Friday, June 28, 2013

Ready-made bonfire log -- Really?

This is such an urban luxury type item that it is almost a parody of itself. A log that is pre-dried and cut so that all you need is one match to light it, and it burns the rest of the way down.

Did I mention that it comes with its own rope carrying handles?

Don't worry about finding kindling, chopping wood, or trying to start a fire with green wet wood. And for godsakes, don't actually touch the wood like a peasant would! Use the handles, chap! 

Oh, you found your log in the forest, just on the ground like that? Lying on  leaves with some gross beetles and worms near it? Oh how quaint. Mine? Mine is from Estonia, widely known as the fines purveyor of birch trunks. Yes, we don't bother with the "dirt."

But then after making fun of it for a while, I realized that it is actually kind of incredibly useful to have an all-in-one fire that doesn't get everything covered in bark and splinters in the transport and is ready to go whenever. Maybe this is a good idea.... hmmm...$zoom2$
$28 bonfire log 
 "Take a crackling flame wherever you go with this portable bonfire log. Needing just a single match to light, each birch log is kiln-dried and finished with a braided handle for easy toting.
- Birch stump, rope handle
- Burn time approximately 1.5 hours
- Outdoor use or indoors use in fireplace
- Estonia
8”H, 10” diameter"
The company that makes this is Terrain, which is Anthropologie's sister line for home and garden supplies. You will notice similarities in the prices and aesthetic if you look around the site.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Adventures in Glycerin Part 2

(read part 1 here)

I ran out of nail polish remover!! Normally this would not be a cause for celebration, but since I bought that giganto container of glycerin, I've been waiting for an excuse to use more of it.

Apparently nail polish remover is made of acetone, glycerin, and dye. I have all those things available to me! And who needs dye, really.

I found this recipe and post on how to make a dupe of Zoya's moisturizing nail polish remover, and that was my guide. It has some cool science in it, so check it out.

I kept my empty nail polish bottle just for this reason, and assembled my (2) ingredients.

Here is my lineup: glycerin, empty nail polish remover bottle, acetone.
Doesn't it look like there is a halo on the acetone? It's angel acetone. And this project was clearly blessed.

Ok so I started by looking at my empty bottle to see how much it holds- it says 177 mL. That is important because my instructions said 1-2 TBS of glycerin for every 200 mL acetone.
So I measured 1.5 TBS and poured it in to the empty bottle, over the sink.

Then I poured acetone in to about the level where the top of the yellow circle is on the bottle. I am very glad I did this part over the sink because I spilled a TON.
I wanted to leave room for some water, since I learned that water is what helps glycerin mix fully with the acetone.

Here is the problem: my bottle was already kind of frosted and not totally clear and see through, so I can't actually tell if the ingredients are fully mixed.

After I put the acetone in, I shook the bottle (with the cap on but it still leaked- thank you sink) and tried to see if I could tell where the line of glycerin was on the bottom. I couldn't.
Well, experiments are experiments and nothing was going to blow up, so I just opened the top up again and put in about 1 tsp water for good luck.
Then I put the cap back on and shook again.

I think I did it!
I mean, it works as remover, so I at least didn't mess up the acetone to the point where it doesn't strip the polish off anymore.

But oh god, I still have so much glycerin left.
Every damn thing I try seems to only want a tablespoon or two at most of the stuff.
Should have bought a much smaller bottle.

If anyone has glycerin-related needs, please let me know and we can try to use this bottle up so I don't have so much stuff under the bathroom sink.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cork tray

This cool tray is made of cork and goes inside the neck of a wine bottle.

$51 Module R Cork tray

I think it would be a great addition to a party table. It's also a good way of using random bottles you've been saving for sentimental reasons or because you are sure you are going to get around to a craft with it someday...

It's a neat design and would make a great wedding or housewarming gift, too.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garden benches for my new patio!!

Our new apartment has a very narrow balcony, which I am pretending is a real patio.

My new favorite hobby is thinking about what furniture and planters and other things I can put out there (rock speakers, anyone?) to make it a fun place where I will want to spend a lot of time.

