Saturday, January 18, 2020


- Orlando squirrels are the most cunning and dexterous critters ever. They have mastered my squirrel baffle on the bird feeder (which the Lakeland ones never did) and one managed to chew a hole through our pool screen then sniff out the bird seed in the pool chest, then proceeded to chew a hole through the chest in order to get to the seeds. Now the bird seed lives inside the house.

- Savanna found a four leaf clover in our yard.

- The flu has really been awful this year. At one point we had 15 kids absent from my classroom of 49. It hit Scarlette and Adam too.

- I finally cleaned out the sunroom and it is ready for a chair, perhaps a chaise lounge, and a rug. 

- Plant lady realization: I have a hard time keeping ferns alive unless I plant them outside.

- Planners and journals I am heart eyed over: One List A Day, Many Moons Lunar Planner and the Tudor Planner. Now I am juggling four planners and throwing caution to the wind. Only time will tell if I give up on any of them.

- I placed a fat order from Shannon at The Bathing Garden for some minty wax (which in my defense I have run out of) and scrubs. Ok, NOW I am on my wax low-buy/no-buy.

- When did plane tickets get so expensive? What do you use to get your tickets? I am currently using Sky Scanner but it isn't really gifting up much in the way of savings. We are flying out to Vegas as a family of four for my sister's wedding in April. Please spill your flight saving secrets. I am considering becoming a flight attendant at this point in my life.

- Speaking of career decisions, I am taking the grade 5-9 Science subject area exam in a couple weekends. If you have an good juju you want to blow my way I am receptive. I think the only thing that will hinder me is all the computer programming language and information standards for 9th grade. I don't know the difference between java and java script. I only know I love java. In a cup. Yeah. Teacher jokes. 

What's currently going on in your life?

Monday, January 6, 2020

Mintie Bean: Winter Wax Collection

These wax tarts were sent gratis from Mintie Bean. All opinions are my own.

Some more adorable and wonderfully smelling Mintie Bean wax tarts landed in my mail box recently and I couldn't wait to melt them and chat about them. This time I have the (much more affordable) USD amounts listed with each tart. There will also be a 30% sale coming up tomorrow, coupon code will be at the end of the post. 

Ginger Joy- Notes: Oatmeal cookies, brown sugar, melted caramels, pumpkin gingerbread, and cinnamon. $2.80
This is yummy. It is a more bakery thick twist on a traditional gingerbread scent and I would love to be able to eat something as divine as this smells. The pumpkin rich gingerbread is warm with spice and chewy like a soft vanilla cookie. He threw strong in the kitchen area and smelled amazing.

Peppermintie- Notes: Peppermint, sweet cream, black licorice, candied citrus, and malted sugar. $4.90
A unique scent that swirls about with sweet candied black licorice that holds a touch of bubble gum and a refreshing coolness from the mint. I cut the cloud shaped tart in half and melted in it my bedroom. It threw medium-strong to strong and made for a relaxing environment for bedtime.

Sugar Snow- Notes: Fir needle, mulberry, green leaves, strawberry jam, rose, and vanilla. $4.90
I love the complexity of this scent. It reminds me of a more floral and evergreen laden Rose Jam fragrance. It is juicy with the mulberries but also has a musky greenness with the leaves. It is lovely.

Snow Much Fun- Notes: Dew drops, sugared strawberries, honeydew, cucumber, velvet moss, and heather. 
Snow Much Fun was an Indie Pick Up limited scent but will be made for sale again via Femme Fatale mid-year and will be around $6.30. It is a limpid and dewy strawberry floral with watery cucumber and honeydew to calm and cool the moss and heather. It will make for a wonderful spring scent. Fresh and serene.

Tinsel in a Tangle- Notes: Mistletoe, ivy, cedar, frosted musk, cranberry, rosewood, and evergreen. $5.60
Bright, almost citrusy flavored cranberries accent lemony woods and lush green garlands. It is an electric scent, pomegranate and emerald. This is Christmas time but in technicolor instead of Crayola reds and greens. I love this.

Stocking Stuffer- Notes: Christmas pudding, vanilla ice cream, sugared apples, caramel, orange, and nuts. $6.30
Mmmmmm... the vanilla in this is incredible. The apples, oranges and nuts are in the background and simply round this out because it is the Christmas pudding and ice cream that really steal the show. If this was a dessert I would need the recipe.

