from the boys and could shoot a rifle with the best of them.  

When Deborah turned 18, she was free from her bounds and could go out on her own.  The family welcomed her to stay on with them, but Deborah wanted adventure.  She ended up dressing up as a young man and enlisting in the Continental Army.

The story now gets really interesting as Deborah works hard to maintain the secret of who she really is.  Eventually she falls in love in a surprising twist to the story.  

My Recommendation

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in historical fiction.  This story is loosely based on a young woman from history named Deborah Samson.  It is a great testament to the power of a young woman daring to chart her own way despite the circumstances.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Elevated Garden Beds - Great for Senior Gardeners!

elevated garden beds to make gardening easier on knees and back


I've always been fond of gardening.  Even in my younger years when I lived in apartments, I would always have plants on my balcony.  Most of the time, I grew flowers, but over the years, I began also growing a few vegetables like lettuce and peppers.  Lettuce is really pretty and because you can snip off a leaf at a time, it stays pretty for quite a while as long as the weather is not too hot.

When I bought my first house, I happily saw that it had a lot of flower beds in the front and in the back.  I grew some very beautiful flowers, but as time passed I realized I was missing an opportunity to grow healthy vegetables to eat but also to save the money it would take to buy what I could easily grow myself.  I dug up all my annuals and  planted a blueberry bush, peppers and onions.  I got rid of the bushes down my driveway, and planted cucumbers. It took a few years and hard lessons, but overall, I was very pleased with the results. 

green peppers

As the years passed, I found it more and more difficult to bend or kneel in the dirt to plant and weed and harvest.  My knees were not what they once were.  It all came to a head when I had to have knee surgery,  After that, getting on my knees for anything, let alone gardening, was out of the question.  I was devastated.  I did nothing in the garden that summer, and by August it was a weeded mess.  I didn't even want to go out on the deck.  

I missed gardening very much, so I began to wonder if I could do raised garden beds.  They were up off the ground, but usually only about a foot.  I might be able to make due with this!  I decided to have a look on Amazon and see how expensive they were.  While scrolling through  The raised garden beds, I saw a garden bed that was up on legs!  The top of the dirt was at waist level and could be planted and weeded comfortably while standing up!  

EUREKA !!!!!

This was the solution I had been looking for.  After spending some time looking at the different styles and prices, I decided on this one:

elevated wood planter box

Elevated Wood Planter Box

This was about 5 years ago.  At that time, they were $99 each.  After checking today, I see that they are still the same price.  Not bad!  Unfortunately, they do not arrive at your house ready to go.  My husband and I had to put them together and stain them.  It was a lot of work, but it was very much worth it.  The only thing we added to the boxes was some metal strapping to reinforce the corners. 

metal strapping

Metal Strapping

Below is a picture of one of our boxes four years after we bought it.  Still looking pretty good!

stained elevated wood planter boxes for gardening

These garden beds have been a lifesaver for me.  I can grow my own vegetables without hurting my back or my knees.  Weeding is a breeze, and it is so much easier to examine your plants to look for problems like insect damage.  It just makes gardening so much easier, I wish I had known about them years ago!  We add a couple every year so we can grow more kinds of vegetables.  We are up to eight!  I highly recommend trying these garden beds if you dislike or are unable to garden in the ground  They are great for growing vegetables, herbs or flowers!

Our Garden

a beautiful garden area created with elevated garden beds

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Monday, April 24, 2023

Ziploc Variety Pac Review

 Does your storage bag drawer need SOS? Drowning in quart size bags, but you need pint or sandwich size bags! May all of our kitchen issues be so easy to solve! Ziploc Variety Pac and Amazon Brand to the rescue to replenish your kitchen storage bags with ease and convenience.

ziploc variety pac

This year is the first time I have come across (and it has certainly been a kitchen want for quite awhile!) plastic storage and freezer bags in a package which includes multiple sizes of bags. Having multiple sizes on hand makes food preparation, storage and freezing so much easier.

