Duluth Trading Long Tail Henley Product Review

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I have been keeping this item to myself. I admit it. I love it so much, I wasn’t sure I wanted to share with the crowd.

However, I have decided that you need to know about Duluth Trading’s Long Tail Henley T. It’s THAT GOOD.

I haven’t done an apparel review in a while, frankly there aren’t many things on the market worth talking about.

In my life before children, I worked in Quality Assurance for a large apparel retailer. It was my job to review first production samples and make recommendations for construction improvement.

Most of items I see in retail stores are low quality. With the down slide of the economy, garments just aren’t made the way they used to be. Cost cuts have been necessary in production and garments have a tendency to shrink, pill or bleed in the wash, or don’t fit well to begin with.

Many items currently on the market lack the small quality details that were once standard in the industry. Needless to say, I don’t shop very much anymore.

The Long Tail Henley is another story. Duluth Trading has an excellent reputation for their top quality construction. I have been to their store in southern Wisconsin, and I drool every time I am there.

My first impressions of the Long Tail Henley was that the colors were great, more than 13 colors to choose from! So many great shades, it was hard to choose which one was for me.

In the end, I was captivated by the Sea Port Blue.  The knit fabric is a superior weight, it has great coverage, and didn’t shrink a bit in the wash.  This shirt is 2″ longer than other T’s, it is well shaped and has a feminine look to it. According to their website, this fabric is also fade and pill resistant, and even has UPF 35 protection. A definite plus for those of us who love to be outdoors!

This shirt has 3/4 sleeves which I love. My arms are long and I love to be able to push the sleeves up and wear lots of bracelets. I noticed that the sleeves didn’t stretch out when wearing, which is one of my pet peeves!

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A few designer perks, the 6 button placket is nicely finished around the neck and includes beautiful box stitching at the base. This keeps the placket from ever coming loose or developing a hole, not many garments are made this well.

 

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 The top stitching around the sleeve and neck are a definite bonus, these are small details that make for a lifetime of excellent performance.

I could own one of these in every color, and plan to order several for gifts this holiday season.

 

Mason Jar Gifts (Repost)

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It’s been a difficult summer so far for the garden. The last few weeks have brought heavy rains in our area and most folks are finding their crops to be late.

Things are too wet, and too cool here as well.

Our new location doesn’t have a vegetable garden at all. I am greatly missing the beautiful garden we had last year.

I am planning a new one for next season.

For those of you that will have good crops this year, here’s the links to my 31 Days of Mason Jar Gifts series I did last year.

Some of the projects are canning, some of them are crafts.

All are a great way to fill your pantry for the gift season, coming soon.

Meanwhile I am off to the Haven Conference.

I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

 

 

 

Here’s the Gifts Wrapped in Glass Wrap-Up! Be sure and catch up on any posts you missed!
Day 1: Homemade Ketchup
Day 2: Mason Jar Terrariums
Day 3: Mason Jar Candles
Day 4: Mason Jar Snow Globes
Day 5: Mason Jars for Pets
Day 6: Dilly Beans
Day 7: The Knitting Jar
Day 8: Almond Hand Creme
Day 9: The Sewing Jar
Day 10: Italian Gift Jars
Day 11: Spicy Dill Pickles
Day 12: Ombre Mason Jars
Day 13: The Gardener’s Jar
Day 14: Fermented Dill Pickles
Day 15: Orange Bath Salts
Day 16: PJ’s in a Jar
Day 17: Apple Butter
Day 18: Homemade Maple Syrup
Day 19: Map Garland in a Jar
Day 20: Jar of Roses
Day 21: Honey Almond Soap
Day 22: Scented Diffuser Jar
Day 23: Pumpkin Pie in a Jar
Day 24: Lemon Jelly
Day 25: Cranberry-Apple Relish
Day 26: The Soap Dispenser
Day 27: Sweet Pickle Relish
Day 28: Orange Cranberry Marmalade
Day 29: Artist’s Jar
Day 30: Homemade Yogurt
Day 31: Homemade Muesli

Dirt Cake in a Jar

Dirt Cake @designerssweetspot.com

I went a little crazy with mason jars last fall. I still am crazy about them. Everything seems to look better in a jar. Food tastes better in a jar, too.

Even birthday cake.

Even Dirt Cake.

Who doesn’t love Dirt?

My son decided that Dirt was on the menu for his birthday. Today, we had a blast making these yummy concoctions!

Dirt Cake in Mason jars @designerssweetspot.com

 

I love serving food in mason jars. I hope this trend is around to stay! It’s easy to dish out the right size portions. There is always one joker in the crowd who thinks HE should get the biggest helping.

Not any more! The jars look great on a tray, and you can even dress it up by using the decorative cut glass jelly jars instead of the plain ones.  I like to chill or freeze the jars for a cool treat on a warm day. I add chocolate protein mix to the pudding to make this dish a bit healthier!

