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Customer Reviews: 173
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Helpful Votes: 4086

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M. M. "inquisitive designer" RSS Feed (USA)

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Sauder HomePlus Basic Storage Cabinet, Dakota Oak
Sauder HomePlus Basic Storage Cabinet, Dakota Oak
Offered by Best Furniture Buys
Price: $175.00
6 used & new from $149.96

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roughly a million times nicer than the equivalent from that Swedish purveyor of furniture and meatballs, March 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently bought this storage cabinet to use as a linen closet, and I'm extremely pleased with it, considering its price point. In fact, I liked it so much that I bought a second one to sit right next to the first.

The cabinet was easy to put together. I've constructed more than 30 pieces of DIY furniture over the years from various retailers, including that well-known Swedish company (which I will write as "I K E A" to avoid having my review edited by robots), and I have to say that I was extremely impressed with this cabinet from Sauder. I would rank it in my personal Top 5 for a variety of reasons.

First, the instructions were clear and easy to follow, especially for someone who has experience putting together DIY furniture. The instructions even included tips on making minor adjustments to the hinges (loosening the mounting screws) so that you can attach them into the cabinet walls quickly and easily. These "hinge adjustment tips" also help you position the doors once the cabinet is done so that there's no gap between them (by tightening the adjusting screws). Sauder also has a ton of instructional YouTube videos that help with this -- I'd highly recommend checking them out as a reference before putting the cabinet together. All the hardware is separated and labeled in a handy plastic bubble sheet. And, all of the pre-drilled screw holes are in the right spot (!) -- a massive improvement for those who are accustomed to putting together I K E A furniture! Everything just fits. You don't have to squeeze or bend or shove or warp anything to get it to align properly.

I'm a petite/small-framed 5'4" female, and aside from having my husband bring the shipping box (110 pounds!) inside the house, I took things from there and put the cabinet together by myself with no assistance. It took about an hour and required only a hammer and a Philips head screwdriver (I'd recommend using a cordless/electric screwdriver, which will speed up the process considerably).

I do want to share a DIY furniture tip or "shortcut" I learned years ago for any other small-framed people who are putting this unit together alone. When attaching door hinges to a cabinet, it's easier for me to lay the cabinet on its side (rather than upright, as the directions invariably recommend) and then attach the hinges from there, along the floor. That way, I don't have to balance the door vertically while also aligning and tightening the hinge screws -- a task that would take at least three hands. The way I do it with the cabinet laying on its side, the door to be attached rests against the ground adjacent to the cabinet, and all I have to do is align and attach the hinges. No balancing or holding up the door. That approach has worked every time for years and definitely worked with this Sauder cabinet as well.

Both of the units I ordered had a few tiny nicks in the finish, here and there, but not on every piece. I just used a dark brown marker to fill them in, and now you can't even tell. I think these minor scratches could be totally avoided if Sauder would just put a single sheet of newsprint paper between the individual pieces in the shipping box, like how I K E A does. As it stands, the pieces are well protected by the shipping box, but they're not necessarily protected from *each other* inside the box.

All of the cabinet's interior shelves are adjustable and hold a maximum weight of 25 pounds. They are a very tight fit, though. I agree with other reviewers who said that the interior shelves are cut about 1/8" - 1/16" too wide. However, I got them to fit with a little pushing/tapping. The door handles look sleek and modern and are a cinch to attach. The cabinet's Dakota Oak finish is a lovely espresso color -- not quite as dark as I K E A 's espresso-colored furniture, though, for anyone who might be wondering.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how easy this cabinet was to construct, the extra tips on adjusting the hinges, and the appearance of the finished product. As I mentioned above, I liked the first cabinet so much that I bought a second one to sit right next to it. Constructing the second cabinet was just as easy and painless as the first. Together, they're fantastic, and I couldn't be happier. I highly recommend this cabinet and would not hesitate to buy it again or buy another piece from Sauder. It's so much nicer than what you'd get from I K E A.

[Also, just a quite note: Because of the depth of this cabinet (17") and the fact that all the interior shelves are adjustable, it would be great as a dollhouse apartment for adult collectors of Blythe, Pullip, Barbie, etc.!]