What Bags Are Included In The Ziploc Variety Pac?

  • 54 Freezer Quart Size Bags
  • 38 Freezer Gallon Bags
  • 52 Storage Gallon Bags
  • 125 Sandwich Bags

Note: Both Freezer and Storage Gallon Size Bags are included.

Slider Storage Bags Variety

If you prefer the slider storage aka zipper storage bags, Amazon brand offers a few varieties of sizes. 

Variety One offers quite a selection including a few 2 gallon size bags:

  • 50 pint bags
  • 50 quart bags
  • 25 gallon bags
  • 25 2 gallon bags

I have found quite a few non food uses for the two gallon bags. They are indeed quite large, but nice to have a few on hand. 


I have ordered and used both brands. I do find the ziploc brand to be slightly stronger. It is a trade off between a higher priced brand and the online store brand. The use determines my need; I do prefer a very sturdy and strong bag if using to freeze foods.

I have tried the brands at the local dollar store and those bags  I have found over priced (over a dollar for a very small box) for a very low quality bag - disappointing because I usually love the dollar store, but as with all stores and brands there are preferences. Stocking a new kitchen is always expensive and the variety pac serves the purpose quickly and conveniently.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Understanding the Basics of Color for Home Decor

Understanding the Basics of Color for Home Decor

Understanding the primary colors is essential in color theory, as they form the basis for all other colors. The three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue, while the three secondary colors are orange, green, and violet. In addition, there are six tertiary colors, which are formed by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. These include red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet, and red-violet.

Each color has its own unique meaning, symbolism, and psychological effects. Here's a breakdown of the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, along with their various meanings and common usage:

Primary Colors:

  • Red: This color is associated with passion, energy, and warmth. It can evoke feelings of love, anger, and excitement. Red is often used in dining rooms, kitchens, and living rooms to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
  • Yellow: This color is often associated with happiness, optimism, and creativity. It can also symbolize caution or warning. Yellow is popular in kitchens, nurseries, and offices, as it is believed to stimulate the mind and improve concentration.
  • Blue: This color is often associated with calmness, tranquility, and stability. It can also represent sadness or depression. Blue is commonly used in bedrooms, bathrooms, and offices to promote relaxation and peacefulness.

Secondary Colors:

  • Orange: This color combines the energy and passion of red with the warmth and happiness of yellow. It can evoke feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and warmth. Orange is often used in children's rooms, playrooms, and exercise rooms to create a fun and energetic environment.
  • Green: This color is associated with nature, growth, and balance. It can evoke feelings of calmness, freshness, and harmony. Green is commonly used in bedrooms, bathrooms, and living rooms to promote relaxation and a sense of balance.
  • Violet: This color is often associated with luxury, creativity, and spirituality. It can evoke feelings of mystery, elegance, and sophistication. Violet is often used in bedrooms, living rooms, and meditation rooms to promote a sense of peace and tranquility.

Tertiary Colors:

  • Red-Orange: This color combines red's energy and passion with orange's warmth and excitement. It can evoke feelings of fun, energy, and excitement.
  • Yellow-Orange: This color combines yellow's happiness and warmth with orange's excitement and enthusiasm. It can evoke feelings of joy, warmth, and positivity.
  • Yellow-Green: This color combines the freshness and balance of green with the happiness and optimism of yellow. It can evoke feelings of growth, harmony, and creativity.
  • Blue-Green: This color combines the calmness and stability of blue with the freshness and balance of green. It can evoke feelings of peace, relaxation, and tranquility.
  • Blue-Violet: This color combines the tranquility and stability of blue with the creativity and luxury of violet. It can evoke feelings of mystery, elegance, and sophistication.
  • Red-Violet: This color combines red's energy and passion with violet's creativity and luxury. It can evoke feelings of excitement, luxury, and sophistication.

