Thursday, August 31, 2017

Awesome Life Friday #127

Welcome to Awesome Life Friday!

We're so looking forward to seeing what you've been cooking, creating, growing, decorating, reviewing, giving away, and thinking about this week!

While you're here, leave your posts at the other link up we co-host here - Party in Your PJs!  It starts on Tuesday evenings, and runs through Sunday.  I hope you'll join us there as well!

Here's what we've been up to this past week:

So, now our favorite part - the FEATURES !  If you're one of our featured posts, we'd love it if you'd grab a button, and thanks to all of you who shared with us last week!

Fall Pumpkin Pallet Sign // Live Craft Love
"This fall pallet sign is perfect for those that are looking for that rustic farmhouse style!"

Twisted Paper Pumpkins // Vintage, Paint & More
"These little guys are so cute and add a lot of interest and texture to any decor. They're simple to make and take very little time."

Drying & Preserving Flowers // Little House Living
"There are many tips and techniques on how to dry and preserve flowers, and today I’m sharing a few simple ideas with you."

Salisbury Steak & Gravy // The Bearded Hiker
"My sister visits and says, “All I hear about is Uncle Jaxx’s salisbury steak. Will you make me salisbury steak? I hate salisbury steak. Will you make it?” Done. Next thing you know, hearts and unicorns are swirling around her head.  See what’s happening here? I’m turning hate into love. And you can too!"

Simmer Pot Recipes For Fall // The Country Chic Cottage
"We all know the familiar scents of a fall day.  Bring those into your home naturally with a simmer pot."

Blackberry Pie Filling // Our Simple Homestead
"Not thorns in my finger tips or the 100-degree heat can keep me out of my blackberry patches this time of the year."

If you are one of our FEATURED bloggers, this button is for you!

Thank you all so much for sharing your awesomeness!

Are you all ready to party?  If you like, we'd love it you'd help spread the word by grabbing our button:

Here we go!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 Glasses Online (Review/Discount)


I have probably needed to wear glasses for at least the last 6 years or so, but it's been just slightly under two years since I have been. It got to a point where I realized I should probably be scared that I was basically passing street signs while driving before I was able to read them.

So. Now I'm a glasses wearer.

Since that initial purchase, I've only had that one pair of glasses, and they've stood the test of time thus far.

I recently had an updated eye exam and while my glasses were still offering much better sight, my new prescription was ever so slightly different. I knew I was going to purchase a second pair of eyeglasses, as I do often worry that something like... I dunno, a zombie apocalypse is going to occur and I'm going to be totally screwed... so having a backup pair  just seems like the best bet at survival.

Within the same week of that exam, I was offered the opportunity to review -- perfect timing!

(As always, while I received a product to review, all comments and impressions are my own.)

I was given a special link to use for blogger reviewers, so I do hope that my review is true to what any paying customer would receive, but I want to be transparent that I seemed to be on a special side of their website.

That said....

I have many pros and cons about my experience with

For starters, they have a TRY ON feature which is very important for shopping for glasses online in my opinion. I won't even bother with eyeglasses sites that don't, to be honest.

However, their feature was very much not to scale. There are measurements on the description of each pair of glasses, and yet they all tended to look the same, or even just WRONG (things that claimed to measure larger would appear must smaller than others on try me feature).

On the plus side, they have many search options for customized preferences. Gender, adult/kid, frame shape/style/material, width/height, color and price.

However, it seems no matter how broad I was in my search, if I specified anything at all, I'd get the dreaded NO RESULTS FOUND message, even if I located such items through tedious page flipping.

I have few strong convictions, such as no metal. I'm allergic to many types of metal, so I definitely want only plastic frames. But for the most part I left fields as open as possible.  I hope they eventually allow for all the amazing customization they seem to, but for now I think its a bit buggy.

My temple distance measures as 124.5. My previous pair of glasses were 125 and honestly pretty loose. I got used to it, and frankly I think I chose them just for look and don't remember measuring anything! I don't think I was aware that was even a thing.

Luckily, I've learned. I narrowed my possibilities down to handful of options chosen that were within my range and style preferences.

One thing I noticed was unlike previously used websites, I couldn't share my try-ons via social media.

And if I right-clicked saved the pic, it wouldn't save it WITH the glasses on as they were just an overlay.

My only option was to screen shot.

So these issues all had to do with the website itself.  How about the glasses?

After I received a few opinions based on looking at my screenshots, I ultimately chose Peoria Rectangle - Black.

The temple distance on the ones I chose were 120mm, with no other options available.

They arrived about 2.5 weeks after ordering in a sturdy box inside a bubble envelope. (I live overseas and use an APO address so the arrival time make me a bit shorter for US residents)

Included in the package were a case containing the glasses and glasses cleaning cloth.

