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

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 



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

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 ...





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

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.




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

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




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

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!!




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

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




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

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Christmas Candles - A Great Gift Idea or Not?

Christmas Candles - great gift idea or not
I wanted to review a few candle gift ideas for Christmas as I always thought that candles made great gifts at Christmas time.  In fact in my mind candles and Christmas are synonymous with each other, but I wasn't sure why.

I decided to google why we always think of a Christmas candle (just in case it was just me!) and found that there's a lot of debate over whether or not candles make a great gift idea or not.   Apparently a lot of people think you shouldn't give candles at Christmas time - what do you think?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below.

I have always enjoyed being given a candle and I have thought of giving a candle many times although until this year I haven't actually done so before.

Why Christmas Candles


>Apparently candles were used way before we even celebrated Christmas.   During the ancient winter solstice celebrations candles were lit as a way of remembering that spring would soon come.

The earliest records of candles being used at Christmas apparently dates back to the middle ages where a large candle was used to represent the star of Bethlehem.

I think the reason that I think of candles and Christmas together is because many cultures put a candle in the window at Christmas time combined with images of the first Christmas trees with candles on them.

The most well known origin of lighting a candle in the window for Christmas is the catholic Irish tradition - this dates back to the 17th century at a time when the catholic religion was being suppressed in Ireland under British rule. The family would put a candle in the window to signal any passing priests that they were welcome, the authorities were told that the candles were to welcome Mary and Joseph into their homes - this was believed to have been an Irish superstition and worked.

Since this time the custom has spread and is said to be a sign of welcome for anyone who may be passing so that they could share whatever the family had for Christmas as no one should go without at this time of the year.

I have also heard that the lighting of a candle in the window is to represent family or people who are close to the family that cannot be there for the celebrations either because they're serving their country overseas or even because they've passed away.

Fragrant Candles

There are so many lovely 'smelly candles' as my daughter calls them, available as a gift that it's hard to know what to give someone. My favorite one this year is the Spiced Vanilla Chai candle. This is a slow and clean burning, hand-poured coconut wax blend candle that smells divine.



Another popular fragrant candle to give is one from the Yankee candles range.

Unfortunately not everyone likes the same fragrances so this isn't a gift that you can give just anyone!

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles are totally different and are a great gift idea whether you choose to give the shorter, fatter candles or the taper candles, these can be gorgeous. A lot of decorative Christmas candles also come with their own holders which are really good.

I used to use candles a lot, but I must admit that since becoming a mum I have been more aware of the dangers of an open flame which is why I love the different LED lit decorative candles that are available. I think these are definitely the best holiday candles if you don't know whether someone likes fragrant candles or not.




This is my favorite LED candle design for Christmas - I love the Robin Redbreast, but there are lots more to choose from if you prefer other styles of candles from personalized photos to peppermint stripes, vintage designs or more - Christmas LED Candles.

Do You Use Christmas Candles & Which is Your Favorite?


Do you have a tradition of Christmas candles and do you like the idea of a candle with a flame (with fragrance of not) or one of the LED lit candles.  I would love to know.


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

Friday, October 19, 2018

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review

Cat in the Hat Halloween Movie for Kids

The Cat in the Hat takes Sally and Nick on an adventure to the Oooky-ma-kooky closet to find their perfect Halloween costumes.  According to the Cat, the Oooky-ma-kooky closet has costumes "to fit one and all!"   The three friends board the Thingamajigger to find the Oooky-ma-kooky closet and costumes that aren't too spooky.

Of course, the adventure includes singing and lots of awesome animated characters.  Fish goes along for the ride and decides he wants to find ways to frighten the Cat.

There are several awesome lessons intertwined in this video that parents are sure to appreciate and the children will love.  They won't even realize they are learning anything.  They will simply think it is fun to watch. 


The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween


In addition to the Cat in the Hat, the video includes Fish (Karlos K. Krinklebein), Thing One and Thing Two from the original Cat in the Hat books.  

On their adventure to the Oookey-ma-kooky closet, the group gets lost in a corn maze, encounters a thunder storm, and the spookiest house around.  In the midst of the thunderstorm, Cat tells the children a few very interesting things about thunder.  When the Cat and the kids "take charge" in the house, they fix several of the creepy things making it less scary.  

On the way home, we find out the one thing the Cat in the Hat is afraid of and the children help him overcome his fear.




The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That Series


 The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That is a delightful series starring the fabulous Cat in the Hat originally created by Dr. Seuss.

The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween is one of the video specials in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That animated television series.  The entire series is dedicated to teaching pre-school children about science and math in a fun way.  However, younger school age children will also enjoy the shows. Actually, adults will enjoy this video too.   I know I love it!   I found myself smiling, even laughing several times during the show.

There is no reason to wait for the Halloween special to air again on television.  It is available on DVD and also through Amazon video.

DVD Prime Video The Series




More Halloween Videos for Children 



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The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween Movie Review Written by:

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Halloween Reviews on Review This!

 Halloween Reviews for Review This!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This!


Halloween is fun and sometimes a bit scary.  The contributors of Review This enjoy reviewing the fun parts of Halloween.  Plus, we review some of the scary parts of Halloween, but even that is meant for fun and entertainment.

