Sunday, November 30, 2014

Q & A with Heather Streetman from Streetman Company Store

Excellent home fragrance options in wax tarts, numerous exciting bath and body products (I have heard rave reviews of her exfoliating shave whip), and a range of epicurian delights (the spicy onion dip was delicious on tacos in the Johnson home), Streetman Company Store continues to offer up quality products in ever broadening choices. Heather Streetman and her husband, Tony, work hard to bring something different to the wax community. Heather sweetly obliged me to ask her some questions.

1. How long have you worked with wax?
I started working with wax around 2002 making pillar candles that custom fit home decor. Vanilla candles were made in blue, white, burgundy, etc., to fit any room in the home. I only had ten scents to choose from at the time. It was fun because people would send me pictures of their curtains or walls to try to match. Back then pictures weren't what they are now! The business went well for a year or so until I made a life change and moved onto something else.

2. What are your favorite scents for your own home?
I am a bakery and spice girl and have a love for fireside types. Apples and cinnamon, fireside, toasted marshmallow, vanilla, pumpkin. I love it all!

3. What is your vision for Streetman Company Store?
I hope to one day have a brick and mortar store that not only features our products, but handmade products from other small businesses. 

4. What Streetman seasonings get used most frequently in your home?
Super Salt! Super Salt is used on pretty much everything in our home. This is a tough one because I really do use them all quite frequently. I make pasta with the Sweet Basil Italian Seasonings at least once a week and the Roast Beef Seasonings as well. The pizza is also a big hit in our home. Jalapeno Dip and Chicken Noodle Soup is also something I use quite often.

5. Streetman offers up an amazing sampler, do you have a subscription option?
Thank you. No, we don't have a subscription option at this time, but we hope to in the future, maybe starting off with a small subscription of three months to start.

6. What do you love most about your job?
Interacting with people is my absolute favorite part. Next to that it would be choosing scents and making blends. I love to be creative and it is so much fun when a blend you create is a success. As far as the seasonings goes- testing is my favorite part!

7. What aspect of your job is your least favorite?
Labeling. I have always had a love/hate relationship that eventually turned to a great dislike for it. With the new products, labeling isn't as bad for me as it was in the past.

8. What is your best selling scent(s)?
Top five? 'Nilla & Pumpkin, Bomb Pop, Vanilla Coffee Cone, Orange Caramel Sauce, and Toasted.

9. How do you splurge on yourself?
I am a big fan of scouting out great deals at flea markets, garage sales, online sales, etc. I love the thrill of the hunt and finding that perfect piece and bringing it home.

10. Please rank your Top 3 TV shows or books:
This is so hard for me because I don't really do much of either any more. I love Snapped, Kitchen Inferno, and for a book Cats Cradle. 

11. Anything special coming at Streetman Company Store for the holidays?
Unfortunately, not this year, but there are ideas written down for next year.

12. Is there anything you "fangirl" over?
No, not really. Does jewelry count? :-D

13. Do you have a favorite personal fragrance you like to wear?
I do! I love Angel and have been wearing it for years. I also am a huge fan of vanilla and have worn vanilla scents for years, well, since high school. I have been called a Sugar Cookie more than once. I nearly called my candle company Sugar Cookie's. 

14. Do you have any holiday traditions in your family?
Christmas Eve pajamas is our tradition. I love picking out "this year's" pj's and get excited when it's time for the kids to open them. Even though they're all teens, it's still fun for me.

I do hope you try Streetman Company Store out soon. I have greatly enjoyed the products I have ordered from them and I am plotting an order for the New Year. What is your favorite Streetman product?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving Recap

Am I the only one who makes this huge of a mess while cooking?

My husband's only request. A pumpkin pie.

The morning was crisp and beautiful at the park for the family reunion.

We always form a circle and count off how many attended (136 this year), make announcements of deaths and births over the year, then say blessing and the Pledge.

Home Sweet Home for the Thanksgiving feast. It was smaller this year, only a dozen of us gathered for dinner, but it was peaceful and enjoyed.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 28, 2014

L'Occitane: Happy Birthday Collection

I am a sucker for gifts with purchase. There was an item I wanted to get Adam at L'Occitane for Christmas and once they advertised gifts with purchase, I pounced. 