In conclusion, understanding the meanings and effects of different colors is essential in creating the desired atmosphere in any space. By using primary, secondary, and tertiary colors in the appropriate ways, you can create a cohesive and harmonious environment that promotes the desired emotions and feelings.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Saturday, April 22, 2023

National Girl Scout Leaders Day – Holiday Review

 On April 22nd each year, we recognize the thousands of leaders who volunteer their time and experiences to girls in scouting. These leaders have been impacting the lives of girls since Girl Scouting began in 1912.

Girl Scout Emblem

When Did Girl Scout Leader's Day Begin?

In 1982, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. Proclaimed April 22nd as Girl Scouts Leader's Day to recognize the volunteers who serve as such marvelous role models to Girl Scouts each year.  The organization selected the date of April 22 because it falls near National Volunteer Week each year. 

Eighteen girls were in the very first Girl Scout troop, led by the founder of the Girls Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low.  Her home in Savannah, Georgia is now a National historic landmark.

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace History Museum in Savannah, Georgia
Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
History Museum in Savannah, Georgia
Image Source: Wikipedia

Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace

This National Historic Landmark in Savannah, Georgia, also known as the Wayne-Gordon House, is today owned by the Girls Scouts of the USA.  It was Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace and home to four generations of Gordons. The Girl Scouts purchased the home in 1953 and restored it to serve as a portal to the Girl Scouts movement. 

In 1956, the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace was opened as an historic house museum, featuring many original Gordon family furnishings, including art by Juliette herself.  It was designated as Savannah's first National Historic Landmark in 1965 and is open for general tours.  

*I have toured this home twice myself during my years living in the Savannah area and it is lovely place to visit. 

Special Dates Related to Girl Scouts

  • Juliette Gordon Low's birthday on October 31st is known as Founders Day for the Girl Scouts of the USA. 
  • National Girl Scout Day is March 12.
  • National Girl Scout Week is March 12-18
  • Girl Scout Leader's Day is April 22.


So, on April 22, give a special thanks to the leader of the Girl Scout troop a girl in your family belongs to.  These volunteers all deserve our heartfelt thanks and recognition. 

Girl Scouts Faces Logo on a Magnet
Girl Scouts Faces Logo Magnet - Amazon

For more Holiday Reviews, check out

ReviewThisReviews: Holidays

*Holiday Review written by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Friday, April 21, 2023

Rubbermaid Folding 1-Step Steel Step Stool Reviewed

1 step steel step stool in the kitchen
One Step Step Stool
I recently purchased a Rubbermaid 1-step step stool because I need that extra 10 inches of height to easily reach the upper cabinets and shelves in my kitchen.  I especially need the extra height to access the cabinet over my oven where I store my baking pans.  It seems I need that extra step up somewhere in my kitchen on a daily basis.   

I have several step stools that range from two steps to four steps stored in various places throughout my home.  The more steps they have, the heavier they are to move.  While I love my 4-step foldable step stool, it really is too heavy for me to constantly be moving around or using on a daily basis.  While the 4-step ladder is still necessary to reach the top shelves of the cabinets, I rarely need the items I have stored on those shelves. Frankly, I am surprised I haven't previously bought the much lighter weight 1-step step stool. 

Because the Rubbermaid 1-step step stool is so thin (2") when folded for storage, I can slip it between the end of my counter and my refrigerator.  That keeps it close at hand when needed.

Features of the Rubbermaid 1-Step Steel Step Stool

 Rubbermaid RMS-1 1-Step Steel Step Stool, 225-pound Capacity, WhiteCheck Price

I recommend this specific step stool for several reasons.  It has a lock to keep the from folding up when I am standing on the stool.  Plus, I really like the rubber grip on the top and the rubber feet that keep it from sliding.

  • Lightweight - 7.5 lbs
  • Slim Profile - Folds up thin - 2 inches
  • Holds up to 225 lbs 
  • Steel Frame
  • Tread Insert on Step to prevent slipping
  • Soft Comfort Grip
  • Step Locks in Place - Easy Press Button Release 
  • Non-slip, Non-marring Feet

Read More Product Reviews On


House of Sylvestermouse

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Thursday, April 20, 2023

KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper


KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
My KitchenAid 3.5 Cup food chopper review. There are so many tools for the kitchen, one of my favorites is my KitchenAid food chopper. 

