Thursday, February 18, 2016

Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven Review

Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven Review
Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven Review

A Multi-Use Rotating Pizza Oven (and more) 

I first had my eye on the Presto Pizzazz a couple of years ago, thinking that it might be a fun kitchen gadget, something I'd use now and then to bake or re-heat pizza. I didn't buy it then because I decided that a one-purpose gadget wasn't a good investment of money or space in my kitchen.

But wait, there's more.

Recently, I came across this clever pizza cooker again, with a new, updated name. Now it's called the Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven. This time I read the outstanding reviews and realized that there was much more to the Presto Pizzazz than pizza. People love this thing and use it for lots of different convenience foods, and prepare food that you wouldn't even think of as being able to bake outside a conventional oven. Indeed, it's not just a one-purpose kitchen gadget, not at all!

So I bought the Pizzazz Plus and determined to test it out for myself.

First We Baked Pizza

First, we tried pizza (makes sense). I bought our favorite freshly-prepared pizza from the deli (actually they're previously frozen, thawed when you buy them, but they look fresh, taste amazing, and we like them a lot). I ended up adding a little bit of time to the recommended cooking time in the Presto Pizzaz Plus instruction booklet and we really loved the result. The crust was perfectly done on the bottom, the toppings hot, and the cheese bubbly. The frozen pizza that I tried later turned out very well, too.

I should mention that there are two heating elements on the oven, one above and one underneath the tray. It's up to you to choose upper, dual, or lower. So if the crust is done the way you like it but your piled-on pizza toppings need a bit more heat, simply choose "upper," add some time, and watch the pizza until it looks exactly as hot and bubbly as you want it to be.

Chocolate Chip Cookies Baked on the Presto Pizzazz Plus
Chocolate chip cookies
baking on the Presto Pizzazz Plus.
Then we moved on to cookies for dessert. Brilliant! I love being able to bake up just four to six cookies from a refrigerated package for the two of us as a quick dessert. Delicious result!

Tater tots make for a quick lunch or snack when baked on the Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven
Tater tots make for a quick lunch
or snack when baked on the
Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven.
The next day I chose tater tots to fix for a quick lunch. Again, the pizza oven, now a tater tots oven, performed as advertised using the settings and cooking time for "potato patties" in the convenience food cooking chart included with the instructions.

The breaded, cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers that we tried next turned out great, too.

That night we tried frozen egg rolls to go with our stir-fry vegetables (honestly, we do eat "fresh" most of the time, but everybody's entitled to a little convenience food now and then). Again, score! And no preheating the conventional oven, which sped up dinner prep time considerably.

All the frozen convenience foods that we tried, even the cookies, turned out great. Saturday morning came the big test: cinnamon rolls, the "pop and fresh" kind. I almost didn't try them on the Pizzazz Plus because it seemed so unlikely that they'd turn out, but my husband encouraged me to be brave, to try and see what happens. Once again I was not only surprised but impressed. Eight cinnamon rolls with the recommended settings from the instruction book were a perfect fit and turned out beautifully, as you can see from the pictures below. And yes, they tasted great, too.

Presto Pizzazz Plus Cinnamon Rolls - before.
Presto Pizzazz Plus Cinnamon Rolls - before.
Presto Pizzazz Plus Cinnamon Rolls - after.
Presto Pizzazz Plus Cinnamon Rolls - after.

Presto Pizzazz Plus Tips

Here are seven things about the Pizzazz that are important to remember:

Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven with Instruction Book. Utensils not included.
Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Oven with Instruction Book.
Utensils are not included.
1. Place the Pizzazz Plus away from the edge of the counter. It's attractive to both kids and dogs, neither of which should be allowed to operate or even touch it without the permission (and supervision) of a responsible adult. Safety first!

2. Don't walk away from the Pizzazz Plus when it's in use. First reason, you might not hear the "ding" when it's done and, even though the heating coils turn off at the end of the timed cycle, the residual heat may will burn the food (I should have taken a picture). Second reason, see number one above.

