Friday, March 27, 2020

Colorado: Travel

The first week of March before things got hairy with the pandemic, Adam had a business trip in Avon, Colorado. He was able to take me with him so I happily tagged along. 

He was often in meetings so I spent my time exploring the nearby areas. I took an Uber into Edwards to visit a cute bookstore called The Bookworm. I ate at a local bagel joint then walked around some trails.

The Rockies are beautiful. Lots of snow piled high in March with clear skies and great weather. 

I had many firsts: first time in a gondola, first time having a nice older gentleman sit near me by the river and partake of his weed openly, first time crunching around in snow boots, first time snowmobiling, first magpie sighting, first time making a snowman.

The fly fishing reminded me of the Appalachians. 

I hope if Adam goes again next year that I can bring the girls along. They would have loved it.

So we have been home for two weeks now. Our spring break started March 16th. We went kayaking one day, then grocery shopping, then to a plant nursery that first week. After that the news got scary so we have just been staying in. Today officially marks Orange County's Shelter In Place.

Times are strange right now. Three days ago a man tried to steal the lawn equipment out of the trailer of our lawn guy right in front of our house. The lawn guy happened to see it in action so he drove his mower over there, reached into the thief's car, and got bitten by the thief as he was pulling his blowers and weed eaters back out. Thankfully our neighborhood has cameras at the entrance and was able to capture his tag. Not even two days later Adam goes outside to get the newspaper on the driveway and hollers for me to come outside. I was greeted by a parade of about 20-30 cars slowly circling our neighborhood honking their horns and waving hello. Some had posters on their doors and hoods that read "We miss you" and "We love you." It made me cry for some reason. 

This week I would be planning for my last nine week period of teaching. The kids and I would be reviewing mostly as to prepare them for the state standardized tests in May. Instead, I find myself working 12 hour days trying to get our online teaching platform in order almost as if it was the first day of school all over again. They say we will only be doing this until April 15th, but for some reason I have in my gut we will finish the year out like this. The testing is cancelled, which is good. But I am nervous.  Hopefully the long hours will pay off and the kids will get something great out of this and it won't be too taxing on their parents. Goodness knows. I have two of my own I will be trying to help through this too. 

What markers have you encountered that remind you that these are times that will be significant in history? What stories do you have?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Candles From The Keeping Room: January/February Order

Can you tell the state of being over here? I did not even un-bag my precious beauties. But hey. It is a post and that makes it progress. :-) I actually typed this one up yesterday right after I made another purchase from Carol at Candles From The Keeping Room. I was late to the party so I only grabbed the goodies that were available. Thankfully, Carol always has an abundance of amazing tarts so I was able to find plenty. This order is from earlier in the year and was on the smaller side. I just grabbed some random scents as usual. Some old favorites and many new to me. Each bag runs about $6.50 and has about 6 ounces of wax in it. I follow Carol in her Facebook and she gives plenty of notice when she is going to open. 

Tropical White Musk- A soft and feminine scent, hazy musks, gentle sweetness and the ghost of tropical fruits and blossoms. I think I have had this long, long ago. It smells familiar. 

Apple Wood Fir Needle- I believe I had this one as a sample a winter or two ago. It is a gorgeous woodsy scent with firs, pines, cedar and a dash of amber and apple. Not sweet, but crisp and cool. Lovely. 

Autumn in the Park- A gosh darn good blend of sweet crisp honeyed apples pared with lemony fall leaves and a touch of sweet caramelized pumpkin. Not a heavy blend but a gilded autumnal delight. If you haven't tried this one yet, you are missing out. This is one to melt while listening to "Autumn in New York" with Ella and Louie.

Christmas Spice- This one is new to my nose. It is a spiced orange and candy blend that is almost fizzy and tartly sweet. Not as heavy and deep as a pomander but along those lines with an effervescent and gingery quality. Unique. I think I will like melting this one.

Christmas Cactus- First time sniffing this one. I love my Christmas cactus plants (strangely I had my white one shoot off a bloom the other day out of no where). Not sure of the notes, as I don't see it online, but it has a green herbal and vegetal quality, like aloe and crunchy, watery green things. There is a sweetness to it, like mellow berries and dewy citrus. It is a pretty scent. 

