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

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.




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


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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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Sunday, September 20, 2020

2 Popular Rustic Furniture Styles that Fit into Both Modern and Country Designs

Popular Rustic Furniture

Live Edge Wood Coffee and End Table Slices

These rustic designs are choice pieces by young adults to seniors alike.

The furniture is designed from a slab of unused wood. They're a coffee table DIY gurus can handily tackle. My skilled son constructed his own. Although he's a full-time Realtor, his ironworking skills came in handy for this project.

The table below is the result of his discovery of a gorgeous piece of live-edge natural wood at a flea-market. He then custom-designed the legs to complete his table.

Photo Credit J. Cipak - His Personal DIY Table

You can view a collection of wood slice coffee tables from a variety of retailers here. Or check them out below.

Wood Stumps that are Both Extra Seating and End-Tables

My son also has a couple of these cute pieces. They're relatively basic in shape and size and available in other more elaborate designs as well. Here they are:

Photo Credit J. Cipak - Wood Stools

You may have heard the term, 'Twisted Stool?' Some designs are precisely that - twisted wood stools that can double as an end-table.

You can view a collection of Twisted Stools from a variety of retailers here. Or you can check them out below.

Modern and Contemporary Decor Can Host Both of These Unique Designs

Wood furniture, especially with a rustic look, is generally preferred for a cottage or country designs. Typically we look for furniture pieces to match our decor theme. As an example, for modern decor, we'll select contemporary pieces, and for country decor, we choose rustic elements. 

However, with newer apartments and condominiums being deniably modern, especially in urban settings, we rarely think of adding a contrary rustic piece.

In fact, adding natural rustic pieces to contemporary or modern design is a superb way to add depth, interest, and texture to an otherwise linear design. When you find a room is cold in appearance, utilize the decorating principle of Texture. Texture can include anything from patterns, colors, materials, or in this case, opposing furniture with character.

Twisted Tables and Wood Table Slices Featured Below - Or You Can View Them on Their Product Page Here





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Sunday, September 6, 2020

Beds that Look Like a Cabinet - A Gorgeous Space Saving Solution

Beds that Look Like Cabinets
Beds that Look Like Cabinets

Funky, interesting home decor finds is a passion of mine. Different styles of furniture are of particular interest.

Furniture that looks like one thing but doubles as another is so much fun!
Beds that look like cabinets are a form of a Murphy Bed. As you probably know already, the standard Murphy Bed is one that folds down from the wall. These particular beds fold into a waist-high cabinet instead.

Cabinet Beds Fold Into a Wall Cabinet

If you've never seen one of these convenient beds, check out the selection I've featured below.

Typically you'll find these in queen size. You'll have to check if they come in other bed sizes; most of the ones I've seen are queen bed cabinets.

As described, when not being used as a bed, they fold up into a lovely waist height wall cabinet. They're not cheap looking either! Notice below the various colors and wood types available.

Who Needs a Bed that Looks Like a Cabinet?

Everybody? Ok, not everybody. Here are some ideas:
  1. Bed cabinets are ideal for one-room apartments! Fold it up into a cabinet during the day and pull it out at night. You get the benefit of both a living room and a bedroom in one tiny space. Best of all you don't have to look at a bed all day. 
  2. Place one in a home office as an extra place for guests to sleep.
  3. When you don't have an extra bedroom, these lovely pieces look like living room furniture can go anywhere; living rooms, hallways, dining rooms. Not that you'd place one in a dining room, but hey, if the dining room is huge and can be closed off, why not!
  4. When you need a subtle extra sleeping area in a baby's room, these are ideal. They'll grow with baby, and of course, can be moved and fit nicely into any other part of the home.
  5. When grandma and grandpa downsize but don't have enough bedrooms for guests, this piece of furniture is the perfect extra sleeping spot!
  6. How about in Sheila's She-Shed or his Man-Cave? Bed cabinets are perfect! They don't take up a lot of space and serve as an extra spot to sleep especially when you've been sent to the doghouse for the night.
  7. Budget permitting, this a perfect wedding or shower gift. Furnishings are a very personal thing, so you'll want to be sure to choose a piece that is something the recipient would like. Since they're quite expensive, you could purchase this as a group gift.
  8. Put one in a child's room as an extra place for their friends on sleepovers.
Here they are! If for some reason you can't view the products below, you can see them on their Product Page here as well.



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Sunday, August 30, 2020

These Keto Nuggets are Too Good - Resist the Temptation!

These Keto Nuggets are Too Good!

My friend and fellow writer on ReviewThisReviews, Margaret, has written an extensive series on Keto. If you're considering Keto as a way of eating, be sure to check out her helpful ongoing advice and tips. Her latest detailed and very informative article was on Keto Muffins.

Being a Keto warrior myself for about a year and a half, I have a bit of keto experience under my very loose belt now. This brief review is specifically about one particular Keto product I recently tried.

