Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sylvestermouse. Show all posts

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





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Friday, July 3, 2020

Just CrossStitch Magazine in Print, on Kindle, & DVD Reviewed

Just CrossStitch Reviewed
Very few magazines are interesting enough for me to pay for a subscription, especially since just about everything can found on the internet.  However, I do subscribe to Just CrossStitch.  Every time a new issue arrives, I drop whatever I am doing and browse the pages.  Then I set it aside for later, when I have time to really examine the patterns and mark what I might want to stitch.

Just CrossStitch includes beautiful pictures of each finished project, plus easy to read full patterns.

I have saved years of back subscriptions of Just CrossStitch!  I never know when I will feel the itch to stitch and I do love having a variety of patterns available.  

Long before I started my subscription, I would buy the issues every time I visited Barnes & Noble, which used to be quite often before I was gifted with a Kindle.  It was our favorite date night to dine out and then head over to B&N.   
 


Just CrossStitch Magazines


 Just CrossStitch Magazine -Single Issue
December 2017
Check Price
Unlike books, a magazine is very lightweight, which makes it easy to carry when we travel. I always carry either a cross stitch project or a crochet project with me in the car or on a plane.

I well remember cross stitching a bookmark from a Just CrossStitch magazine pattern for my son in the airport on a layover with a flight delay.  It was such a restful way for me to wait.  I didn't stress at all over the delay.  As a matter of fact, I remember thinking how I wished I had time to make a bookmark for our daughter too.

Every time I see my son using that bookmark, I think how glad I am that I used that layover time to make something special for him.  I am also glad the magazine had just the right pattern within its pages.  Of course, that was probably why I selected that particular issue to carry with me.  

Tip:  Patterns for bookmarks only require being small single images pulled from any cross stitch design.  They don't have to be titled "bookmark" for the pattern to work well on a bookmark.

You can purchase the individual issue that you want like I did in years past, or you can subscribe to receive your issue in the mail.  An annual subscription includes 6 issues, plus the Christmas Ornament special edition.

Surprisingly, the Just CrossStitch magazine is now available on Kindle!  I haven't personally tried viewing the magazine on my Kindle since I have the print issue subscription, but I can see how it would be awesome to get them on my Kindle Fire.  (The Kindle Fire will provide color pictures.)



Just CrossStitch DVD's

Just CrossStitch Collection 1983-–1990Just CrossStitch Collection 1983-–1990Check Price
Don't stress if you wish you had discovered this wonderful magazine years ago!  You can purchase DVD's that have the back issue patterns for multiple past years. 

The DVD's contain every issue of the years noted of the Just CrossStitch magazine.  They consist of PDFs that are searchable, plus provide printer-friendly charts. Therefore, you can print out a pattern and carry it with you wherever you go.  Even though I have the magazines, I like having the convenience of the DVD for searching out a pattern of choice.  

When you insert the DVD into your computer's DVD-ROM drive, it will open a list of file names. Simply select the year, then the month you wish to view and open using the free version of Adobe Reader. You can print the patterns by clicking on the print icon of the Adobe Reader.




I Prefer to View On Full Screen and click my mouse to click through the pages. 
 (use the ESC key on your keyboard to close the full screen viewing) 


There are also Halloween or Christmas patterns from the Just CrossStitch magazine available on DVD.








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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




 






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Friday, June 19, 2020

4th of July Placemats Home Decor Review

Decorating with 4th of July Placemats is fast & easy. Selecting Independence Day placemats is fun, but here are a few things to keep in mind before you buy.
Placemats are such a fast and easy way to decorate your home for the 4th of July, or any holiday.

Holidays are normally celebrated with family & friends gathering around tables laden with delicious food.  Hamburgers, Barbecue sandwiches, or hot dogs are often the normal fare for the 4th of July celebrations, but they aren't really "pretty" food.  Colorful placemats provide a very pretty setting for our tables.  They can even make plain white disposal plates more attractive by giving them a lovely background.  Plus, they protect the table.

