November’s Dottie Box


November’s Dottie Box came this weekend and I felt a little surge of excitement as I opened it up. I was enjoying things from the previous month’s box and I kept thinking about the fact that I would probably never have heard about them or even think to use them if it hadn’t been for this box.

After briefly admiring the packaging I opened up the box to find this month’s haul.

20141108_092759The first thing I opened up was the Lillian Eve Royal Affair nail polish. On the site it says it’s a blue hue but this looked greenish blue to me when I put it on my nail. I don’t usually use nail polish, except once in a while on my toes, so I gave this one to my sister.

According to their website, “Lillian Eve was born from a simple love of color and a desire for that color to have as little impact on our health as possible. It’s what drives each creative individual who makes up our little family.”  I thought it was nice that they are 100% American made and practice buying local.

Each polish costs $12.00, which I’m guessing is a bit on the pricey side for a nail polish. But, if you’re conscious of the things they stand for then it might be worth it.

20141108_092843Next in the box was a Crocheted Coffee Cozy from The Cozy Project, one of those things that I’d probably never buy for myself but that I could find use for. Now that it’s cold and I’m driving to the train station instead of biking, I try to take a cup of tea with me for my train ride, so this will come in handy. It has a very fall look to it, I’ll be sure to enjoy 🙂

I haven’t tried it yet (at the time of this writing), but there was chocolate from Cacao 7, a company that prides itself in making organic, nutritive, diet and diabetic friendly chocolates. I’m skeptical, but I have decided that I would keep it as a prize – hopefully it’s a good one – for when I double up my NaNoWriMo word count (which means 15k words more at the time of this writing).


Finally, I opened up the Warm Vanilla Sugar Body Butter by Botanical Bars. I am not certain that this is a 100% homemade product – it seems to be made with lotion (from their etsy shop), and on the site it does have a list that looks like the ingredients found in the lotion in my bathroom right now – but since I use regular lotion I do want to give this one a try, see how different it is.

Did I mention that the smell is wonderful? The vanilla is strong with this one. I sort of want to spoon it out for eating.

If they are anything to write home about, I’ll be talking about them again in a month like I did with the last.



One month later …

Last month I got my very first subscription box! It was a box of handpicked, homemade, delights and as a person who likes supporting artists and their works I thought that I might enjoy the monthly goodies.

Now it’s one month after my first box, one month to use the products and form my opinions and I have to say, surprisingly, I still love pretty much everything!

20141016_211120I’m still using my Voodoo Colour Balm from Black Widow Balm. I did notice that, since the weather got colder, it’s a little harder – most likely due to the ingredients in the lip balm, but a few rubs and it’s back to a nice consistency. I love the colour and I love that it seems to stay on – something other colour lip balms haven’t been doing for me. I have really dry skin and when the weather turns it gets worse, however, I have found that if I am consistent with using this balm that it soothes the cracks.

Surprisingly I’m still using the Lip Balm Holder from Gabriel’s Good Tidings. This isn’t something I’d purchase for myself – I still don’t feel like I would if I ever lost it or had to replace it, but time will tell. However, having received it in the box along with lip balm I find that I’m using it more that I would have thought. Often it’s easy to clip onto my bag strap for easy access and because mine is so bright if I leave it in my bag it’s easy to spot it between the other things I carry around all day. I can see this and the lip balm making really cute stocking stuffers this year.

One thing that I wasn’t sure I’d use but I am absolutely loving is, Not A Dirty Hippie’s Chamomile and Lemongrass Shampoo Bar. First of all, the smell of this bar makes me think of carefree summer days and beautiful blue skies. It’s super easy to use and leaves my hair feeling clean. I use an apple cider vinegar rinse afterwards and I absolutely love the way it makes my curls look. I’m glad I used this, I will be frequenting this store a lot in the future.

Finally, Plain J Body and Home’s Soy Candle, I rarely use candles, but when I do I like them to leave the air with a lasting, but not overwhelming, scent. I used this for the first time a few days ago and I love it! Definitely a great gift for any candle loving friend of yours.


An Attempt at Fancy: Fascinators

Ever since the Royal Wedding, I’ve been hoping that hats make a comeback in NY Fashion. You see a bit of a Fedora here and there, and a sunhat every now and then, but hardly anyone wears hats anymore! It’s a shame I say, a crying shame.

So, in an attempt to add to the glamour, I decided that I’d take my mom out for Mother’s Day — where she had to wear a hat — and to accompany her, I wore a fascinator. I was looking online at Etsy for one, but they were a bit bold for my taste — and pricey. So I decided to make one myself. I wanted a really simple one to wear to brunch with friends the day before and I wanted a fancier one to wear on Mother’s Day.

As a base I used a regular long Goody hair clip. I wasn’t planning on keeping these for a long period of time, maybe a few months, so I didn’t want it to be expensive.

I used regular Krazy Glue to hold the pieces in place. I’m sure there are special glues out there, but as this wasn’t made to last, I figured Krazy Glue would work just fine. Just be cautious, this glue works fast and fingers can get glued to stuff if one is not careful. I also used piers to hold pieces in place until the glue dried.

The feather, some butterflies and the flower pieces were all purchased at Michael’s. It’s amazing what things in craft stores can be used for with a little imagination!

The feathered piece was a bit on the extravagant side, not really my style, but I thought it might be fun to wear for tea with Mom.

I made a second – less loud – one for brunch with my friends.

I think it might be my favourite one … I might wear it even on “non special” occasions. =)

There you have it! Easy to make to your own unique taste. Inexpensive and fun, oh, and did I mention fancy?

Steampunk, Etsy and Me

I blame Scott Westerfeld, and perhaps Tim Burton. My love for things “steampunk” comes from their influence. In the fall or 2009, after reading Leviathan, I hopped on Etsy and searched for steampunk jewelry, I was looking for necklaces and happened across this gem from School of Charm.

What captured my eye was the quote they had in the description:

“Nerves and butterflies are fine –
they’re a physical sign
that you’re mentally ready and eager.

You have to get the butterflies
to fly in formation,
that’s the trick.”
— Steve Bull

It was my first Etsy piece and my first steampunk piece. I loved it! After that, I read Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel and she was promoting an Etsy store – hebelmet – which sells jewelry based on her books. There I got my second piece of steampunk jewelry, another necklace. Clockwork Wings.

And now I have another piece, this time from Umbrella Laboratory, not necessarily steampunk, but it is a clock in a snitch – a Golden Snitch! A snitch in time?

Isn’t it pretty? I can’t wait to get it! =) Harry Potter + Steampunk + Necklaces?

Geek Out!

Itso easy to set up shelves!

It’s been a few months since I’ve had the genius idea of storing things under the computer desk, after all, I mainly use that computer as an entertainment system – TV shows – and if I do use it, since the monitor is large, I don’t need to be really close to the screen.

So this weekend I went to Target and got some boxes.

I also picked up a few Itso shelves. Itso shelves are genius. The Itso system allows you to customize your storage space and shelfs to your own taste using their different pieces. You can mix and match as you choose.

The idea was to take this old storage unit and condense it with the boxes. There are some important papers and some craft tools that I hardly use, so it all needed to be cleaned out.

The end result was three Itso units, and one small storage box, fitting comfortably under the desk and that old storage unit out in the rubbish.

ahhh … breathing a little better now =)