Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Keeping Things Belted Up is Easy ~ A Product Review

There is one thing I really dislike and that is a belt that looks like it has seen better days,.  Belts are a necessity for many men, but they seem to get ratty looking before too long and that drives me to distraction.  

Well with Father's Day coming up just around the corner, I thought I would share a great new belt that my husband loves and it looks so good all the time.

This belt has a buckle, but the extra part of the belt that  goes through the loops, doesn't have anyholes in it.  It is a nice flat piece of leather. What holds it together is the ratchet like buckle.

Let me show you a picture to make you understand this better.

Normally a belt is a long piece of leather that may be tooled or smooth depending on the look you are trying to achieve.  There is a buckle with a tongue that goes into a hole on the other side and the belt is tightened to fit comfortably around the waist.





This new  "Ratchet" belt that we found has a buckle, but no tongue.  The extra portion of belt goes through the buckle and sits like a regular belt around the waist.  There are no holes in the belt.  There is no tongue on the buckle.  So the wear and tear on the belt is minimal.

It also allows you to tighten the belt in smaller increments than the 1 or 1.5 inches between the holes in a regular belt.

It looks neat and tidy all the time.  If you go out for dinner and eat just a little too much a quick flick of the wrist will loosen the ratchet belt enough so that you are comfortable at all times.  I am impressed with this fashion find for my main squeeze and he really likes it too.  Not only is it a great look, but it also comes in so many colors that one may just not be enough.  At this price point having more than one is easy.

Talk about a win -win situation.  It's affordable, neat, tidy and really looks good.  Holding up the pants with ease and style is a great thing. 

If you need another suggestion for a Father's Day gift, this just might be it!  I would say that every man should have at least one Ratchet Belt in his wardrobe.  





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, June 11, 2024

Play-Doh's Rex the Chomper Dinosaur Playset

Discover Play-Doh's Dinosaur Set: Rex the Chomper, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

For all the little boys and girls (and maybe even the big ones) who are enamored with dinosaurs, Play-Doh created this T-rex or Tyrannosaurus dinosaur-themed set called Rex the Chomper. What follows is a brief review of the set.

Released in 2017, it is now retired and no longer readily available at retail outlets. However, it is available new and used on eBay but be aware that there are two versions: a regular-sized one and a mini-sized one. Recommended for children aged 3 and up, I think the bigger Rex is more fun for small hands. 

The regular-sized set shown here includes a Rex that is 6 inches tall and 8 1/2 inches long, three small tubs of the modelling compound, a plastic knife, a small volcano and a cookie cutter in the shape of a dinosaur foot print. 

Options for play including growing Rex’s tongue and scales, using the tail to make him chomp, crafting lava from the volcano, making footprints with the cutter and creating frogs, fossils and foliage with the molds.

I can see your little person creating a world for Rex and then using his imagination to create a story!

Find the Rex the Chomper Play-Doh set here on eBay.

See you at the toy store!

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda



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, June 10, 2024

Review: Jean Haines Atmospheric Watercolor Books

I was introduced to watercolorist Jean Haines in a watercolor class at the local art institute. I immediately felt a kindred spirit with her style, but with the difference of a beginning student hoping to one day be able to create original works inspired by her style - certainly not as a peer.

The entire beginner class loved her style and it was very helpful to have an established artist/teacher dissect how Jean Haines' paints in the realm of our learning different styles and techniques.


I was inspired enough to purchase a few of her books with the acknowledgement this was a style I would hope to be able to incorporate, but still much learning and experience was needed.

Style

I would classify her style as loose and expressive. The paintings in the Atmospheric Animals and Flowers books are definitley expressionist type paintings as well as beautiful. Her style is not painting or example a cardinal as one sees a cardinal in real time; she adds her own expressive twist.

Daniel Smith Watercolor paint and Haines have partnered with a master paint set with colors she prefers. The paint set is not required as paint manufacturers and brushes are so individual to each person. 

Step by step Instructions

The books contain step by step instructions which is so incredibly helpful for the beginner and advanced beginner painter. Beginner students will immediately notice she does not draw images on the paper as a guide first. Second beginner students will notice (and may not be familiar with the technique of wet on wet) which is wet paper first then paint directly on the paper with paint. No mixing the paint in a palette and then applying to paper.

