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

Monday, July 8, 2024

Amazon Prime All Access Reviewed

Let there be music! Chances are you may be an Amazon Prime customer, but have you utilized the All Access features for music playlists? All Access is a music feature on Amazon Prime that lets you create custom playlists plus curated playlists by Amazon.

Amazon curates play lists based on your library, browsing history, song or artist choice. The names of the playlists from the phone app are self explanatory: My Mix, My Frequent Plays, My Recent Plays, My Discovery Mix, Trending For You are a few.


My Discovery Mix

This playlist curated by Amazon is one of my favorites. A great way to discover artists based on your preferences and can be added to your library easily.

It can be difficult to keep up with all the features Amazon Prime offers and the All Access Playlist is a feature I recently found when exploring the phone app.

One Week On Demand of All Access

One of the best features of the All Access playlists is the ability to stream the playlist on demand and in the order of songs you desire. Ten playlist changes are allowed per day. I suggest taking the time to add your favorite songs to a playlist and then designate the playlist as All Access for easy access to your favorites.

As part of your membership one playlist can be All Access for a week. If you desire to further access the All Access playlists on demand then a monthly subscription is required.

Easy Playlists

The curated lists are great for music play and go when exercising. With a push of a "button" on your phone and you have quick access to your favorite tunes.  Amazon leaves it up to you as to how much work you want to put into creating playlists.

A heavier effort will lend itself to a very personal playlist with songs from the music library or songs previously purchased and downloaded. Less effort is accessing the Amazon curated playlists.

However, similar when browsing the interent, the search history can sometimes give incorrect preferences due to tracking  You may have a curiousity about an artist, search the artist, listen to a few songs, then decide you do care for the artist. Result?  The artist will probably start showing up in the curated lists. 

The Amazon Music App is a wonderful convenience for easy music play, curated music play or personally selected music play. Take advantage of the version included with your Amazon Prime membership!







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


Monday, June 10, 2024

Review: Jean Haines Atmospheric Watercolor Books

I was introduced to watercolorist Jean Haines in a watercolor class at the local art institute. I immediately felt a kindred spirit with her style, but with the difference of a beginning student hoping to one day be able to create original works inspired by her style - certainly not as a peer.

The entire beginner class loved her style and it was very helpful to have an established artist/teacher dissect how Jean Haines' paints in the realm of our learning different styles and techniques.

atmospheric watercolor books

I was inspired enough to purchase a few of her books with the acknowledgement this was a style I would hope to be able to incorporate, but still much learning and experience was needed.

Style

I would classify her style as loose and expressive. The paintings in the Atmospheric Animals and Flowers books are definitley expressionist type paintings as well as beautiful. Her style is not painting or example a cardinal as one sees a cardinal in real time; she adds her own expressive twist.

Daniel Smith Watercolor paint and Haines have partnered with a master paint set with colors she prefers. The paint set is not required as paint manufacturers and brushes are so individual to each person. 

Step by step Instructions

The books contain step by step instructions which is so incredibly helpful for the beginner and advanced beginner painter. Beginner students will immediately notice she does not draw images on the paper as a guide first. Second beginner students will notice (and may not be familiar with the technique of wet on wet) which is wet paper first then paint directly on the paper with paint. No mixing the paint in a palette and then applying to paper.

Haines on Youtube

Jean Haines has quite a few videos on youtube, but (and smartly so!) provides snippets of upcoming lessons or ideas as she has a monthly subscription service to access the entire content. The snippets are a good whet you appetitite of what can be accessed for a price.

Jean Haines' website does provide the details of her work, workshops and online learning opportunity. The Haines books and online learning could be a great gift for the watercolorist in your circle!

A few Of Jean Haines' Books

Atmospheric Watercolours

Atmospheric Flowers

Atmospheric Animals

Colour & Light In Watercolour

World of Watercolour

Paint Yourself Calm





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


Monday, May 27, 2024

Universal Knife Block Reviewed

Is kitchen counter space tight? Is a traditional wood knife block taking up too much of the kitchen counter? The Universal Knife Black may be right in your lane to increase functionality along with increasing counter space.

universal knife block

I found this alternative to the traditional wood knife block when shopping to replace a very attractive, but very heavy and large knife block. With counter space at a premium the Universal Knife Block caught my shopping attention and I decided to give it a try.

Material

The Universal Knife Block comes in a three colors: black, white and lime green. The white and black colors are speckled to resemble marble (and actually from a distance the visual of marble is very close!) An up close inspection and it is evident the material is imitation and the block is in fact made of plastic.

Price Point And Convenience

The top of the knife black looks like a wavy grate. Knifes of all types easily fit between the "grates" with the handles straight up. This design is a huge space saver whether it be on the counter or in a kitchen cabinet. 

The block is very easy to use and fits all different size and shapes of knives.  The price point of twenty dollars much less expensive than traditional wood knife blocks. If down sizing or looking to increase counter space the Universal Knife Block is a very affordable alternative to wood. 

