Showing posts with label Olivia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olivia. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Dieting is Hard Work, But Health and Wellness is So Important! A Product Review

 Dieting is never easy.  Putting on the pounds happens when we aren't looking and unless you are blessed with an amazing  metabolism that burns everything (all the calories) you will probably gain some weight over the years.

                                                             Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay


It seems that women in particular have a much harder time to loose the extra pounds than our counterparts.  Why?  Well let's just say that hormones have a lot to do with that excess and why we can't seem to drop those pounds as easily.

Now I know that if you have been reading Review This Reviews, you will have come across some really good articles about a diet that seems to work for just about everyone.  Margaret Schindel and Barbara Cipak Tremblay have written about their journey with weight loss using the Keto Diet!  These two ladies are good friends of mine and while I was sceptical, I did trust that their journeys using this new way of eating were in fact the truth!

Well two years ago, I made the decision that it was high time that I took on a weight loss program again.  I had done many stints with Weight Watchers and Crash Dieting (of all kinds) and had limited success!  The problem was that none of that weight loss was sustainable for me.

I was at a point in my life where my knees hurt so badly and the excess weight that I had on my frame was not at all helping me feel better.  So after looking at this "new" weight loss system, I decided to jump on board and give it my best effort.

I am happy to say that in the last 2 years I have lost over 80 pounds and the amazing part of this is that I have kept that weight off and not regressed!  Has it been easy?  NO!  Dieting is never easy but I must say that this has been the best way for me to lose these pounds and not feel like I was missing out on life.  In my opinion, this is where many diets fail.  You feel so deprived that you break down and over indulge.  The slope is slippery once you start down that road, as I'm sure many of you are already aware.

Barbara and Margaret have done a great job in making me aware of ways to cook, bake, and all the great ways to enjoy food even in company.  No feeling like you have to watch others enjoy their meals while you nibble on a plate of greens that even Mr. Bunny might turn his nose up at.

My own personal downfall is the need for sweets.  Any diet will definitely cut most of the sweets right out of the picture.  Sugar is after all one of the biggest reasons we have a weight problem to begin with.  Enter what I have found to be a life saver in my diet lifestyle!  They are called "Love Good Fats".  




These bars are full of nuts and good things that are on the Keto Diet.  They are Keto Certified, Gluten Free, Kosher, and non-GMO!  Made in Canada, these bars are delicious to say the least!  When I am feeling like I'm deprived of those sweet wonders that my friends are all indulging in, I make sure I have one of my Love Good Fats Bars with me!  (I actually take two or three because my friends all want to try them too).  Now I have a special treat just for me and my feelings of deprivation are not weighing me down (pardon the pun).

I would highly recommend these bars if you are on a Keto type diet, they are tasty, full of good fats, low in sugars and other hidden calorie boosters too.  

Right now in the US, you can get some of these Love Good Fats bars on Amazon, but in Canada, you can order them directly from the company! 


 

 I am checking into the ability for our American friends to order directly from the company as well and will update this when I have an answer for you.  I have looked into the bars available in the States and it seems that you only have the Mint Chocolate bars available.  In Canada, we have many more options.  I will update and hopefully you too can enjoy the nutty ones we are able to purchase.   

UPDATE!!!!! You can go to the Store Locator page and see where Love Good Fats are available closer to your own State!  Just follow this link:Store Locator

Just one caveat, with Keto dieting and these Love Good Fats bars, it's very hard to stop at one!  But, if you are having success with the Keto Lifestyle, then you know how to tell yourself that one is enough or to plan your meals so that your Carb counts can be within the range you need for your own personal dieting style.

I hope this Review helps you on your journey to a healthier and more sustainable way of life and that you do take the time to read some of Barbara's or Margaret\s Keto Reviews.  They are both full of excellent information that will help you on this journey through life. 





These are just a few of the many articles that I'm sure you will find interesting and very easy to follow and make yourself.   ReviewThisReviews.com and look for articles by Barbara (Brite-Ideas) or Margaret Schindel  you will come up with more information to help you become a successful Weight Loss Warrior!







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, February 16, 2022

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow - A Book Review

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, by Teri M. Brown, is a wonderful novel that will keep the reader interested and involved with the characters.  All the characters in this novel have strong opinions and follow their dreams and yearnings, often causing some danger, grief and sadness in their lives.  But great joy when all is revealed.



Does this pique your interest?  It should.  Teri M. Brown has written a book that truly is a page turner.  As with many novels some of the places and happenings sound like they could have happened in real life.  The author makes it clear that this is a work of fiction.

This story surrounds some very strong willed, strong bodied, and strong minded women.  Ivanna and the love of her life, Lyaksandro!  Their daughter, Yevtsye and her daughter Ionna are all part of the focus of this novel.

