While I was putting together this post I kept thinking, ‘beautiful & useful’.  It’s the most apt description for the mecca which is Kaufman Mercantile. The site is vintage general store come to life (and accessibility) for those of us not able to time travel.  I can pretty much say with confidence, even though I am a minimalist that I could take up hoarding when it comes to KM.  This canvas carry-all bag has my name all over it, no?  I was going to do a gift guide with other shops showcased, but it felt unfair to not focus on this one for today.  As you can see from the sampling above the offerings are as diverse as they are appealing–beautiful + useful. I chose items that are under $50, but still had impact. Flower seed bombs? For $50 you could create a pack of 5. What are they? They are brilliant, is what they are, you toss the seed ‘bombs’ into abandoned lots and come spring it explodes with wildflowers, flipping delightful if you ask me.  I am a fan of industrial and even though the wall-mounted school house soap is $55, I figured you could forgive my misleading you price wise, it’s so worth the extra 5 bucks, right?   I know a lot of people don’t care for soap bars, but this is a nice design that keeps the soap from getting all goopy and it looks cool to boot. A great gift for the Francophile in your life.  I am a bit of a Francophile (and Anglophile) and the Botot all natural mouthwash is another little gift that anyone that loves beauty products, labels and French royalty will enjoy.  It’s a bit quirky, I do admit that but I love it and it stays in the round up (besides I love that pop of color).  It’s definitely not a product that you would buy yourself, it feels a little bit decadent.  Speaking of pop, this has clove in it so use a little on a cotton ball and pat on your lips, it will give you a similar pouty effect to ‘Lip Venom’.  I don’t know any baseball fans, but this baseball is just too good not to share, it would be great for a nursery of a new baby boy, it’s just such a looker.  I shan’t keep you much longer, you must go visit my new favorite shop!


What if one of the prettiest girls you have ever seen was willing to let you in on all her secrets on how she achieved said prettiness, you’d be open to learning, no?  What if she went beyond just her secrets and revealed some of the secrets of famous beauties too?  What if that girl had an enthusiasm that was contagious and was able to teach you in a way that insured that you would have success? Are you all ears now?  Yeah, me too. I came across Cara above when someone pinned her ‘4 minute Mommy make-up‘.  I am not a mommy but I could use a quickie makeover. I ended up spending about 4 hours on her site. I watched every video and made a mental shopping list of beauty finds that I might need.  I loved that she was willing to show herself completely bare faced sans make-up and we the viewer could watch the transformation unfold before our eyes (pure magic). I also love that she’s a little goofy. Cara comes off as very genuine, I honestly felt like she wanted me to be pretty too and I am down, I want to be pretty!  Who doesn’t?  I think I was most excited about the hair tutorials, I am coo coo for long soft waves and my only regret is I didn’t find Cara sooner, I would have loved to have worn my hair like that for my elopement.  Even if Cara’s exact look is not what you would do, I think that her tips + tricks are solid and easy to replicate which means you can dial it down a notch or two if you feel a less make-up look suits you better. The tutorial on highlighting and contouring is such an eye opener or what Cara says ‘sets us mere mortals apart from the Stars’, I am paraphrasing but that was the gist, after you watch her I believe that she will help us non-stars cross that line. I think this is as good a Monday tip as any I can give you. I hope you will find at least one tutorial that will make you happy that I introduced you to her and hopefully you will find more, enjoy!
P.S. Go to her site when you have time, not at work because you most likely will want to spend some extended time there and may also get an incredible urge to go out and get some of her suggested products pronto and well, if you are at work it might be a little tough, just sayin’…


This is a confession, a deep dark secret I have kept to my lonesome for a very long time.  I am going to reveal some of my childhood crushes. Once, I do, I just know that I may be getting a long sideways glance from you all, but I also know that all of you have had at least one weird crush in your lifetime that you probably would never divulge to anyone unless you were either extremely intoxicated or under complete duress. So, first off I had a crush on Lurch from the Addams family.  He didn’t have much of a personality, but he was always well dressed and polite.  On the complete opposite side of the spectrum Moe from the Three Stooges also made my tiny heart flutter, there was one thing that bothered me–I thought he could be a little nicer. Since childhood has not a lot to do with rationality and possibilities are endless I also had a crush on a cartoon–Speed Racer. The best part was his girlfriend had a name as close to mine as I had ever heard (up to that point)–Trixie.  It was a stretch, but I felt that we were meant for each other.  Lastly, I had/have a super crush on Abe ‘the babe’ Lincoln. Like.For.Ever.  Abe wasn’t just a pretty face, oh, no, he was incredibly intelligent and so very interesting. Even now, in the 21st century he comes in third, as the most written about person in history, Jesus is first (is that a given?) and  I can’t remember who is second. I was so excited to go see the new Lincoln movie, it was boring as all get out, but my heart warmed to the idea that there may be a whole new generation of little girls that will develop crushes on Honest Abe. Seriously, Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln?  Need I say more?
Okay, one more thing, the best Abe Lincoln quote ever, via my bestie–Pinterest, here it is, enjoy!


I hope all that celebrated had a happy Thanksgiving, for those that didn’t I hope it was a beautiful Thursday!  I was thankful for a lot of things yesterday, but what I was most thankful for was seeing this little face under the table at Thanksgiving dinner.  Yes, her tongue sticks out like that, she has teethe so the vet says it’s just a tick. It always makes me laugh when she sits there with her little pink tongue hanging out, “Please, please, please drop something, anything,” it demands. When she bats those eyelashes at you it is near impossible to resist, try as I might I found myself ‘accidentally’ dropping some of our feast down to her grateful little self.  I am so happy she is back to ‘normal’, physically; mentally she may always be a bit off (like me).  I know these Thanksgiving’s with her are numbered, it’s life, but I am so thankful that she was with me yesterday and will be sitting at my feet today.  Your well wishes for her speedy recovery were so appreciated, thank you from both of us.


Are you on the Besotted Brand mailing list?  You aren’t? Your email is stuffed to the gills?  I get it, I do. I don’t email that often, pinky promise. I refrain, even though I would love to email you more, (I think I have a tinge of stalker in my veins) but I  control my impulses well.  I always do super deals (twice I have offered 50% off the entire shop!) I know I Besotted over killed this here blog this week, forgive me, I am on a holiday high.  I wanted to wait but the rest of the world wouldn’t allow it, so I am caving in and totally getting into the spirit.  
Last year I launched  a Holiday Concierge service as an after thought, it was something that I wished other retailers had, but didn’t so I figured I would just put it out there for you, it was a huge hit!  The idea is I will wrap any of your purchases you desire in either kraft paper or round kraft boxes (depending on size of item) add natural twine and some glitter silver bells (tres chic), I will also send directly to your recipient so you don’t have to (in the States you will even receive a tracking # so you know when it gets delivered).  The best part is I will type a personalized note or tag for you, it’s effortless gifting!  I have also been putting together a ton of custom sets for the wood printers tray, you tell me your budget and we work together to fill it with items within your budget.  It’s such an amazing gift, it’s really useful and your recipient can paint it or stain it, etc.  I use these to house my stamps, plus I have one on my desk for pencils, paper clips, labels, nibs, twine etc.  The boxes are nice and slim so they don’t take up much room and they stack well.  If your New Year’s resolution is to get organized this is a good start–hint, hint. Okay, enough, I will lay off the shop for a bit, thank you for indulging me!