Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review this: Take a Teddy Bear to Work Day!

Mark this date on your calendar, it happens every year on the 12th of October!  It's take your Teddy Bear to Work Day.

Now all of you who are in the younger years of their lives will find, taking your teddy bear to work day is really easy.  I know my Granddaughter has taken hers to school (her version of work) for the last 4 or 5 years.  How does she do this?  Very easily, after all the school books are packed into her back pack, Alfie (the wonder bear) gets the best seat on top with his head poking up and out of the top.  


If you are too old to do that, maybe a seating arrangement like this one above would be a good choice.  (picture from Pixabay)

Teddy Bears Make the Perfect Gift!


Teddy Bears have been a long time favorite gift for children and adults for years.  They evoke a return to childhood and all this is good.  I can remember getting little bears from my boyfriends and girl friends,  as tokens of friendship.  Their faces just seemed to say, "you are special to me!"


When you need some stress relief, grab your Teddy Bear and have a good talk, he won't tell anyone your secrets.


Teddy Bears are used to bring smiles to faces of children, when they are sick, tired, stressed (yes kids can stress), or just for no reason at all. Some children will latch onto their teddy bears without any prompting from mom or dad, while others will only grab onto theirs when it's bed time. No one is sure why that happens, but, I can tell you that when it does, it can be the cutest thing ever. My Granddaughter is so attached to her bear, that her parents went out and bought a second one exactly like the first one, just in case she lost hers. The problem here is that my granddaughter is quite aware that there is a second one in the closet, but it's not her Alfie! The closet bear has a name, "Hugo", but he will never be and will never replace Alfie!

Adult Fun in the form of taking your Teddy Bear to Work Day!


Take your Teddy Bear to work day, I'm sure was born of the need to relax  a little bit in the workplace. I know from my own experience, that our jobs have become much more stressful in the last 10 years. Everyone expects more work with the same hours to accomplish the days events. You just can't do that without adding stress. Put a teddy bear into the mix and maybe while you are working away, you can take a moment to smile and laugh about the bears who are gracing everyone's desks that day.  I am sure you will find bears that look like they have never been held and others that have bald spots on them (much like their owners).  Teddy bears that have been "loved to death" have that special look to them, they are flat where they used to be pudgy, their fur has become a matted mess and the arms and legs are probably resewn a few times over the years.  There is no doubt at all when you see them, that these bears have been through as much as their owners have over their life time.

My uncle has a bear, that is only about 6 inches high, that he thoroughly loved. While he was fleeing his country during the War, this was the only toy he was allowed to bring.  I think his bear became his confident, best friend and his reassurance,  while they walked at night making their way out of Germany and into Switzerland.  He has his own "Sound of Music" story and the bear had a starring role in his life.  Today, he owns over 50 little bears and they are his pride and joy.  He doesn't worry about anything else he owns, but always reminds me that when he is gone, the bears are all mine and he knows that I will take care of them.

It always amazes me that this one toy, that really doesn't do anything at all, like some of the fancy things available today, has lasted and won the test of time.

Did you know?


Teddy Bears got their name from President Theodore Roosevelt.  He was invited in the early 1900's(1902 to be exact) on a bear hunt in Louisiana.  Being a naturalist and a sportsman, he eagerly went on this trip. When they found the bear, it had been tied to a tree in order to make the kill easier.  Totally in disgust at how this bear came to be trapped, Roosevelt refused to kill it. Many a political cartoon came out of that encounter, but the Teddy Bear was the most important.

Since 1902, the Teddy Bear has been a favored toy of generations of children and continues to be one of the first gifts that a new baby receives.

Teddy Bears are quite collectible.  Many companies made bears that were numbered and tracked.  There is a whole lot of people who can tell you where a certain bear was made, what year it was made and how long production of a certain bear lasted.  People dress their bears and many a stories have been written all about bears.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Paddington Bear Tales, Teddy Ruxpin, Winnie the Pooh, and the more modern of the bunch the Care Bears, are all examples of how the much loved Teddy bears have been used in children's lives. There are TV shows, Movies, Operas, and lots and lots of books all featuring Teddy Bears.

So just for fun this year, will you take your Teddy Bear to Work?  I know that I will!