The country of their birth, the Ukraine has been under Soviet occupation for many years.  Always the government is promising that things will get better.  Lyaksandro Hadeon Rosomakha is a university employee and husband of Ivanna.  He, by wanting better for his family, has started a downward turn in the family's fortunes.  By becoming an informant (after witnessing the stranglehold the government had on free thinkers) he unwittingly puts his family in danger.  Early in the story he is whisked out of the country under cover of night, after having done the work of passing information to interested parties.  It was one of two choices he had.  Leave or die,  lest the  government of the day would get him and "dispose" of this troublemaker in one way or another.  

His wife of the last dozen years, whom he loved with all that he was, is informed that her husband has been killed when he tried to undermine the current government of the day.  

His daughter and wife were left behind even though he tried to get them out while he was being hurriedly removed from the country.  Had he known that they would not be coming with him, I'm not sure what would have happened.

Life is hard and takes many twists and turns.  Suffice it to say that not a day goes by that Ivanna doesn't miss her husband and his daughter, Yevtsye, misses her father too.  There is no time to waste energy on what could have been, too much energy was needed just to survive!



Yevtsye becomes a university worker and meets and marries a like minded man named Danya.  Together they worked hard and were able to give their daughter (Ionna) enough that she was thriving.  But both Danya and Yevtsye were very unhappy with the political climate in their country and wished for a better life.

Life is never straight forward and there are many twists and turns in this  novel.  I don't want to give away too much more of  the story, it really is a book that you should pick up yourself and read.  You will be taken on a rollercoaster ride that is quite amazing.  Emotionally you will be able to connect with the characters, which for me made the story that much more captivating.

What is the most interesting thing about this book is the fact that it has it's basis in a true story.  So while fictional, it has elements that are true.  You will be amazed and taken on a journey through three families lives!

Teri M. Brown has done an amazing job writing this book as her debut novel and I'm sure looking forward to more of her writing.  It is truly an wonderful, harrowing, uplifting, and fulfilling story.



**I was given a copy of this book by the author in return for a review on ReviewThisReviews.com.








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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

January, the Longest Month in the Year for Gardeners!

January is a month that has many of us dreaming and planning for better things to come!

As a  avid gardener, I know that this month in particular is probably the one I wish would pass by quickly.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not wishing my time away, rather, I want to see something other than snow and cold temperatures.  

In past years I get through this month with a trip to the south where I can soothe my soul on a beach or sitting poolside and dreaming about how to bring this beautiful weather back home with me.


Alas, as we all know this has not been possible for the past couple of years due to pandemic travel restrictions.  
 
So what can I do to combat this seasonal depression that seems to envelope me and many of my friends?

Well let me tell you what works for me and maybe, just maybe you could try it and see if it works for you too!

The internet is wonderful for daydreaming and even most browsers will send you lovely pictures from all over the world,  When I find one I particularly like, I will google that location and see what I can learn about that particular spot.

This past week I had pictures of Machu Picchu, Portugal and  Columbia!  That's just to name a few places I have had come up on my screen just this past week.   

If that doesn't get you dreaming, I don't know what will.

But let's get back to some reality.  I don't think travel will be in my near future (at least until our COVID situation changes) so I'm back to dreaming closer to home.

As an avid gardener, my other daydreaming is all about growing things when the season moves from winter to spring.   

Seed catalogues are a staple in our home.  If you are looking for a magazine to read, it will usually be a Gardening magazine!  In between those magazine, you will find seed catalogues from several different suppliers and growers.  

Now you have to be careful with seed catalogues and where they originate.   Many countries will not allow over the border sharing of plants and seeds (rightly so).  My feelings on this are that this is a prudent way to do business, especially when it comes to live plants.  We have seen invasions of many detrimental and invasive species take over when they find a new hone that they happen to like.  Just one small example is the KUDZO vine which seems to grow unhindered in the south.  

Please don't try bringing plants across borders without the proper growth certificates and permissions.  

But we are supposed to be dreaming, not having nightmares, so let's get back on track.

I love my Gardening Magazines and keep them for reference and the pretty pictures.

In Canada we have many to choose from including The Gardener Magazine.  I love it because it does focus on Canadian sources, growing zones and is full of really good information!




In the USA, you have several different choices as there are so many more growing zones in your country.  You can focus on magazines that will show you beautiful shrubs, vines, plants and vegetables that will grow well in your particular "zone" or you can get magazines that encourage you to become a better gardener.  The Spruce has a list of 9 of the best magazines for gardeners in the States (you can also use some of these here in Canada as references) !  

There will be pictures of birds, flowers, garden plans and anything else that will make a true gardener's heart go pitter pat for a long time.  

