Where to Find the Best Gardens in the Shreveport Area


When you plan a trip to Shreveport, most likely you are coming for one of two things. Well, maybe both (who knows) and we are talking about the casinos and crawfish. However, there is more here then you may expect.

There is our new convention center and Bossier City Boardwalk. We have more then just all of the nightlife excitement and good Cajun food. How about a peaceful stroll around Shreveport’s American Rose Center or a nice trot through a 585 acre park?

To celebrate America’s national flower, Shreveport, Louisiana brings us one of the most beautiful display of roses in the nation. There are several annual events, especially around Easter. April 1 is when the garden opens for the spring. To celebrate Christmas and the beautiful display of lights, the American Rose Garden opens on November 27.

Throughout the year, there are many things that the garden celebrates. April 4-5, is the Easter egg hunt and festivities. There is a Mother’s Day banquet in May. Then a Father’s Day banquet in June, as well. In the fall, there is a Harvest Moon stroll. Of course the garden stays open to celebrate Christmas with a beautiful display of lights. You can smell apple cider in the air as well as funnel cakes.

It’s an enjoyable place for the entire family. To become a member, you get many benefits. Memberships range from $49 to $140. Not to mention, you are also supporting the park, as well. For details about the garden, please visit the site by clicking on the link in the resource box.

The Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center is another great place to learn about more then flowers.There is a conservatory where you will learn about many exotic plants. There is a patio, as well as a gallery where you can host an event, like a reunion or wedding. The fountains and view of the river are absolutely beautiful.

Only flowers and plants? Actually no! There is more here then that. How about a breath taking art gallery that is full of great works by many well known artists. There are also classes and workshops for many forms of arts. There is an Iris Annual Convention that is coming up April 25 and is free for everyone. That sounds like a nice and peaceful outing for the family. If this place sounds interesting to you, check them out at the link in the resource box.

Another wonderful place to take the family while in the Shreveport area, is the C. Bickham Dickson park. This huge park is about 585 acres with a beautiful 200 area lake. The family can enjoy a day of fishing or horseback riding. There is also a playground as well as a hay rides. This sounds like a lot of family fun. At the largest park in Shreveport, you may want to sit and admire the scenery while enjoying a nice picnic.

You will also find that the park is home to the Red River Education and Research department. There is always some sort of research going on there. For instance, currently they are researching the water quality. For full details on the park, you may visit the link to the right, in the resource box.

Becoming a member helps the organizations in keeping the gardens nice and goes for research and education of flowers, plants, art and the ecosystem. Not to mention, they are a place where you can take the family for not only fun and excitement, but education as well.

Vintage Game Board Tray Project


This is a fun craft project that you can use to add to the vintage décor in your home. It is perfect for hosting a poker night or even a little friendly game of rummy. Use the game board tray to carry cocktails on and you will really set a fun and festive game night mood. This entire vintage game board tray craft project should cost you less than $25. You can probably make the entire project in one day. Just a lot some time for the paint to dry.

To Make a Vintage Game board Tray Craft Project You Will Need:

Sheet of Plywood (Cut To You Game’s Size and Shape)
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brushes
Painters Tape
2 Drawer Pulls
Screw Driver
Sand Paper
Wood Stain
Rubber picture stoppers
Black Paint pen or White Paint pen

To start you have to decide what kind of vintage game board you want to copy. Chinese checker, backgammon, checkers, Candy Land, Monopoly, or what ever you want it fine. I made mine to look like a Chinese checkerboard.

Cut your tray to size. You can have the home improvement store make the cuts for you of you do not own a saw.

Sand the rough edges of the game board tray. Then apply a coat of primer.

Once the coat of primer has dried you can paint your game onto the board. I recommend stepping back and looking at your vintage game and seeing what is the main color of your inspiration game board. Paint your entire wooden tray that color. Once this paint has dried you can start drawing off other shapes or taping them off.

Games like backgammon and monopoly work great because they have so many straight lines.

Once the initial colors have been applied and are dry use a black or white paint pen to outline and add words and other details.

To age your vintage game board lightly rubs it with a fine grit sand paper. Use wood gel stain to rub into the board and make it darken and appear older.

Allow all paint to dry and then paint and entire clear coat of polyurethane on your game aboard. This will protect it form condensation and other water.

