Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Best Travel Toiletry Bag for Women Is a Bargain!

I've purchased a lot of travel toiletry bags over the years to accommodate my makeup, makeup brushes, skin care, shampoo, hair styling products (such as heat protectant), deodorant, face and body sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. None of them worked well for me until I tried the NISHEL travel toiletry bag for women.

I'm delighted to share this excellent find. Here's my product review of this lightweight and large capacity toiletry organizer that folds down compactly when not in use.

NISHEL Travel Toiletry Bag Organizer - Spacious, Lightweight, Compact

I've purchased quite a few travel toiletry bags in my quest for one that met my needs. Unfortunately, they were either too large, too heavy, or not configurable to fit the variety of sizes and shapes of travel toiletries, makeup, brushes, etc., I like to take with me on trips.

Finally, I discovered this bag while watching a product review video (or maybe Instagram Live) from a well known beauty influencer whom I would gladly credit if I could remember which one.

It has quickly become one of my favorite travel accessories. Here's why I love it.

Well Thought-Out Design Holds a Lot of Toiletries, Keeps Them Organized and Easily Accessible

The NISHEL Travel Toiletry Bag for Women Large Capacity, Travel Essentials Organizer, Hanging Makeup Case for Accessories, Cosmetics, Toiletries is designed for optimal toiletry organization.

Two handles make this lightweight travel toiletry organizer bag easy to carry.

A large outer zipper compartment on the front provides easy access without opening the organizer.
NISHEL travel toiletry bag
The bag is slim and compact for storage when not in use and has a front zipper compartment.

The bag unzips fully to lie or hang flat.

Unzipped travel toiletry bag
When unzipped, it lies flat or hangs straight. The top and bottom flaps fold out for extra storage.

Once unzipped and with the flaps unfolded, there are four interior zippered sections with see-through, clear plastic fronts.

NISHEL travel toiletry organizer, fully opened
When unzipped with the flaps folded out, there are four generously sized, zippered compartments with clear plastic fronts to keep all your makeup, skincare, shampoo and other travel toiletries organized and easily accessible.

Keeps Limited Sink and Counter Space Clear

In many hotels and vacation rentals, bathroom counter space is at a premium. The NISHEL travel toiletry bag can hang on the shower rod, towel rack or door hook to keep from cluttering up the limited sink and counter space. And it's easy to see where all your toiletries are, even mini travel sizes, and access them easily throughout your stay.

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

That was one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings and one that definitely applies to this hanging toiletries organizer.

Here is a close-up look at each of the four interior zippered compartment sections, along with a peek at what I put into each section when I did a trial run of this organizer in anticipation of our next vacation.

Top Flap Section

The top flap is a zippered compartment with a sturdy hanger hook. It folds out to let you hang the organizer in a closet or in the bathroom.

Top flap compartment of NISHEL travel toiletry bag
I packed two eyeshadow palettes in the top flap zippered compartment. You can see the attached hanger hook that lets you hang this travel toiletry bag in a closet or on a door hook.

Top Center Section

The top center section is a very generously sized, zippered compartment with a clear plastic front and elastic-top nylon mesh pockets.

Upper middle compartment of NISHEL travel toiletry bag
I put a bunch of makeup brushes, eye pencils, mascara, lip glosses and a blush compact into the upper center zippered compartment with the elastic-top divided mesh bag. As you can see, I could have easily fit quite a bit more into this section!

Lower Center Section

The lower center section is another generously sized, zippered compartment with a clear plastic front. This one has two rows of wide, elastic strips across the center, stitched down in staggered sections, to securely hold products in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Lower middle section of NISHEL travel toiletry bag
I put two bottles of facial mineral sunscreen, a large can of mineral sunscreen spray, an eye treatment and concealer with SPF, toothpaste, floss and deodorant into this section with elastic loops and still had room to spare.

Bottom Flap Section

The bottom flap is another zippered compartment similar to the top flap, but without the hanger hook.

