Showing posts with label Brite-Ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brite-Ideas. Show all posts

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bike Themed Home Decor - Something Different

Bike Home Decor Pieces and Ideas

I'm always on the lookout for something funky in home decor. During my investigative process (lol), I came across these creative artsy ideas related to bicycles. 

Why Bike Themed Home Decor?

Below, you'll notice that there are multiple pieces to add to a bike-themed room, including side tables, pillows, clocks, or furniture with bike-themed print. The answer to the question of why bike decor is why not? If you appreciate non-traditional pieces for your home, you'll find these items interesting. 

Here are Five Ways to Incorporate Bike Decor Into Your Home:

1. Bike Side Tables

A bike table makes an excellent conversation piece when positioned in a central location such as a foyer or front room. Bike tables are essentially bikes with an attached tabletop. They make an excellent addition to an Industrial Decor loft or apartment. 

2. Bike Flower Planters

Bike flower planters are a bit more familiar. They're essentially a creative planter designed in the shape of a bike, or in some cases, using an actual bicycle, with a creative place to add plants.

3. Bike Dishware

Set an attractive bike-themed table using plates, cups, and glasses with a bicycle design. Bike dishware isn't as common; however, while typing this, I was able to find some to feature below.

4. Bike Clocks

Bike clocks are relatively easy to find. Add a bike clock to an exercise room, man cave, the front hallway, and themed bedrooms. Bike clocks are a unique gift for the avid biker in the family! You'll notice a few featured below.

5. Bike Throw Blankets and Pillows

Combine a bike-decorated pillow and bike-themed blanket to give as an original gift. You can also add these pieces as the finishing touches to a room that features numerous bicycle decor items.




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Sunday, May 8, 2022

10 Questions to Test How Well You Know Your Mother

Ten Questions for You to Answer or Ponder this Mother's Day about Your Mom or Mother Figure

A mother is anyone who raises us or is an integral part of our life.

My own mom recently passed away, but I'll answer too ...

1. What is the most significant life lesson you've learned from your mother?

For me, and maybe for you too, it's hard to pick one thing, but if I had to, I'd have to say my mother taught me strength through what she handled and how she coped with all of life's challenges.

2. Have you ever seen your mother cry?

Of course, I know mom cried, but I'm not sure I ever witnessed it. Mom wanted to protect us (or that is how I felt), so she kept many "grown-up" emotions private. I always thought it was because she didn't want us to be further burdened. I was intuitive enough to read her feelings whether she cried in front of me or not.

3. If you had to pick one, which personality trait would you say best describes your mom?

If I had to pick just one, I'd have to say strength. Mom was a lot more than just strong, but strength is what I think about when I wrap a bow around her life.

4. From your perspective, what moment in time would you say was your mother's happiest?

That's a tough one to answer. I'll pick a moment that doesn't involve the kids or grandkids because that's always happy, but it's work. Perhaps when she traveled with Dad on business conventions or when they would spend winters in a warm climate. 

5. Which food does/did your mom dislike the most, and which food does/did she like the most?

I'm feeling guilty that I may not know the answer to this! I'm going to say she hated any creamy white foods/sauces, and she loved pasta.

6. Does/Did your mother have a favorite color? If so, what is it?

I'll cheat; deep blues for clothes and neutral home decor.

7. Does/Did your mother have any regrets?

I think my mother regretted not pursuing the career she wanted to pursue. In her day, it was difficult to break out of the traditional jobs for women. Mom wanted to be an investigative lab technician (think CSI, lol).

8. What would your mother say was a perfect day for her?

I think my mom would answer, a day when everyone was ok, and the worries were few. I'm not sure she ever had a day like that, but there were many days I remember fun, family, and togetherness.

9. Who is/was your mom's favorite musician?

My mom loved Frank Sinatra's music, and later on, she absolutely loved Elton John's music.

10. If you asked your mom which one of her parent's personalities she believes she was most like, who would she pick?

My mom would say she was most like her dad. My grandfather was a strong family leader, and there's no doubt my mother was all of that and more.

Feel free to answer some, all, or none of these in the comments below.

Wishing You and Yours a Happy Mother's Day, and to all the Fur Baby Moms Too!

I wrote this video poem for mom years before she passed; it means even more today.





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Sunday, May 1, 2022

The True Meaning of a Kitchen Table

 


I'm having a moment.

We're in the process of giving our kitchen a facelift, and our dining room table, which has sometimes doubled as our kitchen table for thirty-six years, may need to be sold.

What's the Big Deal About Selling a Table Anyway?

Thirty years ago or so, I read an eloquently and emotionally written article in Reader's Digest about a family's kitchen table; it brings tears to my eyes thinking about it today. I tried to find it for you, so I could link to it here, but so far, no luck.

The author talked about her family's life around her table; gatherings, birthdays, celebrations, games, and tears. I've never forgotten about that article. Having such a big family, I  easily relate to the memories created around the family table.

She spoke about how she didn't want to sell her memory-filled table to just anyone. She wanted it to go to a family that would grow with it and fill it with their memories.

