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

Monday, March 23, 2020

How to Open Fire TV Remote Reviewed

Cutting the cord from cable can be a challenge. I never thought one of the biggest challenges would be the remote control and batteries! The Amazon Fire TV stick is my main tool to stream television - but one must first insert the batteries into the remote. I was surprised, frustrated and a wee bit befuddled as to why a task so easy can be so hard.



The version of the Fire Stick I was installing on multiple televisions had a remote control case that I absolutely could not open. No open = no batteries= no fire stick! Frustrating. When it became evident I was close to using a tool to pry the case open, not recommended and not wise, I headed to the internet and a quick search revealed that I was not the only one with issues.

The problem with sliding the remote open to insert the batteries is smoothness of the remote. The directions give a nice tutorial on how to open the two piece remote by sliding the remote apart. Except I and judging from the amount of results on the internet search and many others had issues.

I found this DIY tutorial and problem solved. Using gloves or tape works in a flash to provide the grip needed to open the remote so it easily slides apart to insert the batteries. Sometimes nothing is easy in the quest to cut the cable!


My Favorite Free Services To Cut The Cord


One of the main reasons to cut the cord is cost. My cable-internet bill decreased by over 100 percent by eliminating the cable tv charges. So much of the monthly bill was fees, franchise fees and more fees combined with what seemed a zillion channels I do not watch (and that was the basic cable package!)

I found a wealth of free services to stream entertainment through membership at my local library. The online offerings from your library should be your first stop for free entertainment with the caveat your library must first belong to the services to pass along the membership to you.

Most of the free services do have a monthly limit of downloads; but I have found the limit to be very reasonable. The limit does differ per library.


Kanopy For Indie Films


Hoopla For TV Shows & Movies



Freegal For Music




Freegal


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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, March 9, 2020

West Paw Toppl Reviewed: Favorite New Dog Puzzle

The West Paw Toppl is my and if I may speak for The Fluff as he is affectionately known, new favorite treat dispensing puzzle!

Oh dog toys, dog puzzles, dog thingamyabobs, I have known and bought a few. Some are winners, some are losers and some fall in between. I know the loser toy look from the Fluff, the disdain, the side eye, the this is not acceptable. I will humor you and flip it around, but do not expect any further consideration.


And you know when a dog puzzle or toy is a winner! It is the same toy they go back to time after time, squeak after squeak and slobber after slobber. Now design wise all the dog toys and puzzles may be a winner, but the key is to find one your furball considers worthy.

West Paw Toppl


A diet change and chew bone change precipitated my search for a combo food dispensing toy for the Fluff. The Fluff likes to chew and it has been very difficult to find softer and natural bones that last more than 2 minutes.

I have a team of Kongs stuffed with dog food, peanut butter and yogurt in the freezer, but the Fluff can conquer those quite quickly. And experience has shown when the Fluff has not satisfied his need to chew, the Fluff can turn back to his puppy ways which is just not fun!

The local pet store recommended the Toppl and it has been a success so far. A combination puzzle and food dispenser that provides a good diversion for energetic pups.

Design Of The Toppl


I believe the difference and probably why the Toppl lasts so much longer than the frozen Kong is the grid inside and on the bottom of the Toppl. It definitely takes the Fluff longer to empty the Toppl than a Kong. Which for my purposes is the point!

 
I stuff the Toppl with his canned dog food and then freeze. I use this in place of the chew bone he used to get after dinner. So far the Fluff is happy (okay, not quite as happy when he had a bone), but the combination soft dental chew plus the Toppl is making the diet and routine change a little easier.

The Toppl can also be stuffed with a combination of dry food, treats, vegetables and soft food or yogurt and then frozen.

Recommendation


Adding the Toppl to the team of Kongs to keep the Fluff safe and happy.
Bonus the Toppl is also made in the United States. It also floats on water, is dishwasher safe and BPA and Phthalate Free.


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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, February 24, 2020

Celebrate Paczki Day!

Fat Tuesday is also known as Paczki Day in Detroit! You may be wondering what a paczki is and the second most popular question is, "How do you pronounce paczki?" Both questions will be answered as we learn and review the traditional and delicious packzi!



