Monday, May 3, 2021

Black Magic Alchemy: Soap and Elixir

 


I was running low on bar soap and remembered how much I loved the Black Magic soaps that a friend had sent me. So I popped over, grabbed two, and also some of this Wild Chaga Elixir. I started with the 8 ounce traveler size that runs $28. This mushroom based health tonic is supposed to support the brain and skin. I drank some every few days for about a month. My skin has been happy but not sure if it was solely this or my skincare, lack of makeup wearing, and this combined. It tastes sweet and almost like a rootbeer syrup. I will be trying it again, but in a bigger size next time.


I picked up this Merino wool wrapped Rootbeer Chaga mushroom soap. I loved the scent in the regular bar and thought I would give the wool wrapped one a try. It was $14 and is made with antibacterial fibers and should last 3 months. I have been using it a little while. I do feel like it mutes the scent a little and I find it strange to use so I think I will stick to the regular bars next time, but it was neat to try out.


I also grabbed 50 Shades of Chaga. I love this bar so much. The balck spruce, cedarwood and bezoin smells freaking amazing. This bar is $12 and worth every penny. 


Loving my small order and will be back for more once these run out. 

Do you drink any health tonics? Health teas? I bought and planted some skullcap which is doing well. Going to make a tea with that one soon.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Ebb & Flow: April 2021

 The highs and lows of the month.


Perfume:

Solstice Scents Lavender Vanilla EDP

Perfume Oil:

Nocturne Alchemy Moonstone

Body Oil:

Aftelier Spiced Patchouli

Skin Care:

Mixing Blood Moon Botanica Moon Dew with Forest & Fjord Deep Forest Serum and applying both night and morning. My skin has looked the best it ever has. 

Soap:

Bath & Body Works Comfort (patchouli and vanilla) body wash

Scrub:

The Bathing Garden Sleepy

Candle:

Bath and Body Works Comfort (patchouli and vanilla)

Wax:

Candles From The Keeping Room Sweet Cinnamon Rolls

Incense:

For Strange Women Japanese stick incense in Pure

Eating:

Sumo oranges, pasta salads, carrots from the garden

Drinking:

Coffee, water, boba

Watching:

Death Note anime, saw the Hunter X Hunter movie with the girls, and my flowers, bees, butterflies, and trees.

Reading:

Meditations on the Tarot here and there in the mornings, The Penelopiad by Atwood (it is good!), and just finished up a well done werewolf thriller called Talulla Rising that was book two but I read it as a stand alone and it was great. Also, I am heavily into indie mags right now. I currently have Fiddler's Green in abundance (LOVE them!!!), Weird Walk out of the UK, Folklore for Resistance (Canadian I believe), and several others. Links embedded in the names if you are curious. I am thinking of doing a collection/shout out of the ones I have and enjoy.

Listening:

The Cranberries

Awaiting:

A chance to hang out with my friend Giffe' in a couple weekends, summer break full of art, reading, swimming, exploring trails, seeds to sprout, new adventures.

Dreading:

My sixth graders moving on. As challenging as this school year was, this was easily the NICEST and most fun classroom community I have had the honor of teaching in 12 years. Not one incident sent to the office. Not one bully. Constant laughter, smiles, hard work, and kindness. I will hold onto this year in my heart forever. I am happy I will still have my 4th and 5th graders to carry on the legacy as they move up into leadership positions next year.

Hit:

Paintbox Soapworks Flutterbutter face cleaning cream is awesome. It cleans gently and smells of frankincense and lemons. A great experience.

Miss:

The Hot Mango Undies bra I bought was not nearly as nice and comfortable and well fitting as the Whiskey Dog Wears bralette I purchased. The big 3-D printed adjusters were awkward, the straps are not attached (I am thinking of removing the adjusters and just sewing the straps down so I can wear it). But to be fair, she is not going to make them any longer and will focus on her underwear and tanks. I ordered some MTO (made to order) undies back in February and they should be arriving soon. I will report back. But so far Whiskey Dog Wares is my jam for sure. Though I am excited to try Hot Mango's period panties when they arrive.

Low:

Ending of the school year. Spending spree (was hoping to save more- ah- try, try again). Missing my sisters and baby niece. Eating junk. 

High:

Baby chickens thriving, plants growing, flowers blooming, my sister's wedding, a surprise box of gifts from sisters, new tarot decks, planning surprises for my 6th graders, quality time with Adam and the girls, good boba. Good books. Good afternoon hammock time.

How has your April been? Blessed Beltane! May your summer arrive full of gorgeous weather, color and life.  


