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

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Umbrella: The Word, History, Origin, Parts and A Few of My Favorites

Umbrella: The Word, History, Origin, Parts and A Few of My Favorites

This page is a resource page for things related to a tool that I and many others consider essential, the umbrella. Here you will find a bit of information about the umbrella including a definition, the history, the origins of the word and even a great info graphic that shares the names of all of the parts for you. Finally, you will find a few of my favorite umbrellas with links to more reading about them.

THE WORD UMBRELLA DEFINED


An umbrella can be loosely defined as a canopy to help shield one against rain. They're a tool that is generally designed to be hand held and often are very fashionable. Umbrellas can also shield from the sun but are lesser used in that regard and I think of a parasol as something to be carried to protect from the sun.

HISTORY OF THE UMBRELLA


The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago as a device for protection against the sun. It was the Chinese who waterproofed them for rain protection but it wasn't until the 1900s that the umbrellas which we are familiar with today were invented.

ORIGIN OF THE WORD UMBRELLA


The word umbrella is derived from the Latin word umbra which comes from an ancient Greek word, ombros which means shade or shadow. 

OTHER WORDS FOR UMBRELLA


The word brolly is a slang word for umbrella that is often used in Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. Other terms for umbrella include bumbershoot and 'bella with the second coined by pop music star Rihanna. 

PARTS OF AN UMBRELLA


Yes, all of the parts of an umbrella have a name. Here’s an info graphic for those who are curious about what the various parts are called.


Umbrella Parts Infographic


NATIONAL UMBRELLA DAY AND MONTH


Did you know there was such a thing as National Umbrella Day? How about National Umbrella Month? If not, you can read more about National Umbrella Month here and about National Umbrella Day here.

FAVORITE UMBRELLAS


I love a beautiful umbrella with a design that suits the user and I love almost any umbrella that is made by Totes. You can discover more about Totes and Totes umbrellas here.

Though I love the patterned umbrellas, there are times when Totes Clear Bubble Umbrellas are the perfect solution. Walking in a crowd? This umbrella will let you see the way forward clearly. You can learn more about Totes clear bubble umbrellas here.

Alternatively, there is the Rainbrella Golf Umbrella. It is good for keeping you dry and it is good for more than just golf. Learn more about the Rainbrella Golf Umbrella here.

Do you have a favorite umbrella? Do you consider yours an important accessory?

See you
under your
umbrella!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

Info Graphic Source: Wikipedia


Umbrella: The Word, History, Origin, Parts and A Few of My Favorites





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Monday, July 27, 2020

Instacart Vs Shipt Reviewed

My how we have become attached to the Grocery Delivery services Instacart and Shipt in my area. These services have been invaluable for no contact grocery delivery during a time of grocery challenge!


I've used Shipt and Instacart frequently in the past months and have been pleased with both services. Shipt is an annual fee of $99 with delivery for free on orders with a $35 minimum. Instacart is $99 annually or a monthly fee of $9.99 with Instacart Express and delivery for free on orders with a $35 minimum.

The App Design


Both the Instacart app and Shipt app have definitely progressed in the last year. The product offering has increased along with a huge improvement in the accuracy of stock on the shelves. I slightly prefer the Instacart app as it it more intuitively friendly for me, but each app is easy to use and does not require any skills beyond beginner.

Both apps are also available on desktop for those not phone friendly or prefer a larger screen when ordering. The functionality of the desktop or the phone app is the same.

The Stores


The selection of stores for Instacart far exceeds Shipt. The stores will vary by your location. Instacart offers: Meijer, Target, CVS, 2 higher end Independent Grocery Stores, Gordon Food, Kroger, Costco, Aldi, Big Lots, Staples, Petco, B.J.'s Wholesale, Fresh Thyme, Better Health.

Shipt offers: Meijer, Target, Petco, CVS, Office Depot, Sur La Table, Fresh Thyme and Meijer Corner Market.

Shipt is owned by Target. Instacart is privately owned with rounds of fund raising.

Substitutions

Each app has evolved to offer the option of choosing a substitution from a similar product when the order is placed. This can save time for the shopper and yourself for if the stores are running low on stock, given the advance authorization the shopper can substitute in real time without having to text you mid shop.