Let's go bench shopping!
There are a few things that appeal to me:
-Not having to move it indoors for winter (where would we even put it?)
-Narrowness (can't be deep like an adirondack chair because it wouldn't fit)

Here are my picks from Amazon:

Size: 51L x 23.5W x 36H in.
Durable red shorea (red lauan) wood

This bench looks nice and elegant and the seat flips up and you can store things underneath. I'd put a cushion and some gardening tools under there, probably.

$174 Acacia wood bench with 3 drawers
 40 in. W x 17 in. L x 36 in. H
Made of Acacia hardwood
 Very rectangular, which might be a little too straight for me. I do like the pull out drawers underneath, though, and it is cheaper than most others.

$199 Resin wicker storage bench
woven resin over a solid steel frame

This looks smaller and has no back, which might be a good space saver for my narrow balcony. It has 2 drawers that pull out. Looks like it does not come with a cushion, so that kinda sucks. Also the dimensions aren't in the description :(

$149 White rocking bench
Measures 45-inch width by 35-inch height by 45 depth
Made of metal material, easy to assemble 

Not sure if I am up for ANY assembly, even if it is easy. I like the delicate look of this bench, though I'd probably add a butt cushion. Might be too deep for my balcony.

$180 Eucalyptus White rocking bench
48.8""W x 44.5""H x 28.7""D
Acacia hardwood

This is a wooden version of the rocking bench that looks taller. Not sure if I like this better than the first.

$189 wood glider bench
46.5 x 26.8 x 35.5 inches
Made out of acacia hardwood

This one also includes some assembly (I hope just to put the glider thing on).
Wouldn't it be nice to glide outside? RHYME.

 43-inch by 17-inch by 36-inch
Made of metal
This is what I think a nice botanic garden should have. It would probably need a cushion to be comfortable.

Which do you like best?

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's a good time to buy black boots on

Summer is here! Put on your bikini and pack up your sweaters and buy winter boots!

No, but I am serious.
Now is a great time to look for the boots you should have gotten last year but chickened out on, or thought were too expensive.

I wouldn't go for super trendy things like the heel-less cantilevered shoes that might not be in again this fall (though I think those are great), but a classic black flat boot never goes out of style. Might as well get them cheap since you know you are going to need them eventually.

Here are my picks on super sale at now:

$39.99 Type Z Soha wide calf leather riding boots (was $159)
These are my favorites! And very tempting. Though the process of going through my stuff to move has shown me how many boots and shoes I already have. But these might be more comfortable, she tells herself. And they have those cute little buckles! And only $40! Ok, maybe I should...

$49.99 Fitzwell Jelly classic boot (was $199)
Standard, classic, never the wrong choice.
Black or brown available.

$41.99 Fitzwell Valencia Wide calf boot (was $169)
Another classic riding boot with a harness and buckle at the ankle and made for us ladies with wide calves.

$76.99 Gabriella Rocha Dryden wide calf boots (was $169)
These come in black, tan, or gray. All of the colors look nice to me.

$59.99 Type Z Kimi tall riding boots (was $169)
These come in black, dark brown, or gray. The other colors have contrasting zippers in back.

$46.99 Gabriella Rocha Sazzy ankle boots (was $129)
These nubuck ankle boots have cute studded straps. They also come in brown or gray but I like the black better. Pull-on ankle boots are the best because I am lazy and don't want to zip anything.

$269.99 Marc Jacobs dark blue ankle boot (was $892)
Ok, I know these are still kind of ridiculously expensive, but I loooooove them. They have such a great elegant almond toe shape and they are pull-on and they have those gold pyramid studs and they are so shiny and smooth.
Can I have them???

Friday, June 21, 2013

iPad Mini netting case

This cool case from Quirky covers the back of your iPad mini with elastic webbing so you can stick stuff into it and keep your it all together.

 $49.99 Web by Quirky

Cool, right?
You can put your headphones in there, or pens or cards.
I don't think the charger would be able to fit, but maybe the cord could.

