Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Husband Is Wearing Some Bling!

My guy, despite how hard I might try, just does not like to dress up very often. Even for our wedding we got him the least looking tux we could. He just does not like being all (his words) "fancified". LOL!

But when we go to church he will wear a suit and tie out of respect for God. It's important him, even if he can hardly wait to get it off when we get home. Invariably the tie will come off in the car on the way home. His idea of a tie clasp is, well pretty simple and as nondescript as possible. As long as it keeps his tie from flapping around all over the place, he's happy. So when I had a chance to have him try out a fantastic looking Tie Clip Set from Mens Bodega, I was little worried.

The lovely box, which is perfect for gift giving, arrived and I apprehensively showed it to him. I got that look. If you have a husband, I'm sure you know the look. The one that says "you want me to wear what?"

Well after the obligatory comment that he wished I had asked him first before I said yes, he opened the box. Silence!

I got nervous!

Then he started saying something about each one, what he liked, what he didn't and which ones he was going to try out first. I was beginning to wonder who this guy was and what he had done with my husband! He liked them, well most of them!

I was in awe. As soon as I saw them I thought they were perfect and would work with all of his suits and ties. I knew he would look sharp. I had no idea HE would think he would look good with them.

And he really did. The first Sunday after we got them he came out of the bedroom and stood in front of me and asked, "Well, what do you think?" He had on one of the tie clasps and he looked great. He always does in suits, but the tie clasp just added that extra little touch. I loved it!

Best of all, he loves them! YAY!!

You can purchase your own set of Mens Bodega Tie Clips HERE!

So what kind of things does your husband balk at wearing? Let us know in the comments!!

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.

Spring Organization Just Got Some Attractive Help

Summer is almost here and I have yet to finish my Spring Cleaning. UGH! We have had several things happen that have put us behind on many projects. Being behind o spring cleaning is one I am not happy about.

One of the biggest things that is important to me when I spring clean is to organize or re-organize out stuff so things can go smoothly! It's a time saver, makes things a lot neater, and everyone in the family can find things on their own when it is all organized!

One of my biggest pet peeves are drawers. Seems like no matter how hard you try, getting some drawers organized just does not work. The trays to put in the drawers aren't the right size, either to small or too big. But having a drawer, especially in the kitchen that is organized makes getting things done a lot smoother.

Silverware is one of the biggest culprits in my book for getting disorganized. Many organizers don't take into consideration all the extra serving pieces you have or specialist knives you may have. How do you keep those where you need them when you need them when they don't fit in your knife block?

Fulmargp has a really neat Expandable Bamboo Storage Tray that really does make keeping your cutlery easier. The first thing you notice about the tray is that it has 6 compartments and a knife block. This makes it easy to keep almost all of you cutlery in their own slots. There is room for dinner forks, salad forks, soup spoons, teaspoons, table knives and serving spoons. The knife block is great for keeping some of those odd knives you may not keep in your counter top knife block in place. If you don't have a lot of knives, it's perfect for using to keep all of them in place and off the counter.

One side expanded.                         Both sides expanded.

But the tray, by how it is named obviously, expands and gives you two more long compartments. This is fantastic! you can use it for any number of larger pieces of cutlery or for general cooking items. I think it would be a great place to keep a meat thermometer or reusable straws, even iced tea spoons, anything that has longer handles you may need for serving food. The options are endless.

The tray would also be great for organizing craft supplies. Each of the compartments could hold a number of crafty items. The knife block would be great for holding stainless steel rulers or templates in place and to be found easily. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination!

I think this is a great idea for getting things organized in your home. I do need to tell you though that the tray is not as heavy duty as some I have tried before, although it is sturdy. The first one I had arrived damaged and unusable. Fulmargp was awesome about replacing the damaged tray and got a new one to me very quickly. They offer excellent service!

The second one I got was slightly damaged too but still fine for using. There are small spacers and stops on the bottom that keep the two expandable parts from coming off. Those little pieces came unglued. The tray itself though is still fine and we are using it. It's attractive and looks great in the drawer!

You can purchase your own Fulmargp Expandable Bamboo Storage Tray HERE!

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.

What are some of you favorite ways to organize? Tell me in the comments.

To Sing Or Not To Sing

I love to sing, actually I can carry a tune pretty well. Honestly I can sing very well. For many years I have been asked to do special music for events, from church services and weddings to women's meetings, conferences and more. It's been a joy to use this gift from God to minister to people.

Like many things in life I've gone through changes, lots of changes. One change was in my singing. My voice has not changed, I can still sing and sing well, but my call by God to sing has changed. There has been no doubt in my mind for several years now that God has not wanted me to use my voice the way I used to. I'm fine with that.

The thing that has been tough for me is sitting in church singing the hymns and worship music. People who hear me will ask why I don't sing specials, why am I not in the choir. Most don't understand that for now God has called me to be on the sideline with my voice.

