Link Up Party: 12/14/18

Love these link up parties! If you enjoy networking, please stop by www.dreambigdreamoften.co and share your link!

Advertisements

Introducing: Oma’s Cottage!

2

Hi there and thanks for stopping by today!

We met so many nice people when we were visiting the States this summer. One lady who stands out, is called ‘Oma’. This wonderful woman runs her own online store selling doll clothes made for the American Girl Doll series as well as some of their counterparts. I really felt the need to do a spotlight on this business because it is quite different than anything I’ve done and because I know that the American Girl Dolls and all of their accessories are quite expensive. The doll clothes at Oma’s Cottage will not hit you in the wallet the way that many will. So I also thought it might be of benefit to you, my readers, to be aware of the many things that Oma’s Cottage has to offer.

Oma’s cottage started 2 years ago when Oma found herself currently without employment and in need of an outlet for stress. She has been a seamstress since her teenage years and also enjoyed knitting and crocheting. As handicrafts are known to be a therapeutic hobby, she was really looking forward to getting back to it.

While she was researching ways to do the handicrafts she loved, as well as searching for new business ideas; This family woman noticed the Target doll one day. As an 18 inch doll, she really liked the size of them. When she was a child, she played with the ‘Ginger Doll’. The ‘Ginger Doll ‘is a pre-Barbie Doll. Because of this, Oma prefers childlike dolls instead of the womanly figured Barbies and when she discovered the ‘American Girl Dolls’ (while playing dolls with her granddaughter) she got to thinking about it and a business was born!

Oma enjoys the imaginative play that playing with dolls brings to children. And I have to agree with her! Children’s imaginations should be fostered as much as possible. Something we seem to be losing in our modern day.

As this business began with family, Oma began searching the web for patterns that she could make for her granddaughter. After awhile, she realized that she could do this and loved making these items. She began to get creative with colours, textiles, and patterns. Even trying her hand at shoe making for the dolls! (I believe that this must’ve been quite a challenge!)

omas pink

She has up-cycled silky formal dresses and other items into these doll clothes, which I believe should give her a big ++ in sustainable business practices. Oma wants all children to be able to enjoy having beautiful clothes on their dolls, so the clothes for the 18 inch doll are not exclusive to the ‘American Girl Dolls’ but will also drape beautifully the ‘Our Generation Doll ‘from Target and the ‘My Life As Dolls’ from Walmart.

omas grey.jpg

Once Oma got into the rhythm of making clothes for the 18 inch dolls, along came the 14.5 inch ‘American Girl Doll’ and the 14 inch dolls that are similar. Oma explains to me that the ‘Wellie Wisher’ is for younger girls. That there is no cloth body and the eyes don’t close. I don’t so much about dolls, so it was quite interesting to learn!

omas b:w

Oma’s Cottage is currently working from her facebook page and the occasional craft fair. If you are looking for doll clothes for some of these sizes, I strongly recommend checking out her facebook page. I know that these doll clothes are made with love. I also know that my readers dislike overspending on things and that the retail of these items are infamous for being quite pricey. At Oma’s Cottage they will not be a budget buster. The items are beautiful and reasonably priced. Yay! She usually sells within the USA, but Oma is excited about branching out into the world and has made sure that she can offer reasonable international shipping for any of our readers abroad who would like to make a purchase. Double yay!!

Her contact info is as follows:

Facebook 

*If you are having trouble accessing the FB page, please feel free to contact Oma via email. She will send you any information that you request.

Email: mestorms279@gmail.com

(Phone: in US 219-713-9525)

omas groupAren’t they super cute?!

Thank you so much for reading!

-Mliae

Introducing Baginning!

14

This is the time of the year when us ladies have a tendency to find ourselves searching for the perfect gala look, and the perfect accessories to compliment that look for a special night out.

For these accessories, Baginning.com is website specialising in ladies handbags and purses. They have a huge selection of handbags, shoppers, straw vacation bags and evening bags.

Here are a few of my choices for Summer 2018:

leather

This gorgeous all leather handbag with bracelet strap.

raffia

This gorgeous raffia bag, which I really want for this summer. Best part about it is, I’ve seen these going for an average of 200€. On Baginning they run about $50. Great savings!

