Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Scentsy: End of Month Sale

Renee hosted an End-of-Month Sale at her home Friday, so I popped over after work and grabbed three tarts and one warmer (the warmer is for a buddy so I can't show it). These bars were $3.75 each. 

African Mahogany- "A crisp, outdoorsy fragrance combining precious woods with a hint of musk and amber." 
 A well done vanilla amber woods. Quite lovely.

Maui Mist- "Creamy bouquet of rose, lilac, wood and musk drizzled with creamy vanilla."
These notes merge to create an alluring tropical coconut destination fragrance. Not too cloying and very well blended.

Spiced Grapefruit- "Sweet with a little tang, the aroma of mandarins offers a clear, juicy orange note while bitter bergamot adds intensity and a little Mediterranean zest. The assertive citrus pairing is mellowed with allspice, nutmeg, and coriander, warming spices that round out the fragrance profile."
What a description! Yes, spiced citrus- strong, sweet and delicious!

GUYS! I was sniffing Renee's scent testers for the new bars coming out for Spring/Summer and Bonfire Beach is a dupe for BBW Marshmallow Fireside! I can't say how close it is or well it throws, but I will be buying it next month. Coconut is the scent trend and there were many yummy blends done with it. 

Have you checked out the new Scentsy scents? Have you tried any of these BBMB? 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Traditions: Cascarones & Resurrection Eggs

Here are the cascarones I mentioned in a recent Melting Basket post. Our local Walmart sells these for about $2 per carton. Adam and I hide them Easter morning and after church and lunch, the girls go out to hunt eggs and we take turns smashing them on everyone's heads. These are rather easy to make at home with the kiddos too. If you want to jazz things up a bit you can insert flowers, soft trinkets, and/or glitter. 

This is our other Easter tradition, Resurrection Eggs. There are a dozen eggs, each filled with one item. As you read about the story of Jesus, you let your children open the eggs to find a physical symbol that represents each portion of the story. 

It can be a little graphic for some children or families, as it does tell the story as it is written in the Bible- no holds barred. If you are interested you can find it for sale here.

I am hoping to incorporate more traditions as they arise, but this is all for now. What was your favorite Easter tradition as a child? Mine was egg hunting at MeMa and PopPop's, as they used to put change in the eggs. :-)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lush Life: Phoenix Rising

This sparkling beauty cost $6.95 and smells like cinnamon and must have a ton of oils in it, because the Lush bag it was stored in is covered with dark purple oil. 

When I used this I was not in a picture taking mood- I just wanted to read in a bath tub full of purple cinnamon goodness and that is exactly what I got. I will most definitely repurchase this. Reminds me of Dumbledore. >Raising wand with a tear in my eye, as I smell spicy and my skin feels soft< 

Have you tried this one?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Candles From The Keeping Room: March Order

Strawberry Marshmallow candle- Fresh Picked Strawberry impeccably blended with creamy marshmallow. Shaking my head in wonder. Sunnee mentioned loving her Fresh Picked Strawberry Chunky Marshmallow cuttable that was in her last order. I immediately bookmarked the page where this candle lay and then waited like a spider in the shadows to spring the trap on this beauty once the opening was announced. But then spider decided to take a shower like a goof. Upon emerging from the stall, the spider heard its phone ding an alert. Thankfully the spider's friend told her to "HURRY! It's OPEN!" The creepy spider is blessed to have friends like the beautiful butterfly, who watches out for her. Truly. 

My CFTKR opening order secret. I hunt through the website and bookmark two or three tart categories I really want to try and nab scents from. Then, I close out all the browsers and windows and wait patiently for Carol to announce the opening on Facebook. Once she does, I zoom to the bookmark I want most then go from there. I know it is not mind blowing information, but I find it works for me way better than just making a list on paper. Also, please make sure you are abiding Carol's own set of guidelines that can be found in her Facebook group. 

Savanna opened this whole order on her own. She unwrapped the tarts, made me smell them then went to the next one. When she got to the candle her eyes rounded and she exclaimed "MOM! That is the BEST candle I have ever seen!" Yes, my sweet babe, yes it is. I apologize now for setting your smelly candle standards so high wee one. 

Cedar Sage Blackberry- Had to grab another bag since I loved it so much in my previous order. 

Primitive Wishes- Lynda generously gifted me a tart in this scent and I fell hard for it. It is described as a sugar cookie, Christmas tree, holiday kitchen aroma. It throws beautifully, creates a cozy atmosphere and easily sits in one of my Top Ten favorite scents.

Strudel and Spice- Sweet cinnamon nirvana. The type of cinnamon that has a moist bakery note that floats concentrated and comfortingly around the air. 

Jam and Scones- Sunnee placed Jam and Scones high on her rate list and I had never tried them, so I sought to remedy that situation. The jam reminds me of wildberries and the bakery has a shortbread/biscuit feel. A very nice fragrance that isn't too sweet.

