Gifts For Mother’s Day

Posted in budget shopping, non-animal testing, personal shopper, shopping on a budget with tags , , , , , on April 30, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

Fullscreen capture 4302017 123441 PMYikes! Mother’s Day is two weeks away and you have no idea what to get Mom. She’s been giving you hints but you just haven’t picked up on them. Have you been listening?

What she really wants, above all, is your time. That costs absolutely nothing, but your time. It’s free. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a memory that she will hold dear.

I could list all the perfumes she would enjoy, or shoes or clothing she might wear but in reality? As children mature, leave the nest and begin their own lives, Mothers miss them. They’d love to just enjoy an afternoon with them that didn’t involve their children rolling their eyes because they think they’re better than them, because they think their parents are out-dated or because they believe their parents are old-fashioned.

I remember when I was raising my children and swore to myself that I would never say these words to myself that my parents/in-laws were saying: “Back in my day…it was a better time because…”.  But now, I watch my children and yes, grandchildren and think those words. Oh My God. It’s happened.

I was recently sitting with the other Grandmother at a function and the words came out of our mouths. We sat there talking about our grandchildren’s futures. About our children and how their lives were compared to ours were in relation to employment and raising children. We reminisced. We wondered how our world had evolved into this tech world for our grandchildren who rarely go outside to play. We wondered about their freedoms or lack thereof.

See, we’re not old-fashioned. We understand what our world is turning into. We have decades of experience. You, who are younger,  don’t yet. You’re still in that continuum of today where you’re accepting. We grew up in a world where 1984 by George Orwell was required reading, Ray Bradbury made us wonder and Rod Serling pushed us over the edge. Well, some of us. And we’d like to share that with you. If for no other reason than to make you think and wonder.

We want you to realize that this technological world that you embrace without thinking may not be so wonderful. That all those posts and photos you share aren’t in the best interest you think they are. We want you to know that fresh air, sunshine, green grass and our environment is important.

But some of you may not know this if you don’t spend time with your Mothers. If you don’t choose to listen anymore because you believe your Moms are old-fashioned and just not savvy enough.

This Mother’s Day, give your Mom your time. Just spend the day with her, talk and listen. Discuss the world. Discuss issues. Don’t argue. Give her the gift of being a Mom. That’s the best gift in her world you could ever give her.

Oh, one more thing.  It’s a gift that’s not tested on animals, so that should make her happy, too.

“Teach Your Children”

CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG LYRICS

You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of tender years can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

-courtesy of http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/crosbystillsnashyoung/teachyourchildren.html

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Vegan Booties-J.Adams

Posted in amazon, budget online shopping, online shopping, shopping on a budget, Vegan Shopping with tags , , , , , , on April 24, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

Vegan boots and shoes.  That’s what I look for, since I am a vegetarian. With the internet, it’s easy. Shopping stores, it’s exceedingly difficult. I went into a big-box store looking for vegan shoes and handbags recently and was exceedingly disappointed. I found one handbag in TJMaxx. One. Really? Loads of designer bags with price points that went over $300 tho that were leather. But only one that was a vegan bag. I’m not looking for a straw bag or a canvas bag. I simply want a nice handbag that doesn’t look like it will fall apart and that it’s designed well. Is it so hard to find? Yes, it is.

Same for shoes or boots. Almost impossible if I try to shop the stores. If I ask a salesperson, they look at me like I’m crazy because I don’t want leather. When they ask why in the world I wouldn’t want leather, I really don’t want to go into details, I simply tell them I’m a vegetarian. Then I get That Look.

AdamsBooties1

So I found these vegan booties by J.Adams on Amazon. Then scrolling through their other shoes I realized J.Adams also sells a whole lot of other vegan shoes, boots and sandals. I’m in heaven. I don’t have to get dirty looks from non-informed sales associates and I can shop to my heart’s content knowing animals are safe.

