Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scent Illusion Wax Melts

Usually I remember what prompts me to order from a vendor, a blog spotlight, a friend's recommendation, a sale or news of a restock, or my own little treasure find while trolling Etsy. I cannot for the life of me, remember what set me to ordering from Scent Illusion. When the box came though, I was happy that I did!

Left to Right: Wax Brittle in Pumpkin Pecan Waffles/Sugar Cookie Bread rich, buttery and sweet, just how I like my PPW, the added sugar cookie gives a nice vanilla crunch
 Clamshell in Sea Island Grapefruit sweet Ruby Red grapefruit, juicy and bright, not as tart or bitter as grapefruit can sometimes be

These two are my favorite out of the whole order so far on cold. Both are really well done and lovely!

Left to Right: Twin Scallop packs in Vermont Apple Pie mostly cinnamon with a strange plastic note, not much apple or flaky pie crust
 Scallops in Blackberry Mornings pure blackberry preserves, not even a smidge of floral, very nice
 Chunky muffin in Candy Cane/Pink Sugar I ordered this thinking it would be a pink peppermint type of scent, but my nose picks out strawberry the most. I am not the biggest strawberry and mint fan but it is strong and looks cute.

Free Samples in Coconut Raspberry Danish mmmmmzz, coconut, BAM! hint of raspberry sauce and flaky bakery goodness
Spiritual Awakening smells like clean clothes, a nice floral, I imagined hydrangea and lilacs but it turns out to be ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, carnation, violet and woods. Now that I know, I would say carnation is the strongest note.
Banana Marshmallow Cake a sweet, mellow gooey marshmallow and white cake with just the barest int of banana. The banana in here smells like the yummy banana milk shakes I used to get at Checkers with my Dad.
Pumpkin Pecan Waffles now that I can smell it beside the brittle blended with sugar cookie I can sense the difference, here it is less vanillic and has just a touch of dry, nutty sharpness.

Normally, I like to pop a few in the melter to see how they throw and what not, but I just have not had the chance to yet. I will do that this weekend and make a quick review of it. They do all seem really nice on cold sniff which is a good start. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking Cove: Traditional Lasagna

Lasagna... I love a good lasagna. It is one of those rare foods that tastes even better the next day as a leftover. And leftovers generally do NOT get eaten around here. Excepting pizza, lasagna and Outback's Alice Springs Chicken. I have been using this lasagna recipe since college. It gets use at least once a year around Christmas time. I recently broke it out when the boss and his family came over to dinner. Boss man got second helpings so I think it went over decently. There are three things I require for a traditional lasagna recipe: cottage cheese, provolone and some pork sausage.

1 pound ground beef
1 pound pork sausage- I like to use our local grocery store's in house fresh Italian blend
3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce- Contadina is a great brand
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
24 oz cottage cheese- I like my curds large
8 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, shaved- I use the good stuff, usually a nice wedge from the deli
9 lasagna noodles, cooked- I like to add salt and olive oil to the boiling water so the noodles are easier to handle and taste better
6-10 slices of provolone cheese
3 cups of mozzarella, divided- or more if you like extra cheese

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Brown the beef and sausage, drain. Add the next seven items and simmer on low/medium low heat for one hour.
- In a medium bowl, combine eggs, parsley, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and parmesan.
- Spread 1 cup of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
- Here are the layers:
  • 3 noodles side by side
  • provolone cheese slices slightly over lapping
  • 2 cups cottage cheese mixture
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 3 noodles
  • 2 cups of meat sauce
  • remaining cottage cheese mixture
  • 1 cup of mozzarella
  • 3-4 more noodles, my pan flares out at the top so I can usually squeeze another noodle in
  • remaining meat sauce
Cover with foil and bake 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let this stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

 I like to cook this early in the morning, refrigerate, then reheat in the oven just before serving. It allows the ingredients to meld nicely and when you cut into it the layers won't slip and slide everywhere on the plate. You get that nice cube of lasagna. Lasagna freezes well and can feed an army. Or just Garfield. Or my small family for two days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Missouri River Soap: Rainbow

Missouri River Soap... oh my heart. Look at those colors. Holly, the owner and soap maker at Missouri River Soap, must find the ends of rainbows and instead of taking the gold, shaves bits of the bottom off to make soap.

This sample soap chunk was a gift from Jean. Thank you Jean!

