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

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Grocery Delivery Service Instacart Reviewed

Easy App For Grocery Delivery

I would like to review an App today that assists you in grocery delivery to your door that is easy to use and affordable. In this trying time, many of you reading this are under orders to stay at home except for essential trips that you need to make. Well, getting groceries is essential but when you fall into the age group that is vulnerable it might be that it isn't the safest trip to make. 

grocery delivery
Grocery Delivery Made Easy
First, I would like to be transparent and let you know that my recommendation for this service is not something that I will earn any money on. It isn't paid for by the company nor am I given any kind of credit for it's recommendation. I am doing it as a public service to offer an option to our readers for not having to leave the safety of their homes to get food. I am also hoping that if just one person decides to use it that I have given someone the opportunity for employment. With millions of people unemployed at the moment, a job like this might be just what they need.


Not All Delivery Services Are The Same


To your door delivery service for groceries isn't new, many areas have had one or another available for a while. Some are easier to use than others. Some are more costly than others. Currently with the demand as it is, some are almost impossible to order from. My daughter has used Shipt for over 18 months. She loved it until recently. With more people using the app, she found that every time she tried to order a delivery that all of the shopping slots were filled for days ahead. I tried to sign-up for it to use in the area that my 87 year old father lives in but it wasn't available there yet. 

I tried to use the Walmart App to order groceries to be delivered to my Dad but finally gave up. It was easy to place things in the virtual cart but after that it became very frustrating. You have the option of home delivery or pick-up with their service. The rub comes in when you are ready to place the order. They only got 48 hours out...in other words if they are booked up for the next 48 hours you can't order the things you need for delivery OR pick-up. I think it is wonderful that so many people are using the service so that they can comply with social distancing and staying at home but when you need groceries delivered or are willing to pick them up at the curb, well, this wasn't much help. 

So, I looked for other options. I mentioned my father is 87. He really shouldn't be out risking exposure but the thing is, neither should I. My age falls into that vulnerable area, too. I did find a solution that was good for both of us. The app is called Instacart. You will need to download it to your phone in order for it to work the best. The app is free so no problem there. There is a small fee for using the app but it is less than $4. Another fee is added on that amounts to 5% of your grocery total and you have the option to leave a tip for your shopper. 

Depending on your area, there will be different places that your shopper can shop for your groceries. For my Dad's area there were two well known grocery stores, a bulk type retailer and a pharmacy. I chose one of the grocery stores and began to add items to the virtual cart. Once I had all of the items that Dad needed, I proceeded to the next step. It gave me possible delivery times for that day and several days into the future. I liked that! So, I opted for a time and day for his items to be delivered, filled in the payment options and closed the app. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezey!

OK, so delivery day arrives. Dad's order was supposed to be delivered between 10 AM and Noon on that day. At 9:23 AM, I got a message telling me that my shopper was at the store and working on the order. Cool beans! It showed me his avatar which I thought was neat. Anyway, as he worked his way through the aisles, I would get a message through the app that they were out of something and he gave me an option for a substitute. I had the option to approve or decline. I must say, his choices were spot on as a substitute. There were only 3 things that needed to be changed. When he was finished, the app let me know that he was done and that the groceries would be delivered at Dad's door at 11:05 AM. I called Dad to let him know they were on the way. At exactly 11:05, the app let me know that the shopper was there. Bingo! That was so easy! The frozen and refrigerated items were brought in a thermal container to keep them at the proper temperature, too. The shopper was so sweet to my Dad. He let Dad take the thermal container in, remove the items and place it back out the door. He waited patiently because Dad moves kind of slow. 

Was I pleased? You bet! Will I use it again? You bet! I loved that everything went through the app. The shopper could contact me and I could answer through the app. At the end of the transaction, I was given the total that would be charged to Dad's card with a breakdown of what was charged. A virtual receipt. It was so easy and very pleasant to use. 

I highly recommend this particular app for grocery delivery if it is available in your area. It might even be an opportunity for employment for full or part-time work if you are looking for something like that. It is turning out to be a blessing for me and my sweet father.






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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Activities For Kids Reviewed

What to do with the kids home

Are you struggling to find activities for kids to do while they are out of school? Let me review some ideas I gave my daughter to help keep my granddaughter entertained that did not involve sitting in front of the television set. With the schools closed across the nation, you might be pretty tired of playing board games and need some fresh ideas.

activities for kids
Keep the kids entertained
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I was talking to my daughter the other day and she expressed her frustration over how to keep my granddaughter busy and entertained after she has completed her online studies for school. I'm guessing there are a whole lot of parents who are feeling the same way. My daughter said that she was so sick of the board games they had in the house and needed some ideas on other things to do. So here are a few ideas that I tossed out for consideration.

One of the things I tried to keep in mind as I offered some options was that the activities needed to involve things that didn't require going out to buy new things. For one thing, we are supposed to refrain from leaving our homes but more importantly a whole lot of parents aren't working right now and money is tight. 

A Few Ideas To Keep Your Kids Busy

I suggested that on some days, my granddaughter could do some crafty type things. She loves to create all kinds of things so, I suggested that she make some things with the supplies she already has. A card to send to my Dad (her Great-Grandfather) to help cheer up his spirits. Cards for elderly neighbors that could be left at their doors keeping social distancing in mind. Pictures for her wall and that sort of thing. 

Another activity that would take up a little time was to go on an exploration for some fun facts. Have your child think of something they would like to know more about. Perhaps they are fascinated with Giant Squids. Have them do a search for those interesting creatures and then check out some of the sites that come up. While they are looking those over, jot down some other things to look for on another day. Perhaps it could be areas where Giant Squids can be found. Make it something they have an interest in so that they find it fun.