I have found shoppers for each service to be very good at choosing substitutions or initiating contact via text to approve a substitution. Many shoppers will text an image of the proposed substitution to ensure the order is accurate.

The Surcharge

Once upon a time (as in last year) I paid the same price via the app as I did when shopping in store. This is no more. Each service does bump up the prices and it also varies per store. One store charged a 12 percent surcharge on each item which I found was not cost friendly! Be sure to read the fine print for each store on the app. For items you frequently purchase in store you will recognize the surcharge amount.

No Contact Delivery

Just a few short months ago I would meet the shopper on the driveway. Now and for the foreseeable future no contact delivery is preferred. There is an option in the app to specify exactly where the order should be delivered.

The shopper will text when on the way and text after delivery. I have been utilizing this all purpose cart for groceries and while this cart wasn't the intent when purchasing -  it has sure come in handy. I roll the cart out to the door and the shopper can easily unload the groceries.

This rolling and foldable utility cart has a multitude of uses around the home and I have been very pleased with the purchase. The cart is rugged and can be easily pulled across the lawn for gardening, weeding, planting.

Tipping


Each app gives the option to choose the amount of tip before or after the order is placed. This was not always the case when the apps offered tipping after delivery. There are pros and cons to this feature. In times of high demand a tip can be an incentive for your order to be chosen; however the option always exists post order to adjust the tip.


My Preference?

I actually do not have a preference; however, one of the perks of Shipt is the new Meijer Corner Market. This is  a new version of the traditional Meijer store. It is a much smaller Meijer specializing in groceries plus products from local merchants. This store has become a go to favorite.

Now that demand is less I have found the delivery time slots are available on each. Shipt does have an option to delivery early which I have found very handy and convenient. This is an option where the shopper is allowed to select and deliver the order early; so if a 10-11 a.m. delivery is selected then the shopper could deliver anywhere from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. You will be notified when the shopper is starting order and notified along the way as the shopper progresses throughout the order to actual delivery.


More Grocery Delivery App Reviews


Instacart Review by Bev Owens
Shipt Review by The Savvy Age
Grocery Delivery Services Reviewed by The Savvy Age


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, July 22, 2020

Awesome Solar Lights set the Mood Beautifully - A Product Review

Summertime and the Living is Easy!

During the warm months of the year, it's really nice to be able to spend as much of that time as possible outdoors.  The lovely evenings are just so nice with warm breezes blowing and all the lovely scents and sounds of summer filling the air.  With a little bit of planning, you can make your backyard into an evening wonderland.  The addition of Fairy Lights in the trees, around the fence and over a pergola will allow you to enjoy that outdoors for hours after the sun goes down.



If you have taken the time to really make your space beautiful and useful, I'm sure that you would have added some fairy lights to your space.  My niece loves her fairy lights and has made their pool area and the kids play area like a magical place to be.  There is enough light to keep the kids swimming well after the sun has gone down.  With this summer of 2020 being one of the hottest so far, the kids are enjoying the added time they have in the water.





Wonderful, Beautiful and Economical Solar Lights

Years ago we would never have thought to add this kind of lighting anywhere. You would have to have a power source installed.  And then it was just too expensive to plug all those lights in.  Just think of the added costs when Christmas rolls around and the decorations are all up, the difference in the Hydro bills was sometimes staggering.  

Well, that is not a problem anymore.  Solar technology has come a long way in making outdoor lighting not only beautiful and functional, but it is affordable too.  LED lights make them bright and most important, they are waterproof.  So it doesn't matter if they get wet!   The initial cost is in purchasing the lights.  Once you have them, there is no further cost involved anymore.  The only thing you have to think about is placing the solar panel somewhere where the sun will shine on it for at least 6 to 8 hours a day.  The longer the sunshines on the solar panel, the longer the lights will glow into the night.  Mine usually turn on about 8:45 in the evening and they are still lit at 4:30 in the morning.  

You don't even have to buy all your lights at the same time.

If you are on a budget, then buy one or two strings of these solar lights at a time.  Whatever you can afford, and then the following year purchase another couple of sets.  Depending on how much light you want in your yard, you may stop with just one string.  If you are truly an outdoorsy type in the summer, you may opt for many more.  My niece and her family, spend all their evening outdoors, so they have outfitted their area with lights so that the kids can go swimming right into the wee hours.  After all it is summer and school is out!  