Here's a photo of it:




Am I Serious About Not Buying This?


For me, yes, lol. If you love a bit of crunch, not too much sweetness, and something the size of more significant popcorn pieces, these are calling your name.

I'm not a sweets person: I can take sweets or leave them. However, there's something about this Keto treat that challenged my self-control! My usual food discipline was weakened for the first time in a year and a half on Keto.

I've lost over 60 pounds to date, and honestly, I won't keep these Keto Nuggets in the house any longer. Isn't it funny that something is too good?

They contain just what the package says; dark chocolate, pecans, almonds, and hemp seed. I'm so grateful I ate the entire bag in three days because just typing this would send me looking for it.

The Keto Numbers on Keto Nuggets


According to the package, one serving of nuggets is 20 grams, that's about three-quarters of an ounce. That one serving is broken down as follows: 4 net carbs, 6 total carbs, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 120 calories. That's undoubtedly Keto friendly. However, stopping at one serving is the problem.

If you feel you can stop eating these at a couple ounces, go for it. I honestly struggled with limiting my intake, and I rarely struggle with food on Keto!

Would I Recommend These as a Keto Treat?


Absolutely. Keto Nuggets are fantastic; however, they lead me into temptation, and I had to deliver myself from food evil. For you, they may be just fine. Consider yourself warned, they're delicious.

I live in Canada and purchased these at our local Costco. I did check Amazon to see if they carried it (in case you wanted it, not me!); however, the Keto Nuggets they sell are higher in carbs and not precisely the same as the one I've featured here. They were an excellent price at Costco; on sale for about $10 - which is why I grabbed them. Tell me the store guru's don't know what they're doing.


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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Take a Break and Solve Some Riddles

Fun Combined with Distraction - 2020's Prescription

With so many challenges in 2020, finding distracting things to do has been priority number one for my family and me.

Simply enjoying each other's company and being grateful for what we do have has been a priority in our life these past several months. But truth be told, it's still a conscious effort to keep the mind clear and hope alive. Life has a way of sneaking up and challenging our sanity. Sometimes getting back to the basics is the best solution.

So that brings me to riddles. Lol. Truth.

I decided to write riddle books as a form of entertainment and distraction.  Strangely enough, I started writing them in late 2019. Premonition maybe? To date, I've self-published five riddle books. My latest book is Halloween Riddles, featured below.

Available on Amazon
Turn the World Off With a Smile

When I created the books, and the related website, "StumpedRiddles.com," my tag line for both became, 'turn the world off with a smile.'

My latest project, Halloween Riddles, was a time-consuming venture. It involved approximately three months from writing to publishing. It was published on Amazon in August 2020.

This book features eighty riddles divided into eight chapters. The chapters are Unseen Halloween, Dead Halloween, Costumes, Halloween Food, Halloween Decorating, A Famous Cartoon, Halloween Emotions, and Halloween Noises.

The book was written for the avid Halloween fans and for parties.

You Can Also Solve Riddles Online

I built StumpedRiddles.com to coincide with the published riddle books.

The site features a growing list of originally written riddles to solve. When you need a mindless activity, head over at your leisure to tackle a few.

Some of the riddles are unique to the website, while others are from the already published riddle books.

A Growing List of Original, Personally Written Online Riddles to Keep You Busy Here

Here's one of the riddles you'll find on the website:

On StumpedRiddles.com

Did you guess the answer?

Oh, what the heck, I'll give you one more to ponder:

On StumpedRiddles.com

Riddles might seem mundane, but these days, that's a feature, not a bug!

I created the books for multiple purposes: Parties, Games, Loot Bags, Stocking Stuffers, Mental Challenges, Family Gatherings, and of course, Distraction.

Have fun, and lose yourself in brain teasers :)





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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Three Country Music Songs That Might Be Off Your Radar

Three Terrific Country Music Songs to Add to Your Playlist
Being a fan of country music and the stories they tell has been a part of me since I was a little girl. Yah, that was a long time ago.
The tendency with country music is to think it's all about beer and trucks. However, there are a wide variety of songs from inspiration, love, wonder, hope to empowerment.

I'd like to introduce you to three country songs that might be off your radar.

1. The Most Beautiful Things, by Tenille Townes

Introspection and Reflection
I've been a big fan of this Canadian country music star since her first big hit, "Somebody's Daughter." What a great song! You can read more about that song here.
This latest song, 'The Most Beautiful Things,' pulls our heartstrings and reminds us what the most essential part of life is about.
Lyrics: "So why do we close our eyes
When we pray, cry, kiss, dream?
Maybe the most beautiful things in this life
Are felt and never seen"

If you're in the mood for reflection, listen to this one with a nice cup of your favorite beverage and cozy blanket. Embrace the calm. If viewing via mobile, here's the video.




