Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Lego Easter Egg Hunt Set Reviewed

Fun Idea For Easter Basket Stuffer

easter eggs
Add some Lego Fun to the Basket
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)
It is a good two months before those Easter Egg Hunts take place but I am already looking for some fun ideas to add to the baskets. Of course there will be eggs to be found. I always look for some different sorts of sweets to add but I like to hold that sugary stuff to a minimum. So, I start searching for non-edible ideas rather early. I have found something fun for this year. 

Those that know me might remember that I love to play with Legos. My brothers and I built things with those plastic bricks when we were little. Hours of fun were spent with my daughters with them. This grandma still plays with the colorful plastic pieces with her grandchildren. I even have a display of the Big Bang Theory done in Legos in our family room. 

Imagine my thrill when I found a set of Legos that creates a scene for an Easter Egg Hunt! It is a small little set with only 145 pieces so the box will fit nicely in the kid's baskets. The set allows you to build three separate locations (to hide the 3 eggs). There is a carrot garden, a flower garden and a hen house. Two figures come with the set; an adult and a child. There is a wheelbarrow, a cute little basket and a magnifying glass. Well, it is just down right adorable! 

As with most of the Lego sets once this one is assembled the different locations can be easily added to any other display you might already have on display. We rarely tear our finished sets down in this house. They are fun to pull out and play with when the kids come or Grandma goes to their house. 

If you are looking for something to add to an Easter Basket that won't throw your child or grandchild into a raging sugar high, consider a set of Lego fun with the Easter Egg Hunt.
  



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Saturday, February 16, 2019

National Gumdrop Day Review


Image Source: Wikipedia (and Fotojet) 
There are over 1500 'unofficial' National Holidays throughout the year that enjoy recognition for one reason or another.  This one for February 15 ~ National Gumdrop Day ~ was begun to recognize this colorful, chewy, fruity or spicy, gelatin candy coated with sugar we call the Gumdrop. 


Who Invented the Gumdrop?


The gumdrop was invented by a chemist and candy maker named Percy S. Truesdell.  In 1915 he changed the texture of this sugar concoction.  By adding starch in a formula he developed at Ohio State University, he changed a hard candy into a smooth, chewy delight.  He later became known as the “Gumdrop King”


Uses for Gumdrops



Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Besides being a tasty candy, gumdrops are a popular addition to cookie recipes and as decoration for cakes and cupcakes.  No doubt the most well-known way gumdrops are used as decorations is on Gingerbread Houses. 





Crafty Gumdrops



Gumdrop Penguins
Gumdrops are also often used in crafts, such as these adorable gumdrop penguins by Linda on her fun and fascinating crafty blog called “Crafts a la mode”.  The blog is filled with her  sweet and simple delights in both crafts and recipes. 





DIY Gumdrops


Image Source: Mkreal on Flickr
You can also make gumdrops yourself. You'll need powdered fruit pectin and fruit juice, along with vegetable oil, sugar, corn syrup and food coloring.  Several recipes can be found at a selection of sites throughout the internet.  Click here.


Other Gumdrop Tidbits



Candy Land Game Available on Amazon


An interesting sidelight is the fact that the classic board game Candy Land features both a Gumdrop Pass and a Gumdrop Mountain.  





Then there is the song by Barney called "If All The Raindrops" (The Raindrop Song) with the line:


If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a life I would lead. 


Gummie Bears Image Source: AMAZON

A more modern offshoot of the original gumdrop are today's popular 'gummies' in the form of gummy bears and gummy worms.   Kids seem to love these gelatin-based chewable sweets.






Summary


So, enjoy a gumdrop, or two or three, on National Gumdrop Day, February 15, or any day of the year this chewy treat appeals to you. 


Happy Gumdrop Day!










(c) Gumdrop Holiday Review by Wednesday Elf written on 2/15/2019





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Saturday, January 19, 2019

National Popcorn Day Review

Popcorn Image Source: Pixabay
National Popcorn Day is held each year on January 19, although there is some debate about the date.  Some say it is celebrated on the 'Big Game' day (Superbowl Sunday).  No one knows the origin of this fun holiday, but whoever began the tradition obviously had good taste.


