eShakti Review | A Coin For the Well

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A few weeks ago (or maybe months ago now? Gah I'm such a procrastinator!) eShakti contacted me and asked if I would be interested in receiving a dress in order to review it. This excited me greatly because I have always wanted to order from eShakti but have heard different things about them - one only has to google "eShakti review" to see how people have had widely different experiences with them! I figured I had nothing to lose however so I agreed.

For those who don't know, eShakti is an online retailer that let's you have it your way. Dresses are completely customizable. You can raise or lower hemlines, add or remove sleeves, pockets and embellishments and for a small $7.50 fee, have the dress created to your exact measurements! As a girl who falls under 3 different sizes on Modcloth's size chart (small for bust, large for waist and medium for hips) this seems like an amazing idea.

eshakti review, eshakti dress, anastasia pink dress, vintage style pink dress, floral headband, modcloth style dress, fit and flare dress, customizable fashion, Windsor Ontario blogger, Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well

I ended up choosing the Anastasia Dress because I'm a sucker for pink. What I failed to realize is that it's a dead ringer for my skin tone. Derp. I had to play with these pictures a lot to even make it show up. However, this review isn't about my stupidity. I love the colour in person even though it doesn't photograph the best on sunny days on pasty people. It also comes in a host of other colours if you love the dress but would rather try another colour. Otherwise it's sweet and lovely and you can't help but feel like a princess. The best part is it can easily be dressed up or down. I tend to go the dressed up route but I think if you threw on sandals and a casual jacket, it could work just as well.

Eshakti Anastastia dress, cameo pink, apple green, blue, mustard, yellow, cotton, fit and flare, figure eight neckline, vintage style, customizable fashion

I got the mini length and I was surprised by how long it was still. I saw some other reviews where the skirt had ended up quite short but I believe the recipient was under 5'2". I think the length I got is a really versatile length. This could be worn to baby showers and such without being offensive but I still get to show some leg. I'm into that.

I posted my stats so anybody interested in ordering can compare. However, keep in mind my waist measurements are kind of deceiving. I can squeeze into smaller sizes because my fat tends to squish higher or lower. Since I didn't opt for the customized size this round, I didn't want to order something so large that my bust couldn't fill it out. However, the size 8 worked pretty good!

The dress is made of sturdy cotton and is lined. It also has a super sturdy zipper (which is the first thing I noticed when taking it out of the box!) It's still an invisible zipper, as it's the same colour of the dress and blends right in. It's not one of those super fragile ones that catch on the fabric and stop zipping the first time you use them. I can see this zipper lasting the life of this dress.

eshakti review, eshakti dress, anastasia pink dress, vintage style pink dress, floral headband, modcloth style dress, fit and flare dress, customizable fashion, Windsor Ontario blogger, Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well
eshakti review, eshakti dress, anastasia pink dress, vintage style pink dress, floral headband, modcloth style dress, fit and flare dress, customizable fashion, Windsor Ontario blogger, Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well

My only complaint is because it's cotton (which is lovely and breathable and such) it's also high maintenance. It wrinkles terribly. I had intended to re-shoot these but couldn't be bothered to have my mom re-iron the dress. 

eshakti review, eshakti dress, anastasia pink dress, vintage style pink dress, floral headband, modcloth style dress, fit and flare dress, customizable fashion, Windsor Ontario blogger, Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well

Ta da! So that is my review. And because they are so awesome, here is a close up of my earrings.

flower basket vintage earrings, 1950s, 50s, costume jewelry, jewellery, post earrings, floral box

Outfit Details

Dress - Anastasia Dress - c/o Eshakti
Shoes - thrifted Value Village
Earrings - Penny Jane Vintage
Purse - gift from my grandmother
Headband - Claire's
Necklace - Ardene's

Thanks again to Eshakti for the dress! I'm super pleased!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links*


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I've been missing in action. I realize that. And I'm super, super sorry! My grandpa recovered, and I was no longer required to care for him but I didn't return to blogging. When it came down to it, I felt like I was spending more time blogging than actually getting out and doing things, and that's not how I wanted to be. I had read a lot of blogging tips about going back and fixing dead links and tagging old photos to make them appear in Google searches and this and that, and while that is all good advice, I felt like I never left the computer. Now I feel like I'm actually doing what I want to do, and I actually would have material for my blog, if I had even bothered to get out my camera! Sadly, all or nothing girl here.

