Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Monopoly Unicorns vs Llamas Game Reviewed

A Different Game of Monopoly

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

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

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

Slightly Different Play in the Game

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

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

Board Games Encourage Family Time

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

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





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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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Gift Ideas



I LIKE BIG BOOKS AND I CANNOT LIE


You other readers can't deny
When a good book walks in with
A good plot base
And a big spine in your face
You get sprung!
Wanna get out your notepads
'Cause you noticed that book
Was dense.
Deep in the book I'm reading,
I'm hooked and I can't stop
Speeding, through Baby
I wanna get that literature,
And Instagram that picture,
My teachers try to train me
But that book you've got
Makes me so brainy!
(Baby got books!)


I know the meme is not new. It started with the reworking of a song called Baby Got Back, which was about an obsession with a part of a woman’s anatomy. The new version, Baby Got Books, embraces the love of books and has spawned the creation of endless videos and creative versions of the lyrics.

Yes, I love to read as is evidenced by the reviews I have written here on Review This and yes, I like big books. Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, anyone? That one will keep you reading for awhile.

Drawn in at first by the cover and the thickness of the spine, if a book is engrossing and if it offers up a good plot with intriguing characters and an interesting setting, I am definitely going to be found curled up with a throw blanket, a cup of tea and the book in question. Live a different life via a book? Heck, yes! Learn by seeing the world through someone else’s eyes? For sure and the bigger the book, the better.

Anyway, if you or someone you know loves books and suffers from Big-Book-Picker-Outer Syndrome, you will be interested in this page of fabulous and fun gift ideas all of which are available from Etsy and all of which contain the quote, I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie. There is something here for everyone!

T-SHIRTS


Let’s start with a t-shirt. I believe that they are practical and useful gifts and that they are a great way to declare to the world that you love to read and of course, they are available for both men and women in a variety of sizes and colors.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Men's T-Shirt

I Like Big Books Women's T-Shirt


HOME DECOR


I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Cushion

I found a number of options for your home décor including this cushion and two art posters. The cushion is available in a wide range of sizes and in three fairly neutral colors. Be aware that you are buying the cover and will have to provide the actual cushion for inside. Find the cushion cover here in Modernality's Home Decor shop on Etsy.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Print

Upcycled I Like Big Books Quotation Print

The first poster is a digital download for you to print at home. It features all of the words to the rewritten song. You can buy it and print it almost instantly at home, if you have the capability to do so, or at your print shop.  Find it in Doodling for Days' Etsy shop here. The second picture is an upcycled print that features the title of the song printed on an old dictionary page. You can find it in Whisker Print's Etsy shop here. Both are very appropriate artwork, I think, for book lovers!

COFFEE MUGS


I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Coffee Mug

If you know me, you know I have a fascination with coffee mugs and mugs as gift ideas. So many fun images that are customizable to the interest of the recipient. In this case, I love the perfectly nerdy design on both of these mugs, the first more appropriate for the female nerd and the second an acceptable choice for a male or the female book nerd. The ceramic mug shown above is both microwave and dishwasher safe but the tin one shown below requires hand washing and is not microwave safe but it is also not breakable. You can find the first mug in Foxy Mug's Etsy shop here and the second mug in Rabbit Print's shop here.

I Like Big Books Coffee Mug


ENAMEL PIN AND UPCYCLED BOOKMARK

I Like Big Books Enamel Pin


I think that both the enameled pin shown above and the upcycled bookmark shown below are totally adorable. They would be great add-ons to any book lover’s gift, make a wonderful stocking stuffer or even make a simple, inexpensive gift idea for someone who you know loves books. Find the pin here in Literary Emporium's shop and the bookmark here in Stamp and Soul's shop.

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Bookmark


TOTE BAG


I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie Tote Bag

Finally, gather the components of your gift set together and ‘wrap’ them up in this simple, attractive and inexpensive canvas tote bag. It is more practical and environmentally friendly than wrapping paper and will make many, many trips to the library and the bookstore! Find it in the Sewing Laboratory.

How about it? Do you love big books or do you prefer your books short and sweet?

See you
At the bookstore!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Follow this link to Etsy’s Gift Guide and yes, if you purchase a product through a link on this page, I may receive a small affiliate commission.
How to Build a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Gift Set.
How to Build a Frosty the Snowman Gift Set.










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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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Reading, The Gift that Keeps on Giving in So Many Ways

Reading is a gift, a renewable, ever changing, gift that covers all ages and stages of life.