Waffle On- Notes: Maple syrup, honey, glazed citrus, black currants, nutmeg, plum, and nuts. $4.90
I was a touch worried about the currants as they can be a bit screamy to my nose but in this blend I swear they take on a cherry tobacco flavor. This will probably sound strange but I get a Santa's Pipe type of feel from this and I am here for it. His cherry tobacco, stewed fruits in a potpourri on the stove and a smattering of vanilla cookie crumbs. There is a touch of tartness but it is welcome, adding a touch of sparkle. I cannot wait to melt this.

To get 30% off at Femme Fatale, which will include some of these delicious scents, use code: NEWYEAR30
It is active from the 7th to the 9th.

I am thrilled to have these tarts to melt over the next little while. Now that it is past the holidays I would normally move on from the festive scent but I am still lingering around a few apples, pumpkins and evergreens. What is swirling about your house?

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Melting Basket 148: First Basket of 2020

Wax from the Christmas basket that I loved: Sea Witch Botanicals Wolf Night, CFTKR Winter Flannel, Balsam and Citrus and Blue Spruce and Frosted Pine Noel.

Bohemienne Life- Haystacks and Bonfires
Bohemienne Life- Ma Lionne
Southbound- Blackberry Sugared Violet <3 gift
Obscurus- Medeina
Ten Digit Creations- Apple Pecan Sage/Gingerbread/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations- Caramel Apple/Marshmallows By The Fire/Sandalwood Marshmallow
Sniff My Tarts- Cotton Candy Frosting/Elderberry/Elderflower and Spritz Poptail/Fizzy Pop
Rosegirls- Cranberry Macintosh Donut Holes
Rosegirls- Blueberry Lemon Mousse Cake
Rosegirls- Huckleberry Cheesecake
CFTKR- Candy Corn Birthday Cake
CFTKR- Pumpkin Peppercorn
CFTKR- Country Charm
CFTKR- Strawberry Pine
CFTKR- Witches Brew and Pumpkin Stew

I was having a broad range of interests, scent-wise, so I loaded up the basket with all sorts of goodies.

This new year has rolled in mild. I have had a cough and cold but overall I have enjoyed my time at home. I finally got the sunroom cleaned up and organized. I got a few new plants in the yard. I am most excited about the huge flock of robins that hung out in the backyard a couple days ago. I even spied my first Cedar Wax Wing here in Florida. 

I am going to try my best to blog a couple times a week for the first half of the year while I am exploring my job possibilities. I know things have been very, very slow around here but I do still get happiness from blogging so I am loathe to give it up. Thank you for hanging in with me.

As usual it is time for me to think about some things I would like to do this year. I am not much for resolutions but I do have some goals. 

2020 Bucket List:
- Walk the neighborhood a few times a week
- Visit Merritt Island bird sanctuary
- Begin some raised beds
- Build a chicken coop
- Bake those cinnamon rolls
- Many moments in front of the flickering fireplace
- Swim in the pool as often as possible
- Take the girls to a play or concert
- Plan a trip to Discovery Cove
- Watch a show at the Garden Theater
- Brew fire cider tonic
- Three random acts of kindness
- St. Augustine with the family

What plans do you have for this year? My sister is getting married in Las Vegas so the girls will get to see the desert for the first time. Adam has a business trip in Colorado and he is taking me. I am stoked to see the mountains and go snowmobiling. And we are hoping to take the girls on a cruise this summer to Mexico. 2020 will be fun. With lots of reading and planting and perfume wearing and wax melting. I hope to buy less and enjoy more. But of course, a few perfumes and waxes here and there are to be expected. How about you?

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ebb & Flow: December 2019

The highs and lows of the month.

Olympic Orchids Woodcut

Perfume Oil:
Nocturne Alchemy Holiday Spiced Crystalline Cake and the Santalum Cake version layered together

Body Oil:
Kings Road Apothecary Deep Woods

Witch Baby Secret Society

Handmade in Florida Pumpkin

B. Perry Studios Mother of Pearl

Nest Birchwood Pine

Sniff My Tarts Lord of Misrule and Peppermint blend

Fried eggs with Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe's

GTS Kombucha Living in Gratitude Fall Edition with apple, turmeric, carrot and spices

You've Got Mail, Schitt's Creek, and our fireplace

Carpenter's Christmas, The Nutcracker, and Bobby Helm's Christmas album


Just awaiting cold days for more fires in the hearth. Awaiting the book pages I am going to be diving into. Anticipating a new year. New paths. New experiences.

Getting report cards done. I am a little behind.

Wildroots deodorants, loving them hard.