Wacoal Womens Embrace Lace Chemise, Wild Aster/Chinese Red, Small
Wacoal Womens Embrace Lace Chemise, Wild Aster/Chinese Red, Small

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So gorgeous, but not for petite/small-busted gals, September 27, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I tried this chemise in the red/purple combo, and it is unbelievably gorgeous. The fabric feels luxurious, and the flower detail trim is delicate and pretty. I wanted to like this chemise so badly, but it just didn't fit right on me. I'm 5'4", ~112 lbs., fairly straight figure, 32A bust, 26" waist, 32" hips; the size small fit me great everywhere except the chest. The top of this chemise is sewn so that it has two slightly "cup-formed" areas that will accommodate a larger chest, and this area puckered on me, much like a too-big bra. Sadly, I had to return it. If it was more flattering on a petite/small-busted frame, I would have kept it in a heartbeat. :'(

Little Pullip Cornice Doll
Little Pullip Cornice Doll
Price: $19.99
12 used & new from $19.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's tiny Cornice!, July 29, 2013
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Little Pullip Cornice Doll (Toy)
Cornice is my favorite Little Pullip doll. I collect full-size Pullips and wanted "big" Cornice for a long time, so to tide myself over until I was able to find her for a reasonable price, I got Little Cornice. She is so sweet and sits on my desk next to my other Little Pullips.

There are two "molds" for Little Pullip heads, and Cornice is from the first generation. She has five points of articulation (head, arms, legs), and her head can swivel side-to-side but cannot tilt like the newer Little Pullip dolls. At approximately 4.5" tall, she's just right for 1/12 scale accessories. They did a great job matching this mini doll to the full-size version in terms of outfit, faceup, eyechips, and hair color. The texture of her hair is actually much softer and silkier than that of her larger counterpart! (I wish they had used this same quality wig on "big" Cornice, whose hair gets very dry and frizzy.) Little Cornice's socks and shoes are painted onto her legs. Her eyes are stationary and do not move side-to-side or blink like full-size Pullips.

Little Cornice comes in a small window box and includes a small plastic stand and a pin/button (instead of a trading card, I imagine). Like "big" Cornice, her hair is a bit wild, so I've tied it back with a clear elastic. She's adorable! If you can find her for under 25 dollars, go ahead and pick her up, as she can't be found for much less than that anymore.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 8, 2014 2:29 PM PST

Japanese Brand Snacks - Iwako Food Japanese Eraser Set
Japanese Brand Snacks - Iwako Food Japanese Eraser Set
Price: $6.06
17 used & new from $3.49

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Squee! Kawaii! Tiny erasers!, June 1, 2013
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These erasers are so fun and awesome. I use them in a 1/6-scale doll supermarket. They're the perfect size for Pullip, Blythe, Liv, Monster High, Barbie, etc. All the lids and caps are removable, and the cup of soup and the ramen both have noodles hidden inside! The only item that doesn't open is the bag of chips. Everything else has at least one removable component. In addition, all the labels are extremely realistic and high quality! They really look like authentic grocery items.

With the set I received, there are a few minor differences from what's shown in the photo:
- Instead of orange juice, I got a jug of milk (shaped the same, but white with a blue label). Personally, I would have preferred the OJ, but I just pretend it's soy milk.
- The tall can of chips (shaped like Pringles) is blue, not red.
- The label of the natto ramen (the thing shaped like a tub of miso or cream cheese) is green, not red and white.

Those differences don't bother me, but I wanted to make note of them for collectors. My only caution is that you shouldn't give these erasers to kids under 5 because the removable caps of both the milk and juice are tiny. I like this set so much that I bought a second one to stock the shelves of my doll supermarket!

Pullip Dolls Saras Doll, 12"
Pullip Dolls Saras Doll, 12"
Price: $99.44
42 used & new from $57.60

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, unique Pullip - but her scarf is real fur, March 5, 2013
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Pullip Dolls Saras Doll, 12" (Toy)
Saras was my first Pullip a few years ago, and she is absolutely lovely. However, her fur stole/scarf thing is made of real fur, from an animal, which is sad and gross. :'( If I had known that, I would have chosen a different Pullip. But because I didn't know that fact despite my pre-purchase research, and because it may not bother other people, I will give her a fair review. As a point of reference, I am an avid Pullip collector and have many dolls in this line, including several Taeyangs, Dals, and Isuls.

TL;DR version:
Her wig is pretty bad, so I replaced it. Her faceup is simple and lovely, with orange lips and not a lot of eye makeup. Her eyechips are foiled brownish-purple, and she has "restful" eyes (meaning her eyelids don't close all the way down in the "shut" position). The wrists on her Type 4 body came loose almost immediately, so I put her on an obitsu. Her stock outfit is cute except for the fur stole. Her stand needed some easy adjustments to hold her up correctly.

