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

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why I Love the Movie The Lake House - 5 Star Review

The Lake House is a captivating romantic drama that weaves together the lives of its two main characters, Kate Forster (played by Sandra Bullock) and Alex Wyler (played by Keanu Reeves), through a unique and enchanting time travel narrative. 

Directed by Alejandro Agresti, this 2006 film is a remake of the South Korean film Il Mare and brings a fresh twist to the romantic storytelling genre.

The Storyline

The story begins with Kate Forster, a doctor, moving out of a beautiful lake house in 2006 to pursue a new job in Chicago. As she leaves, she writes a letter to the next tenant apologizing for some paw prints by the door and leaving it in the mailbox. Alex Wyler, an architect, receives the letter—but he is living in 2004. 

Initially confused by the letter’s references to events that haven’t happened yet, Alex replies, and the two start a correspondence through the mailbox, which mysteriously bridges their two time periods.

As their letters continue, Kate and Alex form a deep emotional connection, sharing their hopes, dreams, and challenges in their respective times. Despite being separated by two years, their bond grows stronger, and they fall in love. They also face the frustrations of their situation, yearning to meet in person but thwarted by the temporal divide.

Alex decides to renovate the lake house, making it a sanctuary for their love, and leaves clues for Kate to find in her present time. They try to set a date to meet in the future, but complications arise, including a tragic accident that threatens to derail their plans. 

The suspense builds as they struggle to overcome the barriers of time, leading to a climactic and heartwarming resolution that reinforces the power of love to transcend all obstacles.

The Cast and Performances

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves deliver heartfelt performances that anchor the film’s emotional core. Even though they share very few scenes, their chemistry is palpable through their written exchanges. Bullock portrays Kate’s vulnerability and resilience with grace, while Reeves brings depth and sincerity to Alex’s character. Their performances make the improbable premise believable and moving.

Cinematography and Setting

The lake house itself is a character in the film, with its serene, picturesque setting providing a perfect backdrop for the unfolding romance. The cinematography captures the beauty and tranquility of the lake, enhancing the film’s dreamlike quality. The contrast between the bustling city life and the peaceful solitude of the lake house underscores the characters’ desire for connection and escape.

Themes and Messages

At its heart, The Lake House explores themes of destiny, timing, and the enduring nature of true love. It raises questions about the role of fate in our lives and whether love can truly conquer all obstacles, including time itself. The film’s narrative invites viewers to ponder the idea that some connections are meant to be, regardless of the circumstances.

Why I Love The Lake House

The Lake House holds a special place in my heart because of its romantic time travel element. It reminds me of the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time, starring Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. Coincidentally, Christopher Plummer is featured in both of these movies.

The idea of two people separated by time but united by love is magical and poignant. The film beautifully captures the longing and hope that come with waiting for the right moment and the belief that love can bridge even the most impossible gaps. It’s a reminder that sometimes, the most extraordinary love stories are written in the present and across the sands of time.

You Can Watch The Lake House on Prime

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Why I Loved The Movie, An Unfinished Life - A Five Star Review

Why I Loved The Movie, An Unfinished Life - A Five Star Review

"An Unfinished Life" follows the story of Einar Gilkyson, a Wyoming rancher portrayed by Robert Redford, whose life is shadowed by grief and guilt following the death of his son.

Estranged from his daughter-in-law, Jean (played by Jennifer Lopez), and his granddaughter, Griff (Becca Gardner), Einar lives a solitary existence until Jean unexpectedly arrives seeking refuge. 

As Jean and Griff settle into Einar's home, old wounds resurface, forcing all three to confront their painful pasts and find a way to heal their fractured family bonds. 

Set against the majestic backdrop of rural Wyoming, the film unfolds as a poignant narrative that can resonate deeply.

Setting the Scene of An Unfinished Life: Wyoming's Landscape

The rugged beauty of Wyoming serves not only as a picturesque setting but also as a metaphor for the characters' emotional landscapes. Hallström's direction captures the vast expanse and raw beauty of the countryside, enhancing the film's exploration of inner turmoil and external resilience.

Characters and Relationships

At the heart of "An Unfinished Life" are its compelling characters: Einar (played by Robert Redford), a stoic rancher haunted by past tragedies; Jean (Jennifer Lopez), his estranged daughter-in-law seeking refuge; Griff (Becca Gardner), Jean's daughter caught in the aftermath; and Mitch (Morgan Freeman), Einar's loyal friend and moral compass. 

Their intertwined lives unfold with layers of unresolved conflicts and deeply rooted emotions. These complex feelings resonate with all of us in one way or another.

Themes Explored

The film navigates through themes of forgiveness and redemption with grace and nuance. Einar's journey towards reconciliation with Jean and Griff serves as a focal point, highlighting the transformative power of forgiveness in healing old wounds. 

The narrative also delves into the complexities of family bonds, portraying love, loss, and resilience amidst adversity.

Gorgeous Cinematography

Lasse Hallström's directorial prowess shines through in his portrayal of emotional depth and character development. The use of sweeping cinematography not only captures the grandeur of Wyoming's landscapes but also underscores the characters' internal struggles and personal growth. Each frame seems crafted to evoke empathy and contemplation— for me, especially contemplation.

Impact and Reflection

"An Unfinished Life" leaves a lasting impact on viewers, prompting introspection on themes of forgiveness and the unfinished aspects of life. It encourages audiences to reflect on their own experiences of healing and renewal, resonating long after the credits roll. The film's narrative poignantly reminds us that life's unfinished moments offer opportunities for growth, redemption, and the forging of deeper connections.