As I write this we are in the season where a lot of Bald Eagle's eggs are hatching. I suggested that my daughter might find one of the many nest cams so that they could watch for a while each day to monitor the progress of those eaglets growing. It is an incredible sight to behold! 

If you are able to, let the kids go outside in your backyard to play for a while. It can be like recess at school without their friends. Toss a ball, kick a can, skip rope, play hopscotch...anything to get their little bodies in motion to expend some pent-up energy. 

Have a good old fashioned scavenger hunt. Hide some things around the house with clues to the next item and then let them spend some time finding the items. Another option is to make a list for them to find the items on the list. Once you have done this, another day can be spent with them hiding the items and you have to find them. 

Try to think of activities you did as a child and introduce them to your kids, who are just as bored as you are by the way. Some you will be able to do and others might just make you smile at the memory. 

If possible, let the kids have some face-time with their friends or perhaps a grandparent. I love those video chats! We did one with my Dad the other day and he was thrilled to be able to see my daughter's and granddaughter's faces. She even showed him her progress with learning to play the fiddle...he loved it!

Look for inspiration either online or in books. A good source of ideas would be an activity book that you might have laying around or can buy for just a small bit of money.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

DIY Hand Sanitizer Reviewed

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Chances are you can't find hand sanitizer on your local shelves. Let me review how to make your own to use when soap and water aren't available to you. It is much easier than you might think!

hand sanitizer
DIY Hand Sanitizer
image courtesy of pixabay.com

We are all in the same boat with the flu & various viruses that terrorize the world. The importance of keeping our hands clean and the surfaces around us goes without saying. When it comes to being able to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with us on those occasions that we have to go out for supplies is pretty much impossible. The hoarders and the opportunists have cleared the shelves across the nation. Not to worry, you can actually make your own.

What You Will Need:

  • 1 empty hand soap or sanitizer dispenser
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) 99% alcohol volume
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Essential Oil or lemon juice to make it smell nice (optional)
  • Large measuring cup with spout to mix and pour from

Hand Sanitizer Recipe:

3/4 cup isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice

Pour all of the ingredients into a large bowl or a measuring cup with a spout. Mix together with a spoon first and then whisk the solution to form a gel. Pour the mixture into an empty bottle for easy use and transport and then label it with the words "Hand Sanitizer".

That's it, it is that easy. Just a reminder that it is still better to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use the sanitizer when you are out and can't wash your hands. I like to place a dab on a tissue to wipe off the handle of the grocery cart before I place my own hands on it. 

Not sure how long the 20 seconds is? Sing the Birthday song through two times while washing your hands. Remember to pay attention to the tips of your fingers and between your fingers. 

Stay safe, follow the guidelines and we will all get through this together as a nation. 






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Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Sauerkraut Crock Reviewed

Fermented Cabbage: A Healthy Choice

Let's review the benefits of sauerkraut or fermented cabbage today. We will also talk about what to look for if you buy sauerkraut in the grocery and how to make your own kraut. It is easier than you might think and oh so much better for you when you do. 

sauerkraut crock
Make your own with a Sauerkraut Crock
image courtesy of pixabay.com
You probably think of sauerkraut as a German food and they are responsible for that specific name for fermented cabbage but historians are relatively sure that the fermentation of cabbage dates back some 2,000 years and began in China. Fermenting foods was about the only way to store foods for extended periods of time.

Benefits of Sauerkraut


One cup of kraut is very nutritious. It is low in calories for one thing and has zero fat. That cup will also provide about 7 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein. It is a little high in salt content coming in at about 39% of the suggested daily intake. Eating a cup of kraut will provide you with a good source of Vitamin C, K, and B6 along with iron, manganese, folate, copper, and potassium. 

The fermenting of cabbage causes the creation of probiotics that keep your gut healthy and working properly. That is way more important than you might think. When the good bacteria is working in your intestines your body can better absorb the minerals and vitamins found in the foods or supplements that you take in. Basically, when your digestive tract is working properly, the rest of your body works better, too. 

When your gut flora is healthy so is your immune system. A strong immune system helps us not so susceptible to colds, flu, infections and all of those nasty things that we try so hard to avoid being exposed to. The vitamin C, iron, and probiotics in sauerkraut help build up our immune system.

It might be a good aid in weight loss, too. The low calorie content and non-existence of fat are advantages along with the higher fiber content and the probiotics can help with loss of unwanted body fats. 

The healthy population of gut flora has been linked to better brain health along with lowering stress levels. The enzymes created from the probiotics allow your body to better absorb the important nutrients in your diet that help your brain and your moods. 

More studies need to be made but researchers are looking at the benefits of plant compounds found in sauerkraut to be a tool in fighting certain cancers. Some believe that the kraut might prevent cancer cells from developing or growing. 

A healthier heart is another benefit from eating sauerkraut. Yep, it can help with lowering cholesterol! It is also helpful in helping lower your blood pressure. That one little cup of kraut can help lower your risk of heart disease. 

The Vitamin K that I mentioned earlier, is actually K2 and that is beneficial in maintaining healthier and stronger bones. This vitamin helps to activate two particular proteins that bind calcium making for stronger and healthier bone growth. 

Buying Sauerkraut or Making your own


You can find sauerkraut in the grocery store. Read the labels before you purchase a can or jar off of the shelf, though. You should avoid sauerkraut that has been pasteurized and ones that have preservatives in them. The kraut found in the refrigerated section probably hasn't been put through the pasteurization method. Those preservatives and the pasteurizing will remove all of the benefits from the sauerkraut! Basically, the only two ingredients in the container should be cabbage and salt or brine. There should be no sugars! Sometimes there will be additional vegetables like carrots and those are fine but avoid the other stuff. 


