Cufflinks: A Brief History Of This Popular Men’s Fashion Accessory And How You Can Start Collecting Them

September 26th, 2014

Cufflinks are a type of men’s jewelry that hold together the fabric pieces on French cuff style dress shirts. In the 18th century when shirts began to feature designs such as ruffles and cuffs, ribbon was used to hold the pieces together. By the middle portion of the 19th century, cufflinks had begun to be used regularly as a way of securing French cuffs and displaying one’s affluence. With mass production available during the Industrial Revolution, cufflinks were made available in a range of prices, so more men began to wear them. At first, they consisted of plain metal design, usually circular or square in shape. When Prince Edward VII dawned ornate Faberge cufflinks, people clamored to own a more colorful, intricate pair for themselves.

From this point onward, cufflinks were manufactured in a huge variety of shapes and motifs, featuring a variety of materials. They can be found in precious metals and gems like diamonds and rubies, or made from enamel, leather, wood, stone, and glass. They were one of the first post-renaissance forms of jewelry that was socially acceptable for men to wear. They became a charming way for men to express their individual personalities and tastes in a socially acceptable way. They are still widely popular, and have become a coveted collector’s item. To add to your collection, or to begin collecting, there are a few places to start.

One of the best ways to find unique cufflinks is to check out thrift stores, antique stores, as well as flea markets and garage sales. People who do not have an interest in them may be quick to get rid of or sell a pair of rare or high quality cufflinks without knowing what they are. For this reason, they are usually quite inexpensive. It is well worth it to get a few pairs that catch your eye and take them to a jeweler to determine their true worth. For a chance at more valuable sets, try going to estate sales or auctions. You may have to spend more, but are guaranteed a quality pair and will usually be given a short history and information about the sets you purchase. Another way to find interesting sets is to check online auction sights, or other online marketplaces like that specialize in selling a variety of new and used cufflinks.

Good backpack at a great price.

September 10th, 2014

I read a ton of reviews on backpacks and went back and forth for weeks before purchasing this one. I needed an inexpensive backpack that fit my small list of requirements. Before settling on this one, I read many of the comments. Here’s a break down of the complaints/comments that made me hesitate.Size: When originally reading the reviews of this item, many complained that it was small. The dimensions are clearly stated in the product description. It is not a huge bag, but it isn’t tiny either. What it is, is a moderately sized bag, perfect for day trips. I am 5’5″ and wear this bag comfortably. My husband (5’11″) has no comfort issues with it either. The straps have a large amount for adjustment and make getting a comfortable fit easy.Quality: Come on, folks. Look at the price of this bag. You are not getting a Jansport that is going to last until your kids have kids. It is extremely reasonably priced and you know that the quality is not going to be stellar. With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised at how nice this bag actually is. Sure, the stitching could use a little reinforcement in some areas and I fully expect to have to do that at some point down the road. But, for the daily abuse this bag takes, it is holding up surprisingly well. I have stuffed it within an inch of it’s life and then dragged it through an airport and on an airplane and you would never know it. It gets tossed in the car, shoved into lockers, sat in the dirt, and still looks great.Busted zipper/weird smell/misc. complaints: My bag was in perfect shape. If your bag has a defect, contact Amazon and return it. They have a great return policy. With any mass-manufactured item, there is going to be a small number of items that are not up to snuff. Every batch has its lemon.In short, I purchased this bag to replace my (several years old) Eddie Bauer cross-body diaper bag that was on it’s last leg. My goal for this bag was one that would fit me comfortably and hold everything I needed for a day trip out with my toddler. I had requirements of a separate front pocket, water bottle pockets on each side, and no interior technology padding. This bag fit the bill perfectly and has performed admirably.On a typical day outing, this bag holds:*an Easy Lunchboxes lunch bag*a changing mat*a small case of wipes*4 diapers*2 Contigo water bottles*wallet, glasses case, and misc. small personal effects*pack of crayons and small note pad*snack bars*matchbox cars*change of toddler clothesAll that and I usually have a little room to spare. So, if you’re looking for a good day bag that won’t break the bank, you really can’t beat this deal.

Baby loves her rocker napper!

