Saturday, December 19, 2009

Charmed, I'm sure - square personalized necklace charm

I have four kids and have done the names on charms thing necklace, just like most everyone else I know.  I had admired many and finally got some of my own.  Of course, once I made that purchase I saw a unique, silver, square, hand-stamped charm on a simple link chain.  You see, with 4 kids, a square is the perfect shape to represent.

I hung my old, four separate named charm necklace with other necklaces from the past and moved on.  I haven't looked back and haven't regretted it either.  There is a slight issue.  The shop that I originally purchased my necklace from, The Vintage Pearl (, isn't selling it anymore.  I would think you could special order it from them.  Mine was $55 + shipping.

What I've found, that looks like what I have is from  Bliss Living ( for $115.  The picture is from their website and is not of my necklace.  Don't worry, I haven't changed my kids' names....  Another option is RBH designs on ETSY ( with a similar, less expensive, option at $33.  It is hung different, on a different chain and comes with a pearl charm attached; but is square and hand-stamped.

One last issue is that sometimes if the necklace gets tugged, the rings attaching the charm pull open enough to separate the chain from the charm.  It's easily remedied, but happens enough to mention here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No spill travel mug for on the go - Contigo

Contigo autoseal stainless steel travel mug (

I am a travel bottle/mug collector.  I didn't set out to be one, but I've always been in search of the perfect vehicle to tote my liquids to and fro.  I've been down the Nalgene road, Sigg, Kleen Kanteen and so on.  My friend, Chris, had a "no-spill" mug in plastic that she used for her kids' milk and such.  Once I moved past Nalgene, I really haven't gone back to plastic, but I loved the no-spill idea.

On a semi-regular trip to Costco, I came upon a 16 oz. stainless steel no-spill travel mug.  It was a 2-pack for $20.  This is an amazing deal for an insulated travel mug and it said, "no spill"!  I'm a sucker and decided to try it.  Thank goodness I did, these were the same mugs my friend was using, but in stainless!  Woo hoo.  No more spilled tea in my bike or car or me for that matter.

You might ask, do they really not spill?  The answer is YES they do not leak or spill.  My travel bottles often end up sideways.  This is not my intention, but the reality of what happens.  If Sigg tops aren't closed, they leak, same with Kleen Kanteen and so on.  The Contigo closes automatically and at the same time is easy to drink from.

The insulated stainless steel keeps drinks cold or your hand from burning if hot drinks are your thing.  The only issue I've had is that it keeps my hot drinks too hot.  I'm used to paper cups or open mugs when I can drink within a few minutes.  If left closed, it's at least a 1/2 hour before I can drink a sip.  I now leave my mug open for a few minutes to let some of the hotness escape.  My tea is then perfect to drink.

Lastly, these mugs are easy to clean.  The mug has a 3" opening, so any brush can get down in there.  I have 2 and am thinking of switching more of my collection out.  They are a bit too big for my kids' lunches, so I'd love to see a kids stainless version.  I just saw a notification that Kleen Kanteen has an insulated version now.  Maybe I'll try it too, but I'm hesitant because these really keep me from wearing my beverage or making a mess.  We'll see....

I'm not sure if Costco still has them.  They were not available on-line, but at one time were in stores.  It's worth checking.  Target and many on line retailers have them for $17-$20 EACH.