Doc Marten, How I’ve Missed You

docsI’ve had my eye on a pair of Doc Martens for months now. Last week I finally found it for a good enough discount to take the plunge, and they’ve been on my feet since the second they were delivered.

Why oh why did I ever stop wearing Doc Martens? In high school I lived in them. It was the early ’90s–half my high school probably lived in them. I was always a fan of the low 8 eyelet boots, and when I finally wore through my original black ones I found an oxblood pair somewhere on sale and wore those right through college. And then I couldn’t afford to replace them. And then I was trying to look “normal.” And then I was buying a car and a house and making do with cheaper knock off boots.

But I guess at heart I’m a Doc Martens girl, because putting these on made me feel like myself in a way I didn’t even know I was missing. It’s good to be back.

They’re the Vonda 1914s, by the way. I got them from Tillys online. Good price, easy checkout, fast shipping. I’d use them again if the need arose. 

This is, of course, not a sponsored post.

Our Holidays So Far

Our holidays have been busy but fun so far. First we took a quick trip to see Mr. Robot’s family in Idaho, and then we drove home for a peaceful Christmas day of opening presents and feasting on duck and mashed potatoes.

Mr. Robot’s parents are getting old, and as much as they love having kids around they get worn out pretty easily, so we took the out of the house a lot to give them a break. Mr. Robot’s sisters were also visiting, so they came along for the outings, too. We saw Christmas lights, the local science museum with a lot of hands on displays and a temporary plastinated bodies exhibit, and a pretty cool war plane museum. All those lamps and vases in the photo are trench art, made of shell casings and such. Pretty interesting.

Walking to lunch from the science museum we also found the greatest little curio shop, and we couldn’t resist buying a few things–a couple of cow horns, a sad but beautiful bat paperweight, and a cute “zombie kid” ornament for our tree. The shop also made us realize we need a proper display shelf with lots of small spaces to display the little curiosities we end up collecting. We think it’s simple enough we can do it ourselves, so in January I’ll have to sit down and make a plan for it.

We actually came home Christmas Eve. Partly, we didn’t want to haul all our presents to Idaho, and partly we wanted to beat the weather. There’s a pretty high mountain pass between our house and our in-laws, and we wanted to get back through it before the snow got serious. From the fog and light sleet we drove through, I’d say we made it just in time. It was a bit eerie but quite beautiful.

We had a fun Christmas morning opening gifts, including a few packages from my side of the family. Myself, I got a few wonderful surprises. I’d asked “Santa” for another framed insect for my little collection and got not one, but two beautiful specimens. Santa picked out a death’s head moth and a Madagascan sunset moth, and they’ll make a lovely contrast on our wall.

I also got a set of bone runes in my stocking and a lovely wire “tree of death” from one of my sisters-in-law. I actually watched her making it on our trip and never once thought she was making it for me. I guess I’m easy to surprise.

Now we’re all just lying around like lazy cats and playing with our Christmas presents–the kids got lots of legos and board games this year. We’ll soon have to clean the house for a low key New Year’s watching Home Alone with Mr. Robot’s nearest sister. Yes, we’re finally correcting the Home Alone situation! It should be buckets of fun. I hope all of you are having an equally fun holiday season so far.

Lunar Tides Review

I tried a new brand of hair color this month–Lunar Tides. I used their bright red Blood Moon to dye my roots and generally refresh my color. It went pretty well.

First you can see some serious roots and fading red (and my kid’s French braid practice). This old one was Manic Panic Infra Red, which was rich and dark but bled more than any dye I’ve ever used. Next you can see my lovely bleached roots, which is actually kind of a neat effect. Last is Blood Moon, still bright and shiny after a week of washings.


Pros: Vegan, cruelty free, lovely packaging. I like that it comes in a jar instead of a squeeze bottle–jars are less messy to use and let you scrape every last bit of dye out. Blood Moon turned out a nice true red leaning slightly toward orange, which is pretty much what I expected from the descriptions. The price compares well to other brands I’ve used and they have a nice range of colors. It also stains a bit less on fingers and counter tops, which is always nice.

lunar tides

Cons: I could tell even while I applied that this color is less saturated and opaque than most I’ve used. It definitely took more dye to get full coverage and the brightness I wanted. This formula was also a little more liquid than I’m used to, which was both pro and con. Con because less saturation, pro because it was easier to work through my thick curls without missing spots.

