Thursday, January 31, 2013

How To - My first big sewing project. A blanket for the boy!

ok I am a very beginner seamstress... I've made a dozen pillows...some baby wipes and a hairband. BUT my son has been driving me nuts for a blanket of out 2 fabrics he picked back in the fall. so to shut him up (yep I said it) I made it today.

He had picked these 2 fabrics

The batman panel was great. I bought it from ebay. And the hot rod fabric is from alexander henry....I know they don't match at all but it's my son's quilt and I told him he could pick what he wanted. and it actually looks really cute together.

So At walmart I picked up some baby blanket batting. it comes folded in a flat big piece. The panel for my son's blanket was 35"x43" so I left 1/2 inch for thread as i'm still not a great perfect line sew-er. So I had to cut my hot rod fabric and batting to the same dimensions...easy enough!

I used this GREAT hobo mom blog for guidlines

it seemed easy enough... just that it's big and kinda bulky. After pinning than repining the 3 fabrics together (yep I pinned it wrong the first time) I got sewing...I checked repeatedly that I was not going over the edge of the fabric...(which I was at one point..) so I guess in an amateur move I just back stitched all the way back and kept going in a BETTER straight line down the blanket. I will admit that I think I stretched the batting so I had this...ummmmm "overlap" or :wave of extra fabric" BUT batting is very forgiving. I simply flattened the batting along the blanket with my arm, pinned down the overlap and sewed a second seam and it worked out fine and didn't add much bulk at all. I do know I should have ripped the seam and redid it all, however if I did not get this blanket done I would either go deaf from the boy asking if it was done...or stop and put it all away. I thankfully remembered to leave a space open to flip it inside right. Than finished off the open part with a "ladder stitch" ooooooo fancy

I had already poked out the corners with my finger (and you thought I forgot)

I must say it was probably a rather crude way of making my first blanket, but I must say looks great...and I didn't need to go buy one.... It was also GREAT practice in the "sewing under kids pressure" department. My son adores it, and it will be going on the plane with us soon. The best part of making my first big project is I now know what not to do the next time. I also learned how to break my neeedle and am now going thru sewing withdraw until I get to the sewing shop tomorrow. So with that I leave you be.

I never thought i'd see the day where I could do all this.... With the help of an amazing and encouraging friend and seamstress pam, who has an AMAZING etsy shop st (and I have alot of her awesome stuff)  

a great beginner sewing tutorial I got at

a naggin son and a genuine desire to learn I got thru it... I'm eager to gt onto the new projects I have planned and cut already! And about those broken needles......well I burned alot of food learning to cook too! 
I'm no longer afraid to sew and it also helped alot with self confidence knowing that in my ADHD mind if I just prepare first and have it all ready the actually put together part is easy peasy

This is his "MOM!!!! i'm trying to play my games" Face!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The relaunch of INDIE POLISH

Well it's 2 days early! and with only 2 missing polishes INDIE POLISH HAS REOPENED!

With over 10 new colors, revised listings and better shipping rates we would be so honoured if you'd join us in our relaunch!

There is also a GREAT incentive for bloggers to try and blog our polishes too!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hotel Review - Toronto Don Valley Hotel And Suites

Having had a horrible stay at the Radisson, and a disappointed boy on my hands (swimming is one of his great loves) We got an offer to stay at the Toronto Don Valley Hotel And Suites.  It was an offer to good to pass up so we decided to go.

Andrew, who was on staff at night was amazing to deal with. After thoroughly confirming and re-confirming my stay he let me know early check in was fine. When we pulled up to the hotel it was beautiful. It's located in an area of the city that sits on ravine land. A BIG winding driveway led up to a beautifully enclosed entryway where, once we exited the truck we could hear music playing...My son said "mom this IS a fancy hotel..they play music outside!"

We did have a few hiccups checking in with our breakfast vouchers from the girl at the desk who we were not overly fond of....she explained that the breakfast vouchers were not an option, after Andrew had clearly stated it was part of our package...she kept trying to get us to upgrade our room explaining that the new rooms were recently renovated and a totally different color (like I care what color the room is for my sleeping hours)

Our room was an executive king room and was EXACTLY as pictured.

I will say that on their site they rave about the views.....however my view was of the highway and parking lot...this may be off putting to some but my son ADORES watching the highway at night so this was fine for us. The room was FREEZING but warmed up REALLLLY fast with an old fashioned window unit that was a bit complicated to figure out but worked REALLY well!

Our room was SPOTLESS...baseboards and all! Even the old school TV is our room was wiped clean and dust free (I'm not one to care if the TV is flat screen) Our room did not have a fridge or microwave and if I wanted one they were 20-25$ EACH. Thankfully my son is not a baby anymore and we didn't really need it!

