Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hip Mountain Momma

Every once in a while on my journeys, I stumble upon a business that stands for all the right things. Hip Mountain Mama is just that business. They are a small, mom and pop business that offers unique and fun products while spreading peace. They only sell products made in the USA or by Fair Trade in India and Nepal. Also, since they love supporting other mom and pop shops, you can often find Hip Mountain Mama offering products that are made by other small businesses.  


Also, as a company started by a stay at home mother, they support natural parenting techniques like breastfeeding and baby wearing. They  promote green, reusable, and natural products including organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp. On top of this, they reuse and recycle everything that they can and do their part to help environmental causes by monetary and time donations. I love finding companies that do their part to help keep our Earth beautiful and spread a good message!


From Hip Mountain Mama, I got the chance to try out a pair of knee-high socks made by a small, woman-owned business. I picked the Unicorn Love socks and I absolutely adore them! They are so soft and comfortable and did I mention, cute?! I absolutely love the design and how a little bit of the rainbow pops out if I want to wear them with my boots!

I love the socks that I received from Hip Mountain Mama! After browsing their site for a little while, my wishlist has grown to be quite extensive and I know yours will too! How could it not with such awesome products? Plus, you can feel good about a company that supports some many awesome causes! Be sure to check out Hip Mountain Mama's website and see everything they currently offer. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss anything new!

Come on back though, because it is giveaway time! One lucky reader will win a $25 giftcard to Hip Mountain Mama. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Open to US residents, 18 years and older. Winner has 48 hours to respond before another one is drawn!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers. My Empty Nest is not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Loot Crate - October 2014

It's that special geeky time of the month again where looters everywhere stalk their mailbox in anticipation. For any newcomers, or generally forgetful people, Loot Crate is quite possibly the most awesome subscription box out there. For only $13.37 (Get it? Haha!) a month, you can get one of these epic boxes for yourself. This month's theme is Fear which is obviously fitting for October. Let's hop in and see what kind of frightful delights were included this month!


Being a huge zombie and video game fan, you know the first thing I grabbed for was the Loot Crate exclusive Sledgesaw Hammer Pen from CAPCOM. Fashioned after the Dead Rising 3 weapon, this is quite possibly the most awesome pen I have ever seen. The attention to detail on it is quite impressive too. Everything has texture down to the tape holding it together. I absolutely love my pen and the awesome conversations it sparks at work!


How To Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disasters by Andrew Shaffer was the next thing to catch my eye. I've always been a bit of a bookworm and jumping into a new book is just so exciting! This book did not let me down at all. Written as a manual, this book has wonderful comedic value and will keep you laughing the whole way through. It may actually get you thinking about your own survival plans in such situations as well, which is always fun.


The Death by Kitten shirt by Super 7 was also an instant favorite of mine. I love cats and skulls so this is right up my alley. It is cute and creepy all in one! At a distance, it looks like a cracked skull but upon closer examination, you realize this awesome skull is composed of kittens. Whoever said kittens and skulls couldn't mix? I will add this to my wardrobe, which already has a kitten skull tank top in it!


The "Oh, Brother" art print by JSalvador is absolutely adorable. I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead and this print made my heart smile. Also from The Walking Dead, was a comic book, Issue 132, from Image Comics. How awesome is that Loot Crate exclusive cover?! From Loot Crate Labs, there were some Slashes and Bites Tattoos! I will definitely be using these in a few days for Halloween. A Smite giftcard and Toxic Waste sour candy round out this month's Loot Crate!

Loot Crate, as usual, was SO awesome this month! I know you are dying to have your own Loot Crates coming to your door so remember: All you have to do is sign up and for $13.37 you can have your very own. Sign up today though because boxes are limited and with stuff this epic, demand is high.

You can also stay up to date with fun extras and specials by following Loot Crate on Facebook and Twitter.

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Epson Expression Premium XP-620

I am sure you guys remember Diana talking about her awesome Epson printers and I have to admit, I was pretty intrigued myself! After reading about how much she liked them, I knew I had to try one for myself. I got the chance to try the Epson Expression Premium XP-620 and I absolutely love this little printer! It can do so much and has some really awesome features that has completely sold me on Epson printers!


