Friday, January 3, 2003

The Insatiable Shopper

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Personalized fleece: Folks in the Northeast know a little something about the biting cold and cuddly warmth of Polartec. The Vermont Fleece Co. monograms and embroiders the non-pilling, 100 percent polyester fabric into blankets fit for any living room or fireside chair, using dozens of colors, contrasting trim, up to 25 words and a library of designs from dinosaurs to deer heads. The blankets and plankets (a blanket with an attached pouch that turns into a pillow) come in 30-by-40-inch baby blankets for $25 to 60-by-70-inch cuddlers for $64.50. At or (888) 570-6211. Seat belt tightener: The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says 80 percent of all child car seats are installed incorrectly. And it's no wonder, with more than 70 models of car seats and hundreds more car models out there. Mighty-Tite is a seat belt tightener that locks the seat, preventing up-and-down and side-to-side movement resulting from squirmy little ones. Because it attaches to the seat belt (winding the belt around a spindle) rather that the car seat, it can be used on infant carriers, car seats and combination seats and it can be easily removed and switched to another car. $19.95 at Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies R Us.

In the spotlight: Night readers, polite enough to pass up a bedside lamp, have been using everything from flashlights under a blanket to clip-on book lights. Now there's an easier-to-use alternative - the LightWedge, an acrylic page-side lens placed directly on the page that reflects LED edge light, illuminating just the reading material, not the space around it. Weighing 8.5 ounces (including the four AAA batteries that power it), the Wedge is 63/4 inches by 91/4 inches with a high and low beam. $34.95 at Barnes & Noble stores.

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