Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Product Review. Show all posts


New Camera Bag!

Remember when I went to Alabama to help Beth paint her son's playroom?

WELL....being the awesome and generous (and thoughtful) person that she is, she surprised the socks off of me with a 'thank you' gift. An out of this world, are you shitting me, gift. She played it so smooth too, trickster!

One day during a paint break we were standing in her kitchen, undoubtedly eating some snacks, and I made a comment about two really cute lunch boxes she had on top of her fridge. They were a burlap material, one with a purple flower and stitching and the other had a blue butterfly and stitching.

She grabs them and says, "Oh, I bought them with you in mind -- pick your favorite one and its yours!" Giddy with excitement I snatched up the butterfly lunch box. Then she said, "Open it." What? Huh? Thinking to myself that she wanted to show me the cool compartments inside or something. But no, there was more. A card, how sweet! I open the card to find the sweetest hand written note ANDPLUSALSO....a gift card for an Epiphanie bag.


I immediately started crying, of course. I was in complete shock and overjoyed! I've come so close to pulling the trigger on a bag myself but could never do it. Even though its something I would use often, especially when traveling, I just couldn't justify the cost for something that wasn't for daily use. So in other words, the best gift ever.

Thank you Beth, I really didn't need anything other than a weekend doing what I enjoy with someone I love but wow, icing on the cake!

And now for a laugh, I asked Vinny to take these pictures of me with my new bag. He begrudgingly obliged. He pretends he is shooting a photoshoot and just continuously snaps photos instead of waiting until I am smiling and posed. Which produces these lovely gems.

Thanks babe. Now I know how the world sees me on a daily basis. And I apologize.

On to my review of the bag and pictures, since I found them helpful when I ordered my bag!

The Good:
LOVE the interior and exterior color and the braided handle. That's really what sold me!
It holds my laptop (this is semi-related to the not-so-good list)
I love that is has the the option to do shoulder or cross body.
Construction is awesome.
The faux leather is really great, doesn't feel or look cheap at all!
Shipping box was big, the bag didn't come all squished which I appreciated.

The not-so-good (but not bad!):
While I purposely selected a bag that holds my laptop, it is BIG. I knew this going in and I am ok with it but just in case you are reading this and unsure about the size. It's BIG. And the fact that it can't really be flat because of the padding, it makes cross body wearing slightly awkward. Or at least awkward compared to what I am used to.

I'll be honest, I thought about exchanging it for the Lola but I am really in love with the grey and the braided handle. And I do take my laptop with me often, so its staying! And I am in love it!

Oh, one last thing -- I had to wait months for it to arrive! Kind of a bummer.



Date Night Hair

My super-talented friend, Natalie (owner of Piggy's Place), made me this gawgeous pale pink satin flower to wear on an upcoming vacation. I couldn't resist trying it out while getting ready for a night out! A low, messy side bun, 631 bobby pins and one beautiful flower, romance!

Perfect for Valentine's Day too! The best part? Less than $10! Eat your heart out Forever 21!

I swear I'm not nekkid -- just figured my fluffy pink bathrobe wouldn't accent the flower so well!

Also, Natalie commissioned me got a joint venture at Piggy's Place. I create the wood pieces using paint, decoupage, paper, etc. Then Natalie fancies them up into bow holders, how fun are these?



New Must-Have!

My little sister, Ashley, bought me the most useful gift for Christmas this year! Living in Minne-snow-ta, gloves are essential. When I lived in Idaho I thought gloves were essential. No really. Gloves are essential in Minnesota. Not an accessory, not to match your scarf, not to keep your fingers warm. To keep your fingers alive.

My smartphone is pretty essential too. In the past, the two did not get along well. But now, I have myself a fancy pair of Isotoner smarTouch gloves! Basically, the pointer finger and thumb have 'conductive' thread that tricks your phone into thinking its your finger so you dont have to remove your gloves to text, facebook, email -- all that important stuff! The term "conductive thread" kinda scares me for some reason but it works! For real.

Thanks sister, I love them!



It's Official -- I'm Addicted

Purchase #4 from Made by Sam on Etsy!

Originally I had these in mind for a Christmas cruise in the Bahamas we were going to take. Perfect right? Unfortunately plans for the cruise fell through but I have no doubt these earrings will find another occasion to make an appearance!



Yummy! New Favorite Fall Scent!


Victoria's Secret has a new limited edition line of scents -- three of their popular scents with a touch of 'midnight' (Amber Romance, Love Spell...and....something really berry!). I love their Amber Romance but I love Vanilla Lace more. Amber Romance Midnight smells like a mix of the two, with some caramel swirled in. {drools}

The gal told me they would only last a week or so longer -- I have an overwhelming urge to clean out my local store :)




Ohmyheavens. I have found my new favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities. I highly, highly recommend this Mediterranean cafe! Vinny is so lucky it is 10 miles away or I might never cook dinner again!

