Monday, December 11, 2017

Melting Basket 112: Holly Jolly Scents

Festive wax melts from the previous basket that I would joyfully buy again: Beezy Marshmallow Fireside, LSC Cedar Wreath, CFTKR Sugared Strawberry Spruce and Citrus & Balsam, Tiffany Winter Dreams, Bohemienne Life  Pumpkin Forest, Candy Panda Winter Blanket.

Lasting Scent Candles- Magical Mistletoe
Lasting Scent Candles- Holiday Hearth
Lasting Scent Candles- Cranberry Citrus Balsam
Lasting Scent Candles- Christmas Tea
Candy Panda- Wonderful Christmastime
CFTKR- Spiced Cranberry
CFTKR- Dane of the Sugar Plum Fairy
CFTKR- Balsam and Citrus
CFTKR- Christmas Cabin
CFTKR- Mulled Wine
CFTKR- Plumberry Spice

If you are interested in hearing about any of these scents in depth, please feel free to let me know which ones in the comments or send me a message. 

We spent the day in Epcot Saturday. The World Showcase is a location I never tire of, especially around Christmas time. Germany always offers the most beautiful Christmas ornaments and I like to bring one or two (or three!) back every time we make it there. The first one I fell for immediately was this mushroom hat wearing gnome, troll, handsome mustached forest creature fella. 

The clip-on tall mushroom had to live on our tree...

and Savanna insisted on the feather tailed cardinal (which didn't take much insisting as I love birds too and it reminds me of the cardinals that live in our oak tree in the backyard). 

This Christmas is the year of the mushroom ornament and I love it. 

I neglected to show the bookshelf decoration in the home tour because I was waiting on a decoration order to arrive. It came and now my bookshelf is holiday dressed. I will feature these gnomes this week in more detail. 

The house is now decorated. I have to wrap presents and bake some goodies for the neighbors this week. And a few more gifts to buy. But I am happy and hopeful this holiday season. My first class is done and now I feel much lighter and ready to celebrate.

How are your plans coming along? Anything left to do? Are you excited or stressed? Hoping the former rather than the latter for you.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Home for the Holidays: Christmas Tour

Hello, friend! Are you feeling the Yule Cheer? I must say that I am and it is nice. 

Creepy elves are perched in wait and stockings are hung from the counter with care.

The girls and I have been enjoying the advent calendar activities and treats every morning. So far we have strolled about our church's community light event, picked out and decorated our tree, read Dinosaur's Night Before Christmas, and received new hairbows. 

I am really excited about the tree this year and cannot stop pausing to linger by it and take in the ornaments. We have all our old favorites but I also inherited some Santa's from around the world glass ones from my great aunt who passed away. I love them. I have Santas from Norway, Mexico, Ireland, India, Africa, Germany, France and more. 

All I am missing are the couple gnomes I picked up online from The Little Green Bean which should be coming soon. Once they arrive I will put them on my bookshelf and take a picture. 

Netflix Fireplace is my jam. I cannot stop watching them. So cozy. All I need is a robe and a corncob pipe. What are your favorite types of ornaments? Do you do stockings? Advent calendars?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Scumugs Pottery

New plant (meet Gimli!) and a new pot in the family. I follow Rising Tides jewelry on IG (and yes you will probably see a haul from there in the future, she has a crystal and crescent moon ring I am drooling over) and the maker, Cherry, showcased a Scumug pot on one of her InstaStories. InstaLove. I headed on over to Scumugs and found this pot and brought it home to live. 

It has little drainage hole that will flow into the lower lip of the planter. The glaze is stunning. A dusty aqua merges with onxy while a speckled ivory banner pronounces "R.I.P." and drips with a silvery glaze on the edges like so many tears shed for the ghosts of plants past. The pot runs $32 which is quite reasonable for my tastes and shipped safely. 

Now, I am hoping the label is not a self-fulfilling prophesy because Toddles is awful interested in Gimli. 

Scumugs is having a pre-sale for these planters (there is one that pleads "Don't Die" that I just scooped up last night) right now. You can even choose your color glaze. I asked to be surprised. 

