Showing posts with label The Savvy Age. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Savvy Age. Show all posts

Monday, May 10, 2021

Favorite Window Cleaner Review: Sprayway

Spring cleaning in the north usually includes the windows and it can be a chore! After having the long overdue windows professionally cleaned I asked they window cleaner which product they liked to clean glass and windows. The recommendation was Sprayway.



I was not familiar with Sprayway and was kidding the window washer about how I used to clean windows old school with a homemade liquid mix and newspapers. This method worked well until the ink was changed on newspapers...where the ink now ends upon your hands and the paper disintegrates. I then changed to the infamous blue bottle spray which I found was adequate enough, but left alotof streaks.

I searched out a bottle of Sprayway to try and am very pleased with the results. No streaks! Leaves the glass or window shiny and sparkly. Easy to use and the results are worth the labor.

Affordable Price

This is a product I suggest you comparison shop for if buying online. I found a huge price discrepancy between purchasing at the usual online and buying at brick and mortar stores in the area.  The online offerings also required a multi-pack purchase. Sprayway was easily found at the local Ace Hardware store, big box hardware stores and grocery stores. 

Curbside pickup is available for each store and while not as convenient as ordering online w mail delivery the savings were significant. 

Foam Or Spray

I have only used the spray version of the product. While intrigued with a foam option I decided to stay with the spray bottle for this round of glass cleaning.

Shout out to Ace Hardware

Once again the local Ace store comes through. Both the foam and spray versions were available.Ace offers online ordering with curbside pickup plus earning points on the Ace rewards card for monetary rewards. Always a fan of the local Ace store and much prefer to shop local if possible.

More About Ace

Ace Hardware Reviewed by Wednesday Elf

Local Ace Hardware Reviewed by The Savvy Age






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Monday, April 26, 2021

Mega Maxx Furniture Lifter Reviewed

Furniture moving can be an issue! If you like to change up the interior decor handling the actual moving can be a chore and even more of a chore if strong family members are not available. The Mega Maxx Furniture Lifter can be the answer to make furniture moving easy!



Designed to move furniture with one person and that includes appliances! This deceptively simple looking device is a gadget worth owning. Affordable price point, easy to use and easy to move. I had read the reviews prior to purchasing and so many lauded this device to move furniture with one person. I was intrigued and after using the Mega Maxx found the reviews to be on point.

 

How To Use

Of course read the instructions first; always so tempting to just dive into using a gadget before reading the directions. The directions are well written and easy to understand and get an overview of how the furniture lifter works.



The lifter is like a lever on a handle. The lifer is inserted under the corner of the furniture piece and a roller or slider is inserted  under each corner. The height of the lifter can be modified with the included adjustable bases capable of handling all heights of furniture and furniture legs. 

The Mega Maxx really is quick, simple and easy. It is slightly quicker to use the lifter with two people as one person can use the device to lift the corner and the second person can insert the roller or slider. But two people are absolutely not required. 

 

What's In The Box

Furniture Lifter

Rollers

Adjustable Bases

For Hardwood Floors

Leaving marks on your hardwood floors or tile floors is always a major concern when attempting to move furniture. Pairing the Mega Maxx with felt sliders is the easy answer to move furniture safely!.

Use the furniture lifter to life one corner, insert a furniture slider under each corner/leg and you are good to move!

For tiled floors the Mega Maxx kit includes rollers for each leg. Heavy appliances can be moved with ease with the rollers under each corner. The rollers are then removed once the appliance has landed in its' new location.

 

For Carpet

To move furniture on carpet I found pairing the furniture lifter with sliders made specifically for carpet made moving the heaviest of furniture so easy! The sliders are removed just like the rollers once the furniture has found its' new location.



Removing the Rollers or Sliders

Simply reverse the process by using the lifter to lift the corner, carefully remove the roller or slider and gently lower the furniture corner to the floor.

Recommendation

This will be a favorite gadget of the year! Even though I had read the very positive reviews I admit I was skeptical. This product delivers as promised and turns furniture moving into a pleasure instead of chore.

As with any product be mindful of reading the directions thoroughly as well as the safety precautions. Follow the directions to lift and glide your furniture safely and easily.






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Monday, April 12, 2021

Aootek 182 Solar Light Reviewed - A Favorite!

The Aootek 182 Solar Light is by far my favorite solar light that delivers as promised. Bright, easy to install, easy to use and an environmentally friendly solar solution.



Old housing stock can be a challenge! Are the electrical sockets ever conveniently located? Ever located in a place you actually could use a socket? Unless your home or condo or apartment has been updated at quite the expense with new wiring - outdoor lighting can be a challenge.

Installation

It is very, very easy to install the Aootek Solar light. The hardware comes with the light, but I found a reviewer had a valuable suggestion for those who do not want to wield a screwdriver. The two holes which could be used for the screws can be used with cable ties to attach the light. As we were in the middle of a polar vortex the logistics of cold, snow, ice and installation was not practical.

I simply used two cable ties and attached the light to a fence in the same area of the hard wired light which did not make it through the winter. Perfect!

Three Convenient Brightness Settings

The light has three settings:

1. Security Option: Light turns on with motion automatically and then turns off automatically.

2. All Night Option: Light turns on at night automatically and stays on until sunrise.

3. Combination Motion and Dimmer: Bright light triggered with motion and when motion ceases the light stays on but will be dimmer until sunrise.

As two lights were included with the purchase I use Option 1 for the garage area and Option 3 for the deck. Option 3 works wonderfully if you have a dog as the light will be bright when the dog is being let out and then is dim for the porch area.

The light is very bright. This is not garden decorative lighting; if bright and secure is your desire then this light is a great option.



Setting the Options

There is a toggle button on the back of the light to access the three settings. My one consideration with the light is the design of the button. The button is covered with a plastic plug which can be a challenge to remove then place back after the setting is chosen. I suggest tweezers or a comparable tool to help with this feature.

Solar

Because the light is solar, the light does need to be charged with sunlight before installation. I admit I was a bit skeptical with the lack of sunshine in the upper midwest in the winter. I have been disappointed before with solar lights as they just could not stay charged in the winter months or even become charged if installed in the "shade".

This light is a champ. On a rare(!) sunny day, I charged the light inside at a sunny window. The light was then installed in an area which receives very little sunshine anytime of the year. No problem! 

I highly recommend the Aootek Solar Lights. There is a reason this light has over 20,000 reviews and this light delivers as promised at an economical purchase price and then uses the sun to power the light flawlesly.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, March 22, 2021

Ribbit! Froggy Voice App Reviewed

Whose ribbit is that? I found 'that' a question which frequently comes to mind when listening to the chirps, ribbits, boinks, jingles, peeps, trills and croaks calling from a pond, wetland or even your backyard at night. 


Why Are Frogs & Toads So Valuable To Our Ecosystem

These peeps, chirps and ribbits are vital to the health of the wetlands, ponds/lakes, marshes, vernal ponds. But the larger picture is the direct relation of the health of frogs and toads to the health of the ecosystem and stormwater management in this area.

Frogs and toads are indicator species. Sensitive to changes in the environment, the health of these species are indicators of the health of our ecosystem. That's the thumbnail! But oh so much more goes into why It Is Not Easy Being Green.

Froggy Voice is an app designed to help you distinguish the calls of each species specifically for the species in the River Rouge Watershed and the annual Frog & Toad Survey. I learned about this app at the Frog & Toad Survey Workshops by the Friends Of The Rouge to train volunteers to participate in their annual Frog & Toad Survey.

This hyper local app is a practical and purposeful tool for the surveyors as well as an educational tool for anyone interested in learning how to distinguish the calls of frogs and toads and appreciate their contribution to a healthy ecosystem. 

Practical App

Form, function and design seamlessly meet to solve exactly what the user asks in a one stop app. No need to google your question as Froggy Voice already knows why you are there, what you need, what you want and provides the answers all on one screen.

The Frog & Toad Survey is an annual survey to assess the health of the frogs and toads in the Rouge Watershed. Briefly a watershed is an area that drains into a river. In my area the Rouge River watershed is 467 square miles which drains into the Detroit River. This is miles and miles of high density urban development intermingled within lakes, rivers, marshes and wetlands. 