Recomendation

The Universal Knife Block has already become a favorite. The block has two homes: 1. On the counter when cooking and 2. In a cabinet to be easily stored away. I do not miss the traditional heavy wood knife block taking up space on the counter.




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


Monday, May 13, 2024

DASH Everyday Stand Mixer Review

Ready to downsize? Has the stand mixer become a counter hog? A kitchen tool that can be decorated but is too heavy to move? Looking for a smaller or mini stand mixer? The Everyday Stand Mixer by DASH is a mini mixer with six speeds and a 3 quart bowl with a retro look. 

The Dash Everyday includes a set of beaters and a set of dough hooks along with a book of directions and recipes. Six colors are available: black, aqua, cream, pink, red and white accented with silver trim.

standmixer


Weight

The weight or lack of is one of my favorite features of the mixer. So easy to move on the counter. So easy to store under the counter. The power the mixer generates with such a light weight is quite unexpected!

Convenience

The light weight of the Everyday stand mixer was a major factor in my consideration of a mini stand mixer. The prior stand mixer was heavy and needed alot of space on the counter. The space the Everyday stand mixer needs is minimal.

Measuring in at 1.93 pounds for the DASH Everyday compared to 25 pounds for the well known brand 5 QT stand mixer, the Everyday is so easy to move and store whether on the counter or in a kitchen cabinet. The low weight is my favorite feature of the Everyday mixer,

Sound

The DASH is very loud. The reviews mentioned the unit is loud. It is. Not so loud to need earplugs, but definitely loud enough to prevent conversation.

Again, no comparison between the big name brands. My five quart model was not whisper quiet; but a conversation could be held in close proximity while the mixer was working. 

Construction

The look of the mixer is pleasant to the eye. Sleek and minimal. The exterior and buttons are plastic; the buttons are push buttons which do require a bit of labor to push.

Cost 

Apples to oranges stereotype comparison. $449 for the 5 qt namebrand stand mixer vs $49 for the Everyday mixer.

Performance

I have been experimenting with recipes I have made for years in the higher priced stand mixers; so does the Everyday get the job done. It has and it does. Is the process as streamlined or as quiet as the name brand stand mixers? No. 

The speed of the mixer is very very fast! At times the mixer does seem a bit out of control with the speed, but the stability has been solid thus far.

Reviews

The reviewers were correct. As a consumer the information is easily accessible so I was not surprised regarding the features. I highly recommend sifting through the reviews particularly if you are downsizing from the larger capacity big name brand to this mixer. 

I purchased the Everyday with the hopes it would feel a void between the large steel stand mixers and hand mixersf. The Everyday did mix dough and recipes which require a long mixing time such as meringue with ease.




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


Monday, April 22, 2024

3D Printing In Libraries Reviewed

Are you intrigued with 3D printing? The 3D printing market has exploded the last few years, but is it reasonable and affordable for consumers to own a 3D printer?

Look no further than your local library! Did you know your local library may provide access to 3D printers for free or at a nominal cost?  An alternative does exist to owning a 3D printer and the use maybe included with your library access (or in many areas, shared access between libraries.)

3D Printing

The possibilities truly are boundless with 3D printing projects. The libraries in my area offer a myraid of 3d printing services and/or use of the printers by patrons or the library staff. Step 1 of 3D printing is to find a design and finding a free and open source design is as easy as visiting a website, choosing the design and uploading the design to your computer, cloud or thumb drive.

Where To Find Open Source (Free) 3D Designs

The three sites I review for free designs are:

Thingiverse (my favorite)

Cults

My Mini factory, free and paid designs, niche

The sites are easily searchable and also provide visual examples if a design was made by others. I found this feature especially useful so if a chosen design has been made successfully by multiple users I view this as a possible design to use. The sites are reminiscent of open source software sites of the past, but with 3D printer design files.

I love the variety and imagination of the designs. What a great project this could be for kids and grandkids with an innovative interest: shop for the design, upload the design, visit the 3D maker space to view actual 3D printers and use the printers (depending upon the policies of the library.)

How 3D Printing Works With Library

My local library offers free 3D printing through its' on site Idealab! And the free printing is not just for patron of the library; free to anyone!

The library has a monthly que with a limit of projects. Projects are submitted via email on a google doc form. The Idealab provides 200 kg of filament per monthly project. If the project requires additional filament then the patron can provide the filament per the instructions from the library.

The STL files are uploaded with the google form and the direct link to the files is also provided to the library.

When the project is finished an email is sent from the library and the project is then picked up in the grab n go area of the library. So simple! So easy! So fun!

The majority of large libraries in my area now offer 3D printing: the policies vary per library, but the intent is to provide a service at a nominal if any, cost.

A Few Examples of 3D Printing From The Local Library

Slow Feed Dog Bowl

Painting palette

Table!

The MCM table was a special project from the lab. Reservations were required and clearly it was anticipated the project would fill up quickly. Online registration was opened and filled to capacity within minutes.

The tables were printed within approximately one month and ready for pick up from the library. The table was in three pieces, the legs, base and tabletop. All pieces fit together and could be (if desired) reinforced with glue. It took only a few minutes to assemble.

The table below is similar to the table the library printed.








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


Monday, April 8, 2024

Most Popular Hallmark Spring Movies Review

Spring is here and Hallmark movies help celebrate the season with a Spring theme. Whether it be flowers, baseball, home renovation or vineyards Hallmark is shepherding in the warmer weather with Spring themed romance of course.

Hallmark Spring Movies

Enjoy the most popular Spring Movies by Hallmark sure to delight Hallmark fans. Here are my

Top 5 Hallmark Spring Movies

The Perfect Catch with Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker

Baseball and high school romance of long ago is the backstory for this Hallmark movie. Baseball training brings a high school flame who became a major league baseball player back to his hometown. Where he finds ... his high school sweetheart running the family diner. Walker plays the baseball player and wounded soul who has returned to hide from his fame and misfortune of the moment. DeLoach is running the diner and who comes in the door? 

Walker and DeLoach have a great chemistry whether it be as rom com leads or their witty repertoire throughout the movie. Enjoy as they reconnect with romance.

As Luck Would Have It with Joanna Swisher and Allen Leech

Ireland is the gorgeous backdrop along with castles, cliffs and a quaint castle town as an American is charged with convincing the family to sell. Sell? The family castle and accompanying small town are struggling and are the backbone of the community. Will the family sell? Will the town be saved? Swish and Leech have a wonderful chemistry enhanced by gorgeous scenery and a strong supporting cast.

Tulips In Spring with Fiona Gubelmann and Lucas Byrant

Filmed in Vancouver, the family tulip farm is in jeopardy. Can the city living daughter return to help the farm when a family crisis occurs? Flowers abound and are a lovely breath of spring to visually enjoy! 

Enter the flower broker and romantic lead as the city daughter returns to help mend the family, the farm and maybe her heart. You cannot have spring without gorgeous gorgeous and more gorgeous flowers! 

Flip That Romance with Tyler Hynes and Julie Gonzalo

Spring is absolutely the time for home improvement projects. Hynes abnd Gonzalo have a romatic past of long ago and a flip the house competition brings the couple back together - on separate side of a home to be renovated.  Witty chemistry abounds as the project and compeition continues. Who will win?

Vineyard series with Rachael Leigh Cook and Brendan Penny

This favorite Hallmark couple spurred two sequels to their original Hallmark movie set in the beautiful Okonagan Valley in Canada which looks very similiar to the Napa Valley area of California. Enjoy the romcom repetoire between Cook and Penny as there families feud over wine and their relationship progresses..

In The Vineyard Series
Autumn In The Vineyard
Valentine In The Vineyard
Summer In The Vineyard

Don't forget Christmas In July is right around the corner at Hallmark! Hallmark now debuts a couple early Christmas originals each July between rotating the Christmas classics throughout the month.





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


Monday, March 25, 2024

Hallmark Countdown To Christmas Friday Night Movies Reviewed

Raise your remote control if you are a fan of Hallmark Christmas movies! Anytime of the year? Hallmark is ready to provide a steady stream of Christmas movies all year long. Hallmark began expanding its' Christmas movie offering first with the October through December Christmas movie programming.

Then Christmas In July made its' now annual apperance to give Hallmarkies a little bit of Christmas mid summer. This is a great time to catch up on any movies missed during the holiday season and rewatch the Hallmark favorites. 

movie banner


Hallmark has brought out Countdown to Christmas on Friday nights. The Friday night programming has been expanded to begin at 6 pm EST and three Christmas movies are aired back to back. Bring on the new, the vintage and the personal favorites for Friday night Christmas with Hallmark.

I always enjoy when the personal favorites pop into the Hallmark programming. A few Christmas movies to bookmark along with their reviews include:

March 29: A Season For Family

April 5: Three Wise Men And A Baby

April 12: Checkin' It Twice 


Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age











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


Monday, March 11, 2024

Hallmark Movie Review As Luck Would Have It

Celebrate St. Paddy's Day with this Hallmark's As Luck Would Have It filmed in Ireland with stars Joanna Swisher and Allen Leech in this delighful movie. Downton Abbey fans will immediately recognize Leech aka as Tom Branson, a beloved Downton Abbey character.

Hallmark fans will enjoy the traditional storyline which is enhanced by the chemistry between the lead actors and authentic Irish scenery. Filmed In Kilabbey, Ireland and Howth Castle and add in the Cliffs of Mohr and viewers will not be disappointed.

Hallmark movie banner

The storyline is not new (and that is OK! for a movie which works so well) as an American is dispatched to turn the Irish family castle into a hotel. The struggle to keep the castle and town financially afloat is the why and the heart behind the castle is the why the behind saving the castle and town!

