Showing posts with label gift ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gift ideas. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and the day after is Black Friday, when many people will be taking the day off to enjoy an extra-long weekend. Despite the growing trend toward "pre-Black Friday sales," the Friday after Thanksgiving is widely considered the kickoff to the holiday gift shopping season and making plans for the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa winter holidays.

With retail stores (both online and brick-and-mortar) competing hard for your holiday shopping dollars, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the barrage of sales messages and holiday gift guides. But the best gifts, the ones that make both the giver and receiver feel warm and fuzzy, are presents that reflect your personal connection to each recipient through your knowledge of their individual likes and interests.

This holiday gift guide reviews a selection of gift ideas that are both affordable and thoughtful, tailored to the interests of special people on your list.

Thoughtful & Affordable Holiday Gifts

Holiday Gift Ideas by Interest

Whether your nearest and dearest friends and family members, teachers and other recipients on your list are fond of fashion, food, fancy fingertips or other interests, the affordable gifts in this holiday gift guide are sure to please!

For Women Who Love Luxury But Hate Cold Weather

One of the best presents I ever bought myself were a pair of VIKIDEER Long, Lined, Warm Leather Gloves for Women With Touchscreen Fingertips. They're made of soft, luxurious lambskin leather, have a warm, plush lining, are long enough to keep my arms as well as my hands toasty warm, and let me  use my mobile phone, tablet or Kindle to make a phone call, look up a bus or train schedule, call a cab, Uber or Lyft or listen to an audiobook, podcast or music without having to expose my fingers to the cold winter weather. Read my product review of these Long, Lined Leather Touchscreen Gloves to learn more about why they make a much appreciated gift for women.

Long, lined, warm leather touchscreen gloves

Other cozy gift recommendations to keep her warm in the cold weather include the Warm, Oversized, Hooded Wearable Blankets recommended by Raintree Annie and the Affordable, Cozy Warm Micromink Sherpa Blanket reviewed by Barbara (a.k.a. Brite-Ideas) that keeps her family members toasty during the chilly Canadian winters. 

For Podcast, Audiobook and Music Lovers

Any audiobook or podcast lover will appreciate a Audible Premium Plus Gift Membership. A 1-month membership costs only $15 and allows the recipient to select an audiobook their choice for 1 credit and gives them access to additional listens through the Audible Plus catalog. It would make a great stocking stuffer! There are also 3-month, 6-month or 12-month gift memberships available.

Recipients with iPhones or other Apple devices can use an Apple Gift Card to buy AirPods (and other accessories) as well as subscriptions to Apple Music (as well as apps, games, movies and TV shows) in the Apple App Store.

If you want to splurge a little on someone special, a pair of comfortable, lightweight, high-quality, bone-conduction headphones makes a great gift idea. Check out my product review of The Best Bone-Conduction Bluetooth Headphones: Shokz OpenRun Pro to learn more about these awesome headphones.

Shokz Open Run Pro premium bone-conduction headphones

For Women Who Enjoy Pretty Nails

As a former nail biter with weak nails that constantly broke or split, I used to envy women who had long, strong, beautifully manicured and polished nails. It is only in recent years that I finally learned how to heal my weak, ridged nails and ragged cuticles. Now, I love showing off my new, long, healthy nails with pretty polish colors and nail art designs!

Manicure with Color Street nail polish strips

If someone on your list also enjoys having pretty, well-groomed nails (or wishes she did), check out my product reviews of The Best Manicure Tools for Strong, Healthy Nails and put together a selection in a gift basket, along with a printout of my article 14 Secrets to Growing Strong, Healthy, Beautiful Nails and a bottle or two of good quality nail polish or, better, yet, Color Street nail polish strips, which I use and recommend highly. You can order them from my fellow Review This Reviews contributor Olivia Morris and read her Color Street nail polish strips product review to learn more about them.

For Current or Aspiring Gardening Enthusiasts and Flower Lovers

My mother and my sister both got the "green thumb" genes in our family. So, while my sister grows a lot of her own vegetables and herbs (and even lemons and limes) year-around, despite our cold New England climate, the only crops I have been able to grow reliably all year long are Hamama microgreens seed quilts. Hamama Microgreens Starter Kits and Seed Quilt Refills are designed specifically for indoor growing. Just fill the grow trays with tap water up to the fill line, place the seed quilts and attached coir fiber mats on top and press to soak evenly, place them near a window or under a grow light, wait for them to sprout and grow, then harvest and eat, So easy, delicious and satisfying, especially for people like me who lack natural gardening talent or savvy! I have given them as gifts and the recipients have loved them. Learn more in my Hamama Microgreens Starter Kit and Seed Quilts Review.