Why Thinking About Selling this Table Has Me in Tears

I'm a wuss. It's official.

My husband and I purchased this table in 1986. We needed a large table for our large family. I have three step-kids (all grown up now) and, at that time, one son of our own. Today we have four sons of our own, and we've since added six grandchildren. 

We have had almost every birthday for all the kids around this table. We've celebrated baptisms, Christmas, Thanksgiving, weddings, and every other major event families celebrate.

A memory from 1987 at this very table
with my Dad, our oldest boy as a baby, making us laugh,
and my youngest brother

Our kids have gone from little to big; we've added spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends to the family mix. There have been in-depth conversations, teasing, and great food shared for decades.

I recently sat with my oldest boy, sharing tears at this table about mom's (his grandmother's) passing. Mom and dad shared many dinners with all of us at this table. Dad passed in 2013; missing him is now a part of my soul.

This Table Has Lived

It's not just a table; it represents our life.

I'm not sure I'll sell it.

In fact, after typing this, I think if we can't incorporate it into the new design, I'll keep it just in case there's a move to a new home in our future. 

It's solid oak. In my book, it's priceless. 

It's not priceless because it's solid oak, but rather because the characteristics of an oak tree represent our family traits: longevity, strength, stability, and endurance. 

Hey, our family isn't perfect, we've had our share of struggles, but as the mom, I see many faces passing through time whenever I glance at the empty seats gathered around.

Here's our table, our life:

A Kitchen Table Filled with Memories

Do you have a table where your family has gathered for generations? 




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Sunday, April 17, 2022

A Chair You Can Sleep In - Chair Beds


There is no doubt that if you live in the city, apartments are smaller and, unfortunately, much more expensive than in previous decades.

Maximizing space is critical. Thus, thinking in terms of dual-purpose use for each piece you add to your small area is essential.

Did You Know That You Can Get Chairs That Turn Into Beds?

Most of us are accustomed to couches that turn into beds. Rarely do we consider a chair you can sleep in as a guest-sleepover solution.

Of course, a chair you can sleep in doesn't have to be restricted to small apartments. They can easily be used as a guest sleepover solution in multiple rooms of a standard-sized home.

Skip all the mumbo-jumbo and go directly to the product page here

Eight Locations in the Home to Consider Adding a Chair You Can Sleep In:

  • The baby's room! When mom needs to bunk in with the little one, placing a chair that converts to a bed is the perfect solution, especially with space issues.
  • Place a chair bed in your home office. When you're working long hours, you have a place to rest, or when you host company, they have a place to sleep.
  • A chair you can sleep in is ideal for the primary bedroom. Whether one half of a couple needs a place to sleep independently from time to time, or a child needs to bunk in with mom and dad, a chair bed solves those issues.
  • For those who enjoy the luxury of a gaming or media room, a chair that turns into a bed is a comfortable solution for avid gamers.
  • Plan for two of these chairs in your main room or family room, and you automatically get two extra beds when visitors come calling.
  • These chair beds are must-haves for studio or small apartments. You automatically have an extra place for sleepover visitors.
  • Do you have a she-shed? Does he have a man cave? If so, these adult metaphoric doghouses aren't complete without a proper place to sleep if needed!
  • Sunrooms or enclosed patios are a perfect place to add a sleeping chair! 
Unconventional furniture is all the rage. Be sure you consider your space carefully before adding or changing out pieces. When you consider furniture as having a dual purpose, you save money and time in the long run.

These chairs can be moved from room to room - so you'll always be sure to find a place to put them as your life changes. 




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Sunday, April 10, 2022

How to Fix a Gap at the Bottom of a Door - A Review



Our laundry room door opens to the garage. We recently noticed that time created a gap at the bottom that allowed light, and gawd knows what else to come through!

I did a lot of reading and research to decide which product my husband should use to repair this problem.

Things We Had to Consider:
  • It's a metal door and being a door to the garage, it's a fire door.
  • Products we could DIY
  • However, feel free to double-check and get a professional opinion on the best products to use with a fire door. We're happy with the product we selected.
  • Affordability
  • Easy to install

Information We Needed Before We Decided on the Best Product:

  • The depth and width of the door
  • A close measurement of how big the open gap is at the bottom of the door (between the floor and the door)
  • To choose a fire-rated product
  • Something that was affordable and that we could do ourselves

Allow Me To Save You Some Time:

I researched for hours to find what we thought would be the best product to solve our problem. 

The biggest problem was the endless number of products to choose from!

We chose two products for our exterior door:
  1. U-Shaped Door Bottom with Drip Cap (To fit a 1(3/4)" door width)
  2. Door Draft Stopper for Exterior/Interior Doors - Weather Stripping Door Sweep. Here's the one we purchased from Amazon Canada. Here's a similar product on Amazon USA - It's not the exact same, but very close.

1. The U-Shaped Door Bottom:

This product also comes with a door sweep on it. The benefit for us is that it helped fill in the gap at the bottom of the door. 