When I removed them from their plastic case I was shocked. They looked so small! I was really afraid they had sent child specific glasses ( though now I see that the CHILD glasses are simply size SMALL (anything less than 130mm) so in essence they were, but  still right for my face as well.

When I first put them on, they were a bit stiff, though since they were new that was to be expected.

But - and this is important - I also noticed how crispy clear my vision was. The lenses were phenomenal!  They got my prescription done wonderfully.

I shot my contact at an quick email update, as I try to with all of my assignments, to let them know they arrived safely and I would be started my time with working with them them.

I did note the size issue, and expressed my hopes that they would 'break in' a bit. I wasn't asking them to do anything about it, just giving them a head up on my initial reaction. To my great surprise I received a very rude response. I was told I clearly should have chosen a bigger size, that these were a small and I needed a large, and “next time pay more attention.”

Hrm. Thanks for that.

A medium or large would have been far too big for me, and their search function doesn't work well enough to find the perfect fit.

In fact, if you put in “Womens glasses” as well as “under 125” the pair I chose was the ONLY one that comes up.  I strongly feel that online vendors need to make sure their websites adequately help customers (who are not likely to be experienced at handling their particular quirks) locate and purchase what they need without having to fight their set up.

Now, a month of using my new glasses, I can say they fit fabulously. I was sure they just needed to lose the new crispness, and they have. So, next time I shop for glasses I will have more experience with selecting what's right for me.

In addition to needing to spend some time getting used  to the size and breaking them in, I also noticed the side wings (which are really cute!) were much thicker than my previous pair, as I knew they would be, but I definitely struggled with peripheral vision for a little while.

These are not high quality frames by any standard, and doesn't claim to provide anything other than inexpensive, discount frames.

The plastic is very creaky, and I fear a lens is going to pop out every time I clean them.

This pair about $20 when I ordered them, and have now been discounted to $10, so you get what you pay for!

I prefer the quality of other online glasses retailers my husband or I have used, but if I were looking for a extra pair at a great price, maybe for vacation, or to have a spare set, I would use again.

They also carry a variety of prescription sunglasses, which will likely be a future purchase of mine, since I've avoided getting a pair until now due to cost. is offering an excellent introductory offer to our readers - you can get a pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses for 50% off with FREE LENSES!  This doesn't include any frames that are on sale, but what a great way to check them out at very low cost.

To claim your discount, just use the code GSHOT50 when you check out!

All in all, in spite of my frustration with the website and the response I got, I think anyone looking for glasses that don't cost much would find that they got fair value for the price here.  I think the better prepared you are to know your size and which shapes best fit your face before you tackle their website, the more likely you'll be to have a satisfactory outcome.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Party in Your PJs #172

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to the Party in Your PJs Link Party, where your posts will be seen on four different blogs each week.

You'll also find the Awesome Life Friday link-up here at RCHReviews, every Thursday evening at 8pm ET so we hope to see you there as well.

Are you ready to party? I can't wait to see what you've brought to share!

 Meet the Co-Hosts

Nina @ Grandma Ideas 

Lynda @ Reviews, Chews & How-Tos 

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

Donna @ Aging Like a Fine Wine

Facebook // Pinterest // Twitter // Instagram

The rules for the group board include:
1. Limit of one pin a day.
2. Just like the party anything goes, but clear wonderful pictures with great descriptions are most successful.
3. Please no Spam ( Spammers will be deleted without warning)
4.  If you pin to the Pinterest Board, please link to the Party in Your PJs Party also, the party runs from 7 pm Tuesdays-Midnight Saturday (Central Time)
5.  Finally have fun and share this group board  with blog friends and followers!  The more success the group board is the more success you will see from your pins.

Lynda's Features!

With some many kids headed back to school this week, I decided to share a few back-to-school related posts this week!

 Make sure you head over to the other member of Party in Your PJs
 to see their features - we each pick our own!

All links are pinned to a Party can follow the board on Pinterest...feel free to follow the board, there is lots of inspiratioPn to be found there.

Ok...let's party!

Rules -Link to post, not your home page
-Link to something YOU made, wrote or thought
-No Etsy or Business Pages
-Link Parties, Roundups and Giveaways welcome
- Don't Link and Run! Please visit other links, make friends, learn something new, leave a comment.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Kids in the Kitchen: Soot Sprites (#GhibliGourmet)


Many of you by now know that I am very fond of anime. But what started my fondness for the genre? The answer, my friends, is Studio Ghibli and the mastermind Miyazaki.

From Totoro to Kiki, I loved Miyazaki films even at a point when I didn't care for almost any animation.

Of course, I have shared this love with my children. My daughter carries a Totoro backpack she affectionately calls “Totie” and my son begs to watch Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.

