Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

OontZ Ultra — An Affordable, Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker That Sounds Fantastic!

Whether you're looking for graduation gifts, Father's Day gifts, or presents for any occasion and anyone (including yourself), the OontZ Ultra waterproof Bluetooth speaker is a terrific choice.

Here's my product review of this terrific, surprisingly affordable portable Bluetooth speaker.

Indoor/outdoor waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker - clear, rich sound quality
This compact, waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker is perfect for listening to music, podcasts, audiobooks and more, at home or on the road

Our Constant Companion at Home or On the Go

My husband and I love listening to music and audiobooks. Thanks to its compact size, impressive audio quality and IPX7 waterproof rating, the OontZ Ultra Bluetooth speaker is our constant companion whether we're in the house, on the deck, in the car, at the beach, by the lake or pool, or on vacation.

Note: The OontZ Ultra is also called the OontZ Angle 3 Ultra. To avoid confusion, I will refer to it from this point forward as the OontZ Ultra, to distinguish it from the slightly smaller, less expensive OontZ Angle 3 model.

Here's why we love it.

OontZ Ultra Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker —Key Features and Benefits

My husband and I love listening to music and audiobooks. Thanks to its compact size, impressive audio quality and IPX7 waterproof rating, the OontZ Ultra Bluetooth speaker is our constant companion whether we're in the house, on the deck, in the car, at the beach, by the lake or pool, or on vacation.

Here are some of the reasons we love ours and use it all the time.

Compact Size & Lightweight

The OontZ Ultra is just 6.5" long x 3" wide and weighs 1.03 lbs., so it's easy and convenient to take with you, whether from room to room or from your house to your deck, patio, backyard or car.

Don't let its small size and light weight fool you, though. This portable speaker packs a punch when it comes to audio quality!

Full, Rich Sound at All Volume Levels

Despite its compact size, the OontZ Ultra delivers the exceptional sound quality you would expect from a speaker designed and engineered in the USA by Cambridge SoundWorks. 

Its 14+ watts of power and volume booster produce crystal-clear mid- and high-tones, while its two precision neodymium drivers and proprietary, downward-facing passive bass radiator deliver high-quality, full-range bass that's surprisingly rich for its size.

The sound reproduction is high fidelity, balanced and even from lows to highs. It never sounds muddy (too much bass) or tinny (too much treble).

  • Crisp Highs and Full, Rich Bass, Even at Low-to-Mid Volume. We prefer to listen to our music at moderate volume most of the time. Fortunately, this speaker doesn’t have to be cranked up high to sound good! You don’t sacrifice either clarity or bass when listening at low-to-moderate volumes. 
  • No Tinniness or Distortion, Even When Cranked to the Maximum Volume. When we're listening to music or audiobooks in the car, we always use the OontZ Ultra for superior audio quality, rather than the car's built-in speaker. When we're on the highway or there's a lot of traffic, we often need to crank the volume on our songs, podcasts or audiobooks, and we love that the sound quality remains excellent even at full volume, with clear, crisp audiobook narrations and good bass with no distortion.

    IPX7 Waterproof Rating for Indoor-Outdoor Use

    This Bluetooth speaker is perfect for taking to the beach or the pool. No more worries about listening in the rain! The IPX7 rating means this speaker is fully waterproof and can be immersed in water up to 3 feet.

    Long Battery Life

    The OontZ Ultra Bluetooth speaker delivers a full day of listening pleasure on a single charge. The manufacturer claims that its rechargeable battery "provides up to 20 hours of playtime at 2/3 volume." So whether you're spending the day outdoors hiking, camping or at the pool or listening to music while you work, you never have to worry about running out of juice.

    Simple, Intuitive Controls With Large Buttons

    I love that I don't have to put my glasses on to read the controls of this portable Bluetooth speaker! The buttons are also large enough and easy to push without accidentally pressing the wrong one. 

    Side view of OontZ Ultra with control buttons
    I love how large the buttons and how intuitive the labels are on this portable speaker!

    Choice of Horizontal or Vertical Orientation

    This speaker can be placed either horizontally or vertically. While we usually use ours in a horizontal orientation, if you are using it on a desk or end table where space is at a premium, it's nice to be able to stand it on its end. 