It can be overwhelming for a novice surveyor to distinguish the calls of the frogs and toads whether in practice or during an on site survey. Froggy Voice was designed to help the novice and experienced surveyors while being a fun educational tool.

For novice surveyors Froggy Voice helps accentuate the training to assist new surveyors of the nuances of the calls of each species. The app contains 12 frog calls and 2 toad calls with the caveat this app is specifically designed for species found in the River Rouge Watershed.

For experienced surveyors the app is a  helpful reminder of the calls of the frogs and toads found in the watershed. The annual frog and toad survey season is short and occurs March through June in my area. 

Multicaller Function

For both the novice and experienced surveyors the Multicaller function is extremely helpful to distinguish the 'who is who' when hearing frog calls from different species simultaneously.

A virtual mix and match of frog sounds can be accomplished in a click of the mouse. The user simply clicks the icons of the desired frog species to hear the combination of frog calls. An invaluable feature for on site surveying when you hear multiple frog calls to ensure accuracy for your survey.

Responsiveness

Froggy Voice is a responsive app which can be accessed via desktop or mobile. I have used the app on desktop, iOS mobile and android devices and found the app performs equally across all platforms.

Last weekend my survey partner and I headed out to our survey area and as novices loved the ability to have the mobile version of the app on our phones. So easy, so convenient and so helpful!



If interested in learning more about how frogs and toads directly relate to the health of  your environment, your neighborhood, and your wetlands additional resources are below. 

Resources

Frog & Toad Surveying, Friends of The Rouge (FOTR)

Rouge River Watershed Amphibian Assessment, Rouge River Advisory Council,

Froggy Voice by Bingle

Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project, Alliance of the Rouge Communities

2020 Frog & Survey Results, FOTR






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Monday, March 8, 2021

Murdoch Mysteries Reviewed

 Are you a fan of mysteries? Mystery movies? Mystery books? Intrigue mixed with non fiction? Then Murdoch Mysteries is in your lane.


What Is Murdoch Mysteries?

Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian television series which is in its' 14 season. The series is based on the novels of the same name by Canadian novelist Maureen Jennings. The star of the show is a police detective named William Murdoch working cases Toronto in the 19th and 20th centuries.

But Murdoch is not a typical police detective show in that it is a mix of weaving technology of the eras along with technology of the future along with real life historical events. The historical events may seem familiar if you are not a history fan or very familiar if you are well versed in history. 

Hence the episodes are education, informative and entertaining which makes for very interesting viewing. Wonder how the old school fax was developed? Sonar? Fingerprinting? The series also incorporates real people of that era from politics to science to inventors to educators; names you will find very familiar.

There is a reason Murdoch is in its' 14th season and I am happy to have discovered this series upon the recommendation of a friend. Perfect for binge watching and even happier I discovered the entire series is available to stream without cost (see below!)

Where To Find Murdoch Mysteries

If you happen to live in the United States close to the Canadian border Murdoch can be viewed in real time on the CBC Canadian station. I happen to live very close to the Canadian border and the CBC station airs Murdoch reruns and the current season.

Amazon offers the series through Amazon Prime, but at a cost per episode.

My best find when researching where to find Murdoch Mysteries is Hoopla. Hoopla is a free digital service offered through your local library. I reviewed Hoopla here; my complimentary Hoopla subscription allows 20 borrows per month. However, due to the amount of increased interest of their viewers in the past year Hoopla has been offering Hoopla Bonus which allows additional borrows per month without counting those borrows toward your monthly limit.

Murdoch Mysteries is currently airing its' 14 season and bonus! Hoopla offers the prior 13 seasons to borrow and enjoy.

Free Streaming Services Reviews

Hoopla

Kanopy 

Freegal




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Monday, February 22, 2021

Favorite Hallmark Winter Movies Reviewed

Being an unabashed Christmas movie Hallmark fan there can be a Hallmark movie letdown after the holidays. While the Hallmark Christmas movies remain my favorite - the winter brings some entertaining Hallmark movies not to miss. 



I'm no fan of winter, but winter is a bit more tolerable with a Hallmark movie to view after a day battling the snow, ice, salting and shoveling of a typical winter day in the Northern United States.