If I were to ever have a play room for the kids, it would be decked out in Ghibli goodness.

So, when the kiddos started wanting to help out in the kitchen, I thought of a nifty little snack that they can make for themselves, no Mommy needed!

Soot sprites!

Soot sprites are little creatures featured in My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. The are shown as pitch black round fuzzy creatures with large eyes and sometimes are seen to have long thin legs, and they are really cute!

The soot sprites we make are just as adorable as the ones in the movies, but don't make little hands all sooty black!

This is less a recipe than simple instructions - and by all means, let your kids put them together for themselves!

Soot Sprites

Oreo Cookies
White Decorator Frosting
Candy Eyes

On each Oreo put two little dots of frosting to secure the candy eyes. That's it! You now have kawaii soot sprites!

If you're feeling really ambitious, you could cut thin black licorice ropes and tuck them into the white filling of the Oreo cookie to create legs.

These are a perfect snack for watching a Miyazaki movie!

I'm sharing this post with this month's Fandom Foodies round up - the theme this month, hosted by Onion Chopping Ninja Chef, is all things GHIBLI!  Head over here to see what others are doing.

Ghibli Gourmet Link Up

Friday, August 25, 2017

August Stitch Fix Show-off


I wanted to share my August Stitch Fix box before the month entirely gets away from me - can you believe we are only days away from September already?!  How did that happen?

This month, my stylist put together a really fun collection playing on neutrals and the color red, which is a color that never fails to make me feel cheerful and confident.  I was really pleased to see her selections!

Not all of them turned out to work me (and let's be honest - my wallet is glad that doesn't always happen!), but they were almost all in the general area of what I like.

Let's start with the items that didn't work out:

These three pieces, for various reasons, had to be returned - but look how great they look together? On the right person, this would be a terribly cute outfit.

Starting with the easiest choice of things to not keep, the Love & Legends Janessa Wide Leg Capri Pants with drawstring waist didn't appeal on any level (other than that it's a good neutral that goes well with the reds in the box).

They were way too small on me - enough that I couldn't take a picture of me wearing them even if I was inclined to.  Since Stitch Fix allows for exchanges, that isn't a deal-breaker, but they had other problems.

The fabric was thin and the cut means, if they did fit, they'd be comfortable and able to breathe, but it also means they looked very limp and pretty unattractive.

Pretty much, they screamed 'clean out the garage clothes' - and we don't have a garage.

I didn't really need my husband to weigh in on these (sometimes, I do need a second opinion), but the headshaking and pleading look was all I needed to set these aside for returns even if I had been on the fence about them.

Ok!  Now that the worst is out of the way let's go on to happier parts of this box!

Shoes!  I've been on the prowl all summer for a pair of shoes I can wear with pants and dresses.  It's not easy to select shoes for me, because I have several criteria that are non-negotiable.

I have disabilities that make it impossible for me to wear heels or take any risk of slipping. So I need shoes that are flat but have good soles on the outside so I don't slide, and good support on the inside.

Additionally, I really (REALLY) dislike open toed shoes on me.  Closed toed sandals that meet all this criteria are out there but hard to track down.  Closed toed flats or clogs are more commonly available, but still it is a challenge.

I thought these Mesh Knit Alpargata Slip-On Toms might be a winner!  But here again, they were too small (this is now multiple times Toms have been too small when I'm already asking for a half size larger than I normally wear, so hmm....)

Within just a couple minutes of wearing them to show off, I felt blisters developing on the upper back of my heel, and I didn't love the way the front of the shoe is put together by folding over the fabric. It looks a little awkwardly styled, to me.

But still - very cute, especially with the other items in the box.

Now we're getting really close - I loved this top in the box and it hits all the right warm spots - the Eden Society Teresa Embroidery Detail Top is an airy peasant style top that feels very reminiscent of Ukrainian folkwear in both its colorfulness and the delicious embroidery along the front and at the shoulders.

The fabric is quite sheer, which is a thing to keep in mind when choosing what goes underneath it.  I tried it on with the white jeans I kept from last month and the Toms that were in the box.

Unfortunately, there was something about the cut of this that simply didn't play well with my shape - it set a little shorter than I'd like for something that would otherwise be a bit airy.

To fit my pear-shaped body, it needed just a little bit of flare to avoid being too body hugging around the hips.

Finally, I am coming to realize that I always feel awkward when my shoulders are highlighted by this sort of football jersey graphic element that makes them look too small (or too big... or just hunched? Not sure).

Again I think this is because I am lower body heavy - I just don't need an optical illusion that makes me shoulders look even smaller in comparison to my hips.

So, as much as I liked this top in series - and really want  to see more embroidered pieces while they're still in style! - I put this on the return pile and turned my attention to the last two pieces.