It also has a "drip cap." We really didn't need a drip cap since our door is in the garage and not exposed to the elements; however, I preferred the extra coverage the drip cap provided. Plus, it looks nice.

This product slides onto the bottom of the door but needs to be secured with the enclosed screws. You'll need a drill for that.

Our door depth measured 1(3/4)," and the u-shaped door bottom slid on perfectly. 

Our door is 30" wide, and the product comes as one whole piece measuring 36" wide. 

My husband cut the metal piece to fit our door using a Dremel Tool with a cutting disk. Hubby said you could also use a hacksaw. 

His tip is to be sure to measure the width correctly (double-check it) before you begin cutting.

Here's what a Dremel tool looks like:




Here's a close-up of the cutting disks:




2. Door Draft Stopper for Exterior/Interior Doors

This product is pretty easy to put on the door. My hubby's tip is to ensure the door is clean before putting it on. The product sticks on, so it only makes sense that you'll want to have a good clean surface. 

You'll have to cut it to fit your door. 

Here are the easy instructions indicated on the box that came with our product:


Here are a few photos of our actual door - which badly needs painting!


This is the Metal Slide On Door Sweep - View from the Outside of the Door


This is the weather guard on the inside of the door





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Sunday, March 27, 2022

Homemade Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup for a Large Family

This soup recipe is basically an assembling of flavors that I know my family likes.

I frequently purchase ready-made roast chicken from Costco and other grocery stores. Our family is large, so I usually buy three chickens.

When we're done with the chickens, I use the carcasses to make chicken soup broth. You can use any chicken broth. However, I've prepared enough food for two days by purchasing or making three roast chickens and then making soup.

A Bowl of Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup

Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup Ingredients for a Large Family

  • Chicken Broth (from leftover cooked chickens, or you can use 7 boxes of store-bought chicken broth)
  • Chicken pieces cut up from the above-cooked chickens, or use 3 separate chicken breasts, and oven bake them (don't let them brown), then cut up into small biteable pieces
  • Hot Water
  • 6 Bouillon Chicken Cubes
  • An Entire Medium Sized Bag of Carrots
  • Full stock of Celery
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 7 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 500 grams of Pasta Bow Ties (about a box and a half, with a box holding 340grams)
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 3 Teaspoons of Oregano (or whatever amount you prefer)
  • 3 Teaspoons of Basil (or whatever amount you prefer)
  • 5 Teaspoons of Parsley (or whatever amount you prefer)
Step One - Get the Broth Ready

In a large pot, prepare the following: (I use about a 14-quart soup pot - seen below). I fill the pot to about 3/4 with homemade soup for our big family.

This big soup pot feeds our large family - I fill it 3/4 full with homemade soup
  • Boil the leftover whole chickens, then screen the meat out through a strainer. Put the meat aside so you can pull off all usable bites to go back in the soup. I let the chicken meat cool, then put it in the soup near the end.
  • If using the chicken carcasses to make the broth, I boil it for several hours.
  • If you're using store-bought chicken broth, put 7 boxes of broth in the pot - you could even use more!
  • Add 6 bouillon chicken cubes
Step Two - The Carrots

I add the carrots next because they take longer to cook. I use a whole bag of medium carrots. Scrape them, cut them into biteable pieces, and then add them to the soup broth.

Step Three - Lightly Fry These Ingredients

In a frying pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter, then lightly fry:
  • An entire stock of celery, chopped into biteable pieces
  • A large green pepper, cut into biteable pieces
  • A whole large onion, chopped into fine, ground pieces (I use a mini-chopper)
  • 7 whole garlic cloves chopped fine (I put them into the mini-chopper as well)
I usually fry them on medium heat for about ten minutes, constantly stirring. Put the entire mixture into the soup broth. 

Step Four - The Pasta Bow Ties
  • Boil the pasta bow ties separately until nearly fully cooked
  • Drain and rinse the pasta in cold water
  • Put the pasta in the soup broth
I always cook the pasta separately, then rinse them to reduce the amount of starch in the soup.

Step Five - Add the Chicken
  • Use the chicken from the carcass that you set aside or the chicken you made in the oven. If you're using oven-baked chicken, don't let it brown - you want the color of the soup to be light.
  • Be sure to cut the chicken into small biteable pieces
  • If you're using chicken from the carcass, double-check that there are no bones! I catch bones while pulling the meat away from the carcasses and when I cut it into small pieces. The bones reveal themselves when cutting. Take your time, and be extra careful.
Step Six - The Flavoring

I never measure this part; I simply add the amount I think makes the soup taste right for my family. The measurements below are merely for your own guidance.
  • Add 3 teaspoons of Oregano (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 3 teaspoons of Basil (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 4 teaspoons of  Parsley (or whatever amount you want)
  • Add 5 Bay Leaves for flavor (don't eat them)
  • Salt to taste (optional - I don't salt, I allow each person to salt their own bowls)
Step Seven - Add The Boiling Water

At this point, I boil water using my tea kettle and pour the boiling hot water into the soup pot until it reaches about three-quarters full from the top of the pot.

