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

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Review of a Bedding Set and Throw Pillow Covers - Ideal for Teens and Young Adults

 

Review of An Affordable Bedding Set for Teens and Young Adults

One of my sons recently switched to another bedroom in our home. In the process, he opted to make a few changes to his decor.

After scrolling through Amazon to find a bedding set that wasn't too expensive, he selected the Queen Size "Madison Park Essentials Cozy Bed in a Bag Comforter Set." The set he selected was charcoal and tan. You'll notice several designs and colors to choose from.

What is Included in The Madison Park Bedding Set:

  • A comforter
  • A sheet set which includes the fitted sheet, flat sheet, and two pillowcases with the queen set
  • A bed skirt
  • Two matching shams
  • One decorative pillow
The nice thing about this set is the price. At the time we purchased it, it was just over the hundred dollar range on Amazon Canada, and is under that range on Amazon USA.


Here's a Photo of  the Tan Madison Park Bedding Set in My Son's Bedroom:


Madison Park Bedding Set - Photo from My Son's Room

What I Like About the Bedding Set:

  • I like the price. Since you get the sheets, the comforter, the skirt, pillowcases and throw pillow, I feel it's a good price.
  • I like the design. It's masculine enough for a boy's room, but of course, it could work for either a girl or a boy.
  • The bedsheets are very nice. They're not "cheap feeling" like can sometimes happen with these less expensive bedding sets.
  • The bedsheets washed nicely as well. Granted, we've only washed them once.
  • It looks gorgeous with his black and tan decor. The photo doesn't do it justice.
  • The comforter is a satisfactory thickness. 

What I Don't Like About the Bedding Set:

  • I don't like the feel of the comforter. That's a personal thing. My son likes it. It's kind of a shimmery finish. I'm not sure if I'm describing it accurately - but it's not heavy fabric.
  • Since the comforter's fabric isn't heavy in texture, my concern is that it may pull at the seams easier or not hold up in the wash.

Here's A Close Up Photo:


The Throw Pillow Covers


This set does not include the two black throw pillows, throw blanket, and the two body pillows featured in our photos.

We used the body pillows (two of them) to raise up the pillows for decorating purposes. On top of the body pillows are two regular-sized pillows that feature the pillowcases from the sheet set. Positioned in front of that stack of pillows are two pillows with the comforter's matching shams.

We ordered two pillow covers to cover two existing throw pillows we already had. We selected throw pillow covers with a furry texture to provide contrast. I highly recommend them. They don't shed, and they look terrific. Here are the throw pillow covers we purchased on Amazon.

Also on order are two black body pillow covers to complete the set.

Do I Recommend This Bedding Set?


For a teenager's room, child's room, even a guest room, absolutely. However, I would want a higher quality, more durable set for the primary bedroom.


Madison Park Essentials Cozy Bed in a Bag Comforter SetMadison Park Bed in a Bag Comforter Set

 




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Sunday, January 10, 2021

Review of LED Rechargeable Strip Lights for Closets, Kitchens and More

LED Rechargeable Strip Lighting - No Batteries Required

I purchased LED rechargeable strip lights for my son's closet as a small Christmas gift, and wow, great product.

LED Strip Lighting for Closets and More

My son loves ambient lighting and has positioned stip-lighting behind his desk, his piano, and bed headboard, and they look amazing. However, those particular strip lights require electricity, and that's fine for furniture pieces near an outlet, but not for a closet.

In my search for a creative gift, I came across strip lights that are rechargeable. My first thought was, what-the-heck is rechargeable strip lights? First of all, I despise lights that require batteries. Batteries are simply an added cost. So the word "rechargeable" piqued my interest.

My son's closet is big enough to step into, and I wanted to get lighting for it without resorting to something that requires batteries.

In my search, I came across these Medulla Strip Lights and decided to give them a try. Good decision. They're fantastic. 

Here's how they look in his closet:


One set was enough to reach across the back of the closet. The closet is about 5.5 feet wide. He positioned the lights along the back wall of the closet. You can put them under the top shelf; however, he felt they would be better across the back. 

Here's Another Look at His Closet:


Settings on the Led Strip Lights

On his model, there are three settings; On, Off, and Auto. Also, the brightness can be adjusted up or down. Auto activates the motion sensor - which is fantastic. The lights stay off until it senses motion when you open your closet. That helps to preserve battery life.

Easy to Install With Built-In Adhesive

Simply peel the protective backing off of the strip lights and install them where you want. They secured perfectly for my son. His were placed on wood. The rechargeable unit also has adhesive on it and can easily be positioned where you want to put it.

How Long Does the Battery Last?

The instructions indicate that when you have the strip lighting set at Auto (Motion Sensor), assuming you open and close your closet 5 times a day, the charge should last approximately 30 days. My son hasn't had it that long yet and hasn't had to do a recharge.

How Do You Recharge LED Strip Lighting?

This unit has a USB port and a short USB cord. Simply plug it into a USB outlet. I imagine you could use your computer to recharge; however, we have a power cord with built-in USB slots, so we intend on using that.

Other Places You Can Put this Convenient Strip Lighting:

  • Staircases
  • Under bedframes for kids for added lighting when they step out of bed.
  • Sheds and Garages
  • Under kitchen cupboards
  • Dark corners that need lighting from time to time
  • The back of headboards for ambient lighting
  • Home entertainment systems
More Info On Recharging the Battery

Below Margaret asked some good questions that I thought would better be mentioned up here:

Does the Recharging Unit Detach for Charging?

Yes, it does. Simply pull it out from the end where the connection is made to the lights.

More Info on Recharging

My son plans on using a recharging brick (you know, the ones from cell phones). He'll simply plug the charging unit into the brick, and then plug the brick into the wall. The unit comes with a short cord to attach the closet charging unit to the brick. Of course, you can plug it into a laptop or PowerBar with USB connections as well. I think the brick connection is the easiest. 