Bottom flap compartment of NISHEL travel toiletry bag
In the bottom flap zippered compartment, I put travel size shampoo, conditioner, styling products, and my Dnsly electric toothbrush in its hard travel case.

Note that this doesn't even include the exterior front pocket, which can fit additional toiletry or other travel items!

This travel toiletry bag has a large capacity that holds everything I want to bring with me and keeps it accessible and organized during my trip. Despite its large capacity, it's also extraordinarily lightweight, which I love!

Either of the two main center compartments can be used to hold makeup brushes securely, if desired.

A Choice of Colors

This travel toiletry organizer comes in the following colors (I've provided descriptions because some of the color names are a bit misleading): Pink (dusty rose-beige), Aegean Blue (soft navy), Lake Blue (dusty dark teal), Purple (dusty medium lilac), Rosewood-Pink (dusty chestnut brown) and Black.

I purchased the Pink, which looks more like a beige to me.

An Affordable Travel Gift

The list price of the NISHEL travel toiletry bag is $29.99. However, at the time of this product review's publication, the Amazon price was only $23.99.

The Matching Travel Accessories Also Are Great, Affordable Gifts

NISHEL Travel Jewelry Organizer I love that this brand also makes coordinating travel accessories (not all of them are available in all the colors).

The NISHEL Travel Jewelry Organizer for Necklaces, Earrings, Rings, Bracelets, Watch is 9.5" long × 5.5" wide ×1.5" deep. Its slim profile belies its generous capacity, thanks to its four buckled straps to hold necklaces or bracelets, five zippered pouches, earrings panel that can hold 14 pairs of earrings, and a long buckled band to hold multiple rings securely.

It has a list price of $23.99; the Amazon price at the time of this product review’s publication was $16.99.

NISHEL Double Layer Travel Makeup Bag The NISHEL Double Layer Travel Makeup Bag Women, Large Cosmetic Case, Organizer for Travel-Size Accessories Bottles, Brushes, Conditioner, and Skin Care Products is a large train case style makeup travel bag that a deep bottom section that holds a lot of makeup and skin care products, as well as a large, separate zippered compartment on top that can accommodate a very large number of makeup brushes.

It would be great for a makeup artist to carry to client appointments or for anyone who has a large makeup collection.

It has a list price of $29.99; the Amazon price at the time of publication was $22.99.

I think the NISHEL travel toiletry bag, travel jewelry organizer and cosmetics train case would all make wonderful, affordable gifts for women, especially those who love makeup, skin care, hair care or jewelry.

The Best Travel Toiletry Bag for Women Is a Bargain! 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, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Visit Missouri-Explore St. Louis - The Muny

Historic Bandstand at St. Louis Muny
Bandstand across from Muny

 

The St. Louis Municipal Opera, commonly called The Muny has been operating in Forest Park for more than 100 years.  It is America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre and is a real treasure for the residents and visitors to the St. Louis area.  

I have enjoyed many a delightful summer's evening watching Broadway style musicals at The Muny.  This year, I had the pleasure of introducing my youngest two granddaughters to The Muny when I took them to see a production of Beauty and the Beast.  They were delighted with the show, and it was wonderful to be able to watch it with them. 

We arrived at The Muny about two hours before the show started and enjoyed a picnic supper at one of the many picnic areas surrounding the Muny.  While enjoying our meal we were entertained by some of the pre-show entertainment.  On this evening there was a storyteller who delighted the children with stories and songs.  On other visits to The Muny I have enjoyed performances by some of the dance troops and singing groups before the show begins.   When it was about 30 minutes before the show we entered the outdoor theatre and made our way to our seats.  With time to spare we decided to get some ice cream from the refreshment stands to enjoy while we waited for the show to begin.  Here are Kate and Emily waiting for the show to start.

Grandkids at the Muny

The production of Beauty and the Beast was wonderful, and the girls were on the edge of their seats the entire time.