You can treat yourself to a magazine subscription to some of the best magazines available right here at Magazine Deals.com!  You just need to put "Gardening" in the search box. 

I know that you will find something that just tickles your gardener's fingers. I know that are itching to get back in the ground. This will keep you dreaming and planning until you can actually get your hands dirty!  It works for me and I always learn something new too!  

Don't let yourself get caught up in what you can't do right now, rather spend that time dreaming up ways that you can do something new in the coming months.  

Plant a garden, learn a new technique for growing your favorite vegetables or learn about keeping the bees and birds happy!  All of these topics and more are right at your fingertips when you immerse yourself in a great gardening magazine.  

Here is hoping that you don't find the winter too long and that your itchy fingers will find some relief when your eyes behold some of the beauty that can be yours with just a little dreaming and planning.



 



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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Winter Dressing Requirements Include Layering Up! A Product Review

Winter in many parts of the world means cold, wet, and less than "perfect" weather.



I have spent many a winter in some places you would consider to be warm all year long  and even there the winter months can be less than perfect. I lived in Israel for three months and let me tell you it was cool at night and damp, so layering was the only way to stay comfortable.   Even Florida in December to February can be cool sometimes.    Layering your clothing is one way to beat that cold and chill you feel in those dark and wintery months.  Layering has become a way of life for me, especially at my age (peri-menopausal and menopausal).  If you haven't reached that age yet, get ready, it will happen to you too!

You start off the morning feeling just right, get dressed and then feel too cold, so you add a layer!  An hour or two later you are so hot that you need to remove a layer.  And so your day goes, one moment cool, the next moment hot!  You just can't seem to win at any stage of the day.  

Well my answer to all of this is to layer and layer well.  It's easy to remove  a layer without having to start dressing all over again.  

I love a Company called Cents of Style!  Why?  Well let's just say that they are:
  1. Stylish
  2. Comfortable
  3. Cost Effective
  4. Available in Many Sizes and Colors
These Oversized Sweaters are just the thing you need when you are thinking about layering!  Not only are they pretty, but they are comfortable!  With an oversized sweater, you can easily have another T-shirt or light blouse underneath.

So when your internal thermometer starts acting up, you can do your thing (removing or adding) as you need to!  

Not only are they comfortable and trendy, they come in over 10 different colors so you can choose the one that suits you best.  Available in sizes Small right up to 3 XL!  There is no reason not to have a couple of these in your wardrobe.  

I'm sure that this layering will help you get through any cold and dreary weather that the winter of 2022 can bring us!  

Keep warm and beautiful!  
Favorite Tops


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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Hooray, Today is National Brownie Day and Time to Celebrate!- A Recipe Review

Come celebrate with me!  

Today is National Brownie Day and I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to get out the mixer and fix my family up with some ooey, gooey, good BROWNIES!
https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/12/hooray-today-is-national-brownie-day.html

I think the thing I like the most about BROWNIES, is that they can be a very plain (but still delicious) dessert, or you can dress them up in so many different ways to make them look picture perfect for any company you may have.

Did you know that the first brownies recipes were published around the turn of the century about 1904.  They were part of regional cookbooks and often found in newspapers.  That is a pretty long history if you ask me.  And they are still favorites all around the country.  Chocolate brownies are number one with "Blondie" Brownies coming a close second.  

What's a Blondie?   Let's set the record straight, it has nothing to do with Hair!  Blondies are cousins to Brownies, just made without the chocolate, hence the lighter color and name!  

Did you know that there are several myths about where Brownies first came into being?  One myth has a baker accidentally mixing liquid chocolate in a biscuit recipe.  Oh happy accident if that is the way it happened.  Another myth is that someone making a chocolate cake forgot to add the flour to the recipe and then there's the one of the housewife who ran out of baking powder and decided to serve her guests "flattened cake".   This last one is my personal favorite because I have been known to do without certain ingredients and adding others in their stead, when making a recipe.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it is a disaster.

But let's get back to the good stuff.  Brownies are a favorite in most families and I know from past experience that they are wonderful sellers at any "Bake Sale." Simple brownies are just made in the pan and cut up.  Dressing your brownies up with frosting and sprinkles or nuts can give the lowly brownie a very dressed up, decadent appearance suitable for any company!

You can also find many recipes for Brownies and some of the best are the ones that have been shared in regional cookbooks and simple cookbooks put together for School or Church fundraisers.  You know you are getting tried and true recipes from these sources.  It's a matter of pride for the bakers who attach their name to the recipe!

