Wednesday, August 27, 2014

BoxyCharm - August

It is that wonderful time of the month again where my BoxyCharm box arrives and I get to try all sorts of awesome, new products! Just in case you forgot, BoxyCharm is a monthly subscription box that sends out full-size and luxury-size samples of high end and on trend brands. Best part? A BoxyCharm box has a low cost of only $21, plus free shipping! This month the theme was Beach Babe. There is almost nothing better than a day at the beach and the feeling you have afterwards so let's jump right in!


The first product was the Enter Pronoun Blowtorch Bronzer ($35). Now I love the beach as much as the next person but when I go, I am covered head to toe in sunscreen and products loaded with SPF. My skin is so fair and no amount of sun has ever tanned my white complexion. This being said, this bronzer was far too dark for me, as you can see. Just because it didn't work for me, doesn't mean it isn't a great product though! It sheers out and gives a beautifully sun-kissed color. I think this would look great on a lot of different complexions, just not my ghostly one!


The next product was a Tarina Tarantino Conditioning Lip Sheen in the color Floriculture ($22). The more I try from this brand, the more I fall in love. First off, the packing is absolutely adorable and I am a sucker for good packaging. When the product inside that packing is great, it is just an all around win. This lip sheen is anything but sheer and a beautiful berry color. It is so smooth and applies wonderfully. My lips look and feel great all day and even after I take it off, my lips feel moisturized and soft. I love this!


The ModelCo Cheek + Lips Cheek and Lip Tint in the color Rosy Red ($22) was the next item I pulled out. Now I will admit I was a little hesitant at first. This color comes out of the tube looking BOLD. After a little trial and error, I used a very, very small amount and dabbed it on my cheeks and I was pleasantly surprised. It gave me a beautifully natural flushed color that was not dramatic at all. I actually really love this color and it goes so well with my skin tone. It is killer on the lips too!


I have tried a few products from OFRA and have loved them all. This Eyeliner in Black ($13) is no exception. It is water resistant and made with a synthetic beeswax base. The base makes it super gentle and great for even the most sensitive of eyes and areas. Applied on the inner rim, this actually has some great hang time. It can smudge a little at first, but once it sets, it is there for a while! This eyeliner is great and I rank it up there with my favorites which are almost double the price.


The last item included was a Morphe Powder Brush ($19.99). I love trying new brushes. Without a good brush, your makeup application can be a pain! This brush is so incredibly soft. It is also pretty dense which I like for applying powder. It picks up a good amount of product and distributes it evenly. The bristles are not poky at all and I haven't had any problem with shedding. This brush has become my daily powder brush and I am not looking back!

It is no surprise to me that I loved my BoxyCharm box! With a retail value of $111.99, $21 is an amazing cost to pay!! It is a great value and awesome way to try out new beauty products. Be sure to head over to their site to sign up and see past boxes. Also, follow BoxyCharm on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to never miss any news or promotions! 

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, August 26, 2014

Free Hugs 'N Kisses Scoodie Pattern made with 99 Crochet Post Stitches From Leisure Arts

Hello my crafty readers! I hope you are off to a lovely week. This week I have designed something special for you. Even though I have started to cut my designing teeth, I am by no means a walking stitch encyclopedia and that is why I still turn to my favorite craft book source: Leisure Arts.

I wanted the design to look like X’s and O’s, you know like hugs and kisses, and to do so I needed a bit of help from my newest book 99 Crochet Post Stitches. The stitch I used is called the X stitch, appropriately named because it looks like X’s and the color below reminds me of O’s so it works out perfectly. I am so thrilled with how the pattern came out and excited to share it with you below.

As the title suggests, there are 99 stitches in the book, all written out in easy-to-follow directions that even beginners can accomplish. Post stitches add a fantastic amount of texture to any crochet piece and take your work from one dimensional to an awesome textured look that makes it look way more intricate.  Imagine all the pretties you could make with this book as a resource.

I have always loved basket weave and really only knew how to do it in knitting but now that I have this book I can also crochet a basket weave too and I will be making a basket weave hat very very soon. There are also notes in the back of the book for any ideas or techniques that might be difficult or new and also tips for planning an afghan using the stitches in the book.

Have you ever designed a pattern or worked freehand? What do you think you would design with a great resource like this? No matter what type of craft or pattern you are looking 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!

