Updates on my Brydge wireless bluetooth keyboard and can I use my iPad 10.2 as a laptop?

I never thought that I’d be using my iPad as a laptop, however, when I think back over the years, that’s how I used it (sort of) did with my old iPad. I just didn’t purchase a keyboard. However, now that I’m typing this post on my Brydge Wireless Bluetooth keyboard, I’m left wondering why did I take so long to make the switch? I blame it on stubbornness. These days, I’ve been using my iPad for everything, and the Bridge wireless keyboard stays attached to my iPad. A few people have mistaken for a small laptop. It’s not. However, I used it exactly like my MacBook Pro laptop that I have. The only reason I have been logging onto my desktop computer is to rename pictures that my daughter or I take. However, I’m sure there’s an app available that will allow me to change the names of the images stored on my device. I just haven’t taken the time to look, but I will.

Perks of my Brydge Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard for the iPad

Pairing is a non-issue

You pair the Brydge to the iPad by Bluetooth. I must say, the pairing is seamless. It’s only disconnected a few times, in the months that I’ve had it and it was simply a matter of reconnecting.

Battery life is amazing

I use my device often throughout each day and I only have to charge the keyboard every two weeks.

Ipad + Brydge – I’m using it as a laptop

Initially, when I wrote this post (several months ago) I wasn’t planning on keeping my iPad for that much longer. I had every intention of giving it to my daughter and purchasing the iPad pro for myself, buying the Brydge keyboard and using that as my “laptop.” However, I’ve had more time to think about it and have decided to gift her with the iPad Pro. She has much more use for it than I do since she could use it for drawing. I do have a desktop computer, however, I still will purchase a laptop at some point for myself.

Dislikes with the Brydge Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard

There is no trackpad with the Brydge for the iPad. It’s there for the iPad Pro. I’ve been actively using it for a few weeks, and I’m getting accustomed to still swipe the iPad screen (for certain functions) instead of using a trackpad. Since I was using a keyboard, I was treating it like one, so initially, I was still going through the motions of using the trackpad. However, when I swiped, the only thing I was touching was keys! Fast forward until now? Gone are the days when I was catching myself “swiping,” the nonexistent trackpad. As mentioned the iPad Pro’s keyboard (step up from my iPad) made by Brydge does have that function. However,  other than that, thus far, I’m happy that I finally decided to purchase a keyboard for my iPad.


Birthday Baking: Homemade strawberry cake

It’s my daughter’s birthday. She’s 17! Wow, the time has gone by so quickly. I’ve been writing online longer than she’s been alive/ I’ve had this particular website since she was seven years old. At times, it seems like just the other day when I started this website. I have many things to be thankful for, and my daughter is definitely at the top of the list. I can’t imagine life without her. I’m blessed. I usually have to coax her to choose the things she might want.

For her birthday, I purchased a few items for her. However, her main “gift” was an American Express gift card. That way, she could buy whatever she likes.

What did she want to eat? Last week, after much coaxing, she told me that she would like me to make her a strawberry cake. She sent me a link for a cake recipe, and I spent last week (and part of this week) researching strawberry cakes, and I made it for her today.

My research was helpful, and I learned that cake flour is usually the best choice for baking ‘light and tender cakes’ because the flour is lower in protein than many other flours. The low protein enhances the crumbs delicate nature, and it also increases the softness of the baked cake.

Fresh strawberries were a must, and so those were picked from the garden. The frosting had homemade strawberry preserves whipped up into the frosting, and yes, I used my Ankarsrum 6230 mixer. It’s an excellent machine.

I had purchased the candles in March and had placed then in plain sight, my daughter never saw them, and her tradition is to keep her birthday candles. This evening, after the cake was put away, she took her candles.

It was a wonderful day. Because of the quarantine, she didn’t have any friends over. However, there will be time for that, and my daughter still enjoyed her day, which is all that matters.

I pray that my daughter continues to have excellent health, and I pray that she continues to show wisdom and know that I’m always here for her.

Happy Birthday Pretty Princess. I love you.


Treat yourself: Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Earlier today I made cinnamon swirl bread. With the leftover dough, I rolled the remaining dough into a log and made cinnamon rolls.

Just look at them? This is how the rolls looked before I placed them aside to rise? They plumped up a lot after they’ve proofed. I am torn?

Should I add frosting or not? We’ll see! As of this writing, the bread and rolls have been out of the oven for about an hour. I still haven’t made my decision to add frosting.

Homemade Veggie Pizza

We love homemade pizza!

Last week, I made a veggie pizza. I typically make my pizza dough in advance and let rise for at least 24 hours before making the pizza, however, that day was an exception.

I prepared the pizza the same day that I made the dough. I did make enough dough for two pizzas. I still haven’t made the other dough, so by the time I make it this week, the yeast from the dough will make an extremely flavorful pizza crust.

