Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Reviewing Renovating Old Pine Furniture Project


Two Pine chairs one sanded, one painted grey

This review covers an easy DIY project to renovate old unremarkable furniture into something to grace our homes and fit with existing decor. 

In our case we wanted a new dining table and chairs but the only ones we could find to fit our space and circular were very expensive. We did however find a lovely circular table and four chairs that were perfect for our needs and very comfortable at a very good price, but the issue was that they were a quite horrible orange pine colour.

I am not usually an advocate of painting wood. If it is beautiful oak, mahogony, rosewood or reclaimed wood I will not paint it. 

However orange pine with a shiny finish is just not to us all that beautiful and did not fit in with the rest of our decor ideas for the dining room. 

I am not deterred by a minor issue like this and we really liked the style and comfort of this dining set. So we bought the dining set and went about cleaning, sanding and painting. 

Here I will tell you what we did with the chairs. 

Step One Sanding Down Pine Chair

First it was important to sand down the wood. It had a shiny surface to it and I did not think even the best paint would go on well over such a shiny surface. 

With some furniture paints they declare that you do not need to sand down first so it is always best to  check the instructions and perhaps do a patch test to make sure if you need to sand or not. 

So we sanded it with a fine sandpaper until all the shiny orange paint was no more! 

It is important to do this step carefully and take your time as skimping on this preparation will affect the whole project.

I don't have a workshop or anywhere to do this kind of work so for me it was a case of clearing a room and laying down dust sheets and working on the floor. Of course a work table or ideally a workshop would be wonderful but this project is perfectly possible with none of this.  

Pine chair sanded and masked ready to paint

Step Two Cleaning The Chair

Next I cleaned the whole chair including the seat cushion and back.

The wood was cleaned with sugar soap and the chair with an upholstery cleaner. There is no real skill to this, all this took was time and following the cleaning instructions.

Then we left it all to dry.

Close up of design on chair sanded

Step Three Masking Tape 

With a project like this it is important to use masking tape to mask off all the areas that you do not want to paint. I do find this step rather boring but it is necessary. 

It is worth spending a little time over this as it is a lot more difficult to remove paint from where you do not want it than to simply mask it off beforehand and does make the painting process easier. 

Step Four Painting The Wood

After laying down sheets I set about painting the whole chair. 

It needed to be done in two steps so that I could reach the whole wooden parts of the chair. So involved the chair standing up and laying down to reach it all. 

As I had two chairs on the go at the same time this was possible to do without wasting time. 

We chose a light grey colour. It did take two coats to cover the wood. I would always recommend two coats. A darker colour may have covered the wood more thoroughly with one coat but I always think two coats gives better coverage and longevity.

Two pine chairs one sanded and one painted grey

Furniture Paint. 

We used Rust Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint. It says on the tin it is a superior satin silky finish in slate grey.

I found that this paint went on very well and smoothly. I found it a really good paint to use.  It did not have an overpowering smell and did not give me a headache as many paints do. It went on well although was a little drippy, so it was essential to have sheets down. It is necessary to stir it well before starting to paint. 

The clean up is so easy as it is water based so it is just a case of wiping off most of the excess paint then washing in water. 

If I had a workspace I might have used a Rustoleum furniture spray paint which may have speeded things up. However I was doing this project in winter in our dining room so a spray paint would not have been a good idea in these circumstances. 

Any good furniture paint can be used, just choose the finish, application method and colour you like. I tend to go for water based and low odour for ease of use in the home and clean up afterwards. 

Tin of furniture paint

Due to the space and how intricate some of the work was I used a small paintbrush and I think this was a good idea so that there was more precision.

After the first coat the finish did not look all that good but I always expect this. 

I left it to dry thoroughly then applied a second coat and this is where the magic happens as the pine disappeared and the beautiful slate grey colour saturated the wood. I an no expert but I think the finish, even in the more difficult intricate parts is pretty good. 