Source: Pixabay
Having recently moved to Iowa where I can drive about 5 miles in any direction and be  surrounded by fields of corn, I became interested in learning more about Popcorn Day. 





What is Popcorn?



Source: Pixabay

Popcorn is a seed that does something nifty when heated.


Corny Facts



There are four kinds of corn. The sweet corn we all love in summertime, dent corn (field corn) that is grown mainly for livestock feed and some food products, Flint corn (best known as Indian corn) used mostly for decoration around harvest time, and popcorn, which is a type of flint corn but has it's own unique characteristics.  Popcorn is grown specifically for popping. You cannot pop sweet corn, for instance, and you wouldn't want to eat field corn. 


History of Popcorn



Popcorn dates back thousands of years.  An interesting bit of history can be found on the website Popcorn . org.

Today, Americans consume over 13 billion quarts of popcorn each year, which translates to about 42 quarts per person.  


Image Source: Pixabay
It is one of the most popular snack foods, and an absolute necessity at a movie theater.  Just wouldn't be the same going to a movie without having popcorn! 

Popcorn is also a favorite around holidays, especially Christmas, as a food, as gifts and as decorations.  Who hasn't strung popcorn as a kid to put on the Christmas tree? 


Cute and Clever Popcorn Gifts


Crocheted Popcorn Playfood


Popcorn Playfood on Etsy
This red and white striped popcorn bag with individual kernels of popcorn  hand sewn to the top is a  fun gift to add to your child's collection of playfood for 'pretend' movie time or snack times.  

Hand crocheted by Kyra of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, it can be found in her Etsy Shop called "The Bossy Princess"






Popcorn Socks



Popcorn Socks on Etsy

These popcorn socks make for the perfect gift for any Popcorn Lover!

Socks are 95% Polyester blend and are one size fits most. They are the creation of Carlee of California and are available in her Etsy Shop Palmzy



Popcorn Recipes



The Popcorn website has a large variety of popcorn recipes to suit any occasion.  Some delicious-looking recipes are available on the Popcorn website under Recipe Portal.


A Super Bowl Popcorn Snack  


Caramel Pretzel Nut Popcorn


Caramel Pretzel Nut Popcorn Image Source: AllRecipes


This tasty favorite from AllRecipes would be perfect for the upcoming Super Bowl Sunday or for a weekend of watching any favorite televised sport. 

Ingredients:

8 cups broken salted pretzels
20 cups popped popcorn
4 cups dry roasted peanuts
3 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 1/2 cups butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:


  1. Place the pretzels, popcorn and peanuts into a large paper bag or, if you have one, a very large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter. Cook, stirring to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar, until the mixture comes to a boil. Once the mixture is at a full boil, continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the salt, vanilla, and baking soda. The mixture will foam up when you add the soda, so use a long spoon to stir. Immediately pour the sugar mixture over the popcorn and pretzels in the bag. Shake until evenly coated. For a crispier treat, boil the sugar mixture longer, or bake the finished mix in the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 10 minutes.

*Prep Time: 15 m, Cook Time: 20 m Servings: 32.  Calories per serving: 378


Preparing Perfect Popcorn


Stovetop Popcorn Tips:


  • Step 1: Pour enough vegetable oil to just cover the bottom of a pan, turn on medium high heat.  Allow pan to warm. The best popping temperature is between 400 and 460 degrees F. Oil burns at 500 degrees. If your oil starts to smoke, it's too hot.
  • Step 2: Add enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan single layer, shake to coat the kernels with oil, and cover with lid (too many kernels will “blow” the lid).
  • Step 3: Corn will begin to pop within 3 minutes. When the popping slows, listen until you can count 2 seconds between pops. Turn off heat and remove pan from stove-top.  Lift the lid to allow steam to escape away from your face.  Steam may burn and remaining kernels may continue to pop.
  • Step 4: Add additional flavors, herbs, or spices and enjoy.


