Showing posts with label Review This Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review This Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Save Money on Household Cleaners with Castile Soap!

 

castile soap


Castile soap, available in liquid or bar form, is a multi-purpose cleaner made from vegetable oils. It was originally made in the Castile region of Spain, but quickly spread to Europe and the rest of the world. Originally it was made of olive oil, but today it is made with a mixture of some or all of the following:

  • coconut oil
  • castor oil
  • hemp oil
  • avocado oil
  • walnut oil
  • almond oil
  • palm oil

These oils are what give the soap it’s cleansing and lathering properties. It also adds a moisturizing component that most other soaps do not have naturally, unless from animal fats.


Benefits of Using Castile Soap

Good for the EnvironmentPure castile soap has a very small impact on the environment since it doesn't contain additives, preservatives, fragrances, artificial coloring, or other chemicals commonly found in other soaps. It is also biodegradable and non GMO.

Hypoallergenic: Pure castile soap is hypoallergenic, which means it's less likely to cause allergic reactions than other types of soap.

Animal-free: Many people who live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle prefer not to use any products with ingredients that come from animal sources. Pure castile soap is vegan.

Low cost: Compared to other cleaners available in stores, a bottle of Castile soap is very inexpensive. Good sized bottles are only about $10.


castile soap

This 16oz bottle of Castile Soap is less that $9 on Amazon


Save Money with Castile Soap!

Another great thing about this all natural soap is that it can be made into almost any kind of cleaner a person could need with just the addition of one or more other common ingredients. The following are some of the many things you can make with Castile soap:

All-purpose Cleaner: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid Castile soap, and (optional) 10 to 15 drops of essential oil.  Or you can use the scented versions of Castile SoapThis liquid can be used on a cloth or in a spray bottle.

Floor Cleaner: Combine 1/2 teaspoon liquid Castile soap, 2 gallons of warm water, and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in a large mop bucket. Keep it stirred while using.

Dishwashing soap: Run a sink full of hot water and add 5 drops of Castile soap.

Dishwasher Detergent: Mix a ratio of 1/1 water and Castile soap and stir gently till mixed. Pour into your dishwasher soap compartment and close.

Laundry Detergent: Use Castile soap straight from the bottle. 1/3 to 1/2 cup per load, depending on how soiled the clothes are.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Combine 4 cups of warm water to 1 cup of Castile soap, and mix well. Pour into a spray bottle and spray in your toilet and scrub with a toilet brush. This may not clean mineral stains.

Fruit and vegetable cleaner: Combine 2 drops of liquid Castile soap to a sink of cool water and stir gently to mix. Dip veggies and fruits in the cleaner and scrub with a very soft brush and then run under the faucet in clear water.

Shampoo: Combine 1 tablespoon of castile soap in a cup of water. Use a small amount of this solution to wash your hair. Do not use on colored hair.

Face wash and Body Wash: Castile soap straight from the bottle can be used as a face and body wash. Simply rub a few drops of liquid or use a bar and wash your face and body normally. Castile soap is mild enough to use on your skin and strong enough to kill most infectious bacteria.

Hand soap: Save a lot of money by making your own liquid hand soap. Combine 2 tablespoons of liquid Castile soap and 12 oz. of water and fill your dispenser. If you would like a scent you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Shaving: Castile soap lathers so well you can rub it in your hands until it lathers and then apply to your face to use as shaving cream.

Pet wash: Combine 1 tablespoon unscented Castile soap with 1 quart of warm water. Stir to mix and rinse your pet before pouring a little at a time on them while softly lathering it in. Rinse with lots of clean water. Do you use essential oils as it can be toxic to pets.


castile soap



A Few Things to Know Before Using Castile Soap

  • Do not use vinegar or lemon juice with Castile soap because Castile soap is alkaline and vinegar and lemon juice are acid, they neutralize each other.
  • Using hard water with Castile soap will leave a milky film behind when used for cleaning. The only way to stop this is to have a water softener which will soften hard water.
  • Don’t use Castile soap as shampoo if you have colored hair, it may remove some of the color.
  • When Castile soap is used as Shampoo, a good conditioner should always be applied after.
  • Castile soap is not healthy for use on plants, do not use it to make insecticidal soap.