As you can see from these pictures, her home is done with all white fairy lights, but they also come in colors. The colored lights have programs attached so that they can fade, or twinkle on and off, or run like a billboard.  You choose how you want the lights to act.    

Fairy lights can even make the garden path glow!  You can take a walk through the grass and check for nightlife in the flower beds. Moths love the fairy lights, coming out and enjoying them as well.   Pets sure don't mind having their yard lit up!  You might even appreciate that you can check where your dogs or cats are and if there are any unwanted critters about!  Having your yard lit up can save you the trouble of giving Fido a Skunk bath!  Skunks are nocturnal, so beware.  Fairy lights on the Patio are wonderful when you have company.  No more trying to see each other in the dark.  You can still bring out some candles for ambiance if you wish, but the fairy lights themselves would be enough.

Let your imagination run wild and stir up some interest in the great outdoors!  Even after the kids have gone to bed, it's nice to take a glass of wine, some cheese and crackers and just wind down under the magic of the fairy lights and the stars.  It's a great way to relax your mind and body!

For myself personally, the only other thing I would add to my enchanting backyard, would be a nice wireless speaker playing some soft music. You can use your playlist from your phone, tablet, Amazon Music and so much more on them.   Tracey from ReviewThisReviews.com had a great wireless speaker featured you can read her review here: OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker.


Don't let the summer months go by without enjoying them fully.  Evenings outdoors are wonderful and relaxing for mind, body and spirit.  Everyone I know can really use this relaxation these days.


All the pictures in this post are from my niece's home (Tara Hocaliuk)  shared with her permission.





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Saturday, July 18, 2020

Review of Long-Handle Swivel Grass Shears

Fiskars Long-Handle Swivel Grass Shears
These long-handle grass shears by Fiskars save you back strain from bending and sore knees from kneeling to trim the grass around flower beds, trees and sidewalks. 

In my collection of gardening/lawn care tools, I already owned a pair of hand-held grass shears

These shears are very handy for trimming bushes. But bending over trying to tidy-up the grass growing around the mailbox at the curb, or any trimming along the driveway or flower beds is hard on my back. 







Photos  by Ryan Austin

Then I discovered the existence of a set of grass shears with a long handle. Perfect! No more bending, no more back strain or sore knees from kneeling down to reach those annoying grasses which insist on growing around the gutter extensions and against the fence which no lawn mower can reach. 


Fiskars Long-Handle Swivel Grass Shears


Swivel blades for easy trimming (c) Ryan Austin
The Fiskars grass shears have a 36 inch long shaft with blades that swivel 180 degrees for easy trimming at any angle.  Can be used horizontally for trimming and vertically for edging.  

The 4-1/2 inch blades cut all the way to the tip and hold grass up for clean cuts. It is easy to edge and trim around borders and obstacles with precision straight snips. 






More Features of the Fiskars Long-Handle Swivel Grass Shears


Available on Amazon

These long-handle grass shears are of steel construction which stay sharp even through heavy use.  They have an ergonomically designed handle which provides a comfortable grip.  The smooth-cutting mechanism makes each snip easy. The easy-open lock protects the blades during transport and storage. 

A definite improvement to my line of lawn tools. Even though my sweet teenage grandson does most of my lawn mowing, I am in charge of keeping the trimming done. It is a weekly chore as the grass grows so fast this time of year! The Fiskar long-handle grass shears have certainly made my lawn-care life easier.

Fiskars Long-handle grass shears review written by Wednesday Elf (c) 7/18/2020



More Lawn Care Tools and Tips on ReviewThisReviews








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Monday, July 13, 2020

Wahl Professional Dog Cordless Clipper Kit Review

It can be a challenge to groom your dog at home, but this little clipper can turn the challenge into a manageable task. Slim, lightweight and cordless this is the little clipper that could and will cut the hair or fur on your dog. In my area the dog groomers have been closed for three months and now as they are reopening it is a very long wait list for an appointment.

