Sparkleberry Industries: Premium Wood Burning tips, Soldering tips and Stencil Kit Review

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Crafting is something I have been slowly trying to get back into and it has not been easy. Not having the energy or time can be a big obstacle, as can be having the wrong tools. I had to research long and hard to even find a dependable wood burning pen because many would not work correctly, to just give out after just a few uses. Finding tips I thought was the easy part, but later I found that it was not the type, size, or style that would become the problem, it was the tip actually lasting. I had one tip from another manufacture just bend out of shape from the medium heat setting on the pen. I literally watched it just warp slowly as the pen heated up. Not a great start!

When Sparkleberry Industries offered to have me try a kit, well I have the pen and even the nice plastic box to carry all my essentials in, so why not. The kit includes:

  • 15 Pyrography Tool Tips (Brass colored tips, plus silver colored “stamps”)
  • 10 Soldering Tips (Silver colored tips)
  • 2 hot knife tips
  • 2 Plastic Stencils and
  • 3 Metal Stencils

I know, that is a pretty comprehensive list and the perfect starter set or even one you can compliment your collection with!

 

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Retail Price Point: $13.97 via Amazon and if you are a Prime member, shipping is free.

 

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Verdict:
From the get-go, Sparkleberry Industries lists what each tip is used for and does not leave the consumer just guessing. Any of the silver toned pieces are softer, so less pressure is advised when using. I heated up the first tip, which was a heart shape and the tip warmed evenly and allowed me to stamp a perfect heart on the scrap of wood I was using. I then went down the list and tested both the Pyrography and some of the soldering tips. Again, none took a different shape or did I have issues when using them. I did not test the hot knife ones and it was mostly because I have no current need for them, but come Halloween, these knives are great at shaping tombstones for the holiday, which we make out of Styrofoam that is used for insulation/noise dampening. I tried pricing the kit and you add the stencils and I have a need for them not just for outlining but just for simple labeling, plus all the other accessories and it really is a great deal. Not complicated, as all tips twisted on and off with ease and they are true to their shape and remain that way during use. My wood burning box is now filled with so many tips that I just need to score a wood crate on sale and get crafting!

 

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Connect with Sparleberry Industries at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Sparkleberry Industries. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Euphoria/CaliTime: Cotton Throw Pillow/Cushion Covers with an Embroidered Dahlia Flower in Burgundy Review

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I have always loved inexpensive items that can update my decor. Throw pillows are one of those items that can easily change how a room looks from seasonal, to even changing how a room feels by the colors you choose. White tends to make any color pop and when you combine something like a burgundy colored detail, you can really even make the most boring couch seem new again. I love that nowadays throw pillow covers are coming back because they are easier to store. Why keep trying to shove pillows with permanent covers into trunks or even closets, when you can just change the outside and reuse the same pillow? It saves you money because the cover comes unfilled, space and you can even take that savings and buy more decorative or elaborate cushion covers. CaliTime has an enormous array of designs, colors, fabric, and they really make anything to fit anyone’s decor, style, to even mood! Yes, they have pillow covers with phrases, animals, prints, to the embroidered style I picked. The nice part is they have their own site but they also sell via Amazon, so if you are a Prime member, shipping is also free.

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Verdict:
The Dahlia flower pattern, which is embroidered onto a cotton cloth comes in several colors. You have stitching in gold, grey, teal, navy blue and burgundy. The fabric is thick and not like many white fabrics that tend to be see through. You have a tight weave here and the nicer part, it’s not stiff. The cotton used is actually soft to the tough even though it will be durable because of the quality. Now, the stitching is more than I expected. Pictures can only say so much and in person, the stitching on these covers is phenomenal. At the store, so many pillows get damaged by mishandling and there is never a time that I have not had to fix loose to missing threads on covers of this kind. These arrived pristine! The burgundy thread is a deep wine color that is perfect for anytime from the Autumn colors that are nearing with Fall approaching to everyday use if you have tones that match, or you want a statement piece. This cover works either way! I was very happy and a 2-pack is just $19.95 via Amazon. yes, just a little under $10 a cover. You can’t find that and these are for pillows that measure 18 x 18 inches, so no small size here. The covers are also machine washable in the gentle cycle, again making it a practical purchase. Take a moment and I am sure you will find the perfect covers for your pillow because the selection is amazing!

Connect with CaliTime at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from . I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Tantino Gold-Framed Classic Aviator Style Sunglasses

Spring is almost sprung in Southern California and with it comes a lot of bright, sunny days. Sunglasses are almost a necessity out here, and I’m always on the lookout for an affordable pair to match with outfits. When Tantino put up a pair of sunglasses in a the classic aviator style, I was intrigued. Let’s just say I’m not anymore.

