Happy Thankgiving! Cheers from Joan and Mariah!


The embed code didn’t work here and not knowing about flash at all (some things are still new to Mariah the Geek), I didn’t want to fuss with plugins here that I don’t understand what they are saying (yet). lol

So here is a direct link to our Thanksgiving Card.

And below is my cheat, where I just reduced the sizes of the two sides of the “postcard” (so it will load faster)… and this way you don’t need to click on any links to get an idea of our card. lol

JibJab postcard part 1 is picture of Joan and Mariah as pilgrim & indian


jibjab thanksgiving part 2, happy thanksgiving to all our lovely readers. from Mariah and Joan

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What are you doing for the Holiday? And what do you look forward to the most this Thanksgiving?

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint Review

Hi all I was asked, by Joan, if I wished to test out the Benjamin Moore Paint in their new Aura Paint line as part of our Blogs membership to Bzz Agent, where Joan and I are both BzzAgents. Joan knew that I still had 2 small rooms to paint since we bought our home 2 years ago. We painted all but the laundry room and the little room that is my “craft and dressing room” because I couldn’t decide the colors I wanted them in and needed to unpack my little pint of paint I had gotten once for free in a favorite color and of course my fabric in more favorite colors that I also wanted to match.

I knew that one gallon of a good quality paint would paint these two tiny rooms in my modest little house, so I wanted to use the same paint for both and have a different personality in each room. One my craft and dressing room… well I now have a star on my door, lol, my Mother thought it was cute that I was calling it my dressing room and picked up a gift of a star for on my door. What else was I to call it when our closet in our bedroom is all of 3 feet wide and we have only enough room for a tall dresser. I needed a place for my clothing in the other 3 foot closet and room for my dresser in that other room. *sigh* And the personality of the other room, since it could be claustrophobic in there, I want it in fun & cheerful colors for the laundry room.

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint Eggshell, small can that came in my Bzz Agent package it's White.

I jumped at the chance and took pictures right away of the door that has been bothering me in the bathroom, that was just lightly coated with what seems to be sprayed on primer, you can’t wash the door or you wash off the so called paint on it… frustrating. As I waited for my coupon for my free gallon of paint & a small can of white eggshell finish paint in Aura to arrive, I read up on this paint and got excited with what I read.

“Aura® is a Green Promise® product, which means each shade and coating is environmentally friendly and low in VOCs.” ~As read in BzzAgent Campaign update email.

(below you can see the color swatches of the Affinity Colors that Benjamin Moore sent me with my BzzAgent package.)

Benjamin Moore Affinity Color Swatches, many to choose from

I have fabric I picked out ages ago for my curtains, knowing that someday I would have a house and that it would have to go into my craft room. I also had some paint for the shelves in the little closet of a laundry room in a periwinkle purple. So the challenge was to match colors to something in the fabric for the curtains and make sure it would look nice with the little can of paint for in the other room, the laundry room.

Looking at all the Affinity Color swatches that Benjamin Moore sent me, I knew I had a lot of options, but I thought I bit off more then I could chew. But low and behold, I found each color in the flowers and leaves in the design on the fabric had a color match in these swatches!

Benjamin Moore Paint Colors in Affinity Swatches, some colors to match the fabric I will make my curtains out of in my craft room.

Next task, stir up the old periwinkle purple paint and see what works with those color swatches that match and make sure whatever color I choose was pale enough to not overpower both tiny little rooms in our little home.  I finally found the color, it’s called Urban Nature and I decided to get the color in a satin finish so it can handle the moisture in the laundry room and it can handle some washing without fading or coming off on the cloth.

Affinity Colors from Benjamin Moore Paint for the Aura paint, the color I chose "Urban Nature" the lighter of the two greens I looked at previously

I hadn’t bought any high end paint ever for any of my homes, so I about fainted at the $60 for a gallon of paint, though the guy at ACE Hardware told me I will never wish to use any other paint again… I then teased and thanked him for ruining the rest of my painting experience for the rest of my life after this. I admit it, I can’t afford this kind of paint, but I was dying to try it out and see what the huge deal was about.

Aura by Benjamin Moore, a can of satin finish paint in the color Urban Nature. the can is sitting on the fabric for the curtains in my craft room/dressing room.

