Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

My 10 Best Product Reviews of 2022 Revisited

Last year I published 18 in-depth, personal product reviews here on Review This Reviews. As I was looking back at them recently, I decided to revisit and share my 10 favorite products that I reviewed in 2022.

My 10 Best Product Reviews of 2022 Revisited
Check out the best products I reviewed in 2022 to find some great buys in 2023!

My Top 10 Product Reviews From 2022

I hope the reviews I've chosen to highlight in this "best of 2022" collection will help you find some new favorites of your own, as well as some terrific gift ideas for others to enjoy.

My Favorite Fashion Product Review

VIKIDEER Microfleece Lined, Ultra Soft Lambskin Leather Touchscreen Gloves

Winter here in New England is long and extremely cold. These VIKIDEER microfleece-lined, ultra soft lambskin leather touchscreen gloves keep my always-chilly hands and arms warm and cozy, even when I need to pull out my mobile phone, Kindle or other touchscreen device.

VIKIDEER long, warm, lined, lambskin leather touchscreen  gloves
VIKIDEER Elegant Winter Black Long Leather Full Touchscreen Gloves for Women

They're also long enough to prevent any gap below the hem of my coat sleeves when I bend or raise my arms, so they stay nice and toasty even in the chilliest weather. Any woman who lives in a cold climate would love to receive these as a gift!

Check out my in-depth review of these Long, Lined Leather Gloves - A Luxurious, Affordable Gift She'll Love.

My Best Gift Review for Music, Audiobook and Podcast Lovers

SHOKZ OpenRun Pro Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones

My husband and I love listening to audiobooks or music while we are doing chores, relaxing, traveling, etc. We both love our SHOKZ bone conduction Bluetooth headphones and wear them all the time.

Man wearing SHOKZ OpenRun Pro bone conduction Bluetooth headphones
SHOKZ OpenRun Pro Open-Ear Bluetooth Bone Conduction Sport Headphones

He first introduced me to bone-conduction Bluetooth headphones several years ago, and I've never looked back! Bone-conduction headphones use a technology that transmits sound vibrations along your cheekbones instead of through the air into your ears. It's great for someone like me, who has difficulty with ear buds, and for my husband, who has itchy ears and doesn't like anything in or against them. 

SHOKZ is the undisputed leader in bone conduction headphones. They make a variety of styles, but our favorites by far are the OpenRun and OpenRun Pro, which are both ultra lightweight. In fact, I often tease my husband about his SHOKZ bone conduction headphones being permanently grafted onto his head, since they are so comfortable that he forgets he's wearing them and almost never takes them off during the day, even when he's not listening to anything through them.

Learn more about why we're such hugs fans in The Best Bone-Conduction Bluetooth Headphones Review: Shokz OpenRun Pro.

My Best Gift Review Pick for Recipients Who Are Hard to Buy For

DuraTech Tool Roll Organizer With 21 Pockets

My husband enjoys working on cars, scale models, and model trains. As a result, he has several collections of prized hand tools for both automotive and hobby use. Keeping not only his wrenches and sockets but also his fine precision tools organized and well protected is a high priority for him. 

DuraTech tool storage organizer - rolled up and latched

After considerable product research, I chose this attractive, durable, well-designed and well-made DuraTech tool roll organizer as a Christmas gift for him and he absolutely loves it. 

Here's a view of the interior, filled with his precision hand tools, including fine nippers, needle nose pliers, precision tweezers and X-ACTO knives:

DuraTech tool roll organizer, unrolled to show tools stored inside
DURATECH Tool Roll Organizer, 21 Pockets Tool Bag Roll

I'm planning to buy one for myself for my most-often-used jewelry making and crafting tools.

Find out more about why this makes such a terrific gift for anyone who relies on hand tools for hobbies, models, automotive repairs, etc. in my review of The Best Tool Roll Organizer To Store & Protect Your Tools.

My Best Health Product Review

Dnsly Ultrasonic Toothbrush Set With Travel Case and Extra Brush Heads

I've been using top name brand ultrasonic toothbrushes with fancy features from Oral-B and Philips Sonicare for most of my life. A few months ago, however, I switched to this much more affordable and equally effective Dnsly ultrasonic toothbrush set with a choice of five brushing modes (White, Clean, Sensitive, Polish and Massage). It also has ultra soft bristles that protect my gums from erosion as well as compact brush heads and an interdental brush that make it easier to get into hard-to-reach spots. 

Dnsly electric toothbrush with travel case
Dnsly Sonic Electric Toothbrush with 5 Modes, 2-Minute Smart Timer, 8 Brush Heads, 1 Travel Case

The set I purchased includes a hard, fitted travel case, a clear plastic brush head cover (so you can toss it in your purse or briefcase without carrying the travel case) and seven brush heads, in addition to the tiny, pointed interdental brush. You can brush twice a day for 30 days on a single 4-hour charge, which makes it perfect for travel! 

Check out this affordable, high quality set in my product review of The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush.

