Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, March 18, 2019

Reviewing the DoBoard Dry Erase Chart

The DoBoard dry erase chart keeps me motivated. 
The large chart board by DoBoard is a great way to keep track of chores, appointments and goals at home or work. This magnetic dry erase board is also an easy way to display a menu at a restaurant or use in an office for lists that change frequently such as showing employees who are "in" or "out" and scheduled meetings. If you are looking for visual organization, this might be for you. 


DoBoard 12" x 17" Magnetic Dry Erase Chart Board


This dry erase board by DoBoard is magnetized and the entire back side is coated. No bumpy, annoying small magnets on each corner.

The chart board comes pre-printed with days of the week across the top and a chart grid to list 15 items. There is also room at the top and bottom to add a title, incentive agreements, reminders, and comments.

This board does not come with dry erase markers or erasers. I needed to use fine point markers for my list. I don't advise using regular, large tipped dry erase markers for writing the list. 

This board is very smooth and is easily erased - unlike my lower quality dry erase board I use at work.

DoBoard shipped this chart flat, in a large box. This avoided any crinkling or damage that may have occurred during the shipping process.


12" x 17" Chart by DoBoard



Why I ordered DoBoard's Chart


This is a perfect chore/incentive chart for children. No arguing about what needs to be done before they earn their goal - it is an ongoing check list of what needs to be done. This would also be a perfect way for our receptionist at work to keep track of who is in and out of their office.  But I ordered this for my own motivation and sanity.

When I become over-worked and super stressed, I start to become ineffective. I eventually stop doing anything because I'm not keeping on top of everything. In reality, I'm still doing a great deal of things. I'm working my butt off. But I begin to tell myself that I'm not doing enough. As those thoughts increase, my productivity decreases and eventually stops.

After seeing this brand of "chore chart" at my son's home, I ordered one for myself. I really liked that it was pre-printed with everything except my list of to-dos. Some of the things I have listed are things I do on a daily basis (such as keeping the dogs and cat fed, walked, and watered), things I want to do on a daily basis (crochet and exercise), and chores that I hate (washing dishes and laundry) but have to do to avoid being referred to the television show "Hoarders". 

I definitely function better under stress with seeing a list of things that have been completed - I feel accomplished. As I'm checking off things, or adding tally marks for the things I do multiple times a day, that little nagging voice has a harder time sneaking in to tell me that I'm not doing enough. It also encourages me to not give up on my goal of building a small home and moving to my land. For example, I've added "go to work" at the top of my list to remind me that I'm not yet allowed to quit my job - yes, things are that bad right now. 

If you are looking for a chart, for whatever reason (yourself, children, or employees - menus, chores, or goals) this board by DoBoard is a great choice.






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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Cat Dust Plugs Reviewed

Prevent Dust From Getting Into Your Earphone

earphone plugs
Earphone plugs can get dusty (image courtesy of pixabay.com)
Did you know that there are some very clever little dust plugs for our devices? Whether it is our cell phone, tablet or laptop; we all have a place to plug-in a jack for earphones. 

Over the passage of time, quite a bit of dust and small debris can enter into the inside of our devices. That isn't such a good thing for the hidden working parts, I wouldn't think.

So, there are some really clever little charm like figures that we can use to plug-up that little hole when a set of earphones or earbuds aren't being used. Let's face it, most of the time that earphone jack isn't used 24/7. 

We happen to adore cats in our house, as I'm sure that many of you do too. Don't worry, if you aren't a cat person these little dust plugs can be found for the dog lovers, too. In fact, there are several types of animals made into a plug for that tiny little jack on our devices. If animals aren't to your liking there are other styles, too. Some look like little gems in a variety of colors and I even saw some that look like a little coffee cup. 

Some of the dust plugs have some real bling to their appearance while others are just a cute little charm that looks adorable while preventing dust and debris from getting into the inside of our phones or tablets.

I found a set of cat dust plugs that I think are really adorable! Depending on my mood, I can switch them around on my phone or my tablet. A set like this can also be used for party favors at a Tween's birthday party. They are so inexpensive that you can purchase more than one set to divide up amoung the guests.

What do you think? Would you choose a dust plug with cat figures or a different style?



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Friday, March 8, 2019

The Famous Wigleys Corned Beef Reviewed


When I see St. Patrick's Day on the calendar I immediately think of corned beef and the traditional Irish boiled dinner. Actually an authentic boiled dinner is the perfect comfort food year round in our household and if you are from an Irish depression era family - well, Grandma did tend to excel at boiling :) !
Wigleys Famous Eastern Market Corned Beef. The best corned beef in Detroit reviewed.