Rainbow is a pear scent that is juicy and sweet. Pear and I do not get along well in wax but in soap I do not mind it. Skittles or rainbow sherbet scents would have been fun but maybe a bit too expected? Jean told me this soap felt like dolphin skin to her and I would have to agree. Rubbing it between my hands, it felt solid and smooth with the barest hint of velvet. The lather built quickly and slid like silk in its mission to get me clean. It rinsed off, leaving no residue behind. 

Missouri River Soaps also dabbles in the most beautiful wax creations on occasion. My sample is quickly disappearing but I placed an order yesterday. Her website was restocked then and a few tarts and a camo soap decided to come home to me. She will be releasing and restocking new soaps and wax on August 10th and August 24th tentatively, as well.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Melting Basket 8

Basket 7 drug out longer than usual thanks to taking a few breaks to burn some older Bath & Body Works candles I had on hand. Winter and Cranberry Pear Bellini finally reached the end of their wicks after over a year in storage. Wax tarts I would repurchase from the last basket include: UTC- American Cream, SMT- Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake, RG- Wonders of the World this one was fantastic! Strong sweet caramel goodness that had serious depth.... this wasn't Kraft caramel cubes, more on par with something Paula Deen would whip up. It had lasting power too. It started at 8am and I finally called it quits at 8pm, though it could have lasted longer. RG- Earth Angel

Bubble & Geek- Mr. & Mrs. Pond
Beezy- Blonde Moment
Beezy- Lavender Coconut Milk
Streetman- Honeysuckle Jasmine a favorite that I was able to score more of in a destash <3
Streetman- Surfer Girl
Streetman- Bee in Your Bonnet
Up the Creek Scents- Coffee Ice Cream
Up the Creek Scents- Zucchini Cookie Bakery
Rosegirls- Macintosh Madness Rosegirls' Garden
Rosegirls- Berry Crumble
Rosegirls- Fairy Woods
Sniff My Tarts- Zucchini Bread/Blueberry Cobbler/Pink Sticky Marshmallow
Enchanted Candle Co- Fields of Summer

Wax orders I have pending include: Sniff My Tarts, Rosegirls, iheartwax, Make Scents, Super Tarts, Frostbeard and Missouri River Soap, oh and now Book Scents. This time around Sniff My Tarts is going to be taking longer than the last opening to push orders out, is my hunch. I was almost last to order in November and received my order in April (5 month TAT). This time I am close to last again and it has already been four months but with slower processing of orders. Long TATs do not bother me but I am excited and ready to see more movement on current orders being processed. My orders have been small but frequent but I am melting faster than I can replenish at the moment. I am ready for my big orders to fill up my wax drawers! Thankfully, iheartwax, Frostbeard and Missouri River wax should be coming in soon. Do you have an exciting pending orders?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Enchanted Candle Company

The lovely Michelle over at Waxing About blogged about a scent at The Enchanted Candle Company called The Sultan's Moroccan Massage Oil and I could not get that sucker outta my head. So I looked for it. And found it. A few others too.

Scent Shots in:
Mrs. Incredible- leather and vanilla, more leathery than Scentsy's Vanilla Suede. Very nice.
Spoon Full of Sugar- tiny marshmallows coated in vanilla sugar crystals, sweet indeed. I melted this scent shot and it threw strongly. The scent is sugar sweet as the name implies, almost a warm vanilla sugar. I liked it.
Darth- Darth smells like a sexy Autumn deity. Cinnamon sticks, candy and woods.
Rose Jam- Excellent Lush dupe. Sticky preserves in a Mason jar packed with beautiful pink and red rose petals. Indulgent.
Free Sample in Fields of Summer- I don't know if the sunflower on the front is suggestive or if this really does smell like sunflowers. It seems like it to me. It *almost* reminds me of Sunflowers perfume I used to sport in middle school. Lovely scent.

This aqua beauty is The Sultan's Moroccan Massage Oil. It is a lavender mint with a deeper, slightly masculine twist. Maybe there is eucalyptus in this? It works. I love it and hope she restocks this again in the future. Otherwise I can foresee some hoarding in my future.

Liberty Tree- A country gift store. A bit of spice, a touch of fruit, maybe some woodsy pine. It also smells like it has a water note. I know this sounds really strange but I feel compelled to describe it like that. It is pleasant and I look forward to melting this.

Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe- Mmmmmmm! Yep, this is Christmas. Cinnamon, evergreen, spices and maybe a touch of citrus. It reminds me of The Bathing Garden's Christmas Splendor. Cheerful and cozy holiday scent.

I am happy with my Enchanted Candle Company order and anticipate her next opening in October. Crossing my fingers for more Sultan's Moroccan Massage Oil and Darth. I hope everyone is having a pleasant Sunday. The last Sunday of July already.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel... and a book

 I was in my local grocery store doing the weekly shopping and turned into the personal care aisle. My eyes zoomed right to this uniquely shaped nail polish bottle and as they focused I saw "parfumerie." My aromatic sensing antenna were quivering. Sure enough, Revlon has scented nail polish in cool bottles and really nice colors. The color name is also the corresponding scent. There were a few I wanted, but at $5.99 a bottle I picked up only one (for now) in Italian Leather. The bulbous handle was enjoyable to hold and paint with. The color is a deep muddy brown with grey and slight khaki tones. The mushroom color is set off by the most delicate beautiful golden shimmer. It took two coats. The dry time was a little longer than I liked but then in all fairness, I was in a hurry that day too. The scent comes out more when the polish is dry on the nail. Italian Leather is a light version of Scenty's Vanilla Suede. I rather liked it and found my nails drifting toward my face to inhale often. The effect only lasted about an hour. I have my eye on the apricot one next.

My dear friend Tricia, who blogs book reviews with a team of ladies HERE loaned me the coolest book ever. She got me hooked on the author, Maggie Stiefvater through the Raven Boys Cycle (book 3 comes out in October! >geeky fist pump<). After I read those I moved onto Shiver, book one of the Wolves of Mercy Falls, by the same author. Sinner is the 4th and last book in this series. Tricia gets her books from an independent bookstore in Virginia, I believe, because they send out autographed copies. This latest release also came with an extra book cover bearing the author's own artwork (she also sings and play music as well, a regular Renaissance lady). These books are full of Young Adult fun. I am quite happy with how this series wrapped up and love Cole and Isabel's story. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is what I am reading now. How about you? Any good books on your radar or in your life right now?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Villainess Soaps

These are the Villainess sample slivers I purchased in my last Soap Box Company order a little while back.

Kill Switch: "Dark, resinous amber, black plum and black musk,with a little spike of cherry cognac, and a drop of salty sweat."
The notes in Kill Switch combine to create a beautiful skin scent. Very subtle, sexy musk. I can see using Kill Switch as an every day soap. It would provide an excellent foundation to which ever perfume of the day gets worn. When friction is applied it becomes silky smooth and creates a pearly slick lather. 

First Frost: "The last blooms of summer, sweet gardenia and vanilla, arrested by an icy touch of eucalyptus and peppermint."
The gardenia is soft and sweet drenched in vanilla, there is an herbal note provided by the greenery of eucalyptus and mint. It is a delicate and lovely scent. Redolent of its name. The texture smooths out after use and creates a soft lather.

Hoarfrost: "Summer's late berry harvest- raspberries, blueberries, currants, and strawberries- bittersweet with vanilla and arrested by an icy touch of eucalyptus and peppermint."
I really enjoyed this sliver of Hoarfrost and would repurchase it again. It is a great year round scent of bursting berries, over ripe and not artificial. The peppermint hides from my nose but not my skin. I could feel the slight tell tale tingle on my skin after washing that I enjoy from a peppermint soap or scrub. The lather is good, the texture is smooth with a nice slip.

I will definitely be repurchasing Villainess products in the future. The scents, quality and packaging are unique and appealing.

Perks of Being A Wallflower was finished up yesterday. Quick read, not sure how I feel about it yet, but I would like to see the film adaptation. Moving on to Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bubble & Geek

Bubble & Geek is an Etsy vendor I have stalked for quite a bit now. My fandoms are many and very much loved. I get a kick out of anything related to my fandoms: shirts, make up, coffee mugs, and jewelry. Combine fandoms and wax and I am in. For my first ever Bubble & Geek order I chose five scents (L to R): Mr. & Mrs. Pond Doctor Who, Your Father Smelt of Elderberries Monty Python & the Holy Grail, Yule Ball Harry Potter, Mermaid well yeah, and King in the North Game of Thrones. The clamshells are $4.50 each plus $2.50 shipping for the first and an additional $0.75 per each additional clamshell.