HAMAMA microgreens seed quilts in grow trays

Outdoor gardening enthusiasts will definitely appreciate the gift of a high quality tool, such as bypass secateurs. Check out my savvy gardening expert Raintree Annie's review of her favorite Wolf-Garten ByPass Secateurs.

For someone with a deck, consider giving a City Pickers raised garden bed recommended by Tracey (a.k.a. The Savvy Age) along with some good quality potting soil.

Several of my fellow Review This Reviews contributors are talented nature photographers who have turned their photos into various products on Zazzle. You'll find beautiful flower-themed photo mugs, t-shirts, decorative pillows and other gifts on Mary Beth Granger's Beauty in Nature Zazzle shop and Raintree Annie's Raintree Earth Designs Zazzle shop.

For Cooking or Baking Enthusiasts

There are so many wonderful gift ideas for people who love cooking, baking or both! Two that I can recommend highly that are also very affordable include my pick for The Best Powerful, Lightweight Stick Blender With Versatile Attachments and an assortment of handy, easy-to-clean, nonstick pan friendly silicone kitchen tools

Mueller Multi-Purpose Ultra-Stick Hand Blender

If you want to give your favorite home cook a gift they would love to own but might not buy for themselves, also check out the equally versatile Ninja Foodi Grill reviewed by Sam Monaco.

And for your favorite baker, Treasures by Brenda recommends these pretty and practical pink cupcake-themed aprons and adorable, festive gingerbread man-themed aprons that would make perfect Christmas gifts.

For Coffee Lovers in a Small Household

One of the Christmas gifts my husband requested last year was a coffee maker that could make just one or two cups of really good coffee that would taste as delicious as a larger 6-, 8- or 12-cup batch (for when we had company) and could be programmed the night before to brew the next morning, so he (or we) could wake up to a freshly brewed cup of java. 

After a lot of research, I finally chose the Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe and it was a huge hit. Read my product review to learn why we think it's The Best Affordable Programmable Large- and Small-Batch Coffee Maker.

Ninja CE251 Programmable Brewer with 12-cup Glass Carafe

If your gift recipients are the only coffee drinkers in their household or if the want to enjoy delicious, freshly brewed coffee when they travel, check out Sylvestermouse's review of the Keurig K-Mini Single Serve K-cup Coffee Maker.

For Regular and Herbal Tea Lovers

I and many of my friends are avid tea drinkers. While I enjoy a cuppa good Darjeeling or English Breakfast, I also love flavored teas, such as peach, apricot and blackberry. Although I never liked the grassy flavor of most green tea or chamomile, I have been exploring flavored herbal teas and discovered quite a few that I enjoy even more than traditional black teas. Flavored red rooibos teas, in particular, have become some of my new favorites. I love The Republic of Tea's Restore and Reset SuperAdapt Herbal Tea, which is organic, caffeine-free and infused with cocoa and reishi mushrooms, adaptogens (which the Cleveland Clinic describes as "plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety, fatigue and overall wellbeing") that give it a delicious, slightly earthy chocolate flavor, and The Republic of Tea's Strawberry Chocolate Tea, which I have reviewed in detail (An Unusual, Delicious Strawberry Chocolate Tea With 0 Calories).

Republic of Tea Strawberry Chocolate Cuppa Chocolate Tea

To enhance your gift, consider adding the pretty and practical McIntosh Van Gogh Fine China Tea Mug with Lid & Infuser reviewed by Cynthia Sylvestermouse, a perfect gift pairing with the tea of your choice for your favorite tea lover.

For Healthy Chocolate Connoisseurs

As a chocolate connoisseur who has lost a significant amount of weight on a ketogenic diet and now follows a delicious, healthy low carb lifestyle, I have tried most of the no sugar added and sugar-free chocolate brands and products on the market. There are many great choices now, but my favorite chocolate candy bars are from The Good Chocolate and ChocZero. 

