Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

REVIEW: Luscious Floral Bouquets from Bouqs for Chic Flowers Year-Round

0.bouqs-review-introphotoWho loves fresh flowers around the home? Hands up if you do! And if you do, you’re probably aware of how costly that can be to maintain. And how hard fresh flowers are to come by at certain times of the year. And the toll they can take on the environment (depending on where you get them). The answer to that: The Bouqs Co. (the new floral kid-on-the-block with awesome South American flowers picked from the side of an active volcano). Yup, you read that right: an active volcano. And yet they offer a huge variety of flowers, delivered FREE (always!), fresh to your door.

bouqs-review-3 The Bouqs Co. kindly sent me my choice of bouquet to review. I chose the Peace Bouq, since I love white flowers in the Wintertime. The website was super-easy to order from and way more intuitive than most floral order websites…you know the ones I’m talking about (that look like they’re been around since 1994). Within 10 days of ordering the flowers were at my door (and you can of course specify what date you’d like them delivered on).

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Above is how the flowers come wrapped, to protect them on their journey all the way from South America. The box was very sturdy and the flowers were not crushed in the least from transport.

bouqs-review-2They had some preservative gel on their cut ends to prevent them from drying out, which easily wiped off. Though some had wilted a bit on the way, once in water they perked right up again.
bouqs-review-1 bouqs-review-4Fragrant, luscious, environmentally-friendly, FREE SHIPPING…what’s not to love?

Here’s the amazing array of all the flowers Bouqs has to choose from:
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See any that strike your fancy? For today, Cyber Monday, you can select any Original-sized Volcano Bouq and use code DOUBLEBOUQ to get DOUBLE the flowers (the Deluxe-size for free!). Valid until the end of 12/1/14.

Also, other promotions going on for Cyber Monday (valid until 12/3/14):

Send at least 4 Bouqs, get 25% with code CYBERBOUQ

Buy a gift card to The Bouqs Co., and save up to 20% off the retail price

You can knock off all your holiday gift-giving, or be super-organized and schedule out your Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, friends’ birthdays, and new baby bouquets all in one go.

See All The Bouqs Flower Bouquets Here

Definitely try out The Bouqs Co. and see what it’s like – you’ll be impressed with the quality of fresh flowers, year-round, delivered to your door for no hassle.

bouqs-review-4xo
Carly

FTC Disclosure: I was provided an Original-sized Bouq for review purposes. I have received no other compensation for this post. The above opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you click on a link and purchase something. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

Book Review: The Sewists: DIY Projects from 20 Top Designer-Makers

thesewists_book1I was recently sent a copy of the new book The Sewists: DIY Projects from 20 Top Designer-Makers by Josephine Perry to review for my blog. It’s a super-cute, handmade take on the DIY movement, chock-full of neat techniques and profiles of 20 makers.

The projects range from a handmade pincushion to a gathered waist skirt to an adorable stuffed monster plushie to a piece of embroidered jewelry.

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Many of the projects use only a small amount of fabric, upcycled materials, or ecologically-sourced items. Textile arts (including textile printing, patchwork, applique, embroidery, screen printing, cross stitch, and hand-sewing) feature heavily in this book, so most of the projects are time- and labor-intensive.thesewists_book3The book truly focuses on the labor of love that is crafting, and features in-depth profiles of many designers and makers in the homemade movement. It’s fascinating to read everyone’s story, and one gains a greater respect for all of these artisans and their work.thesewists_book4 thesewists_book5There is a quaint charm to the projects, which harken back to your grandmother’s time, updated for today.thesewists_book6The book also includes a CD-ROM with patterns and templates for all the projects, which is extremely helpful since no tracing from awkward book pages is required and you can just dive in and start making!thesewists_book7

My only minor quibble with the book is that on the project step-by-step pages there is dearth of visual interest. One would think with these artisan studios full of inspirational items, it would not have been that much more difficult to include more images of their work on the tutorial pages, or at least some illustrations of stitchery, DIY supplies, or other layout extras that could have livened up these areas. However this is only a minor note; the rich introductions to each artist serve as an excellent backdrop to their painstaking projects.

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Overall: 3needles

If you’re into trying out a range of different projects and techniques and enjoy handmade crafts, textile arts, and homespun charm, this book is definitely for you! The Sewists will be released on September 16, 2014, available on Amazon.com and major booksellers.

Preorder The Sewists: DIY Projects from 20 Top Designer-Makers Here

xo
Carly

FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the above book from Laurence King Publishing for review purposes. I have not been compensated for this post. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

DIY Ombre Summer Night Sky Pedicure with Julep

0.julepnightskypedi_introphoto Hello friends! Here’s an ombre nail art idea for you today to try out the next time you’re painting your nails.

julepnightskypedi5I was wanting to update my pedi with something reminiscent of warm, starry night skies – which are so much more gorgeous in Summer. While everyone else is doing pastels or neons this season, I went dark and spangled, just like late July evenings with the sky dotted with fireflies and stars.julepnightskypedi1After prepping my feet according to this DIY Pedicure Guide (and using my favorite Spongeables Ped-Scrub Foot Buffer to scrub away any rough patches), I painted a clear base coat, and then:

  • Painted one coat of a dark cobalt blue that had a small amount of micro glitter in it, and let dry. (The polish I used I bought like 10+ years ago, so if you’re looking for something similar now, this one is a close match.)
  • Then I painted half of my nails close to the cuticle with the blue
  • While the polish was still wet, I painted the ends with Estelle (black multi-glitter), mixing the polish where it met the blue. I let dry.
  • Finally I applied another coat of Estelle at the tips to darken into black. One topcoat to smooth the surface and it was all done!

julepnightskypedi2julepnightskypedi3I love the dark and mysterious look to this pedi, and how it sparkles in the sunlight (and against my favorite silver sandals).julepnightskypedi6

What other colors do you think it would be fun to mix into an ombre mani? diyombresherbetmani_done2(I tried sorbet blue and lavender in this DIY Ombre Sherbet Nail Art last year!)

julepnightskypedi4Happy Summer DIY pedis!

xo
Carly

Probiotics: Good for Your Gut, Great for Your Skin: Meet TULA

tula2You’ve all heard of probiotics, right? Those excellent-for-you bacteria that keep your gut (and the rest of you!) healthy and functioning? Well, taking probiotics internally for optimum health has been a part of many cultures for centuries (with culinary traditions of kefir, natto, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchee, for example)…but how about taking probiotics externally? Would the same benefits we experience when consuming probiotics also come into play when applied to our skin? (more…)

Cool Find: YOUNIQUE Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes For Extra Oomph! for Your Eyelashes

0.younique_introphotoI received an inquiry from a company called YOUNIQUE earlier this month, who sent me a set of their Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes to try out. I have to admit: I was a bit skeptical at first, since I couldn’t exactly see how fiber lashes that were sprinkled on top of one’s already existing mascara could really make much difference. I mean, was this extra step in the beauty routine really necessary? But once I tried them out I became a believer – and you will too once you see these AMAZING before & after photos. (more…)

DIY Patterned Silver Leaf Photo Frame with Mod Podge Stencils

0.diystenciledphotoframe_introphotoNow I’m sure you guys have heard of that amazing crafting supply that does practically everything: Mod Podge. There are major devotees to this glue/decoupage medium/finisher, and for good reason! Because it’s nontoxic, cheap, provides a variety of finishes, and it just plain flat-out works!

Amy Amderson, the amazing and multi-talented blogger brand representative of Mod Podge (and the brainchild behind the cool blog Mod Podge Rocks!) sent me a package from her brand-new Mod Podge Peel & Stick Stencils line, designed exclusively for PLAID Enterprises. I had a blast playing with the stencil, and I fashioned this chic patterned update to an old photo frame I had. Check out how I did it:

 You Need:diystenciledphotoframe_materials

photo frame  /  Mod Podge Peel & Stick stencil (mine is in Tangier)  /  foam pouncer  /  Mod Podge (matte)  /  silver leaf  /  gloss spray acrylic sealer  /  paintbrush (not pictured)

How To:diystenciledphotoframe_step1

1. Place your stencil onto your photo frame. (If your photo frame is very smooth, you may need to rub it with fine grit sandpaper to give it some surface to the Mod Podge to stick evenly on to.)

2.  Pour out some Mod Podge and dip the foam pouncer into it, wiping off excess.

3. Dab the pouncer on top of the stencil.

4. Peel off the stencil and allow the Mod Podge to sit for a few minutes to become tacky.diystenciledphotoframe_step2

5. Place some silver leaf onto where the Mod Podge was applied.

6. Use a soft, dry paintbrush to remove the excess silver leaf.

7. Once one side is fully leafed, repeat placing the stencil, applying the Mod Podge, and applying the silver leaf in sections across the photo frame.

8. Finish wish a spray of acrylic sealant to keep that silver leaf looking gorgeous!

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And that’s it! I love how designer-y and high-end the photo frame now looks…even though it was a super-cheap piece from IKEA. I also love the worn look of the silver leaf and the great pattern that emerged as I applied it. The stencil was super-easy to work with, and sticky enough that I could wipe it off each time and re-use it on different parts of the frame, no problem. The perfect addition to this frame was a photo of Lil Tot practicing his best flying ninja stab jump with my rake. Stab that leaf pile!!

