Thursday, November 18, 2010

Charms with Southern Flare: Purple Turtle Porium's Sterling Silver Possum Charm

Adorable and skillfully detailed this unique possum charm adds southern flare to any design. This charm is crafted from genuine sterling silver with oxidized details. Underneath the charm is stamped 925 indicating the charm's content of pure silver. As with genuine Pandora charms, internal threads located inside of the charm allows it to be twisted onto a variety of European charm bracelets. Although Pandora did not craft this charm it fits on my Pandora bracelet perfectly. When twisting this charm onto to the bracelet it fits exactly the same as my Pandora charm (which is very impressive given the difference in price between the charms). It should be noted that both charms feel like they are the same weight when held in one's palm. This is important as charms that weight more than Pandora's charms could possibly damage your Pandora bracelet. Keep this in mind when purchasing charms that are not crafted by Pandora. The larger faceted bead is a free gift that Purple Turtle Porium sent along with my purchase. This bead is lightweight, yet very reflective adding a welcomed touched of sparkle to my bracelet.

What's a Possum?:

Opossums (commonly referred to as possums) are nocturnal omnivores commonly found in the United States (especially here in the south). Their name originates from the Algonquian word aposoum, meaning "white beast". This unique creature is the largest marsupial in the Western Hemisphere and has more teeth than any other land mammal. According to Wikipedia "Adult opossums do not hang from trees by their tails, as sometimes depicted, though babies may dangle temporarily. Instead, the opossum uses its tail as a brace and a fifth limb when climbing. The tail is occasionally used as a grip to carry bunches of leaves or bedding materials to the nest. A mother will sometimes carry her young upon her back, where they will cling tightly even when she is climbing or running. When threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. When playing possum, the lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the animal. This response is involuntary, rather than a conscious act. Their stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away. The animal will regain consciousness after a period of minutes or hours and escape. Opossums also have a remarkably robust immune system, and show partial or total immunity to the venom of rattlesnakes, cottonmouths, and other pit vipers."


About Purple Turtle Porium:
Based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada Ms. Joanne (the artist and mastermind behind Purple Turtle Porium) is committed to providing quality beads that will fit all styles of European charm bracelets. As a Pandora bead collector and a proud mother of two she is particular about the quality and safety of the beads she sells. Ms. Joanne states "I am very particular about the beads that I sell, and they must all pass a rigorous inspection." Purple Turtle Porium's policy is complete customer satisfaction. If for any reason a customer is not satisfied with their purchase a full refund of the purchase price is given. Aside from the cute design of the charm, this policy is what sold me on buying it. There are many online retailers making clams that their beads are compatible with Pandora bracelets, but often times they fail to deliver quality charms. Unlike other shops this one has a policy to keep this from happening.

Personal Opinion:
The quality of this charm is impressive for its price. Unless you are a Pandora Collector it is difficult to tell the difference between the genuine Pandora charm and the charm featured in this review. I am very pleased with my order, and highly recommend Purple Turtle Porium to all my friends. This charm is a wonderful gift for any country girl. For me this charm reminds me that no matter how much I have changed since my childhood, I am still deep down the same country girl that once trapped possums (in non-harmful traps) just for fun.

Where to Buy?:
Purple Turtle Porium's charms can be purchased online from and

Disclosure of Material Connection:
This review is based upon my purchase from Purple Turtle Porium. Review Time is not in any way affiliated with Purple Turtle Porium, I simply appreciate the craftsmanship and design of this charm. The opinions I have expressed within my review are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pandora the Modern Charm Bracelet: A Review of Pandora's Sterling Sliver Starter Bracelet

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Little Devil Designs: Sterling Silver Phoenix Charm

 An Original Design
Elegant and inspiring this lovely phoenix charm is a wonderful reminder of inner strength, transformation, and rebirth. Each charm is hand-crafted from .925 sterling silver, and hangs on a sturdy silver jump ring. Measuring 1.25" tall by .5" wide this charm can be worn on a necklace or charm bracelet. All of Little Devil Designs are nickel and lead free and are shipped in a velvet bag to protect from scratches during shipment.

