Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Alamo Candelaria: Wax & Soap... again

What spell hast thou cast upon myself, Alamo Candelaria?! I crave your complex scents, superb soaps and salty sweet lollies. Seriously, the lollipops. My goodness.

Two soaps and two rolls of wax.

Fairy Tale- This blend floored me in the soap version, all candied lavender buds. I knew I would love it in wax form, and I do. I melted a medallion in my bedroom and it threw at medium strength all around the room and bathroom. It translated beautifully to wax as it did soap, feminine and youthful.

Havana- Shaking my head in disbelief. I feel like I walked through the doors of an old cigar factory in Ybor, where wizened hands expertly roll sienna, tan, and espresso colored tobacco leaves into Arturo Fuentes, Macanudos and Cuesta Reys and place them in cedar lined boxes on a cracked leather covered tables. Even better than I imagined. When melted it develops a thread of powdery aroma that weaves into the cigar story tapestry. Strong throw and long lasting and unique.

Leatherosa- Leather and roses in the best possible way. Do you see how beautiful this soap looks to the eyes? That is what it translates to, to my nose. Sexy, elegant, and sophisticated.

Tuscan Olive- Kyme's scent description reads: A blend of bergamot intertwines with leafy olive branches, wine, myrrh, a touch of lavender, clove leaf, musk and sweetened ever so slightly with vanilla. It reminds me of Lush's Olive Branch soap but better by tenfold. It smells more refined and concentrated somehow. So glad Deb showed me this one.

Free sample of La Crema in Fairy Dust. I am happy to get to try her body lotion. It has a nice, no skip texture that melds easily into the skin while nourishing. The scent is a Lush dupe for Snow Fairy I believe.

Alamo Candelaria has some amazing Outlander inspired goodies coming down the pike! I have yet to use the soaps >gasp!< but I have it on trusted sources who I have shared with that they are bathing gold. I just cannot stop staring at them. I keep telling myself, "I will order these, so I can USE them." Then I don't. But I WILL. Soon. After the Standing Stones release. Yep. Then.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Makes-Scents Candles

Make-Scents is a fun wax tart vendor located in Canada. I placed this order June 30th and received it a couple of weeks ago. She is closed briefly to catch up on pending orders but will be open fairly soon, once again.

The tarts came snuggly packaged both in individual bags placed in organza drawstring for the twin packs and tied bags wrapped in newspaper for the larger bags. 

I purchased 6 twin packs, $1.75 each, and 3 half bags (5-6 ounces) at $5.25 each. The twin packs all came as scallops even though the site and order state some as scent shots. The half bags and full bags contain fun shapes.

Leaves- Spot on dupe of the Bath & Body Works original. It is strong with apple goodness.

Cookie Butter Crack- On cold sniff I was picking up a cherry note, but when I melted one it vanished and a rich vanilla butter cookie emerged. The throw was medium in my living room/kitchen area and went well with the French Toast that my husband made for dinner that night. Cookie Butter Crack did not disappoint!

Pink Peppermint- One of my favorite scent blends. Extra strong on the Pink Sugar with a clear minty backdrop. Lullabies and bedtime bliss call to me like a siren song when I smell this.

Blueberry Muffin- Sunnee!! Your accolades of this blueberry muffin are deserved. Blueberries bursting in an indigo sauce, sweetened with sugar.

Pink Marshmallow- Pink Sugar perfume laced with vanilla sugar. Calming and beautiful.

Blue Ribbon Cookies- Crunchy vanilla butter cookies graced with raw sugar crystals.

Peppermint Marshmallow- Creamy peppermint delight. Another beautiful bedtime staple.

Serendipity Dream- Serendipity and coconut duet. There is a faint plastic wax note when sniffed on cold. I threw one slice in the warmer and it let loose a strong throwing serendipity but the wax note stayed faintly in the background. I am thinking it was the coconut.