3. Using potholders, lift and remove the tray from the Pizzazz when you're satisfied that the food is done and set it on a cooling rack or cutting board to let the food, and the tray, cool.

4. To avoid damaging the surface of the tray, don't use a pizza wheel or knife until you've moved the pizza to a cutting board. See number 5.

5. Treat the tray carefully to make it last. Store it in a safe place where it won't get scratched. Use only utensils that are designed to be used on non-stick surfaces to keep from damaging the surface. Consider investing in a silicone or plastic spatula and tongs (useful for turning tater-tots, egg rolls, etc.) to use with the Presto Pizzazz.

6. Read the instruction booklet that comes with the appliance. Test it using the times and methods on the cooking charts then adjust accordingly based on your own preferences.

7. Don't overload the cooking tray with food; leave space between individual tater tots, chicken nuggets, etc. For instance, six cookies, spaced evenly, bake much better than nine or 10 cookies that are too close together.

But Wait, There's More!

(Did I say that already?) There are many other foods you can bake on the Pizzazz Plus, I just haven't gotten to them all. Besides typical frozen snack foods, cookies, and cinnamon rolls, the instruction booklet suggests grilled sandwiches and quesadillas, and even includes instructions for making s'mores. What's not to like about that?!

When I first looked, I was amazed at how many 5-star reviews this convenient countertop pizza oven had received. Now I know why. The very handy Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven gets 5 stars from me and has earned my "Sassy Susan" Seal of Approval.

Did you enjoy the review? Does this appliance appeal to you? How would you use it? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Buy the Presto Pizzazz Plus at Home Depot (Best price as I type this - subject to change)
Buy it at Walmart
Buy it at

Meet the Reviewer

P.S. If you enjoyed this review, please pin it:

The Presto Pizzazz Pizza Oven does more than bake pizza. Use it to prepare convenience foods and snacks, even cookies and cinnamon rolls!

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.”


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If Your Back Itches, Scratch it Yourself: A Back Scratcher Review

If Your Back Itches, Scratch it Yourself: A Back Scratcher Review
My Back Scratcher
© B. Radisavljevic
There comes a time in every person's life when his or her back itches, and there is no one around to scratch it. It always seems to itch in a place we can't reach. It can drive us nuts. It doesn't just happen to people who live alone. Anyone can be alone when it happens, at home or in an office cubicle. Who wants to call a colleague over to scratch one's itchy back? I have the answer for that itchy back. If your back itches, scratch it yourself with this wonderful bamboo back scratcher.

I lived a long time without this particular back scratcher. I acquired a cheaper, less efficient model decades ago in Chinatown. It was shorter and it had a very small “hand.” It did the job as well as I expected it to, since it could reach the parts of my back I could not reach with my own hands.

When we moved “temporarily” to this house to accommodate our medical needs, I neglected to bring that old backscratcher. I'm not even sure now where it is. I was going crazy without one. I was trying to use the handle end of a shoehorn and even a chopstick, which was not really up to the job. Kitchen utensils simply weren't designed to scratch backs and neither were shoehorns.

I finally decided enough was enough. The next time I needed to make an Amazon order, I looked for a back scratcher to add to it. I found my wonderful bamboo back scratcher you see in these photos.

This new back scratcher turned out to be an improvement over the old one I had purchased in Chinatown. My new one is longer (17.5 inches long) and smoother. It is also easier to use, since the handle is much wider. It feels better in my hand and I have more control as I seek out the itchy places to scratch. The photo below shows it a tiny bit smaller than it actually is.

If Your Back Itches, Scratch it Yourself: A Back Scratcher Review
My Back Scratcher, © B. Radisavljevic

If Your Back Itches, Scratch it Yourself: A Back Scratcher Review
My Back Scratcher's "Hand," © B. Radisavljevic
The hand on the new one is also twice the size of the hand on my old one. That means it's easier to find the itchy place faster and scratch it. The hand is actually a bit bigger than it appears here.