How the Charging Unit Attaches to the Wall

The unit comes with a magnetic strip with an adhesive backing. Simply place the magnetic strip on the wall (stick it), then the rechargeable unit attaches to the magnetic strip for easy removal when it's time to recharge.






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Sunday, January 3, 2021

What to Put Above a Bench Seat

 

Ideas on What to Place Above a Bench Seat - Complete the Look

If you've added a bench seat to a foyer or against a wall in a bedroom, it can be difficult to figure out what to put above it.

If the bench seat is against the wall in a bedroom, it can look rather lost when you consider the distance between the seat of the bench and the ceiling. 

Obviously, you'll have to position items higher than where a person's back and head would be when they're seated.

Below Is a List of Items to Consider When Decorating Above a Bench Seat

  • Wall racks with metal hooks are ideal above a bench seat. Whether in a bedroom or a foyer, a wall rack with hooks provides a place to hang coats, sweaters, hats, or just use it to feature a gorgeous array of decorative wreaths. If you're not a fan of clothing hanging out in the open (some prefer clothes hidden in closets), then use the hooks to feature decorative hanging pieces, such as dream catchers, tin signs on wire hooks, a collection of colorful cloth bags, decorative umbrellas, or narrow baskets filled with colorful dried flowers. Just remember to gauge the distance between where to place the hooks and how far down items should hang to not land where someone's head would be when seated.

  • Place a floor-to-ceiling strip of decorative vinyl or paste wallpaper behind the bench. The bench then becomes its own decorative area. If you're a fan of brick, there are many brick-look wallpaper designs to choose from. Add photos on the paper above it or hooks, or just let the wallpaper speak for itself.

  • A large decorative wall clock makes an excellent decorative piece when the bench seat is in a hallway. Again, place it high enough not to collide with people, but make it large enough to make an impression as a substantial decor item. The nice thing about a clock is it's fairly flush, and won't protrude very much from the wall.

  • Use metal art to add dimension and texture as a backdrop. You can check out some of the metal art featured on the product display below. Metal art comes in multiple designs, ranging from butterflies to birds, to sayings, to abstract collections. If the area you're decorating needs something other than simple photos, consider textured art.

  • A Collage of Photos and Various Textured Items. Don't be afraid to mix photos with wreaths, dream catchers, and word art. Mixed textures such as wood, cloth, greenery, and even lights can create a lovely rustic decoration piece, especially for an entryway. Consider a shelf positioned quite high up, then place the items that are flush to the wall below it.

Check out some of the above-suggested product ideas below:






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Sunday, December 27, 2020

What is Faith? As Seen Through a Personal Life Journey

What is Faith? As Seen Through a Life Review

Challenges, endless challenges, or so it seems. Then without warning, there it is, light.

This article isn't meant to be preachy. My life is as imperfect as everyone else's. What's different now is the feeling that my soul is on track, on the right road to home. It doesn't mean life is always easy, although I'll take that if it happens, only that living in the light helps to make sense of it all. I actually wrote a video poem about that very thing; Living in Light.

My family's challenges and what I've had to witness as a mother, wife, daughter, and friend should have broken me. When I reflect back, I see clearly, that instead, it made me. 

Each of us has our own bridge to peace, to inner calm. What I've learned along the way is that faith means many things throughout life.

FAITH - The Long Road Home - What is Faith? 

  • Faith is the belief that, in the end, everything WILL be ok: I believe that to the core of my being, I know this to be the absolute truth as sure as I breathe.
  • Faith is losing it all and having to start over again, and you do.
  • Faith is holding on when your heart has been torn to shreds, and you realize, even with that terrible pain, you've kept the most sacred thing you have safe in your heart. Love. You still love, you still can love. That horrible pain didn't steal anything from you - you discovered it couldn't.
  • Faith is being able to let go and forgive when you've been betrayed and disrespected. You're still able to look beyond your own pain and assess the situation from the other person's perspective and flaws. You don't forgive for brownie-points; you do so because it's the only road to peace for all parties concerned. You hold on to the faith that the person who hurt you will grow, for their own betterment, not for yours. Whether they do or not, you love them anyway.
  • Faith is a thousand prayers you've repeated in your heart and mind for your children. You watch them grow, and your heart fills with incredible worry for them until faith steps in to remind you that 'in the end, everything WILL be ok.'
  • Faith is watching someone you love step back from the edge of addiction, and save themselves. The hardest thing in the world is bearing witness to something you have no control over. Along with a shoulder and helping hand, the only thing you ultimately can have is faith.
  • Faith is watching your child drive away into their future endeavors. Your heart goes with them, and faith keeps you strong.
  • Faith is working your way through a life long disease and still believing that 'everything will be ok.'
  • Faith is when your children, even as adults, deal with sickness, and you still find faith, even through helplessness and tears.
  • Faith is watching your friends battle cancer. Knowing you can't take away their pain, you pray, and you keep the faith for them.
  • Faith is creating something, never knowing if anything will come of it, but you do it anyway.
  • Faith is seeing your father's face in the casket and knowing, within the depths of your being, that he isn't in there. That his body was truly a temporary home. That he is standing beside you as you cry. That he hasn't left. Faith is the gift of total understanding that we live on. My father sealed that faith. I was raised with the belief in an afterlife and always had that belief. However, when I saw my dad's face in his casket, it was as though a bright light of knowledge filled my heart. I knew for certain that he was still here, that his body was just that, a body. His soul was still very much alive. I felt it. I still feel it.
  • Faith is holding on so tight to your mother as she ages and lives without your dad. Your heart belongs to her in a way that nobody can truly understand. It's personal between you and her, and you love her so much that the only thing that erases worry is prayer and faith. I wrote this for mom a long time ago, and it's still how I feel.
  • Faith is losing your parents' wedding rings that were gifted to you and praying so hard for their return: Then five months later, you're in your mother's room changing her bedsheets, asking that when you go back into your own room to "please let me find those rings." You know they can't possibly be there because you and your brother lifted that mattress right up and off the bed months ago, and nothing was there. Plus, you searched your room for months only to conclude that there is no way on God's green earth they can be there. However, because of faith, you prayed again the day you were changing those sheets. You didn't expect to find the rings, but you prayed anyway. When you got to your room, you peeked under one side of the bed's mattress, laughed to yourself, and nope, they weren't there. You were about to leave the room, and something compelled you to lift the mattress again on the other side of the bed. You were expecting nothing, but a miracle was delivered, and yes, both those rings were laying neatly just under the top mattress, one slightly overlapping the other!! You gasped! Almost fainted! You were gifted another powerful moment to keep in your heart for life. This is a moment in my life I'll never ever forget. I'm still shocked by it!
Every time I begin to lose faith, I remember my parent's rings miraculously showing up under my mattress. I didn't expect that prayer to be answered in such a magical way. What an amazing gift that was. Finding those rings is my 'Faith-Reminder.' Every single time I begin to stress or worry about something - my parent's rings appear to me. As the lyrics in the beautiful song below say, "you will find your way if you keep believing, I've seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new - that's what faith can do." If you're viewing via mobile, the video is here.