Between tongue-in-cheek planters, mushrooms, gnomes and fluffy cypress plants I am in hog heaven. Would you go for the R.I.P. planter or the Don't Die? 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Vintage Chic Scents: November Restock

What's this?! A million bajillion multi-colored lights creating a bokeh effect?! It must be Christmas time! My annual let's-take-all-the-photos-in-front-of-the-Christmas-tree has commenced and the first wax vendor subjected to this mania is Vintage Chic Scents. Kirby was launching a pretty spectacular restock that featured a ton of wonderfully festive holiday scents and I was prepared... or so I thought. I had my wishlist, I set my alarm and then I realized the wifi was spotty where I was and the service wasn't much better either and I BOMBED it. My only main goal was Pink Twinkling Lights and it jumped my cart so fast you would have thought it never even existed. Enough whining. So back in I went and tried for more treats. This time I came out with a loaf (did you guess spicy bakery?! Ding ding ding we have a winner!) and a bag of blossom squares.

The loaf is in It's A Wonderful Life and Edelweiss ($17.75) which is another iteration of Kirby's brilliant spicy yet creamy vanilla laden bakery concoction. I love it. Edelweiss is a gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting. I don't get any sourness from Edelweiss. I have had it in many blends and on it's own. I love it. Add that yummy subtle spice and heavy vanilla cake to It's A Wonderful Life (cinnamon clove nutmeg) and the spice is elevated a touch and it is made all the richer. This is not a fiery or nose burning cinnamon scent. It smells like all the best versions of a softly spiced vanilla frosted cupcake, cookie, donuts, French Toast or cake. It is brilliant.

Order of the Arrow ($13.85) is Kirby's Marshmallow Fireside dupe and I have never tried it. As an avid Marshmallow Fireside addict I felt the strong yearning to make sure I got to try Kirby's. It is a nice close dupe but a bit too acrid to be dead-on. Kirby's has that Bonfire Bliss sweet acrid ember thing going on, which is nice but not really Marshmallow Fireside. It is cut with thick vanilla marshmallows and it does smell stinkin' good on its own merits. 

I haven't melted either of these yet but I will here soon and add them to a melting basket. You can request a review of them if you wish when I do that post. 

Are your Christmas decorations up yet? Did you order anything from Kirby's holiday bonanza? DID YOU GET PINK TWINKLING LIGHTS?!!? Just curious, is all. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations: Summer Pre-Order

This was the July 21st pre-order from Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations. I received the first shipment a while back but it came crushed and badly damaged. I had many casualties including a milk bath that was completely emptied over everything else and lids that were off and floating about the box. It was a nightmare. I can tell you what wasn't a nightmare... Heidi's response to my situation. She was an angel. I sent her photos and explained the matter and she quickly replied that replacements (including some labels) would be in transit. They arrived a couple weeks later and now I am just getting around to showing y'all what I picked up. This time around orders were not combined. I did place one larger order and then one smaller one for minis but tried to keep it two orders so shipping wasn't crazy.

I love Heidi's Unicorn Ashes (basically bath bombs that have been kept loose instead of packed and formed into shapes) so I figured I would like her Milk Bath too and I do. It is more of a creamy bubble bath rather than a milk bath. There is no scent so it makes for a great base to add other scented bath salts or perfume oils to. These ran $13 each. I add this first to my bath and it creates huge mounds of bubbles and it is CBD infused so it is great for when I have aches and pains from my cycle or just not feeling well. I would buy this product again in a heartbeat.

I love Heidi's products for sure, but it is sometimes harder for me to find scents I love. Her strong game is fizzy fruity sweetness and she does it well. She also does peppermint and lavender well but they are not often offered in more than one scent per release. This time the mint was in a scent called They're Heeere which blended Pink Sugar, marshmallows and peppermint. I love it. I probably like Hoochie's Palace a touch more with the lavender but this is pretty darn nice. I picked it up in a full sized scrub ($13) and two Miracle Budders ($12), of which I have already emptied one at the time of this writing. I love this stuff. It really does work for minor burns to take the pain away, soreness, improved complexion and soothing minor anxiety from my own personal experience and those of my family members.

I love the emollient formula of the scrub but I do wish it was glitter-free. I know, I am an old fuddy duddy, but I do find glitter rather annoying on the body these days. I feel like I find it everywhere on my face and bed and bath tub. I am not into clubbing (do they even call it that anymore?) so no glitter for me (unless I am going to a Ren Fair and need to pose as a fairy). 

Apparition in the Garden was another scent I gravitated towards in the full sized Miracle Budder. It is a Lush dupe that smells of soft musky florals like lily and jasmine, powdery and lovely. It makes for a wonderful spring scent. I like it in body care but I probably would not like it in a wax. It basically smells like a fancy soap.

