Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sweet Lollipops!

Yes, I'm still alive. I've actually been caught up in my two new Etsy stores that I've been busy. (I just opened up my holiday cookie shop: Baking Keeps Me Sane)

I, once again, recently won a handmade contest. This one was for an Etsy shop on facebook. The Sweet Lollipop Shop to be exact. I forget exactly what I did to win via facebook but I won and got a whole bunch of neat handmade lollipops. They make the crystal barley sugar type that you might remember from when you were a little kid. I got a bunch of heart themed cherry lollipops along with one cherry snauzer dog pop and a daisy one too.

I'm not a big cherry flavor fan but the cherry is so subtle and laid back that I really enjoyed the pops. They've got just the right amount of sweet but not overly so as you taste in some of today's processed lollipops. The only issue I had was that the lollipop sticks couldn't handle these babies lol. The sticks need to be stronger! But, that was the only issue.

If you go to the shop you'll find lollipops in every shape and flavor imaginable. They also sell small bite size squares that they call "jewels". I got a small sample in egg nog and they melted easy in the mouth and had great flavor.

Jewels will run you from between $4.25 and $4.95 depending on the flavors. Lollipop prices range from between $7 to $24.95 depending on the quantity, flavors and styles. You can get just about any shape or style. And, there are some Halloween designs like these bats I have pictured.

So, if you like good old fashioned candies, then you will really enjoy the candy at the Sweet Lollipop Shop!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

And the Winner is....

Sorry it took me so long but the winner of my Friendship Bracelet giveaway is:


congrats and I'll be emailing you soon to let you know.

Thanks to all who entered and just so you don't feel left out...I will give you 20% off anything I have in stock..includes cozies too. Just convo me before purchasing and I'll adjust the price of the listing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Opened My New Etsy Shop

I've finally opened my own Etsy shop and it's up and running TODAY. The name of my new store is: Keeps Me Sane..because doing these crafts is the only thing that's keeping me sane with all this craziness in my house.

I make Friendship bracelets, yes they are back..with a focus right now on FOOTBALL season..I'll do customize any colors you want. Here's my UNC bracelet.

I also do beaded ones as you can see from the photos. In the fall I'll have my loom knitted scarves up too.

So, I thought I'd have a kickoff giveaway since I've never done one before. So, if you'd like your own custom friendship bracelet you need to do two things:
1. Follow my blog
2.Leave a comment on the blog with the colors you want and the pattern (diamond, chevron, plain old stripes).
I'll pick a winner on August 31st using a good old fashioned method. Spread the word and let's get it on!!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Clinical Strength

After a pretty long hiatus, I am back. My family and I relocated from Northern Virginia to Cary, North Carolina and things are just settling down. The kids are in year round school and I have some quiet in the house.

Today I want to talk about those Clinical Strength deoderants out there. Now, usually, I'm not one who needs to use these stronger versions...however, it has been way to hot lately and once that heat shows up I actually find I do need them. I'm actually going to compare/review the last two brands that I've tried...there is a distinct difference in quality. So, before you spend anywhere between 7-12 dollars on deoderant please read my post.

I do believe Secret was the first "ladies" brand to come out with a clinical strength deoderant that you could buy OTC. I'm using the Secret version now because I had a coupon (silly isn't it what we buy cause we have a coupon). It's about 1.6 ounces and yes I bought the smaller one, they do make larger sizes but the price is higher. It has a small container that is not the easiest thing to hold and the dial you need to turn to get the stuff out is a little stiff. There's maybe 5 holes up top where the product comes out and it does sometimes come out uneven.

The brand I had before I ran out was Dove. The Dove version, which I think is a recent product..I usually use Dove deoderant anyway and had not seen the clinical strength till I bought it. The Dove version is about 1.7 ounces, has a larger and easier to hold container than the Secret. Also, the dial is much easier to turn and the product comes out smoother, more even. There are multiple holes in the top for the product to emerge from..both large and small so you get a more even amount for application.

The product basically feels the same no matter what brand you use and they do all have the same main ingredient. But, I found that the Dove product dried quicker and stayed dry..even after showing the next morning. The Secret does not dry quickly and throughout the day it feels wet and like I need to reapply the stuff. Now, of course I plan on finishing the Secret even though I don't like it as much, I don't like to waste stuff. But from now on, I plan on sticking with Dove, coupon or no coupon!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Handmade Birthday

Ok, sorry it's been awhile. As some of you know I am having a new home built in North Carolina which should be done in I've been going nutso.

Anyway, last week I celebrated my 38th birthday and luckily the hubby got me something I wanted. I love being able to just email my Etsy favorites to people and say here get my gift from here.

My husband got me this beautiful lampwork Teapot necklace from Helen's Harvest. I've been coveting her work for awhile. She just makes the most beautiful lampwork jewelry. Take a look at her shop and peruse the floral pieces. Absolutely gorgeous. I love my's black, which is like my color and the pink roses make it more cute. I can't remember what this piece cost but I think it was around $35. Her prices range from $27 on the low end to $197 depending on the piece.

My boss was another "what do you want for your birthday cause I don't know" person, so I also passed my Etsy favorites on to her. She got me this gorgeous Silver Wreath necklace from Erin Elizabeth. I just love the Garnet surrounded by the simplicity of the setting. I've bought from Erin Elizabeth myself and she does not disappoint in her service and her work. I think this necklace cost around $30 or so. Erin Elizabeth's prices range from $17 to $250 with many inbetween. There's something for everyone price wise here.

