Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Craft Review: Easy Handmade Valentine's Decorations

Craft Review:  Easy Handmade Valentine's Decorations (by Coletta Teske)

Show your love on Valentine's Day with the gift of your own handiwork. Inside this craft review, you'll find ideas for easy handmade Valentine's decorations.

The simplest expressions of love can leave the biggest impact on your loved one's heart. Especially when those tokens of affection are made from the heart and made by hand.

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, review this list of easy handmade Valentine's decorations and find a craft that will melt your loved one's heart.

Pour Your Porcelain Heart Out

Porcelain heart decorations are an easy kitchen craft

These white porcelain hearts are a kitchen crafter's delight. With a few simple ingredients from your local grocery store and pharmacy, you can cook up a batch of cold porcelain and mold it into any shape.

Cold porcelain is a homemade air-drying modeling clay made from white glue, cornstarch, cold cream, and glycerin. The ingredients are mixed together in an old saucepan, cooked over medium heat until it looks like clay, and kneaded until the mixture is smooth.

You'll find a detailed tutorial on how to make cold porcelain at CraftStylish. There are pictures to guide you through the porcelain making process step-by-step. And, there are ideas for molding the porcelain clay into different shapes.

Hang Your Heart on Your Hearth

Valentine's heart garland decorations can be hung anywhere in the house

Garlands are the perfect decoration for any occasion. On Valentine's Day, create a garland of hearts and hang those hearts all over a room.

Cut hearts out of any material you have in the closet and attach those hearts to a string. You can use fabric, paper, or plastic. Whatever material your heart desires.

Felt is a popular crafting material this year and Marie Williams Johnstone has an easy tutorial for a Valentine felt heart garland. To cut the felt, you'll need a good pair of scissors. To put the garland together, you'll need basic hand sewing skills.

More Valentine's Decorations and Crafts

Pinterest is a wealth of resources for handmade Valentine's decorations and crafts ideas

Pinterest is blushing with Valentine's Day craft and decoration ideas. Here are a few Pinterest boards that you may find inspiring:
  • Valentine's Romance by lakeerieartists has pins for heart-themed garlands, giant paper roses, wreaths, greeting cards, and date night ideas.
  • Valentine Crafts and Gift Ideas by annmackiemiller has pins for heart-shaped yarn and string projects. If you love to crochet, you'll find several Valentine-themed projects.
  • Heart Shapes I love! Crafty by haydnsgrammie has every heart design imaginable. This is the place to go when you need inspiration for a one-of-a-kind heart.
  • Valentine Crafts and Ideas by planetpals has Valentine crafts and activities for kids with an earth-friendly approach.

Creating a handmade token of your love is a gift that creates lasting memories. In the time you spend watching a TV show, you can also make a craft or decoration to celebrate your Valentine.



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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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Elevate Your Tired Recipes To New Heights With Spicing Pecans!

Amelia's Spicing Pecans, recipes
My own jars of Amelia's Spicing Pecans
Are you just plain tired of using the same old "tried and true" recipes? I recently found a product that will set your tastebuds on fire with happiness. (Well, not on fire unless you use the "hot and spicy" blend.) So, what is this magical creation that will spice up your kitchen creations? Amelia's Spicing PecansYes, pecans! To quote the now defunct website, "Amelia's Spicing Pecans are made from select roasted chopped pecans, specially seasoned, then used as spicing ingredients to add rich flavors to your favorite dishes." You can now find information about these wonderful pecans on Facebook by clicking Amelias-Spicing-Pecans.

I took Amelia's "Be Creative" challenge and did indeed find that Amelia's kicked up my old boring recipes to a higher notch. 
Why should one use these delectable spiced pecans in recipes instead of just plain pecans? Because Amelia's is made with only the finest all natural ingredients, specifically chosen by Amelia's creator. He oversees the roasting and the flavoring of this Alabama-made product. There were four entirely different flavors to choose from: Herb, Hot & Spicy, Cinnamon and Coffee. 


Remember, these Spicing Pecans are not just nuts that a cook might use to add texture to a recipe, they are finely chopped, seasoned and roasted Southern pecans that add character and depth to the food you eat. 


The first recipe I decided to "renew" was one that really needed spicing up. My original "Pecan Rice" recipe came from a vintage church cookbook. I had planned on making this traditional rice side dish for a family holiday dinner and I wanted it to be very special. I chose to use the herb flavored pecans because that just seemed to "fit" with the menu. 