The Good Chocolate is expensive but has the best mouthfeel of any no sugar added dark chocolate I have tried (they also offer vegan milk chocolate treats). Check out my review of The Good Chocolate 100% Organic, No Sugar Dark Chocolate

The Good Chocolate organic no sugar added chocolate bars

I also love ChocZero's sugar-free keto bark, which contains no sugar alcohols. The ChocZero dark chocolate peppermint keto bark with bits of crunchy, sugar-free peppermint candy is my husband's favorite holiday candy. Both these chocolate bars are also high in fiber, which is a nice bonus.

No sugar added, low carb chocolate hazelnut spreads would also make a great stocking stuffer for a health-conscious Nutella lover. My side-by-side comparison of the Best Keto-Friendly Chocolate Hazelnut Spreads with No Added Sugars will help you choose. 

For People Following a Keto Diet or Low Carb Lifestyle

In addition to the healthy sugar-free and no added sugar chocolate suggestions above, you'll find loads of other wonderful presents for health-conscious recipients in my Keto Gift Guide: The Best Low Carb Keto Gift Ideas.

For Women Who Appreciate Handmade Gifts

A gift you make for someone is truly a gift from the heart. Even if you are new to making jewelry, you can quickly and successfully create a beautiful and memorable gift of handmade jewelry for a special woman on your list to cherish. Just follow my easy, step-by-step jewelry tutorial, How to Make a Stylish Beaded Coil Wrap Bracelet.

Handmade beaded coil wrap bracelet on wrist

If jewelry making isn't your thing, consider getting one of the crochet, knitting, sewing, felt, quilting or other craft kits recommended by Pat Austin (a.k.a. Wednesday Elf) that come complete with all the materials and tools you will need to complete your handmade gift projects.

If you prefer cooking to crafts, homemade baked goods are always a treat. For someone who prefers savory foods to sweets, you can buy some pretty lidded glass food storage jars and fill them with a batch of refrigerator pickled vegetables recipe using Tracey Boyer's quick and easy recipe that doesn't require canning.

If your gift recipient's household includes a beloved cat or small dog owner, you can follow this Upcycled Drawer Pet Bed Tutorial by Diana (a.k.a. Renaissance Woman) to turn an old dresser drawer into an elegant, luxurious bed for their precious pet.

For Scale Model, Jewelry Making or Hand Tool Enthusiasts

My husband is both a "tool guy" and a "car guy" who loves building scale models as a hobby and doing electonics and automotive repairs. One of the best gifts I've given him is a durable, compact tool roll that keeps his many files and other precision hand tools organized, protected and easy to find. I've been tempted to buy another for myself for my jewelry making tools. Check out my in-depth product review to find out why The Best Tool Roll Organizer To Store & Protect Your Tools makes a great gift.

DuraTech Tool Roll Organizer

Consider pairing it with a Grypmat, a handy silicone tool organizer that sticks to and protects work surfaces and comes in a variety of sizes. It's perfect for automotive repairs and other mechanical work, jewelry making and DIY projects. Learn more about it in Dawn Rae's product review of the Grypmat: the Ultimate Tool Mat.

For Women or Men With Long, Thick or Damaged Hair

Drying long or thick hair can be time-consuming unless you use a blow dryer, which can damage tresses if overused, which can lead to damage. Using blow dryers or heat styling tools, such as curling irons and hot brushes, for as short a time as possible is important to keep hair healthy and prevent additional damage to colored, processed or fragile strands.

For the person on your list who has long, thick or damaged hair, a high-quality, absorbent hair towel that glides over vulnerable, wet tresses without stretching or pulling them is a wonderful gift. I highly recommend the VOLO Hero or VOLO Hero Plus (for long, thick locks), which I've written about in my VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel Product Review.

VOLO Hero Premium Microfiber Hair Towel

A good "wet brush" designed to slide through tangles without pulling, stretching or breaking wet strands after a shampoo would make a great pairing or stocking stuffer. Check out my article on The Best Wet Brushes for Detangling Your Hair Without Damage in addition to the Crave Naturals Glide Thru Detangling Hair Brush for Wet or Dry Hair, my new favorite daily brush for hair that's already damaged or fragile.

For People Who Love to Smile

I recently treated myself to a new sonic toothbrush that works as well as my previous Philips Sonicare and Oral-B brushes that cost much more. The bristles are gentle on the gums and clean very effectively, and the brush comes complete with a travel case and lots of extra brush heads, all for a remarkably low price. Unlike my previous ultrasonic toothbrushes from the big-name brands, the brush head refills are also delightfully affordable. 