And now, for our evening bags selection! (specially chosen by me, of course):

blue clutch

This streamlined blue clutch purse is something I think would go great with some of the formal dance dresses I have seen around recently. A perfect size for a bit of money, lipstick and a cell phone.

vintage.jpg

For our vintage lovers out there, I think this green floral bracelet bag is perfect. The neutral colours basically go well with everything if you’re dressing it up for an evening out.

If you are anything like me, and prefer gold evening bags that goes with everything, they have a really great selection of those!

gold

This simple, yet elegant gold beaded clutch purse will basically go with any dress you wear. It is formal, yet understated. So, you don’t have to worry that your bag is upstaging your outfit.

These 5 items were some of my faves. (That Raffia bag though….that will be mine!) However, there are many hundred’s of great options on the website. One of the best things though about Baginning is that they offer FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING! Yay!

I wish all the best for your gala season!

-Mliae

*All photos sourced from the Baginning website with their express permission given.

*Sponsored Post

Introducing Hiperion Brand!

14

Hello everyone 🙂

I love design. I’m also a business nerd and I have a soft spot in my heart for start-ups. This created a deadly combination for me when I stumbled upon Hiperion. This new label appeals to both hemispheres of my brain and so I kind of HAD to learn more and do a write-up. This was an opportunity I could not allow to pass me by.

Hiperion is a new , MADE IN ITALY high-fashion label (registered in 27/09/2017 with the Milan Chamber of Commerce). Three young gentleman in their 20’s founded, co-own and design for Hiperion.

 

Simone, Alessandro and Giacomo met during their studies at NABA (New Academy of Fine Arts) in Milan. These 3 men work, live and party together in a (divided?) 3 level English-style home. They say it’s a den of artists. Judging by the mental picture that was given to me, I am inclined to agree! In all honesty, it sounds like they have it all working out well!

 

I was curious as to how these talented young men found themselves together and taking the giant leap into a very deep pool of business and design. Simone explained to me that ‘Giacomo’s mother has an ironing and finishing company. Her passion for art & fashion being so great that it took her away from her hometown of Modena. Alessandro has always been a fashion enthusiast, and decided to pursue his dreams.’ And Simone himself stopped playing professional football (Soccer, for the Americans) after several disappointments and decided to ‘hearten & drown in art, to follow what has always been a passion for him, fashion.’

 

I’m going to highlight a few of my favourite designs for you, so that you can see the level of craftsmanship that goes into each piece.

hiperion hf

Each piece has its own unique style. I really love the way that the Hiperion brand has the ability to take inspiration from the every day and transform it into something luxurious.

hiperion velvet.jpeg

I am so drawn to this velvet and silk suit. This piece would be fitting for both man and woman (with different tailoring, of course). But the real reason I wanted to highlight this suit is the detail. I mean, just look at the buttons! Every detail has been made to compliment the outfit as a whole. This is the kind of thing that we really don’t see anymore and I am so happy that attention to detail is coming back!

hiperion fireballs

These designs are not your typical suit. Therefore, one must be creative in the way one wears it. I love that this man wore a regular Tee-shirt with his firecracker designed suit. Hiperion has collaborated with an impressive amount of Italian celebrities in the past year. Some of these collaborations include: Paolo Ruffini for Colorado (Hiperion created 2 dresses for this campaign), Music First (a record company in Milan), and for the tour of Eman. Earlier in February, they held their Hiperion launch show in Milan.

hiperion jester 2

hiperion jester

I really like this suit. Hiperion does not use man-made fabrics. They use silks, velvets, satin and now linen (for the festivals). I wanted to post 2 pictures of this because you can see how the duality blends nicely together in different light and from varying angles.

hiperion daffodil

My favourite part of this suit is the green buttons on the lapel. This tiny detail screams mad-hatter at me and I can’t get enough of it!

