Painting With A Twist Review

I took my first class at Painting With A Twist in October 2011.  Since then, I have attended 19 classes!  I have so much artwork on my walls, that our house is starting to look like an art museum LOL.  If you have not heard of PWAT… it is the most amazing concept ever… and combines two of my favorite things… painting… and drinking LOL!! Ten things you should know about PWAT:

  1. The company motto is… “It’s FUN art, not fine art”!
  2. It’s Not your typical art class!
  3. You can bring your own drinks, beer, wine, etc… I opt for wine! (some locations even sell alcohol)
  4. They provide all the supplies you’ll need, even aprons… but “dress for mess”… just in case!
  5. Pricing is $35 for a 2-hour class and $45 for a 3-hour class.
  6. They have a frequent painter card… after 10 paid classes …you get one free!
  7. They offer private parties & family (alcohol-free) classes.
  8. PWAT has over 3,500 paintings to choose from, if you book a private party.
  9. Visit PaintingWithATwist.com to find one of the 195 franchise locations nearest you, and check out their event calendar to see the specific paint classes being offered each day!
  10. You don’t need to be a professional artist… each class has an instructor that will walk you through the painting, step by step!

Here’s a collage of some of the pieces I’ve painted at PWAT… that are adorning my walls right now!

PWAT collage

I’ve attended classes with friends, classes with co-workers, private birthday parties and I’ve even gone to classes by myself!  Each time it is SO much fun!  The energy and excitement is contagious… and it’s so amazing to see the end result of everyone’s paintings… all slightly different… and reflecting each person’s creativity.  You can deviate from the instruction and switch up the color scheme or add/ change a detail of your own… the instructor is only there to instruct & help with techniques… not crack a whip LOL.  I love PWAT and will likely need to build on a second floor to my house in order to create more wall space for all the artwork in my future LOL!

I give Painting With A Twist 4 paws!!

Darby Smart, DIY Magazine Clutch Kit Review

My first Darby Smart DIY kit arrived! YAY!!  I discovered this marvelous website from a recent issue of People Style Watch magazine & I am already completely obsessed with it!  You know all of those projects on Pinterest you see… but don’t really know where to begin to create them?!?… well this site sells kits… which contain everything you would need to create the project!  If you haven’t heard of this yet and you love to craft and create… I highly suggest you check the website out!  This kit was $29.99, from DarbySmart.com.

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The packaging was very nice, and among the items included in the kit, was an info card in which I had to go to a Darby Smart how-to web link and enter my key word/ code, to get the DIY instructions.  This project had a 4-step process that was very easy to understand and execute.  Items in the kit, included the following:

  • Black Clutch with chain link shoulder strap
  • Super Glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush

They do no supply the magazine cover… that is the unique and creative part of this kit.  I had a really hard time deciding which magazine cover I wanted to use… I have A LOT of old magazines to choose from!  Deciding that was probably the hardest part of the project!  I saw a rottweiler on the cover of ‘Dog World’ magazine in Pet Supermarket ($9.99) and decided I wanted to put this adorable Bubba look-alike on my clutch!!

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I didn’t get the magazine cover completely flush with the clutch and I was getting slightly discouraged with how it was turning out, …but the finished product, although not perfect… is SO awesome!!  OMG… I cannot wait to rock this adorable Rottweiler/ Dog World clutch.

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I just ordered another kit with a 30% off coupon they emailed me… because I already want to make another one!! This would also make for a great gift!

I give this kit and website 4 paws!!

Container Store, Elfa Gift Wrap Door Rack System Review

My hall closet is cluttered with gift wrap hanging organizers that are bursting at the seams and monopolizing some much needed space!

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I’ve seen the Elfa Gift Wrap Door Rack in the Container Store catalogs …and have been eager to splurge on this pricey, but efficient organizing system.  The Container Store has all of their Elfa products on sale for 30% off right now,… through March 2nd… so I bought it!  I opted for the platinum color… but white is also available and… you can customize this to your own gift wrap needs.  Here is what I bought and what you will need, to create my gift wrap organization bliss:

(kitty Bentley is not included or sold in stores LOL!!)

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  1. Residential Overdoor Hook, $9.99  (on sale for $6.99!)
  2. 77-3/4″ Mounted Standard, $17.99  (on sale for $12.59!)
  3. Gift Wrap Rack Platinum, (2) at 9.99 each  (on sale for $6.99 each!  I actually had to go back for the 2nd one, because I didn’t account for the shorter wraps I have, that I pick up from the Target $1 section.)
  4. Deep Basket Platinum, (3) at $14.99 each  (on sale for $10.49 each!  Wine bags fit perfectly in this!)
  5. Shallow Basket Platinum, (2) at $12.99 each  (on sale for $8.99 each!)
  6. Amac Box Clear 4″ square, (4) at $3.79 each  (not part of the Elfa system… but 4 fit perfectly in the basket!  Great tip from one of their awesome employees!)
  7. Large Document Case, (2) at $11.99 each  (these were on sale too, for $7.99 each, even though they aren’t part of the Elfa system either!  These are what I used to contain all of my gift bags, boxes and tissue paper… on my new shelf!!)