All the elastic is attached to a plastic rim that surrounds the iPad and snaps on and off.

It is kind of like those notebook bandoliers for an ipad, or the grid-it cases but less bulky.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The best deals right now at the $15 store

Time for another fifteendollarstore post!

Here are my picks from their current crop of deals:

$15 BB Dakota sequin tank dress (was $89)
"BB Dakota tank dress is constructed of gunmetal sequined jersey with a subtle dye print throughout. Bottom of the dress is finished with a folded hem. Measures approximately 34" long from shoulder to hem. "

I like the loose shape and casualness of this sequin dress. It isn't all in-your-face sexy but it does still demand attention.

$15 Romeo and Juliet Coutoure dress with sequins (was $218)
"Romeo & Juliet Couture sleeveless dress is constructed of a stretch and textured knit fabrication with metallized sheen. The right side is detailed with triangular rays composed of black and bronze-colored sequins. The back secures with a hidden zipper closure. Measures approximately 29' long from neck to hem. Bust is padded and the dress is fully lined."

This is more of a sexy going-out clubbing style dress. It would have been cooler if the sequin starburst continued on to the back, but hey it is $15.

$15 Sequin lurex tank dress (was $145)
"Rampage stretch dress is constructed a knit fabrication with Lurex and has sequins along the front. Perfect for adding glam with ease to your look. Measures approximately 35" long from shoulder to hem. Fully lined."

The sporty tank style is fun, and it comes in either navy or black. I like both, but put a pic of the navy up here.

$15 Tie sash collar animal print dress (was $89)
"Velvet Heart animal print sleeveless dress features an attached tie sash collar and elastic inset at the waist. Slight gathers are seen at the waist and yoke back. Measures approximately 35" from shoulder to hem."

The animal print is very small and subtle, so from afar this dress just reads as gray. It's a classic shape and would be flattering on hourglass women.

$15 Collared Shirt dress with sash tie (was $98)
Velvet Heart low v-neckline dress that has an all-over sheen georgette inspired textured fabrication contains buttons down the front and has a traditional pocket with a tab and button closure at the side bust. There is gathering near the front bodice shoulders and back yoke. The ¾ sleeves contain epaulettes and the option of being long sleeves. There is also a self-tie waistband and elasticized waistband at mid-back. It contains two full side-welt pockets sand a clean finish hem. HPS to hem measures at 34”.

This dress comes in purple or gray, and I like both. Plus it has pockets! The site doesn't say if it is lined, so I would be worried about it being a little sheer. I guess you could wear a slip underneath if so.

$15 One lapel black cocktail dress (was $54)
"Twenty-six by ALONA ROSE fully-lined classic black stretch dress that has darts at the bust line and skirt front. This dress features a satin one-sided collar lapel. The back of the dress has a hidden zipper closure. The bottom hem has a blind hem finish. HPS to hem measure approximately 42 inches long."

I like the avant garde look of the asymmetric lapel, it reminds me of someone who has taken half their jacket off.

$15 halter wrap one piece bathing suit (was $89)
"MISSES- Temper open-back one-piece swimsuit that has a low v-neckline wrap around look comes with removable padding for additional support and coverage. This solid-color swimsuit also has some gathers at the shoulder strap and a self-tie at the back of the neck."

This style would look great on women who are trying to downplay their hips or thighs and give them a more hourglass shape. The detail at the waist and the crossover at the top makes you look up there, and not at the legs.

$15 Side cutout one piece bathing suit (was $98)
"Kenneth Cole Reaction solid color swimsuit that has a removable halter strap with removable padding and side boning at the bust line. This fully-lined swimsuit also has side cutouts. "

This style would be best for straight up and down figures who want to look more curvy, since the sides are contoured to give the illusion of a curve and the top is not very supportive.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rough diamond bands from Etsy

I like the look of rough diamonds (this can either mean low grade or not professionally cut/polished).

The brilliant cut, which is the round diamond with tons of facets, was created to show as much "fire" (sparkle) and light as possible in a stone. But sometimes that gets boring. Sometimes you would rather look at something imperfect but interesting.