This little guy can do a lot! It helps you save time and paper by using auto 2-sided printing, you can print borderless photos up to 8" x 10", and it can print 4" x 6" photos in as fast as 20 seconds. It also has wireless features allowing you to print from devices like your phone and tablet and there is also built in memory card slots for PC-free printing. You can also scan directly to Facebook and the Cloud for easy photo sharing. 

This printer uses the Claria 5-ink system which means you can replace only the color you need to and not waste any ink. I love this ink. It is such good quality and produces vivid pictures and crystal clear text. You can also print on all different kinds of paper and multiple sizes of paper. You can even print onto CDs and DVDs! I think it is really awesome to be able to print lab quality 4" x 6" photos at home that are smudge, scratch, water, and fade resistant!


The Epson Expression Premium XP-620 also has a 2.7" color, LCD screen for easy navigation and dedicated photo and CD/DVD trays. This printer can do almost anything you need it to do. In fact, it has been able to do everything I have needed it to do and so much more. Exploring all of the features is so much fun and I love seeing all of the beautiful photos and documents that I can create with it!

I think that the Epson Expression Premium XP-620, or any printer in the Expression Premium series would be a great gift for the holidays. Be sure to check out Epson's website and see all of the great products that they offer. Also, follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss any news!


Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Beginners Guide to Thread Crochet from Leisure Arts

Howdy crafty readers! As you know, I have been expanding my crochet experience and in doing so I really wanted to try some of the more delicate things. To do that I needed some thread, steel hooks, and some kind of thread starter patterns. 

My thread and hooks are here and waiting and as I knew they would, Leisure Arts had the perfect book to get me started, Beginners Guide to Thread Crochet. I don’t know if I have mentioned this before but, one of the things I really love about shopping the eBooks at Leisure Arts is that as soon as I order it, I have it. I can be rather impatient so not having to wait for something to ship is a huge bonus for me. 

The first half of the book gives detailed instructions for working with thread, and also crochet in general, which makes this a great tool for someone who might not be versed in crochet at all. The part on blocking was really interesting to me because I have never made anything yet that needed blocking and was really intimidated by the whole process. 

After you have brushed up and are ready to start, you will find projects in the last half of the book. There are several for making edgings that are so delicate looking, yet were easier than I expected. These reminded me so much of grandmas pillow case edgings and more modern edging seen on hems of shorts. A lovely edging really gives something an elegant finished look. 

If you want to try your hand at some doilies there are a few patterns for that as well as some coasters, placemats and table runners. As you know from past posts, I just love the look of doilies. Of course, if you are feeling super ambitious you will find scarf, caplet, and shawl patterns that will really challenge you. I think I have a thread in mind for the Lyric Shawl shown on the cover, which is just beautiful. 

As with all the titles I have received from Leisure Arts, the patterns are written in easy to follow instructions and say what level they are so you know how challenging it will be before you start. Have you ever worked with thread? What types of things do you use thread crochet for?

Take some time to browse Leisure Arts' great selection and make sure you also connect with Leisure Arts on Facebook and Twitter so that you never miss a special or new pattern! Also, if you sign up for their knitting or crochet newsletters, you get a free pattern on Fridays!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my reader

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pure Terror Collection from Mill Creek

As you may well know, my old favorite genre will always be horror. I am not talking about gory slash ‘em up horror. I am talking about classic creepy and even at times silly horror. My favorites often include Lugosi, Karloff, Cushing and of course Lee. That is also leaving out a lot of greats because they really were a different class in times past.

When you are looking for any type of movie collection nothing I have found compares to the values you can find in the Mill Creek collections. The cost per movie usually works out to less than a dollar when you are looking at the lager collections. Seriously for less than the cost of a night at the movies you will get over 70 hours of entertainment.

The 70 hour collection spans from black and white classics of the forties up to the fun features of the eighties. You will find well known names like Lugosi, Steele and even Dean Stockwell from one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows: Quantum Leap.

As luck would have it, the set arrived during a time which is just perfect for an all day marathon of creepy movies. So for my first day I put in some of the black and white treasures like Terror Creatures From the Grave, Scared to Death, Night of the Blood Beast, and The Manster! With these fun and creepy titles I had a whole day of awesome, relaxing, and creepy viewing.

Of course with 50 movies to pick from, you could even set up to have a day of all… say… vampire movies or even monster movies. Regardless of how you set it up this set will give you days of pleasure and these are the type of movies I can watch over and over. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite from this set because the types of movies found here are so varied. Heck, you will even find some fun Paul Naschy!! It is really all win.

