Showing posts with label Tracey Boyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tracey Boyer. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A Review of Low Calorie Cheesy Vegetable Chowder


I have always been a huge fan of chowder.  I don't really care what kind, it can be clam chowder, potato chowder, or vegetable chowder, they are all delicious to me.  My nephew, who went to the Culinary Institute of New York, can dish up some of the finest clam chowder I have ever had, it is really to die for!  However, the calorie count on this wonderful chowder was enough to give me a heart attack.  I would estimate probably between 350 to 400 per cup!

I often thought to myself that their had to be a lower calorie way to make good chowder.  So I did some research on the internet.  There are literally thousands of recipes on the internet for all kinds of chowder.  Low cal chowder, not so much.  There are some, so I did some comparisons.  I found that vegetable chowder is usually less calories that those containing meat or fish.  I don't mind skipping the meat, so I decided to try a compilation of my own making for vegetable chowder.

I had to make it a few times to adjust the ingredients.  At first the base was just too thin, more like soup than an actual chowder.  I was at a loss as to how to correct this problem without causing the calorie count to skyrocket by adding heavy cream. I was stumped for a while.  Then one day I was grocery shopping, looking for some cheese when I saw a bag of finely shredded reduced calorie cheese.  I think a visible light bulb went off over my head, right there in the store.  I could melt some of this cheese in my veggie chowder and thicken it and also add some more flavor!  I made some the very next day and put about half the 8 ounce bag in the pot and stirred it slowly.


2 cups reduced fat chicken broth

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 cups skim milk

3 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes 

pinch of black pepper

4 ounces reduced fat cheddar cheese

Vegetables for Chowder


In a medium saucepan, combine chicken broth, carrots, celery, pepper and onions.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.

in a covered jar combine skim milk and flour and shake well.

Pour into broth and veggies and stir gently to mix.

Add parsley flakes garlic powder and black pepper and then slowly add the shredded cheese.

Stir slowly and let thicken.

Remove from heat and spoon into bowls with a sprinkle of cheese on top. 

Only 160 calories and 4 grams of fat.

The result of the addition of cheese was a creamy, delicious chowder with medium thick consistency and mouth watering vegetables.  Toss in a few croutons and you don't even need crackers, and all for fewer calories than most protein bars. If you need to add meat, try ham cubes, bacon, or pulled chicken. All of them would be a yummy addition!  

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.”

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A Review of Color Oops - Fix Hair Coloring Disasters


color oops

Got A Hair Coloring Disaster? Too Dark? Green? Poor Color Choice ?

Don't Panic! What you've done, can be undone.....use Color Oops! 

Most hair coloring mistakes can be fixed. Many times you can return your hair to its natural color, as long as you haven't used bleach. If you have used bleach, your hair's natural color has been stripped away, leaving you with hair that is varying shades of light blonde or white. Your original color is gone, and it cannot be brought back. In that circumstance, the best you can do is to follow advice on how to lose the offending color you ended up with, and then dye your hair a color that is close to what your natural color was.

However, if you just made a mistake with hair dye, no bleach involved, there is a good chance that your hair can be restored with Color Oops.

color oops

Hair Coloring Disasters Come In Many Forms Like:

Honest Mistake - the color on the bottle is NOT what you ended up with, for whatever reason.

Going Goth - You decided that you wanted to go goth with jet black hair. Now you look like Morticia Addams.

Your Green is Nothing to Envy - You have over processed your hair and now Kermit the Frog wants your number.

Better Dead than Red - You thought your blonde hair would look cute if it was red. Now you look like Carrot Top.

Being Blue has New Meaning - You decided it would be cool to have blue hair....or pink, or teal or even multicolor. Now you look like a unicorn vomited on your head.

Most are repairable as long as you didn't use bleach.

How Does Color Oops Remove Color Without Bleach?

Color Oops has no bleach or ammonia, but it does have aloe vera and soy protein that will help condition and restructure  your hair while removing the color.  The question is HOW does it remove the color without the damaging your hair?  I found the answer to be kind of like magic.....but of course, it isn't.  

Hair has several layers and the peroxide in hair dye opens these layers up so the color molecules can penetrate.  Your hair may look dark on the outside but the peroxide has lightened the inside layers of your hair, permanently, so Color Oops will not take you back to your natural color. You will end up with lighter hair than your natural shade. Color Oops gets rid of color by reopening the layers of your hair and shrinking the color molecules, so they simply fall off when you wash and rinse.  

Honey, I shrunk the molecules!

Regardless of how strange it sounds, it works!