Wigleys Famous Eastern Market Corned Beef provides the perfect mix of seasonings and high quality corned beef that allows the flavor of the corned beef to shine while the seasonings enhance the corned beef versus overpowering the beef.

Who Is Wigley?

Wigleys dates back to the 1880’s in England and the Wigley family meat recipe.  Job Wigley arrived in Detroit in 1924 with the Wigley family meat recipe along with the vision of the American dream. The family tradition continues to this day with Job’s grandson Tom continuing the Wigley business.

What Is Eastern Market And Why Is It In The Name Of Wigleys Corned Beef?

Established in 1891 Eastern Market was originally a market for wood and hay. Additional sheds were added in 1921, 1926 and moved to its’ current location. The end of W.W. II brought the wholesale food industry to the market. Hence why Wigleys Corned Beef has Eastern Market in its’ name.
Photos courtesy of CC 4.0:  Sarahebrowning,
Bill Whittaker, Etx313
Eastern Market is renowned in Detroit and the metro Detroit area. Before farm to table became trendy, vendors at  Eastern Market have provided the freshest meats, seafoods, vegetables, spices, candies,  flowers in an open air market.  Enjoy the amazing murals, antiques, art and crafts throughout the market as a destination stop for locals and tourists.
Whether it be for corned beef or flowers, Eastern Market is a treasured Detroit tradition and institution which was recorded to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1978. Wigleys and its’ corned beef is an integral part of the tradition.

The Fool Proof Corned Beef - How To Cook Wigleys?

So easy and so fool proof! Wigley’s corned beef is packaged pre seasoned; the seasoning surrounds the corned beef like a marinade.  Simply remove the corned beef from the package and squeeze the seasoning from the package and into the pot. Cover the corned beef with cold water and simmer. Depending upon the size of the brisket the corned beef will be ready in 3-4 hours.
Perfect every time!

Where To Buy Wigleys

If a visit to Eastern Market is not possible Wigleys is available throughout the metro area at grocery stores and specialty markets.  




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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Wicker Basket For Easter Reviewed

Useful After Easter

wicker basket
Wicker basket image courtesy of pixabay.com
Have you ever considered using a wicker basket that is not necessarily promoted to be used as an Easter Basket? Walking down any aisle of a store, we can see several options of baskets to be used on Easter morning. We can find them made in a variety of materials and most are extremely cute but will they last beyond a day or two?

I will admit that I have a penchant for baskets as a whole. I can't honestly say when my love for them began or even why. It might be from memories of my Grandmother using different baskets to complete chores with. She had a basket for gathering eggs, one for picking items from the garden, one for the apples and pears and a few others for specific duties around her home. All of those magnificent baskets were worn from use but sturdy and helpful to her.

It occurred to me the other day as I was looking at an option for baskets this year for my grandchildren that I really didn't want to give them one that was commercially produced for the occasion. I just realized that they looked as inexpensive as their price tags indicated. I would rather give them something that could be used again for another purpose. Perhaps something they could smile at one day when they remembered that Grandma gave them that basket.

I think I found a nice solution for this year. I like the idea that the basket I have chosen can be used to store items in if they want. I can picture my youngest using it to keep her crayons, markers and colored pencils in. My oldest could store her music CDs or other items in. I like this idea much better than a basket that will end up broken and in a landfill somewhere in the near future.

How about you? Would you rather place your Easter goodies in a wicker basket that can find multiple uses for after the holiday?




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Monday, March 4, 2019

Reviewing Flexible Tunisian Crochet Hooks

Using the appropriate hook for the project. 
With a great deal of skepticism, I recently bought a 24" Flexible Tunisian Crochet hook. It is the recommended hook for larger Tunisian (also called "afghan") crochet projects. I fully expected to not like my purchase. I expected it to snag and not feel as comfortable as my preferred aluminum crochet hooks. Not only was I pleasantly surprised at the smoothness of this wooden hook, I was very happy with the longer length. I should have purchased more than just the one. I can imagine using a variety of sizes of these hooks in the future.

A friend at work asked me if I would try to crochet a scarf for her - from a pattern she found on Etsy. I told her that I'd try, but I was very new to Tunisian crochet. 

I started on the first practice attempt with regular, aluminum Tunisian Crochet hooks. I wanted to first test the pattern. I found that I could work it correctly for the most part. Then the project became wide enough that handling the straight hook was difficult. As the yarn gathered on the hook, it became bunched and too bulky to manage. 

So I ordered the ChiaoGoo 24" Flexible Tunisian Crochet Hook size H8. 