Haines on Youtube

Jean Haines has quite a few videos on youtube, but (and smartly so!) provides snippets of upcoming lessons or ideas as she has a monthly subscription service to access the entire content. The snippets are a good whet you appetitite of what can be accessed for a price.

Jean Haines' website does provide the details of her work, workshops and online learning opportunity. The Haines books and online learning could be a great gift for the watercolorist in your circle!

A few Of Jean Haines' Books

Atmospheric Watercolours

Atmospheric Flowers

Atmospheric Animals

Colour & Light In Watercolour

World of Watercolour

Paint Yourself Calm





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, June 9, 2024

Secret: Dare to Dream - The Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

Secret: Dare to Dream Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

The "Secret: Dare to Dream," directed by Andy Tennant, is a 2020 American drama film that beautifully weaves themes of hope, healing, and the power of positive thinking. 

Featuring a stellar cast including Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie is an adaptation of Rhonda Byrne's best-selling self-help book, "The Secret." 

I'm a huge Josh Lucas fan, so I have to admit, he was the main reason I decided to watch!

Plot Summary of Secret: Dare to Dream

A Struggling Widow and Her Family

The story centers around Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes), a hardworking widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children. Life has not been easy for Miranda since her husband's passing, and she is constantly overwhelmed by financial troubles and the challenges of single parenthood. Despite her struggles, Miranda remains a devoted mother, doing her best to keep her family afloat.

A Mysterious Visitor

Enter Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), a charismatic and enigmatic man who arrives at Miranda's doorstep with a seemingly simple purpose: to deliver an envelope. However, Bray's arrival marks the beginning of a profound transformation for Miranda and her family. Bray is not just an ordinary visitor; he carries with him a philosophy of life that revolves around the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, concepts central to "The Secret."

The Unveiling of Secrets

As Bray spends more time with Miranda and her children, his presence begins to have a remarkable impact on their lives. He helps them fix their storm-damaged house, teaches them to look at life from a different perspective, and instills in them the belief that positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Through his kindness and wisdom, Bray slowly unveils the secrets he holds, leading to a series of unexpected and heartwarming events.

Themes and Messages

The Power of Positive Thinking

"Secret: Dare to Dream" underscores the transformative power of positive thinking. Bray's character embodies this philosophy, showing how maintaining a positive outlook, even in the face of adversity, can change one's circumstances. The film encourages viewers to believe in the power of their thoughts and harness them to bring about positive changes in their lives.

Healing and Hope

At its core, the movie is about healing and finding hope after a loss. Miranda's journey from a state of despair to one of renewed hope and optimism is moving. Her interactions with Bray catalyze her emotional healing, illustrating that even in the darkest times, there is always a possibility for a brighter future.

The Importance of Family and Support

The film also highlights the importance of family and support systems. Miranda's relationship with her children and the bond they share are central to the story. Additionally, the support she receives from Bray and her fiancé Tucker (Jerry O'Connell) plays a crucial role in her journey. The movie portrays how love, support, and understanding from those around us can help us navigate life's toughest challenges.

Conclusion:

"Secret: Dare to Dream" is a touching and inspiring film offering a heartfelt exploration of hope, healing, and positive thinking. With solid performances from Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie brings to life the timeless message of "The Secret." It's a film that resonates with audiences, encouraging them to dare to dream and to believe in the possibility of a better tomorrow. Whether you're a fan of the book or new to its philosophy, this movie will leave you with a renewed sense of optimism and a warm heart.

Watch the Trailer Below:





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, June 8, 2024

The Dog Man Series by Dav Pilkey - Book Review

From the creator of Captain Underpants comes a spin-off series called Dog Man!  The Dog Man Series is a group of graphic novels for children ages 8 to 10 created by writer/illustrator/cartoonist Dav Pilkey. My 10-year-old grandson is a huge fan of these books. 


When Tyler first showed me his Dog Man books, I saw them from an adult standpoint and thought them rather silly – cartoon strips with dopey dialogue and ridiculous situations. Then I saw the joy in my grandson’s demeanor as he described these books to me.  I quickly changed my mind when I realized how much he loved them and how funny he thought they were. For a ten year old boy to enjoy reading books, no matter how silly, is something any adult should encourage. 


A selection of books from the Dog Man Series by Dav Pilkey


The Dog Man Series


The book series centers around Dog Man, a new hero with the body of a police officer and the head of a dog sewed together. They are graphic novel chapter books written and illustrated by Dav Pilkey. There are currently 12 books in the series, with a new one coming out in December 2024. 