In the minis ($3.75 each) I got a little bit more experimental. I picked up Thirt3en Ghosts which combines wildberry marshmallow and spun cotton candy. It smells incredibly good. The wilberries are candied and sweet and full of juicy sugary nectar. This smells like the ultimate berry flavored cotton candy. I should have gone full sized.

Donnie Darko is a fall scent that mixes up pecan pie, churros and whipped cream. I normally don't delve too deep into foodie categories in body care but I am finding I sometimes crave them in the autumn and winter months. Donnie Darko, believe it or not, doesn't come off as too foodie or bakery at all. It smells like deep caramel with just a touch of soft spice and loads of creamy vanilla. I do see where the pecan pie fits in. Almost like it is just that yummy gooey center of the pie without too much nuttiness. The sugary vanilla keeps it from being heavy. Love. 

Look at that pretty glitter! Yes, I can admire it in the jar and then immediately curse it on my skin. It is still pretty.

I did pick up a mini whipped soap in They're Heeere as well as one tin of Headache Be Gone ($7.50) and a lip balm in Janine's Pink Cupcakes ($4.00). I have not had a chance to try out the Headache salve since I am a wimp and immediately take Tylenol or Advil when I am in pain usually but I will force myself to soon. I have been using the lip balm and I must admit that I am not really digging it. It feels good on the first 5 minutes and then makes my lips feel even more dry very soon after. 

By and far I am in love with my order. I do realize that Heidi had some major struggles with the new jars and lids she tried out this opening and my heart goes out to her. I cannot even imagine how awful that must have been for her when they started malfunctioning. She handled it like a professional and showed exemplary customer service. I will be back for more when she opens for another pre-order in the future. 

Are you a fan of CBD infused products? I notice them more and more, even in the mall recently. Did you get anything from Cosmic Cleanse the last two openings? What scents and products of Heidi's do you love?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Photojournal: 12/2/17

6:57am- Toddles is easily my alarm clock. If I so much as rustle in the bed anytime from 4am on to daybreak she is standing right in the doorway to our room meowing. Good morning to you too, kitty.

7:32am- Window gazing.

 9:45am- Starbucks time at the mall with two sisters and two daughters. Salted Caramel Hot Cocoa.

10:01am-  Bath and Body Works Candle Day haul... but honestly, I think my $3.47 felt mushroom ornaments are my catch of the day. 

11:10am- Driving away from the mall and towards sustenance. Stein & Vine to be exact.

Some time after lunch. My littlest had my phone and I never know what photos or videos will be on it when I get it back.

2:44pm- Darby surprised me by taking me to the Old Tampa Book Company. What treasures!

3:28pm- Almost home from a day out galavanting.

3:33pm- I still love that she falls asleep in the car after a day bee bopping about.

5:59pm- Super Moon gazing.

6:57pm- Snow gazing. 

7:14pm- Live nativity.

8:30pm- Christmas tree time at Booger Mountain (North Carolina Fraser Fir, named Pine Frost by Savanna). Candy canes and Jeep talk.

Do you do a live tree or an artificial tree? Do you name your houseplants?

Friday, December 1, 2017

Queen B Bath & Beauty

These products were provided free from Queen B Bath & Beauty. All opinions my own.

Brooke, the owner and proprietor behind Queen B Bath & Beauty on Etsy, reached out about featuring and reviewing her handcrafted soaps and bath items and I was excited to give them a whirl. 

Bleeding Heart Artisan Shea Butter Soap Bar- Notes: Pomegranate, peach, night blooms and amber. $6.26
Inspired by Wednesday Addams, this bar of soap contains shea butter, coconut and palm oils, glycerin and oat and wheat proteins. It is a lovely fruity floral fragrance that smells flirty and sweet. The pomegranate and peach meld wonderfully, juicy and fresh, not too tart. The florals are wild and rambling and dark and not too heady or overpowering. This soap feels slick and rubbery, easy to lather and highly fragrant. I love how it felt on the skin, very slippery and moisturizing without any tightness or residue. I can tell this soap would easily turn into a pile of gelatinous goosh if not kept dry between uses. All soaps should have a place to rest with good drainage but this glycerin heavy soap definitely requires this. It was a joy to bathe with.

