Happy Kitty Sewing: February 2013   

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My favorite Etsy store: Wassupbrothers (Giveaway)

I found their Etsy store awhile ago and if you look below, it's pretty obvious why. The first time I saw a stuffed animal Owl and I've been obsessed with their shop ever since.  My daughter has a hedgehog named after Jacklyn Kennedy-Onassis, which she usually calls her Jackie for short. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this guy for her.  If you go to their blog (Olga Wassupbrothers Soft Creatures) you can enter to win this little guy. It ends March 1st (I know-I never give enough time), but they have other giveaways you can enter, so check them out.  After that, go visit their store and fall in love with their creatures.  I promise you will!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fabric Love

So obviously, I'm obsessed with fabric.  Now  to me, there are two types of fabric.  The fabric you can pick up at JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby and even your local Walmart, and the second type: The Good Stuff.  Now I'm not saying that JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby has bad fabric, because I can find some cute stuff all the time.  But the Good Stuff is higher quality and unique.  Kinda like the equivalent of Designers Jeans.  I am OBSESSED with the good stuff.  I appreciate the quality and the artists that create fabric designs.  I have to rely on the internet to get the Good Stuff because I don't have a close local quilt store that carries the type of fabric I like.

 I was SOOOO disappointed when I finally had the opportunity to visit a local quilt store in Ann Arbor last weekend. I'm in Ann Arbor all the time, but this store is a few miles out of the way, in the direction I never travel in.  I wanted to buy a specific brand of thread that JoAnn's doesn't carry.  Finding that thread was the only good thing about that trip.  I was impressed when I pulled in the parking lot.  It was a big building.  You could tell it was 2 stories.  When you walk in they had an enormous doll house displayed, so that made me really excited. I had the butterflies in my stomach and I was anticipating to find really good stuff.  The whole entire store carried one type of fabrics.  Batiks. I don't care for batiks.  They are a mix of colors. I love bright patterns, and cute novelty fabric.  Quilters are kind people and usually really nice.  Not in this store.  People knew you would want by, but purposefully wouldn't make eye contact, and pretended that they didn't see you.  It wasn't like I wanted to browse in their area, I wanted the hell out of there!!! I was so claustrophobic! I NEED my personal space, and this store wasn't set up for my needs. It was worse, because I was really disappointed.

This is a Batik.  See how it had different swirled colors in it?  Not my favorite

This is an example of the kind of stuff I like.  This is Pat Bravo's Rock 'n Romance collection:
Rock n Romance Ashen Rose SmokeRock n Romance Rebel Cherie KissesRock n Romance Haze of RockRock n Romance Retro Glam PlumRock n Romance Stardust DawnRock n Romance Rebel Vinyl Charms BiancaRock n Romance Stardust DuskRock n Romance Vinyl Charms ScarletRock n Romance Stardust TwighlightRock n Romance Wild Heart SpiritedRock n Romance Wild Heart DaringRock n Romance Rebel Ashen Rose Shimmer
This isn't the whole collection, but see how the colors and patterns go together?  When you cut the pieces of fabric and use a pattern, it will turn into a really beautiful cozy quilt. I actually have most of the collection and will be working on in soon!!!

A local quilt store is more than just buying fabric.  It's a place where people come together to share and create what they love to do with each other.  It's a place to learn new things and take classes.  It's a place to meet people with years of experience and knowledge.  Not this store.  I'm not sure if you are familiar with Ann Arbor.  It's a college town.  It wouldn't exist without the University of Michigan.  In the 60's, it had the highest number of teenage runaways.  Think of hippies.  There are a lot of hippies in the town still.  Which is weird because it's 2013.  Now the other half of the town is rich yuppie.  Upper middle-class people that are Ex-Hippies and really super nice, or they are Super Snobby.  I don't care for the Super Snobs.  And this quilt store was full of them.  If you can't hear a 5 foot girl say "Excuse me!", then you should get a hearing aid.  It really bugs me when people are rude!! But I'm trying to change that, and think of a quick prayer for them.  Maybe they are just having a bad day.  Or maybe they are a Super Snob.  But I know for thing for sure...this wouldn't be MY new local quilt store.  I was really hoping we would be a match because the store is huge and isn't too far away from my house.