That's how I feel, at least.

What I would really like to see is a group of rough diamonds channel set in a ring band, with one or two nicely cut sparkly diamonds mixed in randomly.

Here are some alternatives from Etsy:

5 small rough diamonds
$325 Rough diamonds set in sterling silver
I like the chunky design of this setting, which echoes the classic solitaire diamond lift that you see in engagement rings. It would not look that good on my teeny bony fingers, but if you have long or rounder fingers, this style would look great.
You can also get it set in 14k gold for $525.

Raw Diamond Eternity Stackable 1/2CT Wedding Anniversary Ring Band Channel Set 14K Yellow Gold Size (4-9)
$249 Raw diamond eternity band in 14k yellow gold
This setting has the precisely drilled holes you would find in a standard eternity band, which are there to let the light shine through the diamond and make it sparkle more. In this case though, the diamonds are rough and won't do the sparkle thing. I really love how the gold is textured and not shiny, to match the look of the stones.
This could be a wedding band contender!

Rough Diamond Freeform Ring in Palladium, Channel Set Raw Diamond Cubes
$995 Rough diamond channel set cubes ring
The look of this ring is very modern and interesting. I like the way the diamond cubes extend out of the channel setting and over the top of the ring.
Diamonds are hard (scratchproof) but it important to remember that they are not shatter- or break-proof. They can still be brittle and if you smacked this ring around too hard, they could cleave along the lines of some internal flaw.
This is another great ring for someone with larger fingers.

Black Diamond Ring, Delicate Diamond Stack Ring, Thin Silver Stacking Ring, Genuine Diamond Promise Ring, Fine Silver Beaded Ring Band
$38 Black diamond and silver stackable ring
This one is a very different style than those above. Instead of channel set stones in a case base, it has beaded gems on a wire base. This makes it much less durable (the wire could bend and break). The center beads are black diamonds and the others are fine silver (higher silver content than sterling).
If you like this ring, my advice would be to wear it between two other more sturdy rings so it is protected and has less of a chance of being deformed and breaking.

Monday, June 17, 2013

I joined Threadflip

Threadflip is an online store where you can shop people's closets and upload your own closet of stuff you would like to sell.
The way it works is that you set your prices and take pictures, and then upload everything and when a piece sells, Threadflip takes 20% commission.
That is much lower than consignment, which is 50%.

So I joined!
Click to visit my store.
It's still a work in progress and I have to put more stuff in there that I could part with, especially now that we are moving.

Here is a link to Threadflip, and if you join through that link and buy something eventually, I will get $10 credit.

This is what the site looks like:

And you can shop by brand or item type or price.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Wedding bands from Etsy

My wedding is coming up soon and I still haven't chosen a ring. 
Finding a band that is narrow and pretty and not too boring has been hard, especially because I don't really know what I want.
I think I want either yellow or rose gold.

Here are some options from Etsy that I am looking at:

14k Gold Twig Band, Gold Wedding Band, 14k Yellow Gold or 14k White Gold
$219 Twig wedding band 14k gold
I like the natural look of this ring, and how it isn't all smooth.

Promotion - 14K Solid Gold Ring - flat square stackable 1.5mm Tiny Skinny Wedding Band - Wedding Anniversary Promise - Matte or Shiny
$119 Matte 1.5mm 14k gold ring
I like skinny rings but many are soldered instead of cast, and cast are much more durable. These are cast and thicker than the wire rings.

14K Solid Gold Ring - stackable 0.9mm Wedding Band - For Wedding Anniversary Promise - Ready to ship
$79 Round .9mm 14k gold ring
By the same vendors as above but even thinner, this one might be wire, I am not sure.

14k Gold Ring Hammered Facets Gold Band Slim Stacking Jewelry Recycled Gold Ethical Elegant Simple Handmade
$87 Thin hammered ring 14k gold
Might also be wire, but hammered to have a cool pattern.