And now for my full review:


Saras's hair is deep emerald green, thick, and wavy -- and it really has a mind of its own. Her wig is identical in texture and quality to Cornice's, just a different color. Relative to all the Pullip stock wigs that exist, Saras's wig is not the best but certainly not the worst. If you were to quality-rank all Pullip wigs, Saras's would be in the lower half although definitely not at the bottom. It's such a gorgeous color, but it quickly became unruly, wild, and crunchy on the ends; also, half the crimp had fallen out within six months of being deboxed. Not good. So, I decided to give her a new wig. (For Pullip collectors: Saras has a two-part head, so there's no separate scalp to worry about when changing her wig.)

The great thing about most Pullips (all except for the very first few) is that it's extremely easy to change their wigs. I gave Saras a "carmine" pink faux fur wig from Sunny's World Wigs -- and I was struck all over again by how adorable her facial features are. Her original green wig is so beautiful and exotic; however, the more I look at Saras, it seems to me that the green wig just does nothing to bring out her sweet faceup, purple eyes, and orange lips. I may try to boil-perm and/or deep condition her original green wig and use it on a different Pullip, though, because it's still such a lovely emerald shade.

My advice to you, if you are determined to keep Saras's original wig in good condition, is to 1) not brush/comb/pick it at all, 2) leave it tied back either in its original state or in braids, and 3) then leave it alone forever. If this doesn't sound appealing, you might want to deep condition the lower half of her hair, or at least the ends. Or, another option is to boil it straight (there are YouTube tutorials on "boil perming" doll hair) so that it becomes more manageable.


Saras has a lovely, subtle faceup, with light orange lips and not a lot of eye makeup. She has grayish-purple eyebrows and a tiny crystal over her "third eye." Her eyechips are a gorgeous, foiled violet-brown, and the eye movement mechanisms on the back of her head are easy to use and well hidden by her wig. Her eyelids do not close all the way down, but they do they stay in the "shut" position via the eyemech buttons. (For Pullip collectors: Saras has "restful" eyes.)

She comes with a Type 4 Pullip body, which has its pros and cons. On the "pros" side:
- With 15 points of articulation, it's easy to pose.
- It fits into most but not all Blythe clothes, although they tend to be a bit short (Pullip bodies have longer legs than Blythe bodies).

On the "cons" side of Type 4 bodies:
- They're known to have loose wrists, and Saras is no exception. Both of her wrists came loose pretty quickly after I started posing her. This can be fixed by wrapping either thread or Teflon tape around the wrist pegs and shoving them back into her arms.
- They're EXTREMELY fragile and lightweight, with very delicate joints and limbs. Take your time and be careful when posing this girl, as her body is not durable like Barbie's.
- They're way too small for Barbie clothes.
- They're not that flexible, especially compared to other body options. Many collectors rebody their Pullips for this reason.
- Their joints are often stiff and creaky, requiring you to use a potentially dangerous amount of force when posing the doll, relative to how fragile the body is.

As a Pullip collector, I personally really dislike Type 4 bodies (even more than Type 3 -- shocking, I know, since Type 3 is the Most Hated Pullip Body Ever). So, I've since put Saras on a 27 cm SBH white obitsu, which is more durable and way more poseable than her original stock body. If you only display your dolls and don't play with them or pose them for photos, then you should be fine with her original Type 4 body. However, if you plan on playing with her at all or taking her outside for photos, you'll probably want to rebody her so that, at the very least, her hands don't fall out as you're carting her around.


Saras's stock outfit is cute, like a fancy, decorative military uniform. Her jacket even has tiny detailed epaulets! Her boots are adorable and highly versatile because of their gold color. Besides her gross fur stole, the rest of her stock outfit is made of synthetic materials. (Note that none of her clothes fit an obitsu body, but they do fit a Dal/Byul body. So, if you obitsu Saras, her original stock outfit will no longer fit.)

One of her boots is a bit thicker (the plastic mold is thicker) than the other and is harder to get on/off her foot. Also, her stand was a little troublesome at first, but with a few adjustments it works fine: I had to increase the bend in the metal part so that it would hold her upright (there wasn't enough of an angle in it before, and it was tipping her backwards). I also pulled the prongs a little farther apart to increase the opening for her waist. Now Saras fits in the stand perfectly, and it holds her up without tipping her backwards.


