Category Archives: reflections

Company Overview :: Uncommon Goods

So I’m thinking of renaming my blog. Instead of :: My Closet Catalogue ::, a more befitting moniker would have to be Serendipity Strikes. Because how often have I used that word in correlation to my life? Ummm, let me count the ways…one, two, three

But seriously, folks, here’s one for the record books: as you all are now aware, I’d decided to take an indefinite hiatus from blogging because life. And boy, howdy was I enjoying the freedom! In the first week of being blog-less, I’d once again taken up knitting (a blanket, no less!), reading (I checked out eighteen books from the library all in one shot), anime viewing (Noragami, ftw!), and – my guilty pleasure – Facebook app-ing (Pet City for the iPhone?! Wot?!).

It was a startling revelation:  my one, lone hobby had apparently been occupying the time of four. That’s INSANE!

But right as I was settling into my slothful, blog-less groove, I received an email from Tom over at Uncommon Goods, inquiring about a possible partnership with ::MCC::. I would get carte blanche with their catalog, a Christmas shopping spree on them, and all I’d have to do is post about my largesse. The email arrived in my inbox just when I’d almost made up my mind to put ::MCC:: on hold permanently.

Serendipity strikes, indeed.

It’s as if the universe is yelling, “We’re not done with you yet, ingrate! Get to writing!” And when the universe yells that convincingly, you’ve just gotta listen.

Also, there was no way karma was going to let me get away with refusing this company. After all, Uncommon Goods‘ mission states that they

feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people…Most of the products we carry are created right here in the USA, and about one-third of our entire collection incorporates recycled and/or upcycled materials. At the core of our company is a great respect for the integrity of the creative individual and the belief that it is our responsibility to use our business to impact the world in a positive way.

And serendipity strikes once again. Because I’ve expended a lot of blood, sweat and tears into Project Prometheus, most of which was spent creating and committing to this essential question: What is the best pathway to a sustainable energy future? There’s no better way to practice what I preach than to support companies who are already well on their way to answering it for us.

So what did I end up choosing? For the ten-year-old daughter who is a budding artisan in her own right, I got the DIY String Art kit (found here). For the twelve-year-old son who is impossible to figure out because he’s both a pre-teen and a boy, I got Das Horn (found here). No, I am not encouraging underaged drinking. It’s just one of those kitschy things I think he’ll like.

For the husband, I got the Bad Dog Wisdom tumblers (found here) because it matches both his sense of humor and his unfathomable love for our own bad dog. And then, because Tom was generous enough to allow me to fudge on the budget and overspend just a little bit (Thanks, Tom! You are a prince among men!), I also added the Pick Punch (found here) since I couldn’t decide between the tumblers and it.

Topping it all off, and going even more over budget, I snagged a pair of Genius Socks (found here) for one very lucky individual who is not expecting a Christmas present from me at all which makes it even more satisfying anticipating the surprise.

Since these are all to be Christmas presents, I can’t give a traditional review because, clearly, I’ve not opened them to examine them closely. I’ll definitely do a follow-up post after the big reveal, though, so stay tuned.

But why no pictures, you ask? Well, I’m counting on this generation’s overt fear of large blocks of text to dissuade close perusal of this post by the very recipients of aforementioned largesse. In other words, I’m gambling that I’ve written enough words that my family decides to skip reading this, thus avoiding Christmas present spoilers.

If you managed to get down this far, however, and are a visual person, why not hop on over to Uncommon Goods and browse their aesthetically pleasing website for these and even more amazing, sustainable, unique products? They even have everything conveniently laid out for your shopping pleasure: categorized into gifts for him or her. Just in time for the holiday gift-giving.

Do it. Do it! I double dog dare ya! And I’ll meet you there myself. I have a hankering for that Master of My Fate necklace since we all know it’s my most favorite poem ever…

 

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Product Review :: Diamond Professional Styling Iron

When Blair James from Irresistible Me emailed about a possible marketing collaboration with :: MCC :: I must admit, I was a bit hesitant. After all, I’d promised myself to go easy on this blogging thing and school had started and I needed to focus on my day job. Also, Blair was talking hair extensions and I need hair extensions like I need a hole in my head.

But then I saw that the company also offered hair tools. As it happened, I was in the market for a new flat iron, mine being quite old and smelling of burnt hair product every time I used it. I was actually more intrigued by the Sapphire Curler with its 8 in 1 allure, but we all know how hair inept I am; I imagined burnt fingertips or ears or neck, shuddered, and surrendered to the common sense side of me that said to stick with what’s safe. So I politely asked Blair to send the Diamond Flat Iron and went on about my business with very little in the way of expectations.

Ten days later, my package arrived, wrapped in bubble wrap on steroids. The unboxing revealed a sturdy, stunning box that looked like this:

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I wish I could say I took note of the graphics on the box or even read the instructions. But, c’mon! It’s a flat iron. I got this. Luckily, I’d had my hair in a bun last night, so it was particularly wavy, slightly frizzy, and thus in the perfect condition to test drive my new toy.

I immediately snatched it out of the box, plugged it in and waited all of TEN SECONDS before the iron heated up to a lovely 300 degrees and was ready for action. Point, flat iron.

Aly demanded I allow her to straighten my hair, and since I wanted to test ease of use anyway, I left my hair in her neophyte hands. (Yes, my friends, that’s courage!) I needn’t have worried, though. She had me all “did” in literally less than five minutes, her speed and efficacy aided, I’m sure, by the iron’s SWIVEL CORD. Point, flat iron.

But now, I needed to judge for myself how this baby handled. I finished off the layers near my face and marveled at the LIGHTWEIGHT yet SOLID CONSTRUCTION. I was also impressed by how lustrous and soft my hair looked after, even without having used any thermal conditioning spray; it didn’t feel or look crisped up like it had been looking with my other iron. Two points, flat iron.