Christmas Fantasy- Smells like a flower shop at Christmas, decorated with cinnamon pinecone wreaths and carnations and lilies and bowls of potpourri. I love it.

Evergreen Oasis- Also new for me. The notes play out like a sum being more than its parts type of thing: pomegranates, guava, patchouli, apples, leather, caramel, cedar. But to my nose it is just a lovely piney scent. Spruce and cedar, perhaps some dark patchouli, but no fruits really. A stand of trees in the wild.

Balsam Boughs- This one is airier, cooler and sweeter than Evergreen Oasis. I enjoy both equally. The eucalyptus in this one is refreshing.

Vanilla Snowflake- I enjoy this scent from Bath & Body Works. I think this is my first time having a dupe of it in wax form. It is nice and strong, vanilla peppermint with a hint of creamy coconut. A wonderful blending.

Free Samples:

I am always thankful for the generous samples Carol adds to the orders her customers place with her. I invariably get whiffs of wonderful new scents that become fast favorites.

Tropical Cocktail smells like a yummy pina colada.

Pineapple Pear Pound Cake is a juicy sweet tropical bakery.

Coconut Water and Pineapple is probably the best tropical pineapple I have sniffed. The coconut water pulls like a tropical musk and it smells lovely together.

Coconut Water and Mango is similar but more peachy than pineapple.

Gourmet Sugar Cookie is a wonderfully crunchy and dense sugar cookie scent.

Warm and Toasty is a dulcet fireside scent.

Christmas Around The Campfire is one I wish I had in bagfulls. Campfire and sugar cookies. Mmmmm. Yes.

Four: Twenty Gummies is herbal and fruity at the same time. I quite like it. I don't really get cannabis from it, which is fine with me. 

Fresh Raspberries and Whipped Cream comes in the cutest little raspberries ever. I love this fresh and juicy sweet raspberry. It smells like the raspberry Shannon at The Bathing Garden uses and I love that one.

Black Magic Sangria is a lush berry filled musk. I am happy I was able to get a bag of this yesterday at Carol's opening.

I am super happy with my order from Carol. She will probably always be my very favorite place to get wax. I will keep buying as long as she keep selling. Are you melting much? What scent trends are you enjoying right now?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Glitterati: Mystery Box

Got some beautiful chunks of scented loveliness on deck today. You may have noticed my posting schedule is whack-a-doodle right now but I figure posting something randomly is better than to not have posted at all. My sister Heather is ready for me to ship her a box of wax to scent her Texas home so I figured I would get on some wax posts today while I pack her up a box. 

I signed up for the most recent Glitterati Mystery Box list and my name came up (number 1,000 and something or other) and I couldn't have been happier about it. I had a few kindly gifted chunks from my sweet friend April that I have been hoarding and that was it. I think this box was a little over $40 shipped? It came with a dozen generously sized chunks of overpour from Janine's custom orders. 

Love Spells & Lemon Drops- I believe this is a rather popular blend that Janine gets requested often as it has been in almost every mystery box I have ordered. It is a bright and fruity floral mixing of Victoria's Secret Love Spell and a sugary lemon candy. I think I have some not so great scent associations with Love Spell and it just never quite sits right on my nose. I know Heather will enjoy this though. She used to work at V.S. back in the day and I think she enjoyed it.

Lavender Vanilla Bean Noel- Just reading the name had me feeing like I had won the lottery. Two of my very favorite scent notes. The Vanilla Bean Noel is rich and dense with pillowy marshmallow vanilla goodness. The lavender is softly lurking within and creating a sleepy time scent of soothing lavender vanilla. A dream boat.

Lavender Buttermint- Reading this second scent let me know I had won the lottery. A soft creamy spearmint laced dinner mint with nuances of lavender vanilla. Another dreamy scent that will be melted in the bedroom very soon. 

Blue Cotton Candy Caramel Apple- This blend is pretty fantastic. It is a cheerful blending of sweet cotton candy and lush caramel drenched mac apples. It smells of an old fashioned carnival treat. The apple isn't overly cloying and the sweetness is balanced with creaminess. Brilliant blend.