    Built-in Microphone

    You can take calls from any mobile phone without having to disconnect from the speaker, thanks to the built-in microphone that acts as a personal hands-free speakerphone.

    Excellent Bluetooth Connectivity and Superior Wireless Range

    The OontZ Ultra Bluetooth 5.0 speaker is a cinch to pair with our mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other devices, and the connection has been uniformly reliable. The manufacturer claims that with its "advanced antenna design and Bluetooth 5.0 technology, this speaker provides faster connection speeds," which my husband and I have found to be true. 

    It also has an impressive wireless range up to 100 feet!

    Thanks to the built-in AUX-IN jack, you can also easily connect to non-Bluetooth devices with a 3.5mm Line-In cable (not included).

    Connect Two or More OontZ Ultra Bluetooth Speakers for Your Next Party

    While the OontZ Ultra has plenty of power and volume for my husband's and my needs, its maximum volume isn't loud enough for a party. Fortunately, you can connect between two and four OontZ Ultra speakers using the OontZ app and play your party music as loud as you wish in left and right stereo.

    This is also a great option if you want to play music in multiple rooms, given the speakers' 100-foot wireless range.

    Fantastic Sound Quality at an Affordable Price

    Although the list price of the OontZ Ultra Waterproof Bluetooth 5.0 Speaker is $49.99, at the time of this product review post's publication the price on Amazon was just $39.99. That's a terrific price for such a high-quality waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

    Even Smaller and Less Expensive OontZ Bluetooth Speaker Recommendations

    If you plan to bring your OontZ Ultra to the beach or on vacation, you might want to pay a bit more for the OontZ Ultra with Carry Case, which comes with a carrying case made of waterproof neoprene material with reinforced zippers and a built-in aluminum carabiner clip. The neoprene OontZ Ultra Carry Case can also be purchased separately. 

    If you are looking for a great, versatile Bluetooth speaker with an even smaller footprint, you might want to consider one of the following options (there are also several other models):

    • The slightly smaller and less expensive OontZ Angle 3, which measures 5.5" long x 3" wide and has an IPX5 waterproof rating. The list price is $34.99, but at the time of this post's publication it was just $24.99 on Amazon.
    • The even smaller and less expensive OontZ Angle Solo, which we bought for my husband's parents. The adorable Solo also has an IPX5 waterproof rating but measures only 3.9" long x 2.8 inches wide and weighs less than 8 ounces! My in-laws love using it in their car during their 3-hour commutes to and from their lake house in Maine. The list price is $29.99, but at the time of this product review's publication, the price on Amazon was just $19.99!

    These Make Excellent, Affordable Gifts for Any Occasion

    The OontZ Ultra, OontZ Angle 3 and OontZ Angle Solo make terrific, affordable gifts for anyone on your list, for any gift-giving occasion. They're easy enough for a child to use, with sound quality that your favorite audiophile will appreciate. Think Father's Day gifts, graduation gifts, birthday gifts, or just-because gifts!

    OontZ Ultra — An Affordable, Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker That Sounds Fantastic! by Margaret Schindel

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    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Sunday, May 21, 2023

    25 Little Surprises for Men: Gift Ideas that Effortlessly Slip into a Card

    Gifts for a Man that Fit Inside of a Card

    Sometimes large elaborate gifts are not an option. 

    When you're looking for a gift to fit inside a card, you're more than likely seeking a personal, unique, oddly helpful gift that can be mailed and, in some cases, is affordable.

    To save you some mind work and extra thinking, I've compiled a list of ideas for the man in your life that you can consider mailing or handing him as a gift inside a card.

    Take note that you may have to purchase slightly larger cards for a few of these suggestions.