History of the Muny

About the time of the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis the dreams of a permanent outdoor musical theatre were formed.  It was 1916 before this dream was finally realized.  At that time a site was pick on a hillside in Forest Park between two large oak trees.  The first production held their was As You Like It.  It was picked to observe the 300th year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.  The production was seen by crowds of over 8000 per night and everyone was delighted.  This was the beginning of the 105 year history of The Muny.

Today the theatre has 10,800 seats.  The last nine rows (1456) are free seats and the rest of the seats are reserve tickets, with prices rising as you get closer to the stage.  The theater is built as an amphitheater and gently slopes downhill towards the stage at the bottom.

It is a true cultural treasure of St. Louis that has been enjoyed by residents and visitors over the decades.


More Reviews on Forest Park in St. Louis

I have written several other reviews on Forest Park venues.  Here are a few of my favorites.
Forest Park and the Jewel Box


Find out more about The Muny

 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Friday, July 7, 2023

Thule Motion Rooftop Cargo Carrier Reviewed

cargo carrier
We recently set out on a cross-country drive to visit a family member.  Since our destination was over 1000 miles away, we opted to drive only one vehicle to carry 5 adults and our dog, Merlin.

You may wonder why we took our pup with us.  He is approximately 15 years old and has arthritis.  He can no longer get up without assistance.  Leaving him in a kennel is not an option.  So, he made the trip with us.  

Merlin is a Labrador Retriever and requires as much room, or more, in the car as any adult.  We put one seat down with his bed on it so he would be comfortable on the long drive.  He was fabulous on the trip!  However, with 5 adults and a full-size doggie, we had no place for luggage.  Unfortunately, the people wanted to be able to change their clothes a few times on the trip, even though Merlin thinks that is silly.

A month before the trip, my husband spent a lot of time researching cargo carriers that would fit on top of our SUV.  He wanted one that would mount securely and would not fly off the top of the car.  He also wanted one that would minimize the drag on the car.  Plus, he wanted a reputable brand that would lock closed.  Last, but by no means least, he wanted one large enough to carry our luggage and supplies.  

Those are not unreasonable expectations for a cargo carrier on the top of the vehicle, but those combined concerns did limit options.

Before he even started looking at carriers, he looked up the manufacturer's specification for the total weight that our SUV could carry on it's roof.  We did not purchase the largest cargo carrier available.  The combined weight of the roof rail crossbars, the expected weight of the luggage, and the weight of the carrier itself,  had to be considered before the cargo carrier size was selected.

Now that we are home and our packed cargo carrier traveled over 2000 miles on the roof of our SUV, I can highly recommend the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier - Large.  Not only does it have a streamline attractive appearance, it has a lightweight construction that is extremely durable.  It didn't shake, rattle, bounce, fly open, or fly off of our SUV.  Plus, our luggage was safely locked inside so we didn't have to worry about thieves when we stopped along the way or overnight.

 

Features of the Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier (Large Size)

     Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Titan, Large, L (16 cu ft)
    Click Image to Purchase
  • Exterior:  77" x 36" x 17"
  • Interior offers 16 cubic feet packing space (69" x 31.5" x 15")
  • Dual Side Opening - Opens from Either Side of the Vehicle
  • When Open, Lid Has Supporting Side Lid-Lifters
  • Secure Closure Indicator on Lid
  • Offers a Quick Mount System that "Clicks" When Secure on the Recommended Cross Bars
  • Plastic Construction
  • Weight of Carrier: 42 lbs 
  • Carries 165 lbs of Content
  • Additional Sizes Available

 

Things We Considered Before We Purchased Our Cargo Carrier

First, we checked the Vehicle Manufacturer's Data for the maximum weight limit allowed for our vehicle roof rack when the vehicle is in Motion (not the weight allowed when the vehicle is parked).

