Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Etsy Shop, VintageJoys, Re-Opening!

My Etsy shop is now re-opened!  New items being added regularly!  Please stop by and browse, "like" items you like and maybe even buy something!

I use as many vintage materials as possible!  All handmade in my home.

Vintage Rosette Bib Necklace, Pink and Navy Necklace
Vintage Rosette Bib Necklace

Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf, White, Teal and Grey
Upcycled Braided T-Shirt Scarf

Upcycled T-shirt Scarf, Pink and White Scarf
Upcycled T-Shirt Scarf with Loops

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Product Review - Toms Shoes

So, what's the big deal about Toms? 

Zulily ran a Toms special about two months ago.  I snatched up two pairs for my daughter at about $18 each, plus shipping.  (This is as much as I've EVER spent on shoes for her.)  I bought the canvas and petal pink colors.  With white shoe season finally here, I put the canvas Toms on her the day after they came in the mail.  After wearing into ONE store, for less than ONE hour - the canvas colored Toms were GREY all over the toes.

Ok, so you might say it's MY fault for putting a child in canvas colored shoes, but truthfully, I've purchased other brands of white canvas tennis shoes in the past and did NOT have this problem.

On a positive not, they're super cute and she says they're comfy.  *smiles*

Via Pinterest, I stumbled upon the Toms Online Outlet!  Yup, that's right.  Discounted, cheap, on sale, affordable Toms!  Mostly, they carry women's but I've seen men's too.

Because of the whopping $50-60 per pair I discovered every time I found Toms in a retail store, I never was willing to spend the money.  But when I saw the price of just under $18 each plus shipping (which was $7.50 each) I snagged a grey and silver pair!  I'd seen the SAME SHOE on Zulily during their sale, but they were around $35 plus shipping.

Promptly, my package arrived from China, registered mail.  The boxes were really squished.  But the shoes were in perfect condition.  With excitement, I tried on my Toms.  Both shoes were the same size.  The silver Toms were super tight, while the grey Toms were super loose!  Hmmm...

I decided to wear the silver shoes out that afternoon.  (Yup, I'd heard that Toms are supposed to be a little tight at first, but will stretch after wearing them.)  Uhm...I got blisters after a couple hours of wear on places on my foot that have never seen a blister.  The side of my heal and the top of my foot!

Also, I didn't find them to be thaaat comfortable.  No thick cushioning to speak of, no arch support.  They're not uncomfortable, but nothing like Ecco or SAS.  

Since the grey pair were definitely too large, they'll be on the auction block pretty soon.  *sigh*  And as for the silver ones, wear #2 was mucho better. They didn't blister my tootsies this time. Not A+ for extra-comfort though.  Certainly an A+ on cuteness and a go-to-to-go-with-everything shoe.  *grins*

On the upside Toms are incredibly light-weight, so for packing they would be wonderful.  The style goes with shorts, pants, skirts, pretty much everything!

If you have a long walk ahead or need comfort because you'll be on your feet all day, I think I'd skip on Toms.  They have great marketing I guess.  *winks*

All in all I'm giving Toms Shoes 3 stars outta 5.

***Toms Tip: Buy the sparkle shoes a size bigger and the regular canvas shoes your regular size.  Odd, but they run differently.

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Up-cycle Necklace

I've been wanting to make a necklace like this for about a year.  FINALLY, I got around to it! 

Nothing was difficult...just took time...
Simply make rosettes in various sizes.
Lay them out on the table first to determine your design.
Next, lay them on felt and cut around them.
Trim the felt while hot gluing.
Add your bling with a glue gun and creative eye!
I used random pieces of material (some vintage) left in my scrap bin and even some scraps from t-shirt scarves!  The "bling" is a vintage earring and vintage buttons. 
This is SO my style.  *winks*

In the very near future this bib necklace will be completing my outfit!

Now, if I can convince the cat to lift a paw and actually HELP me during photo time.  *winks*
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Gluten Free in Kauai, Hawaii

My family just got back from Kauai, Hawaii!

As a devoted gluten-free-er, travel can be difficult.  Salads and grilled chicken get oh-so boring fast!

After doing some Googling, I was excited to find Sweet Marie's.  But that was it!  

Everywhere we went, I kept my eyes and ears open.  AND - asked lots of questions.  *smiles*

Here's a list of what I discovered!

Sweet Marie's shows up all-over Google.  Their website isn't exactly user friendly, but I was able to find an address and Google the location. 