Which brings me back to Good Fabric. There is SO MUCH good fabric in the world, that I can not even begin to list them.  One of my favorites is Heather Ross.  She has some really cute nursery rhyme inspired fabric, see:

I love the vintage look SO much!!

One of my quilting bloggers, prsd4tim2,  just reached 350 followers and is giving them away!!! I need them, they are so cute.  I want to make a cute bag out of them, or use them in a quilt. If you want to enter, you have about an hour left! Good Luck.

Winter Blah's

This winter is kicking my ass.  I struggle with depression, and it seems to be getting to me this winter.  I see my Primary (care physician) every month for medication maintenance.  I'm on a controversial medication that I don't want to disclose, but I take Effexor XR for my depression anxiety, and Gabapentin (Neurontin) -black label- for anxiety. (I'm a recovering addict, and can't take any mood altering substances, like Xanax or Valium).  I just started BuSpar to help with the depression, even though it's for anxiety.  My Doc said she heard that it helps the Effexor to combat the depression. I was upset at my appointment, because I knew I had to do something, but I'm on the maximum recommended dose of my Effexor, and I hate it and don't want to be on it to begin with.  But I can't deny that it helps.  She suggested Light Therapy, which I scoffed at.  I don't like to be outside a lot, because I'm a 100% risk for Melanoma.  Plus I don't tan. Why burn and develop cancer on my face? Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me.

I told my friend about the Light Therapy thing, and he gave me some off hand information.  One, is that I could go tanning for a minute.  It's the full spectrum of light that helps improve mood. Two, is that I get some full spectrum light bulbs. Most light bulbs are NOT full spectrum.  They cost more, and have that yellow-orange light.  I like the pure white light that I use for crafting in my Ottlight.  Three, is that I could look into some hippie places in Ann Arbor that provide Light Therapy.  Most likely my insurance won't cover the appointments, and plus that means I have to make the appointment and keep it, which is what I have been having problems with lately.

My decision was to start the BuSpar and my best friend kindly purchased a full spectrum light bulb when we went shopping at Target.  I've had that sucker on all the time for the past few weeks.  It kinda gave me a placebo effect that is starting to wear off when the temp drops.  I know I shouldn't complain about the weather, when there are people wading though 3 feet of snow.  But in reality, it doesn't help me want to leave my bed.  Any time I have an appointment or plans, I start to get really anxious, something I haven't had to deal with in awhile.  If you don't know, depression and anxiety are married.  You can't have one without the other.  My anxiety is severe, and I've had panic attacks.  I know you hear people claim they have panic attacks all the time, but most likely it's just a regular ole anxiety attack. That's my baseline.  Things that make me anxious are returning library books, people in my personal space, elevators (i'm short and can't see through people), I used to be anxious of opening doors and would hang back until someone would open one for me if I was with people, paying bills (even though I have plenty of money in the bank), checking my voicemail, and many more.  The anxiety makes me avoid doing these things.  Then I get myself in trouble.  Then the depression kicks in, when I realize how dumb I'm being, but it cuts down on my self esteem.  Then when people are on me to make plans, I get anxious.  Especially when they keep asking if I'm going to be there at X time.  It freaks me out.  My stomach churns, a headache creeps in, and my chest gets tight and it's hard to get a good breath in.  Then my skin will start to crawl, and I don't want to be in my body.  It's hard sometimes.  I have medication that helps, but I don't like taking it, because it makes me tired.  I feel normal, but I just get tired.

