April Blog Hop: Spring Picks!

I’m part of a fabulous Beauty & Fashion bloggers group on Facebook and each month they host a blog hop where we all post about the same topic on the 1st of the month.   April’s topic is our Spring Product Picks.

I’ve decided to feature items that I’ve purchased for myself for Spring or that I intend to purchase soon.  I’ve come up with a bunch of fun categories and chosen one item for each one.

Box Pick:
The Homegrown Collective
(Retail: $39 per month/$9.00 shipping)
So you know I had to start this list with a subscription box pick.  Is it me or does the phrase “homegrown collective” make you picture a Bearded Hipster in skinny jeans saying “resistance is futile, you will be assimilated”?  So this subscription has been called “pinterest in a box” and features home items that help you be more self-sufficient and ecologically mindful.   The boxes are seasonal and feature various themes.  A few past boxes include: “DIY Detox in a Box”, “Superfoods and Antioxidants”, and “Eco Laundry”.  Now springtime puts me in spring cleaning mode.  I’ve got plans to overhaul my whole house including my kitchen.  This subscription seems like a great way to make my home a little more healthy and finally complete some of those DIY pinterest pins I keep accumulating and promising to do “someday”.  I haven’t ordered this yet, as it’s going to be my reward once I have finished spring cleaning my apartment.  (Thus forcing me to actually finish spring cleaning my apartment).

Beauty:BalmRosebud Smith’s Lip Balm, Rose and Mandarin, 0.8 Ounce
(Retail: $6.00)
I’m a lip balm junkie and I try tons of brands and always come back to the Rosebud salve.  They are super moisturizing, smell great and the retro packaging is adorable.  I discovered they came out with a Mandarin orange flavor and I adore it.  I keep it by my beside at night and apply it right before I got sleep.

Makeup:
Stila Closed Stila Open Swatch
Stila “In the Know” Eyeshadow Palette
(Retail: $39.00)
I have a difficult time finding neutral eyeshadows that I love.  I have pink undertones and browns and golds can go too warm and turn orange.  Because I’m pale, purple tones can look like big old bruises.  I saw swatches of this online and thought I’d take a gamble and see if they’d work for me.  I think they work really well with my skin tone and I adore the eyeliner included.  I can’t wait to use them for some new spring looks.

Hair:
Hair Powder
Lulu Organics® Lavender + Clary Sage Hair Powder
(Retail: $30.00)
I have a dry scalp, which means I tend to get oily roots.  The problem is when you wash too frequently you exacerbate the dry scalp issue, so I try to wash my hair every other day.  I’ve been searching for a dry shampoo to help keep the oil away on my off days.  This powder smells amazing and of all the dry shampoos I’ve tried I feel it blends in the best.  I also adore the art nouevau style packaging.

Nails:
Pahlish_His_Favorite_Sundress_2
His Favorite Sundress by Pahlish
(Retail: $9.00)
Melon is on trend for nails this spring and I really wanted an interesting coral-ly shade and fell in love with this color from Pahlish.  It’s completely different from any of my other polishes and I can’t wait to wear it with my spring dresses. There are so many fabulous indie polish brands creating really unique shades.  Llarowe.com has a wonderful assortment of indie polishes to get you started on your newest addiction.  I’d like to thank “Ida Nails It” for graciously allowing me to use her swatch photo.  I had a slight kerfluffle with my order and didn’t get my polish in time for this blog post.

Clothing:
Jacket
Striped Terry Jacket from Anthropologie
(Retail: $78.00)
At first I was so sure I was going to include a cute dress, but then I stumbled across this jacket at my local Anthropologie.  I love things with a nautical feel and the stripe drew me to it.  It didn’t seem like much on the hanger but I figured I’d try it on anyway.  It was really flattering and incredibly comfortable.  It’s warm and quite soft for a jacket.  I was concerned that without buttons it would lay oddly, but it doesn’t.  And the nice part about not having buttons is that you can lose or gain a little weight and have no issue.  Also a plus for the pregnant ladies who can wear it pre and post baby.   You can dress it up or down, so for more casual days I plan to wear this with a red tee shirt and my favorite pair of dark wash, flared Modcloth jeans.  For work I’ll wear it over my knee length yellow, navy or red dresses. It’s warm but not too heavy and I think I can wear it all the way through summer.

Shoes:
Shoes
Defined the Scenes Flat in Blush
(Retail: $29.99)
Modcloth is one of my go to places to shop and I love all their unique offerings.  Because I commute to work in NYC, flats become by go to pick for spring and summer.  I loved this blush color because I think it will soften a lot of the black and grey in my wardrobe allowing them a nice transition into spring by giving a sort of Paris in Springtime vibe.  They are also super comfy on my wide feet and the price is really affordable.  If you dig them, I suggest you snap them up asap; they are more than worth the pricetag.

Jewelry:
Flower Post Earrings
Rosebud Flowers Post Earrings from the Fresh Jewelry Company
(Retail: $22.00)
I love jewelry that’s nature inspired, whimsical and unique.  Spring time makes me long for flowers and greenery and I adore jewelry that manages to capture that feeling.  These little sterling silver earrings feature real flowers inside resin.  This way you can take a bit of springtime with you, wherever you go.  (I ordered these but they didn’t arrive yet so this photo is from the Scoutmob site.)


