GoodeBox December 2014


Another month, another Goodebox!  Pretty great box this month, good variety in products even though there’s a dupe product from the November Petit Vour (kinda.. it’s missing the concealer).

  • Aila Nail Polish – .5 oz / $17 – (sample is Full Size!)  The product card says full size is 2.5 oz, but .5 oz is the bottle size and I can’t imagine a 2.5 oz bottle of nail polish.  I’m not a big fan of gold (the color is “#likeaboss”) – I don’t even wear it for jewelery – so the color isn’t really my thing, but I tried it out and it covered right over my bright red polish in one coat which is pretty amazing.  It did grow on me throughout the day and wasn’t as not-me a color as I had originally thought.  It’s a 5-free polish which is awesome, but it’s also on the spendier end of the nail polish spectrum (Butter London is $15, Zoya is $10, LVX is $16).  There is a discount of 10% off your first purchase at Beautea Bar including Aila polishes.
  • Au Naturale Organic Eye Shadow Stick – .5 oz / $20 – (sample size is the same as the Petit Vour Box, so value of $3.10)  I received the color “Graphite” this time, so at least it’s not a total dupe!  I tried the one from the Petit Vour box the other day and it creased really badly in under 3 hours, so I’m less impressed with this than I had originally hoped.  The color is nice though (a steely blue grey), and I’ll have to see if I can help it out by layering some sort of translucent powder over to set it or something.  Same excess packaging (all that paper for one wee tube of eye shadow?) as the Petit Vour box, but the circle where the concealer should be was covered with a sticker that said, “All Au Naturale orders .. will include a Creme Concealer Sample.”  The box also includes the same 25% off coupon.
  • Balanced Guru Scrub Me Crazy – 9 oz / $40 – (sample size is 1 oz, value of $4.45) At first look, I thought something must’ve happened to the sample because the product isn’t like other scrubs I’ve used – it’s only a little moist and looks like a tub of brown sugar.  I expected something a little more oily?  Suspended in some sort of liquid maybe?  A quick search though and that looks like the right consistency.  It smells really heavily like spearmint which isn’t a favorite, but it’s nice and refreshing.  When added to water on your skin, a coffee smell blooms, but the scent left behind is spearmint.  It’s a rough scrub, so I used it right on the KP mess that is my arms (exfoliation followed by moisturizer is the best way to knock it back a notch) and it worked really well.  The skin feels noticeably softer and I’ll cover up the mint with a body butter or something.  There’s a coupon code for 20% off all Balanced Guru products.
  • Shea Terra Organics Body Creme – 8 oz / $16 – (sample size is 1 oz, value of $2) When I first opened this, it smelled so good, like cakes and cookies (the scent is “Bourbon Vanilla”).  It’s AMAZING, and only SIX ingredients!  It’s a rich, thick cream that sinks in quickly and isn’t greasy, and the littlest bit goes a very long way.  Applied over the Balanced Guru Scrub, it completely overpowers the mint and moisturizes very well.  I could definitely see getting these as gifts since the vanilla is such a great scent, not to mention pretty universally loved.  There’s a coupon code for 20% off too.
  • EcoJot Mini Notebook – 5×7 / $10 – (sample size is 3×4, value of $5, per ecojot website) As much as I hate paper, having a little notebook has come in super handy for genealogy research and taking notes when talking to family members.  I find I can jot down notes on paper faster than I can tap them into my phone if I don’t happen to have my laptop with me.  Also, for whatever reason, writing notes on paper feels more respectful than tapping away at a phone or laptop – somehow it still feels like you’re engaged in the conversation and not zoned out into a screen.  It’s a really great little notebook with a sturdy cover, and I’ll probably put a hair elastic around the bottom edge to keep it closed while jostling around in my bag.

Total value is around $32!  The Nail Polish alone just about pays for the cost of the box, so it’s a great value, and I LOVE the body creme and will use everything in the box!