So I shall update you quickly what I've been up to! I had come to the conclusion for the millionth time that I had way too many clothes and that I needed to stopped buying them, especially dresses, since I hardly wear them anymore. I allotted money to different things and different activities. I bought a fancy typewriter (just decoration sadly, since it was only $7 and the keys don't line up) and I also bought a vintage bike! If I end up doing some blogging in the future, it will make a fancy prop, but realistically, it's a way for me to get around. I'm still trying to master riding it, since the last time I rode a bike, I was 12 and regularly crashing into things, including parked cars and my cabin at camp.

Suzanne Amlin, City Cyclery, vintage bike, blue bike, CCM, bike with basket, local Windsor Ontario businesses, Windsor fashion bloggers

vintage typewriter, pink globe, Anywhere Travel Guide, desk inspiration photos, Royalite typewrite, royal typewrite, gray typewrite, grey typewrite, silver typewriter

I've also been trying super hard to eat better. This was a big step for me, as I ate mostly pizza before. It finally clicked that the reason I might feel sluggish and depressed a lot might have something to do with my diet. I still treat myself here and there (I had a cookie today and I had some KFC on the weekend) but overall, my diet is much healthier and comes out of boxes and packages much less. 

I also took up knitting! I was inspired by my friend, Nicole of Mercantile 519 and her rad creations. Also, I've just been getting into vintage more and more (and not just clothing, the way people lived in general) and learning to knit seemed like a natural step to take. I signed up for a beginner's class at Michael's and it went horrible to be honest. My mind could not grasp how to form a stitch, because I couldn't keep left and right straight, over and under kept messing me up and I kept confusing clockwise and counterclockwise. It really isn't that difficult now that I've gotten the hang of it but I like to make things more complicated than they are. I have no idea what this thing is going to be below, it's too narrow to be a scarf or a dish cloth, but look, it's a patch I knitted!

In an effort to not spend money on dresses, I've been spending money on hobbies, better groceries and things for my house. And also... magazines! Sometimes print magazines and sometimes digital ones if the print versions are too expensive (and I seem to love imported ones so that's often the case.) I was already in love with BUST and Vintage Life magazine but I'm newly in love with Frankie magazine, Mollie Makes and Betty magazine. I also have a library account that hooks me up with digital subscriptions to Women's Health, Martha Stewart Living, Mental Floss, Whole Living and dozens of others. I've been a very busy girl. Between reading several books on the go, I can now have dozens magazines on the go too. Huzzah!

Mollie Makes DIY magazine, Betty magazine, BUST magazine Anna Paquin cover, Vintage Life magazine issue 40, Frankie magazine, Australian fashion magazine, UK magazine, feminist magazine, imported magazines, women's magazines, DIY magazines, craft magazines, girly magazines, vintage style magazines

After reading Vintage Life and seeing all the cool vintage theme events going on the UK, I was yearning for something like that to happen in Windsor. When my mom mentioned going to a poodle skirt themed work function, I timidly asked if I could come. My mom had been shopping for an outfit on Modcloth for weeks, but I didn't get the bright idea to ask if I could accompany her until the day before. Luckily, I had items in my closet that worked just fine. I had so much fun! They even had a hula hooping contest, which was right up my alley, considering I had just bought a hula hoop a few weeks earlier. Sadly, my hoop broke 2 revolutions into the actual competition, but in my heart I know who should have rightfully won.

Suzanne Amlin, hula hooping girl, retro style, vintage style, red polka dot dress, saddle shoes, Modcloth style, Village of Aspen Lake 50s dinner
 Hoop is in the air

Bad hula hooping, Village of Aspen Lake 50s dinner
Hoop is not in the air

Afterwards, an Elvis impersonator took to the stage and then went up to ladies in the crowd and serenaded then with roses. I was a lucky recipient who received a rose, however, it was a little embarassing because I was in the midst of stuffing my face with popcorn and didn't see him come up beside me. Then suddenly people were taking my picture and I was like, "Noooooo." I don't know the lady in the orange sweater, but look how cute her reaction is. I had to post it!