2. One of Them Girls, by Lee Brice

Women Empowerment, Respect, and Individuality
This upbeat tempo country music hit delivers a message that's near and dear to my heart: Empowering women. Granted, it's about a boy who is drawn to 'one of them girls,' however one of them girls is one who is a responsible single mother and dedicated worker who 'ain't trying to meet nobody.' The straightforward storytelling aspect of this video portrays the song's message in a fun, truthful, and powerful way.
Here's one for the girls. If viewing via mobile, here's the video, here's the video.




3. Godspeed, by the Reklaws
Letting Go, Growth, Cosmic Understanding, Peace

The Reklaws are a talented award-winning Canadian country music brother and sister duo. They're one of my favorite groups! Their music tends to lean towards the fun and uplifting aspects of life. However, 'Godspeed' takes a softer cosmic turn.

Godspeed is a message of letting go and holding on at the same time. If you're having a bad day and need a little hope, this light and airy music may be just what your soul aches for. Turn up the song and just breathe.If viewing via mobile,  here's the video.




May you have a lovely day, filled with some measure of hope. Tell someone you love that you love them. To all those suffering during this unprecedented year, Godspeed.

Virtual hugs,
Barbara





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Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Best Garden Yard Hose for Women - A Review For Women by a Woman!

The Best Garden/Yard Hose for Women!


If the marketing gurus aren't marketing this garden hose to women, they need to get on it!

For years we've known about flexible, retractable hoses for the yard, but never bothered to invest in one.

Maybe it's Covid-shopping-itis, or something like that, but this year was the year we jumped in and bought one of these lightweight, shrinkable garden hoses.

Best. Decision. Ever. 

We've purchased one for the backyard, and now I want one for the front!

I honestly don't think my husband cares one way or the other, but I care! 

Here's the female perspective on this garden/yard hose:

1. It's so light! Yes, that matters. Dragging that heavy water/garden hose around was brutal for me. This lightweight hose is nothing to maneuver! I do mean nothing. I can haul that thing all around the yard without a problem.

2. When it's time to put the thing away, gheesh, it's easy to hang up over the hose holder - why? because it's light.

3. We bought the 50-foot hose for the backyard and it takes up no space at all on the hose holder. Of course, the reason is that it shrinks up when not in use.

4. It's not bulky and ugly. 

5. The other regular hose we had never assembled nicely over the holder. I know you can put the regular type hoses on those standing wind-up hose holders (we have one in the garage for the front yard). However, we didn't want one of those sitting on our backyard patio.

6. When I get up in the morning, I like to water the flowers and grass. It used to be a chore to haul the hose out to do that. Now, I just grab the new lightweight hose and bob's-your-uncle. Job done. No sweat. No effort.

Here's the hose on the holder in our backyard:

Can you believe this is 50 Feet of Garden/Yard Hose? I love this thing!

We purchased our hose at Canadian Tire. However, you can find these just about anywhere, even Costco or Amazon. Here's a popular 100-Footer on Amazon.

In summary, if you're a yard-working-junkie, get yourself one of these!




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Sunday, July 26, 2020

12 Step Summary of Preparation Tips for Creating a Niche Book Series

Preparation Tips for Creating a Book Series

In October of 2019, I decided it was time to tackle one item on my bucket list: To publish a book featuring a collection of my personally written poems.

I've written several articles on my experience as a newbie self-publisher. Here's my most recent article that talks about Glossy versus Matte Finish Book Covers.

In the beginning, self-publishing wasn't easy! In fact, it took perseverance, patience, and a bit of holy water followed by soap to wash my mouth out with!

Creating My Series of Riddle Books

Once the poetry book was under my belt, I decided to create a series of Riddle Books. I have this crazy knack for writing riddles, so I decided to use this quirky ability for books.

My driving force for writing riddle books is to create something light, fun, and distracting. It turns out 2020 needs a lot of that!

I started with one book, then decided to create a series under the same topic. I'll keep adding to this series until my mind runs out of ideas.

To date, I've written and self-published four riddle books. I've just completed the content for Riddle Book number five, Halloween Riddles, which is scheduled to be published in August 2020. I also have a sixth riddle book halfway completed but don't have a date planned for that release yet.

Although I'm not a guru-self-publisher, I'd like to share my own process for creating a series of books for a niche. Note that as of this date, I've self-published via Amazon's Self-Publishing platform; however, I plan to expand to other writing platforms in a few months. I'll write about that learning process later.

Note: These are summary tips. I didn't delve into the detail of each. The tips are meant to give you a mental picture of the entire thought process before you dive into the process. In other words, things to consider if you're truly serious about your endeavor.