The featured placemats come with matching coasters and napkins to complete a beautiful table setting.  This set is waterproof and easy to wipe clean.

I chose this set because I have a dark wood dining room table & cobalt blue Fiesta plates. I needed the light or white background for the red, white & blue design to really pop.



 

Selecting 4th of July Placemats


There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting holiday placemats.  A lovely design is clearly the first thing that grabs your attention, but you will also want to consider the following details when making your final choice.
  • How will they Look with Your Dinnerware
  • Are the Placemats Waterproof 
  • Are they Heat Resistant 
  • Are they Non-Slip
  • Will they Protect Your Table
  • Are they Easy to Clean
  • Would they Need to be Ironed 
  • Do they have Matching Napkins
  • Do they have Matching Coasters
  • Do You Want a Matching Tablerunner for Serving Dishes
  • Price (if they are priced individually, consider the cost of 4 or more)

You may have laughed over the question of "do they need to be ironed", but these days, that is a huge issue for me.  Decades ago, I didn't mind washing and ironing placemats.  However, now I prefer avoiding the iron when possible.  Especially, if I am the chef & hostess for the celebration.

I washed all of my placemats, napkins & coasters in cold water with white vinegar in my washing machine immediately upon delivery (prior to taking the picture in the introduction).  The vinegar helps to set the colors so they won't fade.  I dried them in my dryer for 10 minutes in spite of the directions telling me to hang dry them.  As you can see in the introduction photo, they are perfect and required no ironing.

Because the placemats and coasters are backed with a second layer of plain fabric, they appear to be a little darker than the napkins in person and the napkins appear to have brighter print.  However, do not be alarmed.  That really is just an appearance different due to the multiple layers needed for protecting the table.
 




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Friday, June 12, 2020

The Book #STUMPED: Instant Party Riddles for Teens and Adults Reviewed

Stumped Riddles
This is my copy of the book that features
the original book cover
At our last family holiday together, I set out Barbara Tremblay Cipak's #Stumped book for our after dinner game.  Before everyone started leaving the dining tables, our daughter began reading the riddles out loud and we all joined in to guess the answer.  

So much laughter was generated by this simple game as individuals started calling out answers as soon as the riddle reading was completed.  Some of the answers made sense, but were still funny.  We don't  have any shy family members, so this game was most entertaining and made for some wonderful memories of time spent together.

Anytime we have a family gathering, my daughter and I look for new games the family can play together.  I have always hated the times that family members eat and then migrate to the television.  It steals our family time and keeps us from visiting with each other.

I am blessed to be part of a big family.  Unfortunately, we don't all agree on most things and time together can turn into all out family war if politics or religion become part of the discussion.  Therefore, I do understand why some opt to head for the television as soon as mouths are free from eating.  Having a fun game to dominate our interaction is imperative for our family gatherings.

In addition to playing a family game during the holidays, when a family member was in the hospital, #Stumped provided entertainment for the patient who enjoyed the presence of her visitor for long periods of time.  Anyone who has ever visited someone in the hospital understands how you quickly run out of things to talk about. 


#STUMPED: Instant Party Riddles for Teens and Adults 


 #STUMPED: Instant Party Riddles for Teens and AdultsCheck PriceBarbara's riddles are witty and provide enough of a challenge for friendly competition to get the exact right answer.  We did make the rule that the exact answer would be the only accepted answer for a win.  That, of course, would be an option for any group to make for themselves.

I loved the way this book was separated into chapters with a focus title.  A chapter title like "Emotion Riddles" or "Outdoor Riddles" gives a hint to the answer from the beginning. 

I also like that the answers are in the back of the book and not with each riddle.  That keeps anyone from being tempted to read the answer by peeking at the book.  With a large group like ours, the narrator has people on both sides and it would be easy for them to see the book whether intentionally or not. 

Barbara has provided an inside preview of the book on Amazon, which allows you to read a few of the riddles to get an idea of what you can expect.  This was also a big selling point for me.  I needed examples to see if they would be challenging, yet easy enough, for the wide age and education range in our family. 