My Favorite Winter Theme Hallmark Movies

Love On Ice

Ice Skating, another winter sport I enjoy, is the backdrop for this Hallmark movie with Hallmark favorite Andrew Walker. He plays a figure skating coach hired to continue a young skaters' ascent through skating competitions. However, Hallmark fate steps in as he finds a former figure skater teaching at the same rink. The three combine to skate, compete and begin their collective journey to the figure skating championships. Figure skaters and figure skating fans will appreciate the nod to their sport in this delightful Hallmark movie.

Winter In Vail 

This is a very cute winter movie with two of the popular Hallmark leads Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes. The story revolves around a displaced event planner who inherits a beautiful Vail home. She teams with the local to preserve the history of his family business and the business itself. Strudel, beautiful scenery and quick banter are the theme of the movie which keeps true to the Hallmark romantic theme.

Taking A Shot At Love 

New for 2021 is Taking A Shot At Love with Alexa Penavaga and Luke McFarlane. Alexa plays a ballet instructor with the unexpected side gig of rehabbing a professional hockey player. Ballet, wit, and hockey play out through this charming and entertaining movie.

Two For The Win

Also new for 2021 is Two For the Win. I love skiing so this movie was fun to watch. The local ski instructor and professional skiier have a long history and the Hallmark sparks fly when she is hired to coach the professional after rehabbing an injury. Picturesque winter scenes and plenty of snow dominate the background of this ski loving movie.

Winter Castle

Have you ever dreamed of taking a vacation to an Ice Hotel? Hallmark veterans Kevin McGarry and Emilie Ullerup are at the Ice Hotel to attend the destination as the best man and maid of honor. The scenery is gorgeous as this was filmed at the real life Hotel de Glace in Quebec. Staying at an ice hotel is not for the timid traveler! Enjoy the ice hotel backdrop with the Hallmark romance intertwined.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed




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Monday, February 8, 2021

USPS Informed Delivery Reviewed

 Ever wonder what the mail will bring? Are you trying to track a lost package or envelope? Try the Informed Delivery Service offered for free by the United States Postal Service. Incoming mail and packages are scanned by the USPS and the images are delivered to you everyday via email.



Email Delivery

Every morning around 8:00 a.m. I receive an email with the scanned images of incoming mail. Incoming envelopes and some direct mail flyers are scanned, larger junk mail is not included.

I have found the service to be very accurate as to what is actually delivered and of course shout out to a wonderful mailman we are lucky to have.



Packages

The service also tracks any incoming packages. This has been very helpful when trying to track a package ordered online, but the package is mailed via two delivery services. I have found this to be happening more and more frequently where one major delivery service hands off the package to the local USPS for delivery.

When you track the delivery route at times it has been difficult to determine when/if the package is being delivered and by which service.


How To Sign Up?

A few clicks of the mouse will bring you to the sign up page for Informed Delivery Service.

Click here to view the sign up instructions.

The service is free. An USPS account is not needed. If you already have an online account with the USPS you can sign in and then navigate to the instructions if desired.

Looking For A Specific Piece Of Mail?

This service is wonderful if you have an important piece of mail you are expecting or if unfortunately a piece of mail is expected, but has not arrived.

A Handy Dandy Companion

The Guard Your ID Stamp is a handy dandy companion to the USPS Informed Delivery service along with your paper shredder to protect your personal information.

Review of the Guard Your ID Stamp is available here.





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Monday, January 25, 2021

Ice Castles Movie Reviewed

Flashback to 1978! This is a favorite movie. It has been quite awhile since I watched this movie and after I found it again on Amazon Prime this movie brought back the memories.


Love Story

Ice Castles is a love story set within the world of figure skating. Figure skater fans will appreciate the skating and love story fans will appreciate the old flame comes to the rescue storyline.

Figure Skating

The story contains plenty of figure skating and the competitive skating world is the backdrop for the love story. If you love to watch figure skating you will enjoy the figure skating scenes throughout the movie.

Persistence

Ultimately this is a love story of persistence. Persistence to overcome, persistence to prevail and the persistence of how love can prevail.