Total cost at full price is $158.05, plus tax… and the total with the 30% off Elfa sale is $114.15, plus tax!  It was fairly easy to install… with only a little help needed from my Hubby on locking the “Mounted Standard” to the top and bottom Elfa Overdoor Hooks.  The only tool needed is an allen wrench… and is included in the hook package.  The instructions are only a series of pictures… no written instruction.  The pictures instruct you to lock in the top hook first… but that did not work for us.  The bottom hook has a very specific angle in which it needs to be installed into the Standard, so I suggest you start with the bottom hook and then lock in the top hook as we finally did.  Another tip: The baskets don’t sit flush over the portions of the Standard where circular holes exist. You will need to lock your baskets in above or below those or they will be wobbly.  It took about 15-20 minutes to set up,… and I was finally ready to load it up with wrap goodies!  Here is the final organized result…wpid-20150223_220126.jpg

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I’m now able to have a shelf over the vacuum —which my Daddy put in— he is the handiest man I know!  It is unreal the additional storage space I now have on that shelf from utilizing the door for storage also!  I love wrapping presents & gifting my friends and family with fabulously wrapped packages, so I am super excited to have it be so organized.  I even have space for MORE wrapping paper roll options!  This Elfa Gift Wrap System is so spectacular… I can hardly contain myself!!

I give this 4 paws!!

The Style Box from SocialBliss.com: February 2015

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The February 2015 box theme was “Treat Yourself, and contained the following:

  1. The Runway Bag by Miztique Designer Collection, Sugg. Retail $55  (This is one of the better bags I’ve received from the Style Box,… I like the grayish color and the zipper details.  However, I’m not sure if I’d actually use it all that much… so I may list it on ebay.)
  2. Triangular Charms Set by Mirabella, Sugg. Retail $30  (I really, really like this necklace!! The crystal dangle is just THE cutest!  This jewelry duo also came with a simple pair of matching crystal dangle earrings.)
  3. Sweet Cupcake Towelettes, Sugg. Retail $4  (The card description reads “adorable cotton hand towels… woven to resemble a charming little cupcake”… leaving me to believe that there will be TWO towels and they will be in the shape of a cupcake.  Well… there’s only one basic brown hand towel, and it’s a 12″ x 12″ square.  Also, it has glue stuck to it that won’t come off, I assume from being molded into a cupcake shape. The concept was cute… but the product is not.)
  4. Loveable Lip Polish by Korres, Sugg. Retail $14  (This raspberry lip butter glaze does not appear to moisturize my lips as the tube label claims it should… but I like the subtle color it gives my lips.)

SocialBliss.com estimated a total value of $103.  I paid $42.95 including shipping.  (I purchased a 3-month subscription to save some money.)  This is my 12th and FINAL Style Box… as I have cancelled my subscription. I gave it a year, but sadly the monthly boxes did not meet my expectations, …month …after month.  If you are interested in giving it a try, go for a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription for the savings!

I give this box 3 paws.

Revlon, Bold Lacquer by Grow Luscious, Mascara Review

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I received this Bold Lacquer Revlon Mascara in “Blackest Black”, in a Style Box from SocialBliss.com, and they gave a retail value of $8.  I found it online at walmart.com for $5 (if you want to brave that store LOL) and at drugstores for between $6 and $8.

The packaging claims this mascara will add length and volume to your lashes… and I beg to disagree!!  I think the brush design is bad, first of all.  The bristles seem to be too close together, so much so, that the mascara can’t even get to the bottoms of the bristles!  The Mascara clumps up in patches all over the brush… leading to a Very difficult application process!  I’ve been testing this periodically over the last few months… with the same result.  It takes several minutes to achieve an eyelash look I am satisfied with… (precious minutes in the morning I need to spend doing more productive tasks!)  Secondly, the “volume” must have been left out of my mascara tube LOL, because after many many coats… I can finally tell there is even mascara on my lashes!  My lashes are already fairly long,… but they have zero curl to them… so I test the limits of my eyelash curler every morning and rely on a good mascara to hold the curl and add the volume.  This mascara simply doesn’t do that for me.

I give this mascara 1 paw.

BarkBox January 2015 Review

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Bubba’s January Bark Box of goodies arrived & he was so excited to find out what he got!