The bathroom was BIG and SO clean. I liked the old style red granite counter tops and a HUGE GIGANTIC bonus was HEATED TILE FLOORS  ahhhhhhhhhhhh.....what a treat in the morning. 

Our Internet was free which in Toronto is saying alot as may hotels charge 8-25$ a day for Internet, and it was high speed wireless! 

We were spending the day at the science center so we left for the day.

Upon our return we had some dinner....I can honestly without a doubt say it's one of the best hamburgers I have ever had EVER! it was great! My son had a cheese pizza that he FINISHED so it MUST have been great! I also had a whiskey sour which was soooo good! The waiter was very pleasant and understanding towards my son (the boy has adhd, autism and odd, so his behavior is sometimes difficult in places new to him) The fire place across from our table and tv's were a great distraction. I was also REALLY surprised about the was far lower than expected and way better than many hotels. The teal, white and cream decor in the restaurant and thruout the hotel is so lovely and clean!

To top off a great day we went to the pool.....WOW. The pool is amazing! first of all it's a perfect circle and the entire roof is a skylight. But better yet it's WARM!! the first hotel we have stayed at where the pool is so warm it's surprising!. As it got darker, several big ornate coach lamps turned on automatically....and as it got darker the ambiance almost became a romantic candlelight pool....had it not been for my child, and several others that is! But it was so beautiful! The hot tub was REALLY hot, and they even have have a family change room which is so smart. Upon our return in the morning, it was a totally different feeling. Bright and welcoming!

(the lounge chairs are not the same and I saw no drapes but the rest is the same)

Would I stay here again? I'm already trying to find an excuse too! With INCREDIBLE winter rates starting at 99$ or 2-4 night packages from 84-95$ a night why not enjoy a STAYcation! 

Other incredible features
The most comfy bed and pillows ever!!!
room service from 6pm-11pm
a little shop open from 9a-11p
Some rooms have balconies
a seasonally available outdoor pool
it's SO quiet! 

Toronto Don Valley Hotel & Suites - Toronto, Ontario (ON)
175 Wynford DriveTorontoOntario M3C 1J3
Contact: 416-449-4111 | Fax: 416-385-6700 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

On a more positive note - a great review!!!! OF US!

a few weeks ago I was emailed by a lovely customer named Ria. She had purchased our vegan glitter lotion in coconut cream pie....

I was surprised to find she was planning to review it as part of her dedication to finding vegan, cruelty free products that are AFFORDABLE. So we mailed off her order and waited.

well today we got word of her pleasing review.

her blog is here ria lives well

and the review was as follows

Coconut Cream Pie Glitter Lotion

Hi and welcome back to Ria Lives Well!
Today’s topic is one I’m very excited about.
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For a while now, I’ve been searching for cosmetics and toiletries that are 1) cruelty free, 2) made with all natural ingredients, and 3) affordable. So far, my favorite shop to find such products is Lush. However, when shopping at Lush, I can never check number three off my list. That doesn’t mean I don’t still heart Lush. I absolutely do! Yet my weakened wallet has me searching for another avenue.
And I found it.
While browsing Etsy, I discovered a shop called Me & The Boy. The owner makes just about everything I’m searching for. Perfumes, lotions, soaps, even nail polish. I forced myself not to buy everything I wanted, and instead purchased one item: Glitter Potion Supreme Lotion in Coconut Cream Pie.
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Affordability? Check.
One eight ounce bottle only cost $8 since it was on clearance to make room for the Fall and Winter fragrances. But you won’t find remarkably cheap prices in the clearance section alone. Me & The Boy offers vegan, gluten free body washes for $5; soy candles for $5.26, and beautifully hand crafted soap, like Yuzu Spearmint for $4.75.
So I finally received my lotion in the mail today, and what’s my verdict?
Love this stuff!
The Moisture
This lotion doesn’t sit on my skin, but penetrates and does a wonderful job of moisturizing/softening the skin. And the smell? Deliciously addictive. Unless you aren’t a fan of coconut, you will certainly fall in love.
Glitter me Gold
Despite the name-Glitter Potion Supreme Lotion-I didn’t think much of the word “glitter”. After spreading the lotion across my skin, bits of gold freckled my arms and legs. So then came the realization: “Ah. Glitter lotion.” Even as I sit here writing this post, I’m constantly distracted by the glint from my skin whenever the light hits the right spot. I can only imagine what a hot seller this is during the Summer months.
All Natural
My favorite element of this lotion is that it’s 98% natural and 100% vegan. When I look at the ingredient list, I actually know what most of the ingredients mean.
So I decided to have some fun. I compared it to the lotion I used beforehand, Victoria Secret’s Love my Body in Jasmine & Water Lily.
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Not only am I unfamiliar with the ingredients in my VS lotion, I can’t even pronounce half of them. And while this has nothing to do with it being all natural, the Glitter Potion Supreme Lotion is nearly double the size and a fraction of the cost. The insanity!
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Just skim the ingredients for both lotions and you’ll see what I mean {Be warned, blurry pictures that fail me as a photographer ahead}….
VS Love my Body Lotion Ingredients:
Water, glycerin, petrolatum, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, ceteareth 20, fragrance, diazolidinyl urea, carbomer, methylparaben, aloe leaf juice, benzyl alcohol, tocopheryl acetate, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium hydroxide, macadamia seed soil propyl paraben….{The list continues in this manner. How many can you define?}
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Coconut Cream Pie Glitter Lotion Ingredients:
De-ionized water, grape seed oil, avocado oil, capric triglycerides, emulsifying wax NX, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, aloe leaf juice, stearic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, silk amino acids, vegetable glycerine, sorbitol, silicone, methyl cellulose, allantoin, phenoxyethanol and optiphen.
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Not only do I recognize most of the ingredients, like shea butter and jojoba oil, the ingredient list is smaller. This is what I want when searching for skin care products. Skin is a delicate system, and I can’t imagine caring for it while slathering cetereath-20, tetra sodium EDTA and carbomer on it everyday.
A Sample
The shop owner also threw in a sample of her Lavender body wash, Lavenderology Shower Gel with exfoliating grains. Take a whiff and you’re in a field of lavender. The beauty of this product is, the smell intensifies as you use it. I hadn’t stumbled upon the last time I browsed her Etsy shop, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled for it next time. Oh, yeah. There will be a next time.
~Live well!