Sparkling Grapefruit Pomelo Sage- I have enjoyed these oils separately in the past from other vendors but Janine made a knock-out combo with this blending. It is a relaxing yet vibrant aroma of tropical grapefruit zest and summery breezes. It is sweet but not candy, fresh but not like cleaning products. A citrus fruit salad enjoyed by the shore on a sandy beach blanket. With our weather warming up considerably this will be melted in the near future.

Pink Chiffon Oasis- Man, I cannot remember the last time I had a Pink Chiffon blend. It had quite the heyday a year or so ago. It works wonderfully in this blend. The coconut and tropical fruits get a lift from the sweet musk and fruity florals of the Pink Chiffon. Most excellent.

Pineapple County Fair- I can't really get a handle on this one. Janine's County Fair scent is amazing. I love the funnel cakes and sweet treats that it reminds me of, but the pineapple is throwing me. I am rarely a huge pineapple in wax fan unless it is a primarily tropical scent. This kind of reminds me of pineapple upside down cake, which I love to eat. I will have to shave some off and see what I think once it is melted. 

Cucumber Melon Apple Mango Tango- Sweet, fresh and fruity. A blend that is a match made in Bath & Body Works heaven. My husband's favorite BBW scent on me back in the early 2000's was Cucumber Melon. He will get a kick out of this I think.

Peppermint Pralines- Quiet possibly the sleeper hit of the bunch. I would not have merged cinnamon bakery and peppermint together. Ever. But whoever had the vision of this scent was really on to something special. It smells like eating snickerdoodle cookies on a polar bear's lap wearing a Santa hat while riding the Polar Express. Who is wearing the Santa hat? You decide. I will be melting this and reminiscing of my childhood. 

Mango Papaya Waffle Cone- This blend sounds like Sandra. Sandra. Did you do this? A tropical frozen treat served in a waffle cone. Juicy, sorbet-like and summery. Like a sunny trip to a theme park with your best friend. Sandra. I lost track of the other mango scent I was saving for you. But this one won't escape me until I send it off to you. I promise.

Pineapple Cake Batter- I think whoever was blending during this time was seriously craving summertime and pineapples. Another pineapple upside down cake blend but less bakery heavy and more sweet.

Tropical Pistachio- Another huge fan favorite that always winds up in my box. Super strong thrower of cherry-almond intenseness. 

Overall I am thrilled with my Glitterati Mystery Box. I have several I adore and a handful I will be passing on to loved ones who I know will adore them too. Have you had any Glitterati recently? What blends are you craving right now?

Happy National Fragrance Day!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Melting Basket 149

Good Morning, friends. Hope you are all well. I know things have been quiet on here frequently as of late. February was crazy busy then March blew in like a lion. Now with schools shut down until April 15th I do find I have more time on my hands to tinker with things long neglected. I cannot really smell right now (I swear Colorado dryness and elevation did a dozy on my sinuses) but I do plan on melting these tarts anyway. I actually already melted a whole basket a month ago but I never got around to posting it. 

Sniff My Tarts- Blue Sugar/Clove/Nutmeg/Toasted Marshmallow
Ten Digit Creations- Rosewood and Amber
Ten Digit Creations- Palo Santo/Bourbon Tobacco/Wood Spice)
Obscurus- Algol (Strawberry, Yuzu, Vanilla, Watermelon, Orange)
Vintage Chic Scents- Killer Clowns From Outer Space (Cotton Candy)
Epic Wax- Amber Noir <3 gift
Epic Wax- Sandalwood Amber <3 gift
CFTRK- Fig and Rhubarb
CFTKR- Cucumber Wasabi Cilantro
CFTKR- Patchouli Oud Wood
CFTKR- Sugared Strawberry Spruce

A motley collection to be sure. Hoping my nose wakes up soon.