The Stars

Lynn Holly Johnson is the small town figure skater with Olympic hopes whose eye injury renders her blind. Lynn Holly was actually an Ice Capades figure skater when producers recruited her for the part of Lexie.
Robby Benson has been described at the IT star of the 1970's plays the hockey player and old flame of Lexie who comes to her aid as she navigates life as a blind figure skater.
Colleen Dewhurst is the small town coach who is instrumental in coaching Lexie on her way up and holding Lexie up while recovering from her accident.

Through The Eyes Of Love


Melissa Manchester's Through The Eyes Of Love is the theme song for the movie. If you don't remember the movie the theme song may bring back a few memories! The song was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.




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Monday, January 11, 2021

Guard Your ID Stamp Reviewed

 I received this very practical and very useful gadget for Christmas and the Guard Your ID stamp has quickly climbed to the top of my favorite gadget list!




How The Guard Your ID Works

I believe this gadget falls under the "Why Didn't I Think Of That!" category for paper management. While I make every effort to go paperless I still receive unsolicited and undesired direct mail advertisements printed with my personal information.

Many times the direct mail advertisements are heavy on paper and envelopes, but have your personal information just one spot. The Guard Your ID stamp is perfect to quickly eliminate the personal information to then dispose of the mailer in the trash or in the paper to be shredded pile. 

Easy as 1-2-3 simply open the stamp, blot out your personal information on the mailer and you are done!

Quick, Easy & Convenient

I love the ease of this gadget. All you have to remember is to replace the cap, give a twist to the cap and the ink and stamp is stored safely for the next use.

Paper Shredders Plus Guard Your ID

The Guard Your ID stamp is the perfect companion to the traditional paper shredder to protect personal information. If you have ever tangled with a home paper shredder I have found that our home shredder is not fond of the mailers and envelopes. Nothing like having a few unwanted envelopes stuck in the shredder to try and untangle.


Fun Practical Gift

I liked this gadget so much I purchased the three pack to have one at the office and two in the gift bag stash. A great little add on for practical gift giving. Savings Hint: Coupons on the single stamp and three pack are available frequently on amazon for a nice savings!




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Monday, December 28, 2020

Book Review: Craving London by Jessica Stone

When I read Jessica's introduction I immediately thought of the infamous "You Had Me At Hello..." scene in Jerry Maguire. Why? And how does Tom Cruise and Rene Zellweger relate to this book? Because my immediate thought after reading the introduction to Craving London was "You Had Me At the Introduction..."

What a great way to begin the journey into Jessica Stone's Craving London! A delightful romantic memoir of Jessica moving from New York to London with no predefined plan and the intertwining of discovering London through its' food, culture and of course romance. 

This book is a memoir of the journey of love, life and alot of laughs in a new country. Easy to summarize in a sentence, but not so easy to navigate as reality.  Admire her guts and tenacity navigating London without a safety net and then add her Cuban heritage and a dash of Paris for a full menu of diverse stories and recipes all can enjoy.

Foodies And The Recipes

Craving London is not a cookbook. But with delight for all foodies are recipes sprinkled throughout the book cohesively interwoven with Jessica's love affair with London. 

I love old school tried and true recipes. Each recipe has a backstory which are part of the charm; however, even more charming is that the recipes are for cooks. Not chefs, not fancy ingredients one cannot find or afford, but recipes across the food spectrum you will immediately say, "I can make that." Or more importantly, "I can't wait to make that!" Which brings us to my favorite chapter title...

Who Moved My Grilled Cheese?

This is a chapter after my own love affair with grilled cheese sandwiches. It's rare for me to meet a grilled cheese sandwich I do not like. While Jessica trained in patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu,  I appreciate her sharing the recipes throughout her London travels and trust me, this is a grilled cheese recipe you will want to try. 

The Ending?

Does Jessica find love? Is there a happy ending? Of course I cannot spoil the journey, but just as authentic is Jessica's life journey, the ending of this book is just as authentic.

Recommendation

I highly recommend Craving London. If you are a fan of memoirs with a sense of humor, recipes with a sense of purpose and navigating the twists and turns of romance then this is a book for you. If you have ever thought, dreamed, considered or are on the fence about changing up your life without knowing exactly where you will land enjoy the trials and tribulations of Jessica's journey from the comfort of your home - laugh, live, love vicariously through her journey while you are considering your own.