When my package arrived I was as giddy as a Whovian on August 23rd. It came in a bubble mailer, wrapped in eco-friendly bubble wrap and cardboard boning. The tarts inside were wrapped in aqua tissue paper with a stylish Bubble & Geek sticker fastener. I was so excited I did not photograph the wrappings. Oops. Once I started pulling the clamshells out I became concerned. I noticed a chalky white film on the wax. As I went to "pop" the tart out to smell it, the cubes crumbled and refused to come out as one piece. I tried not to despair and quickly melted my Elderberry clamshell. *Let me explain why I was concerned. In the past I have had about 3-4 clamshells/tarts that were chalky and crumbly. They all were from various local craft fair vendors. When melted they emitted no scent. There were no exceptions.* Thankfully, I did get some throw from these.

 Mr. & Mrs. Pond-  A fresh blend of driftwood, ginger, white tea, bergamot, lemon and lavender.
All the notes above create an overall refreshing and uplifting scent. Great for guests or cleaning days or just to watch endless reruns of Doctor Who. Rory and Amy must be one great smelling couple. <3

Your Father Smelt of Elderberries- A delicious sweet berry scent, reminiscent of mulberries.
I put this one in first since it had the most oomph on cold. The throw was medium for 3-4 hours. It is a mulberry but there was a touch of a medicinal syrup that kept me from loving it. I am just wiping the sweat off my forehead in relief that it was fragrant. Even if you do farrrt in my general direction. >claps coconut shells together and gallops off to the next tart<

Yule Ball- This fragrance is of a festive evergreen wreath made of shimmering pine and crisp greens, accented with hints of cedar, citrus and spices (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg).
The Yule Ball is foremost- a dance, and this wax is foremost Christmas in a clamshell. This scent is more sweet and round (the oranges?) than camphorous and sharp. Hefty dose of cinnamon. I love scents like these. It has to be saved until after Thanksgiving. Preferably during the Christmas Harry Potter marathon on ABC. I cannot help it. >Awww... look at Neville grin in the background, he is too cute<

Mermaid- A beachy blend of sea mineral springs with nuances of water moss and lotus blossom.
Lovely seafaring scent. Aquatic floral with definite mineral qualities. Reminds me of the old Aquatanica line Bath & Body Works used to carry. Two cubes melted in the large living area/kitchen with a strong throw, creating a clean spa atmosphere.

King in the North- An herbaceous blend of weirwood forest and oak moss, with a hint of frosty mint.
Minty woods?! Yes please. I melted two cubes in the bedroom and it gave off a relaxing throw. I would have liked it a tad stronger. And these are not just any woods, this is weirwood. I hope this weirwood was sustainably harvested... I wouldn't want any of the Old Gods to curse me for melting it. Can Bran see me while I melt this?? Is Robb Stark offended at my King of the North meme? IS JON SNOW GOING TO DIE?! >Huffing mint to clear my head of nargles, oops default fandom kicked in<

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Better Homes & Gardens Scented Wax Cubes

Better Homes & Gardens has one of my favorite scents, Soft Cashmere Amber. I have tried it in a candle and in wax cubes. To my nose it is a soft woodsy vanilla. The strength is pretty great and it is very long lasting. I had melted a whole clamshell several months ago then forgot about it. Fast forward to about two months ago when Adam and I were on a date. We ate dinner, then decided to walk across the street to an artsy fartsy consignment store. As soon as he opened the door a waft of gorgeous vanilla slapped me in the face. I immediately looked at the proprietor and asked "What is that wonderful smell?" She grabbed a clamshell and held it up. It was Soft Cashmere Amber. Needless to say as soon as my (pitifully wax stocked) Wal-Mart had it back in I grabbed one. If you like vanilla/amber/sandalwood type of scents you should try it! It is cheap AND great! <3

Monday, July 21, 2014

Blue Moon Elise Soap

Downtown Murphy, North Carolina had quite the treasure lying in her belly. Next door to an old timey local pharmacy (that still had a snack counter in the back- I did a double take looking for the soda jerk with a white paper cap set jauntily on his head) was an all natural body care store with a yoga studio. Blue Moon Elise had a huge rack of soaps in the window. Sinus clearing eucalyptus, spearmint and lavender greeted us at the door. Baskets overflowing with soaps beckoned me to pick and sniff amongst the bounty. I did.

Tea tree, Spearmint, and an uncured new blend of Orange & Lavender essential oils were ones I chose. They had the greatest scent strength and appealed to me.

