Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of 2015

Yeah, I know. You came here to see what wax, soap, and perfumes stood out this year and made the best of 2015. But I wanted to start out showing one of my favorite moments of 2015. Our yearly family vacation. You see, we normally go alone, just the four of us, but this year my sister and her husband came along and it was so much fun. It was like going to Disney but then there are no lines to wait in and the food is free. Great made even better. And this photo captures that. My husband and brother-in-law goofing around at Rock City while my youngest looks on with her hand on her hip going "what are those knuckle heads up to now?" Darby and I melting wax and burning candles in the cabin, then going on the porch to drink coffee, stare at the mountainous vista and chat about the day to come. Making her watch "When Harry Met Sally" for the first time. I have been incredibly blessed this year. I got to visit one of my best friends half way around the world, talk with special friends both online and in person every day, and watch my girls grow into themselves and my husband succeed at being a manager for the first time. I hope you share some of your 2015 highlights too. 

Now on to the smelly stuff!

I am listing my top favorite vendors of the year with my picks for favorite scent(s) from them as well as some thoughts, all my own, please chime in if you wish!

Top Ten Scents of 2015:
1. SMT Pink Peppermint
2. CFTKR Balsam and Citrus
3. TBG Ever Night
4. Rosegirls Rosegirls' Garden/Raspberry Sauce/Vanilla Bean Noel.
5. LSC Sweet Embers
6. CFTKR Tokyo Nights
7. Rosegirls Monkey Business Fluff Puffs
8. LSC Sweet Dreams
9. TBG Belladonna Tincture
10. LCP Warm Cider and Falling Leaves

Top Scent of the Year:
Cinnamon Broom- loved it from Ava's Country Cupboard, Long Cane Primitives, and Rosegirls Scoopables.

 Top Five Vendors:
Candles From the Keeping Room- Yes it can be difficult to order and the rules are a bit much but honestly, if it is good wax I am after, I go here. I know the chances of a good throw are high and I know I can wait a year and it will still perform. I wish she was still on Etsy where I could happily stalk an announced opening. But I will take what I can get. Even if that means only ordering a handful of times a year. My all time CFTKR faves: Fresh Picked Strawberry, Summer Strawberry Taffy, Tokyo Nights, Balsam and Citrus, Apple Dumpling, Ice and Snow.

Rosegirls- Ah. My heart broke when Jenny announced no custom opening on the horizon. In my opinion, Rosegirls did the best custom options and products out there. I can't quite get on with the Mini Melters. I have ordered quite a few and been gifted quite a few. But at the end of the day, there is magic in Jenny's custom creations. Of course, my opinion does not amount to a hill of wax crumbles because Jenny has to do what is best for her and her company and she does an amazing job. She will never be able to please everyone and looking forward towards her company's growth is the bottom line. She has to follow her gut. She will do great I hope and know. I am looking forward to her sale of house blended pies and bags. So as far as single scents go, here are the Rosegirls stand outs: Gilligan's Brew, Swizzle Sticks, Sweet Lavender, Raspberry Sauce, Streuselkuchen. House blends: Americana Wafers, Berry Lovely blends, Wonders of the World, Cool Beans, Peppermint Coconut Marshmallow, Monster Cookie Fluff Puff, Monkey Business Fluff Puff, Donkey Kong Destruction.

The Bathing Garden- Shannon popped back into my wax heart after being absent for a while. I had heard murmurs of poor performance so I shied away. But once she opened her website permanently, I began to sit up and take notice. Shannon adds new releases seasonally and takes away older collections. The TAT is about 6 weeks, so not bad for basically a custom order. I have had excellent quality from: Ever Night, Belladonna Tincture, Sea of Tears, Alice in Gold (or sometimes known as Ophelia in Gold).

Lasting Scent Candles- This is the year that LSC made a comeback. Sadly, the comeback was as they were planning to wind down. Pam and Jennifer announced they were running through the last of their oils and supplies before shutting for good. They opened three times and I placed orders each time. Not sure if there will be another one after the holiday orders ship, but just in case: Sweet Embers, Sweet Dreams, Candyland Dreamin', Sweet Decadence, Wedding Cake blends, lavender blends, lemon blends. I have had good throw and great quality from them. 