The depression makes me want to isolate and not talk to people. No-I don't want to hang out. No-I don't want to talk on the phone. No-I don't want to get into my car and drive to Ann Arbor in the cold. No-I don't want to leave my house. and NO I don't want to leave my bed!  This is why texting is great.  But I know that it is also can contribute to my isolation. I know that if I exercise it would help.  We just got a treadmill from a family member a few months ago that's in my foyer.  I just can't seem to get enough motivation and energy to get on it.  It's the answer to my problem. I KNOW this.  Then I feel like the world's biggest F-up because I just can't seem to do it and get it done....this any every important time-sensitive matter in my life right now.  Some days I can get myself all riled up and try to attack and accomplish everything at once, but I feel like those days are few and far between.  I'm just sharing my FEELINGS right now, and I know that feelings aren't facts, and they are fickle and will change.  I'm not trying to complain, but I'm trying to put into words how I am lately.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

44th Street Fabric & Chic Crafting Giveaways

Bev from 44th Street Fabric is having her February Giveaway.  She's giving away 5 yards-1 yard each-of Ooh La La fabric by Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics.  Take a look at what it looks like:

Isn't it so yummy?! If you didn't know, 5 yards can make a small quilt. And I would *really* love to win this fabric.  If you love fabric as much as me, go enter now!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque

I have had the privilege to try out  Montagne Jeunesse Face Masque in Chocolate!  I have always loved face masks, and the more it dries your face and it peels off, the better!

I've never heard of this brand before I received this in my Influenster Holiday VoxBox '12, so I did some research about the company and this product on their website.  They have a wide variety of health care products for your skin and hair. They have over 20 different kinds of face masks that work for all skin types, such as dry skin or for break outs.  They have face masks made of natural ingrediants and frangrances (I TOLD you I wanted to eat mine!!!) that are muds, self heating, peels offs, creams, exotic fruits, and many more types. The website also says their beauty treats are free of parabens, vegetarian approved and never tested on animals! Bonus!

The Chocolate Masque is made with natural ingredients of cocoa, dead sea salt, and Mediterranean clay.  It deep cleanses your skin by unblocking pores and allowing impurities to be drawn out, and also hydrates and nourish your skin, says their website.

First you wash your face with warm water.  Then you apply the mask over your face and neck, avoiding your eyes and lips Then you relax for 10-15 minutes, or until dry.  Then you wash off with warm water and pat dry.  Sounds easy!

When I opened up the packet, a brown cream came from the packet and I immediately starting craving chocolate hard core. I was able to spread a thick layer on my skin, and had some left in the package.  I would advise that you have some around the house to eat while you are relaxing with your mask!  I opted to leave my mask on until it was completely dry, since I haven't had a good skin cleansing in awhile.
JUST applied!

Within 5 minutes of application, I could feel the tingling of the mask starting to work.  Within 15 minutes I can feel my face stiff in areas and it's hard to move my face. I can imagine all the yucky stuff being sucked out of my pores and dried up in the mud mask, and that makes me extremely happy!

Guess what is the best part that I haven't even told you yet?! Each packet is under $2 and you can find them at stores like Walmart, Ulta, Kroger, Walgreen's, and CVS.  I can NOT wait to get my little hands on some more of this!

I waited about 40 minutes for my mask to completely dry.  Then I removed it with warm water and a wash cloth.  My skin is SO SOFT and SMOOTH!!!  I need to stop touching my face, so I don't poison it since it's SO clean!  I'm super happy with the results!

I love EVERYthing about this product! The smell, texture, the amount you get in a packet, THE PRICE!, the variety of products AND "flavors" for your face plus other health care products, and especially the results! The ONLY negative thing about this experience, is that I couldn't find any chocolate to eat!  This is really embarrassing to admit, but since it was made out of natural ingredients, I couldn't resist tasting it!  It was salty, and not a Hershey Bar.  I WILL be purchasing many more for weekly facials. THANK YOU for allowing me to review this product!

I feel like I look like a Hobbit
I have the ability to make the ugliest faces in the world

Baby smooth!!!

Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster in return for  my honest opinion.

Goody QuickStyle

I really like this brush. I received the Goody QuickStyle Paddlebrush in my Influenster Holiday VoxBox '12. It's a really nice brush. What makes this brush special, is that it advertises that it will dry your hair 30% faster!  I also love the way it looks. The handle brush part is silver with an anti-slip grip on the handle.  The brush part has this really absorbent microfiber that is antimicrobial that looks like blue fluff. On the side of the paddle part, it has holes so the absorbed water has somewhere to evaporate, I'm assuming, so the brush doesn't get funky.

