Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Few Favorites April 27- Etsy Earring Edition

I work at a hospital so they kind of discourage us from wearing a lot of jewelery.  It's not forbidden, but you're wearing scrubs, you're going in and out of isolation rooms which means you're constantly gowning and gloving up, and washing your hands a lot.  So, basically I wear my wedding and engagement ring (it's a nice channel cut setting so it doesn't tear up plastic gloves) and earrings.  Always earrings. 

When I started as unit clerk, I just bought a box of scrub tops off Ebay.  Scrub tops cost a lot when you buy them new and they resell for pretty cheap used.  It worked out pretty well, except most of them are prints I'd never have bought on my own.  Lots of pinks, lots of hearts, lots of butterflies.  But, they serve the purpose and I've bought a few here and there that are more me.  So, one way I can kind of put my own style on my work clothes is with earrings.  I've bought a lot of earrings on Etsy through the years and always like unique ones. 

So, today I thought I'd share some of the cool ones I've come across on Etsy lately.

1.  These Teal and Red Retro Earrings from Renaisy Daisy Designs are made out of fabric and are just so bright and cheery. Plus, they look like they'd be super lightweight.  $10

2.  These White and Blue Floral Earrings from eteniren are made in Ukraine.  She makes all her flowers from hand so no two will  be exactly alike.  She has other designs in her shop also, like pansies and roses and tons of other products.  $15

3.  These Bohemian Purple Earrings from Copper Tree have an awesome purple patina to them.  I would wear these all the time. $25

4.  I always like some funky, animal earrings.  These hedgehog earrings are from Novelty Jewels and are super cute.  She has other animals too, like lobsters, whales, turtles.  One nice thing about scrubs is that you can totally pull off novelty earrings with them.  $12.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ePantry Review

Last week I got an email from ePantry offering me free shipping for a year AND 30% off my first order. So, I figured I'd go check out their website and see what they were offering. Turns out they offer some of my favorite cleaning brands and will ship them directly to your door on a monthly basis. You enter your household size and enter a few questions and they will put together a recommended shipment schedule of items and frequency, but you can totally tailor it to what you need or like. They offer a lot of Method and Mrs Meyers products (both of which I love).

I stuck with most of their recommendations, but also add toilet cleaner and body wash, and got rid of the all purpose cleaner because I currently have plenty. I settled on laundry soap, softener, dishwasher detergent, two bottles of dish soap, two bottles of hand soap, body wash, and toilet bowl cleaner. They shipped fast and well packed, with all the tops taped down to prevent product from leaking out in transport.

Here's what my order looked like, and it was about $43 for everything you see.
Here's my pros:
  • Free shipping on all orders for the first year!
  • Eco friendly companies that are hard to find in my small town.   (I have to drive almost an hour to get any Method or Mrs Meyer's products.)
  • You can pick what scent you would like for each item, adjust quantities, skip months or just postpone two weeks if you don't need more items at shipment date.
  • They offer bottles or refills packs.
  • Your credit card isn't charged until your order ships.
  • No service charges or fees.
  • Honestly, I haven't found any yet.  It'd be kind of awesome if they offered JASON products too.  Then I probably wouldn't even to leave my house except for food.  :) 
So, do you want to check them out?  Yes you do! Click my referal link: and we'll each get a $10 credit .

Note: ePantry is not an affiliate and all views are my own.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pocket Full of Sunshine- Chaotic Goddess Swap Sign Up

So you guys all know how much I love Chaotic Goddess' swaps, right?  I think I've participated in like five of them already.  So, when the favorite color swap came back around, of course I had to sign up.

I played last year and was partnered with the awesome Cindy from A Crafter's Corner and she put together a great box for me of things in lovely eggplant colors.

But here's a confession, I don't really have a favorite color.  They kind of change with the seasons and the purpose.  I like certain colors to wear, certain colors to paint rooms, pops of colors here and there.  I really do like eggplant, but this time around I decided to spice it up.  Maybe it's because it's spring and I'm looking forward to daffodils, maybe it's just that I'm tired of dark winter shades.  But, when it was time to list my favorite color, I picked yellow.