There is no doubt that many of the writers here at Review This Reviews love to read!  You just need to take a quick look at all the Book Reviews to know that there are many readers with varied tastes in subjects to read about.  There are even some authors on our Review This Reviews pages too!

What I am most interested in sharing with you today is  some timely ideas to help youngsters become avid readers.  

Why?  Well it is well known that reading is the basic building block for a lifetime of learning.  No truer words were ever written, and it bears repeating!  


READING IS THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCK FOR A LIFETIME OF LEARNING!

What's the best way to start a child on this road to learning?

That's an easy one to answer!  There is no time like the present to begin a child on a path to explore and learn new things.  Children are magnets for learning and giving them the tools can't start too early.  One of the best gifts you can ever give any child, is books.  You night not expect that books would be a great Baby Shower Gift, but I'm here to tell you differently.  So many times the new parents are inundated with cute outfits, booties and all the paraphanalia needed for their babies.  Give them a gift that will stand out!  Books, Classic Books that will become favorites for their children as they years go by.  Books that can be read by the parents and grandparents.  Books that will fuel their creativity and at the same time become the basis for their language skills.

Here is a list of Classic Books that will be a great start to any child's library:
  1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  2. A Bear Called Paddington
  3. Little Golden Books
  4. The Velveteen Rabbit
  5. A Treasury of Curious George
  6. Elmo's Big Book of Friends
  7. My Favorite Berenstain Bears Collection
  8. Classic Storybook Fables
  9. On the Night You Were Born
  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The last two books on this list are "modern" classics.  The other 8 suggestions are stories that have been around since you were a child.  They are the "Classics" that really should be in every child's library.  They have withstood the test of time and are still found to be entertaining and full of great life lessons. 

How to keep your child entertained while reading:


Our goal as parents and grandparents is to keep our children motivated to enjoy the story we are telling them.  At the end of a long day, make time for reading.  Set the children's bed time for a half hour earlier than when you actually want them to close their eyes.  This time is set apart for reading!  Unless they are sick, make sure that you do this on a regular basis.  If not every day, then maybe 3 days a week.  Make the reading time not just a page turning experience, but be expressive in reading so that by your tone, they will know something exciting is going to happen.    Using the pictures in the story to keep our children's imaginations fueled will go a long way in them wanting you to turn more pages.  




What happens when they have a favorite book and they just don't want you to read another?


First of all don't worry, that is perfectly normal.  Certain books just have that quality that makes children want to hear the story again and again.  This is actually a great time to teach them to sight read certain words, because they already know the story off by heart.  Pointing to the words and showing them how the word sounds out, will help them to recognize that word in other stories too.  When our children would ask for the same story over and over and over again, we got creative in telling the story so that we would not be bored to tears.  I can remember one night in particular, when it was Dad's turn to read, he was so tired of reading story the way it was written, that he took the book and read it backwards.  Starting at the last page, he worked his way to the front and the children laughed and laughed so hard, that I needed to get up and see what in heaven's name was going on.  Well, needless to say from that point onwards, the children wanted the book read forwards and backwards.  Bedtime or reading time was just increased another 15 minutes to accommodate the extra reading.  What a great way to make them enjoy their stories in a whole new way.

Other Great Ways to Get Children Started on Reading!  


Reading starts with children grabbing a book and turning the pages.  As I said earlier, you can't start this habit too early.  So get your babies/children books that are make especially for them.  There are soft books made of fabric, that can be put into cribs or playpens.  They are usually filled with colorful pages and pictures.  Even babies love to turn pages that have something special on them.  Books with flaps that lift, tabs to pull and bits and pieces of sensory friendly fabrics are a must have for little hands.  Tactile fabrics, squeakers  or buttons that you can push are extras that little hands just love to play with.



So much fun in a book for little hands and growing minds.

 For Parent's Who Love to Tell Stories


For Parent's who are natural story tellers, there are also some really great picture books that will help you tell stories and get your child to interact at the same time.  Our children loved the "Where's Waldo" books.  They would sit for long periods of time looking at all the different pictures and looking for Waldo, who, you knew, was hiding in the pages somewhere.  What made these fun and interactive was the places and situations that Waldo would find himself in.

Richard Scarry books are also great for young readers.  They can learn about trucks and trains, planes and places.  His wonderfully illustrated books make it easy for parents to tell the story and sometimes segue into stories of their own.  Your imagination and the help of these books will fuel your child's world and widen their perspectives on everyday things around them.