Check out her blog it's great (she has an amazing reciepe for 2 ingredient creamer for your coffee! and she's nice too!!! Thanks Ria...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Another disgusting Toronto Hotel

After an AMAZING stay at the delta toronto east we got another dump (good review of delta coming soon)

booked a room to come swimming with my son...

My husband had several problems already with this hotel in the smoking rooms (like bloody towels in the closet and windows that don't close) but I figured since we were in a non  smoking room maybe it would be better.
 NOPE! gross mildew on the ceiling and rust all over the tub.....and when we checked in nobody told us that the pool was not working!!!  What a dump!!! NEVER AGAIN! and the head of front desk is a serious dick!

When I called down to front desk to ask for a head office number, they told me they did not know what the number was (but it's ok I found it)  Head office couldn't understand why they front desk would not give the info. When I asked the head at front desk about the pool his reply was "what would you like me to do about it"

Should have rebooked the delta room, but we were going to the science center and this is the closest hotel.

This hotel is at
55 Hallcrown Place
Toronto, ON M2J4R1
(416) 493-7000

no effort was made to do anything to better the situation.... not a thing.  (if I ran my company like this, I would not have one)

we were awarded the night free and given points towards a future stay. But I still would not try again in this hotel!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome to our new look!

well we made a few changes! since we will be featuring alot more reviews I figured lets just breathe new air into our awesome blog.....also you can find us WAY easier by just typing HANDMADEREVIEW.COM

Let us know what you think!!!! we will be uploading more reviews this week.....and some new how to's and so on! Enjoy

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Etsy Review - The Owl and the Envelope

Soo I happened upon the owl and the envelope via a giveaway of their site! AND I WON....which never EVER happens. And I am such a stationary lover that I was super excited....and with good reason I soon found out!

 Megan is as nice as they come. Everything went quick...from contact on facebook, to the order being sent out!  from foxes, snowflakes and cool graphic originality it's clear this shop owner loves what she does!

It was really hard to pick just a few things so I ordered

4 piece3-1/2 x 5 card is made with textured paper and ink, on Eco-friendly card stock, and comes with a Kraft colored envelope.

Let it Snow! Just like snowflakes, each of these beautiful cards is a one of a kind. Each card is hand-drawn with pen and pencil, and comes with a coordinating handmade envelope.

Cards are A1 (3-1/2x5 inches) 

With striking stripes in bold retro colors, these note cards are sure to please all! Two designs to make sure they fit each occasion you need them for. Total set of 8 cards and coordinating envelopes. 3-1/2" x 4-7/8"

I've never said this before but the envelopes and presentation were almost better than the cards. The snowflake ones are all hand coloured and JUST STUNNING. They were all quite simply perfect!!!!  I would WITHOUT a doubt shop in this shop and honestly she's a great artist and a wonderful shop owner. Customer service and communication were second to NONE. Delivery to canada was reasonably quick, and they arrived perfect

Etsy Shop -

Facebook -

Friday, January 11, 2013

I'm making back decent money shopping where I normally shop for stuff I normally buy. So to me it's like free money. Sign up and check it out. Click the picture link below. It adds up really fast.