First, I cooked 2 "boil-in-bag" rice pouches in chicken broth.  I sautéed some celery (onion could be used, too) in olive oil and added that to the drained cooked rice. After stirring in one cup of the 
Amelia's Herb Flavored Spicing Pecans, I had my finished side-dish. No, wait, I chopped up some fresh parsley to sprinkle on the top of the bowl. It looked pretty--should have sprinkled more spicing pecans on the top, too! It was that easy to come up with an improved recipe! (Note: I did not add enough spicing pecans--it was my first try at "being creative" and I chose to be conservative with my measuring cup! Mr. Reardon, the creator of this fab product, almost always recommends using at least 1 1/2 cups --or more-- in recipes.)

rice side dish, spicing pecans
"Pecan Rice" recipe kicked up with Herb Amelia's Spicing Pecans
So excited by the raves from my family about the pecan rice, I began to think of even more ways to use Amelia's Spicing Pecans. The obvious choice is to use the herb flavored nuts in a salad. Yes, I will tell you that the pecans worked very well in mine. It is so much fun to spice up one's culinary life. It occurred to me that the "Hot and Spicy" Amelia's would be good on a salad, too. I went to my local Whole Foods, bought that flavor to add to my growing collection of Amelia's. I was not disappointed in the results of the addition of the subtle hotness of those exquisitely seasoned, roasted pecans to a salad. I even spiced up a simple appetizer of pimento cheese on a cracker by sprinkling the Hot & Spicy Spicing Pecans on top. The Coffee flavor was amazing with the pimento cheese, too, believe it or not.

Then, I had another light bulb moment! These hot and spicy pecans would be great on a pork tenderloin roast. Adapting a recipe for Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin, I used the Amelia's hot and spicy blend with perfect results. My only regret is that I did not crush the pecans into even smaller pieces. They might have not fallen off the tenderloin as easily as they did. Live, cook and learn, I say!

spicing pecans, pork tenderloin
Hot and Spicy Pecan Crusted Pork Tenderloin
Now I am really cooking and being creative! What can I use these spicing pecans on next? Why not take Cooking Light Magazine's Texas Sheet Cake to a higher level? Yes, that is what I will do. Anyway, I need a spectacular dessert to take to a party and this is the perfect chance to show off my baking creativity.

First I made the cake just like the recipe on the Recipe.com website and poured the cake batter into my new KitchenAid 10"x15"x1" Jelly Roll Pan . Yes, a jelly roll pan is a must for a Texas sheet cake!

Next I sprinkled 2 cups of Amelia's coffee blend pecans on the batter and gently pressed them down with a fork. This will keep the pecans pieces from burning--they are already roasted, you see.

spicing pecans, texas sheet cake recipe
Amelia's Coffee Spicing Pecans on top of the uncooked cake batter.

After the cake baked for 22 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean signaling that the cake was done. Now for the best part: pouring the boiled icing over the warm cake and gently covering the top with more of the coffee flavored roasted pecans. 

texas sheet cake, spicing pecans
Iced Texas Sheet Cake topped with Amelia's Coffee Spicing Pecans
The aroma of the coffee and chocolate was irresistible. The end result was a delightfully good and moist Texas Sheet Cake. I took it to the party and not a crumb of it remained at the end of the night.

How else can one use Spicing Pecans? Use your imagination and feel free to try anything! I created a Sautéed Zucchini and Squash Pasta dish for dinner one evening with amazing results. A friend suggested that I could have added a cheese like a parmesan to this dish, too. The pecan pieces you see in the photo below are the Herb Spicing Pecans. The addition dressed this dish up and add a satisfying crunch. It was incredible how the sweet flavor of the roasted pecan pieces turned this dish into a culinary event inside my mouth!

pasta recipe, spicing pecans
Sautéed vegetables and Herb Flavored Amelia's over pasta.

You can also put these nuts on leftovers!

 
Zoe's Chicken Salad and roasted veggies dressed up with pecans by Amelia!
I am sure you are wondering where you can get your own jar of these inspiring spicing pecans. Just click Amelia's-Spicing-Pecans- and call the phone # listed. When Birmingham Alabama's Pepper Place Saturday Market begins in the springtime, you might find that Amelia's in a booth with samples to try. 

If you are just plain impatient (or are not in Alabama or near a southeastern Whole Foods), you can contact the creator of this unique and versatile product that you MUST have in your kitchen, by emailing spicingpecans@gmail.com. Tell Mike that Mickie sent you.

Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation for sales of Amelia's Spicing Pecans. I purchased the Herb and Hot and Spicy Spicing Pecans you see int he photos on this page at Whole Foods and Organic Harvest Market in Birmingham, Alabama. The creator of Amelia's did graciously give me the Coffee Flavored Spicing Pecans to try in the Texas Sheet Cake recipe.











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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review of The Best PC to PC Transfer Device

PC to Pc Transfer Device
I can't say enough good things about this PC to PC data transfer device! We've had this Tornado Data Transfer Tool for years and years: I'm trying to remember what year my husband bought it...maybe 2005 or 2006?

Of course since then we've had to transfer data numerous times from an old PC to a new PC and it's still as easy to use now as it was then!
I Was Really Mad that My Husband Bought Yet Another Gadget!
Well let's hope he never reads this page, 'cause he was right about this gadget...well worth the money and not expensive! To be fair, he knows he was right about this one already; I've admitted it to him! Big girls don't cry? lol.
The thing sat in it's package for a few years before I actually took it out to use it! My first thoughts on new devices are usually how they're going to suck hours out of my day trying to learn and configure them...you get the picture! Well, well, well, it turns out it's as simple as 1,2,3!
  1. Plug the USB in One Computer
  2. Plug the Other USB end in the Other Computer
  3. Open up the Tornado on both computers, read the screen and drag and drop to transfer
Seriously, it's that easy! On both computers, the screen says 'This Computer' and 'The Other Computer' so you can easily know which files are on which!
Again, at that point, just drag and drop the files you want to transfer.
My Most Recent Computer Crisis - and How I Used It
Yep, I was having computer troubles...pulling my hair out and thinking about wine! Anyway, I quickly pulled out this device to transfer all the data to another laptop - (I have too much info for Cloud Storage...maybe eventually I'll go down that road).In no time flat, all my data was protected. Today I transferred all my data back to a new laptop. Again, fast and painless!
Best Part, I've never had the pain-in-the-rear compatibility problem that can sometimes happen when you get a new laptop; The Tornado has worked on every version of windows that we've used, without a hitch - currently 8.1 - Not only that, I was able to transfer even if one computer had one version of windows and the other was different. So hubby was right to get this device years ago! shhh.
Other Ways to Transfer Data
Of course there are many other ways to back-up and transfer data: Windows Easy Transfer, Cloud Computing, Other Software Programs, Wireless Transfer between devices if you're set up for that, or Using an External Hard Drive. I've tried 'Windows Easy Transfer' and for me it wasn't that easy! I prefer this device.
Here you can watch The Tornado File Transfer Tool in action: 

Although this video goes back to 2007 (ish), you'll still get to see how easy this is to use! And Best of all, how to use it hasn't changed despite the constant changes in technology since then!



By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Review of a Guide to the Romantic City of Savannah, Georgia

The month of February, and Valentine's Day, seems a perfect time to talk about the romantic city of Savannah, Georgia and the charming interludes one can find in this 'Hostess City of the South'. 

Guidebook to Romantic Diversions in Savannah

Romantic Days and Nights in Savannah, 3rd (Romantic Days and Nights Series)

Georgia R. Byrd has compiled a charming guidebook of romantic diversions in and around this southern city near the sea.  The book,Romantic Days and Nights in Savannahis filled with enchanting interludes of one to three days long for every taste and budget.
 
This book contains a group of over 25 itineraries, complete with suggested prices, designed to create compact, cozy interludes for both sophisticated romance and playful adventure with a background of Southern hospitality in this beautiful cityscape called Savannah.


Experience the Romantic Charm of Savannah

Savannah Ga Rooftop View
Savannah, Georgia, Savannah River, Talmadge Bridge

There are suggestions for delightful accommodations from lavish, pampered elegance to an on-a-shoestring mischievous adventure, along with restaurants for every meal and appetite and a chance to partake of some excellent Southern cuisine.  Event dates and other activities are listed and described for one and two-day trips that can be enjoyed any day of the week in this all-day, every day, yearlong attraction called Savannah.  