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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Reviewing Ponchos For Women

Ponchos: A Practical Choice In Fashion

man in poncho
Public Domain Image
The Poncho, it is an article of clothing that ebbs and wanes in the fashion industry from season to season. It will be really hot and found in every shopping outlet you can imagine or it may be hard to find depending on where it sits in the popularity of the designers for the year.

There are many styles of ponchos for women. Some follow the traditional style of being a garment which almost looks like a blanket with a hole for the head. Historically the poncho was made of a wool fabric and was meant to keep the body warm. It is still meant to keep the body warm but is not necessarily made from wool anymore.

Many ponchos of today are found in a less than traditional style with an open front which wraps around the shoulders more like a cape or shawl. It just boils down to a matter of preference as to whether you want your poncho to go over your head or just wrap around your shoulders.

Ponchos are a really practical choice for the fall season when the temperatures have started to dip but it isn't cold enough for a winter coat. They are comfortable and fun to wear. They team up well with jeans but also look nice with slacks and skirts.

This very practical garment has been in use since before the Spanish came to the Americas. Originally found predominately in the Andes region of South America now known as Peru the poncho is considered a South American garment. No matter its origin, it has proven to be quite the versatile piece of clothing for our wardrobes.

You can also opt for a poncho for your rain gear. Of course a rain poncho will be made of a water-proof fabric. I have a rain poncho in my closet that is older than my grandchildren but I still pull it out on those rainy days when I have to venture outdoors.

Currently, I am in the process of crocheting a fun little poncho for this fall season. At a later date, I'll show you the finished piece with a link to the pattern.




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Monday, October 10, 2016

Bubba Tumbler Review: Saves Money and the Environment


In 2014, I purchased a Bubba brand Envy Tumbler in an attempt to save money, avoid coffee spills, and reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic cups being sent to the landfill each day.  I had no way of knowing how much money and stress that one rugged, insulated tumbler really would save. If you are looking for a durable travel mug for hot or cold drinks, Bubba brand is for you.



The Durability of Bubba Envy Tumblers


As I mentioned, I purchased my Bubba brand tumbler years ago.  I've used that one single cup for my iced coffee nearly every day since.  I am only just now looking to replace it because I drove off with it on my Jeep bumper a few months ago.  As I turned out of my parking lot, I heard a "clunk" and saw iced coffee and ice skittering across the road.  With the intent of removing a potential plastic shard road hazard, I stopped and retrieved my Bubba Envy Tumbler.  Stunned, I found that my Bubba was intact and was only slightly loose at the top mold seam connecting the double walls. I've used it every day since that mishap and am only now looking to order a replacement.

If that isn't a testimonial for durability, I don't know what is.


Bubba Envy Insulated 24 oz Tumbler

Financial Savings of a Bubba Tumbler


When I purchased that first Tumbler, I began making my own iced coffee at home instead of stopping at a local coffee shop each day. I had realized that if I spent a mere $5 at that coffee shop each day, for 365 days a year, I was spending $1,825 a year. I invested less than $20 for the first Bubba. With the exception for travel and when I'm away from home, I have made my own coffee to fill it. 

If you saved over a thousand dollars in a year, what could you do with that extra money?


Travel Mugs: Environmental and Emotional Savings 



Commercial iced coffee is served in plastic cups with lids and straws.  I cringe when I think about having added one of those cups each day into the landfill before I began using my reusable travel tumbler. 

If you are clumsy as I am, you'll understand when I mention the level of stress that those plastic cups caused me.  The lids would pop off and the coffee would splash onto my clothes. And wow, have you ever knocked over one of those cups and watched helplessly as the lid pops off and the coffee washes across your desk like a miniature tidal wave? I have. But not since I have begun using this wonderful version of an adult sippie cup.


Stainless Steel 20 oz Rose Gold

With a straw inserted, the Bubba Envy Tumbler isn't absolutely leak-proof. But only dribbles escape from the straw and straw opening, which is much better than the alternative mess.


Bubba silicone straws and brush


Whether you drink hot coffee, iced coffee, or other drinks you will find a Bubba brand mug to suit your needs.  And it is a bonus that in the long run you will save money and help protect the environment. 


Visit ReviewThisReviews for more product reviews


Bubba 52 oz insulated mug














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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Mystery Book Series Review: Jessica James Series by Kelly Oliver

Coyote by Kelly Oliver
Yes, I am a huge fan of mysteries and series are a favorite. When I was asked to review the Jessica James mystery series for my site www.MysteryBookWorldLive, I was sure it would be worth my time. I was proved right. Author Kelly Oliver sends us on the exploits of heroine Jessica James in this 3-part mystery series.