*If you prefer microwave popcorn for a quickie snack, simply follow the directions on the package.



More Times to Celebrate Popcorn


Plush Popcorn Plush Toys - Etsy


October is known as National Popcorn Month





(c) Written by Wednesday  Elf on 1/19/2019




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Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year’s Eve 2018

2018
It is New Year’s Eve. The last day of the year. Tomorrow turns the page into the brand new year. Beginning tomorrow, I will have to remember to write 2019 instead of 2018 on checks and paperwork. I will wonder where the years have gone and say, “Wow, time flies” at least once. Those are a part of my traditions during this time of year.

Each person, family, region, and country have New Year’s Eve traditions. A search on the internet will show those traditions; some familiar and some that seem very strange (red underwear).  Some involve food (12 grapes). Some involve drink (champagne). Most traditions involve how to celebrate and who to celebrate with.

As a younger person I attended New Year’s Eve parties at someone’s home. We drank, ate, talked, listened to music, and kissed everyone in the vicinity when the clock struck midnight.

Later, I sometimes attended public firework displays. In the US, many people go into the cities to see the fireworks. The dropping of the ball in Times Square draws many celebrants waiting to welcome the new year. It seems to be one of the most well-known celebrations worldwide but such a large gathering culminating in fireworks is not a uniquely US thing. I’d venture to guess that this is the most popular (worldwide) New Year’s Eve tradition.

More recently, I go to The Shack for New Year’s Eve. And by the time you read this, I hope to be there.  One of my superstitions is that whatever you are focused on as the New Year rings in is the focus of the new year. Therefore, my intention is to be at The Shack as 2018 ends and 2019 begins. I like to spend the evening close to nature and in the “home” I plan to live in soon. I also prefer to be off the roads and away from potential drunk drivers.

We have a wide audience at Review This! and it makes me wonder how our readers around the world welcome in the new year. On behalf of the Review This! team:

We wish you a happy and safe New Year’s Eve. 
We wish you the kind of celebration that leaves you with wonderful memories and continues welcomed traditions. 
Happy New Year's Eve!  


 Photo courtesy of Pixabay and Fotojet 



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Saturday, December 29, 2018

New Year, New You: Reviewing New Year's Resolutions

New Years Resolutions
Did you know that 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail within the first 6 weeks of the year?  Knowing this why is it that so many of us continue to make resolutions each year?   I think it's because we live in hope that we can become healthier, become better off and either of these will make us happy.

Why do New Year's Resolutions Fail?


This is a question that talk shows ask psychologists every year and basically it's because people make these lofty resolutions without making realistic plans for achieving them.

Last year I made a resolution and actually kept it - that's because of two things - I broke down the goals and I also did personal development.

I decided I wanted to lose weight, feel better, get fitter and feel stronger - basically I wanted to be a healthier me.

Step one was taking Arbonne's 30 days to healthy living and beyond starting on January 1st.   I wasn't sure how I would feel on it, but I knew I had to start with something and it was only for 30 days!  It was amazing so I took a week off at the beginning of February to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary and then undertook another 30 days to healthy living plan.

All told I did the plan 5 times and in between I took an 80/20 approach which is what is recommended.   So I basically went by the principles of the plan during the week and ate what I wanted on the weekend.

I had decided that I wanted to lose half my goal weight by my birthday - which I did before working on building my strength during the second half of the year.   Off to the gym I started going and I even had fun participating in Steptember with my workmates.

I haven't actually met my goal weight, but I feel fantastic, I am stronger, healthier and fitter so in my mind my resolution was successful.

New Years Resolutions - how to plan in order to keep them!


A big part of doing this was setting little goals along the way and doing personal development.

Personal development can mean something different to everyone and it's all about finding what works for you.   I read some personal development books (including The Magic which again breaks down things to daily 'tasks'), listened to some Soundcloud broadcasts (usually while on the treadmill) and every day I told myself that I was strong, healthy and fit.