Author Dav Pilkey


Dav Pilkey, Author of the Dog Man Series of Books
Source: Wikipedia

The author’s true name is David Murray Pilkey Jr. Early on, Dave worked for Pizza Hut and someone left the ‘e’ off on his name tag. Thus, he adopted this atypical spelling as his pen name ‘Dav’ when he began writing his novels for children. 


Dav was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and was also dyslexic. He was so disruptive in class that his teachers made him sit out in the hallway each day. Well, Dav loved to draw and enjoyed making up stories, so he spent his hallway time creating his own original comic books.  Luckily Dav was not a very good listener when told by his teacher that he couldn’t spend the rest of his life making silly books because the adventures he created later became his bestselling books of Captain Underpants and Dog Man. 


In addition to the Dog Man series and the already popular Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey has published six other series of graphic novels, plus 18 standalone stories. 


Summary


Adults may find these children’s series of graphic novels silly, but children, like my grandson Tyler, love them and Dav Pilkey has proven that a difficult beginning in school can be overcome with a positive attitude and a born talent for drawing and storytelling.

Today he is a bestseller author and illustrator of numerous children's book series, with his Dog Man Grime and Punishment being his #1 best-selling book in the United States and Canada. His Cat Kid Comic Club book is also on the top-25 list.


Check out the Dav Pilkey website here for a list of all his children's book series. 


Book #13 in the Dog Man Series coming December 3, 2024. Preorder below.


In DOG MAN: BIG JIM BEGINS, discover the origin of our beloved characters from the Dog Man series as they join forces to stop the Space Cuties from destroying the city. 


*Book review of the Dog Man series 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, June 7, 2024

Zevo Flying Insect Trap to Catch Flies & Gnats Reviewed

zevo flying insect trap
I always welcome spring with open arms, but I don't always welcome the house flies, gnats and fruit flies that come with it.  I especially do not want to welcome these flying insects into my home.  Unfortunately, they come anyway.  

Last year, I purchased a Zevo Flying Insect Trap.  The design appealed to me because the blue light attracts flying insects, but I don't have to see their little dead bodies constantly on display.  It actually looks like a plugged-in nightlight.  All you see is the white backside of the unit and the reflection of the blue light on the wall.  I  prefer this design in my kitchen, which is the area all of those pesky flying insects frequent most often. 

I recently purchased a second Zevo Flying Insect Trap which I placed at the other end of my kitchen as an invitation to those flying "guests" that zip past the first trap that is plugged in closer to our back door. I may not keep it plugged in all of the time, but simply use it when we are going in and out of the back door often.

Further down in this article, I will share pictures, which are unpleasant to view, but necessary for me to show you the efficacy of the unit. 


The Zevo Flying Insect Trap 

The trap draws flying insects with a blue light.  The insects are then trapped on the sticky removable/replaceable insert.

These traps do require a plug-in outlet to power the blue light.  I used an outlet close to our backdoor that is otherwise rarely used.  I leave the unit plugged-in at all times.

Be sure to check the box you are purchasing.  The "starter kit" comes with one device and one cartridge, but you can select different options that come with more than one cartridge to have refills on hand. 

  • White 
  • Plastic
  • Odorless
  • 7.56"L x 7"W x 9.37"H


Images - All by Sylvestermouse -- Please keep in mind, one of these images is unpleasant to see

Zevo trap
This is the Zevo Trap Plugged In & Showing the blue light

 

zevo flying insect trap




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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, June 6, 2024

Five Inexpensive Father's Day Gifts

 Father's Day is approaching, and you might be wondering how to show your dad some love without breaking the bank. Since you didn't win the lottery to buy your dad a new car, here are five thoughtful budget-friendly gift ideas that will make your dad feel appreciated.

Father's Day Gift Ideas
Five Inexpensive Father's Day Gifts - Reviewed

Personalized Photo Frame

A personalized photo frame can be a heartwarming gift your dad will cherish for years. Consider choosing a special photo of you, your dad, or the entire family, and find a nice frame. You can even decorate the frame to add a personal touch. This gift is inexpensive and sentimental, reminding your dad of precious memories every time he looks at it.