So no further stalling, here is a great recipe that I have used and loved!  
Originally found on Ricardocuisine,com:
 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • optional ingredients can include chopped walnuts, chopped hazelnuts, broken pieces of candy canes, mini marshmallows (either the plain or fruit flavoured)  
 
DIRECTIONS 
  1. Oven rack should be in the middle part of the oven pre-heated to 350 F.
  2. Butter or spray with non-stick spray the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish.  Use parchment paper and let the excess hang over the sides of your baking dish. 
  3. Using a bowl, over a pan of boiling water, or alternately in the microwave oven, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool. 
  4. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar and salt with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add chocolate/butter mixture and flour and stir until smooth. Pour this all into the prepared pan. 
  5. Baking time about 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out just a little bit moist (If it is dry you will have very dry brownies and should use icing to get some moisture back into the mix)
  6. Let cool in the pan and place the pan on a rack.  It will take about 1.5 hours. Remove from pan and cut into squares.  Or if you want to get really artistic, you can cut them into any desired shape and eat the extra pieces from between!   Serve warm or cold.
These are plain brownies with great taste and nice presentation. But, and this is a big BUT, you can add other ingredients to this basic brownie recipe to make something even more special! Add chopped nuts, or marshmallows (the little mini ones), crushed peppermints are a great add too,  or leave the recipe as is and make an icing for them.  The combinations are endless and each will have a slightly different flavor when you are done.  
All I know is that your family will enjoy this treat and you just might find yourself making them more than once in a while.

These days I make these brownies for the family, but, I myself will not indulge.  I will make the recipe that our own Margaret Schindel has finessed to fit with my Keto Lifestyle!  So I still get to have some Brownie fun without all the carbs!  You can find her recipe right here: and a whole lot more.

Now I'm going to make another suggestion for all of you!  If you have children, grandchildren, nieces and/or nephews, invite them over to share all these wonderful Brownies you've made and then spend the afternoon writing letters to SANTA!  

Did you know that you could write to SANTA, send your letter in the mail and get a response from him and all it will cost you is the time to write the letters?

Canada Post and all their "ELVES" make sure that letters addressed to Santa, get to him!  His address is very simple:


SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE 
CANADA 
and don't forget the postal code:
HOHOHO

No Postage necessary, the elves will get the letters to Santa, but be sure to send a return address!

Now everyone's tummy is full of goodness and the letters have been written, so it's time to settle in and wait for that wonderful holiday that is just on the horizon!



https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/12/hooray-today-is-national-brownie-day.html












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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Winter Time and Birds, Some Good Advice Regarding Pigeons! A DIY Project!

Every Winter the Birds Come Calling! 

I guess that's because we (my other half and I) love to see and feed the birds during the coldest months of the year.  There is something wonderful in seeing even the plain little sparrows munching on suet cakes that we have made or bought. The winter months can be tough on little birds as they need a lot of energy just to keep their tiny bodies warm.



Image by Kurt Bouda from Pixabay

There is one bird though, that I do not want on my balcony!  I do NOT want pigeons!

Why?  Pigeons are very dirty birds.  They like to make their homes in high spaces!  If they can find a spot out of the wind and elements, they will call that spot home!  They will also chase away any of the smaller birds that I really do like having around my balcony in the winter months.  So what can I do?



Well, I was checking out ways to keep the pigeons from even wanting to come onto my balcony, but the availability of food for the smaller birds is what is attracting them.  So if there is no food there will be no birds and I will miss out on some really fun times watching these little critters. I need to do something else that will make the pigeons look for other lodgings.

Pigeons are spooked easily,  so one method of deterring them is to hang windchimes and balloons so that there is always movement and sound happening.  Hopefully they will find a quieter place to call home!

While thinking about this problem and the solutions I had an idea that would do the trick. I came across a whole stack of old CD disks that we no longer needed or wanted.  Old operating systems on CD's were taking up space and were really not necessary for our computer operations.  One side of the disk has a label on it and the other side has beautiful rainbow colors!   So I took a dozen or so of these disks and set to work.

I drilled a hole in the disk about an inch inside the outer rim!   Then just thread some wire or garden twine through the hole and leave enough string/rope to make a loop big enough to pass the disk through it. You can hang them all at the same level or vary the lengths as you please.   Then take all of your strung CD's outside and hang them with the loop around a cord or light string.  .  

At our home we have a string of lights on our balcony because we love to sit out there evenings during the summer months!  This string of lights is now lit for the holidays and it looks amazing with my hanging CD's!  Just check out the short video I took!  You can see the effect it has in the daytime and at night!  




The sunlight plays on the discs sending light all around the balcony!  It does not take much wind to make them spin and when they are spinning light beams are playing all around the balcony.  I am so pleased with the outcome.  They are quite pretty with their rainbow colors and they themselves are not at all noisy!  Even in the windiest of days if the CD's bang around, you just hear a little clicking sound.  










Evenings on the balcony are so pretty with rainbow hues being seen from all corners.  I have a mirror on the one side and my lights and the disks are nicely reflected in it.  It makes it seem like I have twice as many lights and CD's on the balcony!  I personally love the look!