Spearmint is a nice little soap. The spearmint springs are soft, the scent is sharp mint with a hint of licorice that made the whole shower smell like a relaxing spa retreat (even with two kids knocking on the shower door asking questions every three seconds) and the lather is soft and fluffy.

My cat Tod giving me soap grief. Look at her. She even has the smirk on her face my loving but exasperated husband sometimes has while watching me accept packages, setting up photos or sniffing my wax and soaps. But she knows she will eventually get her favorite face scratching while I am down on the floor, just as Adam knows he is my real treasure here on Earth.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Up the Creek Scents 2

Hats off to Up the Creek. Shannon's Lush dupe of American Cream is phenomenal. And even better, it melts just as beautifully. I love American Cream like Hagrid loves magical beasts.

Of course I did not want American Cream to be lonesome on its journey to Florida, so I picked a few interesting sounding fellows as traveling mates. Left to Right: Zucchini Cookie Bakery, Coffee Ice Cream, American Cream x 3, chunk in Caramel Apple Cool Whip, and free samples in Blueberry Zucchini Crunch and Pink Strawberry Cookies.

Zucchini and I have a love/hate thing going on. I burnt myself out on them several months ago (the whole "let's blend everything with Granma's Crack bread thing") only to slowly crave zucchini's scent once again. Zucchini Cookie Bakery is surprisingly mild. Not weak in scent, just not the harsh zucchini note I normally encounter. Perhaps it is the cookie mellowing it out but I do enjoy this. Coffee Ice Cream does have a slightly bitter black coffee note. I was hoping the ice cream would make it smooth and vanillic but on cold sniff it is still a bit "black coffee."

American Cream yes, I am obsessed. According to the Lush scent description you would assume it is all sweet strawberry and orange flavored milkshakes. But it is not. There is a definite perfume note in this. It is almost a sweet vanilla musk laced amber accord that is the foundation of this scent. Maybe even some white delicate florals. I melted a sample in this scent from my last order in the bedroom. My littlest walked in and said "Mom it smells so pretty in here." And it did. I could see this as a princess scent. All lace, pearls, fluffy taffeta dresses and innocence. The throw was amazing and the duration was about 6 hours. But I left it in much longer, not knowing when I would be able to smell it again. There were 7 in stock when I ordered. I tried to be nice and not swipe them all. Lauren talked me down from ordering a few more 4 packs. Thank you friend. Sharing is caring.

The chunk in Caramel Apple Cool Whip is very pleasant. On cold it is not the strongest but not weak either. I think the cool whip tones down the caramel apple, it is a unique fall scent. The cool whip reminds me of Hagen Daaz Vanilla Bean ice cream. Top it with a bit of caramel apple chunks and you have quite an edible smell. Blueberry Zucchini Crunch is heavy on the blueberries. These blueberries are in a heavy syrup from a pie filling can. I can barely detect a bit of sugar cookie. Not much zucchini on cold. But bakery notes tend to emerge when melted. I like this one. Pink Strawberry Cookies has Pink Sugar as its main note, strawberry is a back up singer and this particular one reminds me of Strawberry Passion. The candied strawberry. The cookie note is very very slight on cold. Again, this may change when warmed.
I am enjoying my recent order from Up the Creek Scents. Have you tried this vendor? What is your favorite Up the Creek Scent?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Melting Basket 7

My last basket was pretty small so I went through it quickly. Also if it is a bag of chunks or a four pack I only melt one or two and save the rest for later. Wax I would repurchase from the last basket include: RG Melon Mayhem it is such a pretty watermelon with a touch of floral, medium throw, RG Satsuma/Gilligan's Brew/Coconut Lime Verbena very strong citrus, I might use Gilligan as the over pour next time but not sure, perfect for a hot Florida day, FP Patch Nag Champa/Patch Teakwood/Patch Lavender I doubt I will ever get lucky enough for this trio to appear again but if I do I am stocking up, half a macaron lasted two days straight, beautiful with the teakwood and lavender being the standout scents but anchored with the patch, TTT Time Warp I have no idea what is in this but it smells like raspberry sangria to me, yum!, SMT Sticky Marshmallow/Coconut Cream Pie/Peppermint mostly a creamy coconut bakery with a dash of peppermint, very nice, sheet cake worthy.
Up the Creek Scents- American Cream yep, I love it.
Up the Creek Scents- Blueberry Zucchini Crunch
Up the Creek Scents- Pink Strawberry Cookies
Front Porch- Loopy Coconut Cupcakes
Front Porch- Coconut Serendipity Fruity Loops
Two Timing Tart- Mae West's Diamonds
Helen Candle Company- Egyptian Amber
A Bird in the Hand- April Fresh
Sniff My Tarts- Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake
Sniff My Tarts- Raspberry Guava/Mango Sorbet/Acai Berry
Sniff My Tarts- Ice Cream Cake Batter/Wildberry Mousse/Pink Sugar
Beezy- Strawberry White Cake
The Melting Fairy- Vanilla Bean Noel/Wildberry Scone/Ice Cream Scoop Bread *<3 gift
Rosegirls- Earth Angel
Rosegirls- Wonders of the World
Rosegirls- Royal Sugar Cookie/Butterscotch/Orange Revival muffin (only one Muffin Club muffin left!!! I am saving it until the day the next Muffin Club goodies come)
If you have any questions about any of these melts or previous melts please ask! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Soap Box Company: Arcana, Bambu Earth, Puur & Villainess