DIY Coupon Book

Create a DIY coupon book filled with coupons for various activities or chores that you will do for your dad. Things like, washing the car, making him breakfast, spending the day doing his favorite activity, and completing that project around the house that he has been putting off. This thoughtful gift allows your dad to redeem the coupons whenever he likes.

Homemade Treats

If your dad has a sweet tooth, like me, or a favorite snack, consider making some homemade treats. Bake a batch of cookies, brownies, or even a special dish that he loves. Package them up in a decorative tin or box. This is a delicious and cost-effective way to show your dad you care.

A Good Book

If your dad enjoys reading, a good book can be a perfect gift. Choose a book from his favorite genre or an author he loves. If you're unsure what book to get, consider a best seller or classic that many people enjoy. You can often find great deals on books at a local bookstore, online retailers, or even second-hand shops.

Handwritten Letter

In today's digital age, a handwritten letter can be a very special and meaningful gift. Take the time to write a heartfelt letter to your dad, expressing your gratitude and love. Share your favorite memories and tell him how much he means to you. This simple gesture will likely be treasured for years to come.

Father's Day doesn't have to be about expensive gifts. It's the thought and effort that counts the most. These inexpensive gift ideas are sure to make your dad feel loved and appreciated without putting a strain on your wallet. Happy Father's Day to all the wonderful dads out there.

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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, June 5, 2024

The Ultimate Compact, Lightweight, Wearable Toolkit With Useful Tools

My husband is a serious tool aficionado. The Christmas and birthday gifts on his wishlist often include specific tools to add to his extensive collection. He is extremely picky about his tools but doesn't like to overpay. So, whether he buys them for himself or asks for them as gifts, he always chooses high-quality tools that are also well-priced, delivering good value.

After considerable research, he designed a small but well-appointed, versatile, lightweight tool kit that he could wear on his belt on weekends, when he typically works on DIY, home, and auto repair projects. This past Christmas, his gifts wishlist included the components he would need to bring that design to life.

In this review, I will share his ingenious compact, lightweight, wearable toolkit configuration, including everything you need to replicate it. With Father's Day coming up, this would make a terrific Father's Day gift!

The Ultimate Compact, Lightweight, Wearable Toolkit

How to Assemble the Ultimate Compact, Lightweight, Wearable Toolkit

Here is everything you need to know to replicate my husband's clever design. Of course, you can customize this wearable toolkit to suit your needs and preferences, using this design to spark your imagination.

What You Will Need

Front of OneTigris phone pouch
The front flap of the OneTigris phone pouch has a strap with a stitched loop and a latch to secure the contents. There is also a wide strip of hook-and-loop (like Velcro) material (the loop side) for attaching items to the front flap.

Interior of OneTigris phone pouch
The body of the pouch features two pockets: a smaller one in front that zips closed (for money or small accessories or, in our case, tools and attachments) and a larger, padded one behind it that holds your mobile phone and is lined with a soft, velvety material to protect against scratches. There are also two elastic side loops, one on either side.

Back of OneTigris phone pouch
The back has a sleeve that slides onto your belt, with two MOLLE straps with loops and snap closures.

Rocktol 29-in-1 Multitool
The Rocktol 29-in-1 Multitool has a wide array of functions. Most notable are the needle nose pliers, replaceable wire cutters, saw, and (most important for John's compact, wearable toolkit configuration) a ¼-inch bit driver. It also comes with a small pouch and collection of double-ended bits that my husband rarely uses, which he stores in this pouch separate from his wearable tool kit.

VIM Tools small Flex Socket Ratchet to T Handle Wrench Set with Socket Extension and Adapter and DEWALT 7-piece bit driver set
The VIM Tools 1/4-inch Small Flex Socket Ratchet to T Handle Wrench Set with Socket Extension and Adapter and the DEWALT 7-Piece Bit Set with 6-in-1 Flip and Switch Driver System are key additions to the Rocktol multitool in this compact wearable toolkit. The 1/4-inch drive ratchet has a locking swivel head and an extension that can fit into either the ratchet or the Rocktol multitool 1/4-inch driver. The DEWALT 1/4-inch bit driver set also can fit into either the ratchet or the multitool 1/4-inch driver, or even into the ratchet extension for extra reach. It comes with four double-ended bits (8 bits total) that fit into two carriers and can also fit directly into the ratchet or the Rocktol multitool 1/4-inch driver.