One Sunday in particular at church my pastor's wife was chatting with me and she poignantly asked me why I was not singing in the choir and doing specials. I told her that for now God does not want me to. When He tells me to, I will. She agreed that it was a good reason.

Our Pastor has a habit of asking from the pulpit on Sunday evenings if anyone has a special. That night he asked me by name.

"Lois, do you have a special for us?"

I shook my head and then I heard his wife say, "She said when God tells her too, she will!"

The Pastor said that he hoped that would be soon and went on with the service. It was such a comfort to have a pastor who understood what I was going through.

After announcements and a few specials from other talented people in our church, the Pastor said, "I want all of you to listen to something very, very important." He paused for a few dramatic seconds.

He wrapped his hands around the pulpit microphone and leaned in to it and said in as deep a voice as he could muster, "Lois! This is God! You need to sing now!"

The whole church erupted in laughter!

It was one of the funniest things at our church ever. I'm still not being led to sing, but it was a joy to see God use my "not" singing to bring laughter and a blessing to my church family in a unique way.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I Did It Again But Found A Solution

I did it again!

I don't know why I keep doing it, but I do. It's something I am not happy about and it costs me money every time I do it. It's gotten to the point that my husband just rolls his eyes when he sees the results. Not sure if the eye rolling is because I did it again or because he knows I'm gonna ask him if I can go shopping.

What is it I did?

Melted my spatulas! I do it all the time. I get going on a project, baking and cooking, and I don't pay attention to what I have done with my spatula and the next thing I know I have melted it (oooh they look awful when you do that) or I have forgotten it in the mixing bowl, turned on the mixer and it got eaten up! They kind of lose their purpose when they have big gouges eaten out of them!!

I tried a few silicone spatulas, but they seemed too flimsy to really do the job. So back I went to the good ol' rubber ones, that is until recently! I received the Holi In The Kitchen Silicone Spatula Set. This is the first set of silicone spatulas that have really worked and have felt substantial in my hands using them.

These things feel so substantial because they have a stainless steel core. The entire spatula is stainless steel covered from end to end with food grade silicone. Most silicone spatulas are wooden or plastic handles with a silicone scraper at the end, but these are one whole solid unit and amazing!

They are heat resistant up to 500°! I won't melt them! I love that. Nor more funky looking and stinky spatulas in my kitchen. There are two in the set and one is 11" long and the other 8" long. Perfect sizes to get any job done.

Like all silicone the resist odors and staining and can be hand washed or popped into the dishwasher. And I have already smacked them with the mixer and no chips!! Not even a ding to them! I'm so happy about that!

They look attractive, they feel good in your hand while working, and they hold up to abuse. I can highly recommend these to you.

You can purchase your own Holi In The Kitchen Silicone Spatula Set HERE!

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.

6 Reasons Why You Should Drink Tea and A Lovely Way To Enjoy It

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, chances are you have found out how much I love coffee. But....I like tea almost as much. There is something very comforting and relaxing about a cup of tea. When my husband senses that I am stressed out or tense he will suggest that I have a cup of tea and relax. Course I'm not sure how he knows that I am stressed or tense (wink, wink), but he's almost always right and the tea helps.

I love to have plenty of flavors on hand and love to try them out. And I'll admit as much as I tend to be a coffee snob, I can be a tea snob too. I love brewing fresh tea from leaves so I can regulate how much tea I want and use.

Here are 6 good reasons* why you should drink tea too:
1. Green tea could have the power to help keep your bones healthy. Studies have shown that drinking green tea may help lessen the risk of osteoporotic bone fractures.

2. Drinking tea could help reduce the risk of heart attack. Tea might also help protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.

3. Tea is hydrating to the body even despite the caffeine!.

4. Tea could be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars.

5. Tea helps fight free radicals. Tea is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (“ORAC” to its friends), which is a fancy way of saying that it helps destroy free radicals (which can damage DNA) in the body. While our bodies are designed to fight free radicals on their own, they’re not 100 percent effective — and since damage from these radical oxygen ninjas has been linked to cancer, heart disease and neurological degeneration, we’ll take all the help we can get.

6. The antioxidants in tea might help protect against a boatload of cancers, including breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers. But don’t rely solely on tea to keep a healthy body — tea is not a miracle cure, after all. While more studies than not suggest that tea has cancer-fighting benefits, the current research is mixed.

There are plenty of other good reasons, but I would say that's a good start to get you thinking!

The TeaVas Tea Bell tea steeper has been specifically designed for those who appreciate the joy of escaping with a perfectly infused cup of their favorite loose leaf tea. If you have come to appreciate that fine tea like I have over the years, have a good cup of tea is as much about the process of preparation as it is the enjoyment of the warm cup in you hands and the rich flavor on your pallet. This Tea Bell is made of durable stainless steel and food grade silicone and is both easy to use and clean (tap used leaves out and wash by hand or place in the dishwasher). This product fits any size cup and will not float. I love that is just sits nicely and flat on the bottom of the cup as the tea steeps.