The total time it took to prepare the pizza was about 2.5 hours. The majority of the time was spent waiting for the pizza dough to rise. The pizzas I prefer don’t have sauce. Instead, I slice fresh tomatoes and add them directly to the pizza dough. I then add additional toppings.

With this pizza, I kept it simple and only added mushrooms, bell peppers, a small amount of cheese, and a tiny amount of Himalayan sea salt. The pizza was placed in the oven on baking steel and was baked at 550 F oven for 12 minutes. The baking steel combined with the hottest temperature that our stove can crank out guarantees a crispy pizza every single time. The results? My daughter loved it a lot.

Keeping the ingredients fresh (and simple) also means the pizzas we create will be flavorful and won’t last long. Take out pizza? No, I don’t think so. We much prefer homemade pizza.

Out with the old, in with the new: I bought the iPad 10.2

Saturday (May 2, 2020) I received a new iPad. I purchased the iPad 10.2 (2019 model, 7th generation) on Friday and received it the very next day. I’m a few months late for its release, but considering I had my original iPad since 2004, who cares? The only reason I’m replacing my much loved older iPad is that it had stopped doing standard functions that I have used it for daily.

I wrote about that iPad, on this website, a little over six years ago. I finally broke down and purchased an iPad since I realized that I did not have a limitless space to store my much-loved books. I also knew this meant that I would have to switch over to ebooks with the majority of my purchases moving forward. In fact, I wrote about it on this post titled, Four years later, I’ve finally purchased an Ebook reader.

I used that iPad a lot and really didn’t want to make an upgrade, even though in the past several months, it was increasingly showing me signs that it needed to be updated. When I tempted to update or add apps, I was unable to do so since my first iPad was now considered too old, and updates were no longer available. Sighs… Also, my iPad would randomly start freezing on me when it was in different applications. Last Friday I, discovered that I was no longer able to access iMessage, and a few other services tied to my Apple ID. I found that a bit odd since I was having no issues accessing these services on my other devices. This was the last straw for me, and I took it as a sign to upgrade. When I told my daughter what I’d done, she said, “It’s about time!” I’ll sit on my wants for a long time.

Initially, I was going to order the Apple Smart Touch keyboard, however, after watching a few reviews and realizing that the keys weren’t backlit, I canceled my order (also on Amazon) and went with the Brydge 10.2 Keyboard for Apple iPad (2019). The keyboard is aluminum and it received great reviews. I purchased it in gold. In fact, I’m using it now as I make the final tweaks to this post before publishing on Celebrate Life. Here’s hoping that I have many wonderful years with this new iPad.


Shelter in Place: Flour’s gone in stores, so I bought 50 pounds of flour

Wow, has our world changed in the past few months! Because of the coronavirus, shelter in place has been established in many places around the world, including my state here in the USA. I see a lot of businesses, either being temporarily closed or changing how they operate to adjust to the new guidelines that have been set. Where I live, we have a ‘shelter in place’ order, and so those who can work from home, others are being furloughed, and unfortunately, some have been laid off. I’m seeing all of these events happening at my job.

Naturally, with the number of people that have been furloughed or laid off, we see some shelves within grocery stores empty. It’s cheaper to prepare your own food at home. Also,  restaurants are closed for sit down meals (although some places are offering takeout services.) Grocery shelves are depleted of heat and serve meals, bread, flour, sugar, and yeast are also absent from the stores that I frequent. For home bakers, this is a new experience. The past several weeks, when I’ve ventured out to grocery stores, I haven’t seen any bread flour or all-purpose flour. Also, yeast is missing. Do you want to know what isn’t missing at the stores where I shop? Produce! Since that’s mainly what I purchase, I’ve been able to buy what I want. I won’t need to buy any product from the store once our garden is ready for harvest.

Back in March and early/mid-April, this didn’t affect me at all. I keep a sizeable stash of flour on hand. It makes sense with the amount it gets used in our home. However, I did start to get a bit antsy this week. You see, in addition to baking for my family, I’ve also been baking for family/friends. Because of this, my stash has dwindled more than normal. A few days ago, I looked in the freezer and realized that I only had ten pounds of bread flour left. I use several other types of flour also, and those are fine. However, bread flour is the main flour that I use for bread baking. However, baking for others (along with baking for my family) has added up quickly. So, instead of using three-five pounds of flour weekly, the minimum I’m using is eight pounds of flour.

When I was at the store this past weekend, and earlier this week, I’ve been looking to purchase a few bags of bread flour to replenish my stash. Nope, not happening. Those shelves are BARE. So, earlier this week, I went online and purchased 50 pounds of flour. To be honest, it’s something I’ve been toying with for a while. I store other dry ingredients in bulk, so why not flour also? King Arthur is the flour that I use for most of my flour needs and so it’s what I ordered. King Arthur’s ‘Special Patent Flour’ is their bread flour.

I ordered the bread flour from Webstaurant. I must say that I was impressed with the turn around time. It arrived yesterday.