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To start, Amazon did them no favors by carelessly throwing them into the box with no protection and a much larger item along with it, which essentially beat the holy hell out of them for the duration of the trip. Amazon did replace them, and what I had ascribed to damage from shipping is actually mostly really poor quality control and poor materials used. My lenses were not optically correct, which will lead to a great deal of eye strain and headaches. The frames were so thin they bent just opening them. The nosepiece needed a lot of adjustment to rest straight on my face. But, in their defense, the amber lenses didn’t cast too much tint on everything, more of making the world sepia-toned.The big 56mm lenses cover the entire field of view, the plastic lenses seem pretty sturdy, and they claim 100% UVA/UVB protection for your eyes.

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Lastly, as I was browsing my local Target, I saw a bunch of aviator-style sunglasses in a bin for $3 each. They were identical to these from Tantino, except the Target ones I picked up were optically correct, and these were a third of the price. I know I was probably expecting too much from sunglasses costing $10.99 (the price they were asking at the time I checked out. It’s since gone lower), but I’ve bought hubby $10 sunglasses at the supermarket and had better results. Do yourself, and your eyes, a favor and spend a little more for a better pair of sunglasses.

 

Visit In Touch with Style’s website to take advantage of their “Halloween Sale”. I kid you not:

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This is the internet equivalent of leaving your Christmas lights up till June. Get it together, people.

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from In Touch with Style. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

Tryazon: Beddit Sleep Monitor and Dearfoams Slipper Party #Review Part. Two

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Continuing with the festivities, part of the party pack included a very generous share from Dearfoams. This is why I made this a two parts post! I have seen the slippers before but never owned a pair. Comfort was the theme as was better health, because if you sleep better – you feel better……why not lounge better too.

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Like with flip-flops, I started to purchase slippers that are always too big for my foot and I tend to slip and slide in them. I get sort of tired of walking and because they lack support, I also hurt if I stand too long in one place. You know when you try a shoe on and the same floor you walk on feels different? These slippers do that! It’s the same tile and carpet but I did not feel the cold from the tile and my feet did not hurt, which tends to make any task you are doing so much easier. I tried the slippers out a week before my guests and I’m not kidding, I did not miss my slipper socks. I have a short foot where every sock’s heel is always that nub sticking out at the back of my foot. Sock heels are a suggestion when you have short feet! My Dearfoams had the heel portion where it belonged and I sort of now appreciate the thought of actually using heel support. Dearfoams also sent a pair designed for men and I just asked my Husband to step in them. If you don’t like them, it’s not like “icky lotion” and you can just take them off like nothing happened. He entertained me and two days later asked me where are these slippers sold……yup, wants to add more and likes that they do’t look like what he calls “old-man” slippers.

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The designs change with Dearfoams with the seasons because they are a slipper company that sells quality products that are comfortable, and that means people who wear them desire different pairs. I get it! I thought slippers did not matter much and they were pretty much the same and especially when I hunt the clearance aisle after holidays. Yes, I find a cheap pair but again it’s not my size, not comfortable and does nothing for me other than cover my feet. I don’t even get warmth from them. The Dearfoams look cute and I will trade all my cheapies now for just one pair of these Dearfoams. No more will a cheap-o pair make it into my cart because I forgot that even slippers need to feel comfortable……that is sort of the point of owning them 🙂

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Retail Price Point: Style defines price and I found some as low as $20 to as high as $36.  A slipper for every budget!  The Dearfoams site currently has a Buy-one-pair and get 50% on the second pair (use Code:Mom50). I did listen to my Husband and saw that Kohl’s, Target, to JcPenney to even Amazon carry them. Check out the store nearest you here.  Dearfoams even has flip-flops and I will be checking those out because no more excuses for causing myself “ouchie” feet.

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I served turkey burgers to keep the meal light and because some of our guests were arriving close enough to lunch time, so I did not want to serve a meal that was too heavy. I just combine fresh ground turkey, raw coarsely chopped spinach and a combination of crumbled feta and goat cheese. We grilled them outside to avoid a cooking mess and turkey burgers made with a combination of both the white and dark meat remain really moist. You can even make the patties the night before to avoid the hassle the next day and then they are ready to just grill. I used toppings such as thinly sliced cucumber, mixed baby greens, avocado slices and even sliced small cherry tomatoes to give the sandwich that fresh taste. I opted for a Kaiser roll to again add something new. The roll I slice, butter and lightly toast (on a pan) inside because I have forgotten bread on the grill before 🙂 They were very liked and it’s such and easy meal that it remains easy and away from the everyday foods people eat.