Castile soap is a useful item to keep around your house. With the inflated prices of commercial cleaners it is a great way to save money too. I have been using it for years and I have had very few complaints. Give it a try and see what you think. It also makes a great hostess gift for the holidays. Spread the word about this great soap!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, May 7, 2024

How to Grow Potatoes in a Bag

 

growing potatoes


If you want to grow your own potatoes, but you don't have a yard, or your soil is too hard, or even if you just don't want the work of having to dig them up, I have a great and easy solution!

Grow your potatoes in a bag!  I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is actually easy and fun.  It's also a great way to get lots of tasty and healthy spuds to eat!  Anyone can do it, you don't even need to buy any seeds because potatoes are grown from other adult potatoes.

How to Sprout Potatoes to Plant:

It is best to start with organic potatoes, since they are less likely to be a funky hybrid that can't be sprouted or have toxic insecticides on them or even in them.  You can use red or white potatoes.

Wash the potatoes well and then place them in direct sunlight.

In two to three weeks you will have sprouts.  When they get an inch or so long, you are ready to begin the planting process.


red potatoes


Cut the potatoes, with one sprout on each piece.  Leave the potato connected to the sprout, because as it rots it will be fertilizer to the new plant

It is very important that, before planting, you let the cut potatoes sit for two or three days so the cut portion of the potato can dry out and form a protective layer.  If you plant newly cut potatoes, diseases, fungus, worms and insects can easily burrow into the fresh cut flesh and kill the sprout.

While your potatoes are sprouting and curing, order your grow bags.  You can find them on Amazon for a good price, about $2.50 to $3.00 a piece, less if you order a larger quantity.  I usually get the 5 gallon size.  They look like this:

bag


growing bag


 



They also have bags that have a roll up flap on the side near the bottom, but I find these to be more expensive and the flap are basically useless because the growing potatoes should not be bothered by opening the side of the bag and poking around.  






How to Grow Potatoes in Bags:


1. Fold the bag down till it is about 6 inches tall.

2. Put 3 inches of good dirt in the bottom of the bag.

bag for growing


3. Set three to four potato pieces in the dirt with the cut side down, sprout side up and cover with 3 inches of dirt.

4. Water well.

5. Keep the soil moist but not mud and when the plants are 6 inches tall, unroll the bag about 4 inches and add more dirt, up to the bottom leaves.

8. When the plant has grown to 8 inches above the dirt, unroll the bag again, and add more dirt, up to the bottom leaves.

9. Keep doing this until the bag has dirt three inches from the top.

10. Make sure to keep them watered.  If you repeatedly let the bag dry out, the potatoes will shrink and wrinkle and not be edible.  You will have to water them more often than if they were planted in the ground.

11. When the potato vines turn yellow and look wilted, stop watering them and wait about two weeks.

12. Pick up the bag and turn it upside down in a wheelbarrow or washtub and you will find fresh, tasty and pesticide free home grown potatoes.

This is what one of my bags looked like when the plants came up:


sprouts

Don't be upset if all the sprouts don't come up.  The fewer the plants the more room there is for the remaining plants to grow bigger potatoes.  You must make sure to keep them watered, it is the defining factor of whether you get a nice harvest or a big disappointment.

You don't have to use these bags, you can use any kind of bag that will take to weight of dirt pressing against the sides of it.  Canvas tote bags, plastic feed bags, reusable grocery bags, any kind of bag will do.  Just make sure if you use a plastic bag to poke lots of holes in the bottom so it has good drainage.

Grow bags are a great way to grow some of your own food in a very small space.  You can grow any type of veggie or fruit plant you want in bags, it does not have to be potatoes.  I have also grown peppers and cucumbers and I have friends that use them for tomatoes and they love them!  They take up so little space you can even use them on an apartment balcony or condo patio.  You don't need to have land to grow your own food!  The best thing is, at the end of the harvest you just empty them, fold them up and put them away till next year.  A real space saver!

