Fall Shoe Style with Clarks

Wave Cruise Shoes by Clarks

Enjoy Fall Shoe Style with Clarks. Clarks makes lightweight, breathable shoes which rank among our Fall favorites.

We recently tested Clarks Wave Cruise shoes in pewter leather.  They are stylish and comfortable.  The Wave line is specially designed to provide extra support to your feet when they move.

Clarks’ marketing states, “The sole gently propels you forward through each step, as you flow from one stride to the next–helping you to conserve energy.”  We  found these claims to be true.  We felt like we were walking on a cloud.  In fact, we had to retrain our feet to actually relax while walking.  These shoes are truly “stride-enhancing”.

We found Clarks Wave Cruise shoes to be extremely comfortable. We highly recommend them as a “travel and leisure essentials” product.  They are lightweight and will pack easily in your suitcase.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find these great shoes and more here at www.Clarksusa.com.


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Coffee Talk: Jeremiah’s Pick

Jeremiah's Pick Italian Roast

It’s time for coffee talk!  Here’s what our reviewers are talking about.

Jeremiah’s Pick, a private label coffee company based in San Francisco, makes coffee that will take you places.  Founded in San Francisco in 1933, Jeremiah’s Pick prides itself on using the finest Arabica beans while buying from environmentally and socially responsible growers.

The Jeremiah’s Pick coffees we tested had an incredibly smooth finish.  Here they are:

Italian Roast — A dark roast coffee with hints of fruit and spice.  Complex and smokey. *Reviewer’s Favorite

Organic Vilcabamba — Strong body with hints of honey and dark plum.

Private Reserve — Dark Roast with hints of chocolate and nuts.

Pure Hawaiian  — Light roast with hints of macadamia nuts and honey.  Classic and creamy.

We noted that the flavors described were subtle, not dominant.

Overall: Jeremiah’s Pick brews a good cup of coffee and will make a nice pairing with breakfast, chocolate, or other treats you enjoy.

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

You can find Jeremiah’s Pick  here at www.JeremiahsPick.com.


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Fall Into Chocolate Bliss With Godiva

Godiva Chocolate CUpcakes

Fall is here.  Cozy, yet?  Nothing is better during the arrival of Fall than watching the leaves change while eating your favorite chocolate.  Many of our readers have asked us to make a recommendation on “Best Chocolate”.  Here’s one of our favorites that we always fall for: Godiva.

Godiva offers a variety of timeless confections which will transport you into chocolate bliss.  We tested four of Godiva’s premiere confections: Chocolate Chunk Brownies, Carmel Brownies, Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels, and Godiva Cupcakes.

Our top pick: The Assorted Chocolate Cupcakes.  These delicious confections achieve the chocolaty bliss that most cupcakes only dream of having.  They are truly all-chocolate with every bite.  We especially loved the Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.  They are so chocolatey, you won’t be disappointed!

For chocolate lovers looking for a salty twist, Godiva Chocoiste Milk Chocolate Covered Pretzels are great.  They are chocolatey through and through with a tinge of saltiness.  They come arrayed in a beautiful golden tin.  When you open the tin, a chocolatey aroma bursts forth.  Chocolate covered pretzels can’t get any better than this!

Our reviewers enjoyed the brownies as well.  Yet they looked chocolatier than they tasted.  We hope in the future Godiva will add some big chocolate chunks to them to give them that extra chocolate burst in keeping with the rest of their great products.

Rating: 4 Stars!  Very Good!  (Cupcakes and Pretzels)

You can find these delicious confections here at www.Godiva.com.


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Best Cold Maintaining Stainless Steel Drinkware

The Cold Maintaining Stainless Steel Drinkware


Find it here at www.hammacherschlemmer.com

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!


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Sweater-Weather Warmth This Fall With Travelsmith

Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan

If you are looking for a “just right” warmth cardigan or jacket for Fall, here’s what to look for:

Each season brings a change of weather and a change of wardrobe.  Wearing wool or down-filled garments for the Fall and Winter months will keep you snuggly warm.

When traveling, we recommend taking a button-down or zip-up outerlayer in all of your travels, especially in the Fall and Winter.

We recently found two essential pieces that make the perfect accompaniment to your travels:

The Women’s Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan combines warm yet lightweight classic sophistication with smart style to make a winning combination.  When we tested it, we loved the combination of style, sophistication, and sweater-weather warmth.  This cardigan has a significant advantage over the average cardigan: it is lightweight yet wooly warm.  You will surely want to take the Women’s Marvelous Merino Solid Cardigan with you everywhere.

Puffer Down Jacket

The Down Puffer Jacket (Pearl) is also carried by Travelsmith.  This jacket is one of the best down jackets we have seen.  It provides high-quality insulated warmth, waterproof protection, and is far more slimming and stylish than most down jackets available today.  One of the jacket’s best attributes: it is made of ultra-soft feathers, so when you squish it down to pack it, it easily regains its shape when you unpack it!  This is a truly great and rare quality in down jackets!

Jamevar Cardigan by Travelsmith

Travelsmith also makes some lightweight cardigans for those who are traveling to less-cold places this season.  We tested the Jamevar Cardigan, pictured above.  This cardigan is vibrant and ultra-lightweight.  It feels like you are wearing a cardigan-shaped scarf, as it is made of the same material many scarves are made of: rayon.  It packs easily and gives a cheery message of the international joie de vivre!

The Jamevar Cardigan is a lightweight outer layer garment which makes a colorful addition to any travel wardrobe.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find these great items and more at www.TravelSmith.com.

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No Iron Needed Travel Attire!

Fiesta Crinkle Skirt

When traveling, the last thing any of us want to do is iron!  If we must, we must.  But wouldn’t you love to find a way to avoid ironing while traveling?