Marshmallow Fireside- A crackling, birch fed fire that has a slight sweetness but it does not smell like a dupe of Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Fireside. Granted that is a difficult one to duplicate, especially since BBW seems to tweak the scent every year. Smelling this next to my favorite White Barn version with the fire and marshmallows on the label, Make-Scents is more woody and sharp while BBW has more vanilla cream. Being the Fireside lover that I am, I do not mind at all, but I am still on the hunt for a great BBW/White Barn Marshmallow Fireside dupe.

I must say, this is by and far one of the most generous vendors when it comes to packaging and free samples. For such a relatively small order I was elated to discover so many freebies!

Free Samples:

Banana Cream Marshmallow (banana Laffy Taffy), Strawberry Dew (strong strawberry lemon-lime), Fruit Salad, Raspberry Peach Macaroon (peach Jolly Ranchers), Cinnamon Orange Swirl (MMM! Pomanders!), Pink Peppermint Rosemary Mint (gotta have more of this one... minty spa bliss), Halloween Treat Bag (apples and candy), and Pumpkin Cornbread (spiced pumpkin and apple blend, no corn-bready aspect). I am excited about all these great tarts and will be keeping a weather eye on her website opening. Pink Peppermint Rosemary Mint is needed in a FULL bag. Her scent list is very comprehensive and I have many more I would like to try.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Melting Basket 14

Wax I would repurchase form my last basket include: SMT pink noel/peppermint/spearmint, and Streetman Blackberry Shortcake.

Missouri River Soap- Butterscotch Rum
Missouri River Soap- Vanilla Pumpkin
CanDo- Autumn *something* <3 gift
Glitterati- PPW/Cinnamon Donut/Vanilla Buttercream
Glitterati- Marshmallow Fireside Cranberry Cider
Glitterati- Perfect Caramel Pumpkin Biscotti
Kim's Tarts- Country Bumpkin <3 gift P.S. My Savanna nabbed my other Kim's Tarts in Autumn Wreath and is melting it in her room... wonderful fall scent!
Super Tarts- Lost Boys
Butterfly Lane- Apple Bliss
Ava's Country Cupboard- Pumpkin Marshmallow Crunch
Vintage Chic Scents- The Warrens
Vintage Chic Scents- Autumn in Salem
Beezy- Pumpkin Bread
Lasting Scent Candles- Creamy Pumpkin Shake
Better Homes and Gardens- Vanilla Cookie Crunch <3 gift
Sniff My Tarts- Pumpkin Mallow Latte/Pumpkin and Praline/Mallow Noel
Sniff My Tarts- Sticky Marshmallow/Apple Cider Latte
Sniff My Tarts- Peppermint/Frost Bite/Spearmint
Rosegirls- Pumpkin Pecan Waffles
Rosegirls- Caramel Pumpkin Latte/Spiced Pumpkin

Can you tell that my autumn scent stock is getting use? I love seasonal melting. If there are any tarts you are curious about, just holler. I will do a more in depth review for you.

Currently adoring this Bath and Body Works hand soap in Walk In The Woods, it is a lovely red rosewood, begamot, and  golden leaves scent that I enjoy sniffing post hand washing. The whole cupped hands in the face, walking around with eyes rolling in pleasure thing.

Warmed Wax: Streetman, Glitterati, and Storytime

Glitterati Pink/Peppermint/Spearmint is a strong throwing, relaxing bedtime scent. All three components are equally blended and detected. I plan of purchasing this in a loaf one day.

Streetman Blackberry Shortcake is a lovely medium strength scent that smells like ripe, plump blackberries in a sweet deep purple sauce served with vanilla laced cream. The shortcake did not come over as bakery but as vanilla to my nose. The blackberries were so rich, as to almost have a sweet tobacco note. I could not get enough of this. I found myself wandering into the bathroom just to smell it. Definitely repurchase.