I am not even kidding - I'd have probably cried if this next top, the Crescent Amparo Tie Neck Tunic hadn't fit. I loved it that much when I first saw it.

This is a very lightweight fabric, but with sleeves, so I'll be able to enjoy it throughout the fall with a sweater or jacket to go with it.

The length is a good bit longer than the first top, which I am much more comfortable with.

Best of all? POM POMS!

Around the bottom hem and the sleeves are an adorable bit of white trim of tiny pom poms!

I've already worn this a couple times - it goes quite nicely with both the white jeans and with regular jeans and I think it'd be really cute with a straight skirt, too.

Also, my husband gets smiley and comments on the pom poms every single time - hah! We belong together.

I expect to have this in regular rotation come cooler weather with leggings and boots and a shawl or sweater.  Winner Winner!

Lastly,  I receive a red and white floral maxi wrap dress with a high-low hem and ruffles (this whole collection was about hitting current trends, wasn't it?)

This is Honey Punch Daniella Faux Wrap Maxi Dress. I haven't worn it other than to try it on, yet - there is a white inner lining that I appreciate a lot but it does add warmth and bulk that are too much for the humid days we've had this month.

But I will be making up excuses to wear it once the weather gets cooler!

It is completely open in the front with the wrap belt running through a hole at the side, so once I sorted out how to put it on, it is pretty easy to get on and adjusted as needed.

The front is higher but not too high - it hits just about six inches above my ankles.  The wrap V-neck and the sleeves are both really attractive, I think and the pattern is seriously cute.

It's been a long time since I wore ruffles around a skirt like this, but I really like them, too!

I think this dress could easily be dressed up or worn for a reasonably casual event with a few switches in accessories, shoes and the like. I'd love to try it with a denim jacket, but I also think any of several shawls in my closet would work nicely here.

I tried it on with my boots even though it was way too hot to keep them on more than a few minutes.

Showing off the lining.

So that was it for me this time - two really great pieces, both of which I can wear well into the coming Autumn months, and I learned a few more things about what really works or doesn't work for me compared to what I think will or won't.

Ok then - ready or not, September, here we come!

Stitch Fix (this is my referal link - if you sign up via this link, I'll receive a credit toward my own next box.)

Anime Bento Unboxing


Once again, I was treated to a fun Anime Bento Box! For those of you who don't know, Anime Bento is a subscription service that sends a box full of anime goodies and even includes a yummy Japanese snack!

This month's box included two figurines, one Sailor Moon and one Dragon Ball, a Ranma Express tee shirt, an Anime Bento file folder, and a grape chewing candy. Also in the Bento Box was a card detailing what was included in the box and a sneak peak of the next one!

Everyone I know at least knows of Sailor Moon, even if they didn't watch it. The figurine I got was Sailor Moon herself, in her Princess form.

She sits atop a little stand, and according to the pictures on the box, she can even perch on a glass rim. Unfortunately, my day to day glasses are too thick for this, so I only get to utilize this feature if I'm drinking from my wine glasses. So, for the most part, she lives on the shelf with the rest of my adorable anime figurines.

Dragon Ball Z was actually the very first anime I ever saw. I remember my brother and my dad watching it together every Saturday morning, while I usually read on the couch. To be completely honest, I never actually cared for the fight filled anime that honestly reminded me of a Superman knock off, but I still knew exactly what I was going to do with the figurine!

My brother had his birthday this month, and I knew he'd appreciate it as a decoration for his new house, so I wrapped it up and shipped it off to him, glad to know that it would be enjoyed.

The bright red shirt is a fun play on the well known restaurant, Panda Express. After a bit of searching, I found that it references the anime Ranma ½ that follows a teen aged boy who, due to an accident in his training, becomes a girl when splashed with cold water.

It has been said that Ranma ½ was actually one of the first anime/manga to become popular in the US, which makes it interesting enough that it's been added to my ever growing “to watch” list.

The file folder for this month is the same pocket type that I have come to expect from Anime Bento. The three Bento Girls in kimonos grace the front. With the school year fast approaching, I know that I will be using this!

Finally, the treat in this month's box was a grape chewing candy. Like the Pokemon candy from last month, I at first thought it was gum, but found out otherwise.

Usually, I absolutely loathe grape flavored candies, and thought it was going to be a treat for Mischief, but after smelling it, I decided to give it a try. I'm not sure what the exact difference is between Japanese grape flavoring and US grape flavoring, but I have come to the conclusion that the Japanese is by far the superior. Every single time I have gotten a grape something or other for a treat, I have ended up liking it.

Once again, I have gotten a lovely Anime Bento Box, full of goodies that I can use and love. If a monthly box like this seems up your alley, subscriptions start at $35.00/month.