Close up of painted chair

Finished Pine chair painted grey project

The four chairs took me two days to do at a fairly relaxed pace with lots of coffee breaks! It is a straightforward project that anyone could do really. All it takes is time and patience and a few basic painting skills. 

The Supplies You Need For This Furniture Project

Furniture Paint or Rustoleum paint 


A small paintbrush

Masking Tape

Old sheets, dust sheets or anything you have to protect the floor

We think it was a worthwhile project and we now have a lovely dining set at a fraction of the price. 

If we ever get fed up of the colour  or go for a different scheme, it will be very easy to change with a light sanding and a coat of new paint.

More Reviews

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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.”

Monday, April 29, 2024

Reviewing Locally Made Candles and Soap by Wild Roots Cafe & Co.

I am thrilled that a local family has opened a cafe in a small town near me. The farm-to-table focus along with the home-made breads, biscuits, and desserts are exactly what I've been craving. In addition to the delicious meal options, they offer handmade soaps and hand poured candles. All made with fewer ingredients than mass produced soaps and candles. The great news is that even though these candles and soaps are made locally in my area the Wild Roots Cafe & Co. offers a mail order option so you can consider these for yourself or gifts even if you don't live here.

photo of soaps and a candle

Just a few years ago, I was living in a small metro apartment and dreaming of moving to a rural setting. I watched gardening and homesteading videos for entertainment, relaxation, and education. And with those videos I tuned out the noise from the adjoining apartments, parking lot, and the frequent police helicopter circling overhead. One of those channels was Wild Wonderful Off Grid. I knew that they were a family working to build their off grid home, raising their children, and raise chickens and sheep. I knew they were in West Virginia. What I didn't know is how close they were to the raw land I had purchased in West Virginia. 

Fast forward a few years and my small home was built on my land, I transferred to one of our buildings near here for work, and I am now a West Virginia resident. I continued to watch gardening and homesteading videos in order to make progress toward my goal which is retirement on my land and growing as much as my own food as I am able. I am learning to live a healthier life. Imagine my GREAT surprise when I learn that Josh and Erin from Wild Wonderful Off Grid lives somewhat in this general area AND have built a cafe in a small town near me.

Wild Roots Cafe & Co

The videos show the remodeling process of what was once a flower shop in small town Romney, West Virginia. It has been turned into a cafe that offers coffee, breakfasts, and lunches. So far, I've had the cinnamon rolls (the best I've ever had!) and a BLT. A woman named DeAnna is in charge of the kitchen and her bread recipes are amazing! The cafe only very recently opened. You can learn more about the cafe and shop on their website Wild Roots Cafe & Co. 

Hand Poured Candles

The candle selection is poured at the Wild Roots Co. in Romney, WV. I purchased the Appalachian Forest scent which is Balsam Fir, Cypress, and Cedar. I had intended to purchase the "Bare Naked" which is the unscented candle since I struggle with so many perfumes and over-powering scents these days. One whiff of the Appalachian Forest scent had me hooked. I am having no sign of sensitivity to this scent. 

Wild Roots offers seasonal scents and holiday scented candles. They have just sold out (online) of their special Mother's Day candle.  

About their candles, they say:

  • size - volume 8.5 oz
  • wick - cotton (lead and zinc free)
  • burn time - 40+ hours
  • wax - 100% soy and made in the USA
  • Premium non-toxic - phthalate-free
  • hand-poured in small batches

They also list excellent reminders about general candle care and safety on their page. 

Hand Made Soaps

I was so thrilled to learn they were making soaps. I had started to learn to make my own soaps but I'm just too busy currently with work and other obligations. In the meantime, I've wanted to buy locally made soaps from small businesses. I am a firm believer that handmade soaps are far better for our skin than mass-produced soaps. Even better if I can find these soaps locally.

With the publicity of the Wild Roots Cafe opening, there has been a super high demand on the merchandise. As I write this, I notice that several of the soap types are currently sold out. Please don't let that deter you. 

When I was at the Cafe, I purchased the patchouli sunrise and the mountain mint. These bars are 4.5 oz. Both have a very short ingredients list: saponified oils of coconut, olive, palm and castor.  