Chippewa Square
Chippewa Square - Where Forest Gump was filmed
The famous orderly Squares of Savannah, found at regular intervals in this city founded in 1733 on a bluff overlooking the Savannah River, provide an intimate ambiance not found in any other American city.  Enjoy the horse-drawn carriages clicking past the squares, the walled gardens of nearby homes, museums and restaurants hinting at hidden delights, and the enticing atmosphere of park benches shaded by palm trees and live oaks laced with Spanish moss. These are just a few of the images offering a taste of Savannah's pleasures.


Some Other Ways to Inspire Romance in and Around Savannah:



    • Hop aboard a carriage for a leisurely ride through Savannah's famous Squares in the Historic District at sunset


    • Savor the sweet fragrances of the flowers in the fragrant garden at majestic Forsyth Park.

    • Picnic under the shady live oak at pretty Daffin Park.
     
    • Sip a late-night toddy at an intimate basement cafe.
     
    • Stroll along River Street on the Savannah River where galleries, pubs, and restaurants abound.


    Historic Savannah, Georgia



    John Wesley Monument in Reynolds Square
    Historic Savannah is described in detail throughout each section of this guidebook. From 'Love on the Docks' along the riverfront to 'Love by “the Book”  which includes places to visit made famous by the book and movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", to 'Divine Diversions' filled with the beautiful architecture of Savannah which has been preserved for the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike, you'll find an itinerary that is perfect for your visit.


     

    Other Romantic Diversions



    Tybee Lighthouse, Tybee Island, GA
    Day trips close to Savannah include a Taste of Tybee Island (located 18 miles east of Savannah on the Atlantic Ocean) where you can visit the Tybee Lighthouse. Or have Fun in the Sun on nearby Hilton Head Island, a short drive across the Savannah River into South Carolina, or visit the beaches of St. Simon Island located south of Savannah.




    Don't forget the Ghost Tours of this quite haunted city, or the popular St. Patrick's Day Parade, which is the second largest in the country. Fourth of July brings fireworks on the riverfront and the beach at Tybee Island, and December brings Holiday Magic to Christmas in Savannah.


    Come Visit the City called the "Hostess City of the South"


    With a comfortable climate and year-round activities any time of year, picturesque Savannah, Georgia is definitely a city made for love.  And this delightful, fact-filled guidebook of romantic diversions in and around the city will charm you as you plan your lovers getaway.

    For more romantic ideas, check out suggestions from other articles on Review This here.


    *Book Review written by Wednesday Elf, a resident of Savannah, Georgia
    *Written on 2/7/2015.  Updated 1/4/2019

    +Some images in this article are personal photos of 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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    Friday, February 6, 2015

    Valentine's Day Crafts Reviewed

    Be My Valentine World Website
    I have always loved making Valentine's Day crafts, but it wasn't until my children started crafting, that I learned to truly appreciate receiving a handmade Valentine's Day gift.  There are no possessions in this world that I cherish more than the gifts my children have made for me and I proudly display those little treasures throughout my home.


    Hanging Hearts Valentine Craft for Kids 

    diy mini heart mobile
    As parents, we want to find easy crafts for our children to make so they will experience the deep felt pleasure of creating something awesome.  It is even better when we teach them to make gifts for others, perhaps their grandparents or siblings.  But, to be the recipient ourselves, is truly a treasured gift as well as a memory that stays with us all of our days.

    If we are fortunate enough to be a part of the actual making of the craft, then we have shared irreplaceable, valuable time with the most precious "gift" we have ever been given.

    Vicky Barone shares how to make the Hanging Hearts Valentine shown in the photo.  With her step by step instructions, including photos to help us along the way, she makes it so easy, that even a child could do it.  Wouldn't this make a beautiful Valentine gift!  


    Craft Tissue Paper Hearts 

    http://leehansen.com/articles/easy-heart-crafts.html
    Lee Hansen shares another fabulous hanging heart craft that would touch any mother's or grandmother's heart if we were blessed enough to receive this valentine.
    Would you believe this awesome Valentine's Day gift is made from a cereal box and tissue paper?  

    I truly love this very practical and economical approach to making craft gifts that will no doubt be a treasured possession.  

    Lee provides very easy instructions to make this wonderfully fabulous heart.   I can just imagine the fun children will have tearing the tissue and decorating this heart.



    DIY Valentine Candles

    https://www.stewardshipathome.com/diy-valentine-candles/
    Another fantastic and easy Valentine craft is these DIY Valentine candles.  

    With a store purchased candle and a few simple supplies including tissue paper, wax paper, and markers, these awesome candles will light up the recipients day and make their heart glow with delight.

