Showing posts with label Sam Monaco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sam Monaco. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Easy Wall Decor Ideas


Easy Wall Decor Ideas
Easy Wall Decor Ideas Reviewed

We decided to downsize a few years back. With the kids all grown up, we didn't need a large two-story house just for the two of us. So, we found a nice one-story house with two and a half baths, and as luck would have it a full finished basement.

We furnished our new finished basement with the living room furniture from our old house, So, now we had to go out and buy new furniture for the living room or live in our new basement. By the way, our finished basement is a perfect place for our grandchildren to play when they visit.

Our previous home had two built-in wall shelves between a window in the living room. This allowed us to display pictures, knick-knacks, and books.

We don't have any built-in shelves in the new house. We had to look for some inexpensive ideas to add some accents to the walls other than just picture frames.

Easy Wall Decor Ideas: 

The above picture is a simple wall shelf and candleholder we had in storage. We added this to our dining area. I looked on-line and found 48-inches as a recommended height from the floor. That seemed way too low, so, I set it at 65-inches from the top of the shelf to the floor. It is perfect to display our tea set. So far zero dollars spent.

Easy Wall Decor


This shelf is another one we had in storage. this one we added to the living room, But Fran didn't like the color of this one so I painted it to match walls. This is a perfect shelf for some candle holders and a small picture. Once again zero dollars spent.

Easy Wall Decorations


Now the wall at the end of the hallway that leads to the bedrooms was blank. This photo memory quilt filled that space quite nicely. With pockets for small photos, this is a great way to display some fun memories.

Simple wall shelves are a great and inexpensive way to add some accents to your walls and display your collectibles and photos. Some other ideas for wall decor are Pictures, wall clocks, and so many choices of Peel and Stick vinyl wall decor.


Here are some inexpensive ideas for wall shelves

Amada Floating Shelves Wall Mounted, Rustic Paulownia Wood Wall Shelves Set of 3 for Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room, Farmhouse Kitchen, GrayAmada Floating Shelves Wall Mounted, Rustic Paulownia Wood Wall Shelves Set of 3 for Bedroom, Bathroom, Living Room, Farmhouse Kitchen, GrayCheck the PriceBAMFOX Floating Shelves,Wall Shelf Set of 3,Wall Mounted Floating Shelf with Large Storage for Bedroom Bathroom Living Room Kitchen OfficeBAMFOX Floating Shelves, Wall Shelf Set of 3, Wall Mounted Floating Shelf with Large Storage for Bedroom Bathroom Living Room Kitchen OfficeCheck the Price

 

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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mamma Mia Movie Review

I was a teenager in the '70s and of course, loved the music. In 1972 the Swedish group ABBA became popular. Their music topped the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA's music is so uplifting and is such feel-good music.

In 1999 a successful broadway musical hit the stage "Mamma Mia" the name of ABBA's 1975 top hit. The Broadway Musical became a hit that has since played in 40 countries and all 6 continents and has incorporated so many of ABBA's hit songs.

Mamma Mia came to theaters in Toronto in 2000. We live in Western New York so it was easy for us to get there in 2003. Watching this Broadway Musical live was just amazing. The music of ABBA was so fantastic and uplifting. Their music just gives me that all over good feeling.

Mamma Mia Movie Review



In 2008 the Broadway Musical was adapted into a movie. After seeing the Broadway Musical there was no way that I was going to miss this movie. 

Movie Plot:

The story is about Donna played by (Meryl Streep), and her daughter Sophie played by (Amanda Seyfried).

Donna and Sophie live on a small Greek Island. Donna owns a villa and tries to run it as a hotel, unsuccessfully. Sophie is about to be married and would love that her father is able to walk her down the aisle. The only problem is that Sophie has no idea who her father is.

Sophie sneaks a peek at Donna's old diary. She finds the names of three men that her mother was intimate with from her mother's younger days. Sophie is convinced that of these three men is her father. 

Sophie sends wedding invitations to all three men and signs her mother's name, in hopes that she will know her father once she gets to spend some time with him.

The three men arrive on the island, Sam Carmichael the architect played by (Pierce Brosnan), Harry Bright the British banker played by (Colin Firth), and Bill Anderson the Swedish sailor, traveler, and writer played by (Stellan Skarsgard).

Sophie explains to the three that she is the one who sent the invitations in hopes of finding out who her father is. I'll stop here just in case you haven't seen Mamma Mia. Trust me, this movie is full of laughs and the amazing music of ABBA.

Ten years later in 2018, a sequel was released. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" Featuring most of the original cast and some surprise superstars. The sequel starts out in present-day but reflects back on Donna's life and how she ended up on the island and how she met her three lovers.

Both of these movies are worth the time. They are filled with laughter and ABBA's upbeat and feel-good music.

Just in case you don't remember, here is the original 1975 hit Mamma Mia by ABBA



I'm sure these two movies are streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime. If not you can buy the DVD's

 C



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Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Easy Bathroom Makeover

Easy Bathroom Makeover Reviewed

Do you have a small bathroom in need of a quick, easy, and inexpensive makeover?

