Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fragrance Oils From Middle Earth! {review}

For the last several days I've been having a delightful time testing out two different perfumes (actually one is a cologne but I'll get to that later) sent to me from Anam Cara on Etsy.
As you can see in the photo above, I was sent a soap sample, and the two mini fragrance flasks.
Let me tell you there wasn't a single thing in this package which didn't smell good!
Firstly, I'll have y'all know I am a particular sucker for perfumes and body mists, and have been thus since I was first given a squirt of a grandmother's or aunt's perfume, as a young girl. I just love that there are so many different varieties of fragrances available to use these days, and it seems we will never be able to try them all!
So, as I was skimming over some LOTR themed shops on Etsy, and noticed the listing for a Galadriel inspired perfume oil, I got excited instantly and thought it would make for a splendid review product.
I mean, how can one not love the idea of a perfume that was inspired by a Tolkien character??
Exactly. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I got contacted by Sherry of Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove, about doing this review!
Beside the Galadriel perfume, I was also sent a sample of the shop's Legolas inspired cologne oil. (Which was almost equally as exciting as getting the Galadriel oil!)
Legolas Cologne Oil
(Photo taken from Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove's Etsy listing for the Legolas oil.)
When I heard about this oil being included in the package as well, immediately I thought I'd let my teen brother Will try it out since obviously, well, cologne is intended for the male gender!
Personally, if I didn't know what the title was I'd have thought it was a perfume and not a cologne. It smells HEAVENLY. Very rich and earthy. I'd describe it as also having a slightly woodsy ambience.
Will said he thought it smelled affeminiate and he didn't like it. Of course, that's also coming from a lad who doesn't like any cologne PERIOD with the exceptions of Drakkar, which our dad occaisionally uses. So I wasn't really surprised. And, after conversing some with Sherry, I learned from her that the Legolas cologne may actually be used by either men or women; it being a unisex fragrance.
To be honest? I loveth it.  I can picture a man wearing it, but I have no problems with wearing it myself, and I'd definitely recommend it as a delicious fragrance.
Galadriel Concentrated Perfume Oil
(Photo taken from Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove's Etsy listing for the Galadriel oil.)
About the Galadriel perfume, I share the same sentiment. It is equally luscious and so rich and feminine! I'm already thinking about purchasing the full-size flask of this oil when the sample vial runs out. It's that good. And you know, it does smell to me like something I can picture Galadriel wearing. ^_^ I guess I never really thought about how LOTR characters might smell, well, I take that back. Some of them...Gimli, and Gollum for example - I had a pretty clear picture of how they might smell! *pinches nose* (Random trivia of the day, sorry.)
The only negative to both these fragrance oils? I can't seem to get enough of them.
Find where you can buy your own Galadriel or Legolas inspired perfume/cologne by visiting the Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove shop either here or here.
Sherry has a TON of other fantasy-inspired fragrances which you are sure to love!
Many thanks to Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove for providing the items for this review. It's been such fun getting to test these oils for myself!
What do y'all think? If you could wear a perfume or cologne inspired by Middle Earth, would you? What do you think certain LOTR character may have smelled like? (Haha, somehow that sounds rather awkward a question, doesn't it?)
Have a blessed day!
Note: I was provided these items from Anam Cara/Red Deer Grove in exchange for my honest review/opinion.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Wonder & Whimsy in Ice Blue {review}

Howdy y'alls! 
Today I received in the mail a fun package from Wonder and Whimsy
Inside the package, two lovely hand-made things - A hair stick, and matching pair of earrings!
Both, in a gorgeous ice blue shade. 

I know since I just emphasized "ice blue" you're expecting to see photos of the actual accessories right now in the beginning of this post. But, as always, (if you've seen any of my other reviews, you've probably already noticed this tidbit) I love seeing how different shops do their packaging and when I get to see some that have theirs done really cute, I like to mention that in the review too. It may seem a trivial detail, but I think it adds charm to the whole package! 

As you can see, Wonder and Whimsy did an adorable job on the packaging here. 

The lovely earrings. They are very sturdy and I love the weight. They're heavy enough to feel like they're not going anywhere, but light enough for one to wear them comfortably. 

I just adore the colors! Silver and light blue go together so well in my opinion. 

(Apologies for the poor lighting here.)

And now, the beautiful hair stick. This is my favorite piece of the two. 

The flower is a delicate iced glass fixture, and the wood feels sturdy and well constructed.
Just as with the earrings, I love the colors! Especially the icy blue, almost translucent quality of the flower petals. So feminine and lovely! 
When skimming over the Wonder and Whimsy Etsy store page, I'll admit this piece was one of the first to catch my eye. Maybe because I've always been drawn to blue hues!

  My hair is really long and thick so I appreciate a solid hair stick with a good sizable length, to fit all my hair in. This stick met my hopes in that area, and it wears like a dream!

I look forward to wearing this adorable stick places. Hair sticks are a HUGE part of my 'hair wardrobe' so to speak, and putting my hair up in a bun or top knot with a hair stick is my default/go-to style that can be done in literally about 20 seconds. It's one of the most practical ways for me to style my hair and also by far the easiest way to hold on to a measure of elegant-ness while also trying to be practical and not having your hair flopping about in your face all day!
For you girls with longer, thicker tresses, if you haven't tried hair sticks to put your hair with, I definitely recommend them! And Jenny, of Wonder and Whimsy can definitely make you something beautiful if you're looking to get one!

Even my mom, who has shoulder-length hair, admired this stick.  I put her hair up in a little twist bun, stuck this stick in, and it contrasted beautifully with her blond waves. I think I will have to be sharing it with her now since she likes it and wants to wear it out also!

The bottom line: Jenny makes gorgeous, well-crafted accessories. I don't know if I'd pay 28 dollars for a hair stick, or ANY hair thing really, (I'm such a cheapskate with my money!) BUT if you had a little extra cash (I don't, haha! Hence why I must be thrifty!) or didn't mind paying that sum, Wonder and Whimsy's hair sticks look to be worth the cost and I definitely recommend them!  

You can check out the shop by clicking here. Jenny has a TON of other hair sticks to look at as well as a myriad of earrings and other jewelry items!

Also, if you do that, you will probably want to take a peek at Jenny's blog, where you can read "behind the scenes" posts on how Jenny makes her items, and what else she's up to in her life! 

Thank you Jenny for providing these lovely pieces to review today! I enjoyed getting to do this review and I hope all y'all enjoyed it, too.

Speaking of y'all, what did you think? What's your favorite color to wear in jewelry and hair accessories?

Have a blessed day,

Note: I was provided this item from Wonder and Whimsy in exchange for my honest opinion/review.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Latin Phrases...Hand-Stamped! {review}

 One of my favorite jewelry articles has always been rings. They add a little bling to my hands when they fly across the keys, or plunk away on the guitar strings. They're not too hard or impractical to wear, and they're simplistic enough to not clash with other jewelry pieces you might don, for the most part.

This ring I received from  StampinOffThePath is truly an adorable addition to my collection and the phrase  embedded is one of my favorites.

"Seize the Day". For you who didn't know already, "carpe diem" is Latin. Who doesn't love Latin!?! I think it has such an elegant flow to it. And it reminds me a tad of Spanish, which is one of my favorite languages and currently something I'm learning...or trying to learn, anyways. *laughs*

Anyway. This ring was hand-stamped, and it is very sturdy and durable. You can change the size easily by bending the metal...and don't worry, as I said, it's not going anywhere!

I love the design. Modern, edgy, but classic and simple. My kind of style!

Okayy so I looked really wierd here.  I didn't know my eyes would like all bugged out like that...really, the only point of this photo is to show what the ring looked like on my hand.  So ignore my odd expression please, haha. 

Find where you can get your own Carpe Diem ring by clicking here. Why not check out the whole shop while you're at it, too? There are some pretty cool things! I just love the metal stamped look in this shop! (click here to check them out!)

A huge shout-out to StampinOffThePath for sending me this super-neat ring.

Hope y'all enjoyed this review! 
What do you think of Latin phrases inscribed on jewelry? 


Note: I was provided this product from StampinOffThePath in exchange for my honest review/opinion.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

In Which I Retrieved The Long-Lost Colored Pencils...

 How many of y'all like to draw or sketch?

Personally, I take great pleasure in creating art...of various forms. Whether it be by musical means, by words in my written works, or by using pencil and pen on a piece of blank paper, it is a thoroughly satisfying pastime. 

