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Simple things I learned this week…

Old Lady Gif

I learned a few simple random things this week that I thought I’d share.

  1. Kroger’s bottled brand generic Ranch Dressing tastes like Hidden Valley Ranch & it is a lot less expensive.
  2. Aldi’s hot sauce tastes like Franks to me, and is in the same size bottle at a fraction of the cost.  It makes good hotwings. Aldi’s has great prices on produce. Also, their generic brand Dill Pickles are good.
  3. Red’s all natural burritos are much more 2-3x more expensive than El Monterey’s, but they are worth it.
  4. Avocado oil is as good as argan oil to me for my hair, and it is GREAT on skin. It is also less expensive.
  5. It’s definitely worth it to upgrade the Android version on a smartphone. My battery is lasting a lot longer and the camera now works better.

I’ve been participating in Bzzagent’s Kroger’s Store Brands campaign, so I have been trying new generic foods and paying more attention to them. The salad dressing mentioned in this post though, was provided free directly by Kroger via digital coupon. If you’ve not signed up for Kroger’s Digital coupons yet, I do recommend it- they usually have a Friday freeby and occasionally freebies just show up in my account as well.Kroger.com I find it pays to always check the items under their SAVINGS tab.

Handbag Workshop by Anna M. Mazur – A Book Review

Handbag Workshop

Design and Sew the Perfect Bag
by Anna M. Mazur
Release Date: October 14, 2014

This book instructs the reader on several very varied and pretty purse styles. I learned a lot from the first time I got this book and merely flipped through it. When it comes to sewing, one of my main interest is purses and organizers. This book covers some very fashionable styles that when made with quality materials, look very stylish and fashionable.
Each style is pictured, with step by step instructions on how to construct the purse and get that look. Along the way, instructions on hardware, preparing and applying trim, grommets, snaps, zippers, and anything else that one might need to know in order to make a beautiful, stylish purse.

I don’t recall ever learning so much from a sewing book. The instructions are clear, simple, and easy to understand. I highly recommend this one, not only for those of us interested in making purses and organizers, but also for anyone looking to work with leather- a lot of these skills will translate to leather work and trim skills for costuming and Cos-play.

5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was provided an unfinished electronic galley copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

How to be Irresistible (Agent Provocateur) – A Book Review

How to be Irresistible (Agent Provocateur)
the art of seduction
-by Dorcas Pelling

When I first got this book, I took it seriously. I was going to learn the art of seduction.  Maybe, somehow, in my nearly 50 years, I’d missed something vital. Maybe, just maybe, I could find some little bit of whammy to throw at my husband to get him acting all nervous and giddy again.

I started reading the book. My inner dialogue went like this:
“Ok…..ok….hmmmm…..ok….ok…..hmmm…..DO WHAT?….WHAT THE &*#@*!”

From the everyday, oh, ho-hum, to the dangerous advice like ‘Don’t just give him your number – Write your number on your thong and slip it in his pocket.’ (paraphrased)

Only then did I realize that this book is just plain funny . I laughed the rest of the way though it.  Then after I’ve finished it, I reflect- with a bit of insecurity- that maybe the joke is on me – I hope it’s a comedy. Surely it’s a comedy.  Yes, it must be.  I hope.

Well, in any event, my thong wearing days are over. My husband is more likely to respond to tonight’s menu than my phone number, which is also his for many years now. Still, I somehow don’t think writing tonight’s dinner menu on my granny panties will get any sort of reaction that I might find complimentary.

I do think this book might be a wonderful present for someone recently divorced or thrown back into the dating scene that needs a bit of cheering up. It certainly made me smile.

Disclosure: I was provided a time limited e-copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

3 stars
 

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork.. (Book Review)

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork:The Comprehensive Photographic Guide to Humane Slaughtering and Butchering
by Adam Danforth

This book is EXACTLY what you need if you have never butchered an animal before and are faced with that task. I had occasion to butcher several roosters in the past. I had been sold 5 roosters instead of the 5 hens that I had been advertised. When they grew up, it got very noisy around here! I thought about giving them away, but knew that they’d be either fought or butchered. I know that roosters ARE fought here, although I don’t think it is legal, and I didn’t want my roosters to end up in the ring. I also saw how the poultry are treated by a lot of people that eat them – I’ve seen many people pick them up by their wings, often breaking them -trying to judge their weight. I decided if my roosters were going to become food, it would be done at my own hand and humanely.

I was so lost – I read a lot of books and did a lot of research, but I didn’t find ANYTHING – book, video, or otherwise, as helpful as this book by Adam Danforth. Adam tells you everything you need to know. The book explains the composition and science of muscle, humane butchering, and processing the carcass. Well, you can find some of that elsewhere, even free, online, but what I couldn’t find was solid information on aging the meat, really practical, need to know things like how rigor mortis works, and ways to make processing more pleasant for you. (Because I found no pleasure in it at all! It was really nasty work, but if I’d had the information in this book, I could have greatly reduced that, and had more tender meat!)

The book is full of pictures and easy to understand directions, as well as more detailed and scientific rationales that will help you understand not just the HOW TO, but the WHY TO.

Well, to finish up my personal story, I just could not eat those chickens. I ended up giving them to a neighbor who traded me a quarter of a deer for them. We learned an important lesson too – we’ll never buy another chicken from anyone, even a nice retail establishment that should know better- unless they are old enough that we can visually sex ourselves.

Disclosure: Disclosure: I was provided a time limited e-copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

Fox Talk by LE Carmichael- A Review

Fox Talk

How Some Very Special Animals Helped Scientists Understand Communication

by LE Carmichael; illustrated by Jody Bronson
Ashby-BP Publishing
Pub Date: Aug 25 2013

This is such a cute book, but it doesn’t pull punches when it comes to science! I suppose that is what I liked most about it. I learned a lot, and I’m sure children will as well.

I know when my son was young, I was very frustrated by kid’s books that I felt dumbed down science. I wanted books that didn’t pull punches, but that were considerate of children’s vocabulary deficits. This book doesn’t pull punches, and it teaches strong vocabulary carefully, giving explanations along the way. I LOVE that!

The book is about foxes in general, and then leads more specifically to a discussion about an experiment in Russia to tame foxes. In just a few generations of selective breeding, wild foxes grew more and more tame, and finally were tame and playful. The book talks about what they are like naturally, and through the process. It discussed Fox communication as well. It was very interesting that the most playful foxes had the tamest offspring!

I think this is a good selection for smart children that are interested in biology and science. The book really supports evolution too, in my opinion. It shows how in just a few generations of selective breeding, the captive foxes began to have more and more domesticated offspring.

The book has a lot of scientific terms, but it explains them all well in a manner that kids will understand. It could potentially launch a ton of conversations on evolution, the scientific process, animal husbandry, genetics, Russia, and more.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the text at all, and I loved the pictures of the foxes playing. The book gave the foxes names, which children will relate to. I found it delightful and intelligent.

Disclosure: I was provided an unfinished electronic galley copy for purposes of review via the publisher. This post does contain an affiliate link, however, Amazon has helped me arrange my account so that my payout can never be reached. I like the affiliate tools for the convenience only, it is never my intention to profit from my reviews of any item.

5 out of 5 stars