Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tasha's Own: Goat Milk Soap

Look at that adorable Nubian dairy goat profile. Those pendulous ears, arched nose bridge, and stubborn smirk. I recognize those features anywhere.

My friend Ashley is from Virginia and picked up this soap for me while she was visiting her hometown before taking off to Japan. Tasha's Own has a website and takes orders via email and the Contact Me tab.

Moondance has a strong fragrance of clean, almost perfume like patchouli. It has a sharp silvery scent, just like the cast of moonlight, but this is no delicate daisy. This soap in the shower feels like a sturdy farmhand soap. The rustic appearance, tang of strong cleanser, and hard working lather are all effective enough to remove the day's accumulation of trimming hooves, milking does, administering Ivomec, and mucking stalls. In fact, I wish I had it when those duties used to be mine.

I miss my goaties, but this soap allowed me some much needed nostalgia, which is a nice way to end 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Random Bathroom Basket

This won't be a regular series like the Melting Basket but I did realize I have not featured any of the scents I tend to melt in our guest bathroom (I don't melt in my bathroom, it is close enough to our bedroom that I don't need to). So here is a peek into my bathroom basket. All are gifts <3

Glitterati Seabreeze & Spearmint
Thirty Street Rocky Mountain Cucumber Melon
Haley's Heavenly Scents Hawaiian Sandalwood
Tiffany Candles Nordic Spa
The Bathing Garden Neroli Orange Blossom
K's Kreations Refreshing
Rainbow Melts Sour Garden
Scentsy My Dear Watson

I am funny about bathroom scents. I like them fresh/clean and sometimes but rarely fruity. I use a tiny wall plug-in Scentsy warmer in there with a small dish so all these have to be cut up which can be a pain, but they last for a few days. Do you melt in your bathroom? What scents do you gravitate towards?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cooking Cove: Hot Spiced Boiled Peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a real Southern treat. My husband, who hails from Ohio, is not a fan. At all. He thinks they taste like beans (and I never really put that together but they do have the same texture). Still, my love affair with a good boiled peanut runs deep and true. These tasty treats can be found at random locations where some good folk decide to park their truck and set up a pot to boil, usually dotting country highways and advertising with large hand painted signs.

This recipe came from an old Southern Living magazine and creates a nicely salted and zippy boiled peanut.

2 pounds of raw peanuts in the shell
1/3 cup of salt
3/4 cup of hot sauce (Texas Pete or Louisiana is pretty good for this, it takes a whole 6 ounce bottle)
1 (3 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 bay leaves

Bring all ingredients and one gallon of water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4-6 hours, until the peanuts inside the shell are tender. Stir and add water as needed to keep the peanuts covered. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for one more hour. 

Give 'em a shot. You just might be surprised. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Nautical Nerd: Monty Python and Harry Potter

This Monty Python and the Holy Grail shirt from TeeFury has a ton of great scenes all rolled into one epic castle image. I still enjoy my TeeFury experience. This one did take a little longer to arrive due to the holidays and the lady's fit sizes run about a size smaller, so I go up a size in these shirts. But $13 shipped for rare geeky shirts is a score in my book. They make shoes now too (Converse and Van's slip-on knock-offs) but they are crazy expensive, like around $60-$80 for one pair. I think I will stick to painting my own geeky shoes on a pair of clearanced out $30 TOMS.

My sister-in-law sent me this fabulous Harry Potter snuggie/blanket with sleeves/slanket to me for Christmas and I love it! I mean come on. Who doesn't want their own Gyffindor robes?! Other than Draco who wants to go to Pigfarts.

My sister sent this to me the other day. It gave me a much needed chuckle.

Any fun geekery going on in your life?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Bodygoodies: Free Shipping Order

Bodygoodies ran a free shipping promotion in the beginning of the month and I knew the pickings were ripe for a fresh bar of Rooibos soap. I may have added an additional item.

The patchouli solid lotion was on sale I believe, for around $5, but is back to $8. At first I was worried it was a little well aged, to be polite about it, but then I saw that it was pulled away from the edges on purpose, so I could tip it out of the tin easily and rub it all over. This disc of love over flows with rich oils and butter. It also smells amazingly strong of dark aged patchouli, hope chests stored in attics long forgotten, stained lace and dried bouquets. This solid lotion is pure joy to wear on my skin. 