I have been coloring my hair auburn for years.  Frankly I was just sick and tired of dealing with it.  Any shade of red hair dye fades really quickly.  To keep it vibrant you need to reapply every 4 to 6 weeks, but then as your hair grows, the bottom where it is colored over and over gets darker and darker and the new growth at the top is much lighter.  After a while it can look quite ombre.

So I decided I needed a change, but how to get rid of the red?  And what then?  I was in a real quandary, so I decided to check out hair styles and colors on You Tube.  I saw some really lovely videos on people with naturally gray hair and I considered it.  You Tube is where I saw a video on a product called Color Oops.  I was impressed with what I saw in the vid, so I went to the store and bought some.  I decided on Extra Conditioning because my hair can use all the conditioning it can get.  I still had not decided on the final color, but I decided to go for it anyway.

After I applied Color Oops, my hair looked rather unusual.  It was kind of multicolored......some light red, light brown, dark brown and of course, gray.  It was not a look that I was thrilled with which I understand is not uncommon.  There is a good chance that anyone that uses this product will not like the hair color they end up with.

The answer is simple, just recolor your hair.  Color Oops does not do any damage to your hair, so you are safe to recolor it quickly.  I waited two days, but that was more for my scalp, which was kind of tender.  I decided to go blonde because it is easy to maintain when you have a lot of gray, but I was wondering how blonde it would actually come out without bleach.  I loved the way it came out!  I was surprised that it did come out such a light blonde considering it really was more auburn than any color, pre-Oops.  I always wanted to be a blonde, but I never wanted to have to bleach my hair and maintain it.  Now I have pretty blonde hair and I only have to reapply the color about every 3 months, when it starts looking more gray than blonde!

Below is a video showing how to use Color Oops (she chose to use Extra Strength) and the results.

I was delighted with the results I got from Color Oops.  It was quick and easy to use, did not damage my hair and left me free to dye it the color I wanted.  I could not ask for a better or easier way of fixing my color problem, unless of course I could use magic!

color oops

Color Oops Extra Conditioning

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.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

A Review of Three My Pillow Products


pillow banner

Just about everyone in the country has heard of My Pillow.  It is a company that started out guessed it:  pillows!  Since then, the company has branched out into making many other items.  Quilts, mattress pads, blankets, slippers, pet beds and many, many other things.  It seems like no one advertises more than My Pillow.  The owner of the company, Mike Lindell, stars in all his own advertisements and still spends around 72 million dollars a year on advertising, according to  Obviously this company is a big success story.

The question is:  

Are My Pillow's products as great as the advertisements claim?

I can't speak for all purchasers, but I have bought three different products from My Pillow, and I can give you my fair assessment of the each, based on my personal experience.  Rated on a scale of 1 to 10 for price, quality and comfort.

Let's begin with the original!

My Pillow Pillow

My husband has a terrible time getting comfortable to sleep.  He has tried many different kinds of pillows:  goose down, memory foam, gel insert, you name it, he has tried it.  We had discussed trying My Pillows a few times but had decided against it because we felt they were too expensive.  Back then, they were like $60, if memory serves, and that was too much for our taste.  I believe it was around Christmas time that they had a big sale and were selling them for $19.99 so we decided to try one.  After shipping it was more like $30.00.

The pillow arrived and my husband tried it and it was an immediate hit!  The very first night he said it was cool and very comfortable.  He has used it ever since, and that  has been a few years at least.  He says it is as comfortable today as it was the first night, years ago.

So the pillow gets a 10 out of 10.  

Good on price (on sale) 

Good on quality (has not worn out after years of use)

Good on comfort (as comfortable today as it was when new)

My Pillow Towel Set

We decided to buy some My Pillow towels about five years ago.  Our towels were getting rather thin, and My Pillow was having a sale.  We got a set of six, two bath, two hand and two wash clothes for $29.99.  We chose medium green to match our bathroom decor.  They arrived in a timely manner and when we pulled them out, we noticed they were pretty thick which we were happy about.  However, they did not seem very soft.  I mean, they were not scratchy, but they were not as soft as I expected.  I decided to wash them and dry them and see if that changed things.  They did come out a bit softer, after washing.  

I will say that the absorbency of the towels lives up to the promises made by Mr. Lindell in his advertisements.  They really soak up the moisture when drying off, especially my hair when I wrap it in the towel after washing.  It seems to wick the water off my hair and it is really drip free and partially dry when I remove the towel.  We were impressed with the absorbency, however in the last five years, the softness or lack there of, has stayed the same.  There is one thing, however, that we found really amazing.  In 5 years of use, our bath towels do not look worn at all or has the color faded at all.  See the picture below.