I've learned that faith is something that needs to be nurtured; to feed our soul, just as we feed our body. 

For 2021 I'm holding onto faith that humanity will find its way back into balance; body, mind, and spirit. If all of humanity is too big of a goal, I hope my friends and family can find or maintain that balance. 

"We Will Have Morning Smiles" - 50 Years of Poetry by Me - Available on Amazon.





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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Home Decor Color Inspiration with Pantone's Color Choices for 2021

Check Out & Review Pantone's Color Picks for 2021

Choosing our home decor colors based on Pantone's yearly pick isn't normally the way we select our hues. However, you may be inspired to include shades or versions of their choices based upon the inspirational messages behind why Pantone selected them.

Ultimate Gray & Illuminating Yellow - Welcome to 2021

Most of us know that gray and yellow are lovely for home decor. Including these two colors in your space will add a touch of modern with a touch of yesterday. I like to think of yellow as a bright beacon from years gone by and gray as a way to move forward.

I'm not sure whether Pantone sees it the way I do; however, color triggers something unique in each of us, and this color combination has always reminded me of the old with the new. But hey, I'm not saying yellow is "old"; just that it was a popular color choice in our home decor back in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Did You Know This About Yellow and Gray?

Yellow is the color of intelligence. Yes, that's right. You're not only honoring your family color memories, but you're also enhancing minds. 
"Did you know that yellow is said to be the color of the thinker versus the dreamer"

Gray is known to be the color of compromise as well as intellect. You'll find a great deal of gray in modern home decor pieces and paint. I've personally felt gray on its own was never enough - for me, there needs to be a bright color offset. Pantone's choice of vibrant yellow with gray ties two sides of a coin together. 

Why Pantone Selected Ultimate Gray & Illuminating Yellow for 2021

If you've ever visited the Pantone website, you already know that there is an inspirational purpose behind their annual color picks. They aim to capture the mood of us mere humans and build upon it with hope through color. 

Here's a brief summary by Pantone about their 2021 color picks:

"A message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray + PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit."

Take a minute to read the entire reason for Pantone's pick for 2021. It's always fun and inspirational. Again, their website is here.

Here's a handy tip; the Hex Codes for each color's website references are - Yellow #F8D948, and Gray is #959A9C.

Here Are Some Lovely Home Decor Pieces For You - Featured in Yellows and Grays




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Sunday, December 13, 2020

Color Changing Power Failure Night Lights - A Review

Power Saving Color Changing Night Lights


My husband recently purchased the Sunbeam 3 in 1 Power Failure Night Lights, and I have to say, they're awesome. We love color, and the fact that the lights rotate through different colors is pretty festive.

What I Love About Color Changing Night Lights


1. Motion Sensor & Low Light Activation

You can turn the nightlight motion sensor on or off. We have the motion sensors on for all of the lights. When they detect a lack of ambient lighting or motion, they will turn on. That's especially handy in washrooms. The light doesn't stay on all of the time; it simply goes on when it's too dark or it senses that someone has walked in. It's instrumental in the primary bathroom when you've stumbled in during the middle of the night; the light comes on for you, and best of all, it's not bright - and it rotates through different colors. You're not left with light-shock.

2. They're Festive - All Year Round

It doesn't have to be the holiday season to enjoy colorful lights. We love color, so these lights are ideal for our home. They're lovely with our Christmas decor right now and add a little festivity in the kitchen, bathrooms, and hallways.

3. They Have a Built-In Battery Power Failure Back-Up

They're not just a night light; they're a safety product as well. It charges itself as it's plugged in (I assume that's how it works?), and if the power goes out, the light's bright LED back-up comes on. The nightlight is a good size (4.7 inches tall), providing quite a bit of light while in power failure mode. It has about 300 hours of back-up time in power-failure mode - or that's what I read. I couldn't speak first hand to that as we've never lost power that long! Actually, knock-on-wood, we rarely lose power. However, knowing it's there is peace of mind. Place them in your kitchen, washrooms, and hallways, and you'll feel a bit safer should the power go off. Not only that, walk around with when there's a power failure! It's like having a ready-to-use flashlight at your fingertips.

4. They're the Ideal Gift - Practical, Colorful, and Safety

My mom doesn't know it yet, but this is one of her Christmas gifts. After seeing how handy it was to have them throughout our home, I immediately thought of my mother's house. She has frequent power failures, so these lights are not just gifts for her, but a little bit of peace of mind for me. I think she should put one in the upper and lower hallways and one in her primary washroom. The power failure light is very bright, so that should throw enough light when she's sitting in the family room should the power go off. I'm actually thinking about giving her an additional two nightlights - one for the kitchen and family room, just in case.