Why I Loved This Movie

In conclusion, "An Unfinished Life" transcends the boundaries of a conventional drama, offering a profound meditation on the human spirit's capacity for forgiveness and starting over.

Through its richly drawn characters and evocative storytelling, the film reminds us that while life may present us with unfinished chapters, it also allows us to rewrite our stories with courage and compassion.

A healing movie, for a time that needs much healing (in my opinion).


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, June 30, 2024

A Review of How The Weather Can Affect Our Mood

A Review of How The Weather Can Affect Our Mood

How Weather Can Influence Our Mood (If We Let It)

Have you ever noticed how a sunny day can instantly lift your spirits, while a gloomy, rainy day might make you feel a bit down? 

I've often mentioned to my family not to allow the weather to dictate their feelings, thoughts, or outlook. I understand how challenging that can be for some people. However, after immersing myself in the profound teachings of Michael Singer, a New York Times Best Seller, I've learned that letting go of even simple things we cannot control, like "the weather" can significantly contribute to a more peaceful existence - and according to Mr. Singer, it's good practice for letting go of those bigger issues.

A Poem Inspired by Embracing Positivity Despite Gray Skies

The other morning, I woke up reflecting on this topic and penned these thoughts. It's not unusual for me to have "words" come from nowhere (lol), as I've been writing poems since I was eight years old.

Let's explore how different types of weather can influence how we feel.

Sunny Days and Happiness

There's something about a bright, sunny day that just makes us feel good. Apparently, one reason behind this is that sunshine increases the production of serotonin in our brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood; higher levels are associated with happiness and well-being. So, when the sun is shining, we tend to feel more energetic, upbeat, and motivated.

Rainy Days and Melancholy

Conversely, cloudy and rainy days can sometimes make us sad or sluggish. This is partly because the lack of sunlight can lead to lower serotonin levels. Additionally, the gray skies and the sound of rain can create a more subdued and reflective atmosphere, affecting our mood. For some people, this might mean feeling cozy and relaxed, while it could lead to a sense of melancholy for others.

Cold Weather and Comfort

Cold weather can have a mixed impact on our mood. For some, the chilly air and shorter days can bring about a sense of gloom, especially if you're not a fan of winter. However, cold weather can also make us appreciate the warmth and comfort of our homes more. Cozying up with a blanket, a hot drink, and a good book can create a comforting and pleasant mood.

Warm Weather and Activity

When the temperature rises, it often brings a sense of excitement and energy. Warm weather encourages outdoor activities, socializing, and vacations. Being active and spending time outside can boost our mood and overall well-being. However, extremely hot weather can sometimes lead to discomfort and irritability, so it's all about finding the right balance.

Seasonal Changes and Mood Disorders

For some people, the change of seasons can profoundly impact their mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at certain times of the year, typically in the winter when there's less sunlight. People with SAD may experience symptoms like low energy, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of sadness. Light therapy and other treatments can help manage these symptoms. However, checking in with your medical professional is wise to determine the best approach.

Finding Your Weather Sweet Spot

Everyone is different, and our preferences for certain types of weather can vary widely. Some people thrive in the heat of summer, while others feel they are at their best in crisp, cool autumn air (that's me!). 

It's important to consider how weather conditions affect your mood and find ways to make the most of them. Whether planning activities that match the weather or finding ways to stay positive during less favorable conditions, understanding the connection between weather and mood can help you navigate the ups and downs.

In conclusion, the weather may impact our mood, from the uplifting effects of sunshine to the reflective nature of rainy days. 

Knowing how weather patterns affect us can help us to better manage our moods and make the most of each day, no matter the forecast.

I'm a big fan of the changing seasons, and I especially love Autumn; how about you?

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil
This spring and summer, I've discovered an incredibly effective method for keeping our patio free from wasps, ants, spiders, and flies a simple spray made of peppermint oil and water. 

Wasps are the worst backyard pests for us. They were my target! Sorry, wasps, not sorry. You wasps should be happy, because it keeps you away, and thus extends your life!

I initially wrote about this several weeks ago, and this new article is an update on how incredible this all natural pest repellent has worked! 

I used to be harassed at our patio table, to the point that after some questionable language, I'd head in the house and let the little *& % & win!

Well, they're no longer winning. Who's the boss now! This update also reiterates some of the "science" behind why peppermint works so well - just because I was curious.

I opted for a spray bottle of water with about a tablespoon (or less) of peppermint oil. That way, I can liberally spray it everywhere.

The results have been nothing short of amazing. Previously, our outdoor meals were often interrupted by pesky wasps buzzing around our food, making it difficult to enjoy our time outside. However, since using a water-peppermint oil spray, we've been able to sit at our patio table and have a complete meal in peace.

I make sure to reapply the spray when I'm outside, targeting areas like the house bricks, flower pots (though not directly on the flowers), chairs, under the chairs, under the table, our swing, and the netting. It takes a few minutes or less and is well worth the results.

The mixture is mostly water with about a tablespoon of peppermint oil in the bottle, and it doesn't damage anything—not even our swing and chair cushions. There are absolutely no stains because it's essentially just scented water.

Why Peppermint Oil Works as a Pest Deterrent

The effectiveness of peppermint oil in deterring common pests such as wasps, ants, spiders, and flies can be attributed to several factors:

1. The Strong Scent

Peppermint oil has a strong, minty aroma that is pleasant to humans but overwhelming to many insects. Wasps, ants, and spiders rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate food and navigate their environment. The intense scent of peppermint oil can disrupt these processes, making your patio unappealing to them.