Making your own is better! It is pretty darn easy to do to! Get a head of cabbage from your produce section or from your own garden. You don't have to wash it, it is better if you don't. Remove the loose leaves and cut the cabbage into small ribbons. Place the shredded cabbage into a large bowl and add non-iodized salt. Work the salt into the cabbage with your hands. The salt pulls the water out of the cabbage creating its own brine. Place the cabbage and brine into a fermentation crock, weight it down and let it ferment for about 2 weeks or longer. Once it comes to your desired taste, place in jars in the refrigerator. That's it! You made sauerkraut! For actual measurements look for a recipe online. There are many of them to be found. 

For a good sauerkraut crock, you might like the one that I have and use. I love mine! It is easy to use and comes with the weights you need to keep the cabbage submerged in the brine. 




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Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Easy Loaded Potato Soup Recipe Reviewed

A Quick Way To Make Potato Soup

I would like to share an easy loaded potato soup recipe with you today. My review of this recipe will show you how to make a great tasting soup in a very short time span. Interested? Follow me down the page for the ingredients and instructions. 

potato soup
Russet Potatoes for a great soup
image courtesy of pixabay.com

In order to prepare this soup recipe you will need an Insta-pot or any other popular brand of pressure style cooker on the market. Depending on the make you use my directions might be different on your cooker but I think you can figure out how to do it with the features available on your model.

Recipe for Loaded Potato Soup


Ingredients:
1 Tbs butter
1 Shallot minced
3 cloves garlic
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 Russet potatoes peeled and diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
Black pepper
1 Tbs flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon bits and cheese for garnish

Preparation:
Add butter to your pot and melt on the saute setting. Add shallot to melted butter cooking for 4 minutes. Now, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Add the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper and the diced potatoes. Stir the contents well. Place your lid securely on your pot and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Do a Quick Release after the 10 minutes are up.

Remove the lid. In a separate container stir the milk and flour together. Add this mixture to the soup in the pot. Cook on the saute setting for 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese until it is melted. 

Your soup is ready to serve! Garnish with bacon bits and shredded cheese and enjoy!


Make this recipe and many others with an Insta-pot


I can't believe how much I use my pressure cooker for meals. One of our favorites is this Loaded Potato Soup recipe but I make all sorts of things in it. It is amazing how little time most recipes take. If you don't have one, you should consider getting one for yourself. I'm pretty sure you will not regret adding it to your kitchen as a handy tool for preparing really good food. Below is the model that I own.




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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Pisces Mug Reviewed

Sign of the Fish Gift Idea

I was looking for a Pisces mug to give as a gift recently. Let me review the one I chose for you. There are two important men in my life that were born under this particular sign of the Zodiac, my Dad and my sweet husband. They are both a little difficult to buy for because both of them just go get whatever it is they feel they might need or want. Mugs are usually a safe bet for either one of them as a small gift.

pisces mug
Pisces Sign
image courtesy of pixabay.com

They say a girl is often attracted to men who are like their father. I guess that is true in my case. My Dad and husband are so much alike.

The Pisces Man

If your man was born between February 19th and March 20th, then he is a part of the water sign of Pisces. He is a romantic sort, caring, and sensitive. I don't know about my Dad being romantic but my sweet hubby sure is. Another strong trait in the Pisces man is that he is creative. Both my Dad and my husband are very artistic. 

A man born under Pisces influence is usually very giving in their nature. I would agree with that on a couple of levels. They are giving in the material sense, often the most happy when they can give a gift to someone. I see my Dad and husband both being very giving when it comes to emotional support which is a sort of gift giving act, too. I would say that both have a tendency to think with their heart more than their heads in a lot of situations. Neither like confrontation of any kind and are most unhappy if they think they have hurt someone.

I would have to say that a girl like me has been pretty lucky to have a Pisces father and even luckier to have a Pisces husband. 

Anyway, one of the gifts that both of them will get from me this year is a Pisces Mug. The one that I chose for my husband looks like the one below. It is a nice ceramic mug for him to enjoy his coffee in each morning and will hold 11 oz of his favorite brew. There is an option for a 15 oz one too. It is printed on both sides with the lovely Pisces art. I think it will make him smile in the mornings when he sits down at the breakfast table. 



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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

An Easter Egg Hunt For Jesus Book Review

More To The Holiday Than Eggs And Bunnies

I found a wonderful book to include in the little one's Easter Basket this year. An Easter Egg Hunt For Jesus will be a nice way to help her understand what we are really celebrating during this special holiday. Just like with Christmas, children need to know the real 'reason for the season.'

easter egg hunt
Egg Hunts are fun for kids
image courtesy of pixabay.com
I will admit that it is fun to color the eggs with the children and even more fun hiding those eggs for them to find. How often do we stop to let them know why we Christians celebrate the Easter Holiday? Depending on their age, it might be difficult to explain the Crucifixion and Resurrection in a way that doesn't disturb them . I remember my oldest coming out of her Sunday School class one Sunday near Easter being absolutely horrified over their lesson that morning. She was about 7 at the time but she had grasped all too well the story of Jesus on that cross. She kept saying, "They killed him, Mommy! Why would they do that?" I kept trying to explain that He had to die so that he could come back to life but I didn't do a very good job of it. I also remember thinking the teacher shouldn't have ended the lesson that day without telling the children at least something about what came next. Maybe she did, but my daughter couldn't get past the part of his death on that hill. I wish that I had been able to prepare her for that lesson with a book like An Easter Egg Hunt For Jesus. It hadn't been written, yet.