With names such as Brennan, Seamus, Fiana, Siobhan, and Maebh the authenticity shines through of the supporting cast. The Hallmark chemistry hits the bullseye with Joanna and Allen, the supporting characters and the scenery is so beautiful - let's call the scenery a major supporting character too!

Of course love is in the air as the main characters work as opposities and then join forces to save the family hotel as only Hallmark can...

Deer Park Hotel

Ever want to stay at a Hallmark movie castle? This castle may be your chance. In August 2023 plans have been approved to construct a hotel on the Howth property. The current Deep Park will be demolished to build a destination hotel with all the amenties. The project's estimated completion is 2025 to welcome guests.

Howth Castle Cookery School

Who knew cooking classes are held at the infamous Howth Castle 18th Century Georgian kitchen! Professional chefs provide hands on instruction for foodies of all levels in the cooking shcool which has operated since 2008 in the castle.

Recommendation

Highly recommend As Luck Would Have It! Ireland fans and Hallmark romcom fans will not be disappointed and in fact, this is a movie which left many viewers asking, "When is the sequel?"




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


Monday, February 26, 2024

Hallmark Movie Review Always Amore

Always Amore sound familiar? Was this little gem of a Hallmark movie missed? Perhaps because the movie premiered on the Movies & Mysteries Hallmark channel it may have been overlooked between Winter, Valentine's Day and Spring themed movies. The movie is now repeating on the Hallmark Channel and is the perfect gem of a happy holiday movie for winter days, winter nights and inclimate weather.

Hallmark Movie Reviews banner

Family restaurants are a traditional staple of the Hallmark stories and this film features a family Italian restaurant which needs a little SOS. 

Tyler plays the restaurant 'fixer' who comes in to save the struggling restaurant. Autumn plays the widow who along with her mother-in-law are having financial issues with the family Italian restaurant of her late husband. Patty McCormack plays mother-in-law Nonna with a witty twinkle in her eye as restaurant protector, legacy protector and eventual alley of the fixer.

A team Hallmark actors Autumn Reeser and Tyler Hynes lead Always Amore and their chemistry is evident at their first meeting. Add a chef competition, a love of baking, restaurant woes and restaurant success amongst the Hallmark romance and love is in the Hallmark air. As always the chemistry between the lead actors is a Hallmark must for success and as these two actors excel the storyline benefits.

Light hearted and delightful, Always Amore with the traditional Hallmark storyline will not disappoint Hallmark fans. You may also recognize on the credits one of the executive producers of Always Amore is Giada De Laurentiis from the culinary world. Is that why the food looks so authentic!?!

Always Amore is a recommended watch or rewatch when the movie is in rotation. Bon Appetit!

Don't miss Autumn Reeser in the Wedding Veil series or Tyler Hynes (at 15 plus Hallmark movies)  in Winter In Vail or Three Wise Men And A Baby.




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


Monday, January 8, 2024

Top 5 Winter Hallmark Movies Reviewed

It's January at the Hallmark Channel and after a generous helping of  Hallmark Christmas movie in November and December - now what! January brings the coldest and snowy weather in many parts and a perfect time to enjoy the infamous Hallmark hot cocoa and Hallmark movies with a winter theme.

Of course Hallmark will debut a few new winter movies and Valentine's Day movies every year, but sprinkled in between will be a few Hallmark winter favorites from prior years. 

winter hallmark movies

Add a little snow, romance, comedy and colder temps and bookmark the Top 5 Winter Hallmark Movies to watch for this winter.

Winter In Vail 2020

Bring on the Hallmark A team of Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes along with a gorgeous winter setting and believable chemistry to keep Winter In Vail on the Hallmark repeat list. Big town girl with a life crisis lands in small town town that needs help to survive and well, you know the rest. Great rom com chemistry, snowy charming village and of course Strudel make this a movie worth repeat viewing annually.

Love On Ice 2017

Starring Hallmark A team actor Andrew Walker and Julie Berman this film definitely give an Ice Castles vibe (Ice Castles is a favorite ice skating movie from 1978!. Ice skating and romance fans streaming alert)

Walker plays a young  ice skating coach who lands at a local rink to train the next ice skating talent by the stereotypical ice skating parent. And who might also be at the rink... a former very promising ice skater who retired early and you might just guess the storyline from there. The main characters of coach, promising star, overbearing parent and former promising skater turned local teacher all work with a chemistry between all four. A must see when this movie repeats.

Frozen In Love 2018

It's hockey time again in the land of Hallmark winter movies. Niall Matter and Rachael Leigh Cook share the storyline of small town bookstore owner assigned the bad boy of hockey for community service hours. This duo loves to tease each other, poke fun at their different lives and succeed in making a very enjoyable film that celebrates how opposites attract. Totally Hallmark and totally fun.

A Christmas Detour 2015

One of the all time favorite Hallmark Christmas movies must also make an appearance on the winter Hallmark movie list. Starring Candace Cameron Bure and Paul Greene two of the A team actors who combine romantic chemistry on an unexpected cross country trip and after snowy weather grounds their plane. The two strangers pair with a married couple (Sarah Strange and David Lewis)and the four try to make it across country in the snowy hours before Christmas. 

