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

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Reachers And Grabbers Reviewed

O, the reacher and the grabber - I've known a few!  Reachers and grabbers have become an integral part of this household. The design of reachers and grabbers have evolved through the years to become lightweight, affordable, practical and indispensable!



The Difference Between The Reacher And The Grabber


The reacher and grabber I have found each perform well together, independently but each has a specialty function which is very helpful and practical.

The reacher is lightweight and can be used to easily extend your reach in both directions. Extend your reach down to help put on socks or pick up items off the floor. Extend your reach up to help take lightweight items off a shelf or even change a lightbulb.

The grabber is great for heavier items which require more strength to grab such as canned food in the pantry or medium to heavier items off the floor or under the bed. The grabber also works very well in the grocery store to retrieve items on the top or bottom shelves.


My favorite Reacher And Grabber

I and my family members have tried a few reachers and grabbers through the years and these two are the favorites.

The Duro Med 32 Inch Aluminum Reacher With Magnetic Tip

This is very lightweight, foldable and has a magnetic tip which is invaluable for retrieving small metal items off the floor or items which find their way under the refrigerator. I love the reacher can be folded up with ease to carry with you to the grocery store or store in the car.


Ettore 34-Inch Grib'n Grab


This grabber is heavier than the reacher and it is deceptive as to how heavy an item can be grabbed and retrieved. I call this the workhorse of the reacher and grabber category and many obviously agree with over 4,000 positive reviews!


Why You Need Both!


As I discovered when caring for a family member after hip replacement surgery, not only is a reacher and grabber both necessary devices to help a person perform daily living activities independently, two devices are necessary!

Two are necessary because the reacher and/or grabber somehow tends to wander and miraculously ends up NOT by the immobile person. This happens quite frequently in a two floor home; it is a reacher/grabber phenomenon akin to the missing laundry sock. If you are upstairs, the reacher is downstairs. If you are in the living room, the grabber is in the kitchen. Buy two!


Different Functions


The reacher and grabber I have found each perform well together and independently, but each has a specialty function which is very helpful and practical.

The reacher is lightweight and can be used to easily extend your reach in both directions. Extend your reach down to help put on socks or pick up items off the floor. Extend your reach up to help take lightweight items off a shelf or even change a lightbulb.

The grabber is great for heavier items which require more strength to grab such as canned food in the pantry or medium to heavier items off the floor or under the bed.


Yardwork


The grabber is a cherished member of the yard work team! A true back saver for picking up twigs, branches, debris and even fallen branches. The reacher is perfect to rearrange items on the garage shelves or retrieve items which roll under the car.

Once you own a reacher or a grabber (or both!) it is amazing the different ways each can be used to make your life easier and your back and knees happier! Reachers and grabbers also make very practical gifts a gift recipient will appreciate.


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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Reviewing Grill Mat


I love to cook out on my deck using my gas grill.  For Christmas I received a pair of grill mats that have made grilling and cleanup so much easier.  These mats are sold in sets of two and can be cut to fit any size grill.  They are also good on any kind of grill.  So, whether you have a charcoal, propane, gas or electric grill you will  want to check out these handy mats.

As you can see in the photo above I put my entire meal on the grill mat.  In the photo above I have hamburgers and a variety of vegetables.  No extra pots or pans needed, just my easy to clean grill mat.

When we are finished eating and the grill has cooled down, I bring the grill mat inside and wash it off with sudsy water in the sink.  It cleans very easily and is quickly ready for use the next time I grill.


Why I Love My New Grill Mat


  • Cook entire meal at one time
  • Vegetables and fruit will not fall through grill slats
  • Easy to use, no preparation needed
  • Food will not stick to mat
  • Very easy cleanup 
  • I no longer need to clean the grill
  • Mat can also double as baking mat
Be sure to click on the link below to buy your own grill mat.  You will love how easy it is to use and maintain.



                                                                   



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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Greenworks Blower Reviewed

Let the Spring Clean Up begin! Tidy up the yard, the  porch, the lawn and the garage in minutes with the Greenworks Single Amp Electric 160 mph Blower.