More Riddle Books from Barbara Tremplay Cipak


The #Stumped book was Barbara's first published riddle book.  She has since released several more.  That means my family can look forward to new challenges at our next family holiday dinner. 

In addition to her riddles, Barbara is an excellent writer.  She has such a beautiful and touching way of expressing herself.  Her books of sayings and recommended messages are inspirational for people like me who feel things deeply, but can't seem to put it into words.  I appreciate that help! 

 




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Friday, June 5, 2020

The Perfect Camera Strap Cover to Protect Your Neck

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2020/05/best-camera-strap-cover-to-protect-neck.html
I own several cameras and I carry one with me almost everywhere I go.  I enjoy taking pictures, focusing on something I might otherwise overlook.  Capturing moments that I can enjoy recollecting years later.

My favorite camera is my Nikon 3100 which has multiple lenses.  I love the zoom lenses that allow close-up shots of something far away, like the hot air balloons in the sky or dangerous wild animals I would never dream of getting huggably close to.  

For years, I complained about my camera strap rubbing and cutting into the back of my neck.  It is the one downside to carrying my "big" camera, which I prefer for the long-range capability. 

My son found and gave me the perfect camera strap cover this past year for Christmas.  However, it is a cover that is not made for a camera strap, nor is it promoted for that purpose.  But, it is truly the best camera strap cover I have ever had.


Camera Strap Cover

Using a Seat Belt Cover as a Camera Strap Cover


 Lebogner Car Seat Belt Shoulder Pad, 2 Pack Soft Harness Cushion Protector, Comfortable Genuine Sheepskin Safety SeatBelt Strap Cover For Adult & Kid Also Good For Backpack, Shoulder Bag & More, BlackCheck PriceWould you believe the solution was  simply a matter of thinking outside the box?  

My son gave me a furry seat belt cover to use as a camera strap cover.  When I first opened it, I wondered why he was giving me a seat belt cover, but I tried to be kind and focused on how soft it was.  He just smiled and said, "Mom, that is for your camera strap".  Wow!  I never would have guessed.

I put it on my camera strap immediately using the sewn on Velcro strips.  It fit like it was made for a wide camera strap. I threw the strap over my head and let it rest on my neck.  Wow again!  It was amazingly soft and definitely protected my neck from the thick, hard edges of the camera strap.

My first day trip after Christmas afforded me to opportunity to wear the new strap cover in normal use.  Hours later, it was still providing a soft cushion on my neck without the soreness that I previously experienced after "wearing" my camera all day. 

Anyone with a camera strap knows the strap will rub against your neck constantly as you move the camera to take photos.  Those straps are a necessity, but they do have a downside.  They rub constantly and dig into your neck skin, almost abrading the skin, making your neck sore.   If you plan to use a camera for hours, you need a protective cover.

The furry seat beat cover truly is the very best camera strap cover!






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Friday, May 29, 2020

Propel Water: Bottled & Powder Packets Reviewed

For several years, I have been drinking Propel water, almost exclusively, instead of any other flavored cold drink.  

I started drinking Propel water because it is so hard to find tasty tap water when we travel and I prefer to avoid the unnecessary calories in soft drinks.  

Bottled water has served travelers well for many years.  I simply prefer the flavored water that Propel offers, especially if we are walking or hiking a lot.

I've been told that it is rude to carry a bottle of water into a restaurant.  I don't doubt the validity of that statement.  While I have no desire to offend anyone, I also have no desire to drink the equivalent of pond scum.  One only has to travel abroad once to recognize the very real reality of the revenge that some tap water will take on a body.  

Tourist cities, and countries, are accustomed to travelers who prefer bottled water.  As a matter of fact, many sell bottled water at local places of interest, on their tour observation buses, and in their restaurants.  I noted the last time I went to Florida, even the hotel was selling bottled water.  I applaud their desire to accommodate a variety of guests with individual preferences or health concerns.  That alone would make me choose that hotel over another when I return.