We are our children's first educators and we teach them by spending quality time with them in a number of activities.  Reading is one of the most important activities.  It's the start of a life long love of books, that will see your children expand their horizons and will help educate them too.

It all starts with ABC and it will take them anywhere their minds can imagine and more.  Avid readers are the start of a life long love of learning new things.  They will develop a critical mindset that will help them in their everyday lives as they grow and mature.  Reading will never ever go out of style or popularity either.  Books will remain part of their lives from now until they are reading to their children too!

Will your favorites as a child, become your children's favorites too?

It could happen, but they might also find a story that is their own favorite and that is okay too!  There isn't one book that is "better" than another.  Everyone needs to find their own favorites and expand from that point on!  Books will give your child more than a 30 second sound bite of information.  Let's encourage our children to make good choices in how they spend their leisure time by having some great books for them at all stages of their reading skills.











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Saturday, November 2, 2019

Lego City Fire Station - Reviewing Lego Set #7208

"Lego Set 7208" "Lego City Fire Station" "Lego Fire Station"
Buy Lego City Fire Station here!


For new readers, I used to review Lego sets years ago and my favorite range was definitely the Lego City range.   I even had an alter ego called Leo who has made a surprise appearance on Review This Reviews while reviewing the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery set.

Now I know that all things fireman related are always popular with children and I can relate as when I was younger my dad was a fireman so I got to ride in a fire engine for real and even go down the fire pole (yes it is as fun as it looks!).   It's no surprise then that the Lego City Fire Station would be a popular set.   Why don't we review it now?

Lego City would not be complete without a fire station and they have a great one with Lego City Fire Station (7208)!

This Lego City set contains 662 pieces and once completed provides hours and hours of fun (much like the rest of the Lego City range).   The fire station is fully manned with a whole shift on duty at any given time - this means that you get not 1, but 5 firemen minifigures which is just fantastic in my opinion.

The set also includes a fire truck that has a ladder which actually rotates - just what you need to rescue people from the top of a burning building.   There is even a cat and a tree that it can fit in so that the fireman can 'rescue' it.

No expense has been spared by Lego City in making sure their fire fighters have everything they need including a second vehicle which is a much smaller one that's ideal for their rescue work.

There are lots of little inclusions in this set which are fun like a coffee machine, a television and a table with a computer.  I always think that it's often these little extras which are important when it comes to playing with the set after it's been built.


Lego Fire Station Set
Lego City Fire Station with a Fire Engine & Fire Rescue Truck


Now once you've got the Lego City Fire Station you can rest assure that the citizens of Lego City will all be safe, but I'm a great believer in that you can never be too careful so if you wanted to you could get more fire sets such as a fire fighting helicopter to keep any bush fires on the outskirts of the city under control!   If you want to check out all of the Lego City fire sets then you can find the best selecion at - Lego City Fire Sets.


A Couple of Warnings for This Lego City Fire Set

The first one is that once they have this fire set many children will then request one of the Police Station sets (unless they already have them that is)!  I mean do you know of any cities that have a fire station, but no police station?

The other thing to be aware of with this set is that once it's built it shouldn't be moved.   The downside is that it's not built on one of the larger base plates so when you try and move it you'll find it breaks and has to be rebuilt.   What this means is if you have room build it in situ so that your child can play with it where it is, if you don't have room then build it on a tray or something that it can be carried on.

Lego Sets Stimulate Children's Minds & Imaginations

Lego sets are great for children as the process of building the set stimulates their mind into figuring out how to build it whether your child chooses to follow the instructions or try and figure it out on their own.   Actually putting the set together is good for their fine motor skills which is invaluable.

Lego also helps a child to learn patience and perseverance as they have to take their time to build the set before they can play with it.

Once a set is built Lego keeps giving as now it's time to play and there's nothing like a Lego City set to stimulate a child's imagination and they can spend hours playing with them.

What Do You Think Of Lego?


Do you think Lego sets make great gifts for children?   Or do you enjoy them yourself?   If you love Lego yourself or have a Lego fan to buy for then why not check out all of our Lego Reviews.


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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Monday, July 8, 2019

A Dog's Life By Peter Mayle


Are you ready to smile? Smiling, laughing and nodding are the side effects from reading this delightful book, A Dog's Life by Peter Mayle. This book is actually two books in one with the engaging illustrations by Edward Koren. So onward with a two books in one review!

A Dogs Life Book Review


The Point Of View

This is a story of a rescue dog in Provence named Boy by his new parents. What is different about this narrative is the tale is told by Boy ... in his own words.