_____________________________________





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Saturday, April 6, 2024

National Hug Your Dog Day – Holiday Review

Hug Your Dog Day is held on April 10th each year. The day was created by Ami Moore, a professional dog trainer and behavior expert.


This day was designated for dog owners to shower their dogs with love to show appreciation for the joy dogs bring them.


Grandson hugging his dog, Pepe the poodle
Grandson Tyler & GrandPuppy Pepe the Poodle


Of the dozen plus contributing writers on ReviewThisReview.com, a large percentage of them are dog owners and/or dog lovers. Thus, there have been many, many articles and reviews written about things that are dog-related.


For National Hug Your Dog Day, we shall gather these articles together from the archives of Review This Reviews and list them on this one page for your reviewing pleasure.  


DOG ARTICLES & REVIEWS


Dog Books and Movies


Dog wearing glasses with a stack of books
Image Source: Pixabay



Dog Foods, Dog Treats, Dog Bowls, Dog Toys


Tofu the Golden Retriever and Pepe the Poodle waiting for their treats
Treat Time!



Dog Holidays



Products for Dogs


Abbi the Boston Terrier
Abbi the Boston Terrier



Summary


So, give a 'hound hug' to your favorite pooch on this National Hug Your Dog Day (April 10), then give them their favorite treats and check out the helpful dog products and entertaining dog books and movies listed in this review.


Happy National Hug Your Dog Day! 
April 10


Family meeting - Golden Retriever Mama, Poodle Daddy, Golden Doodle Puppy
Golden Retriever (Tofu), Pepe (Poodle), Golden Doodle Puppy (Pinkie)




*Summary of Dog-Related Reviews compiled for you by Wednesday Elf from the archives of Review This Reviews!




 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Review of the Movie The Tomorrow War

the tomorrow war



I recently watched a movie on Prime video called The Tomorrow War.  Being a fan of science fiction, I was totally enthralled by the scenario.  Great story!  I thought the acting was well done, in addition to the extremely realistic special effects.  Overall, I gave it a 10 out or 10!  Let me tell  you about it......

The Tomorrow War is a Amazon Original Movie that was released in 2021.  It was supposed to be released to theaters, but because of Covid, it was decided to release it straight to Prime Video.  It was the most streamed movie on Prime Video in 2021, and a sequel is in the works!


Main Cast


Chris Pratt as Dan Forester
Yvonne Strahovski as Colonel Muri Forester
J.K. Simmons as James Forester
Betty Gilpin as Emmy Forester
Sam Richardson as Charlie
Jasmine Mathews as Lt. Hart
Edwin Hodge as Dorian
Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Young Muri Forester

Short Summary 


The world is shocked when a group of soldiers, armed to the teeth, appear in the middle of the World Cup to tell the world that in 30 years the earth will be invaded by a hostile alien species.  The soldiers are from the future and have come to ask for our help to turn the tide of the war that they are badly losing against the vicious invaders.

They want to bring people from our time to the future to help fight.  A world draft is instituted and Dan Forester, an ex Green Beret is drafted to go and help save the human race.  What Dan finds in the future is stunning, but it is nothing compared to what he finds when comes back home.

The Trailer:




The below synopsis contains spoilers, please skip if you don't want to know!

Detailed Plot Synopsis


In December 2022 former Green Beret Dan Forester and his wife and daughter are having a home Christmas party.  Everyone is watching the World Cup when a disturbance happens on the field and a group of heavily armed soldiers appear out of nowhere.  They announce that in the year 2048 hostile aliens, called Whitespikes, invade Earth and start killing every living thing on the planet.  For them that was three years ago and now the population of the Earth is almost gone.  The soldiers have come back into the past to ask for help defending our world before the human race becomes extinct.

A worldwide draft is initiated and within a year Dan is drafted.  Upon arrival at the draft office he finds that the term of service is only seven days, but only 30% of people make it back.  The people drafted are sent in with weapons, but almost no training.  Another thing Dan finds strange is that they do not show the draftees a picture of the enemy.  