    25 Gift Items for a Man: Gifts that Can Fit Inside of a Card:

    1. A gift card to his favorite restaurant or store
    2. Handwritten letter expressing your love and appreciation
    3. Movie tickets for a special night out
    4. A small printed photo of a cherished memory
    5. Inspirational quote or affirmation card
    6. Custom-designed bookmark
    7. Lottery scratch-off tickets
    8. Guitar picks for the music enthusiast
    9. Write a few riddle brain teasers inside the card
    10. Personalized stickers or decals
    11. Thoughtful coupons for acts of service or quality time
    12. Magnetic bookmark with a funny or meaningful quote
    13. Assorted tea bags or single-serve coffee packets
    14. A handwritten recipe for his favorite dish
    15. A collectible trading card of his favorite sports team or player
    16. A necklace, cufflinks, or other jewelry
    17. A personalized keychain
    18. A personalized business card holder
    19. A small pack of Post-it notes with witty or loving messages
    20. Key locators, password savers
    21. A USB flash drive with important files or photos
    22. A personalized luggage tag for his next adventure
    23. When money is no object, tickets for a weekend trip together
    24. Tickets to his favorite type of music band, theatre, or concert
    25. Personalized return address labels or decorative stickers
    Remember to account for the weight of the envelope if you plan to put the card in the mail; you'll want to ensure you have the correct amount of postage.

    Don't send anything restricted or prohibited by mail, usually food products, medicines, etc.; check with your local mail service online or in person.

    If you're more of a visual person, I've put together a list of gift ideas for a man that can fit inside a card or envelope. You'll notice that the gift ideas are from various stores.






    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Wednesday, May 10, 2023

    Your Back Will Love This Practical Laundry Bag Backpack

    Carrying laundry to and from the basement laundry room in our old house has always been a bit nerve-wracking, thanks to the narrow, steep basement steps that wouldn’t meet today’s building codes. I can’t navigate them safely without holding onto the handrail (which is only on one side). So, when I was perusing Amazon and accidentally happened upon a laundry bag backpack, I got quite excited.

    Today, I’m sharing my review of this spacious, practical laundry bag backpack that turned out to be the perfect solution to my clothes-toting challenge.

    Lightweight, comfortable laundry bag backpack great for college students!

    Whether you have a large family, hate doing laundry or know a busy college student who makes trips to the washer and dryer only when they're running out of clean clothes, toting around large loads of laundry can be a real pain in the back, especially for those of us who already suffer from back pain. Fortunately, the smart folks at Ãzhido have made toting multiple loads' worth of dirty or clean clothes back and forth to the laundry room or laundromat a lot easier on the back with their extra-large laundry bag backpack.

    Here's what I love about it.

    Hands-Free, Comfortable, Back-Sparing Design

    Because it's a backpack, my hands are free to hold onto the banister as I lug my tops, pants, underwear, socks, etc. up and down the stairs to the washer and dryer. There is also much less strain on my back, thanks to the lightweight fabric and the weight load of the contents being balanced behind me and distributed evenly between the comfortable, thick, foam padded straps. 

    As a result, I can easily carry multiple loads' worth of apparel to and from the laundry room in one trip, something I could never manage with a conventional laundry bag or basket.

    Extra-Large Capacity

    Excluding the gray, drawstring-top extension gusset (which folds down into the bag when not needed those dimensions increase to 39.4"L x 15.1"W x 15.1"H with a 115-liter (4.06-cubic foot) capacity, easily enough space to accommodate three to four loads' worth of clothing.

    There is also a 15” x 11.2” outer pocket to hold laundry detergent and other items, which is especially useful if you are going to and from a laundromat. I have also used it to keep delicate, hand-washable items separate.

    partially filled laundry bag backpack
    Even filled with two loads' worth of clothing, the bag is just half full.

    Perfect for Bedding and Oversized Items

    Because of its generous capacity, this laundry bag backpack can be used to carry large quilts and comforters, king-size bedding, pillows, down coats and others large, bulky items that can be unwieldy.

    Adjustable Size

    Just as the extension gusset at the top accommodates extra-large loads, the webbing strap can be folded over the top and securely latched to make the bag more compact when carrying smaller loads. The length of the shoulder straps can also be adjusted to fit the wearer and balance the weight optimally.

    Man wearing laundry bag backpack
    You can gauge the size of this extra-large laundry bag backpack on my 6' tall husband. The gray webbing strap can be folded over the top and securely latched on the other side to make the bag more compact for smaller loads. You can also see the large outer pocket for detergent, delicates, etc.

    Sturdy Fabric and Durable Construction

    The main body and padded straps of this laundry backpack are made of sturdy, rip-resistant 600-denier oxford cloth fabric. All points of wear have reinforced stitching, and the durable webbing straps and secure locking catches are also made for heavy-duty wear and tear over the years.

    laundry backpack with foam padded straps
    You can see the reinforced stitching and sturdy webbing on all the straps as well as the loop for hanging on a hook or doorknob or to carry the bag by hand for smaller loads.