BarkBox promises to contain 4-6 dog treats, toys, and occasional hygiene products that are unique from anything they’ll ever send in later boxes.  They hold extremely high standards for all the edible items, sourcing only from USA, Canada, South America and New Zealand. Inside this month’s Winter themed BarkBox:

  1. Caru Real Pork Stew, Retail $6  (OMG Bubb loved this SO much!!  He gobbled it down so quickly!  He liked this so much, that we will likely order more.  It’s made from human-grade ingredients and the #1 ingredient is USDA inspected pork. It’s grain, gluten and GMO free, preservative free and developed with a PhD animal nutritionist!)
  2. Aussie Naturals Salmon Skins, Retail $8  (Made from 100% American salmon skins, the first instruction on the package is to make sure your pup has plenty of water to drink while enjoying this treat.  I gave Bubb one of these and he chewed on the end for about 5 minutes, barely finishing one of the skins… and immediately went and drank a bowl full of water!  He never touched that salmon skin again.  I threw the rest of the bag out.)
  3. Butcher’s Block Bones Trachea, Retail $2  (Bubb got one of these in last month’s box and he loved it!  So even though it was a duplicate item …I didn’t care because he loves these 100% quality beef treats from Omaha, Nebraska!)
  4. Bocce’s Bakery Chicken Cordon Bleu Treats, Retail $6  (These little mini bone shaped treats, made from 100% American-sourced chicken with turkey bacon and fresh cheese were a hit with my precious rottie!  I would definitely order more.)
  5. BarkMade Snowflake, Retail $11  (A snowflake in Florida?!… only in a BarkBox LOL!  This toy squeaks and crinkles… and sadly… is no match for Bubb’s fierce bite.  He broke this toy down within an hour. Although it made him happy before I took the remnants away…it’s Not a suitable toy for a large breed, aggressive chewing dog!)

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$33 Total value and 5 items in this box.  I paid $19 with my 6-month subscription.  Bubba really liked all of the treats …except the super salty salmon skins.  Thanks to the BarkBox, I’ve discovered the Caru stew he loves so much… so I’m thankful for that.  However… another month with a toy unsuitable for aggressive chewers… I’d rather have 4 items, if I could get a more durable toy for my rottweiler!  Maybe the BarkBox needs 6 categories for subscriptions… and take into consideration size AND level of play!!

I give 2015’s first BarkBox 3 paws.

Bra Pong Game, Craft Project Review

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My cousin is getting married next month, so I helped my aunt, plan a bridal shower for her.  Of course I went straight to Pinterest for ideas!  In search of a unique bridal party activity, I happened upon this “Bra Pong” game from another pinner… I immediately knew I wanted to create my own variation of this game, that would make for a Very memorable night that the bride-to-be would love!  For this craft project, I would need the following:

  • Red tri-fold project display board, $8 from Office Depot  (Different colors are available… I picked red because it’s one of the bride’s wedding colors.)
  • 6 bras in 4 different cup sizes and patterns, $24 from Wal-Mart  ($3.99 each…crazy cheap!  You want to select bras with push-up support… so they easily create a cup when glued to the board.  I cut the straps off of all the bras as well, to avoid having to secure them with glue as they are unnecessary to the look or game play.)
  • Orange Table Tennis Balls 6-pack, $5 from amazon.com  (These are also available in other colors, but I selected orange because it’s another one of the bride’s wedding colors.)
  • Hot glue gun, 5 glue sticks, black paint, silver loose glitter and a black sharpie (I already had these items on hand).

A lot of hot glue is used in this project… almost a stick per bra!  I started by laying out the bras to determine placement… with the D cups at the bottom, C and B cups in the middle and the A cup at the very top.  This makes for a good point system with the highest points at the top due to difficulty from a smaller target.  Once I glued all the bras down I painted on the “Bra Pong” black lettering, adding silver glitter to the wet paint of “Bra” only. Then I wrote the point value numbers above each bra, using a black sharpie.  Last step,… I typed up the rules, secured them in a page protector and taped it to the right side of the display board!  (I left the bottom right side of the board blank… for all of the guests to sign and/or leave a note for the future Mrs.!)

Bra Pong Rules

I was so happy with the way the board turned out… and even more happy with the outcome of the game play & excitement over it at the bridal party!  We of course did a test run the night before, and discovered it wasn’t very easy to make the ball into the “cups” when sitting on a table top.  We moved it to the floor & found that it was slightly easier to score points from the angle of bouncing it off the ground, rather than a table top.

It only took me a couple of hours to create it and this game was such a hit… Seriously so much fun… so I highly recommend you make one for your next bash where a bra pong drinking game would be appropriate LOL!  I’m SO happy a fellow pinner invented this game!  I can definitely see myself making another one in the future… for the right event!

I give this craft project 4 paws!!