Showing posts with label Bev. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bev. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Floor Liners For Jeep Reviewed

Dressing up A New Ride

jeep liberty
Hubby's Jeep Liberty
Last week my hubby traded in his old jeep for a newer model. You can see it pictured at the left. It is a pretty little thing, isn't it? It rides much better than the older one, too. 

So, he has a birthday approaching and I thought that it might be fun to get him something for his Jeep. The old floor liners are pretty sad looking even though they will fit this year and model. I went on a quest to see if I could find some new floor mats for him.

Sure enough, they were not difficult to find. I searched for floor liners for a Jeep Liberty and found the color that I thought would go well with his interior. To my surprise a pop-up appeared asking me to verify that the liners would fit the vehicle. It turned out that the ones that I had first picked would not fit the floor configuration of his year of Jeep. What a convenience! It would have certainly been a disappointment to me as the gifter and to him as the recipient if those new mats wouldn't work!

What I like about this particular brand of floor liners is that they are digitally measured and molded to fit the interior of specific models of vehicles. This line of mats is more than just a flat little piece of protection for the carpet of the car. They are molded to the contours of the floor board giving more protection. These will not slip around and allow mud and dirt to get under them. I like that because I really don't like having to vacuum those floors and my sweet hubby is a bit of a "Messy Marvin" when it comes to tracking in mud and dirt (in his vehicle and our home). The floor liners that I have decided to get for him are much nicer and sturdier than his previous ones. I think that he will be extremely happy with them.

Obviously, you may not have a Jeep but it doesn't matter what make or model of vehicle that you drive. You can find these well designed floor liners for any make and model feeling certain that they will fit your ride. These will be a birthday present but they would also work for Father's Day.



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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Heart Waffle Maker Reviewed

Another Way To Say I Love You

heart waffle
Heart Waffles image courtesy of pixabay.com
With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, I have had hearts on my mind. I found an adorable little kitchen gadget that will allow me to make little heart shaped waffles anytime of the year that I want to. 

The fun part is that with this mini waffle maker you and I are not constrained with just making waffles. Any wet batter will work. So, we can make heart shaped hash browns, paninis or even biscuit dough for a little heart shaped pizza. Now isn't that a fun idea? 

This little waffle maker is very light weight (about a pound) and does not take up much room for storage. It is a perfect size for a small apartment and can even travel with you on vacation. It heats up fairly quickly, too. The one drawback is that it only makes one waffle at a time but it shouldn't take too much time to whip up several due to the miniature size. 

I couldn't help but think of one of my family members who traveled around the country in an RV. This little heart waffle maker would have been great for them to have on their trips because it would pack away nicely in that very limited kitchen area. You are not limited to a heart design, either. There is an option for traditional round waffles if you would rather have them instead of hearts. 

What a fun idea for a house warming gift or a gift for the new bride and groom. Kids can make heart shaped waffles for Mom or Dad on Mother's and Father's day. There are just so many fun ways that this little gadget can be used! I think that it would be such a fun little addition to any kitchen. What about you? Do you think that you would have some fun with it? 




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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bamboo Pizza Paddle Reviewed

Convenient Way To Remove Pizza From Oven

pizza
Pizza image courtesy of pixabay.com
I recently received a bamboo pizza paddle and honestly wasn't sure that I would ever use it. To my surprise, I actually love it! Can I tell you how many times that I have burned myself trying to take a pizza out of the oven? Let's just say a lot and leave it at that. 

We have pizza often at our house. There is an establishment near us that makes them for you to take home and bake in your own oven. These pizzas are delicious and this paddle has come in handy when I am ready to remove them. The size of the paddle more than accommodates the size of the pizza and it is so easy to use. Another advantage is that with it being constructed of bamboo, I can take the pizza out of the oven and also use the paddle as a cutting board. 

I don't know if you are aware of this or not so I'll share something about cutting boards and bamboo. This dense wood has become very popular with chefs and cooks around the world for use as a surface to cut fruits, vegetables and meats. Bamboo does not need as much maintenance as some of the other woods that are used for cutting boards. The bamboo doesn't retain water so your board won't become warped or cracked like the others do. Plus bacteria is less likely to grow because there is no water in the wood for it to propagate. Knives do not scar the bamboo as easily as other woods. Those scars can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Bamboo is earth friendly and easier to grow than say a maple tree. The bamboo will mature in three to six years where a maple won't mature for thirty or more years. 

So, I am loving my bamboo pizza paddle as both a way to remove a hot pizza out of the oven and as a cutting board for the pizza and other foods. It is lightweight and with the handy hole at the end, I can hang it on the side of one of my cabinets for storage. Honestly, I wish that I had purchased one a long time ago. 