This is my second Wahl Arco. I had the first clipper for years and it had an unfortunate fall off a table which rendered my favorite clipper unusable. I was very happy to find the same clipper available! I highly recommend the Wahl Arco for stay at home grooming whether a beginner DIY dog groomer or advanced home groomer.



The 5 in 1 Blade

Most clippers for dogs require purchasing different blades for each cutting length. The blades can be quite expensive and novice dog groomers may not know what blade to buy for different sections of the dog. It can be a costly trial and error as one learns to DIY groom.

One of the best features of the Arco is a 5 in 1 blade feature which allows the blade number to be set on a built in dial and the blade length will change without having to switch blades. The number of the blade denotes the cutting length. The higher the blade number the closer the cut. This clipper contains the most popular blade sizes (numbers) 9, 10, 15, 30, and 40. For example on the Fluff, closely shaving his muzzle is blade #30, but the body is blade #9.

The included guide comb blades can also assist with the length of the cut. Simply pop on the guide comb blades and this is a nice safety feature to keep the cut even (vs a stripe- oops!) Luckily for me The Fluff has a high self esteem and is not offput by a few oopsy stripes when I first began DIY grooming.

The clipper is recommended for small to medium dogs. Being a poodle, The Fluff has hair verses fur which means just like everyone else in stay at home mode, the Fluff's hair began to take on a life of its' own.

Rechargeable Battery

Another feature of the Arco cordless clipper is the inclusion of two batteries with a charger. Each battery is long lasting, but there are times it may take two batteries so being able to charge one battery while clipping is a huge timesaver. Each battery has an 80-minute cordless run time and 75 minute charge time


What's Included With The ARCO Clipper?

  • 5-in-1 fine blade set
  • 2 drop-in NiMH rechargeable battery packs
  • Charging stand and charger
  • 4 plastic attachment guide combs
  • Blade oil, cleaning brush
  • Soft storage case
  • Instruction book
Of all the dog clippers I have tried over the years, this is my favorite. I first began learning how to dog groom when my prior dog had health issues and it was too stressful for the dog to be professionally groomed. This is not to say my skills are anywhere near the skill of a professional dog groomer, but skills good enough to suffice.

Like most novices, I learned via Youtube the tips to groom a poodle. And of course each dog has its' own personality and likes -dislikes when being groomed. And of course it would be typical for the dog to behave better for the groomer then the owner, so it can be a challenge. The Fluff plays hide the paw when trying to clip his feet so it can be a bit like Laurel and Hardy at times, But then again, it wouldn't by DIY dog grooming without a challenge or five.





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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Reviewing Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla Tea

I absolutely love my tea which is why I thought I would review another tea staple in my life - Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla.

Reviewing Twining's Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea - a relaxing blend
Photo from Pixabay
I am a big fan of Twining's teas and have actually written about their peppermint tea previously.   As much as I enjoy a good coffee, tea is the staple drink of my life.

Every day starts with a mug (I don't really do tea cups unless I have a pot to top it up from!) of Arbonne tea and when I get home from a busy day at work nine times out of ten I'll have a mug of Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla tea.   I usually also drink this tea before going to bed, except for the odd nights I made myself a Milo.

Chamomile as a herb is known for it's relaxation properties and I do remember the first time I tried it, it was made from actual dried chamomile flower (like the photo above) and it had a back taste that I really didn't like at all.   I have tried various brands several times over the years both as a loose tea and in a tea bag form and I haven't been able to stomach the after taste of the Chamomile.

A couple of years ago I tried a Spiced Apple and Chamomile blend from Twinings which I didn't mind so when the Twinings teas were on special again I thought I would try the Chamomile, Honey and Vanilla - I haven't looked back!

I don't know if my taste buds have changed as I've gotten older or if it's the addition of the honey and vanilla flavours, but I thoroughly enjoyed this blend and, as I've said, it is now a staple in my life - in fact I think I have four boxes in my cupboard as I write this!

If you want a caffeine free tea (complete with relaxing properties) to drink before going to bed I can really recommend this one.

There are quite a few tea drinkers that write for Review This Reviews and you can check out their reviews right here - Tea Related Reviews.

Have you tried this tea blend before?