You can also use a tinted wood was to get the same effect as the stain, but do not paint the vintage game board tray with polyurethane. It will not stick to the wax.

Now, apply the handles. I like the measure out where the holes need to be, put a small dot with a pencil and then predrilled the hole with the drill. This will keep you board for splitting when you put the screws into it.

You can find great vintage looking cabinet hardware at almost any home improvement store. Pottery Barn, restoration hardware, Target, and even Wal-Mart all have great old looking hardware. You could also use stainless steel pulls for a modern and clean touch to you old game board tray craft project.

Finally, apply some rubber picture frame stoppers to the bottom of your game board. Put one in each corner. These usually are self-adhesive, so they just stick right onto the bottom of the game board tray.

If you want to add a little more protection to the game board you could have a piece of plexi glass cut to the same size as your tray. Drill holes where the handle goes. Lay the plexi glass on your tray then apply the handles a normal.

You can make this craft project out of a real vintage game board if you what to. Just add the plexi glass to protect the surface and screw on some handles.

Things to Keep Away from the Bathtub when Young Kids Bathe


I don’t think anything of it when the kids want to take a bath, I usually just show them the hot and cold faucets in the tub and let them know where the soap, shampoo and conditioner is and lay out a few fresh towels and let them splash around in the tub with reckless abandon. However, the younger kids have taught me a thing or two about what to put out of reach when you’ve got kids in the tub, and what to put out for them instead. 

Unless you want a 6 year old shaving their legs with your razor, it’s best to put that sucker away when they’re bathing. Also, remove the bar of soap so they don’t slip on it or pop it out of their fingers so it lands in the toilet. Instead, supply an anti-bacterial pumping hand soap for them to bathe with to avoid bathroom mishaps.

Take away the nice shampoo and conditioner YOU use, unless you don’t mind your expensive products being poured all over in the water so the kids can have a bubble fest after they get bored washing their hair. Supply a cheaper product (like VO5) or a kid’s shampoo and conditioner that you don’t mind them dumping out all over so you don’t have to replace your $40 bottle of shampoo after a half hour adventure in the tubby.

Supply water bath toys so the kids can have fun in the tub. I have little rubber ducks that the kids can play with, and grape bubble bath that keeps them from whining in the tub. I also take out my body wash, nice wash cloths (I replace them with older wash cloths) and put away my blow dryer and straightener so the kiddies don’t get any ideas about trying to blow dry their own hair when they finally do pop out of the tub. It also keeps them from getting water all over my plug in accessories.

Hide the body lotion. Trust me. It WILL end up everywhere. Keep hair gels, hair sprays, and perfumes out of sight as well, and for that matter, any feminine hygiene products unless you don’t mind seeing your tampons ballooned out in the sink like big white fish.

Check on the kids often to make sure they’re not up to mischief. If you hear thumping around in there you better check it out. I caught the 6 year old bathing the cat in the water once, towels scattered all over the place to dry the sprawling, freaking out cat with. There was a towel in the toilet as well that got dropped in there when she was reaching the towel rack and dumped all the towels over.

Basically, my new rule of thumb in the bathroom is to clear it out just like I do when I bathe my dog. Anything I don’t want drenched, knocked over, dumped out, or ruined I put away before the kids hit the tub. The essentials I provide for them now (after trial and error) is a single towel, a cup for rinsing and playing, bath toys, a pump soap, a bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, and an old wash cloth. I clear the counter space of anything that will draw interest and knock on the door every 5 minutes to check up on the adventurous bather. Putting up the toilet paper is a great idea as well if you don’t want a new sopping roll hanging off the holder. The less you have out on display in the bathroom when you have younguns bathing in there, the better off everyone will be.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver – Review


Have you been thinking about what to get your father, husband, or even brother for their birthday and have been pondering the thought of maybe getting one of those new Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shavers? If you have you might want to read this review to help make your decision on whether or not to buy the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver comes with a safe three stage cutting system with one fixed head to help you get a close comfortable shave while shaving either with water or without. It also has a pop up trimmer for trimming or shaving your mustache, goatee, beard, or side burns. The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver also comes with a rechargeable battery, a recharge electrical cord that plugs into an electrical outlet so you can recharge your electrical shaver, and a small black carrying case just incase you travel and need something to place your electrical shaver in.

Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver also allow you to shave dry or with shaving cream and water, but the choice is fully yours. However the males in my family still use shaving cream and water while shaving so they get that soft scruff free skin and they usually stick use their aftershave so their face wont feel dry and itchy. I guess when you shave dry it cause your face to be itchy and sometimes even peel after, so I would recommend to any of you who buy the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver to use the shaver with a good brand name of shaving cream and some nice warm water.

The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver is apparently easy to use with its on and off buttons that go up and down, and it becomes cordless when you don’t feel like having the cord attached when you shave. The battery in the electrical wet and dry shaver usually last around a half and hour and can be recharged in five minutes if you need to use it right away and the battery dies on you while shaving. However before the shaver dies it usually will alert you buy making a beeping noise and flashing a little red light that is built into it.

You can purchase the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver at Wal-Mart, Target, Wal-Greens, Rite Aid, Best Buys, and Sears. The Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver usually cost in between thirty to seventy dollars depending on where you buy and what sales are going on in the store you purchase the shaver at. However you can find the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver at a discounted price online at Amazon.com and the Ebay Store. However you may need the model number to get the exact electric wet and dry shaver that I am telling you about when you go and purchase it online or at a store and the model number is 4775.

I hope after you have just read the review on the Braun SmartControl3 Wet and Dry Shaver you have a better idea on how it works and whether or not to buy it for your loved one or not. I know when I bought it for my loved one they simply loved it. If you would like to read more about the Braun Smart Control Wet and Dry Shaver all you have to do is go to one of the links I have attached to my review and it will provide you will some more extra helpful information on this product.

Tech Review: Eureka Optima Upright Vacuum Cleaner


Vacuum cleaners have been around for a long time. Eureka has been one of the most popular brands almost since day one. The new Eureka Optima has all the quality and convenience of all the other Eureka uprights with a few extra advantages. It is smaller than most other uprights, but just as powerful. It is light weight and easy to maneuver. The round handle seems a little strange at first, but it’s easy to get used to.

The Eureka Optima doesn’t use bags. Have you ever been unable to vacuum because you were out of bags and the stores were closed? It can’t happen with the Eureka Optima. The wind tunnel pulls all the dirt, dust and particles into a clear plastic container that is easy to empty. The added advantage of having a receptacle instead of a bag is that if something gets sucked up that shouldn’t have been, jewelry or small change, for example, it is much easier to locate and retrieve that fighting your way through a dust cloud as you pour the paper vacuum bag out.

This fine little appliance also has a hose for all those places the rest of the upright won’t go. Convenience and power are the best reasons to buy a Eureka Optima. However there are other reasons as well. For example, it comes in a box for easier transport when you purchase it. It is simple to assemble. You can’t beat the price. The Eureka Optima sells at Wal Mart for under fifty dollars! Imagine, a vacuum with so many advantages at such a low price!

The Eureka Optima vacuum comes with a fourteen page instruction booklet, printed in both English and Spanish. Simple directions for assembly and instructions for maintenance are combined with warnings of how to use the Eureka Optima safely. For example, the booklet says not to vacuum up and flammable materials, use caution when vacuuming stairs, and check the cord every time you use it to be sure it isn’t damaged. There is also a section in the booklet about troubleshooting your Eureka Optima vacuum. It explains how to reset the brush roll, how to remove clogs, and how to clean the filter.

As with most appliances, the Eureka Optima comes with a limited warranty. Any damage that is caused by damaged or defective parts at the time of purchase is covered. If damage is caused in the normal use of the machine, however, Eureka cannot be held accountable. So, try to be as careful as possible and pay attention to maintenance.

I bought a Eureka Optima for my wife for Christmas this year. She used it to clean up after we took down the Christmas tree and was delighted with how quickly the job was done. The hose did a great job on the window sills and inside the couch and chairs as well. It gets into places the dust collects and cleans it right up. Our daughter has a Eureka Optima, too, and bigger messes to tackle. She has a dog, two cats, and two children that leave messes everywhere (not to mention hair by the truck load!) Her Eureka Optima needs the filter cleaned a little more often than ours will, but she uses hers every day and has never had a problem with it.