What Makes this Piece Unique:
The quality of this charm is impressive for many reasons: 1. The charm features sturdy craftsmanship and has a nice heavy weight for its size. 2. Excellent details and shading on both sides of the charm, set off  the wings and body of the phoenix (this design is double sided with both sides showcasing excellent details) 3. The charm hangs from a surprisingly thick jump ring. (Which is something that I always appreciate.) 4. Most importantly this charm was hand-crafted by someone who cares about their craft, and uses the medium of silver to release their imagination and creativity.

Meaning of the Phoenix:
Mythical and sacred the phoenix is found in the mythologies of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese. The phoenix symbolizes inner strength, courage, transformation,  rebirth, and immortality. To learn more about the mythology and symbolism of the phoenix check out

My Personal Opinion:
Hand-crafted jewelry has always fascinated me, but until recently I never thought of reviewing a piece of jewelry. After some thought I feel that there is a true need for reviews of hand-crafted jewelry in order to help others choose quality pieces wisely, and know which craftsmen live up to their claims. That said I feel that Little Devil Designs is not only worthy of your time, but worthy of recognition among the blogging community. Such quality, craftsmanship and attention to detail is rare. I recommend this shop to anyone searching for quality hand-crafted jewelry.

Where to Buy?:
Little Devil Designs offers a wide variety of hand-crafted charms and pendents to choose from. Check out their shop at

ReviewTime is not in any way affiliated with Little Devil Designs, I just appreciate their craftsmanship and lovely phoenix design.

Jack Daniel's Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, Volume 1 By Lynne Tolley and Pat Mitchamore

 The rich tradition of southern cooking combined with the distinctive taste of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey gives an interesting view into the heritage of rural American cuisine.  This cuisine is elegantly captured in Jack Daniel's The Spirit of Tennessee Cookbook, which contains more than 350 recipes, stunning full-color photographs, and stories of the people, places, and traditions of Middle Tennessee.

Table of Contents:
   1. Drinks: pages 11-26
   2. Appetizers: pages 27-36
   3. Soups & Salads: pages 37-56
   4. Vegetables: pages 57-78
   5. Breads: pages 79-94
   6. Entrees: pages 95-118
   7. Outdoor Cooking: pages 119-130
   8. Desserts: pages 131-154
   9. Cakes and Pies: pages 155-174
  10. Accompaniments: pages 175-182
  11. Index 183

My Personal Opinion:
As someone is who is severely allergic to gluten, wheat, eggs, chicken, beef, soy, and certain types of fish I am forced to change many of the ingredients to fit my diet. I do enjoy these recipes but I can not say how they taste using the ingredients called for in the book as it has been years since I have tasted many of the ingredients. For example I always substitute flaxseed when eggs are called for in a recipe. A change such as this alters the flavor and texture of the recipe a great deal.  That said I enjoy this cookbook and recommend it to those who love good southern cooking.

Substitutes for allergy suffers:
Below are some ideas for those who have allergies to common ingredients. These are some of the ways I found to make the dishes in this cookbook eatable. 
  1. Flaxseed can in be used in most recipes to replace whole eggs, and the use of egg whites. (as long as the dish is not something mainly composed of eggs)
  2. Turkey can be used instead of chicken.
  3. Pork or deer meat can be used to replace beef.
  4. Ground turkey works very well in place of ground beef when making hamburgers.
  5. Gluten/wheat free corn flour can replace other types of floor though this takes a lot of trail and error.
  6. Premixed pancake or bread mixes can replace the use of normal flour. I always use one of the allergy free mixes found at Winn-Dixie as I find it hard to get the substituted ingredients to turn out right on my own. 
Where to buy?: