Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wednesday Elf. Show all posts

Saturday, December 2, 2023

A Candle Day Review

Candle Day is held each year on the first Saturday in December. For 2023, that day is December 2.

A collection of candles

Candle Day

The retail company “Bath and Body Works” started 'Candle Day' to promote their annual candle sale. The sale gives candle lovers time to stock up on world-famous candles at special low prices. Since candles are great for gifting, especially during the holiday season, this annual 'sale' day in early December is perfectly timed.

Brief History of Candles

Candles have been around for more than 5,000 years. Early civilizations used wax made from available plants and beeswax. They were used to provide light in the many years before electricity was invented. 

Today, candles are mainly a symbol of celebration and for religious ceremonies. They come in many shapes, sizes and scents.

In addition to the Bath and Body Works sales day on December 2, we also celebrate World Candle Day on March 1.  That International candle day was begun by two associations, the Latin American Candle Manufacturers Association and the European Candle Manufacturers Association. 

Let's look at a few sources of candles.

Champagne Candle

A 3-wick candle by Bath and Body Works

Bath and Body Works is famous for their 3-wick candles. This Champagne Candle is perfect for a New Year's Eve celebration. It is a 14.5 oz jar candle with an amazing scent. 

Ocean Air

Yankee Candle called 'Ocean Air'

Another well-known candle brand is Yankee Candles. This Ocean Air candle will allow you to enjoy memories of your beach vacation or those of a fresh breeze off the ocean anytime you want, even in the middle of winter. 

Handmade Candles

Shopping on a handmade site like Etsy, you can choose any scent you want, from favorite kitchen odors like apple pie baking in the oven to holiday and seasonal scents. These candles come in standard jars or pretty glassware, in pretty tins and wood, in fancy & novelty shapes and sizes, and with delightful scents, including aromatherapy. 

Knot Candle

Knot Candles
Knot Candle on Etsy

Being a yarn crafter, I fell in love with this Knot Candle, as it reminded me of the Knot Knit Stitch. The twisted knot shape would look so pretty in my craft room. 

It's a homemade soy wax candle handmade by Urban Craft Style on Etsy.

Cat Candle

Cat-shaped soy candles
Chubby Cat Candle on Etsy

Round or square candles, stand-alone or in a glass jar, often appear to be the standard type of candles. But a novelty type candle in a cute shape is also popular. 

Cat lovers like me would love this adorable chubby cat candle. It comes in a variety of colors and scents from the Etsy Store of Melou Candles of Toronto, Canada. Lara also makes her candles in the shape of owls, elephants and teddy bears, among many others. I think they would make darling gifts.


Candles can give you magical mood moments. Depending upon the scent, they can transport you to a garden of roses or a sunny day on a tropical beach. Light the wick, take a deep breath, and let a favorite scent transport you where you want to be for a few quiet moments. 

So choose your favorite brand, or a fun handmade candle, and enjoy. 

Happy Candle Day!

Link to a Related Candle Review:

For more Holiday Reviews, Click Here
ReviewThisReviews: Holidays

*Candle Day Review written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, November 25, 2023

A Review of Zweigles Red Hots and White Hots

Zweigles, a German frankfurter product, is a regional treat anyone who has ever lived in or visited the Rochester, New York area will tell you is the best they have ever tasted. 

Zweigle Hot Dogs Review

Zweigle's Products

Zweigle is a family-owned company in Rochester, New York which has been in operation since 1880 when C. Wilhelm and Josephine Zweigle opened their butcher shop.  They became known for producing great tasting “Old World” German products. Their products include their famous Pop Open products (our family favorites) to authentic ethnic sausages, chicken sausages, and deli meats. They also now have new lines of meatballs, chicken breasts and breakfast sausages. 

A Rochester Favorite

Having grown up in the area, my family became big fans of Zweigle's pop-open hot dogs which come in both beef and pork varieties and are referred to locally as Red Hots and White Hots. They come in a natural casing and pop open when cooked.

For many years, the only way you could buy these delicious hot dogs was to either live in the area, or have your hometown family and friends bring them to you on a visit. Once you have tasted a Zweigle's hot dog or other sausage product, you will be a fan for life. Thankfully, today's technology has made these products more readily available outside Rochester, and you are now able to order them on Amazon or through the Zweigle's website

Over the years, I have lived in many places around the country and family members have often made visits. Last week, my brother & sister-in-law made a trip to where I now live in Kansas City. Before leaving the Rochester area, my brother called and said “shall I bring Zweigle's hots?” The question wasn't necessary; the whole family knows that's a standing order ~ LOL.