Elvis Presley impersonator, Village of Aspen Lake 50s dinner, retro themed dinner, 1950s, Suzanne Amlin
Suzanne Amlin, cute girl, Betty Boop style, pin up, red lipstick, Besame, pretty, carnations, Coca Cola glass, Coke glass, retro, vintage style

That's pretty much all I've been up to! I have some other posts planned this week because several businesses have graciously sent me products to review (I was seriously stoked because I didn't think I was important enough for that to happen?) so keep an eye out for that! Until next time!

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Modcloth's Make the Cut Contest + What's New With Me!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's been a weird month. What happened initially was that I was feeling a little down and lacking energy and just could not bring myself to write an entry. That's (one) of the unfortunate parts of being bi-polar - you start all these endeavors when you're super manic and then abandon them when you're starting to feel low. I was pretty bummed, especially since I had just shelled out some money on advertising (oh no, I'm luring people to an inactive page!) but what can ya do.

I'm still not out of my slump, but now there's more stuff going on. My parents just finished helping my grandma move to Canada from Florida so it's a bit hectic with that and my grandpa was just released from the hospital, maybe a little earlier than he should have been, considering he's on an IV and on oxygen. I've practically moved back in with my parents in the meantime to lend a helping hand and give my gramps some companionship.

However, not everything is bad! I got paid some money for house sitting while my parents were away in Florida, packing up my gram's house, I got to go in for work at an ad agency that I get to work at sporadically throughout the year and I got my first Share-a-Sale cheque. Can you say rolling in money? For me anyways!

In other exciting news, I was featured on the Modcloth blog (my fourth time!) It was a total surprise and I didn't even know until some friends on Facebook had tagged me. It really brightened my day and I was so happy to be featured alongside my friends, Elana and Pamada.

Modcloth,, Modcloth blog, what to wear to a wedding, A Coin For the Well, style gallery, Southern California Belle, purple vintage outfit, lilac vintage outfit, Swedish Hasbeens, matching head to toe, Suzanne Amlin

As for the other reason I'm here, I'm announcing a really cool opportunity from Modcloth! I myself can't participate because it's for US citizens only, but you creative ladies Stateside better get on this STAT!

The dresses from the swatches (as far as I can tell) are as follows:
Cartoon Deer - Cheeriest and Dearest Dress - $94.99
Yellow and White Stripes - Difference Between White and Saffron Dress $47.99
Rainbow Dots - Chipper and Cheery Dress - $87.99
Bowling Pins - Rock and Bowl Dress - $87.99
Colourful Food - Good Enough to Eat Dress - $69.99
Blue Toile - Be Outside Dress in Delft - $74.99
Blue/Red Chevron - Lauren Moffatt Over and Overlook Dress - $409.99

There were a few couldn't find that I can only assume have been discontinued. I was too afraid to look in the abyss that is Pinterest/Google.

A few of the key details are as follows -

Submissions are accepted until 9:01am PST this Valentine's Day, 2/14. So sorry for the lack of advance notice! Like I said, a little hectic around here!

Fabric designs are to be designed using the "Air of Adorable Dress" template. This dress has been made in loads of other cute styles. Whatever choice they end up going with will be in good company!

Modcloth dresses,, Air of Adorable, It Takes Sudoku Dress, As Days Go Binary Dress
1/ 2/ 3/ 4/

Special guest judge, Amanda Needham, the costume designer of Portlandia will help determine the finalists! After that, the Modcloth community will vote on the Be the Buyer page. I think this is so rad. She has such a good eye for fashion. There are so many characters on Portlandia (mostly portrayed by Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen) and they have such unique quirks and different fashion personalities. She is able to transform the actors into totally different people! Yet at the same time, while watching the show, I ALWAYS want to own what they are wearing, even if they are supposed to be a dowdy person.

IFC, Portlandia, Portlandia fashion, Spike and Iris wedding, Portlandia wedding, steampunk convention, Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein

Sounds really cool right? I'd love for her to take a look at something I had whipped up!