Mostly I do black and white pencil sketches, some of which you can see by clicking my Art & Illustration page on the top tab of this blog. I used to do a lot more colored pencil work, but lately, it has rather intimidated me and I've been too lazy to try it again; so I've stuck to plain ol' black and white. Which is fine, because I love b/w drawings in general. But God did create a world of color, so it only makes sense that one should use it at some point, does it not? 

So, the other day, I sat down quite at random and decided to retrieve the long-forgotten and long-unused Prismacolor colored pencils I'd used so often, so long ago in my earlier days. By the way, if you ever are looking to get a set of nice, high quality pencils these are definitely my recommendation! They lay down the color so well and the quality is evident immediately. They're a little on the pricier side by so worth it. I have a set of their regular colored pencils, their VeriThin colored pencils, and some of their markers. 

These photos constitute the finished product of my work. (Even though I can never seem to capture my art completely in the original form on camera, no matter what I try!) 
For using mediums I'd not touched for at least a year and a half, I'm pretty happy with this drawing. I know it has a lot of things which could be improved (let me know if you have some honest advice on how to do this!)  but I guess that's the case with just about anything one does, isn't it?

SO. I'd love to hear what you thought of this! And, like I said, if you have any ideas or tips on improvement of future colored pencil art, I'd love to hear it!

Be on the lookout for more review posts coming soon... there should be another one probably this Saturday or Friday.

OH, and before I forget, let me tell you about today's praise report!! I got my accordion fixed! A wonderful lady named Rose drove up two hours just to help me get the job done. I'm so thankful! Praise be to God for His provision and blessings which never cease!! He is so good!! Another answered prayer. Never doubt His planning because He knows exactly what He's doing!!

Hope y'all are having as blessed a day as I am!

Monday, April 22, 2013

LOTR/Hobbit Inspired Glass Pendants {review}

How many of y'all have read or watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy? I have yet to read the books, and am really looking forward to doing so, but I recently watched the films for the very first time with my brother and am now a huge fan of anything LOTR related.

The other day, I was sent two beautiful pendants to review, from Third Wind Studio, (Also, a little "You're Not Alone pendant") which were LOTR inspired, thus making them all the more awesome!

They came in adorable little bags with handwritten notes included! These glass pendants were blown by hand, and Joseph Chastain, the crafter, says that "no two crystals are the same!"  I believe it, the craftsmanship of these two pieces is unique and intricate. 

Let's start with the Galadriel Pendant. 

When I first was looking through the Third Wind Studio Etsy shop, this is what first caught my eye.  
I love the design of this pendant. It's very unique, and I can definitely see the Galadriel influences. The glass itself is beautiful. Taken from the Etsy listing for this piece, concerning how it was made: "On these Quartz pendants I added a third technique or "Third Realm for the Hobbit fans" of vines spiraling up the stem. Resembling inside cut crystal effect. It refracts the Light beautifully!"

The spiraled vines add a striking, Elvish-looking element to the overall appearance of this piece. 

Even the copper wiring adds dramatic detail and contrast!

This piece is so light-weight and easy to wear! 

Overall, I give this piece a double thumbs up! It is very elegant... Just like Galadriel! 
Find where you can get your own gorgeous Galadriel inspired necklace by clicking here!

Now on to the Arkenstone piece.

When Joseph offered to send an Arkenstone piece as well as the Galadriel pendant, I couldn't refuse! Will and I also just watched The Hobbit (it was excellent by the way!) and I'd definitely say this piece reminds me of dragons and mountain gems!

It has very intricate detailing. I love the "dragon scales" effect on the top fixture, and, Will even pointed out the piece holding the glass globe looks rather like an imitation of dragon claws!

The glass piece is, like with the Galadriel, pristine and other-worldly. It also reflects light well also. 
The silver wiring at the top adds even fuller detail and truly completes the look.

As with the Galadriel pendant, I give the Arkenstone necklace another double thumbs up! It has such a medieval/fantasy aura to it...and you know how I love medieval/fantasy influences!

Find where you can get your own Arkenstone by clicking here!
A huge shout-out to Joseph at Third Wind Studios for providing these lovely items for review here on Apassionata. Both were such fun to review! 

Why not head over and check out the Third Wind Studio Etsy shop? There are a TON of other cool blown-class jewelry and accessory items to see. Also, you could be really nice and like Third Wind Studios on Facebook!