She Couldn’t Shake the Previous Nights Dream


She still couldn’t shake the previous nights dream. With everything going on in her life, the one negative was the miserable condo association and the horrible condition of her condo. Both her lakeside decks had been torn up for over 18 months due to rotten beams and joist. Prior to that, the entry deck had been torn up for 18 months as a result of a rotten beam. The only reason it finally got fixed is that she had advanced the Board of the Condo Association over $5000 to fix it. The county Assessor had reduced the evaluation of her condo by $200,000 over the past 3 years due to deferred maintenance on the exterior.

She was beginning to think the problem was hers. A sense of insecurity fell over her and try as she might, she was losing her own spirituality. There was a feeling of doom every time she came home. What would the next miserable email, phone call or letter bring? Maybe she should move to another location but where? She loved the view of the lake and the trees and the wonderful friends she had made.  

Then, she decided to go into town for a party with an organization she belonged to. When she arrived, there was an instant feeling of belonging, being appreciated. She was warmly greeted with lots of hugs and smiles. She felt better. The evening was full of fun and by the time she arrived home, she was thinking she was just fine. The problems were not about her but about a bunch of middle management men who never received the authority they thought they deserved in business. Condo Boards are magnets for power hungry, overblown egos. A successful, attractive woman owning the largest condo was a threat to their egos.

Checking her email there were greetings from around the world. People she had met through her travels. People she really enjoyed and respected. Being with them gave her a sense of accomplishment. They respected her. There were messages about recent events she had attended with international dignitaries and government officials.

Getting ready for bed she was reminded the wall of her bedroom, her sanctuary, and inner sanctum was all that divided her from the Board member responsible for all the problems with her condo. She shivered and said a little prayer asking for right and equitable solutions to the problems with her condo association.

The summer night was cool and a soft breeze came through the open door. As she drifted off there was the soft hum of a boat somewhere on the lake.

Around 3AM she was awakened by the nightly ringing of the door bell. Was it real or was it a dream? She didn’t know, but she was startled. She had been dreaming of being with friends. In her dream she was riding on the lake road with friends and as they passed her condo project, one of her friends pointed out the condos were shabby, the grounds were overgrown, there were foreclosure signs at the entry and three or four For Sale signs. Another friend said, “I’m so glad you got out of there. What a terrible mess that place is and it just gets worse and worse. What an eye sore on this beautiful lake.” Then, the ringing of the door bell.

She heated some water for tea then turned on the computer. She found the local MLS listings and made notes on the 5 or 6 properties in the immediate area within her budget. By 6AM she was showered and headed out the door with her list of properties. By 9AM she was back at the computer making appointments to see two of the properties.

The image of her condo project in her dream would not go away. It was an omen. A message. A sign to get out. The voice inside repeated, ‘Take your lumps and get out now.’

By noon she was in the house she knew would be hers. It needed work but it felt secure. The back deck actually had an ancient cedar tree growing through the floor giving the feeling of a tree house. There was a year-round stream flowing at the edge of the property. Sitting quietly, she heard the soothing concert from the bubbling stream and the birds in the forest. She felt a sense of peace and serenity in this place. It was a 40 year old, well built vacation home with a sturdy concrete foundation. It was priced right and with a little juggling it would be the perfect winter project and come next summer, it would be HOME!

God is listening. God does answer prayer. God speaks to us in a variety of ways. We just have to ask, listen and take responsibility.

Review: Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner


We have a large family – two parents, one child, 3 god-children who visit all the time, four cats, two dogs and a frog. My daughter has asthma and while the frog presents no problem the four indoor cats do. I did a lot of research for an upright vacuum cleaner that would be able to keep the cat hair out of the house as well as dust and dirt. I shopped and tried out different brands but the best that I found was the Dyson DC17 Absolute Animal Upright. It is certified asthma and allergy friendly according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. The system has a sealed design so that it picks up the dirt but only expels clean air back into the house. The bagless system with HEPA filtration and Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology made this a must for our house.