If this sounds like your cup of tea, head over to the Modcloth blog and read the full contest rules. They were a little lengthy so I decided to spare you on here.

As for other things, I've spent way, way too much money recently. Mostly because I had more than usual. I'm going to try some of the things I read in this blog post about ways to distract yourself from shopping. A little too late for this month, but definitely going to use it in the future!

Hope you all are doing well! That's all for me! Talk soon!

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A Very Goat-y Birthday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

princess goat, goat in tiara, goat wearing a boa, diva goat, brown and white goat, pretty goat, lady goat

I have to clarify. It wasn't my birthday. That was last month. My blogging friend, Nicole of Mercantile 519 reached out to me and invited me to her 25th birthday last weekend at local petting zoo, agricultural shop and general fun time extravaganza, Colasanti's in Leamington, Ontario.

I was a little worried about going at first, since I literally wouldn't know a single person there (not even the person inviting me!) but Nicole and I hit it off instantly. It just must be that innate camaraderie that comes with blogging!

Suzanne Amlin, Colasanti's, feeding goats, A Coin For the Well, baby animals, Leamington Ontario, Mercantile 519, Windsor bloggers, Windsor Ontario blog, Tulle red blue and white plaid winter coat, Modcloth coat, Senior Speechwriter Coat, homemade knitted scarf, locally made, crafty
Suzanne Amlin, Colasanti's, feeding goats, A Coin For the Well, baby animals, Leamington Ontario, Windsor bloggers, Windsor Ontario blog, Tulle red blue and white plaid winter coat, Modcloth coat, Senior Speechwriter Coat
Colasanti's, crazy eyed goat, Leamington Ontario, A Coin For the Well, farm animal, petting zoo
Colasanti's, crazy eyed goat, Leamington Ontario, A Coin For the Well, farm animal, petting zoo, Suzanne Amlin
Colasanti's, petting zoo, baby deer, Mercantile 519, A Coin For the Well, farm animals

Outfit Details
Coat - Plaid About You Coat - Tulle
Shirt (underneath, you can see the bow dangling out) - Barista in the City Top in Red - Modcloth (sold out but still available in Black and Jade)
Jeans - Silvers, given to me by sister
Boots - Wal-Mart
Hat - Icings

If you like Nicole's outfit and would like the details, you can head over to her blog and ask away! I'm 99% certain she knit the scarf herself.

The goats were mad aggressive! Of course we wanted to feed the little, cute ones, so when we'd give them food, the big ones would come and head butt them out of the way. Sometimes, the little ones would just be standing around, minding their own business and a super resentful, big goat would just flip him over for no reason! Such jerks!

The guy outside with the horns was insane. I think he may have head butted too many things. He doesn't look all there. The little deer was so cute! It would prance alongside you and follow wherever the food went.

As for other things going on in my life, I've been feeling sort of blah. One of my huge goals for New Year's was to take blogging photos outside. Unfortunately, we've been pelted with the worst weather in my memory. It's freezing cold walking around bundled up in a parka and other winter attire. I feel sick to my stomach if I take my gloves off for a second to do anything. It's hovered around -15 to -25C (that's between 5 F and -13 degree F for the Americans reading this.) Basically, there is no way outfit photos are happening outside. It really dampened my spirits because it was such a huge goal for me, and even though doing backend website stuff was a goal too, I felt really defeated not being able to do what I initially wanted. I thought about shooting my planned outfits at my parent's house like I had been originally doing, but it just didn't seem good enough. It was like I was going to give up if I couldn't do it perfect.

I literally was on the verge of giving up. I'm one of those people if I can't give 100%, I don't want to do it at all. I don't do things  half way. Which is why I think my house is always a pig sty. When I do clean it, it has to be immaculate. No half hearted straightening up. I have to go Martha Stewart on everybody, like I was sent personally from Pinterest. It's so hard to remember that it's okay to do a little bit, things don't have to be perfect, etc. What actually got me motivated to write this post is what my fortune cookie had said. I threw the paper out so I don't remember what it says exactly but it was something like, "You have to believe in yourself before others will." Yes! I'm so doubtful of my abilities. I know I'm not the talent queen but I never even give myself a chance. Must start really working on that last New Year's goal more - be positive. If only it were that easy! I may have already cancelled my Pic Monkey subscription but it's not too late yet! I can still bounce back from the negativity and get back in the game.