My Top 3 Kitchen Product Reviews

I enjoy cooking and baking, but not washing dishes. Three of my favorite product purchases for 2022 were kitchen items that have made our time spent prepping, making good food and cleaning up more efficient and enjoyable.

Adjustable Stainless Steel 3-Tier Over Sink Dish Drying Rack

The first was this fabulous three-tier 304 stainless steel dish drying rack that has gotten all our nonstick cookware, bakeware, oversized items (like the Vitamix blender jar and the large cake storage box in the photo) and other hand washable items off our countertops. (This large-capacity drying rack also comes in a smaller, two-tier version.)

Boosiny stainless steel, 3-tier over sink dish drying rack
BOOSINY Adjustable 3-Tier Over Sink Dish Drying Rack, 304 Stainless Steel

We love the adjustable-height shelves and moveable accessories, such as the hanging hooks, utensil holder, cup hooks, soap/sponge tray and cutting board holder, that we can configure to our needs and preferences. With the limited counter space in our old galley kitchen, this over-the-sink dish drying rack has been a godsend! And the convenience of being able to simply hang items to drip dry after hand washing them means we save electricity by running our dishwasher less often.

Read my full review of The Best Large, Sturdy, Adjustable, Over-the-Sink Dish Drying Rack to learn more about why it is one of my favorite product purchases of the past year.

Mueller Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Blender, Electric Whisk and Frother

My second favorite kitchen purchase from 2022 is this awesome Müeller Ultra-Stickmulti-purpose hand blender with a heavy-duty 500-watt copper motor and brushed stainless steel body. The comfortable handle with an ergonomic, non-slip grip makes this hand blender a pleasure to use, and the powerful motor offers 9 speeds and a Turbo Mode for a burst of extra power when needed.

Müeller Multi-Purpose Ultra-Stick Hand Blender model MU-HB-02
Mueller Ultra-Stick 500 Watt 9-Speed Immersion Multi-Purpose Hand Blender

The three attachments make this three, high-quality, small kitchen appliances in one: an immersion blender, an electric whisk and a milk frother. We use ours all the time for blending soups, making fresh whipped cream and frothing milk for our coffee (or making frothy bulletproof coffee or silky-smooth hot cocoa).

Read my detailed review of The Best Powerful, Lightweight Stick Blender With Versatile Attachments.

Astercook 15-piece German Stainless Steel Kitchen and Steak Knives Set With Wooden Storage Block

My third kitchen product purchase from last year that my husband and I have really been enjoying is our Astercook kitchen and steak knives set.

Astercook 15-piece stainless steel kitchen and steak knives set in a wood storage block
Asktercook 15-piece German high-carbon stainless steel kitchen & steak knives set with storage block

This 15-piece set includes an acacia wood knife block fitted with a full set of the most useful kitchen knives, including an 8" chef knife, 8" slicing knife, 7" santoku knife, 8" serrated bread knife, 5" utility knife and a 3.5" paring knife; a set of six 4.5" serrated steak knives; a pair of kitchen shears with a handy built-in bottle opener; and a sturdy sharpening steel for honing the sharp, German stainless steel blades to keep them "in good nick." 

My husband and I have been extremely pleased with the quality of these knives, especially considering the extremely low price (less than $45 as of this post's publication date)!

Learn more about this excellent, inexpensive knife set that would be a great addition to any kitchen, and a welcome gift for anyone outfitting their first kitchen, in my in-depth review of The Best Affordable, Super Sharp Kitchen and Steak Knives Set.

My Favorite Low Carb and Keto Food Reviews

Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs Per Slice

My husband and I both love high-carbohydrate foods like breads, rolls, cookies, cakes and pizza. We have chosen to cut back substantially on both carbs and highly processed foods because of the health benefits we have both noticed when we eat a very low carb, largely whole food diet. Even though my husband is quite slim and has to make sure he eats enough calories to avoid losing weight, we both have experienced significant improvements in mental clarity and focus, reduction in joint pain and inflammation, and other health benefits by eating this way. However, neither of us is willing to give up our favorite foods, so I invest time and effort researching, trying out and evaluating healthy, low carb alternatives for foods like pizza crusts and burger buns.

I have tried several low carb pizza crust mix products and recipes, and one of my favorites so far is Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix. 

Pizza made with Scotty's Everyday Keto Pizza Crust Mix

One of the reasons is convenience, since this mix calls for only olive oil and water, both of which we always have on hand. Others include speed (just mix, roll and bake), fairly clean, healthy ingredients), high in dietary fiber, low in calories and 0 net carbs per slice, and a surprisingly good taste and texture considering the nutritional profile.

This mix makes a pizza crust that, unlike some low carb options, is crisp on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and sturdy enough to pick up and eat with your hands. We love being able to eat pizza for dinner once a week again and have fun changing up the toppings to keep things interesting.

Check out my full review of The Best Keto Pizza Crust Mix With 0 Net Carbs including some of our favorite low carb, keto friendly pizza toppings.

KetoBakes Best EVER Sandwich Buns Keto Bake Mix

My husband makes the best burgers and, for many years, we have had a tradition of him making his special Friday night burgers (or, as we like to call them, Friday night "burglars") to celebrate the end of the work week and kick off the weekend. Although some people enjoy using lettuce as a burger wrap, we much prefer ours on a nice, soft, lightly toasted bun. And, although we love Natural Ovens Bakery Keto-Friendly Buns and often keep a few bags in our freezer, they contain a few ingredients that aren't strictly "clean keto" and are not gluten-free.

So, unless I'm pressed for time, I prefer baking fresh burger buns using KetoBakes Best EVER Sandwich Buns Keto Bake Mix, which lives up to its name as far as keto-friendly buns are concerned.

KetoBakes Best Ever Sandwich Bun Mix
KetoBakes Best EVER Sandwich Buns Keto Bake Mix

This mix has clean ingredients, the same ones I would use if I were baking keto buns from scratch, and makes soft, pillowy, yummy buns that are perfect for burgers or sandwiches. They also freeze beautifully, which I do in my favorite Stasher reusable silicone 1/2 gallon food storage bags, which open and seal incredibly quickly and easily (I love them!). 

Get the 411 on this excellent baking mix in my product review of The Best Low Carb Keto Sandwich and Burger Buns Mix.

ChocZero Regular and Dark Cocoa Hazelnut Keto Spreads and Livlo Zello Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

These low-carb chocolate hazelnut spreads with no added sugars offer three excellent, healthy (and keto-friendly) alternatives for people who love Nutella.

ChocZero and Livlo ZELLO keto chocolate hazelnut spreads
ChocZero Dark Cocoa Hazelnut Keto Spread, Livlo Zello Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spread and ChocZero Cocoa Hazelnut Keto Spread

I've provided a detailed side-by-side comparison of the flavor, size, price, nutrition facts, ingredients, dietary restriction / special diets information and other considerations in my review Comparing the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads - No Added Sugars.


I hope this recap of my 10 favorite products that I reviewed in 2022 helps you find some gift ideas or new favorites of your own for the coming year.

Wishing all our Review This Reviews readers and my fellow contributors a healthy, happy, peaceful and prosperous 2023!


My 10 Best Product Reviews of 2022 Revisited 

by Margaret Schindel


Read More Fashion Reviews From Our Contributors

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Read More Kitchen Product Reviews From Our Contributors

Read More Low Carb & Keto Diet Reviews From Our Contributors

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Long, Lined Leather Gloves — A Luxurious, Affordable Gift She'll Love

With the winter holidays fast approaching, many of us are starting to think about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas gifts for teachers, friends, family and other loved ones. Gloves are traditional and practical gifts, but not always exciting. A gift-worthy pair needs something special, such as a pretty color or luxury materials, to make the recipient's eyes light up when they unwrap their present.

The long lambskin leather touchscreen gloves I bought myself a couple of years ago are beautifully made, have a soft, plush lining, look and feel much more expensive than they are and keep my hands and arms toasty warm during the cold winter months.

I'm sharing my in-depth product review of these yummy, extra-long, warm winter gloves that would make a luxurious and surprisingly affordable gift idea for the women on your holiday shopping list.

Soft lambskin leather long, warm winter gloves with cozy plush lining
Beautiful VIKIDEER long leather lambskin gloves with a soft, warm, plush lining that are also touchscreen compatible to work with your mobile phone, tablet or Kindle

Here in New England, winters are long, snowy and bitter cold. Even when I lived in New York City, I always purchased warm winter gloves that extended several inches above my wrist. However, once I moved to the Boston area I found that they weren't long enough to protect my forearms from the bite of the arctic winter wind, which forced its way inside my coat sleeves every time I bent my arms to take something out of my purse, such as a tissue or bus fare, or use my phone.

I have always had a weakness for high-quality, cashmere-lined lambskin leather gloves. I had several pairs, purchased when I still lived in Manhattan and long before I got my first mobile phone, that were still in great shape. However, in addition to not being long enough, they also weren't touchscreen compatible. So, when I used public transportation to get from our house in the suburbs into Boston and back, every time I wanted to check the status of the bus I was waiting for, listen to my audiobook, check my email, text or phone messages, call a taxi, etc., I had to remove my right glove and expose my hand to the freezing cold.

I tried a pair of long, knitted cashmere gloves similar to, but a bit shorter than, these long cashmere blend touchscreen gloves. Although they were long enough to protect my forearms when I bent my elbows and allowed me to keep my hands covered while using my phone, they weren't warm enough for my needs.

Eventually, however, I found my current pair of well made, very warm, long leather gloves with touchscreen compatible fingertips. Jackpot!

What I Love About VIKIDEER Long, Lined, Warm Lambskin Leather Gloves

Here are some of the reasons I recommend these excellent quality, surprisingly affordable VIKIDEER lined, long, warm leather gloves for yourself or as a gift.