What do y'all think? Which was your favorite pendant? If you could pick *one* thing from Third Wind Studios, what would it be?

P.S. Have you entered the chainmail bracelet giveaway here yet??? Only 11 days left to do so! Click here!

Soli Deo Gloria,
a.k.a. Leah Kathryn 

Note: I was provided these items from Third Wind Studios in exchange for my honest review/opinion.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Links to the Past Chainmail Bracelets {review + giveaway!}

Greetings y'all!

Today I received in the mail an awesome package from Links to the Past, a shop which fuses modern and ancient alike in its cool chainmail jewelry and accessories. 

I was sent a Slytherin bracelet and also a custom-ordered blue and black bracelet. (Click on the first link to find where you can get your own green Slytherin bracelet!)

Both of these bracelets are surprisingly stretchy. They are very lightweight and made from a durable plastic/resin-ish material which is what allows them to stretch. The middle links are metal. The green one, which I'm keeping, has silver metal links in the middle, which I like. The colors are a nice contrast.

LTTP was very quick in sending out the package. I had barely finished corresponding with them, and already the package had arrived! So a huge thumbs-up for speediness in shipping. 

The packaging was simple but professional. 

Both bracelets are very comfortable to wear. My favorite thing about them is there "rugged", metal-inspired look.  I'm pretty sure my brothers would wear one if they had it, since it isn't overtly feminine or girly. In fact,  these could appeal to either guy or girl!

And of course, what makes these bracelets the most unique is their chainmail inspired look. In my book, anything chainmail related is already going to be inherently epic!

SO. Overall, I give these bracelets a thumbs-up. They're simple, yet durable; as well as inexpensive and not to mention sure to please any medieval or chainmail enthusiast! *grins*

If you'd like to see more of LTTP's work, check out their Etsy shop, or "like" them on Facebook! Also, find them on Tumblr! They're currently having a promotion where you can buy one of their bracelets and get another half off, so don't miss out! Click here.

Now, the fun part for y'all! Links to the Past also donated an item for a.... *drum roll please* *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*....giveaway!
You can have the chance to win this cool, edgy blue and black chainmail bracelet just by entering the Rafflecopter widget below!

Tell your friends about it, and be sure to check out Links to the Past! (A big shout-out to them for hosting this review on Apassionata!)

Note: I was provided this item from LTTP in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

You Name-Caller! 30 Historically Accurate Medieval Names {WriterlyWednesday}

So, a while ago we covered medieval fantasy name ideas for characters. Fantasy is wonderful, and totally a fun genre to write, but if you are trying to create a historically accurate Middle Ages story, you don't need names which belong in Lord of the Rings. You need names which reflect the period the characters are from.

So today let's take a look at real, historically accurate medieval names.


1. Muriel/Muirgheal- (Proncouned MWIR-yal) This name was brought by the Normans to Brittany. It is the medieval English form of a Celtic name which was probably related to the Irish name Muirgel. Personally I *love* the name Muriel.

2. Aethelu - Derives from English, and means "noble". This is rather unique sounding.

3. Líadáin  - (Pronounced LEE-din, or, LEE-a-din) From what I've researched this can be reconciled as one of the few forms of my name, Leah. Since Leah is Hebrew in origin, it is difficult to convert to Irish but it can be compared to some Irish words phonetically and this is one of them. I like the spelling a whole lot personally. The word itself means "grey lady".  Léá is how the name Leah is written in Irish Bibles. Líoch is pronounced LEE-ukh, which could be another means of saying Leah in Irish. It means "beautiful."

4. Beatrice - Derives from Latin, and means "happy".

5. Siofra - (Pronounced SHEE-fra) A lovely Irish name which could be used in either masculine or feminine terms. Means "sprite, changeling, precocious child."

6. Cecily -  A name which derives from Latin, and means "blind". What a name meaning, right? Well, at least it SOUNDS pretty. Cecily.

7. Áinfean - (Pronounced AWN-f'yun) Another Irish name, which means "storm, fury, violence." Maybe this could be a good name for your fierce female antagonist!

8. Gormlaith  - (Pronounced GUR-um-la) Yet another Irish name. This reminds me of a name for a queen or  prominent female leader figure. It means "blue or illustrious princess".