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Connect with Dearfoams and find a favorite pair or pairs at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Dearfoams and Beddit (Tryazon).  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

I’ve made a SoulKu Connection

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After a short stay-cation I have jumped back into my blog with both feet, and I hope to hit the ground running with SoulKu. I love their intimate approach to “feel-good” jewelry and their dedication to sustainability and human interaction. So let’s begin.

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Soul-Full of Light” is the theme of this batch of beauties, and. I’m just over the moon with how cute, delicate these little pieces are. I got to take 3 of them out for a test run, and my favorite has got to be Cracked Agate. IMAG1589As the card it was attached to states, it’s full of love and positivity and is steeped in “positivity, self-confidence and clarity”. While I can’t directly attribute the good vibes I felt to the necklace specifically, I can say with absolute clarity that it certainty didn’t hurt in those steps either.

 

 

IMAG1591My second favorite has got to be the Azure Blue Crystal. And while the card purports to “carry the energies of calm, inspiration and spirituality”, I can attest to the fact that it’s just darling around my neck, so the rest to me is a big bonus. Faceted to reflect the light, it’s a sight to behold on bright, sunny California days.

 

Last but by no means least is the Noreena Jasper. The card it was attached to says that it’s imbued with the “power to IMAG1590support,grounding, release of negative energies, and freedom”, I’ll state that it’s also imbued with a rich earthy beauty that just looks too cute around your neck. Almost like a cacao bean, I had to be careful hubby didn’t try to snack on it.

 

 

All three pieces come on a golden gossamer thread with metal clasps, and on thoughtful, inspirational cards, and in your choice of 16″, 17″, or 18″ lengths. 10% of each sale goes directly to Women for Women International, a worthwhile charity if there ever was one. I highly recommend clicking that link to learn more.

 

 

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IMAG1071-1Like every other SoulKu piece sold, as well as the previous ones I’ve reviewed, the emphasis is on making, nurturing and maintaining personal relationships. Too often we get caught up in our digital lives, and forget that we’re physical creatures that crave touch, talk, and interaction, on a physical and spiritual level. With all the hustle and bustle in our lives, sometimes we can unintentionally forgo what should  matter the most to us:. Each other. SoulKu wants to remind us, with their jewelry, Eco-friendly cards, and simple envelopes that in the end, reaching out and touching someone matters more that whatever “update” our myriad of devices tell us are happening all day, every day. Thanks for that, SoulKu. I hope each and every one of you has the chance to be “reminded” by them as well.

 

Make a connection with SoulKu:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from SoulKu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

I SoulKu, Do You Too?

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When I was contacted by SoulKu to review a few of their pieces, I was flattered. While I get to try a lot of yummy treats, awesome face and body products,  as well as wonderful cosmetics, things I can hold fast to are not that common. SoulKu was nice enough of send 5 different pieces, as well as other little treats for me to share. More on that later.

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For now, let’s dive into my first 2 SoulKu pieces, the SoulKu Intention Necklaces. This is a fabulous, fresh twist on an old idea: daily affirmation cards. The idea here is that you write your goal, idea, or inspiration on the card, put it somewhere you’ll always see it, and have a pretty little reminder around your neck all day as well. How cool is that? SoulKu also went the extra mile and made sure your necklaces are infused with the power of either Amethyst (for empowerment & achievement) or Amazonite (for inspiration & hope), so you can choose which power stone you feel best suits your daily need.  Priced at $21, you could easily make both part of your routine. Not feeling the need for amethyst or Amazonite? How about Carnelian (for motivation) or Sodalite (for self-esteem)? There’s really something for everyone. Each 16 , 17, or 18 inch necklace has 5 5-6 millimeter faceted stones hand threaded on a golden nylon cord, with silver-plate hardware. Made in Asheville, North Carolina, this is a “Made in the U.S.A.” product that you’ll be proud to wear prominently. It’s a simple piece that goes with any look or style. Understated and delicate, but still eye-catching.

Even the Intention Cards are well thought out, and eco-friendly. The packages are eco-friendly. They are committed to using local vendors where possible, they donate a portion of each sale to various charities… I mean, do these people have their stuff together or what? Even the number of stones is chosen to maximize the good vibrations this little beauty provides. And did I mention? It just looks great too.