My Personal Twelve-Step Summary Guide to Creating Your Own Niche Series of Self-Published Books:
  1. Choose a topic for your series of books.
  2. Write and self-publish your book in both eBook and Paperback format. 
  3. Don't rush, take it one book at a time and don't limit yourself to a specific number of books.
  4. Decide if the format for each book will be the same: For example number of chapters, introductions, closing pages, and structure.
  5. Be willing to change your covers several times in the beginning if needed - I did this a lot.
  6. Create a website that reflects your book's topic.
  7. Design and decide upon a Logo for your series.
  8. Create a business Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter page for your book's topic.
  9. Create engaging posts about your book's topic on these social media business accounts.
  10. Create a video that speaks about who you are and put that video on your website and your social media accounts.
  11. Include your social media links and website links at the back of your ebooks and paperback books. Be sure to follow Amazon's rules on links in eBooks.
  12. Create and set-up your Amazon Author page - be sure to link to your website's RSS feed to your Author Page so that the new posts on your websites are updated automatically to your author page. 

Here's a Four eBook Series of My Riddle Books

Amazon automatically created an eBook Series for me. In other words, I didn't have to create the amazon page that offered my eBooks as a series. They put two and two together and created the page. However, for a paperback series, I'll have to assemble that offer to the public myself. I'll let you know how that goes - I still have to learn how to do it!

My About Me Video

Here's the video I created for my Website and Social Media Websites. It's intentionally not 'guru-professional.' My goal was to introduce myself to my followers - to be real - to be who I am, nothing more. There are several video services you can use online, I used Animoto.


Again, these tips are meant as an overview to help you consider the big picture before you start writing your book series.

Happy Creating!


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Sunday, July 19, 2020

One of My Best Decisions Ever Was Switching to This Webhosting Company

Five Stars for This Hosting Company - Which One? Read More

Towards the end of 2019, I finally took the leap to switch my Webhosting company for my then two websites. I've since created another site, and now have three websites in total hosted with this new excellent firm.

This new hosting company is SiteGround and based on my own personal experience, I highly recommend them.

BEST Biz Decision I Made!

I'm not a website techy guru, and for that reason, I was always reluctant to begin the process of switching to a new WebHost. Honestly, it scared me!

I was worried that the new company would be worse than the previous firm I had been using - and I had been using them for nearly two decades!

I'm not going to name my previous hosting company, because mama always said: "if you can't say anything nice, say nothing at all." I can't say anything nice, so my lips are sealed.

The fear of transferring my sites was what held me back. I needed to find a company that would be completely dependable, helpful, answer dumb questions, fix dumb problems, fix WordPress related issues, and fix significant problems if they arose.

Mostly I wanted a company to do the transfer for me and not charge a ridiculous price! And reassure me that everything would be fine.

I Started Researching Possible New Companies in Early 2019

I had so many problems with my previous host that frustrated me that I decided it was time to look into switching companies. I knew I wouldn't be able to jump into using a new company without feeling comfortable, so I started reading reviews and checking out options.

The reviews for SiteGround were excellent, so I researched them in more detail. By the fall of 2019, I knew I was going to make the switch.

Around December 2019, I took the plunge with SiteGround.

Summary of My Experience to Date

1) I used their "Professional Migration Services" - guess what, that service only cost an additional $30 per site. It's still only $30 as of this date - (prices can change, just saying)

2) I'm such a nervous nelly, I contacted them via online chat first to confirm what they offer - explained the problems I had with my previous hosting company, and why I was transferring. I think I called them on the phone too - I've spoken to them on the phone a few times since and their service is incredible. They assured me the transfer would go smoothly and that I wouldn't have the problems I had been having ... and I haven't had them since.

3) I get a lot more Server space for my websites now, for less money! I took the 'Grow Big Plan.'  The current set price is $9.99/mth, and it includes: Unlimited websites, 20GB of webspace, 25000 visitors monthly, unmetered traffic, free SSL, daily back-up, free CDN, free email, managed WordPress, unlimited databases, 100 percent renewable energy match (not sure what this is? - but I have it, lol), 30 days money-back guarantee, on-demand back-up copies, speed-boosting caching, staging, add collaborators.

4) They offer two other plans, "Start-Up" (lower price) and "Go-Geek" (higher price).

5) They are quick to respond and resolve service tickets - and I haven't had many.

6) They never say "That's a WordPress issue, we don't handle that, you'll have to resolve that yourself" - My previous hosting company was notorious for that - it was so maddening!

7) They never try to use a problem as an excuse to upsell you! My previous host was well-known for that! SiteGround finds the problem and fixes it for you - at least that's what they've always done for me - not that I've had many issues.

8) The website panels are super-easy to understand and go through compared to my previous hosting company. SiteGround's website is not confusing: quite the opposite, I'd say it's dummy-proof lol.

9) One of my favorite features is that I get 20GB of space for less money compared to my previous host, which was 2GB. My sites were down several times a day with my last hosting company. That hosting company kept telling me it was a WordPress issue, and I had to hire someone to resolve it, or pay them more money for further investigation - yah right!