I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.





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Monday, December 14, 2020

What's A Spurtle? The Spurtle Review

I admit I have a special fondness for kitchen gadgets. Oh I have tried a few! Some are winners, some are losers and some end up in the Kitchen Tool Hall of Fame! The Spurtle is a kitchen tool which has turned out to be a favorite and deserves a place in the Kitchen Tool Hall Of Fame!


What Is A Spurtle?

A spurtle is a wooden kitchen tool from Scotland. It dates back to the fifteenth, yes the fifteenth century. It was used to stir porridge and originally had was shaped like a dowel. This design helped keep the porridge lump free.

I was first introduced to the spurtle by Mad Hungry's Lucinda Scala Quinn who has her own line of spurtles with todays' version. The current spurtle design has a longer flat area.  

I consider the spurtle a hybrid; a cross between a wooden spoon and spatula. When you think of the multitude of ways wooden spoons and spatulas are used in cooking and baking then you can see how many different ways a spurtle can be used. The difference is the spurtle does it better than my wooden spoons and spatulas.

Mashed potatoes, soups, any kind of dough, creamy salads, oatmeal, egg dishes and stuffing are just a few ways I use the spurtle. 

Of course making cookies is a definite favorite and the spurtle excels at not only mixing the dough, but scraping the edges of the bowl. No waste with the spurtle!

 

The 27th Golden Spurtle Championship

Every kitchen tool needs a championship and the spurtle is no exception. The 27th Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship is held in Scotland annually to celebrate the heritage of the spurtle and its' porridge origin. Adapting to the theme of 2020, this years' competition was virtual with competitors submitting videos and their favorite spurtle porridge recipe. 

Spurtles now come included in wooden kitchen tool sets or sold by themselves. Try it you will like it is my motto with the spurtle. Your mashed potatoes will thank you!








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Monday, November 23, 2020

Review: Liven Up Your Zoom Background With A Green Chromakey Backdrop

Have you ever wondered how it seems everyone in a virtual meeting has THE perfect office as seen from the background of the camera. The perfect bookshelves, the perfectly clean office, the perfectly arranged room which shines from behind on the computer screen.

It is an illusion. An illusion provided by a green chromakey backdrop ala the green screen we are used to seeing in the creation of movies with special effects. The green screen is now available for online meetings and the ZOOM platform does make it very easy to switch in and out your favorite background.


As working at home is the new normal for many or for seasoned virtual workers, the Chromakey Green Backdrop is a great gift or stocking stuffer! This is the gift any virtual employee will appreciate and may not want to buy, but will love receiving.

A gift certificate to iron (see below!) and install the backdrop would be an added bonus!

How To Hang The Backdrop

What is key for this backdrop is your iron! Yes, I am not a fan of ironing. But as noted by many of the over 2,000 reviews the backdrop must be free of wrinkles to work properly. Have you ever been in a ZOOM meeting where one person seems to fade in and out of their background? A wrinkle is probably to blame. 

The illusion is slightly ruined when a face starts dropping in and out of the gorgeous window we thought?! was in the office. After the ironing is complete the installation of the Green Backdrop is very easy.

Installation Tips

Avoid breezes, fans, air ducts and heat return ducts! Air flow will create the same effect as a wrinkle. Viewers will suddenly find yourself in your actual room instead of the virtual background of your choice when the air conditioning or heat turns on.

My green backdrop is now hung with an inexpensive curtain rod at the top of the wall. If you'd like to try out the backdrop first before investing in a hardware or putting holes in the wall then the backdrop can be adhered to a blank wall with painters tape. Again, the backdrop still needs to be ironed.

The permanent but portable solution is to purchase a backdrop frame on wheels. This looks similar to a rolling luggage rack and allows the backdrop to be easily moved from room to room or from desktop to

a laptop in a different room. The backdrop does come with hanging clips for the installment option which works best for your virtual office.