Why suffer any longer with unrelieved itching? Get this wonderful and inexpensive bamboo back scratcher today while you are thinking about it. Get another one for someone you love while you're at it. Even shipping is free if you have Amazon Prime, and you can try Amazon Prime thirty days for free. Why wait? Order your back scratcher and  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial. You'll have your back scratcher in a couple of days with no shipping charge. Enjoy.

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.”


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Reviewing An Adult Coloring Book

Midnight Garden: Coloring For Adults

One of my Valentine gifts this year was a new Adult Coloring book, Midnight Garden. My sweet husband knows me so well! He knows that I love to color and that I love flowers and birds which this book is full of.

I have other coloring books for adults but what I really like about this one is that all of the backgrounds are in black so the colors that I choose to use really pop on each page.

I also love that each page is perforated so that they can be removed before coloring or after. The advantage to removing before coloring is that if I press hard with a colored pencil it won't leave an imprint on the page underneath. I tend to lightly color in spaces but for outlining and some areas I do want to make the color dark.

Coloring is an activity that I have enjoyed for over 6 decades. I can't remember just when I picked up that first crayon but I do know that it was love at first touch and have never really stopped coloring. Naturally, at a young age the coloring was in books for children. As I became old enough to babysit, I would usually encourage the children to color. Sure, I wanted them to enjoy it but it gave me an opportunity to color, too! When my daughters were born, well, you guessed it...they were encouraged to color so that Mommy could color with them. Grandma has coloring books for the grandchildren and of course she has to sit and color with them!

You can imagine my joy when the adult coloring books started to come on the market a few years ago! I don't mind coloring in those little juvenile books but to have images meant for adults to enjoy is just awesome. They certainly present more of a challenge in the art of coloring and are a great stress reliever in the process. Not that I need to be stressed to pick up a colored pencil, crayon or marker; I just love the process as a whole.

Currently, I prefer using colored pencils while coloring. I love the ability to shade that they offer. Sometimes you can do that with crayons and markers, also but the pencils just do a better job in my opinion. The image to the right is a page from the Midnight Garden book that I did with my colored pencils. I just love the way it turned out.

Adult coloring books have become very popular in the last few years. My last trip to the book store was a pleasant surprise with several options available. They have even started Adult coloring clubs in the store. There is enough interest that they have opened the store to the clubs two nights a week. Isn't that cool?

How about you? Do you love to color? When was the last time you picked up a crayon or colored pencil and let your creativity out? It can be very relaxing and almost therapeutic in many ways. There are a lot of times that I will sit down to color a page to allow myself to focus on something else entirely. I may be working on a writing piece and feel a little bit of a block in how I want to write a passage. If I sit down and color for a while, I can think through the blockage. It might not work for everyone but for me it is a way to meditate and come up with a better writing job. Most of the time, I just color for the joy of coloring, though. 

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.”


Monday, February 15, 2016

Fantastic Gifts for Moms Who Love Candles

Butterfly Candle Warmer
Are you looking for a gift for mom? One of the best store-bought gifts I have received from my children was a candle warmer.When my son and daughter-in-law gave me a candle warmer for Christmas I fell in love with it. I never imagined that I'd like wickless candles as much as I do.  I have found that candle warmers provide more variety in fragrances, styles to match any decor, and are safer to use.

Candles versus Candle Warmers

I like candles. I really, really like candles. I was almost obsessive about my love of candles. I especially love Yankee Candle and WoodWick brands. I like their quality, scents, and length of burn. I always have candles stockpiled for both enjoyment and for more practical occasions such as power outages.

However, with open flame candles, I have always been worried about fire (a rational fear since many house fires are started by candles).  I also would become annoyed about the soot. Sometimes I got careless with trimming the wicks. When the wicks burn too high, soot dirties everything in the home; including the HVAC system. And some candle brands seem to create more soot even when I trim the wick. An astute person servicing your HVAC system will know if you burn candles regularly by the greasy, soot stain on your filter. Even so, I have always loved wicked candles and always will always have some stockpiled. But I have come to use my wickless candles on a daily basis.