Fair warning here, the third in the series is not yet released.

 

Reviewing Wolf and Coyote by Kelly Oliver


Wolf by Kelly Oliver
The first novel in the series, Wolf, (www.mysterybookworldlive.com/mystery-series/wolf-kelly-oliver-mystery-book-review)  introduces us to Jessica James (yes, truly called Jesse at times), a Montana "cowgirl" who ends up working on her doctorate in Philosophy at prestigious Northwestern University in a Chicago suburb. It may be a far cry from her Montana small town roots, but that doesn't stop Jessica from stumbling on the murdered body of her doctorate advisor. You can read my full review of Wolf and see more for yourself.  (www.mysterybookworldlive.com/mystery-series/wolf-kelly-oliver-mystery-book-review/)

The second in the series is Coyote. Author Oliver sends Jessica back to the mountains of Montana and builds an intriguing load of subplots when Jessica's beloved cousin is killed. Well, murdered is what Jessica believes. So off she goes into a world of Native American troubles, big oil fracking and corruption to solve the murder. You can read my review of Coyote, (www.mysterybookworldlive.com/mystery-series/coyote-kelly-oliver-mystery-fiction-review/) but I promise I never give spoilers.

As of this writing, I am awaiting the publisher giving me the release date of the third in the series. When I know that, I will update this review for you.

Masterful Characters in the Jessica James Mystery Book Series


Coyote by Kelly Oliver
Personally, I have no doubt that author Kelly Oliver is a masterful creator of interesting characters. She offers up characters that I want to follow. I want to see what happens to them next. And I'm rooting for them all along.

I wonder, though, is Oliver playing with us a bit in her choice of names? There is first off, Montana cowgirl Jessica James. Then we have the stunningly beautiful, but lethally dangerous with her black belt in Karate, Russian best friend of Jesse's named Lolita. Hmmm. Kelly Oliver is a talented writer and one that I wouldn't expect to accidentally name her characters so cliched. Me thinks she did this to make us think differently.

Anyway you want to think of her character names, she doesn't skimp on their personalities and dialogue.

To Sum Up the Review of the Jessica James Series


For mystery lovers, and especially those who enjoy reading about women sleuths, the Jessica James series by Kelly Oliver will be good reads. There is certainly plenty going on in both Wolf and Coyote. The publicity refers to "ripped from the headlines" plots and subplots. Certainly drugs, rape culture, corruption and more set the stage for these murder mysteries.

And there is a healthy dose of gritty realism in both novels.  I could have done without all of the realism without hurting the story. But overall, the mysteries are good.

That leaves me anxiously awaiting Novel 3 in the Jessica James mystery series. And hoping Kelly Oliver won't stop at just three.

If you like book reviews, we have plenty more at ReviewThisBookReviews.





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Friday, October 7, 2016

Lumpkin the Pumpkin Video Movie Review

Halloween Video for Kids

"Lumpkin the Pumpkin" is a entertaining Halloween musical for children of all ages.  Cute story & great music by Bobby Goldsboro
Scan of Our
Lumpkin the Pumpkin Video Box

"Lumpkin the Pumpkin" is an entertaining Halloween musical for children of all ages.  My own children loved this video when they were little.  As a matter of fact, we have had to keep an old vhs player just so they could continue to watch their favorite old videos.

Kids love movies that include music and the songs in this show are fun and entertaining.  

This is a cute story about Lumpkin, an adorable pumpkin, who teams with Tara, a young and sweet witch.  They want to make Halloween more enjoyable for the children.

Tara and her mother are both members of a witch community.  Unfortunately, the older members of their society are committed to scaring the children on Halloween, but Tara is not interested in frightening anyone.





Lumpkin the Pumpkin Video


Lumpkin the Pumpkin is an entertaining Halloween musical movie for kids.  Cute story & great music.
Scanned From the Cover of our Video
On Halloween night, while all of the elder witches try to find ways to scare the children, Tara and Lumpkin join different groups of children and try to find ways to help them enjoy the evening.  Their greatest desire is to keep them safe.  The video gently instructs children on being kind and teaches a lesson about Halloween safety. 

