Sunday, December 30, 2012

    This weekend the Wall Street Journal ran an article about hand cream, "Balms for Palms", and gave us the good excuse to finally write about our favorite hand potions.
    Some people may think that one moisturizer can rule them all, but seriously folks....then you might as well wash your hair with soap. Hands are hardworking! Especially if you are in a field where you use them heavily (and I'm not talking about typing all day!). If you're in a field where you are getting down and dirty (sculpture, the arts, construction, cleaning), or you're in one where you wash your hands several times a day (food service, medical) or you just live in a extreme climate; your hands suffer.
    So here are some of our favorites for keeping your hands nice and moisturized and chap free.

2 oz. for $12
   First Aid Beauty (FAB) is great for people with sensitive skin, psoriasis, eczema or just plain dry skin. This lotion is great to wear just before bed, it's extra thick and is pretty intense. All FAB products are free of paragons, harsh chemicals and colorants. They even have a board certified dermatologist and their ingredients are FDA approved.
   This hand cream really has no scent and since FAB is all about having a good product, you're not going to get any flowery packaging. Which also makes it great for men.

$12.60 gets you 4.9 oz
  Cake Beauty is definitely one of my favorites on smell alone.
All of their products transport you to a bakery and their Milk Made sugar scrub is no exception. Some people may tell you a salt scrub is the way to go for silky smooth hands. Unfortunately, if you have a paper cut or other wound, a salt scrub will let you know it. Sugar is much easier on your skin and this scrub leaves your hands feeling baby soft.
    Milk Made smells like unbaked cake batter and contains milk proteins, avocado and coconut milk. All Cake Beauty products are paraben free. Some of their products are vegan and gluten free.
    The only downside to Cake is that Sephora has stopped carrying them on their online store. Now you have to either travel to Canada or order through their website.
    Their Milk Made hand cream is a great also; with warm hints of vanilla and raspberries.

$15 for 2 oz. 
   Professional Make up artist Laura Mercier's collection branches out to bath and body. Her hand cream comes in a range of scents (vanilla, fig, creme brûlée), but our favorite is Creme de pistache. The body scrub is especially luxurious.
    You get a lot for your money with this hand cream, since just a dollop goes a long way. Soy proteins help keep your hands feeling soft  and the grape and olive oil help lock in moisture.
      The lotion has hints of hazelnut and whipped cream under a strong pistachio tone (and color-the lotion is a light mint green).
     The packaging is also simple and attractive and this fits nicely in your purse.

$18 for 3.5 oz

   If you prefer the really natural beauty routine, you can't get any better than Lush. Fresh and handmade daily, their products even come with a (very short) expiration date. Helping hands may look like nothing special, but hiding inside is a wonderfully moisturizing, non greasy lotion. With hints of chamomile and honey, this is  great lotion for any time of the day.
   The lotion has a slight scent, but nothing too girly or overpowering. Their Lemony Flutter and Margarita Salt are also wonderful to help your hands through the toughest winter.
   They now have store in most major upscale mall, so you don't have to worry about shipping from Canada.

$21 for 4.2oz

   Aveda's Hand Relief is another great hand cream. Thick and rich with a wonderful scent (all Aveda products have a great scent) this cream is great at night.
  One of the main ingredients is licorice, which is an anti irritant. You only need a small amount of this lotion, so don't  think that this is expensive, you can make this last.
   Aveda also has travel sized of all of their products, so you can try that out first to make up your mind and then keep it in your bag when you find out how wonderful this lotion is.

$18 for .6 fl oz

       You want to keep your cuticles nice and moisturized too!
The best product to help in in the fight against raggedy cuticles?
Butter's Holiday Handbag is a miracle cocktail of olive and almond oils. It even comes with a little brush so you can slather it on right before bed, top with some hand creme and by the time you wake up; soft, even cuticles.
   This is the one product on this list that is a must have. Raggedy cuticles are a bane and can lead to infection and just plain gross looking nails.
   Ulta cosmetics now carries Butter, so you can bypass ordering straight from London; though you can only get some products through their website (like the brilliant new shade of Emerald they have to celebrate the Pantone color of the year).

The important thing to remember is, as in all things, the $75 item may do nothing spectacular and the $5 drugstore find may be your best bet. If you can, try and get a free sample before committing to a whole bottle. Most store will do this for you.
   Here's wishing you happy hands for the new year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Old Postcards and Creepy Santa's

      I love collecting old postcards, especially holiday ones. Vintage Christmas postcards have wonderful motifs and an overall cool quality to them. Except when it comes to the creepy Santa. Now, this isn't Krampus-those are super creepy and hard to find. Krampus was the anti-St. Nick. If you were a naughty child, Krampus would stuff you in his sack and carry you off to his lair.
    What I'm talking about are the postcards with Santa looking into your window and the Santa's with the toothy grin (this ends up looking evil, not cute).  Here are some examples.....(All images by Dover)

Here is the toothy grin-not quite warm and fuzzy, right?

Another creepy grin-is he writing down the naughty names?

Okay, this is not a Santa, but disturbing all the same. What
are we not going to let hang around?

Santa looking in the window-okay, so he sees you when you're sleeping and
all that...but we don't want it in the literal sense...

A very literal one- Santa is watching you through spy glasses!
Ah! Santa should just know if you are naughty or nice
without all the spying.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Look Back at Small Business Saturday

   Now that the first push of the Holiday crazies is over, it's time for a new round. Every year I tell myself that I'll make my own gifts, design and print my own cards, etc, etc...and every year December comes and I'm always way behind schedule.
    Luckily, I found some great vintage inspired cards to give out this year from Paper Source.

The set comes with cards, stamps, stickers and envelopes all in
a nice tin.

Just some of the cool flat cards you can send out.
  I also went down state and went to some local boutique/ antique stores. here's just some of the cool things I found.

I thought this guy was exceptionally cute.  I saw him
Main Street Estate Sales. 

A cute idea for any stray buttons you have hanging around.

This little guy and the stocking above were at
Rural American Crafts and Antiques.
If you every happen to find your way to Morris, I highly recommend stopping by Ruby Begonia's and checking out all the Three French Hens have to offer.