Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Party in Your PJs #171

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

Donna @ Aging Like a Fine Wine

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Want to be added to the group board?  Follow our Party in Your PJs board and email Kim at thecookiepuzzle@gmail.com

Lynda's Features!

 Make sure you head over to the other member of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party Board...you can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

SquintBox Miniatures Subscription Box (Review/Giveaway)

1 comment:

For as long as I can remember, I have been enamored with things that are not their normal size. From giant LARPing hammers to dollhouses, not to play dollies with as a child, but to decorate in miniature versions of real furniture and d├ęcor.

As an adult, I love the tiny slices of life in fairy gardens. Unfortunately, every time I would go to the store or look online at starting my own mini still life, I would become overwhelmed with all of the options, and have no idea where to start.

This is where SquintBox came to my rescue.

SquintBox is a monthly subscription box that delivers handcrafted miniatures. Every month has a different theme, and you can use the minis to craft, display, and just generally love and squee over.

It is great for those just starting their mini collections as well as people who are already neck deep in adorable tiny things.

Subscriptions are $29.95 for a monthly subscription plan, $80.87 for a three month plan (that's $26.96/box), and $152.75 for a six month plan ($25.46/box).

I received the June SquintBox, which had the theme of Summer's Best!

The little box containing the miniatures was safely nestled in a larger box and wrapped in tissue paper. I like this little extra layer of precaution, as minis can be extremely delicate due to their tiny nature. Inside the little box were five baggies containing the minis, a card detailing the items and the miniaturist spotlight, and a card with the month's theme, a little welcome note, and the website.

The miniatures included in the box were a seashell, towel, and flip flop bundle, adorable picnic plates and paper napkins, a jug of lemon water, egg on toast with bacon, and a fruit pie.

The seashell, towel, and flip flop bundle comes from the featured miniaturist DogMaCreations on Etsy. The towel is a classic blue and is neatly wrapped with the flip flops. As for the seashell, it's a cone shaped shell and I really appreciate the natural coloring that the artist chose to keep.

The picnic plate and paper napkin set came from another featured miniaturist from Etsy, BrownsHandMade. The set of six plates are in various summery prints from pastel polka dots to lush florals. The napkins are in complementary prints and colors, but not exact matches, which lends to a very colorful, yet pleasing, setting. I really appreciated the little ring on each napkin, giving them an upscale vibe.

The lemon water, egg on toast, and fruit pie are all SquintBox creations, and are all also adorable. The glass jar actually has a removable lid and it really looks like little lemon slices are suspended in water. The little egg on toast looks adorably delicious, and the bacon actually looks like real bacon! The plate is finished off with a silver fork. The fruit pie is in a real metal tin, and the blueberries and peaches look so tempting, I just might make a real pie myself when I go to the farmer's market next!

When I first looked at all the miniatures together, I immediately thought of a summer brunch picnic! I finally knew what I needed to get at the store to make my vision come to reality!

So, I went to my local craft store and picked up a couple of tables, some sand and some moss, and a terracotta bowl to put it all in. I made a little beach scene with the sand and moss, placing the rolled up towel and the seashell on the sand, and put the tables on the mossy area.

After deciding where I wanted the settings, I carefully glued the plates and goodies to the tables.

I am kind of a lot in love with my little scene, and it always makes me happy to look at it while I sit outside. I am very grateful that I was able to finally create with adorable minis, thanks to SquintBox giving me a gentle nudge.

If you'd like to try SquintBox for yourself, they are letting us give one of our US readers a SquintBox Mystery Box ($29.95 value), filled with up to six items featured in previous boxes!  Read on to see how you can enter to win!


Monday, August 21, 2017

Travelling with the TRTL Travel Pillow

1 comment:

Travel can be a real pain in the neck, both figuratively and literally.  Air travel, especially if you're not on a window seat, often makes sleep difficult, especially with airlines cramming in more rows of seats and cutting the reclining distance.

I know I'm not the only one who has tried to nap on a long flight and woken up stiff and sore from having my head canted at a weird angle for several hours.  Travel pillows have tried to address this in the past, but usually I've found that, despite their bulk, they're just not stiff enough to provide support.

All that is to say, I was pretty excited to try out the TRTL Travel Pillow as a new option when I made two round-trip flights from Europe to the States in the last month.