What do you need to accomplish this for yourself?  A DREMEL TOOL is great for drilling the holes or you can use a regular drill with a fairly small bit (depending on the size of your cord).   If you don't have lights to hang these from, you can make a line with any kind of twine and fasten it with some hooks to where ever you want these hanging. .You can also use Christmas hooks to hang these from an eaves-trough.  Vary the lengths of the cords or keep them all the same, that is up to you entirely.  

What I have found in just the short time that these have been up, is that the little birds are not scared of the light show, but the pigeons are not coming to roost anymore.  Hopefully this will keep them away. 

I checked into other methods of keeping pigeons off the balcony, but they involve either hurting the birds or making the railings uncomfortable not just for the birds but for us as well.  I don't want to hurt anything, but don't want to encourage those pigeons to roost on my balcony.  

I will let you know how it works, but, for right now it seems to be doing the trick!  No pigeons were harmed during this trial and I suspect they won't be hurt or harmed in any other way while these are on my balcony!

  





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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Mirror Mirror on the Wall - A Gift Suggestion

How many times have you stood in front of the mirror first thing in the morning and thought, "What words of wisdom do you have for me today?"

There are many times in my life where I have been overwhelmed, upset, depressed, down in the dumps or excited about something that will be happening.  All of these feelings sometimes just grab hold of me and I stare at my reflection hoping that some wisdom will come me and help me over whatever hurdle seems to be in my path.

Now I've been thinking a lot about my grandchildren who have just gone through two years of hardship and stress.  I know that they have missed out on so much with all the restrictions put in their path.  I also know that kids are resilient little beings and that they will bounce back.  In the meantime, I have been thinking about ways to help them cross those barriers and climb over their disappointments so that they can look at themselves through my eyes and smile.

Little words of encouragement are always needed by everyone and our children and grandchildren are no exception to the rule.  So because we aren't physically close to them, we can still be an encouragement for them from afar.

How?  Well, this year, I'm making sure that my Grandchildren know what they mean to me daily! And this is how I'm going to do it. 

We are buying each one of the Grandchildren  a mirror to be hung on their wall in their rooms.  Hung at a height that will make it possible for them to check out how they look and at the same time have a message that will either make them smile, or pause and think, or just laugh!  

So how are we going to get a message on their mirror?  Easy peasey when you have a set of  Liquid Chalk Markers!  

These markers write on glass easily and are erasable too.  So when you need a new message on your mirror just clean off the old with a damp cloth and add the new.

Everyday you can change up the message, or leave one there as a reminder of your Grandparent's thoughts for you! 

Everyone loves a little encouragement and there are lots of ways to add that spark to your mirror with Words to Live By !  Checking out Pinterest is another great source for Quotes for all kinds.  




My Grandson's are going to love that their mirror will say "You make me smile!" and "You are the kindest boy I know!"

My Granddaughters are going to love theirs too!  One will say, "You are poetry in motion!"  While the other one will say, "Your imagination just makes me happy!"  



Can you just imagine what seeing these words on their mirrors everyday will do to their spirits?  I imagine and hope that it will give them a positive outlook that will carry them over any hurdles they happen to be facing.  

When they need a little pick me up, grab the Liquid Chalk and write a note to them or let them write a note to themselves.  

I'm looking forward to seeing their reactions and when they are finished with needing some positive reinforcement, they will always have a nice mirror to see themselves in!

I know they will see a wonderful person who has empathy and joy in their lives, that is for sure!





 



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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October A Month of Many "Awareness" Days! Learn Something New Today!

October is the month that most people know is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, but it is NOT the only disorder we should be aware of.

 

Every year beginning on the First of October, you will start to see ads and lots of references on Social Media about Breast Cancer and getting your mammograms done.  For the women out there who have not done so yet, there is still time to book your screening before the end of the month.  Prevention starts with getting that mammogram done.
 

 



I have several friends that over the years have had Breast Cancer or are still dealing with this cancer.  Some,  unfortunately,  have also died from this disease!  Do whatever you can to help prevent Breast Cancer from invading your life or that of someone you love.  Encourage your gal pals to get their screening done every year!  We have enough statistics already and no one wants their friends or family to join that long list.  


October is also  SUDEP Action MonthSUDEP is the acronym for Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.  Most unexplained deaths are subject to autopsy and when someone presents with this type of death, no other reason can be found for their demise, it is called SUDEP.  Epilepsy affects 50 million people around the world.  I have a young nephew who has been diagnosed with epilepsy.  With medication he is living a life that is normal in most ways.  He loves everything, plays sports, swims and hikes just like any other child!  