    Convenient Carry Handle / Hanging Loop

    The sturdy loop made of heavy-duty webbing can be used to hang this laundry hamper backpack from a doorknob or hook or even carry it if your load is light.

    Wide Opening

    The wide opening at the top makes both filling and unloading this laundry bag extremely easy.

    Wide opening in laundry backpack
    You can see how easy it is to fill and unload the bag, thanks to the wide top opening (the gray extension gusset is opened up here to accommodate up to 3–4 loads).

    Compact Folded Size

    When not in use, this laundry bag backpack folds down to a very compact size for storage.

    laundry bag backpack folded to compact size

    Wide Choice of Colors

    At the time of this review's publication, this laundry bag backpack comes in a choice of 13 colors: Teal (the one I chose), Army Green, Black, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Khaki (a pale tan, like chinos), Light Purple (a plum color), Orange, Pink, Purple (a grape color), Red (a deep crimson), Yellow and Charcoal Grey. The wide selection of colors is especially nice if you plan to give these as gifts.

    Very Affordable

    At the time of this review's publication, the price of this extra-large, heavy-duty laundry bag backpack on Amazon is on sale for less than $22 ($20.49 TO $21.49, depending on the color), regularly $22.99-$26.59, making it an affordable and effective solution to a frustrating problem.

    Makes a Great, Practical Gift

    The manufacturer emphasizes the usefulness of this product for college students, and I agree that these would make wonderful graduation gifts for high school seniors or anytime gifts for college students.

    I also think they would be terrific gifts for anyone who uses a laundromat, has their laundry room on a different floor from the bedrooms or just does a lot of large loads on a regular basis.


    Your Back Will Love This Practical Laundry Bag Backpack by Margaret Schindel

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    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Sunday, May 7, 2023

    Lego Flowers & Lego Bouquet Sets Reviewed

    lego flower sets
    Lego flowers and Lego bouquet sets are a wonderful way for Lego lovers to give flowers for any occasion.  

    It isn't always easy to think of a unique gift for someone we love.  We often send flowers for holidays because they let the recipient know we are thinking of them.  Sadly, flowers don't live very long and the gift gets thrown away too soon.  Unfortunately, while they are lovely for a short time, unless you take pictures, they are quickly forgotten.

    If you make and send Lego flowers, they are not only unique, but they won't die!

    There are several Lego flowers and Lego bouquets available now that would be an awesome Mother's Day gift, birthday gift, Christmas gifts or any "thinking of you" gift.

    Any handmade gift is a treasure for the recipient.  Lego builders now have a fabulous gift they can make and give to someone they love.

    Even children can build these Lego flowers and give them as a gift.  What better way to tell someone you love them then with a handmade gift of flowers.

     

    Lego Flowers & Lego Bouquets

    Build and give a single rose, tulip, or sunflower.  If you have time, you could even build and give a Lego bouquet.  You could even mix several sets to make a completely unique, one of a kind gift for that one of a kind loved one.

     LEGO Iconic Rose - Set 40460
    A red rose has long been the flower that represents love. The set makes 2 roses, has 120 pcs, & is recommended for ages 8+
    Check Price
     LEGO Tulips - Set 40461
    Tulip also symbolize perfect and deep love. The set makes 3 tulips, has 111 pcs and recommended for ages 8+
    Check Price
     Lego Sunflower - Set 40524
    Sunflowers brighten any day! They represent adoration. Set makes 2 Sunflowers, has 191 pcs. Recommended for ages 8+
    Check Price

     

     

    Lego bouquet sets include everything we need to build a lovely bouquet of flowers.  There is also a lovely orchid Lego set.  For someone like me who loves orchids, but cannot keep a real orchid alive, this would be the perfect bouquet gift.

    Choose between a wildflower bouquet, a traditional mixed flower bouquet, the orchid, or even a succulent bouquet.