Now this last one I did not get for my birthday, I won it in a treasure hunt type contest. But, it's cute no matter what you say. It's this crocheted flower bookmark from Joyous Treasures. It's made to look like a Primrose bloom and when you shut your book, you've got this little flower growing from your book, it's really unique. She's got rosebuds, full roses, daffodils (that one is really neat and I featured it on Rare Bird Finds the other day) and a ton more. Very reasonable prices too. My primrose bookmark will run you $7. Prices range from $3.75 to $15 for the bookmarks. Very unique and way better than a paper one or doggy earring the page.
So, a good birthday and even better were the gifts. I can honestly say I got what I wanted for my birthday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

To Pronate or Not to Pronate

I have been a Pronater all of my life. And, no this is not some new fangled political group or something. Basically, I walk on the inside of my feet. I've done this all my life. I've sprained my ankles I can't tell you how many times because of it (I used to think I just had weak ankles). When I was a kid, I used to shove tissue into the inside of my shoes thinking that would help. I used to get teased and told I ran like a "chicken." I've also been in denial for many many many years. I look at my shoes and see how bent out of shape they are because of my pronation. I didn't even know the term for my problem till I started going to a chiropractor years ago.

So it wasn't until my husband told me that it hurts to watch me walk and that I walk really messed up, that I decided to see if I could find a solution. So I googled "pronation" and took a look at what came up. I found this online store called Footsmart and they have got tons and tons of products from inserts to shoes that help all kinds of foot related problems. I thought the shoes were kind of expensive so I searched "pronation" under their inserts and orthopedics. I found a pair of these gel inserts that were pretty inexpensive and thought, what the hell..I don't have anything to lose. They don't have the first pair I bought anymore so I can't post a photo. But, when I got them and put them in my shoes and walked around..there was an instant difference. After a day or so my back pain started going away. The only problem I had with this one pair was they made a couple pairs of my shoes way too tight and I couldn't wear them.

I went back to Footsmart and ordered a couple more different pairs of inserts. One was these ArchUps Slim inserts in the photo to the left. Very sturdy but not made of the gel like the other pair. They also come with an adhesive if you want to keep them from moving around in your shoe. These work alot better in my shoes, especially the ones that were too tight with the other inserts. Very easy to use and you can't really feel them at all. The effect is immediate. They are on sale at Footsmart right now for $4.97 and are regularly $12.99.

The other pair I got were these Bio-Balance inserts. These are more the soft gel type but slimmer in design so they fit any shoe fairly easily. These worked just as well. They're on sale at Footsmart for $3.97 regularly $6.99.
These were the inexpensive inserts. There are more expensive ones that I won't be trying but probably give you the same results. These were much more on my price radar. I'm happy with the results I've gotten with all three. I'm walking better and my posture is better. If you've got a pronation problem, don't go as long as I did without using a shoe insert. I have to say they have made things alot better.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pondering an Empty Zip Loc Bag

Why you might ask am I pondering an empty zip loc bag? Because I ate all my marshmallows that were inside. Not just any marshmallows, I'm talking handmade cinnamon sugar marshmallows! These marshmallows are just that dam good! I just got my box yesterday and I downed about half then including the 3 sample ones I got and just ate the last one seconds before I started writing this post. Just look at those beauties! I have a recipe somewhere for homemade marshmallows and mine turn out like crap everytime. So I got the hankerin to try some off of Etsy and I'm very very very pleased with my purchase..or did you already figure that one out lol.

These came from Have It Confections on Etsy. Marshmallows are not the only product, they make caramels and nougats too. I'm just in love with their marshmallows...but if my husband catches me ordering more I will be in trouble.. (he's over here playing his Xbox so I gotta be sneaky). I paid $9 for 15 1 inch by 1 inch technically that's over 1 foot of sugary, sweety goodness! The other sweets must be just as fantastic because Have It Sweet Confections has over 3700 sales on Etsy! Whatever they are doing, I hope they keep it up cause they are doing it RIGHT! I plan on trying some caramels next and then maybe the chocolate swirl marshmallows and then maybe the Lemon Meringue or Toasted Coconut marshmallows but if you're a big fan of Products then feel free to let me know how you feel by getting me the $90 marshmallow of the month club :-) haha I wish.

Enjoy your sweets!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Don't Waste Your Money Alert: Mega Bloks Halo Wars

It's been a long long long time since I had a "don't waste your money" post. This is one I need to pass on, especially to anyone with a son who loves Halo Wars.

My son wanted Santa to bring him a few of the new Halo Wars (what he thought was Lego) sets from Mega Bloks. So, Santa brought him three (all on sale haha). What a major disappointment. These sets are made after the vehicles from the popular Halo Wars video games. And, they look pretty cool. I just wish that Lego had created them instead of Mega Bloks. What a waste of time and money these sets are and I swear I shall never purchase another Mega Bloks product again.

I'm the one who usually puts these sets together...I actually enjoy it. But the Mega Bloks sets I hate. Whoever designed the bricks should be fired. There are so many elements of the sets that just don't go together well and constantly fall or pop off. The bricks don't click together easily like Lego products do. Every time I completed one part, another would pop off or come apart. It takes alot of pressure to get the bricks to connect with other bricks. If I had trouble getting these things together, imagine your kid. My son was so upset after I got one together, he'd try to play with it and it would keep coming apart. The only good parts to these sets are the little mini figures, nothing else. I think they glued the pieces together in these photos.

Now, granted, Mega Bloks sets cost alot less than Lego I know why. They are very cheaply made. I'd much rather pay the price for Lego. I know that Lego produces a quality product even though they cost more. I highly recommend, no matter how much your kid loves Halo, to avoid wasting your time and money on these Mega Bloks products. Get them some Halo Action Figures instead.