The chemistry between the wanna be couple, the married couple and all 4 together make this a fun loving frolicking Hallmark movie with madcap rom com romance along with the way. Always a must see repeat during the holiday season and anytime of the year.

Taking A Shot At Love 2021

Ice skating teacher is called upon to assist the recovery of an ice hockey player is the backstory, but the real gem of this movie is the chemistry. Alexa Penavag and Luke Macfarlane have a great rom com chemistry which helps propel the storyline along with alot of smiles and winks and of course the budding romance. Always worth a rewatch during the winter Hallmark season.


Hallmark Now offers streaming 24/7 and its' never too early or late in the year to revisit Hallmark Christmas movies.

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age






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


Monday, December 11, 2023

Hallmark Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up Review

Hallmark Christmas movie Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up has premiered with Hallmark A team stars Lacey Chabert and Wes Brown. This movie is a sequel to the 2022 movie Haul Out The Holly wth the same cast and location. As in the original movie, the chemistry between the stars and cast remains strong as this Hallmark movie changes up the traditional Hallmark movie formula.

Review of Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up a Hallmark Christmas movie.


The holiday competition in the Home Owners Assocation (HOA) remain the storyline which is shaken up by new homeowners with a passion for winning holiday contests. Game on.

What Is Missing From Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up?

The Hallmark romance recipe... which may or may not be necessarily a welcome change of pace. In the first movie, Haul Out The Holly, the couple met and fell in the love the Hallmark way. In this movie the couple has already been established and spend much of the movie apart so while the chemistry exists it is long distance.

Positive, negative or neutral the long distance between the main characters/couple allows many more characters as an ensemble into the movie. The supporting characters are entertaining and I had memories of Clark Griswold movies in a small screen arena.

Recommendation

If mindless, silly, slapstick comedy with a holiday theme is the goal then Haul Up The Holly: Lit Up will be amusing. Madcap, fun, enteraining, Hallmark but not Hallmark is the holiday feeling for this movie. Reminiscent of physical slapstick comedy between neighbors, families, the main characters with a holiday theme.

While I actually found Hallmark changing it up a little during the holiday season a nice change of pace (carried off by a strong cast with chemistry); however, Hallmark traditionalists will most likely prefer the original Haul Up The Holly movie.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age





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


Monday, November 27, 2023

Hallmark Christmas Movie Review: A Merry Scottish Christmas

A Merry Scottish Christmas is a movie Hallmark fans have been waiting for since the announcement of its' stars. Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf star in a Christmas movie as estranged brother and sister travelling to Scotland at Christmas. The movie was filmed in Ireland and Scotland.

Santa reading his list and a panoramic view of the Scottish country side.

Family mysteries, family reunions, Scottish holidays plus a few romances along the way combine to make A Merry Scottish Christmas a must see for the Hallmark holiday season. The chemistry between Chabert and Wolf is just like old friends meeting up after years apart. Watch how the siblings unravel a mystery and work towards a united family for the holidays.

Lacey Chabert And Scott Wolf

There is no doubt that Party Of Five fans are very familiar with Chabert and Wolf. Each played a member of the Salinger family in the ensemble cast family drama which ran in the mid 1990's to 2000. The show began with a small engaged audience and it took a few seasons for a larger audience to find the show. Fans of the show would love a Party of Five reunion and no doubt will enjoy a mini reunion of two of the five stars.  

Lacey Chabert is one of the most popular stars of Hallmark and this season has two Christmas movies with a sequel to  Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up. Both movies are worth repeat streaming and bookmarking to rewatch this season. The Holly sequel brings back a 2022 cast with chemistry and is plain ole fun in the realm of the Christmas romcom. 

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age

Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age

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




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


Monday, November 13, 2023

Hallmark Christmas Movie Review; Checkin' It Twice

 Hockey and love are the main theme of this 2023 Hallmark Christmas movie Checkin' It Twice. This is one of the first movies to premier in the 2023 Hallmark Christmas season.

Male hockey player with beard standing in front of ice rink with hockey skates hanging off shoulder.

Kevin McGarry and Kim Matula star in this hockey themed Hallmark movie located in a small hockey loving town. 

Storyline

Struggling older hockey player is hoping to "move up" to the next level of hockey. McGarry is believable enough though admittedly he is playing a 32 year old amongst 20 + year olds. The older athlete hoping to achieve his dream of being called "up" to the next level team is one seen before ... and is predicable. However, Hallmark is predictable too which is part of its' charm (if you are a fan of course.)

McGarry of the Hallmark series When Calls The Heart has been popping up more and more in Hallmark movies. The chemistry with the Matula is believable and moves the story along. Their chemistry along with a fun loving hockey town family provides quite a few smiles.