Awareness and action are needed to make this neurological disorder better understood and you can also learn how to reduce your risks.  If you want to know more about this here is the official website dedicated to teach everyone about this disorder!



 And while we are at it, October is for SUDEP  and November which is just around the corner is the official month to make people aware of Epilepsy as this disorder continues to affect many people young and old.
 

 

More October Awareness Days


October is also the month where DOMESTIC VIOLENCE is brought to the forefront.  There are so many people that are suffering from violence within the home.  Some is physical, while other forms of this violence might not be as noticeable.  I'm talking about the mental and verbal abuse that can happen within a family.
 
I'm sure that there are many of us that can say we personally know someone who is in this situation.  We need to encourage those who find themselves in the cycle of abuse to come out and find the help they need.  Quite often friends and family of someone in a domestic abuse situation will try to help, but find themselves hitting the proverbial brick wall.  When you try to help, the couple all of a sudden stand together in trying to make people believe there is no problem.  Worse yet, if you step into that situation, you yourself could become the target of the violence. 
Most often Domestic Abuse has the wife/mother as the recipient of the abuse, but there are also signs that Men can be abused as well.  Domestic Violence in either form is not acceptable.
 
Domestic Abuse, especially if it involves children, cannot be tolerated, and our efforts should go to finding safe places for moms and children to be.  There are websites that strive to help anyone who finds themselves in a position where violence seems to be the answer to every problem.  Children as especially vulnerable to the ravages of domestic violence and there are places to get help for them too.
 
https://ncadv.org/2021DVAM is a great place to start your search for yourself or someone you love or know needs help.   Many hospitals will have information for you as well.  Don't wait to get help, it is there if you need it.  In Canada you can visit the website : https://endingviolencecanada.org/about-us/


During this month of October, let us become more involved in a cause that can help so many people.  If you cannot help this month, maybe making a Christmas donation to one of these causes would be something you could do.  If everyone helps we can move mountains!

May you enjoy the rest of October and remember those fighting Epilepsy in November too!




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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Fascination with the Past Leads to Lots of Reading - Book Reviews

Oh the books that are available on a myriad of topics that can keep a reader going for a long, long, time!

Today I'll tell you about four books that had me totally captivated and left me with bags under my eyes for days.  (That for me is the sign of a really good book, or two or three or more!)


Lately I have found myself totally captivated by World War II novels.  Most of these books are historically true, although some license has been taken with character names and places.  

The three books by Heather Morris are stories that are actually true stories.  Heather had met and spoken with several people that lived the nightmares that were part of the European history of this War.  The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Cilka's Journey and The Three Sisters are her stories.  The Book of Lost Names written by Kristen Hannah is also in this genre of WWII novels.

While this is a genre that I don't normally gravitate towards, I can honestly say that these books kept me turning pages and finding excuses to read more rather than bookmarking my page.  That is a sign of a good book, don't you think? 

Each of Heather Morris' books can stand on their own, but together they really paint a troublesome, difficult and dangerous time in our history.

You can read more about these books and some of the controversy that ensued in Brenda's Review, right here! 

The latest book in this genre that really took me by surprise was one written by Viola Russell called, "Love at War."


This book takes a look at how, why and when the Americans got involved in this War that touched so many lives.

While I have seen and been at the American Memorial to Pearl Harbor and heard the story of how the American's became involved, this book managed to put me right in the middle of all the turbulence and sacrifices that American men and women made during this bleak period.




All the other books focus on the beginning of the war and the hatred Hitler had for Jews and anyone standing with the Jews.  Viola Russell with her book,  Love At War, takes us into the lives of American families who got involved after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The missions and how many New Americans who were bilingual (many had fled Germany after WWI) helped to get secrets from the Germans to help their new homeland win this battle.  

It is the story of women, who were brave enough to enlist and carry out top secret missions right in the heart of enemy territory.  Some of these women were drawn to these missions by extreme hatred for what the German's had done to their brothers, husbands and friends during all the fighting.  Hatred is a very powerful emotion, as we see in some of the missions that are written about here. 

I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that I'm sure if you pick up Love at War, you will have a hard time putting it back down again.  



I hope you get a chance to read all of these books as each of them has something unique for us to learn about.  History should never be forgotten and the sacrifices that people made during this War should also never be forgotten. 

                                       God Bless America!  



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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Nice Fingernails Don't Have To Be Difficult to Achieve! A Product Review

Have you ever just finished polishing your nails and then got an itch somewhere?  What happens?  You scratch and ruin all the hard work you just did trying to get your nails looking pretty!  There is a certain amount of "drying time" needed to keep that polish you just applied, looking as good as it should. 


 


Then to add to your misery, you have to remove all that polish that you just mucked up without messing the other hand that you didn't scratch with!  Unless you have three arms, you know that this is just about impossible to do! 