Dan and his fellow draftees are sent through a device called the Jumplink to the year 2051, but due to a glitch in the system, they are transported to the wrong location high above a skyscraper and the only people that survive are the ones that had the luck to land in the swimming pool on the roof.  Luckily Dan and a couple of his newly made friends do, along with a few others, and they are radioed by Colonel Forester to proceed to a laboratory downtown and to rescue a group of scientists and a toxin they are working on to kill the Whitespikes. While on the way to the lab, the draftees finally get a look at the aliens and it quickly becomes clear why they don't show anyone pictures.  The Whitespikes are the stuff of nightmares!

the tomorrow war

Image by Ken Barthelmey
Creature & Character Designer | info@theartofken.com

Upon arrival at the lab, the scientists were dead, but Dan is able to find a dozen vials of the toxin.  While trying to flee from the city, the group is besieged by Whitespikes and all but Dan and two of his friends are killed.  An explosion saves them and they wake up in the Dominican Republic in a military camp hospital.  When Dan meets the camp commander, he is shocked to find it is his grown daughter Muri.  Happy to see her, he is puzzled and hurt at her cold attitude and refusal to speak of the past.  


Muri explains that they need to capture the female Whitespike, who is like a queen bee.  After they capture the queen, and transport her to a lab on an oil rig they find that the toxin that kills the males does not work on the female, so work begins on finding a variant that will.  When they finally find a workable toxin to kill the female, the male Whitespikes flood the base to free the female.  During the fight, Muri gets wounded by a poisonous spike and just as she and Dan begin to connect, his seven day term of service comes to an end.  As he is about to transport back to the past, his daughter gives him a vial of the toxin and tells him to mass produce it in the past so they can be ready to use it in 2048.

Back in his own time, Dan tries to give the toxin to the government to produce so he can go back to the future and distribute it when he finds out that the future Jumplink was on the oil rig that was overrun with Whitespikes and damaged so it was no longer functional.  The world goes into panic thinking the loss of the Jumplink means the future war was lost.

Dan and his wife try to figure out where the Whitespikes come from, and they formulate that maybe they didn't come to earth in 2048, maybe they were already here all along.  Since they were first seen around a glacier on Komsomolets Island in Russia, Dan decides that would be the first place to look.  After drafting his two friends Charlie and Dorian from his future group, they go to see Dan's dad, James, who is a prepper and conspiracy theorist.   Of course, James knows someone with a plane who can fly them to Russia where they find the crashed space ship.  They deduce it has been there for over a thousand years.  After finding half a dozen compartments with frozen Whitespikes, they realize that this was where the "invasion" came from.  They were here all along, frozen in the ice.

They begin injecting the Whitespikes with the toxin and it quickly kills them, but also wakes up the others and the mission devolves into a vicious fight to kill the aliens before they escape and start the war early.  They plant explosives to blow up the ship which manages to kill the rest of the males, but the one female gets loose and leaves the ship running out into the snow.  Dan and his father go after her in an all out battle which they finally win and kill her.

Conclusion


I really liked this movie.  If you like science fiction, I believe you will too.  It is more than just a shoot 'em up alien war movie.  The connection between the Forester family members is quite complex with interactions I didn't include in the synopsis.  (I can't tell you everything!) I also loved that it had a happy ending!  I highly recommend this movie!

Unfortunately, this movie can only be seen on Amazon Prime, and cannot be purchased on Amazon.  I have had Prime for years and find it to be more than worth the $139 a year.  A full Movie channel and free shipping on all orders along with other perks......definitely worth it.  If you are interested in subscribing, click here:   Amazon Prime





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, July 18, 2023

A Review of Siamese Cats as Pets



beautiful siamese cat with blue eyes


Siamese cats have been around for hundreds of years.   It is believed they were first seen during the Ayutthaya Kingdom, which was between 1351 and 1767.  At that time the country was known as Siam.  In 1939 the leadership of Siam was changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy, and along with this formation, the name of the country was changed from Siam to Thailand, which is what it is known as today.

Legend tells the story of Siamese cats being collected as treasures of war by the king of Burma, who brought them home to live in his palace, believing them to bring luck and power to those that kept them.  At that time, royals were the only ones allowed to keep these cats and they had the run of the palace and grounds.