Why I Prefer Propel


 Propel Powder Packets Four-Flavor Variety Pack With Electrolytes, Vitamins and No Sugar (50 count)Check PriceAs I said earlier, I prefer flavored water.  In addition to being tasty, Propel has 0 calories.  Compare that to the calories in a soft drink, and you can easily see that benefit.

Propel is also vitamin enriched!  For me, that is just a nice side benefit.

My preference to Propel is not just limited to the flavor and calories.  Propel offers individual powder packets!  I can use a powder packet to flavor our local tap water.  When I visit my parents or friends, I don't have to carry a bottled water with me.  I simply carry a powder packet to add to tap water. 

Even at home I use the powder packets.  They take up a lot less storage space and are relatively inexpensive.  I always have bottles of Propel in my refrigerator though for when we make day trips.

Propel is made by Gatorade and is promoted as an exercise drink, enhanced with electrolytes to replace what you lose through sweating.  I did ask my doctor if there were any negatives to drinking Propel water every day.  He didn't know of any negatives. However, his nurse did tell me that Propel will skew a blood test.  Therefore, I don't drink propel after midnight the day before I have an appointment.  



My Preferred Water Bottle


 The Best Water Bottle to Carry Around A few years ago, our own contributor, Barbara Tremblay Cipak, introduced me to the Contigo Water Bottle.   I selected a blue bottle in a slightly different style, but it is still the Contigo brand that Barbara recommended.

I now own 2 bottles so I have one in constant use even when the other is in the dishwasher.  The non-spill lid allows me to keep my water on my nightstand while I sleep.  Now, when I wake up and need a sip of water, it is right there for me.  Plus, it is so nice to have a bottle I can drop, or knock off the table, without spilling the contents on the carpet.

For Propel water, I fill my Contigo water bottle to 20 ounces (not full) and add one packet of Propel powder.   


Disclaimer:  I am not a doctor, nor am I offering any medical advice.  Drinking water is required.  I am not recommending replacing all water consumption with Propel water.











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Friday, May 22, 2020

Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers for Jeep Wranglers Reviewed

We recently purchased an old Jeep Wrangler and my husband has spent a great deal of time restoring it.  I only had one request when he purchased the old jeep.  I asked him to buy new seat covers for it even though the original seat covers were still in good shape.

The jeep was very dirty inside and out when he got it. Apparently, the previous owner drove on muddy trails with the top off and the windows down, often.  The seat covers were filthy.  

My husband took the seats completely out of the jeep and spent three days vacuuming, cleaning, disinfecting, and cleaning them again.  He let me pick out the new seat covers which would slip over the original covers.  I spent about as many days looking at different options, but always returned to the Bartact seat covers.  They were more expensive, but there were excellent reasons for the price.  I felt the extra cost was well worth the added benefits.



Features of the Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers


Because I compared them to several other brands, I will tell you the features that stood out to me and influenced my final choice decision. 

  • Two Storage Packets (placement adjustable & attached to seat backs) 
  • Zippered rear pocket and zippered front pocket.  If you want to ride on jeep trails, having permanent zippered storage pockets is essential.
  • Easy Installation - It took us approximately 15 minutes to install both front seat covers. 
  • High grade waterproof-backed polyester fabric which is cool to the touch
  • Pre-cut slits for the seat belts and seat adjustment latch levers
  • Foam backing for added comfort
  • Mil-Spec - means made to US military standards 
  • Front Seat Covers are Sold in Pairs of 2
  • Made in USA

I listed the pouches and the zipper pockets first because I consider them essential.  In the jeep, there is very little storage.  Only a glove compartment is in our jeep.  There is no center console.  

My husband enjoys the jeep "feel" when exploring off-road jeep trails in our National Parks.  Me, I like to take pictures.  Therefore, I carry my camera supplies, like various size lenses and a spare battery.  The pouches on the seat backs are a better option for my camera than a separate camera bag bouncing around in the floor.

I also carry my "go bag" with us on our day trips.  Public restrooms are a necessity when we are out and about for 8 - 12 hours and I am a firm believer in carrying my own supplies.  (You can read about how I assemble my own public restroom survival kit here.)