Everything here is clearly thought through, as (to quote their website):

“… SoulKu & Infinite Possibilities

The word “Ku” in Japanese translates to “a place of infinite possibility.” We like to think of our company as just that, “A place where, guided by our soul’s calling, anything is possible.” Our products reflect that idea and are meant to inspire deeper connection and action in others… ”

How ’bout that?

SoulKu is all about personal connections. Keeping things close, inspiring others, giving back. Human touch in an impersonal world. That’s an idea we should all get behind. We spend far too long staring at out various sundry screens and not enough time interacting with the world and the people around us. While it might be a lot to ask of one pretty little necklace to help us all reach out and just touch the person next to us instead of texting them, it sure is a nice thing to remind us to start.


Make a connection with SoulKu:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from SoulKu.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Essence Cosmetics: Essence Lip Stick in Miss Peachy (67) #Beauty #Review #ExpressyourEssence

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Product Retails for about: $2.99

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I did not wear any foundation around my lips or lip liner in these pictures but thankfully the subtle shimmer takes attention away from all that. They say a good mascara and a good colored lipstick can be used when you are in a hurry and out the door!  You know those mornings you hit the off button versus the snooze button, and this peach with a touch of coral hues would do the trick. Easy to apply and not long wearing, but once you gather your thoughts and make it to work, you can touch-up and smile like nothing happened. The nice part is when it wears down, you are left with super soft lips that look beautiful.

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Connect with Essence and their entire beauty collections at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Essence.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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Essence Cosmetics: Essence Kajal Eye Pencil in Beach Bum #Beauty #Review #ExpressyourEssence

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Product Retails for about: $0.99

IMAG0830Being new to the Essence eye pencil line, I trusted the formula because of my past experience with the Long Lasting Eye Pencil and I was so right! I could use the eyeliner and without a hiccup you get a nice smooth line that did not break or bump when applied. It just flows with the shape of your eye and no tugging on the skin. I usually do best on my first strokes, so this gave me a flawless liner that looked beautiful. The blue color is gorgeous and perfect for a day at the beach or for me, a day by the pool. This is a pencil you will be happy with and I purposely broke the tip to see how well it sharpens and it sharpened as smoothly as it applies. I again use it and no breakage or pieces dusting off that turn into smears (ooooh, can that ruin a perfect look). At a dollar a piece…….again, I want to kick myself for spending more on eyeliners that did not work half as good as this one does!

 

Connect with Essence and their entire beauty collections at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Essence.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Essence Cosmetics: Essence Lash Mania Reloaded Mascara #Beauty #Review

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Product Retails for about: $4.99

 

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Wand’s brush

I used this mascara in all the pictures! I love the brush and formula. I know they say non-department store mascaras perform the same or even better but that has not always been the case for me. I will find a great formula but it would come with a lousy brush and I have resorted to using a brush from another brand to make it work. I sort of did not really like having to wash it each time after use. Essence got both right and it all comes packed in one tube! Yes!!!! Finally, because black icky hands in the morning made me cringe at thinking of washing that wand again. The formula on the Lash Mania lengthens and also plumps your lashes, but without a fake-o look. I look like I was born with naturally long lashes. I only applied one (heavy) coat first, then the second coat used mostly for directing and setting the lashes. I did not want to obscure the eye shadows I was testing but when I was done taking pictures, I did apply a good 2-coat application and you can get some long looking lashes that are minus the clumps. Me-likey 🙂

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Lash Mania Reloaded Mascara with Metal Glam Frosted Apple (03) from the Essence Spring 2014 collection

 

Connect with Essence and their entire beauty collections at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Essence.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish in Give me Nude, Baby (152) #Review #Nails

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Product Retails for approximately; $1.99

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This color of nail polish  is not your typical nude/sheer and actually gives your nails a touch of shimmer. It’s very soft and think of a white colored pearl effect, minus the rainbow hues. I was able to test out and this polish in an easy one-coat application. You get nice settling and an even finish due to that unique brush Essence uses. You can also build up and intensify the white color by adding a second coat. The picture reflects how many coats I used and the #2 nail looks whiter because I used a thin first coat and a thicker second coat. Nail #3 is three coats, all thin and waiting in between for the polish to dry. I experienced a quick dry and by the time I completed polishing on my tenth nail, I could start again. 10 minutes under a fan and this testing was done with zero clear top coats, base or ridge filler polishes. Essence’s nail polish also lasts and you can’t beat the price point of $1.99 a bottle! The 2 buck price point makes the Essence Colour & Go Nail Polish line great when it comes to those trendy colors you want to try and are unsure about, to even using them as part of your Nail Art formulas.

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Connect with Essence and their entire beauty collections at:

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I received the above product free of charge from Essence.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

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