10) The SiteGround staff is knowledgeable, skilled, and helpful. They explain things in simple terms for the average user to understand. They aren't about trying to impress you or themselves with their techy brains. I love that about their staff.

11) If I'm not confident about changing something or doing anything on my site(s) that is above my low-grade-tech-ability, I contact them, and they're always helpful, and willing to take care of the matter for me.

Here's a link to SiteGround so you can do your own due diligence. Just a side-note, I get a few months of free hosting added to my account for anyone I refer.

I'm genuinely doing this review to help those who are still in the nightmare situation I used to be in with my previous hosting company. I feel confident in recommending them.

The best thing I ever did was switch to SiteGround Hosting!

My hopes for SiteGround in the future: That they never sell to a big, useless company - because they are genuinely awesome to deal with, and I wouldn't want that to change.


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Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Review of Writing Through The Soul - A Collection of Poetry by Brenda Fluharty

Inspirational Poetry by Brenda Fluharty
Brenda is a freelance writer, poet, and Reiki Grand Master. She's someone I've known online for many years, and being a writer of poems myself, I was eager to read her work.

Before getting into her calming and thought-provoking poems, I must say that her Reiki training also had me at hello. One of my close friends is a Reiki practitioner, and I know from experience that the energy field of people vibrating at this level is palpable, and they're calming to be around. I wasn't surprised when her words on the page reflected precisely that kind of power.

What I Appreciated The Most About Brenda's Poetry

The messages delivered in her work remind you of your higher self. Finding a kindred writer/thinker isn't always easy in life or online, and I'll admit, that's how her poetry made me feel - connected to her.

Sometimes in this world, I feel alone - not lonely - just alone. Not sad - just alone. It's as though I don't belong on this earth - as though I don't fit. I don't like crime shows, conflict,
My Personal Copy of
 Writing Through The Soul
by Brenda Fluharty - Available on Amazon
meanness, and even competition unless that competition is with yourself. Yet most of the people in my offline world are all about these things - you know, earthly, sometimes darker things. Don't get me wrong, I'm surrounded by good people, they're not dark at all! I just feel like that extra puzzle piece that doesn't fit in with the majority.

When I read Brenda's poem "Earth Angel," it resonated with me. I'm not calling myself an angel! LOL - The words Brenda penned, "You care for others, all like they were your brothers" peeked into my mind. The poem reminded me about the time someone I had never met, took one look at me and said, "you're an earth angel, there aren't too many of us" - Lol, ok, whatever, but that's what I mean when I say, her poem connected. Despite not feeling a part of the majority, I do accept it; all that life offers us takes from us and teaches us. Reading Brenda's work, I'd say she gets that too.

Good poetry leads us further into ourself and the human condition, it sews itself in our soul, and Earth Angel is a poem that did just that for me.

Other Poems Brenda Writes that I Loved

1. In The Darkest Depths of the Soul - The words used in this poem express a life's journey and say it all and say it directly. Brenda writes, "Those with these traits and the power to believe will find the light in the darkness, And, be free." Again, words swaying to my life's dance.  Body, Mind, and Spirit are my 2020 mission; this poem fits the entire theme.

2. Questioning the Past - Oh my, after reading this, I can say I know a few people who are still stuck there. I like to believe I've learned, moved on, and when looking back see what feels like 1000 years of learning gone by. It hurts me to witness those I love still spinning their wheels. I wish I could heal them.

3. Love Yourself - These words are what I wish for, and have said in another way to my kids. Love yourself, forgive yourself, grow, move forward. Again, Brenda's message is direct, it's real, and although we hear this message through the years, processing it is another thing.

If you're a fan of poetry that gets right to the heart of the matter and delivers a direct message, you'll appreciate Brenda's words. Her book is a lovely private place to go for advice. You won't spend your time trying to guess what the life tips are - she's clear.


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Sunday, July 5, 2020

My Three Favorite Songs About America - Music for Your July 4th Weekend

Celebrating July 4th - My three favorite songs about America

As your Canadian neighbor, I've grown up on all things Canadian and American. It's always been the music that had me at hello - from both of our countries.

I was a young child in the 1960s, and a teenager in the 1970s and honestly feel for people who didn't get to live in those decades, lol: The clothes, the hair, the music, the tv shows! Before there was internet, bank cards, and cell phones - it was the best!

My Three Favorite Songs About America - Spanning Mulitple Decades

1. America The Beautiful

The first time I heard America The Beautiful was in the late 1960s featured in the movie Pollyanna. The song was sung by Haley Mills, and as an 8-year-old, I was utterly mesmerized. I actually had the album from the film and could be heard continually singing America The Beautiful. Pollyanna was originally a 1913 novel written by Eleanor H. Porter and was made into multiple movie versions. The 1960 Disney version of the movie was the one that got me hooked as a little girl.

Here's a Gorgeous Rendition of America The Beautiful by The United States Navy Band - Enjoy!