Stanley PowerLock 3-foot tape measure and EGUKU LED Bright Mini Portable Clip-on or Keychain EDC Flashlight
The Stanley 3-foot x 1/4-inch PowerLock Key Tape Measure is designed to fit on a keychain, although for our purposes it will clip onto the pouch's carabiner. It features a locking mechanism to hold the tape extended when needed. The EGUKU LED + COB Bright Mini Portable Clip-on or Keychain EDC Flashlight is extremely small and compact, but very bright for its size. It has five settings: LED high, LED low, COB high, COB low, and COB strobe. The clip on the back can be attached to a pocket, the neck of a shirt, etc.

Flashlight on wearable tool kit
It's surprising how brightly this very small flashlight can light up a dark area! My husband clips his to one of the side loops so that when he slides the wearable tool kit pouch to the side of his belt, the light faces forward. The spotlight also swivels 180° so you can aim the light at whatever you are working on.


Configuring and Assembling Your Wearable Toolkit

While the pouch is not a perfect fit for all the tools, it works remarkably well. My husband loves his and uses it all the time. On weekends, it is his constant sidekick. Here is how it is put together.

The assembled toolkit

  1. Cut two short lengths of self-adhesive hook-and-loop tape and discard the loop side. Attach one of the hook sides to the yellow main body of the DEWALT extension bit set. Attach the other hook side to the back of the Stanley PowerLock tape measure.
  2. Remove the extension rod from the ratchet set and replace it with the body of the DEWALT bit driver set and one of the bit sets. Slide this assembly into the loop on the phone pouch's flap, making sure the hook tape strip you adhered to the yellow DEWALT bit driver body is secured to the pouch flap's loop tape strip.
  3. Place the Rocktol multitool and replacement saw blades, the remaining DEWALT bit set, and the ratchet extension rod into the zippered front pocket of the pouch. (You won't be able to zip the pocket when filled with these items, but the latched strap will secure them in the pocket.)
  4. Place your phone in the lined larger pocket.
  5. Clip the flashlight to one of the side loops (left or right, depending on which side of your belt you plan to wear the toolkit, so that the light will face forward).
  6. Clip the Stanley tape measure's keychain loop to the pouch's carabiner, then close the front flap, latch the top strap, and attach the hook tape strip on the back of the tape measure to the loop tape strip on the front of the pouch (so it stays out of the way until needed).
Interior view of assembled wearable tool kit
Here's a view inside the assembled wearable toolkit.

Small But Mighty

wearable toolkit

As you can see, this entire wearable toolkit is small and compact. Despite its diminutive size, however, it can handle the majority of routine DIY projects and repairs without having to lug around heavier, full-size tools. Here are just a few of the things my husband uses it for:

  • DIY projects
  • Household repairs
  • Automotive projects and car repairs
  • Bicycle repairs
  • Model railroad projects and repairs
  • Trimming and pruning plants and small branches
  • Miscellaneous uses, such as cutting wires, tightening or loosening screws or nuts and bolts (especially in hard-to-reach or tight spaces), bending and filing wire and lightweight metal, opening shipping boxes and product packaging, task lighting for work areas, lighting dark hallways/passages

A Terrific Gift (and Not Just for Men)

While this compact, lightweight, wearable toolkit makes a great Father's Day gift, it's also a gift that both men and women who use hand tools for DIY projects, repairs, hobbies, etc., would appreciate.

Although it doesn't eliminate the need for full-size tools completely, you might be surprised at how rarely you need to haul them out once you have this well-equipped, compact, wearable tool kit on your belt.


The Ultimate Compact, Lightweight, Wearable Toolkit With Useful Tools by Margaret Schindel


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Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Reviewing The Ellie McEwan Mysteries by Joy Ellis

Book Reviews on Review This Reviews

I love Joy Ellis police series and have read them all. When I heard that two manuscripts had languished in her attic for two decades before being 'rediscovered' I immediately downloaded both titles.

An Aura of Mystery is book one and introduces us to Ellie McEwan in a crime thriller with a supernatural twist. The characters are quirky and well-rounded as all of her characters are - I find it hard to believe this was her first foray into writing. 

Ellie McEwan is a flower shop owner who has an accident while driving home late one night. Days later she wakes up with a new ability, she can see auras. Her friend Carole is well versed in the spiritual side and tries to help her learn to master this new gift, introducing her to an old professor friend of hers who is an expert in these matters. 