Hiperion butterfly

This final shot is to display usage in real life. Plus, I think the butterfly design is cool …especially on the luxury denim-like jacket. This is one of the things I admire about the brands’ mission. Hiperion wants that people feel comfortable wearing luxury every day, not just for special occasions. I could not agree more with this! I have been saying it myself for years, especially when wondering out loud what happened to the days when people took time and made an effort with their appearance! How did we go from every day luxury, well designed clothes that were made to last, to yoga/sweat pants and Tee-shirts? I am so SO happy to have discovered a design house that agrees with me. And THAT is the biggest reason I want to share it with you.

I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity for a bit of Question/answer with Simone. Please read it below:

 

Q – What made the 3 of you decide to take the big jump into starting your own design label?

A – The decision to launch our clothing brand at 22 is mainly due to the strong personality that characterizes us. We are resourceful, courageous, sincere, and we believe in ourselves. We young people are capable of great things, we just have to wake up.

 

Q – How have you found it, being a start-up in such a competitive industry?

A – Being so young and alone as a start-up in such a difficult sector is not easy. Being taken into consideration is not easy, there is a lot of skepticism due to the young age. However, we do not pay attention to these things, we work, we share our love and step by step we will get some satisfaction. However, we also realize that there is a lot of admiration from experts in the sector, given that despite everything we try!

 

Q – I adore your designs. So chic, so different! From where do you take your inspiration this season?

A – Thanks for the compliment! Our inspiration derives from our daily life. We live together, study together, eat and sleep together. Ideas are born in our heads and meet spontaneously without even having to talk about it. It’s amazing it’s fantastic at the same time.

 

Q – You do mainly Menswear, but also Women’s wear. Correct?

A – The collection was born mainly for men, but we had numerous requests from the female public. We tried some clothes on girls and it was really fantastic. The man style worn by a woman is something totally out of the box that is already beautiful for this reason. We must break the pre-set balances. We are currently working on a collection solely dedicated to women.

 

Q – Do you also make any kind of accessories?

A – As accessories we made some rings on request for special customers, like some Italian singers but I can not mention them yet. In the projects there are accessories, like rings, bracelets and cologne but above all the hats, in Borsalino style.

 

Q – If I wanted to purchase an item, what is the process? (Are they made custom to order or is there a selection from which to choose, and then tailored according to size?) What if you have a customer that lives outside of Italy?

A – We currently expect it to take a couple of months to sell. We are structuring the website from where it will be possible to purchase our products. The only project we are facing now is to be able to see the stuff directly on site in Dubai, but for this we must proceed calmly. We are very followed by abroad, I do not deny that it would not surprise me if we initially became more popular abroad than in Italy. Let’s say that for now we are trying to give value to the brand, through collaborations with Italian TV, actors and singers.

 

Q – About what is the price range?

A – The price will have an average range between € 800 and € 1500 initially. The dress made for Paolo Ruffini is totally in velvet, lined internally in silk, embroidered in lamé and with more than 200 Swarovski positioned by hand. Those who buy Hiperion certainly buy a lot of quality, beyond our passion.

 

Q – Where should we look for you? Any future showings that you know of, where you will be?

A – We hope in two years to be at the top, and to share our passion with the whole world. We are very active on instagram and we interact a lot with our followers. We are open to any kind of collaboration, especially with foreign countries. We had an interesting proposal for the Coachella Festival, but maybe it’s not the right time yet. Surely we will affirm a lot in the world of entertainment in Italy, so look at a lot of tv ahaha ! We recently made the first fashion show in Milan and we would like to do two a year! We will send you the invitation and you can share it with all your friends and followers, we are waiting for you!

 

Q – Thank you so much for your time. Are there any words which you would like to leave with us?

A – Hiperion has a very specific mission. Break the patterns. Make people wear something exclusive in everyday life, without people feeling out of place. Hiperion goes beyond mere fashion, what is created has the same care as a work of art. Hiperion is not a clothing and stop brand, it’s something more. Something that wants to live with people, that needs continuous passion and love, to give and receive, without emotions, things die.

Hiperion label

And with those beautiful words, I will wrap up this post. The Hiperion brand website is currently in the launching phase.

The best way to make contact is via:

INSTAGRAM: @hiperion_brand

VERO: @SimonePellegrini

And EMAIL: info@hiperionbrand.com

 

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae

 

Book Review: Three Million’s a Crowd by Leenna Naidoo!