2. America by Neil Diamond

This song still gives me chills! Of course, the first time I heard it was in the 1980 remake of the film classic The Jazz Singer featuring Neil Diamond. If you've never seen this movie, treat yourself! The film stars Neil Diamond, Laurence Olivier, and Luci Arnaz. The video below features the final scene of the movie when Neil Diamond belts out the moving song about the American dream ... America.



3. American Heart by Faith Hill

The song is fantastic, but it's the combination of the video with the song that takes it to the next level. The song was written by Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton, and the video features Faith Hill along with 10-year-old T.J. Jones performing a Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers inspired dance number. The lyrics primarily focus on the resilience of the American heart. It's my favorite country song about America. If you need more songs about America, I've put together a playlist featuring additional country tunes here.




Happy 4th to my American neighbors xxoo




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Sunday, June 28, 2020

Matte or Glossy Covers on a Self Published Book? Which One To Choose?



That is the question, matte or glossy?

Let me start off by admitting that I'm not a self-publishing guru! The entire self-publishing process has been self taught.

In 2019 I made a decision to tackle a bucket list item; publish my personally written life's collection of poetry. Since then, and to this date, via Amazon Self-Publishing (KDP), I've self-published a total of seven books, and am in the middle of writing my eighth and ninth book.

I've written multiple times about the learning curve to self-publishing. I have to admit it wasn't easy. However, now that I have a few books under my belt, I'm learning more about the nuanced details that make a difference in a book's appearance and presentation.

As an example, I learned how to create professional-looking book covers, and have changed my covers multiple times to what they are as of this date. I actually made another slight modification to one of them again today! I'm planning on stopping these changes soon - Nah, probably not lol - but hopefully I'll get the covers to a place where I'm completely satisfied! Building book covers from scratch is tough at first, but after you get the hang of it, it's a ton of fun and very addictive!

A Matte or Glossy Finish on the Cover of Your Self-Published Book - Which Should You Choose?

I googled the crap out of this. Watched videos - you know, the usual stuff we do when we have questions. However, I didn't get a suitable answer. So, when I published the first editions of each book, I decided to go with a matte finish for the covers.

Guess what? For my books, a glossy finish is much nicer and more practical. So, I'm in the process of changing them all to glossy. I'll do all future books in a glossy cover format from now forward.

Why a Glossy Cover Works for This Genre of Books

I write riddle books, books about sayings for cards, and of course, a poetry book. I haven't written, nor plan to write novels. Novel covers may be better in a matte finish, but honestly, I can't give you advice on that.

For Activity Books (Like My Riddle Books & Saying Books and Poetry Books), Here's Why I Believe a Glossy Cover is Best
  1. These types of books are picked up and put down often, and a glossy cover is more durable. The matte cover actually ended up with smudged fingerprints on it from too much handling. 
  2. They look way more professional with glossy covers! My husband put it this way - he said, 'the matte finish made it look like it was purchased at the dollar store, and a glossy finish gives it a bookstore feel' - Yikes!
  3. A glossy cover feels nicer to hold in your hands (a personal thing)
  4. The shiny cover helps the colors to pop more. With fun activity books, the colors are essential, so yah ... glossy all the way for that reason alone.
  5. The matte finish looks more like a school book, the glossy finish gives it an 'author feel.'
The Cellphone Photos of the Books Below Don't Really Capture the Difference Between Matte and Glossy However There is A Big Difference:


Both of These Riddle Books Have a GLOSSY COVER
 #STUMPED - A Party Game

The Book on the Left is a MATTE Finish
The Book on the Right is a GLOSSY Finish
Boredom Buster Riddles - #Stumped Volume 4

The final vote of approval came from my adult kids and my husband, they all agreed that the glossy covers were superior to the matte covers. Sorry matte.

My Non-Guru Self-Publishing Journey in Articles:
1. How to get started on that eBook you've been meaning to do for decades
2. Confessions of a Newbie Self-Publisher
3. 5 Helpful Tools from a Newbie Self-Publisher
4. 3 More Tips from a Newbie Self-Publisher


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Sunday, June 21, 2020

A Review of Practical Furniture Items for a Studio Apartment

Practical Furniture Choices for a Studio Apartment

When you're furnishing a studio apartment, every square inch matters.

Choosing items that solve multiple problems is the way to go!

On Funkthishouse, I've featured several space-saving items, and below are three of those suggestions that work for smaller spaces.

1. Chairs That Convert to a Bed

We're all familiar with couches that convert to a bed, however, when space is an absolute premium, you can add a chair that also doubles as a place to sleep.

The designs are interesting! They come in multiple colors and styles. They make a terrific addition to any small room where extra sleeping space is needed.

Use a pullout couch, but instead of a standard chair, add a chair-bed.

Check out the selection of original chair beds here

2. Space Saving Table and Chairs

A studio apartment may not have room for a table and chairs. However, if you're able to squeeze a portable table with chairs into the unit, you'll give yourself another area that can double as a place to work, play, and eat.