 I was really hesitant to believe that this super special brush would help my hair dry 5 minutes faster, but it did!  I have super thick, coarse red hair.  It takes at least 15 minutes to dry my hair.  Goody also recommends that you can detangle your hair right out of the shower, and continue to use it to blow dry.  Well, I took up that challenge.

I took a shower and shampooed and conditioned my hair.  When I got out, I dried off, put my hair in a turban  and got dressed.  My hair was pretty saturated when I was ready to start blowing it out.  I have to admit, what usually took 15 minutes, only took about 10 minutes.  When I don't blow dry my hair, and just brush it, this brush absorbs a lot of water.  Usually when I put my hair up, it can still be wet by the holder 6 hours later.  When I use the brush, it doesn't do that.  I really love this brush!  Go check out Goody's Product page to see the other great brushes they have.

I would definitely recommend this brush to people like me, who have thick hair that takes long to dry.  It costs around $12.99 at your usual stores that sell brushes, like Target or Walgreens.  I think that's a fair price, for what this brush is able to do.

What I liked about this brush, is that it looks cool plus it lives up to it's claim of shortening your hair drying time.  Any time I have extra in the morning , is a blessing, so this brush is perfect for me.  I'm grateful that Goody and Influenster allowed me to review it.  I don't have anything critical to say about this brush.  It doesn't hurt your scalp or pull out hair, which is also important.  Thank you for allowing me to give my opinion!

Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster in return for  my honest opinion.

Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal

As the week closes, I will be wrapping up the rest of my Influenster Holiday VoxBox '12.

In my box, I received one of four new flavors of Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal.  Think of the Real Medleys as a fancy upgraded premium oatmeal.  My flavor was Apple Walnut Oatmeal +.  I LOVE Quaker's Apples and Cinnamon oatmeal, and it reminded me of that, plus real sweet apples, tart cranberries, chopped walnuts, and multigrains.  I grew up on Quaker Oatmeal, and it's a very familiar product to me.

The other 3 Real Medley flavors available are: Peach Almond, Cherry Pistachio, and Summer Berry, and I think all 3 sound delicious, like the one I was able to try.

Apple Walnut + comes in a single serve sealed container with a lid, and it's very easy to make.  My contained weighed 2.64 OZ (75 g).  Apple Walnut has only 290 calories and 8 fat grams, which I think is reasonable because this will fill you up as a meal, and it contained nuts in almost every bite.  When you remove the lid and seal, it smelled really good and fresh, and there was lots of cranberries, nuts, and some actual sliced apples mixed in with the oatmeal in the container.  Not the "fake" dried up apples you get in the regular oatmeal packets.

 I microwaved my container (see cooking directions below).There is a visible line in the container, and that is where you add water until it reaches that line.   I removed and stirred as directed.  It smelled SO good at this point.  I thought my sample was super delicious.  There were nuts in almost every bite, so if you don't like nuts, this might not be for you.  There were a decent amount of cranberries also, they actually tasted like real cranberries.  I didn't add any milk or sugar to my oatmeal like I usually do, so I could test the product as directed.  I was extremely pleased with my flavor of Real Medley and I can't wait to try the other flavors and buy more.  I have seen these at Walmart for about $1.40.  I think it's worth the price.  These are very different from the regular packets that you are used to.  This product was filling and contained real fruit and nuts.  The fruit and nuts tasted very fresh, not chewy or stale like you get in some products.

The best thing I liked about this product was it's taste, fresh ingredients, and that you can bring it anywhere that has a microwave.  There wasn't anything that I didn't like about this product.  You can read my review here, on Influenster.  See the super easy directions below, then go get yourself some!!!

Recommended Directions
1. Remove the lid and seal
2. Add boiling water to dark line inside cup, stir
3. Replace lid and let stand for 3 minutes, stir

Microwave Directions *is what I did
1. Remove both lid and seal
2. Add water to dark line inside cup, stir
3. DO NOT COVER. Microwave on high for 45 seconds (for microwaves under 900 watts, add 10-20 seconds if needed).
4. Stir. Let stand for 1 minute.