Zweigle hot dogs cooking on the grill

The weekend they arrived, the weather was terrible – a cold front had moved in just hours before, turning October Indian Summer sunshine and warm temperatures to a cold near freezing with rain. The best way to cook a pop-up Zweigle's Hot Dog is on the grill; cooked until the skin pops open. Despite the rain and cold, my son put on his winter jacket and fired up the Weber grill. It was dark, 35 degrees, and raining, but the end result was well worth the delicious dinner of Zweigler's Red Hots enjoyed by everyone.


If you have never had a Zweigle's German frankfurter or one of their other sausage products, you are in for a treat. Once you have tasted Zweigle's, ordinary hot dogs and sausage products are never the same. A truly delightful and delicious regional dish. 

Zweigle Hot Dogs

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*Review of Zweigle's Hot Dogs written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, November 18, 2023

The Two-Book Series of Mr. Murray McBride – Book Reviews

This is a review of a charming pair of books by Joe Stiple. This dual includes The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride and its sequel, The Final Wish of Mr. Murray McBride.

The Mr. Murray McBride 2-book series Book Covers

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride (Book 1 of 2)

The  Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride book cover
Mr. Murray McBride is one-hundred-years old. His marriage to his beloved wife Jenny ended 18-months ago with her death at age 99. His two sons are also gone and Murray feels he no longer has a reason to live. Then he meets Jason Cashman, a 10-year-old boy who suffers from a terminal heart defect and needs a heart transplant or he will not live another six months. 

Jason has a list of five things he wants to do before he dies. Together, Murray and Jason race against the limited time each has left to complete the wishes one-by-one. And, the wishes are not easy ones to complete. 

Jason's Wish List

Five Things I want to do before my heart dies and I go to Heaven:

  1. Kiss a girl (on the lips.)
  2. Hit a home-run in a major league baseball stadium
  3. Be a Superhero
  4. Find a nice boyfriend for mom
  5. Do real magic

~By the amazing Jason Cashman

Wish number 2 is helped by the fact that old Mr. Murray McBride happens to have been a professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and that they live in a small town in Illinois just 20 miles from Chicago's Wrigley Field.

As Murray and Jason work on the 'wishes', along with Jason's best friend Tiegan (the 10-year-old girl who lives next door), Murray remembers what it's like to be young, and Jason fights for the opportunity to grow old. 

Their worlds are turned upside-down when tragedy strikes, and an unexpected gift is the only thing that can make Jason's final wish come true. 

The story continues on with the sequel ….

The Final Wish of Mr. Murray McBride (Book 2 of 2)

The Final Wish of Mr. Murray McBride book cover
It has been twenty years since Jason Cashman was given his five wishes by Mr. Murray McBride. He grew up to become a Magician (which was his fifth wish), performing all over the world. He has finally accomplished the goal he was seeking. He thought reaching his special goal would bring contentment, but instead he feels empty. 

Then, he meets Alexandra Lopez, an 11-and-a-quarter year old Guatemalan girl who loves America so much that she always dresses in red, white & blue. Trouble is, her father, Juan, entered the United States illegally when she was a baby, so they are effectively undocumented aliens. Now they face deportation. This presents a terrible problem because Alexandra has Type I Diabetes and would die without her insulin. The tiny Guatemalan village they come from has no doctor or any type of medical facility and getting insulin regularly would be very chancy there. 

Inspired by his old friend, Mr. Murray McBride, Jason decides the only thing he can do to help is to give Alexandra five wishes before she must leave. 

Jason & Alexandra set off to check off as many wishes as they can, but when Jason's transplanted heart begins to fail, he must choose between his obligation to the past, and his hopes for the future. 


These two Mr. Murray McBride books by Joe Siple are heart-warming. These Coming-of-Age & Family Life stories will make you laugh; they will make you cry, and they will completely capture your heart. I highly recommend them. 

Quick Links:

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*Book Reviews by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Homemade Bread Day Holiday Review


Homemade Bread Day is celebrated yearly on November 17.

A basket of homemade breads

Origin of Homemade Bread Day

Bread basket filled with fresh-baked breads
It appears that this delicious day was begun by the National Homemade Bread committee based in Ann Arbor, MI. It has been observed annually since the 1980s and was founded as a way of bringing families together to bake. Sounds good to me, as I absolutely LOVE any kind of bread product ~ and homemade is the best. 

Many of the contributors here on Review This! agree that bread is a delicious delight and have reviewed their favorites. Check out a wide variety of bread products and recipes in this article. 