     LEGO Icons Wildflower Bouquet - Set 10313
    8 species of wildflowers on adjustable stems. Set has 939 pcs and recommended for ages 18+
    Check Price
     LEGO Icons Flower Bouquet - Set 10280
    15 stems mix of flower and leaf varieties such as roses, snapdragons, poppies, asters, daisies. 756 pcs for ages 18+
    Check Price
     LEGO Icons Orchid
    Set 10311
    Orchid has 6 large flowers and 2 newly opened flowers, plus the blue fluted vase. 608 pcs and recommeded for ages 18+
    Check Price
     LEGO Icons Succulents
    Set 10309
    Set makes 9 different LEGO artificial decorative plants, has 771 pcs and recommended for ages 18+
    Check Price

     

     

    Regardless of which Lego bouquet or flower set(s) you choose, there is no doubt it will be a gift that is loved and reflects your love for the recipient.  Plus, it will be a precious piece of decor that can be displayed in any room of a home without having to worry about watering, sunlight, or feeding.  It will always be lovely!







    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Wednesday, May 3, 2023

    Mother's Day ~The One Gift She Really Wants

     Many of you may know that in the last two months my life has changed drastically.  Not in a bad way, but in a drastic way none the less.  What happened?  Well my almost 92 year old mother fell, was hospitalized for a month and then it was decided that she could no longer live on her own.

    So, our family has shrunk over the years and now it is growing again.  My mother has come to live with us!  There will be some challenges ahead.   Mother's Day is coming up quickly and it will be the first one she is spending in her new "home"!  As always we are looking to make it special.

    After 70 some years of Mother's Days under her belt, you would think there is nothing in the world she could truly want.  Right?  

    Wrong!  It seems that during her fall, her watch broke!  We have had it to several watch repair places and they all say the same thing - "It's not worth fixing!"  This was a watch that my father had purchased for her on one of their many trips home to Switzerland.  So she really did not want to give it up!  

    So this Mother's Day we are on the hunt for a watch!  This may seem like a no-brainer, but, when you have a lady who is used to having a "nice" watch, it's not so easy anymore.  We are hoping that one of our choices will be close enough to her old watch, that she will enjoy the new one as much as the old.




    There are so many new-fangled watches that keep track of steps taken, pulse rates, oxygen levels and so much more and she's not interested in any of that "nonsense"!  Personally I think she could use the extras to make sure she gets some walking in, but that's me and not her!


    She wants a replacement for her watch that told her the time and the date!  She wants nothing more and nothing less.  And none of this Plastic or Silicone bands for her!  It has to be a metal bracelet type watch that is big enough for her to read but still looks nice.  Nothing that is heavy and /or bulky!

    As you can see there are lots of options available for someone who is looking for a "simple" but elegant watch. Sometimes all the new electronic watches with their multi purpose uses are just not fitting the bill.  In her 92 years she has seen a lot of time pieces go by and the new ones just don't do anything for her at all.  

    Simple, straight-forward and useful are her main needs and nothing more.  Truth be known, I think she'd be overwhelmed with the new digital watches/fitness trackers.  She would have to learn how to use that kind of watch!  I could see her jumping out of her skin if it started to vibrate or flash or sound an alarm.  She just doesn't want to do that!  

    I get it and I'm so happy to report that while watches have been taken to a whole new level of usefulness, the old trusty analog watches are still there!

    Now it's just a matter of choice!  I don't think we will surprise her, rather, we will give her the option of choosing the one she thinks she'd like best!

    For all those Mother's out there, may I take the time to wish you all a Happy Mother's Day, may it be a timely one!



    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Monday, May 1, 2023

    JobSmart and DieHard: Reviewing Two Extremely Durable Adjustable Beam Flashlights

    I am tough on flashlights. I frequently drop them and have lost them outside for months. I rely on them at least twice daily. I depend on flashlights both for regular chores and for checking on things outdoors in the middle of the night when my dogs indicate that there is something outside that shouldn't be. The two flashlight brands I depend on are Jobsmart and DieHard. 



    I have a small homestead and am fairly new to many homesteading activities; such as raising chickens. This past year and a half has been a learning experience. One thing I have noticed is that dependable lighting is a MUST and I was fortunate to choose two flashlights that have been more dependable and durable than I would have ever imagined. 