2. Natural Insect Repellent Properties

Peppermint oil contains compounds like menthol and pulegone, which are effective natural insect repellents. These compounds interfere with insects' ability to communicate and find their way around, effectively keeping them at bay. Research has shown that peppermint oil can repel various insects, including mosquitoes, flies, and even certain types of spiders.

3. Safe for Humans and Pets

Safety is one of the best aspects of using peppermint oil as a pest deterrent. Unlike chemical insecticides, peppermint oil is non-toxic to humans and pets when used moderately. This makes it an excellent option for families with children and pets who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Practical Application Tips

To maximize the effectiveness of your peppermint oil spray, follow these practical tips:

  • Consistent Application: When spending extended time outside, reapply the spray daily. This ensures the scent remains strong enough to deter pests.
  • Target Key Areas: Focus on areas where insects are likely to gather, such as around food, seating areas, and entry points to your home. Spraying under tables and chairs can help create a barrier that pests are reluctant to cross.
  • Avoid Direct Spraying on Plants: While peppermint oil is generally safe for plants, it's best to avoid spraying directly on flowers and foliage. This helps prevent potential adverse effects on your plants and ensures the oil is used where it's most effective.


Our personal experience with peppermint oil spray has been highly effective. The simple mixture of water and peppermint oil has transformed our patio into a pest-free haven, allowing us to enjoy outdoor meals and relaxation without the constant annoyance of wasps, ants, spiders, and flies. 

The scientific reasons behind its effectiveness—its strong scent, natural repellent properties, and safety—make it a practical and reliable solution for anyone looking to keep their outdoor spaces free from common pests. Give it a try and enjoy the benefits of a peaceful, pest-free patio!


  • I apply the spray of peppermint water every day when I go into the backyard.
  • It wears off over time, especially when it rains. I apply it daily, because I'm in the backyard daily.
  • Spray furniture, under furniture, cushions, house bricks, where you know the pests tend to go
  • I especially spray around our patio table. That way I'm having my morning coffee in total peace!
  • It's cheap and easy, and if your pets or humans aren't allergic to peppermint, it's safe! Smells good too!
  • I keep the bottle of peppermint water sitting on the patio table all summer, so when I go outside, I can easily give everything a thorough spritz.

My hubby is utterly shocked at how well this works, especially when we're eating outside—it's pretty amazing.

The real test will be in August and September when wasps are punch drunk, and we usually cannot sit in our backyard. I'm totally confident that I've won this battle! I'll let you know.

Where I Buy Peppermint Oil:

I buy the peppermint oil from Amazon. There are many to choose from. Here's the latest one I purchased.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Honoring Dad: A Father's Day Tribute to Dads in Heaven

Honoring Dad: A Father's Day Tribute to Dads in Heaven

For Father's Day, many of us are preparing to celebrate the influential men in our lives who have shaped us into who we are today. 

But for some, Father's Day carries a bittersweet undertone as we remember and honor dads who are no longer with us physically. Whether our dad passed away recently or many years ago, the memories and lessons he imparted remain etched in our hearts forever.

Reflecting on Memories

One of the most beautiful aspects of Father's Day is the opportunity to reflect on cherished memories with our dads. Whether teaching us or offering wise advice during challenging times, dads play a significant role in our lives. 

Even though they may no longer be here, their presence is felt in every laugh shared, every lesson learned, and every bit of guidance followed (or not followed, lol).

Carrying on Traditions

Dads have a way of creating lasting traditions that define our family identities. Whether it's a special meal he loved to cook, a favorite activity you enjoyed together, or a heartfelt phrase he used to say, these traditions connect us to our past and help keep his spirit alive. Embracing and continuing these traditions can be a comforting way to honor his memory on Father's Day and beyond. 

If there are no apparent traditions, that doesn't matter! A tradition can be as simple as watching a TV show and laughing together.

Finding Comfort in Shared Stories

Sharing stories about our dads is a powerful way to celebrate their lives. Whether with family members and friends or even quietly reminiscing on your own, recounting funny anecdotes, meaningful conversations, and poignant moments can bring a sense of warmth and closeness. These stories create a tapestry of his life that ensures his legacy endures.

Personally, I find myself loving it when we talk about Dad. When my family and I get together and remember him out loud, that's when I find my greatest peace with this difficult loss.

Embracing Gratitude

While it's natural to feel sad on Father's Day when our dads are no longer here, it's also a time to embrace gratitude for our time together. Every laugh, hug, and piece of advice is a gift that continues to shape us. By focusing on gratitude, we can celebrate the love and wisdom our Dads imparted, acknowledging their profound impact on our lives.

Honoring Their Legacy

As we celebrate Father's Day, let us also reflect on the legacy our dads left behind. Their influence extends beyond their physical presence, living on in the values they instilled and the love they shared. 

Honoring their legacy is a meaningful way to commemorate their life and continue their impact, whether through charitable acts, mentoring others, or simply being there for loved ones and friends.

A Time for Reflection and Connection

This Father's Day, for those of us who have lost our dads, let's take a moment to reflect on the love, guidance, and memories they left us. 

Let's cherish the traditions they started and the stories they left behind. And let's find comfort in knowing that their spirit lives on in us and those whose lives they touched.

To all the dads in heaven, this Father's Day is for you. Your presence is felt in every corner of our lives, and we always carry your love with us. 

Cheers to the memories, the lessons, and the enduring legacy you've given us. Happy Father's Day.