The Rooibos was bought as mainly a face soap to use in the shower and bath. Many friends recommended it to help my problem skin (oily/acne). It is a lovely soap that smells pleasant and contains beneficial clay.

Do you plan on trying any new skin care routines in the coming new year? I vow to just be more regular in my makeup brush washing and serum applications.  

Friday, December 26, 2014

Moeggenborg Sugar Bush

Deb! Deb, you know the cutest places. As soon as I read Deb's post about Moeggenborg Sugar Bush, you bet I hightailed it over yonder to grab a few goodies. The free sample in the heart shaped peppermint soap was so adored I had to make it appear in multiple cameos. I wanted to sample a little of everything and ended up with these fellas.

Peppermint Break Away Tart Melts ($2.50) leans more towards a green minty leaf rather than peppermint hard candy disks. I am excited to add this to my bedtime melting rotation. Two cubes melted strong in the bedroom for several hours. 

Lavender Goat's Milk ($4.00) soap is a winner for sure. It is that perfect lavender blend that is neither too herbal nor too detergent, just sweet, purple lavender with maybe a hint of vanilla. 

The free sample Peppermint Soap has a more perky candy cane peppermint aroma than the wax tarts. I am not sure if this is due to the soap base or if it is an entirely different oil. I adore it either way and will be hard pressed to use it. I may gaze at it longingly until it crumbles into a heap of soap flakes in the year 2025 (that is the year Savanna graduates high school! Gah!).

The Chili Cheese & Bacon Dip ($3.00) was delicious! At Deb's recommendation I served it with Frito's Scoops and I threw in some standard Original Lay's Chips too. Everyone at the family gathering enjoyed it.

I will be back for more from Moeggenborg Sugar Bush. The prices are delightful, the products are of great quality and the TAT is quick. Next on my list to sample is their fudge. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Beezy: Christmas Haul

Pipe Smoke: Sweet golden raw tobacco leaves hanging from the rafters of barns, pipe shops, and Sherlock Holmes.

Christmas Wish: Christmas trees and sugar cookies, Santa's hug.

Home Sweet Home: Cinnamon and potpourri, country Christmas, .

Frosted Pinecone: Sugared minty pine trees, winter strolls with foggy breaths, Rudolph and Clarice's forest.

Apple Cinnamon: Spiced candied apples, cider and pies, Mrs. Claus' apron.

Vanilla Frosted Grahams: Gingerbread houses, soft homemade caramels, bedtime stories after milk and cookies.

I really enjoy ordering from Beezy when I am quick enough to catch him. He is like Santa. You know he is coming, just not sure exactly when. My only gripe this time is that some of the lids came cracked and pretty much useless. Easily solved by re-bagging, but I am running low on bags. Off to In The Clear I go. 

Free Sample in Hillbilly Homebrew: Zingy spiced cider that pinches your jaw, with the strength of 100 Hillbillies.Great!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Melting Basket 22

Wax tarts I would repurchase from the last basket include: CFTKR Christmas Cabin and Primitive Wishes and Cranberry Balsam. iheartwax Rosemary Mint Vanilla minty icecream with a touch of herbalness, strangely satisfying. SMT Frosty Pine, RG Peppermint/VBN/Christmas Past muffin.

Ten Digit Creations- Plumberry Spice <3 gift
Ten Digit Creations- Tobacco Caramel
Lasting Scent Candles- Santa Treats <3 gift
CFTKR- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
CFTKR- 'Tis the Season
CFTKR- Balsam & Citrus <3 gift
CFTKR- Christmas Song
Glitterati- Sandalwood Fireside & Pine
Rosegirls- Cinnamon Pinecones
Streetman- Cotton Candied Spruce
Butterfly Lane- Mountain Cider <3 gift
Sniff My Tarts- Bayberry/Spiced Cranberry/Country Christmas
Sniff My Tarts- Frosted Pine/Peppermint/Sugar Spruce
Book Scents- Fiery Cross

If you are curious about the throw/scent/longevity of any of these tarts, throw me a comment and I will do a review.

The kitchen is bustling with cooking and baking galore. I cannot wait to post the recipe for some of the BEST cakes I have ever made.

My Christmas cacti are bursting forth in bright blossoms and I am so excited! I tend to kill every plant that comes into this house. I am feeling a bit of Christmas hope.

Oh! And if you entered the NEST candle giveaway, the video of the drawing is here.