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Friday, July 10, 2020

Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles Reviewed

Cast Iron Dutch Oven and Lid Skillet
When fellow contributor, Dawn Rae, started tempting me with homemade bread recipes, I decided I needed a dutch oven.  My husband loves homemade bread and I enjoy cooking, so it was time to test my bread baking skills again.

It has been years since I have baked bread other than my banana bread.  I used to bake bread every week, but I got out of that habit when I let my sour dough starter ruin.  I would love to find another really good sour dough starter.  Until then, Dawn's Artisan Bread Recipe is great!  Actually, it is faster and easier than the sour dough bread I used to make and my family seems to be just as happy with Dawn's Artisan Bread. 

There are a lot of dutch ovens available, but I wanted the cast iron version.


The Versatility of Cast Iron


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven on Gas StoveI have cooked with a cast iron skillet my entire life.  It is heavy compared to other skillets, but you can't beat it when frying fish, frying pork chops, or baking cornbread.  

You can use cast iron on a stove top, electric or gas, as long as it has range burner elements (not recommended by some glass stove top manufacturers for a flat surface glass stove top).  
Update: Contributor Sam Monaco comments below that he uses his cast iron skillet on his glass stove top all of the time.

Cast Iron will also go in the oven, which is how my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother and I have all baked cornbread.  That is why I wanted the cast iron dutch oven.  I knew it would be most excellent for baking!

Cast Iron can also be used on a open flame, like a campfire.  I have been known to fish which is rather ironic since I don't eat trout or catfish.  However, when you come from a family with 4 brothers and a mother who loves catfish, you better fish or you are left behind counting the hours.  Besides, I love quietly floating down the river in a boat, soaking in the sun and the beauty of nature surrounding me.  

One year, Dad hired a guide.  We caught our limit by midday, but didn't have any desire to stop fishing.  So, we pulled to shore, built a campfire and cooked our fish in a cast iron skillet along with some potatoes the guide provided.  After lunch, we fished a few more hours and brought home fish for dinner.  That is how I discovered a cast iron skillet could be used over a open campfire!


My Cast Iron Dutch Oven


 Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven With Loop Handles, 5 qtCheck PriceI purchased a 5 qt. Lodge brand cast iron dutch oven and I have be thrilled with it for several reasons.

  • The lid doubles as a skillet
  • I really like the handles on both the lid & the dutch oven
  • It is just the right size for the oven
  • Perfection in cooking due to even heating 
  • Easy to wash, dry & re-season* 
  • I know it will outlast me, which means I will never have to buy again
  • Lodge is a trusted name in cast iron.  Over 100 years in business

*Seasoning cast iron is simply rubbing it lightly with vegetable oil after washing while it is still warm from the hot water wash or you can place it back in a warm oven after applying the oil.

I chose the basic cast iron dutch oven mainly because I loved the dual purpose lid.  I knew I could flip the lid and bake cornbread on top while a roast baked below it in the dutch oven.  The top would not only be a lid for the roast, but also a skillet for the cornbread.  

One note about using the lid on the dutch oven.  In the photo, you see the lid and dutch oven handles are evenly aligned.  I prefer to offset them slightly so lifting the hot lid is much easier.

Dawn Rae chose an enameled cast iron dutch oven which should be fine for cooking on a flat, glass stove top.  You can read her review here: Enameled Cast Iron - Pricey But Worth It 


You too can Bake Dawn's Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Artisan Bread! 
To make my bread in the intro photo, I used Dawn's recipe. 
I added 3/4 cup cranberries, 3/4 cup walnuts & 1T honey.
Simply click the image below for her recipe. 

crunchy-no-knead-round-loaf-bread





Read More Product Reviews On
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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Get Your Socks Wet and Keep Your Feet Happy Too! - A Product Review

Wherever you are in North America or North of the Equator, I think it is safe to say, "That Summertime is Here!"

Everyone is especially happy about that!  The weather has finally warmed up and we can get outside without all the layers to keep us warm.

What can make a fun time at the beach a little disturbing to little ones, is the temperature of the sand when the sun has been beating down on it all day.  I know I've done what I call the "Beach Polka", where you literally run over the sand as quickly as possible, looking for possible cool spots, so the bottoms of your feet don't burn. Once you reach the water's edge you are safe!  