Boy is thoughtful, introspective, funny, witty, dry and very on point with his observations of the household, his city, his new furry sisters, his parents and how life rolls in Provence.

I'm still laughing over his description of rolling in the grass, why it is a good idea, why he likes to roll over smelly 'things' in the grass and then the consequences of the behavior. Which leads us to ...


The Other Point Of View

Boy is also a philosopher and keen observer. As he says one of his best strengths is his keen ability to observe then adapt; definitely a strength when being adopted into an established household.

I very much enjoyed Boy's take on his new humans, siblings and household. In A Dog's Life he tells his story enhanced by his view of what others are thinking, the why behind their actions and how he will fit in his new home.


The Furry Topics 

Boy runs the gamut of topics he finds interesting but are also of interest to dog parents. He answers those human questions of "Why would...?" "How could ..." "Did you really do that...?" of:

  • Picking The Dog's Name (and lifelong implications)
  • Dog Birthday Parties
  • Rolling In Stuff!
  • Baths
  • Cats
  • New Siblings
  • Food Bowl Etiquette
  • Tasting Parties
  • The Art Of Communication

and much more!

The Illustrations

I love hand drawn illustrations and the illustrations by Edward Koren are fabulous. The illustrations are an integral component of A Dog's Life and can be enjoyed on their own merit. I liken the illustrations to editorial cartoons drawn from a dog's point of view.

Recommendation Of A Dog's Life

I highly recommend this book for all dog owners or dog fans. It is a perfect gift for all occasions including a fun gift for the new dog parent. Smiles and are guaranteed throughout the book along with frequent nods of agreement as to why dogs are so special, so beloved and so part of the family.

More Dog Reviews

Favorite Dog Harness - The Puppia

Kong Cloud Collar




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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Saturday, June 1, 2019

Zazzle's Grocery Tote Bags Make The Perfect Library Bags

owl grocery tote bag adult library bag
Purchase through Zazzle
Today I'm going to review how great Zazzle's grocery tote bags are as adult library bags.   I recently came back from a visit with my mom that prompted me to write this review as she is still using a bag I designed for her (that can be found in my Hooting Owls Zazzle Store) back in 2013.

My mum has always loved owls so I decided to create a tote bag for her with an owl design on it for Christmas 2013.   When I gave it to her she decided it would be her library bag.   Now my mum is an avid user of the library, not only that when I stay with her, my brother stays with her or her grandchildren stay with her we all use the library ... and her library bag.

Now this bag has had it's strength severely tested over the years as it has been extremely overloaded with books especially when a few of us have been staying at the same time!   It is still going strong and there's no sign of any distress whatsoever.

It has been washed on countless occasions over the last five and a half years and I do believe that the design may be a little faded (although it looked more faded in real life than the photos when it was brand new), but I can't be sure.

There's only been one occasion when this bag caused any distress and that was when my mother thought she'd lost it.   Luckily it's a distinctive design and one of the local ladies at the supermarket recognized it when mum left it in the trolley and gave it to her the next time she saw her!   Definitely a great reason to get a customized tote bag!

I cannot recommend these tote bags enough, in fact I've already reviewed them here on Review This, but having recently used this bag again and realizing how long it has been regularly used I felt it needed to be reviewed again.


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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Four of the Best Father's Day Gifts for the Handy Dandy Dad Reviewed

The next big event on the horizon for everyone to get excited about is Father's Day!  I know my teacher friends are already busy getting the craft ideas ready so that Dad's will get a nice surprise on June 16th.  

Key finder,Tile,  father's day

I'd like to bring your attention to some interesting handy gifts that any Dad will want and enjoy too.

Whether they are true handy men or not, these tools will stand the test of time and usability.  I know from experience that even mom's would appreciate this gift. (What does that tell you?)

So what do I have in  store for you? Let's see!


Number One Father's Day Gift


Vitorinox, better known as the Swiss Army Knife, comes in a wide variety of styles. This one shown has a 5 out of 5 star rating and it is the one that my husband got many years ago from his children. He is never without it. I cannot tell you how many times he has tightened a nut and bolt on the kids' bikes or used it to pry out something that was stuck where it should not have been and so on.  This knife is small, but fits nicely in his hand to use and into his jeans when he's done.  I think the only time he's without it is when we are at a wedding or a function where we are all dressed up.  Even then, this knife is so handy that it  would fit into his jacket pocket without being too bulky.  It truly is a handy and useful tool that every father should have.  You just never know when you might need it.  It will not replace his tool box, but in a pinch the Swiss Army Knife is ready to do the job.