Color usually lasts forever for me (a month or more) and this one seems to be holding up fine so far. Overall I liked this product and would probably use it again, though I might actually mix it with some Manic Panic to customize the shade and get better saturation.

Happy Birthday to Me

raven 3My birthday was actually ten days ago. I spent the week before it taking my kids for check-ups and arranging for my oldest girl’s braces, and the week after it on my younger kids’ taekwondo tournament. But on the day we went out for Indian food, and last night my youngest made me a chocolate cake, and today my new duvet cover from Ink & Rags arrived on my doorstep.

Back in January I was torn between bats and tentacles, but it was ravens that won my heart in the end. With a handle like Corvus, is that really a surprise? The pen and ink style gives it a dreamy, storybook quality that feels right for cozying up and dreaming my own adventurous dreams.

raven 4The quality itself, for those who are wondering, is pretty decent. The fabric feels light and smooth and “sheet-like” just as the website describes, and the printing is nice and crisp and looks just like the pictures. I appreciate the little ties on the inside corners, which make it much easier to get the duvet insert spread out properly inside the cover. The zipper closure seems reasonably sturdy and hides well when it’s closed. They sell matching pillow cases but I like my plain black ones so I only bought the cover.

raven 2
Littlest volunteered as both photographer and model.

My only complaint is that now I want to redecorate the rest of the bedroom to better match the bed. Ah well, one step at a time. Maybe I’ll save that wish for my next birthday.

raven 1


Love and Jewelry

love and jewelry 2The kids are out of school and it’s already turning into a very busy summer, with family visits and extra taekwondo practice and keeping kids busy and fed every day. Not much time to sit and think. But we did get a lazy Sunday yesterday. I plugged in my headphones, put on some Atrium Carcieri and Raison D’etre, and finally got around to cleaning out my jewelry box and bedside table. While I was at it, I took pictures of a few pieces I just recently bought.

This one’s my favorite. It’s got great detail and the chain is exactly the right length for me. I wish I were a better photographer so I could really do it justice.

I also bought some nice planchette earrings. When I was little I was terrified that ouija boards and tarot cards might actually invite spirits to haunt me, but by high school that terror had become a fascination that’s never gone away.


And last but not least, I got a couple pairs of tiny earrings. I used to have a whole lot of piercings, but over the years I’ve let most of them close because I got so tired of fighting infections and nickel allergy. I still have two in my ears, though, and I never have enough cute little things to wear in them. These were perfect and not too expensive.

poison death

I also gave a bunch of old necklaces and earrings to the kids, and saved some to give away to other people. My jewelry is so nice and organized now, but there’s also space for a few perfect new pieces. Just the way I like it.

R.I.P. Polyvore

So . . . Polyvore disappeared pretty much overnight. I might be the last to know, since I only used the site once in a while, but I thought I’d pass the info along just in case. Looks like you can download your moodboards and such until May 15th. It also looks like FashMates is trying to carry on with the fashion side of Polyvore, at least. They’ll also help you import your Polyvore sets, but I’ve not yet personally used their site so I don’t know how it compares.

If you used Polyvore’s widget code to show sets on your blog, those links all now lead to a cheesy-looking online storefront. I have a couple posts that do this now, and I’m working on fixing the problem, either by downloading my original sets or replacing them with different pictures. I can’t imagine the heartbreak and hassle for serious Polyvore users, and the whole situation seems pretty awful.

Should I Get Press On Nails?

I’ve never really worn fake nails. I’m a cheapskate, I work with my hands a lot, and my real nails grow pretty well already. But Dippy Cow fake nails have me reconsidering. This post is zero percent sponsored and I haven’t actually tried the nails, so this is not an endorsement. They’re just really tempting.

All the pictures are from the Dippy Cow Etsy shop–definitely visit to see the awesome. She makes all sorts, including pastels and glow-in-the-dark. The witchy black-and-nude ones change color with temperature.

They ship from the UK, so if I want some in time for Halloween I’d better get to ordering pretty soon, but I just can’t decide between my convenient natural fingernails or amazing pointy fake fingernails. What do you think? Should I take the chance?