    You will find the simple directions to make these candles on Simple Saving Savvy, so grab you hot glue gun and get ready to decorate your own candle that is sure to brighten someones day with this special messenger of love.



    Easy Valentine's Day Crafts for Seniors

     Valentines Crafts for Seniors
    From one of our very own contributors here on Review This, Mary Beth shares an extremely easy Valentine craft idea for seniors to make. 

    Most of us understand how physically limited senior adults can be and how frustrating it is for them, especially when they still want to be creative and working themselves.

    She shares from her own experiences derived from helping her mother and her mom's friends to have fun crafting in spite of their limitations. 

    Her craft ideas and recommendations would also be fun and easy for very young children.


    Make a Sailor's Valentine


    I, myself, have been crafting for as long as I can remember.  Many years ago I made Sailor's Valentines for my children.  To this day, the Sailor's Valentine is still my own personal favorite of all Valentine's Day crafts.  I think, perhaps, that may well be the romantic in me though.  I truly love the idea and history behind the Sailor's Valentine.

    If you would like to learn how to make a Sailor's Valentine, or to read about the history of this special valentine, simply visit me by clicking the link or the photo below. 

    Sailor's Valentine




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    Thursday, February 5, 2015

    Customized Toys and Games

    Are you looking for a really unique gift for someone who loves sports or games?  Zazzle has some fun items that can be customized for your recipient.  These special gifts will show the time and thought you put into finding the perfect gift.

    Toys and Games on Zazzle

    • Playing Cards
    • Puzzles
    • Ping Pong Paddles
    • Dartboards
    • Ping Pong Balls
    • Poker Chips
    • Cribbage Boards

    Playing Cards

    The playing cards on Zazzle are Bicyle brand poker size playing cards.  They are made of a durable semi-gloss material.  These make great gifts.  You can customize them with photos of favorite hobbies or you can add a text message to the back of the cards.  Here is a set that I made as a gift for my son-in-law with a Monkey Bar logo on it.

    Monkey Bar-Atlanta Bicycle Card Deck
    Monkey Bar-Atlanta Bicycle Card Deck by mbgphoto
    Look at additional Playing Cards at Zazzle

    Dartboards

    Dartboards are regulation size 18 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  They come with 6 brass darts and are finished with an aluminum frame and hanging hook.  This dartboard I made has a photo I took of Round Island lighthouse in Michigan. This lighthouse is found just off of Mackinac Island.  i took the photograph from the ferry going over to the island. This dartboard would be great for a recreation room with a lighthouse and coastal thee.

    Look at other Round island lighthouse Dartboards at zazzle.com

    Puzzles

    Zazzle puzzles come in two different sizes 8x10 and 10x 14.   These puzzles are made of sturdy cardboard and are mounted on clipboard.  I can see one of the puzzles with a favorite photo of a child or grandchildren as a great gift for a grandparent.  They also make great mementos from trips.   Here is one I made of a photo I took of the US Capitol  building in Washington DC.  We got there early on a Sunday morning and I was able to capture the photo without a lot of people in the picture.  The partly cloudy morning worked well to capture the reflection in the water in front of the capitol.
    Reflections- US Capitol Jigsaw Puzzle
    Reflections- US Capitol Jigsaw Puzzle by mbgphoto
    Create unique custom jigsaw puzzles at zazzle.com

    Review This Staffers Design Zazzle Games


    Coletta has a beautiful design on this deck of cards.
    Cynthia's panda is charming on this puzzle.
    Here is a Philadelphia deck of cards.
    Philadelphia Sunset Bicycle Playing Cards
    Philadelphia Sunset Bicycle Playing Cards by Sylvestermouse
    See other Philadelphia Playing Cards
    Heather has some beautiful angel designs for her playing cards.

    Angel of the Dawn Playing Cards
    Angel of the Dawn Playing Cards by Heather426
    View other Angels Classic Playing Cards at Zazzle.com



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    Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    Review of Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoe

    Reviewing a Great Walking Shoe


    All Black Women's Walking Shoe



    When you are traveling around the world like I am, you do a lot of walking and that means you need good walking shoes for travel!  So before I left the USA, I researched women's walking shoes, and decided on this brand:  Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoes.

    I am so happy I did, as they have made my trip so much more comfortable than I thought possible. You see I have a back injury and I was worried about walking but didn't want to miss all the monuments and cool sights I went there to see in the first place. Because of these shoes I haven't missed a thing.