Number Two, Three and Four

There are countless father's out there that on a busy morning have forgotten where they put their keys or their cell phone. 


 Let's get that crazy picture out of our heads and find a way to make that scenario a thing of the past.  There is a new gadget out there that will help to make Dad's life a little easier.  It's call the "Tile"




It's a little gadget that will really get used!  Just this past weekend I was with my grandchildren and Dad misplaced his keys.  Frantic running around ensued, when his  lovely wife says,  "Tile your keys with your phone!"  Lo and behold, his keys started "chirping" and the sound was getting louder till one of the kids came up with the "lost" keys.  The whole search process lasted less than a minute, and dad was on his way. Everyone had smiles on their faces too!




This item is Number two, three and four, for good reason.  With this package you get Four Tiles.  They are small,so they can be attached to several different objects!  Most people use them for their keys, but you can attach the Tile to almost anything.  If your briefcase isn't where you thought it should be, you can add a Tile to that.  It has a small hole in one corner so that you can attach it with split rings to almost anything.  Afraid someone will notice the "Tile" on your briefcase?  No problem, mount the "Tile" in the briefcase and no one but you knows it's there.  Problem solved and future problems averted!  This is a #1 Best Seller.

**Now the only thing I dislike about this package is that this model of the "Tile" only lasts one year.  Newer models are made with replaceable batteries but will cost you about double what this package runs.  If you are not sure that this would be a workable item for your Dad, you could always try it for the year and then decide if you should upgrade to the newer models.  It would be something to think about.  
**This is my own personal opinion!

 Fathers all over the world will be proud of their families and best of all,  they will all be Handy Dandy Dads with your help!

Father's Day, Gift ideas for men, Swiss Army Knife, Tile





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Monday, May 6, 2019

Lava Stone Bracelet Review

Reviewing my beautiful Basalt bracelets.
I recently purchased a pair of lava stone bracelets and am very happy with them. They are available on Amazon. As another reviewer says, "don't be fooled by the price".  At this price, I half expected to receive cheap synthetic trinkets. But I was surprised to receive beautiful stone bracelets. These bracelets are a great gift to give and an awesome treat for yourself.


Lava Stone Bracelets 


I was shopping for Lava Stone specifically. So I was thrilled that there were many options to choose from: lava stone, tigers eye (brown or blue), malachite, wooden beads, and howlite. 

These bracelets are fully adjustable due to the sliding knot. Pull each end of the cord to tighten. Pull each side of the bracelet to loosen. I have a small wrist - just under 7".  These bracelets snug up to fit me perfectly.  Open to it's widest, my bracelet measures approximately 13". 



There are many places to purchase a Lava Stone bracelet but I purchased mine on Amazon by M MOOHAM. My pair of bracelets arrived quickly. They were packaged in a soft drawstring bag and inside a cardboard box.





Reasons to Buy a Lave Stone Bracelet


Yoga Bracelets:  People seem to use the term "yoga bracelet" to mean either as a Mala for meditation, as stones that are thought to have healing or calming properties, or as some combination of those two things. Malas are used in meditation by counting along the string of beads during a chant. Malas and other jewelry are often made from stone beads. Those stones are thought to have properties that benefit us.  
For example:
"Lava Stone is a grounding stone that strengthens one's connection to Mother Earth. It gives us strength and courage, allowing us stability through times of change. It provides guidance and understanding in situations where we may need to "bounce back". A calming stone, it is very useful in dissipating anger"            -- from CharmsofLight.com

Wearable Essential Oil Diffuser:  Many people like essential oils either for the fragrance or for the calming properties. Lava stones can be used as a wearable oil diffuser. Simply rub a drop or two of your favorite oil onto a lava stone.  Allow the oil several minutes to dry before wearing.

Fashion Accessory:  Wear these lava stone bracelets just because they look good. 

My interest in lava stone (also called Basalt) is increasing because of my recent purchase of a Basalt stone bird bath. I fell in love with the stone and decided to purchase a basalt bracelet to wear.

Related Link:

Our Louanne shared a review about her essential oil diffuser necklace. She includes "how to" photos in her article about this functional and beautiful piece of jewelry. If you prefer necklaces to bracelets, her necklace may be just what you are looking for. 


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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Friday, February 8, 2019

Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maine Syrups & Gift Set Reviewed

Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maple Syrup & Gift Set Reviewed
I love cooking for my family, therefore a gift for my kitchen is always the right gift.  