*Adjust water for desired thickness.
Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster in return for  my honest opinion.

Kiss Nail Dress

The box it came in.
I was lucky to be able to try out this product.  I was leery, because any "press on" nail product that I had tried in the past, was a major let down.  Kiss has came out with a new product called Nail Dress.  My product is named Teddy, and was black with different sized gold gems on the nail.  I really liked the ones that they sent me.  There are 21 styles to choose from.

This was my style, "Teddy

So when I opened the box, I got an instructional booklet and a nail filer.  I love the way it was packaged with the little nail filer on the top.  It came with 4 pages of different sized stickers that you can use on your hands and feet, so you have a complete matching mani-pedi.  I thought this was going to be a time consuming process, but it was actually simple and took about 15 minutes.

 After you make sure your hands and nails are clean, you should file and smooth your nails.  Then you select the size that fits on the nail.  The sticker is shaped with a straight end and a curved end.  You match the curved end up with your cuticles.  Then apply the sticker, and you are going to smooth it on the nail starting from the center.  Next you fold down the excess over your nail edge, and file the excess off.  You will use the black side of your file to file off excess from jeweled strips and the pink side for the fashion strips.  Since I had jewels, I used the black size.  I found that you could remove the excess with a few swipes of the file.  It was that easy!!  When you want them off, you just peel them off and they're gone without any damage to your nail.  The instructional booklet provided some ideas, like using just the tips of the nail by cutting them off with scissors.  There are endless possibilities what you can do with your nails by using nail polish with Kiss .dress strips.  To do your toes, you match up the square ends with your cuticles. SO easy, and no drying or smudging!

The curved end is on the bottom. 

The box claimed that the nails will last up to 10 days.  After a couple days, my nail ends looked a little ragged, so I took them off.  Because of the gems on the nails, the sticker kept snagging my hair any times I had a slight itch or smoothed my hair.  I would definitely use this product for a special occasion and be very happy with the results.  I know if I choose the nail dress without the gems, that they would probably last longer.  I got a lot of compliments on my nails and how I was able to do that.  People were surprised when I told them it took less than 15 minutes, and how simple it was!

The back of the box

Instruction Booklet

Overall, I really liked this product.  The design was really cool with the different sized gems on the black background.  It was simple to put on and easy to remove the excess.  It took less than 15 minutes for what looked like a professional manicure!  The only thing that I didn't love about this product, was that the gems kept snagging in my hair when I touched it.  I think that made the ends look snagged, like the sticker was starting to shrivel up.  I think next time I would omit the gems.  I can't wait to try out the different kinds.  If I have a special event, I will definitely wear these.

Another bonus about these nail dresses, is that healthcare professionals cannot wear artificial nails and we need to keep our nails short so we don't injure the patient by scratching them.  This product is cool because we can stick these on for a few days, and take them off before we go back to work!

Kiss Nail Dresses retail for around $6.99, and you can find them at all major drug store chains, like CVS and Walgreens  and mass retailers, such as Walmart.  I think this is a fair price, for a product that lasts 10 days, and looks so professional.  You don't have to worry about smudging your nails after they are painted, and for me, this process of 15 minutes with no worry of messing up my nails, compared to an hour of perfect nail painting and 2 hours of smudging, is definitively worth it!

You can read my review here on Influenster.
Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster in return for  my honest opinion.

Friday, February 8, 2013

5 Things

I have ignored this blog for so long, and I made a commitment to be more active on here. So, I'm grabbing this idea and using it on myself.

Five Things:

1.  I'm 5 feet tall exactly, natural red head with blue eyes.

2.  I'm 33 years old...but look 16.  I get carded for scratch off lottery tickets.  It's ridiculous.

3.  I was "16 and pregnant".  I had Ash when I was 17, the summer before my senior year.  I finished HS and went to Eastern Michigan University with dreams of being an accountant-super exciting, huh?  I needed a job to support both of us, and I picked it based on the average gross income for an accountant.