Vintage 18K solid gold vintage ring for wedding, engagement hoop ring, band or stacking ring
$92 Vintage 18k gold ring
This is size 8 so I would have to get it sized down. It has parallel lines going across in sections, which reflect light.

Wedding ring, gold ring, 14k gold
$320 Gold facet 14k ring
This one is thicker than the others, but has a pretty faceted design and brushed finish.

Solid 14k Gold Twig Ring, 14 karat Yellow Gold Wedding Band, Recycled Gold Organic Cedar Wedding Ring, Gold Branch Ring
$250 Cedar Twig ring 14k gold
Another wide ring, this one based on cedar branches. I like it but I think I'd get the little pointy parts stuck on sweaters and in my hair.

Solid 14K Rose Gold Rococo in the Disco Wedding Band--Solid 14K Gold Swirl Patterned Ring Custom made in YOUR Size
$225 rose gold 14k swirl pattern ring
I like this design and shape. It's cast on demand to your size.

Spring Wedding Vintage 18 Carat Yellow Gold Ring Floral Design ON SALE
$192 Floral pattern 18k gold band
Comes with forget me not flowers around the band.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Just my luck...

 these are sold out:

Cute Fashion Pure Color Rabbit Tail Design Short Pants
$6.66 Rabbit tail shorts

I guess that site doesn't know it's my birthday.
OR MAYBE they are sold out because all my friends bought them for me already and they are on their way to me.
Thanks, guys!!

One of the best features of these faux fur shorts is that they have an elastic waist (you thought I was going to say the tail, didn't you?).
That means you can never outgrow them!

But what to wear on top?
It is a hard item to match, for sure.
I think I've got it though:

Cute Spring Cartoon Rabbit Turn Collar  Blouse
$9.48 Rabbit print blouse

Business on top, party on the bottom! All rabbit all the time.
Because what matches rabbits? RABBITS.

PS- I would actually wear that shirt.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Solid State external drives

Wired has a review up of solid state drives, which would be what I would get if I was in the market for an external harddrive.

PS- if you don't have an external drive, you should really get one. Imagine how upset you would be if all your work, data, papers, photos, and music disappeared when your computer bit the dust.
Cloud storage is good, but should not be your only backup.

Read the Wired reviews here

The ones they look at are:

$99 LaCie Porsche 1TB SSD
2 year warranty, aluminum case
I've had nothing but good experiences with  my LaCie products and I like the look of this one (I am just the kind of fool for marketing gimmicks that they love).

$258 Verbatim Store n Go 3.0 SSD  256GB
2 year warranty, plastic case

$303 IoSafe Rugged Portable SSD 1TB
3 year warranty, heavy, sturdy

$140 OWC Mercury On the Go Pro 1TB
1 year warranty, formatted for Macs

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sale Surfing in ShopBop's 70% off Bin

Somehow I haven't checked the ShopBop 70% section in a while. What was I thinking? There is some good stuff in there:

ONE by Bailey44 Not in the Dark Dress$82.50 One by Bailey44 Not in the Dark dress
The pleather on top and jersey bottom are cool together, and there is a lot going on in terms of texture even though the dress is all black in color.

Sheri Bodell Metal Mesh Maxi Dress$97.80 Sheri Bodell Metal Mesh Maxi dress
Asymmetric metallic accents make this dress look futuristic, like what you would wear to a prom on a spaceship.

MINKPINK Cable Guy Sweater$26.40 MinkPink Cable Guy Sweater
There are diamond shapes woven in to the cotton sweater above the chest area, and textured cables everywhere else.

Catherine Malandrino Feather Skirt Dress$148.50 Catherine Malandrino Feather Skirt Dress
Long sleeves and a modest neckline counteract the sexiness of the open back and short feathered skirt. This is a fun party dress.

Charles Albert Obsidian Arrowhead Necklace$81 Charles Albert Obsidian Arrowhead Necklace
I love the shape of this necklace and the idea of incorporating many arrowheads.
Since I know a little something about lithics, I can tell that these are not real functional arrow heads (they would be thicker in the middle and have lots of small horizontal chips across them), but that is probably better anyway.
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