Recommendation

Cute, enjoyable and amusing is my summary of Checkin' It Twice. If the movie comes on in the background, I wouldn't change the channel, but I would not seek the movie out either to rewatch. My Hallmark grade is a pleasant to watch B.

If you like hockey themed Hallmark movies, Taking A Shot At Love with Alexa Penavega and Luke Macfarlane and Frozen In Love with Rachael Leigh Cook and Niall Matter would be my first and second choice.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2023 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age

A New Year's Resolution by Cynthia 

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age

Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age

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





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


Monday, October 23, 2023

2023 Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

If it is pumpkin season then Hallmark Christmas is soon to follow!  Hallmark Christmas 2023 Movies are arriving at the end of October.

Hallmark Christmas movie season includes all the movies we have loved from the past plus new Christmas movies premiering on both the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. Hallmark Christmas Movies began Friday, October 20, 2023.

Mother, father, child smile among the Christmas lights and tree.
The 2023 Hallmark Christmas Movie Schedule has 42 new holiday movies being released from October 20 to December 21st: 31 on the Hallmark Channel, 2 early release on Hallmark's streamng channel and 9 on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. A few notables of the 42 featuring the A list stars to watch for:

Never Been Chris'd

Tyler Hynes, A team Hallmark actor leads the hometown friends reuniting for a Christmas Hallmark holiday love triangle - whew! Hynes as always brings a sense of humor, wit and a wink to this holiday movie.

Christmas Island

Andrew Walker, always a Hallmark favorite and Rachel Skarsten star. Islands, Christmas, air traffic controller, pilot, snowstorm and did I mention Christmas. Have fun as the stars head for romance and holidays on a island named Christmas of course.

A Merry Scottish Christmas


Party of Five fans line up for this premiere! Lacey Chabert and Scott Wolf star as siblings on a family trip to Scotland with the holidays and family mysteries in the air. Party of Five fans have been waiting for a reunion ... this may not be five, but its' two! Enjoy.

Haul Out The Holly: Lit Up  ** Sequel to 2022 

It's a sequel, it is cute, it is Christmas, it is Hallmark and we love it. Lacey Chabert in her second Hallmark Christmas movie this year and Wes Brown reprise their roles. Nuff said... light entertainment from a cast which proved its' chemistry already in the first movie.

Best of 2022

A few favorites from the 2022 season to look for in the 2023 season.

Three Wise Men And A Baby

By far, the best Hallmark Christmas movie of 2022 was Three Wise Men and A Baby with Andrew Walker, Tyler Hynes and Paul Campbell (who also co wrote the movie.) Sure, the storyline may sound a bit familiar from the original movie, but this movie will bring smiles for the second time with a cast of Hallmark A team actors and their chemistry. 

A Cozy Christmas Inn

Jodie Sweetin (Full House) and David O'Donnell take on Alaska, Christmas, old loves reuniting and B and B's all in one charming Hallmark movie. If you love Hallmark then you can surnise the storyline and great to see O'Donnell back. He was in Christmas Under Wraps with Candace Cameron Bure, also in Alaska! 

Haul Out The Holly

It wouldn't be a Hallmark Christmas movie season without Lacey Chabert. Teaming with Hallmark favorite Wes Brown he and Lacey take on the relucatance of one to enjoy Christmas.

A Holiday Spectacular 

The Radio City Rockettes and Radio City Music Hall are featured in this journey through New York and Christmas with the Rockettes.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2022 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age

A New Year's Resolution by Cynthia 

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age

Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age

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


Where To Find Hallmark Christmas Movies?


If your cable subscription includes Hallmark channels then Hallmark Channel is available with the Hallmark Everywhere App. Your cable subscription username and password will be needed to log in.

 Hallmark Movies Now  is a streaming service for a monthly fee. A seven day free trial is available to give the channel a no obligation spin.



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


Monday, October 9, 2023

Original Gorilla Grip Can Opener Review

The hunt to replace the tried and true can opener continues as the top contenders are evaluated. This week I tried the Original Gorilla Grip Can Opener along with its' twin the OXO Good Grips Can Opener.

gorilla grip can opener

The Gorilla was easy to use and delivered as promised. This is not a safe top can opener so the lid is jagged old school which was its' main con. Newer safe top can openers can eliminated the jagged edge lid and create a smooth lid; however, the Gorilla excels at what it is designed for which is a safe, easy to use can opener that is friendly on your joints.

Comfort

The Gorilla promises as delivers. The can opener is very easy to grasp with a padded handle feel. The crank also has a padded feel and is easy to operate. 

Function

The Gorilla again promises as delivers. The turning operation is smooth with little effort. The larger handle helps propel for easy opening and less stress on the hand and arm. 

Style

Do can openers have a style? They definitely have a design, but for style the Gorilla is made in eight colors to mix,match or coordinate with a kitchens' style.

Recommendation


I previously reviewed the Pakitner Safe Cut Can Opener which I could not recommend due to the 
stress on the hand and wrist; however, the can opener itself I did very much like and loved the smooth lid edge as a safety feature.