Specialty Breads

Raintree Annie brings us a recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

Sam Monaco reviews an Easy Pumpkin Spice Bread, quickly made from a mix.

Mary Beth Grander (MBG Photo) shares her favorite Banana Bread recipe.

And for a bread-related 'sweet treat', Sam Monaco gives us his fried dough recipe made in an Air Fryer.

Dieters Delight

Don't feel left out from enjoying bread products, Keto Fans. Margaret Schindel has reviewed some delicious breads that neatly meet your dietary requirements:

Here's her Keto bread mix review and her yeast bread recipe.

If 'muffins' are your bread of choice, Margaret shares her low-carb Cheddar corn dog muffins recipe for a delicious snack or meal. 

Needed and Necessary Bread Products for Your Homemade Bread Recipes

Dawn Rae reviewed a very helpful French Bread Pan

And for slicing that fresh-baked bread, here's Dawn's review of a very good bread knife.

Oh, and of course you need a pretty bread box to store your homemade breads.  Barbara (Brite-Ideas) reviews a super duper bread box that will be beautiful, as well as helpful, in your kitchen.

Extra Bread Hints

Loaf of bread baked from frozen bread dough

If you don't have time to prepare your yeast bread mix for baking, this frozen bread dough from your freezer will allow you to have fresh baked bread whenever you wish.


If you need more bread recipes, check out this bread cookbook found on Amazon. It should neatly solve all of your bread cravings! 

Bread Illustrated Cookbook Cover

Bread Illustrated: A Step-By-Step Guide to Achieving Bakery-Quality Results At Home

More Recipe Reviews can be found here: 

Thought for the Day: Bread is a lot like the Sun. It rises in the Yeast and sets in the Waist.

*Homemade Bread Day Holiday reviewed by Wednesday Elf


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.”

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Being Dead is No Excuse – A Cookbook Review


The official Southern ladies guide to hosting the perfect funeral. 

Book Cover of the cookbook "Being Dead Is No Excuse"

The Southern Cookbook to Die For

Being Dead is No Excuse cookbook cover
Being Dead is No Excuse is a cookbook compiled by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays filled with true Southern recipes for hosting an authentic Southern funeral.

Each chapter in the book includes those Southern-style recipes necessary if you plan to die tastefully (tongue-in-cheek pun here) any time soon. A definite 'must-have' cookbook throughout the Mississippi Delta where there is a strong sense of community, and being dead is no hindrance to belonging to it. 

At Southern funerals, everybody is obsessed with the notion that there won't be enough food and out-of-town guests will go away hungry (Sally Stephens is out of town, so who's going to bring stuffed eggs?). They don't want another death brought on by starvation!  At Delta funerals Campbell's cream-of-mushroom soup drenches fresh vegetables. If you wonder why this is so, you have to realize that it acts “As An Extender”. LOL.

The most humorous cookbook I have ever read, plus some fun recipes to try whether you are Southern or not. A Mississippi Delta funeral needs comfort foods, proper etiquette, and, of course, The Restorative Cocktail?  (What does one do when a family gets three sheets to the wind and eats the entire feast the night before a funeral?)

From the Southern-style Green-bean Casserole (like stuffed eggs and pimiento cheese, it's a standard at Delta Funerals – because we've been deprived of fat, salt, and sugar too long - think bacon drippings in the ingredients!) to Cheese Grits to Beef Tenderloin (or the alternative Pork Tenderloin), ham, and chicken, tons of Southern dishes make their way to the table. Don't forget the Homemade Vegetable Soup – a favorite comfort food served with corn bread. Or the Liketa Died Potatoes – a true Southern favorite (made with corn flakes, hash browns, cheddar cheese soup and sour cream). And, naturally, the funeral meal wouldn't be complete without Mary Mills Chocolate Sheet Cake. 


A girlfriend gifted me with this cookbook several years ago when I was living in the South, and just reading the chapters will have you laughing uproariously. And the recipes themselves are deliciously delightful. The perfect cookbook for a true Southern send-off! 

Being Dead Is No Excuse Cookbook Cover

Being Dead is No Excuse Cookbook
is available here on Amazon

*For more Cookbook Reviews, click here.

*Review of the cookbook Being Dead is No Excuse, written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Book Review: Blessings of the Lost Girls by J.A. Jance

 A Brady and Walker Family Novel

Fans of author Judith (J.A.) Jance love her three popular series, one starring Joanna Brady, another J.P. Beaumont and the series with Ali Reynolds. She also wrote a short series (5 books) about the Walker Family featuring Native Americans from the Tohono O’Odham reservation in Arizona. 