Spicy Kitchen- A spiced orange blend that has a note of which I am not too fond. A watered down anise flavor that I hope will change as it melts.

Orange Juice Cake- This scent smells so much more amazing warmed than it does on cold sniff (which accounts for my hope springing for the one above). A delicious combination of white vanilla cake and orange glaze. 

Coconut Strawberry Cake- The cold sniff hints to a stellar melting experience. Creamy coconut, fresh sweet strawberry and a hint of white vanilla cake.

Full Moon- I hesitate to talk too much about this one. The oil is discontinued. But in case it shows up in a destash somewhere... GET IT. Spiced oranges that take a whole different direction than the Spicy Kitchen above, or even the Christmas versions of spiced orange. Full Moon takes the richly spiced, sweet oranges and sets them in a secluded cabin surrounded by dark primitive forests. Excellent.

Red Saffron- This is an example of how Carol's amazing samples get one in trouble. Red Saffron is described as an incense shop on the website, but it smells more like a high end gift shop to my nose. Redolent of subdued spice, dried citrus, and woods. 

Chocolate Orchid- Sweet and sophisticated floral that I adore.

Marshmallow Fireside Type- I would not say this exactly duplicates BBW Marshmallow Fireside, but that does not take away from the quality of the scent. This version has a fragrance to it that feels more mature and sophisticated. The fireside reminds me of a hearth in someone's home.The marshmallow portion calls out sweetly and is no wallflower.

Amber Blush Type- Another BBW dupe, but this is one I am not familiar with at all. This is my least favorite of the bunch. Please don't flame me, but I honestly feel like most BBW fragrances smell very similar when it comes to their fruity-florals. Amber Blush does not smell bad, but it just smells... there. 


Island Kiss- Beautiful! Greenery, coconut, tropical musk. I love it.

Cookie Kitchen- Vanilla bakery with a crunchy cookie feel. Hard for me to get a handle on cold, but for me, most of Carol's bakery unfolds wonderfully when melted. The paraffin keeps its secrets on cold sniff.

Banana Nutmeg Bread Pudding- Smells like banana bread right now. Potential is high.

Fluffy Fruit Salad- If Ambrosia salad was made into a perfume this would be it.

Spun Kiwi Raspberry- When Savanna was finished unwrapping and sniffing, this was the one she asked if she could have in her room. Told her yes of course, after I write about it. The cotton candy and strawberry are nicely sweet but the kiwi here has a green note. More of a kiwi skin rather than the juicy flesh in the center, but it keeps the scent from being too sweet and is rather nice.

Strawberry Raspberry Torte- The star of the sample bag for my nose. Juicy bright berries with a soft vanilla bedding.

Mr. Bear In The Blackberry Patch- This name is the best. I love this guy too. Mr. Bear has some serious baked goods in his berry patch. Reminded me of BJBC initially, but then I realized it is missing that sometimes over bearing butter note and replaced it with a hint of spices. 

Festive Berry- Very tart with zingy citrus that almost bubbles under the nose. The berries don't ride shotgun in this but they are there in the backseat.

Citrus Sorbet- Citrus, coconut, soft woods and musk is what my nose translates this tart as being built around. I could be, and probably am, totally off but I love it! I would love more of this for spring/summer.

Almost Paradise- Coconut. In a big way. I like it. Reminds me of sunscreen.

Fresh Fruit- Smells similar to the Fruit Slices scent a lot of vendors carry. Berries and citrus, more sweet than Festive Berry.

Gingered Peach BBW Type-  Yes, ginger and peaches, but also more. That BBW base that is swimming with other notes that makes everything from there feel like family members, related in some way. I like it and will enjoy melting it, but probably wouldn't hunt this one down on order day. 

Were you able to order at this most recent opening? My CFTKR stash is looking healthy again. I hope she opens in April and May again before she takes off for the summer. What scents from Carol do you adore? Any recommendations for me to try? Happy Saturday!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Mermaid's Makeup Collection: Eyeshadows

I have a great affinity for cosmetics. The artistry of application, the practicality of not looking like a zombie upon awakening, and the plain old fun of colors, textures and variety. I figured I would start my makeup collection post with eyeshadows, if there is even an interest for this sort of thing. I have medium to tan olive undertone skin with hazel eyes and dark hair. I love neutrals, sometimes purples and shy away from blues usually. 

Bare Minerals shadows were the first to start my collection many many years ago. They last forever, but tend to get messy.

L to R: Old Gold, Naked, Violet, Gift O' Glamour, Gilded Green, and Pink Opal.

Other loose powder pigments that I love come from MAC. They too last longer than Methuselah, making them an excellent buy. In fact the pot on the far right was a free sample in Pink Opal that just keeps multiplying like some sort of never ending fountain of pearlized shadow. The MACs tend to make less mess than the Bare Minerals for me.