Buttery Soft, Supple, Genuine Lambskin Leather

These feel deliciously smooth, soft and luxurious from the moment you take them out of the box.

Pair of long brown leather winter gloves with one cuff turned back to show plush fleece lining
The silky soft, plush polyester fleece lining of these winter gloves keeps hands toasty warm

Warm, Plush Lining

The genuine leather shell, silky soft polyester plush lining and windproof, close stitching keep even my temperature-sensitive hands toasty warm during our cold, snowy, windy New England winters.

Long Enough To Protect Forearms Against the Wind

I bought these luxurious leather gloves in the three-quarter length (15.5" long), which covers most of my forearms, so when I bend my arms there's no gap where skin is exposed to the cold or wind. These warm winter gloves are also available in a longer elbow length (19.6" long).

woman wearing coat with arm bent to show long leather gloves covering forearms
Even when I bend or raise my arms, my forearms stay warm covered by these long winter gloves

Choice of Four Colors

Both the 15.5-inch and 19.6-inch lengths are available in Black, Brown, Champagne (which I would call tan or saddle brown) and Red. I bought the 15.5-inch long gloves in the rich, dark chocolate brown to go with my faux fur-lined microsuede hooded coat. I'm also planning to buy a black pair to go with my nearly ankle-length, black, hooded down coat, which I wear on the coldest days.

High Quality, Made to Last

The materials and workmanship make them durable and wear resistant. The lambskin leather also becomes even softer and more supple with wear and gradually conforms to the shape of your hands over time.

After wearing mine frequently throughout two frigid Massachusetts winters, the leather as well as the fleece lining and stitching have all held up beautifully.

Touchscreen Compatible

These may look like traditional, high quality, warm leather gloves, but there is a hidden feature (probably conductive thread stitching or fabric between the lambskin leather shell and the soft, cozy plush lining) that also makes these touchscreen gloves. I love being able to use my mobile phone, tablet or Kindle while I'm on the go without having to remove my gloves (especially since it is harder to put a long glove back on while wearing a long-sleeved winter coat).

True to Size

These are sold in small, medium, large, extra-large and extra-extra large sizes rather than numerical glove sizes. I ordered the medium, which equaltes to my usual glove size 7, and found that the fit is true to size. At the time of this post's publication, 88% of Amazon buyers who rated the fit of these gloves also said they fit true to size.

Here is a size guide to help you choose the best fit for yourself or your gift recipient:

Small (6.5)

Medium (7)

Large (7.5)

X-Large (8)

XX-Large (8.5)

Attractive Gift Box

These beautiful, warm winter gloves arrive in an elegant tissue-lined gift box with gold embossing, ready for holiday gift giving. Just add wrapping paper and a bow!

A Fantastic Value

These plush lined, genuine lambskin leather gloves look, feel and last like pairs that cost much more. The gift box is a lovely, unexpected bonus.

Luxury Gifts for Her at An Affordable Price

You won't find more elegant, luxurious, well made and affordable gifts for women for less than $37 for these 15.5-inch, three-quarter-length lambskin leather gloves. Even the longer, 19.6-inch elbow-length gloves cost less than $40.

They would make excellent Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Christmas gifts as well as birthday or Valentine's Day gifts that the lucky recipients will enjoy and appreciate for many years to come.

Consider a Pair For Yourself

These high-quality warm winter gloves are as practical as they are pretty. If yours don't have touchscreen compatible fingertips or you're tired of having cold hands in the winter, consider treating yourself to a pair of these beautiful, long-lasting, affordable, long leather gloves. You deserve to have warm hands this winter, too!


Long, Lined Leather Gloves — A Luxurious, Affordable Gift She'll Love by Margaret Schindel


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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Reviewing Warm, Wearable Oversized Hooded Blankets.

 


I absolutely love my warm Kudd.ly oversized hooded blanket!! I have never had one before but this year with energy bills rising fast and watching how much we put the heating on this autumn and winter we needed other ways to keep warm. 

We bought the Kudd.ly hoodie brand which I would recommend,  but there are many different companies selling them now. So it is best to see what is available to you and what is important to you. 

These hooded blankets are really great. They are generously oversized and have a hood and arms with plenty of room. The length for an adult, clearly depending on height, is generally mid thigh to around knee length or a bit longer. 

You simply pop it over your head and it is a massive cosy, warm cover-up. This means that it is easy to relax on the sofa with it on and also you can easily move around the house while wearing it and keep warm, unlike a blanket that slips off or trips you up.  


Our Kudd.ly is made of plush soft polyester on the outside and sherpa lined and thus very warm and soft to wear. The hood goes right over my head so plenty big enough if you find you need that extra warmth.

We mainly wear them first thing in the morning when having our breakfast and coffee and in the evenings once we settle down to watch a film or read or go on the internet. I do wear it when I am working from home though probably not for a work Zoom Call although I have come close when I forgot I was wearing it!! 