When I received my Stonewall Kitchen gift set this year from my husband, I was immediately thrilled by the pretty blueberry batter bowl.  I admit, my one weakness is mixing bowls.  I love them, especially if they have a spout.  

I was also pretty excited to try a new pancake mix.  Turns out, I prefer the Stonewall Kitchen pancake mix to any other that I have ever tried.  That is rather surprising since I have used a popular grocery store brand for decades and have always liked the flavor and texture of the store brand.  However, the Stonewall Kitchen pancake & waffle mix has a better taste. 

The gift set also came with Wild Maine Blueberry Jam and Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup.  By now, you have probably guessed it was a blueberry themed gift set.  He also gave me a bottle of Wild Maine Maple Syrup separately.  Actually, he probably bought that for himself, but it was included with the gift.


Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix


 Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake and Waffle MixCheck Price If you love pancakes, and you prefer using a mix, you will want to try the Stonewall Kitchen Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix.  As I said in the introduction, I was extremely surprised to find that I prefer it to the brand that I have used for a lifetime.

The mix requires that an egg, milk & melted butter be added, but I always have those on-hand, so no problem.  I quickly whipped up the batter and made our first batch of pancakes.  I wasn't sure what to expect since the batter was a lot thinner than other pancake batters, but my fears were unfounded.  The pancakes were delicious.

When we sat down to eat, neither one of us was talking, we were too busy eating!



My Preferred Method for Cooking Pancakes


 Oster Electric Skillet, 16 Inch, Black/Stainless SteelCheck PriceIt is important that I note how I cook the Stonewall Kitchen mix pancakes.  I use my electric skillet, set to 350°, with about a half-inch of Crisco vegetable oil covering the bottom of the skillet.  In effect, I am frying my pancakes in oil, uncovered.  I turn the pancakes when bubbles start to form on the side that is up.  I only turn them once.

Because the clean-up is easier, the second time I made these pancakes, I used my Cuisinart Griddler.  I can also cook more pancakes at one time since the Griddler opens out flat which allows me to cook on two grills at the same time.  I didn't expect there to be much difference, but there definitely was a difference.  The pancakes were simply not as good.  They still tasted okay, but after the first batch cooked in the electric skillet, they were disappointing.

Therefore, from now on, I will always cook my Stonewall Kitchen pancakes in oil in my electric skillet.


The Stonewall Kitchen Syrups


I am a huge fan of blueberry syrup when it is really good, but I hate it if it tastes artificial.  My husband prefers Maple syrup, but like me, he is selective.  It has to be real maple syrup.

Few blueberry syrups live up to my standards.  Stonewall Kitchen Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup is, by far, the best I have ever eaten!  

Believe it or not, my husband has said that the Stonewall Kitchen Maine Maple Syrup is the best maple syrup he has ever tried.  Big wins there for Stonewall Kitchen!  We are both very picky when it comes to our pancake syrup.

Oh, and the bottles are really cute too!



 Stonewall Kitchen Breakfast Gift Baskets and Sets (5 Piece Blueberry Gift Set)Check PriceMy Stonewall Kitchen Blueberry Gift Set


Yeah, I know.   Now you all want my gift set too.  Well, you can't have mine, but you can have one like it.  I can tell you from experience, this is a great gift for the cook.

Do note though that the blueberry set comes with blueberry syrup.  You may also wish to purchase the Maine Maple Syrup separately like we did.

The gift set includes everything you see in the picture and comes wrapped in the cellophane bag tied with a Stonewall Kitchen ribbon like mine in the top photo.  

Gift Set Includes:
  • Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix
  • Blueberry Batter Bowl
  • Wild Maine Blueberry Jam
  • Wild Maine Blueberry Syrup
  • Blue Spatula

 

 
Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maine Syrups, & Gift Set Reviewed

 

Related & Relative Articles


I am not the only blueberry loving Contributor!  Olivia has previously revealed her love for the fruit too. Plus, you may have recognized the phrase I used in the introduction, "my one weakness".  That is actually a quote from Lark Rise to Candleford.  Dorcas Lane uses that descriptive phrase several times in the movie and it always tickles me to hear her say it.

You may have noticed the Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix is also for waffles. Literally, it is named Farmhouse Pancake & Waffle Mix. You can make those waffles in a really cute heart-shaped waffle maker that was reviewed here by Bev Owens.