We ensured the Combined Weight of the following did not exceed the vehicle manufacturer's maximum roof mounted weight specifications:

  1.  Weight of the Crossbars  
  2.  Weight of the Cargo Carrier  
  3.  Weight of the Carrier's Contents

 

Considerations When Selecting the Right Cargo Carrier 

I am sure there are more things to consider, but these are the things we found most important to us before we purchased, mounted and loaded our cargo carrier.

     Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo CarrierCheck Price

  1. Roof Rail Crossbars* 
  2. The Cargo Carrier Manufacturer's Maximum Carrier Content Weight Limit (combined weight of luggage or items to carry)
  3. The Cargo Carrier Manufacturer's Specified Maximum Vehicle Speed Allowed with Cargo Carrier Installed
  4. Mounting Considerations (front, back, center of roof) for the carrier.  We had to consider the lift gate on our SUV

 *Thule specifies crossbars that are safe to use with their cargo carriers on their website.  Our selected GMC crossbars were not listed, so we emailed our cargo carrier's manufacturer to ensure the roof rail crossbars we selected were safe to use with our vehicle and our cargo carrier before we bought them.

We mounted our carrier in accordance with our vehicle manufacturer and the cargo carrier manufacturer's instructions.  Both have specific limitations and guidance on how and where to mount the rooftop carrier.

Even after we considered all of these things in advance, we still weighed each item as we were packing the carrier to make sure we were within the specified weight limits of the roof rails, the carrier and the luggage combined.

On our trip, we saw several "interesting" ways that people carried their luggage or supplies on their roof.  Looking at those terrifying and potentially dangerous "techniques", made me grateful that my husband considered safety first before putting anything on the roof of our car.  

 

The Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier

We did need a lightweight step-stool for loading and unloading our luggage from the roof of our SUV

 Thule Motion XT Rooftop Cargo Carrier, Titan, Large, L (16 cu ft)Check Price ACSTEP Folding Step Stool 2 Step Ladder Heavy Duty Metal Stepping Stools for Adults with Anti-SlipCheck Price

 

 



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House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Reviewing Our Visit To James Herriot Country Thirsk North Yorkshire UK

Thirsk Church North Yorkshire UK

 

We recently visited the North Yorkshire town of Thirsk. It lies about 22 miles north of York and 192 Miles north of London in UK. Thirsk is a beautiful market town located in the district of Hambleton in North Yorkshire, England. Thirsk has a rich history that traces back to the 12th century and archeological information indicates there was s settlement there 500 years BC. Its name originates from the old Norse word presk meaning lake or fen and is a very interesting place.

Thirsk is really lovely with a large market square, many independent shops, and great cafes surrounded by the most beautiful countryside. It is located between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales, making it an excellent base for exploring the stunning natural beauty of the area. This review is about our experience of the town of Thirsk itself. 

 

St Marys Church Thirsk
View from the river walk, Cod Beck, to St Marys Church

Alf Wight The Vet and James Herriot The Author

It is also the place where James Herriot the writer and Alf Wight the veterinary surgeon lived and worked. He was born Oct 1916 in Sunderland and died 23rd Feb1995. He started working in Thirsk as a vet in 1940 after he graduated from Veterinary College in Glasgow and worked with Donald Sinclair for the next 50 years. 

The World of James Herriot, is a museum that honors the life and work of Alf Wight, the author of the books "All Creatures Great and Small". We especially wanted to see the World of James Herriot Museum located in Alf Wight's former veterinary practice, as it showcases his life, the stories behind his books, and the history of veterinary science.

 We took a self-guided tour of the house and saw how he lived and worked and it was truly fascinating and quite emotional to experience the life, sights and sounds that inspired the famous books and series.

This is the house where he lived and worked as a vet. The museum itself is in 2 parts, one is the actual house where he lived frozen in time in the 1940s with all the decor of that time. 

House Of James Herriot Thirsk
World Of James Herriot Museum -house on the right.  


The second part is how the series was filmed with the original sets. It is also the only Veterinary museum in the UK showcasing the various remedies and instruments used at that time. There is also a fun section for children or the child in all of us, where you can try out different veterinary activities and fun things.  