In addition to that list of ingredients, the Patchouli Sunrise also has patchouli essential oil, sweet orange essential oil, and Brazilian clay. The Mountain mint includes eucalyptus powder, spinach powder, spurline, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil. I chose both of these soaps for their scent. The Mountain Mint will be perfect when I have colds or allergies. I also like to use peppermint and/or eucalyptus on my skin before I go hiking or camping. I feel as though those scents repel some of the bugs that want to swarm me when I'm outdoors. The Patchouli Sweet Orange is a scent that I've always enjoyed. With my chemical sensitivities, I have to be careful to now use over-powering scents. I am aware that patchouli can be over-powering. But these bars are at a nice level of the scented essential oils; not too soft and not too strong. In my opinion. 

As soon as they re-stock I will purchase a bar of the Detox soap. I have used activated charcoal and tea tree soaps in the past. I look forward to getting my hands on a bar of this soap by Wild Roots.

wild roots co

I highly recommend either these candles or soaps as gifts (for someone or for yourself). I am excited about pampering myself with the natural soaps and candles that Wild Roots Cafe & Co has to offer. 

Related Links:

Josh and Erin's primary YouTube channel can be found here at Wild Wonderful Off Grid. You can see their home build, home life, the cafe remodel and and more

Wild Roots Cafe & Co has an Instagram account here.

I often find the most updated information about the cafe on the Wild Wonderful Off Grid Instagram account here

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 28, 2024

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

My friend recommended the TV series Call The Midwife to me. Wow, I highly recommend this series. Its 13 Seasons are a testament to its quality! I'm hooked, and I'm about to begin season five!

"I'll list where you can find and watch the series at the end of this article. There's also a video trailer included!"

About Call The Midwife

Entering the world of "Call The Midwife" is akin to stepping into a time machine that transports viewers to post-World War II London, where the air is thick with compassion, resilience, and the tireless dedication of midwives. This beloved British drama series, adapted from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with its poignant storytelling and authentic portrayal of midwifery in the 1950s and 1960s.

What is "Call The Midwife" About? 

"Call The Midwife" follows the lives of a group of nurse midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, a nursing convent in London's impoverished East End. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society, each episode delves into the triumphs and challenges faced by the midwives as they provide essential healthcare services to the local community. From delivering babies in tenement flats to confronting social issues such as poverty, domestic violence, and the impact of new medical advancements, the series navigates through the complexities of post-war Britain with grace and empathy.

The Heart of the Series: 

At the core of "Call The Midwife" lies its unwavering commitment to storytelling that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Through its richly drawn characters and compelling narratives, the series explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and the enduring bonds that form within the tight-knit community of Nonnatus House. Whether grappling with personal struggles or bearing witness to the joys and sorrows of childbirth, each character brings a depth of emotion and authenticity that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

Seasons and Success: 

Since its premiere in 2012, "Call The Midwife" has captivated viewers across the globe, garnering critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated fanbase. With 13 seasons under its belt, the series continues to evolve, tackling new storylines and introducing fresh faces while staying true to its roots. From the bustling streets of Poplar to the corridors of Nonnatus House, each season offers a glimpse into the lives of its characters as they navigate the challenges of midwifery amidst a changing world.

The Inspiration Behind the Series: 

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a former nurse and midwife, "Call The Midwife" draws inspiration from real-life experiences and historical events. Worth's vivid recollections of her time working in London's East End during the 1950s provided the foundation for the series, offering a window into a bygone era of healthcare and social change. Through her writings, Worth captured the essence of midwifery with honesty and compassion, paving the way for "Call The Midwife" to become a beloved cultural phenomenon.


In an age of fast-paced television and fleeting trends, "Call The Midwife" stands as a beacon of warmth and humanity, reminding viewers of the power of empathy, community, and the enduring spirit of caregiving. 

As the series continues to inspire and uplift audiences worldwide, its legacy remains firmly rooted in the hearts of those touched by its heartfelt stories of love, hope, and the miracle of life.