Leave it on the stove on low heat, and let everyone eat soup all day long!

Homemade Italian Chicken Bow Tie Soup for a Large Family






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Sunday, March 13, 2022

Two Tops Bought - One Kept One Returned

 

Two New Shirts - One Stayed, One Went

I've always been reluctant to order clothes from Amazon. 

The main reason for not ordering clothes from Amazon was thinking I'd have to go through the return process for clothes that didn't fit and figure out sizes.

In the last couple of months, I decided to take a gamble and order a few Tops from Amazon.

Why I Decided to Try Ordering Clothes from Amazon:

  1. Returning items is much easier than I suspected. Simply follow the instructions to print the label and mail it back or UPS it. It's a painless process. 
  2. Returns I've made have been successfully credited to my account every time.
  3. After reading numerous reviews on each item's size recommendations, I decided to take the chance, follow their advice, and place an order based on what I thought might fit.
I Kept This Top Recently Ordered from Amazon; However, I Ordered the Wrong Size - It's Big!

I really did order the wrong size! I ordered a 2X; what was I thinking?

Despite having read that I should order "true to size," I was under the impression that it would be a small fit. It's not a small fit! I even shrunk the thing, and it's still big.

Having extra room to be comfy is what I wanted, but sheesh, a 2X is way too big. I have a fairly small waist, and this top comes down like a sack. 

Why Did I Keep This Top if It's Too Big?

  • It's a good top when in the mood for a super baggy look
  • It's nice and long to cover my behind
  • Sometimes I use it as a pajama top
  • I like the two pockets
  • I like the big cowl neck with the decorative buttons
I'm 5 feet 6.5 inches tall and of average weight. Next time, I'll order a large when it says "true-to-size." I'm sure a medium would fit, but I like a little room with shirts like this.



Here's a close-up view. It's a pretty color, and the material is very light.

I purchased it from Amazon.ca here; however, I'm not sure if Amazon.com has it listed right now.

I Returned This Other Top:


Why Did I Return The Top?
  • I ordered the wrong size again, and it was way too big! I ordered an X-Large - "Big mistake, huge"
  • It hung on me like a rag
  • When you have a larger bust, material that falls straight down from the bust can make you look pregnant
  • There was so much material I could have hidden a giant purse underneath
  • I decided not to keep it because it seemed that no matter the size, I'd look pregnant in it because of how it falls from the bust
I Ordered a Different Top Today, it Arrives Tomorrow

I'll let you know how it looks and if I finally ordered the right size and style! If you want to take a sneak peek at the latest order, it's here on Amazon Canada. **Update

**UPDATE: The above order arrived - tried it on, and nope. Returned it. Printed the label and mailed it back today. The top is low quality and shapeless compared to the Amazon description.

Here's another purchase I recently made from Amazon; it's a shirt extender you wear with leggings. Check it out.



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Sunday, March 6, 2022

Five Stars For This Cozy Warm Micromink Sherpa Blanket



I've ordered two of these blankets for my friend over the past three years.

Her very loved kitty-kat claimed the first blanket I sent. Apparently, her sweet furbaby loved the softness and warmth of the blanket.

Unfortunately, my friend's loved pet reached the end of her life not too long ago. Since her kitty loved the blanket so much, my friend buried her with it. Awe, so hard.

As most of us know, the passing of a loved pet isn't easy to get over, and my friend is no exception. She's still grieving. 

To help her a little, I decided to send her this exact blanket again so she could wrap herself up and remember her missed furbaby.

Features of the Mircomink Sherpa Throw Blanket

  • Available in 34 different colors or patterns
  • Comes in many sizes; Throw, King, Queen, and Twin
  • It's durable, is 100% Polyester
  • It's reversible - Fur white on one side, soft Mircomink on the other
  • It's wrinkle-resistant, so it always looks nice, even after washing
  • Yes, you can wash it in the laundry machine
  • Use it as a lovely bedspread!
The Best Gift When You Don't Know What to Buy

Blankets are one of my favorite go-to gifts. A throw blanket can be used just about anywhere. Here are some ideas:
  • As a throw for the family room
  • A warm bedspread for the cottage
  • A throw for an outdoor sporting event
  • Keep one in the car for added warmth when traveling
  • In your home office for those long cold nights of endless work
  • Over a chair for quick access to a throw
  • To add warmth, color, and texture to a basement recreation room
  • In baby's room on the rocking chair for those nights, baby needs extra soothing
  • For the back patio swing and outdoor furniture
My friend has attested that she loves this blanket, so I confidently recommend it.

I've purchased this purple (plum) sherpa blanket twice, available on Amazon here.



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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Affordable Good Quality Bed Sheets

Affordable Sheets that Feel Good

If you're looking for an affordable set of good-quality bed sheets, be sure to give these a second look.