For those of us who are older, we easily recognize the mellow voice of Bobby Goldsboro.  He narrates and sings this happy tale of  Halloween fun.  

The show may be a bit hokey for older kids, but most little children really enjoy it. 


Where to Buy Lumpkin the Pumpkin


 Lumpkin the PumpkinThe video was released in 1991 and is only available on VHS.  They are not always easy to find at a reasonable price.   Most likely any you find that are affordable will be used.  However, currently there a few that are still new and factory sealed on Amazon.com. (shown on the right)  Be prepared for the cost to reflect the age and difficultly to purchase the video factory sealed. 

Ebay is an excellent resource if you are willing to purchase the video in used condition.  Since they are all auctions, the availability varies.  I have added an easy scrolling search for the video on Ebay below for your convenience. 






Read More Movie Reviews On ReviewThisMovies.com



More Recommended Movies for Children


Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie Review
It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The Tale of the Bunny Picnic Video Review
The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Review
A Charlie Brown Christmas Movie Review


All Photos of Lumpkin the Pumpkin used in this article are Scanned and Copied from Video Box Cover

Movie Review of "Lumpkin the Pumpkin" Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, October 6, 2016

October is Pizza Month: Reviewing Our Favorite Pizza Recipes

Making homemade pizza actually is pretty easy, especially if you follow one of the favorite pizza recipes you'll find here.

These days, ordering a pizza is as easy as pulling out your phone and opening an app. But, let's face it, it's hard to beat homemade. Besides, preparing a pizza at home doesn't require waiting for (and paying for) delivery or going out again if you're already at home.

Making homemade pizza actually is pretty easy, especially if you follow one of the favorite pizza recipes that we're going to tell you about, all tried and true. It's a fun activity, too, one that's perfect for involving the kiddos.

Kid-Friendly Pizza Recipes


Quick and Easy Pizza Bun Recipe from Ladymermaid
Photo from Ladymermaid
With just the tiniest bit of planning you'll always have the ingredients on hand to make this Quick and Easy Pizza Bun Recipe from my friend Lorelei aka Ladymermaid.

Pizza sauce from a bottle or jar should be a staple in your house, along with plenty of mozzarella cheese.  A toaster oven is perfect for making these individual pizzas using bread or hamburger or hot dog buns. Kids, especially, love adding the cheese and toppings to the buns and popping them into the toaster oven for a few minutes. Adults enjoy these, too, perhaps with more sophisticated toppings. For a family or a crowd, use a baking sheet and the regular oven to turn out enough pizzas for everyone.



Spider Web Pizza Recipe perfect for October and Pizza Month
Photo from Cooking for the Holidays

Since it's October, I absolutely had to include the recipe for this fun Spider Web pizza from Review This Reviews' own Sylvestermouse. She's absolutely right about families' needing a quick but filling meal before trick-or-treating on Halloween evening. And, as her family has done, making this Spider Web Pizza a tradition for October 31st is a great idea.

Only a few simple ingredients are required to assemble a delicious pizza that your family will love. Adding a creepy spider to the top is optional, but where's the fun in that? Read all about decorating a pizza for Halloween at the link.



Healthy Pizza Recipes


Artichoke Zucchini White Pizza Recipe from RecipesForRealPeople
Photo from Recipes For Real People
If you love pizza but want something a little different from the traditional red sauce topped with pepperoni, try this Artichoke Zucchini white pizza recipe. I call it "A to Z Pizza" for short.

I use packaged crust and jarred Alfredo sauce, along with sliced fresh zucchini, a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, some onion, garlic, and black olives, and top it all off with a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds! It's good for you, too, if you go easy on the sauce.





Basic Dough Recipe, Perfect for Homemade Pizza Crust, from Sam's Places
Photo from Sam's Place

To turn any of these pizza recipes into true homemade pizza, you'll need a good pizza crust recipe. Get it at Sam's Place! Here's his easy homemade all purpose dough recipe, and he also includes links to his own homemade pizza and pepperoni bread recipes. Prepare to be impressed as Sam is a wonderful cook. (Update: Hot out of the pizza oven is Sam's latest, Fresh Tomato Spinach Pizza. Don't miss this delicious recipe!)




