Ah yes, Christmas is over. The frantic shopping, wrapping till 1 am on Xmas eve and baking those dam, I mean wonderful cookies all month long. But, at least we all have some new things to show off right?
Over this past month, I've won some blog contests, gotten a special discount code and of course gave my husband (and Secret Santa) some Indie items that I wanted. So all in all I had a nice Xmas season. Here's a little run down on some of the delightful things I got this past month.
I received a nice 50% off discount via a blog giveaway to Nyblaque's Etsy store. Nyblaque is an Etsy jewelry store in which I found a most unique necklace that just kept getting my attention. It's call "Cornucopia" and as you can see by the picture it is such a cornucopia of things. Framed by this simple ebony wood rectangle, the simple golden circle is bursting with a variety of autumn colored gemstones.
Here's the description straight from Nyblaque's listing:
"This design was my expression of a cornucopia...filled with labradorite berries, mandarin garnet oranges, carnelian pumpkins and lemon quartz squash..bursting out of the horns' copper, brass and oxidated alumunum twisted and soldered handmade 20m "ring". Captured in a 35mm tiger ebonywood picture frame. "
It hangs from a very delicate chain and is a rather heavy pendant. I don't care how heavy it is though cause I think it's one of the best pieces I own. I can safely say, I have the only one :-) Now, this piece was originally priced at $50 but I was able to get it for $25 with my discount. I know this type of piece takes a long time to make, just look at the work that went into it, but I see this as a unique style for Nyblaque and I hope to see more of this style in the future.
I had also recently won another blog giveaway (it's been my lucky year what can I say) and in this one I received this necklace that I call my New Year's Eve ball, but it's actually called "Ice Princess" by Vandiva on Etsy. The necklace is on a very long chain, which is not usually my style, but when paired with a turtleneck sweater, it looks just right. The pendant is made of lead crystal, accented with pearls, clear crystal and opalite beads. The retail value of this piece is $49! I have actually had a piece of Vandiva's in my Etsy favorites for awhile called Rain Cloud which you can find on the first page of the shop. If you like chunkier styles, then I would recommend you take a look there.
This next Indie item, well it's not something I would've have bought for myself no matter how much I wanted one. My husband would've killed me if I bought one, so what better place to ask for one than in a Secret Santa! And, it's my Butt Freckle! Here's mine, ain't she cute lol. Butt Freckle is another wonderful Etsy store filled with, well these Butt Freckles. Tiny little friends with a lil charm (or freckle) on their backsides, as you can see in the next picture (butt freckles on Butt Freckles will vary). Butt Freckles range in price from $4 to $22 for xtra large ones. The purpose of said Butt Freckle? No purpose, you just have to have one cause they are so dam cute.
Lastly, I had this one on my Xmas list that my husband got to shop from. I had first seen these Flapper Hats on Rare Bird Finds and just thought they were gorgeous. The variety of colors, flowers and the like just made for a unique, conversation piece of a hat. You can find these Flapper Hats at Melissa Happy Stuff on Etsy. The hats cost $30 each and let me tell you, if you go and look at her sales..it's just pages and pages of these Flapper Hats. They are selling like hot cakes over there. The photo on the right is the exact one that my husband got me. The colors are perfect as they match the coat I wear.
So, lots of good stuff right? I'm very happy and very satisfied with all of these great Indie items. What did you all get for Xmas? Let me know.
Coming up soon here on Products..my list of the Best of 2008 (based on my product reviews during 2008).
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ah yes, Christmas is over. The frantic shopping, wrapping till 1 am on Xmas eve and baking those dam, I mean wonderful cookies all month long. But, at least we all have some new things to show off right?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know I've been out for awhile but I had a couple of major PTO events in November then my family came down for Thanksgiving.
Now, complaining time :-). I'm a pretty easy going person. But, when I buy stuff whether it's clothes, food, jewelry or B&B, I want good quality. Lately, clothes that used to be of decent quality had slipped up and become low on the totem pole.
I pretty much like to wear long sleeve t-shirts in the fall/winter. Nothing exciting, I know but hey they are comfy. I've always bought from Old Navy and Kohl's with nary an issue in the past. But, the shirts I've bought recently warrant my "Don't Waste Your Money Alert" and it's pretty depressing for me.
I'm kinda frugal with money spent on clothes for me unless it's for a special occassion. Old Navy usually has good deals on simple long sleeve t-shirts (usually a thinner material but still ok). I had gotten a couple of their shirts in a couple of different colors. Ok, wore this Aqua colored one once and washed it. Washed it according to the cute little tag on the inside of the shirt. Out of the dryer, the stitching around the cuff...completely gone. Like there was no thread there at all on one of the sleeves. Ok, now I can't wear this one out of the house. Lesson learned...what was good in the past has gotten cheaper in the present. What a waste.