My third favorite eyeshadow of all time is this pigment in Old Gold. It shifts green to bronze and gold. I get the most compliments while wearing this color as a wash with a cat eye.

Singles L to R: Edward Bess Mystery, Edward Bess Intimate, NARS Lhasa.

If I was ever limited to only two eyeshadows for the rest of my life it would be the two Edward Bess shades I would keep. I use Intimate on the lid and Mystery in the crease. I bought these half off on Modnique. The colors look deceptively simple but they work a magic on my eyes. The pigment is a rich and creamy powder that blends beautifully. 

My Z-Palette is full of all types of brands and palettes: Urban Decay Book of Shadows 4, DuWop Peacock, Stila It Girl, Too Faced Insurance Policy, and a few random singles. 

Palettes: Too Faced New Year New You (blush included), Chanel Harmonie du Soir Quad, Urban Decay Naked 2, Urban Decay Naked 3, and Beverly Hills Anastasia Brunette/Dark Brown eyebrow powder. 

When traveling, I take one of my Naked palettes and the Chanel palette every time. 

Cream Shadows: Benefit Birthday Suit, Guerlain Ombre Fusion 02, Guerlain Ombre Fusion 03. 

I regret buying the Benefit cream shadow. I read all the raves but I just find it so hard to work with, very stiff and unyielding. I am thinking mine is dried out and old but that infuriates me even more, having bought it from Sephora at full price. Yes, I could return it, but I just can't seem to abide returning cosmetics. Plus I don't want to lose my points. The Guerlain creams are simply gorgeous as washes of color on the lids. Metallic and vibrant. Another cheap thrill from Modnique. 

I have tried eyeshadow primers from Urban Decay, Too Faced, and Tarte. I enjoy Urban Decay, but I gravitate towards Too Faced the most. My eyeshadow consistently holds brighter pigment, little to no creasing and stands up to hot and sweaty Florida days with this brand. 

Some shadows I have on my radar to try include: Rouge Bunny Rouge, Dior 5 shadow palettes, and a Geurlain palette. What are your three desert island eyeshadows/palettes? Where do you buy discounted makeup? Are you even interested in what lies within my makeup collection? Please tell!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Melting Basket 31

Wax tarts from my last basket I would buy again include: RG Sugared Jasmine, RG American Cream, RG Spearmint Snow Taffy, TDC Honey Lemon, BHG Pink Sugar Berry, CFTKR Strawberry Spruce, Alamo Havana, LSC Snicklefritz and Caramel Drizzle Cookie. 

I want to talk about the Mini Melters for a second. I really enjoyed pairing Sugared Jasmine and American Cream together, but more importantly I really enjoy them on their own as well. Tobacco and Blackberry Amber melded nicely together too, but I did not include them on my "buy again" above because I would rather have them blended in a custom order of muffins with Twilight Woods or Vanilla Musk added. I am finding some scents I like in blends, I am not as enthusiastic about as single scents. Have you played with Mini Melters lately? What are some combos you are loving?

The contents of this basket I am about to melt include:

Up The Creek Scents- American Cream Pink Sugar Marshmallow Bean Noel FINALLY!!!
Alamo Candelaria- Fraser's Ridge
Alamo Candelaria- La Dame Blanche
Glitterati- Blackberry Plumberry Raspberry Sangria
Rosegirls- Sweet Lemon Confection, Pink Sugar, Gilligan's Brew
Rosegirls- Strawberry Raspberry Guava and Blonde Moment
Rosegirls- Cherry Berry Punch Lemonade
Rosegirls- Koop Troopa Assault
Rosegirls- Alice in Wonderland
Rosegirls- Save the Drama for Your Mama <3 gift
Rosegirls- Blackberry Jam Butter Cookie/Florida Key Lime Pie/Ice Cream Scoop Bread <3 gift
CFTKR- Spun Peppermint
CFTKR- Pink Sugared Violets
CFTKR- Cane Sugar Cookie
CFTKR- Lavender Cream Peppermint
CFTKR- Spun Rainbow Sherbet
CFTKR- Chocolate Orchid <3 gift
CFTKR- Sea Salt & Yuzu
CFTKR- Secret Wonderland

Bright, fruity and floral are the name of the game this week. Too ready for punchy and perky scents. Please let me know if you are curious about any of the above, I will review it just for you.

So Easter is hopping right along. I sadly have very few Easter decorations. Easter in our home tends to focus more on spiritual gifts than bunnies. The girls do get a basket Easter morning, but from us not a bunny- in celebration of the gifts we were given by God, especially the biggest one.

The Dollar Tree had lots of cute things, but in the end I chose the hanging crosses.The egg wreath was a gift from Aunt Portia, I think she got it at Walmart, where she works. I put it up every year. It has tiny lights in it, but I am not sure if you can see them.

