Peonies from CommercialSilk.com (review)

Peonies from CommercialSilk.com (review)

Based on the lovely, amazing, productive, and responsible women my daughters have become, I'd have to say I'm pretty good at growing girls.*

Based on the colorless condition of my yard year 'round, though, I'd have to admit I'm no good at all when it comes to growing gardens or flowery sorts of stuff.

Which stinks because I'd like to be one of those people who display colorful cut flowers throughout my home. Sure, I could regularly purchase bouquets from the florist, plop them in a vase, and add water, but that gets expensive. And the flowers die — even for folks who have a natural knack with flowers.

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Happy eyes for grandmothers and others: The new Signature Collection from Readers.com

Happy eyes for grandmothers and others: The new Signature Collection from Readers.com

Enter nearly any room in my house and you'll likely see a pair of reading glasses somewhere. Kitchen? Check. Bedroom? Check. In the study where I work? Of course. In the bathroom where even my magnifying mirror needs a bit of a boost? Yep.

I have lots of reading glasses because I need them for lots of reasons. I go through them so often — scratching, losing, or tiring of the style — that I buy only inexpensive ones, typically those that come in batches of four or more for a relatively low price.

So when Readers.com invited me to try out their new Signature Collection of handmade yet a smidgen higher priced readers free for review, it didn't take much

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Safe and warm: The HeatGenius Ceramic Heater from Honeywell

As I write this, it's snowy and 7 degrees with a "feels like" of -8 degrees. Outside.

Inside, here in my study where I write, it's a warm and cozy 73 degrees thanks in large part to the HeatGenius Ceramic Heater from Honeywell I received free for review.

Honeywell HeatGenius Ceramic Heater

The "in my study" part is important as it's not 73 degrees in the rest of my house. Doesn't need to be 73 degrees in the rest of my house because I'll be spending most of today right here, writing in my study. And the HeatGenius efficiently warms this space without me wasting energy...

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Tender, tasty, quick, and easy meals courtesy Cosori Electric Pressure Cooker (review)

Pressure cookers have intrigued me for nearly 50 years. They've also scared me that long, thanks to the monstrous meal-making machine that spouted steam and terror in my mom's kitchen as well as my grandma's decades ago.

I've always wanted to learn how to make meals with a pressure cooker. It just seemed that's what grandmas are supposed to do. Or at least try. But the idea the pressurized pan might go kabang has prevented me from giving such culinary craftiness a try.

Until now. Until I learned there's an electric — safe and kabang-proof — pressure cooker. Until I was offered the opportunity to review for free the safe, sturdy, and stylish Electric Pressure Cooker by Cosori.

 cosori electric pressure cooker

When I first unpacked and prepared my pressure cooker for cooking, my husband asked, "Are you sure that thing's not gonna explode?" Which confirmed that he, too, recalled pressure-cooker fears...

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ETEKCITY Digital Kitchen Scale: The key to perfect portion control

Portion control is key to a better bottom line, whether we're talking one's budget or body. Buying in bulk and portioning out pieces and servings saves money. Portioning out the correct serving sizes when gobbling goodies at snack time saves calories.

It takes a precise kitchen scale for perfect portioning, though, as eye balling just doesn't cut it. The ETEKCITY Digital Kitchen Scale — a handy dandy tool I recently received free for review — portions precisely, perfectly. Every time.

etekcity digital kitchen scale 

The sleek Digital Kitchen Scale has an 11-pound capacity and measures ingredients by grams, milliliters, pounds and ounces. It also has...

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Homestar Original Home Planetarium: Sega Toys moves stars from the sky to your ceiling

When my daughters were young, my husband and I used to take them camping to a family spot far from the city, far from city lights. One of our favorite activities while out in the wilderness was to stare up at the night sky and look for constellations and shooting stars.

homestar original

The Homestar Original Home Planetarium (which I received free for review) provides the same experience. For the most part. We can't build a campfire indoors, and we thankfully don't hear packs of coyotes off in the not-too-far distance. We do, though, see 60,000 twinkling stars — some of them shooting, even — plus constellations galore, right on...

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Send inspiration with Hope In A Box

Everyone has a friend or loved one struggling through a challenge of some sort or another. Everyone also has a time he or she faces struggles and sadness themselves.

Whatever the case may be, Hope In A Box can provide support and inspiration and serve as a reminder to those in crisis that God is with them through the suffering. The key is to Hang On Pray Everyday.

Hope In A Box is a creation of Romans 12 LLC, a Christian family business "focused on spreading H.O.P.E. (Hang On Pray Everyday). The unique products and gift boxes help encourage a struggling someone special (including oneself) stay strong in faith or find faith that has been lost or misplaced.

I received delivery of Hope In A Box free for review. My special gift came beautifully packaged:

hope in a box 

Inside was a...

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ASUS MeMO Pad 7 LTE tablet: A super tool for Intel's Family Skill Swap and more

Chances are your grandchildren know a whole lot more than you. At least about some high-tech gadgets and games and such.

You know a whole lot more than them, though, on other skills. Things like handicrafts and cooking crafts, playing musical instruments and more.

Considering the wealth of knowledge on their part and yours—albeit in different areas—how cool might it be to swap some of that knowledge, share those skills? Intel encourages grandparents to do exactly that by inviting a favorite youngster to swap skills between the generations.

Intel created an invitation for such swapping, something they call a Family Skill Swap. It looks like this:

Intel Family Skill Swap 

Click on that graphic for a PDF version you can print and pass along to a grandchild or two...

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