While Ellie is coming to terms with what this new gift is going to mean with her getting on with her life, along with her healing from her car accident; the local police force is dealing with a couple of murders.

Inevitably, given it's a Joy Ellis mystery, Ellie realises that her new-found gift could help to catch a killer. The very sceptical DCI Bob Foreman decides to involve Ellie in the investigation and I will leave it at that. You will have to read the book to discover the how, why, what & when! 

The second book - The Colour of Mystery sees Ellie and Michael set up a Healing Centre for specialty care with a variety of 'alternative' healers. While they are busy setting up the new centre and coming to terms with the circumstances they found themselves in at the end of the last book it appears that there is another spate of murders. 

This time respected and well-loved people are acting completely out of character and murdering people. DCI Forman once again asks for Ellie's help as it really seems as though the murderers may be victims themselves. After committing the murder the 'murderers' go into a catatonic state. 

The second book was a lot more obvious, but wanting to know how the characters were going to deal with things kept me thoroughly engaged. These two books will be the only books in this series which is a shame as I found them to be really easy to read and would love to see more. 

These are two perfect books to curl up with one weekend when you don't anticipate any interruptions. Enjoy them with a lovely cup of cocoa and a few nibbles. 

The series that introduced me to Joy Ellis was the Nikki Galena series that I wrote about here - Joy Ellis' Nikki Galena Series. I've read all of Joy Ellis' books as part of my Kindle Unlimited Membership which I can't recommend enough for any fellow bookworms.



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, June 3, 2024

4 Ingredient Beefy Mushroom Roast - EASY Slow Cooker Meal

By the time I have worked an entire day outside of the home, cooking dinner is the last thing on my mind. I am always looking for easy, tasty, and economical meal ideas. This beefy mushroom roast couldn't be easier or more delicious. 

photo of soup, vegetables, beef and an onion


I am a household of one. So it is easy to make large and inexpensive meals. Rice and Pasta dishes are economical and fairly easy to make. If I make a large pot of either of those two meals, I also have an expensive lunch for the next day at work. I like avoiding the expensive (and often calorie-laden) fast food meals that I would resort to if I didn't make these meals for dinner and left-over lunches.

But sometimes I crave a different flavors from the pasta and rice routine. Unfortunately, I require easy meals and that often limits the variety flavors. This is why I was thrilled when I stumbled onto this four (or three if you don't like onions) ingredient recipe that is perfect for a slow cooker.

Beefy Mushroom Roast

One day at the grocery, I just happened to notice the cans of Campbell's Beefy Mushroom soup (condensed). I had been craving a beefy mushroom and rice menu item from a favorite Chinese restaurant in a neighborhood where I previously lived but I don't have access to that now that I'm living in a very rural area. I decided to try this soup with a beef roast to try to take care of the beef and mushroom craving. And I'm so glad I did!

Ingredients:

1 can of Beefy Mushroom soup (10.5 oz)

1 small onion (sliced or chopped)

1 small bag of frozen "soup" vegetables (16 oz)

1 beef roast  (2 - 3 lbs)

Preparation:

  • slice (or chop) the onions and place them in the bottom of the slow-cooker
  • place the beef roast on top of the onions.
  • pour the can of beefy mushroom soup on top of the roast
  • set the slow-cooker on "low" (I use this setting because I'll be at work during the day. You could use a high setting and have the meal in half the time)
  • approximately 30-60 minutes prior to serving, add the bag of frozen vegetables in the slow-cooker. Turn the setting to high and cook until they are heated. Stir.
  • serve
  • Freeze or refrigerate leftovers for additional meals

Leftover Beefy Mushroom Roast

I have discovered that I usually end up with a large amount of leftovers with this meal. I often separate it into single serving (freezer) containers, pop them into the freezer, and I can use them for furture meals whenever the mood hits. 

I have made mashed potatoes the next day and spooned some of the Beefy Mushroom Roast leftover mix onto the mashed potatoes. 

I recently discovered the Bisquick "Impossible" Pie recipes. I most often make a chicken-pot-pie meal using the Bisquick recipe. It just requires some filling, pouring a Biquick/milk mix over the top, and baking until heated through and brown on top. It didn't take long for me to realize that the Beefy Mushoom Roast is a perfect filling for the Bisquick Impossible Pie recipes. And so quick and easy to make when using the leftover roast for the filling.