What about you? Do you already own one or are thinking that maybe one would be nice to have in your kitchen?



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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

When Women Ruled The World Reviewed

Women Ruling As Kings In Ancient Times

Egyptian hieroglyphs
Who was ruling when this was carved on a monument?
A man or a woman? (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
I recently read the book When Women Ruled The World and wanted to review it for you today. This non-fiction book was given to me by one of my lovely daughters at Christmas. She knew that I have a fascination of Ancient Egypt and thought that I would enjoy it. She was not wrong in her assumption, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

The book by Kara Cooney gives an historical account of six Queens of Egypt that actually ruled the mighty kingdom. Some only ruled for a short time and others ruled for several years. You will most likely recognize two of these remarkable women but the other four are probably not familiar to you at all. These female Pharaohs (a ruler of Egypt) were not usually called Queens, at least not in their own lifetimes or even when they were married to the King (Pharaoh). Some even tried to dress more like a man during their rule because for the most part the Ancient Egyptians did not consider a woman ruler to be desirable. There were times when it was a dire necessity but it was not a common occurrence if it could be helped.

The rulers outlined in the book are: 
  • Merneith (reign 3000 b.c. - 2890 b.c.) at the end of Dynasty 1
  • Neferusobek (reign 1777 b.c. - 1773 b.c.) at the end of Dynasty 12
  • Hatshepsut (reign 1473 b.c. - 1458 b.c. ) close to the end of Dynasty 18
  • Nefertiti (reign 1338 b.c. - 1336 b.c.) at the end of Dynasty 18
  • Tawosret (reign 1188 b.c. - 1186 b.c.) at the end of Dynasty 19
  • Cleopatra VII (reign 51 b.c.- 0 b.c.) end of the Ptolemaic Dynasty and during the Roman period
There were many instances when a mother of the heir to the throne would act as a Regent until their son was old enough to rule. Not all of the Regent mothers were considered the Pharaoh or King at those times but some took it upon themselves to be elevated to such a position. As you can imagine that did not bode well with the upper or lower classes of citizens. 

The Ancients of Egypt wanted to keep the pool of possible Kings at a minimum and to be what they considered "pure" in the bloodline. It was not uncommon for fathers to wed daughters and for brothers to wed sisters in order to keep the other nobility from seeking claims to the throne. If you notice from the list above these women all ruled close to or at the end of the Dynasty they belonged to. There was a reason for that! Most of the Dynasties of Ancient Egypt did not end because of a take over from an enemy but because the incest over many years created situations where the current ruler could not produce an heir either male or female. After so many years, children were born sickly, deformed and often didn't live long and eventually sterility would end a Dynasty. Cleopatra was the exception to the rule with a long reign only to be outdone by the Romans. 

This book was fascinating and I found it amazing that historians have been able to uncover these six women's sketchy stories. It isn't quite so difficult to know more about Cleopatra because the Romans wrote so much about her but the others might have gone unnoticed. A common practice was to destroy monuments that were built during the reign of an unpopular Pharaoh (male or female) after their death. Many monuments that survived have evidence of names of rulers scratched out and others put in their places. Such was the case of five of these women. 

If you have an interest in Ancient history and female rulers, I think you will enjoy this book. I do not generally read non-fiction so for me to recommend this book says a lot. It was not one of those books that you can't put down but it kept my interest and I am glad that I received it and read it. Perhaps you will enjoy it, also!




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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Valentines Rock For Him Reviewed

A Gift For Him

valentine hearts
Hearts For Him image from pixabay.com
Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching and I have been on the look-out for something to give that special man in my life. I would like to review a gift that I think is pretty neat for my man and might be for yours, also. 

When it comes to that special "him" in our lives it is sometimes difficult to come up with something clever and yet a little on the romantic side. At least it is for me. 

Some of you may not be old enough to remember the "pet rock" fad that swept across the U. S. back in the 1970s but I think a lot of you probably will remember. Just in case you don't recall this phenomenon, I'll give you a little history. Back in 1975 an advertising executive named Gary Dahl came up with the idea of pet rocks. For about six months these rocks were all the rage. Dipping into your wallet for around $4 you could get your own pet or one for someone else that came in a box with breathing holes and straw to keep the little guy or gal comfortable. Apparently, this Mr. Dahl was a bit of a genius because it is estimated that he sold 1.5 million of these quiet little pets that needed no extra care making him a millionaire six times over. Now do you remember? 

I've seemed to digress a little but I felt you should understand why I have picked this particular gift for my honey for Valentine's Day this year. There is some sentiment involved and some nostalgia. That was part of my quest in looking for a gift for him...a bit of nostalgia. I found this particular item that just seemed catch my eye.