A Tribute to My Dad in Heaven - A Video Created Eight Years Ago, Dedicated to All Fathers

Happy Father's Day to All Father's - to Dads of All Kinds, Living and Passed On 💗💗

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Secret: Dare to Dream - The Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

Secret: Dare to Dream Movie is a Heartfelt Journey of Hope and Healing

The "Secret: Dare to Dream," directed by Andy Tennant, is a 2020 American drama film that beautifully weaves themes of hope, healing, and the power of positive thinking. 

Featuring a stellar cast including Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie is an adaptation of Rhonda Byrne's best-selling self-help book, "The Secret." 

I'm a huge Josh Lucas fan, so I have to admit, he was the main reason I decided to watch!

Plot Summary of Secret: Dare to Dream

A Struggling Widow and Her Family

The story centers around Miranda Wells (Katie Holmes), a hardworking widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children. Life has not been easy for Miranda since her husband's passing, and she is constantly overwhelmed by financial troubles and the challenges of single parenthood. Despite her struggles, Miranda remains a devoted mother, doing her best to keep her family afloat.

A Mysterious Visitor

Enter Bray Johnson (Josh Lucas), a charismatic and enigmatic man who arrives at Miranda's doorstep with a seemingly simple purpose: to deliver an envelope. However, Bray's arrival marks the beginning of a profound transformation for Miranda and her family. Bray is not just an ordinary visitor; he carries with him a philosophy of life that revolves around the power of positive thinking and the law of attraction, concepts central to "The Secret."

The Unveiling of Secrets

As Bray spends more time with Miranda and her children, his presence begins to have a remarkable impact on their lives. He helps them fix their storm-damaged house, teaches them to look at life from a different perspective, and instills in them the belief that positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Through his kindness and wisdom, Bray slowly unveils the secrets he holds, leading to a series of unexpected and heartwarming events.

Themes and Messages

The Power of Positive Thinking

"Secret: Dare to Dream" underscores the transformative power of positive thinking. Bray's character embodies this philosophy, showing how maintaining a positive outlook, even in the face of adversity, can change one's circumstances. The film encourages viewers to believe in the power of their thoughts and harness them to bring about positive changes in their lives.

Healing and Hope

At its core, the movie is about healing and finding hope after a loss. Miranda's journey from a state of despair to one of renewed hope and optimism is moving. Her interactions with Bray catalyze her emotional healing, illustrating that even in the darkest times, there is always a possibility for a brighter future.

The Importance of Family and Support

The film also highlights the importance of family and support systems. Miranda's relationship with her children and the bond they share are central to the story. Additionally, the support she receives from Bray and her fiancé Tucker (Jerry O'Connell) plays a crucial role in her journey. The movie portrays how love, support, and understanding from those around us can help us navigate life's toughest challenges.


"Secret: Dare to Dream" is a touching and inspiring film offering a heartfelt exploration of hope, healing, and positive thinking. With solid performances from Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas, and Jerry O'Connell, the movie brings to life the timeless message of "The Secret." It's a film that resonates with audiences, encouraging them to dare to dream and to believe in the possibility of a better tomorrow. Whether you're a fan of the book or new to its philosophy, this movie will leave you with a renewed sense of optimism and a warm heart.

Watch the Trailer Below:

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Compression Swim Trunks for Men - A Five Star Gift Recommendation

Compression Swim Trunks for Men - A Five Star Gift Recommendation

My son needed new swim trunks, so for his birthday, we purchased the APTRO Men's Swim Trunks, which feature a compression lining and multiple pockets.

Note: If you're not in the USA, the Amazon links for this product may show trunks without the compression shorts inside of them - simply scroll or search within the product selection and be sure they are "compresssion swim trunks." As an example, I'm in Canada, and these are the APTRO Compression Shorts I purchased.

He loves them, and I can now safely give this product a hearty five-star recommendation. These swim trunks are as advertised.

Superior Comfort and Performance Swim Trunks for Men

These 2-in-1 swim trunks are designed with a built-in compression lining, ensuring a friction-free experience and helping to prevent painful skin irritations. This means more fun and less discomfort, whether swimming, diving or just playing at the beach.

Enhanced Mobility and Stability

One of the standout features of these trunks is their ability to stay in place. The compression lining keeps the swim trunks from shifting around, providing comfort and freedom of movement. 

A Lovely Fabric - Comfortable

The swim trunks are made from a high-quality fabric that boasts several impressive features:

  • 4-Way Stretch: Offers flexibility and ensures a snug fit without restricting movement.
  • Quick Dry: The material dries rapidly, making transitions from water to land smooth and comfortable.
  • Lightweight: Perfect for active wear without feeling weighed down.
  • UPF50+ Protection: Shields skin from harmful UV rays, adding an extra layer of safety during sunny days. But don't skip the sunscreen!
  • Silky Touch: The soft texture feels great against the skin, enhancing overall comfort.

Practical and Thoughtful Design

These swim trunks are equipped with multiple pockets for convenience:

  • Two Slanted Pockets: Easy access for small essentials.
  • One Liner Pocket: Secure storage within the lining.
  • One Back Flap Pocket with Velcro Closure: Includes a drain hole to help water flow out quickly, aiding the quick-dry feature.

Versatile Outer Layer

The outer layer of the swim trunks is crafted from a soft, stretchable fabric that is both lightweight and quick-drying. The relaxed fit adds to the overall comfort, making these trunks suitable for various activities.

Ideal for Any Summer Occasion

These swim trunks with a compression liner are perfect for:

  • Swimming and beach sports
  • Summer parties and cruises
  • Any summer vacation
  • Fitness activities and more
  • Go ahead, wear them as shorts

In conclusion, if you're looking for swim trunks for men that combine comfort, performance, and style, these 2-in-1 compression-lined trunks are the perfect choice.

