Thursday, December 18, 2014

Subscription Box Review: December Ipsy Glam Bag

Welcome to another Subscription Box Review! Check out my previous Subscription box reviews here.

December Ipsy Glam Bag:

This month's Ipsy Glam bag is themed "Thinking of You." Honestly- it was probably one of my least favorite bags- nothing really extremely excited me even when I saw the preview (except for one product, which I sadly didn't get in my bag- booo!) The bag itself wasn't anything special either. Not sure if the holidays had the Ipsy crew scrambling, but this was by far the least exciting glam bag I've gotten thus far. 

Here's what came in My Glam Bag:

Honestly, I don't think I'll ever use this. I am a very low-maintenance hair product gal- I rarely blow-dry my hair in general. Most of the time I let my hair air-dry or put it in a clip till it drys. I'm sure its great for those that use hair styling product- but it really isn't the product for me.



It's a nice and functional brush. I'll certainly use it- I do like a good eye shadow application. First time I've gotten a brush in my bag, so I'm not complaining much about it.



I'll try it- not sure how often I'll use it, but my eyes could use some relaxation.



Not a bad lip balm- the flavor isn't anything special. Overall, doesn't wow me, but I'll use it.



This is probably the only think I was excited to get. I always am on the hunt for a good mascara- since when I do wear it with my contacts, I always struggle with getting one that doesn't irritate my eyes. We shall see how this one fares.


I personally was a little disappointed this month with my glam bag- when I saw the preview of products, I prayed I'd get the Mineral Eye Polish by Cailyn, but sadly I did not. ;(
Hopefully next month they will wow me a bit more.
Have a great day all!
-M

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chair-ished memories: The tale of two chairs

Being it is Christmas time, often we are reminded of the things we hold dear. Memories, loved ones, special items- all of these things in our lives we cherish. We also all have certain items in our homes that bring about those memories, especially ones given to us from loved ones.
This brings me to today's post- I was recently asked by Chairish, a place for design lovers to buy and sell Vintage & Used Furniture, Decor, Jewelery and Accessories online, What do you "Chairish"?
Chairish is the go-to place to find great vintage furniture, like that of my own vintage chairs below (though mine are not for sale), with thousands of listings all in one fun place! Check out their vintage furniture selection here: www.chairish.com/collection/furniture
Many people have vintage furniture or items that have been passed down through the generations- and all of these items have a story behind them. Let me tell you about my two "Chairished" Chairs:


These 2 black leather chairs were originally my Grandmother Sally's. As a kid visiting during either Thanksgiving or Christmas (we could only afford to fly out there once a year) I often would sit in those chairs looking out the guest bedroom window at the snow outside. I lived in Florida until I was 12 years old, so the only snow I ever got to see in person was when we visited both sets of my grandparents, who lived in two different parts of Illinois. As a small child, I would just stare at it falling for hours outside. It was so beautiful and calm.
My grandparents when they were "young'ns"
When I got a little older (and had moved to Pennsylvania, where there was plenty of times to experience snow in the winter), I spent a little less time sitting on those chairs, but still admired them for their "retro feel." My grandmother had a lot of cool retro items in her home- an old full-beehive-style head hairdryer, a huge old green stove, a classic old bubble-lights on the tree, just to name a few. But it was those 2 black leather chairs that I'd always comment that I hoped I could find a similar set in my future home.
One of the last times I was up visiting my grandmother, I was talking about how I was trying to decorate/furnish my apartment- going the retro look. I mentioned to my grandmother that I searched for chairs like her cool black leather ones, but couldn't find any. She told me, "Well. Someday you can have those chairs. Just not today."
My grandparents back in their hayday. 
That was one of the last times I'd see my grandmother alive. She passed away only a few months before I got married. When my mom, aunt,uncle and cousin were sorting through her things, they knew how much I longed to have chairs like those. So my uncle took the legs off of them, and with a little muscle, made them fit in my parents car to take them to Pennsylvania for me. I was so grateful. I truely "chairish" those chairs. To this day, they still are in our home- they might have changed rooms as we moved around from apartments to our final home, as well as different pillows thrown on them, but they always were one of my most favorite furniture items.
Their spot in one of the many apartments we lived in...
They've had their share of stories since we acquired them-people falling asleep in them after a Christmas party at our house, or how the backs of them got some paint on them from the walls of the one apartment because we tried to squeeze them into a space too small for them. They even were used in a community theater production of "The Odd Couple" when I played one of the Pigeon sisters.
One of the chairs in this scene from "The Odd Couple" (I'm the one in the red, black and white dress)
Currently they are sitting in our bedroom. Even though they aren't getting as much "butt sitting" use as they used to, they've gotten their use of holding piles of laundry, being a place for my cat Wendy to lounge and a place to sit when I'm putting on my shoes to go out.
At one point we had the chairs on either side of our dresser, but they've since been moved to the foot of our bed.
Along with their actual use of being chairs- they are the constant reminder of my grandparents house and all the fun memories of looking out the window at the winter snowfall. I know it sounds funny- but those chairs always remind me of Christmas.
I truely "Chairish" those chairs. lol
Please excuse our not very well made bed- I was exausted by the time this was taken and didn't feel like making it properly. lol
What do you cherish/chairish? Do you have any items you hold dear to your heart, given to you by someone in your family? I'd love to hear from you (and I'm sure Chairish would too!)
Have a great day all!
-M