This tidy little set came free (with a $50 purchase) and included: 2 shea butter milk soaps, almond milk hand cream, and almond oil shower gel. 

Amande Shower Oil- I have used this product before and I love it. I pour it into my hands and rub all over. The scent is fresh, beautiful and clean with a hint of honey sweetness. It does lather into a milky foam and when rinsed it leaves my skin soft and hydrated. I prefer to use bar soap before using this product and then leave the shower after rinsing the shower oil off so as to keep the moisturizing benefits.

Amande Delicious Hands- Yes I am firmly seated on the L'Occitane handcreme bandwagon. I have been blessed to be gifted many little tubes that I stash everywhere. I am a handcreme gal. This is the same scent as the shower oil. Mildly perfumed honey. My hands feel soft and moisturized without a greasy film after use. A pea sized amount is plenty, so these tubes last me a while.

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Soap (with Shea Butter)- This soap was surprisingly soft. I have no way to describe it other than it felt like a was bathing with bubbling milk. I have never realized the touch of harshness of the soaps I have used until it was missing. Very strange. The scent is innocuous, neither something I crave but not bothersome. Just clean. I enjoy this new bathing experience. I will still purchase other handcrafted soaps, but this is different for sure. 

Have you succumbed to any gifts with purchase offers? Do you have any L'Occitane favorites?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Solstice Scents: Bathing Salts

These guys came as a wonderful surprise in the mail due to an order mix up and Jean was generous enough to pass these on to me. Thank you Jean! <3 This is my first experience with Solstice Scents, but I adore bath salts and will happily use them. 

Blood Bathory is a dead sea salt milk bath with palmarosa, geranium, chamomile, pink grapefruit, rosewood and peru balsam according to their blog. When I poured a helping of salts into the tub the water turned bright coral, leaning pink. The scent rising from the tub painted pictures of old mysterious places in the tropics. If you have ever read Duma Key by Stephen King, I feel as if this scent would hover about the neglected tropical gardens of the mansion. I am in awe of how soft my skin feels after soaking in this bath. After I got out, the girls were dying to get in themselves. 

Crumbling Crypt is a blend of Virginia cedarwood, patchouli, oakmoss absolute, spruce, cypress, amyris, rosewood, violet leaf, rosemary, lavender, vetiver, marjoram, and Himalayan cedar. These are all essential oils or absolutes, which is very impressive. Oakmoss absolute was hit by IFRA (Intenational Fragrance Association) regulations (the body who governs international standards for safe use of fragrant chemicals and essential oils in perfumes and skincare) so it is a treat to have it in here. I am not sure if it is the new blend of oakmoss or not. This smells deep and dark with zest from a lime nature. This and FuturePrimative's Tombstone are very similar and would have tangoed well together in a bathing routine. I poured about a 1/4 cup into hot running water while drawing my bath. The warm steam rising off the waters was redolent of mysterious woods and magical moss green places. The bath left my skin feeling pampered and soft, as well. 

I am really loving these milk bath salts from Solstice Scents. Thank you so very, very much Jean for these generous gifts. I am eagerly looking forward to purchasing other scents, as I foresee these getting used quickly. <3

Have you ever tried Solstice Scents? Any recommendations? 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Melting Basket 19: Thanksgiving Smellies!

Wax I would repurchase from the last basket include: RG Cider Lane, Sweet Pumpkin Pie & Marshmallow Smoothie, Frostbeard Dumbledore's Office, S&S Ghost Much and Cookie Butter Crack, Beezy Toasted Marshmallow, LSC Candyland Dreamin' (not that I will really ever be able to order from them, it has been over a year since I have been successful), CFTKR Caramel's Perfect Autumn. I have to say. I had a kick butt basket this last week. And I have been melting like a champ! Here is what my family will be inhaling Thanksgiving Week, these are sure to be melted quickly too due to me being off of work:

Rosegirls- Pecan Waffle Butterbrickle
Rosegirls- Toffee Apple Streuselkuchen
Rosegirls- Pecan Waffle Smoothie An awesomely strong and delicious scent!
Rosegirls- Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Excellent thrower and lovely sweet bedtime scent.
Rosegirls- Pumpkin Carrot Cake <3 gift
Rosegirls- Cranberry Marmalade/Cranberry Orange/Orange Revival muffin
Rosegirls- Fireside Marshmallow Smoothie
CFTKR- Hot Orange Spiced Toddy
CFTKR- Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Twinkie cuttable <3 gift
Super Tarts- Hocus Pocus
Super Tarts- Beetlejuice <3 gift
Lasting Scent Candles- Coconut Marshmallow Latte
Sniff My Tarts- Pumpkin Pecan Waffle Type

If there are any you are curious about please comment and I will review it more in depth!

Last week we had a wonderful cold snap roll through with lows in the 30's at night, Adam and I used that forecast to build our first fire of the season and make homemade hot chocolate. I can't get over how easy it is when using those bars and how much richer and more delicious it tastes than using the packets. So far I have only tried the Chocolate Cortes, but I have a bar of Chocolate Menier waiting next in line. Do you have a favorite hot chocolate mix or method? (Deb?!)

Out Thankful Tree has bloomed with blessings and will be sadly coming down Friday morning to make way for Christmas. This week I will also begin plotting the Christmas advent calender activities for December. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Christmas? Looking forward to a particular event?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Warmed Wax: Glitterati, Sniff My Tarts & Forstbeard

Glitterati Pomegranate Cider & Cranberry Marmalade let off a burst of bright fruits and light spices on cold, while warmed it was still just as perky and pleasant but a tad light. I would say a medium light throw. I had to do some bowl wafting to get a feel for the scent. Not a repurchase.

Sniff My Tarts Cranberry Chutney/Cranberry Spice another light thrower and the cranberries in this blend are not for me. I have discovered I have very specific cranberry needs. This version is too candylike. I enjoy a tart, ruby red, and spicy cranberry. Or if not spicy then paired with zingy citrus. Not a repurchase.

Frostbeard Dumbledore's Office was a beast. It threw strong in my bedroom and let off a most unique scent. It reminded me of an old library, book pages, polished wood, and a slight tone of mustiness. I really enjoyed it! Repurchase. I was sad to learn that Frostbeard's Potter name use has come to an end. Some will be discontinued and others will be renamed. Dumbledore's Office is now Headmaster's Office. Most will involve the word "wizard." 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Lush Life: Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb

This gal is great. She smells like Lush Twilight (one of my favorite sweet lavender scents) and she creates fizzy rainbows of fun.

The disks of color really do float about your body like islands of bright hues. The scent is strong and relaxing. The water has moisturizing ingredients that leave a comforting slickness on the skin. 

On a side note, I was generously lent a book at school. The Selection. I have been eyeballing this one for a while and I am stoked to dive in to this fluffy YA novel. Bath & Body Works small Villa Bergamot candles set the tone along with the rosey waters, for reading pleasure. I hope Santa brings some more Lush this year. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Rosegirls October Sampler

5 pound sampler in the house! Here is a key: *= O.K. scent but probably not my thing, **= good scent and if more fell in my lap I would melt it, ***= great and a repurchase for sure.

L to R:
Grapefruit Cotton Candy Frosting *** (I am in love, my first sniff of RG grapefruit and it is spectacular)
Cherry Berry Punch Lemonade **
Strawberry Raspberry Guava Blonde Moment **
Koop Troopa Assault **
Watermelon Lemonade *
Alice in Wonderland **

L to R:
Over the Moon **
Apple Colada *
Pear Pleasure * (not digging the pear)
Pomegranate Watermelon Smoothie **
Kaelyn's Berry Patch *** (excellent berry blend)
Strawberry Lime Fluff **
Nilla Strawberry Noel **

L to R:
Strawberry Jam, Cream Cheese Frosting and Waffle Cone **
Cereal Killer Crunchberries **
Snow White's Honeycrisp Apple *
Posh Pristine Peach *** (really loving this beautiful peach scent)
Sweet Lemon Confection, Pink Sugar and Gilligan's Brew ***
Sweet Lavender Marshmallow ***
Watermelon Peppermint Smoothie **
Frosted Summer Breeze * (I prefer Singing in the Rain to this)
Earth Angel ***