Pizza When It's Too Hot to Cook

Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven: Read the Review
Author Photo
Pizza is perfect food around the calendar, but when it's hot outside I don't like to heat up the house by turning on the oven. That's why I'm thrilled with the Presto Pizzazz Plus Rotating Pizza Oven that joined our family several months ago.

Whether I'm in the mood for a quick pizza from the freezer, if I pick up a fresh pizza from the deli, or even if I make my own pizza from scratch, the Pizzazz allows me to prepare it without heating up the house. This awesome appliance also saves time since there's no preheating required. It works for other foods, too, as you'll learn when you read my full Pizzazz Plus review.




So, are you hungry yet? 


These recipes should get you through October's Pizza Month celebration or any month, year, or day of the week that you find yourself in the mood for a slice of one of America's favorite foods. I'd love if you leave a comment to let me know which of these is your favorite pizza recipe.

~Susan 




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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review of the Best Nut Choppers I Have Used

Nut Choppers Are Essential Tools in My Kitchen

I use my nut grinder almost every day. I use it most mornings when I chop the walnuts for Barb's Power Breakfast Cereal. I also put chopped walnuts in my Buckwheat Blueberry Breakfast Pudding for cold mornings. Most of my baked goods contain nuts. All of those nuts need to be chopped into smaller pieces.

Review of the Best Nut Grinders I Have Used in my Kitchen
My Progressive Nut Chopper, Divided into its Parts

Here's Why I Needed to Buy the Progressive Nut Chopper


 Norpro Hand Crank Nut Walnut Almond Peanut Chopper Cutter Grinder Time Saver




For most of my over fifty years in the kitchen, I used this manual nut grinder and loved it.

Then one morning I accidentally broke the glass base. I tried the top on every empty jar I had in my cupboard, but not one fit. They were too large or too small or had different size screwing threads to fit a vacuum lid. I tried using one those jars with the same diameter opening, trying to hold the top on while I turned the crank, but it was just too awkward.

I was otherwise perfectly happy with this nut grinder . I would screw the grinder / chopper element onto the glass jar base, put in the nuts I wanted to grind, and crank the handle. I never had a problem. When I finished grinding the nuts I removed the grinder part and dumped any loose nut pieces into the bowl which was ready to receive them. Then I also emptied the jar into the bowl. After the jar was empty, I'd put it in the dishwasher and hand wash the plastic grinder top and lid.

My Review of the Progressive Nut Chopper

Even though I had been very happy with my Norpro Nut Chopper / Grinder, I bought the Progressive Nut Chopper to replace it because it was completely made of plastic.  I would not have to worry about the bottom breaking. I also liked the fact that I could put all the parts in the dishwasher. 

The Progressive Nut Chopper works the same way as the Norpro Nut Chopper. I turn the handle clockwise for nuts chopped coarsely. For a finer grind I turn the handle counterclockwise. The only difference is that there is more distance between the cutting blades on the Progressive model. More nut pieces seem to get stuck on the blades that have to be removed by scraping off the blades when I'm finished chopping than there are when I use the Norpro  model. There is no difference in quality of the chopped nuts. 

Review of the Best Nut Grinder / Choppers I Have Used
A Close Look at the  Progressive Nut Chopper Blades in Action


More Features of the Progressive Nut Chopper

Other things I appreciate about the Progressive Chopper that were lacking in the Norpro are the large non-slip base and the measuring lines on the container. With the Norpro I was always guessing how many nuts I'd chopped until I emptied them into a measuring cup. The Progressive Chopper holds one and one-half cups of nuts in the base and I can see exactly how many I have finished chopping.

Review of the Best Nut Choppers I Have Used: The Progressive Nut chopper and the Norpro Nut Chopper


Which Nut Chopper is Right for You?

Both nut choppers work the same way, so which you buy will depend on how important these unique features of the Progressive Nut Chopper are to you.
  • More durable plastic base that is hard to break
  • All parts may go into top rack of dishwasher
  • Convenient measuring lines on base
  • Non-slip base
You will pay a bit more to get those features, but you will also not have to worry very much about having to replace a broken base. If that doesn't matter to you, you can probably do just as well with the Norpro Chopper. Either nut chopper will give you great value and last a long time -- unless you accidentally drop the Norpro or knock it against a hard surface.

Which Nut Chopper Will You Choose?







