Just checking in.

Hello everyone! Just wanted to check in and say hello. Orders have been out of control since Thanksgiving, so I haven’t had time to do much of anything, especially write reviews for books or handmade shops. I have, however purchased a ton of great stuff from small businesses, and I promise I will be sharing it very soon, once I have time to take good photos, and also once I give the gifts to the people they are for.

We also all got sick last week, and I was the sickest person in my family. That caused me to miss 3 days of prime work time for custom orders, so I am still trying to catch up. I may check in one or two more times before Christmas, but I promise I will be back to my regular schedule once that is all over.

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Thanksgiving break

Hello friends! I just wanted to check in With you and let you know the blog will be taking the rest of the week off. I have over 50 open orders right now and we have to travel for the weekend. Here’s a funny bubble picture to sign off with ❤️️.

New from Team Neville

Here is my weekly round up of custom and new items!

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Be thankful ($12) and I solemnly Swear ($11) cuffs

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Parabatai set ($20)  Storybrooke necklace ($17) cuff- one of a kind

Team Cuff Set of 6 ($75)

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Fuck Off Necklaces ($15 each)  Textured Cuff ($15)

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This is not normal cuff ($10) semicolon necklace ($15)

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes {Book Review}

The Girl You Left Behind was an easy, enjoyable read. I gave it a 3.5/5 primarily because it was one of those books that you don’t really need to focus on, but it keeps your attention.  It was a predictable story, similar to a lot of the mystery-ish novels I have read that are set in the UK with a past and present storyline being told simultaneously.

The past storyline took place during WWI and followed a hotelier named Sophie as she basically sacrificed everything for a chance to see her husband again. She was bold and courageous, and stood up to the people who persecuted her. It ties into the present day story via a painting of Sophie. The painting is owned by the 2nd main character, Liv. It is the (self-proclaimed) only thing that she has left to remind her of her deceased husband. You know, besides all his stuff, a wonderful house and  a place on the board of his old company. Liv finds out that her new man friend is actually a detective hired to find her painting and return it to the family that it was allegedly stolen from 90 years previously.

I found myself much more interested in the WWI story than the present day story. The present day story just didn’t seem that believable, and Liv annoyed me a little bit. Her love interest just happened to be an employee of the company that was ruining her life, the evidence that they need in order to have a happy ending just happens to fall into her lap 90 something years after it should have been lost forever. Not to mention, her life was out of control and instead of doing something about it, she became a hermit. She was a jerk to every single person who tried to be nice to her. She never even thought about the other people in her life. For that reason, I just found it kind of hard to like her, and since I didn’t really like her, I couldn’t care much about what happened to her.

Even with those problems, it was a quick read, and Sophie’s parts helped carry along the present day story. It’s worth reading if you just want to spend a couple mindless days reading a nice chick lit mystery-ish book. (I know I keep saying mystery-ish; I don’t really consider this a mystery book, however it does have a few of the characteristics of a mystery, as you are unsure of what happens to Sophie until the very end.)

 

Shop Small Review {Ginger Sweet Boutique}

Shop: Ginger Sweet Boutique

Rating: 5/5

Website: gingersweetboutique.etsy.com  or @gingersweetboutique on facebook.

Item: Coffee Mug

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I got this cup a couple weeks ago, and I absolutely love it. The image is printed on both sides, so it doesn’t matter if you are drinking right handed or left handed. The graphic is even more beautiful in person, it has awesome detail. I have washed it in my dishwasher pretty much everyday since I got it, and it is standing up to washing really well.

The other thing I love about it is the size. It is one of those XL sizes, (I think 15 oz) so it holds enough coffee for moms. (You know what I mean, moms, one small cup of coffee is NEVER enough.)

I love this cup so much that I went to check out her etsy shop and found out she also sells clothes. Holy cow, she has some BEAUTIFUL girl’s shirt designs. And she has 5 stars on every single review. That is really rare on etsy, so obviously this shop is doing everything right.  I plan on coming back in the future, I see lots of things that will make great gifts.

Full disclosure, I did not purchase this cup myself, I won it from a giveaway on Happily Never After, (which is an amazing Facebook group to check out if you love creepy / weird / horror handmade stuff). At the time I won it, I was not a designer for HNA, but as of last week, I am. This does not affect my review in any way at all.

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New From Team Neville

This week was crazy! I have been keeping busy making nasty woman cuffs all week, but I found time to squeeze in a few custom items, a few new items and also some stuff for upcoming auctions this week.  

If you are wondering what facebook groups you can find me in, I currently stock at Mad Flashers Lightning Auctions, The Geeky Chicks Boutique Auction, Geek Chic Fleet Congo, Little Artisians Cottage and Happily Never After.  I generally put in 1-5 items in each group per week, and you usually get those items for a lower price than Etsy. I also make one of a kind items that never make it to my etsy shop for those groups. 

Here are the photos from the week!

This last photo is actually the winnings from the giveaway that finished in the end of Oct.  I wanted to give her time to open it before I spoiled the surprise. 

Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas coupland {book review}

Douglas Coupland writes insane books. If you are not ready or able to accept a completely unbelievable plot with over the top characters, then get out while you can. That said, I liked this book a lot and read it in one sitting. I kept expecting there to be a bit of joy somewhere in the book, but this entire book is one gigantic pit of sadness. 
I give it a 4/5, for style and because his writing draws you in. This book is narrated by 4 different characters, ranging from extremely hopeful to dwelling in the darkest pits of despair. The first character, Cheryl really surprised me, because she had such hope and was so loving. This was a surprise knowing what I do of Coupland’s previous work. 