Now for parents with a whole family of little ones, this can be a difficult dance to do while carrying the kids to the water's edge.  No need to do that dance unless you really want to!  I've found the perfect solution.  There is this neat product called water socks or water shoes!  They are meant to be used in the water either on the beach or in the pool.  

For children they come in all sorts of really cute prints and colors.  Boys and girls will love designs on these water socks.  You won't have to fight with them to keep them on their feet. With dinosaurs and unicorns, octopii, sharks and rainbows, there is a design for every one of your children. Once they find out how nice it is to walk along the beach without having your feet burn they will happily wear them.  

These water socks/shoes have 36 different colors and prints available, so that even if you have 2 or three little ones, they can all have different designs on them! I personally love the unicorn socks!  They are just so cute!

Cute is only part of the story.  These water socks will help your children be a little safer on the beach because they have a nice rubber sole that will protect their little feet from any sharp objects or rocks hiding under the sand.  The rubber soles even help them to stay secure on things like boogie boards, surf boards and even piers where slipping could be a problem.

There are no laces or ties of any kind to worry about either.  Kids can slip these onto their feet usually without any help required.  They get wet easily and they dry very quickly too.  

I think one of the best parts is that these water shoes/socks can be worn just about all summer long.  Even if the kids are playing in the driveway, their feet will be a little safer for having something covering them up.  Boating and beach volleyball are easier and a lot more fun with a nice pair of water shoes/socks on their feet!  Even splash pads are more fun without getting stubbed toes or athlete's foot! Just having your feet covered keeps you that much safer from these summer woes.   That anti-slip sole can make all the difference in the world!  No more slipping and sliding on possibly wet and greasy feeling areas.  Splash pads are notorious for that greasy feeling.  All the sunscreen creams make for an invisible slick area sometimes.  

Beach safety and water safety in general are very important to me!  I like to know that my grandchildren can have fun without possible harm in every summer situation.  I'm a big believer in safety around the water for our children, without making them fearful humans.  It's great to have the summer months to make great memories while relaxing our guard just a little.


A couple of years ago I wrote about Personal Flotation Devices for children and I still would recommend that this is of the utmost importance.  Never ever let your guard down around children and water!

With water socks/shoes, you can at least relax a little bit more and not worry about stubbed toes!  They are well protected just by being covered.  



Happy Summer to all and Stay Safe!

All pictures courtesy of  Pixabay.com







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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Playskool Heroes Transformers Review


Grandson Tyler just turned six. Since we only get to visit in person a couple times a year, I always need advice from his parents as to what his latest 'favorite' toy is.  This time the recommendation was for a Heroes Transformers action figure by Playskool. 

Due to the marvel of today's video chats, I was able to watch-in-person while Tyler opened his birthday gift from grandma. Judging by his reaction, my birthday gift of this transformer action figure was a BIG hit. 


The Optimus Prime Rescue Bot Action Figure



The Robot Mode


Available on Amazon



The Vehicle Mode


Available on Amazon


This Rescue Bot Action Figure manufactured by Hasbro (a trusted toy company) has an easy-to-do conversion. It converts from robot mode to vehicle mode and back again. As a fierce truck, Optimus Prime is ready to roll to the rescue in a (pretend) dangerous situation. Then the vehicle can be quickly converted into a heroic robot figure to save the day! 

This 2-in-1 toy is sized just right for small hands and recommended for ages 3-7. The perfect toy for newly 6-year-old Tyler. 


Transformers Boys' Optimus Prime T-Shirt

Transformer T-Shirt

As a grandmother, I also like to be 'practical' when it comes to purchasing gifts for my five grandsons. It is also appreciated by the parents.  So, in addition to the Transformers Toy, I also sent a Transformers Boys' Optimus Prime T-Shirt to match the toy. The T-Shirt has an Officially licensed graphics decal on the front that matches the Transformer Toy. The shirt is 100% cotton, has a super soft crew neck, is made in the USA, and is machine washable. 


Summary


My little Tyler liked both the Transformers Rescue Bot Robot toy and the T-shirt to match. He knows all about the Transformers Cyberverse Adventures by Hasbro..... and Grandma is now being educated about this world of Transformers. :)


Happy Birthday, Tyler!