Greenworks blower

Easy To Use

Very easy to use with a one touch control. The Greenworks blower was ordered with Amazon Prime and arrived in two pieces. Simply snap in piece A to piece B and the assembly is complete in under one minute.
The cord is adequate, but more than likely an extension cord rated for outdoor use will be necessary depending upon the location of the electrical outlet. I highly prefer a lightweight blower with an extension cord versus a heavier cordless model.

Power

The Greenworks Blower has plenty of power for blowing leaves off the deck, the front porch and off the driveway. It provides enough power for a light Fall or Spring clean up for a small yard or between visits by a lawn service if the area is full of trees.

Trees drop their leaves in our area from September through November and last year we were buried in leaves between the last lawn mowing and the Fall Clean Up. The blower was a great convenience to blow a path on the driveway until the Fall Clean Up was completed.

Light!

The Greenworks 160 MOH Blower weighs in at a nice and light 5.6 pounds. Light enough to generate the power needed with the maneuverability necessary to aim the blower at its' target(s) without shoulder and arm fatigue.

Dust Off The Car Inside And Out!

This is not my original idea which begged me to ask myself, "Why didn't I think of that!" It is a little leaf blower hack that works great!

My friend mentioned to me when the Fall weather started to worsen and the outdoors was not conducive to car washing. Use the leaf blower to dust out the interior of the car. Yes!
Simply open all four doors and remove any objects in the car that are NOT to be blown onto the driveway or the garage.

Point the handy dandy Greenworks blower to the interior of the car and blow out all the dust! It works! Fabulously! Three minutes and the dust and debris from the interior of the car is gone.
This was a great hack for the middle of winter to freshen up the car in the throes of salt and winter weather.

Recommendation

I highly recommend the Greenworks blower if a lightweight blower is necessary for the health of your shoulders and arms. The blower has come in very handy and is one of my favorite home purchases. This Spring the blower has already used for a car dust off, driveway clean up, garage clean up, porch dust off and cobweb clean out.




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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review of Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles


I remember being introduced to Stouffer's Frozen Foods as a teenager in the 1950s when my Uncle Pete went to work for them in Cleveland (the home base of the company).  Frozen foods were fairly new to us at the time and my parents found them to be very handy for quick dinners after working all day.

I found the Stouffer's meals delicious and, as a result, I have been a fan of them ever since. I have tried a large variety of frozen dinners over the years, but none as good as Stouffer's. 


Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles


My very favorite is Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles, a hearty combination of white meat chicken, egg noodles, mushrooms, celery, carrots and peas in a creamy sauce




Old-Fashioned Home-Cooked Escalloped Chicken Recipe


(c) Elf
An old-fashioned 'from-scratch' recipe for Escalloped Chicken comes from the Garden City Cookbook (Centennial Edition) published in 1979 by The Community Church

My in-laws lived in Garden City, Kansas and this cookbook was compiled by church members to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the first church in Garden City and dedicated to all of the brave pioneers who in 1879 organized the First Congregational Church in town. First published in 1908 and revised and re-published in 1930, this cookbook is the 1979 edition.

The recipes contained in this Garden City Cookbook were favorites of current church members, many of which were passed down from generation to generation. 


Aunt Alta's Escalloped Chicken


INGREDIENTS:

1 can mushrooms
1 (4-5 lb.) stewing hen or large fryer
Salt
Celery Salt
Paprika
2 c. fine cracker crumbs
1 recipe of white sauce

WHITE SAUCE:

4 T. chicken fat or butter or oleo
3 heaping T. flour
Broth from chicken and juice from mushrooms
1 c. milk or cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

Boil and then simmer hen until tender and done.  Take meat from the bone and cut in small pieces about ¾-inch long. 

Make medium white sauce.  Put layer of cracker crumbs in flat pan and then a layer of chicken and mushrooms. Season to taste with salt, red pepper and celery salt. Pour almost half the sauce over this and make another layer of each. Pour remaining sauce over this and sprinkle cracker crumbs on top and a little paprika. Bake 450◦ for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the depth of the pan.

