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

Monday, October 11, 2021

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2021 Reviewed

It's time! Hallmark Christmas 2021 Movies are ready to roll out! This unabashed Hallmark Christmas Movie fan is excited to take a break from everything pumpkin and enjoy the new, old, classic and fan favorite Hallmark Christmas movies.

Hallmark Christmas movie season includes the beloved Hallmark favorites from years past and begins October 23, 2021. Movies will air on the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel.

The 2021 Hallmark Christmas Movie Schedule has been released and here are a few to look forward to!

Candace Cameron Bure


Two Sisters - Two Hallmark Christmas Movies

Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Ashley Williams, sisters in real life, are pairing up in two Hallmark Christmas Movies for 2021

Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday

Sister Swap: Christmas in the City




Looking For More Hallmark Christmas Movies?

Reviews:

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


Favorite Hallmark Christmas Movies 2019

  • Christmas In Rome with Lacey Chabert and Sam Page
  • Christmas At The Plaza with Ryan Paevey
  • Christmas Town with Candace Cameron Bure and Tim Rozon
  • Christmas at Dollywood with Danica McKellar and Niall Matter

Where To Find Hallmark Christmas Movies?


If your cable subscription includes Hallmark, Hallmark Channel is available with the Hallmark Everywhere App by logging in with your cable subscription username and password.

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.



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 27, 2021

Luxtronic HDTV Antenna Reviewed

If you have cut the cord for cable than you have already discovered an antennae is a prime component of successful cable cutting. Old school rabbit ears is another name. The function is the same, but the styles and choices have greatly increased these past years.



My old antenna



Anyone else remember a rabbit ear antenna with foil! Ah the memories. Recently my hdtv antenna stopped working which really emphasized how necessary an antennae is for any viewing. When I scanned the over air channels without the antennae I had 5 channels. Five channels which looked to be all the same programming resembling informercials.

I quickly started surfing for a replacement and was happy to discover the design of antennae's have vastly improved. A few years ago when I cut the cable cord I had an antenna which was not only  large, but had to be hung in the air for maximum reception. Not pretty, not practical, but still better than a cable bill.

I chose the HDTV Digital Antenna with a very small footprint and am very pleased. So pleased I have purchased a few more to upgrade from the hang from the window antenna version!

The Antenna by Luxtronic is very small and unobtrusive. It can be used indoor or outdoor with a 50 mile range. 

A simple install by connecting to the TV antenna input and then auto scan the over the air signals and the antenna works wonderfully. If you are looking to aesthetically upgrade your set of rabbit ears, I highly recommend this antenna to access all your over the air channels without the cost of cable.



Free Streaming Options For Cable Cord Cutters

Kanopy Review

Use your library card to access a huge library for free streaming. Focus on Indie films. No contracts, no subsrciptions!

Hoopla  Review

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

Freegal Review

Giant Movie Library featuring Sony's catalog. Another free service offered in combination with your library card. Weekly limit of downloads.

Amazon Prime 

 Amazon Prime is not free, but if you'd like to give the service a spin a 30 day trial subscription can be accessed. More movies, music, tv shows and Amazon Prime content than one imagine!





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 13, 2021

Favorite Fall Hallmark Movies Reviewed

Fall is pumpkin season at the Hallmark channel! As summer wanes and the cooler air is a welcome relief this also brings my favorite Fall Movies at Hallmark.


This year three new Hallmark Harvest movies premier in September. Set your schedules now to enjoy the brilliance of Fall along with pumpkin, spices and Hallmark. No worries if you miss the premiere, the movies will repeat throughout the month.

New Fall Hallmark Movies 2021

Roadhouse Romance - September 11

A fall Rom Com featuring Tyler Hynes and Lauren Alaina. Tyler has become a Hallmark favorite lead and Alaina is a country music veteran. The Hallmark formula of returning home, high school sweetheart and a struggling family business entwine the two leads plus a special treat. Lauren Alaina will perform two songs “Run” and “What Do You Think Of"

Preview of Roadhouse Romance

 Raise A Glass To Love - September 18

It wouldn't be Fall without a trip to the vineyards for Hallmark. This guarantees gorgeous scenery to combine with wine, sommelier, family vineyard and a new handsome 'visitor' to the vineyards. Laura Osnes and Juan Pablo Di Pace star.

