Friday, July 2, 2021

Ebb & Flow: June 2021

 The highs and lows of the month.


Ha! Creepy and weird, right? It was a scene from the haunted museum I went to in Cassadaga that I mentioned last month. The wall of babies. Yikes. Yet, almost artful. 

Perfume:

Solstice Scents Flintlock (lots of compliments on it- I described it as a sexy cowboy).

Perfume Oil:

Arcana Wildcraft Aged Patchouli, day and night.

Skincare:

A small squeeze of Blood Moon Botanica Moon Dew with one drop of Forest and Fjord serum

Soap:

Painbox Soapworks The Wooden God

Scrub:

Painbox Soapworks The Man in the Moon

Body Oil:

Aftelier Spiced Patchouli

Lip Balm:

Lypsyt

Candle:

Bath & Body Works Twisted Peppermint and Vanilla Birch

Wax Tart:

Candles From The Keeping Room Celtic Moonspice

Incense:

Sea Witch Botanicals White Lodge

Eating:

Gyoza

Drinking:

Boba

Watching:

KDrama and anime: A Love So Beautiful, Violet Evergarden (so beautifully done!!! I cried during several episodes- Netflix), My Hero Academia (first half of season 5), Attack on Titan, Monthly Girls Nozaki, and currently into season 2 of Fruits Basket. I watch these with Scarlette. It has been something for us to bond over. I also watched The Virgin Suicides and Cruella.

Listening:

Pink Floyd, Jimmy Buffett, Led Zeppelin

Reading:

Dune by Frank Herbert, also finished a ton of others books recently but hardly any were on the reading challenge prompt. 

Awaiting:

I placed a small order at Choosing Keeping in the UK for some nice pencils and fine liners and erasers. Looking forward to that arriving. I even went for the gift wrap even though it is only for myself. 

Dreading:

No dread. Just need to get outside more and finally enjoy the summer now that work is done.

Hit:

My used furniture from a local consignment shop. I picked up a sofa and two reading chairs. On my next paycheck I will grab a rug and some pillows and I think we will be set! The new (used) couch is even already Toddles approved.

Miss:

I am getting down to the last dregs of my very favorite natural deodorant from Wild Roots Body Care. I have been watching for a restock but there have not been many updates from the owner. I am hoping things are fine on her end. Should I email and ask or just figure she is on a hiatus?

Low:

Being sick for a couple weeks at the start of the month. Low iron. Tiredness. Moodiness. Some blues.

High:

Spending time with Adam's family in Ohio. Getting some new (used) furniture for the living room finally. Snagging some good books. Chickens. Flowers. Sunshine. Rain. And lots and lots of boba.

How was your June? Any fun plans for July?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Candles From the Keeping Room: Late Spring 2021



I forgot the month of Carol's last release at Candles From The Keeping Room but I want to say it was May? I stocked up well since I have been keeping my wax spending rather tame this year. And since Kyme at Bohemienne Life has retired from wax making, Carol is pretty much my go-to home fragrance supplier for wax tarts. Each bag is $6.75 for about 5-6 ounces of wax. This paraffin blend throws really well and stores for a very long time. I used to be slightly concerned about paraffin but further research into it has me no longer concerned at all. 

Caramel Apple Pie- This is a robust bakery scent. The crust is salty and buttery and thick. The apples are mildly sweet and softly spiced. This is the first time I have tried this one. I worry it might be a touch too bready and salty but things change once melted and it might surprise me. 

Cinnamon Cider- This is one have had before and enjoy. It is a nice fruity apple with mellow spice and lots of sweetness. It is almost like there are other fruits like citrus within as well. It certainly is not just a run of the mill apple cinnamon.

Apple Bear Claw- This was a fast favorite of mine. A sugary apple filled vanilla pastry with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It is sweet but not too sweet. It throws strong and makes the home feel cozy. 

German Cinnamon Strudel- This one is newer I believe. This is my first time buying it. This is first and foremost a crumbly vanilla cake with ribbons of cinnamon filling weaving through it and sugar snowed on top. It is another rich bakery for sure. 


Caramel Sticky Buns- I don't think I have tried this one yet either. It has a toasted sugar and sticky toffee gooeyness to it. It is a lovely honey bun aroma.

Powdered Donuts- I was surprised by how much I loved this the last time I picked it up. It is hyper sweet with that powdered sugar and possesses just a touch of vanilla within the cakey donut. It has a wonderfully strong throw too. It tends to smell more balanced while melting rather than from just the cold sniff.

Grannies Vanilla Bean- This is a first for me, getting this scent. You know it had me at "vanilla bean." This is not a bakery scent at all. But it does have some candied caramel and butterscotch hints to it. The vanilla is creamy and candied as well. It will make for a very nice melt. 