I use the word easy, I don't want to make you think that you just wave a magic wand and puff it's all done.

There is certainly some work involved but, it is really not that difficult.

We have a half bath in our house that really needed a new floor. Since we were going to replace the floor we thought it was a good idea to paint the walls and trim work. 




The first task for our new project was to remove the toilet and get it out of the way. If you're removing a toilet you'll need to clean up the wax seal and then stuff a rag in the hole to prevent the smell of sewer gas. 

The next step was to remove the old floor, I think this was the hardest part. Next, I removed all of the baseboards.  Do this carefully so you break of damage it.

We choose a light mint green paint for the walls although when we started to paint it was a little darker than we expected. So, I used the white paint that I had for the trim work and added a teaspoon at a time to lighten up the green.

Easy Bathroom Makeover: Install the new floor

Now it was time to install the new floor. We used peel and stick flooring. You can find some very durable and inexpensive peel and stick flooring. In total, we bought 45 sqft. of tile and paid only $25.00 for the floor. Prices will vary depending on what you buy.


Before you install a new floor you have to make sure that the subfloor is clean and flat. It's a good idea to use a Shop-Vac to get all of the dust off the floor.

Tools you will need:
Measure and divide the room in half by both length and width. Intersect the lines in the center of the room using a straight edge or chalk line.

Once the center is marked, start to lay the tiles from the center of the room out to the edges. You will have an even space on length as well as the width of the room from your last tile to the wall.

At this point, you will need to measure and cut the remaining tiles around the room. They are very easily cut with a sharp razor knife.

The following short video will show just how easy it is to measure and install a new floor.



Now that the floor was in I painted and re-installed the baseboard and re-installed the toilet. Overall it was a pretty easy project. That means if I can do this anybody can.

You might also want to know How to Re-Caulk your bathtub




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Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Conair Home Haircut Kit

Conair Home Haircut Kit
With salons and barbershops across the country mostly closed, it seems that long hair of the '70s may be coming back in style.

What a great time to review my Conair Home Haircut Kit. Conair is an easy to use clipper for all of your home grooming needs.

Most guys I know get their haircut on a regular basis like once every two weeks or once a month.

I'm one of those guys that always wait until my hair is so long that I can't stand it. I don't know why because the salon that cuts my hair is only two blocks from where I live.

I find, the older I get the less hair that I have. Although in my younger days I had sideburns that would have made Elvis jealous.

My hair grows faster on the sides than on top. So, for in-between hair appointments, I bought this Conair 10 piece haircutting system. I have had this for several years now and it still works like new.

This makes it so easy to trim the sides and around my ears to keep me looking neat and respectable until my next appointment.

Conair Home Haircut Kit Includes:

  • The Barber Clipper to Cut.
  • Four guide combs, 1/8", 1/4", 3/8", 1/2" for detailing.
  • Cleaning brush and oil to keep it clean.
  • Barber Comb
  • Blade Guard
  • Styling Clip, this is something that I never need.
Here are some tips and tricks if you're new to cutting your own hair or someone in the family. It's one thing to hack up your hair, but, if you hack up one the kid's hair you may be in big trouble.

Always start with the largest comb. Start cutting from the bottom of the side around the ears and work your way to the top. Don't cut the top of your hair yet. Once you get a little confidence you can move to the shorter combs.

For the top, use the comb to lift the hair. Cutover the top of the comb, starting from the front to the back to blend the hair to the sides.

The kit also includes a full set of instructions for cutting hair. If you're new to this, don't worry with a little bit of practice you'll be cutting hair like a pro just like me.






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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Fresh Lemon Hand Pies

Fresh Lemon Hand Pies


My mother made the best ever lemon meringue pie, it's one of my all-time favorites. Every time she made it I was like, "is it cool enough to cut yet mom".

Anyone else in the house was lucky enough to get a slice with me around. Today I'm reviewing how easy it is to enjoy that lemony taste that brings back some wonderful childhood memories.

Hand pies are so easy to make with store-bought pie crust and lemon filling, or any fruit filling for that matter. This perfect snack or dessert could be ready in 40 minutes or less.

Every year my cousin sends me these giant lemons for his backyard in Arizona. This weekend I decided to make homemade fresh lemon hand pies. The first thing that I did was make the lemon filling.

Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is really so easy to make. I made this and refrigerated it overnight, but you can make this and let cool for a couple of hours and use it for whatever your making.

Lemon curd is so versatile it can be used for cakes, cupcakes, donuts, or spread it on top of a scone of crackers.

Fresh Lemon Hand Pies Ingredients (Lemon Curd)

1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)
zest of 2 lemons
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup salted butter (Cold)

Instructions
  1. You will need a double boiler for this, add some water and bring it to a boil.
  2.  Whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, continue to stir.
  3. Add the zest of the lemons and the lemon juice. Continue to stir the mixture for about 10 minutes, it will begin to thicken.
  4.  After 10 minutes remove the mixture from the heat, and add the butter one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Continue stirring, the mixture will become nice and thick. Once all the butter is melted into the mixture pour it into a bowl and let it cool for 2 to 3 hours before using it.
Pie crust ingredients

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Crisco (Cold)
6 to 8 tablespoons of Ice Water

  1. Cut the Crisco into smaller pieces
  2. Add flour and Crisco into a mixing bowl
  3. Mix until Crisco begins to fold into the flour
  4. Add ice-cold water one tablespoon at a time 
  5. Mix until a ball of dough forms
Divide the pie crust into two equal parts wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about a half-hour. I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to make the pie crust.