For a full list of titles in this set and details please visit the listing on Mill CreekMake sure you browse the full selection of titles from Mill Creek Entertainment while you are there. You will find everything from family and classics, to horror and sci-fi! Make sure you stay connected with them on Facebook and Twitter too so that you never miss a new release.

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my reader

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WorryWoo

Helping children work through their emotions can be hard. Luckily, there is a series of books to help you, and your little one, face what may be bothering them. It's called The WorryWoo Monsters, and each book comes with an adorable stuffed monster too. Not only are they cute little monsters, but this series helps children to deal with complex emotional issues in a wonderful, easy and open way, making it a wonderful parenting tool.

The WorryWoo Monsters, a series by Andi Green, who wanted to create characters with a story that each embodied an emotion, is a wonderful way to explore emotional issues your child might be dealing with. The monsters who help are Wince, Nola, Rue, Squeek, Fuddle, and Twitch. Each story explores a different emotion such as loneliness, feeling like you don’t fit in, worrying to much, and being shy which are all issues that children face.


Wince’s story book, Don’t Feed the WorryBug, is a wonderful WorryWoos story about how worries grow bigger and bigger, if you let them and we all know that can be so very true. The book gives kids the idea to stay busy doing fun things and not waste their days worrying. This book is a great tool to not only address your child's feelings, but also help them work through them and find better things to do than worry. The advice is awesome and something that we could all learn from.


Reading the book together is fun too because it has such a sweet character and the tempo and rhyme scheme are really nice, especially for reading out loud. Also included was a great workbook called, Helping Young Worriers Beat the WorryBug. This book is very informative and full of great ideas to help your little worrier beat their own WorryBugs.


I know we will be adding more to our WooryWoos collection very soon. To shop for a monster that is right for your family you can visit the WorryWoos website. The WorryWoos books are available for $14.99 and come in hardcover. The coordinating plush toys are $21.50. You can get the book and plush together as a set for $36. You can also follow WorryWoos on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to stay connected and updated on all of the new monsters and their stories!

Disclosure: I may receive products in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Infiniti Pro by Conair 3Q

It's almost that time of year again where I start blow drying my hair more. Because it is so cold outside, walking out with a head full of damp hair just isn't an option unless you want your locks freezing on your head! Finding a good blow drier can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but this year Conair has us, and our hair, covered!

The new Infiniti Pro by Conair Q3 blow dryer just hit stores last month and for $119.99 you can pick up your own at your nearest Target, Walgreens, Ulta, Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS or Bed, Bath And Beyond. The 3Q stands for quick, quiet, quality. Its brushless motor technology provides quick airflow to reduce drying time by up to 70%*; a patent pending noise reduction technology makes it 40% more quiet using the patent pending noise reduction technology***; as for quality, magnets and electronics power the motor, which extends the life of the dryer by up to 10X.


I have pretty normal hair. It isn't thick, or thin but there is quite a bit of it on my head. Drying my hair usually takes 10-15 minutes with other hair driers and this one took about 5 minutes. Those time frames do not include any styling or round brushing. That is just straight blow drying time. This little blow dryer has some power behind it. I was really impressed with just how much air this little guy put out.


On to the Q for quiet. This is the Q I doubted the most. How could it be so much more powerful and quicker AND quieter? Well, the patent pending noise reduction technology really works. This is the most quiet blow dryer that I have personally used. Now, it isn't completely silent, but you could definitely use it early in the morning, or late at night, without disturbing the other people in your home.


As for quality, I think it is great! The blow dryer has a nice weight in your hand and feels very sturdy. The cord is 72 inches long and thick so I don't see any problems coming of that. There are also two speed settings, three heat settings, and a Cold Shot button for locking in your styles. It also features ion technology for less frizz and I can definitely say I noticed a huge difference. Usually my hair is a huge, frizzy mess when I blow dry it, but as you can see, it is actually quite manageable afterwards. I didn't brush as I dried, or use any products. That is all the blow dryer in the pictures!

Overall, I think this is a great blow dryer at a good price point. I think it would be a great present for the upcoming holidays as well! Be sure to check out all of Conair's awesome products and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to never miss any news! Also, check out Beauty Stat's wesbite and Facebook and Twitter as well!


Disclosure: I was provided this product by BeautyStat.com in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will be good for my readers.