They're an excellent choice for a baby's room, the cottage, the garage, or workshed. In all these cases, they'll only be activated via motion or meager ambient light (if that's how you've set them). Since they're LEDs, they're cost-efficient.

Check Them Out:

Sunbeam 3 in 1 Power Failure Night Light
Available on Amazon



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Sunday, December 6, 2020

It's Riddle Time - An Introductory Review of Riddle Book Number 6 - Hard Riddles

Hard Riddles - #Stumped Volume 6 - Available on Amazon

I started writing riddles over a decade ago. It isn't until recently that I put this crazy writing ability into a collection of self-published books.

In the fall of 2019, I published my first riddle book, and to-date I've completed a total of six books in my riddle book series.

Why Riddle Books?

Besides the fact that I have this silly riddle-writing skill, I wanted to contribute something to the human fabric that was light and fun!

With the world in such a crazy state, my first thought was to write a book that would take people's minds off of life's day-to-day stresses. 

My riddle book series is designed to be a distraction. We can't erase the world's problems altogether; however, we can take a break from them. There are more than enough riddles to keep your mind occupied for several hours! My book and website motto are, "Turn the World Off With a Smile."

Can You Solve This Riddle?

The Answer is Here

Hard Riddles - #Stumped Volume 6

"Hard Riddles" is my latest publication. As the title suggests, the riddles are harder than the previous five riddle books. Or, at least, I attempted to make them harder.

Yes, I write every single riddle on my own. 

All the riddles in all my riddle books are authored by me. You won't ever find any regurgitated riddles from the internet in the #Stumped riddle book series. I'm the author of all my own riddles. While you may find some of the riddles on my website, I'm the author.

Hard Riddles - Stumped Volume 6
Stumped Volume 6

The Chapters in Hard Riddles:

  • Chapter One: Human Qualities
  • Chapter Two: Human Emotions and Feelings
  • Chapter Three: Homonyms (Riddle answers that have the same spelling, same pronunciation but have different meanings)
  • Chapter Four: Homographs (Riddle answers that are spelled the same but sound different and have different meanings)
  • Chapter Five: Triple Homophones (Three riddle answers with the same pronunciation but have different meanings and different spellings)
  • Chapter Six: Double Homophones (Two riddle answers with the same pronunciation, but have different meanings and different spellings)
  • Chapter Seven: Riddle Answers with the Letter "Q" in Them
  • Chapter Eight: Riddle Answers with Four Syllables
Each chapter features ten riddles ... And the book is also a game. Basic game rules are inside.

Solve Another Brain Teaser from Hard Riddles
Additional Articles on My Self-Publishing Journey





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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Why I Love Grammarly Premium and Why It's Worth the Investment

Why I Love Grammarly Premium

Last year I decided to tackle several bucket-list items. One of those items was writing and publishing a poetry book, which led to self-publishing a full series of originally written riddle books. Yes, I know, it's crazy that I can write riddles - but, yah, it turns out I can. Weirdest skill ever.

At any rate, this article isn't specifically about my books. You'll find several articles I've already written on that topic posted below. Instead, this article is about one of my favorite paid premium tools, Grammarly. 

By the way, Grammarly doesn't have a referral program, so everything I'm typing here has nothing to do with receiving a commission from them - This is just a straight review of what I love about it.

Grammarly Premium - Your Own Writing Assistant

I originally used the free version, but after writing several books, I decided the Grammarly premium features were worth it. Grammarly's ability to capture wordiness and make alternate suggestions is one of the most useful writing tools. It gives you a better-worded sentence to choose from. It's my favorite feature. 

Here's a brief video explaining Grammarly's artificial intelligence: Viewing Via Mobile? Here's the Link.



When your brain is tired, Grammarly Premium is like having a personal assistant. Grammarly installs on your browsers and shows up on everything you're typing online, even Facebook posts. In fact, as I'm typing this right now, there's a "G" at the bottom of this post tallying up better writing suggestions.

Grammarly Has a Tone Detector

This is a fantastic feature. When writing, the mood we think we're conveying may not actually be conveyed on the screen. Grammarly's mood detector lets you know how your writing is coming across; confident, joyous, formal, friendly, optimistic, and so on. This video provides a brief outline of the tone detector: Viewing via mobile? Here's the link.



Install Grammarly on Your Phone, Microsoft Office, and All Your Browsers and Other Devices

You can also open Grammarly and post passages, paragraphs, and so on directly into the program. That's very handy indeed: When I'm writing a riddle book, I always copy each riddle into Grammarly (opened on a second screen) to double-check for typos or other errors. Since I use Libre-Office to write my riddle books, I haven't installed Grammarly directly into it yet. However, I'm sure that's coming. 

You CAN download Grammarly directly into Microsoft Office. Also, if you prepare documents using Google Documents, Grammarly automatically works there as well. Essentially it provides you with the ability to correct anywhere on any document on your device. Are you viewing via mobile? Here's the link.



If you haven't used Grammarly yet, give the free version a try, then upgrade if you feel it's something that would serve you well. In terms of pricing, as of this date, the annual fee for Grammarly Premium is $139.95. Here's a link to Grammarly Premium outlining the service and features.

If you're thinking about self-publishing your own books, here are additional articles I've written on the subject to date.

Introducing My Latest Self-Published Riddle Book - Volume 6 Released November 24, 2020

By the way, I ended this article by checking Grammarly's tone detector; it said the post sounds 'friendly'. :)





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Sunday, November 22, 2020

5 Health Related Gift Ideas

Review of 5 Health-Related Gift Ideas

Especially during Covid times, health-related gifts are something to consider.

Some people may have had enough thinking about Covid and prefer not to be reminded of it via gifts. However, these items are practical beyond this crazy time.