Where and How to Watch "Call The Midwife"

For Canadians:

1. The CBC GEM App: I live in Canada, and Netflix and Prime don't offer this series for free here (at the time of writing this). However, my friend informed me that all seasons are available for free on the CBC GEM App.

  • Download the App onto your mobile device - search for it in your Apps on your device (it's there, it's free)
  • Or go to CBC Gem (gem.cbc.ca) on your computer and sign up for CBC Gem access - it's free.
  • Select "Call The Midwife" and start watching using the search feature.
You can only access the CBC Gem App if you live in Canada. However, double-check this just in case.

Outside of Canada:

2. Netflix: It may be available for free via Netflix in your country. However, I'm not sure. In Canada, at the time of writing this, it's not free for us on Netflix.

3. Amazon Prime: Call The Midwife is available on Prime, although it's not free at the time of writing this, on Amazon.com or Amazon.ca (Canada and the USA). It could very well be in your country, you'll have to check it.

United Kingdom Access:

4. BBC iPlayer has access to the series for free at the time of writing this (but double-check if there's a subscription required). Again, I'm unsure whether people outside the United Kingdom can access BBC iPlayer; you'll have to check.

Here's a Trailer Preview For You! Enjoy! I'm Hooked!

My Recommendation: 5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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 27, 2024

Book Review of After Death, A Novel by Dean Koontz

As a longtime fan of Dean Koontz, I put his thriller/suspense novels into two categories. There is the suspense-plus-humor group of books, most often with a child and a dog, most enjoyable to read, and the thriller/horror group aka Stephen King style that will often scare you. After Death is not really horror, but it IS scary.

Desert scene

Synopsis of “After Death”

Michael Mace is head of security at a top-secret research facility. He is having lunch in the office cafeteria with his best friend, Shelby Shewsberry, a scientist at the facility, when an 'event' occurs and everyone in the building dies.

A short time later, Michael awakens and finds himself with extraordinary abilities and manages to 'escape' before anyone discovers he is now alive. He knows that the government will want to capture him, lock him up and study him, which is not something Michael wants. 

Enter Durand Calaphas, a most vicious assassin who works for the Internal Security Agency, a highly funded government agency who does not particularly have our nation's best interests at heart. Calaphas will stop at nothing to capture (and kill) Michael. If Michael dies twice, he will not live a third time.

Michael uses his new abilities to erase his past to keep the ISA from finding him and sets out to honor his late friend Shelby by helping a woman Shelby greatly admired. Nina Dozier and her son, John, age 13, are in trouble and only Michael can help them. 

The action in this novel takes place from Beverly Hills to a small apple orchard 30 miles east of Los Angeles, to a walled estate on the outskirts of San Diego. Only Michael can protect Nina and John from the violent street gang who threatens their lives, defeat the ISA assassin, and bring new light to the current darkening world.


In After Death, the action is fast-paced, and the tension is nonstop and scary. But ~ the ending is peaceful and calm and all that you would want it to be. This novel is definitely worth reading! 

Related Links to Dean Koontz Book Reviews:

*This book review of After Death 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 26, 2024

Lego Bouquet Roses Set #10328 Reviewed

lego roses
Mother's Day is just a few weeks away.  The first gift idea that always comes to mind is a bouquet of roses.  Both my mother and I love roses, but we do hate throwing them away when they die. However, there is a fantastic alternative to live roses.  LEGO Roses!

For less than the cost of sending a dozen roses, you can purchase the Lego complete set of a dozen roses that includes Lego baby's breath.  Either make the bouquet set in advance to give your mother or give her the set and make them together.  Spending a few hours creating the lovely bouquet with her would be a wonderful memory she will treasure forever in addition to having the bouquet of Lego roses to remind her of you with each glance.  I know from experience, this will be one of her fondest gifts and memories.