Bookshelf:
When Venus Fell by Deborah Smith
(Retail: $5.98 for Ebook)
When it comes to reading, springtime makes me long for romance novels.  Now, there are so many super cheesy, boring and poorly written romances that they’ve given the whole industry a bad name.  But I promise there are still wonderful romance writers that give you interesting stories, compelling characters and gorgeous prose.  “When Venus Fell” by Deborah Smith is one of my favorite books.  The characters are not your stereotypical romance novel folks (no bodice ripping Fabios) and her prose effortlessly engages you with her characters, so you’re invested in the story.  If you want to give a good romance novel a try, pick this one up.  It’s one that I reread year after year.

Organization/Spring Cleaning:
Beauty Cases Case Open  Velcro         

Joy Mangano Biggest and Best Beauty Case Set Ever with 3 Bonuses!
(Retail: $59.95)
I managed to pick this up when it was a today special so I snagged it with free shipping and $20 off the pricetag.  If you read this blog regularly you know that I get a ton of products in my boxes.  I grabbed  this set so that I could do some spring cleaning and organize all the products I receive.  You can fit a ton in these and they fold up quite neatly.  The sections are velcroed and pull out easily.  The kit included three beauty cases and three additional storage bags. Thanks to living in a Victorian house, I’ve got the world’s most narrow storage cabin for my products.  These cases will nestle perfectly inside and make it easy for me to see what products I have and what’s running out and needs to be replaced.  These bags are super versatile and you can use them for all kinds of things, like crafts and office supplies.  If you want to get more organized, I highly recommend these.


Crafting:
stamp_parescargot1
 Par escargot Stamp by Wit & Whistle
(Retail: $20.75)
I discovered Wit & Whistle through my Fair Ivy subscription and I fell in love with this stamp.  Rubber stamping is one of the easiest ways to craft.  You buy some blank cards or postcards, an inkpad and a stamp and get to it.  I like to make notecards and gift tags using rubber stamps and this one is perfect for using on envelopes.  I plan to pick this up so I can jazz up all my outgoing mail.  I haven’t ordered it yet, so this photo is from the Wit & Whistle site.

So those are just a few of my favorite things this season.  There are only about a billion more, but you have other things to do besides listen to me talk about shopping.

So what did you pick up for Spring?

To read some other fabulous blogs and check out their Spring hit lists, take a look at my fellow blog hop participants.   Happy Reading!

Fair Ivy Duet: March 2014

This is the post where we get to focus on those fabulous handmade finds and explore some of the artistry of American crafters. This month features Fair Ivy’s Duet subscription, which features a jewelry plus a handmade item.

So let’s jump right into the box.
Jewelry Box UnOpened

As usual, Fair Ivy has gorgeous packaging.

Jewlery BoxEarrings

Package #1 (Jewelry) –23k Gold leaf Inlay Sterling Silver Round concave dome post earrings
from Virginia Wynne Jewelry
(Retail: $27.00)
Description: “The studs are hand cut out of sheet metal, shaped and then a thin layer of 23K gold used inside the dome with a technique called Keum-Boo”
Verdict:
Love!
I like to wear studs to work and these are lovely and unique. I think the concave shape gives them a bit of an edge. These are quite versatile and I think they’ll be a nice counterpoint against feminine spring florals. This also came with a coupon code. Just use the code SURPRISE10 for 10% off Virgina Wynne’s Etsy shop.

An unassuming envelope arrives…

Envelope
And now we have Package #2:
Other Wrapped Towel

Package #2 –Screen Printed Tea Towel from Wit & Whistle
(Retail: $20.00)
Description: “Wit &Whistle offers witty greeting cards and whistle worthy paper and home goods” all designed by Amanda Wright.
Verdict: Love!
I’m planning a giant spring cleaning overhaul of my home including my kitchen so I’m thrilled to get new home items to spruce it up. The Wit & Whistle shop is full of cute offerings and I am particularly enthralled with this Escargot Stamp.


OVERALL
Verdict:
Love!

Estimated Retail: $47.00. I paid $43 including the shipping so I got more than my value and I loved the items in this box. I will definitely use both items andthe Wit & Whistle shop is a great discovery for my online shopping fix.

Last month I expressed that I felt I kept receiving jewelry from Fair Ivy that was a bit too similar and was wishing for a box that only included just the handmade item. The genies at Fair Ivy must have heard my wish so they created the Mystery subscription featuring just one handmade item per month. I’ve signed up for that subscription going forward and I’m uber excited to see what shows up on my doorstep.

Do you enjoy handmade items? Are you a frequent Etsy shopper?  

THE BACKSTORY

Fair Ivy is a subscription box of beautifully wrapped, handmade items made by individual artisans.  
There are now three exciting subscription options:
A jewelry only subscription at $25.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 jewelry item per month. (This option will ship in the US & Canada).
Or
The Mystery at $20.00 a month (plus shipping) for 1 handmade mystery gift every month
Or
The Duet subscription at $35.00 a month (plus shipping) of 2 handmade items (1 item will be jewelry). (This option only ships in the US).
Because the items ship directly from the artisans, if you choose a duet subscription you will receive the packages individually throughout the month.
DISCOUNT CODE: FAIRIVYFRIEND for $5 off the first month of any subscription.