Bath and Body Works Candy Cane candle. Smelled like lighter fluid.
Also. Cheap tape. Only getting Scotch from now on.

Uterine pains. Work 

A fun birthday with my sisters and Giffe' thanks to Adam. Dinner at Morimoto and a hotel for the night with some thrift shopping the next day. A peaceful and enjoyable Christmas with the family. I loved spending the winter break with Adam and the girls. And getting my tooth fixed. That is good.

How was your December? Looking forward to 2020?

Monday, December 30, 2019

Best of 2019

Though 2019 was a bit of a hellion in some ways, she was also the harbinger of travel, the giver of a new nest to fluff with the family feathers and the herald that brought about adventure. She pissed me off and filled me with passion all at the same time.

This time is when I traditionally turn and look back at the year that has passed to see what favorites have remained true and which ones have been replaced with others. And most things have been replaced with houseplants and old lady embroidery crewl when ever I can find it. Or vintage book finds.

I continued to purchase some pottery here and there this year. Some potters I still collected from this year include:

CBe Ceramics- a couple mugs and a tumbler
Dirtworks Ceramics- a mug
Grumpy Dwarf Pottery- small pots
Hand to Earth- luminaries and mugs
Little Garden Pottery- mug
Lori Phillips Ceramics- mug and incense stick holder
Murava Ceramics- spoon
One Eleven Pottery- cauldron mug
Red Hot Pottery- owl mug
Silver Run Ceramics- curio mug
Xeno Jean- a handful of stein mugs

Candles: My favorite candles of 2019

Ember Mallow from Sihaya and Company
Birchwood and Pine from NEST
Rowan by Wick and Fable
Vanilla Patchouli Comfort from Bath and Body Works
Quoth the Raven from Sea Witch Botanicals

Favorite Wax Scents 2019:
Candles From the Keeping Room- Strawberry Pine
Candles From the Keeping Room- Lumberjack
Candles From the Keeping Room- Winter Flannel
Handmade in Florida- Enchanted Woods
Ten Digit Creations- Palo Santo/Bourbon Tobacco/Wood Spice
Bohemienne Life- The Green Faerie 
Bohemienne Life- Haystacks and Bonfires
Sea Witch Botanicals- Wolf Night
Vintage Chic Scents- Carnival of Souls

Favorite Soap Scents 2019:
Handmade in Florida- Fresh Pumpkin
Andy Tauer- Mandarines Ambrees
B. Perry Studios- Rose Gold
Arcana Wildcraft- Haint
Bohemienne Life- Monet
Future Primitive- The Wand Chooses The Wizard

Indie Bath and Body Favorites 2019:
Future Primitive- Conditioning Shampoo Bar
Future Primitive- Conditioning Hair Rinse in White Witch
Wildroots- Natural Deodorants
B. Perry Studios- sugar scrubs
Blood Moon Botanica- Moon Dew facial serum
Aftelier- body oils
Kings Road Apothecary- body oils

Full Bottles of Perfume Purchased (EDP) 2019:
Solstice Scents- Hidden Lodge
Solstice Scents- Wold Spirit

Favorite Perfume Oils 2019:
Arcana Wildcraft- The Bone Mother
Arcana Wildcraft- Merrywidow
Arcana Wildcraft- Witches Trace Sigils in the Dirt
Arcana Wildcraft- Haint
Arcana Wildcraft- Tinderbox
Arcana Wildcraft- Anodyne
Arcana Wildcraft- Oberon
Arcana Wildcraft- Moth
Blood Moon Botanica- Lavender Amber
Nocturne Alchemy- The High Priestess
Nocturne Alchemy- Incense Chai
Nocturne Alchemy- Sandalwood Chai
Nocturne Alchemy- Private Universe
Sixteen92- The Witching Hour
Sixteen92- Liber Officiorum Spirituum
Whisper Sisters- Banchouli
Wylde Ivy- Green Lady (EDP technically)

Favorite Wax Vendors of 2019:

This was a strange wax year. I left a ton of Facebook wax groups and pretty much only ordered from a handful of makers. By now I have my favorites and I pretty much stick to them. I am not into trying too many new vendors on my own druthers at this time. Plus I am still trying to melt rather than collect.

Bohemienne Life- Kyme at Bohemienne Life really pulled me in this year. I have always loved and appreciated her soaps and wax and body care but I just couldn't stop buying from her wax crack pre-orders this year. She makes it easy to order and the bags of wax are priced well for a nice amount. Her blends always reel me in though and the throw is consistently strong. I will be ordering from Kyme for a good long while.