Once it gets much colder in winter I can see us wearing them during the day when we are at home. 


Sizing Of The Wearable Hooded Blanket

Ours is one size fits most people. Most of the hooded blankets I have seen are one size fits most. They are not designed to be form-fitting or even neat fit but rather a great big oversized cuddly wearable blanket. 

As an example, It fits both me at 5 foot 8 inches tall and my 6 foot 2 inches, tall husband, with room to spare and is plenty big enough in all measurements. 

If you are buying a different brand it is just best to check how big it is and how it fits.  

Many brands also do children's sizes so best to check what is the most suitable for your child. 



Benefits Of Wearable Hooded Blankets

  • It really does keep you very warm. It can be worn over anything so day clothes, dresses and PJs or just over a vest top or T shirt.
  • It is long enough on most people to either wear with trousers, joggers or PJs or leggings or if you are warm enough on its own.  
  • It is not size specific so once you have one it doesn't matter if you gain or lose weight and is especially useful when buying for teenagers who can wear the adult versions and still wear it as they grow taller.
  • Clearly, it will depend on height but for many adults, an adult size will probably be around mid thigh to knee length or slightly longer. So for most adults you are not in danger of tripping up over it when walking around or going up and down stairs like you would if walking around with a blanket around your shoulders with the danger of it slipping off.

  •  

  •   On children it will depend on their height and probably best to buy a child size specific hooded blanket. I would probably aim for no longer than just below the knee or maybe mid calf length for a child to be safe walking around in it. Many older teenagers would be fine in an adult version. 
  • It looks good and covers you up, so you can certainly open the door to delivery drivers or neighbours without worrying you look like you are in your night clothes at 7pm!




  • These hooded blankets come in many different colours and designs for both adults and children so it is matter of choosing your favourite. There are block colours, patterned designs, tie dye designs, children and teens designs in fun and funky designs or with animal features. The Sherpa fleece inside is very soft and usually white. 
  • The massive kangaroo-type pocket at the front is great for carrying around all those little bits and pieces! It's also great for keeping your hands very warm

  • I think they are suitable for everyone from men to women, older children to elderly people. 
  • On a cold day or night, you just feel so warm and cosy and cuddly which is a great feeling! 
  • If you don't need to wear them for example in the warmer weather, they come in a great bag that they can also be stored in. 
  • As you are so warm and they are much warmer than normal jumpers or sweaters, you won't need to have the expensive heating on so much so over time they will more than pay for themselves. 



Care Of A Wearable Hooded Blanket

Our Kudd.ly hooded blanket is fully washable on a gentle cycle. To dry either hang to dry outside on a washing line or inside over an airer or a gentle tumble dry. It has washed and dried beautifully. 

Personally, I think you need at least two each, so one to wear and one in the wash. Once you have one you never want to be without it for a minute!

  


 The Oversized Hooded Blanket As A Gift

They make wonderfully thoughtful gifts and the only decision really is whether it's a child or adult size and which color to buy and will suit everyone from older children to elderly people in the family! 

Any gender can and do wear these hoodies, it is just a choice of which colour and design! 

You have no worries about what size the buy as this garment does fit most people. 

I do think especially for winter Birthdays and for Christmas gifts these wearable oversized hoodies are a very thoughtful and fun gift. As it is so huge it also really feels like a substantial gift and can be tried on straight away. 

Different brands do vary in price and quality so do check out before you buy. 

As for negatives I really cannot find any. I just wish I had bought them for us and for gifts years ago.



If you want to feel toasty warm from head to toe in the colder months, consider buying a Warm Wearable Oversized Hoodie Blanket and also Women's Warm Winter Sherpa Lined Pants reviewed by Sylvestermouse Cynthia.


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Friday, December 10, 2021

Women's Warm Winter Sherpa Lined Pants Reviewed

Sherpa lining is a soft and fluffy faux fur that keeps you nice and warm!


Early last spring, which is really a continuance of winter weather for my region, I needed warmer pants.  In the past, I have worn jogging pants, but I really wanted a pair of pants with pockets so I could easily carry my cell phone.  

So often, pants with pockets are not lined.  They are simply too thin for our winter weather.  Jeans are great for pockets, but they are not always warm enough.  

I also wanted warm pants that I could wear outside of my home for walking to my mailbox or even making a trip to the grocery store.  I don't mind wearing my fleece pants inside, but they are not really appropriate for outdoor activities.  

I was thrilled when I discovered these warm and cozy sherpa lined pants!  They are jogger style sweatpants with the ribbed ankles and elastic waistband with a cotton blend exterior material that gives them a "dressier" look than standard jogging pants. 

One word of fashion caution, they are not exactly figure flattering since the sherpa lining from waist to ankle gives a bulkier appearance.  For me, that doesn't matter.  I am grateful to be warm!

I would also recommend ordering a size larger than you normally wear to allow for the thick, warm lining.  After all, you want to be warm, not constricted.  