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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Reviewing Jiffy Cornbread Mix

Cornbread Made The Easy Way

Image by Sherurcij
You can make cornbread by scratch if you like but I have always chosen to just use a box of Jiffy Cornbread mix. It is easy, quick and tastes wonderful!

Just add 1 egg and 1/3 cup of milk and bake. The time for baking will depend on your choice of how you plan to serve your cornbread. If you choose to have muffins the time is only 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees. The package will tell you how long to bake if you opt for a more traditional serving such as skillet cornbread like the image at the left. Obviously, in a skillet or square pan the baking time will be a little longer.


Cornbread is so versatile and can be served with just about any kind of meal. We particularly love it with chili but to be honest, I could eat cornbread in one form or another just about every day.

You can use the Jiffy Cornbread or Corn Muffin mix in other recipes, too. I gave the recipe for my corn spoonbread in an earlier post here on Review This which uses the mix. It is one of my favorites and my family's, also.

When I am in the kitchen, I like to turn the Food Network on. This past weekend I watched Valerie Bertinelli use the Jiffy mix to make cornbread cookies. Oh my goodness they look so very good! I have decided that the next time I make a big batch of chili, I am going to use her recipe for the cornbread part of the meal.

It is my humble opinion that every kitchen should have at least one box of Jiffy Cornbread mix in their pantry at all times. I find that I use at least one box per week, myself.


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Monday, October 3, 2016

FotoJet Free Photo Editor Review

FotoJet is a free online photo editor. It is extremely easy to use and offers photo editing, collage making, and graphic designs. I was skeptical when I signed up. I was certain it would have nothing new to offer that I don't already have access to with other photograph editing programs. But I was wrong. I love the FotoJet designs for social media posts. In this review, I will show you some of the samples I created using minimal time or energy.


Easy Sign up


So far, I've found no gimmicks with the FotoJet photo editor site. My pet peeve is trying to sign up to use a free program only to find that there is some catch. Perhaps you must enter your credit card number in order to register for the "free" site. Or it is free, but you have to download all sorts of things onto your computer and then their tool bar takes over.  Sometimes it is easy to sign in, and really is free, but then you learn that you only get to do one sample of something and your free use has ended. An upgrade (that costs) is required to continue.  I found NONE of those gimmicks with FotoJet. Registering was just this easy:

  • I entered my email address.
  • I entered the password I wanted to use.
  • I went to my email account and clicked the link for email confirmation
  • I returned to the site and began creating


Easy to Use


I clicked the link to confirm and entered the site. Because I'm not tech savvy, I expected to have to spend a day or two trying to figure things out.  I looked for FAQs and directions and found none. There are a few hints (such as using the arrow keys...and I wish I had paid attention to that hint!) while the page is loading. Otherwise, I found no instructions.

But within two hours, I have four photo samples edited.  And I am very excited about them.


FotoJet Editor for Social Media Posts


Personally,  have a really hard time remembering the image size requirements for my social media sites. Sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have different and ever-changing requirements.  My photos files have multiple photos saved in a variety of sizes and labeled with the site they were created for. FotoJet won 't decrease the amount of photo files I have, but it will take away the need to look at my image size cheat sheet each time I am re-sizing. 


FotoJet Photo Designs for Instagram


My first attempt was designing an Instagram photo with a personal photo for my personal blog.  I chose the design, chose my photo, dragged my photo onto the design and voila, was nearly finished. I clicked on the text boxes to add my wording, dragged it to where it looked best, and resized it easily. I also changed text colors and fonts easily. When finished, I saved it to my computer.




To show the variety of designs, I used a second design with the same photo. I think it gives my photo an entirely different look.





FotoJet Photo Designs for Pinterest


I then did the same for the designs sized for Pinterest.  With permission from our photography contributor Mary Beth, I used her amazing beach photos for these designs.





Aren't her photos gorgeous?! Anyway, with the first design, I dragged and dropped two photos, clicked on their existing text boxes, and changed the wording to my own. With the second image, I dragged and dropped the photo, changed the opacity of the existing text box, and left their text as is. 

What a happy coincidence to find a design with my name.


FotoJet Social Media Designs in Summary


I had a bit of difficulty finding the trash bin initially.  But I am content with clicking around and trying things out. Clearly, the "click and hope" technique worked well for me. Everything else was very easy to navigate. Especially after I started using the directional arrows to move the photos. 