Bootiful Night is no longer in the Etsy store but a quick run down of the scent, it reminds me of hayrides and white flowers. A pretty fragrance wreathed in leaves the colors of a sunset.

Beard & Body Bar in Francois (the artist)- Notes: Toasted spices, vanilla, citrus and lavender. $7.24 (bottom bar)
Francois is one refined gentleman. The spices are peppery and woodsy, soft with sweet vanilla. The citrus leans to aged bergamot and the lavender blooms like tiny woods much like the spice. I feel like this is a brilliant unisex scent. And it smells very familiar. I can't quite put my finger on it but I know I like it. 

Oogie Boogie- Notes: A blend of trick and treats. ($7.13)
This one is the top bar and is very beautiful. It is hard to see but the larger pieces on top have jack o'lanterns embedded into the circular slices. It is a general fresh yet earthy scent with some candy wrapper sweetness. Like Oogie Boogie's cave lair and roulette wheels are strewn with leaves and candy corn nibs. 

I don't see this Honey Lavender scent on the site either but it is my favorite of the bunch. I love the scent, sweet and soft and full of lavender charm. The mold is gorgeous and the colors are soothing. 

Not sure what this guy is scented in but he is a dapper skully and smells like a dapper man: mahogany, black pepper, supple leather and musk. It generates a nice lather easily and was a joy to soap with. 

Death by Candy Sugar Scrub Cubes (no price but there are some lip versions in the Etsy store for $12.81) are adorable. I have not yet had my sugar scrub in a cube form. I almost want to pick them up and nibble the edge they look and smell so yummy. The candy is extremely vibrant and full of citrus fruits: juicy oranges, zesty lemons and limes and a mouth puckering ruby red grapefruit. Sugar is generously sprinkled on these mouth watering fruit segments. I picked out one cube to use, mushed it between my fingers with water and scrubbed my feet, legs and arms with it. The sugar grains are on the finer side but the density is really nice. It felt good on the skin and polished it up pleasantly. 

Raspberry & Sweet Lemon Whipped Body Polish ($15.56) comes in two sizes, 4 ounce and 8 ounce and this is the larger size. This is meant as a bubbling scrub type of formula where it cleans and polishes in one go. It smells of bright sunny lemons and sweet candied raspberries with a touch of soft floral. Beautiful and uplifting and perfect for a spring or summer day. The texture of the sugar in this one is a bit more coarse and combined with the cranberry seeds, made for excellent exfoliation. While the sugar eventually dissolved, those cranberry seeds kept working. It did bubble and foam up as it is a soapy scrub.

Pumpkin Spice Bubbly Bar- Notes: Pumpkin and coffee with frothy sweetened caramel cream. $5.94
This Pumpkin Spice bar is not only freaking adorable but it also smells amazing. The pumpkin is robust with spice and sweetness. I don't get much coffee but I got a ton of bubbles. It crumbled easily under running water and created mounds of fluffy white bubbles and its strong pumpkin spice scent remained a good long while. I would buy this again in a heartbeat.

Mad Hatter Magic Bubbly Bath Tea ($8.68) is a secret blend but I can pick up some sweet black tea and subtle fruits. Once it hits the water, candied roses join the tea and fruits to create a truly realistic bath tea indeed. It foamed and fizzed softly and created a milky pinkish purple water that relaxed and nourished. 

Overall I am thrilled with my first experience with Queen B Bath & Beauty products. Here is a break down of some general pros and cons:

- A nice variety of products from soaps and scrubs to lotions, bath bombs, bubble bars and even gift sets.
- Quality packaging on most products (bags, containers and such).
- Nice branding and theme.
- A gorgeous array of floral and fruity scents which can be hard to come by.
- Great customer service.
- Highly fragrant offerings.
- High quality products.

- Some items came wrapped differently than others of the same type (soaps, bath melts) so not sure if it was because it was sent to me to test or if it would be that way when ordered by customers.
- Shipping is pricy due to it coming from Canada, one $7 soap has a $12 shipping charge which is steep.
- Lack of some scent descriptions may make it hard for someone to decide if it would be a fragrance they would enjoy.
- Some products are a bit on the higher end of pricing for my general Etsy budget for bath and body products, combined with the high shipping it makes some things hard to purchase. For example, one large scrub would cost $32.32 with shipping.

Have you tried any hidden Etsy gems lately? What are you scubbing and exfoliating with lately?