Category Archives: shopping

Product Rant of the Day: Lysol No-Touch™ Hand Soap System

I talk a lot about the products I like on this blog, but here is one that I don’t like!


LYSOL® Healthy Touch® No-Touch™ Hand Soap System

So what’s my beef with something that is supposed to help you maintain clean and healthy hands?

It’s simple: Redundancy.

You just don’t NEED this product.

The Lysol marketing pitch is that this product:

  • Automatically senses your hands
  • Dispenses the perfect amount of soap
  • Provides antibacterial protection!!!!eleventyonee111!!

So that “you and your family will never have to touch a germy soap pump again.”

Pshaw. This is ridiculous.

 

First of all, the damn system takes FOUR AA batteries. They’re hard to install (yes, I actually set this stupid thing up and used it) and the sensor is a piece of crap. It’s really not as user-friendly as they claim. Multiple times I tried to get it to work, and when it finally did, it really wasn’t as cool as I thought it would be.

Second, it dispenses WAY TOO MUCH SOAP into your hands! So much was wasted down the drain, I felt guilty for trying to be clean! We’re talking gobs here, people. And there was no way to adjust how much was dispensed. We went through the soap refill container lickety-split, when normally a container of that size would last much longer. This wastage is not only bad for your wallet, but doubly-bad for the environment. The packaging was also way more than was necessary.

Third, it’s antibacterial soap. Unless you work in a hospital or doctor’s office there is NO NEED for antibacterial products. Proper hand washing with soap and warm water completes the job just as well without the harmful effects of triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals on your body and the environment. Read about the problems with antibacterial products/additives here.

Finally, it doesn’t matter if the damn soap dispenser is dirty! You’re going to be washing your hands anyway! Holy fear-mongering, Batman!

 

Overall I am disgusted by this money-grab of a product. They’re washing it with feel-good messages about protecting your family’s health, when it is anything but.

Expensive, hard to set up, redundant, requires batteries, extra soap refills, bad for the body and environment and overly wasteful in design, function and packaging!

This is one fancy gadget we ought to avoid.

/end rant

I need a new camera!

Random question for all my photography-savvy readers out there, what kind of camera do you recommend?

I’m looking for a new one that I can use for everyday life stuff as well as for more decent photos for this blog!

I want to be able to take nice photos (like Rina and Mel) of places I go, swag bags, food and products when I review them. I know I haven’t been around much (new job is taking up a lot of my time!) but I really want to take my blogging up a notch and I think decent photos would really help out.

I don’t need a giant SLR camera since I’m pretty clueless when it comes to settings and stuff for it, but I’m ok with something more advanced than a cheap point and shoot.

I’ve been using a Canon Powershot for some time now and it’s held up really well but I want to graduate from this level of camera. I’d be happy with another Canon or another reputable brand (except for Nikon since I had a Nikon and it was crap!)

Does anyone know where I should start looking, and what features are most important in a quality camera?

Here are some features I would like:

  • Flash
  • Video & sound recording
  • Decent night time & action photos
  • Decent optical & digital zoom
  • Timer (so I can take photos of my outfits!)
  • Good battery
  • Small enough to fit in my purse
  • User-friendly
  • Up to $400

Here are some things I would be using the camera for:

  • Outfit photos
  • Recipe/food photos
  • Photos of friends, family, etc.
  • Photos of products I review, swag
  • Night time party shots!
  • Outside photos

Like I said, pretty basic stuff; but I want them to be really good photos! Lol

Can you help a girl out?

Cottaging in New York

In an effort to help me relax and find myself again during my time off from work I have decided to join my extended family in New York State for a week.

It’s funny, I’m going to be one of only two under-forty-somethings (my 20 year old cousin is coming) but I’m actually getting excited about it. I think getting away from the city and back to nature (we’re renting a massive cottage) will be good for my soul.

My family will almost all be there (except for some of my cousins who have to work, and my brother) and I’ll be able to hike swim and boat to my heart’s content. I’m hoping this experience will act as a soothing balm on my soul.

It’s strange, if I hadn’t had my meltdown and descent into depression, therefore getting leave from work; I wouldn’t have been able to go to this family retreat. Interesting how things work out.

Now I am looking forward to seeing my extended family again (yay emotion!) and having some wholesome fun. I have started planning all the stuff I am going to pack, including some homemade goodies to share with everyone.

I’ve started canning again this season; so far canning some blueberry-raspberry jam and some pickling with friends is on the agenda this week. It’s good to do something physical and nourishing like that.

I also treated myself to this awesome bathing suit from ModCloth:

I’m having it delivered to my aunt in NJ and she’s bringing it to me at the cottage. I hope it gets there in time because I can’t wait to wear it! I am soooo tempted to bring my pearls, white sunglasses and red lipstick to wear with this, but it might be just a touch impractical! LOL

As long as I don’t think too much about my cat and  job situations, I seem to be feeling better. I think I really DID need some time off from the world.