They've certainly made a splash in our household.

Sizes & Styles

They come in sizes ranging from Small to 3X and in multiple design choices. You can check out these swim trunks for men here on Amazon.

Note: If you're not in the USA, the Amazon links for this product may show trunks without the compression shorts inside of them - simply scroll or search within the product selection and be sure they are "compresssion swim trunks." 

 As an example, I'm in Canada, and these are the APTRO Compression Shorts I purchased.

Review Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Use of Peppermint Oil to Deter Squirrels and Certain Insects

The Use of Peppermint Oil to Deter Squirrels and Certain Insects
I've been on the hunt for a natural, safe remedy to deter squirrels from digging in my hanging pots and garden and something that would naturally deter wasps and spiders

After researching various options, I discovered that peppermint oil is highly recommended for these purposes. Its strong, minty aroma effectively repels these pests while being safe for the environment, pets, and humans when used properly.

Peppermint oil is a popular natural remedy for deterring various indoor and outdoor pests. This essential oil, derived from the peppermint plant, has a strong scent that many pests find overwhelming and unpleasant. 

Here, I explore how to use peppermint oil to deter spiders indoors, wasps outdoors, and squirrels digging in your flower pots. I also discuss what pests peppermint oil won't deter and whether it might attract any pests.

Note: I've made the suggested diluted mixture, but I also use the pure oil outside (not diluted).

How to Use Peppermint Oil as a Pest Deterrent

General Preparation:

  • Mix peppermint oil with water to create a spray.
  • Use 10-15 drops of peppermint oil per cup of water.
  • For stronger solutions, use 20-30 drops per cup of water.
  • Shake the mixture well before each use.
  • I've also put some pure oil on the bricks of my house near my hanging pots as a potential climbing deterrent for squirrels.

Indoors (Spiders):

  • Spray the mixture around windows, doors, and baseboards.
  • Apply to corners, cracks, and other entry points where spiders may enter.
  • Reapply every 2-3 weeks or after cleaning.
  • I've sprayed the entire perimeter of my basement using this mixture. It seems to help!

Outdoors (Wasps):

  • Spray around areas where wasps are likely to build nests, such as under eaves, around porch roofs, and in sheds.
  • Apply to outdoor furniture and around picnic areas. I spray it under my outdoor table.
  • Reapply every few days or after rain.
  • I apply it to my decorative stones near my flowers and the open brick slots outside the house where I see the little "&#$%(" going in!
  • I have a little container on the patio table with pure peppermint oil.

Flower Pots (Squirrels):

  • They say you can spray the mixture directly onto the soil of flower pots, but I need to be brave enough to do that! I have sprayed it on my pots and around the edges of the flower pots.
  • I have yet to try dousing cotton balls with peppermint oil and placing them in the pots.
  • Reapply every 2-3 days or after watering.

What Peppermint Oil Won't Do

  • Rodents: Peppermint oil might be effective against mice and rats, but it is not a guaranteed deterrent. I couldn't speak to its effectiveness for this use. I encourage you to research more about rodents.
  • Significant Pests: It won't deter larger pests such as raccoons.
  • Persistent Insects: Peppermint oil alone may not significantly deter certain insects, such as ants and cockroaches.

Potential Insects That Peppermint Oil Might Attract

  • Pollinators: Bees and butterflies, which are generally drawn to floral and sweet scents, might be attracted to the sweet scent of peppermint oil.

Best Practices for Using Peppermint Oil

  • Consistency: Regular application is key to maintaining the effectiveness of peppermint oil as a deterrent.
  • Targeted Application: Focus on areas where pests are commonly found or seen entering.
  • Alternative Solutions: Consider integrating other pest control methods for persistent or large infestations.

Additional Tips

  • Safety: Ensure the peppermint oil mixture does not contact pets or children. While natural, it can still cause irritation.
  • Storage: Store peppermint oil in a cool, dark place to maintain potency.
  • Testing: Before widespread use, test the mixture in a small area to ensure it does not damage surfaces or plants.


Peppermint oil is an effective natural remedy for deterring spiders indoors, wasps outdoors, and squirrels from digging in your flower pots. 

Peppermint oil can be part of your pest control strategy by following proper application methods and understanding its limitations. 

It does seem to work for our home and the outdoor patio; I have had fewer wasps harassing me in the backyard so far this year. Since it's an easy, natural solution, I use peppermint oil inside and outside.


Every month, I change our furnace filter and add about 20 drops of peppermint oil directly on the filter to give the house a pleasant, fresh peppermint scent throughout. It does wear off quickly (within a day or so).


Where I Buy My Peppermint Oil:

I buy my peppermint oil from Amazon. There are many to choose from. Here's the latest one I purchased.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Enjoy the Mysterious and Supernatural Series, "Outer Range" - 5 Star Review

Enjoy the Mysterious and Supernatural Series, "Outer Range" - 5 Star Review

In the ever-expanding universe of streaming content, Amazon Prime's "Outer Range" series stands out as a unique blend of Western drama and supernatural mystery. 

Season 2 was recently released, and as one of my favorite series, I have already binge-watched it!

Created by Brian Watkins, this series dives into the heart of Wyoming's rugged landscapes, presenting viewers with a narrative as intriguing as it is enigmatic. Here's an in-depth look at the storyline, plot, and main characters of "Outer Range."

Introduction to "Outer Range"

"Outer Range" is a genre-bending series that combines the grit of a classic Western with elements of the supernatural and psychological thriller. Premiering on Amazon Prime in 2022, it quickly garnered attention for its unique premise and compelling performances. The series explores family, faith, and time travel themes, making it a must-watch for fans of complex, character-driven stories.