Some things that have been keeping me grounded:
- Cat snuggles. I don't think Toddles has been more happy to have all her humans on constant demand.
- Baking: Cookies and (YES!!!!) cinnamon rolls using yeast. I think homemade bagels are next.
- Planting: seeds and little $1 pots of annuals. Pretty much anything cheerful looking. Excited about a buttload of bulbs that are supposed to arrive today.
- ESOL classes. Not fun but keeping me feeling connected to my job. I have been seeing some posts on Facebook already from grumbling parents who are friends about how much/what teachers are assigning to their kids. Gives me some anxiety about March 30th when I am supposed to roll out online teaching which I have never been trained for and is not part of my repertoire. 
- Reading in our new hammock. My stepmom picked up the girls these netted sensory swings. One I hung up as a traditional swing and the other I made into a hammock. Best thing ever in this phenomenal weather.
- Swimming.
- Painting my toenails.
- Wearing sweatpants all day every day.
- Painting. Finally finished my Hobbit Toms. Moving on to some galaxy Vans. I think. Or maybe wildflowers.

How are you doing? Are you home or having to go into work? What is helping to keep you level right now?

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Ebb & Flow: February 2020

The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Headmaster

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Her Coal Black Hair (violet oudh)

Body Oil:
Kings Road Apothecary Inner Compass Body Oil

Kings Road Apothecary Conifer Mist

Sleep Aid:
Mixing peppermint, rosemary and lavender oils in witch hazel along with some red cedar oil to mist my neck, chest and pillow.

Sihaya & Company Anne Boleyn on nightstand

The Bathing Garden Magician's Bonfire in bedroom

Gummy Berry grapes (I swear they are actual fruit- not gummy bears) and spicy chicken ramen for lunch

Water, coffee, kombucha. My trifecta of liquids.

Savanna and I watched Goonies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Beetlejuice.
We are trying to watch some "classics."

Little Green by Tish Cohen, not my usual genre of domestic drama but it is reading decently well. A marriage on the rocks type of scenario.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and John Prine

Planting bulbs, seeds and bare root things in the yard. I have my first ever hostas sprouting up right now. I think I made a mistake by ordering from Michigan Bulb. I ordered on a whim without researching and now all the reviews I read are pretty bad and sure enough they have most of my order on "backorder" and the shipping dates of the "ready to ship" items get pushed back every week. Ah well. Lesson learned. Read reviews.

My first ever trip to the Rockies. Adam has a business trip and I am tagging along. I plan on doing lots of mountain gazing, snow gazing and book gazing while at a fireplace sipping some tea. I hope to find a cute coffee shop and a nice bookstore to frequent while he is in meetings. Also awaiting spring break. March will be insane, but good.

The return of the mosquitoes. The return of the love bugs. The return of scorching heat.

Zapp's potato chips in Cajun Dill and Voodoo flavors from the Dollar Tree

Michigan Bulb.

Hard health news about family members, difficult seasons for our youngest and low energy days.

A new hot water heater on the horizon, wildflower seeds germinating, enjoying time with family and cuddles with Toddles.

How has your February been? Do anything fun on this extra day of the year? We are taking Savanna and her friends and Scarlette and her buddy to an escape room in Orlando and out to dinner at one of my favorite places, Cafe' Tu Tu Tango.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Beezy Tarts: October Order

Back in December I happened to catch John announce a Beezy pre-order ,and since I was pining for my Mint Lavender that I had melted all up as well as my Apple Clove Butter I figured it was time to dive back in. I enjoy John's tarts for their throw, simplicity and quality. The long TAT doesn't bother me but sometimes the cracking lids do. Thankfully I still have some bags on hand so I ended up bagging about 2/3 of my order. Most tarts were $1.85 each and some were on sale for $1 each. Shipping was $11.20

Serendipity is one I picked up for nostalgia's sake. It is a sugary sweet candied cherries and cream with a little coconut on the side. This one is intense and will be a joy to melt.

Cinnamon Broom will be a forever favorite. The fiery Red Hots and Atomic Fireball nose hair burning cinnamon is something that I crave. It is truly a childhood throw back for me, that fireball clanking against my teeth with my tongue burning in a blaze of sugar and liquid cinnamon. 

Pink Sugar is one I miss melting on the regular. I don't often have it solo either so this will be a treat once I get around to melting it. A cotton candy musk dreamboat.