Hamtramck And Paczki

In Southeast Michigan and probably throughout Michigan, Hamtramck and Paczki are synonymous.
When preparing for Fat Tuesday people drive many miles to Hamtramck for the traditional Polish Paczki! Fans stand in line at the bakeries early Tuesday morning to pick up their order of this delicious pastry.

Hamtramck Michigan is known as "The World In Two Square Miles" and the city "within the city " of Detroit. Hamtramck became a destination for  Polish immigrants when an auto plant was opened by the Dodge Brothers in 1914.

The city boundaries are literally within the city of Detroit. In 1970 ninety percent of the population was Polish. Through the years the demographics of the city have changed and Hamtramck is a multi cultural city which continues to celebrate the traditions of Poland. And Paczkis of course!

What Is a Paczki?

Paczki are filled pastries that resemble a  traditional American filled doughnut, but that is where the similarities end for true aficionados. I am not one to turn down any type of doughnut, but paczki are deliciously unique and different.

Supermarket versions of paczki are usually like door stoppers = not a paczek! The inside should be  light and fluffy and the outside is crispy and topped with sugar.  Traditional flavors of paczki are: Powidła (plum jam) and wild rose petal jam; but the more popular fillings are custard, lemon, strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and apple. My personal favorite is Bavarian cream!

How Do You Say Paczki?

Poonch-kee !

What Is the Difference Between Paczki and Paczek?

A single pastry is a Paczek - Poon-check!
Many pastries are Paczki - Poonch-kee!

Paczki festivities in Hamtramck celebrate all week long including what has become a pre Fat Tuesday event the Paczki Run.


The Paczki Run


Prior to Fat Tuesday, Tour de Troit holds its' annual Paczki Run which is a 5k race highlighting the sights of Hamtramck. Traditional post race refreshments are a little different for the Paczki Run. Let's keep in mind this is a winter run in Michigan so Paczki participants are hardy braving snow, ice and wildly varying weather conditions.

Post race includes Polish music, dancers and  "paczek from New Martha Washington Bakery & New Palace Bakery and a beer from Motor City Brewing Works are served to each finisher! Na Zdrowie! "


If you are a fan of pastries and doughnuts I highly recommend the Paczki (because noone can eat just one!)

More Michigan Travel


It's not St. Patrick's Day without the traditional Wigley's Corned Beef.  Head over to Eastern Market to ensure you have the best! corned beef for St. Paddy's. 



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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, February 10, 2020

Dog Agility Reviewed!

It is winter here in the Midwest and I already thinking warmer weather and fun activities in the yard with my pup and dog agility!

A backyard agility course for your dog is fun with a F! Fun for you, fun for the dog and a fun activity both you and your fluffy friend can enjoy.

The Agility Obstacle Course


Dog agility is the running of an obstacle course. The sport originated in the late 1970's in England. There have been many organizations through the years as the sport has evolved; the goal of the organizations were shared, though the rules and obstacles slightly differed.

Years ago when agility was a relatively new sport I enrolled in a dog agility class. The difference between the backyard agility equipment and professional equipment is size. As you can see from the video below of a professional agility competition the obstacles are BIG!

Backyard agility obstacles are smaller, portable and easy to assemble. The starter kits are easy to set up, store and all you need is grass! The agility kits are easily transported so if a backyard is not available any nice sized section of grass will work.

The Beginner Backyard Agility Sets


Staples in a backyard agility kit are the jump, tunnel and weave poles.

Tunnel


The tunnel is usually one of the first obstacles to teach your dog. A few treats and encouragement and the tunnel can be easy to master for the confident dog. As with every new activity a little practice goes along way and the dog will give you cues as to how comfortable they are with the tunnel.

I have seen very skittish and less confident young dogs who at first look at the tunnel as a looming foreign object turn into tunnel loving runners with the right encouragement and practice.

Jump


The jump is adjustable and can be set very close to the ground to begin acclimating your dog to the desired height. Dogs who love to run and jump can take to the jump quite quickly. I happen to have a dog who loves to jump so the jump was quickly mastered and the height could be increased.