4

Hi there!

I am really excited about today’s post 🙂 I am reviewing the book ‘Three Million’s a Crowd’ by our own Leenna Naidoo! Leenna is the blogger behind In betweener and she is a well accomplished author! It is a privilege to have the opportunity to review her work.

I had the pleasure of making Leenna’s acquaintance about 2 years ago. Leenna Naidoo herself is one of the nicest people I have ever met. You know when you meet someone and you immediately feel so comfortable, it’s like you’ve known them for years? Well, that’s her. She is über creative and I have been waiting a very long time to see if her writing reflects that big personality of hers. Well guess what – It DOES!

Her writing is so personable that I can picture (and hear) every single scene in my imagination. I love it when an author paints a picture so clear that you can quite literally watch the movie in your own head.

Three Million’s A Crowd is a collection of flash fiction and short stories. The following are the stories contained within:

  • Spiked (Flash Fiction)
  • Slipped Up (A smile-worthy short story based on a pair of glass slippers!)
  • Ride The Wave. Kiss The God (A short story lesson about going with the flow.)
  • Not That Kind Of Guy (Short Story – a heartwarming tale of a lady who’s given up on love.)
  • Three Million’s A Crowd (The Novella – a great modern day love situation!)

I really enjoyed reading this book in it’s entirety. Those of you who know me well, know that I enjoy collections of short stories. I have the attention span of a fruitfly, so long – drawn out – slow reads just do my head in. Short stories are great! I can read them in one sitting, and don’t lose an entire day doing so. I really liked the novella – Three Million’s A Crowd. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I was sucked in by page 3 and didn’t move until I had read the entire thing. Now that’s saying something!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did, or check out her list of other great books!

If you are interested in finding out more about this work, you can find her release post by clicking the link here.

There are 3 varying download links, depending on which one you are most familiar with. These links will take you directly to the Three Million’s A Crowd page:

Barnes and Noble

iTunes

Smashwords

I highly recommend this book. I hope that you will read it and I know that you will enjoy it!

Have you read any of Leenna Naidoo’s works?

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

 

Introducing Bidvine: The New Online Service Marketplace! #bidvine

8

Greetings everyone 🙂

I’m here to talk (OK, Rave) about an up and coming online service marketplace in the U.K., called Bidvine. Bidvine is really cool and super easy to use. Basically, you just go to the homepage and scroll through until you find what you need. Or, you can do a simple search. They will ask a few questions regarding what exactly you are looking for, how to contact you and your UK postal code. They will then email you with any offers or messages from those service providers. Sometimes the emails come in a matter of minutes, which is surprising.

thumbnail_Bidvine_desktop2

I have been doing some browsing around this online marketplace and it really is great! For example, I was so excited to see that you can actually find someone who will come to your home and put together that Ikea furniture! As a woman who spent many years as a single without one ounce of technical ability. I have been wishing that there existed some sort of service that existed where I could have asked someone to help me out with all those picture hanging, furniture building, dog-sitting skills that I lack. Now, it seems like there is…and more!

You do not have to use the service strictly via PC. Bidvine offers a fully functioning mobile service for all smart phones too! (Which works wonders if you find yourself in that kind of situation where you are looking for a computer repair service. We’ve all been there 😉 )

bidvine thumbnail_coffee_phone

I think that Bidvine is a great marketing tool for locally based services. One can find all sorts of services ranging from all things wedding, catering, photography, cleaning & building services, moving, tutoring … the list goes on and on. Bidvine also offers a nutritionist service! How cool is that?!?

Now, how does Bidvine make their money? Bidvine employs a Cost Per Accepted Lead format. What this basically means is that instead of small businesses having to pour tons of money into marketing which may or may not work, on Bidvine, these businesses only pay a small fee for those bids that have been read and considered. Also, this is a one-time (contact) fee. Afterwards, there are no additional charges. This is a very good thing because, as we all know, companies pass along their costs or savings to us, the consumer. If the company isn’t shelling out funds hand-over-fist to reach us, then they will not be charging us the sky high prices that they must on other marketing forums. This is one of the reasons I really like Bidvine’s business model. There are no commissions, and no joining fees.