Petit Vour November 2014


The November box arrived on December 1st – a hair late, again.  The email said the lateness was a result of the snowfall last week delaying shipments which is fine, and I appreciate the communication!  I’m sure the Thanksgiving holiday had something to do with it too.  Anyway, the box this month was co-curated by Ashlee Piper at The Little Foxes, featuring the theme, “Natural Givers.”  I liked this box more than I thought I would after seeing some teaser early reviews on Twitter (seriously, how do people get their boxes two weeks before me?!).  I wasn’t so sure about the body oil, but it’s so rich and smells so good, I think it’s going to be my before-bedtime go-to for dry skin.  Now, on to the contents!

  • Au Naturale Creme Eyeshadow – $20 / 5.5 mL – (sample size is approx .85 mL, value of $3.10) I received the color, “Palma,” which is a shimmery gold color.  Easy to apply, rich color, goes on buttery smooth.  Love the ingredients list and my sensitive eyes appreciate that!  This is going to be so fun to use over the next month.
  • Au Naturale Creme Concealer – $24 / 5.5 mL – (sample size is approx 1.5 mL, value of $6.55) I received the color, “Buff,” and it’s just about the right shade for my winter skin (maybe just a wee bit  too light).  Doesn’t feel too heavy on, but doesn’t cover very well either on its own.  Definitely needs a go-over with powder or something to really be effective.  The Au Naturale products came with a 25% off coupon inside the packaging which was really excessive.  So much wasted paper!  It looked nice and was a fantastic presentation for the products, but for a vegan beauty box, I was a little disappointed to see so much excess packaging.
  • LA Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover – 24 ct / $10 – (Sample size is two pieces, value of $.83) I wasn’t impressed with the nail polish remover from LA Fresh, so I’m already skeptical about the makeup remover.  The second ingredient is cyclopentasiloxane which is NOT biodegradable or compostable as the front of the packet indicates.  In fact, it’s suspected to be an environmental toxin that bioaccumulates particularly in waterways.  It’s a cheap alternative to better ingredients like vegetable glycerine.  I’m not sure I’d want to use this around my eyes since they tend to react badly to products with cyclopentasiloxane, and while the instructions say to, “gently press wipe onto eyes or lips,” it then cautions, “Avoid direct contact with eyes.”  Hmmm.  So, I think this is a pass for me, and I’ll hand it off to someone whose eyes aren’t as hyper-sensitive.
  • Earthbody Sacred Skincare Dream Body Oil – 4 oz / $23 – (Sample size is 1 oz, value of $5.75) Oh man this smells SO amazing.  It starts out as fresh lavender and then develops into this woodsy, resiny scent on my skin.  It’s so rich and thick, and contains only oils, no carrier ingredients like silicones.  PERFECT.  I can see using this before bed like I mentioned above or right after a shower to super-hydrate elbows and knees.  Great time of the year to have this as a sample too for winter dry skin.
  • French Girl Organics Lip Tint – .15 oz / $11 – (Sample is Full-Size) I received the color, “Cerise,” and I cannot begin to express my love for this product enough.  This is definitely the winner of the box for me.  The scent is like a peppermint herbal tea and was a really nice surprise.  Then, it goes on like butter with the color building up to a beautiful, rich cherry color that’s absolutely perfect for me!  I have a feeling this is going to disappear quickly, so it’s great that they’re affordable.

The total for the box comes to just about $28!  Between the Lip Tint and the Body Oil, the cost of the box is covered, so I’m happy with that!  Kinda bummed that I didn’t get the Caru serum since I would’ve enjoyed that much more than the makeup remover pads, but that’s just how things go with subscription boxes sometimes.  It’s still a great box, and I’m happy with what I’ve got.  The Holiday Limited Edition box looks fantastic though and I might have to treat myself to a little holiday present!

Sepia Saturday 256: Festivals, floats, feathers, and fair maidens

Another one from great grandma’s personal photo album.  I’d posted about this little album a while ago and the issue that the photos are all glued to black construction paper-like pages.  I had managed to free a few of the photos that were loose already and made a few new discoveries.  Fitting in with the Sepia Saturday this week, I present to you a group of fair maidens.