Deep Pocket Sheets in Multiple Colors

These bedsheets fit our very thick mattress with two foam toppers. So if you have a standard oversized mattress minus the toppers, these should fit your bed without a hitch. The sales page indicates that these sheets accommodate mattresses up to 16 inches in depth.

Brushed Microfiber Material

The material is soft and comfortable, however, for me, they are not the highest quality compared to other sheets I've purchased, but for the price, they're perfect, they'll certainly do.

Multiple Colors to Choose From

What I like the most about this particular brand of bedsheets is the wide selection of colors. You get nineteen various choices. We went with navy blue, and it's lovely. I have to say the purple drew me in, but unfortunately, it wasn't a match for the room.

Available in Seven Sizes

These sheets come in the standard choices; King, Queen, Twin XL, Twin, Split King, Full, and California King. Of course, the deep-pocket option is available on every one of these size choices.

What I Liked Most About These Sheets

That's easy, the price. In Canada, bedsheets can sometimes be expensive. Typically, in Canada, sheets tend to range on average from $75 to $200, depending upon the quality. Recently a family member of mine purchased a set of king-size sheets for $165; however, theirs were an upgrade from the ones I bought from Amazon.

I kept my eyes open on Amazon for good-quality sheets on sale. There are better quality sheets; however, for the price, these are great.

After washing them, they went on the bed wrinkle-free.

These bedsheets are comfortable, especially considering the price.

What I Liked Least About These Sheets

They're not a top-quality set of sheets. However, the softness and price help to overlook that fact. As a backup sheet set, they're ideal.

Here They Are on Amazon:




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Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Secret to Happiness, What? Really? - A Personal Diary Entry

Is this really the secret to happiness? A Happiness Review

This quote from the Netflix movie "Full Count" has been on my mind since viewing it five days ago:

"The secret to happiness is to be content, no matter your situation"

 The Movie, Full Count, Caught Me Off Guard

The Netflix description, and preview, seemed to indicate that Full Count is your typical baseball hard life story. However, I was shocked by the direction the film takes.

The movie takes a spiritual turn. 

If you like films where it seems a happy ending is impossible, but with divine intervention, there it is, you'll enjoy this movie.

Could the Above Quote About the Secret to Happiness be Offensive to Some People?

After hearing the above quote narrated in the movie, my first thought was about those who rarely feel happy through no fault of their own or for medical reasons.

Don't get me wrong; the quote personally fits the core of my beliefs; however, my happy state of mind has been tested this past year.

Medical issues aside, I feel happiness will always be a personal choice. No matter the circumstances in this crazy life, I maintain that much-needed center and inner calm. I treat mental and spiritual training as a daily exercise with practice, practice, practice. 

Some days are a success at maintaining calm, and others not-so-much ... I just keep plugging away. I won't go through the laundry list of things recently faced, as I'm sure you've had your own life issues to conquer.

Do You Personally Agree With the Above Quote?

Can you relate to this quote? Have you been able to be the captain of your life's ship? 

For me, yes, after a great deal of thought, I do agree with the above quote. 

During the pits of hell, I've been able to keep a hold of the light, sometimes barely. It's never easy. Here's an example of a personal nightmare I faced over a decade ago. I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

Even through this less-than-perfect life, I've been able to maintain inner calm and thus some happiness. 

"Sometimes God calms the storm, and other times God calms the child who is in the storm"

I live by that quote about the storm.

Here's another quote from the movie Full Count. What do you think about it?

"Life isn't going to make you happy, but happiness is going to make your life"

Yes, I believe.

After multiple decades, the biggest life lesson I've so far learned is that our inner self, our soul, cannot be owned by anyone. It's the one thing that is truly ours. 

No matter what happens in this physical existence, in the end, our thoughts are something we can work to control; and for those who believe, guided by a higher power. For me, Free Will means protecting my soul, so I do.

Here's a video about love and light that I created one afternoon while visiting my amazing mother. She passed away three months ago. Knowing she was in her chair while I wrote this brings me unexpected added peace. I hope you enjoy viewing it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.


If you need a little more inspiration, I've authored a personal book of poetry based on fifty years of life experiences. You can find the book "We Will Have Morning Smiles" on Amazon.

May you know happiness, in some form, daily. Blessings.





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Sunday, February 13, 2022

10 Ideas on How to Unwind When Life is Nothing But a Big Knot

 

10 Ways to Unwind and Destress

How do you manage this crazy life? 

I know! Sometimes we can't!

When life gets too otherworldly, we can implement techniques to bring ourselves back to earth. But sometimes, spiritually leaving earth is the break we need!

Here are Ten Ideas on How to Destress and Unwind

(1) Go For a Walk

If you're able to handle walking, in my opinion, that's the best way to try and clear your head. Health permitting, physical movement is free and something we can do almost anytime, anywhere.

(2) Aromatherapy

Choose a scent that relaxes you. I love anything lemon or eucalyptus. How about you? What is your favorite candle scent?