In this review of her latest book, Blessings of the Lost Girls, Jance combines members of the Walker Family and characters from the Joanna Brady series in an exciting adventure that includes Joanna's daughter Jenny and Brandon Walker's son-in-law, Dan Pardee. 

Native American hieroglyphics

Synopsis of Blessings of the Lost Girls

Blessings of the Lost Girls Book Cover
The story begins with a background of the serial killer who is the villain in the novel. 

Then we are introduced to Danial Pardee, a former member of the Shadow Wolves Border Patrol, who patrol the U.S./Mexico border along the Tohono O’Odham Nation Reservation in Arizona. Now he is a field officer in the newly formed MIP agency (Missing and Murdered Indigenous People), an agency under the Department of Interior. The main purpose of MIP is to investigate and put right how law enforcement agencies all over the country had dealt with both solved and unsolved cases involving the deaths and disappearances of Native American victims. 

A body is found in the desert on a ranch near Tucson consisting of nothing but burned bones.  It took nearly 3 years, but the bones are finally identified as those of Rosa Rios, a young woman of Apache descent who was a one-time rodeo star. Dan is called to investigate, as the victim was found in his territory. As it turns out, all reports each MIP investigator files are automatically shared with other MIP field agents, which soon leads to other agents contacting Dan with reports of similar cases involving young women of indigenous descent, each of whom had some connection to rodeos. Soon, the agency realizes that Rosa's death is connected to a serial killer.

Dan contacts Joanna Brady, Sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona where Rosa's body was found. Later, Joanna's daughter Jenny, currently a criminal justice major at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, becomes involved in the case due to having once met Rosa at a rodeo. 

Turns out, Jenny knows another girl who was once attacked at a rodeo by a man who matches the description of the killer they are looking for. And this girl happens to have saved a pair of eyeglasses which were knocked off the man during the attack. The girl never reported the attack at the time because her Morman family would not have approved of the boy she was dating, but finally agrees to turn in the glasses, from which fingerprints are obtained. 


Between Dan, Joanna and Jenny, and Dan's best friend, Brian Fellows, Sheriff of Pina County in Tucson, a case is put together and the serial killer is tracked down.

*Special Note: Throughout the novel, the author weaves in a few fascinating ancient legends from the (Papago) Tohono O’Odham (Desert People) where the basis of the story begins. The legends, plus the excellent writing of J.A. Jance, makes Blessings of the Lost Girls a very special story indeed. I highly recommend it.

Blessings of the Lost Girls Book Cover

Blessings of the Lost Girls, Book 20 of 20 in the Joanna Brady mystery series, is available in several formats on Amazon

Related Links:

*Book Review written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Bone Hacker by Kathy Reichs

The Bone Hacker is Kathy Reichs' latest book in her Temperance Brennan Series ~ Number 22 of 22. 

Image of an island beach and ocean, with a beach umbrella.

Synopsis of The Bone Hacker

Readers of earlier Temperance Brennan novels will be thrilled with The Bone Hacker, the latest book in the series.  

The Bone Hacker book cover
Temperance Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, dividing her time  between her headquarters in North Carolina and Montreal. 

As the story opens, Tempe is working in Montreal, Canada, where she shares an apartment with her significant other, Andrew Ryan, a lieutenant with the Quebec police working in homicide.

Tempe is called in to examine what is left of a person thought to have been struck by lightning during a storm. As she traces an unusual tattoo on the body, she discovers it is a symbol of a gang operating in the islands of Turks and Caicos. A call to the police department there brings a high-ranking officer to Montreal to meet with Tempe and persuade her to return to the islands to help with two sets of bones recently discovered and possibly connected to three young men – tourists – two of whom have disappeared without a trace in the past seven years. 

The case becomes much larger than Tempe expected and tantalizing leads begin to emerge.  At first it was thought that the gang violence in the islands was connected to these deaths, but Tempe is not so sure. As she discovers more evidence, it seems to point to something that will have global significance. 


As the story nears its climax, it becomes apparent that new technology may wreak worldwide havoc and Tempe herself becomes a target. A thriller with an exciting and surprising ending. 

The Bone Hacker is available here on Amazon

The Bone Hacker book cover

Links to more Kathy Reichs' reviews:

Read More Book Reviews at

*Book Review written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Dessert Reviews for National Dessert Day

National Dessert Day is celebrated each year on October 14th in the middle of National Dessert Month (October).  October is known as the month of sweets (think Halloween Candy!), so having a dessert month & day fits right in.

cakes, food, dessert

The contributors to Review This Reviews have written many reviews of various types of desserts, any one of which would be a tasty treat for after dinner, an after school snack or a bedtime snack. Whether you are partial to cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, or ice cream ~ or perhaps a taste of chocolate candy ~ you will find reviews of many special desserts and dessert days (some with recipes) as you read down the page.

