Nothing is more delicious than patent leather, except maybe patent leather purses in yummy colors. This fall, patent leather fans will have a feeding frenzy with the multitude of handbags available in shiny, glossy leather. Clutches, shoulder bags, totes, frame bags…the choices are endless. Most notable in this patent craze is the abundance of bold color, making you feel just like a kid in a candy store. Here are a few items we found to get your pulse racing. At the high end of the market, this Chloe quilted green patent leather bag is available at SaksFifthAvenue.com for a mere $2,100. If your taste buds crave the bold color but not the price tag, take a look at these sleek Michael Kors clutches found at Nordstrom.com for $395. Available in bright yellow (Taxi), royal blue and black. Finally, from Anthropologie.com comes the Candy Apple Hobo. This cinnamon hued shoulder bag, very reasonably priced at $168, is both practical and affordable, proving that you can have your candy and eat it too!
If you are still casting about for that single perfect trend-encompassing piece for fall, we may have found it. It’s not flashy, or trimmed in feathers or fur. It doesn’t scream “I’m a fashion victim.” It’s simply a button-down jacket. But this bit of fabric encompasses three of fall’s top trends. First, it’s gray, which is the color of the season. Second, it’s got a cinched waist, which graced numerous runways last spring when designers presented their fall collections. And third, it’s got a bow, which is very, very chic. The downside is that it’s not cheap at $895 from Barneys New York, but if you can’t afford this particular piece, let it serve as inspiration as you set out in search of fall apparel additions. For example, we found a similar, lovely gray textured jacket by Semantiks at Nordstrom for $128.
If you are sick and tired of repeat trips to the grocery store for forgotten items you will appreciate SmartShopper Voice-Activated Grocery List. Available online at websites like SharperImage.com and Frontgate.com, SmartShopper uses voice recognition software to record and organize lists. You can program regularly purchased items, customize quantities, and record lists of errands to remember when you are making your rounds. Just speak your needs to this handy handheld and viola! No more forgotten fabric softener or trips to the dry cleaner. SmartShopper operates ink free to print your lists and uses 4AA batteries. It’s magnetized to stick on the fridge or you can wall mount it…all for $149.95 (includes three paper rolls.) Not bad. Now all you need to do is remember to use it!
. . . go directly to this website. Safety Central bills itself as America’s safety store, and after perusing their vast assortment of products, we believe them. This site has everything from survivalist gear to must-have camping items to kid-proofing products to food provisions to safe travel products and much more. They appear to have every single thing you could ever need to prepare yourself for disasters big and small. Take the Gas-o-Haul, for example: a folding gasoline container to keep in the car in case you run out. Or perhaps you need the Pretender
Voice Changer and Excuse device — a gadget to fend off unwanted callers (it makes the sound of a doorbell ringing, a baby crying or even distorts your own voice). Stock up and rest easy.
Most of us know who Luciano Pavarotti was, even before the death of the grand Italian tenor on Sept. 6. His career spanned more than four decades and he is considered one of the finest operatic singers ever. But have you ever listened to his music beyond the sound bites that accompanied his TV obituaries? Don’t be ashamed if you’re not a big opera fan — it’s not for everyone. But if you consider yourself open to great music of all genres, then pay homage to one of the world’s great singers by snatching up a few of his best recordings. The Chicago Tribune’s music writer, John von Rhein, listed his top 10 favorite recordings by Pavarotti and we found a couple of them for sale. Go to Amazon.com to find “O Solo Mio: Favorite Neapolitan Songs,” and “The Three Tenors in Concert,” which in 1990 made Pavarotti more famous than ever. Both DVDs are $12.97 new, but there are plenty of used ones available.
More toy fiascos hit the news and the recall lists again this week. This time, it’s Barbie accessories that Mattel is recalling because of dangerous paint laced with lead, which could cause serious harm to children. If ingested or absorbed, lead reaches certain levels in the blood, it can cause learning disorders, behavioral problems and impaired intellectual growth in children.
So what’s a parent to do? Well, at this point, you may want to evaluate your entire toy inventory against the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s growing list of lead-paint contaminated toys. See the CPSC website for details on the recalled toys, which have been made in China for American firms such as Shylling, Little Tykes and Fisher Price. Those with Barbie toys should go immediately to Mattel’s website, where you can view pictures of and get the model numbers for the affected play sets. The recall page lists the specific paint and parts affected. This will allow you to keep any unaffected parts — NOT!
Thankfully, Barbie’s not a big actor at our house and we don’t have any these specific afflicted accessories. But if we did, I’m not sure I would trust that the only contamination is on the yellow, brown and orange painted parts of the Barbie Kitchen Playset as outlined on the Mattel website. I think instead, in light of the avalanche of recalls, I would pitch the entire set. Ditto the Barbie Dream Puppy House pictured here. (Fido is circled because he’s the one coated with poison).
Read More: Safe Toys? Yes, They Are Out There
This doesn’t look cool, or new, or even interesting. It looks like an old phone — the kind that had a cord. Oh, but looks are deceiving. This is the Telespy, a motion detector that senses if someone comes into your home, and then calls you to let you listen to what’s going on in the room. Sure, it’s good to have in case someone robs your house. But it’s even better for listening to your kids when you’re not home, or even hearing things your significant other might say. Not that you would do anything like that. Would you? We spotted it first in the tech/design blog ProductDose.com, but it’s sold by Smarthome for $84.99. It’s already so hot, they’re sold out right now — but they’re taking orders for more. By the way, it works like a real phone, too.
You thought nothing could ever replace that ubiquitous workplace tool, the stapler. It may be time to toss that red Swingline: This odd little plastic device is a staple-free stapler. It attaches up to five pieces of paper without using any of those nasty little metal pieces. Somehow, we’re told, this new age stapler cuts a small square in the paper, folds the little pieces in on themselves and tucks them into a paper pocket. It’s touted as environmentally friendly (although we’re not sure if saving the world from little pieces of metal is better than making more plastic devices) and it’s cheap at $5.99. The little stapler comes in a multitude of colors and there is even one that’s shaped like a purple kitty for the kids. We spotted it first on ThinkGeek.com, but you can also buy them at Wrapables.com (where they have a little pop-up graphic to show you how it works) or at Amazon.com.