I am still looking for a new job, but no bites just yet. Summer is the worst time to look for something new :S

I also don’t feel so bad about getting rid of Sheba now. She’s a real bi-polar cat and has become increasingly aggressive to me these past few days (yet still demands snuggles at bedtime?!?!) and while I will miss her, I know that there is no way I could give her the care she needs. She is going to stay with my parents and my mom is going to find a new home for her.

I hope last week was my rock bottom. I really want to start on my way back up.

Review: SWAK Designs Plus Size Clothing

(Edit: SWAK responded to my post, my follow-up review is located here)

Since becoming more active in the plus-size fashion community I have been making an effort to beef up my wardrobe with some key pieces that can be used over and over again.

But as well all know, fashion in general is expensive these days, and plus-size fashion is even more ridiculously overpriced. And if you live outside of the US you can pretty much forget about finding anything of quality at a good price in your stores!

So I sure was excited when I found plus size retailer Sealed With A Kiss Designs (SWAK), an online shop with some cute designs, affordable prices and free shipping worldwide! Yippee!! I had read some reviews of their clothing in the fatshionista! community and they sounded ok.

I quickly placed an order for a few things I had had my eye on for a while, confident that what I would receive would be of sufficient size and quality for me. I even checked my measurements to make sure I picked the right size. Now, for the price range that SWAK sells, I wasn’t expecting beautifully handmade items in natural fibres… but I DID expect something more than what I ended up getting :(

Here is what I ordered, and my thoughts.

Alicia Shirt Dress ($49.60 CAD)

Looks pretty cute, eh? I love shirt dresses, they look fantastic on me. I wanted another one in a lighter colour and this fit the bill for colour and price.

Unfortunately it didn’t fit the most important thing–ME.

I ordered it a size up from what I normally wear because I was afraid of sizing issues. It is easy for me to take something in, but if it’s too small there is nothing to be done!

When I tried this on I was so surprised! The damn thing was too small! Even in the bust area where I am less endowed the buttons were gaping. Actually, along the entire button line it was gaping. The dress is mostly cheapo spandex so I expected it to give a little, but I looked like a khaki sausage wearing it. After trying it on I estimate that I would have been better served if I had ordered 3 SIZES LARGER than what I normally wear.

Why is the sizing so off on this dress that I would need to order 3 sizes larger than what I really am, just to get it to fit?

Not to mention that the fabric was very thin–I know that for a $40 dress you can’t expect TOO much, but I really thought it would be a bit less see-through, you know? The stitching was also a little bit loose and overall the dress felt cheap and low-quality.  I suppose if I were to lose another 20 lbs I might be able to wear this without inflicting pain on everyone who sees me.

I’m very disappointed.

Plus Size Stretch Leggings ($24.80 CAD)

I have a pair of leggings from Torrid that I love, so I thought I’d get another pair to wear with my skirts & dresses in the colder weather.

These… are ok. They’re basically thick tights with a seam and no feet. I was a little worried that they wouldn’t fit since they’re one size fits all, but I managed to get them on. They feel ok but I think I prefer my cotton-blend full leggings from Torrid more. These ones are a little too close to being tights for me to truly love them, but I think I will be able to use them.

Not a total loss, but I wish the site description was better.

Anastasia Interchangeable Wrap Dress ($80.61 CAD)

I have mixed feelings about this dress. I had originally wanted the Monif C Marilyn dress, but at over $200 I thought it was a little excessive for some shapeless jersey material. This SWAK dress seemed like a good alternative.

This is probably the best thing out of my whole order. I love the feeling of the fabric, it hangs well and doesn’t look too cheap (I was worried about that!) and I think with some practice I will be able to wrap it really well.

The drawbacks I encountered with this garment was the inferior workmanship. I found the skirt piece was cut irregularly, with a giant piece of uncut fabric actually hanging off the hem! I couldn’t believe it! I cut it off myself before I thought to take a photo. I was not impressed. I haven’t made sewing or cutting mistakes like that on my garments since I was a kid!

I also noticed that the stitching around the circle skirt and the straps was rather poorly done. I would have reinforced the stitching much more than what they had done. Already I have heard some threads tear as I lifted it over my head so I’ll have to be careful with it moving forward. At least I could probably sew it back together if it falls apart?

I’m debating whether I could make this for myself cheaper. I think I may take a gander at the costs of making one myself–if it’s cheaper then I’ll make some for me and my friends, but if it’s not cheaper then this is the one piece I think I might actually purchase again in different colours.

A Belt

I also purchased a stretch belt with some cute buckles in front. It’s no longer on the site so I can’t post a photo of it, but it was a BIG FAT FAIL.