Candles From The Keeping Room- Carol still will pull an order from me any chance I get. Her wax throws well, smells great and comes in a ton of scent options. The ordering process can be tricky if one isn't on Facebook often. Some of my very favorite wax scents are from CFTKR so I try to pop-in when I can to see what all is happening. 

Wax vendors I will still order from that aren't listed: Beezy, The Bathing Garden, Dessa's Homespun Scents and Vintage Chic Scents. And Glitterati if I get called up.

I will thank 2019 for all the amazing opportunities it gave me. A new home. Unexpected places to travel. The most delicious paper bowl of clam chowder. New friends. Old friends. Plants galore and a Bob Ross-style painting or two. Time spent cuddling with Toddles. Dates with my husband. Adventures with my girls.

2019 Bucket List Items Completed:
-Swam in a new spring~ Wekiva
-Visited new independent book store~ Inkwood, Ocoee Used Books, Idle Time Books, heck... a TON
- Painted some Toms~ started on my Hobbit Toms
- I.D. 7 Floridian wild plants
- Explore a new museum~ National Gallery of Art in D.C.
- Surprise someone with a plant
- Leave a book for a stranger to find ~ several times
- Purchase something off beat in an oddity store~ cypress knee lamp
- Overnight girlfriend trip
- Buy a fig tree~ Fiddle Leaf Fig and it is still alive WOOT!
- Go vegetarian twice a week

Bucket List Fails:
- Brew fire cider tonic (might still try)
- Learn to knit (shelving this for a few years)
- Bake cinnamon rolls with yeast (never gonna give you up)
- Take girls to Kennedy Space Center (next summer)
- Drink 1/2 my tea stash (made a small dent)
- Get an ear piercing (maybe next year)
- Visit a kava bar (maybe that trend passed?)
- Surprise day date with Adam (he gave me one- does that count?)

I hope 2020 takes us somewhere exciting.

How was your 2019? What were some of your favorites?

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Candles From The Keeping Room: Fall Order

Oh hey! Lookee here. Another seasonally late review. Thankfully, Carol is pretty great about being consistent with the scents she offers through the years unless they are discontinued. So hopefully you won't mind seeing my most recent (but months ago) Candles From The Keeping Room order.

Thankfully her wax is very forgiving and can sit for years and still be good as gold. I think I was picking up mostly some fall and a little Christmas with some old favorites tossed in. I tried to keep it tidy and not go as overboard as I usually do. Honestly, I am always thrilled with my CFTKR orders so let's dive into this one. 

These first two are constant repurchases as often as I can:

Amish Quilt is a classic creamy sweet cinnamon sugar scent that makes me feel comfy cozy. 

Apple Dumpling is one of my favorite apple cinnamon scents, but beware, it is only for the spice lovers out there. It is a fiery red hot cinnamon married to stewed apples with their peels on for extra depth. Mmmmmmm.

Apple Cider and Cookies is a new-to-me aroma. The cookies are the foundation with some apple chunks and caramel bits blended in. I don't get a strong cider or spice but more of a Cider Lane type of suggestion with the cookies. It is one I look forward to trying out soon.

Rosy Strawberry is a blend of Carol's Fresh Picked Strawberry and Rose Jam that I requested a year or so back. I love this blend so much and have not had it in ages. It is sweet and jammy and bursting with berries and sugar and rose petals. 

Strawberry Pine is one I have not had yet, but I love Strawberry Sugared Spruce so I figured I would like this too. The pine is more camphorous than the spruce and there is a touch less sweetness to it and I think I like it all the more for it. My mom and I were cooing over it on Christmas day. 

Cranberry Balsam is an oldie but goodie, however, I have not had it in way too long. I am happy to have this for next Christmas. This year I melted Balsam and Citrus but I think I will melt this one next year on Christmas Day. Cranberry Balsam is a sweet fruity cranberry with plummy tones that marries easily to aromatic evergreens that only lend a breath of the outdoors without overpowering the fragrance.

Patchouli Oud Wood is a first for me and I am excited about it. It is a musky and perfumed version of patchouli and oud. There is a touch of earthiness alongside the woods. It is a lovely fresh blend that will be elegant in the home.

Bogeyman was the reason I placed this order. I tried it many years ago and then it was discontinued. I forget if Carol found more oil stashed away somewhere or if it was reformulated and brought back. Either way I saw it and leapt. It is a lovely and mild fall scent with sweet and serene spice and well blended fruits.

