Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vacation Custom Hoodie REVIEW

We all love taking home a souvenir of our vacation, right?? I know it's not just my family or there wouldn't be so many nick-knack shops along the boardwalk!

While the kids go for key-chains and shark teeth necklaces the adults of my family usually pick up a t-shirt or a hoodie to take home.

After walking past a shop and seeing a paint splatter t-shirt on one of our first walks I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a Virginia Beach paint splatter hoodie to take home ... and it had to be a zip-up! I always feel like I'm choking when I wear a regular hoodie. Sounds hard to find, right?

Yep, it was impossible! (Unless I wanted to pay almost $100 at one place) We walked the boardwalk going into every single clothing store until about 20th street. Our hotel was on 2nd street; that's a lot of walking! Everyone else came out with their souvenirs, and I thought it was a lost cause for me. I was sure I was going to come home disappointed. Then one of my nieces just had to pick up one last souvenir. Some friendship bracelets. They couldn't be just any friendship bracelets either. They had to be the ones she saw the other day at one specific store ... even though the ones found in other stores were identical!

Enter my saving grace!!

Image from Google Maps

If you've been to Virginia Beach and walked the boardwalk you've likely either passed this little shop by or gone in and browsed. If you're planning a trip to Virginia Beach Ocean Style must be a stop!

Like I said, it's just a little shop and it's about midway between 9th and 10th streets. It has a small selection of clothing and nick-knacks to browse through but along the wall you'll find custom printing. This is the true gem of this store! I saw exactly the image I wanted on my hoodie hanging there, printed on a t-shirt.

Sadly, a browse through their zip-ups showed only one black hoodie in an XXL. Yes, it had to be black and no, I don't wear an XXL! So I asked about picking up a hoodie elsewhere and bringing it back for custom printing. No problem!

Great, now where to pick up a zip-up that was un-printed in a town where everything is emblazoned with Virginia Beach logos ... and on our last day too?? A trip to Walmart or Kmart just wasn't possible. Thankfully, a shop on this street had one they were willing to sell un-printed for a good price.

By this point it was our very last day, nighttime, and pouring down rain. However, I didn't care! I was finally getting what I wanted and I could go home happy.

Except, I couldn't get what I wanted. I take back what I said, the girl behind the counter might actually have been the true gem of this shop. I'm sad to say I never got her name, but she was an absolute sweetheart! She explained what I wanted wasn't possible, even going so far as to print a shirt to show me.

A little tweaking of my idea and I finally had something I didn't know I wanted but was so beyond happy with!!

Instead of getting this image on the front like I wanted, but would have looked horrible, I got it printed on the back. It sits just under where the hood lays and looks amazing!!

Virginia Beach is printed down one sleeve in this really cool scratched up print. It did go on slightly more purple than the bright pink it first looked, but still matches well so I don't mind at all!

And paint splatter on the front! I specifically asked for this but thought I was likely to get turned down but ... the girl (absolute sweetheart!) helping me handed over another of the Life's A Beach images and a pair of scissors and told me to cut out the splatter I wanted.

And then to top it all off she didn't charge me anything and refused the tip I tried giving her! She just wanted to see it on me she said. She did accept the hug I just had to give her though!

All told, I paid less than $20 for this gorgeous custom hoodie, and I really couldn't love it more!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Limited Edition Polishes + Vacation Pics!!

Hello my lovely Spellbounders!!!! My Facebook fans (and those who visited my Etsy shop in the last week) will know that I was on vacation. Woohooo!!! I was in Virginia Beach from the 10th to the 18th. I spent yesterday recovering from not just the fun and sun (and the long drive home) but also from the head cold I caught at the end of vacation. My niece brought it on vacation, my sister caught it during vacation, but it came home with me. I guess it's better than catching it during vacation. We all had so much fun though!!

Since I was spending yesterday recovering I decided to extend the sale of my Limited Edition Vacation Collection. These polishes retire tonight so if you want them best get them now. They are available in mini and full-size bottles. :)

This is Sun, Sand, & Water. Now onto my vacation pics. :)

The drive was insane!! What should have been 7 or 8 hours took us 11 hours to travel. Driving these roads is hazardous normally but add a light drizzle of rain and insane drivers and there were more than a handful of accidents (8 if I remember correctly) we had to travel around. Two of them were multi-car; one of those multi-car accidents had more than ten cars involved!! I don't know what it is about Virginia drivers, but you can tell immediately that you're in Virginia. Drivers weave in and out of traffic, merge by putting their turn signals on and getting over at high speeds. I'm a country girl and the cities around here aren't really all that big so maybe it's not just Virginia but big highways everywhere; we just don't hit the big highways until we hit Virginia. Our highways have two lanes going one direction with two the opposite most times ... so getting onto highways with six lanes going in just one direction at times is mind-blowing. Harder to get used to is the 70 mph speed limit on said highways. INSANE!!!!

 According to the littlest vacationer though, it was all worth it. An 11 hour drive, barely any potty or food breaks, and a near nighttime view of the ocean ... and just look at that smile on my niece's face! How could it all not be worth it??

Go ahead and open this one in a new tab for a full-size view from our hotel balcony. I picked up a new point and shoot camera for this vacation. I always go cheap for this camera because we take it everywhere with us, even down onto the beach and into the sand. If it doesn't break on vacation, it breaks shortly after we get it home. It's the sand, it gets everywhere, even into cameras ... maybe especially into camera. Hence the reason for buying cheap. This camera had an amazing panoramic picture feature though. So much better than my previous camera. Last year's camera had you take a picture and then attempt to line up the next one with some kind of overlap feature. It never worked! This one was awesome. A simple press of the button and you just slowly pan the camera to the right across your view.

The last two or three days of our vacation this sign was more often than not seen flying in the wind. If you have trouble seeing it in this picture it says 'Water is Dangerous'. It pretty much cleared the water of everyone. Even the surfers were hesitant to get into such waters. The day after this was much better but the storm must have been fierce because the first few feet into the water was nothing but broken seashells. They hurt like crazy to step on and the huge waves coming in slammed them into your legs with enough force to leave a few cuts here and there. The waves further out were amazing though!! Huge curling waves with enough force to knock you off your feet if you weren't careful. While my nieces had so much fun riding these waves in on their boogie boards I'm a wave jumper, and one of my nieces was especially impressed with my ability to not get my hair wet in these waves.

The next time the water was dangerous we took refuge at the hotel pool instead. It was great. The kids enjoyed the water ...

... and the adults enjoyed the sun. :)

And a sunset pic to end this post. When we step out the front of our hotel this was our view. Gorgeous, isn't it?? ;)

Until next time!