Sherpa Lined Pants
The PEHMEA Collection on Amazon

 PEHMEA Women's Warm Sherpa Lined PantsCheck PriceThese waist to ankle lined pants are exactly what I was seeking!  They keep me warm indoors and outside.  Plus, they have pockets, which are also lined.  Your cell phone might not require lined pockets, but your hands will certainly appreciate the warmth when needed.

The pants are available in several colors.  I opted for black simply because I can wear anything with that color.  However, I am quite tempted to purchase additional pairs in dark gray and navy.

You choose between the ribbed ankle or straight legged options.  Make sure you select the correct style by looking at the pictures before you order.

I will admit that I am considered "short".  With the ribbed ankles, the pants are not too long to wear with my preferred tennis shoes.  I read in the comments that some women who are 5' 7" thought the pants were too short for them.  However, I did notice that one woman who is 5' 7" purchased the larger XXL size and is now completely thrilled with her pants.

As I said in my opening comments, due to the lining, I do recommend buying a size larger than you normally would wear. Please don't get hung up on label size.  Go for the proper fit!

You might think with the sherpa lining that the pants are not washable.  However, they machine wash well on cold, gentle cycle and tumble dry on low settings.




Women's Warm Winter Sherpa Lined Pants Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories

Acrylic fabric paints, iron-on appliques and other embellishments are a fun and easy way to transform ordinary t-shirts, sweatshirts, denim jackets and jeans into special, one-of-a-kind clothing designs. 

Even if you don’t feel especially artistic, it’s extremely easy to add striking hand painted designs to basic wardrobe items by applying acrylic fabric paint through a stencil with a foam pouncer. 

Embellishing clothing with fabric paints is also a wonderful project to do with kids. Both my fashionista niece and her younger brother used to love taking solid color T-shirts and creating their own hand painted and stenciled designer tees, which they wore with pride.

Some fabric paints also work well on other materials, including leather and vinyl, so they’re great for painting shoes, sandals, handbags, belts and other accessories to give them a whole new look with fresh colors, color blocking, patterns or painted accents.

I have researched and used different types, brands and formulas of fabric paints in different price ranges. In this review I will share my favorite acrylic fabric paints for decorating clothing and accessories. 

The Best, Most Versatile Acrylic Fabric Paints for Embellishing Clothing & Accessories

Why Use Acrylic Fabric Paints?

Acrylic fabric paints, also called acrylic textile paints, are formulated specifically for use on fabric clothing and other textiles. Unlike fabric dyes and alcohol-based textile paints or inks, they do not spread and saturate the fibers. Most work best on untreated or pre-washed, natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics whose fiber content contains at least 50% natural fibers. 

Acrylic textile paints are usually thinner, penetrate fibers better and dry more flexible than standard acrylic paints formulated for art or craft uses. Fabric paints also contain a binder that helps them adhere much better to natural fibers after the paint dries and is heat-set (usually with an iron). This binder makes the painted designs more durable, so they can better withstand repeated washing and resist cracking, peeling or flaking when the fabric is gently stretched or folded, such as when you put on, move around in, take off or put away your painted clothing.   

More transparent colors usually have a thinner consistency and are softer to the touch when dry compared to more opaque fabric paints. They are great for lighter color fabrics, since the color of the clothing will show through them. For the same reason, opaque fabric paints will show up much better on darker clothing, although they are slightly thicker and will dry a bit stiffer than more transparent formulas.

Good Quality Fabric Paints Give the Best Results

Jacquard makes moderately priced, high-quality, highly pigmented paints, dyes, mica powders and other art and craft supplies. Jacquard's Textile, Neopaque and Lumiere lines are my go-to acrylic paints for painting fabrics.

Photo of Jacquard Textile acrylic paints "Exciter Pack" assortment

Jacquard Textile 

Jacquard Textile paints have a medium- to light-bodied consistency and come in 39 semi-transparent colors. Mixing any of the other colors with 123 White will create a pastel shade. You can make any color more transparent without affecting the quality or consistency by mixing it with Jacquard Textile 100 Colorless Extender. (Another option, which I don’t recommend, is diluting the paints with up to 25% water, since it will reduce their viscosity and negatively affect the quality.)  Mixing any other Jacquard Textile color with #220 Super Opaque White will make it more opaque. 

The Jacquard Textile Color Exciter Pack is an economical assortment that includes small bottles of nine of the most useful colors in the line. It's a great way to try these paints without investing a lot of money.

Jacquard Textile colors can also be mixed with Jacquard Lumiere, Neopaque or Dye-Na-Flow paints or with Jacquard Pearl Ex Powdered Pigments to create custom colors and effects.

Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere

Neopaque is Jacquard’s line of light-bodied, opaque acrylic paints. They come in 21 colors plus a Flowable Extender medium that can be used to make the colors more transparent without altering the paint’s texture, consistency, adherence and other key properties. Lumiere is a companion line of 33 beautiful metallic and pearlescent paint colors designed to complement the Neopaque solid colors and have similar characteristics. My favorite Lumiere paints are the color-shifting duo-chrome colors!