(3) Meditation, Mindfulness, and/or Prayer

Whatever your belief system, focus on the combined power of body, mind, and spirit. I pray all the time and everywhere. You can also try repeating short, positive reinforcing phrases whenever negative thoughts creep over you. On really tough days, I've often been in a constant state of prayer repetition. For me, I find peace when I pray for others.

(4) Sleep

Are you overtired? Have you been restless and unable to get a good night's sleep? Admittedly it's hard to sleep on demand; otherwise, you would have slept, right? Try to take a nap or two (if you can), listen to relaxing music, or use the app "Calm." 

(5) A Hot Drink - Perhaps a Flavored Tea or Other Treat

A soothing hot beverage (as Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory often said, lol). It sounds too simple, doesn't it? A warm drink is comforting - he was right.

(6) A Day on the Couch, or in Bed, Doing Nothing, Watching Movies

Sometimes we just need to stop. Even when we feel we've been unproductive and don't deserve to stop, that's when we should stop. Watch your favorite movie with a warm blanket and a nice hot beverage!

(7) Drink More Water

For some people, drinking water is difficult. My mother-in-law wasn't a water drinker, so I get it. However, if you can handle drinking water, get a good six cups a day. To achieve the six-cup threshold, try to drink two cups in the morning, two in the afternoon, and two at night. 

(8) Turn Off the Negative News

We are bombarded with so much negativity these days. Be proactive with what you allow in your head. It's ok and necessary to be up-to-date and informed, but there's no need to have that news be on repeat and consume our lives. I'll venture a guess that most people in your life, directly or indirectly, are good people. The news does not reflect the life most of us are living. In the early 2000s, I was so consumed by the news that I wrote these song lyrics about the state of the planet. I proactively moved forward, and years later, followed up with this poem about Good People.

(9) Laugh! Watch or Read Something Funny

Skip movies and tv shows about crime, death, stealing, hate, and war. Don't turn those shows on when you're in a funk. Basically, turn off the ugly side of humanity. Go straight for humor. 

(10) Be Grateful - Practice Inner Truth

When I'm feeling overwhelmed, I give myself a shake and remind myself how lucky I am. I'm actively grateful for things like running water, electricity, and plumbing! Truth is a self-searching technique I use. I force myself to examine my truths, be honest with my feelings and acknowledge my imperfections and how I can be better to those around me and myself.




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Sunday, February 6, 2022

Funny Word Search Book For Adults With a Twist


Fresh off the press is my latest word search book, "Funny Word Search For Adults."

This book is not your typical word search book. It features the usual single words to find but also includes multiple words strung together.

There are Three Ways to Challenge Yourself with This Word Search Book


1. The Usual Way - Find the Word

Of course, this book includes the typical approach to word search in that it features single words to find. So go ahead and enjoy the standard word search challenge.

2. Multiple Words Strung Together (Like a Hashtag)

In this word search book, you'll find multiple words put together in a brief phrase, without spaces in between. You get a dual challenge in that you have to guess the phrase and then find the phrase in the puzzle.

3. Time Yourself - See How Fast You Can Complete a Word Search Puzzle

The bottom of each word search puzzle provides a place to enter the start and finish times. Use this area to compete with family. One family member can tackle a puzzle and mark their time, then another family member can try to beat that time by solving another puzzle.

What is Included with Funny Word Search for Adults
  • You get 60 unique word search puzzles
  • 1440 words to find
  • Multiple words strung together for an added challenge
  • One puzzle per page
  • Puzzles are easy to read
  • A place to track the time it takes to complete the puzzle
  • Each puzzle features a humorous approach to a different topic
Examples of the Funny Word Search Puzzle Topics
  • Worst Marriage Advice
  • If I Ruled the World
  • Funny Tooth Fairy Traits
  • If Dogs Could Talk
  • Newbie Pirate Mistakes
and more.....

The Types of Humor You'll Find in this Word Search Book
  • Sarcastic
  • Silly
  • Obvious
  • Stupid
  • Bathroom
  • Eye Rolling
If you're in the market for a fun activity, I hope you enjoy this book. I sure enjoyed writing it!

Funny Word Search Book


You can find my activity books on Amazon, here, or at StumpedRiddles.com.

Recent Word Search Books:





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Sunday, January 30, 2022

Five Handy Free Tools For Self Publishing

 

5 Free Self-Publishing Tools

As some of you already know, I self-publish riddle books, word search books, sayings, and poetry. If you're so inclined, here's my author page on Amazon.

My entire self-publishing process was self-taught, so let me stress that I'm not a "guru."

I've learned the self-publishing process and shared various articles over the past several years. Today's article is a brief list of a few of my favorite tools for writing books.

Handy Tools I Use for Self-Publishing - I Learn in Compartments (Like Compartmentalizing Thoughts and Tasks) 

First, let me stress I'm not an expert on every aspect of the tools I use. The best way for me to work is on a need-to-know basis. 

If I tried to learn a program or tool from top to bottom, I'd never have time to write or publish.

I use these tools in the limited scope for the task needed to complete. When needing to learn more about the tool, I then educate myself further. I learn in compartments, that's what I like to call it.

1. Canva - A Free Online Web Publishing Tool

Canva.com is an online web publishing tool. Over the past two years, I've come across numerous articles and videos mentioning Canva. In 2021, after reviewing and comparing, I decided to give Canva a try. I use this program to create word search books. Of course, it doesn't make the puzzles; rather, I use it as a glorified word processor. Canva does umpteen additional things, and I hope to expand my knowledge of Canva as I continue along my self-publishing journey.

Note that there is an upgrade to a paid version for Canva; however, I'm still using the free version only.

There are numerous free Canva tutorials on YouTube; here's one that's quite extensive for beginners.


2. Finding Related Words - Free Online Service

Along with using the free online service, Thesaurus.com, I recently discovered another handy free site called relatedwords.org. The broad range of word suggestions provided by relatedwords.org is excellent, especially when creating activity books. Using both Thesaurus.com and Relatedwords.org provides even more word replacement choices.

3. Adobe Spark for Creating Covers - Free Online Service

I've been using Adobe Spark to create book covers, banners, website graphics, and more for years. I'm quite familiar with it, and for that reason alone, I haven't taken the plunge to learn another program to create graphics.

Case in point, Canva.com (mentioned above) has an excellent graphic creating aspect to it, and I've yet to take the plunge and try that website for graphic creations.

There is an upgrade for a paid Adobe Spark version; however, personally, I haven't found the need to upgrade.

If you'd like to understand some of the fundamental differences and similarities between Spark versus Canva, here's a short video from YouTube that sums up some of the key features.

4. LibreOffice - A Free Online Word Processing Download

For writing my riddle books, I use Libre Office Writer. I don't own the paid version of Microsoft Word, and I needed a word processing program to write my riddle books. 

As mentioned above, I use Canva to write my word search books; however, having Libreoffice for my other books is handy, and I'm more familiar with it simply because I've been using it longer.

Be aware there is a learning process with Libreoffice, and I did have to have my mouth washed out with soap a few times while educating myself.

5. GIMP - A Free Open Source Editing Software Program

I use GIMP for one specific purpose; to convert my graphics to the minimum requirement of 300dpi that Amazon Publishing requires for photos in books and/or book covers.

After researching what DPI is and how to convert photos to the correct DPI for uploads to KDP Publishing and pulling all my hair out in the process, I found GIMP to work best for my needs.

Here's a quick tutorial directly from GIMP's tutorial section on how to change the DPI using this program.

Apparently, Canva will also convert images to 300dpi, but I haven't used that feature yet. 

Additional Self-Publishing Articles:

Basic Tips for the Newbie Self-Publisher

Matte or Glossy Book Covers

Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher

5 Helpful Self-Publishing Tools

3 Tips for a Newbie Self-Publisher

How to Get Started on Your First eBook




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Sunday, January 23, 2022

A Shirt Extender is Ideal When You Wear Leggings

 

Very Handy to Use with Leggings - Shirt Extenders - A Review

Do you have a lot of leggings? I sure do.

The problem with my lacking wardrobe is that I don't have enough long tops that cover my behind when I wear leggings.

I'm 61 years old, and I'm not comfortable wearing leggings with short-waisted tops; with blue jeans, no problem, but not with leggings.

The tightness of leggings is unforgiving, and it's only my personal opinion, but I don't feel I'm dressed age-appropriate in leggings unless the top drops below my behind.

Since most of my sweaters, hoodies, and tops don't drop below my behind, and since I only have two tops that do, wearing my nice leggings has been a problem.

A shirt extender allows me to use my existing shorter tops with my leggings.

An Ad was Served Up on My Computer for Shirt-Extenders (Finally a Useful Ad!)

I thought, what in the heck is that? Hmm.

After watching it, the item reminded me of the figure skating skirts I used to wear in my youth. However, these ones are a bit longer.

They fit around your waist like a skirt and drop below your behind, to either mid or upper thigh. 

There are many shapes, sizes, designs, styles, and colors.

Here is the Shirt Extender I Recently Purchased

I Headed Over to Amazon to Check What Was Available

Turns out there are many styles of Shirt-Extenders to choose between. 

Before selecting the one I've featured in this article, I considered all the different colors and styles I wear. 

I decided on a simple black extender for my first purchase. It was under twenty dollars at the time of purchase, and of course, if it didn't look right, I could easily return it.

About This Shirt Extender:

Here I am at 61 Years Old - Wearing My First Shirt Extender

What I Like:

  • I decided to go with a laced bottom shirt extender - It looks nice
  • These particular shirt extender size choices are very small, so I selected XXL
  • It fit snug, so although the material isn't high quality, I was still able to stretch it out and give the bottom lace section a bit more flare
  • The waist doesn't bulk you up - which I was worried about
  • It solves the problem and covers my behind with leggings
  • Easy to slip in and out of 
What I Don't Like:
  • It feels cheap (but for daily use with leggings, that's ok)
  • It looks more like a slip when I wear a short top, so I solve that by wearing a longer sweater with it. In the above photo, I'm wearing two tops; the short one underneath, and a hoodie on top.
  • The sizes are very small - I definitely needed an XXL - I'm 5.6" tall
  • Since it's black, and many of my clothes are lighter colors, I won't wear this one with many of my other tops. However, with a colorful sweatshirt that isn't too short, I'd probably give it a try.
A Close-Up of the Shirt Extender, with a Short Black Top

Would I Buy More Shirt Extenders?