*Author's Note: This 'from-scratch' Escalloped Chicken recipe does not call for noodles, but I imagine noodles could be added or even served on the side or spoon the dish over cooked  noodles.  If you choose to use cream instead of milk, you will find that the dish is very rich. Yum.

Additional Notes:


Source: Pixabay
This long-ago 'from-scratch recipe is a bit amusing to read, especially the parts about the 'chicken fat' and referring to the chicken as a 'stewing hen'. These are terms we don't use much today. Garden City, Kansas, back in the day, was primarily a farm-based small town in western Kansas, so I can imagine many of the 'stewing hens' were raised by the farmers for their own use. If you were to ask today's 'kids' about where chickens come from, they'd no doubt say “the grocery store” (unless they are farm kids). 


Summary


If you want to make your own homemade escalloped chicken, try this old-fashioned recipe in this article.  

Or try the one I found online on the Go, Go, Go Gourmet blog for a homemade recipe that duplicates the Stouffer's dish called Stouffers Copycat Escalloped Chicken and Noodles.

When you want the same as a quick, and delicious, dish, use Stouffer's  Escalloped Chicken and Noodles.

For quick, yet tasty, dishes with a wide variety of choices, give Stouffer's Frozen Meals a try.


Happy Eating












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Review & Recipe by (c) Wednesday Elf 3/23/2019





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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Blue Shoe Guys Disposable Shoe Covers Reviewed

Weather is a challenge! It is raining,it is pouring, it is still snowing and welcome to Spring! Spring in the northern midwest can wreak havoc on your lawn, carpet and landscaping. Last year after a particularly challenging and wet Spring I purchased Blue Shoe Guys Disposable Shoe Covers and it was one of the best purchases of the year.
blue disposable shoe cover

What Are Blue Shoe Guys Disposable Shoe Covers?

Yes, the name is self explanatory. Strong, resilient, convenient and disposable paper shoe covers once associated with the the blue shoe covers seen in the hospital or on the shoes of the plumber or the cable television technician visiting on a service call.

The shoe covers have migrated to the mainstream and are an affordable and extremely easy way to protect carpet, hardwood floors, tiling and automobile carpet from the elements all with the flick of the shoe cover.

Shoe Covers For Fall And Spring

Four letters in this area describes the grass, mulch and landscaping with Spring and Fall ... mush!
Spring is a combination of snow melt, rain, more snow, more rain and so it goes through May. Fall brings the opposite of rain into snow, add another dose of rain plus a nice dollop of clay soil and the lawn and landscaping are soggy!

Uses For Blue Shoe Guys Shoe Covers

Saves The Carpet & Floor

I originally purchased the shoe covers as a landscaping required many trips touring the yard in wet, mushy conditions. Loved the convenience of quickly putting on the shoe covers to run in and out of the house without bringing in wet mulch, mud, grass clippings.

The shoe covers are a carpet saver for light colored carpets!


Dogs  

(Do dogs on outdoor leads only get the lead tangled in bad weather?) The shoe covers are perfect to pop on to head outside to retrieve the dog and just as easily pop off when entering the home. There seems to be a direct correlation the dog will go out on its'lead and seek and find the one lone branch to create the dog/lead/fallen branch tangle.

Guests/Visitor

So easy to have shoe covers available for service techs or guests who pop in during in climate weather when light colored carpet is a concern. It's not unusual for guests to carry a spare pair of shoes when visiting during the winter as no guest wants to track winter into your home. The shoe covers are great to have on hand when the guest forgets their spare pair of shoes and the guests are so thankful they don't have to walk around the house in stocking feet.

Car

Tuck a pair or two into your car for emergencies! I've been grateful more than once to have a pair handy for an unexpected muddy park to walk the dog or visiting a friend in the winter where I am the guest who forgot the spare pair of shoes (see above!)

Not Just For Shoes

The shoe covers are very flexible and forgiving in size. I've used the covers for any size and type of shoe or boot from the slimmest shoe to the very sturdy and very wide fuzzy winter boot.

Recommendation

I highly recommend the Blue Shoe Guys Disposable Shoe Covers! One pack contains 100 shoe covers which is more than ample for a home with a few extras to tuck into your car, briefcase or garage.


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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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