Everyday Amenities

printed D. Porthault cotton handkerchief. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Little Things That Make Life Better: The Classic

When I met up with Karen in Seattle, she’d come bearing some charming gifts. One was this gorgeous printed handkerchief from D. Porthault. I remember my mother and grandmother always having a pretty handkerchief or two in their purse. It feels so much more elegant than a crumpled plastic pack of tissues. Now I’m thinking about picking up a few more so I can always have a fresh one ready. Some pretty options at Etsy.

The New And Now

While I don’t subscribe to the notion that we need to have every new piece of technology that comes down the pike, sometimes a clever little gadget or product actually does make life easier.

using a popsocket to hold smartphone securely. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This is one of those genius things that I never knew I needed until I tried it. I love my iPhone 6Plus, but I have small hands and its larger size often required using both hands to snap photos or scroll through my email. No more…the “popsocket” is an expandable gadget that adheres to the back of your phone or case, and allows you to hold the phone securely with one hand. After I tried Karen’s and ordered one for myself, I started noticing other people using them everywhere.

Peeps eyeglass cleaner. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

One thing that drives me absolutely crazy is when my glasses get dirty or smudged. For the last several years I’ve used those microfiber cloths which are good, but need to be washed regularly to remove grease. I kept seeing ads for this eyewear cleaner in my various social media feeds, and decided to give it a go. Love this thing!! It gets my glasses cleaner than the cloths, and is good for 500 uses. There’s also a little retractable brush to remove dust or debris before cleaning. I’ve been using mine for a few months now. It still works brilliantly without damaging my lenses. I chose mine in a bright color so it’s always easy to find in my purse.

The same company also makes this screen cleaner for a smartphone or tablet.

On The Beauty Beat

Lifestyle blogger Susan B. reviews Dior Lip Sugar Scrub lip exfoliator. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I love my Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, but it’s not very portable, and requires rinsing off after use. During our expedition through the cosmetics department, Karen and I tried this stuff and both purchased it. Dior Lip Sugar Scrub smooths, exfoliates, and moisturizes, but doesn’t require rinsing. Great for travel!

Have you found any new gadgets lately that you wonder how you did without?

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24 Comments

  1. Nancy
    August 1, 2017 / 3:58 am

    What a fun post…anxious to see what others have discovered.

  2. Sandy Andry
    August 1, 2017 / 4:19 am

    I love my Kindle Paperwhite ereader. I thought I’d miss the feel of a book in my hand, but no. I especially love the ability to look up a word’s definition. I use that feature ALL THE TIME. Thanks for your recommendation about the eyeglass cleaner. I’ll try it.

  3. August 1, 2017 / 4:51 am

    My optician warns that the worst thing for glasses is dust. His directions: Rinse them first, to remove dust particles, so that when you then use liquid soap to clean them you aren’t grinding in the dust. Rinse off the soap and dry with your bath towel (again, for the dust; he says most people change their bath towel often enough that it won’t be as dusty as, say, your shirttail).

  4. August 1, 2017 / 5:10 am

    The Popsocket looks great. I got a Loopy finger strap case for my iPhone 6 Plus for two reasons. I read a lot of books on my iPhone and it’s easier to hold the phone with my finger through loop, and because I ride public transportation and think it could help prevent a snatch-and-run iPhone theft. The loop is flexible enough that it doesn’t interfere greatly with storing the phone in my bag or pocket. loopycases.com

  5. Marvel
    August 1, 2017 / 6:03 am

    I have my Grandmother’s and Mother’s collection of vintage handkerchiefs. I love carrying them, some are everyday and some are beautifully done with embroidery, crochet or tatting, I always remember my Grandmother carrying her hanky tucked just inside the cuff of her sleeve.

  6. August 1, 2017 / 6:37 am

    What a great post! I just ordered the popsocket. Your timing is perfect; I just got an iPhone 7Plus and it is huge! This gadget is just what I needed! This should be a regular feature, Susan.

    • Karen
      August 1, 2017 / 2:25 pm

      Just remember not to put the pop socket too high on the back of the phone case–I had my son affix mine. Teens just KNOW this stuff!

      • August 1, 2017 / 2:50 pm

        I may need to conscript him for installation. I have no teens and my dog is woefully illiterate when it comes to tools requiring opposable thumbs. =D
        Great tip, Karen, thank you!

  7. August 1, 2017 / 8:01 am

    About 15 years ago I started using handkerchiefs instead of tissues. I’ve found lovely ones in antique stores, street markets and boxes at home that were my mothers. The prints and colors bring a smile to my face and a memory or two to mind. My little part toward going green too. I store these treasures in a quilted, satin Hankie box that sits on my dresser. Another memory at my fingertips.

  8. August 1, 2017 / 11:05 am

    A very simple hack that works for me is carrying a dry plastic sponge in my purse when I’m traveling to remove stains, dirt, spills on my clothing because, apparently, I’m a walking, talking PigPen.