Olivia reviews some of the best recipes, as well as a cookbook recommendation, for all of us who love to consume this delightful bit of heaven on earth!

Lark Rise To Candleford ReviewLark Rise To Candleford Review

Enjoy Lark Rise To Candleford the BBC series which inspires, enlightens and entertains the entire family. The Lark Rise to Candleford series is based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Flora Thompson

Mini Muffins- Bake Ahead and FreezeMini Muffins- Bake Ahead and Freeze
Mary Beth shared her own personal recipe for blueberry apple oat muffins here. She also gave us the basic recipe for her bake and freeze muffins which could include many different fruits & nuts.

Heart Waffle Maker ReviewedHeart Waffle Maker Reviewed
Bev reviewed this heart shaped waffle maker to make our waffles in the shape of a heart as an expression of our love. Small and lightweight this heart shaped waffle maker can be a fun addition to any kitchen.




Stonewall Kitchen Pancake Mix, Maple Syrup & Gift Set Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Gardeners and Valentine's Day What a Great Combination Reviewed

There is no doubt about it, when February comes calling, gardeners are already itching to get into the "dirt" of the matter!

#gardeners gifts #valentines day gifts for gardeners #winning combinations for the gardener
Valentine's Day and Gardeners are a great combination.  Around every corner you will find something that will satisfy and excite the gardener in your life.  All gardeners are spending much of February pouring over Seed Catalogs and planning to attend the local Garden Shows that are sure to be happening in March.  I know that I am planning not only my flower gardens, but my vegetable garden too!  I can hardly wait for that first snowdrop or even (heaven forbid) that first dandelion!

What it means is that Old Man Winter is leaving and the warmth and loveliness of Spring is on the way.  Even dandelions with their yellow heads are welcome after a cold and dreary winter season.  And the ladybugs are just an added bonus.  

Valentine's Day is a great time to think about those things that will make the gardener in your family really happy.  There is a list and it can go on and on.  But let me help you make some good decisions when it comes to the gifts that a gardener would really love to have.  

First on the List is Books! 

I don't know any gardener that would not love a beautiful book that highlights not only plants, but gives great instructions on growing them too!  Along with books would be a subscription to Gardening Magazines of which there are many to choose from.  You can find magazines specific to your area and growing zones. You can also go to more general magazines that will cover a multitude of plants, vegetables, trees, shrubs and in gardening zones around the world.  Sometimes pictures are worth the time to dream!

Second on the List is Plants!  

Your local garden center will have a multitude of plants available, especially since it is coming close to Valentine's Day.  You don't need to buy cut roses to make a gardener happy.  Primroses, potted tulips and daffodils, even indoor tropical plants are a welcome addition to the household.  They are reasonably priced and will last a lot longer than any cut flowers.

Third on the List is Pots! 

I personally love pots that are beautiful to look at!  My indoor plants always look amazing because they are in pots that match or contrast with my decor.  It makes a plain plant look amazing when it stands out as a focal point in a room.  And the added bonus is that the indoor plants do a great job of cleaning the air indoors.  This is particularly important in the winter months when windows and doors are shut up tight to keep the cold out.  When you have some really good indoor plants working for you, the air never gets that winter "stale" feel.

Fourth on the List is Garden Tools! 

Every year I know there is another garden tool that I want.  It never fails.  From hoes, rakes, wagons, potting benches and saws to hand tools and garden hoses, there is always something I need.  Make it part of your conversations and I'm sure you will find there is something needed or wanted that would make a unique Valentine's gift.  You can find some great reviews here: Review This Gardening

Fifth on the List is Hand Soaps and Creams! 

Most gardeners are always fighting with dirt under the fingernails and hands.  Playing in the dirt can be very taxing on the skin as well.  A good hand cream/balm and some really fine soaps would be welcome by every gardener that I know.  Even though we love to play in the dirt, we also like our hands to be clean and our skin soft.  There's no need for calluses even though we work with our hands.

Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth on the List!

If none of the above floats your boat, then there is this extended list too......
6.  Garden lights, Tiki lamps, outdoor fireplace
7.  Garden seating, chairs, umbrellas, tables
8.  Bird Feeders, hummingbird feeders anything that will attract birds and bees.
9.  Bird baths, Fountains, running water.

Last but not Least the Tenth!

10.  I know I mentioned tools, but there are other things that would help a gardener that are a little less obvious.  How about garden hoses, timers for lights, Outdoor glassware (non-breakable),  or a good water bottle to keep that gardener hydrated!