I love the sentiment about my heart beating for him and that he is my rock. He truly is, you know. Always there standing firm and strong. Unlike the pet rocks of old, he does need to be fed and looked after but I don't mind doing those things for him at all.

So, what do you think? Would a Valentines Rock for him work this year? 





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Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe Reviewed

Much Better Than Canned Soup

tomato soup
Make your own tomato soup
After trying your own homemade tomato soup, you will never open a can of soup again. At least, I am not sure I could stomach it after having made my own from this recipe. 

One of my most favorite lunches is tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. For me, it is comfort food at its very best. I love tomatoes so when Mom would fix tomato soup and grilled cheese when I was a kid, I was in heaven. Now, Mom never made it from scratch and to be honest, as a child, I never realized that my most favorite of all soups came from anywhere other than that famous red and white can. 

A few weeks back, I expressed that I hoped that I would get an Immersion Hand Blender for one of my Christmas gifts. Santa did not bring me one but I did use a gift card that I received to purchase one for myself. Want to guess what the first thing I made with it was? I'll give you a hint; it starts with tomato and ends with soup. Oh my goodness! It was so very good and really very easy!

Tomato Soup Recipe

1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 garlic gloves minced
1 28 oz can peeled plum tomatoes 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 shallot diced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon fresh basil
3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Place the olive oil in a large pot with the shallot and garlic. On medium heat cook the onion and garlic for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the shallot is translucent. Add the remaining ingredients including the juices from the canned tomatoes and stir. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn the heat down to a low simmer. Allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes with the pot partially covered. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup to your desired consistency. 

Serve in a bowl with a grilled cheese sandwich and you are in for a real taste treat!

I will offer a tip on the tomatoes. You can use either whole peeled tomatoes or you can use the ones that are already crushed. The only difference is that the crushed ones take less time with the immersion blender. Both work well. Personally, I love the taste of the plum tomatoes but you can also choose regular tomatoes for the recipe. It just boils down to your taste buds. 

As I said earlier, once I made my own tomato soup with this recipe I won't be able to open a can of soup again. This is so delicious and easy to make that I can't believe it took me this long to try making it from scratch. By the way, it passed the husband test, too. He absolutely loved it! 

How about it? Do you think that you might try making your own sometime soon? I can promise you that you will not be disappointed! 




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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hamilton Beach Wave Crusher Blender Reviewed

Make Milkshakes or Smoothies With A Blender

milkshake
Milkshake image courtesy of pixabay.com
Santa brought me a new blender with a travel jar this year for Christmas. I thought that a review of it was in order today. To be honest I didn't ask Santa for a blender and was a little disappointed when I unwrapped the box. I had asked for a milkshake maker so that I could make my own milkshakes. I already have a blender; never mind that it is probably 30 years old or older. The point is that I have a blender and I can make a milkshake in it but it isn't quite the same. When I looked at the box, I couldn't help but think that Santa did not have his listening ears on when I made my simple request. I should have known that most of the time he knows what I need better than I do. 

So, on Christmas morning I am trying very hard to hide my disappointment while secretly thinking that I really don't need another blender. After all of our gifts had been opened, I took the box out to the kitchen to try and figure out where I would put this second blender. As I begin to remove the parts from the box, I ungratefully think that this new one doesn't do even half the functions that my old one does. The little devil sitting on my left shoulder was working overtime to make me think negative thoughts! The little angel on my right shoulder says, "Now, be nice and give it a chance! Look a little closer, dear."  I look at the function buttons and realize that I had rushed to judgement unfairly. The functions are: Mix Milkshake, Puree Smoothie, Dice Chop, Grind Crush Ice. "Well, smack me with butter and call me a biscuit! Maybe Santa had done better research than I had." The little devil grunts and rolls her eyes but the little angel smiles her approval.

Suffice it to say, that I absolutely love the Hamilton Beach Blender with a travel jar that Santa picked out for me. I can make a milkshake in the 40 oz glass jar or I can make one in the 20 oz glass travel jar. The Wave Crusher Blender is really versatile. It is pretty ingenuous, really. The base will hold either jar securely. You see, the blade attaches to the large jar or the smaller one and then to the base. The removable blade makes for a really easy and thorough cleaning, too. No more worry about slicing my fingers while trying to clean the blade! Trust me, that is a real advantage in my case because I have a history of cutting myself with sharp objects. I think they call it the clumsy gene or something like that. 

I have already made a few milkshakes with this new little tool and I was able to find a place on the counter for it. Currently, my favorite is a chocolate peanut butter concoction but I am sure that I will come up with some other ideas as this new year rolls on. I may get brave and make a few fruit smoothies sometime soon. 

Santa knew what he was doing and I am very happy with his choice. I think you might be happy with one, also. 

May this new year bring you much joy, laughter and love! 