The Storyline: A Western with a Supernatural Twist

Set against the backdrop of Wyoming's vast and unforgiving landscape, "Outer Range" follows the life of Royal Abbott, a rancher fighting to keep his family together while dealing with the mysterious appearance of a black void on his land. This void, which defies the laws of nature, becomes the focal point of a series of strange and unsettling events that challenge the characters' understanding of reality and time.

The Mysterious Void

The discovery of the void sets off a chain reaction of events that intertwine the lives of the Abbott family with other town residents. The void's presence brings long-buried secrets and unresolved conflicts to the surface, making it both a literal and metaphorical abyss that the characters must navigate. As they delve deeper into its mysteries, they are forced to confront their beliefs and fears, leading to profound personal transformations.

Preview of the Trailer For Season 1:

Main Characters: A Deep Dive

"Outer Range" features a rich ensemble of characters, each bringing their own complexities to the narrative.

Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin)

Royal Abbott is the patriarch of the Abbott family and the central figure in "Outer Range." Played by Josh Brolin, Royal is a stoic and resilient rancher whose life is turned upside down by discovering the void. His struggle to protect his family and land from external threats and supernatural phenomena forms the core of the series. Royal's journey is one of survival and introspection as he grapples with the unknown and his own past.

Cecilia Abbott (Lili Taylor)

Lili Taylor portrays Cecilia Abbott, Royal's devoted wife. She is the emotional anchor of the family, providing support and stability amidst the chaos. Cecilia's character is marked by her unwavering faith and strength, qualities that are tested as the mysteries of the void unfold. Her relationship with Royal and her efforts to maintain the family's unity are central to the narrative.

Perry Abbott (Tom Pelphrey)

Perry Abbott, the eldest son of Royal and Cecilia, is played by Tom Pelphrey. He is a man burdened by personal tragedy and unresolved grief. Perry's quest for answers and redemption drives much of the series' emotional tension. His character's arc is deeply intertwined with the mysteries of the void, leading to revelations that impact the entire Abbott family.

Autumn (Imogen Poots)

Autumn, portrayed by Imogen Poots, is a mysterious traveler who arrives at the Abbott ranch with a keen interest in the void. Her enigmatic presence and cryptic motives add layers of intrigue to the story. As she becomes more involved with the Abbotts, her true intentions and connection to the void are gradually revealed, making her a pivotal figure in the unfolding drama.

Plot: Unraveling the Mystery

The plot of "Outer Range" is a carefully woven tapestry of suspense, drama, and supernatural elements. It begins with the Abbott family's discovery of the void, which sets off a series of strange occurrences that defy explanation. As Royal and his family try to understand the nature of the void, they encounter various obstacles and adversaries, including rival ranchers and enigmatic figures like Autumn.

Conflict and Resolution

The series balances its supernatural elements with grounded, human conflicts. The Abbott family faces external threats from those who seek to exploit the void for their own gain, as well as internal struggles as they deal with personal loss and trauma. Each episode peels back layers of the mystery, offering new clues and raising more questions, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Themes of Faith and Fate

At its core, "Outer Range" explores themes of faith, fate, and the unknown - with that unknown being time and space. The inexplicable phenomena surrounding the void constantly challenge the characters' beliefs. The series delves into existential questions about the nature of reality and human existence, making it a thought-provoking watch.


"Outer Range" is a compelling series that pushes the boundaries of traditional genre storytelling. 

Its unique blend of Western elements and supernatural intrigue offers a fresh and engaging narrative that keeps viewers hooked from start to finish. The strong performances by the cast, particularly Josh Brolin and Lili Taylor, add depth to the characters and elevate the storytelling. 

Whether you're a fan of mystery, drama, or the supernatural (time travel), "Outer Range" is a series that promises to captivate and leave you pondering long after the credits roll.

As the mysteries of the void continue to unravel, one thing is sure: "Outer Range" is a journey worth taking.

After completing Season 2 (released this year, 2024), I eagerly await and hope for a Season 3!


5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Revitalize Your Lawn with Scott's EZ Seed Lawn Patch and Repair - A Five Star Review

Revitalize Your Lawn with Scott's EZ Seed Lawn Patch and Repair - A Five Star Review

Let me start by saying that this is the only seed I use to repair and replant small and large lawn sections. I'm an absolute fan of this product! It works! 

It's pricier than regular seed, but you can read why it's worth every penny below. I especially love it because there's little prep to do. I'll usually rake, slightly turn the dirt a bit on the exposed sections, give it a bit of water, and then toss the seed on. I like to use a healthy amount. Just be sure to water it regularly during the growing process. 

Within six weeks, often before that, the lawn is fully grown.

A lush, green lawn is the pride of any homeowner, but maintaining it can be a challenge, especially when faced with bare patches and thinning grass. Enter Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair, a revolutionary solution designed to breathe new life into your lawn effortlessly. Packed with essential nutrients and cutting-edge technology, this product has become a go-to for homeowners like me who want to rejuvenate outdoor spaces with minimal effort.

What's in Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair?

  • Water-retaining mulch: Holds moisture around seeds for better germination.
  • Premium seed blend: Contains a mixture of high-quality grass seeds suited for various growing conditions.
  • Fertilizer: Fertilizer is included. It provides essential nutrients for seedling growth and establishment.
  • Biodegradable tackifier: Helps seeds adhere to the soil, preventing washout and promoting vigorous root development.

Why is Scott's EZ Seed Preferred?