The flexible Tunisian crochet hook is a wooden crochet hook. It has a thick synthetic "cord" that ends in a wooden bead. The bead works as a stopper. The length of the hook with the length of the cord allows you to work on a longer project comfortably. As you can see in the photo, as I add stitches, my scarf easily moves on and off the hook. The bulk does not gather and bunch under my hand.

As I mentioned, I was concerned that the transition between the hook and the cord would snag my yarn. It does not. The metal cap is smooth and makes a smooth transition.

Initially, that stiff cord (think of super thick fishing line) flopped around while I crocheted and it distracted me. But after just 2 or 3 rows, I no longer noticed that naturally curled cord. 

My longer Tunisian crochet projects are much easier with this flexible hook.




Related Links:

This is the third project I've made using the Sweet Roll yarn by Premier Yarns. The color is Wild Cherry Swirl. While they offer many colors in this yarn the wild cherry is my favorite by far. 

I only began learning Tunisian crochet just a few months ago (October/November) and I'm enjoying it very much. See my first Tunisian crochet project here.

I've been taking more time to crochet and as a result I'm gathering a sizable collection of crochet hooks. This Teamoy Tunisian Crochet Hook Case is very helpful in keeping my supplies organized. 




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Saturday, March 2, 2019

Review of Sherpa Theme Slipper Socks

Sherpa Theme Socks
Having lived in the South for many years, I recently returned to the Midwest, resulting in something I had been pretty much able to avoid in Georgia ~ Winter! Knowing my intense dislike of cold weather, my darling daughter gifted me with a very welcome item – fleece lined slipper socks.

The slipper socks she sent me are the Sherpa Theme Socks, which are fleece lined knit socks that are non-slip, very warm and cozy. They are perfect for lounging on the couch with a book on these cold winter days here in Iowa. Especially after an hour or two of shoveling the snow out of my driveway! Off with the boots ~ on with the fleecy warm Sherpa socks. 


Sherpa Slipper Socks


(c) Wednesday Elf relaxing with toasty warm feet
These Sherpa slipper socks are made of polyester and a bit of Spandex.  The fleece lining is super thick, making them very warm and comfortable.  

They have a non-slip bottom with Silicon rubber grips on the soles of the socks.  Keeps one safe walking around at home on smooth floors.

These unique socks come in different colors and patterns.  Some have cartoon animal designs. Mine are gray with a cute bear holding a coffee cup on one sock and a steaming cup of coffee on the other with snowflakes falling. The fleecy lining is white. There are also Christmas and other winter designs. These socks are sized for women in one size that fits most sock sizes. They also are available for men and for children in a variety of designs and colors. 


Alexa Rose Fuzzy Socks


Alexa Rose Fuzzy Socks

In addition to my Sherpa slipper socks, darling daughter also sent a pack of 3 Alexa Rose fuzzy socks to wear in my boots while outside on winter days. They also feel wonderful on those really cold winter nights to wear to bed. These were really needed during the Polar Vortex that hit Iowa earlier this month bringing record-breaking below zero wind chill temperatures (-49 degrees). What a treat to be able to get out of bed and have one's feet warm while walking to the kitchen to make that needed cup of morning coffee! 

The Alexa Rose fuzzy socks are made of polyester and Spandex and are very soft and warm.


Summary



(c) Wednesday Elf

So, with these Sherpa slipper socks and the Alexa Rose fuzzy socks, I think I shall now be able to last through my first Iowa winter until Spring finally arrives. I have a very thoughtful and sweet daughter to think of the very thing I needed for my return to 'Wintertime' in the Midwest. 


More Sock Reviews on Review This Reviews:








(c) Review of Sherpa Theme Socks by Wednesday Elf written on 3/2/2019.








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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Gratitude Journal Reviewed

Embrace An Attitude of Gratitude

prayer of gratitude
Praying Hands image courtesy of pixabay.com
Twenty-five years ago my soul was suffering from the lack of gratitude. My doctor said that I was depressed. He said that there was a chemical imbalance which suppressed my ability to feel happiness. Technically, I suppose that his diagnosis was correct. In the months following that visit to the doctor, I came to realize that it went much deeper than a "happiness hormone" not being produced in my body.

My physician followed the proper procedure from the annuls of medicine by prescribing an anti-depressant. He explained that the medication would help my body to remember how to produce the chemical that would take away the depression and help me to feel happy again. Oh, how I despised that medication! I remember thinking that it seemed impossible that it would work because while I was on it I didn't "feel" anything. While medicated the feelings of despair were gone; I'll admit that. The trouble was there didn't seem to be any feelings at all; none. I didn't want to live a life devoid of feeling!