They’re comfortable and that’s what matters to me. The price is good, too. $29.90 with Prime (free shipping) is a great deal as far as I’m concerned.  Here’s my basic review:

I have them in tan and the color pretty much goes with everything. I like the perforation for the spring and summer for more of a cooling effect. The heel isn’t too high to make this an uncomfortable height. I normally wear a 9 1/2 so I went with the 10 which fits well enough but is a tad larger than I expected. However, since the toe is rather pointy, the 9 would have been too small, so the 10 it is. Bear that in mind when you’re choosing this bootie. Definitely a cute shoe. Length of a size 10 is 10 7/8 inches. The width of the cuff is 11 1/4 inches. Heel height is 1 7/8 inches with a platform of 1/4 inch. The heel base is 3 inches long by 2 1/2 wide, very easy for walking. Zipper height 5 inches. Heels are rubberized and quiet when you walk. I’ve had booties for a long time that I’ve worn for fashion’s sake that have made my feet hurt at the end of the day but these are quite comfortable. I don’t long to take them off. Perfect with jeans and long dresses/skirts.

Hope more companies care.

Peace,

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

How To Shop Online At Amazon Or Anywhere…

Posted in amazon, budget online shopping, budget shopping, online shopping, Sephora, shopping, shopping on a budget, Target stores, The Gap with tags , , , , on February 21, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

black-friday-shoppers_zpsqpeze3be.gif Do I really want to go to the mall or do I want to stay in the comfort of my own home and shop online? Hmmm….

When I was a little girl, my Mom would go away for 6 weeks every spring to Miami. That was her vacation that she looked forward to all year. She’d either stay at the Eden Roc or the Fontainebleau and I could only imagine what it was like to spend 6 weeks away from the cold winter luxuriating in the Florida sun for that long. My first Spring Break in college, I was invited to spend with her in Miami.  The deal was that if I spent my first Spring Break supervised I could spend the rest of them with my friends. That was fine with me. I wasn’t going to spend Spring Break at home, and if I could spend it in Florida, I would. Especially in one of these old-fashioned, grande dame hotels.

Before she would go away, two racks of clothing would appear in her home from one of the local boutiques. The owner would choose clothing for her, send it along to the house, and she would have the options of trying it on, keeping what she wanted and sending the rest back. If she didn’t like what they sent, they’d send more. What a deal. I’d sit and watch her try the resort clothing on and think how easy this is to go shopping. Never leave your home.

She’d also often have packages sent to her from her favorite NYC department store, Saks . I honestly don’t know if she just didn’t want to carry these bags with her when she did go to the City, if she had a personal shopper or just called them to order items. The internet wasn’t available back then. Catalogs were also available so you could order that way if you desired. All I know is that somehow, stuff arrived at the home in ways that seemed unorthodox to me.

Well, that’s what online shopping is all about. Some companies have you choose the clothing, and some companies have personal shoppers that choose the clothing for you. Some companies don’t have shipping costs, some have minimal shipping costs and some charge you flat rate shipping. The best scenario is to find online sources that have no shipping costs, the best prices and obviously the items of clothing that appeal to you in one stop shopping. Navigating their site easily is highly beneficial too.

Some of my friends are against online shopping today. They look at it as an inconvenience. It’s basically the same as what I’ve described shopping to be years ago. It hasn’t changed. You can save yourself time, money and a huge stress factor by shopping in the comfort of your own home.

I’ve shopped online thru Sephora, Ulta, Off Saks Fifth Avenue, Amazon, Bath, Bed & Beyond, Old Navy, The Gap, Target and all have been seamless shopping experiences. They all have great customer service lines who are more than willing to help you should any problems or questions arise. You don’t get the full shopping experience of actually going into a store and seeing all they have to offer, but in today’s world, that full shopping experience isn’t available anyway, as far as I’m concerned. What they have online is more than what’s in their stores. Some businesses also won’t charge you for shipping if you pick-up at one of their local stores.

So what actually convinced me to shop online now versus in stores? I believe I get better deals, I find what I want and I find items that are more unique. Add to that the cost of saving gas so I’m not leaving a footprint, either. The sites are safer now and you do not have to leave your credit card information. You can find almost anything you can think of online. Whatever you order it comes in a plain brown wrapper. Wink-wink.  It’s a win-win all-around.

And if thrift stores are your thing, you can shop them online, too. Just google them and you’ll find a plethora of sites. Who knew?