This cake is super easy:

Dirt Cake in a Jar

Dirt Cake in a Jar

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Packages instant chocolate pudding
  • 2-4 scoops chocolate protein powder
  • 6 cups 2% milk
  • 1 16 oz. tub of non-dairy whip topping
  • 1 carton of chocolate sandwich cookies, some crushed
  • Gummy worms for decoration
  • 6 half pint mason jars

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk and pudding in a large bowl. Whisk together, adding protein powder. Chill for 5 minutes until partially set. Meanwhile, crush the cookies in a plastic baggie with a rolling pin, learning some cookies whole for garnish. When pudding begins to set, spoon into jars. Make one layer of pudding, whip topping, and crushed cookies, then repeat. Finish with the rest of the cookies crumbs, a gummy worm and a split cookies for the top.
  2. You can chill the jars in the refrigerator (soft set) or freezer (firm set) until needed. It's easy to move them around by setting them in a muffin tin.

In Love with Orchids

 

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Coming back from vacation has it’s perks. The snow is now gone, and I actually saw a robin in the yard today. It seems like overnight, winter has finally given up and warmer days are ahead.

Returning from vacation has it’s down side also, I can no longer avoid all the things I have been worrying about, and I am still suffering from the time zone differential, a.k.a., I need a nap. A long nap.

For today, I will share our vacation visit to this fantastic orchid greenhouse. I have never seen anything quite like this, an entire greenhouse full of just orchids.

It was absolutely amazing. I could have wandered around in there for days.

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The woman who ran the place, had the most interesting way of organizing her orchids, rows and rows of vertical hanging baskets. Each one was connected to the one above by a simple metal hook. It gave the impression of being an entire wall, but it really wasn’t a wall at all.

Orchids do not need soil, some varieties thrive purely on air and water, others require bark or moss to cover the roots. These hanging “vines” are photos of all the bare roots, just hanging down from their little wooden or plastic baskets. I would love a greenhouse full of these!

It felt like a jungle. 

It was a jungle.

 This particular variety of orchid only blooms every 6 years ( I can’t remember the name of them, sorry!).  These are only 4 years old, and won’t bloom for two more years. I can’t imagine having that much patience waiting for them to bloom would be so hard for me!  Wow, this woman had PATIENCE!

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I especially loved the orchids planted in the wooden baskets. They look so gnarly and rustic, what an inspiration! Don’t you just LOVE it?

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Another wall was covered with wire fencing, then with rows of tiny orchid baskets on hooks. This system was part of how she propagates her orchids, and these were not for sale. Each one was labeled with the latin name, and she knew all of them!

 I would love to learn how propagate orchids, although I guess I should learn to grow them first without killing them. Sigh.

First things, first.

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My son had the best time in this place, he found an orchid to take home with him as a souvenir. This variety, Phalainopsis, is quite common, you can buy them at Home Depot or your local greenhouse. They have the most dazzling blossoms.  Keep your orchid in indirect sun, and evenly moist. The bathroom is a great place for them, they love the humidity. You can put them in the tub with a bit of water if you have to go out of town, they will be happy until you return.

I must say, I really don’t know that much about orchids, I killed one once that I had been given as a gift. Fortunately, my son is very good with plants and I am hoping we can keep this one alive for a while. Forever, actually.

Next time we are on vacation, I am bringing home a dozen of them, at least!

Christmas Knitting for Gifts

I have been inspired this last week to make a few last minute Christmas gifts. It all started with our recent visit to Chicago. Everyone there looked so nice in their beautiful hand knit hats and scarves. They didn’t seem to mind being out in the cold because they were dressed for it.
I decided I am under-dressed for the weather. I also decided, that everyone else I know is under-dressed as well and it’s my duty to fix it.
Hence, the flurry of last minute knitting.
Then I discovered the most beautiful line of imported yarn from Germany.
I am obsessed with it!

I love how quickly it knits on these jumbo needles. I always wanted to learn knitwear design in college. But back then knitwear was just ugly.
You remember those giant T-shirts with the word “WHAM” on the front?
I rest my case. Knitwear today is so much more attractive.
I call this cowl blue smoke. It’s a gift for my sister in law, shhhhh don’t tell!

This teal number is for my mother, she loves teal. Hummm, I think I am going to need one of these too.
The other nanna is getting neutrals. I love Oatmeal-like color combos.
This infinity scarf took me forever to finish. I am keeping this one, but I decided to show it to you anyway. I wore it to the movies for the first time the other day.
 I love how you can wrap yourself up in it. It is so soft and warm. I can’t wait to make another one.
I call this cowl bubble gum. Aren’t the colors just amazing? You could wear this with a million different things.

This scarf is for Gramps. Salt and Pepper is a perfect color combo for him.
This last one is still in progress, but I decided to show it to you anyway. It has a bit of gold in the yarn, nothing like a little Sparkle for the holidays. 
As soon as the snow storm lets up I will head back to the yarn store again so I can finish it.
As of the first of the year, I will be adding these items to my Etsy store. They will be available for custom orders after the holidays, more details to come!
Have a relaxing day!
Only two more days til Christmas! Plenty of time to knit a few more last minute items!