Influenster Jolly Vox Box

I love getting new things to try out! I am not going to deny it: of course I am even more excited when the items are free.
Thanks to Influentser I got qualified for the Jolly Vox Box and got to try quite a few items for free.

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The box came to me right before the Holidays, so just in time as the name suggested. he contents of this box were: Puffs Plus lotion as a handy “put in your purse” size pack, a NYC eyeshadow trio, A mini Ducktape Roll with a blue/ white flowery design, Rimmel London Show Off lip Laquer and a full box of Skinny Cow divine filled chocolates Candy. Here are all contents:

jolly

As we recently got back from our vacation, I brought a cold with me and the Puffs plus lotion were very welcome. i have Puffs in my purse throughout the whole winter and really noticed how much softer these with lotion are. I was worried they would smell strong but I did not notice a scent…then again I did not smell much.

I was also super excited about the eyeshadow Trio. Unfortunately the colors were not very strong for me, even while using primer. The colors look gorgeaous for a cat eye look in the actual pan but on my eyelids they barely had an effect. I do wera neutrals thanks to the Naked 2 palette a lot and might be spoiled.

Next there is the Ducktape. Honestly, I first want’s sure what to do with it but I am crafty and there is Pinterest. Just look up Ducktape flowers, that might be one of my next projects. I will post about it. In any case I think the size is really handy compared to the usual big roll and will be great for srating. There are also tons of fun designs out!

Then there is the Rimmel London Show Off Lip Laquer. I believe the color is 401 Aurora- That’s at least what’s on the label. The color is a beautiful Raspberry color. WHile it doesn’t last super long, it didn’t feel sticky and had a nice scent to it. It also fits perfect in my litle to-go makeup clutch. By now I have three of them, one per most used purse.

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Last but not least there is the yummy Skinny Cow Treat. Looking at the box I thought it’s filled with caramel (of course I didn’t read it) but it’s peanut butter and delicious! I am a big fan of the Skinny Cow candy bars and this little chocolate treat will be on my shopping list as well. They come packed in little packs of three and are highly recommended, unless you have certain allergies, in that case please don’t eat them. I will not be responsible for your hives!

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Anyhow, I was excited to be selected for the box and I think that Influenster has done great selecting products for us to try for free. Please know that these are my honest oppinions. I got the box half a month back so I had a chance to really try the contents. To become an influenster yourself you can sign up at http://www.influenster.com
influenster

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BzzAgent -LUNA™ mini campaign

 I have been involved with BzzAgent for almost a year now. If you are not familiar with Bzzagent, it is a word-of-mouth program where you get products to test, most of the time complimentary and in return give your honest opinions and share feedback as much as you can. I don’t blog about many campaigns because in the past I mainly had food related items. You can find more information here: www.bzzagent.com

 luna mini

Last month they started sending out invites for the LUNA™ mini campaign where you get to try the device from FOREO for a great price. My husband and I both agreed and got our Bzzkits two days ago. I received a light pink LUNA™ mini and his is gray. We already use the Clarisonic mia 2 at home and this gives us a chance to compare the two. This is the Bzzkit that I received in the mail:

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Here is some information about the LUNA™ mini that I am copying out of the booklet it came with:

  • It is recommended to use it twice daily for a minute each time.
  • It promotes visibly brighter & healthier looking skin in just 3 days.
  • The device has a 2 year limited warranty an you do not need to purcase replacement brushes
  • It is suitable for all skin types
  • It is fully water proof so you can use it in the shower or bath
  • it has an integrated battery and comes with a USB cord to charge
  • The nanabrasive silicon brush promises a more hygienic solution than other sonic brushes

This all sounded promising to me and I have heard from other people using the Luna that they like varying it with the Clarisonic. I have started using the LUNA™ mini yesterday both morning and evening and will post again in a week  how I truly feel about the device. My first impression is that it is a good deal since you do not have to purchase replacement heads. It is small so you can travel with it. So far it also looks like it is easy to clean. 

Update: I have used the device for a full month and love it in compination with the Clarisonic. I believe my Mia2 removes makeup better, but I love how easy the LUNA™ mini is to clean and use and it holds the charge longer.

 

Meanwhile, Bzzagent and FOREO gave us codes to share. You can use the code for 35% off your order at www.foreo.com until 1-31-2014. The code is 6ZFXWH.