You can find Mod Podge Rocks! Peel & Stick Stencils in craft stores such as Jo-Ann Fabrics and Michael’s, or at the PLAID store online here. I guarantee, they will take your Mod Podge projects to the next level!

diystenciledphotoframe_done2Thanks Amy and the team at PLAID! It was so fun to make this little project :-)

Happy DIY’ing!
xo

Carly

FTC Disclosure: I was sent a Mod Podge stencil, 2 small tubes of glitter, and 2 foam pouncers courtesy of PLAID Enterprises. I have received no compensation for this post. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

A Dose of Pink Fusion from Reebok Skyscape + Giveaway

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Just like everyone these days, my life is jam-packed. From morning to night, I’m going to the gym, taking my son to school, running errands, scouting locations, meeting my business partner, chatting with the girls over tea, picking up my son, and going to after-school activities (and then maybe out to dinner if I’m lucky!). Basically, my feet are two busy dogs and I usually hit my 10,000 steps daily with little effort needed. With the new feather-light Reebok Skyscapes, I can go from errands to car to walking to running around – all while supported, comfy, and stylish.
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The lace-to-toe molded silhouette and unique design provide amazing comfort (seriously, you have to try these to believe it!!). This shoe is crafted borrowing the materials and soft molding process used to create lingerie, which provides all-around comfort and creates a shoe so lightweight that it weighs only 5.0 ounces. (The soft foam material in the upper feels just like my favorite molded bra – which feels almost like I’m wearing nothing on my feet at all.) I love that the shoe isn’t covered with all sorts of stitching and rubber bits and things that catch and weigh me down: the design is sleek and streamlined and looks like a hybrid between an athletic shoe and a casual sneaker. Inside the footbed the Skyscape features Skyspring technology, which is a unique design architecture designed to help support the foot and provide all day comfort for my on-the-go lifestyle. It’s just like walking on clouds. (“So lightweight and comfortable, you’ll forget you have them on” is their tagline.)
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Perfect for keeping up with the dog: Pudding may have super-short legs, but she can run!
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Plus whilst wearing them I love to coordinate them to my outfit – and they don’t look as if I just walked out of a spinning class or something. (They’re now my choice of footwear when picking up my son at school for the long walk from the car to his classroom, standing around the playground, and then back to the car.) They come in some fun and fashion-forward colors (mine are Pink Fusion!) and cost under $70 for a pair. Reebok Skyscapes are available for online purchase, or at select Kohl’s, Reebok FitHub, or Outlet locations for in-store purchase.

Giveaway

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You can win a YourReebok Custom Card and create your own pair of Reebok Skyscape shoes!
How to Enter: Leave a comment telling me where you would wear your Reebok Skyscapes. To work, on the playground, to school, walking the dog, heading to the gym, hiking, etc.? Where would you rock these babies? Let me know in the comments on this post! (Comments on this post only; no comment within Facebook will be counted.)
Good luck to everyone!
xo
Carly
FTC Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with BlogHer and Reebok Skyscape. I received 1 pair of Reebok Skyscapes for review purposes, and 1 pair will be provided to the winner of the giveaway. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.


Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 4/21/2014-5/18/2014.

Be sure to visit the Reebok Skyscape brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Studs & Pearls Book Review & Giveaway

studsandpearls_book1Studs & Pearls : 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion is from the eponoymous blog Studs & Pearls by Kristen Nunez, founded in 2010. We’ve been reading each other’s blogs for quite some time, and we’ve been frequent commenters on each other’s projects. Kristen’s DIY’s are always fun, simple, and have major visual impact. With this book you can get a ton of ideas for how-to’s that can easily take your basics and jazz them up a notch.

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The book covers DIY basics, like Tools and Supplies, and then dives straight into the projects. It includes 30 projects, with multiple variations on each so you can put your own spin on them.  studsandpearls_book5It covers a variety of techniques, including fabric dyeing, stamping, no-sew projects, trim embellishment, and painting.   studsandpearls_book8Plus the photography features real-life girls (like in street snaps) modeling the finished creations so you can get an idea of how the DIY’s will look when worn.studsandpearls_book3

Most of the projects are extremely easy so even beginners or kids/pre-teens can get in on the fun. It’s a great jumping-off point for those just getting started to DIY.studsandpearls_book6studsandpearls_book7It also includes many projects that speak to current trends, like the embellished sunglass case-turned-clutch trend, trim-detailed mini-skirts, tie-dye, embellished sunglasses, beanies, mixed media embroidery thread-and-chain bracelets, and cocktail rings. Many of the project use easily-available or unusual materials, so supplies are a cinch to come by. (There’s a directory of sources and where to buy in the back.)studsandpearls_book9

This statement clutch turned out so pretty with some well-placed painting!studsandpearls_book10An interesting take on the plastic tube bracelet.

studsandpearls_book11These cocktail rings from buttons are particularly pretty.studsandpearls_book12 studsandpearls_book13

Overall: It was nice to see all the variations on all of the projects. Many of the techniques are quite simple, which speak well to a young audience maybe not so familiar with DIY blogs and projects elsewhere. (There are 3 projects that do require a higher skill level, with dyeing and sewing a dress, but they stood out as somewhat incongruous next to the other projects.) It does provide inspiration and ideas on the variations, as well as styling tips, so it can be very useful in planning out your project. This would be a great book for a young teenager or someone who is just getting started to DIY.

Score: 3needles

Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Studs & Pearls : 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion by Kristen Nunez.

Enter using Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

xo

Carly

FTC Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Studs & Pearls for review from Laurence King Publishing. I am sponsoring the giveaway and shipping the item to the winner at my own expense. The above opinions are my own. To read my full Disclosure Policy, click here.

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