September 8th, 2014

Our baby has been resting and sleeping in the rocker napper since she came home from the hospital, and at six weeks old, she still loves it! We use it with the Summer Infant Snuzzler to make it a little more cushy and to position her well within the napper.The rocker napper is small and light enough to be moved from room to room, and I even use it in the bathroom to keep baby nearby while I bathe or shower. It’s not built to be pulled around with baby in it; you have to move the napper first and then place baby. But it’s so light that I can carry baby in one arm and push or pull the napper with the other hand.She sleeps in the rocker napper every night, and I love that I can pull it up close to the bed. I can lean over and touch her without having to get up, which allows me to get a little more sleep! We have tried her in the crib, but she wakes immediately. Something about the size of the rocker napper must be more comfy and soothing.Baby loves the snail toy that hangs down; it was one of the first things she smiled at. So far, she doesn’t seem to care about the vibration feature or the light/music show at all, but both do work fine and may interest her later. You will need a C battery for the vibration and AA batteries for the light/music.I’m not sure about the reviews that said this item doesn’t rock. Maybe they assembled it incorrectly? It rocks fine. It’s not a big, dramatic rock, but for a baby, it’s the kind of gentle rocking you want to soothe them. My husband sits at his desk and rocks the napper with his foot while working on the computer.One flaw: the mobile arm makes a loud clicking noise and shakes the napper a bit when we rotate it out of the way to pick up the baby. We’ve tried to figure out if we somehow installed it incorrectly, but we can’t find a problem. If this is the norm, it is a flaw that should be corrected when there’s a new version. The first time baby fell asleep in there, I rotated the arm to pick her up and move her into the crib, and the noise and shaking startled her awake and made her scream. Since then, we rotate the arm out of the way as soon as she looks sleepy.Without this flaw, I’d definitely give the napper 5 stars. Even with that one flaw, our baby really loves it, and it’s definitely a piece of equipment that we use every day and night!Update: Baby is now 4.5 months old. She rarely uses the RN now. My little one is a big girl, very long and lean. During her third month, the rocker napper started to seem strained under her weight, even though she hadn’t reached the 20 pound limit, so we transitioned her to co-sleeping.We used it as a seat for about a month, but then she really wanted to sit up straight all the time, so the rocker napper seat, which reclines even at the highest position, was no longer her favorite. She graduated to the Summer Infant positioner seat, which helps her sit up like a big girl (similar to bumbo seat). I am still really glad we had the RN during her newborn months, but just wanted to give you a timeline as far as how long this may be useful.She never did care much about the mobile or vibration feature. We really could have done without.I would still 100% recommend this as a purchase for a newborn. It was such a comfort to me to pull her close to my bed so I could touch her in the night, and she slept in it much better than in the crib.

Serves its purpose as a Halloween costume

September 8th, 2014

We ordered this for Halloween for my four year old. He is average build for his age.The 2-4T should be called just 2T. It was the same size as the 2T costumes we’ve purchased elsewhere. It’s made a cheap, polyester material like most Halloween costumes but is a little thicker and better stitched than those purchased at places like Walmart. If you are planning to purchase this for a sturdy 3 year old or any four year old (Unless they are a dwarf) I would recommend you buy the youth sized costume and get away from the toddler size. We had to exchange it for a larger size and were lucky to have ordered early enough to have time for the exchange to take place. Be sure to get your child a reflective belt or some sort of light to attach to them front and back. They completely disappear into the night with this costume. Even with glow-stick bracelets and glow-sticks hanging from his neck I had a very hard time keeping sight of him trick or treating in our suburb with large front lawns.One con:We also ordered the Canine Robin costume so my son could have his sidekick but upon arrival it was a size larger that we’d requested. We returned it but were told that the size we needed was out of stock so we were out of luck. I think it would have been better business practice to have the item listed out of stock as some other items on the web site. It really knocked the excitement out of this costume since the reason it was desired in the first place was that having matching costumes with his pup and that was not possible because of the out of stock issue.

LOVE even after 3 months

September 8th, 2014

I was a little skeptical to buy this because of all the negative reviews this product had about not being durable and the electronics not working properly. In fact, I was so skeptical that I didn’t buy it at first. A few days later, still a little sad that I couldn’t find anything else, a friend of mine posted a video of her kiddos (she has twins) playing with the same toy I wasn’t buying!! She told me that she loved it, her babies loved it and that it was a durable as it could be so I ordered it. It was extremely easy to put together AND the toy came with its own batteries which I thought was absolutely amazing since nothing ever comes with batteries anymore. The electronics worked great until about 2 months later. It started doing all the crazy things that people were talking about. Luckily I remembered that the batteries were originally provided to me by the company and who knows how old those were so I replaced them and the electronics worked great again. Soooo… to all those people that said that the circuit board was crap, check the batteries first and see if that is the problem.As for durability, my daughter has rammed it into every single piece of wall, furniture and living thing in our house. It has a 90 degree square base with wheels so it is extremely difficult to tip over. In the 3 months my daughter has had it, she has tipped it over 1 time and learned that when you fall, you have to let go of the handle otherwise it comes down with you.This toy is fun, flashy and gets used in our house every single day. My daughter loves this thing and it was worth every penny of the $35 dollars I spent on it. If your baby is ready to start walking then this toy is absolutely wonderful but please know that if your baby cannot stand on their own, then they are not ready to be walking with this toy so just get it for them to press the buttons since it can be easily removed until they can stand and walk with it.There are no stoppers or emergency breaks on the wheels so for those who are worried that their little one will push and it will go forward, you’re right, it will and it wont stop. That is what it is made for.I gave the educational value a four because while there are a million things on it that baby can learn from, they probably are not going to because they will be so busy wanting to push a million other buttons.UPDATE: We have now had this for 6 months and my daughter still loves it. She figured out how to take the face off to play with it by itself and has thrown it on the ground several times. We do not have carpet so the fact that it is still working tells me that it seems to be put together pretty well.