I began a time of inner reflection to see if I could figure out why the blue bird of happiness had abandoned his nest in my heart. I knew for certain that he used to live there. So, why had he left? I eventually realized that I had been neglecting to feed him his favorite food. He hadn't received not even a little morsel of gratitude in a very long time. 

I tell you this today because I recently received a message from a dear friend who has passed on to a better place. She wanted me to know how much that I meant to her before and during her long illness. Her message explained that my example of finding gratefulness all around me had taught her so very much and made those last months easier to bare. 

After receiving that touching and loving message from my sweet dear friend, I remembered  how it is so very easy for any of us to forget to be thankful for the big and small blessings that surround us every single day. We don't have to let it be that easy. We can make a habit of looking for more gratitude in our lives.

I found a wonderful tool to help anyone begin to focus on what they have to be thankful for on a daily basis. This journal is a 52 week guide to help you cultivate a garden of gratitude in your heart. There are inspirational quotes along with an area to jot down three things you are thankful for each day. It can be something big like a warm home or it can be something simple like the laugh of a child. If you or someone you know needs some help in this direction, a gratitude journal might be just the tool to plant your seeds.



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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Why Fizz Sticks Should Be Part of Your Emergency Kit


Energy Fizz Sticks from Arbonne
Earlier this week we were on Cyclone Watch which was the perfect time to review what was in our emergency kits and also got me reflecting on previous occasions when we've been without electricity.  There are the obvious things that can be added to your emergency kits and the not so obvious, but I am positive that Fizz Sticks should be added to your emergency kit if they're not already part of it!

What Are Fizz Sticks?


Fizz Sticks are basically a healthy energy drink.   They provide an alkaline form of caffeine which basically means you get the energy, but it's more sustained and doesn't cause the caffeine crash that you sometimes get after your double espresso has stopped 'working'.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my fizz sticks.  Every morning I have one in my Green Ogre Drink and I usually have another fizz stick on it's own in the middle of the afternoon.

Why Should a Fizz Stick be in an Emergency Kit?


Well firstly there should definitely be more than one!   The reason why I believe they are vital to most people goes back 12-15 years when we were without power for 4 whole days (we're usually very lucky and rarely lose power for longer than a couple of hours).   I remember that the house we lived in didn't have gas as there was no lines in our street at that time.  This meant we had no means of cooking ... or making tea and/or coffee.

In those days I was a 10 mug a day tea drinker and my next door neighbour lived on coffee - we were very cranky!   We drove 30 minutes to a newer McDonalds as they had their own generator just to get our hot beverages of choice! 

Part of your emergency survival kit should always include 3 days worth of water for everyone in your family so you can simply mix your fizz stick with water and let caffeine induced crankiness stay away so you can concentrate on more important things!

What's in Your Emergency Kit?


Apart from water you should always have a first aid kit, flashlight, lantern, matches, chocolate (this article explains why), playing cards, radio, cash, important documents.

Read more about what to put in your emergency kit here - Best Emergency Survival Kits

Whether you live in an area that experiences earthquakes, cyclones, blizzards or other natural disasters or whether you don't you really should keep an emergency kit as you just never know.   Weather patterns seem to be changing globally so be prepared to keep your family safe and in all seriousness do keep a stock of fizz sticks on hand - they're available in four different flavors.


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Friday, February 15, 2019

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups Reviewed

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.
When I am chilled to the bone by the winter cold weather, I seek out my Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups for my Keurig coffee maker. There isn't anything better than a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, especially when I need it fast!

I was hesitant to try the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa simply because I don't normally like hot cocoa.  In most cases, I much prefer hot chocolate.  But, I really wanted a hot chocolate k-cup that I could make quickly when needed to warm up.  So, I kept tasting and testing.  My search is now finished and I extremely surprised that it has ended with a hot cocoa k-cup instead of hot chocolate. Regardless, I am thrilled the search is over and I have a k-cup that meets, and exceeds, my requirements.


Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups 

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups, Milk Chocolate, 72 CountSwiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups, Milk Chocolate, 72 CountCheck PriceI tried several different brands of hot chocolate k-cups, but most of them tasted like nasty hot water.  As I said, I was hesitant to venture into the hot cocoa k-cups.  I really didn't wish to waste my money, again.  However, the Swiss Miss cocoa is a real winner!  

The Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa from the k-cup has a nice rich and delicious taste.  Plus, it really does have a milk chocolate flavor just like the package states.  Since it is made with water, and not milk, it isn't as thick as a homemade cup of hot cocoa, but it doesn't have that cocoa aftertaste.