HUGS 'N Kisses Scoodie
Hook I 5.5mm
Red Heart Super saver one each Orchid and Light Blue
Special stitch 
To work Front Post double treble crochet (abbreviated FPdtr), YO 3 times, working in front of previous rows, insert hook from front to back around post of dc indicated, YO and pull up a loop (5 loops on hook), (YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) 4 times.

Scarf Portion
With MC Chain 225
Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in each ch across. (224 sc)
Row 2: CH 3 (counts as first dc, now and throughout), dc in each sc 
Row 3: Ch 3 dc in next dc, ch 1, * skip next dc, dc in next dc, ch 1; repeat from * across to last 3 dc, skip next dc, dc in last 2 dc; finish off.
Row 4: join CC with dc in first dc; dc in next dc and in each ch-1 sp and each dc across. 
Row 5: Ch 3, turn; dc in next dc and in each dc across; finish off.
Row 6: join MC with sc in first dc * skip next 2 dc, work FPdtr around dc 2 rows below next dc, ch 1, working in front of last FPdtr made, work FPdtr around dc 2 rows below fi rst skipped dc, skip next 3 dc from last sc made, sc in next dc; repeat from * across.
Row 7: Ch 3, turn; dc in next FPdtr, ch 1, skip next ch-1 sp, * dc in next FPdtr, ch 1, skip next sc, dc in next
FPdtr, ch 1, skip next ch-1 sp; repeat from * across to last 2 sts, dc in last 2 sts; finish off.
Row 8-11: Repeat Rows 4-7 
Row 12: DC in each DC and chain space
Row 13: SC un each DC finish

Hood
Row 1 (Right side): Skip 80, and attach with a sc, sc  next 64, leave last 80 unworked
Row 2 Ch 3 dc in each sc across
Row 3: Ch 3 dc in next stitch, ch 1, * skip next, dc in next, ch 1; repeat from * across to last 3 dc, skip next dc, dc in last 2 dc; finish off.
Row 4: With right side facing, join CC with dc in first dc; dc in next dc and in each ch-1 sp and each dc across.
Row5: Ch 3, dc in next dc and in each dc across; finish off.
Row 6: With right side facing, join MC with sc in first dc;*skip next 2 dc, work FPdtr around dc 2 rows below next dc, ch 1, working in front of last FPdtr made, work FPdtr around dc 2 rows below first skipped dc, skip next 3 dc from last sc made, sc in next dc; repeat from * across.
Row 7: Ch 3, dc in next FPdtr, ch 1, skip next ch-1 sp, * dc in next FPdtr, ch 1, skip next sc, dc in next FPdtr, ch 1, skip next ch-1 sp; repeat from * across to last 2 sts, dc in last 2 sts; finish off.
Row 8 With right side facing, join CC with dc in first dc; dc in next dc and in each ch-1 sp and each dc across.
Row 9: Ch 3, turn; dc in next dc and in each dc across; finish off.
Row 10: repeat row 6
Row 11: Repeat row 7
Row 12: dc in first dc; dc in next dc and in each ch-1 sp and each dc across.
Row 13-14 CH 3, DC in each DC
Joining row  (Back Hood seam): Ch 1, with right side together, matching sts on Row 14,
and working through outside loops of both thicknesses, sc in each st across; finish off

Border
Join in corner with  sc, dc, tc, dc, sc in same space, *sc in next space, dc, tc, dc in next space, sc in next space repeat to corner, sc, dc, tc, dc, sc in corner *repeat from * Note on the ends where you are working in rows not stitches I worked the whole shell in each row.

Please come back next week to see another awesome book that every creative crocheter needs in their stitch library.

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, August 25, 2014

Get Chopping with Core Bamboo

I have always loved the look of bamboo products. They have a naturally beautiful look to them that goes with any decor. Recently, I found a company that makes absolutely gorgeous, and useful, bamboo products: Core Bamboo. Core Bamboo offers so many different bamboo kitchen and household products.


Core Bamboo's products are made from 100% organically grown bamboo. They also use food-safe, water-based adhesives, natural oils, and natural lacquers derived from cashew trees. Also, wherever possible, they use recycled and environmentally friendly packaging. So, you may be asking yourself: Why bamboo? Well, bamboo grows much faster than any other wood, only 4 years from start to 60-70 foot tall. It is also naturally anti-microbial.