Here's a List of Health-Related Gift Ideas

Product Page Featuring the Items Listed Below Is Here

1. A Pulse Oximeter

We recently bought a pulse oximeter; it's similar to this one. Ours requires two AAA batteries. After watching endless news reports on how tracking your oxygen levels with Covid is wise, I decided we needed to have one on hand. According to medical experts, Covid may cause your oxygen levels to drop quickly, so tracking is important. Fortunately, so far we've avoided the Covid nightmare here (knock-on-wood), but just to be safe, I ordered one. 

2. A Blood Pressure Device

Several people in my family have one of these on hand. I decided, yep, time for us to get with the program. I have the blood-pressure monitor app on my phone; however, it's a bit awkward. The Health App is handy when you're on the road, but an actual blood pressure device is nice to have in the home. On the above product page, you'll notice they range in price from lower to higher.

3. Face Masks

One year ago, would we have ever considered face-masks as a gift-thing? The world is slipping off its axis or something. Most of us have masks now, but a lovely gift idea is personalizing it to the user's taste. I would love something that fits my personality and likes. I'm too busy to hunt for them or make them; I need someone else to do it for me, lol.

4. Air Purifiers & Humidifiers

Not just during Covid times, but all year round, an air purifier serves a valuable purpose; it cleans the air. Since most of us resist purchasing what we consider 'extras,' this item makes both a thoughtful and practical gift. Who wouldn't love to get one of these? When you visit the product page (link is above), you'll notice they can be a bit expensive depending on the one you choose. When pooling resources, this makes a quality gift.

If an air purifier is out of the price range, consider a small table-top humidifier. They're especially useful for apartment dwellers. We purchased several a few years ago and gave them out as gifts. They were very much appreciated.

5. Adjustable Thermostats

We have one, as most people do. If a loved one or friend doesn't happen to have an adjustable thermostat, consider it a practical gift. Check out the Google Nest Auto Learning Thermostat as well. Ours is a different brand and not self-learning, but we use it for both heat and air conditioning. I have various times of the day stored at different temperatures. Very handy. Highly recommended.

Build a Personalized Health-Related Gift Basket

Consider making a health gift basket with cold and flu products, a thermometer, masks, healthy juices, boost, bandaids, vitamins, candles, creams, and lotions - throw in a book or two.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas <3

P.S. - I'm not a doctor or medical professional - These recommendations are strictly my personal suggestions.





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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Gifts that Fit in a Mug - 10 Mug Theme Ideas

Gifts that Fit in a Mug
Review of Gifts that Fit Into a Mug

Mugs are a lovely, personal, and often affordable gift. However, sometimes they aren't quite enough. If you need to add something to your mug-gift, consider filling the mug with several small items or even pricier contents.

Here Are 10 Theme Ideas for Gifts that Fit In a Mug:


Fill a mug with any combination of these suggestions, then wrap it with clear cellophane paper and tie a lovely ribbon around it.

1. The Sweet Tooth Mug - Retro Candy

When filling a mug with goodies, we usually think of chocolate or candy. For older folk, consider choosing candy from their youth. 

2. The Crazy Cook Mug - Small Kitchen Gadgets

For the cook in the family, or as a hostess gift, fill a mug with small handy kitchen gadgets. Consider items like; wine corks, a garlic press, citrus squeezers, potato peelers, chip clips, and whisks. Add whatever the cook would appreciate.

3. The Destined To Be a Star Mug - Make-Up

If you're fortunate enough to know the type of make-up your recipient prefers, then fill a mug with several of her favorites: Mascara, lipstick, blush, eye shadow, foundation, and concealer. Use hair or make-up brushes to add a bit of height and layering. Choose a fun-girly-mug, fill it, then wrap it with lovely girly cellophane. 

4. The Diva Mug - A Mug of Underwear - What?

If you can't stand being predictable, then a mug full of underwear has your name written all over it. Stuff it full with themed underwear; days of the week, funky colors, funny sayings ... you get the picture. Stack them up so they're double the height of the mug. 

5. The Next J.K. Rowling Mug - Note Pads & Writing Tools

For the artsy-fartsy type, put a few narrow writing pads in the middle, then surround it with pencil crayons, pens, pencils, and markers. Save some money and take a trip to your local Dollar Store and gather up the items you need. 

6. The Green Giant Mug - Gardening Gadgets & Accessories

There's an endless list of items for this one! Seeds, plant spike fertilizers, gardening gloves, small hose attachments, and small gardening tools. Don't worry if the items are taller than the mug, even by a lot, because that makes the gift more substantial and looks prettier. Head to the Dollar Store for this one; you'll find many ideas in this category.

7. The Phone Addict Mug - Techie Gadgets

If you're willing to spend a little more, fill the mug up with tech gadgets such as ear pods, earphones, a phone case, a phone holder, and how about a phone jail. A phone jail is too big for the mug, so get the jail and put the mug with all the gadgets inside - lol.

8. The Stay Calm and Carry On Mug - Soothing, Calming Items

Fill this one up with things that help a person unwind: A stress ball, bath beads, bubble bath, fidget spinners, vitamins, and soothing foot insoles.

9. The Pandemic Mug - All Things Related to Crazy 2020

It might be challenging to find smaller items from 2020 for a mug, but it's not impossible. Here are several ideas; face masks, a 2020 ornament, a toilet paper Christmas ornament, a funny 2020 t-shirt, a stress ball, a thermometer, a spa gift card, a lottery ticket because, yah, why not, it's 2020.

10. The Lucky B*stard Mug - Every Thing Related to Good Luck

Fill this one with items that scream good luck and positivity! Lottery tickets, crystals, a rooster keychain (roosters are a symbol of good luck), astrology gadgets, their birth sign on gadgets, a small astrology booklet, and a personally written letter bragging them up about how awesome they are.