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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Wedding Forward Website Reviewed

When A Wedding Is In Your Future

wedding plans
Wedding Plans image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I thought that a review for a website for planning a wedding would be appropriate today. Here in the US and in many places of the world this article is being published on Christmas Day. Many men have chosen to "pop" the question to many a gal either on Christmas Eve or on the morning of Christmas. So, there are some weddings that will need to be planned. 

A truly awesome site to visit if a wedding is in your future is: Wedding Forward. As a soon to be bride you will find a plethora of ideas for every aspect of your special day. There are ideas for themes, dresses, hairstyles and so much more on this elegantly designed and easy to navigate website. 

A few of the categories that can be found on Wedding Forward are: 
  • Dresses & Attire
  • Flowers & Decor
  • Wedding Planning
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Photography & Video
You will see those top categories when you first land on the site but don't stop there! Scroll down the home page to find other very helpful categories to help you decide what you want for your wedding day. There are ideas for the music to be played, games to be played at your bachlorette party and tips about wedding vows. Ideas are shared for gifts and favors to be given to your wedding party and guests. Trending and traditional cakes are featured, too. There is also a convenient section with the Wedding Checklist that will be invaluable to you while planning your day to be the memorable event that you want it to be.  

If he just asked "will you" and you just responded with a thrilled and happy "yes", you should take some time to look over the website that will offer you some delightful and most helpful advice and ideas: Wedding Forward. The website can walk you forward from the time of his slipping that engagement ring on your finger to the moment that the words "I now pronounce you" are spoken. I feel certain that the ladies who contribute to the site will help take the stress out of the planning for you. 

Oh and I almost forgot to say, "Congratulations!" May your life be filled with joy and may you grow old together on one pillow.



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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Potato Soup Cooked In InstantPot Reviewed

Easy And Delicious Potato Soup

potato for soup
Potatoes for soup image from pixabay.com
Want to make some potato soup for your family to enjoy this winter? I can review a recipe that will delight your taste buds and be easy on your purse strings. 

Last year I asked Santa for an InstantPot and was delighted that he thought I was a good enough girl to get one. Since then, I have made many wonderful meals in that multi function pressure cooker. Just this past weekend, I tried some potato soup. Let me just say that it was a real hit in my house. I will even go so far as to say that it is the best potato soup that I have ever had. That is saying a lot on my part because my Mom's was pretty danged good stuff. 

This is an easy recipe that won't take you all day to make if you cook it in an instant pot. I think that it took me about an hour with the prep time and cooking time. The prep time and waiting for the pot to preheat took more time than the actual cooking time. Still, about an hour from start to that first delicious mouthful.

Potato Soup (Instant Pot) Recipe

Ingredients:
5 lbs potatoes peeled and cubed
1 shallot minced
4 Tblsp butter
1/3 cup cream cheese - softened and cut in small pieces
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1-2 cups of milk (enough to get your desired consistency)
1/2 cup bacon bits
Shredded cheese for garnish
Green onion cut for garnish

Add the shallot and potatoes to the pot and cover with the chicken broth. Cover and cook on the Soup setting for 10 minutes. Release the pressure with the quick release method. Let your pot stay on the keep warm setting.

You can mash the potatoes at this point if you like although I don't think you need to.

Add butter, cream cheese and sour cream and mix well until butter is melted and the cream cheese and sour cream are blended. Add part of the bacon bits saving some for garnish in the bowls.

Add the desired amount of milk, stir and serve in bowls with desired garnishes. 

A few hints:
When cubing your potatoes, keep the size of the cubes rather large. Perhaps a medium to large size is best. The reason for this is the pressure cooking will cook those cubes down quite a lot and if the cubes are too small you will end up with "mashed potato" soup. You want some potatoes that you can bite into. If some seem too large you can cut them after the pressure cooking is done. Honestly, I feared that I had cut the potatoes too large but when they were done they were the perfect size and were completely cooked through. 

The cream cheese needs to be in very small pieces in order for it to melt quickly when added and stirred into the hot potato mixture. Having to stir the mixture too much will continually break up your cooked potatoes. 

Personally, I had to add more salt and pepper after cooking. That will be a matter of personal preference so try it with the amount given and adjust to your taste afterward. You can always add more but if you add too much to begin with; well, you can't take it out. 

So, that is my potato soup recipe cooked in my InstantPot. I hope you give this a try because I think you will really love it. It is perfect on a cold winter day! It also makes enough that you are sure to have enough to enjoy for another meal or too. You can keep it refrigerated for a couple of days and just reheat in a saucepan. As with so many meals, it tastes even better on the second day. All those ingredients kind of marry each other while resting in the fridge. Trust me, this is really very good!