Overall, Saras is a beautiful, unique Pullip. Although I adore the luscious color of her stock wig, the quality is not great and merits replacing for collectors who plan to do anything more than keeping her on a shelf. If the fact that her scarf is real fur bothers you, as it does me, you might want to get a different Pullip -- or you can try to find Saras without her stock via another online retailer that starts with E and ends with Bay. My overall rating of Saras: Three stars. Why? Five stars for the doll (she's lovely), but one star off for the scarf being made of real fur, and one star off for the poor quality of her wig, relative to other Pullip wigs.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2013 2:23 PM PDT

Best Friends Club Ink. 18 inches  Large Doll Fashion Pack Boho Chic
Best Friends Club Ink. 18 inches Large Doll Fashion Pack Boho Chic
Offered by Toy Supercenter
Price: $14.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, good quality, works for 14" Hearts for Hearts dolls with slight modifications, February 15, 2013
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I wish there were more clothes available for the 14" Hearts For Hearts dolls. I know this outfit isn't made for them but is intended for the large 18" BFC Ink dolls (not American Girl dolls, which have a bigger torso -- the BFC clothes will *not* fit them). However, because the BFC dolls have a slim torso similar in size to H4H, I thought there was a fairly good chance of this fitting my H4H doll, seeing as it's only a skirt, a tank top, and a sweater jacket -- and not pants, which would definitely be too long.

I was pleased to see that, not only are the clothes pretty, realistic, and well made, they do indeed fit H4H with some minor modifications. First, the tank top fits perfectly around H4H's torso, but the straps need to be shortened. This is easily done with two tiny safety pins or a few seconds with a needle and thread to tack down the excess straps inside the tank top (no sewing talent required -- it's a very easy mod).

Second, the skirt is a great length but is too big around the waist for H4H, so you can tighten it in the back with one large safety pin, or you could use two safety pins to take it in on the sides. Or, if you're good at sewing and can deal with the ruffles, you could take it in on the sides that way. The skirt has a built-in panty "loincloth" thing (a strip of material that goes from front to back) that keeps the skirt from riding up and offers your doll a little modesty; this part fits fine on H4H.

As for the sweater jacket, you only need to roll up the sleeves one notch to fit H4H. It fits perfectly across the shoulders, and the belt/tie sits right at the waist. The hem hits right above H4H's knee, so it's just a tad bit long but not enough to look odd or be bothersome. The material is a really soft waffle knit and is actually a very light baby pink, not white or ivory as the picture shows. Because of its length on H4H, it could also double as a bathrobe or swim coverup.

The purse is a good size with a nice handle-drop length and can fit comfortably on H4H's shoulders. It could even double as their gym bag because of its shape and size.

The shoes are obviously far too big for H4H, but I was expecting that and only wanted the clothes.

If you're looking for more outfits for your H4H dolls and don't mind making minor modifications, this one could definitely work. It's super cute, nicely made, and easy to modify. Good luck!

Vanessa Collection Luxury Solid Twin Microfiber Duvet Cover Set, Silver
Vanessa Collection Luxury Solid Twin Microfiber Duvet Cover Set, Silver

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO soft!, January 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My partner and I decided to try using two twin duvets, Scandinavian-style, on our queen-size bed instead of a single giant duvet so that we could each have better temperature control (we have that common quandary where he's always overheating and I'm always an icicle) and also not disturb the other when tossing and turning at night. So, we went to IKEA and got two temperature-customized twin duvets, and I bought two of these Vanessa covers in silver (gray) to go over them. I am so glad I did! We LOVE these duvet covers. The material is so soft, it's almost downright cuddly. It's microfiber, but it doesn't feel like it; it feels like brushed sateen cotton, just without the "lint-sticking" factor. Our two cats also sleep on the bed with us, and I'm thankful to say that these covers are not a magnet for pet hair -- it easily comes off with a lint roller.

These duvet covers wash nicely, come out of the dryer unwrinkled, and have a hidden button closure at the foot. They fit our twin IKEA duvets (plus an Allersoft duvet protector over mine) perfectly. And -- best of all for my guy -- they are thin/lightweight enough that they don't add any extra warmth to the duvet. I found the photo to be very accurate in depicting the gray color. I actually came back to this page to order two "spare" covers and decided to review them in the meantime.