    JobSmart 350 Tactical

    The JobSmart line of flashlights are available at Tractor Supply Stores. I purchased mine very soon after I moved to the homestead when I realized that my camping lanterns, lights, and headlights weren't quite bright enough. I'm not embarrassed to admit that I'm slightly afraid of the dark when walking around on my mountain ridge land after dark and want a very bright light. However, my budget doesn't allow for the highest lumens and big-name brands. 

    I chose the flashlight that was in the middle of the price range offered at Tractor Supply at the time. It happened to be the JobSmart 350 Tactical. It turned out to be a fantastic choice for me. It uses 3 AAA batteries and the batteries seem to have a long life. I only had to replace the batteries after losing it outside for months when it was turned on.

    The JobSmart 350 Tactical is thinner in size than my DieHard and lighter weight. It has a twisting adjustable beam that focuses in a wide swath or a thin beam that is very bright and reaches the chicken coop from my house so I can check on things in the middle of the night without going outside. 

    Product Details from the website:

    Light your way with the JobSmart 350 Lumen LED Aluminum Flashlight.

    • Up to 350 lumen output
    • High/low mode
    • Twist to adjust focus lens
    • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)
    • Working time: 1.5 hr. in high mode; 4 hr. in low mode with alkaline battery
    • CREE XPG LED bulb
    • Aluminum and Rubber construction

    DieHard 1700 Flashlight


    When I dropped my original flashlight over the edge of the deck and couldn't find it, I bought a replacement. That happened to be the DieHard 1700 Flashlight. This flashlight clearly has more lumens than my JobSmart which is great because the smaller, focused beam could reach to the top of my yard when the shed sits - about twice as far away as my chicken coop. The DieHard is thicker and weighs more so it does seem clumsier to carry for daily chores. This flashlight sits on a shelf next to my front door so it is easily and quickly accessible for scanning my yard at night. 

    It has been an excellent flashlight; durable and bright. 

    Product details from the website:

    • Ultra Bright 1,700 Lumen LED Flashlight
    • Pro grade anodized aluminum construction & heavy-duty true grip design
    • Precision flood-to-spot beam through twist focusing
    • 3 power modes—high/medium/low
    • Includes 6 AA DieHard batteries
    There are many reasons to have dependable lighting; emergencies (roadside and household), power outages, hiking, camping, and homestead chores. I need dependable lighting since my homestead chores occur before dawn in the mornings and often after sunset in the evenings. My chores have to be done during inclement weather. While these flashlights do not claim to be waterproof I have used them during all weather and have dropped them onto wet ground. I can't afford to buy tools that will easily break or wear out. That is why I am glad to recommend the JobSmart 350 Tactical and the DieHard 1700 flashlights. 



    Perhaps you prefer to shop Amazon due to remote locations or delivery preferences. Or perhaps you prefer USB rechargeable flashlights or flashlights with different specs. There are plenty of flashlight brands and varieties to choose from HERE.





    Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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    Monday, April 17, 2023

    Reviewing Single-Tube Wind Chimes Known as Windbells

     I love wind chimes. All types of wind chimes; metal, wood, agate, polished glass, shell, tuned, and every type you can imagine. Having moved to an area that experiences high winds on a frequent basis, I'm concerned about putting my traditional, multi-tube, chimes outdoors out of fear that they will tangle. I miss hearing my wind chimes. Especially, my tuned wind chimes. But I've learned there is a wonderful compromise. They are called Windbells. Windbells are a single-tube wind chime. A single-tube eliminates the risk of tangling while creating the sound I love. 

    Heroic Windbell (large) by Woodstock Chimes

    I have a friend who fabricated her own single-tube windbells. They are made of very large metal tubes, the height of a small adult, with an inner diameter the approximate size of a fist. They hang from her carport and they sound amazing. I knew I had to figure out how to buy or fabricate my own single-tube chimes.

    On a visit to a Hobby Lobby, I found a windbell in the shape of a metal bottle. I had to have it. It emits a metallic sound that reminds me of sitting at the marina and listening to the sounds from the sail boats as they rock on the waves and shift in the wind. I love the sound. But it is not quite the same deep, meditative sound created by larger windbells.

    Rustic Metal Bottle Wind Chime from Hobby Lobby

    The sound I'm looking for, in addition to my metal bottle windbell, is the sound that is created by the Heroic Windbell (Large) made by Woodstock Chimes. 