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Trump Clothing Hypocrisy

Posted in Trump with tags , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

An Ivanka Trump-branded blouse is seen for sale at off-price retailer Winners in Torontoivankatrumpivankatrumpchinatrumpchinatrumpmadeinmexicotrumpmexico2

I’ll go for the best deals, clothing that I like and enjoy, I admit that. I shop a variety of stores, both online and in-person. I’ll tell you where I see deals and where I find them. I’m not a hypocrite and won’t tell you to only buy from one country.

My grandparents were immigrants to America. They traveled to this country on a boat, enduring hardships on the lower decks that I can’t even imagine and then were processed through Ellis Island. I’ve seen the pictures of what life was like for people who made those trips, who were forced to travel in conditions that were not necessarily safe or sanitary. But they did make it here.

My one grandmother who I did know and grow up with was 16 years old and traveled alone from her country. She was my heroine and always will be. I can’t imagine how a 16 year old girl could leave her family and travel to a new world to start her own life, but she did. She immediately began working, went to night-school to learn to read and write english.

She met a man, married and they had 8 children. My grandfather, who I never met, died at the age of 39. My grandmother went on to continue raising her family on her own. She owned her own home and kept it. She went on to sell that home and purchase another. She was never without, because she always saved her money. I loved her stories and adored her. I was so proud of her accomplishments.  She was such a fiercely independent woman of her time.

I was 19 and she was 81 when she passed. That was one of the hardest days of my life. I had lost one of my best supporters, a woman who, one summer, when I was 9 years old and had come home on the last day of school before summer vacation, called me into her kitchen. She had a set of encyclopedias on the kitchen table. She told me her eyes were failing her, but she had purchased these books and really wanted to read them, but now what was she to do? Me, being the loving granddaughter, told her I had all summer to read them to her. She smiled and said that would be lovely, and said I might as well start with Volume A. And so I did. It took me most of the summer, but I completed all the volumes, from A-Z.

It took me years to figure out that Gramma’s eyes weren’t failing her. She just knew I loved to read, she knew I had an insatiable diet for learning and she put the two together in a sneaky way. So at age 9 I read the entire set of encyclopedias to her because I thought my beloved Gramma couldn’t see to read, although she really could. She took the time that summer to just sit and listen to her 9 year old granddaughter read to her. Because she knew I was learning.

The love of a grandparent stretches beyond anything anyone can imagine. Her lie was one of love, one I could later forgive and always smile at, because I knew she had my best interests at heart. It wasn’t one of self-interest or made to hurt, it was made to help. How will the Trumps explain their lies to their grandchildren? Will money, business power and politics warm their grandchildren’s hearts as well and leave a smile of true happiness? Will they be proud of their grandparents accomplishments?

I am proud to be the grandchild of immigrants. I welcome people from other countries to my country. America is a melting pot, always has been and always should be. The Statue of Liberty stands at Ellis Island proclaiming “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” The torch lights the way to freedom, as many immigrants ran to the top of the deck to see it as their boat passed by the statue. It represented their new life. Donald Trump talks hypocrisy when he envisions his America. That is not my vision nor my America. statue-liberty-important_7f6472de18ed0a73

My America is one of freedom, hope and the right to speak without being afraid of the consequences. My America speaks to those who do not have these freedoms so we can help them. My America speaks truths, not lies. My America helps, not hurts. My America does not bully. My America is a land of opportunity, yes, but it is also a land of choice.

Peace.

Sorceress.

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

How To Buy Boots at Amazon.

Posted in amazon, budget online shopping, budget shopping, fashion, online shopping with tags , , , on January 5, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

It’s time to confess. I’m a bootaholic. I wear them year-round. I probably own more boots than shoes. I would rather be wearing a pair of boots than sandals in the summer. I don’t see the point of sneakers. Ok, unless you’re a runner. Even then, the sneakers that are high enough to look more like boots are better  looking as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, since I’m on a kick at fleamarket Amazon, I decided to shop for boots at the site.

Omg, there are so many! But how would I know if they fit? The above fit perfectly and I couldn’t be happier. Black faux suede Women’s Thigh High Boots by Dream Pairs Upland are so comfortable. I love the gold metal band around the top of the heel. And they fit my skinny legs without falling down because I can tie them in the back.

Here’s my problem with fitting. Or I should say my obsession. If I’m in a store, I’ll try my size on and the next size to compare. Then I can’t decide which is better. I know, weird.