Let Them Eat Cake!

The well-known French saying Let Them Eat Cake! can be taken to heart on many cake ~ and cupcake ~ days throughout the year.  The exact dates we love to celebrate particular kinds of cakes/cupcakes can be found in this fun review: Cakes and Cupcakes Special Days 

A recipe for very tasty Carrot Cake Cupcakes can be found here.

If regular cakes are not your 'thing', how about a tasty cheesecake recipe

Pies Galore!

If you prefer pie, there are many Pie Days to celebrate throughout the year, one of which may be your favorite.  Mine is chocolate, which does not appear to have it's own special day ~ but should! :) The list of many special pie days can be found in this review of National Pie Day celebrated on January 23rd. 

Another Pie review is for National Cherry Pie Day celebrated around President's Day each February. 

Or a favorite of mine, a Key-Lime Pie recipe.

Cookie Monster!

If 'cookies' are your thing, you are in exactly the right month, as October is National Cookie Month

If Brownies are your favorite type of cookie, here's a delicious recipe for celebrating National Brownie Day on December 8th. 

Chocoholics Rejoice!

If you love chocolate, you are in for a treat with this list of Chocolate Days in July!

Fruits for Dessert

If fruits are your preferred dessert of choice, check out Pineapple Day on June 27th.

There's also Watermelon Day on August 3rd. 

And Banana Day on April 20th

Plus, the ever popular Chocolate Covered Fruit recipes.

Keto-Friendly Desserts

And last, but certainly not least, before you despair because your dietary restrictions won't allow you celebrate National Dessert Day, here is a list of Keto-Friendly dessert recipes

Dessert Day Summary

One of my favorite online blogs is the website Dinner, Then Dessert, where you will find a whole bunch of yummy dessert recipes. Read the review of Dinner, Then Dessert here

Remember, calories don't count on Dessert Day, so indulge with your favorite choice.

What's For Dessert Cookbook Book Cover
A Delicious Dessert Cookbook
Found on Amazon

Happy Dessert Day!
October 14

*National Dessert Day review is written by Wednesday Elf

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.”

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Cards Against Humanity Family Edition – Game Review

 Toy Review of the Game, Cards Against Humanity.

Image of the family game 'Cards Against Humanity'

The Game

My son and family recently purchased a new family game called “Cards Against Humanity”. The name seemed a bit strange to me, but the game itself is more fun than a barrel of monkeys! I had never heard of it before, but I discovered later that it is well known by others in my family and a ball to play.

Card Game "Cards Against Humanity"
My son bought the family edition, which states that it is for ages 8 and up. After playing this game one time, I agree with the age range, as my 9-year-old grandson had no trouble reading the questions and following the rules just as well as his 14-year-old brother, mom, dad and grandma! 

Simple Rules

Cards Against Humanity question & answers examples

The game comes with 600 cards – a batch of black cards with questions, and a box full of white cards with answers. Both the questions and the answers are simple, sometimes silly, all the way to absurd … and all end up hilarious depending on the answer chosen for the question. 

Each player is dealt out 10 white 'answer' cards. Taking turns, one player reads a question from a black card and the other players choose one answer they consider the funniest from the 10 white cards in their hand. 

An example of answers to a question in our family game of 'Cards Against Humanity'
Personal examples of chosen answers
to questions in our family game

The question reader reads all the answers out loud, and then chooses their choice of the funniest answer. The owner of the chosen card gets a point. At the end of the game, the player with the most points is the winner. 

Each round, a replacement white card is dealt out, so that each player continues to hold 10 answer cards, and the next person becomes the question-reader. 

Really quite a simple game, and very funny. 


Similar to other games of this genre, Cards Against Humanity has a variety of expansion packs that can be purchased separately. They range in subject matter from Nostalgia (different decades) to Nerd to Dumb Jokes to Holidays and many more, up to a Nasty Bundle with words NOT appropriate for children, but funny as an adults-only party game. :) In other words, there is a subject for just about anyone!

Cards Against Humanity Family Edition

This Family Edition of Cards Against Humanity is a fun, and funny, addition to our family's game cupboard. Kids get to engage in absurd wordplay with adults, and adults get to laugh at the silly answers.

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*Family game reviewed by Wednesday Elf

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

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