Yes, I would.

However, I plan on choosing different styles. Some are designed to look more like the bottom of a dress shirt. I'm thinking about trying this one next.

If you decide to give one of these a try, mind the sizes carefully. Most of my time was spent assessing the measurements to ensure I ordered the best size for my body.

The one I purchased is here, on Amazon.

In Summary:

The idea of shirt extenders, 5 stars.

This particular shirt extender, 3.5 stars.





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Sunday, January 16, 2022

A Bread Box Review and Recommendation

A Five Star Review - Bread Box

I've needed a new bread box for a long time. I searched on amazon for at least three months before finally taking the plunge and making the purchase.

Features That Were Important to Me:

  1. I wanted a roll-top bread box
  2. It needed to have two shelves inside
  3. Each shelf had to be deep enough and high enough to hold several loaves of bread
  4. There had to be room between the cupboard and top of the bread box so I could place things on top if necessary
  5. I wanted to spend less than $100
  6. It had to look attractive
  7. It could be chrome or wood
  8. I preferred it be pre-assembled
  9. I didn't want a glass door (I figured the glass would eventually break)
  10. Bamboo wood was preferred
This Bread Box Met 9 out of the 10 Criteria Items:

Bamboo Bread Box


Which One of the 10 Criteria Items Did Not Get Met?

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find one that met all of our needs that was pre-assembled. 

However, like most of my sons, my husband is very good at assembling products, so I knew I could safely forfeit this preference.

After reading the reviews, a few comments expressed their dissatisfaction with the assembly process. But I have to say, my husband had absolutely no problem putting it together, but as I mentioned, he's good at such things. 

If I had to personally assemble it, I would not have purchased any item that required putting it together --- only because I suck at that stuff! Fortunately, hubby handled that.

The Interior Has Two Shelves With Plenty of Room
Has Two Roomy Shelves

There is Plenty of Room On Top
There's Room to Place Items on Top

The Only Fix We Had To Make

When the roll-top door is closed (without care), it makes a loud noise. Since so many people live in our home, I knew I couldn't police that behavior, so we solved the problem by putting two tiny velcro tabs on the bottom. The tabs prevent the door from hitting the base, and it's much quieter.

We Placed Velcro Tabs to Reduce the Door Closing Noise

We Purchased the Bread Box From Amazon

We purchased it from Amazon.ca (Canada) at this link.

When typing this, I noticed that this specific bread box wasn't appearing on the USA site. But here's a link to a similar one (from what I could tell)... Both of them are the same size ... 15" by 9.8" by 14.2"

Five stars. Recommended.




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Sunday, January 9, 2022

What is The Pantone Color of The Year for 2022 - Come See

Do you ever wander over to the Pantone website? If not, be sure to take a minute and check it out. It's filled with excellent advice about color combinations for almost every aspect of living.

Annually, Pantone selects  a color of the year that reflects "our global culture, expressing what people are looking for, that color can hope to answer."  - Quote by Pantone.com

 Congratulations to Very-Peri (17-3938)

According to Pantone, this combination of periwinkle blue with violet-red undertones reflects these transformative times. Color is an absolute in the creative digital space we find ourselves living in. Blue combined with violet-red is Pantone's choice for a year trending towards joyous, emotional, and creative expression.

Here's a brief video featured by Pantone with their chosen color, Very-Peri:


If You're Looking to Create This Color Via HTML Color Codes, Here is the Code

The HTML code for Very-Peri is #6667ab. If you create online graphics for any particular purpose and want to use Pantone's color choice for 2022, you'll need this code.

Don't confuse the Pantone color number 17-3938 for the HTML color code. As mentioned above, the HTML color code is #6667ab. I quickly created the main photo above using this code.

My Own Personal Opinion on Very-Peri

Violets and purples are some of my favorite colors, especially for bedroom decor. It seems to never go out of style. 

Very-Peri combines violet-red with blue to produce a soft color, yet one that evokes a courageous mood due to the hidden undertones of red.

Personally, I would combine Very-Peri with yellows or grays for a guest room or our primary bedroom. Another great space for this color is the home office, especially for those working in a field that demands some level of creative thinking - isn't that all fields? 

The thing to remember with color, any color, is "flow." Does the color flow with the overall decor theme of your home? For larger homes, changing colors from room to room is manageable; however, smaller spaces often present a challenge. If you're painting a small home or apartment, staying within the same shades is a safe way to approach your wall colors. Let the drapes, furniture, and accessories introduce the contrast and pattern.

Have fun with color because color IS fun.





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