No wonder so many women  have given up on having nice looking nails, or they pay the price to go to a nail salon and have someone do their nails for them.

Now personally I have done that too!  Paying someone to do your nails for you is pricey!  You have to be careful that the nail salon you go to is clean, sanitized and not spreading diseases (fungus especially).  I have had more than one friend end up with an infection in their fingernails because of less than perfect sanitary conditions in a salon they used.  That is truly adding insult to injury!  

Color Street Nail Strips to the rescue!

When you are the master of your own manicures, you don't have to worry about the conditions of the salon!  If you follow ReviewThisReviews.com, I know you have seen Margaret Schindel's write ups on good nail health and the best tools to keep your nails looking good (https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/05/14-secrets-grow-strong-healthy-beautiful-nails.html) (https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2021/05/best-manicure-tools-strong-healthy-nails.html).  These are very important and if you have daughters, it's a great way to teach them how to take care of their hands and nails.  Good health involves taking care of all your body parts!  It's also a great way to have some fun and spend some quality time with your girls!  Make it a Saturday or Sunday night date to have those hands and nails looking lovely for the whole week to come!

Color Street Nail Strips are relatively new on the market.  They are NOT artificial nails that you paste on your own fingers, but rather they are fully cured nail polish strips that you place right on your own fingernails.  What makes these nail polish strips so nice is that they are dry immediately after application.  No time is needed to dry the polish before you can scratch your nose or ears or any other parts that could itch.  So no way to muck up the freshly applied color.

I have put these nail strips on my own fingers and after a few minutes, washed and dried dishes and then  gone for a swim!   Amazingly these nail strips stayed put, and lasted on my fingers for over two weeks without peeling, cracking or chipping.  They are incredibly strong and beautiful!

Margaret also does some amazing manicures using Color Street Nail Strips either in one set or sometimes mixing different sets to make something truly unique and lovely.  Just take a look at this manicure she did:


I love the combination of these three different sets of  nail strips.  

Let me explain a little more about these strips:

  • each set contains 16 real nail polish strips  (sized for the average nail beds)
  • each set comes with an alcohol pad to make sure your nails are oil free pre application
  • a small emery board to help with removing the excess nail strip
This is what they look like when you receive them:

And this is what is inside each package:

When you open the package right up, you will find easy to follow instructions on how to apply these strips to your own nails.

You can see for yourself that there are only 5 easy steps to applying these nail strips to your fingernails.  Once they are on, you don't have to wait for anything to dry.  You literally can get up and go!  

I know that this is one of the things my other half likes the best, no waiting 10 to 15 minutes for nail polish to dry before you can do anything else.  Those critical minutes when all of your efforts can go up in smoke!  It just doesn't happen with Color Street!

The other part I love is that there are so many choices.  I happen to love glitter and Color Street offers 17 different glitter strips and 4 Prism FX strips (holographic glitter).  There is even a "Glitter Dipped" overlay that makes your nails look like they are dripping with shiny sparks of color.  

But for my more tame days, I can choose from 30 different solid colors too!  Or two different French Manicures.  

Special occasions, no problem, there are 14 different nail art designs (it makes your nails look like someone did some fantastic paintings right there on your fingers).

That is a lot of choices!  Can you just imagine how many bottles of polish you would need to have in order to have all these choices?  

A friend of mine loves mermaids, so there is even an overlay for her and 5 other overlays that change up a plain color to something amazing. The combinations are endless.  Use your imagination and creativity to create something special that is yours and yours alone.



If you want to know more about Color Street, please feel free to leave me a message in the comments!  You can also see the whole catalogue of colors and styles available on my website www.colorstreet.com/olivia72!  I'd be pleased to be of any assistance to you!  Color Street is available through the website in the USA and Canada without any problems!

Here's to lovely hands and even prettier nails!  Believe it or not, little things like nice hands can make a difference in how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you!  It's a little thing, but, it is important to give that totally polished (no pun intended)  and put together look.

www.colorstreet.com/olivia72



Thank you Margaret Schindel for your permission to use your lovely manicure picture!







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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

September, the Month to Prepare for Traveling Birds! A Hobby Review!

September is a month that is generally full of all kinds of changes.  Notably, children are going back to school and the days are quickly getting shorter and cooler.

Autumn is definitely in the air and I know I have already been witness to the geese starting to gather and fly in their typical V-formation.  

Birds that have spent the better part of the summer in the north are preparing themselves for the long trek back to their southern winter spots.  But, and here's the important part, it is a long way for them to go and they need our help.


Typically we are all familiar with the Geese that make their way to the south, but there are a host of other birds that also migrate.  According to Cornell Labs there are about 650 species of birds in North American and about half of those are migratory.