Monday, April 19, 2021

Spring Fever

 


I know things are awfully quiet around these parts. April tends to be a busy time in school. We are gearing up for state standardized testing, in the midst of large learning projects, and I am also taking some ESOL courses so I can better help English language learners. My free time is a sliver in the day and is spent sitting on my front door steps flower gazing, mincing about the yard plucking and pinching and pulling, or in bed reading a book. 


The monarchs in my yard are happy. I have watched at least seven or so morph from teeny cats to pupae to butterflies. A few didn't make it but the odds were generally in their favor. I have noticed that the fluttering things are waking up. 


Butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas and beetles. They are all waking up. Eating. Mating. Living.


My fingers crave the soil right now. I keep planting and digging, tending and scattering seed. I placed two fat orders at Baker's Creek and Renee's for more flowers and herbs and veggies. Right now I have potatoes, squash, black eyed peas, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers sprouting. 


My wildflowers have taken off. I created a new wildflower patch by the back porch where the grass is patchy. I am hoping that they will thrive there. 


My other latest obsession is journaling. I have managed to collect a few handmade leather-bound journals and have enjoyed filling them up with watercolors, thoughts and recipes. I also write my card pulls and magical meandering in there as well.


Spring fever is bubbling up in my blood and I am excited about it. April is one of my favorite months in Florida. It is breezy, buzzing with life, and dappled with sun. 

Are you planting anything? Do you journal? What flowers do you enjoy seeing out and about? I have a thing for zinnias, cosmos and phlox lately.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Ebb & Flow: March 2021

 The highs and lows of the month. 


Perfume:
Solstice Scents Manor EDP (almost out! Yikes!)

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Aged Patchouli and Nocturne Alchemy Holiday Crystalline Spice Cake (not together though)

Body Oil:
Wildroots Lavender and Rosemary

Deodorant:
Wildroots Activated Charcoal (still all time favorite natural deodorant)

Soap:
Black Magic 50 Shades of Chaga

Conditioner:
Future Primitive Sparklebox 

Tincture:
Blood Moon Botanica Calming Milky Oats

Candle:
Bath & Body Works Comfort (Patchouli and Vanilla)

Wax:
Candles From the Keeping Room Celtic Moonspice

Incense:
Wood, Willow and Whatknots Cosmic Minstral

Nail Polish:
Rescue Beauty Lounge Small, Dim, Summer Stars

Eating:
Sumo oranges and chicken pot pies

Drinking:
Republic of Tea Lavender and Blueberry Iced Tea (unsweet)

Watching:
My Hero Academia, Gardener's World, and too many IG stories

Listening:
Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffett

Reading:
Just finished Darwin's Ghosts and in the middle of Celtic Magic and about to start The Rattled Bones

Awaiting:
My sister Heather's wedding! Looking forward to watching her finally marry her love after two change of dates due to COVID. Also awaiting more butterflies (SO MANY PUPAE!!!), summer break (ONE MORE MONTH), and endless sunshine on my skin. 

Dreading:
Seeing my 6th graders move on, job limbo, my oldest going off to high school. 

Hit:
Golden Lotus Incense warmer

Miss:
My last Society6 phone case order, both phone cases had white strips of no printing. Looked poopy. But the customer service was great and they refunded the money. 

Low:
Stressing about the state standardized testing dates moving around so close to my sister's wedding. Work uncertainties and missing my friends and sisters. Not sleeping well.

High:
Got my one and done vaccine. Had a friend move into my neighborhood. Got lots of monarch butterfly babies. Harvesting carrots. Walking the neighborhood in evenings with husband to catch up on our days. 

How was your March? Are you growing anything? Seeing signs of life? 


Monday, March 22, 2021

Spirit & Venom: Hand Sanitizer

 

Spirit & Venom is a maker I have enjoyed following for a while now. Formerly, Twisted Wonderland Perfumery, I had purchased some wax and a candle in the past and liked the products that Rae created. In 2020 Rae rebranded into Spirit & Venom. I saw some cute stickers of potion bottles so I popped into the web-store and ended up grabbing some hand sanitizer to tag along. I picked up the 2 ounce bottle sizes for $5.50 each. There is a limit of four 2 oz sizes or two 4 oz sizes per order.


Necronomicon- Notes: Weathered book pages, leather, pipe tobacco, and a waft of blackberry bordeaux. 