My son has always been a Lego enthusiast.  I have priceless memories of watching him assemble dozens of intricate Lego masterpieces.  As a child, he often used our dining room table as his workspace and I had the privilege of sitting with him and sorting the pieces for him while he built something remarkable.  Not only did he build an awe inspiring Lego creation, but it allowed us to build a stronger bond with one another.  

Lego sets are not just for kids!  Even my adult daughter, who is not a Lego enthusiast, built a Lego flower bouquet for her own dining room table that her brother sent to her from Christmas last year.  Neither of them were able to take off to travel last year, but they were able to exchange thoughtful gifts.  It didn't surprise me one bit to hear that my son sent her a Lego bouquet set, but I admit, it did surprise me that she promptly set down to put it together.  She loves it!

Whether you are able to be with your mom on Mother's Day to build the bouquet together or give her the finished bouquet, she is sure to love it!  

Bouquet of Roses Lego Set #10328

lego roses
Click to Check Price or Purchase

This Lego set comes with everything you need, except a vase.  This set is recommended by Lego for ages 18+ and is designed for adults.  I would personally rate this set at 10+. I have no doubt younger creators can master it as well, especially if they have built Legos in the past.  

There are Lego roses in the set that are built in all 3 stages of a flower from bud, blooming to full bloom.  Together, they make a realistic and lovely bouquet of a dozen roses interlaced with Lego baby's breath.

Experienced Lego builders will have this set finished in about 2 or 3 hours.

  • 822 pieces

This bouquet of roses would be the perfect gift for Mother's Day, Valentines Day, a birthday or just to say I love you!

If you prefer a mixed bouquet or a single stem, there is a Lego set for you too!

Lego Flowers
Lego Flowers & Lego Bouquet Sets Reviewed

Lego flowers & bouquets offer Lego lovers a great gift to give someone they love. Lego flowers never die & will always be a decorative reminder of you!

More Lego Sets & Shelves Reviewed 

Lego The Office SetLego The Office Set #21336 Reviewed
If you love the tv series, The Office, you will definitely love The Office Lego Set. Lots of The Office specific fun pieces included, plus minifigures

Lego Disney CastleLego Carousel Creator Expert Set #10257 Reviewed
The Lego Carousel Creator Expert Set #10257 is a fabulous & beautiful design. Somewhat challenging to build but worth it. Animal rides & carousel move

Lego Disney CastleLEGO Creator Winter Toy Shop Reviewed
The Lego Creator Winter Toy Shop is fun to build AND fun decor, even as a centerpiece, during the holidays. Toy shop in the winter scene is fabulous!

Lego Disney CastleLEGO Disney Castle Set - Cinderella's Castle Lego Set #71040 Reviewed
With its impressive details, arched doorway, stunning spires & turrets, the Lego Disney Castle Set is a fabulous replica of the real Cinderella Castle.

Scooby-Doo Mystery Mansion LegoScooby-Doo Mystery Mansion Lego Kit Reviewed
Lego & Scooby Doo fans will love this awesome Lego set. The Scooby-Doo Mystery Mansion is the perfect treat for Halloween or anytime for kids & adults.

Winnie the Pooh LegoDisney Winnie the Pooh #21326 Lego Set Reviewed
Those who love Winnie-the-Pooh & Legos are thrilled with the Winnie Lego set! It includes Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Eeyore, Rabbit & Poohs treehouse home.

Lego Gingerbread House SetLego Gingerbread House Set #10267 Reviewed
The Lego Gingerbread House is the perfect set for Christmas time! Many of us enjoy decorating gingerbread houses for Christmas, but ...

Spider Man LegoSpider-Man Far From Home Lego Set #76130 Reviewed
The Spiderman Far From Home Lego set has lots of awesome features including an opening hatch in the jet for Spidermans quick exit. Specs & review here.

Lego Display ShelvesThe Perfect Lego Display Shelves Reviewed
Completed Lego sets need a safe place for display. I recently purchased the perfect bookcase shelves for Lego display!

Check Out More Toy Reviews at
Reviews on Lego Sets
Right Here On Review This Reviews!