To teach and acclimate the dog to the jump you can see in the photo below the dog is on a leash and I am gently guiding the dog through the jump with a treat in hand ( why the dog is looking to my hand).



Last Fall we had a few doggie buddies over for backyard fun. 

The three Amigos

Within a few minutes of practicing individually we put the medium size dogs sitting at the start line and were amazed as they took off together taking the jump in unison!




 It was a race to the treat and the owners.

Because of size, as one of the three amigos was only six pounds, she was an observer while the two medium sized dogs navigated the obstacle course, and we practiced with her separately. 

She enjoyed watching and learning from afar however!



Weave poles

Weave poles can be tough! Where my dog took to the jumping very quickly, the weave poles not so much. The poles are set up for the dog to zig zag - weave in and out in a straight line. We are still working on the weave poles, but in the spirit of this is purely for fun, I think the pup and I have decided ... no on the weave poles.

But weave poles are alot of fun to watch. The video below shows a full sized Agility Course and look at those pups weave!

Sit stay box

This is a great exercise , especially for younger dogs, to practice sit/stay and down/stay. The “box” is either a marked area in a box or an actual raised solid box.

The dog either enters the box or jumps up on the box and does a sit/ stay or down/stay for a set number of seconds. If training a young dog, this exercise works right into practicing sits and stays.


Dog Personality


Of course it is imperative the personality and physical capabilities of your dog are of the greatest importance when considering agility obstacles. Dogs of any age, breed or height can participate in dog agility. The obstacles are 'sized' to the dog.

Age: Agility courses are not for puppies as their growth plates must be fully developed. Obviously this varies per breed, per dog. Pre agility exercises such as the sit stay exercise are pup friendly.

Does your dog love to run ? Try new things? Enjoy activity? Loves to figure out a puzzle? Agility may be a great fit.

Is your dog apprehensive to try something new but with proper training enjoys a new activity ? Agility could be a great confidence booster !

Backyard agility can just be plain ole good fun for the owner and pet. No need to compete, just enjoy the obstacles your dog likes and making a home agility course provides great exercise for you and your pet.

Where To Find Backyard Agility Kits


Online is where the kits can be found, this is a beginner kit I like.


DIY ers  can also make agility equipment! Here is a good resource in making obstacles for a backyard agility course .

I’ve been lucky enough to have dogs which naturally seem to enjoy agility which makes training much easier!

Whether it is one obstacle or a backyard of obstacles, I highly recommend dog agility for a few hours of amusement, exercise and bonding with you furry friend.


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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, December 23, 2019

Feast Of The Seven Fishes Book Review

Is your family archive of recipes full of recipes tucked away in notebooks, on napkins, folded pieces of paper and the old school recipe cards? And haven't you always wanted to turn those treasured recipes into a book along with the family memories?


Book cover of Feast Of The Seven Fishes with old family photos and fish on the cover.


In Feast Of The Seven Fishes a families' authentic Italian recipes are shared in combination with the stories of each recipe and the neighborhood which shaped this family and its' traditions.


Memoir + Cookbook

Feast Of The Seven Fishes: A Brooklyn Italian's Recipes Celebrating Food & Family by Daniel Paterna is a combination memoir and cookbook. This is the story of the community of Bensonhurst in Brooklyn and the impact the community had upon the author and his family through the generations. Food, family and community are interwoven with delightful neighborhood anecdotes with the impact of remembering history for those who grew up in Bensonhurst and to preserve it for future generations.

The story of Bensonhurst will resonate if your Grandma, food, family dinners and family owned neighborhood shops were apart of your community. It is rare for a cookbook to read as a memoir and vice versa which is what makes this combination so unique and enjoyable.


The Recipes

Do you have a treasure trove of family recipes written or typed on the old school index recipe cards? I suspect you do and the photos of this families' recipes handwritten on index cards certainly evoke fond memories of my Grandma and Mom's favorite recipes! And of course there are the personalized "notes" on the cards ...

The authentic Italian recipes are detailed throughout the journey of the neighborhood as the author recalls the family food shops which were an integral and historical part of the family recipes. 