Affirmations were something that I had never given much credence before, but they are a great way to start the day and my first affirmation of the day everyday is "I am strong, healthy and fit".   I don't know why saying that keeps me on track, but it does because to be honest I have days when I don't feel like going to the gym for my session, but I just repeat "I am strong, healthy and fit" and I do it anyway.

What are the Most Popular New Year's Resolutions?


Health related resolutions are apparently most popular from losing weight, getting fit or giving up bad habits.

Next people seem to want to work on their finances - getting out of debt is a big one.   Again this one is best done by setting yourself baby steps and this way you'll find it much easier to stick to.   One of my favorite books to help if you're trying to get financial control of your life is the Barefoot Investor.

Finally the third thing people seem to want to work on is themselves with a lot of people wanting to undertake some form of personal development which as I've mentioned is often key to success with other resolutions too.

Will You Be Making a New Year's Resolution This Year?


I'd love to know if you're making resolutions this year and if you want to share them that would be great.   Sometimes making a resolution public also helps to keep you accountable so either post here or get yourself an accountability partner!

I will be continuing on with my bid to be healthier when I hit 50 (May 2019, where has the time gone?) than I was when I was 40!   I am also setting myself the goal to double my income this year by building on my network marketing business and my affiliate marketing income.   I will let you know how I do, but now over to you ...





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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

December 26th, Time to Write a Thank You Day

Boxing Day Blues can sometimes strike when all the awaited  festivities are over.  

And they do seem to be over so quickly.  All the hustle and bustle of preparing for the BIG day gives way to feelings of let down and down right depression.  Knowing this before hand might just help you to get through those feelings and come out the other side with a new sense of wellbeing and a new purpose too.


thank you note, mental health, Christmas let down, coping mechanisms
Christmas time and all the build up to this holiday can make some people really "crazy".  There are all the lists for food, drink, presents, guests and so much more to attend to.  Then there is the cleaning and other preparations for the BIG day.  

By the time it arrives you are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.  And just when you think it's perfect, it's  over in a heartbeat.  

The let down can be so significant, that many mental health agencies start to prepare for the fall out early as well.  But it doesn't have to be this way if you do just a little more preparation for this amazing holiday gathering.

Having a plan in mind to help you cope with the let down will significantly make the holidays much happier.  To that end, I am going to make some suggestions that just might help you, or someone you love, get through that post holiday let down.

Today, on the Calendar of Days, is Write a Thank You Note day.  Now, you may not think this is a good idea, but I'm here to suggest it's a great way to relive the excitement, joy, and happiness of the Christmas gathering.  It will help you to capture what was really important and let go of the myriad of small disappointments that may have happened to make the day less than perfect.

After all, getting the family together and enjoying each other's company is the real beauty of Christmas.  The gifts and the food and everything else is secondary to just being together.  

Sitting down and writing a thank you, will let you put into words how much you enjoyed and appreciated all the efforts everyone made to make this Christmas special.  It really acts as a way to relive the excitement and the funny things that happened during the previous day.  

If that doesn't work for you there are many other ways to get through that post holiday letdown.  Here is my list of ways to do that and maybe you can add some of your own ideas.

  1. Write that Thank You note to someone who went out of their way to make the holiday special.
  2. Plan a trip to the zoo. Christmas antics aren't just for people.
  3. Arrange some time to go for a walk in the neighborhood to enjoy the lights, decorations and all the sights.
  4. Let yourself relax with a good movie or go out to a show.
  5. Invite someone you haven't seen in a while for coffee and a good chat.
  6. Go out and play in the snow (if you have any).  Bundle up with those new scarves, hats and mitts.
  7. Start a new hobby.  Scrapbooking, knitting, crocheting, drawing or woodworking.  Coloring pages are still a great way to relax too.  
  8. add your own ideas here.......