So here in central Florida there has been some news about a fluffy Cousin It looking caterpillar that is stinging folks willy nilly. My sister, the entomologist at the University of Florida, wrote this mini Tall Tale about the the stinging Puss Caterpillar and its epic origins. Please enjoy.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cooking Cove: Fresh Spiced Apple Cake

Fall has not quite arrived until an apple cake has baked in my oven. After using various spiced apple cake recipes over the years, this is the one Adam and I agreed would be the keeper. It is moist and dense with the perfect amount of sweetness. There is an indulgent Browned Butter Frosting that accompanies this, however, my husband is a purest and prefers it naked.

If the frosting gets applied, I recommend using Granny Smith apples for balance the sweetness. If going without frosting either Fuji or Granny Smith work well in this cake.


1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup melted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 large Granny Smith or Fuji apples (peeled, sliced thin)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toast pecans 5-7 minutes. Cool.

Stir butter plus next three ingredients in large bowl.

Combine flour and next three ingredients in small bowl.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir.

Fold in apples and pecans. The batter will be thick like brownie batter.

Spread into greased 9 x 13 dish. I like to use real butter to grease, yummy.

Browned Butter Frosting (which is amazing by the way):
1 cup of butter
16 oz powdered sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cook butter over medium heat (6-8 minutes) until golden. Cover and chill until solid. Beat butter until fluffy. Slowly add sugar and milk. Stir in vanilla.

Hope you try out this yummy autumnal treat. I took it in to the school and my co-workers enjoyed it too. I think the next thing on the baking line up is apple pie. Do you have any must-have fall baking goodies?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag

My one and only Ipsy! I only accepted the one bag so a friend could come off a waiting list (What can I say, I love her!). For being a make up lover and a sample lover, it is odd that I am not big on subscription services. I think it is because I would rather save my $10 and use it on or towards a product I know I will probably like. Also, I am a make up/nail polish snob. (And food snob and coffee snob and tea snob.... my poor husband).

In my bag I received: Bombshell finishing powder, Nourish Organics face cleanser, Pacifica nail polish, Maybelline cream blush, and Briogeo hair mask.

Bombshell Smooth Criminal Powder- A nice mattifying powder that has a silky texture and does not impart any undue ghostly whiteness. I have oily skin, but the matte effect lasted a few hours. So not bad. At Be A Bombshell Cosmetic's website, a 4 gram container is priced at $12.

Nourish Organics Face Cleanser- Probably not something I would ever purchase again. I use Philosophy Purity face cleanser and it really does remove most make-up. Unless I am wearing my Kat Von D foundation, then I have to prewash with Boscia Make-Up Break Up oil. I washed my face with Nourish Organics, then followed with a cotton ball doused with rose water and it came away pretty dirty. $13.99 for a 6 ounce bottle.

Pacifica Nail Polish- As a former nail polish hoarder, and lacquer fanatic I am pretty critical of polishes. I still wear polish almost every day, but I have my collection curated and do not add to it as quickly. The formula on this was pigmented and applied well. It took two coats to even out some strokes. The shade is Red Red Wine. I like it enough to keep in my collection but I do not think I will go out of my way to purchase more. These polishes are priced at $9.00. So the cost of this Ipsy bag is pretty much covered.

Maybelline Mast Glaze- Honestly, this one is still sealed. As an oily faced gal, I do not wear cream blushes. I prefer powder. None of the four sisters I have were interested either. Not sure what to do with this. It is $8.99 at Ulta.

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Hair Mask- I used half of my sample container the other night in the shower. As a curly hair lass I need my conditioners to have nice slip so I can run my fingers through my hair to undo tangles. I have the proverbial rat's nest in my hair after a couple of days. Unfortunately, this stuff had no slip and did not feel very moisturizing, so I ended up adding a glop of my leftover hair coloring treatment to smooth a path for my finger combing. I will let my girls use the rest since they have finer, straighter hair that does not need moisturizing. A 5.25 ounce tub runs $26.00.