    * All of the following shoes are available at Amazon.com by just clicking the photo. 

    Black and White Women's Walking Shoe


    So why do I love the  Skechers Women's Go Walk Impress Memory Form Fit Walking Shoes?

    Well you have probably heard of memory foam because it is used in mattresses and pillows worldwide for its comfort.  It is very comfortable in shoes too! The memory foam extends to the heel so the whole shoe is very light! They have rubber soles, and are so well made that my feet have not gotten wet at all even though it has rained a fair amount on our trip. The midsole is cushioned too so that adds to the comfort level.  These shoes are so lightweight and flexible that it's like walking on air.  I love them!

    Grey Women's Walking Shoe

    I also love that they are slip on, as opposed to ones that you have to tie. People ask me if they are hard to keep on. No, they are easy to keep on. I have worn slip on shoes for years and  have never had a single problem. Now some people would rather have walking shoes that tie, so if that is you, check out my friend's review of walking shoes here: Inexpensive Home Fitness .


    Skechers Walking Shoe Colors


    I got mine in blue with a white sole, and believe it or not, the white still looks white! You can see it below. But if you like black,  the shoes are available in all black (meaning the soles are black too) or black with white soles. They are also available in 2 shades of gray. Funny that they call one of the shades gray, and the other one grey. One of these colors is sure to go with your travel wardrobe. I have shown a few of them in this review of women's walking shoes.  Mine also still look almost new and I have worn them every day for more than 3 months now!

    Blue Women's Walking Shoe

    So if you want walking shoes for travel that you don't have to tie, I highly recommend these wonderful women's walking shoes!

    To read about my travels, you can visit Peace, Love, Travel Light.

    Bon Voyage!


    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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    Saturday, January 31, 2015

    A Personal Double Oven Review - What's Good and Not So Good About It!

    Double Oven  Review - Smaller Oven on Top &
    a Larger Oven on the Bottom
    If You're Thinking About Getting a Double Oven Stove - Here's some Feedback
    For years I insisted that once we were in the market for a new stove, we would get a stove with a double oven. We have a large family, and a double oven is necessary to handle the large meals that are required when everyone gets together for a celebration - especially Christmas!
    Finally, it happened - a new stove was required - and finally we did in fact get that Double Oven Stove.
    I learned a few things about a Double Oven since then, and thought I would share them with those looking for the same type of stove.
    What I Like About the Double Oven Stove
    1. It's extremely handy when you have to prepare a large meal. The second oven is very useful, especially in warming up pre-made dishes
    2. It looks really impressive and modern
    3. Love not having to clean stove-top inserts like we had to with the old stove
    4. We've had it for a few years, and so far there's been no problem with it
    5. We took the extra step of getting a double oven stove with a convection oven - that's handy once in a while
    6. It's self clean (which I really appreciate)
    7. Cooks the food nicely
    8. Easy to use
    What I Don't Like About a Double Oven Stove
    1. There are two types of Double Oven Stoves I could have selected - One with the smaller oven on
      Double Oven with Two Ovens the Same Size
      top and the larger oven on the bottom - The other with two ovens the same size (The two different choices are featured on this page) - I went with the former: The smaller oven on the top, although very convenient, it has a few limitations: Because the heating elements are so close to the food, the food can burn, so you have to watch it carefully. In fact I do not put cakes and pies in the top oven to bake anymore - The first time in my life that I ever burnt a homemade chocolate cake was by putting the cake in the smaller top oven to bake! The element is too close to the cake, so I suspect that was the problem. The stoves with the two ovens the same size more than likely wouldn't produce this result!
    2. I'm not a fan of a flat-top (so I discovered) - Yes, there are advantages to it (looks good, no grills to clean), however I find it marks up a bit too easy for my liking. We do keep it clean, but it's never perfect like it was when we bought it.
    3. Our old stove had an electrical outlet built into it, this newer model oven doesn't
    4. Although the convection oven is handy once in a while, for our family it's a bit of waste of money - so if I had to choose another one, I would select one without a convection oven built-in. We just don't use it enough to justify the added cost.
    Two Full Ovens
    In Summary, would I invest in a Double Oven Range again?
    The answer to that is yes. The reason I say yes is that it's in an affordable price range for us, and although point number 1 in the 'don't like' column above does bother me, the convenience of having two ovens without doing a major renovation is worth it.
    If I were doing a full kitchen reno, then no, I wouldn't get this double oven stove; I would have two separate ovens installed one above the other and get a stand alone stove-top installed on the counter.
    By Barbara Tremblay Cipak - Funkthishouse.com



    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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    Reviewing Be My Valentine World


    Every January, I start thinking of Valentine's Day. And searching the Web for ideas. That's where the website By My Valentine World comes into play. It's the kind of site that makes my preparation for this February holiday so much easier.