Country Home is robust with citrus. Oranges and cloves, similar to pomanders strung along cabin windows. This is my first time with this scent and I cannot wait to melt one.

Smoked Vanilla is a favorite of mine. It is a sweetly smoked sugared vanilla. The smoke flickers in the distance from a dying backyard bonfire. It is smooth and warm. 

Oud D Pumpkin is one I had not tried yet. I have had Carol's other pumpkin oud but this one is slightly different, more caramel laden. It is pumpkin woods and caramel. I am going to love it.

Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte is incredibly delicious. I don't think I have tried this one either. The latte is exactly that. No bitterness, no puppy toes. Just milky, creamy coffee with loads of sugar, a pump of vanilla and a pump of caramel and topped with toasted sugar foam. 

Free samples, because Carol is abundantly generous:

Lingonberry Wreath is tart and juicy, like a cross between rhubarb and currants with a side of cranberries with lemon zest. Lovely and bright.

Pumpkin Peanut Brittle is strong! Salted and toasty caramel and pumpkin greet the senses. Not overly sweet but certainly intense with flavor.

Pumpkin Chamomile is a surprisingly lovely combination. The pumpkin does have a slight bakery thickness combined with perfumed chamomile that is velvety and plush.

Autumn in the Park brims with honeyed apples and a breath of fall air. I simply love this one.

Mandarin Plum is a juicy candied plum with a grape vibes and brightness from the oranges. Lovely.

Spiced Orange smells just like its namesake. A sugar coated pomander.

Candy Corn Birthday Cake is a creamy vanilla cake. Simple but wonderful. 

Corn Husk is a new favorite. It is mildly sweet with a breath of fresh corn and dried silks and hay-like vanilla. Difficult to explain but very comforting.

Pomegranate Apple is also brilliant. It has the aroma of fruit wine, like a sangria. 

I am over the moon to have these staples and some new ones too. I will be melting happily for a little while now. I did pick up some more Bohemienne Life but hey. I promise I am slowing down on the wax. :-)

What wax purchases have you made lately? What vendors are you loving?

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid: 2020 Reading Challenge

Thank you for joining The Scented Library and The Redolent Mermaid for our third reading challenge! Jay and I enjoy reading and even better, reading with friends. Below are the prompts Jay and I created as a guide to reading outside the box. Feel free to join us in challenging ourselves to read them all or simply join us for one or two!

1. Quickie- 200 pages or less.
2. On the briny- a saltwater reading experience.
3. Ready set read- Finish a series, or start a new one.
4. Memory lane- a book you missed out on from childhood.
5. Name dropper- get proper with a titular character [named after the book's subject].
6. Magical realism
7. Make it the year of the lycan-read a wolfish book.
8. Eye candy cover
9. A tear jerker- I'm not crying, you're crying!
10. Get lost in time- book set in the future or past, or both.
11. A book you'd turn to when feeling blue.
12.  Cover Text Intertwined With Images: big 2019 novel trend.
13. Stay Golden with gilded pages or shimmering cover accents.
14. Do you have a nightlight? Read something spooky if you do.
15. Borrowed book- library, lil’ free library, or friend, don't forget to return it!
16. Seek the throne-heraldry or castle on the cover.
17. New-to-you author
18. A centenarian book, one that is 100 years or older. 
19. Our pets are the best of us. Read a story with a dear dog or cherished cat companion.
20. Colorless- a stark cover with only black/white/gray.
21. Forest Bathing- trees on the cover, in the title or as subject matter.
22. Generation Z- A teen or young adult author.
23. Book based on a real event- true story based fiction, or non-fiction. 
24. Reading rebel- a controversial book, or featuring a literary rebel.
25. Illuminated Illustrations: a book with photographs or art within.
26. 20/20 Vision. A book that helped you to see something clearer. 
27. Gold Star. You get one just for reading a book. Your choice.
28. The White Whale- book on your tbr forever, a weighty book, or one you couldn't bring yourself to read before [or that you think will be the end of you].
29. Home is where the heart is. A house on the cover. 
30. Old Fashioned: A book with a table of contents.

If you join us for even one prompt please share your book and rating, mini-review, or simply a “what I am currently reading photo” on social media by adding the tag #bookishjayandthereadingmermaid. We hope that 2020 brings us all health, happiness, great opportunities and wonderful stories to read.

What are you most looking forward to reading? I am finally going to dive into The Name of the Wind series, I have been holding on to it for years now.