I am sorry if I sound like a Negative Nancy, but I am horribly critical of my beauty products. My expectations are high and I have specific needs, like most of us do and most of these did not make the cut. The grey bag with silver studs it came with was cute. And I am happy I got to participate in my first subscription service. Do you have a favorite subscription service? Or would you rather save your pennies for something you know you would like?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vintage Chic Scents: My First Blossom Bag

Beautiful Jackie O Loves Fall has evaded my grasp for a few openings now. However, my stalking skills paid off and she is finally mine.

Beautiful Jackie O Loves Fall combines a few of Kirby's popular scents: What a Beautiful Mornin' (buttermilk pancakes, syrup, and sugar cookie dough), Jackie O (marshmallow noel), and a smattering of sweet pumpkin for fall. It is a delectable creamy pumpkin scent that I am excited to now call mine. The pancakes and syrup ooze warmth and richness and combined with the pumpkin and marshmallow, it is down right incredible! I melted one of the smalled roses in my living room/kitchen area and it threw a medium strength scent that reminded me of IHOP in the fall. Fluffy stacks of thick pancakes made with a dash of pumpkin puree, coated in maple syrup. Just as advertised.

Free Samples in:

 The Warrens- Cider Lane, Cinnamon Donut and Marshmallow I believe. Another lovely autumn scent that I am excited to melt.

Annabelle Doll- Previously reviewed combo of pomegranate, cranberries and strawberries I think I recall. Bright fruity scent.

Any mid week shenanigans in your neck of the woods? I hope you have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

FuturePrimitive: Halloween Release Goodies

Tiggy has a fangirl. Her name is Julie. As soon as FuturePrimitive's Halloween Release hit the interwebz, I pounced. When I opened the box of British goodies, my gaze fell upon the ivory skulls and ebony ravens that floated about. My face broke into a grin and I knew I was in for a treat.

Toffee Moon Face soap description from FuturePrimitive: Fairground Butter Toffee Shards, Baked Mandarin Rinds & Cox's Apple Compote Topped with a Caramelized Sugar Nest. I cannot improve on this description, but I will try my stab at describing it. It reminds me of stepping into the handmade candy shop in Helen, Georgia. The candy and caramel drenched apples are displayed in neat rows by the window to lure customers inside. Behind a large steel vat full with golden caramel, apples are being dipped by a white aproned candy maker and added to the window-side bounty. Glass enshrined cases of candied orange peels and toffees sparkle and gleam under the lights. No spices or bakery aromas. Sweet candies and citrus and apples backed by the faintest waft of cherry tobacco, it comes from the old snow haired proprietor enjoying his pipe break in the back room.

Toffee Moon Face soap and body whip.

I ran slap out of FuturePrim's Conditioning Hair Rinse and waited for baited breath for the Halloween restock so I could snag more. I knew Tobacconist would be a gorgeous fall scent in my hair that would pair well with my favorite tobacco perfume, so that was a no-brainer. However, I wanted to get two this time since I knew my hair loves this conditioner. Enter Tombstone.  Tombstone's notes of frankincense, sandalwood, citrus and cypress needles crooked its skeletal finger at me from across the seas. I relented and here she sits. What magic is this? It smells like full moon midnight in a cemetery, with old crumbling stones casting coal shadows under the silvery evergreen forest. The lemon here adds that silvery, rocky minteral tang that gives the effect so perfectly.

My third and final bag of Shadow Show bathing grains came in this order. All three bags are now in a glass apothcary jar waiting for a scoop. I need to jazz it up somehow, but still thinking on it.

Free samples included: Bell, Book & Candle aromatic oil, Sparklebox soap sliver, and MaMa Didn't Listen soap sliver. I have come to realize that I am not a perfume oil gal. Is that weird? I will still wear what I have, but I much prefer alcohol or water based perfumes. I feel like the oils have the same underlying base scent and the longevity is sometimes short. FuturePrimitve Soap Co. has a lifelong customer in me. I would like to try her bubbling scrub next. How do you feel about perfume oil versus spray?