Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Random Crafts - Gift Wrapping

Happy Holidays! :)

Christmas is slowly creeping up, and it usually comes up faster than we can all keep up with! This year, vow to get your shopping done early! If not for the sole reason of not stressing, maybe do it so that you can spend more time wrapping your gifts more creatively this year! 

I have a problem, it's quite bad actually. I tend to spend hours and hours looking for the perfect wrapping paper, choosing a theme for my gift wrapping, finding a unique and personal ornament for each gift, finding matching ribbons and additional accessories for each gift! Like I said, I have a problem! This usually takes just as long, if not longer, than actually finding the actual gifts! It's terrible, but extremely unique! Because of this, however, each person gets a very unique and personalized wrapped gift!

I'm not going to do a tutorial on this because each person is different and I think making things person is the most fun part about this. But what I will say is: GET CREATIVE! Here are some things I've done in the past! :) Enjoy! (And please pardon the terrible pictures. Some of these were from a few years ago when I used a crappy 1.3 megapixel camera phone!)

This was in 2009 (I think?) and this was taken before I added on each personal ornament. I wish I had taken a picture after! :( But the theme was red flowers this year, and I added a little bit of a gold flare to each. I took gold star wire garland and cut them into 1ft strips, then wrapped both ends around my finger a couple times so they would be spiraled and attached 2 strips to each gift. At the end of each spiral, I attached a gold bell so that when you hand them their gifts, they jingle! Fun, right?! 

 (2010?) My best friends husband has a Beagle and love Hounds tremendously! Luckily that year, I found this cute, glass Beagle ornament! And even more lucky, I found a Dachshund one too for my best friend, since they're her favorite dogs. (She has 3 of them!)

This year was a little different because I got my best friend different wrapping paper for her gifts. This year, her aunty was diagnosed with breast cancer and she was really worried about her. After hours of searching, I found wrapping paper and ribbon that were both pink and the wrapping paper company donated proceeds from the pink wrapping paper sales to a Breast Cancer Foundation (I can't remember which one though). It was such a lucky find, and I was super happy to have found it. 

Unfortunately, you can't exactly see how unique this gift was. And to tell you the truth, it wasn't entirely my idea. My boyfriend wanted to play a prank on some of our friends this year. Instead of getting conventional gift boxes for our friends, he built wooden crates for their gifts. (Even funnier, this "box" only had a gift certificate in it!) Each wooden crate had screws in the top to seal it. Instead of putting an ornament, we got them Craftsman screwdrivers and attached it to the gift. (I think it may be hiding underneath the bow!) It was a really neat idea because they needed the screwdrivers to open their gift and it was also a part of their gift! That was a really fun way of making these gifts personalized!

There are so many ways to personalize gift wrapping! I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do this year, but I'm sure I'll come up with something :) Over the years, it's pretty much become a tradition of mine! With that said, I'll end this post by asking..

What are some quirky Holiday traditions you have?   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Floral Arranging III: Thanksgiving DIY Centerpiece

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Again, I'm super excited for the festive months! It really hasn't hit me yet that it's already Thanksgiving in about 2 days! How exciting, right? Well, to celebrate this awesome holiday where we eat a lot of SUPER yummy food, spend time with the ones we love and fall into a tryptophan coma, I've decided to do a fun DIY post for a floral centerpiece that's perfect for this wonderful holiday! 

Here's what the finished product looks like! If you want to learn how to make this, read on! :)

What you'll need:
1 Cornucopia Basket
1 Plastic Liner (Find a size that fits inside your Cornucopia)
5 Floral Picks w/ wire
Raffia Strands
1 Block of Oasis (wet floral foam) 
1 packet of floral food
1 Fall/Autumn Spray Flowers Bouquet (Most supermarkets sell them, I got mine from Safeway)
2 (Different sized) Candles (optional) 



1. Mix 1 packet of Floral Food with Water (amounts as directed) in a large bucket. Float the Oasis (or other brand wet floral foam). The Oasis will eventually sink on its own, do NOT push it down as this will cause air bubbles to form inside the foam. 

2. After letting the floral wet foam soaks for about 10 minutes (10 minutes is the minimum I would leave it in, for optimum usage, I like soaking the block overnight.) Cut the foam with a sharp knife into blocks that will fill the plastic liner. Try to fill the entire liner. 

3. Set the plastic liner (with floral foam) into the cornucopia basket. 

4. Set the cornucopia aside. Form little ribbons out of the raffia and using the wire attached to the floral picks, wrap it aroud the center of the raffia ribbon. Make 5 of these. (You can make more if you want, just remember to make odd amounts!)