Right after we arrived in Kauai I made a trip here.  Excited to find a designated gluten free bakery, I bought three of her muffins, a pack of chocolate chip cookies and a brownie.  That should do it for an eleven day visit.  *smiles* The small shop had a steady flow of customers.  Three were finishing up lunch when I walked in, two others came in behind me to get baked goods and as we drove away, another car full of people was arriving.  My daughter enjoyed playing with the toys in the corner of the shop!

Unfortunately, I was disappointed in the taste and texture.  Her muffins all tasted heavy of banana.  They also were extremely oily.  The chocolate chip cookies were very crunchy and tasted like baking soda with a grainy texture.  The brownie was very yummy - would get that again!

My daughter, who has been raised gluten free, refused to eat the banana chocolate chip muffin she picked out from the case!  I offered it to her several times over a 2-day period, but after that first bite she wouldn't touch it again.  

During an afternoon drive, we stumbled up Banana Joe's Fruit Stand.  It's a treasure.  Banana Joe, in person,  whipped up a pineapple frosty for me - it's just frozen pineapple!  After about half of it, I'd had all the acid my tummy could handle, but for a cool and fresh, lightly sweet healthy treat it was fantastic.  

In their freezer they had gluten-free bread and tortillas to buy.  I spied gluten free fudge too.  *winks*

A handful of locals came through while we were browsing, to buy his frosties and to get produce.  The produce seemed to be a good price and good quality.

Common Grounds

Recommended by Banana Joe.  A bit on the spendy side, but they said their GF breakfast options were superb.

Kilauea Bakery

On that same afternoon drive, my husband and I stopped in this marvelous local bakery - we were looking for a bathroom.  (They're in a market place, but I cannot remember the name!)   They sell GF pizza (not cheap, but you are in Hawaii!) and GF baked goods.  All of their soups are GF and they even made me sandwich with the loaf of gluten free bread I purchased!  A refil of any coffee or tea is only $2.  *smiles*

While our meal cost more than soup, salad and sandwich at home - the portions were generous and quite filling!

They do not claim to have GF options, but the staff was very understanding and made great recommendations.  Again, on the spendy side, but it was some of the best food we ate on our vacation.

The owner personally came to our table and chatted for a while. 
Shrimp Station

Their garlic shrimp is amazing.  There are other options, of course, but this was our lunch and/or dinner multiple times!  Quick service.  Very clean.

The Fish Hut

The Fish Hut is located in the Coconuts Market in Kapaa.  I was unable to find a website for them.  Their Hawaiian Shave Ice is the best value and quality we uncovered.  We were not disappointed with any our food choices either - fish, shrimp, rice, hot dog and fries.  Again, a good value!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An Owl's Message

So I walked over to my kitchen sink to start some dinner prep and I was met with this little message that made my night!  And YES, it naturally happened!

Sometimes you just need a little, yellow timer-owl (ok, Azaleas) to make you smile.

Reminds me of Charlotte's Web.  *winks*
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Product Review - Trader Joe's Freeze Dried Blueberries

via Trader Joe's

So, I'm new to Trader Joe's.  Everyone has always ranted and raved about Trader Joe's.  So, I went and tried a few things.

Here's one of my first experiences with one of Trader Joe's products...

Yup - you see that correctly.  (The coin in a quarter.)  That BIG bag with literally and handful of 
freeze dried blueberries.  I felt jipped - tricked - fooled.  

Please Trader Joe's, either increase the amount of blueberries in the bag, or make the bag smaller.  
Thank you.

P.S.  Taste and quality were great!  My daughter loves them.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Mommie Rant - Social Media in a Mommie's Life

In the last few months I've had a few conversations which included the topic of social media.    These conversations have made me think, ya know, they've gotten my dander up!  *smiles*

Should I be active in social media as a Mommie?  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and the like take a LOT of time.  But how do I balance having a "life" with being a full-time mom and wife?

This Mommie Rant post will cover some of my thoughts on the issue.

What role should social media play in the life of a Christian Mommie?

I believe that we need to stay relevant.  We need to understand the struggles and world our children will be facing.  By intentionally shutting yourself away from social media and the online world you cannot fully prepare your children for what lies ahead.  This is a technical age.  Trust me, I have fought to keep electronics out of my daughter's reach all of her short life.  It's a battle that I cannot win.  *smiles*

Everywhere you go something and someone is telling you how great this App is for you child's development or how this game prepares your little one for school or how this gadget teaches the alphabet and phonics.  But nothing compares to hands on education.  You, getting eye level with your child and playing with them and teaching them.

So, what approach do we Mommies need to take with ourselves?  Do we shun social media completely, or give ourselves some rules and guidelines?  (Not forgetting that we are setting an example to our children on how to be responsible with high-tech-ness.)