Merry Christmas Eve! <3

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Christmas TAG 2014

1. Favorite Christmas Movie?
I would have to say the original Grinch. The girls and I watched it the other night and I forgot just how much I adored the Tom & Jerry style cartoon drawings and the humor of it all.

2. What are 3 things on your Christmas list this year?
A Lush gift box of any type, a brown purse, and something smelly. Adam, I mean Santa, was not sure what purse to order me to he showed me one on Dillard's website and I loved it. He then was upset for second guessing himself and spoiling the surprise. <3

3. Does it snow where you live?
Not really, no. Folks still talk about he Snow of '77 in the Tampa Bay area.

4. What time do you get up on Christmas?
This is slightly embarrassing. I actually still get so stinking excited I have a hard time sleeping and I am up at like, 3 am. I stay in bed though because I like Savanna to have the first look around Christmas morning. I usually emerge around 6 or 7 am.

5. Biggest pet peeve about the Christmas season?
That is flies by.

6. Favorite Christmas Song?
Merry Christmas Darling, Karen Carpenter

7. Hot chocolate or eggnog?

8. Favorite thing to wear during the Christmas season?
Red lipstick and flashy nail polish!!

9. Embarrassing Christmas Story?
Explaining to my friends why my parents gifted me my own tub of Cool Whip for Christmas >because SOMEBODY liked to use her fingers to scoop out the creamy goodness<

10. Favorite Christmas treat?
Usually the pralines I make each year. I better got on that tomorrow!

11. Favorite Christmas character?
Bill Murray in Scrooged

12. What are you doing for the holidays this year?
Hanging out with my family as much as possible. Exchanging gifts, acting out the story of Jesus coming to Earth and feasting. Good times. Good times.

13. Your favorite Christmas tradition growing up?
Probably going to Nano's house on Christmas Eve. She set a fancy table with multiple courses, crackling fireplace, music, cousins, and sometimes even Santa stopped by. Nano always gave excellent gifts too. It was a glowing, exciting time.

14. White lights or colored?
White lights outside our home and colored light on the Christmas tree at our house.

15. Favorite Christmas dish?
I look forward to the sausage, egg and cheese casserole I make for breakfast every Christmas morning. It is the only time I make it. I prepare it the night before and pop it in the oven after present are opened.

16. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
Christmas Day!

17. What tops your tree?
A vintage looking glass ornament I picked up at an HSN outlet store about 10 years ago. The girls always say it is their favorite thing on the tree, strangely, as it doesn't light up or anything cool.

18. Favorite Christmas Story?
Jesus of course! The best gift of all.

19. Artificial tree or real tree?
Real tree, always. Even when I am an old lady (which Adam lovingly assures me I already am!). 

I TAG Ashley.

Hoping your Christmas Eve tomorrow is splendid and full of joy! Please share some of your favorite Christmas things!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Party Polishes

Christmas parties are about at the moment and I wanted to share with you a couple of my favorite holiday layering polish combinations.

Orly Star Spangled topped with Nicole by OPI Spark My Mistletoe, both have a bright blue based red color, but the added holographic micro glitter in Spark My Mistletoe just add the cherry on top.

OPI Designer... De Better with Sephora by OPI Only Gold for Me is a well loved and well used duo as you may see. Designer... De Better would totally be back up worthy if I could score another bottle. But they seem to be as rare as hen's teeth. My bottle is about 1/3 empty. The rose gold flecks make it stand out from most dupes I have seen. Adding the multi-sized gold glitter on top gives it more dimension and sparkle. 

L to R: Chanel Sweet Star, Orly combo, OPI combo.

Reverse order.

My Black Friday pre-order of this sweeeeeet polish back when I was in New York finally arrived! It does not disappoint. Sweet Star is a lilac leaning silver with pink and teal shimmer. Two coats, nice thin formula, average dry time.

The polish came with two samples I am slightly nervous to use... because if I love them... well, it's Chanel, and Chanel ain't cheap. They generously included a rich foaming cream cleanser and gentle biphase eye makeup remover.

What polish to you don upon the festive holiday season? I would love to know what is on those nails.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

200th Post/Half Year Anniversary/It's Christmas Time GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED* Winner!

Merry Christmas! I wanted to celebrate a little bit early in honor of a few things. This is my 200th post! The Redolent Mermaid is a little over half a year old! And hey! It's Christmas time. 