Next came prep. I spent the day before painting, gathering up the rest of my supplies and cleaning off the front and back of the bathroom door and the living-room door for painting. The next morning I used painters tape and started painting over the old flat paint (or as we suspect primer on the doors) with the new paint. Using the small container of eggshell finish Aura paint in white. The container was so small that really it should have been used for trim, however the trim in this old house was painted wrong and has a lot of peeling and such all over them. And besides that the doors really needed to look cleaned up.

Below are examples of the bathroom door before painting:

Before painting closeup of bottom of bathroom door, this picture shows the bad chalky old paint that wipes off when I tried to wash it.

Before painting closeup of bottom of bathroom door, this picture shows the bad chalky old paint that wipes off when I tried to wash it.

Cleaned and prepared bathroom door with old flat chalky paint before apply the new paint. Closeup again.

Cleaned and prepared bathroom door with old flat chalky paint before apply the new paint. Closeup again.

Well the paint went on just right on the doors, the foam brush wasn’t as nice as the paint brush… a roller would have been better for such a big task however since with the old calky like paint on both doors and the yellowed color on it (who knows what color they used) the brush strokes showed up. But the paint levels out nicely and it just took another good coat with the brush to clean up the doors and make them look nice and new.

 The door after painting with the new paint, the Ben Moore Aura in White color with eggshell finish. (below)

finished painting the door with the new paint, the Ben Moore Aura in White color with eggshell finish.

Unfortunately after taking the before pictures and cleaning up around the walls of the laundry room, I found that washing the walls in there were impossible as it soaked into the walls. Not only did it soak in, but it started peeling the flat paint off in sheets of paint! So I waited for the wall to dry and just coated a small area, instead of doing the whole room. We are going to wait and see how it takes, but talking to several people about the situations it looks like putty knife time and a lot of peeling and starting from scratch with the walls in there. Sigh

 my little closet like laundry room, with the terrible paint job and texture on the walls.my little closet like laundry room, with the terrible paint job and texture on the walls.

An example of what happened after washing the walls in the little laundry room. Unfortunately this means more cleaning and scraping off the old paint first.

old paint after cleaning this ugly old chalky paint... it started peeling off the wall!

Below is the small area that I just had to place my paint on, oh how I wish I didn’t have to scrape all the old paint off first. *sigh*

Ben Moore Paint (Aura) in the color Urban Nature. Next to the old paint that started coming off after washing.

The other room, my craft room will not get painted for a while, I have tons of boxes in there since I started on this blog with Joan right after I moved to this new house and our previous house (pre apartment life for a few years) was a 2300 sq ft home and this one is just barely 900 sq feet, I have a ton of sorting to do etc before I can clear out that room for a painting. And how much you want to bet that since that room is the same color as the laundry room, we have the same strange peeling problem there as in the laundry room.

You’ve seen before how the color I picked looks with the fabric I am making curtains out of for my craft room. Here is a sample with the paint in Periwinkle Purple that I will be using in my little closet like laundry room. Pretty there too huh? 🙂

my Periwinkle Purple paint up next to the Aura Paint from Benjamin Moore... in Urban Nature (green) and a satin finish.

The test are that I worked with in the laundry room was with just a brush and I was amazed at how easily the color covered the old color and how nice the satin finish looks on the wall. The color is true to the swatch which is reassuring. Oh and when I went to pick up the pain at the local ACE Hardware, I saw a big rotating display case, taller then me… okay so I am short, but I swear that thing was 6 ft tall full of little sample bottles of the colors of Benjamin Moore paint! I took a picture with my cell phone, but unfortunately I lost it trying to get the picture moved to my computer and all the sudden most all my pictures on my cell phone are suddenly corrupted. I have to say though that that whole display case had me day dreaming about my painting the walls with my decorative painting skills, having a blast with the vines and peekaboo fairies looking out of the vines around a room, like I had planned to do years ago to a room. 🙂

 On my computer these pictures aren’t doing the color justice by the way. This is a close up of the Urban Nature (light green) with the satin finish… you can really see the satin finish well in the picture. Close up of the small area I painted in Ben Moore Aura Paint in Urban Nature color & Satin finish