Dnsly Electric Toothbrush Set

Read my product review of The Best Dentist Approved, Inexpensive, 5-Mode Electric Toothbrush to learn more about why this set makes a wonderful gift for yourself or a loved one with a beautiful smile.

Have You Made Your Holiday Gift List (and Checked It Twice)?

I hope this holiday gift guide helps you choose thoughtful, affordable presents that will continue to delight both you and the recipients long after the holidays are over.

Happy holidays!

Holiday Gift Guide: Thoughtful, Affordable Gift Ideas They Will Love by Margaret Schindel

Read More Gift Ideas From Our Review This Reviews Contributors





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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Best Lego Gift Ideas That Aren't Necessarily Lego Building Sets

A gift guide with Lego ideas that are not necessarily Lego sets.
My children clamored for Lego sets when they were growing up and, somewhere along the line, they turned me into a Lego enthusiast. Each year at Christmas my sons picked a special set that they dreamed of owning and, of course, hoped that Santa Claus would leave under the Christmas tree. They generally picked reasonable sets and discovered them under the Christmas tree in the morning.

Now that my children are grown up, Lego still appeals to them and Santa still likes to leave them a small Lego set at Christmastime. However, Lego gifts can even make an appearance on Valentine's Day, at Easter time or on a birthday and sometimes those gifts are Lego themed but not necessarily Lego sets. The popularity of Lego has ensured that there is plenty of merchandise to choose from so that gift giving is not limited to building sets though of course no Lego fan would ever say no to another Lego kit.

I have gathered on this page some of the best Lego-themed gift ideas that I could find in 2022. It was while looking for just such a gift that I decided to create this page. The "best" is used very loosely and is based solely on what appealed to me, partly by my sense of what my Lego lovers would love to own and partly by what appeals the most to me. I hope you find this list useful.

A BOOK - FANTASTIC: A LEGO ADVENTURE IN THE REAL WORLD


Factastic A LEGO Adventure in the Real World by Penelope Arlon.

Within the pages of Penelope Arlon's Factastic: A LEGO Adventure in the Real World the reader will find real photographs with Lego figures and interesting facts and statistics about an eclectic variety of subjects including flying to Pluto, the invention of my favorite snack (the humble potato chip), the playing of the first video game and more. It is a fun, non-fiction Lego-themed book by Scholastic recommended for ages seven to eleven but, of course, of interest to anyone who loves the Lego brick. 

Find your copy of Factastic here on Amazon.

A CALENDAR - LEGO BRICK CALENDAR SET 40172


LEGO's Brick Calendar set 40172. Perfect for any adult or older child who loves building with Lego bricks.
I am not in the least surprised that there is such a thing as a Lego calendar. This Lego Brick Calendar seems like a natural choice for someone who loves to play with Lego or who remembers fondly playing with Lego in his or her youth. The calendar is set 40172 and comes with everything you need to build the four blocks as well as a mini-figure and the display rack. It is a perfect gift for the year 2022 that will be equally useful for years to come. Personally, I would trade out the mini-figure for one that suits my interests more but that is no problem if your gift recipient owns a collection of Lego.




A STORAGE UNIT - LEGO ICONIC RACK SYSTEM SET 5005875

Transparent Blue LEGO Rack System


This Transparent Blue LEGO Iconic Rack System (5005875) is not particularly big but it is perfectly designed for young builders having three drawers for him or her to sort and organize Lego bricks. The drawers are semi-transparent drawers and have baseplates to build on. The unit measures 14 inches tall by 12 inches wide by 13 inches deep.

I am not sure if this storage unit will save you from the pain of stepping on the Lego bricks of younger Lego fans but it will help them sort and organize their bricks and even the youngest will now have a home to put all of their Lego bricks away when they care to or when they are instructed to. Available in red as shown, in blue or in gray.

Click here to find this Transparent Lego Rack System on Amazon. 



The Lego Movie set includes both the first and the second movie.

A gift for any Lego fan, whether they travel or not. Affix them to your luggage, your backpack, your purse. Any bag will do!

Love Lego? Don't miss these wonderful head block t-shirts. Pick your color, face style and size!