As I’m never going to be old, I’m glad that I never lost my sense of wonder about the world, although I have a hunch it would have happened pretty soon. I loved the world, its beauty and bigness as well as its smallness.

Douglas Coupland, Hey Nostradamus!

Each has one outstanding characteristic that is just so present, it basically defines them.

Cheryl is naive but has a hopeful look at the world. Which makes the rest of the book so depressing. (It’s really hard to review this book without any spoilers.) 

Jason is angry. He gets himself into trouble because of his anger. But overall is a good person, even if he won’t let anyone else see that side of him. 

Heather never gives up. She is also a bit gullible, but likeable.

Reg is just an ass. 

This book is unbelievably sad. Although there are little pin pricks of light scattered throughout the book, which is part of what kept me going. Cheryl and Reg are the two most tragic characters, but they also have some of the most hopeful dialog. 

At the end, it is hard to say exactly why I liked this book so much. Coupland does write good blackout scenes. He makes people in completely ridiculous circumstances seem relatable. When crazy things happen, you don’t really second guess them until after the book. I guess the real reason to read this book, is that it can make you believe in some really unbelievable things. And leave you with the smallest feeling of hope. Which is sometimes all that matters.

Shop Small Review {Sewn Wild Clothing}

Sewn Wild Clothing 5/5

For this week’s review I am going to review a pair of shorts that I bought for my son over the summer, because this week has been kind of busy and I haven’t had time to take great photos of any recent items I have received.


I was browsing instagram for small shops (a really expensive hobby of mine) and I found Sewn Wild. There are so many amazing little girl clothes available there, at the time I found it, the thing that made me follow the shop was a super cute little dress. But a few days later, she posted that she had enough material to make one pair of Nightmare Before Christmas shorts, and I had to have them. For made to order handmade, they arrived REALLY quickly. I told her my son was a weird size (he is fairly tall, but still skinny enough to wear 12m pants.)  When I got them they were snug enough to not fall down, but long enough that he can probably wear them next year too, which was just what I was hoping for.

He has been wearing them at least once or twice a week for most of the Summer, and these things have held up so great. We get compliments on them just about every time he wears them, and he loves them too. If I give him the chance to pick out his clothes, he will go for these shorts paired with a dinosaur shirt, matching or not.

Back to the dresses, if you have a little girl, YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT her instagram. She has so many amazing one of a kind dresses. Find her here: instagram.com/sewnwildclothing 

PRICE: $14 ( amazing for handmade)

QUALITY: 5/5 have withstood 4 months of boy play and are still in perfect condition.

RECOMMENDATION: buy all the things.

Team Neville new and custom order roundup

My favorite things of the week are probably my relisted alohomora key ornaments. They always sell super fast each year and can be customized with names. I also had 2 contest winners this week, one ordered the “normal people scare me” cuff below, and the other has a surprise that retails for about $90 headed to her, I’ll post a pic after she opens it. The 2nd grouping of photos are all my auction and group stockings that you can find this week, and the bottom group is all NYC custom orders. I’ve been working on adding a lot more mom jewelry to my portfolio, so expect to see some of that over the next few weeks.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer {book review}

I love this book. I know that there are a lot of serious readers out there, (and a lot of less than serious readers out there) who are not fans. If you think this is going to be a story like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, give up now. Jump ship, don’t bother buying or even borrowing this book.  However, if you can get past his previous works and think about this book as just its own enjoyable piece of fiction, you might love it as much as I did.

The story is a bit … unbelievable. It centers around a family that is falling apart, and on Israel, which is also falling apart. I am not Jewish. There are certain references to Jewish customs and Middle Eastern issues that I was not familiar with. I don’t consider myself to be a great judge of that section of the book, because I have no idea how plausible it actually is.

The Middle Eastern politics seem to be what bothered most people about this book. The thing is, it was easy enough for me to read (and I get bored fairly easily) because mixed in with the politics, there was also a significant amount of family drama that kept it interesting.

The characters are witty. If you love JSF’s ability to craft a beautiful sentence, this book won’t disappoint you. He writes smart children’s dialog too, able to capture the strangeness of children’s minds, and celebrates the questions they aren’t afraid to ask. The book juxtaposes some very coarse sexual language with flowing, beautiful, expressive language. At first, there are a lot of things that are hard to grasp, and this is one of them, because the dirty language breaks in throughout the book with no explanation of why. It is eventually explained, and then adds another layer of understanding to the book.

“Between any two beings there is a unique, uncrossable distance, an unenterable sanctuary. Sometimes it takes the shape of aloneness. Sometimes it takes the shape of love.”
― Jonathan Safran FoerHere I Am

The children are sometimes too smart, there are things that the eldest, Sam and the middle child, Max say that blow my mind. The ability for them to think on their feet and argue without sounding too much like whiny adolescents is a breath of fresh air, but (especially Max at 10) seems a bit unbelievable. They do have brief periods of dirty jokes that are able to anchor them back to teenage reality.

The adults also have excellent banter, and deflect what should be heavy conversations by making light of them. This ends up being part of their downfall, but it entertaining. There are also some great puns in this book.

NPR and podcasts are mentioned fairly frequently in the book, and being a talk radio junkie myself, there are certain stories that I remember hearing, mixed in with fictional stories. I really enjoyed the random pieces of information and trivia that are sprinkled throughout the book.

Overall, my recommendation is that you read this book if you like: funny banter, smart kids, dysfunctional families, upper-middle class life, offensive language, family drama and things not really having a happy ending.

Do not read this book if sexual language or political opinions bother you.

“I’ve raised my voice at a human only twice in my entire life. Both times at the same human. Put differently: I’ve known only one human in my entire life. Put differently: I’ve allowed only one human to know me.”
― Jonathan Safran FoerHere I Am