9. Heloise - Derives from French and means "sun".

10. Margery - A form of Marjorie, a name which derives from English and means "pearl".

11. Reina - Derives from Spanish and means "queen"; also derives from Yiddish and means "pure" or "clean".

12. Rhoslyn - derives from Welsh and means "lovely rose" or "rose valley".

13.  AMÉE - Old French form of the name Aimee/Amy. I think this is an interesting means of spelling the name.

14. Cateline - Medieval French form of Katherine.

15. Uainionn (Pronounced OO-in-yin) Another unique Irish name, meaning "foam-white".


1. Ríordán (Pronounced REE-ur-dawn) An Irish name, meaning "royal poet". I really like this one.

2. Alistair - Derives from Gaelic, and means "defending men".

3. Rúadhán - (Pronounced ROO-awn) An Irish name, meaning "red haired." I rather like this one also.

4. Bennett -  This is a common name indeed, but it has ancient ties. It derives from Latin and means "blessed".

5. Gawain - This derives from Welsh and means "white hawk of battle". Very LOTR sounding even though it  didn't originate from a Tolkien book at all!

6. Milo - Derives from German and means "uncertain", perhaps, "peaceful"; also derives from Latin and means "soldier."

7. Constantine - A perfect Middle Ages name, which derives from Latin and means "steadfast".

8. Faolán  - (Pronounced FWAY-lawn) A masculine Irish name which is associated with wolves. 

9. Fearghus  (Pronounced FER-a-gus) Irish, meaning, "strength of a man". 

10. Theobald - Derives from German, and means "brave" or "bold".

11. Odo - Derives from German and means "wealth".

12. Bartholomew - This is a very common Middle Ages name, and one of its first appearances was in the Bible itself.  

13. Borislav  - This name can be traced back to having Bulgarian, Serbia, Croatian, Russian and Medieval Slavic roots. It means "fame in battle" from the Slavic element bor "battle" combined with slav "glory".

14.  Dmetrei  Old Slavic form of Dmitry or Dmitrie. 

15. Dragomir - Now, you may be thinking this sounds an awful lot like Boramir, or Faramir and perhaps it does. BUT it is a real, historical name! It means "precious and peaceful" from the Slavic element dorgu meaning "precious" combined with mir meaning "peace" or "world". It has Serbian, Croatian, Romanian and Medieval Slavic roots.


SO. There you are! I'll acknoledge that I put a lot of emphasis on Irish names in particular. Originally I didn't intend to do this but the more I researched name etymology in this language the more I decided I loved some of the names and needed to included them here. I've been sort of obsessing over what my name would be converted to in Irish. As I stated above, under Líadáin, it has been very difficult to determine how to do this and what exactly the results are. Liamhain is another feminine name which sounds similar to Leah, it is pronounced LEE-a-vin. I like the spelling better on Líadáin  but the meaning of it is "grey lady", and the meaning of Liamhain is "comely,beautiful", so...I don't know. :P Won't lie, the meaning of the latter sounds nicer than the former! Laoise is another which sounds phoenetically like my name, somewhat. it is pronounced LEE-sha, and means "radiant girl."

If you would like to know a general converted form/equivalent of your name, let me know in the comments! I love researching names and languages. Actually, I'm even considering dual enrolling in Spanish. But that's another topic for another day!

Hope y'all found this useful and beneficial!

(Also known as Green Tea Girl or just plain ol' Leah Kathryn ;P)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Giveaway Ops This Month

Howdy y'alls! 
So, lately I've been finding a bunch of giveaways around on different blogs, and thought I'd share some of the  neatest ones with you.

For starters, if you haven't checked this out yet, you certainly need to head on over and enter the APOC Group Giveaway! It's hosted by my fashion blog, 9 fabulous prizes from 9 fabulous people! Ten days left to enter, so get your entries in while you can!

Next up, you probably will want to take a look at this giveaway at Momma in FlipFlops!
Pin this image to win a shirt from Conversation Pieces! I think these tops are all really cute. My favorite is the black one though. 

Here you can win a pair of skinny jeans to your choosing! 

If you love skirts, you'll definitely want to check out this giveaway. Below is the skirt I'd pick if I won. So cute!

Love to work out? Visit this link to a Performance wear giveaway

SO, how's y'all's spring going? I am so loving the green and fresh, clear blue skies! What's your favorite thing about spring? Oh, and what do you think of the new blog design? I was getting tired of all the pink. xP

Have a blessed day!