Each twin-size cover comes with one pillow sham, so that works out nicely for us since we bought two. For the extremely reasonable price, these duvet covers can't be beat. We love them.

Pearl Izumi Women's Select Thermal Barrier Pant, Black, Small
Pearl Izumi Women's Select Thermal Barrier Pant, Black, Small

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very warm, long in the legs, tight in the waist, January 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I'm 5'4", about 112 pounds, with a slim/straight figure; I usually wear size XS/0-2 at most retailers. I tried these in an XS, but they were insanely tight and almost wouldn't go over my hips (and, at 32" around, I don't have huge hips). The Small is still tight in the waist, as you would expect cycling pants to be, but at least it's not uncomfortable. They're pretty long on me, and so they bunch up a little at the ankles when I'm standing up straight -- but thankfully they're not long enough to get caught in my chain when I'm riding and my knees are bent.

These pants are fantastic for keeping warm when cycling in cold weather because they have a windblocking fabric on the front and down the middle of the back. They also have normal fabric panels down the hips and the backs of the legs to help dissipate sweat and extra heat. I specifically bought these pants to wear over the Pearl Izumi Women's Elite Thermal Tight for extra warmth when cycling at temps below 45 degrees, and they are perfect for that purpose.

You have to unzip the ankles when putting these pants on; otherwise, your foot won't fit through the leg opening. Also, when you're standing straight, these look super long in the crotch -- so it's not like you could take these hiking (I mean, you could, but you would have that dreaded "diaper butt"). However, the long crotch is to your benefit when you get on your bike, as it helps CYA and you don't feel any drafts.

These pants are exactly what you would expect from Pearl Izumi: great quality, tight in the waist, skinny and long in the legs, long in the crotch -- i.e., just right for a cyclist. :)

Betsey Johnson "60's Mod " Rainbow Heart Stud Earrings
Betsey Johnson "60's Mod " Rainbow Heart Stud Earrings

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE these!, January 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love these earrings and managed to get them on sale right before the holidays. They're about the size of my thumbnail, which is what I was expecting based on the photos. They match almost everything and can be dressed up or down. I've probably worn them 20 times already! The only drawback is that they're a little heavy (the base looks and feels like solid brass). To remedy this, I just push the back on a little tighter so that the weight is spread more evenly throughout my ear lobe. The post is on the longer side, so you can't sleep in them because they'll stab you.

They arrive in a nice quality (but somewhat drab) navy blue gift box, which I assume is Amazon's standard jewelry gift box. If you're getting these as a gift, your recipient won't know it's Betsey Johnson until she opens the box!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2013 8:55 AM PDT

No Title Available

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sturdy, easy on & off, but not for petite/small people, November 11, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These guards are really solid and well constructed, with a two-part hard plastic shell over the knee and the shin, and microfiber lining that has a bit of padding but is still breathable. There's a clip on each side of the knee that unhooks the straps so that you can put on/take off the guards quickly and without having to re-adjust the fit every time. So you fit them once with the stretchy velcro straps and then leave them that way, using the clips to take the guards on/off from that point on. The velcro is very heavy-duty, and the straps are thick, sturdy, and stretchy. These guards feel great on and do not slip down your leg, and they extend down low enough on your shin so that they protect you from the dreaded "pedal bite."

I'm a 5'4" female and very petite, and I bought these guards because Fox's regular-length guards were -- according to the sizing information I found -- going to be way too long on me, even in the Small/Medium size. (People on mountain biking review sites who were under 6' tall were saying that the Small/Medium was still digging into their ankles when they pedaled.) So, I thought I had found the solution with these "Shorty" guards. While the length of the shin guard is indeed perfect, the molded kneecaps are just too big for my knees. My boyfriend (6', 180 lbs.), who wears a large or XL in everything, tried the guards on and is going to keep them because they fit him perfectly. So at least I didn't buy them in vain -- LOL.

But for me, I ended up ordering some women's-specific knee/shin guards by RaceFace, and those fit me great (I don't think Amazon sells them, but you can find them on eBay, Jenson, Performance Bicycle, etc.). I realize this review might not be helpful to dudes who are looking for guards, but I just wanted to put this out there for my fellow mountain-biking ladies! Gals, if you wear a large in women's guards, you might be able to fit into these ones by Fox. Otherwise, go for the women's-specific guards. If you're a dude or otherwise a person who can typically fit into men's size M/L/XL, these will probably fit you fine. See you out on the trails!

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