Taking The Reins - September 25

I am very much looking forward to Taking The Reins with Hallmark fan favorite Nikki DeLoach. Filmed on location at a horse farm, Scott Porter joins DeLoach as the male lead. Expect fall color and romance as DeLoach plays a writer returning to the family ranch and discovers the relation between marriage, ranching, writing and romance.

Favorite Fall Hallmark Films Returning



Autumn Dreams

Hallmark favorite Jill Wagner and Collin Egglesfield have a fun and flirty chemistry as they reunite 15 years after their ill fated teenage marriage. Enjoy these two in this rom com as they discover they are still married, but one is engaged, but married? The fun begins as they try to unravel this romance and perhaps begin again...

View preview and blooper reel > here 

Country At Heart

A very sweet movie with Jessy Schram and Niall Matter. Nashville, song writing, the hits and struggles of the music business and of course romance star in a movie with real chemistry and real! singing. The stars also sing in this don't miss Hallmark Fall movie.

View the Country At Home Music Special

Sweet Autumn

Two Hallmark Favorites Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker star in a fall movie centered around the Sweet Autumn Festival. Two opposites are left a legendary sweet shop as their romance unfolds. These two actors have great chemistry and the plot is classic Hallmark. Enjoy!

More Hallmark Movie Reviews

Hallmark Sweet Carolina by The Savvy Age
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 I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, July 26, 2021

Hallmark Sweet Carolina Movie Review

 One of  my favorite Hallmark movies of 2021 is Sweet Carolina starring Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes. A sweet, sensitive and poignant story of a tragic loss in which Josie (Lacey Chabert) becomes guardian of her niece and nephew and their journey toward health and healing.




Tyler Hynes plays Cooper the old high school boyfriend who joins the family team on the journey. The storyline is handled delicately and with care as these actors lead the audience through their healing a family while the What*If romantic storyline lends itself to a few laughs along the way.

Accomplished actors Gregory Harrison and Teryl Rothery play the grandparents. Cassidy Nugent and Glen Gordon play the child leads who are seamless in their performances.

The Hallmark Formula

As Hallmark fans acknowledge there is a Hallmark formula which is exactly what they love about Hallmark movies. The movies have a specific niche and a devote following. In recent years some of the Hallmark movies have slightly veered off the light hearted romantic movie and enveloping more serious topics along with the romance and humor. Happy endings are a benchmark of the Hallmark movie and continue to the delight of the Hallmark fan.

View a sneak peek of the movie here ....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLndV-eghrQ


Sweet Carolina's executive producer is also Lacey Chabert which probably yields as to why Sweet Carolina takes on a more poignant storyline still keeping within Hallmark's formula.

I highly recommend Sweet Carolina for an enjoyable family friendly movie. Look for it on Hallmark channel on cable or through Hallmark Now streaming.

More Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes Movies

A Hallmark winter favorite movie also paired Lacy Chabert and Tyler Hynes was Winter in Vail. If you love winter scenery mixed with romance, kindness and chemistry this is a Hallmark movie for you.


More Hallmark Movie Reviews

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age
Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia



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, July 12, 2021

Petcakes Birthday Kit Reviewed

 Every pup deserves a Birthday cake! This year I decided to try the Pupcakes Birthday Kit to make a dog bone shaped cake for the big day. So easy for those who don't cook, do not like to cook or are in a time crunch. A few minutes in the microwave and a fun bone shaped cake is made with no muss, no fuss.



What's In The Box?

The petcakes are so easy to prepare!  The Petcakes box contains 1 package of cake mix, 1 package of frosting mix, 1 bone shaped pan and a Birthday Candle.




All you need is water plus a small amount of greek yogurt or peanut butter to make the cake. 

The frosting requires a small amount of water and yogurt. Honey is optional. 

Microwave is required.

Anyone Can Make This Pupcake

A few common ingredients and a microwave is all that is required to make this Pupcake in under an hour (and most of the hour is waiting for the cake to cool so it can be frosted.)

Or skip the frosting and the cake is ready to go after cooling. The directions state 15 minutes cool time after removing from microwave. I found a half hour is a better timeframe to ensure the cake is cooled.

Decorate the Pupcake

Keeping in the edible theme of cake decorations I used dog food nuggets as a cake decoration. The cake can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week after it is made. The ingredients are dog friendly: Organic oat flour, brown rice flour, flax seed powder, carob, cinnamon. 



The cake was a win for my furball. (Admittedly this furball is not a picky eater)

Reusable Cake Pan

The dog bone shaped cake pan is reusable so save it for the next healthy Pupcake for your favorite furball or pass it along to a friend for their birthday pup!






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, June 28, 2021

Hallmark Christmas In July 2021 Reviewed

 Hallmark fan alert! Hallmark Christmas in July movies make a long awaited appearance this year.  The fun begins Friday, July 9, 2021 and continues through July 31st. The favorites are back along with a few Hallmark surprises.


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

Crown for Christmas  - Danica McKellar and Rupert Penry-Jones

One of the top Hallmark Christmas movies of all time (in my humble Hallmark opinion!)

Danica McKellar is transported from her job as a maid in a swanky hotel to a nanny to a princess and all the foibles in between. Great chemistry between the leads and the palace staff make this a modern day romantic comedy many will enjoy all year long.

Christmas at Graceland - Kellie Pickler and Wes Brown

Love, romance, country music against the backdrop of the beautiful Graceland makes you want to book a Graceland visit on your next vacation.



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

A career driven city doctor finds herself unexpectedly in Alaska to take care of the residents of this small Christmas town. Of course romance ensues with a resident who have a very Christmas family. One of the A team female leads at Hallmark, Candace does not disappoint nor does the male lead David O'Donnell to make one almost 'believe' Santa does exist...



Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas  - Lacey Chabert, Stephen Huszar

Mystery, romance and five degrees of separation? as five strangers find themselves drawn to a country inn for Christmas and find their lives intertwined as the mystery unfolds.

Our Christmas Love Song - Alicia Witt, Brendan Hines

Fans are in for a treat with these two stars who can sing and act. Country music is the backdrop along with an original song by Alicia Witt.



Soap Sunday 

New this year is an all day marathon of Hallmark Christmas movies with your favorite soap stars! 

 

New 2021 Christmas Movie

Hallmark fans will be delighted that Christmas In July this year will include a brand new Christmas movie - albeit early. Crashing Through The Snow premieres this July starring Amy Acker and Warren Christie. 

 

Hallmark Christmas Movie Reviews

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

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 I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


FOLLOW US ON:

Monday, June 14, 2021

Tourna Mini Pickleball Caddy Reviewed

New to pickleball? Thinking of learning the sport? Or have you taken a few lessons and now it is time to practice! The Tourna Mini Pickleball Caddy is here to make learning the sport of pickleball easier, quicker and just more enjoyable.


Learning a new sport can be frustrating and the old adage that practice makes perfect definitely applies. As my friends and I are learning pickleball this little caddy has become a very useful tool and worth the assembly effort (see below on assembly!) But wait, what is pickleball? 

The Popularity Of Pickleball

The sport is over 50 years old, but has taken off in growth in recent years. The Sports & Industry Fitness Association (SIFA) reports a 21.3% increase in participation for 2020.

A mix between tennis, badminton, ping pong is a general description on a court which resembles a tennis court but is much smaller. The paddle does not have strings like a tennis racquet and is closer to a ping pong paddle in size. Take a peek at the video below for a quick overview of the sport.


If pickleball has gained your attention as a sport you'd like to learn then a pickleball caddy will make your journey just a little quicker and a little easier! The Tourna pickleball caddy is a great purchase for a beginner, but does have its' assembly challenges.

Assembly Challenges

It was a challenge to assemble the Pickleball Caddy! The reviews for this product were correct so you are forewarned. I had read the customer reviews which stated:

1. The directions were very poor. Correct!

2. It was difficult and time consuming to assemble. Correct!

3. The directions stated a 10 minute assembly and the reviewers absolutely disagreed. Correct!

4. Once the caddy is assembled, the product works great. Correct!

5. Even though the product was very frustrating to assemble, no regrets on the purchase. Correct!

The caddy arrives in pieces in a flat box. Keep the box! the directions are very poor (even for the most handy), but the photos of the assembled caddy on the box are helpful to assist with visualizing your goal of a completed caddy.



Patience and perseverance are handy when attempting to assemble the caddy.

Practical Pickleball Caddy

The mini caddy holds about 20 outdoor balls or 24 indoor balls. Favorite outdoor ball is the Onyx for crisp and responsive pickleball play.

Once assembled this caddy is very easy to use and very useful for a beginner player. The caddy works like a traditional tennis hopper. The balls are collected by placing the hopper over the ball (or 2 balls) and pressing down on the hopper with a slight pressure so the balls will enter the caddy.

The caddy can then be flipped to stand upright on the court for a waist high basket of pickleballs for easy practicing. Beginner pickleball players can spend a significant time gathering the practice balls and this caddy speeds up the process and saves the back from constantly bending over to pick up practice balls.

The mini caddy is slim and a space saver. It is light weight and can be easily stored in the trunk or interior of the car. 

Recommendation

Despite the challenging assembly - once the caddy is assembled- the reviews are very positive for a practical caddy and an affordable price point. If you are learning the game or just like to practice with a basket of balls the caddy is a recommended purchase.






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, May 24, 2021

ReadeREST Magnetic Eyeglass Holder Review


I was going to title this review the "Where Did I Put  My Glasses Review?" Those pesky and elusive reader glasses that one seems to own many, but can never find one? Help is on the way with this simple and so practical solution to keeping those reader glasses handy and safe.


I came upon this handy gadget from the beloved handyman which keeps old houses alive. His work and eyesight required him to be constantly taking his glasses on and off. What a great! idea - no more searching for reader glasses which are never where they need to be - or so many pairs of reader glasses around the house they are becoming apart of the decor.

Kidding aside, if the readers are prescription reader glasses then the cost of replacement cannot be overlooked ...

Easy As 1-2-3


I love a gadget that is easy! And 'installing' this gadget could not be easier. Two pieces plus a few seconds and you are good to go (assuming you can actually find the glasses to add to the gadget.)




  1. Position the clear base to the location desired on the inside of the shirt/top/coat.
  2. The top base with the eyeglass holder is positioned on the outside of the shirt/top/coat on top of the clear base.
  3. The magnet will attach the two pieces making an eyeglass sandwich.
  4. Voila! The eyeglass sandwich is complete and just add the glasses.

Practical and Convenient


These eyeglass holders are one of the most practical gadgets in my collection. A top purchase! The holders can be easily stored whether on a piece of clothing, purse, wallet, briefcase, the kitchen window. Small, unobtrusive, portable and lightweight and of course extremely practical.

A great stocking stuffer for the holidays!

Shark Tank


What I did not realize until this year was the ReadeREST holders were a product from Shark Tank. I happened across an update article from Shark Tank about the evolution of the glasses from the presentation to present day sales.

The ReadeREST eyeglass holders are available at major retail stores across the country and of course online. I always love an entrepreneur who begins making a product in the garage and succeeds to bring the vision to the marketplace.



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, 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






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, 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.






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, 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.”


FOLLOW US ON:

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






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 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




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 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




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 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.





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, 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.




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, 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!




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 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.





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 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!








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:
Review This Reviews Quick View Home Page

The Review This Contributors



Cynthia SylvestermouseCynthia SylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMary Beth - mbgphotoMary Beth - mbgphotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasBev OwensBev OwensWednesday ElfWednesday ElfBarbRadBarbRadOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisRenaissanceWoman2010RenaissanceWomanLou16Lou16The Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelSam MonacoSam MonacoRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieBuckHawkBuckHawkDecoratingforEventsDecoratingforEventsHeather426Heather426Coletta 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