L to R:
Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting *
Blackberry Mocha Cookies ***
Pecan Waffle Fluff Puffs ***
Bananas Foster, Ooey Gooey Caramel and Waffle Cone *** (RG is making a spiced banana lover out of me)
Circus Concession ***
Celtic Moonspice Coffee * (RG coffee is not my favorite, it has a semi bitter bite to it)
Monkey Business Fluff Puffs ***
Windmill Cookies **

L to R:
Sweet Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting ***
Cinnamon Glazed Oranges ***
Christmas Past and Vanilla Bean Noel **
Cider Lane, Sweet Pumpkin Pie and Marshmallow Smoothie ***
Coming In From The Snow *** (YAY!)
Cinnamon Pine Cones *** (cinnamon times ten)
Cranberry Orange Smoothie **
Candy Corn, Marshmallow Smoothie and Butterbrickle ***
Gingerbread Man **

I would say I am very happy with this sampler. It helps that I have a pretty wide range of scent likes. I am especially happy to be able to smell RG grapefruit for the first time and their banana's foster. Are you a fan of samplers? Is there a Rosegirls scent you have been itching to smell?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Front Porch: Tiny Haul

In an effort to build my minty scent stash I placed a teeny tiny Front Porch order a couple of weeks ago. Free shipping and powerful peppermints cannot be denied.

Northpole Snowman has been on my radar for a little while now. It reminds me a little bit of Bath & Body Works Winter scent. There are fragrant evergreens and a sweet citrus note. 

Marshmallow Peppermint Twist is bliss in a bag. Polar ice peppermint and squishy sweet marshmallows intertwine beautifully. A perennial favorite of mine. 

I keep waiting for Family Christmas and a few others but my timing as been off. Have you tried any new favorites or long time favorites from Front Porch recently? 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Melting Basket 18

Wax tarts I would repurchase from the last basket include: S&S MacApple Leaves Marshmallow Fireside and S&S Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream BRC, both were very strong and delicious scents.

Rosegirls- Sweet Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
Rosegirls- Windmill Cookies
Rosegirls- The Little Farmer
Rosegirls- Cranberry Orange Smoothie
Rosegirls- Cider Lane, Sweet Pumpkin Pie and Marshmallow Smoothie
Rosegirls- Cranberry Streuselkuchen <3 gift
Frostbeard Studio- Dumbledore's Office
Super Tarts- Beetlejuice
Super Tarts- Goldbergs
Sugar & Spice- Ghost Munch Cookie Butter Crack <3 gift
Beezy- Toasted Marshmallows
Lasting Scent Candles- Candyland Dreamin'
Butterfly Lane Scents- Pink Sugar Cake
Sniff My Tarts- Cranberry Spice/Cranberry Chutney
Sniff My Tarts- Pumpkin/Pralines/Caramel
Glitterati- Pomegranate Cider/Cranberry Marmalade
CFTKR- Caramel's Perfect Autumn <3 gift

If you would like to know about any of the above scents in depth, just shoot me a comment. Can you believe how quickly Thanksgiving is approaching?! I have my grocery list all mapped out and our Thankful Tree is filling with leaves of gratitude. The Johnson Christmas shopping is wrapping up nicely. I only have a few more things to get and stockings to help St. Nick fill. As usual, in central Florida, late fall/early winter is still pretty balmy weather. The temperatures have been hovering in the 70-80's most days but a cold front is blowing through this week. Lows in the 30's at night and a high of 59. This is cause for fluffy sweaters and cute scarves. 

Our bougainvillea blooming abundantly in our yard.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Have thoughts of Christmas entered in your brain? What gets you in the holiday spirit? I think the cold snap is going to jump start mine.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yankee Candle: Tiny Tea Light Order

The school I work at was having a Yankee Candle fundraiser last month, and traditionally, I buy from the first student who asks me. I like to choose tea lights to place in my mercury glass lanterns during Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

For Thanksgiving I picked out Autumn Wreath, which is basically a nice lightly spiced apple scent that has the feel of potpourri. 

For Christmas Eve I selected Balsam & Cedar, which gives off a pine centered fragrance. 