We had a smaller food chopper for years, and it worked just fine. For cooking and baking, I wanted something larger.  After doing some research and reading reviews, I decided on this KitchenAid 3.5-cup chopper.

Food choppers are great and will save you time over using a knife to cut larger amounts of ingredients for a recipe.

 This is where I particularly find it handy when a recipe calls for ingredients to be chopped, diced, or minced. It saves me time. To be honest with you, I'm not that good with a knife.

I'm okay using a knife when a recipe calls for small amounts to be diced or chopped. Such as a couple cloves of diced garlic or a couple of chopped carrots.

When a recipe calls for larger amounts of diced or chopped ingredients for soups, stews, or other dishes it's time for me to use the chopper. 

Salsa recipe
Chopped Cilantro, onion, garlic, and jalapeno for salsa

I recently made some homemade salsa. I needed to chop large amounts of ingredients for the recipe. My KitchenAid food chopper made short work of this task. You can find my homemade salsa recipe here: Homemade Restaurant Style Salsa.

Features of the KitchenAid Food Chopper:

  • Chop, mix, and puree
  • Two speeds with a pulse button
  • One touch operation
  • Stainless Steel Blade
  • 3.5 cup bowl with a pour spout, Handle, and locking blade
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to clean
Since this is a 3.5-cup food chopper it is best to cut larger size onions, carrots, and other larger vegetables into quarters before chopping.

KitchenAid is a trusted name brand. We have several KitchenAid products in our kitchen. We are very happy with the performance of all of them. 

KitchenAid Queen of Hearts Food Chopper KFC3516QHSD, 3.5 Cup, Passion RedKitchenAid Queen of Hearts Food Chopper KFC3516QHSD, 3.5 Cup, Passion RedCheck Price


For more Product Reviews on ReviewThis 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

To Dream of Shadows ~Steve N. Lee ~ A Book Review

To Dream of Shadows is a book that I could not put down.  While I love many different types of novels, I find that I have been drawn to those that take place before/during and after the Second World War.

man in tunnel

barbed wire


I know there is a fascination with all that went on during that time and I'm sure that having had family in the European world during that horrific time, makes those novels seem to come alive for me.

It was a horrible time in our history for sure.  Given what we know now about the atrocities that took place during that time, but, we also hear of immense heroic acts as well.

concentration camp

Even though the German army was the perpetrators of many of these terrible deeds, there were those who used their rank to undermine the intentions of the Nazi party!  Just think of Schindler's List as one of those!

enclosed by barbed wire

To Dream of Shadows falls into that category of book.  While the Nazi's were the POWER , many of the people who found themselves in positions within the Reich,  really thought that the intention of the labor camps was to make the workforce (they were not humans) productive for the needs of the Reich.  To be sure,  these individuals were totally deluded in their thinking.  The Reich did not care about productivity of their workforce (Jews were replaceable), as much as it cared about showing the Jews who was in power and yielding that power without consideration for anything humane or decent.  The Germans did not think that the Jews were human, they were less than the family dog!  They were there to be dominated, made to feel less than dirt! Their main use was being worked death or on really bad days, being used for the entertainment of the officers!  They would find all kinds of ways to make a Jew suffer for their very sordid amusement. When morality gives way to power, all manner of abuse is possible and some of these officers devised ways that were so horrific that even today we get the chills at the thought of what was happening in those prison camps.

Even in these terrible circumstances, the light of hope is never extinguished.  There will always be hope and that is what author Steve N. Lee uses to drive this story.  Hope in the midst of every possible horror and dehumanizing situation, can keep the strong willed alive!  

From the time of her incarceration at 18, Inge has been relocated away from her family to a hellhole of a war prison.  Not knowing what has happened to the rest of her family, Inge undergoes all manner of deprivation.  Starving and being worked almost to death, she finds her inner strength with the hopes of liberation. But can there be hope right here in the midst of this prison?