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 25, 2024

M&M Gifts

 Are you looking for a gift for a special occasion?  Is the recipient someone who is hard to buy for?  Try a special M&M gift.

Special Candy Gift

My husband has always been a challenge to find just the right gift for special occasions.  Last year on Father's Day my daughter and family sent him a "Dad" candy dispenser full of St. Louis Cardinal logo M&M's.  The Cardinals are his favorite baseball team and who doesn't love M&M's?  This was a perfect gift for him.  We have used it all year long.  During the holiday's we put in holiday colored M&M's.  For his birthday in April he received another pack of Cardinal logo M&M's so now we're ready for baseball season.  The photo below shows one of the Cardinal logo candies.

Special Order M&M

You can buy refill bags of the candies on the M&M website.  Here is one that my husband got for Christmas.  
St Louis Cardinal M&M's

M&M's Special Candies

Click here to go to the website M&Ms.  On this site you can find M&M's for every occasion, and you can even customize your own candies.  Some of the many possibilities include:
  • Graduation M&M's with the year of your graduation imprinted and made in your school colors.
  • Weddings and Showers (think favors for the guests.
  • Mother's Day and Father's Day.  See the dispenser at the top of this page.  This is only one of many available.
  • Birthdays- both as gifts for the birthday celebrant and favors for the guests.
  • Team parties- designed in your favorite teams' colors and logos.
  • MLB-all 30 teams' logos and colors are in the store.

M&M Containers and Dispensers

To make your gift extra special pick a special container to hold the M&M's.  For favors you can choose a special bag or perhaps a plastic see through containe, available in a variety of shapes.  Check out the website to see all of the choices.

For a big gift you might choose a wine type bottle filled with M&M's, a mug, a animal shaped container or a dispenser like the one my husband received.

M&M's on Amazon

In checking out what was all available I checked out Amazon and found they had a variety of  M&M's gifts listed.  Check out this one for Mother's Day, https://amzn.to/4d8L4ti and this one for weddings https://amzn.to/447ErDs.  Amazon carries a large variety of M&M toys and other containers.

I hope you have enjoyed this look at the many possibilities of gifts with M&M's!

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 24, 2024

You'll Love This High-Quality Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light

My husband and I run on very different internal clocks. I am a night owl, while he has to get up early for work (and is, by nature, more of an early bird). I have tried to reset my internal clock to align more closely with his, but that has meant going lights-out at 12:30 AM instead of at 2 AM, while his bedtime is 9:30-10 PM.

I try to keep my bedside lamp low for his sake (and to help my body get the signal that it should start winding down for the night), but if I want to read a printed book or magazine or do some needlework or beading to help me wind down after he's asleep, my aging eyes need good lighting. That's why I'm so happy to have found the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light, which has worked much better for me than clip-on book lights or head lamps.

The Best Adjustable LED Neck Light

Illuminate Your Bedtime Reading or Handiwork Without Disturbing Your Partner

In this review, we'll delve into its features, usability, and overall performance to help you decide if it's the right addition to your nightly reading or handiwork ritual.

Comfort and Convenience

One of the standout features of the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is its lightweight, ergonomic design. The flexible arms allow you to adjust the light to your preferred angle, ensuring optimal illumination without straining your neck or eyes. No more wearing uncomfortable headlamps or trying to read in low light to avoid disturbing your partner. Simply position the light around your neck and enjoy hands-free illumination. Whether you prefer to read lying down, sitting up, or anywhere in between, this reading light adapts to your needs with ease.

Versatile Lighting Options

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light offers customizable illumination to suit your environment, thanks to six brightness levels (two independently controlled neck light arms, each with three brightness levels) and three color temperature modes (warm, warm white, and cool white). Whether you're engrossed in a thrilling mystery novel, catching up on your favorite magazine, or relaxing with a needlework project, you can easily adjust the brightness and color temperature to create the perfect lighting for your needs and personal preferences.