The belt came as a one size fits all… but only if you’re “regular” size! I’m a 2x and I could hardly get the thing done up under my breasts (which is the smallest part of my abdomen) even with the stretchy material. I am so frustrated by this–I literally cannot wear it because it’s so tight it hurts. This is another example of SWAK’s wonky sizing. If you’re selling a plus-size belt, it should be able to fit larger than a 1x person, especially if it’s touted as one size fits all.

Overall Impressions

Shop at your own risk. Expect low-quality items and be wary of the cuts and styles you purchase. However, if you go in aware of these issues, you may be able to find some good deals if you don’t mind the quality too much!

Personally I would be willing to try them again if they had an awesome sale and introduced some better-quality pieces.

Ginger’s Most Wanted

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I REALLY want the following:

Morocco Snake print bathing suit by Monif C

Marilyn short convertible dress in fuschia, also by Monif C

Blueberry Babe hand-painted heels by Jellyfish

Black Diamond Platforms by Iron Fist

Flaunt dress (in any colour!) by Kiyonna

Fierce Leopard Dress also by Kiyonna

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about fashion lately which isn’t necessarily a good thing! Because then I end up with lust for so many items…

Pretty Baubles!

Thank goodness for 3-paycheque months!

This past week I just bought 2 new necklaces, both as a result of my silversmithing involvement!

I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but the studio I do my work at had a booth at an arts & crafts show this past weekend. They were pimping out their workshops and wanted to display the work of some advanced students, and they asked me for my stuff! Yay!

So I got some free studio time out of the deal, and I got to see my work displayed all professional-like. I stopped by the show and spoke with a professional smith that was manning the booth and she said that people kept trying to pick up my stuff and buy it! That just tickles me pink; that folks think my work is good enough to buy! The artist herself said that I should capitalize on my awesome skull pendants and produce more of them to sell. They’re a really hot motif right now and people love handmade things like that (hey, if I offered them, would you ever consider buying one? I’m trying to gauge interest…)

Skull pendants

Anyway, since I had to pay to get into the show I figured I ought to look around. There was lots of cool artzy phartzy Queen West type stuff on offer with a rather high amount of knitted stuff and paperworks around. There were a few other jewelery makers there, and this particular piece caught my eye:

acorn necklace

$50 later and it was mine! The small acorn is made from a pearl, while the large acorn is a glass pearl. The top of the large acorn is actually cast from a real acorn cap in brass, and then plated with gold. The little beads are Swarovski crystals.  The gal who made it doesn’t have a shop, but you can check out her blog here.

I don’t normally like brown tones in my things, but I really liked this one! And I like how it tinkles together when I move around :)

The next piece I got was actually made by Rickson. She happened to be the gal at MY booth at the show. Turns out we have a lot in common: we both LOVE LOVE LOVE kitties, and accessories, too! I had seen her cat pendant earlier at the studio and thought it looked fantastic.

So tonight while I was there, I bought it!

It comes in silver & brass and several sizes. I bought the tiniest brass one because I am trying to bring more gold tones into my accessories. It’s SO cute! And I love cats! Her stuff is definitely worth checking out if you’re interested, all her work is done through the casting process, rather than construction. It’s the same way I made the skull pendants. This set me back about $78 after taxes. Ouch!

I love my new things but I really think I should stop going to studios, stores and shows! Thank goodness all my Christmas shopping is done already!

The Silver Lining to My Day

Today is so gross.

It’s cold.
It’s wet.
It’s snowing AND raining AND hailing
It’s windy
It’s slushy
It’s grey

Ugh. Not a very pleasant day at all! I don’t know what is up with the weather today! I was expecting some nice fluffy snow and instead I get soaked to my skivvies on the way to the subway this morning. Then the subway is too crowded so I wait 4 trains and then get on one which then halts because one ahead of it broke! Bah humbug!

So yeah. Not a totally happy camper. But you know what? My feet are still warm and dry.

I know. I can’t believe that in all the slush I had to walk through this morning sans wellingtons or umbrella that my tootsies would be warm and dry. But it’s the silver lining to my day, it seems.

What do I have to thank for this reprieve from chilly misery?

My cheap-ass Walmart boots! 😀

(Not actually my leg, and my boots are black instead)

They’re totally plastic and kind of cheap-looking, but I’ll be damned if they didn’t keep out all the rain and slush! They’re almost as good as rain boots! I never would have expected this of them; all my experiences with Walmart brand ANYTHING usually end up with me chucking out whatever I bought because of some defect or the shit quality.

I guess as long as the glue holds they’ll keep the water out! I am so tempted to spray them with my leather protector too, to give them that extra oompf.

I want to send props out to the Fatshionista community and particularly socrepuscular (That is her leg up there) for posting about these babies. It’s not easy to find cute, inexpensive boots that actually fit plus sized calves, so these were quite the find. Fashionable, AND practical! The holy grail!