A MOVIE - LEGO'S EXTRA AWESOME 2-FILM COLLECTION 


The Lego Movies were a huge hit with fans and the critics. This Extra Awesome set is one that your gift recipient should own. Whether or not he or she has already seen the movies, they'll likely watch them over and over again.  Click here to find The Lego Movie 2-Film Collection on Amazon. It is an extremely affordable gift idea.

A LUGGAGE TAG - BANANAS, HOT DOGS AND MORE, OH MY!


These Lego tags are fun, declaring, as they will, your recipient's love of Lego to one and all and I don't think you have to be a traveler to appreciate them. They could also be affixed to a backpack, purse or other bag, not just your suitcase. I have shared a couple of mini-figure food-themed tags but Lego has also produced tags in themes that include Star Wars, Batman, Ninjago and Batman. Find them all on Amazon by clicking right here

A T-SHIRT - CUSTOMIZABLE LEGO BRICK HEAD BY TEEZ 2 GO


I cannot think of a more practical or affordable gift idea for a Lego lover than a t-shirt like the ones shown above from Teez 2 Go on Etsy.  They are available in a host of colors, designs and sizes for men, women and children so that you can pick the one that you think is perfect for your Lego enthusiast.  You will find these t-shirts on Etsy by clicking right here. If the whole family loves Lego, why not dress them all in one of these? That would create a fabulous photo opportunity.

A LIMITED EDITION POSTER - TOM WHALEN'S THE LEGO MOVIE POSTER 


Tom Whalen's The Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift idea for a Lego fan.

Tom Whalen's Lego Movie art poster makes a unique gift for your Lego fan that can take pride of place on his or her bedroom wall. Heck, don't limit it to the bedroom. It would be fabulous on a family room or play room wall or absolutely any wall at all. 

Whale is a deviant artist who has produced many movie-themed prints, including this limited edition The Lego Movie one, which was issued in a limited numbered run of 475. You can source it now on eBay from the original buyers who are now wanting to sell their copy of the fun print.  Find it on eBay by clicking right here.

A MINI-FIGURE - PERSONALIZED & BUILT IN YOUR LIKENESS


Personalized Lego mini-figures created by Brick Creative. Customizable with your choice of colors, figures, text, etc.

Finally, here is a truly unique Lego-themed gift idea. Brick Creative on Etsy creates personalized minifigures of you and/or your loved ones. They do them in many themes including but not limited to Christmas, Halloween, birthday, anniversary and thank you. You can select the number of figures, theme, etc. that suit you. See for yourself all of the choices in Brick Creative's store on Etsy by clicking right here

So there you have it, a page full of interesting and less usual Lego-themed gift ideas. Which items were your favorites?

See you 
at the Lego store!
Lego fans will enjoy checking out the retired sets in my eBay store.

True enthusiasts, young and old, will love perusing the pages of these great books.

Lego's Beatles' Yellow Submarine Set.
Know someone who loves Lego and the Beatles? This will be the set for them!

Another adult set, perfect for those who are expert builders and love a beautiful carousel.

A throw-back to another time, adult fans who remember typewriters will enjoy this set.

Perfect for fans of the iconic television program, the Big Bang.

An adult-level set for those appreciate grocery stores or markets of the old-fashioned style.


Lego Gift Ideas a page full of 'em!







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Sunday, November 20, 2022

Don't Buy This Fudge - It's Too Good!

 

Best fudge ever

Warning! If you're a fudge-a-holic, this fudge will be completely impossible to resist!

My Mom's Homemade Fudge Was the Best! Store Bought Fudge Couldn't Come Close to Her Fudge

Until now.

I rarely enjoy bakery fudge, or any store-bought fudge for that matter, because it doesn't taste right to me. 

After having my mother's homemade fudge for a lifetime, store fudge just lacks something.

The other day, my hubby showed up with a box of fudge. My first thought was, nope, it's going to suck. 

Well, I ate those words and the whole box of fudge too! So much for my low-carb life last week!

It was so good that I told my husband to NEVER buy it again because I could not resist it.

He Purchased This Fudge at Costco, But It's Also Available via Amazon Canada (I Can't Locate it on Amazon USA, Though)

You Can Find it Via Amazon Canada Here

This fudge is the closest to my mother's homemade fudge I've ever tasted. Being French Canadian, she called her fudge as per the box above; Sucre a la Creme; we just called it fudge. 

My mom's fudge was so good that my friends would request her to make it or ship them a box! So to my friends who loved her fudge, try this one.