  9. Jacqueline
    August 1, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    I too always carry a handkerchief ever since I inherited my father’s more than 30 years ago. The best thing about them is when one is faced with summer heat and there’s no escape, the linen soaks up perspiration much better than a tissue. I liked using them so much that I bought a few embroidered ones at a market in Provence when we were traveling there.
    I discover Peeps a while ago, and have bought them as little gifts for friends and family. They work so well and hardly take up any room, no worse than my large lip crayon.

  10. citizen spot
    August 1, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    It looks like you’ve sold me on the Peeps. I am definitely going to give them a try. One thing I have found that helps me keep all of my electronics charging cords neat and tidy are Nite-Ize Gear ties. The 3″ long ones are great for charging cords and earbuds/headphone cords when not in use. The longer 6″ ones work well for my work laptop power cords and mouse cord as I have to drag that whole mess back and forth from home to work every day. Here is a link to check them out if anyone is interested. I’m sure amazon carries them too.

    https://www.rei.com/product/823491/nite-ize-gear-tie-3-package-of-4

    • Susan B
      August 2, 2017 / 6:19 am

      So those wrap around your cords? Couldn’t tell from the image how they work.

      • citizen spot
        August 2, 2017 / 8:52 am

        Yes, if you scroll through the images they show how the gear ties work on cords and stuff. Just bend them around the cords, and they stay bent until you unbend them. They have a multi-wire core so less likely to break, unlike the old Gumby and Pokey toys that had single wire in the arms and legs and would break and become unbendable after a while. I’ve had mine for two years now and they still hold great.

        • citizen spot
          August 2, 2017 / 9:04 am

          Nite Ize also has these ones with a stretchy loop on one side to thread your cable through so it stays attached to the cable and doesn’t get lost. I haven’t tried these yet as I just found out about them but they look pretty functional.

  11. August 1, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    I do love my popsocket, although I have to admit, I had no idea what it was called!! It just makes it less likely to drop, and easier to take Instagram Stories with!!
    XOXO
    Jodie

  12. August 2, 2017 / 11:40 am

    I could kiss you on the lips, as they say, for the glass cleaner recommendation. Smudges on my glasses drive me nuts. I’ve ordered several for home and gifts. THANK YOU

  13. Mary Miles
    August 2, 2017 / 5:47 pm

    Spin pins are the bomb for keeping my hair in an updo. They look like they could not work, but they hold like nothing else. My 20 year old daughter snitched some from me recently,a nd she is hooked, as well.

  14. wendelah1
    August 2, 2017 / 8:26 pm

    No, I’m fine with the little cloth that came with my lens and the bottle of lens cleaner. I have a couple of spares and I don’t mind washing them. Once a day, I usually wash the lens and nose pads with mild detergent, too. I also hate grease.

    I still prefer disposable tissues to laundering handkerchiefs. I carry them mainly so I can hand them to my husband. He has allergies and never remembers to bring anything. Tissues can substitute for TP in a pinch, too.

    I don’t use my phone as a camera or handle it much at all. I rarely use it for social media, or reading email, I never use it for TV, and I don’t carry it around in my hand when I’m out in public. It stays in my purse.

    I can’t think of a single thing that meets your criteria. I guess I’m not a gadget person. I love our newish phone plan–Project Fi. It has saved us so much money. We get back money if we don’t use all of our data; so far we’ve been under every single month. We have better phones, too, and for so much less than we were paying Verizon. Now if i can just find a cheaper, better substitute for Spectrum that still lets us watch the Lakers legally.

  15. Nancy
    August 3, 2017 / 4:16 am

    I wonder if anyone has a recommendation for an inexpensive portable scanner? Or a better way to complete this project? Want to FINALLY make each of adult children a photo book (prob. through a company like i.e. Shutterfly) of the photos growing up from family,sports teams, schools, etc. Thinking I could scan the photos, put in folders on my computer and send to have the photo books made.

    • Susan B
      August 3, 2017 / 6:52 am

      Hi Nancy, have not used a portable scanner, as our home printer has one. I’m hoping that some of the other commenters here may have some good suggestions for you.

  16. Nancy
    August 3, 2017 / 8:38 am

    Ha….just remembered our home printer has one too, have just never used it. Have you scanned items and then put them in files on your computer?

    • Susan B
      August 3, 2017 / 8:45 am

      Yes. I’m on a Mac, so use the Image Capture application. Works brilliantly!

  17. Candy
    August 3, 2017 / 11:49 am

    I just discovered Glossier Boy Brow, which is like mascara for your brows. It’s amazing. The little brush adds thickness and color to the hairs in a natural-looking way and holds them in place. No scraggly renegade hairs. I’ve been trying all sorts of brow pencils, even brushing in some dark eye shadow to fill in the thin parts, but this was a game-changer.

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