The other shirts I have issue with are these long sleeve shirts by Sonoma from Kohls. In the past, I've always been able to count on Sonoma's quality..not anymore. I have several tshirts in a variety of colors (I think the regular price was $20 and I got them on sale for $10). After just a couple of washes (again washed according to the little tag), the stitching around the shirt hem began to unravel and come undone. Not as bad as the Old Navy T-Shirt but close enough.
So, what's happening? Was this just a fluke that I happened to buy or something more? It just goes to show that after some time when we all get comfortable with a brand, they start to change their standards and quality goes down. Times are hard for everyone and in this economy clothes are probably the one luxury/need that we all still need to buy. Quality is going to be a crucial factor in what I buy and it should be for you too. You want clothes that are going to last a long time, more than just a couple of washes.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Good evening everyone! I hope you've had a nice Veteran's Day holiday....I wish I had but that's a story for another day (it involves a 3 year old)
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
There is such a myriad of handmade bath and body products out there, that it can almost drive you mad. This includes the new trend in handmade mineral makeup. I'm always up for trying new things, otherwise where would my blog go, so I tried a relatively new B&B site on etsy called I Touch Roses.
Ahna of I Touch Roses is taking a turn from her other etsy store, a jewelry shop called Art Created, and is trying her hand at cosmetics and bath & body. Ahna sent me a variety of samples from her cosmetics shop..several mineral eye shadows, mineral foundation, soap in Haunted scent, incense, a sample vial of her Soul Mate perfume and a sample of her Skin Euphoria Cream.
She sent me mineral foundation in her Rapture shade. Now, Ahna does not know me or the exact tone of my skin, however, this shade is perfect for my skin tone. It absolutely blends in and creates a really nice, smooth finish on my skin. I've tried a few other handmade mineral foundations and Ahna's ranks high on my list. It didn't cake on or create powdery spots, it created a nice smooth finish that even I can be proud of (ok, I have issues lol.) She's got 5 different foundation shades, as seen in this picture on the left, and a 40 gram jar will run you $16.50. This is actually a very good price for that much mineral foundation. Oh, and you get a puff too :-)
As far as Ahna's mineral eyeshadows...there are alot of bright and playful colors. As you can see by her color list in this photo on the right. With my fair skin and blonde hair..bright colors and really really dark colors have never worked well for me. However, I found that the purple shade she sent me, called Passion, worked really well for me as an eyeliner. I wet my brush and worked in around the powder and got a really nice dark purple shade of eyeliner. It looked even better when paired with a lighter brown shadow like the one she sent me calledContent. They eyeshadows run $7.77 for a 10 gram jar. If you like to experiment with your colors, I think you'll be in heaven with Ahna's palette.
Aside from the mineral makeup, Ahna's Skin Euphoria Cream is wonderful. There's an amazing 17 different moisturizers in this lotion, I beleive that's the most I've ever seen. Here's the list of ingredients for the unscented Euphoria cream:
evening primrose oil
apricot kernel oil
sweet almond oil
vit. e oilc
glycerinpolysorbate 20 - from olive oilconditioning emulsifiers
isopropyl myristate - to reduce oily feeling
It just flows onto the skin and instantly hydrates. It did not leave any greasy or Rain X type feeling on the skin. The cost of having Skin Euphoria will be between $12-$14. The Skin Euphoria Soap (which I got in Haunted) is just as good as the lotion. I'm usually not into heavily perfume scented soaps, but this is the exception to my rule. This soap lathered up more than other soaps I've tried and the scent stayed true..you know how some scents just disappear when you lather up...and you just get a "soap" smell leftover. Not with this soap. Plus, it just left my skin feeling soft and clean. $6.75 for the soap
If you're looking for a bit of change and some really well made bath & body/mineral makeup products....try out I Touch Roses.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Lately, I've been on this recycled Scrabble Tile kick. There are so many artists that are turning old Scrabble tiles (or small Scrabble Tile sized tiles) into unique, creative pendants. There are so many uniques images and artwork that you have a plethora to choose from. Of course alot of these pieces can be found at Etsy stores. Here are a few that I have gotten pieces from..some are having some good sales right now so you could get a head start on some Xmas shopping if you wanted to. :-)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Ok, I know that there's an election coming up! I have been perusing Etsy and have come across a ton of Obama and McCain items. Sorry, but I am for Obama and most of the McCain items I'm finding are jokes on McCain. I want to be neutral on my post so I will have some items that are serious and funny on both candidates.