Even though the Jacquard Neopaque and Jacquard Lumiere lines have not been optimized specifically for painting on fabrics, like the Jacquard Textile line, they have many of the same characteristics and are also considered fabric paints. After they have dried and been heat-set, both Neopaque and Lumiere paints adhere to textiles very well, remain flexible and resist cracking, peeling and chipping. I have used them to paint fleece sweatshirts, both freehand and with stencils, and they have withstood many washings well.

Both formulas are opaque, highly pigmented and provide good coverage, even on dark fabrics. You can mix any Neopaque or Lumiere shade with Neopaque Flowable Extender to make it more transparent without changing its consistency, thickness, flexibility, adherence or other important characteristics. 

Similarly to the Jacquard Textile line, you can mix pastel shades by blending a small amount of Neopaque White into any of the other Neopaque colors.

Photo of Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paints
I've been using my first Jacquard Neopaque and Lumiere acrylic paint Exciter Packs for many years. 

There are also a Lumiere Exciter Pack with 9 pearlescent and metallic colors and a Lumiere & Neopaque Exciter Pack with 7 metallic Lumiere shades plus black and white Neopaque. As with the Textile line, these two Exciter Packs are a great way to get a nice variety of colors in smaller quantities for a very affordable price. I have purchased both of these Exciter Packs as well as full-size bottles of the Neopaque black and white and Lumiere duo-chrome colors I use most. I recently bought another of the Lumiere assortments because some older colors have been discontinued and newer ones added.

Another advantage of Jacquard Lumiere and Neopaque acrylic paints is that they adhere well to a wide range of surfaces including paper, wood, rubber, vinyl, leather and rubber, in addition to fabric, and can be used for many different types of projects. I have gotten more than my money’s worth out of mine. 

For example, I completely transformed an old pair of boring, frumpy, beige comfort sandals by painting the leather with Lumiere for the uppers and black Neopaque to edge the sole, and then sewing on some faux jeweled trim. 

Before and after photos of beige sandals painted aqua and blue

Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium 

You also can achieve successful results by mixing permanent, highly pigmented art or craft acrylic paints 50/50 with a good quality fabric medium, such as Golden GAC 900 Heat-Set Fabric Painting Medium or Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium. 

Pébéo Setacolor

If you are painting a very special piece of clothing or textile, you may want to consider the Pébéo Setacolor line. These superb fabric paints come in an extensive range of beautiful colors and finishes. Although they are more expensive than the Jacquard fabric paints, superior quality, performance and product selection make Pébéo Setacolor products a favorite among many professional painted clothing artists and enthusiasts. 

Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics are transparent and include 44 matte, metallic, glitter, and fluorescent shades. Pébéo Setacolor Opaque comes in 77 matte and “shimmer opaque” shades with glitter, pearlescent, metallic and iridescent finishes that dry softer, smoother and more flexible than most other opaque textile paints. There are also Pébéo Setacolor 3D fabric paints that come in tubes with small nozzles that are great for adding raised outlines or dimensional accents to your painted clothing designs. 

The most affordable way to try these terrific paints is with one of the 10-color introductory sets, the Pébéo Setacolor Light Fabrics Discovery Kit or the Pébéo Setacolor Opaque Discovery Kit

Use Fabric Paints and Stencils for Beautiful, Affordable, One-of-a-Kind Handmade Gifts 

Stencils are made in just about any pattern or theme you could want and require no artistic talent to use.

I have used inexpensive fabric stencils of flowers, gardening tools and bees to decorate a sweatshirt for my mother-in-law who loves to garden. 

One of my husband’s favorite gifts from me is a forest green sweatshirt I purchased for him many years ago and stenciled with a cascade of metallic and pearlescent autumn leaves. It has been worn and washed so many times that the fleece is pilling, and the color has faded. By now, the paint isn’t quite as bright or shiny as it once was, either, but it’s still hasn’t cracked, flaked or worn off, and he still wears it proudly.

Photo of man wearing dark green sweatshirt with a stenciled metallic leaf design
My husband still loves and wears this sweatshirt I stenciled for him many years ago. 

You can use alphabet stencils to personalize a T-shirt, hoodie or other garment with the gift recipient’s name or add a meaningful word or message. 

Older children will also love using fabric paints and stencils to turn simple, inexpensive pieces of clothing into personalized gifts for special friends and family members.

Stenciled or hand painted tablecloths, napkins, placemats and table runners also make wonderful gifts. Painting them with snowflakes, pointsettias and other seasonal designs makes any holiday a bit more festive. 

I hope I have inspired you to give fabric paints a try!

The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories


The Best Acrylic Fabric Paints for Painting Clothes and Accessories by Margaret Schindel


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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Reviewing The Uses Of Pretty and Versatile Headbands For Great Hair




I love my versatile headbands "Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands" which come in different colours and patterns to suit the activity and my mood. I feel these headbands are very suitable for anyone of any age from a young person to a more mature person who likes the style and look of wearing a headband and perhaps needs one to keep hair out of the way while still looking lovely!