Forest of Faith Series 

A series of books have been written to help children understand better, in ways that they can relate to, the meaning of both Christmas and Easter. The stories take place in a forest with adorable little animals who learn more about their faith. The books are written for ages 4 through 6 and have been illustrated beautifully by Lee Holland with the stories being written by Susan Jones. I really think they would be a wonderful addition to the library of books we have to read to our little ones. 

Little Bunny is excited about the special egg hunt taking place in the forest as are all of the creatures who live there. In his enthusiasm to find the 'special egg' he makes a mistake that he believes has ruined the fun for his family and friends. They all come together to help him understand about the Resurrection of Jesus and the celebration over the new life that He offers to all of us. It is a sweet little story! 

I recommend this book to share with the small ones in your family!




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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Stuffed Bunny For Easter Reviewed

A Gift For Easter Or Anytime

I've been checking out my options for a stuffed bunny as a gift for Easter this year and would like to review one that I am considering getting for the grandchildren. Oh, I might just get one for me, too. I think this one is a real cutie and I do love stuffed animals and if I order it soon, it might help with some inspiration on the book I am trying to finish.

stuffed bunny
A stuffed bunny of a different sort
image courtesy of pixabay.com
One of the reasons that I began to look for a bunny as a gift was because the current book that I'm working on involves a cold case that happened around Easter time a few years ago. In the second book in the Babbs Bennett Mystery series, Sydney becomes alarmed when she sees a stuffed bunny on display in the Holiday Book Store. She begins to explain that she does not like bad bunnies because they take things. As Babbs gently questions the girl, she discovers that Sydney witnessed something at a local Easter Egg Hunt that might help solve the disappearance of a young girl.

Babbs becomes curious and more than a little outraged when she hears that the police talked to Sydney at the time about what she saw and then seemed to dismiss the girl's account. Her assumption is that they did not take the girl seriously because she was born with Down Syndrome and Babbs just can't tolerate the rejection of her little friend when she clearly saw something important. She convinces her friends Priscilla, Elizabeth, and Marjorie to help solve the case of the missing child. Babbs wants to ease the fears that Sydney has about rabbits, prove her point about the police being more sensitive to all witnesses and most importantly find out what happened to the little girl. 

Looking For Inspiration In Odd Places

When I began to write the second book in the series, working title is Brazen Bunny, I wanted to stay with the theme of the series of a book store that decorates for the holidays that are celebrated each month. Since the first book involved Valentine's Day, I thought Easter would be the next logical holiday to have the story revolve around. So, then my mind began a journey about what kind of mystery could involve Easter. It came up with the idea of a child actually being afraid of the Easter Bunny because they saw someone dressed as one do something bad. That is where the plot became to form in my brain. We are still working out the details!

A stuffed rabbit begins the unfolding of what Sydney saw that day, so, I have had stuffed bunnies in my head for a while now. When it came time to think about what to get the kids for Easter, a stuffed bunny pushed itself to the surface. 

I found a cute one. He is manufactured by Checkered Fun and measures about 20 inches tall. His bottom is weighted so that he can sit if you choose for him to do so. He is soft, cuddly and well, cute as a bunny! He is the perfect size to cuddle and snuggle with at bedtime or anytime. I think he deserves to become a new friend to my special girls and he might need to sit and help me finish my book. 




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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Furnace Filters By Filtrete Reviewed

Looking For Hard To Find Furnace Filters?

Do you have trouble finding the size of furnace filter that you need? Let me review some possibilities that you might not have thought of. Recently, I have been on a quest to find the right size of filter required for my Dad's furnace. Let me tell you, I was beginning to think it might be an impossible task!

furnace filters
Fireplaces don't require furnace filters
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I visited every single big box store in my area looking for the size that I needed. First of all, it is amazing at how many sizes they did carry but none of them had the size that Dad's furnace requires. I would find ones that were close but not quite the right measurements. Now, just like with a lot of things in life, close only counts in the game of horseshoes. To say that I was beginning to get frustrated would be putting it mildly. I mean, come on, it isn't like Dad has a furnace that is rare. It is a well known brand for goodness sake!

A Light Bulb Moment in My Search

About the time that I decided that if nothing else, I was going to take the vacuum sweeper and try to clean the existing filter my brain cells kicked and the proverbial light came on in the gray matter of my head. "Why don't you look to see if they can be purchased online, Bev?" said that little voice that only I can hear. 

Sure enough, when I searched on my favorite website for ordering things that I need; the filters that I have spent a month looking for were there. For goodness sake, why didn't I think to look there first? It would have saved me time in the car, gas and a whole lot of frustration if I had. 

Anyway, my point this morning is; if you have a furnace filter that seems to be a less than standard size; take a look online. I'll just bet that you will be able to find the one you need. The bonus is, it can be delivered right to your door. There is a possibility that you might need to order more than one. The size I needed came in a package of six. I couldn't seem to purchase just one. Actually, that turns out to be a bonus in my mind, too. Now, I'll have extras and will be ready when it is time to change the filter in the future. That isn't such a bad thing, now is it?





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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

CYZ Women's Pajama Bottoms Reviewed

Comfy Flannel Pajama Bottoms

Recently, I took some of my Christmas money and treated myself to a pair of CYZ Women's Pajama Bottoms. I thought I would review my purchase for you today. Who doesn't love a cozy pair of PJ's? 

women's pajama bottoms
Warm Pajama Bottoms for cold winter nights
image courtesy of pixabay.com

When it comes to cold winter nights, I prefer to sleep in cozy flannel pajamas, although fleece is pretty comfy, too. So, as I mentioned above, I took some of the gift money that I received to purchase a new pair of pajama bottoms for my nightly sleep time. I am more than happy with my choice.


Choosing A Brand For My Pajama Bottoms


I did not have a particular brand in mind when I went in search of my new PJ bottoms. There are so many manufacturers of this type of nightly apparel. When my search results came on the screen, I thought to myself, "Oh my, where do I begin?" I narrowed it down to flannel which made the choices slightly less daunting but that still left quite a lot to view. 

So, then I started scrolling down looking at the pattern options available. Some were easy enough to dismiss because I didn't like the color or perhaps the pattern. I don't know why but I am drawn to plaid patterns when it comes to pajamas. I don't wear a lot of plaid in my daily wardrobe but at night, there is just something about plaid. Maybe it is sort of a like a comfort food, I just feel comfortable in a flannel plaid. 

Anyway, I began to look at the options for flannel material in a plaid design. That is when I came across the CYZ choices. I found a color combination that I particularly liked and since the pajama bottoms all seemed to have 4 or 5 stars in the ratings of other customers I chose a pair from that manufacturer. 

Oh, they felt so soft when they arrived! They are still soft after a few trips through the washer and dryer, too. The fit is accurate (I chose the size from their chart). All in all, I am very happy with my purchase. So happy that I am considering getting one or two more pairs. 

If you are in the market for some new sleepwear or perhaps you have someone you would consider gifting some to, I can highly recommend the CYZ brand of pajamas.





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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Fiber Good Gummies Reviewed

Supplement For Adding Fiber To Your Diet

Today, I would like to review an alternative to the supplement often suggested by our physicians for adding fiber to our diets. Fiber Good Gummies are much more palatable than that awful powder that we are often directed to add to water. I'm sure if you have needed to add fiber to your diet, you know the product I am referring to. Oh my goodness that stuff makes me gag!

fiber good
Fruits can be a good source of fiber
image courtesy of pixabay.com

 I know that I should eat more fruits that are rich in fiber along with other sources like beans, nuts, and some vegetables. I know that I should, but I'll be honest; I don't do a very good job of seeing to putting those things on my plate. Several times, my doctor has told me that if I don't actually eat the foods for the fiber that I should use a product as a supplement. I'm sorry, the powder forms just make me nauseous. I've tried more than once but it just feels so slimy in my mouth and tastes nasty. 

Last week, I was at the local pharmacy looking for some things that my Dad needed. I found myself on the aisle where the above mentioned powders can be found. I noticed an option that I hadn't seen before. There on the shelf was a soluble fiber supplement in the form of gummies. I almost jumped up and down with joy as I read the label on the bottle! 

The gummies are made from fruits like strawberry, apple, grape, cherry, orange and lemon. They taste pretty good and I can chew those without feeling sick to my stomach. They are easy to use, too. Basically, you chew two Fiber Good gummies twice a day. That is it, it is that easy.


Fiber Good Gummies Work


So, I purchased a bottle and began taking them that day. It has been about a week since I began chewing the little fruit flavored gummies and I can see a difference. My digestive system is working better, much better, than it was. I wish that I had visited that aisle sooner.

The next office visit that I have, I'm going to tell my doctor about these little morsels. I think sometimes they might not realize that there are alternatives to the products they often recommend. At least he might consider telling his other patients that if they can't stomach that powder stuff that they can try the Fiber Good Gummies. 

If you or someone you know struggles with providing enough fiber in their diets, give the Phillips Fiber Good Gummies a try. They have worked for me and I plan to make them a part of my daily routine from now on. 




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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Grab Bars Suction Cup Style Reviewed

Lifestyle Changes For Seniors

One never knows when a lifestyle change warrants installing grab bars in our bathrooms. I would like to review a style that is easy to install, dependable, and won't break your budget. I'll also explain why my family suddenly found the need to even look for these handy bars that assist a person in getting up off of the toilet or getting out of the shower or tub, safely.

grab-bars-for-elderly
When a senior citizen falls, their lifestyle needs changes
image courtesy of pixabay.com 
Last month, I got that dreaded phone call from the hospital. The ER nurse informed me that my father had taken a serious fall and had been brought to the Emergency Room. They were certain that his left arm was badly broken and that surgery was most likely in his future. Naturally, I rushed to his side.

So, I'll spare you the gory details and only say that after three hours in surgery and a whole lot of hardware placed into his arm to hold the bones together, Dad is out of the hospital and currently staying in an assisted living facility to undergo physical therapy to try to regain mobility in his arm. Each day he seems to gain more of his strength back and is determined to get back to his own home. In order for him to go home, some things need to change in that environment. That is where my sudden need to find out about grab bars came into play.


Grab Bars Come in a Variety of Styles

 
As you can imagine, Dad will only have the use of one arm for quite a while. He is going to need to be able to keep his balance when doing simple things like bathing and getting up and down from the toilet. Obviously, we don't want him to fall again. So, in the hospital and the assisted living facility they have the grab bars that are the metal ones like we see in the handicap stalls in public bathrooms. When I began to look at those as an option, I have to admit that I was shocked at the cost of just one. I was willing to pay it, but I had other concerns besides the cost. Those metal ones have to be bolted to the wall and I wasn't feeling very confident in having them installed where Dad would need them. 

His shower/tub unit has the fiberglass surround. I worried about drilling holes in that. Would it cause the surround to have cracks and therefore leaks in the wall? What about studs for security in the installation?  What if the studs weren't in the place where the grab bars needed to be anchored? The last thing I wanted was for the bolts to pull out of the wall and cause unnecessary damage plus the fear of Dad falling.  

While searching for a solution, I came across the option of grab bars that use suction cups to adhere to the wall. Oh my goodness, I was so glad to find these! I won't have to worry about Dad's safety and we won't have to drill into his shower. They were so easy to place where he will need them and lock in place with a tab on the ends. I've since talked to a couple who installed them in their bathroom over a year ago and they are still secure and useful. That has eased my mind more than you can imagine!

So, now all I'm waiting on is for the doctor and physical therapist to say Dad is ready to go home. I'll be checking on him daily for a while, of course, but I won't have to worry about the time that I am not with him and his safety in the bathroom.

If you have an elderly family member, you might consider looking into these grab bars for them. Even if they haven't taken a nasty fall, something like this will aide them in having a safer way to take care of themselves while in their bathrooms.




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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Platform Bird Feeder Reviewed

Flat Bird Feeder Works Well

I just had to replace my original platform bird feeder. I thought I might share with you what I replaced it with. The original was made of wood and eventually rotted off of it's pedestal. Bummer!

platform bird feeder
Some birds like a platform to feed from
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I do love to feed my little backyard friends and I have found over the years that using a platform bird feeder works well for attracting a variety of the winged creatures to my yard. For one thing they are much easier to fill with seeds and treats and so much easier to keep clean.

Wood vs Recycled Plastic


As I mentioned above, the first platform or tray feeder that I purchased was made from wood. It lasted for several years but finally succumbed to the years of being in the weather and literally fell off of the pole that it was attached to. So, for a replacement, I found one that is made of recycled plastic. That shouldn't rot, me thinks! 

I have seen that many people complain that the little screens rot out in their platform feeders. I hadn't experienced that but the nice thing is that my new one came with two new screens. So, now I can keep the old ones as spares. 

The size of this feeder is nice! The inside measures 20 inches by 15 inches which allows for several birds to feed at a time. My favorites are the cardinals who prefer to eat from feeders that are stationary. I get all sorts of birds to come to the platform. I stopped using the ones that I have to take a lid off of to add seed. They get dirty on the inside and can cause bacteria to grow and they are so difficult to clean. The platform works best in our yard. 

I only have one complaint and it isn't the manufacturer's fault. Squirrels can easily come up and rob the feeder of food. I gave up a long time ago on trying to keep the critters away...it is a battle I can't seem to win. So, the squirrels eat at the feeder too. So, do raccoons but there is no getting away from it. 

It took longer for my new platform to arrive than I thought was necessary. Again, that isn't the manufacturer's fault. It was a shipping issue that caused the problem. Waiting longer was aggravating but once it came, I was extremely satisfied with my purchase. The birds are loving it, too.

If you find that you are in need of replacing your old feeder or would like to try one in your yard, I can highly recommend the platform feeder made from recycled plastic.





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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Review of Year End

One Year Ends Another Begins

As I write this we are celebrating the Year End of 2019 and welcoming in the new year and a new decade...2020. 

year end new begin
Wishing you all a Happy New Year
image courtesy of pixabay.com

Here is wishing you all the best in the coming year. I would like to leave you with this toast to end the year and begin our new one. It is a quote from Edith Pierce:

"We will open the book. It's pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and it's first chapter is New Year's Day."

As you fill the pages of your book of Opportunity, I hope you have few filled with sorrow and many filled with happiness. From myself and the other contributors of Review This, we wish you the best for this coming year and decade!




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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Monopoly Unicorns vs Llamas Game Reviewed

A Different Game of Monopoly

I love to play board games with my grandchildren and Monopoly is one of them. Monopoly Unicorns vs Llamas is one I think I should have so that my youngest grandchild can play, too. The standard version is a little more than she can handle at her age but this new release would be right up her little alley.

monopoly game
Monopoly: a great family game
image courtesy of pixabay.com

The new release of an old favorite is geared more for the younger set. I know my little cupcake will enjoy playing it and I can tell you right now which team she will chose to support. The unicorn team, she is wild about those mythical creatures!

Slightly Different Play in the Game

Instead of individual play in this new edition of Monopoly, the game is played with teams. Players decide which team they want to play for, the unicorn team or the llama team. Properties aren't purchased but instead as you move around the board you collect titles for your team. Things like the Sweetest, the most colorful, or my personal favorite the twinkliest eyes. You know when the game is over when all of the titles have been collected. The winning team is determined by the team who has the most titles. Now, I'm asking you. Doesn't that sound like loads of fun?

This game can be entertaining for children ages 8 to 88. Although, I love playing the original version of Monopoly, it can take hours and hours to play. The nice thing about the Unicorns vs Llamas game is that the time-frame for the game doesn't take forever for someone to win. 

Board Games Encourage Family Time

When my girls were little, I loved playing games that we could all play together. Can I tell you how many times I've played Candy Land? It wasn't so much the game that we were playing but the family time we were spending together. Once the grandchildren began to arrive, I've kept up the tradition. 

How about you and your family? Do you play games together? If you have small ones, I think a nice round of the Monopoly Unicorns vs Llamas might be enjoyable for all.





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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Reviewing Progress On A Series

Author's Progress Report

A few weeks ago, I reviewed my plans for next year as far as my writing journey goes. I thought it might be fun to give a bit of a progress report on how that is going. I mentioned that I would be introducing a few new series as I move forward. One that will be introduced first is the series that will involve a Babbs Bennett Mystery.

progress on series
Series progress
image courtesy of pixabay.com

Introducing Babbs Bennett

So, my plan is to publish one book a month next year and I'm already working on achieving my goal. The first book to be published in January will be Valentine Vengeance. You will be introduced to Barbara Bennett who is affectionately called Babbs by her family and friends. She is a retired librarian who has returned to her hometown to help her cousin Harlan Holiday as he recuperates from an accident. 