Great alternative to Allen Edmonds Park Avenue

September 5th, 2014

I purchased a pair of these in Black and Bordeaux. It’s funny because I was actually looking for a pair of Park Avenue’s to add to my collection, but they were on Amazon deals for under $50 bucks each. I’m not new to J&M, but I’m glad I decided to give their lower end Oxford a try because I couldn’t pass up a deal to get 2 brand new pair of oxfords for less than it cost to have one of my AE’s reconditioned.The Optima (I think that’s what they call it) shoe sole is very comfortable, even brand new out of the box. If you’ve purchased high quality dress shoes before, you know how much a pain it can be to get them “broken in”. The factory shine on these are really great. Got a compliment when wearing them from a person who wears Park Avenue’s and is extremely anal about his shine.Pros:-Great classic cap toe Oxford-Beautiful shine-Extremely comfortableCons:The bordeaux color isn’t noticeably different from the black pair unless under good light. I knew the pictures were a bit indicative of this, but I would really have liked if J&M made a visible difference of the two. I think I could wear both a black and bordeaux and it would take a keen eye to realize that I’m wearing two different colored shoes.*Note*If you’re purchasing these and you’re new to dress shoes, get your foot measured. The last thing you want to do is buy a shoe that’s too narrow or too wide.

BEST handbag I’ve had, hands down!

September 5th, 2014

I just got this today so I haven’t used it yet, but I have to say I am really pleased! The color was spot on from the picture. I wanted raspberry and I got it. It was bigger than I thought which makes me very happy. It’s hard to find a purse that’s big enough but not too big. I’m a purse addict so I am so picky that I am almost impossible to please. I think the size is perfect. Inside there are 3 pockets on one side and too smaller open ones on the other. I wish they had shown a picture of the inside but I will try to describe it. The 2 small, open pockets are the same on every purse. One is a little bigger than the other- maybe for pens in one and phone in the other. I hate putting my phone in these pockets! I am very happy to report that there is a zipped pocket on the outside- excatly what I like for my phone and keys. The other inside pockets are very cool and I have only found this configuration with Tyler Rodan bags. Against the wall of the purse is a traditional zipped pocket. Then there is a divider that is also a zipped pocket, but this creates a smaller section that is perfect for my kindle or small sketch book for my zentangles! You never know when you want to draw a tangle! (If you don’t know what I mean go to Pinterest (not on Pinterest! Inconceivable!!) and pin zentangle. The rest of the purse has a very large section that is open and should hold A LOT! The chain strap actually felt as if it would stay on my shoulder. I usually don’t like the detachable straps because they are too thin and slip off. You could just use the handles I suppose. The bag came to my armpit when I did try but It didn’t feel too bad. I have to tell you what I consider a design flaw in this bag and many others. The top zips along the entire length of the bag (good) but this makes access into the entire purse hard since the zipper in in the way. Frankly, it doesn’t need a zipper and I am considering just cutting it. I never zip my purses. A snap would have been so much better and given you total access to the bag. The other problem was the decorative strap around the top. The strap with the lock on it weaves in and out through the sides at the top of the bag and then snaps at the back. The problem with this is that you can’t get in the purse. It greatly limits the size. I tried to just remove it and was going to string a pretty scarf through it but those snaps are very good and the part that holds the lock isn’t going anywhere! I just unsnapped the back and left if, unsnapped, and sitting loosley at the side. It looks fine and you won’t believe how much more space you get now! It’s clearly not leather but it looks like a good quality vinyl that looks like leather. I hope I’m making sense. I think it’s well worth the money and I plan on getting another. If you like a big purse but not an overnight bag then this is for you. I hate the word classy but it is actually very descriptive for this bag. Get it- if you don’t like it send it back. But you won’t!