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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Immersion Hand Blender Reviewed

Easy Way To Blend or Puree Foods

tomato soup
Soup probably pureed with an Immersion Blender
image courtesy of pixabay.com 
I don't own an immersion hand blender yet but I want one pretty darned bad. So, I thought I would review the one that I think that I will purchase in the near future. 

The main reason that I want one of these hand held blenders is that I love tomato soup and I want to be able to make my own. In order to get the correct consistency the soup needs to be pureed. Now, cooking up a big pot of tomatoes for soup and then having to pour batches of it into a regular blender is a pain in the royal keester. For one thing there is the most likely possibility that I will burn myself or spill quite a lot while trying to maneuver the contents from pot to blender. There is also the time involved! Not to mention that the clean-up will be a hot mess! I would have to clean up the pot that the soup is cooked in, the blender and the pot that I would need to put the pureed soup into while going through the blending process. An immersion blender solves all of those obstacles. 

With a hand held blender I can just puree the tomatoes in the pot that they have cooked in eliminating the use of so many tools, the burn factor and the spill factor. Easy peasy lemon squeezy! 

So, I have been looking at my options and there are several to choose from. I can go the expensive route or I can try to save myself a little money. I decided that maybe the best route to pursue is the one that most folks seem to be happy with. So, I looked at ones that have the best reviews and then picked the one that is marked as Amazon's choice; which by the way, happens to have the best review history.

Here is the model that I believe I will purchase after the holidays. There is a possibility that Santa might leave me one so that is why I plan to wait. 

I like that it has two attachments. One for blending and a whisk. So, I will be able to puree all sorts of foods or easily whisk ingredients for many recipes. There are six speeds so that should be handy, too. I will be able to make smooth and wonderful tomato soup or wonderful fruit smoothies. I think my possibilities will only be limited by my own imagination.

I think it might be helpful if I let you on something. Depending on the cook these hand blenders are known as immersion blenders or sometimes they are called emulsion blenders. Those two words are describing the same tool.

How about you? Do you own an immersion hand blender? If not, do you think it would be something that you would use? Not only do I plan on using mine a lot but I think this is a wonderful idea as a wedding gift or a holiday gift for your favorite cook. 



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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Multi-use Cake Stand Reviewed

More than just a place for cakes

no cake stand
Cake not on a stand (image from Pixabay.com)
One of the things that my youngest daughter asked for this Christmas was a cake stand. She also wanted a salad bowl. As one of Santa's dedicated elves, I found a perfect solution! Let me tell you about it. 

To be honest, I planned to purchase both of those items for her. When on my quest to find a nice cake stand, I came across something that has multiple uses that surprised and delighted me and I know it will be perfect for my daughter. 

The wonderful set can be a cake stand with a dome. The dome can be flipped over to create a salad bowl or a punch bowl. The base can be turned upside down to be used as a chip and dip tray or veggie dip. There are six different ways to serve whatever you need with this one set. Isn't that amazing? 

I also like that instead of having to store six different pieces for six different functions, this set only takes up the space of one piece. That is wonderful for my daughter since her storage space is limited. I think she will be thrilled!

I also like the simple design because it will go with any style of dinnerware and can be used throughout the entire year. It is made from acrylic so it isn't heavy to move, either. Let me tell you, this Santa's helper is so excited about this find!

How about you? Can you use something like this for your serving needs? Perhaps you know someone on your list who would appreciate its multi-function features. It is perfect for a gift for a bride or a house warming gift, too. 



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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Alex Spa Totally Henna Set Reviewed

Body Art For Kids

henna body art
Henna Body Art image courtesy of Pixabay.com
A super fun gift idea for young girls is the ALEX Spa Totally Henna Deluxe set. Let me review it for you this morning. 

Tattoos and body art in general are quite popular with the generations who are younger than myself. Children see the adults around them with a tattoo and often want to have one too. Obviously we can't, or shouldn't, do a real tattoo on a child but there are some alternatives. 

We have all seen the sticker style of tattoos that can be used for children. There are also decal types that can be rubbed on a child. Did you know that you can now do a Henna style of body art on children? It is pretty darned cool in my humble opinion.

Henna has been used since the days of antiquity to create body art, dye hair, color fingernails and in fabrics. Henna comes from a plant known as the Henna tree, the mignonette tree or the Egyptian privet. Dried leaves are ground into a powder and then a liquid is added to create the stain to apply to skin, hair, nails or fabric. 

What I like about this kit that can be purchased for a child is that it acts much like real henna and will last for a few days or can be washed off with soap and water at any time. We just played with the kit with my seven year old granddaughter and had a lot of fun!

The kit comes with three tattoo pens that can be used with your choice of stencils that stick to the skin and can then be pealed off when the design is finished. You can enhance parts of your design with some one of the two shimmer writers that are included with the set. One of the shimmers was a copper color and the other was a soft gold. There are also some little plastic "jewels" that can be applied to the design. It was very easy to work with and the colors were subtle. 