Harlan owns a book store in the small town of Appleton, Indiana. Babbs plans to see to his recovery while running the book store for him in his absence. The two were born only 9 days apart 67 years ago which makes their relationship more like brother and sister than cousins. On her first visit to check on her cousin, he tells her that he didn't fall but was pushed into a ravine. He also mentions a girl who died some 50 years ago. Babbs suspects that the pain medication he is on is causing him to have some rather wild dreams that he thinks are real. 

As the days begin to pass by in the story, readers will be introduced to a cast of characters that I hope they will love as much as I do. Readers will meet Sydney Miller a special needs girl of 16 who comes to Holiday Books each day after school. She believes she is working for Mr. H but there is actually a different reason she comes to the shop each day. 

Babbs has kept in touch with her three best friends over the years and soon asks them to help her solve a 50 year old cold case from their own past. Marjorie, Lizzie (Elizabeth), and Cilla (Priscilla) agree to help her try to figure out what happened to the beautiful girl all those years ago while trying to see if there is a connection to the accident Harlan has experienced. You will have to read the book when it is released to find out what happens and if the Fearless Four can solve the mystery.

Moving ahead...

I have finished writing Valentine Vengeance and even have a cover design for it. I will try to release it as close to January 1st as is possible. Currently I'm working on book 2 of the Babbs Bennett series which I plan to release in February. 

As an author, I enjoy all of the characters that I write about. I must admit that I have really had some fun with Babbs and her friends, we are all the same age. The character of Cilla makes me laugh! I'm hoping my readers will love everyone in the books, too. 

I know many of our regular readers have read at least some of my books already but if you haven't you can find them on my Author's Page on Amazon. I hope if you have read any of my books, you will take the time to leave a review on Amazon. It only takes a second of your time and means so much to me. Reviews help other readers decide whether they want to read the book or not, that is why they are so important. 






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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Crown Reviewed

Series for the Anglophile

My husband and I have just watched Season 3 of The Crown on Netflix. Have you been watching this series? If not, I think you should. Not only is it entertaining but there is a whole lot of history packed into this original series made for Netflix.

the crown
A Crown
image courtesy of pixabay.com
I'll admit that I'm a bit of an Anglophile (person who admires the United Kingdom). My fascination with the country goes pretty far back. Being a bit of a history nerd, their history is one aspect of my curiosity and the Royal family is another. I think it might be why this series has grabbed my attention. This series documents in a artistic way a history that I have lived for the most part. Queen Elizabeth was named queen the year that I was born, her coronation was a year later. So, obviously I don't have a memory of that but there has been a lot of historical ground covered that I do remember.


Viewing history from the palace 

One of the take-a-ways for me while watching this series is a better understanding of how the Queen and Parliament work. I realize a lot of this is written for entertainment and there are probably some liberties being taken for a story but seeing the interaction of the Queen and the different Prime Ministers she has worked with has been quite interesting. Realizing that she and the royal family as a whole might have an opinion on different aspects of governing but are not often at liberty to voice what they really think or feel has given me a different perspective on a lot of history and even the leaders of today. 

The Crown, even though it is historical fiction, has made me appreciate different members of the royal family in ways that I hadn't even considered before. It is easier to see them as people instead of figure-heads. I hadn't really considered that they sometimes have insecurities, feel unappreciated, get their feelings hurt, and all of those emotions that us 'regular' people do. They don't live what we consider a normal life but they are human and experience many of the same things we do in our lives. 

If you haven't watched this series, I recommend that you do. It can be purchased on DVDs, if you don't happen to have a subscription to Netflix. I don't think that you will be disappointed, not even kind of. I'm looking forward to a season four already.




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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

ZSCM 60 Colors Dual Marker Pens Reviewed

Two Points For Coloring With Marker Pens

I've mentioned before that I like to color as a form of relaxation. Recently, I tried some dual marker pens instead of colored pencils. I would like to review what I used with you today.

marker pens
A more vibrant result comes from markers
image courtesy of pixabay.com

Often when I color with my grandkids, they opt for a felt tip marker instead of coloring crayons or pencils. Up until recently, I didn't choose to use the markers because the tips were wide and they were kind of on the messy side. I stumbled upon a different option when I was searching for some new markers to have for the kids when they visit. Some of the ones that I have had dried out. It happens!

What I found was a set of dual tip marker pens. Oh my goodness these things are really cool! The name kind of tells it all. There are two tips to the pens. One end has a sort of brush type tip that creates a nice wide line and is great for filling in a large area. The other end offers a fine liner type of tip that is great for outlining and working on small areas. I have found them to be so versatile and I like the vibrant colors I get when I use them. 

I chose the set that has 60 colors in it. I must say there is a nice variety of choices with those sixty colors. Some are a little difficult to see much difference in but there must be something subtle that my old eyes aren't picking up on. I do like that the ink is acid-free and non-toxic. The colors dry quickly, too. I didn't have a problem with getting color on my fingers as I moved from space to space in my coloring adventure when I used them.

Whether these marker pens will dry out as quickly as the standard wide tipped markers do is yet to be seen. I haven't had these long enough to tell. The best test will be when one of the little ones uses them on their next visit. I think I might be a little better at making sure the cap is placed back on when the kids aren't always as diligent with that as I am. Anyway, I can hardly wait for them to come and try them out. I think they will like them as much as I do.