On the bottom is one of our bath towels, used practically daily for five years.  The top one is a hand towel that has never been used.  It is for decoration only and sits folded up in a basket full of hand towels and wash clothes on our bathroom counter.  I can't tell the difference, can you?

 So the towels gets a 9 out of 10.  

Good on price (on sale) 

Good on quality (does not look worn or faded after five years of use)

Fair on comfort (we wish they were a bit softer)

My Pillow Percale Sheets

We had been wanting to try My Pillow Sheets for a long time, but the price was pretty high, in our opinion, even when they are on sale.  After Christmas this year, (2024) My Pillow had their normal sale on sheets, but with the added bonus of free shipping.  The sheets were still going to be $49.99, even with the sale and free shipping, but my husband said "It's now or never" so we ordered a set.   I tried to order them online, but the website would not give me free shipping, so I had to call them and the order was not easily dealt with even then.

When they arrived, I was shocked at how much the box weighed for only one set of sheets.  They came in a fancy heavy duty plastic case with a zipper, which I thought was pretty much a waste of money since once out, they would never be able to fit in that bag again!  Anyway, we pulled them out and immediately noticed they were not at all soft.  They were very stiff, and not at all inviting for bed sheets.  I told my husband that we probably needed to wash them to soften them up, so we placed them directly in the washer.  We washed them and dried them with two fabric softener sheets.

Unfortunately, they came out even stiffer than they went in, with the added bonus of being so wrinkled it was shocking.  They were a total mess.  We tried stretching them taunt on the bed, but even then they were still wrinkled.  See the picture below for what they looked like.

bed sheetsbed sheets

We were really disappointed.  There was nothing we could do to solve this problem.  I wasn't about to iron sheets, and even if I was willing, the sheets were stiff and awful and not anything I would want to sleep on.  We had no choice but to send them back.  I went to the website to start the return when I saw that they expected me to pay $9.99 to return the sheets.  This was unacceptable to me, so I sent an e mail to customer service asking them to send me the return postage sticker so I could return the sheets and I explained why.  The next day I get an e mail saying that they did not pay for returns, it was up to us to pay the return shipping.  I sent another e mail to them, explaining, that the merchandise was faulty and it was My Pillow's responsibility to pay for return shipping.  I got another e mail the next day saying that the agreement on the website (in other words, the fine print) said that I was responsible for return shipping no matter what the cause of the return was.......BUT!  They were willing to e mail me a return shipping label and take $9.99 off the amount of my refund.

I was stuck.  I knew if I went to UPS that the postage would be even more than $10 because the sheets were so heavy.  So I emailed them back and said to send the shipping label and I hoped that $9.99 was worth losing my business forever.  I was so mad!

So the sheets get a 0 out of 10.  

Price was too expensive

Quality was as bad as it could be

Comfort was nonexistent 

AND customer service was bad when ordering and extremely bad when we had to return the product.


recap of my experiences with My Pillow are perplexing to try to summarize.  Three products with three different assessments; one great, one pretty good and one absolutely dreadful.  The only fair conclusion I can make it that when you buy from My Pillow, you take your chances on what you will be getting.  It may be fabulous, or it may be deplorable.  I do highly recommend their original pillows, but as for the rest, buy at your own risk and know if you need to return it, it will be at your expense.

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.”

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

A Review of Christmas Decoration Organizers


Christmas decoration organizers

Last week I knew it was time to take down the Christmas tree and put away the holiday decorations.  This is a task I do not look forward to, for many reasons.  It's kind of depressing, this time of year, the end of the holidays with nothing to look forward to but gray dreary days and freezing cold weather for months to come.  

As I have gotten older, this task it kind of like a game of hide and seek.  I take all the holiday wall decorations off the walls, and then it is time to try to remember where I put the regular decor when I took it down to put up the Christmas stuff!  I start thinking.....did I put that in hubby's office?  In the bedroom, under the bed?  No, I put that in the front coat closet, and when I look, it's not there. It's so frustrating!

The main reason I dislike taking down Christmas decorations is the mess of boxes, bags, and totes that I have to sort through to find the right place to put everything.  Old dusty cardboard boxes, cracked plastic totes with ill fitting lids, ripped paper bags and garbage bags.  Just looking at that jumble of awful looking containers was enough to make me want to just leave the decorations up!  

That is when I decided that I was going to organize my decorations!  I started looking through my boxes and realized I had probably never thrown away any decorations or ornaments since I moved into my first house in 1993!  All the changes of decor over the, Victorian, contemporary, and now Americana and I never got rid of any decorations, just added new stuff and more boxes.  Wow!  

It was a daunting task, but I was determined!  I went through each box, this was the stuff in the boxes that I had not put out this year, or to be honest, for a few to many years.  I put all the items that a never use anymore into a big cardboard box and marked it for charity pick up.  I have to be honest, it was hard.