This Laura Secord Fudge has a buttery, brown-sugar flavor. 

Mom would make her fudge two ways, either hard or soft. I preferred the hard fudge. 

The creamy fudge above is more on the soft side (medium texture). Each piece is individually wrapped, so you'll absolutely eat six at once (lol) ... it's that good!

If you're looking for a nice treat to bring to someone's home, I recommend this incredible Laura Secord Fudge.

On second thought, don't buy it! Resist it!

Happy Holidays :)

P.S. I haven't enclosed my mom's fudge recipe because fudge is all about boiling, stirring, timing and cooling - it's more of a technique. After making her fudge a few times, I managed to get the technique down. Not sure I could even explain it!




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Sunday, October 30, 2022

A Whiskey Glass Gift Set - I Loved it So Much, I Bought it Twice

Whiskey Glasses Gift Set

With the holidays coming up, gift buying is creeping into our brains. I have to admit, I'm still trying to keep that door shut for a bit!

Times are tough at the moment, so if you're seeking a gift that's both affordable and elegant, you have to check out this Whiskey Glass Gift Set

I've purchased this gift set twice for two people. They appreciated the gift and loved the whiskey glasses as well.

What Is So Good About this Whiskey Glass Gift Set Anyway?

  • It comes in a lovely, elegant gift box
  • It includes 4 crystal whiskey glasses
  • Included is 1 tong
  • There are also 8 granite chilling whiskey rocks included
  • There's also 1 black velvet bag to safely store the whiskey rocks
  • The whiskey glasses are chip and scratch resistant
  • The glasses also have thick sides and a solid base
  • The glasses have diamond-like details, texture, and sparkle in the light
  • These glasses are ideal for Bourbon, Scotch, and Whiskey Lovers
  • The whiskey glasses are solid to hold - you feel like you're holding something of substance
What Rating Do I Give This Gift Idea

This Whiskey Glass Gift Set gets a five-star rating from me.

I purchased this first for my oldest son as a birthday gift, then, after seeing how nice it was for the price, I decided to buy one for my brother's birthday.

My brother and I don't usually exchange birthday gifts, but this birthday was a milestone birthday for him, and I knew this set would be something he would use. Plus, the price range was ideal.

When you don't normally exchange gifts with people, but decide for one reason or another that you want to get them something, this is a practical, thoughtful, classy, and affordable choice (in my humble opinion).

In summary, if you know someone who could enjoy a whiskey glasses set like this, don't hesitate; it's excellent value for the price.





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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Benefits Of Seatbelt Protectors Reviewed

I recently bought a seatbelt protector for the first time. It has proved to be a very useful and essential item. It is simply attached around the seatbelt in the car to provide more comfort when driving. It can also be used for any other straps on various bags for extra comfort for our shoulders, neck and chest. 




The reason I looked into buying a seatbelt protector is that after having surgery a few months ago I got clearance from my surgeon to resume driving. The nurse did however advise me that because of where the scar is and that the seatbelt cuts across it that I may find it a lot more comfortable with some form of cushioning.

She suggested wrapping a towel or small blanket around the seatbelt to protect my skin and the scar tissue, which I initially thought was a great idea.

However, while this is an inexpensive idea I could not get on with it as it kept slipping and felt very bulky and certainly not a great look either. 

Nevertheless, it was clear that I was going to be uncomfortable for a long time if I drove or was a passenger wearing a seatbelt in the car so I had to find something. Here in the UK it is a legal requirement for all drivers and passengers -with very few exemptions- to wear an individual seatbelt. If we do not wear a seatbelt we can be given a hefty fine and penalty points on our license. 

The hard edges of the seatbelt and the hard material hurt my skin now and where it lies is very close to the scar. I do not like to wear a coat when driving so there is not much buffer of clothing between my skin and the hard seatbelt. 

 So when I found this seatbelt protector it seemed an excellent idea! I chose a fake fur one as I thought it would be the softest option. I wanted it to protect my skin from any chafing or cutting from the seatbelt.  

Seatbelt Protector Velcro Fastening Side Up 



Factors To Consider When Buying A Seatbelt Protector


What colours and patterns do you like?
Mine is in grey as I thought it would blend in with my car's decor. However, if you wanted to have some colour or make a statement they do come in different colours and patterns. I have seen many in pink and blue and black and different patterns to suit everyone's taste. There are some fun designs for children as well. 