dealing with emotional let down, Christmas let down, emotional exhaustion 
All the expectations, disappointments and let downs seem to disappear when you have a plan in mind.  Just writing a note can help you get through that emotional build up of the past month.  Going out to park, zoo, or being with a good friend,  can give you a release for all the frustrations you may have felt or are still feeling.  It's hard to stay disappointed when you are at the zoo checking out all the Christmas treats the zookeepers have in store for the animals in their care.  Just watching the Polar Bears, penguins, monkeys and more,  get their treats can be a delight for your overworked body and spirit.  The walking and exercise are good for you too.  Too much food and drink can be the trigger to make some people feel cranky and "out of sorts".  Drinking water and walking can help undo all the overeating and indulgences that took place the day before.  If you can't do the exercise, then just sitting back and watching a favorite movie, with full permission to just enjoy it, can also revive the drooping spirits.  A new hobby will keep your mind and hands occupied while you try to figure out just what you are supposed to do. An active mind doesn't have time to dwell on things that didn't go as planned and that's a good thing.   

If this all fails, then you can always go to the internet and start planning something different, a vacation in the new year, places you want to see or books you want to read.  On Review This Reviews, you can find lots of book reviews, Do It Yourself projects, movie reviews and more.  I dare say you could spend the better part of a day just checking out all the articles and I'm sure you will find a few that will trigger some ideas of your own.  


The most important thing on December 26th is to relish and relive, enjoy and form the memories of the day before.  Writing that note may be the first step in some well deserved "self-care" that will keep you from drowning in some very powerful negatives that could be plaguing your spirits.  Don't let Christmas let-down, get you down.......there are plenty more good times coming your way. 

don't let Christmas let down get you down......coping mechanisms, depression,

**Olivia is not a health care specialist, if you are feeling down or depressed, please check out your local  health professionals.




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Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve: Here Comes Santa Claus

Here comes Santa Claus
This is Christmas Eve. Cookies and milk will be set out for Santa and NORAD is tracking his progress.

Christmas Eve means something different for each of us. For some of us, it is a day of gathering family together. And last minute preparations; shopping, baking, and gift-wrapping after getting excited children tucked into bed. 

For some of us, it is just another day. Many careers are in the helping professions and people are scheduled to work on Christmas Eve (if that is you, we thank you). Maybe some of us don't celebrate Christmas and never have. Perhaps the kids have flown the nest and Christmas isn't as exciting as it once was. 

There are literally millions of ways to experience Christmas Eve. No matter how differently we celebrate this day the one thing we often have in common is the music. We have a favorite Christmas classic - that song that brings us good memories. We can all sing along, and sing together, the most familiar of the holiday songs. There are songs that bring us to tears and others that make us laugh. 

This video compilation of Christmas songs is the perfect background music for the day. I was fortunate to stumble upon it during a search for something else. I am enjoying the 3 hours of music and accompanying background visuals that change with each song. It is playing on my Roku TV as I write this (By the way, Here Comes Santa Claus by Elvis is at 1:19:04).



Personally, I love the story that Santa Claus circles the globe with his sleigh and flying reindeer. The mystery and magic of "here comes Santa" is such a fun thing.

This is Christmas Eve. And whatever that means to you the Review This writers wish you the very best version of Christmas Eve possible. 

Related Link: The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) monitors objects in space; including Santa's sleigh. Get your updates here.

Photo Credit: Santa Claus photo courtesy of Pixabay and CC0 creative commons




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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Review of Hot Drink for the Holidays

Hot Holiday Punch Recipe Postcard
by mbgphoto 

Hot Drink for Cold Days

I love to entertain during the holiday season. When my guests come in from a cold winters evening a cup of hot holiday punch will make them feel warm and festive.

Over the years I have experimented with several combinations for hot drinks and have ended up using this one for the past ten years or so.  It has just the right blend of juices and spices and is great with or without alcohol added.  I always serve the alcohol on the side and let the guest decide how much to add or not.

Hot Holiday Punch

Ingredients


  • 1 Jar (48 oz) cranberry juice 
  • 1 can (46 ox) unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • one orange cut into slices

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in large crockpot and heat.  I put a decanter of rum nearby for those who would like to add a bit of liquor.