Space-saving tables and chairs can be quite compact. Compact sets are designed so the chairs or stools slide entirely under the table section.

Depending on the design, some can rest against the wall, and some are slightly higher in height - like a bar set would be. The taller designs add dimension to a square room. They're usually counter height as well, so they can line up with a kitchen counter so as to create a flush, continuous look.  Be sure to check those out.

Check out the various choices for a small room here

3. Lift Coffee Tables

Have you ever seen these? They're pretty cool! Lift Coffee Tables have tops or sides that lift up so that the top of the table can be used for working or eating. Under the top is storage.

A lift table makes it easier to work or have dinner from the couch. Of course, in a studio apartment, the sofa is a bed, so you'll have to ensure there's a spot for the coffee table when the couch becomes a bed.

By sliding the coffee table alongside the bed, your coffee table becomes a convenient bedside table.

Check out the full range of coffee tables to choose from

Go Vertical with Wall Storage - Floor to Ceiling When Possible

Find a wall that can house a floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet. A practical wall-unit can house the tv, books, photos, and other personal items. Choose one with drawers, then you'll have extra space for clothes.

Quick Summary of Five Basic Pieces for a Studio Apartment:
1. A sofa-bed
2. A chair bed
3. A lift coffee table
4. Compact table with chairs
5. A tall vertical wall unit with drawers
No matter what you include in your apartment, ALWAYS look for items that can double as storage. Storage space is the biggest problem in small rooms - be sure to get ahead of that problem with every piece of furniture you select.




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Sunday, June 14, 2020

An Affordable & Amazing Concealer - Check This Out

An Amazing and Affordable Concealer

My make-up routine is specific, fast, inexpensive, and extremely basic. It consists of a bit of eye shadow, mascara, blush, concealer, and lip gloss. Yep, I've mastered the five-minute face.

We all have health issues of some sort or another, however, problem skin has never been one of mine. The good skin gene has allowed me to be more liberal with my make-up choices.

I've never had to buy products for sensitive skin - and for that reason, I've had the good fortune of trying out just about every cheap make-up product out there!

After decades of trying different things, and enjoying the changes, I've discovered one product I'll no longer switch-up: I love e.l.f. Camo Concealer.

No Foundation Ever - Just a Bit of Concealer
e.l.f 16hr Camo Concealer - on Amazon


Foundation isn't something I choose to or need to wear. However, I do like a good concealer for under my eyes. Long hours, and those sleepless nights lead to tired-looking eyes - yuk - me no likey.

Also, in my opinion, tired, dark eyes make me look older. A good concealer is a great facial pick-me-up; it makes my eyes look brighter.

I've run my own not-so-double-blind-study: Without concealer, hubby will almost always say, "you look a bit tired today" - with it, hubby has been heard saying "oh, you slept well." Can't argue with wife-science?

I've tried umpteen concealers, and until e.l.f. Camo Concealer, I would switch products like underwear. I was never committed to a concealer, until this one.

Why I Like e.l.f Concealer

First, it's the price. It's not expensive. It's under $10 most of the time. Second, I can buy it at my local grocery store in the drugstore section. For any Canadians reading this, I buy mine at our local Superstore. Of course, you can find it on Amazon as well.

Skin Discoloration Cover-Up

As mentioned above, I don't have problem skin, however, a medication I take has a side-affect - skin discoloration.

Fortunately, it's only two spots on my neck. I get two reddish/brownish narrow blotches in the middle of my neck. Weird, I know. Unfortunately, they look like hickies (lol).

This concealer covers the two marks perfectly. I don't use very much, and I don't have to cake it on. By the end of the day, it's pretty much worn off.

How I Apply e.l.f. Camo Concealer

They give it that name for a reason - it's pretty thick. So you'll want to use it sparingly to determine how much you need. I use just a dab - the end of a fingertip - on each of the spots on my neck, then rub it in. I then put a dab under each eye, and on the eyelid of each eye, and gently rub it in. It's quick and easy to apply.

It Comes in Different Shades

Probably one of the hardest things to figure out with concealer is what shade/tone matches our skin. As you can see from my photo below, my skin is fair.

In the past, I always selected an Ivory shade. However, with e.l.f. Concealer I decided to try 'Light Peach' - Turns out, that's a better choice than ivory for me. The specific shade I use is "85845 Light Peach 9H02FH."

Can People With Sensitive Skin Use e.l.f Concealer?

Truth is, I have no idea. It may very well be fine, however, you'd have to do your own research on that front. My skin is normal, and this review is written with that in mind.

Make-up choices for our skin are often trial and error - e.l.f Concealer gets two thumbs up after my trial.  I've been using e.l.f. Camo Concealer for about a year, and plan to continue with it.


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Sunday, June 7, 2020

Is Dead To Me Your Cup of Tea?