If gifts that fit in a mug are a bit too much work, check out these 10 small gifts that can fit into an envelope.



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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Basic Tips I Learned on My Self-Publishing Journey

Self-Publishing Tips for Newbies

Let me start by saying that I'm NOT a self-publishing guru. I'm just a work-from-home-self-taught woman who decided to jump in and tackle some of those dreams left dying on the table.

I've written quite a bit here on ReviewThisReviews about self-publishing books. You'll find a list of the links below.

To date, I've self-published eight books and am currently writing the ninth. 

The topic of the books are Riddles, Poetry, and Sayings for Cards. Currently, I'm focussed on building a series of Riddle Books. There are five riddle books in the series and the sixth should be published in one to two months.

A General Overview of What to Do When You Self-Publish (According to my Personal Journey)


Note: To date, I've only published via Amazon's KDP self-publishing platform

  • Amazon Author Page: Once you've published your book, complete a detailed page about yourself on Amazon's Author Central Page. Here's Amazon's author central page for the USA. When publishing my books, I had to create author central pages for the UK and USA separately. Perhaps, Amazon will amalgamate things at some point, so we only have to do it once. Here's the UK author central page in case you need it.

  • Amazon Author Page Photo: Decide whether your Author Central page will feature a Logo or your personal photo. At first, I put up my logo but changed it to my personal photo. I prefer to emphasize that I'm just a regular person, not a 'big company.' 

  • Build a Website that Relates to Your Books: If you've never built a website or can't, you can hire someone or just build a blog related to your books. I've built websites (I'm not a website building guru either!), so I was able to create a website to coincide with my Riddle Books. You can take a look at my StumpedRiddles.com website here. Think about how you want people to navigate your site before you build it; write it out, give it a lot of thought. The ease at which people can work their way through your website is important. The top navigation bar on my riddles website features these tabs: Home, Riddles, Answers, Riddle Books, About/Contact. Within those headings are subheadings. Don't forget to include all the legal jargon you need on the site.

  • Facebook Business Page: Build a business Facebook page that features a Shop with your books. It takes a little learning, and you need a certain amount of products before you can build a shop. I chose to link my books back to each of their product pages on my website; that way, when you publish your book on multiple platforms (not just Amazon), you don't have to worry about changing links - since each product/book will direct back to your own product page on your own site.

  • Social Media Main Photo & URL Names: Create social media pages for your business/books. Decide whether you want to use your logo or your personal photo. I decided to use my Riddles logo for my social media pages, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. However, I created a Promo-Video and included that video at or near the top of each social media site: It features my personal photo and personal story. You'll have to choose your social media URL based on what's available; I wasn't able to get "Riddles" - it was taken. However, I choose URL's that were close: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

  • Promo-Video: Create your promo video using your favorite video platform. I used Animoto. If your book/business dictates it, I would suggest being personal while describing your books' purpose. You can take a look at the promo video I created here.

  • Your Tag Line and Book Purpose: If you're able to establish a "purpose" for your books, create a consistent tag-line that describes your purpose and includes that tag line on your social media, website, and books. The tag-line I came up with is "Turn the World Off With a Smile." It's a twisted variation of a lyric line in the Mary Tyler Moore theme song. I know, I'm aging myself! That lyric was "she can turn the world on with her smile." Given the craziness of the world today, I decided my riddles are created for the distinct purpose of helping people to "turn the world OFF with a smile."
Here are some additional articles I've written relating to self-publishing - Again, I'm not a guru, just learning as I go!

As I learn more, I'll add more articles here on ReviewThisReviews. My next learning journey will be how to self-publish on platforms other than Amazon. That should be challenging.

Here's the first riddle book I created - I went through several cover designs before finally deciding on this one:

#StumpedRiddles - Riddle Book
#Stumped - Riddle Book - First Volume






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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Success After 60 - Is It Possible?

Success After 60? Yes, You Can Do It - Many Have

I'll start off apologizing in typical Canadian fashion because, yah, this review about age is a bit self-serving; I turned 60 this year - and - I'm just getting started. 

I personally live by that famous quote we've all heard: "It ain't over, 'til it's over." Actually, older-me believes it's never over; we keep growing and learning even after we transition, but that's for another day.

Are you familiar with some of the famous people who built their dreams after the age of 60? Here are just a few to inspire your aching bones.

Three Outstanding Souls Who Exemplify the Cliche "Age is Just a Number"

  • Grandma Moses: She was born Anna Mary Robertson on September 7, 1860. She began painting at the age of 78. She was known for her rural scenery paintings. In 2006 her painting, "Sugaring Off," sold for 1.6 million dollars. Yep, proof right there, "it ain't over even when it's over!" She also lived to see her paintings sell for substantial amounts for her time (the 1930s) before passing on.

  • Harry Bernstein: He enjoyed fame very late in life as a successful published author. On June 30th, 1910, he was born in Stockport, England, living 'til the ripe young age of 101 when he passed away in Brooklyn, New York, on June 3, 2011. Do you know when he wrote one of his first published successful books, The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers? The loneliness of losing his wife of sixty-seven years was the catalyst of this book. He started writing it at 93 years old! The book was published in his 96th year in 2007. He wrote and published The Dream in 2008, The Golden Willow in 2009, and What Happened to Rose was published posthumously in 2012

  • Fauja Singh: His absolute tenacity has garnered him the nickname the Sikh Superman. He's the oldest living Marathoner. He was born on April 1, 1911, in British India, and at the age of 109, continues to reside in the United Kingdom. The terrible personal family losses he suffered in the 1990s redirected him back to his first passion, running. In the over 90's bracket, at the age of 93, Singh completed a marathon in six hours and fifty-four minutes.
Hidden Dreams by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
In the Poetry Book - We Will Have Morning Smiles

What I've Personally Done For This Older Body, Mind, and Soul:

Last year, for whatever reason, at the age of 59, I felt "time." What I mean by that is I felt a powerful urge to do the things I've wanted to do in life but hadn't gotten off my butt to complete. So from last year, and now into 2020, I jumped in with both feet and committed to self:
  • I self-published a 50-year collection of a book of my personal poetry work.
  • I published a series of personally written riddle books and created the website StumpedRiddles.com. I'm currently writing book six in the series.
  • Keto saved my health. I lost over 60 pounds from 2019 to 2020. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 56 - and I was sick. Almost immobile. Today at 60, I feel ten years younger than I did at 56. Proper food and mild exercise are a part of my life every single day. It has taken a great deal of discipline, but feeling healthy is more important to me than eating the wrong foods and being sick.
  • I work very hard on body, mind, and spirit. Spirit (soul work) is just as important to my day as eating and exercise.
I'm not trying to be self-righteous - like I've had a perfect life or something. I haven't. Life has been filled with almost endless challenges. The difference for me at this age is accepting what has happened and moving forward. Always, always moving forward. After all, our time is limited.

The last page of my poetry book features a closing message to my kids. This message includes a quote that I feel perfectly describes life when times get difficult:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete" by Buckminister Fuller (1895-1983) American Architect, Systems Theorist, Author, Designer, Inventor and Futurist

  



15 Personal Life Lessons I've Learned During These 60 Years of Living:

1. Don't give up.
2. When we're tired, rest. 
3. When we need support, seek it from the safe arms of friends and family. 
4. Love with all our hearts. Tell those who matter that we love them.
5. Find the good in others. 
6. Live a life of service to others, big or small, it doesn't matter. Even the smallest contributions to another can brighten a day - something as simple as a smile or a kind word. 
7. Guard our souls. There's a saying, "don't become that which you rail against." 
8. Watch our thoughts and choose our words wisely.
9. Forgive. Forget about grudges and vengeance; they're a complete waste of energy and ultimately damaging to our soul. Accept that people will make mistakes, just like we'll make mistakes.
10. Find a way to reach our kids. Stay connected. This can be the toughest task. Do it anyway.
11. Read and advance our learning. Never stop.
12. Tolerance, compassion, kindness, and empathy are essential to the human condition. Live by those principles most or all of the time.
13. Fight temptation. Fight it hard. Dark/negative energy (whatever you decide to call it) is hunting us down every second of every day. It doesn't let up. We mustn't let it have our thoughts or our actions. We need to train our minds daily to recognize when we're slipping and put ourselves back on track as quickly as possible. We need to be proactive and kick that useless darkness out of our life-field.
14. When we need to cry, cry. Get those issues out; put them on paper, talk to someone, music, lyrics, art - whatever helps us release the pain.
15. Accept responsibility for our lives and for where we are in our life. Be honest with ourselves.

I'm currently advancing my soul by reading the best selling book gifted to me by a friend, "Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One" by Raphaelle Giordano

I'll end this article with this moving song, inspired by the famous Paradoxical Commandments, "Anyway, by Martina McBride." If viewing this article via mobile, you can listen to the song on YouTube here.



"You can chase a dream that seems so out of reach, and you know it might not ever come your way, dream it anyway" - lyrics.

"This world's gone crazy, and it's hard to believe that tomorrow will be better than today, believe it anyway" - lyrics.

"You can pour your soul out singing a song you believe in, that tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang, sing it anyway" - lyrics.

All the best to you, do it anyway.



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Sunday, October 25, 2020

High Protein Chocolate Waffles for Bodybuilding or General Fitness

Chocolate Protein Waffles

Waffles are a popular daily choice for one of my bodybuilding sons. Our waffle maker gets used daily, and on occasion, several times a day.

You can review similar single-use waffle makers to ours here on this product page.

For this article, my son Jesse has offered up his favorite high protein breakfast waffles. He makes them every day before his workout. 

He has, on occasion, modified the recipe for me (his Ketogenic mom), and I personally approve. Yum.

 Chocolate Protein Waffles

( Recipe makes 2 waffles)

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup egg whites

1 scoop of protein powder (Preferably a casein protein blend or at least non-vegan. The consistency of certain vegan proteins can make the mixture not thick enough to make fluffy waffles).

1/2 cup oatmeal OR coconut flour (for low carb/keto waffles)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp powdered peanut butter (PB2)

1 tbsp stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cap full of vanilla extract

          1 tsp baking powder 

Nonstick cooking spray for the waffle iron

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until batter holds a thick consistency

2. Spray the waffle iron with nonstick cooking spray or brush with butter/coconut oil

3. Measure out 1/2 cup of mixture onto waffle iron and let cook for 45 seconds (1 minute for each waffle)

4. Top with your favorites - nonfat greek yogurt, chia seeds, bananas, and/or sugar-free pancake syrup

Approximate Macros (With Oatmeal):

60+ grams of protein

35+ grams of carbs

7+ grams of fat

Approx. Macros (With Coconut flour)

60+ Grams of protein

8-10 grams of carbs

14 grams of fat


Whether you make the recipe with coconut flour or oatmeal does not affect the waffles' protein content since most of the protein comes from the protein powder, egg whites, and cottage cheese. As mentioned above, coconut flour makes it keto-friendly.

This is a great recipe for bodybuilding, general fitness, and overall health. You'll get a ton of protein from clean sources, and my son says it's very satiating. He also says this waffle recipe keeps him full for the better half of 6-8 hours, which, according to him, is quite the diet hack.

If you're interested in a single-use waffle maker, you can check out the product page here.




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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Your Not-So-Typical Home Decor Items that Glow in the Dark

Glow In The Dark Home Decor Products

Finding funky home decor items is a passion of mine. In the past couple of weeks, I've featured furniture with built-in speakers and furniture that comes with built-in USB charging stations. This week it's all about unsuspecting items for your home that can glow in the dark.