Sniff My Tarts- Amy and Donna open a couple times a year, allowing for custom blending with their great wax list. I get consistently good throw and they have many wonderful scents to blend with: Marshmallow Noel and Candy is my new favorite from 2015. Other faves include: Marshmallow Noel, Pink Sugar, Pink Noel, Peggy's Blueberry Noel, Rosemary Mint, Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake, Honeyed Gingerbread.

Plus One:
Sugar and Spice- For fast custom blending, always open store and great scents, Sugar and Spice really cannot be beat. I made one or two custom orders this year but resolve to do a lot more in 2016. Some of my favorite scents from Shanna include: Serendipity, Marshmallow Fireside, Leaves, Pumpkins in the Fire, Marshmallow, Butterbrickle, Birthday Cake, Ghost Munch, Funnel Cake, Blue Ribbon Cookie.

Best New Vendor:

Pocket Full of Peonies- Great shapes, good throw and unique blends and beautiful branding. The rose loaf is amazing. I don't have much experience with her scent list but I did enjoy: Pink Peppermint Frost, Sweet Nothings. I do look forward to trying out more of her line. 

So there were a couple vendors I stopped ordering from in 2015. Front Porch had an unpleasant scandal earlier in the year that made me step away. Also Ten Digit Creations did as well, with some thoughtless naming of products that has since been fixed. I am of two minds about these things: 1. I really would like to buy wax just for the sole purpose of the quality of wax. But. 2. I also am very aware of how spending my money shows a support of vendors and their actions. Everyone has different hot buttons. Some people can over look things. I, however, have made these decisions and in no way expect others to follow me. I am just being open and clearing the air in case anyone wonders why they do not see Front Porch or TDC orders on here any longer.

Two soaps stood out to me the most this year so they are tied:

FuturePrimitive Jilted and Crushed from their Valentine's Day release (Rejoice! It is returning!).

Handmade in Florida Moroccan Tea Mint and my husband loves it so much he got two bars in his stocking which he promptly shook at me and said "And these are mine!"

My top fragrance experience this year was visiting Le Labo in Tokyo. The neighborhood it resided in was beautiful, the store was exquisite and the Tokyo exclusive, Gaiac 10, is gorgeous. I am so thankful and happy Ashley and I went. 

Fragrances I bought full bottles of in 2015: 
1. Gaiac 10 by Le Labo
2. Chergui by Serge Lutens
3. Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
4. Rose Flash by Tauerville
5. Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin by Dame Perfumery
6. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau by Diptyque

My Top Five Fragrances I Sampled in 2015:
1. Pacific Forest by Sonoma Scent Studio
2. Bergamoss by Aftelier
3. Conjure by Solstice Scents
4. En Passant by Malle
5. Woodcut by Olympic Orchids

Rose sure had its year with me. So I am doing my top five roses for 2015 (my official note of the year):
1. Rose Flash by Tauerville
2. Mohur by Neela Vermier Creations
3. Intense Cafe by Montale
4. Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens
5. Rose Mallow Cream by Solstice Scents

Bath Treats:

Haus of Gloi Butterbombs are an affordable way to get an incredibly scented moisturizing bath. My favorite scent of the year was Silver Fir but there was not one I did not enjoy.

FuturePrimitive Vanishing Milk Baths were a luxurious was to experience both a milk bath and a bath tea. The scent I enjoyed most was Opium Den.

Solstice Scents Dead Sea Bath Salts in Lavender Vanilla (but any scent will do!) provided an indulgent luxury when Angela restocked them on occasion. Not sure if she will be making as much of her body care as she delved further into EDPs. 

Lush French Kiss Bubble Bar is still my favorite way to get big bubbles in the tub. 

Body Care:

Haus of Gloi pumpkin butter in Moon Dog had to be my best lotion of the year. I loved it.

FuturePrimitive 3 in 1 whipped soap, hair conditioning rinse, and body whip in Indian Temple Attar. (Yes another rose).


L'Artisan The et Pain d'Epices was my favorite high-end candle of the year. Its subtle warming spices created a relaxing atmosphere in my bedroom.

Bath and Body Works Peace candle was my favorite overall candle this year. I very much enjoyed the sweet vanilla woods fragrance, but only in the 3-wick version. It still was about a medium-light in my bedroom but perfect for my nightstand. 

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Coconut was my favorite heavy hitter of the year. That beast smelled up my whole house with rich coconut and bakery yumminess. 