5. Arrange the flowers as you see fit! It's fun and exciting to see how everyone's arrangements will differ based on the flowers available at your local supermarkets, and your own personal arranging! To arrange, give your flowers a fresh cut (to the size you like) and stick it directly into the floral foam. Start with larger flowers and work your way to smaller flowers. Most bouquets come with some kind of filler, you can add these into all the spots that seem a tad bit bare. The raffia floral picks should go in last. Add them in random areas but make sure they're spread throughout the arrangement!

6. Place your arrangement in the center of your Thanksgiving table and enjoy! Add the optional candles around the arrangement to set the ambiance! 

That's it! 

  I hope you all liked this Thanksgiving tutorial! Let me know if there's anything you'd like to see! Have an amazing and yummy Thanksgiving and a FUN Black Friday! 

What stores will you be shopping at on Black Friday? 


Friday, November 9, 2012

Feature: The Kenji Set

 Several months ago, someone very dear to me was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, several rounds of chemo doesn't kill this form of cancer because he was diagnosed with a very rare, Neuroendocrine Cancer in his Pancreas. (It's basically a really rare cancer called a Neuroendocrine tumor located in the islet cells of the Pancreas which unfortunately spreads to the liver and lymph nodes eventually.) Because this type of cancer is so rare (affecting 1 in 100,000 in the US),  "[M]any physicians lack experience with or education about neuroendocrine tumors as a result of inadequate attention to the subject both at medical schools and in training programs. As a consequence, the diagnosis is often not considered until the disease is advanced." (-Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2008) 

Beacause of this, I've made it my mission to figure out a way to help and thus this Kenji Set was born. This set will come with 3 bracelets. The sets will consist of (1) the INY original Tamashii 2.0 in silver with 2 shades of purple crocheted around each chain, (1) silver toned mini Himitsu in jewl toned purple and (1) purple flower beaded bracelet! That's 3 bracelets! All bracelets are in a purple tone because that's the awareness color for Pancreatic Cancer. Each bracelet will also feature a silver toned awareness ribbon charm!

Each set will be sold for $45 (plus shipping). To avoid Etsy fees (for larger donations), I will be selling this set via Paypal only. Proceeds will be donated to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation where their donations go directly to the research of Carcinoid and Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Cancer cures! To order, please email me at and I can set up your order immediately!  

Thank you all for being so supportive! <3 
What are some causes you support?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random Crafts: Floral Arranging II

Traditionally on Halloween, pumpkin carving is the norm and usually, I'd be ecstatic to do this. This year however, I felt like changing things up! Of course, the newest in thing to do is to try and make the coolest, most creative pumpkin! Here's one I did last year

Well this year, I opted for much smaller pumpkins for some odd reason. Unfortunately, I jumped the gun a bit and purchased them a bit too early and they.. well.. died prematurely. I was weirdly devastated because at the time of purchase, I was SO excited that the festive part of the year has returned. Unfortunately, I had to repurchase!

Since I was in a small pumpkin mood, I decided not to carve it. Instead, I turned it into a vase for a floral arrangement! I'm sure this has been done numerous times, but here's my rendition! 

(Disclaimer: The "happy halloween" writing was added on my phone!) This little project is so simple to do and requires very minimal flowers/accessories. Here's what I used (Everything listed below was purchased at my local Safeway):

1 Small Pumpkin (The one I used was about 7" tall and 6" wide)
1 Bunch of Yellow Spray Roses (miniature roses)
5 Fall colored Mums
15 Pieces of Wheat
3 Decorative (fake) pumpkins

You can arrange them in any way that you want,  I would just suggest a few tips!

1. Random is better! When there's too much "perfection," things don't look right. Of course, this rule doesn't apply if you're trying to make wedding centerpieces because you want all the tables to look the same, but for the sake of these kinds of arrangements, random will make these look more beautiful.

2. The rule I always stick with for a lot of things is: Always use odd numbers! I learned this in a stamping class when I was a child and since then, it stuck. Odd numbers work out better for a lot of things! Try it, I bet you'll totally understand when you see it for yourself.

3. Try to stay within your theme. If I used purple flowers, this probably wouldn't look that nice. When you're trying to accessorize your pieces, try to stay within your theme. Don't add fairies and butterflies to a pumpkin floral arrangement!