After that was done, I knew the first thing I was going to need was some new Christmas decoration storage containers.  I didn't really feel like going out, so I got a cup of coffee and sat down at my computer to do some shopping online.  I started with my usual go to, Amazon.  As I started looking, I was surprised at the large price range in organizers.   It was strange because they all looked close to the same.  But being a veteran shopper of Amazon, I knew to stay away from the really inexpensive stuff, because it would probably not last more than a few years.  If I was going to buy storage, I only wanted to buy it once!  So an hour later, I made my selections and placed the order.  It was less expensive that I have first thought.  

This is what I bought:

wrapping paper organizer
When shopping, the first organizer I looked for was for wrapping paper.  I am so tired of keeping my wrap and tools in a garbage bag!  Always digging in the bottom for tape or ribbon.  I found this one and I knew that I had hit gold!  It has a movable divider so you can shape it how you like, and dual zippers, and two large pockets for tags and tissue paper.   It holds up to 27 rolls and has lots of room left for scissors, tape, spools of ribbon and bows.

This is the organizer that I love the most!  Worth every penny!

wreath storage
Next came wreath storage.  I usually keep mine in garbage bags and by the time they make it up stairs the next year they look like they have been run over by a truck.  This round container with two sets of handles is perfect for keeping my wreaths in great condition year to year.  They are big enough to store two wreath or more, but I decided on one for each of my large wreaths so they would not get mashed.  I bought the 36" size, but they also come in 24" and 30".  

They are very inexpensive and so worth it, trust me!

ornament storage boxes

I really loved this container for several reasons.  It is large, so all my ornaments fit in one place.  The sides are sturdy so my valuable items are protected.  The top opens from either side and inside are 8 separate trays, each of which lift out with handles!  I think this will make tree decorating so much easier.  There are even two large pockets on the outside to store other things.  I put Christmas cards in one and ornament hangers and extra tree light bulbs in the other.  It holds up to 128 ornaments. 

All that storage in such a compact box.  I really recommend this container!

plastic storage totes
I use these totes for the rest of the decorations.  I was happy they came in a four pack, as I needed all four of them. I have a lot of wall decor and snow globes and other crafted decorations.  I use one tote for table top stuff, one for very fragile glass things, one for wall decorations and the last one for my Christmas village.  I am happy that these totes are tall, my large stuff fits so I don't have any odds and ends laying around in bags to get misplaced.  But the best thing about them is the latch handle.  It keeps the top on tight!

With these totes you never have to wonder "what is in this box?"

christmas tree storage

Last on my list was a tree storage box.  I am so tired of that frayed, dusty tree box!  I dread seeing it every year, so now I don't ever have to again!  I bought this tree storage box because I liked the fact it had wheels.  When filled with a tree, it is heavy!  This year my husband loved the ease of moving it when he took it to the basement.  I also like that it has dual zippers and a sturdy handle.  I believe it will last for many years.

So these are the organizers I got after Christmas.  There were so many others I would love to have but I will probably get a few more next year.  I am so happy with my purchases, they all match and they take up very little room in the basement.  No more dreading bringing up the Christmas decorations!  I can hardly wait till next year!

Oh, and one more thing.  The sturdy plastic totes are perfect to put my regular home decor in when I have to remove it to put up the Christmas stuff.  I just put it all in the totes and after Christmas it is all right there, waiting to be put back up.  No more hide and seek!

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.”

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

A Review of Gingerbread Dip

gingerbread dip
One of the best things about holiday parties is the food and of the food, my favorite is the dips! We always have lots of different kinds of dip at our family party, but after 50+ years we were getting a bit tired of the same variety of dips and dippers.  So one year I decided to find a new and unusual dip to bring to the family party.  I looked through cook books and websites.  I called friends.  I even tried to make some dips from scratch.  It was a failure of epic proportions. 

Then one day I ran across a very old cook book that I got from my Mom when she passed.  It is so old it looks like it was run off a Ditto Master.  Remember those?  The paper had gone yellow with age and the cover was gone.  There was no sign of where it came from or who had put it together.  Mysterious!

I began leafing through the small book and found lots of recipes I had never heard of and among them was exactly what I was looking for.  Something I had never seen before, but sounded delicious!

Gingerbread Dip


8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

1 1/3 cups freshly whipped cream (I used Cool Whip)

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 to 3 Tablespoons of molasses (to taste)

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


Beat and stir the cream cheese until smooth. (I used an electric mixer for about a minute)

Slowly tap in the powdered and brown sugars and stir until completely combined.  (I beat with my mixer for about a minute and a half)

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and molasses.