At the beginning of this page I added a link to a recipe card for the punch that you can purchase on Zazzle.

Mugs for Hot Drinks

Here are some festive mugs I found on Zazzle.
The first one can be personalized with your name.

Watercolor Pine Tree Joyeux Noel Espresso Cup
I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a festive holiday season!!




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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why Should You Have a Beautiful Advent Wreath?

We are in the full season of Christmas and part of that in our family is lighting the Advent Candles on our Christmas wreath.

The meaning of the candles and the wreath as a meditation for Christmas and beyond.  


Most people recognize an Advent Wreath when they see them.  They can be made out of many different types of materials.  The most common are evergreens, but there are many other beautiful options.  The wreath (round just by it's name)  usually has 4 candle holders spaced evenly around the wreath.   These four candles are usually in purple and pink( 3 purple and one pink), for religious celebrations of Advent.  Some have a central larger candle in White.  Other Advents wreaths can have red or white candles or whatever color you happen to like.

What's the significance of the colors in a Religious Advent Wreath?

Advent is a time of waiting and preparation.  Purple is the color of both Advent and Lent in religious ceremonies.  Both  of these seasons Liturgically are waiting periods.  Advent we wait for the coming of the Saviour in the stable and Lent we wait for the Resurrection from the Grave.  Let's focus on Christmas and Advent right now.

Each candle has it's own meaning.

  1.  The 1st Sunday of Advent is for Hope (purple)
  2.   The 2nd Sunday is for Peace (purple)
  3.   The 3rd Sunday is for Joy (pink)(it's pink because the light of the two other candles illuminates this week a little bit more and joy is bright)
  4.   The 4th Sunday is for Love (purple)
  5.   Christmas Day the center candle is lit, if you have an Advent wreath with 5 candles.  This central candle (usually in white) represents the Christ, the Saviour whose birthday we celebrate at this time.
The way we use our wreath, is to light one candle on the first Sunday, two on the second Sunday, three on the Third Sunday and all four candles on the Fourth Sunday.  For this reason it is advisable to use a good sized candle or long tapers.  After 4 weeks the first candle will be considerably smaller than the other 3.

If you want to increase the religious aspect of Advent, you can use Bible verses as a meditation for each of the four weeks, or sing some Christmas carols that speak more to the coming of the Saviour rather than  Santa Claus.  There are also some lovely Advent prayers to be found on You Tube and I have selected one for you with music.  The sound is soothing and a reminder of what Christmas is all about!  Check it out right here, and bookmark it if you like so that you have it for all 4 weeks.



Quiet Meditative Time 


Christmas with all it's hustle and bustle can sometimes overwhelm children, parents and other members of the family.  Do you ever wonder why you seem to see so many children having emotional meltdowns at this time of year.  I personally think it has a lot to do with sensory overload and children not having the coping mechanisms in place to deal with it all.

You might find yourself in that position of having to back away from all the noise, lights, music and people.  Taking some quality quiet time for yourself during this hectic time, is not only a great idea, but a necessity for some.  Everyone is different and will relate to the stimulus differently too.  One thing I do know from my own experience is that taking the time to light one candle for every weekend before Christmas is necessary for my well being.  It's a quiet meditative time for me and a way to refresh and renew my sagging spirit.

If you want to know more about sensory overload or aren't sure if that's what has you in it's grips, there is a great article here on Healthline.  It's worth the time it takes to read it. Not only will it help you to understand this malady, but it will also give you some coping mechanisms.  If you are looking for a more "spiritual way" to cope then I would recommend this article on Seasonal Depression and coping.

When you are faced with this "overload" and you know which methods of coping work for you, then it's time to put it into practice.  This is where my Advent Wreath plays a central role.  For me, coping with the seasonal overload means finding some quiet time, and meditating(some might call it praying).  Christmas for me has always been a "spiritual time" and while I love some of the more secular things about Christmas, I still try to keep it as a spiritual time in my home.  I have to do this for my own peace of mind and you might just find some peace if you try this too!