Take a journey through each major holiday and the traditional Italian recipes which accompany each holiday.  The chapter with a compilation of Feast Of The Seven Fishes recipes is amazing and slightly intimidating (due to the number of dishes) for one who has never cooked such a feast! However, the recipes are inspiring to all cooks to either compare your family recipe or for those seeking authentic Italian recipes.

I am excited to cook these recipes and up my cooking game with authentic Italian recipes! Memoir fans and cookbook fans are sure to enjoy this book. This is a perfect gift for those who want real Italian recipes - old school - and aren't those recipes usually the best!

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


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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, December 9, 2019

Shipt Delivery Service Review

The groceries are here! Yes, in the driveway and I never entered the store. How fun is that! If you dislike grocery shopping (raising my hand) then Shipt is a service which can lighten the burden, save time and make life just a little easier.


What Is Shipt?

Shipt is the home delivery service in which groceries and essentials are delivered  to your home. The items are ordered via the Shipt app or the desktop version and can be at your home within 2 hours.

How Does Ordering Work?

You are virtually shopping on the computer screen and adding items to the cart. The interface is very user friendly and the screens are self explanatory through the ordering process.

After the cart is filled you "check out" and select a delivery time frame. The delivery window is by the hour.

The shopping order is then processed and waiting for a shopper to accept the order. Once a shopper accepts the order you are notified via text or within the desktop screen.

The Delivery

Delivery is free if a minimum of $35.00 is spent. Orders under $35.00 are charged a delivery fee.

Thus far the deliveries have been very smooth with only one 'bumpy' order. The shoppers have been very communicative, courteous and pleasant. This is a real time collaborative shopping experience with the shopper. The shoppers can (your option) communicate with you during the order via text should any stock problems arise.

I have ordered items by 1 p.m. and the groceries have been on the driveway at 2 p.m.,  the deliveries have been very expedient.

I have been impressed thus far and one of the reasons I have been trialing Shipt is to vet the service for a homebound neighbor. This could be a very valuable asset to have in the toolbox for caregiving, not just the convenience factor of home delivery.

What Stores Participate In Shipt?

In my urban area (where big box stores are in great abundance) the participating stores are Target, Meijer and Petco.

What Is The Cost Of Shipt

I have been participating on the trial which is free. 
The annual fee is $99.00 a year; however I have seen sales for the service for $49.00 a year.

Delivery Or Pickup?

Thus far I have only used the Shipt delivery service; however the Pickup option can also be utilized. Because I do live in an area where it is not unusual to find multiple stores within 5 miles, the Pickup option can be very useful. I have frequented other services which offer the pack and pick up service and I have found this service to be a huge time saver.

Pros

User friendly screens
Fast service
Courteous shoppers
Reasonable annual cost
Convenient, easy to use
Free trial offered

Con


This  one area I would like to see an improvement is the stock in store versus the stock reflected on the app screen. Just as happens with an in store shopping experience items are not always in stock. The majority are, but sale items are in high demand and the shopping app stock is not always reflective of the actual stock found by the shopper.

Recommendation 


I've definitely enjoyed the service and would recommend using the trial offered by Shipt to explore if this would be a useful service for your lifestyle. I do plan on giving Shipt as a Christmas  gift this year!





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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, November 25, 2019

Favorite TV Show Cookbooks

I love finding new recipes and I particularly love finding home cooking family recipes! Cooking shows have become quite a business with channels devoted to cooking 24/7, but are the recipes good?

I separate TV Show Cooks from Celebrity Cooks as cooks who became popular because of their TV show versus a celebrity introducing a cookbook as part of their brand.



Defining a good recipe is of course subjective, but some of the main components for me of a good recipe include: easy, real ingredients, affordable and authentic. I'll never forget one of the first recipes I tried from a TV show tasted wonderful; however it was one of the most time consuming recipes I have ever made with expensive ingredients I had to search the city to obtain. Easy and affordable it was not.

However, I am now a more seasoned cook and recipe evaluator and always love a 'good' cookbook. There is still nothing like a full size cookbook to give or receive; the internet is quick and convenient to find recipes, but is not the same experience of reading a cookbook.

There are a few TV Show Cookbooks I regularly visit and find the recipes promise as deliver. I also am a fan of their TV Show and regularly watch their shows.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood 

Love these recipes! I am a fan of Trisha's family recipes. I also enjoy watching the cooking show with Trisha.

