Sunday, November 29, 2009

SleepPhones - I hope they work

Today while listening to the Grammar Girl podcast, I learned about SleepPhones. These headphones are designed to wear in bed so you can listen to music/podcasts/books/sounds/etc to help you get to sleep.

I will probably use them for those nights when my husband wants to sleep and I am not ready yet. I can listen to music, etc while reading and not have to wear my ear buds. However, after viewing them on the website, I see another use that no one has mentioned: to use in the winter while walking. My ears always get cold when I walk and wearing a hat has been uncomfortable with my ear buds. This seems like it would solve the problem.

Has anyone out there actually tried them? Is the sound quality as good as the website claims? Please post a comment if you have information to help me make up my mind. Thanks

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who bought up all the pumpkin puree in Leesburg?

I have visitors coming to visit from Germany soon and today I wanted to make some traditional desserts to have prepared in the freezer for their visit. Since it is almost October, my plans included several pumpkin flavored items.

Today I have been to four different grocery stores in Leesburg in various parts of town and in every shop, the shelf space for the pumpkin puree is eerily empty. You can see where it should be, but nothing is there but a gaping space.

In one store, I asked someone who was stocking shelves if there was more and she said it would be in on Monday.

However, this is a very strange phenomenon. I cannot figure out why someone is going around town buying up all the pumpkin puree to be had. If you are the person who has invested your life savings in pumpkin, please post a comment on this blog and let me know, why you need so much pumpkin. Hopefully I will beat you to Target on Monday and manage to snag a few cans before you snap it all up!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sony Support is excellent

We returned from vacation recently with footage taken with our Sony Handycam DCR-HC48. Last year I was able to import the footage easily on both our Gateway PC and my laptop.

This year something was not working properly on the PC, so I wanted to import to my new laptop, a Sony Vaio with Vista 64bit. The camera manual said Vista 64bit does not support the USB connection and the I would need an iLink cable which I ordered.

When the cable arrived, each time I tried to import the footage, I got a blue-screen error and my laptop rebooted itself.

I tried poking around on the Sony support site, but could not find any FAQs for this problem. I decided to send Sony and email. This was on a Saturday. In 9 minutes I had a reply from Sony with a solution that was easily understandable and doable. Apparently the Magic-i visual effects software on the PC (for the webcam) needed to be updated.

Five minutes after receiving the email and a mere 14 minutes after sending the email, I was happily importing the footage! I wish all support groups were this helpful. Thanks Sony!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Travelon - why did you change your fabric

A few years ago I got the greatest travel purse for my birthday. It has gone with me on every trip and recently it has started to look a little travel weary where I got some sort of black stain on the edges.

I decided I would buy a new one, perhaps in a new color, even though I do like the look of my red one. After researching hundreds of bags online and in the local stores, I concluded that there is nothing better out there on the market and I should just get a another of the exact same bag.

The features I like are:
  • It is an over the shoulder bag so I don't have to hold onto it or risk losing it while traveling.
  • Its strap is sturdy and lies flat making it both comfortable and a thief deterent.
  • It has a slot for my cell phone on the strap that closes with velcro so the phone can't fall out but is instantly accessible when it rings.
  • It has lots of space and zippered pockets, but isn't bulky and it lies flat.
  • The fabric is a rich red suede with a black lining. It feels rich and sturdy to the touch.
Hundreds of websites carry this bag by Travelon, so I searched high and low until I found one with the best price and I ordered it in "espresso" color which looked like a dark brown on ALL the websites. They all described it as made out of "microfiber" which seems to be correct because my sister's microfiber sofa also feels like suede.

WELL, the bag arrived quickly and I was bitterly disappointed. I can't blame the retailer who sold it as it came directly from Travelon so it isn't some cheap copy even though I thought it was at first. Somehow in the 3 years I've had my bag, Travelon has ruined the product.

Firstly the bag that arrived was a pale brown color rather than a rich"espresso" color. Some genius paired this pale brown with a bright lavender lining, and what they are calling "microfiber" is a shiny nylon looking fabric that (although looks tough) also looks cheap. Surprisingly in the photo I took above, I can't tell much difference in the fabric which explains why I was fooled by the website photos.

Had the color been the deep coffee brown I was expecting and the lining a complimentary color, I probably would have kept the bag despite being disappointed in the inferior fabric, but I would never have been able to carry this bag in these awful colors. They clash with themselves, let alone anything I would be wearing.

I wish I knew how to find an original in the old fabric. Does anyone know? The picture above is my old bag next to the new one. You can't see the lining in the photo, but take my word for it - it is hideous paired with brown.

Travelon - Why did you do this? What were your designers thinking? I used to be a fan, but I want my old soft suede back.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another great idea

I just read about a product that is perfect for me. It is a bandage that reacts to ultraviolet rays from the sun and warns the wearer when they are in danger of getting a sunburn. I am one of those fair people who never tan - I go from white to red without much warning.

This special bandage, invented by Scottish scientists, can even be worn under clothing and is expected to cost just pennies per bandage.

I also wear sunscreen, but even so I often end up getting a bit pink when I outlast the lotion. This could be very helpful to me especially at the beach.

I just want to know, where can I buy them!! Here is link to the story I read: Plaster Story

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Make your own coffee pods - easy and cheap

An empty pod ready to begin filling
I love my Senseo coffee maker, but I was having problems finding a variety of coffee flavors to use in in. My local grocery store started selling only the basics (dark roast, caffeine free, French Vanilla) and as a newbie, I wanted to try other flavors. I also prefer to drink decaf most of the time and the decaf pods in my store were not flavored.

So when my Mom wanted to know what I wanted for Christmas, I was going to ask for pods which you can order from the Senseo website (but you have for shipping which makes them even more expensive). While searching to alternate sites that sold pods, I discovered Eco-pads reusuable pods for sale on I asked for a set for Christmas along with a coffee grinder.

It is now February 1st and I have been testing them for over a month and here are the results of my extensive testing -- the reusable pods are FANTASTIC!

Here are the pros:
  • Easy to fill
  • Easy to wash (can go in the dishwasher, but a simple rinse is OK most of the time)
  • Saves money
  • Saves the environment
  • Good sturdy quality looks like they will last a long time
  • Works great in the Senseo machine
  • Can be prefilled and kept in an airtight container for quick use
And the cons:
  • Package only came with 2 pods - I want to buy more so I can have lots prefilled
  • If you typically use just one pod in your machine, the pods are larger than you normally use and it might make the coffee two strong for you if you use the 4 ounce setting.
Two reusuable pods were less than the cost of 3 packages of pods. Because the pod is large, it uses the two-pod holder in the machine and holds about 2 tablespoons of ground coffee. My Mom paid about $12 for the two which means they cost less than 3 packages of pods. This makes them extremely economical. While writing this, I discovered they are on sale at the moment for less than $10, so guess who is ordering more today!
Filled and ready for the lid to be snapped on

I highly recommend these pods and I am enjoying experimenting with different coffees. My next blog will tell you about the results of my taste tests with the different coffee flavors and brands. You will be surprised.
A filled pod ready to use

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pet Peeve

I have noticed a trend in the last few years that grates on my ears. Everyone knows that there are three dimensions that you need when measuring something as follows:


Yes, the first two rhyme as they both in in "th" but NO the third does not rhyme despite what you hear on all those decorating and makeover shows on TV. I wish all TV producers would take notice and send a memo to all their staff that "height" ends in "ght" There is no "TH" in height and it should not be pronounced "hithe."

The correct pronunciation is "hite" and it rhymes with "right"

Do you have a similar pet peeve? If so, tell me about it by leaving a comment on this post.