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Olive Oil in Beauty Products -80 Acres Review

Personally, I love cooking with olive oil. But while it is good in my food, it is also great to use for your body such as on dry skin, brittle hair or to soak your nails. On my search for natural beauty products I came across 80 acres, a body care line created by McEvoy Ranch. McEvoy Ranch produces organic olive oil and this is used in their body care line. The line itself is simple, which is quite appealing to me. You can choose from three different scents: Blood orange, Lavender and Verde. THe body care choices are lip balm, soap, body oil, body butter, body balm, hand and body lotion, hand and body wash, salt scrub and bath salts. Long story short: these is something for everyone! Another plus is that the producst are paraben, sulfate, bpa and phthalate free and made in Californina.

I decided to e-mail the company to find out if the product is sold anywhere close to me. I am not a big fan of buying full size products without reading reviews and having a chance to try them myself.Their customer service representative Tina replied within a day and did some research for me. Since there is no retailer carrying their line close to me, she offered to send me three small sample packs. I was lucky to receive a body wash and lotion of each scent.
80acres
All of the scents are very natural and not overpowering. The verde does not feel like you are slathering yourself in olive oil and is my favorite, while my husband loves the lavender. If you like citrus scents, the blood orange might be perfect for you!
I noticed that all three body washes leave your skin feel clean and fresh, while the scent does not stay very long. The lotions are very moisturizing and get absobed quickly. The scent does stay longer but is not too strong. I loved how my skin felt after using both products and definitely recommend each. I am planning to buy the Verde Travel set as a Christmas gift for family, as well as a Salt scrub for me.

If you are interested to learn more about McEvoy’s Ranch and 80 acres you can go here: http://www.mcevoyranch.com/
http://www.mcevoyranch.com/the-ranch/our-body-care
To browse though their online shop you can go here:
http://www.mcevoyranch.com/80-acres-body-care.html

S.W. Basics of Brooklyn -Review

Do you know that feeling when you eat something out of the supermarket’s freezer but are not really sure about all the ingredients? Usually there are fillers and products thta are not good for you and your body this seems to be the same with skin care. Don’t get me wrong, I also try skin care that is not all organic but I am even more excited when I get to try skincare that is natural. So I had heard about S.W. Basics when reseraching organic skin care. Because I had never heard of them before, I did some more research on their website http://swbasicsofbk.com/our-story.

Adina Grigore, the companie’s founder, explains on this webiste in the “our story” section that she was originally looking for skincare just for herself becuase she felt unsure about all the other products out there. All of their products have five or less ingredients and are made from scratch, which spoke to me right away.  I decided to e-mail them to find out more about their products. Jessica answered me super fast (less than a day!) and was extremely helpful. She told me I can purchase a trial size set and try out for myself. The skincare sounded great and so I purchased a set. Originally it was supposed to be a cleanser, toner, mini cream and lip balm but I believe I did not get the lip balm. I still think it is a great deal and didn’t sweat it. The items are one ounce sizes and little glass containers which I love!

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(Sorry about the picture being a bit blurry)

The cleanser has a little screw cap, just like a juice bottle, the toner is a spritz bottle and the mini cream is a nice little glas jar. All of them are truly full and not just half way, like some sample sizes you can get for free. All together the items lasted me four weeks (and I still have toner!).

The Cleanser

The cleanser has only three ingredients, which I love. It is made from organic rose water and organic vegetable clycerine, as well as a little bit of tea tree oil. No soap or alcohol in it! I found it hard to work the cleanser with my clarisonic mia 2, which I adore. IIt probably could collaborate if you aply the cleanser to your skin first, but I felt like I would have washed the cleanser off too fast. So for the time being I used the cleanser without the clarisonic. The smell is not a light smell but very natural and clean. Overall it felt great on the skin, not drying at all. My husband tried it once and liked it as well. I would consider repurchasing it if I was more comfortable using it with the clarisionic or If I wante dto just to use it by itself.