What a list! I had fun exploring new scents this year and I look forward to expanding that again next year. What are some of your favorites? Do we have any in common? What vendors should I try in 2016?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marc Jacobs Beauty: Velvet Noir Mascara via Influester

This mascara was sent free of charge from Influenster for product testing purposes. 

I have used Marc Jacob Beauty cosmetics previously this year when I chose the 500 point Marc Jacobs Reward at Sephora. I absolutely loved all the items and have since used them frequently. In fact, one of my sisters used the eyeliner pencil and commented on how nice it glided on. 

Influenster sent me this box before Christmas but with all the chaos and things I needed to take care of I really did not get a chance to wear it often enough to feel like I could do a proper review. But now a week later, I have had the chance to wear it several times.

Marc Jacobs undoubtedly established itself as a high end beauty brand without compromise to integrity. The pigments are concentrated, wear time is marvelous and the packaging elegant. 

This full sized mascara runs $26 at Sephora. The ebony hexagonal tube displays Marc Jacobs in silver lettering. The wand's shape is slightly hourglass with spiraling spiky bristles. I enjoy that the wand is not overly exaggerated in the hourglass shape, as that makes it hard for me to use without painting my whole face in black goo. 

The wear was excellent. It created long feathery lashes with thick volume. It did have a tendency to clump if I layered it on crazy thick but nothing I could not tame with an eyelash/eyebrow comb. It stayed put very well with no smudging, flaking or migrating. 

Now you get to look at my mug. My lashes are pretty puny on their own so this is pretty good length and volume on me. 

I would absolutely repurchase this mascara again. I enjoy Marc Jacobs original mascara as well. Have you tried any Marc Jacobs Beauty yet? What do you think?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book(ish) Box: December

My last Book(ish) Box arrived, and it was the best. Simply amazing. There was a hitch with my shirt but more on that later.

I believe this was around $34 shipped, and it arrived around the 17th or 18th I want to say.

Love. I mean.... look at this!

I kinda figured a coffee mug would be included in this box, as it was hinted at on Instagram. This came from Coffee Reading Writing and I love it. Normally $12 a mug, it looks like.

The hand knitted coffee cozy reads " Reading is Sexy" and is sold by Comfy Cozy Scarf for $12 on Etsy. Another hit for me. It is soft and well made. The cup was not included... it is for modeling purposes only. :-)

The tiny little ornament (maybe two inches or so in diameter) came from Novel Adornment. The owner, Faith, takes damaged books and cuts them up to put in these ornaments. This book was The Glass Castle and I believe these are $5 each. 

Harry Potter gift tags... yessssssss. These came from Hello World Paper Co.  Not sure of pricing. But they are great quality and look amazing. I will be saving these for my fellow Potter fans. 

The shirt this month is amazing. And the quote, "Books are a uniquely portable magic," comes from on of the authors that made me fall in love with reading when I was about 11 or 12... Stephen King. At about that time my stepdad had given me Pet Cemetary to read, then it followed It, Thinner, Cujo, The Shining and on and on. The last Stephen King book I read was Duma Key a few years ago. The shirt runs a tad tight and there was a mix up. I had paid for an upgrade to 3/4 lace sleeves but the shirt arrived regular. I emailed the owner and she quickly responded that there was too much in the box and it would not have fit. I asked if I could apply the upgrade (about $7) to January's box. She did not answer that question but said I could get the upgraded shirt in January's box or a refund. At first I was going to get the box but then took another look at my budget and decided to do a refund. So far it has not come through but it is the holiday season and I am in no rush. I am a tad bummed I couldn't just get January's box minus the $7. 

Overall I am happy with the Book(ish) Box subscription. I did cancel due to the relatively high cost of $34 and change each month but I would get it again. January's box is Sherlock themed. I die. Love Sherlock. Do any of these items stand out to you? Have you tried a book box? Owl Crate looks cool too.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Current Wax Stash

Hello out there! We are back home from the holiday run around. Husband and I took down the Christmas decorations and lights. The tree is tucked into the fire pit, ready to blaze on Friday night (Saturday the highs will be in the 60's and lows in the 40's! YES!). I am ready to tackle my 2016 goals. And part of that is melting my wax. I keep all my wax, with the exception of melting basket choices, in these two three-drawer organizers. When I first got into wax years ago I organized by wax containers ie: clamshells, scent shots, bags and what not. I quickly realized that the stronger scents were infiltrating my softer scents... soon everything started smelling of coffee or zucchini bread. So I moved to the scent category method not long after.