Transformers Review written by Wednesday Elf on (c) 7/4/2020





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Monday, June 29, 2020

Reviewing Royal Wing No Waste Bird Seed with Fruit

If you would like a larger variety of birds visiting your bird feeder and you haven't used Royal Wing Total Care No Waste bird seed with Fruit, you should give this a try!


Royal Wing bird seed brand available at Tractor Supple Company

I enjoy bird-watching have had a large variety of bird feeders over the years. But I have had the most luck with this particular feeder and bird seed combination. The birds literally began to line up as soon as I put this No Waste Blend with Fruit in a hanging platform feeder. It has been amazing.

In the past, I would put out Nyjer seed for the finches, suet for the nuthatches and mixed bird seed for everyone else. Of course, Cardinals like sunflower seeds. Some seed mixes did not seem to attract Cardinals. Perhaps not the right type of sunflower or not enough sunflower seed to other seed ratio. I don't know.

In an impulse buy during a shopping trip at Tractor Supply Company (TSC), I bought this seed. It is a bit more expensive than the mixed seed at the big box stores but it was well worth it! The very next day I saw Cardinals and a variety of other birds - some birds I've never seen at my feeder before -- such as this Grosbeak. This was the very first Grosbeak I've added to the list of birds I've seen! In addition to the Rose Breasted Grosbeak, I am excited that the Indigo Bunting pair have nested somewhere very close to this feeder and a Spotted Towhee makes a daily appearance and sings to us -- both birds I had never seen prior to bird watching at The Shack.  I think this food has helped attract them to the area on a daily basis. 




The birds line up for their turn at this seed. I have continued to use the remaining nyjer seed. But it seems the finches are coming even when I don't add the nyjer seed.  



If you are not familiar with TSC (Tractor Supply Company) or prefer shopping via Amazon there are similar "waste free" seeds with fruit to chose from.





Related Links:

I'm not as good at bird photography as I would like to be. Our own Mary Beth is both a wonderful photographer as well as a bird-lover. Please check out some of her posts featuring birds such as Review of Spring Bird Photography and Review of Bluebird Facts and Photography. I love bluebirds and Mary Beth's photos of them are outstanding!

To read more about my personal adventures at The Shack click here. It is my piece of land, and future home, on top of a mountain ridge in West Virginia. Bird watching there has been an amazing experience. 

My basalt bird bath by Stone Age Creations has been very popular with the birds. The Eastern Bluebirds and sparrows (Chipping Sparrows I think but I'm not sure) are daily bathers. I was very excited to see a Cardinal using the bath recently. See my review of this particular bird bath here. This bird bath has been one of the best splurge purchases I have ever made.






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Friday, June 26, 2020

How to Use Ebay to Find Old Automobile Parts Reviewed

My husband recently purchased an older model jeep that needed a lot of repairs and restoration.  He has spent the last few months under the hood or under the jeep assessing, then replacing worn or rotted parts.  The interior also needed a tremendous amount of loving care.  This jeep sure chose the right new owner!  My husband is meticulous and dedicated.

As for me, my job with this restoration has been to assist in finding replacement parts.  I'm not very keen on walking junkyards or old vehicle graveyards to find parts.  However, I am extremely familiar and experienced with finding impossible things on Ebay.  Locating the needed parts for his jeep on Ebay has actually been a lot of fun!

Because of the needed work, this pretty Jeep Wrangler will always hold a special place in our hearts.  You can't focus and work on something for so long without becoming attached to it.  We have already enjoyed a day out exploring jeep trails in one State Park and we look forward to spending a lot more time having fun with our restored jeep.



How to Find Replacement Automobile Parts on Ebay


You might not even realize that Ebay has old automobile parts listed.  However, there are several sellers who tear down old or wrecked vehicles and sell individual parts separately.  For us, those sellers were essential for our jeep's restoration.

Almost every dashboard trim piece on our jeep had to be replaced.  One of the previous owners had painted them white with splatter dots.  The paint job didn't appeal to us.  We purchased and replaced every individual trim piece that was painted.  The dashboard area looks a million times better.