This is all conjecture, of course, the exact origin of Siamese cats is not known for sure, only that they have been kept by humans for a very long time!

Or do the Siamese keep us?    That is a question for another time....

The first Siamese cat arrived in America in 1879 as a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes from from the American consul in Bangkok.  The female cat, named Siam, was the first Siamese to live in the White House, but not the last as the daughters of both Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had these beautiful cats as pets and they roamed the White House as their ancestors did the King's palace.


Why Many People Think Siamese Cats are Mean

Many people think Siamese cats are mean and they would never want one as a pet.  Much of this misconception comes from the 1955  cartoon movie Lady and the Tramp, that almost every youngster watches multiple times during childhood.  The portrayal of Siamese cats in this movie makes them look not only mean and destructive but also cruel to other animals.  

See the movie clip below from Lady and the Tramp.




I am sure it was not a deliberate act on the part of the screenwriters, they probably had no idea at the time that this movie would make many kids (that later grew up into adults) think that Siamese cats were mean and would not make good pets.  Even today, in 2023, when I have repairmen or painters come in my house most of them always say "Your Siamese cats are so friendly, I always thought they were mean!"

Siamese Cats Are Not Mean!

I grew up loving Siamese cats.  I never had one as a kid, but I loved the look of them!  So beautiful and regal.  I knew they were the cat for me!  I got my first Siamese in the mid 90's and I have had 5 others since.  I have three of them now!  Affectionately called "Meezers"  I have adored all my Siamese cats.  They are lovable pets, just ask anyone that has one.  They are pretty much like any other cat, the only major difference being they are very chatty.  They like to talk to you and will hold a conversation with you, if you give them the chance. The bad thing is, only they understand the entire conversation, since they understand human language and we have no clue how to speak cat!  

Don't ever doubt they understand what we say!

Siamese Cats as Pets

I have had both male and female Siamese and found them to be equally loving.  Some are more cuddly lap cats and others want to be around you all the time, but not touching you.  Some are more a one person cat and others are attention hounds to everyone that will pet them.  Each has their own personality, just like all cats.  One great thing about Siamese cats is that they are long lived, and if cared for properly easily live 15 to 20 years!

One Thing I Have Noticed From Experience

The cats we got as small kittens have turned out to be more loving, calm and trusting of us than the ones we have adopted as adults.  I would bet that this is probably true of most cats, but it seems especially true of Siamese.  Two of the Siamese that we have now were adopted as adults.  It took a very long time for them to warm up to us, and I am still not sure that they trust us completely.  Not knowing their history before coming to us, it is impossible to know what happened in their past to make them how they are, but we still love them unconditionally.

Here are the cuties we adopted from a rescue:



yellow siamese cat
Tater Tot - adopted 2020 at 1 year old

siamese cat
Jazzy - adopted 2022 at 5 years old 


Here is the cutie that raised from a kitten:

siamese cat
Bitty - now 13 years old


And last but never least is my two boys that have already passed.

two siamese cats on home carpet
 Tiny - passed at 18 years old and Benjamin - passed at 16 years old 


Tater is a flame point Siamese, with probably an orange tabby mixed somewhere in his ancestry, which is most likely responsible for the stripes in his tail.  Jazzy is a seal point Siamese/ Ragdoll mix, which accounts for her long, beautiful fur.  Bitty and Tiny are full blooded Siamese from a breeder, and Benjamin we got  from a friend who found him as a kitten in an alley in the city.  I have no proof of lineage on him, but the vet said he looked full blooded as well.

It doesn't seem to matter if they are full blooded Siamese or not, if they have Siamese in them, they are characters that love to talk.  If you don't like cats that meow a lot, these cats are not for you.  However, if you want a fun companion to keep you company, Siamese are perfect!

If you want to know more about Siamese cats, this is the book for you!  It has all the information you need to decide if you would like a Siamese companion.


book cover of the complete guide to siamese cats




I could be prejudiced, but I believe you could not make a finer choice for a pet than a Siamese cat.  They are sweet and loving and lots of fun.  If you don't believe me, ask any Siamese, they will be happy to tell you!  Meow!





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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