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Simple Christmas Cards- using Stampin Up! products and leftover Paper Pumpkin items

Hey all! It's Christmas card making time in my house...


At a Stampin Up! getaway weekend back in April, I was preemptive and precut card bases, embossed them, stamped and punched ornaments and precut patterned paper to make these cards:


I honestly forgot I did this, if it wasn't for finding the "ready to go card kit" when I was re-organizing and taking all my crafting supplies into our newly created office/craft space/mini dining area. lol. All I had to do was adhear all the pieces together, stamp the sentiment and add the ribbon. Made making a bunch of these cards, soooo much easier.

I also created the card below, with a tag given to us at the October crop. I used a "banner" style card base (that I got in Michael's dollar bin area) and I think it worked out well for a simple, but non-Christmasy winter card.

After opening up my Paper Pumpkin package from this month, I started working on the cards in the package to add to my giant list of Christmas cards needed this year. After finishing the snowflake cards...


...I had the tags left. I'm not a huge tag person- most of the time I just put little slips of paper on our Xmas presents, since my hubs never realizes there are tags on them anyways, often throwing them out with the wrapping paper trash, so I only do nice tags on friend's gifts. I then came up with some Christmas card ideas to use the tags and the leftover items from the rest of the package. I also had a few other packs of those $1 card packs from Micheal's dollar bin, so I even used those up too! Check out some simple Christmas cards, used from those items (with a few items I had already, as well from Stampin Up! that I got on my getaway, similar to these cards).

I used the tag as the main part of the card. I used Washi tape behind it and at the bottom. I also used the leftover snowflakes from the set, on a honeycomb card base.

I used the inverse punched out letters from the tags to make this card's text. I did the main middle pattern with leftover washi tape. This is all done on a similar banner style card base, that came in the same pack as the card bases for the star card I showed early in this post.

I used a circle card base I also got in the Micheal's bin, with an image I had sitting around from a stamped image swap I did ages ago. I covered paper with washi tape for the mid-level and cut it out with my big circle cutter.
I also made a few more simple cards using another Micheal's card base, making them look like little Santa suits. I got inspired to do this after making a similar simplified Santa Suit treat bag from the last Stampin Up! getaway I went to. You can see all those fun projects here.


Well, I hope this inspired you to "think outside the box" of what a card kit gives you or tells you to do. I cranked out soo many cards that way! Stay tuned later in the month, when I reveal my "homemade" Christmas gifts for family members (I want to wait till I send them to my family before I reveal them to you). lol.
Have a great day!
-M

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Subscription Box Review: November Ipsy Glam Bag

Welcome to another Subscription Box Review! Check out my previous Subscription box reviews here.

November Ipsy Glam Bag:

This month's Ipsy was decent- really only one item I wouldn't ever use and one item that I'm saving for special events. The bag's theme was "sparkle"- as you can tell by the bag.
A friend of mine and my mom both got completely different bags as me, but all 3 of us got the hairspray. Since I don't use the highlighter, I am swapping it with my friend- and I'll get a liquid liner in return.



Here's the lowdown on what I got:

Marc Anthony's Oil of Morocco hairspray. Everyone I've talked to got this in their bag. I'm not a huge hairspray fan, but I'll be using it come show-time or holidays. It's a great travel size for that.