I hope that FotoJet adds even more designs for Instagram and Pinterest. And perhaps some for Twitter.  Overall, I really like this free photo editor.  It seems to be a program free of gimmicks and tricks to purchase upgrades.  It is easy.  And if your goal is to create attractive images for your social media sites with as little muss and fuss as possible, I think you will be thrilled with FotoJet.


Related Links:



Thank you to Mary Beth for allowing me to use her amazing beach photos for these examples.  You can read more about her photography on Review This as well as purchase her items in her Sunrise/Sunset collection

The first image is a FotoJet design using a photo from Pixabay.  In addition to choosing one of your own photos while creating your designs, FotoJet includes a handy link to choose free photos from Pixabay.

You will find other helpful site reviews on ReviewThis!




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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Warriors by Erin Hunter - Juvenile Novel Series Review

WarriorCats by Erin Hunter
Source: Amazon
Warriors is a series of juvenile fantasy novels which has captured the attention and delight of my 14-year-old grandson, Ryan. 

When Ryan visited me for three weeks this summer, he told me about this book series he was reading.   He had been a part of the Summer Reading Program at his local library in Iowa and wanted to continue with the next book in the series, so the first day of his visit we went to the library. Not being familiar with WARRIORS, and knowing that teens like adventure and Science Fiction things, I asked him if Warriors was a Sci-Fi story. With a big smile, he said "no, grandma, it's about cats ~ wild cats who live in clans in the forest and have adventures!" 


Grandson Ryan Reading "Warriors" (c) Elf

As Ryan described the story line to me, I thought what an interesting plot series, especially for a boy who loves cats, adventure video games, and books.




The Warriors Series of Books

The Warriors series follows the adventures of four Clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, and RiverClan—in their forest and lake homes named after and by the 4 cats ~ Shadow, River, Wind and Thunder ~ who began the clans and set up the 'warrior code'.

Meet the Warrior Cats 


To learn about the warrior cats and their clans, go to their website - Warrior Cats - and meet the Warriors!


The Warrior Cats Series


To date, there are six sub-series, each containing six books. Book 1 of the original series, "Into The Wild", was published in 2004 and series six has the first two books already published as of September 2016.


  • The first 6 books in Warriors: The Prophecies Begin, introduces us to the clans and the cats within them.
  • The second series, Warriors: The New Prophecy, follow the WarriorCat clans as they move to a new home.
  • The third series, Warriors: Power of Three, tells us that the fate of the warrior code rests in the paws of three young cats, grandchildren of ThunderClan — Hollypaw, Jawpaw, and Lionpaw — as they become apprentices. They each possess unusual power and talent, but all of their strength will be needed for the Clans to survive.
  • The fourth series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars, continues where the third series left off. A fourth cat must now join the three apprentice cats in order to save the Clans.
  • The fifth series, Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, is a prequel that explains the origins of the Warrior Clans.
  • The sixth series, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows, has just begun, with the first two books in the series having been published in March and September of 2016, with volume #3 due out in April 2017.

If you begin with book 1 of series one, by the time you get to the sixth series, books 3-6 may be ready for you to read. 

All the Warriors books and box sets of each series are available on Amazon.




Author: Who is Erin Hunter? 


Erin Hunter is actually six people! She is experienced children’s book writers Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Tui Sutherland, Gillian Philip, Inbali Iserles and Victoria Holmes. Together, they all have a love of animals (especially cats), are fascinated with the natural world and respect nature in all it's forms. 'Erin' enjoys creating mythical explanations for animal behavior. See their bios here.

An In-Depth Warrior Book Review


Bev Owens, a fellow reader and contributing writer here on Review This! reviewed Into The Wild, which is book 1 in "The Prophecies Begin" series. Her review will give you a more thorough understanding of what this series of WarriorCat books are about. Suggested for 8-12 year-olds, but greatly enjoyed by 14-year-old Ryan and, as Bev says, us older adults, The Warriors series of books will be a fun and interesting read for almost any age group.

For more book reviews, check out:


More about the Warrior Cats!


For the complete history of The Warriors book series, plus ways to 'explore their world' and a section on games and extra activities, check out their website at WarriorCats

Ryan and his cat, Missy, think you will enjoy this Warrior Cats book series.



Ryan with his own cat, Missy  (c) Wednesday Elf



Review 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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