I am looking forward to having these illuminate my lanterns and provide a festive ambiance but I will also be melting complimentary tarts too, as I just don't think these will give the fragrance I am looking to experience. They will no doubt be strong enough, I just am not digging the actual scent like I used to in the past. After over a year of vendor wax I have become very picky about the artificial smells I sometimes encounter in name brand wax. Do you notice that? Is it just me? (It might very well be!)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rosegirls: June Order Pies, Loaves and Muffins


Rosegirls smallest quantity blending option is their muffin 4 pack. I tend to cut my muffins in half so I get 8 uses out of a muffin 4 pack. For $12 you can blend up to 3 scents, you choose which two scents you would like for the chunks and the third scent is the overpour. The overpour tends to be the strongest, as it is in the greater quantity, so it is usually recommended that quieter scents, like vanillas, creams, and cookies, are chosen for that. But of course, depending on your blends and desires, you can choose anything to be your overpour! 

Rosegirls pies are $28 and come presliced into 8 chunks which can then be cut into 2-4 pieces each. I usually cut then into thirds. 

Peppermint Coconut Mallow is a dream come true for me. Such a calming aroma of sweet and creamy peppermint. There is no such thing as too much PCM in my life.

Sunny Days vibrantly throws off a punchy tropical fruit fragrance of strawberry and satsuma. I bought this one for my mom as part of her birthday gift basket. This is one of her absolute favorite Rosegirls scents.

Frosted Streuselkuchen is one of my favorite comfy cozy house warming scents. A delectable cinnamon bakery with added Vanilla Bean Noel. Really, really good stuff if you are a cinnamon fan.

Two pound loaves are $28 each and able to be blended in three scents as well. These come presliced and usually require no further cutting.

Sweet Lavender Marshmallow requires double chunks of sweet lavender and marshmallow smoothie overpour to create. This loaf was a semi-gamble for me, as I had never had this particular scent. But I adore RG lavender and marshmallow so I figured I couldn't lose. And I most certainly did not lose. Their lavender is hard to pin down, it is not extremely herbal like The Bathing Garden, but not detergent/softeneresque like Front Porch. It straddles the line between the two and has its own characteristic sweetness, almost like BBW Lavender Vanilla. Combining it with marshmallow smoothie lends extra vanilla cream sweetness.

Pecan Waffle Fluff Puffs has been a crowd pleaser since it debuted in a Simply Sensational Sampler several months back, I want to say in April or May. It is simply divine and I fall in love with it again every time I inhale its yummy bakery notes.

Raspberry Sauce/Mango/White Tea overpour Muffins turned out marvelously! The tartly sweetened raspberry and juicy peach-like mangos play very well together. Both united with a clean light tea that has a touch of herbal backbone transforms this scent into something I would wear as a fun and lighthearted fragrance in the summertime.

Mango/Strawberry Raspberry Guava/Margarita overpour Muffins have me singing Buffett tunes about my lost shaker of salt. A fruity and bright cocktail of limey tart frozen slush. All it needs is a motley paper umbrella to accompany it. Another great summer scent.

Cranberry Marmalade/Cranberry Orange/Orange Revival overpour Muffins will be in my Mom's birthday basket as well. These scents have a synergy that cannot be denied. They combine to create a festive fragrance that somehow has slight bakery notes and a touch of spices that comes across as Christmas. Rosegirls has top-notch cranberry and citrus fragrances.

Hollyberry chunks/Christmas Past overpour Muffins were ones I had requested to change as my friend Deb had said Hollyberry did not come across as a very holiday type of scent. I can smell what she meant. It is a fruity candy/drink type of smell. Christmas Past has a lovely pine and evergreen aroma. My scent change was to copy another lady's blend of Christmas Past/Peppermint/Vanilla Bean Noel. 

This post and yesterday's post combine to encompass my entire June Rosegirls order. This has, by far, been my most extravagant order to date and I cannot imagine exceeding it, but who knows what the future holds. I will say that I will be trying to order every time Rosegirls opens, even if it is a wee haul. Do any of these blends sound good? Do you think you prefer bags, muffins, pies or loaves? What are some of your Rosegirls favorites?