I was amazed at how clean my house looked after I used this vacuum. I had thought that my old vacuum was doing a good job but once I used the Dyson DC17 I saw the difference this machine can make. The Dyson DC17 captures 99% of dust particles as small as .3 microns and with the Level 3 Root Cyclone™ technology the system has continuous strong suction power. There is an extra motor in the power head to get the deepest dirt from carpets and furniture. The Quick-draw Telescope Reach™ wand allows you to have 16 feet of extended reach and is easy as pressing a button (it extends just by pressing the button and I love this feature). I use this wand to clean the tops of my curtains, the corners of my ceilings and any hard to reach area. Emptying the dirt is very easy and sanitary with the Clear Bin™ canister. A simple push-button trigger allows for quick, hygienic emptying so that you never come in contact with the dirt.

My system cost $550 but I have found this model now online for as low as $375 so it pays to do a little browsing online before purchasing. My Dyson came equipped with the 12-amp motor, a lifetime HEPA filter, has a 35-foot cord length, a 51-foot maximum reach, has auto carpet height adjustment, a mini turbine head, a low reach floor tool, the carpet care kit and crevice tool as well as the dusting nozzle amp; upholstery tool. All of this and a manufacturer’s 5-year limited warranty made my purchase very satisfying.

I have not had any trouble with my machine. I did find it a little difficult in the beginning because it was bigger than my other vacuum but after about a week I was running this machine all over my house and cleaning places that had not seen a vacuum in ages. I highly recommend this machine not only to homes that have pets but to anyone who appreciates a clean home and loves convenience.

Review – Hawthorn Suites at the Victorian Resort in Galveston, TX


The Hawthorn Suites is located at the Victorian Condo Resort on Seawall Blvd in Galveston, TX. My husband and I wanted a quick weekend getaway at the beach. But, with 2 small children our hotel choices were limited. We needed something with at least one separate bedroom, a kitchen, and a dining room table and all on the seawall. After 2 days of searching every single hotel on Seawall Blvd, I found the Hawthorne Suites. It seemed to have everything we needed and had tons more to offer as well.

The Hawthorn Suites is easy to find off of Seawall BLVD and 61st Street next to the Super Wal-mart. Upon entering the circle drive toward the entrance, the hotel appears to be reminisce of the east coast cap cod style homes and hotels from the 1900’s. At first glance I was extremely impressed and thrilled at the location and the exterior of the hotel. The lobby was not up to date and was small and reminded me of an old motel lobby area. The front desk employees were extremely nice and helpful. Very pleasant to talk to and helped with any questions. The hotel had been overbooked and sold out for the weekend. We were greatly surprised that they so graciously upgraded our room from a one bedroom to a two bedroom at no additional charge.

The room was pleasantly surprising. After seeing the lobby I wasn’t sure what to expect. There was a small foyer that lead to a very large kitchen and huge living/dining area. The kitchen was well equipped with a small refrigerator, stove top, sink, and dishwasher. There was also tons of cabinets stocked with cups, plates, dishes, and silverware along with plenty of counter space. Coffee maker with coffee and cleaning supplies also came in the kitchen. There was a large sleeper sofa, side chair, coffee table and armoire with a large TV that completed the living room area and a nice size kitchen table and 4 chairs set in the corner made a great place to eat breakfast. The balcony door was right off the living room and had a great view of the gulf. The oversized balcony had a small table and two chairs to enjoy the gulf breezes.

The two bedrooms in our condo were very spacious. There was actually a 3rd kids room off the front foyer. It was small but had bunkbeds and a small dresser. There would be perfect for kids. Since we were traveling with 2 small kids, the room was perfect size to house one of the 2 portable cribs. Plus, it gave our youngest son privacy during naps and bedtime. The secondary bedroom had a queen size bed, flat screen TV, dresser, ceiling fan and a view of the family pool. The master bedroom had a queen size bed as well and a flat screen TV. Huge dresser, large closet, and bay windows that overlooked the gulf of Mexico completed the room. Each bedroom had its own bathroom with an extra door from the 2nd bathroom to the living room.

The room supplied all the same amenities you would find in another hotel room such as tolietries and essentials. Towels, pillows, and extra blankets. The hotel also featured 2 huge swimming pools. A family pool complete with zero depth entry features a water drop mushroom, a floating alligator, water cannon bubbling jets to tickle your toes and an adult pool with a rock waterfall and surrounded by trees. The hotel also has 2 hot tubs, 2 picnic areas, and a fish cleaning station, tennis courts and a fitness center. The Hawthorn has cruise parking, a full hot breakfast buffet complete with waffles, eggs, sausage and more.