Because the top and the windows on our jeep are removable, having waterproof backed seat covers is also essential.  You never know when a little black rain cloud will float overhead.



Installing Bartact Mil-Spec Super Seat Covers on Jeep Wrangler Seats


Installing the Bartact seat covers is super easy!  

You simply pull them over the existing seat covers, lining up the holes with the seat belts and the seat tilt levers.  Pull the velcroed panels between the cushions and press the large Velco pieces together.  

In minutes, you have beautiful new seat covers beckoning you to go for a ride.  

Watch this guy put on his seat covers.  
 


Limited Availability on Amazon - For a larger variety of colors, I recommend Quadratec.com




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Friday, May 15, 2020

A Summer Romance Hallmark Movie Reviewed

I can always depend on Hallmark to provide wholesome entertainment!

A Summer Romance
Hallmark movies have been called "cookie cutter", "unrealistic" and "predictable".  Okay, that may well be true, but who cares.  I love Hallmark movies!  

Hallmark movies are what I call easy watching, like easy listening music.  Not especially profound or deep, but they leave me feeling happy and relaxed.  For me, that is most important when watching movies.  I don't personally need depressing or upsetting, or even realistic all of the time.  But, I'll take "happy" anytime!

I happened upon "A Summer Romance" recently, starring Erin Krakow, who I think is adorable.  It did take me a few minutes to adjust to her character in this movie.  After all, I see her as Elizabeth in "When Calls the Heart" which is an awesome Hallmark series.  She also stars in a Christmas movie I previous reviewed, Finding Father Christmas.  She does an excellent job of acting in all of these movies and has quickly become my favorite Hallmark actress.  Krakow is not exclusively "Hallmark".  They just happen to be where I have seen her most often.

"A Summer Romance" is another sweet romantic movie that ends exactly the way we all hope it will.  Still, it's fun to watch, especially when they take a boy out of the city and introduce him to an unpretentious country girl.  



Plot of the Hallmark movie, A Summer Romance


 A Summer RomanceCheck PriceSamantha Walker is now the sole owner of the Montana ranch that has been in her family for generations.  Unfortunately, a large ranch is expensive to maintain.  Repairs have required Sam to take a bank loan, which she is several months behind on with payments.  That leaves her ranch vulnerable to vultures who desire to build a country club on her land.

Richard Belmont (Ryan Paevey) has already developed a plan to acquire a certain ranch in Bighorn, Montana.  He is certain he can persuade the owner to sell.  What he doesn't realize is that the owner has plans of her own to make her ranch profitable.  

Sam is weighing all of her options, which is why she agrees to meet Belmont and consider his offer.  But, the ranch has been in her family for generations and it is home.  When Richard arrives in Bighorn without reservations for a room, Sam ends up inviting him to stay in the guesthouse on the ranch.  

As Richard spends time with Sam and the residents of the ranch, they all actually become friends.  That is not the best alliance for the man, and the company, who plans to buy the ranch home out from under the owner, now friend.  

Richard only thinks he is completely in charge of the deal.  Sam only thinks she is making the decision.  And, yes, you will have to watch the movie if you want to see what happens.





Currently, "A Summer Romance" can be purchased on DVD linked above, but is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

Subscribe to the Hallmark Channel on Amazon.com
  

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A Summer Romance - Hallmark Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Friday, May 8, 2020

Reviewing "MyPillow" Pillows

I have found several things that I really like about MyPillow. Wash & Dry, Soft yet Firm, Cool, 10yr warranty, made in USA
My Pooh on My Pillow
When my husband suggested we buy a pair of "My Pillow" pillows, I was hesitant to spend more money on pillows.  After all, we have tried several brands in the last few years and none have been worth the price.  As a matter of fact, I have always gone back to my 20+ year old pillow that I can fold in half and make work for me.  However, I do believe I can now retire that tired old pillow.  Much to my surprise, the MyPillow pillow is exactly what I need.