The solution to the problems of fire risk and dirty soot is a wickless (or flameless) candle.  Candle warmers are cleaner, safer and smell just as wonderful as the wicked candles. This is my list of reasons I prefer my candle warmers:

  • Cleaner - no flame means no soot.  No soot lining the inside of the jar. No soot in my house. No soot in the HVAC system.
  • Safer - no open flame to catch fire. Also, no flickering flame that attracts my naughty cat.
  • Attractive - shapes, sizes, and colors to match any room.  No unattractive labels. 
  • Versatility - the candle warmers with a low, flat base are suitable for placing a candle jar on - in addition to being able to use the included dish for wax tarts.
  • Personal gift - you can choose a design that is meaningful to your mom (Kokopelli brings back wonderful memories of a summer vacation with my children)

Owl Candle Warmer

There are two distinct advantages to using wicked candles. Flickering flames provides a certain ambiance.  Romantic evenings are definitely better by flickering candle light. Candles provide nice lighting for meditation. Dancing shadows in a semi-lit room is relaxing to some. Also, traditional candles do not require batteries or electricity. If the power is out, my candle warmer will not operate. And candle warmers need to be located at or near outlets.  For these two reasons, I continue to have plenty of candles on hand.

WoodWick Candle

While I still use and love wicked candles, I am using my candle warmers more regularly. I am very happy with the variety of wax brands and scents to choose from.  I feel safer that my cat isn't trying to chase the dancing flame of a candle. Candle warmers make great gifts for both mom and many others on your gift list.

My Kokopelli warmer - showing cooled wax in the dish

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.”


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Creative Storage Solutions for the Bathroom

Creative Toilet Paper Storage Idea
With the newer, more modern designs of Bathrooms, storage space for toiletries can be at a premium.

Even when, at first glance, there seems to be quite a bit of storage in the washroom, once we start filling the cupboards, there never seems to be enough.

Creative storage solutions for the bathroom means thinking outside of the box.

Toilet Paper Storage for a Small 2 Piece Washroom

In a small 2 piece washroom, there may be a little bit of cupboard space, or if there's a pedestal sink, no cupboard space. Hmmmm...What to do????

When storage is limited, I've come up with a creative
Inside View - Neat & Tidy
I had an old standing vase from way-back-when, that I decided to use in my main washroom to store toilet paper. 
We do have a cupboard in the washroom under the sink, but that's being used for other items. By having the toilet paper in the vase, the cupboard has room for many other items instead.
If you don't have an old vase to use, you can always pick one up at a flea-market or via online or local shopping. 
However, don't limit yourself to just a vase, any type of decorative storage container about 2 feet tall, that's quite narrow, will work.

Additional Storage Ideas for the Washroom

You can also acquire a bathroom floor storage cupboard system. As you'll see here, there are numerous designs, colors and styles to choose from. Be sure to check them out.

Some come in extremely narrow designs (approximately 6" wide) so they're able to fit in that small space beside the toilet. 

Other style options are slightly larger, as well as being designed for corners. If your washroom has unused corner space, consider a corner storage cabinet. Most offer small counter surface enabling you to put something decorative (or practical) on top of it.

When you're doing this year's spring cleaning, remember to think creatively when it comes to storage. In fact, if you're getting the itch to sell your home, try re-organizing a room before you jump through that very large hoop! It may even scratch that itch for change.

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

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, February 13, 2016

Review of the VTech Turn and Learn Driver Toy

Little Boys and Car-Related Toys

Grandson Tyler with Driver Toy

I have five grandsons who all live over 1,000 miles from me.  Therefore, it is often difficult to know just what toys the boys already have and what they are wishing for.  At birthday and Christmas times I have to rely on the parents (my 'kids') for gift suggestions.

This past Christmas, I asked my youngest son for gift ideas for 6-year-old David and 20 month old Tyler.  David was easy – a Star Wars Lego set.  For toddler boy Tyler, the suggestion was any toy with buttons to push, knobs to turn and NOISES. 

While doing an online search with this criteria in mind, I came across what I thought might be the 'perfect' toy for Tyler.  It's similar to one I bought for my oldest grandson (now 19) when HE was Tyler's age and remembered what a big hit it was, since little boys appear to be 'car crazy' from birth.  I think it's part of their DNA!  