But even weirder is years back once my big brother and I went shoe shopping and he noticed what I was doing. He started laughing. I asked him what was so funny. He told me he did the same thing. So we sat down in the shoe store discussing this eerie phenomenon. Decided it must have started in our childhood and our mother somehow, but we had no idea how. All we knew is that we both couldn’t decide which size was better and it was this big chore for us. See how parents can screw you up in adulthood?

Ah…my Mordenmiss boots in red. I’ve received so many compliments on these! Mordenmiss Women’s Size Zipper Leather Ankle Toe Cap Boot Style 2 Red, when I first saw these, I couldn’t get them out of my mind. I ordered them within days of first seeing them and never looked back. The leather is soft, I can wear these all day and my feet are so comfortable. Absolutely perfect.

These tan suede babies are my go-to boots. I’ve been wearing these since the beginning of October through all kinds of weather, including snow and ice and they still look good. These are my Bella Marie Marcy -26 Women’s Casual Side Zipper Flat Snow Ankle  Bootie in Camel. What first caught my eye was the side zipper on the outside of the bootie rather than the inside. They’re lightly lined for warmth and extremely sturdy and somehow just stay super clean.

My Charles Albert Knee-High Faux Leather Boot With Buckle in Tan*. These are more than knee-high, actually over the knee. Turned out, these are a little too wide for me so I’m thinking of lacing up the top so I can close it to tighten it. The idea behind the boot is that you can also fold the top down, kind of like a pirate boot, but I prefer it over the knee.The color is good tho and blends well with a lot of outfits.

Even though I own quite a few, every year I get new ones. A woman can never have enough. So when I started shopping I read the reviews. How could I tell if they’d fit? Geez, some say they run small, some say larger than normal….I’m breaking out in a sweat here just reading the reviews. Finally, I notice some of the boot listings tell you the actual length of the boot in inches. Yes! This will do it. So I go and measure my favorite boot to compare and that’s how I ordered my first pair. They arrived and fit great. And that’s how I’ve continued to order my boots….um…my next 3 pairs that I ordered this year. Ok , 4 pairs.  Alright….4 pairs and 1 ice pair for when I have to walk on ice. There. Total of 5.

All necessary as you can see. All different from each other. Different colors, different styles. I adore each of them.

Just do a basic search for “women’s boots” on Amazon and you’ll come up with about 461,533 hits on women’s boots to choose from in the leisure of your own abode. You can narrow the search down to dress, casual, snow, above-the-knee, below-the-knee, booties, color, etc. and even by size and color. Think of shopping online this way. You’re not leaving an imprint by  driving around from store to store to store. Instead, you’re looking online and finding pretty much the same merchandise at the same or even lower prices. You don’t have to shop Amazon. That’s just one online site. I like them because of Prime benefits. (Read about Prime in yesterday’s post.) Oh, and for some, the best part? You don’t have to deal with any sales associates.

Regardless, have fun shopping, watch your money and always look for the best buys!

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

 

 

How & Why To Buy On Amazon

Posted in amazon, online retailers, online shopping, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 2, 2017 by sorceressofthedark

So Amazon being the world’s largest flea market of sorts where you can find virtually  anything and I do mean anything, have you ever shopped for clothing and accessories there? I never used to shop for clothes and such online until recently and now I’m hooked at shopping at Amazon. Let me tell you why.

Amazon has a customer first policy. I have Prime Membership, which gives me two day shipping, along with loads of other special things, like tv shows, music, movies, audio channels, photo storage, books and special deals on merchandise. It costs me $10.99 monthly or $99 annually. I can share these benefits with my family. To me, the cost of free shipping on any Prime order more than pays for my membership.

If something I order doesn’t fit, I simply let Amazon know I want to return it, they create a label and I print it out. I box the item up in the same box it arrived to me. Luckily, I have a UPS drop-off 1/2 block away where I simply drop off the box. The same day I’m credited that dollar amount I paid for the item. How simple is that? If you don’t have a drop-off, you can have UPS come directly to your home. Again, simple. I’ve come to love online shopping like this from the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to go too far in the freezing winter or boiling summer. Perfect.