4. My junior year at EMU, (2000) that big scandal happened during the Presidential Election with Bush and Gore, I was in the College of Business and freaked because I hated everyone around me.  They were talking about the Stock Market, and they were Extreme Type A people, and it freaked me out that I was going to be working with people like this for the rest of my life.  I SWITCHED MY MAJOR TO NURSING.

5. I graduated from EMU with my Bachelor's in the Science of Nursing.  I passed the NCLEX on the first try, and thought it was super easy.

So those five things are the backbone of my life.  I think I'll post these every so often.

Today is a SNOW DAY, and I'm going to go enjoy it.  I hope everyone is safe in the Blizzard and have power and heat!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New York Color Liquid Lipshine

My New York Color Liquid Lipshine in Nude York City 582 is probably my favorite product I tried out surprisingly, from my Influenster Holiday VoxBox '12.  Because I have red hair and am fair skinned, I tend to buy clear lip gloss or cherry chap stick  and that's as wild as I get.  I try to stay away from tan/brown tints because I don't like them on me.  If I do get colored lipgloss, I stay with pinks and reds.

My lipshine came in a what looks like a normal tube of lipgloss , about 4 inches long or so.  The applicator top has a black top, and the container part is clear with a transparent wrapper around it with the logo on it.  It has 0.24fl oz./7.2 ml, and says "non-sticky" on the wrapper. When I opened it up I noticed the smell and it smelled delicious, like a sugar cookie.  The applicator contains a wand that is thin and flexible.  I prefer a thicker tip that way I don't have a wand by my face longer than it has to be, but it did it's job.  After I got the lipshine on, I looked in the mirror and was relieved that it didn't go on brown. YAY! I can continue to wear it after my trial, so I was quite pleased with that.  The next thing I noticed was how smooth and moist my lips were!  This is definitely not normal lip gloss.  It feels a million times better.  It doesn't make your lips look goopy, but gives them some shine. I couldn't stop rubbing my lips together because it felt so good.  While the wrapper says non-sticky, and I don't think it is, but there is definitely a sticky feeling when you open your mouth from your lips being closed.  But not in a bad sticky way.  It's only when you pull your lips apart fast, or otherwise you wouldn't feel the sensation.  I personally love the way it feels.  I find that each application lasts about 30 minutes to an hour for the first couple applications and stays on longer than that throughout the day.  It's really easy to wipe off if you need to remove it.

Their website says you can purchase their products at Target, Walmart, Rite Aid, and CVS, so it shouldn't be too hard to find their product.  Right now they have 10 different colors, including clear, and about half of them are pink or red tones.  They also sell other products for the face, eyes, and nails that you should check out while you visit their website.

 The best part is that quality of product for the price.  You can pick up a tube for around $2.50.   It smells good, it feels good, and it looks good.  I don't have any complaints about this product.  As I said, it was definitely one of my favorite ones, and I can't wait to try other the others!  I would definitely recommend this product to everyone, and I got a few compliments myself while wearing it!  I guess the only con is that it lasts on the short side, but I don't mind reapplying it, so it definitely doesn't defer me from purchasing this product in the near future!

Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster with my honest opinion.

Monday, February 4, 2013

EBOOST Acai Pomegranate

This is the first product I tried out of my Holiday VoxBox '12.  My sample was the Acai Pomegranate Natural Energy Booster, and I drank it around noon on a week day.

My Sample:
Acai Pomegranate Natural Energy Boost

Eboost comes as a powder boost or energy shot, that uses real ingredients like Green Tea, vitamins, minerals, and Stevia leaf extract in place of sugar. It supports the natural functioning of the immune system while improving your mood and focus, without a crash.  It comes in 4 flavors: Super Berry, Pink Lemonade, Orange, and Acai Pomegranate.  You can order this product through their website or find them at your local Vitamin Shoppe or Nordstrom's,  Their website also has a store locator. $1.40 is the average cost of a packet when you buy a box of 20 on their website, which I find to be a reasonable cost.