An American Dark Comedy Series - Dead To Me

Dead To Me is a popular Netflix series. Have you watched it yet?

My niece mentioned it to my mom and several online friends mentioned they enjoyed it.

So, yep, I took the plunge and watched the series.

I Didn't Take My Own Advice About Binge-Watching AGAIN!

Several months ago, feeling all high-and-mighty, I thought it prudent to give out 'how to binge-watch tv' advice. Don't listen to me, because I clearly cannot practice what I preach.

I did all the don'ts again: I started the series near midnight and stayed up till 4am to finish an entire season. On the plus side, it's good!

What is Dead To Me About?

Christina Applegate plays Jen Harding, a realtor whose husband was killed by a hit and run driver. Linda Cardellini plays Judy Hale, a woman Jen meets at a grief support group. They become friends, however, the relationship is plagued with a shocking secret. I won't go any further so as not to reveal the plot. Here's the trailer for Season 1:



Enjoy Two Seasons of Dead to Me

In May 2019, the first season of Dead to Me was released. The second season was just released on May 8th, 2020.  If you've never watched this show, lucky you; you get to binge-watch two seasons!

The actors and quality acting make the series.

My eldest son and I recently discussed how an excellently written show with bad actors just doesn't cut it. However, a bad show with good actors is tolerable.

This show hits both marks: it's well written and features quality actors and quality acting. It's more like watching a well-acted movie.

Here's the trailer for the second season:



Lots of 'Language' in This Series

If you can't handle the 'F-bomb', this show is not for you. Although I usually don't enjoy movies with constant swearing, Christina Applegate's character made me laugh every time she swore - which is almost constantly! Her character has anger issues, so the writer's use of swearing works with this plot-line.

I'm not usually into crime-related shows, however, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's far-fetched enough to feel like entertainment and not something that could actually happen. Although these days who knows? I prefer getting lost in a true fiction, and Dead To Me offered enough fiction to make it unbelievable - in a good way.

If you're looking for another series, I recently reviewed 'Upload' - You'll escape the world's problems, yep, it's out of this world, total fiction.

Happy Sunday,
P.S. It's National Chocolate Ice Cream Day - Enjoy a bowl of ice-cream while you binge-watch TV


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Sunday, May 31, 2020

High Pressure Car Cleaning Tool Review

Reviewed, and Approved - Yes to a High Pressure
Car Detailing Tool
This item is a must for auto-detailing enthusiasts.

My husband loves to clean. You heard that right. Gifts for him normally include cleaning gadgets of some sort.

However, this particular gadget was entirely his idea. He's an avid cleaning-product-researcher and decided a high-pressure car cleaning tool would help to detail the car the way he likes it.

A High-Pressure Car Cleaning Tool Works With an Air Compressor

Take note that you'll need an air compressor to run this gadget. If you don't have an air compressor or access to one, this tool isn't for you.

This particular car cleaning tool lets you adjust the air pressure. You can clean an area using a level of pressure that's appropriate for the job.

He's pointed out it's the air pressure that pushes the cleaner into the fabric and on surfaces. That helps to provide deep, thorough cleanings.

The Car Cleaning Tool with the
air compressor hose attached

Easy to Use - Add Cleaning Product and Go

Just fill the container with any cleaning solution and water. Next, connect the air, set your ball valve to dispense the cleaner. Once you're ready to go, simply pull the cleaning trigger.

There's a water mode and air mode: To do the cleaning, use the water mode. Once the cleaning is complete clear away the excess water with the air mode. At that point, you can wipe the surface down with a microfiber cloth if needed.

Here's the High-Pressure Cleaning Tool in Action

Air Dried and Wiped with a Microfiber Cloth

Use The High-Pressure Cleaning Tool for the Car Seats and Rugs

My husband is quite detailed when he cleans. He also uses this handy gadget to clean the seats and rugs. After the winter months, it's very handy indeed for renewing those filthy rugs! They look like new when he's done. Check out the two photos below showing one of the seats and rugs.

By the way, this vehicle is fifteen years old. So it's not as though he's keeping up a new car that's in prime shape. This old SUV looks new because of his hard work and detailed mindset.

Oh, and something else he wanted me to mention: Cleaning the seats and rug below only took about ten or fifteen minutes. Of course, for extra dirty surfaces, the initial cleaning will take longer.

Here is the rug and seat after a quick cleaning

Here's a closeup of the seat after cleaning.
Remember, this vehicle is fifteen years old.


Yes, He Recommends This Product

It can also be used for other cleaning projects. You're not limited to just cars. Use it for bikes, motorcycles, outdoor furniture and rugs, and whatever else you can think of that needs a deep cleaning.

He didn't buy the high-end version of this product either. He selected an inexpensive model, similar to this one, and so far so good - it's still working.

Have fun, stay clean.




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The Review This Contributors

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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

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