Now, when I come in from the cold, I have a fast and easy hot drink to warm me up.  Oh, and it is extra delicious with those little marshmallows added. 



Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.

 

The Snow Leopard Mug

Snow Leopard Coffee MugSnow Leopard Coffee MugCheck PriceThe snow leopard mug you see filled with the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa in the photo, is available on Zazzle.  It is one of my own personal photos that I have made available on a variety of Zazzle products.  The Snow Leopard mug does seem totally appropriate for warm hot cocoa on a cold day.  

Visually, I think the marshmallows bring out the beauty of the Snow Leopard's gorgeous fur.  



My mug is a little different from the one that is offered on Zazzle.  In my desire to feature the snow leopard face, I didn't realize I had off-centered the image until I got my own mug in the mail.  At that time, I went back into the Zazzle mug image set-up and centered the image on each side.  


Grab Your Mug of Swiss Miss Cocoa & Join Me Today!


Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa k-cups are the best hot chocolate in a k-cup. After trying several brands, I finally found a delicious milk chocolate hot cocoa mix k-cup.


 

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa K-Cups Reviewed Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Floor Liners For Jeep Reviewed

Dressing up A New Ride

jeep liberty
Hubby's Jeep Liberty
Last week my hubby traded in his old jeep for a newer model. You can see it pictured at the left. It is a pretty little thing, isn't it? It rides much better than the older one, too. 

So, he has a birthday approaching and I thought that it might be fun to get him something for his Jeep. The old floor liners are pretty sad looking even though they will fit this year and model. I went on a quest to see if I could find some new floor mats for him.

Sure enough, they were not difficult to find. I searched for floor liners for a Jeep Liberty and found the color that I thought would go well with his interior. To my surprise a pop-up appeared asking me to verify that the liners would fit the vehicle. It turned out that the ones that I had first picked would not fit the floor configuration of his year of Jeep. What a convenience! It would have certainly been a disappointment to me as the gifter and to him as the recipient if those new mats wouldn't work!

What I like about this particular brand of floor liners is that they are digitally measured and molded to fit the interior of specific models of vehicles. This line of mats is more than just a flat little piece of protection for the carpet of the car. They are molded to the contours of the floor board giving more protection. These will not slip around and allow mud and dirt to get under them. I like that because I really don't like having to vacuum those floors and my sweet hubby is a bit of a "Messy Marvin" when it comes to tracking in mud and dirt (in his vehicle and our home). The floor liners that I have decided to get for him are much nicer and sturdier than his previous ones. I think that he will be extremely happy with them.

Obviously, you may not have a Jeep but it doesn't matter what make or model of vehicle that you drive. You can find these well designed floor liners for any make and model feeling certain that they will fit your ride. These will be a birthday present but they would also work for Father's Day.



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Monday, February 11, 2019

Reviewing Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick Yarn

Reviewing Wool - Ease by Lion Brand Yarn Company
I have always loved to crochet. Recently, I have mindfully taken more time to crochet. As a result, my skills are improving and I've been creating things that people really enjoy. During this time I've begun to use a new yarn: Wool-Ease Thick & Quick by Lion Brand Yarns. Outside of using Bernat Blanket yarn in a couple of patterns, I've never branched out to the Bulky and Super Bulky yarns. But I stepped out of my comfort zone and I'm so glad I did. I am thrilled with this acrylic/wool blend yarn by Lion Brand.


Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick


I've never been a fan of wool - with the exception of work socks that have a small percentage of wool. I love those. But anything that has a larger percentage of wool I imagine as scratchy. I don't know why, but I do. I just always assume that wool is going to be uncomfortable.

During shopping trips down the yarn aisles, I am a toucher. I want yarns that feel good. One day I touched a skein of yarn that was so thick and soft that I bought a few skeins. I did not realize they were an acrylic and wool blend yarn until I got home. 

Wool - Ease Thick & Quick comes in two skein sizes: a regular skein size at 5 oz (87 yards) or the bonus bundle at 12 oz (212 yards).  Be aware if you are shopping online. It appears the some outlets show the regular skein size as the "bonus bundle". Be sure to read the weight/length if ordering online.




It is in the Super Bulky category (which is #6 on the label). And the recommended crochet hook size is "N" (knitting needle size 13).

Wool-Ease Thick & Quick is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. 

It is machine washable and dryable using cool temps. Do not bleach or iron.

I bought this yarn as I was experimenting - trying to crochet a very small neck warmer that someone had suggested. I ended up with the wrong pattern or the wrong size yarn during my experimenting. Then I gave this yarn and a "N" hook a try. And ta-dum, I have great neck warmers that people are enjoying.