Shish on Grand

This is what we had on our maiden voyage:

Shish Maza Mix (VAMH shared, pictured below..sorta...)
A mixed plate of hummus, babagonoush, falafel, feta cheese, tabbouli, tomatoes and olives

Chicken Shawarma (Vinny's order)
Thinly sliced marinated chicken served in a pia with lettuce, tomato, onions, parsley and dressed with cucumber sauce

Veggie Shishwich (My order, pictured below)
Roasted eggplant, roasted red pepper, toasted zucchini, roasted squash served on a bun dressed with hummus (I opted for a wrap version!)



Bonne Belle

My all-time favorite makeup involves heavy eyes and nude lips. I've spent countless dollars and hours trying to perfect the nude lip -- a drawer full of MAC, NARS, Revlon, you name it --  lip glosses from magazine and online makeup tutorials and I was never satisfied. Once applied on my lips they never looked the same. Le sigh.

Enter Stage:
Bonne Belle (you heard it!) Lip Lites are THE BEST for a nude lip look. The colors are perfect, the texture is perfect and the smell is the cherry on top - YUM!

Cappucino and Strawberry Parfait are my favorite but Vanilla Swirl and Caramel Latte are just as wonderful. I highly recommend all of them! I used to buy them at Walgreens or CVS but they stopped carrying them for some reason :( Walmart still carries them -- I clear the shelves anytime I am there, at $3.50 a pop, I can't resist!



New Bling Updated!

My bling from Made by Sam arrived today and I love it even more in person!



New Bling

I stumbled upon Made By Sam on Etsy a few weeks back and have been covered in drool ever since. The first item I bought was a necklace for our friend Jamie, a thank you gift for taking such awesome pictures of our entire weekend in Florida! It reminded me so much of those turquoise blue beaches and white sandy shores.

I was smart to order it custom with Jamie's initial, otherwise I might have kept it for myself. It was even cuter in person!

This week I decided I deserved some Made By Sam bling of my own. I ordered these earrings, custom with no stone, just the flower, and the lariat necklace as shown. I can't wait for it to arrive!

I really wouldn't mind calling this one my own as well....{swoon}



Loving Laundry

After reading an article in last month's Fast Company - International Design Excellence Awards: Method Laundry Detergent With SmartClean Technology. Combined with an article I read a few months ago that talked about how we all use WAY TOO MUCH detergent -- easily attributed to poor package designs (likely intentional!).

The stars aligned, it was obviously fate. Method concentrated, easily dispensable laundry soap was mine!

And I'm telling you right now, I'm never going back! The pump is genius -- no invisible dose lines, no broken wrists from lifting an enormous and non-ergonomic jug. Not to mention (and most importantly to me!) Method is a phenomenal company, all Method products are vegan and cruelty-free.

Oh and a $2 off coupon never hurts does it?

method laundry demo from People Against Dirty on Vimeo.

According to soap super-seller Proctor and Gamble (their Tide label alone accounts more than 40% of all laundry detergent used in the U.S.) Americans are doing 1,100 loads of laundry every minute of every day. And it's certainly possible that, thanks to new concentrates, many of those loads feature too much detergent.

As you've probably noticed, the latest twist in detergent is to sell us less product at a higher price with "ultra-new-and-improved" concentrates. "Use less soap, save the planet" is the basic idea. But smaller quantities mean more precise measuring is needed: fail to pay attention and you'll pour too much, which doesn't help the earth or your budget ... but does benefit Proctor and other purveyors of these products. (which is why the lines on the measuring lid are impossible to see!)



All Things Loved --

My new favorite snack -- Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds

Almonds are a great source of vitamin E, with 25g providing 70 percent of the recommended daily allowance. They also have good amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber and are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fat. They contain more calcium than any other nut which makes them especially great for vegans.

Even more! Studies show dark chocolate is proven to lower blood pressure and is full of antioxidants!

My new favorite pizza -- Zpizza. Made from mostly organic ingredients -- perfectly thin AND they have vegan cheese. Facebook fans are often offered exclusive coupons, Fan them here!

Time lapse from Friday night at our house! Yummmmmy.

I'm not really a hair product person -- I buy plenty of it but never use it more than once or twice. I picked up a bottle of Moroccan Oil at my last appointment and I've used this everyday since! LOVE. It smells wonderful, it makes my hair soft, soft, soft and smooth! It's like a de-frizzer but lighter. AH-MAZING.

And finally......and probably most of all......SPRING!



Two Shows You Need to be Watching

ABC -- Modern Family (apparently we were a little late with this one, why didn't anyone tell me how dang funny it is?)

Belly AND not-so-obvious laughs galore. GALORE.

Discovery Channel -- Life

I literally hold my breath when watching because I am so, so tuned in. I will be buying the series to give as Christmas gifts to everyone I know.



I need an Epiphanie

I've been on the hunt for a camera bag for a while now but kept putting it off. Well my wonderful hubby just bought me a new lens which meant I needed to get serious. I can't fit my camera with lens and another lens in my purse {hangs head in shame}.

I was this close to pulling the trigger on a bag from Etsy seller, Martilena. Perfect price, custom cover (which I love), pretty much just what I need. I'm not a professional, I just need to protect the stuff I have.

But then, the Mercedes drove by. It's like car hunting. NEVER EVER look at cars above your price range. Of course you will like them. They are nicer than whats in your price range! And then, once you see them, you'll never get them out of your mind until they are yours.