First I want to say that I LOVE the idea of packets of powered energy drinks.  Sometimes I HATE the highly concentrated flavor and sweetness of sugar/substitutes in most energy drinks that I have had.  Secondly, that I don't like acai and pomegranate, so I'm going to try the best I can not to let that influence my review of this product.  I'm not a berry flavor girl.  I will definitely be trying the orange and pink lemonade flavors (yum!)

The only thing you have to do with the packet, is add a 12 oz. bottle of water and drink.  My drink wasn't too sweet, but I didn't like the berry flavor.  I was able to dilute it some by adding extra water and they helped a bit.  I drank the entire glass in about 5 minutes, and 10 minutes after that I started feeling the effects.  I was able to concentrate on one thing instead of getting distracted like I always seem to be.  EBOOST didn't make my heart race like other energy supplement brands.  It also wasn't overly intense feelings I sometimes get with other energy drinks.  This would be perfect to drink while working out to go that extra mile.  This product is gluten and soy free (bonus), sugar free and ONLY 10 calories! Which is really important because I prefer the sugar free energy drinks to skip on the extra calories.  I didn't have much sleep the night before I had this, so I was tired when I drank my sample.  I got a few good hours of work done.  I drank this at noon, and at 3:30 pm, I was able to lay down to take a quick nap.

The best thing I liked about this product was that it was only 10 calories, and worked without the crash.  The worst thing was that I didn't like the Flavor, although I wouldn't rule out the product.  I definitely want to try the Orange and Pink Lemonade before I rule out EBOOST as product. You can read my review here, on Influenster.

Flavor and After Taste
Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster in return for my honest opinion.

Holiday VoxBox '12

As I told you a few days ago, I got my Influenster VoxBox '12.  The goodies that I received were:

NYC New York Color Liquid Lipshine: Nude York City 582  

Quaker Real Medley Oatmeal: *Apple Walnut Medley

SoleSociety: Coupon $25 off purchase PROMOCODE: INFLUENSTER25 EXP:1/31/13
@EBOOST / #naturalenergy, FacebookInstagramYouTube, Pinterest, G+blog

This week I will be individually reviewing each product.  Overall, I would say that I would give the Holiday VoxBox '12 a solid A.  You should definitely check out these products by clicking on the links I provided above.  
Important Note: I disclose I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster with my honest opinion.

How to post a pic from your computer to Instagram, you ask?

So, I've been trying to figure out for about 3 months, how in the heck do you you "repost" or post an image from the computer to Instagram.  Let me begin by saying Instagram is stupid and I hate it.  Who ever started Instagram had issues with following through, because I find the whole thing confusing.  Not, this-is-too-hard confusing, but this-makes-no-sense-stupid confusing.

Instagram is an app on your smart phone that allows you to post and share your photographs and images with other followers.  You can follow your friends or find new ones in Instagram Land.  You can use #hashtags that will allow other followers to search and find any pic that you post with that specific #hashtag.  For example, if I posted a whale, I could add #whale, so people can search for that term and find all pics with #whale.  This can also be used to expose your pictures to more followers.  If you have 5 friends, only 5 friends would normally see your pictures.  If you added #hashtags, it would get out to more users.

This is why I hate Instagram on the computer.  Besides signing into Instagram to use other Instagram apps such as Webstagram, Statigram, and Followgram, I don't use Instagram frequently.  In fact, the only thing I have found it useful for, is to change my settings and to put a link on my blog to my profile.