I did notice that as the day progressed the design was wearing away just a little with normal play. At bath time, it came off easily with no residue or staining to the skin. 

We really had a lot of fun picking the stencil we wanted to use and deciding which color to place where. After the initial work was done, it was fun to add some shimmer and a jewel or two. 

What a fun alternative the the stickers and rub-ons for temporary body art for children! This might be a fun item to include in your gifts for the holidays or for birthdays.



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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Being Thankful Reviewed

Celebrating Thanksgiving

thankful
Give Thanks every day (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
Instead of spending this morning reviewing a product, I choose instead to review being thankful instead. This emotion is not something that can be purchased but instead is a choice that we make every single day, not just on Thanksgiving Day. Well, at least that is what I think. It is a choice whether we realize it or not. 

For me, every morning when my eyes open I humbly say a prayer of thanksgiving for being on this side of the dirt for at least one more day. I do look at each day as a precious gift and promise each morning to try to make the best of that day as is humanly possible for me to do. 

Sometimes our lives seem to be filled with obstacles that could make us choose to be bitter, sad, angry and lost. Holidays, often times, bring our negative emotions closer to the surface. We find ourselves being depressed due to the loss of someone close to us that won't share the holiday with us. Perhaps we are far away from home and family and are heart broken with the thought of being alone during the holiday. I know those feelings well, more than I like to remember. I can empathize and sympathize with all who feel that way as Thanksgiving approaches with Christmas not far on the horizon. 

There was a time in my life when I wasn't sure that Thanksgiving, in particular, would ever be a happy time for me again. At the time my life was forever altered just two days before the holiday. I feared that this time of the year would forever be darkened by that horrible event. I realized the following year that it would only be darkened if I let it. I could sit around and feel depressed or I could make the choice to look for the people and things in my life to be thankful for. It wasn't hard to see hundreds of reasons to feel grateful and thankful. I made up my mind that year to always look for the good and wonderful things in my life.

So, this year as every year, I am most thankful for my beautiful family. My children, my grandchildren and my loving husband fill my life with joy every day. I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on my table. I am thankful for good health and an abundance of friends. I am thankful for each day that my eyes open. There are people who are not on this earth to share the day with me this year but I am thankful for the time that I did get to share with them and I know that they are here in spirit and will always be in my heart. I won't be saddened by the things that are lost but will be happy with what is here and look forward to what is to be found. I am thankful for it all.

For those of you who are reading this, my wish is that your Thanksgiving will be filled with joy and happiness. Actually, my wish is that you find something to be thankful for every day. Just remember to look, it shouldn't be too difficult to find if you open your heart.







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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DIY Floor Cleaner Recipe Reviewed

Works on all floor types

diy floor cleaner
Make your own cleaning solution
I would like to review a DIY floor cleaner recipe with you today. It is perfect to use on all hard floor surfaces, it is non-toxic and it is easy on the budget. What more could a gal ask for?

Since purchasing my Kray Spray Mop I have been looking for good cleaning solution recipes to use. I can use just plain water and white vinegar but I wanted something a little more robust. One that would clean well, not streak and be environmentally friendly. I found one that I love and just about all of the ingredients were already in my pantry. 

All Purpose Floor Cleaner Recipe

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 3 drops dish washing soap
  • 5 to 10 drops of essential oil
You will also want a container to keep your solution in for future use. I use an empty 1 gallon vinegar bottle to store mine in. It is a good idea to store the floor cleaner away from any heat. 

This particular formula works well because each ingredient serves a purpose in the cleaning process. The water acts as a base for the other ingredients and it helps to loosen any grime on the floor. The white vinegar acts as a disinfectant and a degreaser. I might add that even though vinegar is acidic this diluted mixture should not harm stone floors. The rubbing alcohol also helps to degrease and disinfect but its main purpose in this floor cleaner is to help the floor dry quickly and not leave any streaks. The dish soap will dissolve any bonds between the dirt and the floor, it cleans, and it also breaks down any greasy residue on your floor. Use a basic dish soap that is not oil based (causes streaking and smearing). The dish soap should not have moisturizers, bleach or antibacterial substances. You might think that the added anti-bacteria would be helpful but you don't need it because you already have the vinegar and alcohol for that purpose. The essential oil just works to offset the smell of the vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Watch carefully which essential oil that you use because the ones that are compounds are usually oil based. The oil will cause smears and streaks just like it would if there is oil in your dish soap. 