As well as all of this, bamboo is 100% renewable and does not require replanting, extensive irrigation, pesticides, or fertilizer. After learning all of this, I was so excited to try some bamboo products. From Core Bamboo, I received the Daisy Collection Two Tone Bamboo Cutting Board Combo Pack and a Bamboo Chef's Slicer. The first thing I noticed, and I am sure you did too, was how stunning these items are. I just love the way they look!


The cutting boards are super lightweight and thin so they are easy to store and move around the kitchen. They are also great sizes for cutting all of your veggies and meats. The chef's knife has a round, smooth handle that fits in your hand awesomely. I was a little worried it wouldn't be sharp, it is wood after all, but it has cut through everything I have tried it with: mushrooms, peppers, onions, and even some chicken breast. 

These cutting boards and knife are awesome! Not only do they look good and perform well, they are better for the environment than other options on the market. It is always great when you can make an environmentally smart choice and love the results. Be sure to head over to Core Bamboo's website and see all of the awesome 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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Free Skull Halloween Hat Pattern Made With Modern Baby From Lion Brand Yarn

You remember last week when I told you about Modern Baby yarns from Lion Brand? Well, I want to come back to that because as I was working with an arched hat and it struck me… this makes great openings and would be perfect for making the Halloween skull hats I have been wanting to design.

There are a fair few patterns that show you how to make the basic motif but none that show you how to join them together, so rather than fighting to find a preset pattern again, I decided to just write my own, and after a whole lot of winding and unwinding I am happy to say I have a cool Halloween hat pattern to share with you that is not too silly and will be great for adults and kids alike.


This is how you come at the special stitch
Before we get into the pattern I wanted to take a minute and tell anyone who may have missed last weeks post about the Modern Baby Yarn. (Though you should go back and read all my craft posts)  Modern Baby from Lion Brand Yarns is a fifty fifty blend of Acrylic and nylon in a light 3 weight. It has a lovely amount of stretch that makes it perfect for hats and growing babies. It is wound better than any other yarn I have used. It almost looks braided and, as such, it never, ever even thought about splitting.



Instructions for an adult skull hat. To make child’s sizes just do less increase rows to get the size you desire. I recommend two tones as in one tone the skulls get lost as you can see in the picture below.

*H/8 5.0mm
*Modern Baby Gray
*Modern Baby Chartreuse
*Needle for weaving.
Special note, when I say FPSC two posts together what I mean is to work around the next two posts like you were doing a front post crochet and thus joining them together.

 In main color
Make a magic circle
Round 1 chain 3 (counts as first DC) 11 DC into circle (12DC)

INCREASE ROWS
Round 2 2 DC in each (24DC)
Round 3 2DC in first, 1DC in next.. repeat around (24DC)
Round 4 2DC in first, 1DC in next two.. repeat around (36DC)
Round 5 2DC in first, 1DC in next three.. repeat around (48DC)
Round 6 2DC in first, 1DC in next four.. repeat around (60DC)
Round 7 2DC in first, 1DC in next five.. repeat around (72DC)

Round 8 Ch 3, Skip 3, SC in next three repeat around fasten off

SKULL PATTERN
Round 9 (Change to contrast color by joining with a slip stitch, this is the start of the skull pattern) Ch 3, 6DC in first chain space, 7DC in chain each remaining chain space.
Round 10 CH4, TC in next, skip 1, *2TC in next, skip 1, TC in next four, skip 1*repeat*  to last 4..  2TC in next, skip 1, TC in last two join with SLST into chain.
Round 11 Chain 1 FPSC next two TC together, *3 sc in space before next TC, 3SC in between next 2TC, 3SC between next two , FPSC next two together, FPSC next two together* repeat to end of last cluster and join with slip stitch in first FPSC.
Round 12 SLST in next 4, chain 3, 1DC in next 2SC, *chain 1, skip 8,  1DC in next 3SC* repeat around  join with slip

BAND
Round 13 Join MC Chain 2, HDC in next two, *3HDC in chain space, HDC in next three* repeat.
Round 14-16 HDC in all
Round 17 SC in all
Fasten off weave in all ends.

I have found Lion Brand yarn at my shops and if you, like me, don’t have many craft supply options you can visit Lion Brand online and purchase their great yarns online. While you are there look around because they have a lot of great yarn art resources, including some stunning free patterns You can also follow Lion Brand 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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Orkin Fact or Fake Giveaway

I have another great Orkin Blog App to share with you! This time it is Orkin's Fact or Fake. You've heard the myths about bugs before, now its time to find out if they are Fact or Fiction!