Related Links:

My neck warmers on Etsy
If you'd like an acrylic/wool blend neck warmer and don't feel like making your own, keep your eye on my Etsy Store. I will offer these neck warmers with button closures at DawnRaeCrochet as I get them made.

If you'd like to make your own scarf from this yarn, you can check out the crochet patterns on Lion Brand Yarn Company site. If you are a beginner, this "Brunch With Friends Scarfie" would be a good pattern to try. 

I am not good at writing patterns. So I cannot give you an actual pattern for my neck warmers. But for those of you who do crochet this may make sense to you:

  • chain 9 to 11 (depending on the desired width)
  • turn and single stitch in each stitch; continue for 6 rows (beginning each row with a ch 1 and turn)
  • ch 3 and turn, DC in each stitch
  • continue for desire length (mine are around 27")
  • end with a row of single crochet for a finished edge
  • attach a button (or 2 buttons) near the end of 6 rows of SC
  • the button holes are the spaces between the DCs (making the scarf able to be worn in a variety of ways/lengths).



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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Reviewing Prepare & Endure by Phytosport - A Vegan Pre-Workout Supplement

Arbonne Phytosport Prepare & Endure - a non caffeine, vegan pre-workout drink
Phytosport Prepare & Endure
When you're training for an event or just working out the one thing you don't want to do is find your energy flagging part way through.

Enter the world of the pre-workout supplement, there are basically two different types of pre-workout those with caffeine and those without.

Arbonne's Phytosport Prepare & Endure is a non-caffeine pre-workout, so how does it give you energy?   

Basically this formula includes the amino acids arginine, glutamine and carnitine for optimum performance as well as B12 for energy and their own patented botanical formulation of cayenne, ginseng and tumeric.

My Personal Thoughts on Arbonne's Pre-Workout Supplement


I do like the Phytosport range although I didn't initially use the Prepare & Endure, but I have decided to take up running at the age of 49 (yes, probably a little crazy!) and so gave myself 5 weeks to go from not running to doing a 5km event.   I thought it was time to see what the Prepare & Endure was all about.

After 2 weeks I can honestly say that the day I forgot to take my Prepare & Endure was the only day I didn't manage to finish what was on my program to do.

As an Arbonne consultant I have held a couple of taste testings of the Phytosport range at my gym and the Prepare & Endure is a popular choice as far as the flavor goes.  Personally the flavor isn't my favorite as it's orange and pineapple, but what I do like is that it doesn't taste overly sweet like some of the pre-workout drinks are.

It does include some sugar in the form of cane sugar and there's a very good reason why cane sugar is used as it contains electrolytes.   

I mix my sachet up with 500 ml of water (it's recommended to use between 250 - 500 ml) and I usually start sipping it about 30 minutes before I start working out and continuing to drink it throughout my run.

More Details on How Prepare & Endure Works


When you combine the amino acids arginine & glutamine in a pre-workout you'll find it helps to increase your performance if you're using weights and attempting to build muscle and strength.   There have been some detractors over recent years, but a study by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that not only were they able to train longer before becoming exhausted they were also shown to recover quicker between workouts.

As far as athletic performance (aka my running) carnitine is the winner in my opinion.   This amino acid has been popular with both athletes and weightbuilders since the 1980s and for lots of good reasons.  When I first heard about carnitine it was in the 90s when I managed a health food store and we sold it as a fat burner to weightlifters.

There are lots of different ways in which carnitine is invaluable as a pre-workout supplement - 

  • Fat metabolism
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Aids in recovery
  • Protects your brain from stress while also increasing adrenaline levels so that your motivation levels stay high while exercising
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves your skin
  • Burns visceral fats
For more information about carnitine - Fitness and Power

More Phytosport Products


I use the Prepare & Endure in combination with Phytosports After Workout.   There is also a third supplement called Complete Hydration which I also love.

But I NEED A Pre-Workout with Caffeine!


If you feel that you really need to have a caffeinated pre-workout then you can try what I used to use which was combining Phytosport Complete Hydration with an Arbonne Fizz Stick in 1 litre of water.  I found this worked really well (although I'm now preferring the Prepare & Endure).   

The Fizz Stick contains caffeine derived from green tea and guarana, the added bonus with this is that it's a more alkaline caffeine (as opposed to the acidity found when it's derived from coffee beans) and it's more stable so that you don't experience the caffeine crash.