This might be something you could put in a stocking at Christmas or just have on hand if you have little ones who like to color or draw pictures when they visit you. I think they would also work well for people who are talented enough to do calligraphy. Having the brush end and the fine liner end would work very well for making pretty letters. Then again, you can take your own coloring up a notch by having some vibrant colors to use.




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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Roget's Words for Writers Reviewed

Saying it differently

Today I would like to review something I have put on my Christmas Gift List. The Roget's Thesaurus of Words for Writers is something I could utilize on a daily basis. I have a very worn copy of a general Thesaurus but I think one specifically for writers would my new go to reference.

words for writers
Looking for synonyms: a writer's task
image courtesy of pixabay.com

Anton Chekhov once said, "Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." An author needs to paint the scene for their readers using words. We can have a dull canvas with a lot of the same colors (words) or we can look for colors that are surprising and much more descriptive. Synonyms often assist with our choices.

For instance, I could write this:
Anton wasn't prepared for the man's rude response.

So, we know a man was being rude to Anton. What if I found a synonym for rude and changed the sentence to:
Anton wasn't prepared for the man's truculent response.

I don't know about you but I envision two different things that basically mean the same thing. Rude makes me think of something that is crude, rough or abrasive. Truculent seems harsher, more scathing, meaner in a way.


Writer's Tool


Roget's Words for Writers is a thesaurus but set-up differently. It isn't the simple word list in alphabetical order that we are used to. Instead it is compiled by meaning with a sample of words that emote the same meaning (such as rude) in more descriptive and emotive choices. It even gives samples of the synonym or antonym in a sentence for you. There are over 2300 words featured in this tool for writers.

I've put this reference book on my wish list hoping one of my girl's will give it to me for Christmas this year. If they opt for something different, I'll just purchase it for myself. I think it will come in mighty handy as I start working toward my goal of publishing a book a month in 2020.

What do you think? Would you use a tool like this? It doesn't have to be for a novel, it could be helpful in several types of writing. Perhaps there is someone on your gift list who would benefit from a reference book like this.



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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Reviewing Author Plans For 2020

Planning for the Future

I'm going to put myself out on a limb today by publicly reviewing my plans as an author for 2020. I have been weighing my options quietly in my mind for about a month now. So, today I'll put my ideas out there because one of the best motivators is to have people holding you accountable for the goals you have set for yourself. It seems to work for people who are dieting, trying to quit smoking, and a variety of other things that we wish to accomplish. Let's see if it works for a budding writer.

author plans
Can this author reach her goal?
books image courtesy of pixabay.com

Not too long ago, I did a review on Kathi Daley She is another Cozy Mystery author, like myself. I really enjoy her books but the thing that kept niggling at my brain is that she published a book a month in one year. Actually, I think she did it two years in a row. So, 24 books in two years. At first I thought, wow that is impressive. Then I began to think on the lines of could I do that? Could I write and publish 12 books in 12 months. You probably see where I'm going with this.


2020 Goals For This Author


When the year 2019 began, I had only written and published two books. I had been stuck on book three for over a year. In February of this year, the block I was experiencing finally broke away and I was able to finish the third book in the Roni Rainer Mysteries series; publishing it in March. At that point, I didn't really have any set goals for writing other than I wanted to try to write everyday. 

To make a rather long story short, last month I published my seventh book. Without a thought of how many books I wanted to write this year, I was able to add five books to my list of published works. If you had asked me a year ago, if I could do anything even close, I would have probably said that I didn't think so. The words started flowing and the ideas kept coming and so I wrote. Some days I wrote more than others but I did try to write something everyday.

So, my goal for next year is to try really hard to write and publish a book a month for the entire year. I'm going to ask you to hold me accountable to this declaration. I really think that I can do it. I have already figured out that in order to accomplish this I'll need to write (or at least average) about 2300 words a day. I honestly think that is very doable for me. 

I have already roughly planned out how and what I will publish next year. The first thing will be a new series that I am already working on. (I'll have to have at least one book ready to publish in January.) This new series will be called the Babbs Bennett Mysteries. Babbs is older than my other main characters. She is over 65 and has temporarily moved back to her hometown to help her cousin run a book store while he recuperates from a bad fall off of an icy path. The name of the book store is Holiday Books. Holiday is the family surname and her cousin has always played on that family name by decorating the shop each month for that month's holidays. That is going to be a fun part of the creative process, coming up with titles that have to do with different holidays.


Working List of Books to Write

  • January Book One of Babbs Bennett Mysteries (working title Valentine Vengeance)
  • February Book Two of Babbs Bennett Mysteries 
  • March Book Three of Babbs Bennett Mysteries
  • April Book One of Cottonwood Grove Mysteries (new series involves a yarn shop business)
  • May Book Two of Cottonwood Grove Mysteries
  • June Book Three of Cottonwood Grove Mysteries
  • July Book Five of Roni Rainer Mysteries
  • August Book Four of Cabin 9 Mysteries
  • September Book One of Second Chances Mysteries (new series involves a second hand shop)
  • October Book Two of Second Chances Mysteries
  • November Book Three of Second Chances Mysteries
  • December Book Four of Babbs Bennett Mysteries
Well, there you have it; my goals as an author for 2020. What do you think? Am I being too ambitious? 


Already Published Books by Beverly Owens


  • Roni Rainer Mysteries
    1. Death Takes a Spin
    2. Illegal Harvest
    3. The Puzzle of Talking Rock
    4. Missing in Beaver Falls
  • Cabin 9 Mysteries
    1. Campground Corpse
    2. Untimely Checkout
    3. Grifter's Gamble




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