  • Easy application: Simply spread water and watch it grow – no special tools or equipment are required - although I do a little bit of prep as described above just to help things along.
  • Versatility: Suitable for repairing bare spots, thinning areas, and overseeding existing lawns.
  • Quick results: Visible improvements in as little as 7 days, with full coverage in 4-6 weeks.
  • An all-in-one solution (the best part!): It eliminates the need for multiple products, saving time and money.

What Do People Use Scott's EZ Seed For?

  • Patching bare spots: Whether caused by pet damage, heavy foot traffic, or harsh weather conditions, EZ Seed seamlessly fills in gaps.
  • Thickening thin areas: Sparse patches and thinning grass can be quickly addressed, resulting in a more uniform lawn.
  • Enhances existing lawn: Enhances the overall health and density of existing lawns, promoting a lush, vibrant appearance.
  • Revitalizing problem areas: Troublesome zones such as shaded or high-traffic zones can be rejuvenated easily.

Why Does Scott's EZ Seed Work So Well?

  • Triple action formula: Combines seed, mulch, and fertilizer for optimal growth conditions.
  • Advanced technology: The tackifier component ensures seeds stay in place, even on sloped surfaces, for improved germination rates.
  • Proven performance: Trusted by homeowners and lawn care professionals alike, Scott's EZ Seed has established a reputation for reliability and effectiveness.

With Scott's EZ Seed Patch and Repair, achieving a lush, green lawn has never been easier. Say goodbye to unsightly bare spots and thinning grass – with just a few simple steps, you can transform your outdoor space into a vibrant oasis that enhances your home's curb appeal. It's our go-to lawn seed repair each year when needed.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Free AI Voice Generator For Content Creators - My Two Fave Choices

Free AI Voice Generator For Content Creators - My Two Fave Choices

Most of my writing associates know that I write riddle and activity books

Expanding my social media imprint has been my most recent list of things to accomplish.

I remember thinking, "Why would I ever need voiceover for online work?" Well, of course, surprise, surprise, I need it.


Essentially, I found these two Free ways to do VoiceOvers:

1. Recording Your Voice On Your Cell Phone: Then Upload it To the Graphic Program You're Using

  • I downloaded an APP on my iPhone called "Voice Memos." I presume it's available for Android phones, but I'm not totally sure
  • I recorded my voice reading one of my riddles
  • I shared, via email, my downloaded file to my own email
  • I accessed my email on my laptop/computer and downloaded my Voice Recording to my laptop/computer. (Note: Those of you who have your phones and laptops/computers synced can skip "the emailing it to your laptop part")
  • With my downloaded Voice, I could upload my recorded voice to the program I'm using to create my animated riddles and all my graphic designs; Canva.
Here's One of My Video Creations for my YouTube Account for StumpedRiddles Using MY Voice:

2. A Free VoiceOver Program, ElevenLabs: My Personal Opinion is ...Wow, I Love It! 
FREE Plan Features: 
1) 10,000 Characters per month (~10 min audio)
2) Generate speech in 29 languages using thousands of unique voices
3) Translate content with automatic dubbing
4) Create custom, synthetic voices

  • This program is free, with paid further subscription options. 
  • It's not one of those frustrating services you must upgrade at some point. Stay at the Free Level if it works for you.
  • As of this date, there is a limit on the free VoiceOver character/word usage each month, but it's enough for me
  • Your free usage numbers restart for the next month - Awesome!
  • I won't go over "how to use the program" because once you jump in, you'll be able to spend some time and learn the ropes
  • There's a massive database of voices to choose from!
  • Under the Tab "Voices" in the side panel, there are two headings at the top center of that page - VoiceLab and Voice Library
  • Click on Voice Library to review all the voices you have available to choose from and add your favorites to your "Speech" tab
  • The speech tab (on the left side panel) is where you input your words and have them read by the AI VoiceOver selection you've made
  • Once you are satisfied, hit the little arrow at the bottom right of your screen to download your VoiceOver to your laptop or computer.
Here's One of  My YouTube Video Creations Using Several ElevenLab Voices:


There's a section in ElevenLabs that allows you to add your voice: You get paid when/if it's used. I don't know how that works, but I'm considering trying it.

Of all the Free AI VoiceOver programs I researched, was the easiest and the "free-est" to use.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

Call The Midwife - A Highly Recommended Five Star Series and Where to Watch It

My friend recommended the TV series Call The Midwife to me. Wow, I highly recommend this series. Its 13 Seasons are a testament to its quality! I'm hooked, and I'm about to begin season five!

"I'll list where you can find and watch the series at the end of this article. There's also a video trailer included!"

About Call The Midwife

Entering the world of "Call The Midwife" is akin to stepping into a time machine that transports viewers to post-World War II London, where the air is thick with compassion, resilience, and the tireless dedication of midwives. This beloved British drama series, adapted from the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide with its poignant storytelling and authentic portrayal of midwifery in the 1950s and 1960s.

What is "Call The Midwife" About? 

"Call The Midwife" follows the lives of a group of nurse midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, a nursing convent in London's impoverished East End. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing society, each episode delves into the triumphs and challenges faced by the midwives as they provide essential healthcare services to the local community. From delivering babies in tenement flats to confronting social issues such as poverty, domestic violence, and the impact of new medical advancements, the series navigates through the complexities of post-war Britain with grace and empathy.