Remember the 4th of July coupon code for The Soap Box Company? I may or may not have used it. Oh, who am I kidding? I used that beastie.

 I easily spent my $25 minimum to get $5 off. My selection included: Arcana Filthy Viking, Bambu Earth Rosewood with fruity orange + ylang ylang, Puur Body Tonic sample sized deodorants in Tahiti and The Mayor of Stinky Town (oh man... loving that name). My free sample was Arcana perfume oil in Erzulie's Soft Kiss.

Rosewood intrigues me. The scent and the color rosewood in cosmetics, just all around romance. This soap is very feminine. A girl named Amber made it according to the hand signed label. Thank you Amber. The texture is smooth and firm like a polished river stone. The fragrance is a sweet mandarin with a rosewood base.

I had been eyeing up Arcana's Filthy Viking and coincidentally, Jean sent me a sample sliver (thank you Jean!). I *highly* recommend lathering this puppy up in a washcloth or soap bag thing. It exfoliates heavily. I have some scratches on my arms that resemble something Professor Lupin might have given me during a full moon. I look like Bill Weasley after an encounter with Fenrir Greyback (may he rest in peace). But seriously, it was my fault. I was entirely too vigorous in my scrubbings and my pain tolerance is high. It worked wonders on my feet though! It creates a thick creamy lather that glides on and rinses nicely. The smell! Oh the glorious smell!! Refreshing mint, camphorous  juniper and a squeeze of lime. Luckily my hubs uses bar soap. By Great Odin's Beard, he will surely be smellin' like a filthy viking before a fortnight runs out. Arg.

I wanted to sample a few Villainess soaps after trying out her body scrub and body cream. First Frost, Kill Switch and Hoarfrost were my picks. I am enamored with the scent descriptions and packaging.

First Frost: "The last blooms of summer, sweet gardenia and vanilla, arrested by an icy touch of eucalyptus and peppermint."

Kill Switch: "Dark, resinous amber, black plum and black musk,with a little spike of cherry cognac, and a drop of salty sweat."

Hoarfrost: "Summer's late berry harvest- raspberries, blueberries, currants, and strawberries- bittersweet with vanilla and arrested by an icy touch of eucalyptus and peppermint."

Anticipating the use of these soaps in the near future. Did you score any 4th of July sales? I finished World Without End last night. It was just as gripping as Pillars of the Earth. I have no idea what to read next. Something light and less than 800 pages. That is for sure. Maybe Perks of Being a Wallflower? Any book recommendations?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Itty Bitty Bubbles & Co.

Itty Bitty Bubbles & Co has been floating in and out of my attention for a wee bit now. What really snagged me was an Instagram photo Laura posted of her bubble bars all lined up in saturated colors like a psychedelic rainbow. I moseyed over to her site and low and behold... Lush dupes! The siren sang a tune I could not resist.

I chose sample sized bubble bars all in Lush dupes. Top row: Jungle and Flying Fox. Bottom Row: Fever, American Cream (obsessed I tell ya), and Karma.

Jungle is a verdant scent full of velvety soft herbs, and a pinch of fertile soil. If you ever tried The Bathing Garden's  Magic Green Soup scrub then you know exactly what this smells like. I am head over heels with the scent. It is truly a beautiful and unique take on a green scent.