Why Should You Have a Beautiful Advent Wreath?  www.reviewthisreviews.com




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Monday, December 10, 2018

Snowglobes are Great Gifts and Seasonal Decor

Holiday snowglobes on Review This!
There is something magical about snowglobes. It doesn't seem logical. After all, Snowglobes are simply water-filled globes of glass (or plastic) encasing some sort of item or scene. Shake the globe and the little flakes begin to "snow". But there is something special about that frozen moment in time surrounded by the movement of falling snow.

At this time of year, snowglobes always come to my mind. They are a wonderful part of holiday decorations. Because holiday snowglobes are offered in such a wide variety of styles they can also be very thoughtful gifts. Each one individualized to reflect special interests of the giver or the receiver. Snowglobes range from the tiny plastic trinkets that you can find at just about any souvenir gift shop to high-quality pieces of seasonal art that can be enjoyed and passed down for generations. 


Santa Claus Snowglobes



This review came to mind after recently purchasing a beautiful snowglobe depicting Santa's workshop. There was a piece of synchronicity that led me to thoughts of how special snowglobes can be. 

Scenes with Santa are my favorite snowglobes. And there are MANY Santa scenes to choose from:
  • Seated in his workshop with the elves, making toys. 
  • Flying in his sleigh through the snowy sky. 
  • Dressed in his suit with the huge bag of toys slung over his shoulder. 
  • Seated with a child seated on his knee
Santa's Workshop - musical snowglobe


Musical Snowglobes


Some snowglobes come with a music box option. Typically, the music box key is under the base of the snow globe. Simply turn the globe over, turn the key a few times, then place the snowglobe on the table to watch the snow and listen to the tune.

Tunes that are as familiar as Jingle Bells and as traditional as Oh Holy Night can be found with some snowglobes.


Religious Snowglobes



A variety of religious scenes are depicted in snowglobes. From angels to the nativity scenes (simple and ornate) a snowglobe reminding us of the "reason for the season" can be found.


Nativity - musical snowglobe



Snowglobes and Nature Scenes



In the areas of the world that have four seasons and the possibility of snow during the holidays, snowy naturescapes are reminiscent of Christmas. Trees drop their leaves and make unique silhouettes against the sky. Native backyard birds are easier to see against the white background of snow. Polar bears, penguins, and white hares are wildlife that are often associated with a winter wonderland. 


Penguin snowglobe - plays "Let It Snow"



Baby's First Christmas Snowglobe



Special occasions, such as baby's first Christmas, can be commemorated with an engraved snowglobe. And those globes can last a lifetime.

Baby's 1st Christmas snowglobe



Snowglobes with Favorite Movies, Places, Things



Perhaps your family has made a tradition of watching the Nutcracker during the holidays. Or watching the Wizard of Oz has become an annual event as the holidays approach. 

Maybe you've traveled during the holidays and want a reminder of those special places.


Whatever your holiday traditions include, chances are good that there is a snowglobe that gives a shout out to those special memories.

design courtesy of pixabay.com

Whether you are looking for long-lasting holiday decorations or a special gift for that special someone, snowglobes are a great choice. 

My love of snowglobes was recently renewed during an incident of coincidence. Or maybe it wasn't coincidence at all. I'm not completely sure. If you would like to read about how I came to own my most recent Santa Claus snowglobe you can read about it on my personal blog. 


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Being Thankful Reviewed

Celebrating Thanksgiving

thankful
Give Thanks every day (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
Instead of spending this morning reviewing a product, I choose instead to review being thankful instead. This emotion is not something that can be purchased but instead is a choice that we make every single day, not just on Thanksgiving Day. Well, at least that is what I think. It is a choice whether we realize it or not. 

For me, every morning when my eyes open I humbly say a prayer of thanksgiving for being on this side of the dirt for at least one more day. I do look at each day as a precious gift and promise each morning to try to make the best of that day as is humanly possible for me to do. 