Long Battery Life and Convenient USB-C Charging

One of the most frustrating aspects of traditional reading lights is their tendency to run out of battery at the most inconvenient times. Fortunately, the Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light features a rechargeable battery with impressive longevity. With just a few hours of charging via a common USB-C cable, you can enjoy hours of uninterrupted reading or hobby time, making it the ideal companion for late-night literary or needlework sessions.

Compact, Portable, and Travel-Friendly

Perfect for travelers, bookworms, and anyone who loves to read or do crafts in bed, this comfortable neck light will become your best friend whether you're curling up with a good book or traveling for business or pleasure. Its compact and foldable design makes it easy to stow in your bedside table drawer or pack in your bag or suitcase, ensuring that you always have access to reliable illumination wherever you go.

No Task Light? No Problem!

For people who enjoy crafts or hobbies or who need to work on the go where there may not be adequate task lighting, this lightweight, portable LED neck light is a perfect solution. Whether you're sitting on the living room sofa or in a dimly-lit hotel room, you can easily get good task lighting focused directly at your reading material, project, etc.

A Gift Everyone Will Appreciate

Good lighting makes every task, from reading to working to hobbies, easier and more enjoyable. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't benefit from one of these affordable, versatile, comfortable, and well designed neck lights.

The Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light is a versatile and user-friendly accessory that enhances the nighttime reading experience and makes a valuable accessory for work or leisure activities.

Its comfortable design, customizable lighting options, long-lasting battery life, and portability make it a must-have for avid readers, needleworkers, and hobbyists of all ages. Say goodbye to strained eyes and cumbersome temporary lighting setups with this inexpensive, useful, and practical accessory.

You'll Love This High-Quality Glocusent LED Neck Reading Light by Margaret Schindel

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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.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Review of Low Calorie Cheesy Vegetable Chowder


cheesy vegetable chowder

I have always been a huge fan of chowder.  I don't really care what kind, it can be clam chowder, potato chowder, or vegetable chowder, they are all delicious to me.  My nephew, who went to the Culinary Institute of New York, can dish up some of the finest clam chowder I have ever had, it is really to die for!  However, the calorie count on this wonderful chowder was enough to give me a heart attack.  I would estimate probably between 350 to 400 per cup!

I often thought to myself that their had to be a lower calorie way to make good chowder.  So I did some research on the internet.  There are literally thousands of recipes on the internet for all kinds of chowder.  Low cal chowder, not so much.  There are some, so I did some comparisons.  I found that vegetable chowder is usually less calories that those containing meat or fish.  I don't mind skipping the meat, so I decided to try a compilation of my own making for vegetable chowder.

I had to make it a few times to adjust the ingredients.  At first the base was just too thin, more like soup than an actual chowder.  I was at a loss as to how to correct this problem without causing the calorie count to skyrocket by adding heavy cream. I was stumped for a while.  Then one day I was grocery shopping, looking for some cheese when I saw a bag of finely shredded reduced calorie cheese.  I think a visible light bulb went off over my head, right there in the store.  I could melt some of this cheese in my veggie chowder and thicken it and also add some more flavor!  I made some the very next day and put about half the 8 ounce bag in the pot and stirred it slowly.

cheesy vegetable chowder


2 cups reduced fat chicken broth

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 cups skim milk

3 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 

pinch of black pepper

4 ounces reduced fat cheddar cheese

Vegetables for Chowder


In a medium saucepan, combine chicken broth, carrots, celery, pepper and onions.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

in a covered jar combine skim milk and flour and shake well.

Pour into broth and veggies and stir gently to mix.

Add parsley flakes garlic powder and black pepper and then slowly add the shredded cheese.

Stir slowly and let thicken.

Remove from heat and spoon into bowls with a sprinkle of cheese on top. 

Only 160 calories and 4 grams of fat.

The result of the addition of cheese was a creamy, delicious chowder with medium thick consistency and mouth watering vegetables.  Toss in a few croutons and you don't even need crackers, and all for fewer calories than most protein bars. If you need to add meat, try ham cubes, bacon, or pulled chicken. All of them would be a yummy addition!  

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