So what is the TRTL Travel Pillow and why did I think this device would be any different?

Unlike traditional travel pillows, the TRTL model does not use any sort of stuffing to provide support. Instead, it's a fleece pocket with a curved, plastic neck support that rests against the side of one's neck to provide support from the shoulder to the head.

The plastic brace is removable for washing the cover. The pillow is secured by a fleece wrap with a hook and loop closure, which forms a sort of scarf wrap around the neck to hold the plastic brace in place. If you are looking for a place to sleep without a place to lay down, you'll be in for a good night's sleep usin the TRTL.

During my flights, my different seating options resulted in three different scenarios.

For my first flight, I was on a window seat.  Traditionally, this is a good spot for sleeping by leaning against the wall of the plane, so I didn't really need the TRTL pillow on the side of my neck.

But there's also the ability to attach the pillow so that the brace is on the front of the neck.  When I did this, I did discover one weak point: I'm tall and the TRTL is designed a little short for my neck, especially when placed in front.

To solve this problem, I took the travel pillow that Delta provides on international flights and placed it under the bottom edge of the TRTL to give it a little more lift.  A travel blanket, coat, or other small clothing item could just have easily met this need.

Once I got used to the feeling of an object being held against my neck (admittedly, you can feel the plastic edges of the brace), I fell asleep and actually managed to get about three hours of restful sleep, woke up to stretch the legs, and then went back to sleep again for another two hours.

No neck pain from my head rolling forward while leaning against the wall of the plane!  I considered this to be a great success.

My next flight was easily my most difficult.  I was stuck in a middle seat that had... issues.  The reclining function was broken, so the seat wouldn't even recline the couple of inches usually available.

Add on to that, the head rest attached to the seat itself was broken and wouldn't stay out when deployed.  It was the worst possible solution for trying to sleep on a nine hour flight... but I was going to try!

In order to get the seat's head rest to stick out at all, I had to wedge it forward with Delta's pillow.  I then put the TRTL Pillow on the side of my neck this time and used a bit of the travel blanket I had rolled up to boost it to the right height.

It was an awkward position (sleeping sitting straight up), but I did manage to doze off and intermittently nap for about two hours.  I can't say I got a lot of rest during that time, but that wasn't the fault of the pillow.

I will, however, say that despite the awkwardness of trying to sleep sitting straight up, I still woke with little to no neck pain thanks to being held in place.  Additionally, without the brace of the TRTL pillow I don't think I'd have gotten any sleep at all.

The third situation I was up against was better, since I was in an aisle seat that could recline and had a functional headrest.

For this case, I actually put the TRTL Pillow diagonally so that it was split between my right shoulder and the front of my neck.

I bolstered it up at the bottom with Delta's pillow, and leaned my head against the seat's headrest.

The TRTL Pillow managed to prevent my head from rolling forward or putting too much weight to the side and collapsing the headrest.

On this flight, I was able to get a fair amount of rest.

As a side note, this flight got a little bit cold, and the neck wrap used to secure the TRTL in place also does a good job of acting like a scarf to lock in warmth.

So what's the verdict?

There's no mac that's going to make sleeping in an economy seat on a flight a comfortable experience.  Legs are going to get stiff, you're going to be sitting up, and sometimes your seat is just going to suck.

But I honestly found that the TRTL Pillow, while unable to turn my seat into a bed, made each flight's sleeping experience a bit better.

I was really pleased with my rest on the flight where I had a window seat, and my aisle seat experience was about the same level of rest I usually get with a window seat.

The nightmare scenario was impossible to save, but the TRTL Pillow at least made it bearable and kept me from waking up in pain.  What seat you choose is still going to matter, but the pillow improved my sleep experience in each case.

I would like to see varied sizes of this product in the future.  If the brace on this model had been about 2 inches taller I feel like I could have gotten by without having to bolster the pillow up at all.
This shortcoming was easily overcome, but would require some planning on a domestic flight (where the airline won't provide a pillow and blanket for use).

Most importantly, even though my review sample was free, I would buy this pillow.  In fact, I'm recommending it to family members who are coming to visit Europe later this year!

The TRTL travel pillow comes in black, grey or red and can be purchased on their website for $29.99 (USD) with free shipping to the US.