Sometimes our lives seem to be filled with obstacles that could make us choose to be bitter, sad, angry and lost. Holidays, often times, bring our negative emotions closer to the surface. We find ourselves being depressed due to the loss of someone close to us that won't share the holiday with us. Perhaps we are far away from home and family and are heart broken with the thought of being alone during the holiday. I know those feelings well, more than I like to remember. I can empathize and sympathize with all who feel that way as Thanksgiving approaches with Christmas not far on the horizon. 

There was a time in my life when I wasn't sure that Thanksgiving, in particular, would ever be a happy time for me again. At the time my life was forever altered just two days before the holiday. I feared that this time of the year would forever be darkened by that horrible event. I realized the following year that it would only be darkened if I let it. I could sit around and feel depressed or I could make the choice to look for the people and things in my life to be thankful for. It wasn't hard to see hundreds of reasons to feel grateful and thankful. I made up my mind that year to always look for the good and wonderful things in my life.

So, this year as every year, I am most thankful for my beautiful family. My children, my grandchildren and my loving husband fill my life with joy every day. I am thankful for a roof over my head and food on my table. I am thankful for good health and an abundance of friends. I am thankful for each day that my eyes open. There are people who are not on this earth to share the day with me this year but I am thankful for the time that I did get to share with them and I know that they are here in spirit and will always be in my heart. I won't be saddened by the things that are lost but will be happy with what is here and look forward to what is to be found. I am thankful for it all.

For those of you who are reading this, my wish is that your Thanksgiving will be filled with joy and happiness. Actually, my wish is that you find something to be thankful for every day. Just remember to look, it shouldn't be too difficult to find if you open your heart.







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Reviewing National Vanilla Cupcake Day


November 10th is known as National Vanilla Cupcake Day ~ an unofficial, but tasty, holiday.

Cupcakes, Fairy Cakes, Patty Cakes


Image Source: Pixabay

Cupcakes are single serving cakes which are thought to have gotten their name from being baked in cup-shaped molds.  In the United Kingdom they are known as fairy cakes and in Australia they are called patty cakes

Vanilla cupcakes are made by adding vanilla extract to the cake batter and sometimes to the icing.


Did You Know…


...that vanilla is the only fruit-bearing and edible orchid in the world?

Vanilla is  extracted from the seed pods of the Vanilla orchid. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world (second only to saffron).  


Plain Vanilla


Even though Vanilla is expensive, it is one of the most popular flavors in the world. Today, it is used in a wide variety of food items and even in products, such as perfumes, soaps, and candles.  Vanilla is considered to be one of the plainest flavors available; thus, the term plain vanilla has come to be used to describe things that are very basic and ordinary.


Vanilla Cupcake Recipes


*For a quick way to bake vanilla cupcakes, one can always use a store-bought mix.

**For those who enjoy creative baking from scratch, I found two fabulous vanilla cupcake recipes for you to try.


The Most Amazing Vanilla Cupcakes
The first one is called The Most Amazing Vanilla Cupcakes recipe and is from Rachel Farnsworth of The Stay At Home Chef .

It is an easy to make one-bowl recipe. You'll never need another boxed mix again!

Rachel also includes some very helpful cupcake baking tips in her blog post for her Most Amazing Vanilla Cupcakes recipe.










Vanilla Cupcakes from Live Well Bake Often
The second Vanilla Cupcake recipe is from Danielle of Live Well Bake Often

Danielle's secret ingredient to her delicious cupcakes is sour cream! 

*Check out both Rachel's and Danielle's recipes before you begin baking your own vanilla-cupcake-recipe. 






Vanilla versus Chocolate


If you prefer chocolate instead of vanilla, you only have to wait for 11 months to celebrate Chocolate Cupcake Day on October 18.



Happy National Vanilla Cupcake Day
November 10 


Be sure and share your baked goodies with your family and friends. 


For more Cupcake Reviews & Recipes
Check out ReviewThisReviews: Cupcakes



Written by Wednesday Elf 11/10/2018







Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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