    Celebrating Valentine's Day doesn't just mean your spouse or significant other. For me, it includes my family. Especially my darling granddaughters. So I look for delightful ways to show them how loved they are.

    Valentine's Gifts for Children of All Ages


    With my grandchildren, the ages span from pre-teen to toddler. That means I need to find a variety of gift ideas. And I found them. Be My Valentine World has a wonderful collection of ideas for kids of all ages. I found great gifts for my 13-year-old granddaughter. Now that's say something. Kids that age are hard to shop for.

    Of course, stuffed animals are always easy choices for the younger girls. Our own contributing writer Wednesday Elf shared some great red stuffed animals in her article right here on Review This. My favorite is that darling ladybug! But, for the adults, heart-shaped chocolate candy seemed ideal. 

    Planning a Be My Valentine Dinner


    Including in my celebration every year is a dinner for the whole family. I like to have a fun theme and Be My Valentine is an easy one. That's where the website came in even more handy. All the ideas for delightful extras are there.

    Creating a centerpiece for the table is simple with things like vintage candy jars and Valentine's Day candle holders. These can be arranged on red or pink placemat to make a charming centerpiece for the dinner table.

    Planning the menu will certainly include some great heart-shaped treats for everyone. Somehow, I never have enough ideas for those. But our own Sylvestermouse created a page here on Review This just for those kind of Valentine Day's treats.

    Ideas Abound from Be My Valentine World


    There are plenty more ideas for every way you want to share Valentine's Day on Be My Valentine World. That's one of the great parts about this holiday. You can celebrate it in many different ways. Whether it's a romantic dinner for two, the school kids day in the classroom, or a big family dinner for those you love, it's all still Valentine's Day.

    It's also one of those things I enjoy about writing on Review This. I get to tell you about those great websites and articles that help you celebrate. Be My Valentine World is one of those sites.


    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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    Friday, January 30, 2015

    Author in Review: Cheryl Paton aka CherylsArt

    For several years, I have been reading articles written by Cheryl Paton, but I did not realize she had published a book until I interviewed her for Review This!

    Funny how you think you know someone well after reading their articles, only to discover even more to admire and appreciate about them during an interview.  
     

    Author of The Phonics Guide 

     

    As a literacy tutor, Cheryl discovered a real need for a literacy reference guide for adults.  Instead of grumbling or complaining, Cheryl stepped out on her own and met that need by publishing The Phonics Guide, which is a quick resource handbook that lists common spelling patterns and/or letter combinations, alphabetically.  According to Cheryl, it can be used by both tutors and intermediate readers.  

    I think we all understand how time consuming it can be to have to search several resources for information when we need to be spending our valuable time actually focusing on teaching and learning.  There are few things more valuable to a teacher than a well written reference guide by an experienced professional.



    Cheryl Paton


    I found Cheryl to be very open and candid in her interview.   Cheryl shared that her proudest achievement was when she started her art business, but I was personally touched when she stated "the most important thing was that I overcame old childhood beliefs about what I could or couldn’t be."

    I was intrigued when she told me that her favorite movie is "Saint Ralph" and went on to explain that it is a story about a teen boy whose mother goes into a coma. Ralph is in a Catholic school and comes to believe that he must do something of significance in order for his mother to come out of the coma. He decides to run in the Boston Marathon.  There are funny spots in this movie too, and it ends with one of the best renditions of Hallelujah she has ever heard.

    Cheryl's favorite book is No Attachments No Aversions by Lester Levenson which she personally reviewed.  I encourage you to read it today by simply clicking on the book title link above.  

    I began to see a strong thread in the tapestry of Cheryl's life.  Her choice in books and movies, her work to help adults overcome illiteracy, as well as her own determination to discard childhood insecurities, are examples of her belief in success over complacency and a zeal to move beyond adversity.   


    CherylsArt on Zazzle

    http://www.zazzle.com/CherylsArt*

    Cheryl offers her custom designs for weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more on Zazzle.  She has over 7000 items currently listed.









    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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    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

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