The Toner

In the evenings I would use a spritz of the toner right after the cleanser. The ingredients listed are: Water, organic raw apple cider vinegar, witch hazel from Wild Crops Farm, MO and organic essential oils of clary sage and sandalwood. I love the smell of sandlewood, but unfortunately all I smelled while applying was the vinegar. I am not a fan of apple cider vinegar and that might be the problem. By no means did it smell bad, it smelled very natural, but there are some scents that you do not like. For some it is lavender, others don’t like fruity smells, I do not like vinegar. I decided to get over myself and just apply it anyway . I have to say that I did like the feeling in the morning, having refreshed skin, however I skipped a few evenings because of the smell. Although I personally will not repurchase because of the scent, I do recommend it for working well.

The Cream

This little pot was the most surprising for me. At first when I opened it I thought it was the lip balm, because it is not labeled. When I looked on the website, I noticed that it is the cream. The three ingredients listed are:  Wildcrafted unrefined shea butter -Fairtrade (!), organic extra-virgin coconut oil and organic extra-virgin olive oil. I love coconut and I know olive oil is good for you, inside and out. I applied the cream in the mornings after cleansing and first was worried that it is too rich (remember, at first i thought it was balm), but remembered quickly that is shea butter is a bit richer. The great thing is that it absorbed quickly, yet it keeps your face feel great all day. I had no problem applying makeup right after and on warmer days it did not feel like I am sweating it off. Overall I definitely recomend this because it will last you a good amount of time and feels and smells great.

The Brand

I enjoyed trying out the products from S.W. Basics of Brooklyn. Besides the smell of the toner all products were lovely and definitely recommended. Although I do not love the price tag I do believe it is very resaonable. You get products with just a few ingredients that you can identify and do not come out of a laboratory and that work well. I do believe that hese are great for anyone with sensitive skin. Another bonus (to me) is that the products used are organic and some even fair trade and that everything is made from scratch. Also, their service is great. As you might know, customer service is very important to me and Jessica’s responses were prompt, honest and helpful with a bit of humor which was very refreshing.

In the future I still plan to try their makeup remover because it sounds good but I am worried it might be too oily as well as their exfoliant because the ingredients sound great! 

 

Find out more about the cleanser here: http://store.swbasicsofbk.com/products/cleanser

Find out more about the Toner here:  http://store.swbasicsofbk.com/products/toner

Find out more about the cream here: http://store.swbasicsofbk.com/products/cream 

Skyn ICELAND review

On my search for a good skincare routine I found a company called Skyn ICELAND. On their website they advertise “solutions for stressed skin” (find more info here –> http://skyniceland.com/).

My skin is definitely affected by stress as I get stressed a lot throug my job alone. Well my skin can become sensitive and I get red cheeks without using blush. The concept of having skincare that works with skin affected by stress sounded great to me. I also like the fact that their products are paraben free. In my opinion, we can always use a few less toxins in our life.

I e-mailed their customer service team to see if there is a retailer near me where I could get a sample. The reply came quick to let me know there is no retailer in Missouri but they would be happy to send me some samples to try out. I love that they asked me for my skin type and concerns as well. Just a few days later I got an envelope with this cute little note in the mail:

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It might just be me, but I love little personal touches! I also received four small containers of products to test and instructions, which I thought was perfect. Many companies who do send samples in little jars don’t think about including instructions. You will find instructions for best use on the full size or travel size products, but these kind of containers usually just have the product name on them.

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I started the Skyn ICELAND routine the next day. The first product is the glacial face wash. The instructions ask to use a dime size amount, work to lather inbetween hands and apply to face followed by rinsing your face. The cleanser is a soft paste texture and it lathered great when I added just a little bit of water in my hand as well. Yes, I know what the paste could remind you of in the below picture but it actually has a hint of a blue shimmer in it.

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A little definitely goes a long way and I even was able to use it with my clarisonic. It does not get super foamy, which I do not mind, but smells very clean and feels great on the face. Once washed off, your face will not feel dry but fresh. In the morning I folowed by applying the Pure Pore Minimizer. This one is a little bit of a thicker paste and I applied it to my nose and right next to it. My husband actually likes this stuff as well, since it does not have a strong perfume smell but just is natural. I then followed by applying the arctic hydrating balm. This stuff is great! It is not as liquid as a lotion and applies really well. Even on a hot day it feels nice and cool on your skin and not as if it will melt of. Last but not least I applied the Icelandic Relief eyecram.I though that this is the product I would need the least, since I do ot have puffy eyes or under-eye circles. I am excited to tell everyone that this product has become my favorite. I love the cooling sensation in the morning. Since you really do not need a lot of it, I still have over half of it left after emptying all the other containers in a week.

Overall I am very satisfied by all products. I love the natural, fresh smell and feel. The fact that each of the products lasted me for at least a week of the skincare routine has amazed me as well, considering these are small containers. As soon as my eyecream is gone, I will definitely purchase a full size one. I do not use it daily but like it for earky mornings. If I do not find a cleanser and lotion that I like even better, these will be bought as well. The only thing that did not impress me is the pore minimizer but I am ok with that!

You can find their products, pricing and more info here: http://skyniceland.com/shop-by-product.php

Original Sprout Haircare -Review

When someone asks me for my hairtype, I wish one of the choices is annoying. My hair is waivy and thin but I got tons of it. Of course it does not help that I constantly streighten it and get highlights every two months. One of my close friends is a hair stylist and of course recommends great salon products but i am searchinbg for some alternatives. Looking through the internet I found Original Sprout (https://www.originalsprout.com), advertising “worry-free luxury”. I don’t know about you but I can always use some worry-free for me!So I contacted their customer service, described what I am dealing with on my head and got a quick reply from Melissa. She was super quick answering and offered me one free sample but also recommended the travel sizes they sell (https://www.originalsprout.com/sprout-travel-sizes). I ended up requesting the Island Bliss Shampoo as a sample but also ordered the matching conditioner, the natural shampoo and deep conditioner and the miracle detangler as well as the tahitian oil. Melissa found my order and added the sample right to it. The whole order arrived about 2 days later and I was amazed by the size of the packets. You could fill these in little travel bottles!
Original Sprout
If you look at the ingredients for the Original Sprout products, you will find they are all natural and the products i ordered to try are 100% vegan. They even carry a line of products for children
I have tried the Island bliss shampoo and matching conditioner first. The smell is nice, a subtle mix out of flowers and nuts. It feels great applying and a little goes a long way. The same goes for the conditioner. Afterwards I used a little spritz of the detangler and the tahitian oil just on my ends. The oil was quite interesting to work with, it is not entirely liquid, more like a goo. They pack it in a small glass bottle which is perfect for oils.
Original Sprout 2
I have been using the products since 3 days and have to say I enjoy that little Island ‘vacation’ every evening and my hair feels great. If you are interested in Sprout Organics, I definitely recommend purchasing their samples.If you have tried the childrens products, comment below and let me know how you like them. I will review the natural Shampoo next time!

Cheers,
Sunflowercake

Influenster Sunkissed VoxBox

influenster

I am an influenster (check it out at http://www.influenster.com). That fits well because I have an oppinion about almost everything and I am not afraifd to share it. I recently have received the Sunkissed Voxbox for free from influenster with great products to try out. Included were: Dr Scholls High Heal insoles, Goody Hair Ouchless Ribbon elastics, Olay fresh effects BB cream in the shade light and a Sinful Colors Sinfulshine nail polish in yellow.
First of all: I was super excited for all the items since they are perfect for the summer!
I want to review all of the items as well and will add on more pictures later on.

Let me start with the Olay Fresh Effects BB cream. It is part of their Fresh effects series and I have tried the cleanser previously. I honestly never tried a BB cream before and I rarely ever wear foundation because all the ones I tried don’t hold up in the summer heat and clogg my pores. The Olay Fresh Effects BB cream came full size and the light shade was perfect. I have read many reviews where people complained about the fruity scent it has but honestly, you only smell this while applying and I did not think it was that bad.

What I love about it:
It blends in super easy. Please be aware that this cream doe snot seem to provide a full coverage but sheer coverage which brings me to the next point: it is fairly light and holds up well. Also, it makes it easy to match your skin color! I do not feel like I covered my face under something. A huge bonus: it has SPF 15!

What I did not like:
The smell is not the greatest but it does not bother you for long. My husband did not notice any of it 10 minutes after I applied.

Takeaway:
You can find the full size 2.5 fl oz retail for $14.99 on http://www.drugstore.com.dfinitely recommend it if you are not a fan of foundation but do like light coverage during some days. as you can see the coverage is sheer but nice.The picture was taken after wearing the BB cream all day in the office.Great for a busy 24/7 lifestyle!
bbcream

Next of, the nail polish. I am not the biggest fan of yellow nail polish but I am aware of the brand since you can buy it at Walgreens and I tried it before. SinfulColors has a great selection of colors.

What I liked:
The bottle is a big size and the brush applies the polish easy and streak free. It covers well after only two coats. Also, go and check out the price, it is very reasonable.

What I did not like:
It chips fairly easy with the daily chores such as washing the dishes. I am also not into the yellow shade, however that is personal preference. I also have pink shades at home which I prefer by the same brand.

Takeaway:
The price is very reasonable at $1.99 for a 0.5 ounces bottle at http://www.drugstore.com. Personally, I try to wear polish for a longer time and donot wnat to change or re-apply the color every few days but if that is something you like this is a great deal!

Now to the ouchless headbands from Goody Hair. These came in a set of 4 and I have been eying them for a while. I wear my hair up for the gym and on some days in the office.

What I liked about them:
I like the color variety and after wearing them to a sweaty spinning class, my hair did not have that typical ‘bump’ in it after taking out the elastic.

What I did not like:
The know at the end. It is not a choice to wear to the office for me but everyone has a different oppionion.

Takeaway:
Overall I do like these because I can put my hair up and when I let it down again I do nothave that bump I hate so much. I will however not wear them to work because of the knot. However Goody does also offer the simple hairelastics in their ‘ouchless collection’. The only ones I found online were on the target webpage, retailing for $11.95 for 15pcs total.

Last but not least there was a pair of DR. Scholls High Heel insoles in my Sunkissed Voxbox. I wear heels to the office everyday so i was very excited to try them. These are typical gel insoles with one sticky side and they have a bump at the arch for more support. They are clear so you can wear them in open heels as well. Typical Dr. Scholls: you can trim them to fit, one size fits all.

What I liked:
They are easy to insert and give a nice support, especially to the arch. Great feel for long days in the office and I am sure they work wonderful for special events such as weddings to dance the night away.

What I did not like:
These would be harder to put in very delicate, strappy heels. Once they stick, they are hard to reposition.

Takeaway: I would purchase these again for that new pair of heels that I want to wear for a special event. Keep in mind that these are not super thin so they might not fit with every pair of heels.Also, these are gel so do not leave them in the heat for too long. believe me, I just had the pleasure of scraping gel out of a shoe the other day. It is pretty disgusting!
They retail for $9.99 at http://www.drugstore.com and I have seen them at Target and other drugstores as well.

Overall I have to say i am very happy with the contents of the Sunkissed VoxBox and I am happy I got tro try some items that I have not tried before.

Natural care for your skin and hair

All the things we put in and on your body have so many extra ingredients in it which are not necessarily good for you. the largest portion of that is chemicals. I am not the person to scream ” I need all natural products”, but if you have an easy way to treat your body right, then why shouldn’t you? So I am trying to find more natural skin care and haircare items to try and introduce to others. I understand that not all companies are 100% organic but my goal is to find more natural products. Yesterday I e-mailed some companies who caught my interest to see how I an try their products. I already received some positive replies and am excited to try some of the products soon.
That reminds me: working in the hospitality industry, customer service is very important to me. I do not expect to be treated like a queen but to be wowed and treated with respect. So while I talk about the products I try, I will also explain what I think about the company in general. I hope that my journey through the world of natural products will help some others to learn about some companies and find a product to fall in love with.

Pintester Movement 2.0 -healthy gummy bears

I spent the last weeks busy with family life , work (, and University stuff (yay for Summerclasses…). I did not get around to any of my creative projects at all. Sometimes the couch looks so comfortable after a long week and i can watch Friends any day, much to the regret of my husband who hates the show.
Getting an e-mail from Sonja Foust (the Pintester -go check out her blog) about the second round of the Pintester movement I did not hesitate a bit to sign up! The rules this time around were to try out one of her fail… ahem… marvelously planned Pinterest Projects (seriously, check out her blog).
As I was going through her website to look through all the projects she worked on I was getting another Pintester e-mail this week regarding healthy gummy bears. I can’t deny it – I love sweets! The hubby and I are back on the healthy food train and these little bears actually look edible!!
Even better: I have gelatin, sugar substitute and bananas at the house and only needed to get lemon juice and berries. In the original blog post Taralynn Mcnitt (the undressed skeleton) tried three different flavors , two of which I want to try.
The recipe is very easy to follow, on both blogs.
First I worked on the Strawberry-Orange flavored ones. Instead of getting an Orange I was lazy and got Orange Juice, even the one with pulp in it! Got to keep it authentic. I mixed the orange juice and the lime juice (no lemon juice in the house) and the diced strawberries (I figure halfs are fine). All combined in a pot, trying to bring it to a boil looks like this:

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Sorry, I focused on the juice so the Strawberries look like a weird, yellow hybrid berry.