Home Cooking is full of family recipes made with recognizable ingredients, but with their family tweak on
the recipes.

Yummy southern cooking!



Fun snack recipe >> Sweet And Saltines Recipe




In The Kitchen With David: Comfort Foods That Take You Home

David Venable is QVC's Foodie and cooking show host. I stumbled upon David's show and the show became a favorite as I love to look at the new kitchen gadgets; unfortunately for QVC I am a watcher not a buyer, but did purchase and enjoy David's cookbook.


 Who said comfort food!

All recipes are easy and true comfort food.

When I am searching for an old or new comfort food recipe I turn to this cookbook for ideas.

David's classic recipe >> Mashed Potatoes Three Ways






Pioneer Woman A Year Of Holidays

I am a fan of the Pioneer Woman. Real ingredients with no apologies. There is a place for real butter, real cream and all things comfort food (in moderation of course!)

What is nice about this cookbook is the organization by holiday.

A Year Of Holidays is a great resource for traditional and perhaps new ideas for your holiday menu.

All meals of a holiday are covered in each chapter which is so clever and reader friendly.

A favorite Pioneer Woman recipe >> Perfect Pot Roast Recipe






Any of these three cookbooks make a great gift for your favorite cook! Bon Appetit!




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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, November 11, 2019

Freegal Review: Free Music Downloads

The journey through cutting the cable cord continues! It has been a indeed a journey and  cutting the cord is easy. What is not as easy is finding affordable content that is easy to access and user friendly to replace cable content! I happened upon Freegal when researching the free digital content available from my local library.


What Is Freegal?

Freegal is a music library offered through your local library. Music can be downloaded for free with a weekly limit of downloads. The music library includes Sony's music catalog and a reported catalog of over 15 million songs. 

How User Friendly Is Freegal?


As you can see below, I am limited to five downloads per week. The number of downloads per user per week is determined by the package purchased by your library.


It is easy to access Freegal. Simply navigate to the Freegal website and log in with your library membership information. Or enter Freegal through your library digital menu with your library membership number.

The Freegal menu for desktop is self explanatory. The songs can be previewed prior to downloading. I did not find the search feature overly helpful for browsing. However, if you are searching for a particular artist versus general browsing the search engine is adequate.

The library can also be accessed with Apps from Google Play and Apple App Store.

As with any new service or app there is a small learning curve to use the service. Freegal is easy to use and the music can be downloaded easily with the click of the mouse. Check with your local library to see if Freegal is included with your library membership.

Cutting the cable has been an interesting experience. Freegal is the third service reviewed which offers free content. The search for additional user friendly and robust sources of free content continues!

Where To Find Free Content For Cord Cutters



Hoopla - Hoopla offers free books, movies and television shows through your local library.


Kanopy- Kanopy offers free movies with an emphasis on Indie films and documentaries.




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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, October 28, 2019

My Favorite Local Ace Hardware Store Reviewed

Do you have a local Ace Hardware Store -  where everyone knows your name? Cue the theme song to Cheers!

My local Ace Hardware is indeed the Hardware Cheers of our neighborhood and the neighborhood is very fortunate to have access to a store with the exemplary knowledge and customer service exhibited by their employees and the on site owner.


Ace Hardware Celebrates 95 Years Of Service


A few weeks ago fellow Review This Reviews Contributor Wednesday Elf wrote a review of Ace Hardware Stores and my comment was, "I love Ace Hardware! I was thinking of writing a review." While cleaning out the garage this summer and doing lawn work I realized how many of the tools were from Ace which sparked a conversation about Ace with the neighbor and turned into a review of the Ace tool inventory.

Wednesday Elf's article celebrated the history of Ace Hardware, her experience as an Ace employee and the 95th, yes 95th Birthday of Ace Hardware. She suggested I write a review and after surveying the inventory of Ace brand tools in the lawn and home toolbox, I agree!

Ace Brand Tools

There is no shortage of Ace brand tool in the garage! I have found the Ace brand to be equal or better than its' competitors in quality and price. From garden tools to water pumps to wheelbarrows, the garage is chock full of Ace!