Sometimes, you can write a seller directly and let them know that an item isn’t to your liking. Just be polite about it and send them a photo or two if the item isn’t right. Explain to them why. I’d say 98% of the sellers responded favorably to any messages I’ve left whenever I’ve had a problem. And I’ve always left those that did positive feedback. For those 2% that were weird or nasty, their feedback reflected their attitudes.

It’s really like a search engine when you first go on the site. Just type in what you’re looking for. The results will come back. Start shopping around and compare, just as if you were shopping from store to store. Read the reviews left by others(very important).

If you’re buying clothing, read about the sizing and how others say the clothing fits. Asian-sized clothing does not fit like USA-sized clothing. You’ll have to learn how to use a tape measure to measure your clothing and compare its measurements against Asian sizing.

For example, Asian clothing is measured in centimeters, ours in inches. Take a blouse and measure it from shoulder to shoulder. Write down this number. That will be the “shoulder”. Measure where the bust would be from one side to the other and double it.  Do the same for the waist. After you write all these numbers down, do the same for a favorite pair of jeans(waist, hips, rise, length) and then dress pants. Now you’ll have your sizing numbers to compare. Then you read the reviews. If people are saying the clothing runs small and to upsize, then do that. Buy the item in a size 2 or 3 times larger. If you read the sellers measurements and compare, you’ll generally see that your measurements will fit into that “larger” size. If I’m a USA 12, in Asian size, that could be up to a 3 or 4x. Or it could be a 1x. You must read the measurements listed.

Its not difficult once you see the prices and fashions that might catch your eye. Some people tell me they wouldn’t bother to do all that “work” just to order clothing online, but to me, it’s so much easier than driving from store to store and town to town. Cheaper, too. And my style is different because I’m not buying from generic big box stores, but instead I’m purchasing from items online from an array of sellers.

It’s really that simple. I never knew it was. My kids shop Amazon all the time. Now I know why. I hope this tutorial helps.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

What Jewelry Should I Buy On Amazon?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

Black Friday has descended upon us along with Cyber Monday. Sales emails are inundating our inboxes and strangling them. Black Friday ads have been attacking our brains as we search for the most lucrative buys available on merchandise for the holidays and items for ourselves. Sellers and big box stores make their most sales at this time of year and pocket their money. Or I should say, pocket our money. How have you spent your money?

Tight-fisted with yours?tightfistedmoney

 

Or easy-going? handovermoney

With the gift-giving season coming, thoughts of loved ones, sweethearts and those we want to please, it’s time to think of gifts that really do make someone smile. You can do that without spending a bundle so you can keep a smile on your face while also putting a smile on hers.

Jewelry always has been a wonderful gift. Naturally, women love gems, but I won’t go into the expensive diamonds and gemstones here. I’m talking about the wonderful world of beautiful costume jewelry that turns peoples heads. The stunning hand-crafted pieces, the eye-popping neck adornments, the fabulous earrings that are made of sustainable woods and natural dyes. These are pieces that don’t always break the bank, but they bring huge compliments because they are absolutely gorgeous.

unitestonependantcopyright350

This is UniteStone’s crystal pendant that arrives with three different colored stones that are inter-changeable. The stones are clear, a vibrant blue and a warm brown. The 20 inch snake chain is a rose gold metal and retails for $10.99 on Amazon.*

creativelifeowlnecklacecopyright350

Creativelife sells this adorable 28 inch long vintage owl on a chain for $5.99 at Amazon.* It reminds me of the owls worn in the 1960’s and the 1970’s. It’s so retro!

huanxunowlnecklacecopyright

Huan Xun has this tiny stainless steel owl that’s about 16 inches long. It’s one of my favorites. You can order it in stainless silver or with an overcoat of gold. It retails for $5.99 for gold and $9.99 for silver at Amazon.*

nianpupendant

Nianpu offers this aromatherapy locket with five reusable pads. The locket comes on a 23 inch ball chain and is copper-colored. It retails for $15.68 at Amazon.*

If you’re looking for something different for a gift try shopping online. You never know what you’ll find.

I’ll be highlighting jewelry this month as unique gifts for your someone special. If it’s something I think is worth the price and looks great, I’ll tell you about it.

Peace,

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

 

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