Enter stage: Epiphanie

Designed by a female photog on a mission:

"I knew there was a huge gap in the market place when I found myself continually wrapping my camera in a hand towel and shoving it inside my purse. Clearly not the safest way to transport expensive equipment, it was less of a hassle than lugging around another bulky camera bag."

So now readers, you have two assignments. First, vote on which bag you like best (top of the right hand column!) -- this may or may not be the push I need to complete a transaction. And second, check out the superfabulous giveaway at Epiphanie right now ($2500 in Southwest $ or a Canon 5D Mark). WOWZA.



Umm Yum!

Do you love coconut? Lactose intolerant'ish? Looking for some dairy-free goodness? Just want to flop a lid on the best tasting shit ever?

You need to try Sharon's Sorbet (in Coconut! Chocolate is pretty tasty too! Together? Almond Joyous!). I can't wait for summer to try Lemon and Strawerry!

Don't let the sorbet title trick you into thinking it's all icy -- the Coconut and Chocolate are creamy blends, made with what must be a load of coconut cream.

Check out these ingredients! That's it!

Coconut Cream, Water, Sugar
Brown Rice Syrup, Coconut,
Natural Flavor, Pectin, Guar.



Guilty Pleasure

Standing at any airport magazine kiosk -- with tens, maybe hundreds of magazines to choose from -- I will always choose O. I'm not the hugest Oprah fan, nor am I her biggest foe. I don't watch her show or scramble after her book club. But damn is her magazine the bomb diggity.

I can spend $4.50 on a Glamour. Which I flip through in approxiametly 30 minutes. Rolling my eyes at least 14 times. I ask myself the entire time I am "reading", who is this magazine for exactly?? Not me.


I can spend $4.50 on O. It takes me hours to read, because I actually, ya know, read it. I end up folding the corners to at least ten articles or snippets to reference again. Whether it be a funny article, a self-help article, a recipe or the newest 'must-have' jeans. Am I the intended audience for O magazine? I am going to be 30 next week, 30 going on 42 perhaps?

Three of my favorite quotes from the February issue:

This is so me -- from an article on 'toxic friends':

I need to listen to this more often -- we all do. From an article about a woman re-inventing herself through her health:

I am proud to say I know exactly what this feels like. From Ginnifer Goodwin's 'a-ha' moment -- becoming a vegan:



You Need These Candles!

My friend Steph introduced me to this wonderful company, Southern Alchemy, around Halloween. I ordered three candles: Crunch Cake (yellow cake deliciousness), Coconut Cardamom (I love all things coconut and cardamom is one of my favorite spices!), and Summer Moon (floraly musky wonderful scent).

They have been burning ever since. They last forever and burn so clean and even. The strength of the scent is amazing -- my husband doesn't sneeze but there is no denying that something lovely is burning!

Anyways -- I became a fan on Facebook and her fan specials are phenomenal! 20% off for all fans, always. Last week was 50% Gift Certificates. This week is her Black Friday special, 40% off everything! I placed my order yesterday, with my 50% off Gift Certificates -- some candles for gifts and a few solid perfumes for me! I love solid perfumes for my purse and traveling, I can't wait to try them out!

Go get your shop on! I guarantee you will NOT be disappointed. Yankee who? Bath & Body what?

Etsy Store
Scent List
Become a Fan <-- amazing specials!



Hold on a second. I think I’m having an epiphany here.

I'm getting ready for this:

By lathering up in this:

Indulge your senses with our exclusive Twilight Woods, a hypnotic fragrance inspired by a romantic walk in enchanted woods.

Key fragrance notes: Juicy Berry, Soft Mimosa, Apricot Nectar, Warm Woods (<- err, whatever that is...?) Seriously -- it is SO yummy! Anyone else ridiculously excited for the movie? It's officially November!



Hose-It-Off Dog Bed

After searching high and low for a new dog bed I ran to the place I love most of all, Etsy. I located Diane's K9 Creations! I contacted Diane about a custom order, I was in the market for something black and white with a touch of red accent. Before I knew it Diane was throwing me custom options for all price ranges.

We spent an evening discussing over email and this is the end result! Of course the K9 in the family was not cooperating but the lazy feline is enjoying the new bed as well!

The unique thing about Diane's beds is the material they are made out of -- a durable canvas used in boat covers. What these means for me is that I can hose this sucker off! I hate washing dog bed covers because then I spend an hour washing the washer and that is just lame. I love her cots too, I just know Charlie would be all over one of those, as would Britney. Britney's favorite bed is a suitcase that hasn't been put away, it acts as a cot!

I haven't had time to fill it with the recommended material, poly fill or cedar chips so excuse the lumpiness in the photo, that's user error, not manufacturer error! Thanks so much Diane, it was great working with you!

This is the old dog bed -- and likely the reason the "K9" refused to be photographed. Ashamed.


Menu Planning

I no longer share my weekly menu because it is rather boring since changing our eating habits. However, you can see the historical list in these places!

VAMH in the Kitchen
Half of VAMH Menu Planning

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