I tell you this paint maybe more then what I’d usually pay for paint, but with all positive points to this paint, from the low VOCs, low odor to the high performance, I can see why people would want to buy this paint at this price. There isn’t hardly a scent when it comes to painting with this paint the colors are truly vibrant and I’ve been told about how this holds up very well by a friend that is a professional painter. I am looking forward to painting my rooms with the lovely color I’ve chosen, too bad (with my disabilities & chronic pain) I couldn’t get more done after my package finally arrived from bzz agent, but I have to say I am impressed and excited to have the chance to use this once I get all the prep done on the rooms by scraping off that old paint that started peeling once I cleaned the walls. The color is just dreamy and cheerful to look at.

So, what color is your Favorite color at Benjamin Moore’s Full Color Gallery? What room would you paint that color? I know I could have a blast with many of their colors, making each room have a totally different personality and yet all blend in well with the transition from room to room… just by looking at how the colors from Affinity Colors harmonize with each and every other color in there!

Disclaimer: I, Mariah Lockwood, personally reviewed this product. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, Benjamin Moore, Via BzzAgent provided me with a free sample of this product to test. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. . All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by me.

ToiletTree Hosting a Giveaway for “Movember”!

ToiletTree Logo

ToiletTree is hosting a giveaway for a great cause!


I have to say, I just love the folks at ToiletTree, what a lovely group of caring people!

Below is information about this Event and the Giveaway…Thank you ToiletTree for notifying us of this super event, this touches close to my heart here as my husband has 1 year survived his bladder cancer. And they are keeping their eyes on this area with scopes every few months, as well as watching the locations near where his cancer was, his left kidney and his prostate. Thank you ToiletTree for being such lovely caring people!      ~Mariah Lockwood

Movember Event Movember Participate and enter giveaways!

Yearly, during the month of November, the event called “Movember” is responsible for the growing of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, all over the US and around the world! With their Mo’s, men  are raising awareness and funds for serious men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

This year ToiletTree is taking part in this since it is a great cause and also hits them directly as they are celebrating their co-owner Gary being 5 year cancer free… CONGRATULATIONS GARY!!!!

Movember Participate for a great cause and Enter to Win great Giveaways.

ToiletTree has a few things going on to support this cause:

  • The Movemeber Giveaway: Anyone can enter this contest for the chance to win a ToiletTree Products Deluxe LED Fogless Shower Mirror.
  • The Grand Prize Movemeber Giveaway: Anyone who enters the contest above, and then donates $10 to the ToiletTree Products Movemeber team gets the opportunity to win over $200 in prizes from ToiletTree. (ALL money raised gets donated to the cause)
  • Movemeber Stache’ Contest: Any man (or woman!) out there who is participating in Movemeber and uploads their picture to the Stache’ Contest page on our Facebook has the opportunity to win over $100 in prizes at the end of the month. Whoever has the most “likes” on their picture wins!
  1. You can visit ToiletTree on Facebook to enter all of these contests!
  2. To learn more about Movemeber you can visit their website: http://us.movember.com

While you are at it Friends, would you please share this Event, Worthy Cause and Giveaways with others by Tweeting and posting on your Facebook pages, and blogs about this too? Thank you! 🙂

Sample Tweet:

Please RT: What is #Movember, what does it have to do with #Men’sHealth, #Moustaches & #Giveaways? http://ow.ly/fmfzl #win @ToiletTreeProd

Aching Feet? Slip off those Heels and into Backup Soles – Review


Backup Soles Logo

Hi there Folks, Joan and I received an invitation to try out Backup Soles the Rollable Portable Flats a while back. We both received two pairs to test and review on our blog. Joan will post her review in a separate post, when she is done with hers.

Mariah’s Review:

backup soles, what Mariah calls their ruby slippers, so very pretty.

Looking at the Backup Soles site, I found myself drooling over the metallic red backup soles. Makes me think of the story “The Red Shoes” by Hans Christian Andersen. How fun it would be to wear such a lovely color on your feet?

I received one pair in black and one in silver, in size Medium (US Women’s Size 7-8), these came in cute little boxes with two little pull-string totes, one for your rolled up Backups to go into and a larger one is made for you to place your shoes/heels in.