Here's some yellow stuff I'm loving.  So bright and warm.  How can you be cranky or depressed when looking at a color that just giggles happiness and sunshine?  So what do you think?  Is yellow a good choice?

And if you're a blogger and want to sign up for the swap, go to Chaotic Goddess and sign up!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Bought a Greenhouse and Mother Nature Laughed

So this weekend while at Farm and Fleet (for those not in the upper midwest- it's a store that sells everything from tires, to jeans, to frying pans, to calf milk replacer) with my husband, I found a portable greenhouse.  It has four levels and a plastic cover- perfect to start seedling in.  I saw a similar one on Amazon for $45, but I'm cheap so I didn't get it.  Farm and Fleet's was $20 so I snatched it up.  Sunday morning I assembled it (super easy- no tools needed) and even thought about moving it on to the patio, but held off because it wasn't super warm out.  Monday I get up and notice a fine dusting of snow on every inch of grass and sidewalk.  Yuck.  That's Wisconsin springs for you.

I have (optimistically) started seeds though and their coming up nicely.  I planted more today too, now that I have a cat proof area to grow them.

Baby Flowers!
And I figured as long as I was showing pictures I'd share some tips for any newbie flower starters out there.

1.  Tackle something easy first.  I have dreams of growing Hollyhock and Foxgloves and having my own English garden all started from seed, but I lean towards the more realistic.  Some seeds are easier to grow into adults than others.  I've had the best luck with zinnias- these come in all sorts of sizes and color schemes, nasturtiums- you can eat these, morning glories- but you have to have a trellis or area for these to climb, or marigolds- if you are feeling nostalgic for the rock star five year old version of you who planted these in a styrofoam cup at school for you mom.  And if flowers aren't your thing, I always seem to have great luck growing basil, chives, and parsley.  As for veggies- salad greens, spinach, cucumbers, zucchini, radish, and kale are pretty easy to grow.

2.  Don't dump water onto seedling.  You'll crush the pour little things (or drown them).  I mist mine with a spray bottle to keep the soil slightly moist.  you could also water them from below by added water to your tray and then setting your little containers back into the tray, but I prefer misting.

3.  Make sure your plants get plenty of light.  I don't have a nice east facing window, so I set mine in the largest window I have which faces the north, but it seems to work okay. 

4.  Be sure to harden your flower babies off before tossing them outside.  You need to take them outside for a little while each day for a week or two before planting so they get used to wind and outdoor temps.  I start by putting mine directly against the house in a protected spot and gradually spread them out.

Flowering kale, creeping thyme, and borage are all new things I'm trying this year.
I buy my seeds wherever I find things I like.  I got these new guys (shown above) at Farm and Fleet, but I also got some from the hardware store, dollar store, and natural grocery store.  I have just as good of luck with seeds that are 5 for a $1 as with the ones that are $1.99 a pack.  So don't think you need to spend a lot of money on your seeds to make a go of it.

Organic seed from the natural grocery store.
As I mentioned before, cat proof growing areas are necessary at my home because HB is a menace and loves to dig in dirt.  The new greenhouse works great, but I also have a table top greenhouse that plugs in so that your seeds have a warm environment to grow in.

Mine is not on my table, but does great in front of a window.
Here's a picture of HB contemplating how to get the cat grass from the bottom shelf of the greenhouse.
HB and my plants.
And finally, remember, if you have horrid luck and your cat destroys your seedlings, or you forget to water them for a week and they die, there's always greenhouses to buy plants from.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Few Favorites April 13

This has been a weird week.  I feel like I've hardly been at home at all!  I went to visit my friend, Lori, on Tuesday and my car broke down while we were on our way to lunch.  Luckily, her husband is awesome at all things mechanical so he was able to fix it, but we had to wait for a part to come the next day.  So my husband picked me up Tuesday and then Wednesday after work, we drove back up and picked up my car.  It's running like a champ now. 