Add this mixture to the cream cheese and sugars and stir until thoroughly combined.  (used my mixer for about a minute, scraping the sides)

Fold in whipped cream and stir gently till completely mixed.  (I did this by hand, but you could use a mixer)

Now before you chill this dip, it is better to put it in its serving bowl because once chilled it is harder to smooth it into a serving container.

This old recipe did not say what to serve this dip with, but the suggestions really are endless.  A few off the top of my head are small butter cookies, honey graham crackers, vanilla wafers and even pretzels for those that like the sweet/salty taste.

When I made a trial run of this dip, I used honey grahams to dip because it was all I had on hand. However, when I made it for the family party, I used grahams, butter cookies and apple slices. (make sure you don't forget to soak them in lemon water so they don't turn brown) and all were equally well received.  

My old fashioned dip was a hit!  It was pretty much cleaned out by the end of the night and I received many compliments on my new and unusual contribution.  I was elated. In the car, on the way home, I wondered what other gems were hidden in that old, weathered cookbook.  I intended to find out!

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.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

A Review of the Book Chair Exercises for Seniors


A Review of Chair Exercises for Seniors

Chair Exercises for Seniors came about after the author, Luke Adams, realized that getting older does not mean that a person's life is over.  The latter part of life can instead be a time for exploring new interests and writing a book, as Luke Adams did!  It was a fortunate thing for all the people that have been helped by his book, including me!

This book is not a long read, only 206 pages, 11 chapters listed below:


1. Stay In Sync With Your Body—The Changes

2. Why Chair Exercises? 

3. Get Your Chair 

4. Warming up 

5. Ankle and Leg Exercises 

6. Neck and Shoulder Exercises 

7. Upper and Lower Back Exercises 

8. Arm, Wrist and Hand Exercises 

9. Build Strength From Your Core 

10. Cooldown & Recovery 

11. Building Your 7-Day Routine 

What Does the Book Contain?

The book as a whole is full of useful information, it is far more than just a list of exercises.  It also deals with some of the psychology of aging, and the decisions that are made along the way that impact the life we will experience as we get older.  The presentation of the material is easy to understand and is formatted in a personal, almost cozy, conversational style that is both interesting and appealing.  

The following outlines what I found to be the most pertinent of what this book offers to the reader:

  • An informative discussion of the changes the body goes through with age
  • Concise explanations of what chair exercises are and why they are perfect for seniors; also how they benefit the different part of the body
  • How to exercise if you are recovering from an injury
  • Clear, easy to understand instructions with pictures for everything discussed in this book
  • A 7 day routine designed to help strengthen your most used muscles
  • Modifications for making the exercises easier for beginners or more difficult as you advance your fitness level as well as ways to modify the routine to fit your personal needs
  • Low impact exercises that can help you to relax and reduce stress
  • Exercises for specific parts of your body that you want to work on
  • Warm up and cool down exercises that help you ease in and out of activities
  • Advice on the equipment needed and optional equipment for the routine and the best attire to wear (much of which you already own, no expensive accessories needed!)
  • How to stay safe while exercising, including before and after.
  • Pertinent information of how exercise helps overall health, plus the improvement in balance and mobility which can help prevent falls
  • The book ends with a glossary of terms, in case you are unfamiliar with some of the terms used.

Sample Illustration 

Hip and Knee Extension Illustration
Seated Knee and Hip Extension Illustration from
Chair Exercises for Seniors

My Thoughts

Reading this book gave me hope about the future for the first time in a long time.  It is easy to become down in the dumps when you get older, but as was said in the book's introduction, it is more important to focus on what we can do than what we can no longer do.  Getting older does not mean losing the life you love, it only means that you have to work a bit harder to keep it.  You can even go on to make it even more fulfilling with the right tools and determination. Keeping upbeat and active helps you to maintain an independent lifestyle, which is what every senior wants.  All this can be achieved in just a few minutes a day, starting at any fitness level.
One of the most important things this book taught me is you can control how you age.  You can be the older person who spends all their time in a easy chair watching TV, or you can be the one outside planting flowers in the garden or going shopping and out to lunch with family and friends.  Which you want to be is up to you.  If you want to be the second type, this book can be the start of getting there.  Why wait?

Chair Exercises for Seniors

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.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Review of the Movie The Tomorrow War

the tomorrow war

I recently watched a movie on Prime video called The Tomorrow War.  Being a fan of science fiction, I was totally enthralled by the scenario.  Great story!  I thought the acting was well done, in addition to the extremely realistic special effects.  Overall, I gave it a 10 out or 10!  Let me tell  you about it......