The toy I bought for Tyler was the VTech Turn and Learn Driver Toy

Available on Amazon
The VTech Turn and Learn Driver Toy is a steering wheel toy with a cute little dog character that moves back and forth as the wheel is turned.  Across the top of the 'dashboard' are five colorful buttons which introduce different animals and vehicles when pushed.

This toy car has three play modes, so your little driver can learn in animal, driving or music mode. 

There is also a traffic light, a signal lever that makes fun sounds and music, and a gear shifter that pushes and pulls.  Oh, and of course a horn!  Lots of interactive play, making this a wonderful teaching toy.  This Turn and Learn Driver Toy, which also comes in several models and colors, has a fun car design that encourages imaginative play as part of early childhood education.

This toy is from Vtech Kids, a division of Vtech® considered a world leader in age-appropriate and developmental stage-based electronic learning products for children.  The company has been making quality educational toys for children for over 35 years.

Baby Tyler's opinion?  He thought having his own steering wheel was the greatest thing he'd seen.  I watched him open the box Christmas morning over Skype and he virtually ignored the rest of the gifts offered him to open.  All he wanted to do was turn the steering wheel back and forth and honk the horn and push all the buttons! He loved it.  And it was such fun for this grandma to watch his reaction to this toy and know I'd made the best gift choice possible.

The VTech Turn and Learn Driver Toy operates on 2 AA batteries and is recommended for babies and toddlers in the 6 months to 3 year old range.  Tyler, at 20 months, is the perfect age for this cute and colorful interactive toy. It also comes in a variety of colors. I chose the bright Yellow one with the red steering wheel.

Tyler, Age 20 months

 Hey Tyler!  Happy to see you like your new toy!

~Love, Grandma

Quick Links:

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Friday, February 12, 2016

A Review of "The Inn at Ocean's Edge" by Colleen Coble
Every once in a while I find a book that is so rare, the plot so unique, that I want to shout to the world, "you must read this book!"  That is the case with the book I literally just finished reading.  

I don't normally read mysteries, but this book appeared in my romantic fiction genre.  I didn't even realize I had selected a mystery until I was hooked.  As it turns out, this may well be the best book I have read in years.

Obviously, I could highly recommend "The Inn at Ocean's Edge" by Colleen Coble to anyone who enjoys a romance, a lot of mystery, and a plot that is not at all obvious to the reader.  I literally set on the edge of my seat, stayed up as long as my eyes would stay open, to read this book and find out what really happened to this family, these people, the little girl who was lost in the woods.

The Inn At Ocean's Edge

The plot of the book is so detailed, there is no way I can truly do it justice in a few short paragraphs, but I will try. 

 The Inn at Ocean's Edge (A Sunset Cove Novel)On her 4th birthday, Claire Dellamare was lost in the woods.  A year later, she was found, but she had no recollection of anything that had happened to her.  It was as if the whole year was completely lost to her.  As she was growing up, she was cherished by her parents who previously thought their daughter was gone to them forever.  Her life was cushioned by great wealth and she was respected for her business acumen within her father's company.  It seemed her life was perfect until she returned to "The Inn at Ocean's Edge".  

She didn't think she had ever been there, but she seemed to know things about the place she couldn't possibly know otherwise.  Not very deep into the pages of the book, we find out that this hotel was the setting for her 4th birthday party.  This was the place from which she disappeared.  She didn't even remember that she had disappeared.  She had no idea that her life was so shrouded in mystery, until the residents started talking.

Murders, illness, abduction, lies, and scary nightmares of an unknown man who she witnessed commit murder, all play a part of this most unusual plot.  Once the killer realizes she could actually identify him, he doesn't hesitate to stalk her.  Even with a murderer close on her heels, she is having occasional flashbacks, revelations about her father and his infidelity, as it all culminates to put her, and others, into even greater danger.  So many lies have been told.  So much of the past has been covered up.  She has no idea who she can actually trust.

As Claire searches for the truth, her life, past and present, becomes intertwined with Luke Rocco, whose mother disappeared the same day the little 4 year old went missing.  Unlike Claire, Luke's mother did not return to Folly Shoals, Maine.  He fears she actually never left, especially once bones are found on nearby property.  

A Sunset Cove Novel

Apparently "The Inn at Ocean's Edge" is the first of 3 books in the "Sunset Cove Series".  I don't think there is any way Colleen Coble can ever match this book again, but I will definitely be starting the second book in the series tonight.  I can hardly wait to see what she has in store for us in "Mermaid Moon", but most likely by the time you are reading this review, I will have finished that book as well.  

It is so very exciting to find a book series that I can barely finish one book before I am downloading the next in the series as fast as my little fingers can sail across the keyboard and push that little purchase button.

Now, I am off!  I only stopped long enough to tell you about this most excellent book.  I know you will want to read it too.

"The Inn at Ocean's Edge" Book Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse

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.”


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review of Winter Snow Scene Photography

Winter Snow Scenes

Winter is a Great time for a Photographer 

Photographing winter scenes is a wonderful way to pass your time on a snowy winter day. The snow covers all the dullness of the winter scenery and gives a beautiful field of white to everything you photograph.
I have found that I don't have to go any further than my own backyard to find some great photographic subjects. The birds outside my window always lend to some nice photos and if I want to wander a bit further away, a walk around the neighborhood will produce lots of trees covered with snow.
This page was created to showcase my winter photos and to present them on some of the Zazzle products I have designed. I hope you enjoy your tour through my winter wonderland!
Intro photo is" Ice on wild Geraniums" taken in my front yard

Winter Snow Scene

Snow Laden Evergreen

I photographed this tree while taking a walk in my neighborhood just after a big snowfall. The tree had a lot of houses and other things in the background so I put it in Photoshop Elements and use the impressionist brush to smudge out the background. I like the effect it gives showing just the tree as the center of the scene.
You can purchase my photos on cards at

Winter Scene Note Cards

Winter snow scenes make wonderful note cards. Keep in touch with friends and family and write your own message inside. This photograph was taken from my front porch on Christmas evening. I used a flash to illuminate the small Japanese maple tree that was laden with snow. This effect highlighted the tree and kept the black background.

Christmas Snow Scene Cards

Winter Snow Scene

Snow scenes make beautiful Christmas cards. You can create your own from your photographs. I recommend sights like Zazzle and CafePress to use your own photos to make quality looking greeting cards.

Christmas Wreath

Stop by my Zazzle store at to purchase copies of my photos on a variety of products

Birds in the Snow

Birds make great subjects in a snowy background . I have a bird-feeder in my backyard and in snowy weather I will sit by our patio doors with a telephoto lens on my camera and photograph the birds in the snow.

Birds in my Backyard

I think the male Cardinals are particularly pretty in the snow. Their bright red feathers look stunning against the white snow. We have been having several male and female cardinals visiting our bird-feeder in the snow.

Male Cardinal

Majestic Cardinal

Female Cardinal

Pansy peaking through the Snow

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.”


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday February 10th Umbrella Day!

For all of you who like to follow the Weird and Wacky feasts and holidays of the year, you might already know that today Feb. 10th is Umbrella Day!   Now you are probably wondering why in heaven's name anyone would get excited about that.  I'm here to fill you in.

Umbrellas in the past were used to keep the sun off of the Gentries' skin.  Pale faces, light completions, were something that was desirable. Hence, if a lady did have to go out during the sunny parts of the day, her umbrella or parasol was a much needed accessory.  We've all seen the pictures of the ladies of old, in their finery strolling down the lane with a parasol firmly held on high to keep the suns rays off of their heads.  Gloves were also mandatory so the hands would not show signs of sun either, and the dresses were long, so no worries there. You can see for yourself in this painting of John Singer Sargent, just how covered up the ladies of yore were!

Moving into the modern era,  our tastes for what is beautiful has certainly changed and sun kissed skin, lots of skin became the way to look and to feel beautiful.  We went from one extreme to the other in a short 100 years.
By Pedro Simões - Flickr

From being totally covered up in the 1880's, to being almost totally uncovered in the 1990's and now to our current time in the 2016's and beyond, we are finding out that uncovering our bodies, so that the sun can "kiss" our skin, was not the brightest of ideas.