Cranberry Woods used to be my first true love at Bath & Body Works before Marshmallow Fireside came along. I have not burned it in a candle in eons but having a couple of these tarts on hand will warm up the place next holiday season. The cranberries are tart and crisp, much like pomegranates, and the woods are soft and dry. 

Cinnamon Apple Berry is new to me from Beezy. I am happy with it! The apple cinnamon is classically sweet and spiced but the berries make it more into a juicy and fruity mulled punch type of aroma. I am here for that.

Mint Lavender, one of the reasons for this order. I enjoy this in my bedroom for a mellow sleepy time scent. The mint is cooling but not obnoxious (but hey, let's be real, I don't mind obnoxious mints) and the lavender is sweet and rich. Not too sharply herbal, not detergent at all and certainly not fabric softener. 

Witching Hour is a spicy rose patchouli that brings to mind the Claire Burke dupe that is along these same lines. I love a spicy earthy floral so this one is wonderful. 

Witches Brew is more dark and deep with it's spice and patchouli where there are woods instead of roses when compared to Witching Hour. I love both.

Harvest Gathering is a cinnamon apple and cranberry scent. I picked it up on a whim, having never tried it but I quickly fell in love. The apples are swollen with sweet golden juice and the cranberries are plump and stewed. The spice is minimal, just a subtle tang. 

Pumpkin Apple Strudel might be hit or miss for me. It does smell just like a pumpkin and apple strudel with its soft buttery bakery tones and there is a vanilla icing on top but there is a cloying note in there that I am not sure how it will play out. I will be either loving it or dumping it I feel. Caramel. There is caramel too. 

French Vanilla and Oak is one I like to have on hand every once in a while. It is a pretty scent of blonde woods and vanilla musk that is similar to Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille. 

Amish Quilt times four because that is how many I bought. One of my favorite versions of cinnamon sugar. 

Apple Clove Butter times three. This one is a long time thank you to Lauren who introduced me to this yummy sweet apple. 

Apple Strudel is basically a for real apple pie, crust, sliced apples and bubbling sticky filling. 

Free Samples:
Strawberry Crunch is a milky version of Crunch Berries cereal. I have never been a fan of this scent from any vendor. But I do like to eat the cereal.

Marshmallow Fluff is pretty awesome. It truly is a fluffy white cloud of vanilla goodness. 

Nana's Bakery  smells like a cherry almond turn over.

Black Cherry Bomb is going to my friend Ashley who adores everything cherry. This is a cherry and grape mash up of tart sweetness.

Beezy has many of these scents still for sale right now, and even better, they will be RTS so no waiting. Ever since I saw Jay post about that Rose Milk I have been craving it. Did you order any Beezy? Tell me how you feel about cherry.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Bohemienne Life: December Order

My name is Julie and I have a confession. I am thoroughly addicted to Kyme's wax crack from Bohemienne Life. I renounce any and all low buys and no buys for the sake of adding more Bohemienne Life to my wax stash as the desire manifests.

I did place a delayed order with Kyme in December. She was having a wax release when I was working and let me tell you, there is no getting away from the kiddos when teaching. But once I got home I added all the goodies that were left to my cart happily. Most of these are new to me but there are few old favorites. 

Empanada- Notes: A warm pumpkin and cream cheese filled pastry spiced with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. $6.25

I had this one in a candle once and it was delicious. This is my first time having it in wax tart form. I still have the handmade glass jar that the candle came in. I use it to propagate plants. Empanada is just as decadent as it sounds. There is a sweet flaky quality to the pumpkin and mouth watering spices, as if someone on the Great British Making Show made hand laminated pastry a' la baklava and layered the pumpkin with honey and spice. It is righteous. 

Oh No! Gingerbread Boy- Notes: A spicy cookie with a blend of ginger, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg, drizzled with honey.

This one is new to me and I am head over heels. Even though some of the notes are similar to Empanada I find them to be different enough that I am glad I have both. This one is a fusion of gingerbread cookies and snickerdoodles with some soft sugar cookie chewy center thrown in. I want to nibble something that tastes as good as this smells.