Mariah in one silver and one black Backup Soles

With my disabilities, especially with the nerve pain down my legs to my ankles and feet, I am not often in heals. However I do often wear slippers around the house, my favorites being my little leather ballet slippers so I was excited with this alternative to real ballet slippers. My poor old ballet slippers are wearing out after years of wear, so I need to replace them, yet they can be hard to find and expensive to buy. I tried on my Backup Soles and I was pleased that they were as I imagined, a lot like ballet slippers.

The few points about the Backups that are different from ballet slippers, some good some bad.

Instead of the pull string to tie at the front end of the ballet slippers, they have elastic encased around the edges of the slipper. This is good as many times the draw string on my ballet slippers come untied and it never fails one of the strings makes it’s way into the ballet slipper and irritates my foot.

The bow on the top of the Backups is there just for decoration, and it actually looks great as it is made out of the same material as the main body of the slipper. I would love to see them mix and match the bows for a nice contrast, I can see the black Backup Soles with perhaps a silver or gold bow on top, this would give more variety of looks for them to sell.

The outside of these Backups are a thin vinyl like material and the bottom of them are a nicely textured rubbery no slip surface. The material isn’t to weighty so it’s nice and soft and the soles are extra nice for safety, as compared to the slippery soles of suede bottom on ballet slippers.

My one problem with the Backup Soles is the way that the heel is sewn, it’s not sewn like the back seam in a ballet slipper. In a ballet slipper the seam is sewn so that the edges would be outside the slipper, then covered up with a sewn on strip (of the same material) on the outside of the slipper, leaving you no irritation from the seam. So for me the seam on the inside of the slipper is irritating and the elastic encased area of that seam is the big problem for my feet as it pinches into my heel, and leaves a noticeable dent/red area there .

the twisted back seam in backup soles that irritates the heel.

The picture above shows the twisted seam in my backup soles (in this one the bottom of the seam is sewn to the sole on the left and the top is sewn into the elastic encased area to the right).

Also that inside seam is sewn to the sole of the slipper with the raw edges going one way at that seam and going the opposite on the top by the elastic encasing seam, causing an area with a bump as it tries to twist in the slipper again adding to irritation. An Easy solution, though perhaps a bit more time consuming maybe to lay open the seam prior to sewing that area shut, so that there is less bulk in the encasement area. This may not be a problem for most people… I however have nerve pain from a back & hip injury that goes all the way down to my feet, top that off with Fibromyalgia and we have a problem.

Edit my afterthought: 

About the irritation on the back of my foot? These slipper like shoes are made for short term wear, not for slippers… so I must add in that at first they were very comfortable, but after about an hour the pain started up in the back heel area. So perhaps, it is that these are made for slipping on your feet for the return or going to the place that you have to wear shoes that can be uncomfortable.

backup soles Large Bag for your heels/shoes to go into

The handy drawstring bags for the Back up soles are great, and the large bag for your heels are nice too. The drawstring can be looped over your purse strap and bring the bag through before placing your shoes in this roomy bag… however the drawstrings are tied and for me the first time I did this it came untied on me. What I would advise is old school clear nail polish placed over the knotted part to help keep it together or to go to a sewing/craft center and look at the notions and pick up 2 pull string stays, the kind I am talking about have a spring in them that will keep the drawstring in place, the drawstring being a soft one you may need a skewer to help aid you on pulling the two sides of the drawstring through and this will get rid of this concern.

Picture of my solution to the drawstring untying on the Backup Soles Large Shoe bag. Drawstring Stays

Above is a picture of the drawstring stay that I attached to the drawstring that came untied on me.

Mariah’s Conclusion:

All in all, I believe that these slippers are a great idea, and would work for short term wear to get you out of those heels. I feel that these were not made for wearing like slippers, all day around the house, since I did find some irritation. However if some attention was played toward the back heel area, I feel these could be improved and comfortable enough to wear as slippers.

Disclaimer: Mariah Lockwood personally reviewed this product. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, Backup Soles provided me with a free sample of this product to test. I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. . All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. The photo’s used in this review were provided by Backup Soles Website and Me.