The Heart of the Series: 

At the core of "Call The Midwife" lies its unwavering commitment to storytelling that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. Through its richly drawn characters and compelling narratives, the series explores themes of love, loss, friendship, and the enduring bonds that form within the tight-knit community of Nonnatus House. Whether grappling with personal struggles or bearing witness to the joys and sorrows of childbirth, each character brings a depth of emotion and authenticity that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

Seasons and Success: 

Since its premiere in 2012, "Call The Midwife" has captivated viewers across the globe, garnering critical acclaim and amassing a dedicated fanbase. With 13 seasons under its belt, the series continues to evolve, tackling new storylines and introducing fresh faces while staying true to its roots. From the bustling streets of Poplar to the corridors of Nonnatus House, each season offers a glimpse into the lives of its characters as they navigate the challenges of midwifery amidst a changing world.

The Inspiration Behind the Series: 

Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, a former nurse and midwife, "Call The Midwife" draws inspiration from real-life experiences and historical events. Worth's vivid recollections of her time working in London's East End during the 1950s provided the foundation for the series, offering a window into a bygone era of healthcare and social change. Through her writings, Worth captured the essence of midwifery with honesty and compassion, paving the way for "Call The Midwife" to become a beloved cultural phenomenon.


In an age of fast-paced television and fleeting trends, "Call The Midwife" stands as a beacon of warmth and humanity, reminding viewers of the power of empathy, community, and the enduring spirit of caregiving. 

As the series continues to inspire and uplift audiences worldwide, its legacy remains firmly rooted in the hearts of those touched by its heartfelt stories of love, hope, and the miracle of life.

Where and How to Watch "Call The Midwife"

For Canadians:

1. The CBC GEM App: I live in Canada, and Netflix and Prime don't offer this series for free here (at the time of writing this). However, my friend informed me that all seasons are available for free on the CBC GEM App.

  • Download the App onto your mobile device - search for it in your Apps on your device (it's there, it's free)
  • Or go to CBC Gem ( on your computer and sign up for CBC Gem access - it's free.
  • Select "Call The Midwife" and start watching using the search feature.
You can only access the CBC Gem App if you live in Canada. However, double-check this just in case.

Outside of Canada:

2. Netflix: It may be available for free via Netflix in your country. However, I'm not sure. In Canada, at the time of writing this, it's not free for us on Netflix.

3. Amazon Prime: Call The Midwife is available on Prime, although it's not free at the time of writing this, on or (Canada and the USA). It could very well be in your country, you'll have to check it.

United Kingdom Access:

4. BBC iPlayer has access to the series for free at the time of writing this (but double-check if there's a subscription required). Again, I'm unsure whether people outside the United Kingdom can access BBC iPlayer; you'll have to check.

Here's a Trailer Preview For You! Enjoy! I'm Hooked!

My Recommendation: 5 Stars! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Popularity of Pickleball: A Sport on the Rise


The Popularity of Pickleball: A Sport on the Rise

The growing popularity of Pickleball fascinates me! My mom loved playing this! Mom and Dad were Snowbirds; they spent winters in the southern USA. The community they stayed in played Pickleball, and Mom was really into it. Whenever I hear the word Pickleball I think of mom talking about it.


When I read that Pickleball is now going mainstream, I sort of giggled, thinking it was more of a senior sport. But guess what? It's growing amongst young people.


Being a lover of statistics, I had to research this! Below are some of the fascinating growth stats.


Why Is Pickleball So Popular?


It's easy to learn and inexpensive. Pickleball's accessibility is a key factor in its popularity. Unlike some sports that require years of practice, Pickleball is easy to pick up. 


The rules are straightforward, and beginners can quickly get into the swing of things. Plus, it doesn't break the bank – you only need a paddle, a ball, and a court.

Celebrity Endorsements


Pickleball has indeed caught the attention of celebrities from various walks of life. From actors and musicians to athletes and influencers, the pickleball craze has spread like wildfire and become the latest trend in the celebrity world. 


Some notable celebrity Pickleball team owners include Selena Gomez, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jim Berkus. It's popular! Here's an article that features some additional notable celebrities connected to the sport.

Pickleball by the Numbers Explosive Growth:


(A) 36.5 Million Players: From August 2021 to August 2022, over 36.5 million Americans played Pickleball.

(B) 158.6% Growth: The number of players increased by a staggering 85.7% in 2022 alone, with a three-year growth rate of 158.6% (2020-22).

Fastest-Growing Sport: 


For three consecutive years (2020-2022), Pickleball has held the title of America's fastest-growing sport.


Average Age: Between 2020 and 2021, the average age of pickleball players dropped from 41 to 38.1, indicating a surge of interest among younger players.

Core Players: Those who play Pickleball more than eight times a year fall into the "core player" category. Their average age is 47.5 years.

Casual Players: Casual players who play at least once a year have an average age of 33.6 years.

Youth Appeal: The 18-34 age group constitutes 27.8% of players, with the highest participation rate. However, they also have the most casual players.

The Popularity of Pickleball: A Sport on the Rise

Senior Players: Remarkably, 33% of core players are over 65, emphasizing Pickleball's appeal across generations.

How to Play Pickleball


Court and Equipment: Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with a net. Players use a solid paddle and a perforated plastic ball.

Serving: The serving team starts the game by serving diagonally. The ball must bounce once before being returned.

Volley Zone: The non-volley zone (or "kitchen") near the net is crucial. Players cannot volley (hit the ball in the air) while standing inside this zone.

Scoring: Points are scored only by the serving team. Games are typically played to 11 or 15 points, with a two-point lead.

Dinking and Smashing: Dinking involves soft shots close to the net while smashing is a powerful overhead shot.


Pickleball's rise from retirement communities to mainstream courts is a testament to its universal appeal. Whether you're a seasoned player or a curious beginner, grab a paddle and join the pickleball revolution! 🏓🥒

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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