Work has been busy, snow is almost gone, and both cats have been trying to sneak out at every opportunity.  I've started some seeds indoors, done some spring cleaning, but not much sewing or crafting. 

But, here are some things I'm loving this week.

1. Did you guys see that See Kate Sew is having a Zippy Top sewalong?  I like the pattern because it's hard to find a cute, simple, top that uses non-stretch fabrics.  I think the zipper is an adorable addition too.  I haven't had time to start mine yet, but I did buy the pattern, and find some fabrics I may try to make it out of.

2. These candles are from Maple Hill Farms are awesome!  Their farm is near here and they sell at our local farmer's market.  (Actually I mentioned them in a blog post from last July about my Farmer's Market.) Their candles are soy and they smell great.  I was excited to see that they sell on Etsy now.  Trust me, if you're looking for good smelling soy candles, you can't beat these.

3.  Blissful Basil is one of my favorite vegan blogs.  I can go days without eating meet.  (Giving up dairy altogether is another story.)  Blissful Basil always has great recipes and these avocado radish toasts are no exception.  It looks so tasty!  I actually went out and bought radish seeds after seeing these. 

So it finally feels like spring is here and I'm super excited to get some projects started as well as finish up some that have been hanging over my head.  Hope it's nice where you are!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Goodbye Bread, Hello Classic Croissants

Even though I'm done with Craftsy's Artisan Bread Making class, that doesn't mean I'm done making bread.  In fact, I made a loaf of sandwich bread yesterday.  But, since I'm done with all the lessons, I'm ready to move on to the next challenge.

I chose Classic Croissants at Home because I like a challenge, and the savory croissants with spinach and cheese sounded delicious!  I won't be sharing lesson by lesson recaps because this class is less about making different kinds of croissants and more about the technique used to make them.

Hard at work with class print outs and coffee.
I've done the first couple lessons and so far I've learned a few things.
  1. Croissants take a ton of butter!  Like 20 ounces.  That's five sticks of butter!  I live in the Dairy State where we use butter like it's going out of style but that's still a lot!
  2. Butter is what makes croissants so light and flaky.
  3. You have to make a butter block to make croissants.
  4. You wrap your dough around the butter block to make a "laminated dough".
 I haven't even tried any techniques yet, just watching and letting it all soak in.  But hopefully in a month or two I'll have it down pat.

If you like croissants (or butter) and think you want to learn how to make your own, check out Craftsy's Classic Croissants class.  The teacher is great and it's always fun learning something new.

Learn to Bake Your Own Croissants!

Oh!  And I almost forgot!  We have a winner from the  Artisan Bread Making Class GiveawayCongratulations to Debra P.  Craftsy will be contacting you to hook you up!

Note:  Craftsy is an affiliate but all thoughts are my own.  All links are affiliate links.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rimmel Moisture Renew VoxBox Review

Influenster sent me a tube of Rimmel's Moisture Renew lipstick to review.  The shade is called "As You Want Victoria" and it's about the same shade of fuchsia that my grandma used to wear when I was a kid.  It comes in a shiny little tube and feels super great on my cracked winter lips.

The only thing that would have made it better is that if it would have been a shade more inline of what I usually wear- like a deeper neutral or a nude.  I usually stay away from bright pinks because they make me feel like I'm a little kid playing in my mom's makeup.

Since my cats can't hold a camera and my husband was at work, I had to do my own pics.
But, as you can see, after blotting it about six times, it actually isn't too bad.  So to sum up, Rimmel Moisture Renew feels great and goes on smooth.  I'd definitely buy it for myself, but not in hot pink.  Maybe in a shade like Rose Blush or Mocha Cream.

If you want to learn more about Rimmel, check them out on Facebook at or Twitter at @RimmelLondonUS

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.