Flying Fox is not for the feint of heart. It is an uber strong honey and jasmine scent. It is a great duplication of the Lush body gel I use and love.

Fever is jasmine, rose and sandalwood. I have never smelled Fever from Lush, so I cannot attest to the similarity as a dupe. Out of the bunch this was my least favorite scent. When I eat or use products I am a "save-the-best-for-last" kinda gal. I crumbled the entire scent shot of Fever under hot running water. The texture was similar to Play-Doh, in fact my littlest wanted to play with it. Bubbles were emitted instantly and in copious amounts. The scent was more pleasant once released into the air and water. It lost some of that strange earthy undertone. I opened up my current book (World Without End is so good y'all!) and read for about 30-45 minutes. When it was time to conclude my bath ritual, there were still plenty of bubbles left on the surface of the water. There was a very small amount of tiny, sand like bits on the bottom of the tub that did not dissolve but they did not bother me and went easily enough down the drain. The bubble bar did not leave my skin dry but it was not moisturizing either, but I do not expect bubble bars to be moisturizing, as those ingredients usually diminish bubbling action.

American Cream dead on. Exactly like the Lush conditioner and Up the Creeks' wax dupe. Gorgeous musky amber filled strawberry, oranges, and vanilla. Mm! Must have mass quantities.

Karma is one of my favorite Lush perfume solids. Uplifting orange and grounding patchouli. This duplication is good but, it has the same strange undertone that Fever has. Thankfully again, as I used it the undertone dissipated. I used this bubble shot and enjoyed the same plethora of bubbles. This one dissolved completely without the sandy grains.

These 2 oz cups of bubble bars cost $1.25 each. An 8 oz bubble bar loaf in the scent of your choice is $7.00. These prices are pretty phenomenal compared to Lush and the bubble action is just as good, if not better. Itty Bitty Bubbles & Co. has a great selection of scents and packages her product well. Each scent shot was also encased in a ziptop bag. I appreciate that the scent names are clear (Lush dupes are named after the actual product scents). I hope you give Itty Bitty Bubbles a shot. There are some cute gift ideas on her Store Envy site. I know I am headed back in for a loaf of American Cream... hee hee hee...

*Links are for convenience only, no benefit to myself if used.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Front Porch Candle Co. 2

The Front Porch Newsletter struck again. Angie is one wise lady when it comes to marketing. Her reliable newsletters with the scent list restock is more likely to pull me to her website than if I just stumble in on my own. If I am not ordering I delete them before reading, but if I am in the market they get read. Well, I was in the market a week ago.

Pink Peppermint: Front Porch Pink Peppermint is really lovely. I like my peppermint to shoot icy blasts of scent right into my nose. Front Porch does. The addition of pink makes a beautifully relaxing atmosphere.

Loopy Coconut Cupcakes: The citrusy burst of scent that normally accompanies a Fruit Loop blend is softened by the coconut and cupcake. It is still quite strong but it smells more like the mini orange muffins that our grocery store sells.

Coconut Serendipity Fruity Loops: If you can't tell by now, I really adore FP coconut and fruit loops. This one is mostly a serendipity scent, heavier on the coconut of course but also has an extra dose of citrus, making it an extra tropical serendipity. Quite nice.

Caramel Apple: Sweet candied Macintosh apples dipped in melted Kraft caramel cubes. I adore FP apple blends and holiday scents as well.

The 1970's: I was born one year short of the 1970's, so I cannot attest to this being the scent of that decade. The 1980's smelt like metal toy cars, powdery Cabbage Patch kid's faces, and Love's Baby Soft to me. Or the 1990's bouquet included astringent Aqua Net, syrupy Squeeze Pops, and Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers. >Sigh< Enough reminiscing, onto the wax. These grubbies. Oh man. Now, I have a VERY tolerant nose. I can handle a little funk. I like a little stink. Weird and unusual do not scare me. These guys do. A tiny bit. Yes this is basically a Patchouli scent (capitol P) but it is so very rich, thick and strong. Notes of black molasses, masculine musk and a smidgen of plastic. I am wary of melting it but I will. When my husband is not home. So I can spare his nostrils.

*Update* I melted one of The 1970s grubbies since Hubby is working out of the house today and it melts much better than it smells on cold. It loses the plastic note and some of the funkiness. Don't get me wrong, it is still very much a true "dirty hippy" scent but much more palatable. I kinda like it.

Have you taken any wax chances? What are your favorite Front Porch scents?