The way we see it, you have two options: wear “no wrinkle” clothing or wear “crinkle” clothing.  Then, you’ll win either way.

We set out to find some crinkle travel clothing recommendations.  Here’s what we found:

Travelsmith makes a very good line of crinkle clothing.  We tested a few pieces.  Our favorite?

Travelsmith’s Crinkle Fiesta Skirt

This beautiful skirt comes in two colors/styles: the Crinkle Fiesta Skirt and the Ribbon Crinkle Fiesta Skirt.  Both skirts fit in a matching drawstring pouch for easy packing and transport.  These travel skirts are unrivaled in their beauty and ease of use.  They make great travel skirts.  And best of all?  No iron needed.

Travelsmith Fiesta Skirts Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

Lightweight Crinkle Jacket

Lightweight Crinkle Shell

Travelsmith also makes an accompanying line of crinkle shirts and jackets.  We tried the Lightweight Crinkle Jacket and the Lightweight Crinkle Shell.    These pieces will be useful anywhere you go.  They come in a variety of colors.

They are very functional.  What we liked best: they will go with anything and no iron needed!

Travelsmith Lightweight Collection Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

You can find these great products here at www.travelsmith.com.

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Lightweight Travel Pillow

European Goose Down Pillow

Have pillow, will travel!  If you are looking for a lightweight pillow which will give you a luxurious night’s sleep, we recommend getting a feather pillow.

We recently tested the European Goose Down Pillow by Hammacher Schlemmer.  This pillow is feather-fluffy, lightweight, and truly “just right”.  It comes in three densities: soft, medium, and firm so you can enjoy the density you prefer.

We tested the soft density European Goose Down Pillow.  It provided a great night’s sleep.  This is a great pillow for kids, also.

We recommend this travel as a lightweight travel pillow.  Although it fluffs to feathery fullness, it can also be rolled up and compacted for easy transport during your travels.  This pillow is 100% hypoallergenic.

We recommend it!

Rating: 3 Stars!  Good!

You can find it here at www.HammacherSchlemmer.com.

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Wilma Schindeler: Massage Across Texas

Wilma Schindeler ~ Massage Across Texas

“Nurture your body; it’s where you live.”  That’s the motto of Wilma Schindeler, founder and leading masseuse of Massage Across Texas.

On a beautiful Autumn day, Wilma Schindeler drove halfway across Texas to my house.  I am from Houston, and as any Houstonian knows, somedays driving across Houston feels like driving across Texas!

When Wilma arrived, she brought her massage table and Source Vital massage lotion.  But she also brought much more: a true calling within to share the art and science of massage at its best.

A vast expanse exists between a fair massage, a good massage, and a great massage.  At the “fair” level, a masseuse is just doing their job, and when they massage you, you feel like you are a big lump of dough they are kneading.  With a “good” massage, you walk away feeling a greater sense of realxation and tranquility than you had before the massage.  But a “great” massage leaves you feeling fully alive, rested, restored, rejuvenated, and deeply tranquil.

In fact, a “great” massage never leaves you, really.  When you experience the essence of true relaxation, it stays with you.   A “great” massage is the kind that Wilma Schindeler gives.

When Wilma comes to your home or workplace, she combines massage and energy techniques with aromatherapy to create personalized relaxation.

Wilma Schindeler looks to build a loyal client base.  You can contact her to set up an in-home appointment at (432) 386-2222 or wilmaschindeler@mac.com.  Her website is www.MassageAcrossTexas.com.

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Story Buddies and Interactive Storybooks by Hallmark

Abigail Story Buddy by Hallmark

Few things are more thrilling to children than talking toys.  We recently discovered a toy that will make your child’s face light up with joy: Story Buddies.

Story Buddies are cuddly, loveable plush friends that talk and respond to their interactive storybook.  Hallmark’s Story Buddies are friendly, encouraging, and help to teach and reinforce having a positive outlook and being a good friend.  Those are values every parent wants to teach their children.

When we tested and reviewed Abigail and the Balance Beam, children responded with intrigue and elation.   They constantly looked at the Story Buddy with a gleam in their eye, waiting for the Story Buddy to respond.  Both girls and boys alike loved this wonderful toy!

To date, Hallmark makes four Story Buddies: Abigail, Bigsby, Cooper, and Watson.  They also make additional interactive storybooks to go with each Story Buddy.

This toy is a must-have!  It is sure to be a top-rated favorite for years to come.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

Find Abigail and other Story Buddies here at www.hallmark.com.

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Best Crepe Pan Set


Le Creuset Crepe Set

Delectable every time…The perfect crepe pan makes perfect crepes.  The perfect crepe mix makes the perfection complete! The question we had: where can we find one?

We are excited to announce that Le Creuset recently launched the new Le Creuset Crepe Set.  Le Creuset partnered with Charleston Crepe Company to make a great combination.  Le Creuset’s 11: Nonstick Crepe Pan is made of hard-anodized aluminum which heats quickly and effectively to cook crepes to exact perfection.  The crepe pan comes with a wooden crepe spreader to make crepes thin and smooth.  In our test kitchen, the Nonstick Crepe Pan received the highest marks available in the five-star category.

Charleston Crepe Company’s Classic Crepe Mix adds Southern flare to a longstanding gourmet tradition.  When we tested the crepe mix, we found it to be exactly what we were looking for: light, suitable for sweet or savory crepes, and all natural.

We recommend Le Creuset’s Crepe Set as the Best Crepe Pan Set on the market today.  We believe it will make a great gift for the holidays, weddings, birthdays, and anytime, really.  The Crepe Set is a gift that keeps on giving.  It will last for years to come.

Rating: 5 Stars!  Best!

You can find it here at www.LeCreuset.com.


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