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Yes, I am completely bare-faced in these pics. I was so jazzed to try the darned thing that I actually took pics for you all sans makeup. Scary, n’est-ce pas?

I tried to get a closer pic of the iron’s controls for you because how genius is it to put the power button and the temperature controls on the INSIDE of the wand so I can grip the outside as tightly and securely as I want without fear of accidentally shutting it off?

But the best I could do was get detail shots of the DIGITAL DISPLAY (perfect for my aging eyes) and the BLACK HEAT PLATES (sure to hide a multitude of product build-up). Three points, flat iron.

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Heh. I just realized the iron matches my outfit. Red ftw!

So if it isn’t obvious yet, I conclude this review with my full, unadulterated endorsement of this product. After its test run, I can sincerely say that I would pay top dollar for this Irresistible Me Diamond Flat Iron. If it lasts even half as long as my old one (and we’re talking almost a decade), then it would have been worth its retail price.

My full disclosure clause compels me to tell you that I did receive this flat iron gratis, but all opinions are solely my own, and the all caps emphases are stylistic decisions that were in no way imposed by Irresistible Me. Please visit their site for more fabulous products.

OOTD :: of back to school and watching time

What could possibly make me actually look forward to going back to work?

As you may know, my mantra during the school year is: the cuter the outfit, the less I want to be here. Because when I have to get up at the crack of dawn, the only thing that gets me out of bed is the thought of looking fierce in a carefully curated ensemble.

But what’s a gal to do when she has lost her campaign against expansion and all her clothes fit not quite right, making her feel shlumpy and out of sorts?

Thankfully, being a blogger – albeit a modest one – has its perks, because I was approached by JORD watches last month to feature their superb product. And we all know how I am with flattery and a deadline. So I crafted the outfit, crafted this post, and simply couldn’t wait to go to work today to show off the most fabulous timepiece evah!

How fabulous, you ask? Well, let me count the ways:

  • It comes in a very aesthetically pleasing package that hints of the contents inside. (Wood box. Get it?)
  • The aesthetically pleasing package opens up like one of those Japanese puzzle boxes my hubs used to buy me for our anniversary every year until he got tired of the clutter.
  • The watch itself is this gorgeous natural green hue (they come in other colors but I wanted a neutral).
  • The watch is super light on my arm – almost feels like I’m wearing nothing – and has fast become my summer timepiece because its heft or lack thereof is perfect in SoCal heatwaves.
  • IT CHANGES COLOR!!!

Wooden Watches by JORD

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No, I did not get two different watches from JORD. The pic on the left is what my baby looked like when I first unboxed, and the pic on the right is what it currently looks like after only wearing it for a week. At first, I thought it was my imagination, that it hadn’t truly changed color. But when I sent an email to my JORD rep, she informed me that this was the nature of wood watches:

All our watches will get darker with time due to sun exposure, the oils in your skin, lotion, and sweat. They don’t all darken the same way and most of them get shiny.  That is what makes them all different and unique; they react differently to each person’s skin.  We don’t treat our watches so they are still slightly porous.

How utterly fantastic is that?! So, like a heritage piece of furniture that only gets better with age, so will my watch. Perhaps this is a sign that I should finally mature fashion-wise as well and invest similarly with my clothing – buying quality over quantity.

And speaking of quality over quantity, here’s how I styled my watch for my first day back. I’m sporting pieces that are timeless (see what I did there?) to me. That is, no matter my weight fluctuation or the vagaries of fashion, I always seem to fall back on these comfort pieces: a good blazer, a crisp button up, excellent shoes, and a kick-ass attitude.

Take that, expansion!

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:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – Old Navy
Blazer – F21
Jeans – Mossimo Supply Co. @ Target
Shoes – Qupid

:: Linking ::
A Lovely Little à la Mode Linkup

:: Scream it from the top of your lungs ::
Beautiful Goodbye by Maroon 5

My July…

back

So I gave myself a week off and it was glorious.

Then I realized not blogging actually felt like a hole in my life that begged to be filled. So, armed with Whitney‘s Create 28 Lovely Summer Looks list for the entire month of July, I hunkered down in my closet and came up with a whole July’s worth of outfits in one night.

Another three hours the following day to take pics of half of said outfits, and I’m pretty much set with some OOTDs for you all. Now whether or not I actually wear them is debatable because the husband and I are getting ready to tear this mother up apart our entire downstairs level and remodel everything, but there may be days when I need to run to Home Depot or Target to pick stuff up and it’s always good to have an outfit on hand.

I’m not feeling like writing about them, however, since I’d like to conserve my wordsmithing skills to tackle that darned novel o’ mine. It’s in serious need of a rewrite. So I hope it’s okay if I just post pics with minimal explanations/breakdowns of the ensembles’ components.

Unless there’s a story behind them. Eheh.

Anyhow, if any of you would like to join in the fun, here’s the list:

Create28 Summer Final

But because you all know I don’t normally blog over the weekends anymore, here’s my revised list:

Create28 Summer

So I’ll see you on Wednesday with the first July installment. By the way, if you’ve been missing TARDIS Tuesday, I’ve given Kezzie hosting privileges of the linkup so you can visit and link with her over there. I’ll take over when school starts in August.

Also, please excuse the photos for the first two weeks. It’s blazing hot here in the IE (that’s “Inland Empire” for all you non-SoCal folks) and there was no way I was going to brave the heat and look successfully happy in my outfits. So it’s back to the library and indoor shots, but because I’m not as familiar with the angles and distance inside, the photos aren’t as flattering as I wanted them to be.

Or maybe that’s just my bloat.

 

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