This list is by no means complete.  There are always new products and garden decor that can change just as the seasons do.  It's a great starting point for anyone who wants to make a gardener they love happy at Valentine's Day, that's for sure.  



The products I have chosen to show are just a small sample of what's available.  Just remember that Gardeners love anything that will help them to grow something beautiful or delicious and sometimes both.  
Happy Valentine's Day
   May your garden overflow with the love that you pour into it.
valentine's gifts for gardeners, 10 great gift ideas for gardeners, Valentines Day and Gardeners a great combination





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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Review of the Meaning Behind Different Colored Roses

The Meaning Behind Different Colored Roses
Did You Know that Each Rose Color Has a Unique Meaning?

With Valentine's Day around the corner, there's nothing carved in stone that says you have to give Red Roses.

If you want to send a different message, check out the meaning of each colored rose as described below. Once you determine what you really want to say, send a dozen roses of that color instead.

Red Roses

This one you know. It generally means "I love you". Sending red roses tells the person in no uncertain terms that you love them. It also speaks to beauty and lets the person know, that in your eyes, they're perfect just the way they are.

Yellow Roses

If you want to send someone a flower that expresses thanks for the friendship you share, yellow roses are a good choice. Yellow roses tell the person that they make you happy and you're thankful to have them in your life.

Lavender (Purple) Roses

If you've just met someone and you've got that love-at-first-sight thing going on between the two of you, then sending them purple roses says you're eager to continue and grow this unexpected relationship. Purple is also associated with Royalty, so if you happen to fall in love with a Prince or a Princess at first sight, send them purple roses.

White Roses

If you're looking to send flowers to someone you just met, white roses are the ideal choice. They're used in weddings to symbolize new beginnings but you don't have to be getting married to experience a new beginning. Don't hesitate to send them in the case of anything new; new job, new baby, new friendship, new love.

Pink Roses

Is there someone in your life that you admire? If so, send them pink roses. Perhaps it's a person who has accomplished a great deal, been an awesome friend or set an unparalleled example with their life. Sending your mother pink roses speaks to your admiration for her. Pink also represents gracefulness. For the person with high integrity and who behaves in a classy manner, pink is their flower.

Orange Roses

Orange roses speak to your excitement about being with a person. You're anxious to take on new adventures with them and your relationship is all about enthusiasm and, where applicable, desire. Give orange roses to the person you want to take on the world with. It doesn't have to be a love interest. In fact, if it's a good friend, give them a combination bouquet of yellow, orange and white roses.

Peach Roses

Do you want to send someone a 'Thank you'? If so, then peach roses deliver that message. If you're grateful for someone and what they've done for you, or for just being in your life, peach roses say it without words. When you want to show someone how much you appreciate them, add peach roses to your bouquet.

Now that you understand the general meaning of each rose, consider the message you want to convey and either mix and match them or give a dozen of one color.

If real flowers aren't doable, here's a collection of faux bouquets to send to that special someone:




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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Valentines Rock For Him Reviewed

A Gift For Him

valentine hearts
Hearts For Him image from pixabay.com
Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching and I have been on the look-out for something to give that special man in my life. I would like to review a gift that I think is pretty neat for my man and might be for yours, also. 

When it comes to that special "him" in our lives it is sometimes difficult to come up with something clever and yet a little on the romantic side. At least it is for me. 

Some of you may not be old enough to remember the "pet rock" fad that swept across the U. S. back in the 1970s but I think a lot of you probably will remember. Just in case you don't recall this phenomenon, I'll give you a little history. Back in 1975 an advertising executive named Gary Dahl came up with the idea of pet rocks. For about six months these rocks were all the rage. Dipping into your wallet for around $4 you could get your own pet or one for someone else that came in a box with breathing holes and straw to keep the little guy or gal comfortable. Apparently, this Mr. Dahl was a bit of a genius because it is estimated that he sold 1.5 million of these quiet little pets that needed no extra care making him a millionaire six times over. Now do you remember? 

I've seemed to digress a little but I felt you should understand why I have picked this particular gift for my honey for Valentine's Day this year. There is some sentiment involved and some nostalgia. That was part of my quest in looking for a gift for him...a bit of nostalgia. I found this particular item that just seemed catch my eye.

I love the sentiment about my heart beating for him and that he is my rock. He truly is, you know. Always there standing firm and strong. Unlike the pet rocks of old, he does need to be fed and looked after but I don't mind doing those things for him at all.

So, what do you think? Would a Valentines Rock for him work this year? 





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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

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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