Our contributors have reviewed Halloween recipes, some are adorably cute for children.  Others are more macabre and are intended for adult Halloween parties.  You will even find a few Halloween cookbooks reviewed.  If they are featured here, it is because we believe they are exceptional cookbooks full of fabulous Halloween treats.


We also review Halloween decor for decorating inside and out for Halloween.  Our reviews often include extra tips to make parties more fun.


Plus, what would Halloween be without movies and books?  As you would expect. the contributors of Review This review Halloween movies and books, both for children and/or adults.  


Costume reviews are also included on Review This!  You can find some truly awesome costume ideas here for both adults and kids.


Several of our contributors write for Halloween websites.  Links to some of those articles are included on the Pinterest board below.  We want to make sure all of your Halloween needs are covered here.

Welcome to Our Special Halloween Library of Reviews!


A Preview of the Pinterest Board - Halloween Reviews 







Halloween Reviewed on Review This!


For a written list of all Halloween related articles reviewed on Review This, please visit our Site Directory and select "Holidays" from the "Fast Click" category tabs at the top of the page.   As you would expect by the category title, there are many additional holidays articles under that category along with the Halloween reviews.

To see all of our Halloween articles on Review This!, simply click the Halloween tab in the sidebar menu in the right sidebar.
 


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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Easy No-Sew Halloween Chair Covers

Add Halloween Chair Covers for Parties or Just Because You're the Mommy with Magical Detail Decorating Powers

Small details create a finished décor scheme. Expert party planners think of the most mundane items to include when they decorate. 

The walls, the lawn, the windows, the doorways and table settings are the first choice areas most of us tend to decorate. Rarely do you see chair covers.

You Can DIY Your Own Chair Covers Simply By Decorating the Chair Backs

If you love to dip your paws into artsy festive projects, start with chair covers. 

The easiest way to DIY chair covers is to focus strictly on the backs of the chairs. The seats of chairs are little more work, so avoid those unless you're into more work.

Simple No-Sew Halloween Chair Backs:
  1. Use Pillowcases to put on the backs of each chair. 
  2. First check the size of your chair backs to see if a pillowcase will fit over it. Most likely it will. You may need king size pillowcases if your chair backs are quite high.
  3. Decorate the pillowcases.
  4. If you're not into decorating the pillowcases then purchase plain orange or black pillowcases and simply slip them over the chair backs as is.
  5. Or, get the kids involved with decorating each one.
  6. Decorate them anyway you want. Draw on them, tape or glue cut-out designs on them, use felt, or markers. Let your inner artist lose.
  7. Or buy pre-made Halloween themed pillowcases.
When Halloween is over, pack them away for next year.

Not a DIY Guru? No Biggy, Get them Ready-Made

We're not all the crafty type. Not to worry, you can find some creative pre-done Halloween chair covers online. Most are quite affordable. Here's a super cute cover for a little girl's Halloween Party:


You can find additional ready-made Halloween chair cover styles here.

Have fun, and Happy Halloween :)


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Friday, October 12, 2018

Halloween Pocket Size Candy Tins Filled with Jelly Beans

Halloween Pocket Size Candy Tins Filled with Jelly Beans

Halloween Candy Tins Available on Zazzle

Each year I look for a special treat to give to the trick-or-treaters that I personally know.  I'm sure you know what I mean.  Out of dozens of children who trick-or-treat in our neighborhood, I only personally know my friend's children or grandchildren who come to my door.  I like to have a really special gift to give to them, not just the candy I give to everyone trick-or-treating. 

It is also true that I like to have a special treat to give my own grown children for Halloween.  These Candy Tins filled with Jelly Beans are the perfect special treat for each of them.  Plus, the candy tins are refillable and not very expensive.  Therefore, they could actually keep and use their "special Halloween treat" year round.

By the way, there is a volume discount when you order 10 or more of these candy tins on Zazzle.  Plus, if you subscribe to "Zazzle Black" (standard subscription - currently $9.95/year), you will get free shipping on your orders on Zazzle.  I have personally saved over $300 by subscribing to Zazzle Black. 

Also, anytime you buy on Zazzle, be sure you check their current coupons for savings!

 

Halloween Candy Tins with Jelly Beans or Mints

Halloween Grim Reaper Candy Tin
There are a few reasons why I enjoy giving these pocket candy tins as special Halloween treats.  

First, Jelly Beans are a very popular candy.  It seems like everyone loves them.  

Second, as I mentioned earlier, they are refillable, which means the gift will last well beyond Halloween.

The candy tins come with a variety of images on the front.  You simply choose the picture you think is appropriate for the recipients.  Obviously, the grim reaper on the right would be for adults, but I have also featured some of my own favorites for children below.

Plus, the candy tins are small enough to slip into jeans pockets or the interior pocket of a purse, which makes them very convenient to carry.  The tins are approximately 2½" wide.

You choose the flavor of Jelly Belly jelly beans in the tin.  Select assorted or one specific flavor from the options available.  The tin holds 20 jelly beans.   

Mints are also available as a choice instead of jelly beans.  Or, you can choose to have the tin shipped to you empty and fill it with whatever you wish.

Oh, and lest I forget, they make great Halloween party favors!

 

Halloween on Zazzle

 

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