Crushed- Notes: Crushed juicy cranberries and blackberries mixed with red wine, lemon, pink grapefruit, strawberries, and pomegranate.

This is one I have had before and needed for spring and summer melting. Fruity scents have to really stand out for me to enjoy them. I love deep, dark vibrant fruits with nary a harshness to them and Kyme delivers. Her berries are lush. This one is just such a scent. The zingy citrus keeps it from being overly sweet and syrupy while the wine adds a grape hue to the berries. This one gets me excited about the blackberry and blueberry shrubs I planted. 

Mistletoe & Spruce- Notes: Citrus, blue spruce, and frosted cranberries create this perfect holiday scent.

This is truly festive but I am not going to blink an eye melting it right now. We keep having rainy days and cold snaps so this evergreen scent is still right on the nose. The cranberries and citrus are lively and not very sweet but bright and cheerful. They pair up well against the fresh and bold spruce. No spice notes in this and that is part of what I feel like makes it a lovely year 'round scent too.

Leatherosa- Notes: Roses and leather.

Leatherosa and I first met when she was a rustic yet silken soap that I lathered with while in raptures. This is my first time trying her in wax form and she does not disappoint. I can tell a little will probably go a long way and melting this one in the bedroom will be a must. The roses are blowsy and and old fashioned, deep in color and aroma, luring noses into their soft hidden parts. The leather is rich and almost woody in its intensity. The paring is classic.

Under The Mistletoe- Notes: Irresistible blend of Yuletide spices, woods, hay, musk, green fresh air, oakmoss, vanilla, sandalwood, and patchouli.

Kyme got a request for "spicy sexy man" so she created this fragrance to suit that desire. It does have that classic cologne scent of a rich balsamic musk and oakmoss but the vanilla adds a smooth edge creating a touch of softness. When my Pop-Pop passed away I inherited a box of some of his office supplies (he was a self-employed CPA and mostly got his income by doing people's taxes and such- so his office supplies were intense). Inside the box was this tiny brown plastic cologne pen and when I uncapped it the scent of his hug wafted out. If there was one thing he was know for, it was the genuine love in his hugs. He hugged with his whole heart. His button up bowling shirts always smelled like this. I will melt this one sparingly as I know it will always remind me of Pop-Pop now. What does this smell like? It smells like a Pop-Pop.

Fraser's Ridge- Notes: Strawberry, peach, and raspberry with a hint of violet and grounded in earthy patchouli take you to a place where the wild strawberries grow.

A forever favorite. If this is ever offered, do yourself a solid and buy it. Don't let the violets and patchouli run you away. Try it. They only serve to enhance the natural beauty of the berry. 

Sparkle Wonderland- Notes: Icy grapefruit, orange, bergamot, and lemon. Fruity and clean, sparkling, fizzy and very good.

I am a sucker for these types of names. I also was kinda wanting a citrus heavy scent for spring and summer. This one is beautiful. The grapefruits and oranges and lemons are intensely flavored and sweet, striking in their robustness, but the bergamot truly comes in and elevates the citrus into a dreamscape rather than a grove. It goes from Polk County, Florida backyard oranges to sunset in Tuscany with jeweled fruits and hazy sunsets spiked with cypress trees and terraced villas. She's a beaut.

Selene- Notes: White poppy, snowdrop flowers, eucalyptus, yuzu, oranges and grapefruit, along with spices, woods and velvety musk.

Selene and I are friends. I had the pleasure of using her in a bath salt potion in the past and she made for a beautiful bathing experience. I am thrilled to smell her again now. Her velvety musk is a delight. This is a smooth and round scent, much like the moon she evokes. There is a tender sweetness and the florals are gauzy and luminescent. It doesn't list vanilla but it feels like there is something along those lines present, tonka, benzoin or coumarin? Or perhaps it is one of those thing where the sum is more than its parts. Either way it is a magical experience and will make any bedroom an inviting place to rest. 

I am so very happy with my order. I have since placed another one for some other scents I have yet to try along with some lollipops and a soap. A Fraser's Ridge soap to be exact. I will be spring ready. 

What are you melting right now? Any vendors you cannot get enough of melting?