Additional Seasonings?

I am not good in the kitchen. And when I try to venture from exact recipes or be creative with additional herbs, I often end up with flavors that clash. So I haven't added any additional seasonings to my Beefy Mushroom Roast meal.  I occasionally wonder about adding Herbes de Provence, since I am fairly new to that herb mix and have discovered how much I like it in venison stews. But frankly, the onion and condensed beef mushroom soup seem to add sufficient salt and flavors to this easy slow cooker meal. 

There are a variety of frozen mixed vegetables to try. Mixes that include okra, spinach, or potatoes.  All of those have been good but I have preferred the mix with green beans. 

There is a creamy beef mushroom soup option that I have thought about trying but this roast is so good as it is that I haven't attempted to make that particular substitution yet.

Related Links: 

This Beefy Mushroom Roast is a delicious filling for the Bisquick Impossible Pies. I usually use a chicken-pot-pie type of filling but the beef roast is an amazing way to use leftovers with an additional flavor. 

My blog post after learning about Herbes de Provence for stews and  how wonderful those herbs are in a venison stew. 

Do you have a craving for less beef and more veggies? The 4 Ingredient Baby Lima Bean Soup recipe is another of my favorites




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, June 2, 2024

Compression Swim Trunks for Men - A Five Star Gift Recommendation

Compression Swim Trunks for Men - A Five Star Gift Recommendation

My son needed new swim trunks, so for his birthday, we purchased the APTRO Men's Swim Trunks, which feature a compression lining and multiple pockets.

Note: If you're not in the USA, the Amazon links for this product may show trunks without the compression shorts inside of them - simply scroll or search within the product selection and be sure they are "compresssion swim trunks." As an example, I'm in Canada, and these are the APTRO Compression Shorts I purchased.

He loves them, and I can now safely give this product a hearty five-star recommendation. These swim trunks are as advertised.

Superior Comfort and Performance Swim Trunks for Men

These 2-in-1 swim trunks are designed with a built-in compression lining, ensuring a friction-free experience and helping to prevent painful skin irritations. This means more fun and less discomfort, whether swimming, diving or just playing at the beach.

Enhanced Mobility and Stability

One of the standout features of these trunks is their ability to stay in place. The compression lining keeps the swim trunks from shifting around, providing comfort and freedom of movement. 

A Lovely Fabric - Comfortable

The swim trunks are made from a high-quality fabric that boasts several impressive features:

  • 4-Way Stretch: Offers flexibility and ensures a snug fit without restricting movement.
  • Quick Dry: The material dries rapidly, making transitions from water to land smooth and comfortable.
  • Lightweight: Perfect for active wear without feeling weighed down.
  • UPF50+ Protection: Shields skin from harmful UV rays, adding an extra layer of safety during sunny days. But don't skip the sunscreen!
  • Silky Touch: The soft texture feels great against the skin, enhancing overall comfort.

Practical and Thoughtful Design

These swim trunks are equipped with multiple pockets for convenience:

  • Two Slanted Pockets: Easy access for small essentials.
  • One Liner Pocket: Secure storage within the lining.
  • One Back Flap Pocket with Velcro Closure: Includes a drain hole to help water flow out quickly, aiding the quick-dry feature.

Versatile Outer Layer

The outer layer of the swim trunks is crafted from a soft, stretchable fabric that is both lightweight and quick-drying. The relaxed fit adds to the overall comfort, making these trunks suitable for various activities.

Ideal for Any Summer Occasion

These swim trunks with a compression liner are perfect for:

  • Swimming and beach sports
  • Summer parties and cruises
  • Any summer vacation
  • Fitness activities and more
  • Go ahead, wear them as shorts

In conclusion, if you're looking for swim trunks for men that combine comfort, performance, and style, these 2-in-1 compression-lined trunks are the perfect choice.

They've certainly made a splash in our household.

Sizes & Styles

They come in sizes ranging from Small to 3X and in multiple design choices. You can check out these swim trunks for men here on Amazon.

Note: If you're not in the USA, the Amazon links for this product may show trunks without the compression shorts inside of them - simply scroll or search within the product selection and be sure they are "compresssion swim trunks." 

 As an example, I'm in Canada, and these are the APTRO Compression Shorts I purchased.


Review Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 





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.”


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