I enjoy the packaging. The swivel nozzle allows for locking so that product doesn't accidentally pump out. The gel itself is is nice consistency, a touch more on the thin side but still a gel. It is colorless and spreads quickly, dries fast and doesn't leave a sticky or slick residue. It absorbs nicely but doesn't dry my hands out. This particular scent is unique among hand sanitizers. The blackberry wine pulls through first but the crinkly papers and leather book bindings aren't far behind. It makes for a pleasant scent to have on the hands, present but not distracting.


Winter Witch- Notes: White tea, ghostly lilac, winter cranberry, ethereal vanilla, juicy pomegranate, pink peppercorn and a squeeze of pink grapefruit.

This smells like a grown up version of the Fruit Stripe chewing gum sticks. I think it is the combination of fruits (grapefruit, cranberry, and a berry-like pomegranate). The tea and muted lilac create the "grown up" part of the likeness. It is a nice scent to have on clean hands. Cheerful and refreshing.


Cotton Candy Cocoon- Notes: Pink spun sugar cocoons coated with sweet goo.

I did notice a pink hue with this gel but it is very light. Another great hand sanitizer scent, cotton candy is an easy one to wear on the hands. It does have some mild fruity tones and even a touch of lemony zip lurking about within the fluffy clouds of sugar. 


Ghost- Notes: A mixture of light and dark vanilla notes.

This perfume sample was a freebie and I am actually extremely happy it was sent because I ended up liking it. Ghost is a boozy dark vanilla with some gentle tobacco and vanilla extract tones. Sometimes I just crave a simple vanilla. I went ahead and picked up a 1 ounce bottle of this scent in the extrait form since I enjoyed it so much here. 

I also added two more hand sanitizers to my cart in the larger 4 ounce size and one more sticker. We have been going through hand sanitizer in this house for sure and probably will continue to. Between Fortune Cookie Soap, Moonalisa, and now Spirit & Venom I am happy to have found some small businesses to share the love with. 

Do you have any favorite hand sanitizer makers? Favorite scents from Spirit & Venom? Listened to any good records lately? 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Candles From The Keeping Room: Spring Haul


I was thrilled to order some wax from Candles From The Keeping Room when Carol opened in February. I ordered some old favorites and threw in a couple new ones too. The wax runs $6.75 per bag and holds a generous amount (usually around 5-6 ounces). 

Twisted Peppermint is one that I have either not picked up before or if I have it has been a long time. I used to melt a lot of minty wax in my bedroom but now I enjoy it throughout the whole house now too. Twisted Peppermint is a wonderfully chilly mint with some touches of vanilla musk in there. 


Spun Sugar and Vanilla Bean is a new one to me. It is a lovely scent. There are fruity notes in here but they are soft and gentle. It comes across as cotton candy for sure. This is a light and airy candy floss with a vanilla musk undertone. Quite nice. 


Marshmallow Fireside is one of my favorites from Carol. Her version is hearty and strong and brimming with that sweet marshmallowy goodness. The fireside portion is serene and softly smoky. A real dream.


Spicy Apples and Peaches is one of those oldie but goodie scents that has been around for ages and stands the test of time. I had not had it in ages and was craving it. Man. I forgot how good this scent is. The apples have a flavor of a homemade pie but the peaches lend a cobbler richness too. It is extra sweet and fruity and bursting with flavor. Cannot wait to melt this. 


Fresh Picked Raspberry is a new one to me as well. You probably know I am a huge fangirl of Fresh Picked Strawberry so this was a no brainer. And it is great. The raspberry is clear and juicy, almost candy like in its sweetness. There is also a softness and mild greenness to it as well. 


Santa Claws is a blend of vanilla bean noel, bear claw, and a hint of Mrs. Claus magic. This is another first and a delicious purchase. It is a yummy vanilla bakery with a touch of creamy cinnamon. Reminds me of fresh baked vanilla glazed cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.


Apple Cinnamon Icing is one I recently fell in love with and scooped up another bag of it to have on hand. It smells like a decadent apple cinnamon danish with a layer of melty vanilla icing on top. It is strong throwing and comfort inducing.
 

Celtic Moonspice is one of my original favorites in wax scent. The name pulled me in all those years ago and then the scent notes firmed it up. It is basically a warm and bright spice blend full of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It throws well and makes it feel like home.


Alpine Cheer is a repurchase. It is a crisp evergreen and cranberry with notes of spice, cedar, and patchouli. It reminds me of a sophisticated cranberry balsam. It is not overly concentrated holiday because the cedar and vanilla sugar round it out and make it more year round.


Country Gift Shop is another repurchase. I love how strong and warm this scent is. Cinnamon, apples, dried fruits, and pure bliss. Nostalgia.


Free Samples!

Carol is extremely generous with her free samples and they always lead me to a new favorite.