Ace offers a rewards program which is free to join and members earn 1 point for every $10.00 spent on qualifying purchases.  I love that rewards can be earned in the bricks and mortar store or online. The rewards can be easily redeemed in store or online and are redeemable when earning reach $5.00.

The Service

Knowledgeable, friendly and extremely helpful! Whether fixing a gutter, reseeding the lawn or painting the employees answer all questions and guide you to the right product. The paint mixing is superior to the big box store down the street and the store to car delivery service is a huge convenience and help when needing extra muscle. 

Buying mulch, topsoil or heavy equipment has never been so easy as the store will deliver the purchase right to the car. Lawn equipment and snow equipment can be ordered online or through the store and delivered to your home. 

 Shop Local


The residents in this area make it a priority to shop the local Ace store and there is a big box competitor 1/2 mile down the road. It is always a pleasure when a store delivers as promised and this store makes it easy to support the local business. 

Ace stocks the major brand names of tools as well as a fun selection of unique items to bring a smile to the shopper. One year I found rubber clogs for the garden in a cheery selection of bold colors and this year I found this charming self watering bird for potted plants.


It is always a fun shopping experience at Ace whether it be for the practical lawn bags or a little birdie to liven up a potted plant!





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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, October 14, 2019

My Favorite Hallmark Couples Reviewed

Hallmark has become synonymous with the light romantic comedy with a family friendly happy ending - is that a bad thing?


Ah yes, I have seen quite a few Hallmark movies and through the years a few actors have hit upon a winning chemistry and their movies spurred sequels. Yes, Hallmark fans are aware the story lines are romantic, perhaps formulatic. Long lost loves reuniting is a frequent theme - and we are ok with that! Opposites attract and fall in love - and we are ok with that! The commoner and the royalty fall in love at the palace - and we are ok with that!

Enjoy a few of my favorite Hallmark couples and series; bookmark these movies for a nice two hours of happy entertainment.

Lacey Chabert And Brennan Elliott

The All My Heart series:

This duo have been dubbed the Hepburn And Tracy of The Hallmark Channel and their chemistry and comedic timing are evident. The All Of My Heart series began when both inherited a run down country inn; although neither knew each other prior to the inheritance.

Different worlds and different goals collide as they decide to renovate the home into a Bed And Breakfast.

Travel along their humorous journey of inn renovation when roommates turn into soulmates.

 All Of My Heart
All Of My Heart: Inn Love
All Of My Heart: The Wedding

and now teaming together on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel in Crossword Mysteries.

Jack Wagner And Josie Bissett


Seventeen years after Melrose Place and this duo has teamed up for The Wedding March Hallmark movies.

Mick (Jack Wagner) and Olivia (Josie Bissett) are college sweethearts who unexpectedly meet when Olivia's daughter books her wedding at Mick's charming country inn. Of course Olivia's daughter had no idea of their history and the inevitable sparks of unresolved sweethearts begin to fly.

Once again it is the chemistry that is difficult to ignore as the romance progresses. The quips and banter is witty and natural just as one would expect with long time friends and former co-workers.

The Wedding March Series
The Wedding March:
The Wedding March 2: Resorting To Love
The Wedding March 3: Here Comes The Bride
The Wedding March 4: Something Old, Something New

Rachael Leigh Cook And Brendan Penny

Enter the gorgeous scenery of wine country as this couple navigates competing family run wineries and learning to love their craft and each other along the way.

 The In the Vineyard series highlights the witty banter, competitive humor and likability of the couple.

Add to the mix the very different ways each approaches the business of the vineyard and each other which allows the chemistry to shine.

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




There are of course more favorite Hallmark movies, click here to find my Top Ten Hallmark Christmas movies.




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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, September 23, 2019

Downton Abbey: The Movie Reviewed

This was a very, very excited movie audience! I thought I heard a few audible gasps and sighs of thanks when the familiar theme music began to play. Last week I saw a screening of Downton Abbey: The Movie and it has been a long wait for Downton Abbey fans since the conclusion of the television series.


The audience was in rapt attention and displayed perfect movie manners throughout the entire movie.
No one moved for the entire two hours.