Where To Find Fun And Free Zoom Backgrounds

Once your backdrop is ironed and ready to go then the fun can begin with shopping for backgrounds. A multitude of free resources exist to download backgrounds. Travel from the artic to the tropics to the office you wish you had! with the click of a download.

A few favorites to shop for ZOOM backgrounds:

Unsplash Sleek and modern

Pexels  Huge variety from all parts of the world!

Good Housekeeping  (Hallmark fan alert, there are Hallmark backgrounds!)

and ZOOM 

Shop around the web and find the background to make your virtual meeting just a little more interesting!






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Monday, November 9, 2020

Tips And Tricks To Make Holiday Fudge

Christmas and the holidays mean one word in this house - Fudge! It was and is the annual tradition to make fudge for the Christmas holidays. Fudge is not difficult to make, but does require strict attention to the recipe for a successful fudge dessert. I have compiled a few tips and tricks to make fool proof successful fudge for the holiday season.




The Original Fantasy Fudge Recipe is my favorite fudge recipe. It is tried and true. A smooth and creamy consistency that melts in your mouth. This is fudge made with marshmallow creme in a jar - old school with the original recipe ingredients. The recipe on the jar of today is slightly different from the original and as always, Grandma knows best when it comes to recipes. 

Fudge Tips And Tricks

One cooking tip I have learned through which is now probably hundreds of times making fudge (disclaimer: the annual Christmas fudge tradition has transitioned into making fudge a few times a year, so I am not 100, but have probably made fudge at least 100 times through my fudge career) is the boiling time.


Perfect, creamy, melt in your mouth fudge with this recipe requires five minutes of rocking and rolling boiling. Not a second more, not a second less and the fudge comes out perfect. 

The second cooking tip I have learned is to stir stir and stir. While the ingredients are boiling the fudge must be stirred constantly or the bottom will burn on the pan. Not only does this ruin the taste the pan will be absolutely horrendous to try and clean. Just when your arm is exhausted is not the time to walk away from boiling ingredients - keep stirring!

The third cooking tip I have learned is to split the cooked fudge into two batches: one with nuts and one without. Fudge lovers are definitely in two distinct groups as to if fudge should be with or without nuts. I prefer fudge without nuts so am very partial to leaving the nuts out entirely. This is a large recipe so there is plenty of fudge to make 3/4 of a batch without nuts and 1/4 batch with nuts or vice versa.




Fun Fudge Recipes From The Savvy Age

What else can you do with Fudge? Alot! Fudge is such a hit for the holidays with a little experimentation I have found fudge is also quite versatile. The favorites fudge spin off recipes so far: 

Fudge Christmas Cutouts



Fudge Cups - Snickerdoodle Fudge



Fudge Balls






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Monday, October 26, 2020

Christmas Tree Lane: Hallmark Movie Review

Hallmark opened up the 2020 Christmas movie season with a winner! Christmas Tree Lane will not disappoint Hallmark fans and will definitely not disappoint Hallmark Christmas fans. 

A delightful romance with all the necessary Hallmark elements will delight fans and will leave you eagerly awaiting the newest Hallmark Christmas movies along with past favorites.


The Stars

Hallmark brought out the A team actors of Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker to create the chemistry for the Christmas Tree Lane story. Each actor has starred in multiple Hallmark movies and are fan favorites. Andrew plays an architect whose family business has its' eye on the infamous and beloved Christmas Tree Lane. Alicia plays the owner of her families shop threatened by the redevelopment along with all of Christmas Tree Lane.

I won't spoil the love story; however, the story line may sound familiar to Hallmark fans and that is just fine with Hallmark fans! It is the chemistry and acting which makes the story and both stars bring this romance to life.

Fun Facts

Alicia Witt not only stars in Christmas Tree Lane and executive produced the movie. But wait there is more. She also created the story, brought the story to Hallmark,  wrote the theme song, played the piano and performed the song in the movie. 

One Life To Live fans will recognize the actor who plays Alicia's father - guess who?

Catch a sneak peek here of Christmas Tree Lane while you are waiting for the replay!