And that is it! This floor cleaner is that easy to make and you will love the cleanness of your floor plus this solution leaves a nice shine, too. So, if you are looking for a floor cleaner that is economical, safe for children and pets, cleans super well and is easy to make try this do it yourself recipe for mopping your floors. I really don't think that you will be disappointed!



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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Kray Spray Mop Kit Reviewed

Mopping Floors Made Easier

floor mop
Mop and bucket image courtesy of pixabay.com
Let me review my new favorite tool the Kray Spray Mop for you today. This wonderful addition to my arsenal for cleaning is so much better than what I have been using. 

For the last several years I have used a combination dust mop and wet mop made by a well known company. It is fine but I constantly had to buy replacement pads that were for dry dusting of the floors or the wet ones when I wanted to clean the floors. I found it to be inconvenient and after a while costly to be always buying the refill packs. That won't be a problem any longer. 

As I looked into getting a spray mop, I almost purchased the one from the same company who makes the one that I have now. What I didn't like about that particular brand was that the mop required batteries to operate the spray action. I noticed in the some of the reviews that some people experienced problems with the battery operation so I kept looking. That is when I found this one that does not use batteries at all. 

Another feature that I did not like about the competitor was that you had to use their solution (another thing to have to replenish) and those bottles could not easily be refilled. The Kray Spray mop kit comes with three refillable bottles that I can put my own solution in. I like that idea a lot! I can mix different cleaners for the different floor types in my home. 

I also love that the kit comes with five microfiber pads that attach to the mop head with a velcro type system. The pads are re-usable and I can throw them in the washing machine when they become soiled. No more having to buy replacements! The pads can be used for dust mopping or I can just use the spray feature when I want to wet mop. Easy peasy! 

For me, this mop kit will be so much easier to use and much more economical, too. How about you? Does this mop kit appeal to you? 



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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Holiday Gift Wrap Bundle Set Reviewed

Coordinated Packages Under The Tree

holiday gift wrap
Holiday Wrap For pretty gifting (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
Before you know it, the time for making sure we have enough supplies for our holiday gift wrapping will be upon us. I don't know about you but I like to have a nice variety of papers on hand but I also like for the packages to have a coordinated look to them. 

I found a nice bundle set to get for my gifts this year and I thought that I would share my discovery with you today. The set comes with three rolls of wrapping paper which have a design on both sides, gift tags and ribbon. I love that they are all color coordinated. The set that I plan to get is in reds and golds but there is an option to choose different color sets if the red and gold does not appeal to you. Our tree is predominately red and gold so this set will look really nice under our tree this year. 

Did you know that red and gold are very traditional colors for the Christmas holiday? Red is often used to represent the blood of Christ when he died on the cross but also the bishops robes were often red and later St. Nicholas and Santa Claus wore red. Gold represents one of the gifts brought to the Christ child and is also used to show the star over Bethlehem. 

Often times in the past I have purchased gift wrap and then tried to find tags and ribbon that would work well but that can be a real pain in the backside. Finding a set that is already matched will make my job so much easier this year. I know that most likely no one will even notice that everything is wrapped in a coordinated color scheme but I will know. Maybe it won't register with the family at all and that is just fine. It might be one of those subtle things that they know they liked it but can't put their finger on why. 

How about you? Do you like for all of your gifts to coordinate or do you just try to use up the paper you have on hand before purchasing new paper, ribbon, and gift tags? 



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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Whimsical Throw Pillow Covers Reviewed

Fun Ways To Cover Your Pillows

throw pillows
Pillows image from Pixabay.com
Today, I would like to show you a fun option to cover your throw pillows in an economical and whimsical way. If you are like me, you have several around the house that could be changed with your mood or even the season of year. 

I love the thought of covering pillows that I already have instead of having to go out and buy more pillows. Getting a few pillow cases that match the size of my pillows is an easy solution. 

I should mention that if you don't have many throw pillows, you can purchase the cover and a form to use. That just is not a problem in our home because I own more pillows than most already. 

For less than ten greenbacks you can surely find at least one pillow cover that you like. The option that I found has 43 different patterns to chose from. There are several that have a phrase about books and reading but there are also some for the different holidays during the year like Easter and Christmas and even some nice ones with an autumn theme. 

The cases or covers that I found fit 18 by 18 inch pillows and do not come with the pillow insert. They are made from a cotton linen fabric and are machine washable. The printing is on one side only and did I mention that they are really inexpensive? I did? Well, it was worth noting again. 

These are so fun that not only will I be getting one or two for myself but they will make a great gift for Christmas or a house warming party. 

What do you think? Do you like the idea of being able to have a few pillow covers to change the look of your throw pillows? 



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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Rectangular Serving Plates Reviewed

Serving Platter For Large Dinners

turkey needs plate
This turkey needs a serving plate (image from Pixabay.com)
Let's review an option for rectangular serving plates, today. I know, as I write this we haven't even celebrated Halloween yet this year. Before we know it, it will be time to sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner and then in December there will be the Christmas Dinner. Do you have enough serving plates to accommodate those larger portions of food?