Pumpkin Vanilla Cream- I had to try this one too, even though it is not anywhere near fall right now. You know I always keep my eyes peeled for good fall and autumn scents to bring home. They are my weakness. This scent reminds me a little of Pumpkin Crunch, or those pumpkin roll ups that are filled with vanilla cream cheese frosting. It is cake-like and dense with pumpkin but also creamy vanilla.


Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow- This scent I will melt all year long. It is lighter and fluffier than the Pumpkin Vanilla Cream scent. It almost has a coconut cream lean to it. I love it. 

Very Vanilla- A forever love. This is an epic vanilla that throws strong and combines the clarity of vanilla extract with the coolness of whipped cream. 

Warm Vanilla Sugar- I like this Bath & Body Works classic. I recently picked it up in a three wick candle during the last sale. It will be nice to burn the candle and have these tarts going at the same time. I love this musky vanilla beauty.


Boardwalk Marshmallow Clouds- I really like this one on cold sniff. That marshmallow musk with airy sandalwood and creamy magnolia is truly special. I don't think I have had the Bath & Body Works version but it must be nice. I hope this one throws well. 

Marshmallow Musk- This was a sample in the order previous to this one. I loved it. The sweet white musk and pillowy marshmallow that almost leans like vanilla candy floss is ethereal and wonderful. It doesn't throw mega strong, but it still creates a wonderful atmosphere. 

Campfire Marshmallow- I love my marshmallow scents, especially with added smoky notes. I got both this one and Marshmallow Fireside. This one is more like burnt sugar, the crispy, crunchy top of a torched creme brûlée, with a hint of wood and soft woodsmoke. It is candied and lovely!

Marshmallow Fireside- This one is more smoky and sticky and with that marshmallow musk that I love. Both are gorgeous scents and I am happy to have them. Both throw well too!


Vanilla Bean Noel- Strangely I don't think I have ever had Carol's Vanilla Bean Noel. I am thrilled to have this. It smells strong and rich, just like I would want my vanilla scents to be. 

Lush Vanillary- This was a favorite from my samples last time. I adore this scent. I used to wear it in a solid perfume format. I love how the vanilla houses tonka with a boozy backnote. Mmmmmm.

Vanilla Frosting- Another new to me scent. A great buttercream vanilla frosting. This does have some bakery notes in it on cold, so not a straight up frosting at the moment. Hoping this one throws well, but I don't see why it wouldn't. So much potential!


Nights of Autumn- This is one I always love to have on hand. It is a stunning scent. Dried apples, cedar, woods, a touch of earth and the perfume of dried fall leaves. It does have a wonderful floral musk to it that really elevates it.

Woodland Berries- This is a vibrant and bright scent! Juicy berries and a touch of woods. It kind of brings to mind a more complex and fruity version of Sugared Strawberry Spruce. It would actually be a perfect summertime fragrance.

Autumn Woods- This lovely scent blends leaves, pine and berries. It has a similar profile as Nights of Autumn, but less of the perfumed floral musk. They are both wonderful scents.


Fireside Type- This is a lovely scent. It is a soft and airy woodsmoke fragrance. Warm and burnished. It isn't sweet or acrid in any way. 

Country Gift Shop- I adore this one. It is Kirklands in a bag. Super strong throwing apples, fruits and cinnamon. Classic potpourri.

Warm Welcome- I always forget that this one has cherry-almond in it. But it is a spiced fruit aroma too, but with a cherry lean.


Christmas Past- Yes, I even picked up a couple Christmas scents. Christmas Past is a rich evergreen and cinnamon that is sure to bring some happiness during the holidays.

Balsam and Citrus- This is a holiday staple in my home. A strong throw, vibrant oranges and grapefruits, and the ubiquitous sugared evergreen scent of spruce and balsam. It really is perfection.


Fresh Picked Strawberry- If I am able to snag a bag of Fresh Picked Strawberry I am always happy to. I love this ripe and juicy strawberry. It throws strong and smells like a dream.

Serendipity Marshmallow Delight- This is an oldie but goody that I think Jacqui from the Scholarly Nail introduced me to. I don't really remember. It was several years ago. I do love it though. It takes the creamy vanilla sweetness of cherry and coconut serendipity to a whole 'nother level. 


Free Samples!
I gifted many away already but these were some of my favorites of the bunch.

Summer Boardwalking is taffy and popcorn. Just like the Bath & Body Works dupe. Nicely done!

Pink Fresh and Clean is divine. It has cheerful apple freshness with flowers and sweet musk. I love it.

Tropical White Musk is a gauzy fragrance redolent of mango and tropical drinks. It is lush and lovely.

Watermelon is one that is like a creamy watermelon taffy. Chewy and sticky.

Boardwalk Strawberry is very pretty. There is a squishy marshmallow musk that lifts the strawberry perfectly.