Decide the right size for you. 
I chose a seatbelt protector that is a little longer than average so mine is 13 inches long, many are around 10 inches. I think in normal circumstances 10 inches would be perfectly good but I just wanted to make sure none of the seatbelt had edges touching my body. 

Ease of use. 
You do need to slide the seatbelt protector up and down the seatbelt to get it adjusted to fit in the right place but in my experience, it stays there once positioned. 

The one I have is fastened with velcro. It is very easy to fit as you just pull the strong velcro apart, fit around the seatbelt and seal up the velcro again. It takes no time at all. To take off just unseal the velcro. 

I wear it with the edges of the velcro away from my body but you could wear it either way round.

Fabric composition. 
 I chose fake fur as I wanted the softest possible material. Apparently, they are warm in winter and cool in summer so time will tell. So far I will say it is very soft and for me makes driving a lot more comfortable. I am not finding it too hot even in this mini heatwave we are currently having. 

You can also buy them in a quilted fabric, so if you do not like the look or feel of fake fur, quilted is a good option. 

Washability.
While they should not need washing all the time, you will want to clean them so it is important to check if it is machine or hand washable.    

Velcro Fastening On My Seatbelt Protector 

Seatbelt Protectors Are Comfortable


 As there were two in the pack we fitted the other seatbelt protector one to the passenger seat and my husband has used it as well. He said he wonders why we did not fit them years ago as it makes wearing a seatbelt significantly more comfortable as it provides a cushion between you and the seatbelt hard edges.

I imagine it would also be helpful to fit these for children to make their car journeys safer and more comfortable and encourage them to wear their seatbelts with a fun design.

I think they would be helpful for many people who may find the seatbelt cuts across their necks, shoulders or chest when driving or a passenger. 

Inside Of The Seatbelt Protector

There Are Many Uses For Seatbelt Protectors


I bought mine for a very specific reason initially, but now I have it I can see there are many more practical uses for them!

I can see them being very useful and practical protecting us from backpack straps which can often cut in on the shoulders and laptop bags which can cut across the body or shoulders with a laptop and maybe heavier work materials to be carried as well.

Seatbelt protectors may be very handy when carrying baby bags which often have a lot of items inside. They may even be useful when carrying baby close to your body in a baby harness.

Sports bags such as golf bags which can be heavy and awkward would also be more comfortable to move around with a seatbelt protector.

It would be wonderful to make carrying heavy luggage when on holiday easier. Also when we next travel by plane I will take a couple with us for when we wear seatbelts during the flight to make it more comfortable. 

I have even thought of buying another one for my camera bag which has good straps but can cut in when it's around my neck for a while. See The Perfect Camera Strap Cover to Protect Your Neck by Sylvestermouse Cynthia about how to use it on a camera strap.

 Using it on these types of bags will help prevent any strap cutting in on the shoulder, chest, or neck and make carrying heavier or awkward bags more comfortable.

So, in addition to using them for driving and whenever I am a passenger in any vehicle,  I will certainly be using one when we are traveling with bags for day trips or on longer holidays for our luggage. 

Seatbelt protectors are not particularly expensive and in addition to our own personal use, would also make a great and thoughtful gift idea for many people.



Other Useful And Interesting Reviews










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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Himalayan Salt Lamps Reviewed

 



I love our Himalayan Salt Lamp. It is a beautiful and soothing addition to the lighting in our home. We have had it for several years now and find it very useful and lovely.


What Is A Himalayan Salt Lamp?

Salt Lamps are made out of pink Himalayan salt carved into different beautiful shapes with space for a bulb and a plug and lead is attached.

Some are simple unfussy natural shapes, others made into ovals, or in a firepit-like arrangement, some in beautiful metal cages with tree scenes for example, which look stunning especially when lit. They also come in different sizes depending on the look you would like to achieve. 

Salt lamps are available in many different shapes and sizes from small to very large and in different price ranges. 

It all depends on what look you want to create, how elaborate or simple you would like the look and light to be and where you intend to place your salt lamp in your home.


Beautiful Salt Lamp


Why We Love Our Salt Lamp

As a bright light, it certainly lightens up the dark autumn and winter evenings and produces a really lovely warm light. Ours is on a dimmer switch which makes it perfect for when we want a bright or very subtle light. 