The Hawthorn Suites is just steps away from the sandy beach and warm gulf waters. Many restaurants and stores surround the hotel. It is in a great location. This hotel was perfect for our family. Each of our 2 boys had their own room and we had our privacy as well. Our night didn’t have to end at 8pm when it was lights out for the kids. We both agreed that when we return to Galveston, this was our hotel of choice. Perfect in every way. I could not say enough nice things about this hotel. Now, the hotel was undergoing some major renovation and restoration at the time of our stay. Even with this going on, we never encountered any problems with our room, the service, the food, or anything. The best part about the trip was sitting on our private balcony that overlooked the gulf after the boys were sleeping and enjoying the quiet and listening to the ocean waves. We had an awesome time.

Product Review of the Eureka Altima Turbo Bagless Vacuum Cleaner


I love my pineapple hued Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. I bought my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner at Wal-Mart for a very reasonable $79.88 before tax. It was neither the cheapest nor the most expensive bagless upright vacuum cleaner in the store. After comparing it to the other bagless vacuum cleaners on display, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner seemed like the most logical purchase. Moreover, its Good Housekeeping seal of approval along with Wal-Mart’s generous 90-day return policy made it a no brainer when deciding to bring it home and to give it a spin. On my return home, this is what I found.

1. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum with HEPA filter sucks up dust and dirt like no one’s business.

At 12 amps, this is a powerful machine. My husband and I marveled at the dust balls, hair and dirt that were collected after the first few sweeps over our carpeted living room floor. There is something immensely satisfying about seeing the dust and debris accumulate in its clear plastic canister.
Its HEPA filtration system, also, makes it an ideal vacuum for the allergy sufferer.

Furthermore, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has five adjustable settings for floor and carpet height. With one pass over our vinyl flooring in the kitchen, bathroom and entryway, it has made sweeping with a broom a thing of the past.

2. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum has cool accessories that make cleaning easier and fun.

The telescopic self-cleaning duster is a hoot. It is tucked into the narrow, clear canister on the side of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. You just twist the handle that sticks out of the canister and pull it out for use. The handle of the duster can extend out to 3 feet for high reach dusting. After use, stick the duster back into its canister and turn on the vacuum. When you pull the plastic lever located beneath the duster canister, dust is sucked right out of the duster and into the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum. This suction action also “charges” the duster with electrostatic electricity making it a virtual dust magnet for your next cleaning. Is that cool or what?

The Power Paw with Riser Visor is another nifty accessory that is included with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. This little attachment flips up and down for horizontal and vertical cleaning of stairs and upholstery. However, as much as I love my Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum, I have to admit that this 25 pound machine makes it too heavy and cumbersome to ergonomically clean a flight of stairs (Isn’t that why they invented the Dust Buster?). However, the Power Paw worked great cleaning the sides and seats of my upholstered sofa, ottoman and chairs.

The extra long crevice tool and wand is another great accessory of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It’s ideal for cleaning baseboards, corners and any narrow, hard to reach area such as between the refrigerator and wall.

The upholstery and dusting brush can be attached to the extra long crevice tool and wand for cleaning your more stubborn dusty areas that need to be vacuumed. I’ve used the upholstery and dusting brush on our computer keyboards, baseboards, fans and even the coils on the back of the refrigerator.

3. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner is a streamlined machine that makes cleaning quicker and more efficient.

All of the above accessories and attachments have their own separate compartments located on the vacuum cleaner itself eliminating unnecessary trips to the utility closet for different attachments and brushes.

Instead of unwinding a cord for operation, an easy cord release allows the user to quickly plug in the vacuum for use.

4. The scuff resistant furniture guard on the front and sides of the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner prevents damage and unslightly marks to your home and its contents.

This light gray rubber guard allows you to get amazingly close to the baseboards without any damage or scuff marks to the molding.

5. The Eureka Altima Turbo bagless upright vacuum cleaner’s no touch bagless system and non-pleated filter system makes it easier to clean.

To get rid of the dirt and debris that has accumulated in the plastic canister of the bagless vacuum, all one has to do is push a plastic slider to the right at the bottom of the canister, take it out and dump its content into a trash can.