White Apple Oakwood is one I have not tried before and I quite like it. The apple is mild but pleasant. It reminds me of Winter Candy Apple but made for fall.

Berry Chamomile is smooth and almost has a vanilla creaminess to it. Like if you brewed a warm cup of chamomile tea and added a dash of cream. 

Blood Orange is incredibly intense and concentrated. A melange of tangerines, mandarin, clementine and of course, blood oranges. Citrus magnified.

Pink Sands is a classic fresh yet sweet scent that reminds me of lollipops on the beach. Or applying fruity lip gloss on a boardwalk.

Nectarine Blossom and Honey is light and lacy. A gentle blend of apricot and nectar.


Gingered Peach smells just like its namesake. Syrupy peaches and candied ginger.

Pear Brown Sugar Pound Cake is a nicely dense cake with slight caramel tones and a flowery pear accent.

Blackberry Cobbler Ala Mode is heavy on the melty vanilla ice cream and doughy cobbler with just a hint of dark blackberries. It really is marvelous.

Pumpkin Pecan Praline Pound Cake is super rich. I *almost* get a zucchini bread aspect to it. 

Gooseberry Birthday Cake is a fruity delight. Almost like lemons and grapes with a vanilla icing on top.

Spiced Honey and Tonka is molded into this fabulous honeycomb hexagon. This scent is powdery and gorgeous. The honey is velvety and warm. The tonka is like purring vanilla.  


Autumn Magic pulses with sugared brittle leaves.

Brazilian Strawberry Bums blends the joy of Fresh Picked Strawberry with the lushness of Brazilian Bum Bum wonderfully.

Sugar Cookie Dough is a dense bready cookie dough. 

Mr. Bear at the Fair smells like sugar cookies to me, or maybe funnel cakes.

King Cake is probably one of my favorites in this bunch. The cinnamon glaze is exceptional and the cake is just like a honey bun. Delicious.

Pumpkin Pecan Spice Cake is similar to the Pumpkin Pecan Praline Pound Cake but maybe a touch more spice. Both are very hearty blends.


Apple Jack and Peel is an intensely strong spiced apple with a focus on aged wooden cinnamon notes and very little sugar. I love it. Very rustic.

Celtic Moonspice is a long-time treasure. A perfect sugar and spice.

Apple Harvest Festival is a softer and sweeter version of Leaves I think. Sugared apples and gentle nectar.

Rustic Lodge is another wonderful fall apple scent. No spice, warm apples and maybe a touch of vanilla caramel within the juiciness.

Pilgrims Pie brims with woods and cinnamon and chewy dense toffee caramel. There is a bite to this one. 

I think Carol is opening up again in a couple weekends. She said it would be a huge restock with a ton of scents. I am already excited about it!




Thursday, June 17, 2021

Summer List 2021

 


My friend Giffe' and I visited Cassadaga, which is touted as the psychic capital of the world, and though we did not go and get our fortunes told we did have a rather nice time. This photo was taken on the fairy trail and I rather got a childish kick out of someone being so very generous with their herbs. 

Normally by now I have created a summer time bucket list of things I wanted to do or places to go with the girls. I am woefully behind. I just wrapped up my most current ESOL course, I am at work doing pre-planning all this week, and I caught a summer cold that lasted two weeks. So my summer is starting very slow. But here are some things I would like to do over the next month and a half:

- Kelly/Rock Springs swimming and tubing

- Bioluminescent kayaking in Titusville

- Hike a new state park or trail

- Finish two quilts

- Boba at three new places

- Weekend at the beach

- Biking as a family

- Read as much as possible

- Visit a used book store in Cleveland

- Make lots of iced herbal tea

- Swim two to three times a week


Any summer plans for you? We are headed to Cleveland to visit Adam's side of the family for a week. Other than that we will be hanging around central Florida, with the exception of a beach weekend which I hope I can make happen. I plan on lots of reading, gardening, hiking, sewing. I am proud that I did get one quilt done for Eloise. And I am almost done piecing the top to my sister Lindsey's quilt. 

Monday, May 31, 2021

Ebb and Flow: May 2021

 The highs and lows of the month.


Perfume:

Wylde Ivy Green Lady

Perfume Oil:

Verdant Faerie Fancy French Lavender (I use this as an evening deodorant sometimes too!)

Face Mist:

House of Yore/Forest & Fjord Spruce hydrosol

Deodorant:

Wildroots Body Care (herbal and sensitive, I alternate them).

Scrub:

Paintbox Soapworks Crickhollow Cottage

Soap:

Black Magic 50 Shades of Chaga

Candle:

Bath & Body Works Comfort (patchouli and vanilla)

Wax:

Candles From The Keeping Room Apple Clove Butter

Eating:

bacon wrapped asparagus

Drinking:

Vivi Boba Specialty tea with strawberry popping boba

Watching:

Lots of anime with Scarlette: Maid, Sama! and Violet Evergarden currently.