How are your New Year's goals going? Which ones are you having the most trouble with?

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Top photo - Image credit: cole123rf / 123RF Stock Photo
Colasanti's photos - courtesy of Candace McCort

Happy 2014! I Resolve To Do Something!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

While making my rounds on Bloglovin', I noticed a trend of 2 types of blog posts - 2013 year wrap ups and 2014 resolutions. This is going to be the latter type of post because when I contemplated doing a 2013 wrap, I realized I haven't done ANYTHING at all this year. I don't know if it's because I didn't start blogging until August, so my memory is kind of fuzzy before that, but it literally seems like I didn't do anything this year. I had a journal in 2012 that marked different events that I could refer back to, but that doesn't help me for 2013! Plus, I don't even post Facebook statuses all that often so it's not even like I can mark certain events by looking at that. I've posted 7 statuses since October including such topics as my dirty carpet, how annoying fruit flies are (shows you what state my apartment was in!) and how it's a terrible idea to see The Wolf of Wall Street with your dad.

Some events I have been able to remember have been starting this blog (hurray!) my Papa dying, since it has been the first major death I've ever had to deal with, and my brief stint volunteering at Full Circle Vintage, which taught me a lot about retail and was a really cool experience. Ultimately I decided I didn't have time to do both that and blogging and chose to go this route instead.

Many other bloggers are doing a kind of 2013 wardrobe wrap up. However, I just did my fall wrap up (since I've pretty much only been blogging for the season anyways) but just turning 29 made me think of the bigger picture. How I've grown and changed over the years. Not just this past year but over many years! I've gathered some pictures of New Years past and put them side by side so you can see the evolution. I think I've changed a lot, which is so strange because whenever I run into somebody I haven't seen in awhile (ex. high school) they always tell me I look the exact same, no matter what current state I'm in.

Modcloth, Suzanne Amlin, A Coin For the Well, Windsor Ontario blogger, style blog, fashion blog, New Year's Eve, NYE, New Year's Eve through the years, aging pic, Expecting Guests Dress, Rock Steady, flapper style, Mike Mascarin, Candice Johnson, Candice Tolen
2007 with my ex Mike, there is no 2008 because I was sick that year, 2009 with my friend Candice, 2010, 2011 with Mike again, pin up girl in 2012 and flapperiffic in 2013.

It's interesting to note that in the first two pictures I'm wearing 2 different tops that are the exact same colour and style. But not the same top! Talk about being in a style rut.

There's no 2014 photo because I fell asleep while getting ready. Who does that? THIS GIRL! I would have worn the dress I wore in my flapper outfit post a few weeks ago, if you wanted to get a mental picture.

As for resolutions, I'm probably going to discontinue the monthly ones, since I never seem to do them anyways. Update on last month's - I typed up half a library book and probably am just going to return the rest. I uploaded my stuff to Trend Trunk AND to eBay but have gotten no sales, so I'm probably going to pull everything and give my items to a friend. I didn't use apple cider vinegar for any beauty needs but I drowned some fruit flies in it. My bar appearances were hit and miss (one week, I went 4 times) but overall, I still hardly went. I didn't even go on the big holidays like Christmas, NYE or my birthday (though I did celebrate the day after.) I did write slightly more blog posts than I normally do! And this is why I'm stopping the monthly goals. Because I don't do any of them!

Oh well, onto the 2014 resolutions! I decided it was super important to make these, especially considering how little I did in 2013.