Why do they migrate?  Most of these birds leave their resting places to move north to their breeding grounds.  This is hard work for the birds, but instincts make them do this perilous journey at least twice a year. 

Many of us wait eagerly for those pretty little hummingbirds that make their way to the north and we do fill our feeders with sugar water to satisfy their hunger.  But in September, you might just notice that those feeders are being visited more often.  Even though there are plenty of flowers for them to feed on, they know they will be making a long trek soon.  They are filling up their reserves for that journey.  So please don't stop filling your hummingbird feeders just yet.

Most North American songbirds are migratory.  Yet there are other bigger birds that also move from the north to the south in the cooler autumn months.

Let's concern ourselves with the smaller birds for now.  How can you help them?

  • Keep your feeders full of good nutritious seeds is the first way to help. 
  •  Make sure there is a good clean source of water for them too.  All that flying around is hard work.  
  • Gardeners, please leave your seed heads in place! Don't clean up your garden just yet!  Migratory birds love sunflowers, but will also eat seeds from other plants as well.  A natural garden will attract those little birds quite nicely.  
These are just a few little things you can do to help them on their way.  

Learning about these migratory birds and what their needs are will make them happy to stop at your yard for some refreshment and food.


Bird migration happens twice a year, yet we never seem to get tired of seeing our favorite birds making their way to us in spring time and then leaving us again come autumn.  Let's help them as much as we can by being a safe and bird friendly place for them to stop and refuel.  It doesn't take much effort, and you will enjoy the beauty of those little creatures as they make their way south!

If you want to know more there is plenty of information available on the Internet.  There are many bird watching clubs in several states and provinces.  If you are really keen on bird watching, I would recommend you join a group of like minded people.  A camera is a must as well.  You will want to start keeping a diary of all the different birds you have seen over the years.


Birdwatching is a hobby that you will keep at for years and years.  Start small and see how much enjoyment you get from seeing with your own eyes, the birds that make these treks across miles and miles.  Start your list and add to it as you become accustomed to finding these little winged creatures.

Helping our birds make their way is just one small pleasure we can have and it isn't hard to do either.

Once you have seen and admired the strength and determination of those little birds, you will have a new appreciation for hard work they put into surviving and thriving.  There are many life lessons here for all of us too!

May you enjoy September, October and November as the skies become magnets for our little bird friends and we become their helpers on the way!




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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

The Best Back to School Memories Last for Years! A Product Review

September is a month that is full of lots of activities, usually focused around going back to school. 




Parents are busy making sure that the clothes and shoes fit.  If they don't you know there will be a shopping trip on the horizon.  First days back to school are so much fun because the students have been missing some of their friends and maybe, just maybe, there will be a new friend or two to be made.

This year most of the students and parents are especially happy that their children will be returning to a "more normal" way of learning.  No more "home schooling" unless that is the choice you have made for your children.  

For the kids going back, it will seem even more special!  Their old classrooms have been empty for almost 2 years.  Who knows what changes have taken place while they were all being home schooled.


I love seeing everyone's pictures of their kids all dressed up and ready to jump on the School Bus!  All their backpacks and gear labelled and ready to use.

Personally, the memory I love the best was getting that new pencil case and the pencils, pens, crayons or colored pencils that I would use almost daily!

There is something really special about getting that brand new pack of Crayola Pencil Crayons and sitting with a brand new sharpener.  While patiently sharpening each crayon, I would daydream about how this year was going to be the best year ever!  It was almost like a child's meditation on life!  

For younger children it might be a whole new set of Crayola Crayons and some new pencils.  A Pink Eraser that hadn't yet been used was also a MUST HAVE  for the new school year.


I don't know why, but around this time of year I love going shopping for school supplies, just nowadays we call them office supplies.  It still makes my heart go pitter patter when I see those Colored Pencils and Markers of all kinds.

My guess is that most children will be looking forward to school this year for many reasons.  The parents are looking forward to this as well.  Running Zoom meetings with teachers is not the same as being in the classroom.  Getting back together with their friends and socializing would be the first reason many are looking forward to Back to School.  And I'm sure the second reason is to pull out those brand new pencils, pencil crayons and markers to do the first of many assignments.  

Keeping them all together and neat is another fun part of this Back to School task and pencil cases have come a long way from the plain black top zipped pouch!  Now you can make a statement with how you carry your personal writing implements.  I happen to love this red one and it has a 5 star rating as well.  The others colors are also really neat!   

Back to School is an adventure for the parents as well as the kids.  New gear is part of the fun.  Making and seeing new friends and old ones will always be a part of the Memories that our children will cherish!




If the kids come home from school a little stressed, make sure you have a color by numbers book for them, after all it is supposed to relieve stress!  You might want one for yourself too!  

                        Happy Back to School Days Everyone!






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