I was familiar with the OXO Good Grips can opener as it was on loan for evaluation. 

The Gorilla Grip and the OXO Good Grips are very similar - so similar as if they were twins. From their features to design to comfort to cost, either would be an excellent choice as a can opener replacement or a second can opener.




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


Monday, September 25, 2023

Pakitner Safe Cut Can Opener Review

The first title was for this review I had started to type was "The Tale Of Two Can Openers" as the search for the replacement can opener ensued. However, internet seach engine title counts aside, the tale is the truth!

Old very old very old trusty old school can opener had finally met its' demise and the search was on for its' replacement. After reading quite a few reviews I was intrigued by the Pakitner Safe Cut Can Opener which promised a smooth and safe cut edge on the lid.

Review of the Pakitner Safe Cut Can Opener. Easy to use and produces a smooth lid edge.


Safety First

Yes! A smooth edge is obtained on the lid. Delivers as promised. 

smooth edge on opened can

Using Lid As A Can Cover

Yes! The smooth edged lid will fit into the can as a top if desired. This is a secondary bonus with the can opener.

Sturdy And Portable

Yes! This a sturdy can opener that feels restaurant quality. There is some weight to the can opener, but the design is minimal and the weight is evenly distributed. The slim and long design does allow the can opener to use less drawer space.

I found the can opener did require a bit of muscle to rotate around the top of the can. Muscle being subjective to each person, but for me ... it was a bit more effort than I had envisioned upon purchase. However, I loved the safety feature and continued using the can opener as the opener does work abit differently and wanted to give a good trial of the opener.

Learning Curve

There is a slight learning curve to navigate this can opener due to how the top of the can opener aligns with the top of the can. But directions are provided and after using the can opener a few times you will understand easily how the can opener works to provide the seamless lid.

Pakitner Safe Cut Can Opener

Recommendation: If you have the muscle I would recommend the Pakitner as the safety provided by creating a seamless and smooth edge is fabulous. However, if hand or arm strength is a concern I would sadly pass on the Rakitner Safe Cut Can Opener which leads to part two of The Tale Of Two Can Openers.

Next Review: Original Gorilla Grip Can Opener




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


Monday, September 11, 2023

Addaday Travel Foam Roller Review

Soothe and relax muscles whether travelling locally or afar with this handy travel roller. Small enough to fit in a tote, large purse, workout bag or carryon bag, the Addaday is perfect for travel with its' size and light weight.

Blue foam roller sitting in a green hedge.


Addaday Features

  1. Lightweight but still effective
  2. Easy to pack in luggage or carryon or a large purse or tote
  3. Material is a mix between a pool noodle on the soft side and hard acrylic roller for the hard side comparison
  4. Measures seven inches in length
  5. Small enough to use in an airplane seat or car
  6. Large enough to use on all muscle groups
  7. Six sides
  8. Hex design with small indentations
  9. The indentions in the roller help to massage and find the pressure points
  10. Medium density

Warm Up and Recovery

The first purchase I made for a travel roller was too large for ease of travel. I felt that size was just big enough to be bulky and the intent was to find a foam roller for local and long distance travel. I was also looking for a roller that was not too firm. The first attempt was returned and the search continued.

After reading many many reviews I decided upon the Addaday. Overall it has been a positive purchase. Foam rollers of any size are not inexpensive and run the gamut of price. Add that each person is unique in their preference of size, density and design and it can be difficult to find online the first time. If searching for a travel roller I would definitely include the Addaday in your consideration.




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


Monday, July 10, 2023

AirTag Reviewed

No muss no fuss tech alert! This little gem falls under the why did I wait so long to purchase. I have definitely heard the positive reviews of air tags for luggage tracking and pretty much any item!

The positive reviews are correct. Affordable, easy to install and so very easy to use! How many tech items live up to that promise! The once caveat is the Air Tag is an Apple product so the technology does require the apple products.


Apple AirTag




One Tap Setup


True! As in the setup takes a few minutes at most. Promises as delivered. The bluetooth and iPhone integrates the air tag seamlessly.

Four Pack

The air tags are also available in a pack of 4 at a reduced price vs purchasing one, two or three separately.

Battery

The price of some batteries has skyrocketed! Very economical the air tag is powered by the easily found CR2032 coin cell battery.

Accessories

The air tag comes as is so air tag accessories may be desired to make the most of the air tag and easily find the air tag. 

Splash, water and dust resistant as purchased plus a multitude of affordable accessories exist to help you make the best use of the air tag. Keys, wallet holder, luggage holders, collar holders, bike vaults are just a few! Enjoy the possibilities and I suspect you will quickly find an air tag use specifically for your household and wondered why you waited so long! I know I certainly did!




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


Monday, June 26, 2023

Hallmark Christmas In July Movies 2023 Reviewed

Yes, it is the summer event all Hallmarkies are eagerly awaiting. A perfect way to escape summer heat and humidity with Hallmark's Christmas In July 2023 movies. As usual your favorite Hallmark Christmas movies from years' past will pop up along with a few new Hallmark 2023 movies.