The small drip rest is a wonderful addition to the Tea Bell. I appreciate that it keeps any excess moisture from dripping all over. I also appreciate that the handle of the Tea Bell is long enough to accommodate even one of my very large mugs without getting lost in it. It is simply easy to use and enjoy.

This tea infuser is ideal for medium to coarse grained teas but is NOT for fine grained teas. Fine grained tea will slip out through the small holes of the Tea Bell, so keep that in mind when choosing the tea you brew with it.

It has been a pleasure to use the TeaVas Tea Bell to make many lovely cups of tea and I can recommend this to you whole heartedly!

You can purchase the TeaVas Tea bell HERE!

*Information gathered here

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Best Paracord Available On The Market

If you have been on the internet at all, you most likely have run across people who talk about Paracord. Unfortunately most people do not know what paracord really is and what it is for.

Iwas recently sent some fantastic paracord from Titan to try out. Now I have known about paracord for some time, but I have only had a small bit (bracelet) and not a larger amount. I am thrilled now to have a good length for using.

Here's a little about paracord from Titan you should know about first.
✔ PARACORD STRENGTH > 620 LBS. U.S. Veteran-Owned Business. Proud Supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.
✔ PERFECT CORD FOR - Home/Auto Use, Emergencies, Camping, Survival Kits, Disaster Prep, Bug-Out Bags, Crafting.
✔ EXTREMELY VERSATILE - Designed for Rugged Paracord Applications Requiring Strength, Durability, and Safety. Ideal cord for all paracord craft projects
✔ READ OUR REVIEWS - Trusted by U.S. Veterans, Military Institutions, and Outdoor Enthusiasts Worldwide.
✔ GUARANTEED QUALITY - 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Genuine MIL-C-5040-H, Type III, 100% Nylon, 550 Paracord.
The list of ideas for using paracord, well are only limited by your imagination! This is the kind of thing you should have around your home, in your car, in your bug-out bag and emergency kits. And I recommend you have it in several lengths. But if you are curious about the many ways of using paracord, I suggest you go HERE! The blog author lists 80 ways to use it. I'm guessing that there are many more.

Titan Paracord is fabulous. I've been shopping for some for a while and I have learned about the quality of different paracords out there. Titan is a top notch product. It is well made and it will hold up to repeated use. Some paracords are weaker and will fall apart after several uses. They certainly don't have the weight capacity that Titan does.

The really neat thing is that when you order from Titan, they include two fabulous download booklets on ways to use the paracord around your home, for emergencies and crafts. Both are great resources and very handy to have!

We have been enjoying the paracord and have tried it out in several ways (strapping things down, clothesline). When we have finished with it, I have been so happy to have the Velcro strap to hold together the bundle of paracord. Such a good bonus to have!

We'll be getting more to have around our house for sure!

You can purchase your own Titan Military 550 Paracord HERE! Oh and when you pruchase Titan Paracord you help support Wounded Warriors! That's a very, very good thing!! Oh and it does come in more than just pink!

We received samples of the products for the purpose of review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed here are those of the author.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Incessant Divagation

by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife 

Last week I lamented that “I started feeling old when I realized how many people reading this might have no idea who Charles Bronson and Oliver Hardy were, and don't know that years before a very bad movie, Cooter Davenport and the Duke boys appeared in a very fun TV show.”

Many of you were aware of all three “cultural references,” but I focused on the comments that admitted unfamiliarity with them. And felt old.

Lots of things make me feel old. My collections of: cassette tapes; videos in VHS format; paperback books with a 35 cent cover price. I suppose that reveals something about my mental state: much of my “stuff” is simultaneously entertaining and depressing. It also proves that I'm parsimonious: if I own the cassette, I won't pay to upgrade to CD. It's cheaper to buy old cassette players for a buck each at yard sales.

I like “classic rock” music, but even that makes me feel old. The summer after I graduated college I became a radio DJ. Now, the oldies stations play “classics” that I played when they were in the top 10 on the pop charts!

I commented to a hospital worker recently that I wished the TV there got a certain channel because it aired “Perry Mason” twice a day.

She said, “Who?” I said, “The TV show, 'Perry Mason'.” She said, “What?” I said, “The – you never heard of – the TV show, with Raymond Burr?”

She said, “Who?”

I almost said that Burr was the actor who starred in the first “Godzilla” movie, but was afraid she might react by saying something about Matthew Broderick. Besides, I was getting achy and tired and wanted her to leave so I could take a nap.

As often happens on such occasions, I recalled Mick Jagger singing [from “Mother's Little Helper”], “What a drag it is getting old.” That was released back in 1966, and Mick is still singing it today, so “old” doesn't seem to be holding him back much. Still, I wonder if he feels odd when he sings “Time Is on My Side” . . .

(Find Rick's previous columns Here!)