I have found a set of three serving plates that will come in mighty handy for those dinners or parties that we often host during the year. What I love about this set is that they do not have a design that will make you feel like you can only use them for one specific holiday. I have always been fond of those wonder old turkey platters with the turkey design on them but they look a little silly if you use them for anything other than Thanksgiving. So, they sit in the cupboard to be pulled out once during the year. That is not very practical is it? 

What I love about this set of three is that you have three different sizes of plates to serve on: small, medium and large. The largest plate is 15.6 inches by 8.8 inches and will serve nicely for a large turkey, ham, or pot roast. The medium size is 13.8 inches by 7.5 inches and will work well with a variety of dishes for the dinner or party. The smallest plate is 12.2 inches by 6.5 inches and is perfect for appetizers or just about anything! 

I also love that they are white in color. There is nothing that will distract from any pattern we might have on our dinnerware. They can be used for any occasion we plan to serve a lot of people and will stack nicely in the cupboard. 

This set of three rectangular serving plates are made of porcelain so that can be used in the freezer or oven and can be washed in the dishwasher. Now, I think that makes them even more practical! 

How about you? Do you think that this set of serving platters would function well for your large gatherings of family and friends during the year? 





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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Play Doh Party Bag Reviewed

Great For Party Favors Or Stocking Stuffers

play doh creation
Play-Doh Creation image courtesy of Pixabay.com
A Play Doh party bag might not be on your radar but if you have parties for children to plan or stockings to stuff perhaps it should be. Children of all ages love to play with this modeling dough; at least in our house they do. 

It is sometimes hard to find small little things to include as a party favor for children. A party bag of Play-Doh seems like a good idea to me. Each bag contains 15 small little containers of dough that can even be personalized on the top. It doesn't get much easier than that! 

When I saw this option, I immediately thought of the ease of placing a few of the containers in a Christmas Stocking. Our grandchildren still love to create things with this modeling clay like substance. Truth be told, Grandma still like to sit with the kids and make things, too.

The containers only hold about 1 ounce so they will be light weight in the stocking. There is a variety of colors so some might help replace a color that has dried out or provide a color that we don't have. I am sure not one of them will go to waste. 

Getting a bag or two is a nice idea for a Birthday Party but also if there is a classroom party. It would only take a couple of bags to make sure that each child could receive a container. A very economical solution that will provide something that the children will play with and not just toss away or break. Both genders of children will appreciate a container of Play-Doh, too. 

I am so thrilled that I found this party bag! It is not going to make much of a dent at all on my budget, the grandchildren will love it and it is something that we can play with together. It doesn't get much better than that, in my humble opinion. How about you? Would you consider getting a Play Doh Party bag for your children or grandchildren to play with? 



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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Skeleton Cat Halloween Decor Reviewed

Fun Cat Decor For Halloween

black cat
Black Cat image from Pixabay.com
A slightly different Halloween decoration for this year would be a skeleton cat. Let me review one for you this year and you can decide if it is something you would want to add to your decorating this year. 

Black cats are often associated with Halloween. That is a bad rap for those beautiful creatures, I know. Unfortunately, most tales of the spooky persuasion involve a cat (often black) in them. Witches and magicians often have a familiar in the form of a cat. One can sort of see why because a cat when angered can be pretty darned frightening whether it is Halloween or not. I digress.

A few years back a very popular decoration for the night of trick or treats was the flamingos that were skeletons or devils. I thought those were hysterically funny! Actually, I think that if one looks they can still find those available. Perhaps you aren't into those majestic birds as a part of your yard decor but you do want a skeleton theme or at least a few skeletons in the overall plan. Of course, we can find human skeletons but gosh everyone has at least one of those. How about something different? Hmmm? 

I have found a fun and different option for this year's night of fright! A skeleton cat and rat can be placed in my yard or beside the door. Now, before you go getting all bent out of shape thinking that a cat skeleton is kind of cruel, hear me out. First of all, I absolutely love cats. I have one that adopted me years ago and I love her dearly. Still, I think having a skeleton cat at the door greeting my little trick or treaters is a funny idea. It is not something that they would expect to see. I think after the first shock of seeing one they will probably laugh. I know I will when I see them jump! A little wicked of me, I suppose. 

Since I know that my own cat will not even consider sitting by the door to hiss and arch her back (she is one big scaredy cat with strangers); this option appeals to me. It might even be funny to dress as a witch and hold the skeleton in my arms, petting it like it is still alive. 

What do you think? Is it over the top or just the right amount of whimsy for decorating this year?



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