When we are watching a film we turn it to the lower dimmer function and then it becomes a wonderful glowing ambient light, just right for curling up warm and cost on a winter's night and relaxing. 

For a romantic dinner at home, the salt lamp helps to create a beautiful magical mood with its amber glow and beautiful looks and texture. 

We have also used it as a night light on low dimmer especially if we have not been feeling well, or on a really wintery stormy night it is reassuring to have a low warm glowing light. 


Close Up Of Glowing Salt Lamp


I think Salt Lamps should be purchased and welcomed into our homes on the basis of that we like the way they look both off and on and the quality and mood of light they produce. 

There are many claims of health benefits from salt lamps.  Some of the claims are that they produce negative ions and purify the air thus being very good for us. It is also said that they help promote sleep and calm allergies along with promoting mood-enhancing properties. 

I cannot be certain if we receive any health benefits or not. The main benefits as I see it are that they help us relax and take time to "be". For me, they do have a calming influence and help me take time out from a hectic schedule.

I do love to watch the beautiful glowing light and it is lovely to have a warming look on a cold winter night. I am not a fan of long dark winter nights so the beauty of this light does help my mood, if even just that it is a lovely light to enjoy in the darkness. 

They are a beautiful and unusual light to have in the home and give it a warm homely, yet modern feeling. 

Salt lamps look good during the day when they are switched off and simply gorgeous in the evening.


Salt Lamp Switched On 


A Few Points To Bear In Mind About Salt Lamps.

They are so simple to use as you just plug in. The bulb will need replacing every so often depending on how much you use it but we got a long time out of ours for our usage and bulbs are easy to replace.

Salt lamps are fairly substantial and can be very heavy so you need to take care when carrying or moving them. If you think you will need to move it around a lot then go for a smaller less heavy one. However, do bear in mind this weight when placing it on any piece of furniture and place it somewhere where pets or children cannot easily knock it over as it can hurt if it drops on a foot. 

I would advise keeping this lamp only in living and bedroom areas. They are not suitable for use in bathrooms or kitchens due to the higher humidity there.

For safety do keep and use them only in dry areas of the home. We have ours in the living room mainly and sometimes take it into the bedroom, never the kitchen or bathroom. 

Salt can be corrosive so make sure the surface you place the lamp on is not metal, as that will rust, or likely to be affected by salt. Or to be safer put the lamp on a protective mat first. 


Salt Lamp Switched Off


Himalayan Salt Lamps As GIfts

Salt lamps make fantastic beautiful gifts for loved ones on many occasions. As they go with most decor you do not need to know colour schemes or design tastes too much, they tend to go in most environments and decor choices.

They are beautifully tactile. Everyone needs another table lamp and as they are so beautiful most people would be very happy to receive one as a gift. They are lovely housewarming gifts, and as presents for Christmas and Birthdays

We love ours and will definitely purchase more salt lamps for the different rooms in our home and as gifts, as we go on.  Here is a small selection. 





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Sunday, October 24, 2021

The Christmas Word Search Book - A New Release


In the October 10th, 2021 article "What to Write in a Birthday Card," I mentioned a new expansion into another area of activity books - Yep, it's Word Search Books.

Since October 2019, my journey into the self-publishing world has been, shall we say, intense. I'm not going to pretend that self-publishing is easy; however, the more research you do and the more books you publish, the easier it gets.

Why Word Search Books?

I've been writing riddles and publishing them in books since 2019 and recently decided that it's time to expand out into another type of activity book. 

The reason for expanding my self-publishing horizons is to have enough topics to reach the initial goal of 100 books published. There's a long way to go! The Christmas Word Search book puts my current publishing total at 11 books.

Another reason for expanding into word search books is that I was looking for fun, activity-driven books. Given the world's never-ending problems, I want to continue contributing to the "light, love, and learning" side of life.

What's The Christmas Word Search Book About?

It's precisely what it states; word search puzzles about Christmas. It's been written with the entire family in mind and is good clean fun for adults and kids. I would say kids over eight years old could tackle some of these puzzles. 

  • Features one puzzle per page
  • Each puzzle covers a separate Christmas related topic
  • The puzzles are large and easy to read
  • Moderately easy for both kids and adults
  • The answers are included at the back
  • There are 60 puzzles in the book
  • There are over 1800 words to find
  • It's available on Amazon

Here's a look at the interior:




More on The Christmas Word Search Book here - Note that it's a gift under $5(us)





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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