Now Instagram is way more useful on your phone.  You can scroll down to see your friends pictures, like their pics, and leave them comments.  This is what I would have done for the PC version of this app.  Now there are several sites like the 3 I mentioned that are PC friendly, but I haven't found one that I'm completely happy with.  Followgram is good if you want to comment and look at your friend's pics.  But you cannot privately message your friend, you can only leave a comment.  One cool thing, is you can can a QR Code for your page, that you can link to your blog and other people can scan it with their phone to get to your profile so they can become a follower.  On Statigram, it keeps track of the pics that you have liked, your followers and who's following you, and gives you the options to share pics (even if they're not yours) to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, G+, and Pinterest.  Also if you press on Snapshot, you can get the specific link to that photo-say if you wanted to email to someone without social media.  You can copy and paste the link.    Statigram also allows you to private message, and the really cool part is that it keeps track of your daily stats.  I know this is VERY important to some bloggers that love to see the numbers. It keeps track of your pics-how many likes, how many you have, follower info, monthly analysis in every form of info combinations possible, and can figure out when it's the best time to post for you. IN.TENSE.  Webstagram is a combination of the two, but isn't pretty.  You can look at the top pics, the top 100 tags, who is the most followed in the world, and has their features posted at the bottom of the "Tools" section.

Fun Fact from Statigram Snapshot
Don't you just love that smirk? That was the first time I played with Instagram on my phone. It has been stuck as my profile pic since, and I haven't tried to change it but hoped it would do it by itself eventually.

My Instagram Profile via computer @Karries3

So the phone version is a little different.  My Instagram Profile via iPhone:

 You have the option to take a picture using the app, or you can get it off your camera roll, so you are able to use pics that are older than the app or if you forget to use the app.  No worrying if you forget to use it, which is a good thing for me! It's pretty simple and user friendly.  You have 5 buttons at the bottom of the screen (L>R on above photo): Your feed (house icon), Explore (star): search users and hashtags, functioning camera phone (camera icon), News (heart), Profile (rectangle).  What's so special about Instagram, is that it allows you to edit your pic. They have premade filters, such as 1977, Inkwell (black&white) or normal. Then you can rotate your pic, elect a border, and play with the saturation.  You basically just play with them to see if you like one better than normal, and when you pick it out you go on to the option of sharing your pic with facebook, twitter, tumblr, email or Flickr.

 Examples of the filters



Pretty easy, huh?

........Until you realize that you can only use the pics on Instagram that you have taken on your phone.  Those apps I mentioned do not include the option of uploading pics from your computer to share on Instagram.  This is why I think the app is stupid.  So last night I FINALLY figured out an easy way to do it!!

I used a website program called Dropbox.  It's a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. NEVER email yourself a file again!  There are two super simple steps to read through before you start to install!!!

1. Go to  www.dropbox.com on your computer by using THIS SPECIAL LINK
This is my special link to the website, that will allow me and for every person that joins and installs (free) Dropbox on their computer 500 MB of bonus space.

This is what your Home Screen will look like once installed on your computer. 

***SEE that teal circle? That's where you go to get your special link to give to your friends!

2. Search for the Dropbox App on your phone and Install it.

Now after you install the App on your phone, the pics from your phone will be transferred to your computer's Dropbox and the pics from your computer's Dropbox will be installed be installed on your phone. Criss Cross!!!

  This is your home screen on your iPhone:

I've also found it extremely useful to have:
 Picasa Web Albums
I don't actually know for sure if you need a website that hosts your photos.  I just found it useful to use while writing this blog post. Tomorrow I'll talk a little about how I learned to edit my photos.  Yeah, I'm 33 and not a computer genius.  I'm pretty smart, so I'm sure there are more people like me out there that may find this useful.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quilt Hops

There are a couple of cool quilting blogs going on.  This past week was Dare to Dresden, and every day new quilting blogs were features to show off their dresdens.  I love dresdens, but haven't made one yet.  It is the brainchild of Madame Samm.  Her blog is called !Sew WE Quilt! If you check out that link right now, she has a post to find out if you are a NO REPLY BLOGGER.  If you comment frequently on other blogs and never get a response, you could be a NO REPLY BLOGGER!  Yesterday was the last day, so go check it out fast!   M. Samm always has something really cool going on.  She has a lot of really cool blog hops that you can sign up for and participate with other quilters.  Take a few minutes to check out her site.

There's also another quilting blog hop going on.  It's called Fresh Sewing Sewing Day and Small blog meet.  I found that it started at Lily's Quilts and if you scroll down, there are a ton of other blogs participating.  If you are bored, go check out some of the blogs and get your creative inspiration on!