Our old entertainment center and tube TV's are finally out of the house! The Johnsons have their first flat screens. In 2015. We just wanted to wait until the technology was perfected ;-) But now I am not sure where I will hang our Christmas stockings. Oops. 

Any fun Easter plans? Mine include making those November cakes again and smashing cascarones on as many heads I can reach. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Lush Life: Fizzbanger Ballistic

I have wanted this one for a long time. A few years ago I hosted a "Favorite Things" Mom's Night In, where each of us bought one item that we all loved (and enough for each person coming to have one). There were things little Cookie Butter, Meyer's Cleaning products, Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels, Burt's Bees lip-balm, and I contributed: Lush bath bombs. One of my friends, Lori, got this particular "flavor" and texted me a few days later to tell me how crazy fun it was and at the end she found a piece of paper that said "BANG!" in the bottom of her bath tub. I knew I needed to try this one. It ran me $5.95.

Fizzbanger provided quite the show for my eyes and senses. It is described as having a spicy apple cinnamon/toffee scent by Lush, but I mainly got a generic spicy sweetness. I loved it! The scent strength was perfect and the bath as a whole was quite enjoyable. 

In the center of the picture you can barely make out the paper that says "Bang!" on it floating about. Repurchase for fun and strong scent factors. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Random Bathroom Basket Check-In

New smellies in the bathroom! Wanna see what masks the more unpleasant odors of life 'round these parts?

Scentsy- My Dear Watson

Scentsy- Sedona Sunset

Better Homes & Gardens- Valencia Blood Orange

Better Homes & Gardens- Sugared Lavender Twist

Glade- Blooming Peony & Cherry <3 gift

Up The Creek- Lavender Vanilla

Tiffany Candles- Rosemary Mint w/ Cactus & Sea Salt OP

Tiffany Candles- Serendipity Splash

Tiffany Candles- Tangerine

The Bathing Garden- Old Fashioned Valentine <3 gift

The Bathing Garden- The Hedge Maze <3 gift

The Bathing Garden- Sparkle and Spice <3 gift

The Bathing Garden- Spiced Cinnamon <3 gift

The Bathing Garden- Jack Frost <3 gift

The Bathing Garden- Ophelia in Gold <3 gift

Well. This month turned a lot more interesting than I anticipated as far as wax goes. Here is a recap of pending waxy orders from late February to now (really these are ALL my pending wax orders):

Rosegirls Mini Melt orders on February 25th and March 2nd (both 5 scents or less).
Beezy orders on March 5th. I placed two small ones. One has a dozen scent shots and the other 7 scent shots. 
Haley's Heavenly Scents sale order on the 14th, with 9 bags of scents, some prim words, some cupcakes, and some bundt cakes.
Vintage Chic Scents orders on the 20th, one a spring time sampler, and the other, one blossom bag and one flower 3-pack. 
Candles From the Keeping Room on the 21st times two as well. See a trend here? I am such a nut. I landed my first CFTKR candle and some amazing scents. So totally stoked about that one. 

I am excited that VCS and CFTKR are quicker TAT's and that the others will come a little later. Honestly, my wax bin levels are dipping quite a bit and could use some refreshing. Especially with all my up coming Spring Break melting. What orders have you placed this month? Anything you are particularly excited about arriving?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lush Life: Easter Goodies

Lush really comes out with the cutest holiday and seasonal releases. 

Golden Egg bath bomb melt runs $8.95 and smells of honeyed toffee. My sister, Darby, gifted this one to me as a surprise one morning in the Sunday Marriage Bible Study we both attend with our spouses. It was funny because Ashley and I were just talking about this sparkly guy. It came as a very sweet and generous unexpected gift. 

The Immaculate Eggception purports to be a vanilla-grapefruit but I swear I only smells the most amazingly festive cotton candy scent. The mama-jama cost a whopping $12.95 but can be used in three installments. There is a surprise rattling around inside too. 

Bubblegrub crawled right into my Lush bag. It cost me $7.95 to adopt him. His vanilla, tonka, sandalwood scented self was worth every penny. Just to look at his face would be worth it. He looks like he has been goosed. "oooooOOO!"

Free sample in Big shampoo. Sunnee loves this stuff and her praises had me wanted to try it BIG time. Ha. Ha. Ha. Really though. She did. The salt flakes threw me for a loop at first but dissolved rather quickly. I did not find any lingering in my hair post-shower (unlike Curly Wurly that leaves coconut flakes in my hair for days, like some mad hide-and-seek game or a squirrel storing a snack in my hair for a long winter ahead). I loved the scent and the feel of my hair after using it. The lather seemed to be minimal, but it could have been my washing methods. 

Any holiday release Lush splurges for you? What is your Lush staple?