SeaRx Micro-dermabrasion Face and Body Scrub. This little pink bottle...hmm. I tried it- did the trick of smoothing out my skin, though not as much as I had hoped (I have really dry skin)- but I'm sure if I did it more often, it would work wonders. Not sure about the "preventative aging" part, but I am on the tail-end of being 28- never can start too soon, right?  ;)

Temptu S/B Highlighter. This is the only product I will NEVER use that I got in my bag. I'm actually going to swap this with a friend who uses highlighters. It's a cute little bottle- I'll just never use it.

StarLooks Ultra Orchid gem eye liner pencil. It's a pretty purple color (My mother got the gold one). I haven't tried it yet on my eyes, but the color is pretty- and it gives a little shimmer too!

Wet'N'Wild's Megasticks Balm Stain moisturizing lip colour in Lady & the Vamp. Honestly, when I picked this up, I looked at the color and was like- toooo dark for me. But after trying it, it goes on smooth and not very thick, so the color is nice- almost purple-ish. It has a somewhat minty flavor, surprisingly. It looks cute with a gloss overtop and lasts even through lunch!

This is me wearing the stain, right after having lunch (so it lasted through lunch!).


Here's my current photo setup, in case you were interested. I'm slowly, but surely, trying this photo thing at home. lol. I know I'm no professional, but at least I'm trying, right?




Overall, it wasn't a bad bag. The bag itself was not my favorite honestly, but overall, not too bad. I'm looking forward to December's bag *fingers crossed for holiday theme somethings*.
Have you tried Ipsy? I'd love to know what YOU got in your glam bag this month!

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! 
-M

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Subscription Box Review: November Paper Pumpkin

Welcome to another Subscription Box Review! Check out my previous Subscription box reviews here.

November Paper Pumpkin:



This month's Paper Pumpkin is my favorite so far- maybe because I'm always in desperate need for holiday cards or maybe because it includes washi tape!



I even used some of the extra bits in other holiday cards (and used a few of the tags)- stay tuned for those to be shown here on the blog later.
The kit came with enough product to make some cards and tags, all for the holidays.

Here's the stamp set and ink:


Here's the first card I made from the kit (the only thing I didn't do was put the string on it- since I still need to sign it and put our yearly letter in it):


It's a super cute kit- perfect for holiday card making time. This year I had to make 102 holiday cards, so this certainly helped make a dent in that number. ;)


Also, I've already been in contact with the winner of the $25 Gift certificate to Uncommon Goods. I'm so happy that you all enjoyed the post. Even if you didn't win, I hope you have checked out their website and think of them when you're trying to come up with some unusual gifts for those hard-to-get-for people on your holiday list.


Check out some of my suggestions for Uncommon gift ideas for Uncommon People, if you haven't already.

Have a great Thanksgiving all!
-M

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Uncommon Christmas gifts ideas and $25 Uncommon Goods gift certificate giveaway


Do you struggle with getting unique gifts for those on your list? Well look no further than this post today for some great ideas! The wonderful people at Uncommon Goods not only let me try out a few of their products, but also are offering a giveaway- teamed up with little ol' me! (See bottom of the post for more details!)
If you are in search for some unusual or uncommon gifts, look no further than Uncommon Goods, where you can find some awesome Christmas gifts here. Don't forget about those stocking stuffers either- get great stuffer ideas here. Or, if you're like me and on a budget, see here for their gifts under $50.
Now here are my picks for some great uncommon gift ideas:

Uncommon Gifts for the Uncommon People on your list
If you're like me, you have certain friends and family that seem to have EVERYTHING. When the holiday season comes around- you are stumped at what to get them. Well, I have a few ideas to help save you during this already-stressful time of year!

For the at-home bartender:
Mixology dice

Click here to get Uncommon Goods Mixology dice.
These are perfect for those who love playing bartender at gatherings or parties. My husband and I are often stumped at what drink to mix up when friends are over (besides the classic wine and beer), so this product struck me as a wonderful helper! Your mixologist friend will surely be excited to try these dice out- whether they are an amatuer or a seasoned bartender. Pair up with a hard liquor of your choice, and you have the perfect gift for that future or at-home bartender.