More Hallmark Christmas Movies

I recently wrote a review for the Hallmark Christmas movies 2020 and did pick this movie out as a movie to bookmark! Christmas Tree Lane is on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

There will be 40 new Hallmark Christmas movies for 2020 and let's hope all movies will be as good as Christmas Tree Lane! The new movies will be shown on both Hallmark channels: Hallmark and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review by Cynthia

Happy Hallmark Christmas!






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Monday, October 12, 2020

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed

Ready, set and Hallmark! It may be Fall, but Fall means the start of the Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.



Yes, unabashed Hallmark fan here and my absolute favorite Hallmark movies are the Christmas movies. I reviewed my Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies in 2018 and while those are my favorite I have added a few as new Hallmark Christmas movies which have debuted.

Christmas In Rome, Christmas Town, Christmas At The Plaza were favorites for 2019.

What's In Store For Hallmark Christmas 2020?


Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas begins Friday, October 23rd. The Hallmark Channel Movies and Mysteries has also joined the Christmas fun with its' Miracles Of Christmas movies also beginning October 23, 2020.

In all there will be 40 new Christmas movies for 2020: 23 on the Hallmark Channel and 17 on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries channel.

Hallmark Favorites Return For 2020


I'm looking forward to the return of favorite Hallmark stars for the Christmas season!


  • If I Only Had Christmas, starring Candace Cameron Bure
  • Christmas Waltz, starring Lacey Chabert
  • Chateau Christmas, starring Merritt Patterson and Luke Macfarlane
  • Cross Country Christmas, starring Rachael Leigh Cook
  • Christmas Tree Lane, starring Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker
  • Cranberry Christmas, starring Nikki DeLoach and Benjamin Ayres
Where to Find Hallmark Christmas Movies?
If your cable subscription does not include Hallmark or you have cut the cable cord, Hallmark Channel is available with the Hallmark Everywhere App

A monthly plan is also available with the Hallmark Movies Now service for $4.99 a month. A seven day free trial is available to give the channel a no obligation spin.


More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review by Cynthia

Pick of The Hallmark Christmas Movies

Flashback to A Christmas Detour



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Monday, September 28, 2020

Garage Parking Sensor Aid Review

Loving this new garage gadget! This Adjustable Garage Parking Sensor Aid is just the gadget I needed to help park the car safely in the garage and avoid tangling with a wood shelving unit. This shelving unit came with the garage and while handy is a bit problematic to fit the car in the garage.


What one does not want to hear when driving the car into a tight sized garage is the sound of crackling wood. While this wood organizer unit can be very handy and it is very utilized, it appeared the prior owners of said organizer may have had a few run ins with the support posts. 

Just guessing, but a little bump of the support post produced .... a cracked post. 



Going Bump In The Night

On the advice of a handy neighbor he told me about automatic garage sensors to help with judging the distance between the wood shelves and the car bumper. I had been using the tried and true low tech tennis ball as a guide to stopping; however if juggling two differently sized cars, which may or may not park in the same spot, the tennis ball has its' limits.

Handy Gadget

The length between the shelving unit and the garage door is very tight with very little space to maneuver. Enter the Garage Parking Sensor Aid

I love gadgets that are practical, fulfill a need with the bonus of affordable and easy to install. The Garage Parking Sensor fulfills all of the above!

 

Easy To Install

The unit can be installed in less than five minutes! It is that easy. No need to be handy. The unit runs on AA batteries or can be charged with a mini USB connection. 

Decide where the bumper of the car should stop and align the bottom sensor with the bumper. 

The top part shaped like a stoplight can be adhered with the included double stick tape or as many reviewers suggested using a cable tie or velcro. There happen to be a wide ledge I could prop the top part of the unit so no tape was needed.

The top and bottom sensor are connected with a generous length of wire to adapt to all size vehicles.

The Approach

What is very nice is how the distance from entering the garage to the stopping point is measured. The stop sign indicator is large enough to easily view. 

As the car approaches the light of the unit progresses from green to yellow to red. The yellow to red progression is very helpful as a guide point to be prepared to stop.

This quick video shows in real time the Garage Parking Sensor at work.



This really is a 1-2-3 open the package and install in five minutes! I can now send the tennis ball back to the court where it belongs!









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Review This is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor
We may be apart, but You Are Not Forgotten

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

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