Well, I hope you liked this post, and I hope you try it sometime! I will definitely be doing a Thanksgiving floral arrangement (my mom already asked me to)! Perhaps when that one is being made, I will make that one a tutorial! I hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween! 

What did you dress up as this year

P.S. The winner of the Jose Eber Giveaway is Kylie! Please expect an email within 24 hours! Congratulations! And thank you to everyone for entering!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway - Jose Eber

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, my first ever, and I hope I do it justice. Although sponsored, these are my own honest opinions. I am not paid to say anything I don't want to. Also, please be aware that this is going to be a long and thorough review as I want to do these products the justice it deserves! Also, I really hate taking pictures but I just had to because I love these products so much! Pardon my lack of smiling! I hardly smile in pictures!

Hello again!

About a month ago, I entered a giveaway for a curling wand on a blog written by my new friend Sandy, of Sandy Ala Mode and luckily, I won! But it gets better! I won't just be reviewing the 1 Jose Eber product that I won, I'll be reviewing 3 different products made by this awesome company! Yes, three! Why? Because I really feel like these wonderful products need to be shared with the world! 

About my hair: I have severely disobedient hair. It's quite unfortunate. When I style my hair, my hair basically says, "Screw you." and drops any style almost instantly. Products don't make a difference, I've been through TONS of them. In fact, my hair doesn't even hold a permanent color! It's truly terrible.

...Then José Eber came into my life!

José Eber isn't just a hairstylist, he's an architect of hairstyles. Thousands of women across the world have been transformed by his artistic touch and inspired vision. He's a master craftsman of flair, style and class. And now, he is presenting the world with his life-changing products! 

First off, I'd like to introduce the Trio Clipless Curling Iron!

This curling iron features 3 interchangeable barrels (19mm - about 0.75", 25mm - about 1" and a tapered barrel). its extremely easy to switch out too! On the back side of the device, there's a button to press and the barrel releases instantly! The digital display in the front of the device shows precise temperature and is easily adjustable with the buttons just below it. The grip (handle) is not only comfortable, it's also slightly weighted so it can rest safely on any counter safely! Each attachment is a tourmaline ceramic barrel (of different sizes for different curl sizes and styles) and uses negative ion technology to distribute heat evenly and softly to prevent burning and damaging and give you shinier, longer lasting curls. 

So remember how I told you about my (crappy) hair? Well, guess what? My hair doesn't hold a curl. (Annoying!) At my salon, even the stylists there were stumped. I once had 3 girls working on curling my hair at once -- 1 curling, 1 pinning and the 3rd spraying my hair with hairspray. Guess what happened when they took out the pins! Yep, the curls dropped. Knowing this, I was extremely skeptical but I gave it a fair shot anyways. When my curling iron arrived, I quickly opened it and tried it out. 

As you can see for yourself, this product is just great! I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who has issues like mine or for anyone thinking about upgrading to a new curling device. I've literally tried them all. The most recent was the Hot Tools brand which has 5 star ratings on numerous websites and wonderful reviews but it just didn't do the trick for my hair. I am truly thankful to have found Jose Eber, and I really hope you all decide to pick one up!

The next item I'd like to talk about is the Infared Blow Dryer!

This blow dryer is nothing short of amazing! Why? It uses Infared light to dry your hair from the inside out! Because of this amazing Infared technology, it cuts drying time in half (mine was cut to mere minutes!), it avoids burning and hot spots because you're not applying heat directly onto the hair shaft and because it uses antimicrobial properties via the Ultra Violet technology, it also cleanses the hair, removing bacteria and buildup, leaving you with shinier, smoother and much more manageable hair! If that's not enough, it also features 4 variable heat and speed settings to match any hair type!

Now, I'll be honest. I never thought purchasing a blow dryer would be too much of a chore. And until I came across this one, I've only used cheap, drug store bought hair dryers not realizing how important of a device this actually was. So when I started using this device, I was astonished! Drying my hair usually took about 10-15 minutes (if I did everything properly). With this device, I was done in about 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES! An extra 10 minutes?! Who has that?! Not only that, I also notice that my (crappy) hair is MUCH more manageable and that's something I often complain about! Seriously, who would have thought that a blow dryer was that important?! Apparently not me. 

For those of us who just want to snooze their alarm for just 5 more minutes of sleep, we can afford to do so with this magnificent device, AND we can still go out with perfectly styled hair! As you can see, blow drying makes a HUGE difference. And if you're in the market for a new device, or simply just reading reviews because you are ready to purchase a good quality hair dryer, please put this device at the top of your list! You won't be disappointed! 