Moreover, the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner has a flat surfaced, one-piece spongy filter that is more easily cleaned than its pleated counterparts. You can use warm water and mild soap when necessary to clean it, or you can just thump it a few times to get rid of the excess lint. The filter should be air dried before putting it back in its place.

There are only a few changes that I would like to see made to the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner. It would be great if it were a few pounds lighter and had a one and a half inch higher handle and a two foot extension hose that could be stretched up to 4 feet for cleaning drapes and cobwebs at the corner of ceilings. However, the accessories included in this bagless vacuum cleaner along with its powerful cleaning ability makes this bagless upright a truly exceptional deal. If you are searching for an all around, powerful bagless vacuum cleaner with a lot of bells and whistles without the bells and whistles price, you will be very happy with the Eureka Altima Turbo bagless vacuum cleaner.

Poker Party Food Ideas


I love to have small get-togethers. Any sporting event or card game is a reason to invite a few friends and bring out the food. For a Poker Party, I tend to stick to finger foods and snacks. I like to have several choices in amounts that allow for a small snack size serving for each person in attendance.

Let’s start with drinks. I don’t particularly like alcohol, so I always make sure to have a cooler full of ice and a good assortment of canned colas. I will usually have a 12-pack of each of the following: Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Diet Sprite, and Orange Soda. With this assortment I will have leftovers, so I don’t buy drinks for a couple of weeks.

On to the food!!!

My party menu consists of: Cheese/Rotel Dip and Tortilla Chips, Sausage Balls, Chicken Nuggets, Assorted Crackers and a Cheese Ball, Brownies, and Miniature Donuts.

The Cheese/Rotel Dip is made with Velveeta or a store brand equivalent and a can of Rotel Tomatoes. Since there are several varieties of Rotel tomatoes, you can choose just how hot you want to go. I use the regular Rotel. I also use a crock pot to make the dip. First of all, I cut the cheese into cubes. The cubes should be about 1 inch square. I use between ½ and ¾ of the large loaf of cheese. I place the cheese cubes in the crock pot with the can of Rotel Tomatoes and turn the crock pot on high. After about 20 minutes, I stir the mixture and continue checking it every 20 minutes (and stirring) until the cheese is completely melted. Then I turn the crock pot down to the “keep warm” setting. When serving, I let guests dip from the crock pot with a ladle. I place a bag of tortilla chips next to the crock pot for convenience.

Next on my menu: Sausage Balls. To make the sausage balls, I like to use my food processor. You can mix and knead by hand, but the food processor makes it a quick job. Take ½ pound of sausage (hot or mild), 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese -I like sharp cheese, and 1 ¼ cups of baking mix -I use Bisquick. Place it all in the food processor, turned it on hi speed, and process until the mixture is well blended. Once mixed, roll the mixture into 1 to 1 ½ inch diameter balls and place on a very lightly greased cookie sheet. I tend to use the spray kind for this. Bake the sausage balls at 350 – 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. This will vary from oven to oven. I like to check mine after 10 minutes and then keep a close eye on them until they are done.

For the chicken nuggets, I call Chick-Fil-A and order a nugget tray. It is a little pricey, but it is well worth it. You might want to call ahead to find out how much time is needed to prepare the tray. My local Chick-Fil-A just needs a 20 minute advance notice and I can pick up the tray from the drive-thru. How’s that for service?

I purchase a ready-made cheese ball from the local grocery store deli and place it in the middle of a serving plate or tray. I then arrange 2 or 3 different types of crackers around it. You can get creative here and try just about any cracker. Sometimes, I will get something I have never tried before and a dependable favorite. That way, I know that there will be something I like.

To finish up the snacks, I purchase a pan of brownies from the local grocery store’s bakery department and a bag or box of those wonderful tiny donuts off the shelf. I prefer the Hostess Donettes over other brands, but you can go with what you like. You may even have a special desert that everyone likes…fix it or purchase it ready made. There is nothing like having a good, dependable, tasty, sweet treat that everyone likes.

Last, invite those friends, put out the food and drink, add the plates, cups, napkins, straws and utensils -paper and plastic -we don’t want to wash dishes after the party, and party until you are partied-out! The menu can change depending on your likes. The main thing is that you enjoy time with friends and/or family and have fun!

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