Heinz, aka as Rudi,  one of her captors and an SS Sergeant, has been fed the lies about the Jews since childhood.  He never questions what is happening right before his eyes until he falls in love with one of the prisoners and begins to see that they are just as human as he is.  

He becomes a bright light in a very dark place, trying to make things better for all those captives.  But his intentions do not go unnoticed by others in the rank and file, at the prison.  Turning in one of their own (who is helping the enemy) would mean extra honors for them.  Heinz needs to watch his back as his subordinates are getting concerned about his treatment of their "subjects/prisoners".

Can he get out of this squalid place with the prisoner that he adores? He and Inge can be put to death in a heartbeat if their relationship becomes public. It is a forbidden love and the consequences of this union could result in death for both of them.  

What can be done?  You will have to read this book and see what happens.  Just be ready to hold your breath in anticipation.

Steve N. Lee has done a masterful job in retelling this story and I know if you are anything like me, you will have a hard time putting this book down.  Suffice it to say this could make a great movie along the lines of Schindler's List and maybe open your eyes to what the human spirit is capable of when love is the driving force.

***All pictures used in this blog post come from Pixabay, thank you!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Reviewing Window And Door Alarms For Affordable Home Security

Window Alarm

We have been looking for how to increase our home security recently. While not in a high crime area, it only seems sensible to do what we can to protect our home and ourselves just in case. 

We can't afford to put in a complete home security system that links to the Police at present and do not want to invest in anything too expensive as we will likely be moving house in the next couple of years, so we are considering and installing more affordable alternatives. 

Window Alarms For Home Security

Our friend recently went to a talk by security and the police to gain ideas and discussed them with us. One of the main things the Police suggested was to make sure windows have window locks and to always keep doors and windows locked while not in the house. 

When in the house it is also best to keep all external doors locked. At night make sure that all windows on lower levels are shut and locked.

Doors need to be secure and fit well with any glass being safety-reinforced or toughened glass.

One of the other recommendations was to fix door and window alarms.

The idea of window alarms is that most burglars want to do the crime as quietly as possible while not alerting anyone to their actions. The Police said it is surprising how quietly thieves can access a window that is not alarmed.

Of course, a professional or very determined burglar wanting a priceless painting or specific expensive jewelry will never be deterred. However, we and most people don't have those things and here we are talking about the opportunist thieves who carry out most household burglaries, casual or amateur burglars looking for easy gain.

Open Window With Alarm

If we fit these alarms it is essential that we notify trusted neighbours so that they recognise the sound and can look out to see if there is anyone around -while keeping themselves safe of course- and then call the Police if they see anyone lurking around or any signs of attempted entry. 

All too often house alarms sound and everyone ignores them thinking they are going off by mistake so this step with neighbours is essential. Of course, we reciprocate with them and keep a watch on their homes. 

In addition, the good aspect of window alarms is that when we are at home at night and one of the alarms goes off because of a thief or attacker entering, there will be time to lock ourselves in a room and call for assistance. The noise may even deter the burglar from bothering.    

However, the Police said that most crimes take place during the day when they think you are out. I am not sure why but I always assumed crime would take place at night but apparently, with burglaries that is not generally the case. 

It is of course essential that we also have window locks on all windows and ideally double glazed with toughened safety glass on at least the most vulnerable windows. An active neighbourhood community watch on each others homes is of course a real bonus.

window alarm

 Fitting A Window Or Door Alarm

The window alarms we bought are very discreet and simple to set up and use. They are relatively small but do sound a very loud alarm. 

All you need to do is fix the adhesive strips to the two main parts of the alarm. Then position lightly, one on the fixed window frame and one on the mobile window. 

Do make sure the little arrows if they have them point to each other. You do have to make sure that the two parts of the alarm are within a specified distance of each other otherwise it will not work.

Once they are in place lightly fixed, you can test them simply by switching to alarm and then opening the window or door. Then if working well you can firmly press on the alarm parts to fix it securely. 