We were also able to see the wonderful car he used and a short explanatory film about his life and work which was fascinating. 

  

James Herriot The Author

I grew up on the amazing books of James Herriot and the memories of a Vet working in Yorkshire so I was excited to see the place where he practised as a vet and where the stories he later wrote about were born. He started writing relatively late in life. He had the stories in his head for a very long time and meant to write but it wasn't until his wife challenged that he would never do it that he started writing! 

I love all of his books and spent many happy hours reading them including he following with their published dates. 

If Only They Could Talk 1970

It Shouldn't Happen To A Vet 1972

Merged into one Volume called All Creatures Great and Small when published in the US 1975

Let Sleeping Vets Lie 1973

Vets In Harness 1974

All Things Bright And Beautiful 1977

The Lord God Made Them All 1981

Every Living Thing 1992

The Complete James Herriot Box Set is a wonderful way to start reading these books and a lovely gift idea


Then of course there was the wonderful filmed TV series "All Creatures Great And Small"

We spent about 4 hours there and I would strongly recommend a visit to this wonderful museum if you have any interest in James Herriot. We were able to take photos inside the house but as they are only to be used for personal use I cannot show them on this review. 

 It should also be noted that James Herriot also wrote wonderful children's books, based on his experiences as a vet all of which had illustrations. These include

Moses The Kitten 1984

Only One Woof 1985

The Christmas Day Kitten 1986

James Herriot Treasury For Children 1982

Bonnie's Big Day 1996


In addition, he wrote some books about his beloved Yorkshire such as James Herriot's Yorkshire 

People often wonder why Alf Wight did not use his own name when telling his stories of practicing as a vet in the Yorkshire countryside. The reason was that as a practicing veterinary surgeon, he was not permitted to use his own name as that would have been seen as advertising.

St Marys Church, Thirsk

We also visited the St Marys Church the heart of Thirsk where Alf Wight married his love and it is a truly beautiful church with a lively active congregation. It is over 500 years old and is of Gothic architecture. It was renovated during the Victorian era but retains its original character. 

The most notable and imposing feature is its tower which can be seen for 100 miles around and is over 100 feet tall. Inside the Church there are amazing wooden vaulted ceilings and decorated with ornate carvings. The chancel screen is gorgeous with its tracery and stained glass.   


St Marys ChurchThirsk
St Marys Church, Thirsk

St Marys Church Thirsk Timber Roof
St Marys Church Timber Roof


Thirsk Blue Plaque Trail.

We finished our time in Thirsk by following the Blue Plaque Trail which highlights many and various interesting and important landmarks throughout the town. The walk around took us about two to three hours so there were many places of interest but here are just a few highlights for you. 


We visited the grand Thirsk Hall Sculpture Garden. Thirsk Hall is owned by Bell family who are opening their 20 acres of gardens and parklands to exhibit culture from different artists. The artists' work is changed on a regular basis and it was a very interesting walk around the grounds seeking out the various beautiful sculptures and talented artists work. It was a wonderful way to spend two or three hours. Again photos can be taken but are restricted to personal use only.  It is a family home and the family do live there.

Thirsk Hall Blue Information Plaque

The Ritz Cinema was an amazing experience. We arrived about 30 mins before the film was due to start and were lucky enough to get talking to one of the volunteers there who kindly showed us around. It dates back to the early 20th century and as first established as a music hall venue. It has been entertaining the locals for over a hundred years. 

There have been many changes of use over the years including a Bingo Hall before it was once again converted back to a Cinema in the early 1980s. It has been modernised and has comfortable seating but has a most beautiful art deco interior. It is now run by enthusiastic volunteers and screens current and classic films.

Ritz Cinema Thirsk


Ritz Cinema Blue Plaque


The Three Tuns Pub is three hundred years old dating back to the 18th century and is located in the market square in Thirsk.