    The Heroic Windbell by Woodstock Chimes

    In looking for a quality, long-lasting, windbell with a pleasing, deep sound I found the Woodstock Chimes company. They have a good reputation that seems to stem from their love for windchimes. 

    "In 1979, Grammy award-winning musician and instrument designer Garry Kvistad created the first Woodstock Chime from an aluminum lawn chair he found in a landfill; Garry and his wife Diane founded Woodstock Chimes in 1979 And still develop the chimes today." - Woodstock Chimes

    Woodstock chimes offer a huge variety of chimes, bells, crystal light catchers, and gongs. I have a long wish-list of their items but I am trying to stay focused on the windbells here.

    The Heroic Windbell comes in medium and large. The large is 40" in length and is offered in "antique copper", "harbor gray", and green colors. They are created to sound like distant harbor bells. The Heroic Windbell is meant to be hung in a breezy spot. It is designed to sound like a bell and has an internal hollow section that "sounds like an organ pipe". The two sounds combine to create a deep and beautiful tone.

    What Are Tuned Wind Chimes?

    I mentioned tuned wind chimes and being concerned about hanging my tuned wind chime out here and have it tangle in the winds.  Tuned wind chimes are musically tuned to play the familiar notes of songs. Of course, the wind chimes move in a random manner but the notes of the song are easy to recognize. The Amazing Grace tuned wind chime by Woodstock Chimes is a good example of a tuned wind chime.

    If you are shopping for wind chimes, I recommend checking the Woodstock Chimes store. They are highly recommended with consistent 5 star ratings on the chimes they offer. 






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    Wednesday, April 12, 2023

    You’ll Love These Insanely Comfortable Memory Foam Slippers

    Now that I am semi-retired and work from home, I wear slippers a lot. Especially since we have a large ivory antique Turkish rug in our living room, I prefer not to tramp around the house in shoes that have been worn outside. However, finding comfortable, machine-washable slippers with a memory foam foot bed and a sturdy but flexible sole has been a longstanding quest, especially since most slippers are too narrow for my feet.

    For decades, I made do with the Acorn Spa Wrap slippers that are very popular for people with foot problems. Then, I finally found my “holy grail” slippers last year.

    Here is my product review of my wonderful Landeer memory foam slippers, which I wear every day and love, and which Amazon buyers with both narrow and wide feet also rave about.

    Ultra Comfortable Memory Foam Slippers With Flexible Rubber Outsole

    I first discovered these slippers about a year and a half ago while putting together a Christmas wish list, which my husband's parents request from both us every year during the holiday shopping season. Since my old Acorn Spa Wrap quilted terrycloth slippers with a memory foam foot bed (a popular model that I had worn and periodically repurchased for decades) had gotten quite "long in the tooth" and the memory foam had eventually lost its resilience, I decided that new slippers would be a good, affordable wish list item and a gift I would appreciate and use daily.

    Since I have wide feet, the selection is pretty limited. Even though the Acorn slippers came in a wide width option, were machine washable and had a Velcro closure that accommodated my high instep, I didn't love them. They also had a very thin rubber outsole that wasn't ideal for, say, walking outside to the mailbox (especially given our New England weather).

    After researching memory foam slippers with a sturdy, non-slip rubber sole that would fit my wide feet comfortably, I decided to put these Landeer indoor-outdoor slippers on my Christmas wish list. Since they were from Amazon, I knew they would be easy to return if they didn't work out. Fortunately, they turned out to be great!

    What I Love About These Landeer Memory Foam Slippers

    I much prefer these Landeer Memory Foam Slippers to my old, tried-and-true Acorn Spa Wrap ones. Here are some of the reasons:

    • Extremely comfortable, well cushioned and lightweight. These are by far the most comfortable slippers I've ever worn! The memory foam foot bed is substantial and has held up extremely well over time, much better than that of my old Acorn Spa Wrap slippers. And, unlike many indoor-outdoor slippers with a sturdy rubber outsole, these are also very lightweight.
    • Breathable fabric uppers. These slippers have uppers made of a breathable knitted fabric. My feet stay comfortably warm while wearing these but don't become hot and perspired.
    • Plush fleece lining. The soft, plush fleece lining feels so good against my tender feet!
    • Flexible, sturdy, waterproof rubber outsoles for good traction. The much thicker rubber outsoles have deeper treads for better traction and absorb the impact when I'm walking on a hard surface, like our kitchen laminate flooring, bathroom floor tiles and uncarpeted areas of our wood floors. Despite their thickness (just over an inch at the heel and tapering down slightly at the toe), these waterproof rubber outsoles are also flexible enough to bend in half. And although they are not marketed as indoor-outdoor slippers, I and many other Amazon customers who have reviewed them find these slippers suitable to wear on a cement patio, walkway or pavement, if desired.
    • Machine washable and durable. Being able to toss these into the washing machine is especially important for the (admittedly infrequent) occasions when I wear them outdoors. (I wish we could do that with our regular shoes, lol!) I'm pleased to say that these have held up well after repeated machine washing.
    • Fits both regular and wide width feet (not recommended for narrow feet). If you have been unhappy with the limited options for wide slippers, I recommend giving these a try. Even though I wear a size 7 or 7.5 extra wide shoe, these slippers fit me perfectly. Based on the many Amazon customer reviews I've read, buyers with regular width feet love them, too!

      Note: I found that they run a bit long and, after wearing the Women's size 7/8 slippers that my in-laws bought me two Christmases ago for a while, I eventually bought myself a pair in size 5/6, which fits me perfectly. However, the majority of customer reviews indicate that they fit true to size, so I would recommend ordering your usual size and then exchanging them if you find them too long for your feet.
    • A wide choice of colors. As of this writing, there are 14 color choices for these Landeer mule slippers: Moonlight (a pretty aqua, and the color I chose), Navy, Olive Green, Purple, Red, Wine Red, Apple Green (a lighter olive green), Dark Gray, Light Gray, Pink Orange (a light peach shade), Rose Red (actually a bright medium pink), Pink (pale pink), Black and Yellow. Something to suit everyone, both men and women.
    • Very affordable price. The list price for these slippers on Amazon is $29.99 as of this post's publication date. As I write this, there's currently a 33%-off deal, so you can snag a pair (or two) for just $19.99. (I don't know how long it will last, though, so if you want to try a pair at this great price, don't wait to order!)
    Feet wearing Landeer memory foam slippers
    Sitting with my legs stretched out looking at my feet in my ultra comfy Landeer memory foam slippers

    Backless "Mule" Slippers Are a Mixed Blessing

    I appreciate that backless mule slippers are quicker and easier to slip on and off than styles that enclose the heels. Fortunately, thanks to the long uppers that cover the entire instep, these Landeer slippers stay on my feet without my having to grip the insole with my toes (like other backless styles I have tried on in the past).

    On the other hand, they can also come off more easily in situations when I'd rather they didn't, such as when I'm going up and down our treacherous old basement steps, which are very steep and have narrow treads that were built long before the current codes were established.

    Designed for Both Women and Men

    I was delighted to see that these Landeer memory foam slippers are sized to fit both women and men. Because of the width of the size selection boxes, the size decriptions are truncated until you click on a box to display the full description, so at first glance it might appear that there are only women's sizes. However, when you click one one of the size selection boxes, you will see that each size includes corresponding men's sizes for each of the women's sizes, e.g., "9-10 Women/7-8 Men."

    The Amazon product listing also includes helpful size charts that convert U.S. women's and men's sizes to European sizes and foot lengths in both inches and centimeters, as well as instructions for how to measure your foot length correctly.

    Makes a Thoughtful Gift

    After having put them on my Christmas wish list and worn them since Christmas 2021 (including ordering a pair one size smaller after a few months), I can't say enough good things about what a terrific gift these Landeer memory foam slippers have been.

    I think they would make great gifts for men as well as for women, and especially for people who work from home or are retired or bedridden. I'll bet someone who requires an extended hospital stay would also appreciate these soft, easy-on and easy-off slippers with a sturdy rubber outsole that provides good traction.

    The price is right, especially if you can snag a pair during the 33% off deal on Amazon. Why not pick up a few pairs and get a jump on your birthday and Christmas shopping?

    Finally, don't forget yourself! If you don't love your current slippers, I highly recommend giving these a try.

    Landeer Memory Foam Slippers - Selected Colors


    You’ll Love These Insanely Comfortable Memory Foam Slippers by Margaret Schindel

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