The giveaway is one NEST candle of your scent choice from this Sephora link. To enter this giveaway simply comment with the gift you are most excited to give this year for Christmas. I will close this out on Tuesday night at 8pm EST and have Savanna draw the winner from a hat. I am most excited to gift my little girl a pet gerbil. Savanna received her Bearded Dragon at 5 years old from Santa and now Scarlette is 5 and about to get her first real pet to call her own (fish don't really count do they?!). Shhhhh..... don't tell her!

Merry Christmas!

Congratulations! We have a winner! Watch the video to see....

Tiffany Candles: Black Friday Chunklets

Tiffany Candles is a wax vendor that I have not visited in quite sometime. Probably about 2 years since I ordered a couple scoopable wax scents (Birthday Bash and Serendipity Splash I believe). I remember getting quite a few compliments on Birthday Bash since I melted it during Scarlette's 3rd birthday party. The whirlwind world of wax had me going in all directions sampling and trying until Black Friday offered up the opportunity to purchase Tiffany's Chunklets for $8 a bag. I behaved and only picked one bag.

Chunklets in Creamy Vanilla with Mrs. Frost Over Pour was the choice I made in scents. Since these were pre-made and Ready to Ship (RTS) the turn around time was very short, only about a week I reckon. This blend combines vanilla, cinnamon and peppermint I think. On cold sniff the vanilla stands out with a Red Hot cinnamon lurking underneath, this vanilla has a milky quality. When melted, the strength was medium strong to strong and lasted about 5 hours. The scent remained a creamy cinnamon with a milky hue. I am not sure if I would repurchase this particular blend but it might grow on me yet.

Free samples in Blackberry Jam Butter Cookies & Mashmallow Zucchini Bread- A wonderful BJBC that is juicy and bright with a delicious creamy zucchini bread accent. Excited about this one.

Serendipity Splash- A perky cherry and coconut serendipity blend with a dash of peppermint and maybe pink sugar? I forgot how much a enjoy this scent.

Have you tried Tiffany Candles recently? Any stand out scents?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Moonalisa: Yule Release

During Moonalisa's Yule Release, I decided I needed a larger quantity of Where's My Pie!? scent and I also wanted to experience Moona's 4-in-1 gel.

Where's My Pie!? Sugar Load Scrub still has that same sweet cinnamon infused Snickerdoodle/Apple pastry/Fall Baked goods type of smell as the soap sample I received last order. Usually, I am a non-bakery fan in body care but this is my one exception thus far. The Sugar Load Scrub is thick like cream cheese frosting and contains bits of granular sugar within its white creaminess. This formula lathers as you use it. It made my hands feel strangely dry while using it. I probably will not repurchase the Sugar Load Scrub again.

The cute packet of freebies included a candy cane and a peppermint and cocoa butter massage bar. I used it as lotion and quite enjoy the scent. It did an excellent job of moisturizing my skin and could see a heavy duty hydrator such as this coming in handy this winter.

O'Tannenbaum 4-in-1 gel kind of took me aback. As an evergreen fragrance I had expected a strong pine resin/camphorous aroma, but when I opened the bottle and inhaled I got nothing but some soapiness. I decided to take this in a hot shower where the scent could really fly and the most I smelt was a very light slighty musty dying Christmas tree. I enjoy the strange and unusual, much like Lydia in Beetlejuice, but this just did not ring my chimes the way I had hoped. I will certainly use it up but will not be repurchasing this particular scent again. The gel itself bubbled nicely and cleansed the skin quite well with no tight feeling after rinsing. I plan on using it in my hair as a shampoo next. 

Overall, this second order left me feeling a little flat about a company that has wonderful popularity and many, many raves. Moonalisa does have beautifully packaged products, excellent customer service, and unique scents. Do you have any recommendations for a product of theirs you think will hook me?

Only 5 more sleeps before Christmas!!!

Sea of Trees at Sea World

Trader Joe's: Chocolate Passport

My first ever Trader Joe product! Pinch me! The teachers were gifted this cool Chocolate Passport and I must say... this is a great gift for teachers, or the mailman, or hairdressers, or... people. Except my sister who hates chocolate. Not her.

The packaging makes this extra special. Each chocolate in the library has its country of origin, cocoa percentage, and what foods it would compliment as a pairing. The wrapping is colorful and festive, and the nautical theme and maps on the inside are nice touches.

Thought I would share as a last minute gift giving idea. I know it was a hit with the other teachers and myself (it also comes in handy when encountering Dementors). Do you have any great last minute gift giving ideas or finds?