Mixology dice

Mixology dice

The first drink I made using the Mixology Dice was a honey vanilla-vodka with peach cocktail- tasted great!:
my first roll of the Mixology dice

end resulting drink from using Mixology dice

How the dice work:

Other gift ideas for the bartender:
Whiskey & Rum Making Kit- $25-$75
Ultimate Cocktail Bar Tool- $39.95
Molecular Mixology Mojito Set- $30
Whiskey Taxonomy Glass Set- $45
Beer Pop Chart- $35


For the aspiring writer:
642 things to write about book

Click here to get Uncommon Goods "642 Things to Write About" book.
As a blogger, I often find times where I need a little creative writing inspiration. I have a LOT of friends and co-workers who are writers, so this book is a perfect gift for them. It is filled with writing prompts that just help you really think and/or get creative. Sometimes you need a little boost to get your creative juices flowing, and this book certainly helps with that. Pair it up with a pretty pen, and you have your holiday gift in the bag for that novelist-in-training you know.
Here is a little taste of some of the prompts in the book:
642 things to write about book inside

Other gift ideas for the writer:
Storymatic game- $29.95
My Life Story so Far- $28
Calligraphy Starter Kit- $35
Pocket Bookbinding Kit- $28
Literary Scarves- $42
(or for the artist who draws better than they write): 642 Things to Draw-$17


For the foodie:
3 tiered foldable bowl

Click here to get Uncommon Goods 3-Tiered Twist and Fold Bowl.
This bowl(s) is honestly one of the coolest kitchen containers I've come across. I always complain I don't have enough cabinet space for all the cute kitchen dishware, but this little baby is perfect to deal with that dilemma- it folds up! So cool! Whether you need to entertain or store your fruit in your kitchen, this great product is perfect to save you space. If you have someone on you Christmas list that is a foodie or the hostess-who-is-the-mostest, this gift is for you.
It collapses down to this:
3 tiered foldable bowl

Check out how it works:

Other gift ideas for the foodie:
My Family Cookbook- $35
Foodie Dice- $24
Salts of the World Test Tube Set- $40
DIY Granola Kit- $35
Italian Cheesemaking Kit- $29.95

Bonus gift idea: Great gift to give to your mother or daughter- Mother & Daughter Letter Book Set, which you can pick up here. This wonderful product helps the Mother/Daughter bond to grow by sharing letters between each other.



So, has this given you some ideas for Christmas gifts for your hard-to-buy-for friends and family? If none of these fit those on your list, be sure to check out all of these products and MANY other uncommon but totally awesome Christmas gifts here at Uncommon Goods.

But before we get to the giveaway, here's a little insight into the Uncommon Goods company.
Uncommon Goods is a privately-owned retailer, based out of Brooklyn, NY, that strives to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. Their mission is to support and provide a platform for artists and designers; in fact, half of what they sell is made by hand! Most of the products they carry are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of their entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. If you're a local artist or designer, they have various events and design challenges here that you can get your work out into the marketplace, or if you need help to improve and develop your artistic business, you can check out their How to Make It events panel series here. I also love that this independently-owned company is proud to donated $1 to the non-profit of your choice with every purchase you make, through their Better to Give program here.

Now, without further ado- here is how YOU can win a $25 gift certificate to Uncommon Goods.
Entries are done through the Rafflecopter below. 

$25 Uncommon Goods Gift Certificate giveaway!

The Must dos: 
You MUST like both Uncommon Goods and Madcap Frenzy (my blog page) on Facebook for your entry to count towards the giveaway- use the Rafflecopter below, so we know you liked us through the giveaway! (If you've already liked us, just check off that from the Rafflecopter below).

Extra chances to win:
You can get extra chances to win by-

  • Following Uncommon Goods and Madcap Frenzy on Twitter
  • Tweeting that you entered the giveaway 
  • Answering a question through the rafflecopter- What is the best Christmas gift you've ever recieved?
  • Or leaving me a comment on my blog (on this post)- What would YOU get from Uncommon Goods if you won the gift certificate?
Please feel free to stop by every day to tweet the giveaway for more chances to win. If you've entered, please share with your friends and family- who knows- if they win, they just might get YOU a gift from Uncommon Goods with their gift certificate. ;)
The giveaway is only up for a week- ending next Tuesday at 11:59 PM EST- so it will be a Thanksgiving present to you if you win! The winner will be notified by personal message/email. Good luck! 



Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out Uncommon Goods and start your Christmas wishlist, pick up Christmas Gifts here- especially those that are under $50 here, or stuffing those stockings here. They are the perfect place to get gifts for those very uncommon people on your list. ;)


I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work with Uncommon Goods for these awesome products and their fantastic giveaway- I hope you find their company as inspiring as I do!
Have a great day!
-M