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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Ruff Relief Organic Pet Paw, Nose, and Skin Balm - Review


My adventure dog, Finn, is finding winter conditions to be hard on his sensitive paws.  When I rescued him, the pads on Finn's feet were as silky smooth as baby skin.  That is because Finn had never been outdoors.  Recently, during a walk at the park, Finn stopped moving and started whimpering a bit.  After quickly checking his feet, I realized he was communicating discomfort related to an ice ball that had formed between the toes on a front foot.  Not long after that incident, Finn let me know that he could not tolerate any small amount of the chemical de-icer that was present on city sidewalks and roads.  What to do?

As I considered possible solutions, such as dog booties and paw wax, or hibernating until June, I came across a highly rated organic paw balm called Ruff Relief.  The key factor that sold me on this particular pet product had a lot to do with the fact that it is rated at a human grade food level (the first time I have seen that).  Given that dogs frequently lick their feet, it was really important to me that anything Finn put in his mouth was natural, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic (along with made in the USA).  The fact that Ruff Relief has earned a USDA certification sealed the deal for me.

You may be wondering about the ingredients.  That was the first thing I wanted to know.  Here they are:
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Organic Beeswax
  • Organic Carnauba Wax
  • Jojoba Wax
  • Non-GMO Vitamin E
These natural ingredients are safe to use on paws, noses, and other skin hot spots.  Though I think of winter as the toughest time to keep my animals' skin protected, summer presents its own challenges (think burning hot pavement and concrete).  Ruff Relief provides year-round protection from ice, snow, and heated surfaces.  If your pet ever suffers from cracking, chapped, or dry skin, you may wish to give Ruff Relief a try.  There's really no risk given that the company provides a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  You have 30 days to test drive this product.  If you aren't happy with the results, simply request a full refund.

Since I have just started using this balm on Finn's paws, I'll have to keep you posted about our longer term results.  I am fully expecting good outcomes given all of the positive online reviews.  Stay tuned for updates.

Before closing, I thought I would share some fun facts I discovered while searching for information about dog feet.

Fritos Feet
What is that corn chip smell??  Why do dogs have feet that smell like Fritos, Cheetos, or popcorn?  Actually, that is totally normal.  The smell comes from natural bacteria that grow on canine paws (mixed with a dog's unique paw sweat gland odor).

Did You Know?
Some dog breeds, think Greyhounds, Dobermans, and Akitas, have "cat feet" (smaller feet with high arches).  These features, along with the lightness of their feet, enhance their endurance.

Pop Quiz
Does your dog have webbed feet?  If so, you should ace this quiz.  In the comment section, please name a breed of dog with webbing between the toes/pads.

Finally, have you had to treat your pet's feet at certain times of year?  If so, what worked well for your four-legged friend?








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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Heart Waffle Maker Reviewed

Another Way To Say I Love You

heart waffle
Heart Waffles image courtesy of pixabay.com
With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, I have had hearts on my mind. I found an adorable little kitchen gadget that will allow me to make little heart shaped waffles anytime of the year that I want to. 

The fun part is that with this mini waffle maker you and I are not constrained with just making waffles. Any wet batter will work. So, we can make heart shaped hash browns, paninis or even biscuit dough for a little heart shaped pizza. Now isn't that a fun idea? 

This little waffle maker is very light weight (about a pound) and does not take up much room for storage. It is a perfect size for a small apartment and can even travel with you on vacation. It heats up fairly quickly, too. The one drawback is that it only makes one waffle at a time but it shouldn't take too much time to whip up several due to the miniature size. 

I couldn't help but think of one of my family members who traveled around the country in an RV. This little heart waffle maker would have been great for them to have on their trips because it would pack away nicely in that very limited kitchen area. You are not limited to a heart design, either. There is an option for traditional round waffles if you would rather have them instead of hearts. 

What a fun idea for a house warming gift or a gift for the new bride and groom. Kids can make heart shaped waffles for Mom or Dad on Mother's and Father's day. There are just so many fun ways that this little gadget can be used! I think that it would be such a fun little addition to any kitchen. What about you? Do you think that you would have some fun with it? 




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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Bamboo Pizza Paddle Reviewed

Convenient Way To Remove Pizza From Oven

pizza
Pizza image courtesy of pixabay.com
I recently received a bamboo pizza paddle and honestly wasn't sure that I would ever use it. To my surprise, I actually love it! Can I tell you how many times that I have burned myself trying to take a pizza out of the oven? Let's just say a lot and leave it at that. 