Through these social sites, are we exposing ourselves to immoral and offensive materials that have no place in our lives?

Scantily clad women in provocative poses can easily be discovered on Pinterest, Facebook, etc.  Foul, offensive language is used in status updates and quotes on both of these sites.

The people we "friend" are the people who we...
  • Want in on their gossip.
  • Need to fill in the blanks about our past.
  • Are curious about them.
  • Are family members, close friends, co-workers, fans, etc.
If you want to control what you are seeing on Facebook, Pinterest and others - be choosy who you friend!  Only see updates, Tweets or pins from those friends.  If a co-worker or relative has a foul mouth when you meet "in real life" why would you expect their status updates to be any different?  Actively, let your voice be heard by those site's editors if material, that is out of your control and is offensive to you, pops up regularly.

And, if you decide to cut one or two areas of social media because of what you're being "forced" to see, you need to stay consistent.  Not being on Facebook because of what you are exposed to doesn't make sense when you watch every season of Dancing With The Stars.  (Aren't their outfits "revealing" and the dance moves quite sexy?)   And then to top it off, you let your little girl watch bikini wearing Ariel and Jasmine and think nothing of that "exposure."  (For the record, I am NOT stating my own beliefs here, only some observations I have made.)

One of my favorite quotes is "Life is a balancing act."  That is true in every level/situation in life.  Stay consistent.  If we're not careful, we will be sending confusing, mixed messages to our kids.

**And as an extra Mommie Rant...

Keep your convictions to yourself.  Your convictions are your convictions.  They're between YOU and GOD.  I don't need to see a Facebook status about how you've decided to "raise your standard" and no longer subscribe to this or that website.

You are not God in other people's lives.  You must live your life as you and God determine.  Just because it's different, doesn't make it wrong.  

And I'm sorry, but sometimes what you see on Facebook and Pinterest is actually real life.  Not the "holier than thou" and "I'm unspotted from the world" approach, but real life in the real world where God DOES exist and where God DOES love all mankind.

Yes, trash is trash.  But please, don't judge others based upon their pins and updates.  They are at a different place than you.  Your thought should be, "Do they love God?" And not, "How in the world do they think this is ok?"  Flaunting your rules, convictions and moral ideas will not win people to the Lord.  Kindness, grace and love WILL.

How do you decide how much time online is too much?

Is your husband being put on the back burner?  Are you checking your phone, sending texts and writing status updates when you could be having a meaningful discussion or special time with him?  Are you ignoring him too much?

Are you plopping your kids in front of a TV screen just so you can catch up with life on Facebook or text that girlfriend?

When was the last time you actually made a real, entire dinner without checking in online?

Are you staying up later than your husband and kids to browse Pinterest for hours on end?  Then catching a few hours of shut-eye after 1 AM and finding yourself cranky and groggy the next day?

Has blogging and snapping that perfect photo for your blog become an obsession?  Is your blog a legitimate business?  Is your blog a legitimate way for you to relax and think?  Or are you just using the excuse that you're a blogger to get away from craziness and responsibility?

Are you choosing online time over God?  Does your phone interrupt church?

Basically, are your responsibilities suffering?

Does searching blogs and Pinterest create dissatisfaction and discontent?

Have you noticed yourself becoming unhappy with what you have?  "That closet on Pinterest was so organized and beautiful.  The linens were gorgeous, the baskets stuff is so old and ugly, and I can't afford to buy new towels..."

Are you hating your own body because "those Mommies online dropped all their baby weight in like 3 months?"

Your child can't do this or that and they're a whole year older!  What's wrong with my kid?

You wish you could be a super-crafty Mommie, instead of boring-old-you.


Make sure you're thinking.  Yup.  Like Pooh Bear, "...think, think, think..."  Don't just do and later regret.  Prayerfully consider changes you need to make to put God, your husband and kids back in priority over your beeping phone and "Oh, she's pregnant!" updates.

Technology is here, it's the future too.  What you do with it, will help shape what your kids do with it.  Are you obsessing over your texts and daily deal sites?  Then why be surprised when your child begins obsessing over their texts, etc.

I'm all for a "check-in with reality" during the day.  Being a Mommie is stressful, busy, crazy and at times overwhelming.

Again, think balance.  Balance your time.  Balance your moral reasons why or why not.

My phone just bleeped and I'm off to check my text...*winks*

~ I'd love to hear any and all feedback on this post.  Please, stay positive, even if you don't agree with me.  *BIG grin*

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