This first one is from One Plaid Aunt and it's a set of Michelle & Barack Obama ponytail holders. Now you can get this set or there's other sets of just Michelle and just Barack. There's also Barack & Michelle barrettes too. Whether you want the elastics or the barrettes, they will both run you $10. But, think about it, it's a unique way of making your choice clear.
(You can also get Obama & Biden ones too). Itty Bitties has alot of cute things, I especially love her robots! The magnet set will run you about $18.
Then there's the Palin buttons from Button Diva. The Button Diva has plenty of Palin power buttons and McCain Victory buttons for $3 each. There's also some Palin Power earrings for $5.5o and Pendants for $5.95.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Make a statement without saying a word...I remember this was a quote from some product line a long long time ago (maybe not that long ago). What about in today's world? Is there anything out there that you can buy that will have you making a statement without saying a word? Not much huh? Well, lucky for you, someone who makes such a product found me!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Sorry to have been absent for so long but I was on vacation and really had to recoup for a few days. But yes, I survived Disney World! Last week (17th-23rd) we went to Disney. Yes, to answer your question, we were rained on by that lovely Tropical Storm Fay. It just circled over Orlando from Tuesday thru Friday Night. We ended up buying 2 sets of ponchos (that's 4 adult and 4 kids) because we destroyed the first set. Nothing like seeing Disney wearing an $8 plastic sheet over yourself. If you can't ever figure out how to goto the bathroom in one of those things, call me..I'm an expert now :-)
Just a few tips now about going to Disney World
1. Do Not go with a 3 year old or younger child. Not only are they a pain in the butt (my three year old was just driving us nuts so I'm just speaking from experience..this may not apply to your child lol), they can't keep up with everything you do.
2. Get the Dining Plan. I planned our trip thru AAA and they told us about the dining plan. On the basic plan...you get one table service meal, one quick service meal and one snack per person per day. Our table service meals averaged $85 for the 4 of us. Quick Service about $25-$30 and snacks..well (by the way, drinks are counted as one snack) they range from $2 for bottled water to $5 for a fancy pastry in France in Epcot. The dining plan cost us $600 but we basically got that back from the table service meals and a couple of quick service. Well worth the money!
With the meals...adults get non-alcoholic drinks, entree and dessert :-) kids get an appetizer (don't get excited it's like a tiny salad, apples or grapes) , entree, dessert and drink. Kids menus have fewer choices than the adult menu, but Disney really makes them healthier with the choices. I was impressed with that. There are websites out there that list all the menus for all of the restaurants and snack stands so you can plan ahead.
3. Make reservations for any table service meal. Or else you will find you can't eat till 9pm. Make sure you do this in advance!!! Months in advance!!!
4. Pick your hotel wisely. Some of the resorts are listed as "value" and end up kinda low on the totem pole. We paid a bit more for the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was a great place. The lobby is just full of all kinds of African Art, TV w/Disney cartoons for the kids, a fire pit and more. There are daily activities for the kids from decorating cookies to an evening parade. The rooms were good but just being able to walk out on your balcony and see giraffes, zebras and other savannah animals is amazing.
5. Try not to go during Hurricane Season. Ok, it's the only time the kids are out of school besides Christmas. We planned for August and ended up in the rain from Fay for 4 days. Next time we go, it will be as soon as school lets out in June.
6. Use the Fast Pass system! Major attractions have what's called Fast Pass. It's basically scheduling you for the ride. You get your pass and it has a time on it for you to come back. Then you get in the fast pass line and the wait is less than 10 minutes on average. Some of the "biggest" attractions, you will need to get your Fast Pass upon park opening as they get taken up fast.
7. If you have your young and short child with you (alot of rides have a 40" height requirement), take advantage of the "Parent Swap". One parent goes on the ride and the other is given a Parent Swap ticket. It's the same as a Fast Pass but you get to take 2 more people with you on the ride. Once the first parent gets off the second one can go on with literally no wait.
8. Beware the end of the ride! Most of them exit you off into a gift shop.
9. Try not to look to much at the price tags in the shops. It's going to be expensive no matter what but it's not like you're going there every day. There are some really neat products that you can only get down there..not online and not in the Mall stores.
10. There are no calories in Disney Food. I know it's not true but trust me it's better if you keep repeating that over and over and over.