The marketplace is free to use for customers and provides reputable, qualified and interested service providers at your fingertips. No more calling every number that you can find in the search for the perfect electrician! Yay!

So how to Bidvine come into existence? The story really is easy to believe. They had a team in Dubai and apparently spent too many hours trying to find the services they needed; language tutors, renovation experts, a brave soul to remove a wasps nest, etc. They realized that there are much nicer things one should be doing with their days instead of spending all their time searching for and contacting these service providers. Thus, Bidvine was born! I have heard it said that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ and it seems to be exactly the case here.

If you are interested, please check out Bidvine by clicking here. It’s free! And just as a side-note, there is also a Bidvine Blog which has loads of fun articles, including a really great one about how much the annual salary would be for dad’s if it were a paying gig. Check it out!

Bidvine is currently available in the U.K.

Have you used Bidvine?

-Mliae

*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion on the service and its offerings. I do think that this is a worthwhile service worth utilizing.

(Inter)Networking for Authors: An Introduction

8

Dane Cobain, a UK author who has published 5 awesome books, has begun writing a series of posts to help his fellow authors gain a step-up. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to publish this portion of his series as a guest post! I am a fan, you will have seen some of his works reviewed here on the site already. Without further a-do, Dane Cobain, everybody!

 

A lot of people think of writing as a lonely occupation, and in many ways that’s true. After all, authors have to put in hundreds of hours behind a computer screen before a novel’s ready for publication, and then they have to spend hundreds more trying to get the word out about their work. With so much time spent concentrating on a keyboard, it’s no surprise that most prefer to work alone, without distractions.

But that’s the funny thing about being a writer – a lot of the misconceptions are wrong, and it quickly becomes apparent that you can’t do everything on your own. You’ll need to work with editors, proofreaders and cover designers, as well as potentially with agents, publishers, marketers and more.

In fact, modern authors are finding that who they know is often as important as how talented they are, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If a talented writer can hook up with likeminded professionals, it can become a win/win situation for everyone. This is most clearly the case when business owners are looking for writers to create content on their behalf, where money changes hands in exchange for the written word. And it’s also the case when an author signs a deal with a publisher.

 

What is (Inter)Networking?

I’ll be honest, I made this up – but the concept seems to speak for itself. I’m talking about making new friends the millennial way, by reading their blogs, watching their YouTube videos, liking their Facebook pages and following them on Twitter.

The great thing about the book community is that it’s inherently full of well-read – and therefore more open-minded – people. It makes it one of the most welcoming communities on the net, even taming the notoriously evil comments section on YouTube and turning it into somewhere that people actually help each other.

That’s why it’s so easy to get involved, whether you’re an author, a publisher, a blogger or just a reader who wants to know a bit more about what’s going on behind the scenes. The key is to focus on the stuff that really interests you – don’t make friends with people because you want to get something out of them, make friends with them because you think that their work is amazing.

 

How to get started with (inter)networking

The first step is simple enough – just get started. There’s no right or wrong way to go about it. That’s part of the beauty of social networking and the internet age – I’m a firm believer that everyone knows how best to manage their presence because there’s nothing more authentic than simply being yourself.

That said, you can get started by liking the pages of the authors you read. Discover a few new blogs and leave comments to add your thoughts to the discussion. Follow a few new people on Twitter. Start discussions of your own about the books that you read. Consider sharing ratings and reviews on Goodreads or even starting a book blog of your own.

Remember that you should never ask what’s in it for you. Go out of your way to help other people and they’ll do the same – a bit like karma, except it’s more like taking part in a global community which makes the world a slightly better place.

 

(Inter)networking works!

The good news is that making friends and taking part in a community is reward enough in itself. Your life will be richer because you’ll have more friends and acquaintances and they’ll all love books and writing just as much as you do. Simply by befriending people and watching their achievements over time can bring a warm, fuzzy feeling inside – and if you get to work with them professionally then even better.