On the back is written, “Left to right, Anna Shranko, Goldie Powis, Helen Somerville, Kathleen Troland, and Mary Shranko. The Shranko sisters are from Osceola Mills, PA. Four Budds and one bloom from Williamsport, PA. Taken May 15, 1932”  Junua “Goldie” Powis (nee Patchin) was my great grand uncle’s wife.  Alfred Herbert Powis had died 6 years prior to this photo being taken and they only had one son who died in infancy.  It’s sort of a sweet way to refer to Goldie as a, “bloom,” and the other girls who had never been married as, “budds.”  I haven’t been able to find out much about the other girls, and I think maybe some of the names are spelled wrong.  I did find an entry on the 1930 census that shows Helen, Kathleen, and Mary living in a house together in Williamsport, PA, with them all working a variety of different jobs from machine operator to saleslady and even laborer in a rubber factory.  All the gals are dressed nicely for a lovely late spring day (see the tulips blooming in the foreground?).  Again, I have to wonder who took the photo and took the time to label it as well with a date and all the names.  And that’s that!  Short and sweet this week, and a little late given that things have been pretty busy at Casa Sheetar.  It’s still Saturday though, so I say it works!


Not Just Boring Dude Socks

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A friend was back at the sock designing board and needed another test knit, this time for socks for men.  The husband has repeatedly refused my offers to knit socks for him, but let’s be fair, he wears t-shirts all year round and is ALWAYS too warm.  Knit socks are not really what he needs, but he did request an awesome pair of mittens that I’ll get to in another post, soon.

Anyway, on to the Dude Socks!  I had to figure out who to knit for, so I opened up a post on Google+.  A bunch of guys responded, willing to be test subjects (and enthusiastic about hand-knit socks which was SO neat to see), so I random-number-generatored a winner who just happened to be friend and almost-neighbor, Steve.  Steve gave me his foot measurements and I set off knitting the large size.  After quick test-fit when the first sock was almost done, I managed to finish the pair in 8 days!  Super quick knit, really squishy and stretchy, and the sizes fit anyone from a small woman’s foot to a large man’s foot with plenty of ease.  Steve has already worn them a bunch of times which of course made me happy because every knitter wants to hear that their hard work is much appreciated and loved.  The pattern went live on Ravelry recently, and the details are below.

Pattern: Not Just Boring Dude Socks
Designer: Corrine Walcher
Needles: US 2 (2.75 mm)
Yarn: Knit Picks Essential in “Sarge”
Ravelry Project Link

Sepia Saturday 255: Children, train sets, crafts, silhouettist, dogs, family groups

For many of the prompt images for Sepia Saturday, I see the image and immediately think of a photo that fits.  This one was a little more difficult.  I have no artists like Eveline Maydell in my tree (that I know of) and no photos that jumped out at me as having the same feel.  The one below kind of came close to the feel of the photo, even though mine is a perfectly posed family photo.  It’s a bit of a departure from the prompt image, but it’s still Sepia and Saturday!


The image is just about an 8×10, mounted on heavy boad with the photographer’s studio name embossed in gold, “Lipp Studio,” in Philadelphia, PA.  The studio doesn’t exist anymore, but even without that hint, my great grandma Olga labelled the photo, “Mother’s sister, husband, Maurice & Gordon, Shugg Family.”  Bessie looked much the same throughout her life, so it’s been pretty easy to pick out photos that she’s in anyway, and this is no exception.  Bessie Battin was born in Lawhitton, Cornwall, England in 1870.  After marrying Arnold Shugg in 1900, she came to the US with her husband and two children in 1911, almost 20 years after her sister (my 2nd great grandmother Jessie) arrived.  They settled in Philadelphia, PA about a 5 hour drive away from where Jessie and her family lived.  The sisters appeared to have kept in close contact, exchanging photos over the years, and Jessie’s daughter Olga even visited Philadelphia to see Maurice Shugg and his wife, Mildred Pruden.  Marurice (the older boy in the photo) and Mildred never had children, but Gordon (the younger boy) had a child, Mary, who married Joseph Delphidio.  I don’t have a lot of information on the descendants of Bessie and Arnold, but I apparently have a few fourth cousins floating around somewhere, related via Bessie.

As for the book Bessie is holding, all I can make out is that it says, “Record,” on the front and is very well worn.  As far as a date goes, Gordon was born in 1905, and they arrived in 1911, so something like 1915 sounds about right.  If you happen to stumble across this photo and are related to the Shugg family, please get in touch!