And last, but definitely not least, the Pink 1.25" 100% Ceramic Flat Iron!

The 100% Pure Ceramic Flat Iron is nothing short of amazing! Did you know that most flat irons claim to have ceramic plates but usually are just ceramic coated plates? This means that over time, the ceramic coating will disappear, leaving your hair exposed to harsh heated metal! How annoying! This flat iron is different though, it features 100% ceramic plates for even heat distribution which protects against burning, hot spots and color fading. The plates are floating to prevent pulling also! (Although the particular one I'm reviewing is 1.25"), this flat iron comes in a range of sizes to best suit your particular hair type. If that's not enough, this flat iron's heat is customizable and comes in black, black & white zebra, pink & black zebra, pink and pink & black hearts to best suit your own personal taste!

Since I've received my flat iron, I haven't gone a single day without using it! It's perfect for my hair since I have naturally wavy hair and most days, I just want it completely tamed! Every single time I use it, I am amazed at the results. My hair is shiny, soft and doesn't drop it's style like it would usually when I used my previous devices! I definitely notice a difference in the shine mostly when using this flat iron. My old flat iron said it was ceramic, but over time, the ceramic coating wore out and my flat iron would obviously dry out and damage my hair. With this new device, my hair is left shinier than ever! I'll never go back to conventional straighteners! 

Just look at the difference for yourself! Isn't it just amazing?! I don't think there are words that can do this flat iron justice. Just look at the pictures for yourself and you'll be a believer! 

Something Special~

As we all probably know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of this, Jose Eber will donate $1 for every purchase made this month to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer fund. AND for every pink item purchased, they will donate $2! I can't begin to stress how AWESOME this is!

And if that isn't enough of a reason to go out and purchase anything, I have even more amazing news! Jose Eber was generous enough to give my readers 15% off their entire purchase! Just use coupon code "MARCY15" at checkout to receive this amazing discount! But wait..

...There's MORE!

As if I didn't give you enough reasons for completely LOVING Jose Eber, I have one more surprise! I am so happy to announce that Jose Eber has offered to giveaway their Pink 1.25" 100% Ceramic Flat Iron to one of my lucky readers! How cool is that?! 

1. You must be 18 years or older to enter. 
2. There is ONE mandatory entry, you must complete this entry to unlock the rest of the entries!
3. This giveaway will run until 10/31/12 at 12am EST
4. ONE lucky winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced here, on Facebook and on Twitter. 
5. The winner will have 48 hours to email me ( and confirm their win. If I do not receive an email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen!
6. This giveaway is open to residents of the US only
7. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your daily hair regimen? 

P.S. I got the little bow clip from Sandy of SandyAlaMode and the necklace I'm wearing is from Salena of A Little Piece of Me! I absolutely LOVE them so much! Check it out!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spotlight & Giveaway! - JEMS Art Collection

Ahoy! :)

Today, I am writing to introduce you all to a breathtaking shop! JEMS Art Collection is a small business based here in Hawaii and they represent several international artists! These world-class, original, oil on canvas paintings can be viewed and purchased at galleries around the nation! I can't even begin to explain how beautiful and intricate the art is! Some of the genres they provide are:

(Disclaimer: I do not own these pictures! All rights belong to JEMS Art Collection, LLC. Click to see the image larger!)

Seascapes (daytime)


Seascapes (night time)





 ...And so much more! As you can see, these pieces are simply stunning! And honestly, these pictures just don't do them justice! In person, they are much more vivid! 

Anyways, here's more info on JEMS Art Collection in case any of you are interested! :)
Email: (for ordering)

So here's the good part! I've decided to giveaway a small scaled giclee (official print) from JEMS Art Collection! The piece you will receive is called "Harbor Drama" (see picture below) by Arozi and all of its editions and the original are SOLD OUT! It measures 18" x 10" and retails for a whopping $125! 0_0 AND I'll even throw in a surprise INY gift containing at least 2 INY bracelets!

- You must be 18 years or older to enter OR have parental consent to enter.
- There is ONE mandatory entry. You MUST complete this in order to unlock all additional entries!
- The giveaway will run until 10/7/12 at 12:01am EST.
- ONE winner will be chosen randomly and will be announced here, on Facebook and on Twitter.
- The winner will have 48 hours to email me ( to confirm their win. If I do not receive an email within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen!
- This giveaway is open to residents of the US only!
- Enter using the rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to purchase something particular? Mention that isshou no yakusoku sent you and to receive 20% OFF your next order directly from JEMS Art Collection!