Santa with snowglobe - christmas in july banner


Here are a few favorite Hallmark Christmas movies showing this July. 

The number one do not miss, do not pass go 2022 Christmas movie that was a huge hit and deservedly so! Three Wise Men And A Baby starring three A Team Hallmark male leads Andrew Walker, Tyler Hines and Paul Campbell. And written by Paul Campbell and Kimberely Sustad another Hallmark A team actress.

Reminiscent of Three Men And A Baby with its' chemistry, cute storyline and of course the Hallmark magic. This movie will make you smile, the actors will make you laugh and this movie is a reminder that when Hallmark is at its' best - it can be pure entertainment.

Another top must see for Hallmark Christmas In July is A Cozy Christmas Inn with David O'Donnell and Jodie Sweetin. This is a sequel to the hugely likeable Christmas Under Wraps in which O'Donnell was the lead. Many of your beloved characters return to "Garland" and if you loved Christmas Under Wraps you will at a minimum Hallmark like this sequel. Sweetin and O'Donnell make this sequel charming and worth putting on your July watch list.

All Time Favorites Coming Back For July:

Christmas Under Wraps - Candace Cameron Bure, David O'Donnell

The first Alaska movie which predates A Cozy Christmas Inn. The adorable town of Garland is introduced with its' town CEO who coincidentally looks very much like Santa, a visiting doctor stationed in rural Alaska and a handsome son whose Dad maybe the Santa CEO? Hmmm. Many Hallmark Christmas movies have arrived in the years since this debuted and this is a Hallmark classic that remains a fan favorite!

The first week in July is ending strong with another top ten Hallmark Movie Christmas favorite - A Christmas Detour with Candace Cameron Burr and Paul Greene. The chemistry, the storyline, the actors keeps this movie on the top ten list of all Hallmark movies for Christmas. 



One to lookout for >> Crown for Christmas  - Danica McKellar and Rupert Penry-Jones

Another top ten of all time Hallmark Christmas Movie. Keep your eyes peeled and hope Crown For Christmas makes its' annual July appearance. This movie is not only a Christmas favorite but a favorite for movies with a palace theme. Hallmarkies will watch again... and again. 


New 2023 Christmas Movies

Hallmark fans will be delighted that Christmas In July this year will include  brand new Christmas movies - albeit early.

A Royal Christmas Crush premiers July 8 - original new movie

The Christmas Reboot premieres July 15 - original new movie

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

A Cozy Christmas Inn Reviewed 2022  by The Savvy Age

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

You, Me & The Christmas Trees by The Savvy Age

A New Year's Resolution by Cynthia 

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age

Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age

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






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


Monday, June 12, 2023

Grampa's Weeder Review

Weeds! Weeds! Go away! The bane of flower beds, vegetable gardens, container gardens, pathways and walkways are the weeds that multiple overnight. One day a sprout of a weed turns into a monster with tough and tangly roots with no signs of abating. Grampa's Weeder to the rescue for easy and efficient weed removal.

grampas weeder



After a very prolific spring weeding season it was apparent that the family had a distinct lack of interest in the labor involved with weed removal. It wasn't the labor or lack of interest but the labor as in who wants to constantly do toe to hand to foot battle with weeds and weeding utensils.

Grampa's Weeder is a tool that promises to be "Easy & Simple Weeding Tool That Saves Your Back & Knees With Grampa's 45" Stand Up Bamboo Long Handle. Remove Weeds Without Bending, Pulling, Or Kneeling." True? I was definitely swayed by the 4.5 / 5 stars of over 39,000 ratings prior to purchase.

Yes! True! This old school tool makes weeding so quick and easy. By simply stepping on the foot lever the claws dig into the soil and find the roots. 

How Does the Weeder Work?

Very simple. Position the claw in the middle of the weed so the claw will be grabbing the weed and the roots. If the weed is very large with strong roots (ie a very mature dandelion), you may want to use two attempts. This tool works best on size medium and up weeds, but I did try the tool on smaller weeds too and was successful.

grampas weeder in the dirt

demonstration of using grampas weeder

clump of dirt & weed pulled out by grampas weeder


Press into ground by stepping on the foot lever.

Then lean the tool forward or to the side to loosen the roots.

Simple! It really is.

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Four Claw Design to seek roots
  • Old school weeder design with the added foot lever
  • Remove weeds by standing
  • Foot lever very easy to use
  • The roots stay in the claw until manually released which ensures proper disposal
  • Solid construction

Cons

I didn't find any, only a note. The overall weight of the tool is not light; I'd consider it midweight in that if you desire to flip the tool upside down to remove the weed/weed roots from the claw which is totally optional.

I highly recommend this tool. While price is subjective, at this price point, I would expect the tool to deliver as promised or the tool would be returned. Happy to report Grampa's Weeder is a keeper. 




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


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