  • Not one cell phone rang, beeped, lit up or vibrated.
  • Silence. No one was talking. Only listening and enjoying the movie.
  • The excitement for this movie was palatable.
  • These Downton Abbey superfans were ready!




The Plot

All of your favorite characters are back! The full contingent of characters from upstairs and downstairs at Downton Abbey have returned to continue where the story left off after the BBC series ended after 52 episodes and six seasons.

I do not want to spoil the plot of Downton Abbey: The Movie for its' devoted fans. The main plot is a visit by the King George V and the Queen in 1927 and the preparation for the visit by the family and staff.

Of course there are a few twists and turns as the characters navigate the visit and while the downstairs plot is a bit sketchy for the visit, Downton Abbey fans won't mind.


The Witty Repertoire


As a compliment to the script of Downton Abbey, these fans GOT IT. They laughed at the right places, chuckled at the double entendres and verbally cheered certain moments of the movie.

The highlights of course of witty banter were the characters of Violet Crawley played by Maggie Smith and Isobel Crawley played by Penelope Wilton. There were quite a few dry, witty, sarcastic and pointed exchanges between these two characters along with a twinkle in each of their eyes. The audience loved it.

As usual Lady Mary Crowley played by Michelle Dockery can throw a dry and sarcastic comment like no one else! I appreciate her directness.

I would have liked to see a more developed storyline for a favorite Downton Abbey couple, John Bates and Anna Smith played by Brendan Coyle and Joann Froggatt , but it was not to be for this movie. Both characters are in the movie, but not in major roles.

The Recommendation

When an audience stands up at the end of the movie and applauds - that says it all!
I heartily endorse all Downton Abbey fans to see this movie. You will not be disappointed!


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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, September 9, 2019

Favorite Fall Lawn Gadgets Reviewed

Oh no! What happened to summer? I say that every September though most of September is technically still summer.

September is actually I think the best month for the northern United States. The air is crisper, the humidity has decreased and the leaves are just beginning their journey through the colors. Fall also means lawn work, garden clean up, Fall planting and preparing the lawn and garden for a snowy winter.

My Favorite Fall Lawn Gadgets 

The Bagster - On Demand Debris Removal

If Fall clean up involves heavy materials whether it be concrete, wood or trees then The Bagster is a great alternative to dispose of heavy loads. Simply purchase The Bagster bag either online or at a big box store, fill the bag and schedule the pick up!


Find the full review here and see if your area qualifies for The Bagster.


Greenworks Leaf Blower

This is one of my favorite lawn tools of all purchases. The lightweight Greenworks Leaf Blower is so versatile.

I use it all year to blow leaves and debris off the driveway or deck, blow leaves to dispose of in the Fall and even use it for a Car Hack to blow dust out of the car.

Read the full review here of this easy to maneuver Leaf Blower.

City Pickers Raised Garden Bed

I really enjoyed this garden bed on wheels during the summer and will transition this raised bed garden for Fall planting. Maybe a pumpkin?!? I plan on rolling the bed into the Florida room for the winter and begin herb planting come spring.


Read the full review here of this rolling garden bed perfect for the yard, deck or patio.


Blue Shoes Disposable Shoes

Fall means rain, mud and leaves in my area of the country. Do you have trees with those itty bitty leaves which stick to everything and every shoe?

These affordable disposable shoes I have found invaluable for yard work in any weather. Pop the shoes on and dispose of in a jif if needed. If the conditions are dry the shoes can be used as a cover and then reused.

Read the full review here of these little shoe savers.


Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies

I know, these are not a lawn gadget. But Fall means Hallmark Christmas Movies are in the near future. As I recall the Christmas movies began at Halloween last year.


Find the full review here.

A few new favorites from last Christmas to add to the list:

  • Christmas At Pemberley Manor
  • Christmas At The Palace
  • Christmas On Honeysuckle Lane






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.”


FOLLOW US ON:


The Review This Contributors

Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010Renaissance
Woman2010
Lou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret Schindel Sam MonacoSam Monaco - Coming Soon BuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecorating
forEvents
Heather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G

 

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

“As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement

X