I have first-hand experience of the benefits of (inter)networking. That’s how I was offered a publishing deal with Booktrope, which kickstarted my career as an author. I’d worked with Booktrope a few times in the past, featuring their authors on my book blog – I loved the look and feel of their books, as well as the quality of their releases, and then I was asked to submit my work by their head of community.

Alas, Booktrope is no longer in business, but it was an important lesson for me in how making friends and keeping up to date with the industry can help in unexpected ways. That’s why I try to be as active in the community as I can be, and why I try to support indie authors by reading their books and posting reviews. You should try it sometime.

 

Over to you:

Do you network with other book-lovers online? Where are some of your favourite places to do so? Let me know with a comment or feel free to tweet me at @DaneCobain.

 

About the author

This post is written by Dane Cobain and sponsored by Publishing Addict, an organisation that specialises in building author websites to help writers to establish a brand, connect with their readers and to sell more books.

 

 

Meet the Beasts! <3 The newest members of the family :D

I would love to introduce our newest members of the family! This adorable Husky duo finally came home after a grueling 3 months of adoption papers, interviews, fact checking, more interviews, medical and training requests, etc.

We were so hoping to have them here for Christmas, but instead we managed to get them here just in time for Valentine’s…and oh what a Valentines it was! It is a female and male, both trained as sled dogs, whose names are borderline unpronounceable, so I’ve nicknamed them meanings: ‘The Queen’ and ‘Snuggly’.

IMG_4858

Meet The Queen

She is the leader of the pack. She pulls, runs, pulls, and chews the insides out of a tennis ball in seconds. Not the most trustworthy of beings when she came to us, it took me days to even coax her into letting me pat her head. Now she’s just fine and totally relaxed! She is streamlined for sledding and knows exactly what she wants to do. (Regardless of if its what YOU want her to do).

IMG_4859

Meet Snuggly

This guy is my new teddy bear. Since I’m a woman, his tendency towards protection kicked in almost immediately. He loves to snuggle, helps himself to a nice spot on the sofa for some window watching, eats everything – I mean everything! Loves runs, snow and all things remotely edible.

So these 2 will be making sure that I’ve got buns, abs and arms of steal by the time summer rolls around. One week and I can already feel the burn…BIG TIME! Expect to see these two on the regular 🙂

Thanks for reading!

-Mliae

WHY?

3

As my first official blog post, I feel it necessary to explain why I’ve decided to do this in the first place.  I must admit that I’m not exactly sure if people will even be reading this, but hey…worth a shot, right??

Let me begin by saying, my life, especially now, seems to becoming more and more of an experiment. (Hence the name) I enjoy sharing my experiences, but also, I’ve discovered that when one truly needs a straight spoken opinion or advice, it is difficult to find exactly what I am looking for. So, I’m hoping this will help…both of us.

Face care and Cosmetics

This is a biggie. Any woman over 25 knows the trials and tribulations of searching for that perfect eye cream, neck tightener that doesn’t include snake venom (seriously?! Who thought that was a good idea??!) or the perfect lipstick that doesn’t result in a bozo the clown look-alike after a hot make-out sess. Since I usually find myself trying one of everything and comparing products anyway, why not do it here as well? Especially since it’s sometimes difficult to find product reviews online if they aren’t considered some of the seasons most popular products.

Cooking

Vegetarian, on the road to Vegan. Or maybe not. Maybe pescetarian. Either way, I’m feeling my way blindly to learning how to cook decent meals worthy of actually sitting down at the table and eating…one recipe at a time. Experiences and fire hazards to be shared here.

Wardrobe

Champagne taste but a bread budget? Mmmm…yes. Absolutely. I’m constantly looking for creative ways to make my wardrobe more functional, more beautiful, and longer lasting. Albeit with a less-is-more attitude, this luxury lover will find a way!

All manner of silliness

Sometimes, you just have to be goofy. Especially on those days when I’ve managed to accidentally break all manner of dishes, had an electrical fire, ripped my designer linens or completely insulted my husband with a microwaved meal. Laughter truly is the best medicine and the world is a plethora of goofiness to get you smiling! 🙂

Thank you for reading. I very much look forward to experience sharing with you and reading your comments!

-Mliae