After letting it simmer I added everything including the sugar substitute to the blender, as requested and blended until smooth. While letting it cool down I decided teaching Mila a lesson about healthy food.

Since I already chopped up the bananas for the other batch of bears/gummy penises or whatever shape I might find, I just sat on the floor with her. I ate a piece of string cheese while giving her banana. Well let’s just say she is smart. She went for the cheese instead Image

-seriously, check out the drops on her mouth! The banana is still on my floor FYI.

After the whole mixture cooled down a bit, I added 5 packs of gelatine, as requested and blended again. I poured the whole mix into a baking pan and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Meanwhile I started with the banana gummys.

It was the same deal just that you use a banana and lime juice, simmer the whole thing in a pot which looks like this :

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Check out the burnt corner of the pot!

And then the whole thing goes through the blender again. After I chilled both gummy mixes for about 20 minutes, both were pretty solid or at least as solid as gummy bears would be. Next you are supposed to cut out shapes. Taralynn used little bear cookie cutters, Sonja has fun Penis cookie cutters (did I mention to check out her blog??).. I got neither. I love to bake for Christmas though so I used little gingerbread men, stars and hearts.

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Overall the taste is not bad. They are a fun little food snack and quick and easy to make!

You can find Sonja’s try here:

http://pintester.com/2013/07/healthy-gummy-bears/

and the original here:

And don’t forget to look at all the other projects at the pintester 2.0 movement:

http://pintester.com/category/pintester-movement/

 

Posted in DIY

The Pintester Movement- my maxi skirt

So the lovely Pintester Sonja Foust recruited some of her loyal followers to please go and work on a Pinterest Project they wanted to work on for a while. She calls it the Pintester Movement. Here you can see some examples: http://pintester.com/2013/05/the-pintester-movement-craft-all-the-things
I just got a sewing machine from my lovely husband as a birthday present. (For my birthday coming up in June.. this is true love!) Since then I spent a boatload of Money at Joanne’s fabric, sewed two pillow cases and two baby blankets. Finally I wanted to work on a project for myself and the Pintester Movement came at a great time.
I was searching high and low on Pinterest for great instructions for a Maxi Skirt that is fairly easy to sew. Finally I found this wonderful lady: www.marriedtomed.blogspot.com/2013/04/maxi-skirt-tutoral.html and since she posted nice pictures and admitted it would not be easy, I chose her as my teacher.
I followed her instructions step by step: first I went ahead and measured my waist, added two inches as suggested and then measured the way from my hip to the feet so I could figure out how long I need it to be. Cutting the whole thing out was already quite an adventure, possibly because I chose to do so on the floor. I made sure to pin the sides so the pattern (stripes) matches up in the end. Then I started sewing. I guess I should have read her introduction a little more because the first thing I did is jam all the damn material into the machine where it got stuck. This was a great chance to catch up on a Friends episode I only have seen 10 times so far. I waited for my husband to come home, unscrew everything and then I continued sewing.
Long story Short: I sewed the right side followed by the left side and then finally tried it on. Apparently my waist shrunk 4 inches that day because the skirt ended up being too wide. Even with the tube you are supposed to attach up top it would still be too loose. So I placed it on the floor to pin the waist a little tighter. This is where I got one thing right, I got my dog to pose on the skirt, just like Sarah did on her blog. Image

 

There is one thing to be proud about! Do you also notice that the A-line is barely visible? That is actually fine because I do not want it to have too much flare. I turned the whole thing inside out again and took it in by a little bit, just around the waist. This was the lazy version without opening the original seam and it worked great. Now I just have to figure out the damn tube thing to make the skirt look a little bit better. Let’s see if I can get that in the right with! I am planing to post a picture with the skirt on this Saturday! Overall this project is a success and will be very wearable as soon as tube and skirt are connected.

 

Cheers,

Sunflowercake