The Tomorrow War is a Amazon Original Movie that was released in 2021.  It was supposed to be released to theaters, but because of Covid, it was decided to release it straight to Prime Video.  It was the most streamed movie on Prime Video in 2021, and a sequel is in the works!

Main Cast

Chris Pratt as Dan Forester
Yvonne Strahovski as Colonel Muri Forester
J.K. Simmons as James Forester
Betty Gilpin as Emmy Forester
Sam Richardson as Charlie
Jasmine Mathews as Lt. Hart
Edwin Hodge as Dorian
Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Young Muri Forester

Short Summary 

The world is shocked when a group of soldiers, armed to the teeth, appear in the middle of the World Cup to tell the world that in 30 years the earth will be invaded by a hostile alien species.  The soldiers are from the future and have come to ask for our help to turn the tide of the war that they are badly losing against the vicious invaders.

They want to bring people from our time to the future to help fight.  A world draft is instituted and Dan Forester, an ex Green Beret is drafted to go and help save the human race.  What Dan finds in the future is stunning, but it is nothing compared to what he finds when comes back home.

The Trailer:

The below synopsis contains spoilers, please skip if you don't want to know!

Detailed Plot Synopsis

In December 2022 former Green Beret Dan Forester and his wife and daughter are having a home Christmas party.  Everyone is watching the World Cup when a disturbance happens on the field and a group of heavily armed soldiers appear out of nowhere.  They announce that in the year 2048 hostile aliens, called Whitespikes, invade Earth and start killing every living thing on the planet.  For them that was three years ago and now the population of the Earth is almost gone.  The soldiers have come back into the past to ask for help defending our world before the human race becomes extinct.

A worldwide draft is initiated and within a year Dan is drafted.  Upon arrival at the draft office he finds that the term of service is only seven days, but only 30% of people make it back.  The people drafted are sent in with weapons, but almost no training.  Another thing Dan finds strange is that they do not show the draftees a picture of the enemy.  

Dan and his fellow draftees are sent through a device called the Jumplink to the year 2051, but due to a glitch in the system, they are transported to the wrong location high above a skyscraper and the only people that survive are the ones that had the luck to land in the swimming pool on the roof.  Luckily Dan and a couple of his newly made friends do, along with a few others, and they are radioed by Colonel Forester to proceed to a laboratory downtown and to rescue a group of scientists and a toxin they are working on to kill the Whitespikes. While on the way to the lab, the draftees finally get a look at the aliens and it quickly becomes clear why they don't show anyone pictures.  The Whitespikes are the stuff of nightmares!

the tomorrow war

Image by Ken Barthelmey
Creature & Character Designer |

Upon arrival at the lab, the scientists were dead, but Dan is able to find a dozen vials of the toxin.  While trying to flee from the city, the group is besieged by Whitespikes and all but Dan and two of his friends are killed.  An explosion saves them and they wake up in the Dominican Republic in a military camp hospital.  When Dan meets the camp commander, he is shocked to find it is his grown daughter Muri.  Happy to see her, he is puzzled and hurt at her cold attitude and refusal to speak of the past.  

Muri explains that they need to capture the female Whitespike, who is like a queen bee.  After they capture the queen, and transport her to a lab on an oil rig they find that the toxin that kills the males does not work on the female, so work begins on finding a variant that will.  When they finally find a workable toxin to kill the female, the male Whitespikes flood the base to free the female.  During the fight, Muri gets wounded by a poisonous spike and just as she and Dan begin to connect, his seven day term of service comes to an end.  As he is about to transport back to the past, his daughter gives him a vial of the toxin and tells him to mass produce it in the past so they can be ready to use it in 2048.

Back in his own time, Dan tries to give the toxin to the government to produce so he can go back to the future and distribute it when he finds out that the future Jumplink was on the oil rig that was overrun with Whitespikes and damaged so it was no longer functional.  The world goes into panic thinking the loss of the Jumplink means the future war was lost.

Dan and his wife try to figure out where the Whitespikes come from, and they formulate that maybe they didn't come to earth in 2048, maybe they were already here all along.  Since they were first seen around a glacier on Komsomolets Island in Russia, Dan decides that would be the first place to look.  After drafting his two friends Charlie and Dorian from his future group, they go to see Dan's dad, James, who is a prepper and conspiracy theorist.   Of course, James knows someone with a plane who can fly them to Russia where they find the crashed space ship.  They deduce it has been there for over a thousand years.  After finding half a dozen compartments with frozen Whitespikes, they realize that this was where the "invasion" came from.  They were here all along, frozen in the ice.