You’ve heard the myths about bugs before. Do you know what’s fact and what’s fake?

Take Orkin’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake Quiz to test your knowledge, and be sure to watch every clip for the scoop on these infamous bug myths.

Orkin uses the latest technology and unparalleled training to develop a treatment that's right for your home and your needs. To learn more about pest control that's based in science or to schedule an inspection, visit orkin.com or call (844) 503-8251.

Then enter to win a prize pack from Orkin!

The Orkin Scientific Back-to-School PRIZE PACK includes: 
- Clip-on Fisheye Lens (iPhone, Galaxy, Android compatible) 
- Orkin On-the-Go Drink Tumbler 
- Orkin Drawstring Bag 
- Orkin “Field Notes” Notebook w/ Pen

You can also connect with Orkin:
Orkin Facebook Page: facebook.com/OrkinPestControl
Ask The Orkin Man® Twitter Page: twitter.com/AskTheOrkinMan
Orkin YouTube Channel: youtube.com/user/OrkinVideo 

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. My Empty Nest is not responsible for prize fulfillment. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ozeri 4x3motion Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer with Tri-Axis Technology

It's that time again where I talk about one of my absolute favorite brands for household products: Ozeri. If you have been here for any length of time, you know that I love Ozeri's products and jump at the chance to try a new one. This time I tested out their 4x3motion Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer with Tri-Axis Technology


This pedometer not only tracks your steps but also distance, speed, calories burned, and time. Recording up to one million steps with a 7 day memory, it also has a built in clock, calender, timer, and an auto sleep mode feature. The Tri-Axis technology ensures that no matter how the device is laying in your pocket, it will always be accurate and count each step. Also, the slim design makes it easy to carry without it getting in the way or weighing you down!


I have been using this to track my steps not only at work, but also on the track. This little guy helps me make sure that I get in the amount of steps and distance I want to achieve each day without me having to guess. I was so surprised to see just how many steps I take at work each day. I knew I was on my feet a lot, but not that much. I love being able to accurately keep track of my steps and easily watch my daily fitness goals come to life on the little screen!

As always, Ozeri did not let me down and I love the product! This is a great pedometer for anyone wanting to walk a certain amount each day or even just for someone who is curious to how much they walk. I am sure you will be surprised to see just how many steps you take in one day. To get your own 4x3motion Digital Pocket 3D Pedometer with Tri-Axis Technology, head on over to Amazon. While you are there, also check out the other great items that Ozeri offers! I know you won't be disappointed! 


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, August 20, 2014

Children's Fashion Made Easy With FabKids

Shopping for children can be a pain. Putting together outfits while toting around your child in a busy store can be almost impossible but thanks to FabKids, that is no more! FabKids is a fashion club started by a group of mothers, including Christina Applegate. For $29.95 a month, you get a full two piece outfit of your choice.


You have until the 5th of each month to skip the month before you are charged and receive one credit for an outfit. Using that credit, you choose an outfit off of the FabKid's website and your child is on his or her way to looking fabulous! They carry sizes 2-12 in both girl and boy options. Also, if you spend $49 or more, your outfits ship for free! Your outfits will arrive in pink boxes for girls and blue boxes for boys. I love the little details that companies think about to make their service that much more special. 


The outfit we received is called the Ikat Outfit and features the Ikat dress and yellow Fab Soft Leggings. The first thought I had when picking up the dress was, "Wow!" This dress has a nice weight to it and doesn't feel cheap in any sense of the word. It is such a good quality that I would easily pay the $29.95, if not more, just for the dress alone. The zipper in the back is a more heavy duty zipper and the stitching throughout the dress is fantastic with no weak spots or strays. 


The yellow leggings are great as well. They are a little thicker and more durable that most children's leggings and have a great stretch to them. I think the best part about these items is that my daughter is comfortable in them. As you can see, she is still her rowdy, playful self and doesn't feel constricted or restrained. I love that she looks so cute and she likes that she can still horseplay comfortably. It is a win-win!

FabKid's is just a great service all around. Not only do you receive adorable clothing, but the pieces you get are very high quality and will last your child a long time. Go to the FabKid's website and see all of their great options for yourself. Also, be sure to 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.