New research and just the plain facts coming out of the medical community, points out how much damage the sun can actually do to our skin.  Not only does it cause premature aging in our skin, but the rising occurances of skin cancers of all kinds, is just a little disturbing.

But, and here's the real good news, umbrellas are making a beautiful comeback and when I say beautiful I mean BEAUTIFUL!

Gone are the days when umbrellas were strictly used to keep us dry on rainy days.  Their utilitarian use was important (especially for those ladies with hair that curls like crazy on those damp days), to keep us dry in the most sever downpours, while going about our regular business.  But more and more people are opting to use umbrellas to keep the sun off of their skin (again).  Maybe the ladies of old, were onto something.

Today, umbrellas are beautiful to the eye and come in such a variety of colors and shapes.  They are again a fashion accessory that should be used often.  Just take a look at a couple of these beauties and see if you don't agree with me that they are fantastic to look at and even nicer to use, than those dreary plain black or navy ones that leave nothing to the imagination.  Plus many of them fold down to almost nothing, so slipping one into your purse is quite easy to do.  No need to be unprepared!

Galleria Stained Glass Dragonfly Folding Umbrella

                            Galleria Exotic Orchids Folding Umbrella

These are just two of the beauties that I'm telling you about!  I certainly wouldn't mind keeping my skin free of exposure to the sun's rays under one of these.  How about you?  Are you willing to take the risk of getting too much sun on your skin and afterwards having problems that need surgery to fix the damage, or would you rather spend sometime under the protection of an umbrella?

They can and still do double duty, because, if it should start to rain, you are protected there too!

Happy Umbrella Day to all!


If you enjoyed this article, you can find more at or

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.”


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reviewing Trash Bags by Glad

Ever Had A Trash Bag Fail?

Well, I haven't had one fail for a very long time but the other day while helping a neighbor do some cleaning I did. She was using cheap (very cheap) trash bags that honestly were a waste of her money and time. What an awful mess it was to clean up when her less than durable bag dropped everything out of the bottom! I am pretty picky about a lot of things and the brand of trash bags is one area that I won't scrimp on. 

My neighbor found me out near the trash container picking up the mess while swearing under my breath and she said to me, "Oh, I should have told you that you need to use two bags together. I buy these because they are so much less expensive than the name brands."

I'm not kidding there were warning bells going off in my head and I swear I heard the robot from Lost In Space say, "Warning, Will Robinson! This does not compute!" Where is the logic in buying cheap bags and then having to double them up because they so easily fall apart? How is that less expensive? Isn't it more expensive in the long run? What kind of math is she using to figure that she was saving herself money? She can't be using the math I learned in school, that is for sure. As Spock might have said to Captain Kirk, "This is highly illogical."

So, what brand of trash bags do I keep on my shelves? I really prefer Glad trash bags for my own needs. I use the tall kitchen size (13 gallon) in several places in the house and the large yard sized bags out in the garage.

I can't think of one time that this brand has ever failed me. A long time ago, I purchased another brand and found I was just happier to stay with my Glad bags for my trash needs. There might be bags out there that are just as good but I prefer to just stay with what I know works for my home.

Who wants to have to gather trash in a bag over the course of a couple of days and then when you go to put it in the container for trash pick-up have it drop the trash onto the ground before it hits the container? Good golly, Miss Molly you would have to pick it all up again and probably use another bag! Not an efficient use of my time or yours.

When it comes to tools (trash bags are a tool of sorts) I tend to go with what I know is reliable. If it costs me a few cents more, I am willing to spend it. Although, in the case of my bags versus my neighbor's bags; I think I spend less money in the long run because I don't have to double my trash bags for one job.

How about you? Have you given much thought to the reliability of the bags you use for your trash? Do you feel that a bag is a bag and that they are all the same? Or are you like me and you prefer to get a bag that you know won't fail on you?

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