It is a beloved building and over the years has been a meeting point for travelers, local businesses and farmers. Now it is a public House serving local ales and beer and food. It has a large beer garden at the back enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. 


Three Tuns Pub


Three Tuns Pub Blue Plaque


The Golden Fleece Old Coaching house dates back to the 16th century and was a coaching inn stage for Royal Mail Edinburgh to London.

One of its most famous guests was Captain James Cook who used to drink there. It is very popular with people who go to the Thirsk races such as Jockeys, Trainers and racing enthusiasts. It is now a large central Hotel well situated in the market square in Thirsk.


The Golden Fleece Old Coaching house


The Golden Fleece Blue Plaque


The Golden Fleece Building Frontage


Thirsk is home to the Thirsk Racecourse, which is a major attraction for horse racing enthusiasts.  Although we did not visit the racecourse. It hosts a range of races throughout the year, including the annual Thirsk Hunt Cup, one of the country's top flat races.


All in all it was a really wonderful visit to the town of Thirsk and would appeal to anyone with a love of the beautiful quite stunning scenery which surrounds the town, a love of James Herriot books and TV series, a slice of British history and culture at its best and just embrace a part of the world that is a joy to experience. 


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Friday, August 12, 2022

Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker - A Mini K-cup Coffee Maker for Travel

Keurig K-Mini
Many years ago, I purchased a small travel coffee pot that accommodated ground coffee and required a coffee filter. I was happy to have my own coffee pot when we traveled. It didn't make a lot of coffee, but it was portable and pack-able, which made it essential for travel. 

I stopped taking it everywhere when hotels started putting small coffee makers & packets of ground coffee in every room.  However, I have noted that many hotels have, once again, stopped providing the little coffee makers in the room since the pandemic began.

I need my coffee when I first wake up. I prefer to have it before I dress for the day. That requires having a coffee pot & coffee in the room. I also like being able to make hot tea in my hotel room any time of the day without having to order room service.

I don't mind taking my own coffee and coffee maker. Frankly, it is probably cleaner for me to use my own personal coffee maker, water, and coffee.

After our last trip and a hotel room that didn't have a coffee maker, I went in search of a new portable coffee maker. I was thrilled to find a mini Keurig coffee maker that uses k-cups. That is even more convenient than the travel coffee makers of begone days.

I love my new Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker!  I have only discovered one downside to my K-Mini. I can't remove the water reservoir to wash it. However, there is a Keurig K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker that does have a removable water reservoir, but is more expensive. The Plus version also has a storage unit that holds 9 k-cup pods and stores in the opening for the mug when packing for travel. 

I purchased a tote bag for my Keruig K-Mini Coffee Maker that has a zipper pocket on the side for k-cups. In my case, I would rather be able to pack my personal ceramic coffee mug in the opening used by the storage unit on the Plus version, but I realize that is a personal preference.


 


The Keurig K-Mini Coffee Maker

This miniature version of the Keurig coffee maker is very easy to use. You simply add water in the reservoir using your mug. That way, you won't overfill it. Add your k-cup, close the lid, and push the button.

It takes a little longer for the mini to produce a hot cup of coffee because it doesn't start heating the water until you push the larger brew button (not the small "on" button). 

 


 

I do recommend cleaning your new k-mini coffee maker right out of the box with vinegar & water to remove any manufacturing dust or debris that may be inside the coffee maker.  

To Clean: Pour vinegar in the reservoir to the minimum (6) marked on the reservoir, add water to the maximum (12) fill line. Place a mug below the empty k-cup holder (the brew head), push the brew button and let it go through a complete cycle.  Then, brew a full reservoir of clean water only at least 2 times behind the vinegar to cleanse.

I washed every piece that was detachable, plus wiped down the unit with a soapy cloth. 




The Keurig K-Mini or K-Mini Plus Coffee Maker is the perfect travel companion for brewing coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc.  In addition to traveling, it is great for a small kitchen.

 




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House of Sylvestermouse





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