Product Page Here - You Can View All the Products Discussed Below Here

Bedsheets and Bedding that Glow in the Dark

From the sheets to the comforters, you can find children's bedding that glows in the dark. I haven't found a set for adults, lol. I suspect a glowing bed would be rather annoying for grown-ups. Kids love them, especially when they're not keen on bedtime or the dark.

Shower Curtains, Another Unsuspecting Place for Something that Glows

Aren't these handy! Forget nightlights, just put up a set of shower curtains that glow in the dark. There's a safety element to these as well. When the little ones need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, they just follow the glow from the hallway.

Rugs that Glow - Follow Your Feet

These are popular choices for a baby nursery or child's bedroom. Glow rugs are funky, interesting, and also a safety solution. Some have artistic colorful designs making them a perfect addition for a playroom or anywhere kids gather or sleep.

Kids Storage Bins that Glow in the Dark

Now that's handy! When you're picking up the toys, and the lights are dim, their storage box glows so you can easily see it to toss the toys in. Use the bins for anything, including clothes and books. They come in multiple designs. You can check them out on the product page.

Glow in the Dark Wall Decals and Stickers

We're all familiar with glow stickers for kids that attach to the wall. They come in numerous designs and styles. However, if peel and sticking individual stickers aren't your thing, you can opt for a glow in the dark wall decal. A wall decal is one sheet, usually in a specific size. Get several and position them around your little one's room. 

The product page at the top of this article features a variety of the home decor items discussed above. However, there are additional interesting glow-in-the-dark home decor items added to the product page that may not appear here. Be sure to check back if you're looking for funky, glowing home decor items.

Happy Decorating and Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!





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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Furniture With Built-In Bluetooth Speakers

Product Page Here

Last week I featured funky furniture that comes with built-in USB charging stations. As mentioned in that article, tracking down unique, slightly different home decor products is my passion.

For those who aren't familiar with the variety of home decor pieces that come with built-in Bluetooth, here are several home decor items that may surprise you.

"Product Page: You can view all the products discussed below here"

Mirrors with Bluetooth Speakers

What a great idea! Did you know you can get vanity mirrors or regular mirrors to feature above a dresser, a sink, or anywhere you want that have built-in speakers? What a great idea for a gift as well. The product page features several designs. 

End Tables with Bluetooth Speakers

As discussed in last Sunday's article, many end-tables come with the USB charging stations. However, did you know that some also come with built-in speakers? Isn't that convenient? What a terrific, unique gift idea as well. If you're not sure what to get a couple for a wedding gift, this is something they can always find a spot for.

Ottomans with Bluetooth Speakers

If you prefer your furniture with Bluetooth to be mobile, then an ottoman is the way to go. Carry your ottoman from room to room, or to the outdoor porch or patio! Again, it makes an excellent gift, and best of all, they're relatively affordable.

Couches with Bluetooth Speakers

Yes, you can find these as well. I featured a few on the product page. Again, this is a perfect solution for small apartments or those who consider themselves minimalists. Your sofa serves as an all-in-one media center.

Headboards with Bluetooth Speakers

Not only can you get headboards with built-in USB charging stations, but you can also get them with built-in Bluetooth speakers! How handy is that! When you want music in your bedroom, no more ugly speakers; just turn on the speakers in your headboard.

Consoles with Bluetooth Speakers

Consoles double as storage and provide a decorative piece for hallways or fill walls that need a little something. Look for consoles that come with Bluetooth, and you'll have a place to play your music. The nice part about a console is how they look more like a music cabinet.

Desk or Gaming Chairs with Bluetooth Speakers

Go ahead and choose a gaming chair as your home-office desk chair. They typically come with built-in speakers. When you're working at your desk, you'll be able to listen to your music via your chair's speakers.




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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Furniture Pieces that Come with Built-in USB Charging Stations

Furniture with Built-In USB Charging Station
Furniture with Built-In USB Charging


Did you know there is a wide variety of furniture choices that come with built-in USB charging stations? It's not something we typically think of when we're shopping for recliners and end-tables; however, we should.

For Funkthishouse.com, I'm always on the hunt for creative finds for the home. Yah, I spend too much time scrolling through furniture, rugs, drapes, and bedding ... you name it. It's like hunting for little golden nuggets lol. I sure enjoy it.

Anyway, today's article features pieces of furniture, big and small, that come with built-in USB charging ports.

"Product Page is Here" - You can view all the furniture ideas discussed below on the product page - Be sure to check them out, some are pretty funky :)


Coffee Tables and End-Tables with Built-In USB Charging


Unless you want a full-blown Smart-Table, you can easily find coffee/end-tables that come with built-in USB charging stations. How convenient is that? When you need to charge your device, reach over and plug it into the outlet on your table. If you're wondering what a "Smart-Table" is, here's a brief article.

Couches and Chairs with Built-In USB Charging


Yes, that's right; if you're in the market for a new couch or chair, be sure to check if it comes with a built-in USB charging station. You'll notice you don't have to spend a fortune (you can if you want) for pieces with built-in charging stations. They come in a wide variety of designs and styles.

Lamps with Built-In USB Charging 


If end-tables, chairs, or couches are too much of an expense, the next time you need a lamp, choose one that has a built-in charging station. They're incredibly convenient for desks or work stations. I've included several styles for you to examine on the product page.

Desks with Built-In USB Charging 


This one is expected. Indeed, with working from home and home-schooling, desks that feature these built-ins add another level of convenience. Get a lamp with a charging station, and you're all set.

Headboards with Built-In USB Charging


Yes, you'll be able to find one of these as well. These headboards come in a broad range of prices, but you can get them in the lower price range as well ... and they're just as lovely. Check out the ones I've featured; they're pretty cool.

Again, here's the product page featuring the above furniture pieces. 

If you can think of any other furniture items with built-in USB ports, let me know. I'm always on the hunt for something different in home decor.






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