They begin injecting the Whitespikes with the toxin and it quickly kills them, but also wakes up the others and the mission devolves into a vicious fight to kill the aliens before they escape and start the war early.  They plant explosives to blow up the ship which manages to kill the rest of the males, but the one female gets loose and leaves the ship running out into the snow.  Dan and his father go after her in an all out battle which they finally win and kill her.


I really liked this movie.  If you like science fiction, I believe you will too.  It is more than just a shoot 'em up alien war movie.  The connection between the Forester family members is quite complex with interactions I didn't include in the synopsis.  (I can't tell you everything!) I also loved that it had a happy ending!  I highly recommend this movie!

Unfortunately, this movie can only be seen on Amazon Prime, and cannot be purchased on Amazon.  I have had Prime for years and find it to be more than worth the $139 a year.  A full Movie channel and free shipping on all orders along with other perks......definitely worth it.  If you are interested in subscribing, click here:   Amazon Prime

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.”

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Essentials For a Safety Kit to Keep With You

essentials for a safety kit bag
A Review by Tracey Boyer 

Everyday life is very busy for most people.  It is common for most people to visit at least six different places every day; some people visit many more than six...

Work, cleaners, grocery store, pick up kids, piano lesson, gas station, shoe store


Drop kids at school, clothing store, fruit market, take cat to the vet, go to son's soccer game, restaurant pick up for dinner, PTA meeting, stop for coffee

With all the places that people go every day, it's smart to carry some essential items with you that would help in difficult or even extreme situations.  It is easier than you think, and also take up much less room that you would believe.  Safety items that will help in most any situation can be stored in a ladies makeup bag to carry in a purse or backpack, or to keep in a car's glove compartment.  I have been carrying one in my purse for years.

What Can You Carry in a Bag That Small, 

That Would Be So Important?

items in my essential safety kit
Contents of my Safety Kit

This is a general list of what I carry. The red pouch is where I keep my first aid items.  You will need to think about your own life and what items you may need to add to take care of situations that are specific to your life.  

First Aid Items - alcohol wipes, band aids, aspirin.  (May include prescriptions if there are some that must be taken at specific times)

Solar Powered Phone Charger - If your car battery is dead and so is your phone battery, this charger will save the day.

Swiss Army Knife - many tools in one small package

Ponytail Holder with Bobby Pins - great for hair use or for wrapping something together or picking locks!

Dental Floss - Very strong for tying things together in a pinch and there is a lot of it, in a very small container. 

Travel Size Hand Lotion - good for everything from burns to removing rings that are stuck on a finger.

Chapstick - great for your lips as well as greasing things like screws that don't want to go in their proper place.

Safety Pins - the uses for these are too numerous to mention.  Carry at least a dozen!

Lighter - This is something no one should be without. It can not only start fires, it can also heat metal so it can be bent, melt plastic or burn through strapping that can't be cut.  Make sure to have one in your bag.

Small Flashlight - You do not want to run down your phone's battery using it for a light, so have a small flashlight in your bag in case you are ever stuck in the dark.

Pen and Small Pad of Post It Notes - You never know when you will need to leave a note, or give someone important information.

Pepper Spray - I usually have two small pepper sprays.  I keep one in the outside zipped compartment of my purse and one in my safety bag.

What Kind of Bag is Best?

I bought a fairly large make up bag (7" x 8") with three zippered compartments.  It has been a while, so I don't remember where I bought it but it looks like this:

make up bag
My Safety Kit

It fits well in all my purses and I also bought one to put in my husband's truck.  It fits without a problem in his glove box and still leaves lots of room for the rest of the junk that he has in there!

I know that many of my readers are probably this really necessary?  My answer to that is no one knows.  If it isn't necessary and you have it on hand, what's the harm?  However, if it is needed and you don't have it, the results could be terrible.  I have used my bag for things as mundane as pinning together a shirt when I lost a button to as scary a thing as pepper spraying a creepy guy at a gas station that kept insisting he needed a hug.   So I would say.....

It is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

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 24, 2023

A Review of Growing Vegetables in Pots

vegetables growing in pots

Can You Successfully Grow Vegetables in Pots?

I have grown plants in pots practically my whole life.  It started out when I lived in apartments and I grew flowers on my balcony.  I always loved having pots of pretty flowers around my table and chairs where I sat to drink coffee in the morning.

Things changed when I moved to a beautiful ground floor townhouse with a large sunny patio.  I loved the patio and I was discussing it with my mom when she came over to see it and and she told me I should start a potted vegetable garden.  I was surprised as I did not know that veggies could be successfully grown in pots.  I was excited to try this and I picked her brain for all the gardening tips I could get!  Remember, this was in the 80's, and we did not have all the information at our fingertips like we do today on the internet.