New Year's resolutions, New Year's goals, 2014, improvements, must do, list, A Coin For the Well

1) Improve photos - this is actually a huge goal and probably the most multi-attack and detailed one of my goals. It's actually more of an "improve blog" kind of goal, but I just wanted to keep it simple for the list. I want to start taking outfit photos outside (which is why I need to start buying cardigans aka separates, see 3) so my photos will look nicer. There's just something about indoor photos that are kind of "meh." Of course I know me and my outfit are supposed to be the focus of the photograph but a nice background can really make or break a picture. I must start working on that! I'm just such a suck when it comes to cold weather. 
Other photography related things I'd like to do is learn more about Photoshop. I use basic editing features on Pic Monkey right now and I'd like to learn more advanced things involving layering and such. I'm going to play around with some of these tutorials I found on Stumble Upon. There's 350 of them - that should keep me busy!
In general blog related stuff, I'm going to try the Problogger 31 Day Challenge and also work on adding ALT image tags to old posts and cleaning up the label tags on my posts. I'm missing labels all together (like I don't have a label for "beauty" or "Instagram") yet I have labels for "Factoid", "trivia" and "books." I only talk about random trivia books on here! Talk about duplication!

2)  Do P90X - this is actually my boyfriend's idea and I think it's a terrible one. I don't think we are physically fit enough for that shizz. I haven't personally looked to see what the exercises entail, but all I know is that my fit and trim friends say it kicks their butts. How the heck are we going to pull this off? I do need to get in shape though because half my closet no longer fits (and I refuse to part with it!) so I guess I have to make it fit somehow!

3) Buy separates instead of dresses. This goes back to number 1. A huge deterrent to me photographing outside right now is I'm essentially modelling summer dresses with no way to keep warm. I don't have a coat to match every outfit and I have no cardigans. I need to stop buying dresses (although it's so hard when you can scoop them up on eBay for $10!) and start buying things I can use like cardigans, coats, blouses, skirts, scarves, leggings and purses.

4) Be more social - in every sense. Sometimes I just shut people out, ignore e-mails, hide in my room, never do anything. I just need to get out more. See my friends. Be around people. Maybe start blogging in a coffee shop, the library or at the mall so I'm not such a shut in. I'd also like to get more social on my social media. My Twitter lays dormant, there's crickets on my Instagram and I forget to advertise half my posts on Facebook. Must work harder at this!

5) Maintain clean house - I say maintain because it's actually clean right now! I've mentioned in past posts what a disaster my house typically is, but my mom came over the night before NYE and we cleaned for about 5 hours and I cleaned for another 5 more after she left. I just have to remember to rinse dishes, not throw my garbage on the floor and I should be good, right?

6) Start doing crafts - I'm starting to get a creative itch and I need to scratch it. I come across so many tutorials online and some of them seem so easy, I wonder why I haven't taken up crafting before. This year, I'm going to attempt to make a craft (or better yet, a recipe!) that I have found on Pinterest or in BUST magazine.

7) Buy art - I always had a few pieces of art in my living room, but the walls in my bedroom remained white forever. I vow to change this. I already have this piece by my friend Justine, have my pimped out Modcloth bulletin board and have plans to add some girly art from this Etsy seller (my favourites are this girl reading a book and this cute pug on a couch.) I would also die to have that Great Gatsby cut out from my Etsy Flapper picks post and the Meow-nt Rushmore Print from Modcloth.

8) Stay positive - Reading some of my entries, I notice I nit-pick about EVERYTHING and apologize and explain everything I do. I need to stop doing that because I'm sure people won't notice what's wrong with every blog post I write. Like, if I take a set of pictures and then post them 3 weeks later, I don't need to explain! I can pretend they were from that day. Many people do. I don't need to point out every flaw or discrepancy. I do like being honest and true to myself but there comes a point where it's a downer to read and I'm starting to realize that. If I'm having a rough day and can't stay upbeat, perhaps I will skip blogging that day. I wanted to increase the amount of blog posts I wrote last month but I realized that isn't always better. I just made more sale and wishlist type posts (which I'm realizing are okay in the short term but don't have much longevity once the links expire.) 

That went into blogging zone, but yeah. Stay positive, in general. Be happy, be yourself, don't apologize for it. That is my goal for this year. On my birthday, I wore a super crazy outfit (no pictures but I may re-create it for a later blog post.)  Everyone came up to me and complimented, not on my outfit but on my bravery to wear it! I guess I looked really zany, but I felt so happy, just not caring, just wearing what I wanted, just spewing rainbows. 

Di K Si jumper outfit, Modcloth, rainbow outfit, colorful, Miss Frizzle

If I don't do anything else this year, I'd like to spew rainbows.

Hope you all had a happy New Year!!!

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