Yummy Mummy is a gorgeous soft fruity and creamy scent. Divine.

Sweet Minty Spells of Love is a peppermint and Love Spell blend ripe with peaches and florals.

Apple Mango Salad is fresh and sweet with apples and mangos. Tropical. 

Let's Play has a velvety green aroma. Almost like bamboo or cucumber. 

Vanilla Frosting is rich and hearty. Almost with a cereal or bread quality.


Brown Sugar Pound Cake is rich with bakery goodness. Almost a maple decadence.

Boardwalk Taffy Type is yummy. Cotton candy musk. I want to bathe in it.

Citrus Shower Avobath has intense lemongrass and lemony sugar brightness.

Pink Strawberry Chiffon is a berry delight. Juicy, peachy and candied.

Juicy Fruit smells similar to the gum. You can even detect the thin paper wrapper.

Yellow Cake is a wonderful classic blender scent. A simple buttery vanilla cake.



Lush Vanillary is the one I am most excited about. I love this scent. Boozy vanilla, fuzzy tonka and sweet musk.

Sweet Spicy Zucchini Fluff is an intensely strong zucchini bread scent that many will love.

Mango Nectar and Hibiscus is a bright and vibrant tropical with peachy cranberry leanings.

Boardwalk Marshmallow Clouds is my second favorite. Musky sweet and creamy. 

Coconut Shea is a lovely calming scent. Powdery and smooth.

Pink Champagne is a tart and fruity floral.

Merlot Wine is a wonderful dark berry scent.

I am so happy with my wax order. I hope to grab some Boardwalk Marshmallow Cloud and Lush Vanillary next time. Have you picked up any wax lately? Are you aiming for a CFTKR order soon?

Melting Basket 156: Spring Time

 


I looked back and saw that I have not done a melting basket since the holidays. Yikes a doodle. I assure I still melt copiously. This is probably the 4th basket of 2021 but I do find making time to blog to be pushed to the side at this season in my life. So why now? Well, frankly it is because I am on spring break and it is a happy diversion that I do miss. I am still juggling some ESOL classes and some to-do list things but I am trying my best to not feel rushed or put too much on my plate this week. I have even managed to take some naps and rest up along with planting some caladium bulbs. Ok, usually I ramble after the basket so I guess I better get started. 

Teddy Bees- Milky Way Roses (already melted and LOVED this blend) and Vintage Flannel. These (and several more) were gift from a surprise gift box from my friend April. (Thank you again, April!!!)
Vintage Chic Scents- Killer Clowns From Outer Space (cotton candy explosion- another love)
Lasting Scent Candles- Watermelon Wedding Cake
Bohemienne Life- Brigid
The Bathing Garden- Blackberry Jam & Lemon Curd
Candles From the Keeping Room- Cedar, Sage, and Blackberry
Candles From the Keeping Room- Strawberry Noel
Candles From the Keeping Room- Charcoal Tonka
Candles From the Keeping Room- Frosted Sugar Cookie
Candles From the Keeping Room- Lime Leaf & Lily
Candles From the Keeping Room- Fresh Picked Raspberry


Even though it has been nice to harvest some herbs and lettuce (though the family thinks my mixed mesclun is too bitter) I have finally decided to let it go to flower and seed. I love watching the fennel flowers shoot out like miniature golden fireworks. I did just read that fennel flowers are good for menstruation issues so I probably should have been eating them rather than gazing but either way it was time well spent. I have two raised beds growing some ground cover to fix some nitrogen into the soil and the tiered raised bed has potatoes, yellow summer squash, and borage planted in it. Once I turn under the cover crop I will plant tomatoes, cucumbers and maybe some type of bean. We are almost done staining the chicken coop panels too so that we can put them together.


I am excited for this coming weekend. I plan on baking hot cross buns and perhaps going to a native plant sale. Also going to have some family over for Sunday lunch. I was able to get my COVID vaccine and I chose the Johnson & Johnson single dose. I felt a little light headed the first day but was still able to run errands and drop of some resumes. I think combined with my period it just made for a tiring experience more than anything else. I am very thankful I was able to get it once they opened it up to all teachers. 


My youngest wanted to go to the beach so that is the plan for today. I must admit that my body and soul are ready for the sun and salt water. It will be very nice to laze about, read, swim and look for shoreline treasures. And maybe even some ice cream after. 

How is your spring unfolding? Finding signs of new life? Any celebrations coming up for you? I have a CFTKR haul, some soap and a hand sanitizer haul to show. I have been trying to slow the wax pace. But I do still get some from Carol whenever I can.