We have pizza often at our house. There is an establishment near us that makes them for you to take home and bake in your own oven. These pizzas are delicious and this paddle has come in handy when I am ready to remove them. The size of the paddle more than accommodates the size of the pizza and it is so easy to use. Another advantage is that with it being constructed of bamboo, I can take the pizza out of the oven and also use the paddle as a cutting board. 

I don't know if you are aware of this or not so I'll share something about cutting boards and bamboo. This dense wood has become very popular with chefs and cooks around the world for use as a surface to cut fruits, vegetables and meats. Bamboo does not need as much maintenance as some of the other woods that are used for cutting boards. The bamboo doesn't retain water so your board won't become warped or cracked like the others do. Plus bacteria is less likely to grow because there is no water in the wood for it to propagate. Knives do not scar the bamboo as easily as other woods. Those scars can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. Bamboo is earth friendly and easier to grow than say a maple tree. The bamboo will mature in three to six years where a maple won't mature for thirty or more years. 

So, I am loving my bamboo pizza paddle as both a way to remove a hot pizza out of the oven and as a cutting board for the pizza and other foods. It is lightweight and with the handy hole at the end, I can hang it on the side of one of my cabinets for storage. Honestly, I wish that I had purchased one a long time ago. 

What about you? Do you already own one or are thinking that maybe one would be nice to have in your kitchen?



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Friday, January 25, 2019

Velvet Hangers for Clothes Reviewed

Velvet Hangers for Clothes Reviewed
For decades I used plastic hangers because I hated the creases made across the shoulder of my blouses when I used wire hangers. However, I recently started changing out my expensive plastic hangers and replacing them with thin velvet hangers. 

I absolutely love the velvet hangers!

I'll be the first to admit that I am really surprised by how much of a difference the velvet hangers make in my closet.  When I first purchased them, I wanted to see if they would really keep my blouses and sleeveless tops on the hangers.  For years, I have fought the battle of having my blouses slide and fall off the plastic hangers simply because plastic hangers are smooth and slippery.  

What I did not expect was to end up with more room on my closet clothes rod.  



Black Velvet Hangers for Clothes


 Premium Velvet Heavy duty-50 Non Slip Black Suit Clothes Hanger Hook Swivel 360-Ultra Thin, 50 PackCheck PriceSince we have extreme weather during the winters and the summers, I have a lot of seasonal clothes.  During the winter months, I rarely wear anything lightweight or sleeveless.  However, during the hot summer months, you won't catch me wearing sweatshirts.  Unfortunately, that means I have what seems like too many clothes for one person and those clothes take up a lot of room in the closet.  At least six months out of the year, I have sleeveless shirts and lightweight blouses that are not touched.  They just hang there taking up space.  Likewise, the sweatshirts, heavy sweaters and jackets just take up space during the summer.  

I have two rods in my closet for my clothes.  One is above the other.  The lower rod doesn't give me as much grief simply because I can easily reach it and if a second sweater starts to come off the hanger when I am removing one beside it, I can usually catch it before it hits the floor.  However, that is definitely not true for the blouses and tops that hang on the upper rod.  

Before I started using the velvet hangers, I couldn't get dressed without having a second blouse come off the hanger next to the one I was trying to remove.  That was extremely annoying since I was already having to reach up over my head to get a shirt.

By the way, dress slacks don't slip off velvet hangers either!  Just make sure you purchase the ones shown here with the lower pants rod across the bottom of the hanger.


My Introduction to Velvet Hangers


 Home-it 50 Pack Shirt and dress Clothes Hangers Black Velvet Hangers - Ultra Thin No Slip neck (hook) swivelCheck PriceLast summer I needed a few new hangers.  I went to my favorite online shopping place to buy a package of plastic hangers.  When I looked down the page at the "related items", I saw the velvet hangers and I was intrigued.  After reading a few reviews from women stating their clothes didn't fall of these hangers, I bought my first set of velvet hangers.  What a difference those hangers made in my closet!  I no longer have to fight blouses, shirts and tops on all sides just to remove one to wear.  I call that more than awesome!

When winter arrived and I started fighting my sweaters just trying to remove one, I thought to myself, oh no I won't!  I promptly purchased a set of 50 velvet hangers.  Each time I take something out of my closet now to wear, I hang it on a velvet hanger, after it has been laundered, instead of the original plastic hanger.  My closet is being transformed a little at a time.

Now, nothing slips from the hangers and another fabulous unexpected benefit, there is more room on my rods!  Yes, that is right!!!  The velvet hangers are a lot thinner than the plastic hangers and it really does make a difference.  Even though they are thinner (like a wire hanger) they do not make that horrific crease across the shoulders of my blouses.

My battle of the slipping garments has now ended and I will never go back to plastic. 




 



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