11. Take breaks. Especially if you've got young kids. Don't spend 8am-9 pm at one park with no breaks. First, you will end up killing yourself with exhaustion. Second, you will never see all the Disney stuff there is in one week if you do that. Make sure you go back to your hotel like at 3pm and relax for awhile before heading out for dinner at another park.
12. Buses! Every resort and every park has bus transportation. They run every 20 minutes.
13. The Disney Magical Express is not Magical and it's not an Express. When we arrived in Orlando they sat us on a bus for 30 minutes before it left for the hotel..then it stopped at two other hotels before ours. It tooks us over an hour and a half to get from the airport to the hotel. The only thing that is a big plus is when you arrive they take your luggage to the hotel so you don't have to stop at baggage claim. When you leave the resort checks your luggage and gives you your boarding passes.
14. If you're using airline miles you will be on the late flight out and the earliest flight when you leave. The complete opposite of what you want. Our flight left at 1pm and arrived after 3. Going home...8:42am and we had to be in the checkout area in the lobby at 5am.
15. Remember, it's the happiest place on Earth!
And, that's my advice for going to Disney World. It was our first trip with the kids and I haven't been to Disney since 1992. Alot changed and luckily I was prepared for it. Feel free to share your tips!
Friday, August 15, 2008
That's how I felt when I found Heart Works by Lori on Etsy. Lori makes these "Art Pendants" and they are just beautiful. She creates these wonderful works of art by incorporating her love of jewelry with her love of Art. Each pendant makes me feel like I'm in a museum. The miniaturized artworks are surrounded by intricate little "frames" that look just like the painting (of course only smaller). Completely sealed with glass to keep the lil masterpiece safe.
What really got me interested in Lori's shop is that she mentions on her Etsy store that she's done a collection of jewelry for the Boston Art Museum (they still have them up for sale on the museum's website and if you click on the link, it will take you to them). She made them for a special exhibition on the Spanish Masters. You can see how really well done the pieces are by the pictures I have here. These two pictures (Madonna by Cotan and Plate of Pears) are pieces that are being sold at the museum's store. Lori's been making Art Jewelry since 2007 and with this Boston Art Museum gig, I trust her work.
The Art Jewelry prices range from $26 to $75 and Lori has other pieces on her site that ranges from $12-$60. For me though, I just love these Art Works! Lori has a regular jewelry site that I've taken a peek at and even her non Art jewelry pieces are works of Art. I just love when I find a really unique jeweler. I have several "personal jewelers" now and Lori is one of them. I you trust me, then you'll be sure to find yourself a wonderful little piece of Art!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Ok, I know, bad Beatles reference there lol, but I like my catchy post titles!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I want to welcome a new advertiser to Products of the Day...Barbe Saint John and her Saints & Sinners store. Barbe makes fantastic jewelry from vintage items..she also makes homespun yarn and mixed media art.
We actually did a trade :-) I was able to get this fabulous necklace..and let me tell you it took me 2 days to decide on what I wanted to get. It's called "Birds Sing Sweeter in Summertime." This is a mixed media piece with the cute sparrow bead, the resin birds in a tree piece, vintage beads and a wonderful quartz stone. How Barbe was able to find all these different things in the same blue color is amazing lol. One thing I just love about it is that each side of the necklace is a different chain. I just love this necklace. Chunkier necklaces are not usually my style but I ended up loving it when I got it.
Here are some of the other pieces that I was trying to choose from.
This cute little piece with Cardinals sitting on a branch (and you all know I love Cardinals) is called Lisa & Ethel Gossip Time. The birds are lampwork figures and they sit in little wired nests. Their "tree branch" is actually a piece of black coral. Lucy & Ethel are $45.
Then there's these Paris at Night earrings. They are made with vintage French brass charms, antique brass chain and antique beads. What's unique about these earrings is that they each have their own image on the focal part. I just thought these were cool and I love the blue color. Paris at Night will run you $34
Barbe also has this collection of necklaces called Wunderlust. Each piece has an etched disk with a vintage piece of map (protected by resin). The one I loved was the Paris piece in Sterling Silver. This line is just simple yet so unique. If Barbe ever makes on of Rome (hint hint hint), then I will probably have to buy it :-) The Wanderlust necklaces range in price from $43 to $60. This one of Paris is $60
You will find much more at Saints & Sinners. Feel free to click any link here in the post or scroll down to the Shop Shop Shop section and click on Barbe's banner. Just let me know what you bought wink wink.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Sharonn over at Crater Lake Company. She has lovely bath and body products and wanted to know if I'd try them out. You know me, I love bath and body stuff :-)