Making Lemon Hand Pies

Now, it's time to assemble and bake these little sweet treats. I rolled each ball of the pie crust out to about a 10-inch circle between two sheets of parchment paper.

Tip: Lay the parchment paper or wax paper on a kitchen towel. This prevents it from moving all over the counter while rolling.

Cut the crust with a 4-inch cookie cutter, place a tablespoon of the lemon curd in the middle. Then, fold them over and pinch the edges together. Press a fork around the edges to seal.

Hand Pies


Poke the middle of each hand pie with a fork. I made 12 hand pies, six out of each half of the crust. You will have to re-roll some of the crust to get the other 2 out of each half.

Baked Lemon Hand Pies

Now you will need two egg whites and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl.

 Brush the hand pies with the beaten egg whites and sprinkle the sugar over the top. Or you could skip the sugar and dust them with powdered sugar right out of the oven.

Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Set them on a rack to cool and enjoy.

You might enjoy some of my other fresh lemon recipes





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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New Balance Running Shoes Review

New Balance Running Shoes Review

Many years ago, I needed to get into shape and lose some weight.

A good friend of mine suggested that I should start exercising. By exercise, he meant running. Well, I haven't done any running since high school.

After thinking about it, I decided to give it a try. So, I put my tennis shoes and sweat pants and drove to the school track.

I couldn't even make it around the track one time, and it was only 1/6 of a mile track.

I'm not one to quit, so I stayed with it and before long I was running 5 to 6 miles a day. I lost some of that weight and I was getting in really good shape.

It wasn't long before I started to feel some aches and pains. My legs, shins, and back started to bother me. I thought maybe that I was overdoing it by pushing myself so much.

My running partner; who was the same guy that talked me into this wonderful world of running suggested that I really needed a good pair of running shoes.


New Balance Running Shoes:


Now, I was off to investigate running shoes. I found New Balance to be the perfect running shoe for me. I wear a 9-1/2 wide and New Balance seemed to be the only running shoe that I could find in half sizes. I find the support and comfort to be superior over other shoes that I tried on.

My friend was right because soon my aches and pains vanished, as I continued to run, (No not like Forrest Gump). Every day when I came home from work, I changed into my running gear and it was off to the park for my 5-mile run. Rain, snow or sunshine I was out there running.

Okay, maybe I was a jogger and not a runner, but it was a good aerobic workout. I would welcome anyone to tag along with me running an 8 to a 9-minute mile for 5 miles.

The New Balance shoes made all of the difference in the world, they have excellent cushion and support and I felt like I was running on clouds.

Fast forward to today. I really don't run anymore. But, I do a lot of walking and I'm wearing my New Balance walking shoes. New Balance is the only sports shoe that I'll ever wear.





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Friday, March 27, 2020

About Sam Monaco

About Sam Monaco on Review This Reviews

First, let say how honored I am to be part of Review This Reviews Blog. I've followed most of the contributors here for a long time.

What I like about Social Media is that you meet people and follow their work and communicate with them on-line.

You never meet them in person and yet they become part of your family. That's the way I feel about the contributors on Review This Reviews.

My full name is Eugene Samuel Monaco, but everybody just calls me Sam. I only use my full name when signing important documents. I was named after my uncle who was called Sam also.



I'm a semi-retired Industrial Engineer working in the automotive and furniture industries. You just can't get any further apart from an industry standpoint. My work gives me the opportunity to interact with people every day on the manufacturing floor. This is the reason that I love my job so much.

I began my online writing about 9 years ago and this is where I meet so many wonderful and helpful people. The following are just some of the places you can find me online.

Sam's Places: This is my food blog where you will find old and new family recipes. I have a passion for preserving old family recipes the recipe's from my mother, grandmother, and aunts.  So many of these old recipes are written on little scraps of paper. I find it to be such fun to figure them out and reproduce them so they can be enjoyed for many generations.

Cherished Toy Finds: This is my toy blog where I write about what I call cherished toys. I watched my grandchildren play with some of the very same toys that I had and my kids had. So, I thought what a great idea it would be to write about some of these toys that have been around forever. You'll find many of these cherished toys in my blog. Along with some new ones that they teach grandpa about.

Reviewed By Sam: This one is my own review blog where you can find a variety of things; books, products, travel, and do-it-yourself project. I always own and use the products I write about in all of my blogs.


A Little More About Sam:


My interests are simple. I enjoy the work I do and the interaction with so many people. I take great pleasure in preserving those family recipes and creating some new ones along the way. My biggest joy is my four grandchildren. I cherish every minute I spend with each one of them.











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