Serves the purpose it is intented for

September 5th, 2014

I have been using this caddy for about 3 months and it is exactly what I expected, based on the product description. Here are few observations that i have made on the product:PLUS:Takes care of all my desk organization needs:1.Of the 4 compartments, one for pens, second for pencils, third for ruler and scissor and the fourth for higlighters and sharpie. After filling up these compartments, it was clear that any thing else that remained needed disposal.2.One drawer compartment for Post-It and other notes. Holds stacks of 4 (3″x3″) with space for smaller post-its on the side and front. Cannot hold the larger post-its.3.Two small pockets for clips and SD card/pen drive.4.One wider pocket for erasers/pencil refills.Construction quality is A-, black surface will not lose the paint. The metal is heavy enough to hold what it is supposed to hold. Pads at the bottom could be sturdier to make the caddy more stable on the table.Size is ideal. Does not take a whole lot of space on the desk.MINUS:Cannot think of any, given my organizational needs. If you plan to store items other than what I stated earlier, you might have issues with storing them all.Price of this product varies quite a lot. I got it for ~$9 which is lower than what it was sellling at the time this review was written. Good (5-star) reviews like mine are not likely to reduce the price of this product. But I got to say what my experience has been. Overall, a very good product.


September 4th, 2014

Really awesome freaking site where i found this. I honestly just cant say enough about how much this site helped me. Been looking for something like this for my daughter for what seems like forever now. You would not beleive how happy i was when i found it. Any way eought of that heres the review!

I ordered the Melissa & Doug Jewelry Box-DYO as a birthday gift for my 9yr old daughter. It is very sturdy and is constructed of solid wood. It comes with glue glitter, stickers and gems so your child can decorate it to her liking. The glitter, stickers and gems come in a matching wooden tray that appears to be perfect to fit different pieces of jewelry. The box came packaged in cellophane, and I decided to take it off so I could place the jewelry I bought my daughter into the compartments before I wrapped her gift. However, the tray does not fit into the jewelry box. When I called the number located on the underside of the jewelry box, I was informed that the tray is not meant to fit into the box and that it’s only to display the glitter, stickers and gems. It seems like such a waste of materials. Other than a felt-lined piece of foam that poorly separates the inside of the box into two parts, there are no compartments for jewelry. The pictures of the product on Amazon led me to believe that the tray fit into the box, so I was disappointed with that. Nonetheless, my daughter will love it.

Difference in color between this and Official Sports is VERY slight…see for yourself

September 4th, 2014

I’ve uploaded two pictures to the customer images gallery comparing the KwikGoal shirt advertised on this page and the Official Sports economy long sleeve recommended by USSF (It’s exactly the same as the Pro shirt; I just happened to have the economy shirt out as I was finishing up my laundry!).In the close up, you can see a very slight difference between the shirt colors. In the far shot (taken about two yards away), it is much harder to see a difference. By comparison, the old style OSI shirts (with the thinner pinstripes) and the current style have a MUCH greater difference in color, which can be seen from any distance.I’ve walked side-by-side with referees wearing OSI shirts, and could barely notice a difference in color. No official has ever commented on the difference, or even commented on the fact that I wasn’t wearing an OSI shirt.Positives:—Handles sweat and rain far better than OSI’s shirts do. This goes for the OSI economy shirts (of which I have 14), as well as the OSI Pro shirts (of which I have 4). OSI’s shirts suck up sweat and rain and never let it go, making you feel like you’re carrying a bucket of water on your shoulders. The KwikGoal shirts handle sweat more like a mediocre soccer shirt. Not great, but much better than OSI shirts.—Buttoned collar looks nicer than the open collar on the OSI economy shirt, for a lower price.—99.9% of people you meet will never notice that you’re not in the “recommended” USSF shirt.Negatives:—The badge holder is off center! See my third image. I know they meant well, and *technically* it is centered if you ignore the pencil well and pocket flap, but it is NOT centered over the entire pocket, so it just looks odd to me.—The pocket flap is attached across the entire pocket, so a long enough pencil will prevent the flap from closing completely, making the shirt look a bit sloppy. By contrast, Score shirts don’t attach the pocket flap where the pencil would go, so they close more neatly.—0.1% of people you meet will probably notice that you don’t have an OSI logo on your pocket, and you don’t have a USSF logo on your sleeve. Some of those people might even notice that the yellow is slightly different.Conclusion: If you plan on upgrading beyond grade 7, then you may want to buy all 10 OSI Pro shirts so that a picky assessor won’t bring it up. For the other 99% of USSF referees, however, this is a great way to save money while getting a shirt that, admittedly, fits better, and handles sweat and rain MUCH better than OSI’s product.