They are fitted to the inside of the window itself and the frame of the internal window. They are very secure and ours have never just dropped off. As they fit so firmly you would need to take them off carefully but that would be possible if required. 

There is no wiring required, no drilling or screws and no damage to the windows or the frame. If you wanted to you could take them off when you move house so ideal if you are renting a house or likely to move soon. This was a big plus for us. 

There are three settings on ours off, alarm and bleep. When the seal between them is broken for example by an attempt to prise open the window, or force exerted against the door, the alarm or bleep sounds. 


As they do fit so discreetly and on the inside of the windows you cannot see them from outside, so if they are to act as a deterrent it is also worthwhile buying a few stickers that alert people to the fact that you have window or door alarms fitted. Some alarms come with stickers, while others do not.

Reasons For Fitting A Window Or Door Alarm

  • Our main reason for getting them is as a deterrent and an alert, so ours are all set to alarm when the windows are closed.
  • Some people have said that the quieter but distinctive bleep setting is invaluable for use on doors when they have small children or elderly, vulnerable relatives who might leave a door open or wander out the door when they should not. The noise alerts them to a door being opened. 
  • They can be useful for small businesses when you just want an inexpensive easy to fix way to alert you to a customer entering your premises for business. Clearly then you would look for an alarm with a bleep setting. A full loud alarm setting is useful for when you are leaving and locking the premises. 
  • People may find them useful to fix up when traveling and staying over in motels for added peace of mind in a new or strange place. Perhaps fit them lightly in these circumstances as you are removing them very soon. Check with owner to make sure it is Ok to fix them. 
  • They could be useful for students going away to University and living in halls or a flat. Check with the University first. 
  • People are also using them when traveling in their RVs or Caravans for a security measure. 

window alarm

Testing The Alarm

The alarm noise setting ought to be very loud and when testing the alarm as you will be very close. It is wise to either put it on the lowest noise setting if it has one, or cover the alarm part with a cloth to dampen down the noise or wear ear defenders.

Certainly do not stay near the alarm while it is going off for any length of time, as over time hearing can be damaged. 

It is important to test the alarms every so often, maybe once a month. If it has batteries they will need replacing after a while. The length of battery time you get from the battery may depend on if the alarms have been sounded often or not.  



At first, we were concerned that they would be too sensitive and that we would get lots of annoying false alarms but that has not been the case with ours. The window cleaner also did not set them off when he cleaned the windows. 

So it appears that with ours there has to be some force exerted to initiate the alarms. This is good for us as we have neighbours living close to us and we did not want to be annoying them or have lots of false alarms. A more rural or isolated location may not have these concerns. Some are very sensitive indeed and may or may not suit your needs. 

Features Of Window Alarms To Consider 

There are various window alarms with slightly different features. It depends on what is important to you personally and why you are using the alarms. 

Here are some features to consider whether or not they are important to you when choosing a window/door alarm. 

  • Does it have a high/low sensitivity feature and is that important to you?
  • What are the alarm sound or sounds options such as a high pitched alarm sound or bleep noise.
  • The length of time the alarm sounds may be important to you whether it is continuous until stopped, lasts only 60 seconds or repeats.
  • Do you need to switch it off manually or does it have a remote control? 
  • Does it include warning stickers or do you will need or want to buy these separately?  
  • We went for the system where the alarm has two parts you fix to the window and the frame but there are also alarms that are just one part that stick to the window pane itself, which is another option. 
  • Do check how easy or difficult they are to remove once in position, especially those you stick to the window pane glass itself and if you know you will need to remove it for moving or because you are renting. 
  • Some like the one below have a blinking light feature to alert would be burglars to its presence. 


My experience is with very simple affordable manual window/door alarms, but you can also buy ones that link to wifi, phone app alerts and many other features that you may be interested in considering. 

What it has given us is a little extra peace of mind. It is not and should not be the only home security measure we utilise, but it does give another layer of protection and security.

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