 Why I Like To Wear Headbands. 


I have medium length quite fine wavy hair but a lot of it and I often end up tieing it up when working in the garden and certainly for doing fitness activities. I love having long hair but on hot days I simply have to keep it off my face or I get too hot and uncomfortable. Before I got these hairbands I used to tie my hair up in an elastic band and that resulted in damaged hair and splitting, which is not a good look and not healthy for the hair. 

I think these hairbands would also work for thick hair, curly or straight hair and I do feel that any age can wear these if you like the colours and patterns. I initially thought these would be best for long hair but I do think they would look very cute on shorter hair too. 

My Three Fave Headbands

 When Can You Wear Headbands

These headbands are very comfortable, soft and stretchy enough to easily be worn for hours. I wear mine for every pilates and rebounder workout and my new dance exercise video classes. I think it would be great to wear at any age if you do yoga or play tennis, badminton or any other sports.

I also wear mine when out gardening so that my hair doesn't get in my eyes so much and pick up all the burrs and pollen from the plants!

They are great for when decorating too. You would just need to have one you sacrificed for decorating as if you are anything like me it will end up with paint all over it!  

Apart from wearing them for activities, I do feel that they are pretty enough to wear when out and about and I love the colours and patterns to go with or contrast with clothes.

If a new wardrobe or new dresses or jeans are not affordable right now you can easily update your look with these pretty and funky headbands!

I have to say they really came into their own during the time when we could not get to hairdressers for months and my hair was certainly doing its own thing!! Wearing one of these headbands just made it look a more put-together look. 

In addition, I am not happy about my hair going grey and it seems to be going more grey at the front than the back! I do use natural colourants but I cannot use any with chemicals. I find the natural ones do not last very long and if I have not had the time or the inclination to colour again the grey comes back! However, if I wear one of these headbands it nicely covers up the grey at the front and you just cannot tell !! 

Turquoise Headband Worn Wide


I also wear one when doing my make-up. Day to day I don't wear much makeup but I do wear SPF factor foundation powder every day to protect my skin and I find it easier to apply if I keep my hair out of the way. Then of course if I am doing full makeup for going out,  it is just neater and easier to wear a headband and sort everything. 

These hair bands are also great if you have a day when you should really have washed your hair but did not and then find that you do need to go out! Pop one of these on and the problem is largely sorted as you will look like you make an effort and covered up much of the problem!

Also, headbands are very useful if you are growing your hair from a shorter to a longer style or growing out bangs or a fringe. It keeps hair looking good and not getting in your eyes all the time or looking too messy when going through that difficult stage! 

I do feel that these suit anyone from younger girls to more mature ladies depending on your personal style and activities.

Width Of Headband At Narrow Point

About Headbands, Measurements And Materials.

I strongly recommend that whichever headbands you choose you carefully check the measurements both of your own head and of the headband. 

In addition, check or ask the seller how stretchy the headbands actually are and what the material is made from. You will likely want a quite stretchy and soft material so that you can easily put the headband over your head and that it is comfortable. Also, look for ones that are easily washable as you will want to wash them fairly often.   

The headbands I own are made from a stretchy material that is very soft. Enough stretch in it to be easily worn but not too much to be tight. If you wear one a lot it can feel a little loose after time but I found generally after washing they go back to shape. I have only hand-washed mine as really it is so easy and quick to do. 

Stretchy Soft Headband
 
They are often sold as one size fits most. The ones I own are on average around eight and a half inches long measuring one side as per the photo below on the red headband and about two inches wide at the smallest point. The widest point can stretch to significantly more.

I find these measurements are about right for my head. Some headbands in the past have given me a headache as they were way too tight, but these I find are just comfortable.

I would always recommend that you measure your own head or your child's head first then check the measurements on the listings carefully. If the headband is too tight it will hurt and if too loose will fall down and not hold the hair in place.

The ones I have are quite wide but I personally like that as I can then have them wide on my head or simply fold it over to make it a thinner band which is still comfortable for me. 

I can also wear them with the widest part at the front or flip them over and have the narrow part where the long edges join as the top piece which gives a different look. 
 
Length of Headband Folded


If you have hair you need to keep out of the way while doing an activity, be it sports or other physical work, they are very useful and you can look great as well!

If you wish to wear them as a fashion accessory, to style your own fashion, then that works too. The colours and patterns are varied and lovely.

My favourites from my "Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands" are dark blue, turquoise blue and red as shown below. 

Beautiful Colours And Patterns On Headbands


I think if you bought the pack and did not like one or more of the colours or patterns then they would make a lovely little additional birthday, thank you gift or stocking filler. Or of course, you may wish to buy the whole pack as a gift.

There are many variations of these headbands. I just have this set Sea Team 6-Pack Wide Hairbands but there are many more you may wish to take a look at in the selection below.

 








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