Thus began my hobby of vegetable gardening in containers.  I have learned a lot over the years.  I continued doing it even after I bought a house.  I would have vegetables in both pots and in elevated garden beds.  Here are a couple pictures of them:

various vegetables growing in a variety of containers

My Tips for Growing Vegetables in Pots

1.  Soil - Always buy premium potting soil.  What comes out of a pot is only as good as what goes in.  Never dig dirt out of the ground or buy top soil.  Don't put rocks or gravel in the bottom of your pot, fill the whole thing with earth.  The more soil you have to hold moisture and fertilizer, the better.

2.  Pots - Pots made of clay, ceramic, plastic, concrete and wood are good.  Never use a container that is metal or heat conductive, as it can literally cook the roots and kill your plants. 

3.  Drainage - It is imperative that your pot has a few good drainage holes.  If there are no holes, the water will sit at the bottom of the pot and roots can rot and mold and slime will contaminate your soil.

4.  Plant Tags - When buying plant sets they always come with a little plant stake with the name of the plant and instructions on how to plant, water, sun needed, etc.  Make sure to save these tags and stick them in your pot for handy reference.  Follow the directions, it is the best way to get great results.

5.  Slow Release Fertilizer - Mix slow release fertilizer in with your soil before planting.  Do not put it in the hole before dropping the plant in as direct contact can burn the roots.

6.  Quick Release Fertilizer - When your plants start to flower, give them some fast acting fertilizer like Miracle Gro, and then give them a bit more in the middle of fruiting to help them produce more.

7.  Sunlight - Make sure your plants have the required amount of sunlight needed on their tags.  Not enough sunlight and they will not produce as much as they could.  This is the great thing about can move them in or out of the sun as needed!

8.  Water - Potted plants dry out much quicker than plants in the ground.  As such, they need to be watered every day in the heat of the summer.  Try to water in the early morning or evening and not during the hottest part of the day because at that time much of the water evaporates.

9.  Soil Maintenance - Put a teaspoon of fish emulsion liquid in your water once a week or so.  This helps the soil to maintain the nutrients needed for healthy plants.  

10.  Trimming Your Plants - If you see leaves turning yellow or the edges turning brown and curling, don't be afraid to trim those leaves off.  If a leaf is dying, the plant will use valuable resources to try to save it.  Those resources could be better used making more fruit, or helping the stem grow.  Don't be afraid to trim your plants, sometimes that's what it takes to save them if they are looking bad!

11. At the End of the Season - When your harvest is done, pull all the plants and throw them away.  Dump the dirt and rinse out your pots and store them inside for the winter.  (if you have winter) Leaving them outside full of dirt in freezing weather can make them crack.

12 At the Beginning of the Next Season - In the spring, put one part bleach to 9 parts water in a spray bottle and generously spray the inside of your pots to kill any bacteria, diseases or insects that may be inside.  Rinse well to remove the bleach and set in the sun to dry.  Now you are ready to begin your new potted garden!

Gardening is fun and relaxing

Don't expect things to perfect from the start.  I have made a ton of mistakes over the years.  Sometimes you are just unlucky, like the year my peppers were invaded by pests and I lost almost all my plants.  Sometimes you can replant, if you have enough time, but sometimes you just have to shrug it off.

I will never forget the year that I somehow thought it would be smart to plant 6 pots of lettuce all at the same time.  We had barely eaten two of the pots worth when the rest bolted and went bitter and I had to throw it away.  A valuable lesson learned.  Don't plant more than you can eat before it goes bad!  This applies only to veggies that you cannot can or store to eat lettuce!

If you want more detailed information on how to grow lettuce, check out my blog Homemade by Jade and the post on How to Grow Lettuce in Containers

Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns as much from his failures as from his successes." - John Dewey

Seven years ago we moved to the country on five acres.  Believe it or not, I still grow a lot of stuff in pots.  It is just so easy.  Less weeding and easy to water and pick.  We also do it because it is just too dang hard to garden in the ground at our age.   That is why we use elevated garden beds and tote and trellis systems for most of our gardening, in addition to pots.  It is so much easier for us old folks!

vegetables growing in contained garden beds
Elevated Garden Beds                                Tote and Trellis

If you would like to know more about Elevated Garden Beds, check out my Review of Elevated Garden Beds, right here on Review This Reviews!

I guess this is not really a review, more like a recommendation.  Container gardening is fun and easy, not to mention saves you a bit of money and gives you healthier food to eat.  It helps to calm your mind and gives you a feeling of accomplishment.  It's also a great way to spend time with your kids and teaches them how to be more self sufficient.  Everyone should have a garden and growing in pots lets everyone try it out and learn, even if those who don't have any land.

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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