Reading:

Witches of Eastwick by John Updike and a book about tarot by Leanna Greenway.

Listening:

John Prine and John Denver on vinyl

Awaiting:

Summer is here! No more teaching, but I do still have some classes for ESOL left to finish. Hoping to get those out of the way quickly. Scarlette invited all her 6th grade friends over for a pool party this coming weekend so I am looking forward to seeing my students one more time. 

Dreading:

Mosquitoes, droughts, not taking advantage of summer freedoms.

Hit:

Nocturne Alchemy Height of Love perfume and Sandalwood Bourbon perfume

Miss:

CBe Ceramics mushroom paint brush. It arrived broken in half. I didn't feel like shipping it back so I just taped it for now. 

Low:

Colds/sore throat coming back for every period again. I went through this cycle a year or so ago but with ear infections. Hoping this won't be long-term. Ready for menopause already. 

High:

Visiting Cassadega with my friend Giffe, giving the sixth graders a big send off to middle school, watching my youngest be admired by a really sweet boy, seeing my oldest get excited about high school, seeing my flowers bloom, reading in the hammock swing.

How was your May? Did is bring any blooms? Happy things? New experiences? Hope?

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sihaya & Company: Spring Dream Box

This was sent for free in exchange for photography. All opinions are my own.


This stunning springtime Dream Box from Sihaya & Company is named Musa Venit Carmine- The Goddess Inspires Our Song. It is packed with dulcet florals that provide a gentle awakening of the senses ($65).


Dryad Tea is a familiar and loved maker in the box. Black Cats and Pointy Hats is one of my favorite fall teas. This time the offering is Ambrosia Skies, a green tea with grapefruit, pomegranate, and blueberry. My girls will love this iced with honey. $7

Leccare Lollipops are another delicious addition that I have seen before in past boxes and always enjoy. White Peach Rose, Marigold Lemon, and Marshmallow Hibiscus are lovely fruity floral pairings that tickle the taste buds. This shop offers custom labels for special occasions too. $4


Deconstructing Eden perfume in Musa Venit Carmine- Notes: Gently warming earth, pale green grasses, peonies, apple blossoms, green strawberries, green pomegranates, daffodils, cool air, and soft sunlight. $9.75 for 5ml

Right out of the spray nozzle, damp soil pairs with citrusy tart fruits. It smells like walking through a cottage garden where riotous rainbows of petals and fruits reach out to be sniffed and plucked. The ground is a mosaic of sunlight and shadow. Crystalline streams trickle through willows, where chilled stones gather necklaces of moss and lichen alongside their meandering path. This is a lovely scent and I am so happy it came in a spray format. I will love smelling this on my hair and clothing.


At first I thought this was a Sihaya & Company lip color (those are so nice!!), but upon closer inspection I see that it is from Crow & Pebble which I love too. This pink lip color is scented in Earl Grey tea. $7


Paintbox Soapworks had two amazing products in this box. The Flutterbutter face cleanser is incredible. I have been using it for a couple weeks now and it gently removes makeup, dirt and grime. I don't wear much makeup right now but do still put on eyeshadow and such. Also my husband gives me grief that when I am outside gardening, somehow my face always ends up dirty. But this stuff takes care of it. The consistancy is thick but smooth and melts gently into the skin. It smells of lemony bright frankincense, like sniffing a summertime sunbeam. I will be buying this again. $6

Poesy is a complexion and linen mist that has rose, lavender, and rose geranium hydrosols. I love it as a face mist so much. It is cooling and reviving. $6

My love of Paintbox Soapworks was rekindled and I picked up a TON of scrubs to replenish my stock. I will blog them sooooon.


LuvMilk is an indie bath and body company I have tried several times and love every single time. I seriously need to get my junk together and place an order soon, maybe when I finally get my bathtub. In the meantime, this soap is already almost used up in my shower. I have been loving it!! Floralia melds sweet magnolia, peonies, acai flowers, fresh arugula, and basil. It smells like a rich garden. $6.50


One of my favorites! The seasonal Sihaya & Company candle in Ostara.

Ostara- Notes: Fig, blackcurrant, berry, and rhubarb with hints of white jasmine and curling green ferns. 

This is a cheerful and juicy tart fruit and floral that is springy and ripe. The blackcurrant is sour and sweet right along with the rhubarb. The jasmine and greenery are lush and dewy. This candle throws well and burns perfectly. I always enjoy Sihaya's candles. They are expertly crafted.

 It took me way too long to get this up but here it is. There is another wonderful Sihaya and Company Dream Box in the works for summer (moon themed I believe?) so keep an eye out!

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.