In order to find the correct trim pieces, my husband removed each piece and wrote down the trim piece number which was found molded into the backside of each piece.  In several cases, it was as simple as typing in the year, make and model of the vehicle, plus the trim piece name and number in the Ebay search bar.  Then making our selection by color and condition.  

Before we embarked on this restoration, I had no idea each trim piece had an identity number stamped into the molded piece.  That makes finding a replacement much easier than simply matching by looks.

Example Search:  "2004 Jeep TJ Wrangler Knee Bolster 5G00TRM" 


The part number was not always listed in the title.  Details in the title vary by seller.  However, we were always able to verify those numbers in the photos provided by the sellers.  That guaranteed the piece would fit our jeep when it arrived.  

I found the Ebay parts sellers usually know more than I do about piece numbers & names, therefore whatever I put in a search, as long as I included the year, model, and name of the piece, I could find what we needed.  The sellers pictures for proper piece identity made it easy!

We also replaced the wheels, several engine parts, and the jack tools by finding them on Ebay.  The OEM jack & lug tool set had a few rusty areas, but my husband cleaned them up like new by letting them soak in Evapo-rust overnight.  

Example Part Searches
  "Jeep Wrangler TJ OEM Tire Jack Tool Set",

  "Jeep Wrangler TJ Heater Drain Tube", 
  "2004 Jeep Wranger 15" Refinished Steel Wheel"



When Total Price Matters


When restoring an old vehicle, you can find yourself financially upside down pretty quick.  We didn't want to spend "new car" money on an older jeep.  

Purchasing the exact individual used part on Ebay and replacing it ourselves was a lot cheaper than buying new parts, if available.  

Keep in mind though, not all parts are even still available.  That is another reason we love shopping for vehicle parts on Ebay.  The sellers competitively price parts, therefore price gouging is minimal, if even existent. 

If you are buying several parts from the same Ebay seller, contact them and ask for combined shipping costs.  That literally costs them nothing and can often save you a lot.  Why pay more when you don't have to?

If you don't find exactly what you want on Ebay today, go back tomorrow. 
There are new listings daily




 






House of Sylvestermouse





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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

When is National Umbrella Month?


When is National Umbrella Month?

WHEN IS NATIONAL UMBRELLA MONTH?


March is National Umbrella Month. In my part of the world, you could not pick a better month to celebrate this very important invention. Ontario is not necessarily the rainiest part of Canada but we do receive plenty of rain in the springtime, which is not a bad thing for, as you know, rain showers bring spring flowers.

Umbrellas have a number of job duties that are not limited to protecting us from the rain though that is what they are most commonly associated with. People also use umbrellas as fashion accessories, for photography and to block out the strong rays of the sun.

National Umbrella Month is the time to celebrate one of the most useful yet underrated inventions so before we plan our celebration, let's take this striking striking blue umbrella for a walk in the rain with us now. It is Amazon's top rated sky-themed umbrella and is available by clicking right here.



WAYS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL UMBRELLA MONTH

  • Celebrate umbrella month with a new umbrella. Find one that will be sure to make you smile on a rainy day!
  • Celebrate by donating a new umbrella to a homeless shelter. It will help shelter someone else from the rain.
  • Celebrate umbrella month by promoting your business with one. Instead of using pens this year to promote your business, use umbrellas with your company business information and logo on them. You'll really stand out in a crowd!
  • Celebrate by hanging a decorative umbrella on your patio or by adding one to your patio table. Pick a colour or a pattern that you really love!
  • Celebrate umbrella month by donating all of your used ones to goodwill. If you are not using them and they are in good working condition, you can bet that someone else will.
  • Celebrate by donating ten new umbrellas to the Red Cross. Once again, you will help brighten someone's rainy days.
  • Celebrate umbrella month by reading an umbrella-themed storybook. Yes, there are beautiful children's books devoted to the wonderful umbrella.
Can you think of other ways to celebrate National Umbrella Month?

Don't let those raindrops
keep falling on your head!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

MORE UMBRELLAS:

Order the Sky Blue Umbrella shown on this page directly from Amazon.
Learn about Totes Clear Bubble Umbrellas.
More days to celebrate in March.
Discover the Rainbrella Golf Umbrella.
Looking For Rihanna's Pink Umbrellas?
Thank You For The Umbrella, Totes! 






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