The MyPillow website has a "find your fill" chart (on this page).  I answered the 4 questions and then rebelled against the recommendation.  I didn't believe for one second that I needed a "more fill" firm pillow (their green product).  I have tried firm pillows in the past and hated them.  I need the support under my head, but I prefer a soft pillow.  After a great deal of speculation and reading the reviews in multiple places, I decided to try the site's pillow choice recommendation.


I am delighted with the results!



Benefits of the MyPillow Pillows


 My Pillow Classic Series [Std/Queen,Medium Fill] Now Available in 4 Loft LevelsI have found several things that I really like about MyPillow

  1. Multiple Loft Levels - Choose the one that is best for you
  2. Comfortable for Side or Back Sleeping
  3. Washable
  4. Dry in Dryer
  5. Soft Feel, Yet Firm Support 
  6. Cooler than a normal pillow
  7. King Size Available
    (I opted for the Standard/Queen size)
  8. 10 year warranty
  9. Made in USA

Upon receipt, I unwrapped our MyPillows pillows and washed them first.  I wanted to ensure they were really washable and able to be dried in my dryer.  I was thrilled with the excellent results.  Now, when either of us is sick, we can still use our preferred, comfortable pillow and simply wash & dry it to remove germs.  That is a huge benefit for a pillow.










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House of Sylvestermouse




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Friday, May 1, 2020

How to Make a Very Easy Afghan with Loop Yarn

Almost anyone can make a loop yarn afghan! No needles or hooks are required. All you need are your fingers and small scissors.
Almost anyone can make a loop yarn afghan!   

Even someone with arthritis who can no longer grip a crochet hook or knitting needles can make a loop yarn afghan that is beautiful.  This would also be the perfect afghan project for those who don't know how to knit or crochet.

Loop yarn is not a normal string of yarn, it is made with loops.  Most of the patterns either say knit or crochet, but you really are not doing either.  No needles or hooks are required.  You only use your fingers to weave the yarn.

When I first spotted Yarnspirations loop yarn, I knew I wanted to make something with it.  Normally, I would find a pattern and want to make a specific item.  However, in this case, it was the yarn that called to me.  I bought the yarn, then went on a search for a pattern.  I knew exactly what I would make when I discovered this afghan pattern that resembles a cable stitch. 

The Bernat Alize loop yarn is the softest yarn I have ever touched.  When my son first touched my afghan while I was making it, he said if felt like a chinchilla.  He is absolutely right!  I had been saying it felt like petting a baby rabbit, but it really is softer than a bunny.  This yarn truly is a joy to work with and to touch.


Loop Yarn Easy Afghan Pattern


I discovered this fabulous video that taught me how to make the pattern I love.  Instead of trying to write out instructions, I'll share the video.  It is very easy to follow and makes a lovely design.  

I do have a few tips to share before you begin.  

  1. Have a pair of small scissors available.  You start the project by cutting a few of the loops open.  You will also need them each time you start a new skein of yarn.
  2.  Decide how wide you want your afghan before you start.  I opted for a throw size afghan (100 loops - 60" wide), which is approximately half the size of a standard throw. 
  3. I originally purchased 10 skeins of yarn, but that was not quite enough for my desired length.  I actually needed 12 skeins.
  4. After you have completed the first few rows, the pattern design is easy to see, which makes continuing each row very easy.
  5. Instead of sitting at a table, I use a lap desk that sits on the arms of my recliner.  That allows me to watch a movie while making my afghan.

As you can see in my photos, I used a variegated denim blue & white colored yarn.  This yarn is available in 10 - 12 different colors (see below).  I highly recommend using the Yarnspirations Bernat Alize Loop Yarn.

 



My Lap Desk


In case you are interested, you can purchase a lap desk just like mine on Etsy.  Clearly, you can use the lap desk for a lot of other things as well as crafts.  It even has a groove on each side for pens, pencils, markers, craft tools, etc.   

Click my image below to see the actual Etsy listing and shop where I purchased mine. 

 Lap Desk Available on Etsy

To See Several Colors Available, Click Here!





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House of Sylvestermouse




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