The containers sit in my closet. Please excuse the down and dirty iPhone shots. And any untidy carpet scenes. The lighting kind of stinks too but I was not in the mood to be elaborate or stage the shots too much. I wanted to bring you into where the wax lives, where I can sometimes be found rummaging through the bins to smell the lovlies.
 The tops of the drawers hold shipping things, baggies, tape, knick-knacks and whatnot. 

The top drawer in the white organizer holds my floral/earthy/clean scents. 

Some top favorites in this category include: TBG Sea of Tears and Belladonna Tincture, CFTKR Tokyo Nights, Mistletoe and Ivy, OPT Rosewood and Musk. I love down and dirty patchouli, nag champa and dragon's blood, but I melt them as soon as I get them... so none left. Other general scents for any vendor in this one I love are: Rose Jam dupes, Cedar and Saffron, Gardenia Coconut, and most any woodsy and/or amber scents. And Lush dupes. Of course.

The second drawer in the white organizer holds all my bakery heavy blends.

Favorites in this drawer include: RG Wonders of the World, SMT honey gingerbread blends, CFTKR Apple Dumpling and Amish Quilt, LSC Sweet Decadence, and LPL The Lodge. I also enjoy pretty much anyone's Cinnamon Broom, Celtic Moonspice or strong apple cinnamon blends. You notice my bakery leans more spice than anything. Though I do love a good cookie or cake scent.

The bottom drawer holds my fruity stash.

Top billing in here goes to: CFTKR Fresh Picked Strawberry, Sweet (or Summer?) Strawberry Taffy, and Jill's Strawberry Cream Jelly Roll, LSC Felicity, RG Berry Lovely blends. I am horribly picky about fruit scents. I wish I wasn't. I pick up too sweet or artificial as negative things in my nose. Lemonades smell vomitous, fake strawberry smells of rubber, oranges can be too powdery, melons too sickly cloying, grapes are bleh, and banana has to be just right. Fruity bakery combined is one of my least favorite things unless it is apples and some lemons (or the perfect banana with tons of cinnamon). I am a weirdo. An anomaly. I am probably losing followers as I type this, but I cannot change. I like what I like. I can still review a fruity bakery with pretty good objective sensory skills, but will I melt it for pleasure in my home? Probably not. I know way too many people who would enjoy it more than I, so I pass it along the wax chain. Some people hate mints, or floral, I get it. We are all beautifully different.

Speaking of mints... the top drawer in the purple organizer holds my dearly beloved lavender and mint blends.

So many favorites. I could honestly list them all but favorite favorites are: SMT pink peppermint in any variation and their rosemary mint, spearmint blends. And lavender blends. CFTKR Snow and Ice has become a quick love, TBG Ever Night is a stellar Twilight dupe, LSC mint and lavender blends, especially Sweet Dreams, Candyland Dreamin', and Bliss. RG Lavender Mallow is strong and lovely. I enjoy all forms of lavender except fabric softener varieties. 

The second drawer in the purple organizer houses all my pink/VBN/marshmallow blends. 

Yessssss... another top favorite drawer. SMT and LSC hold my gold standards for Pink Sugar. Some specific favorites are: SMT Pink Noel, Pink Sugar Baby and Pink with peppermint, serendipity and/or marshmallow and LSC does Pink Fuzzy Slippers, Pink Marshmallow Shortbread, and Pink samplers really well. UTC pink marshmallow American Cream was a huge hit with me. LSC Sweet Embers is my number one Marshmallow Fireside dupe. And I love CFTKR Serendipity Marshmallow Delight. RG Rosegirl's Garden, Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Bean Noel ended up being my favorite custom blend of all time. Glitterati Pink Marshmallow Fireside is pretty spectacular too. 

As a side note, I noticed Walmart's plastic clamshell holders work great for LSC scent shots. Those guys don't stack very well at all, but this works wonderfully. 

The bottom drawer in the purple containers holds all my fall/winter/holiday scents. Ya know... the SPICY ones!

Some of my most loved holiday scents include: CFTKR Plumberry Spice, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Balsam and Citrus, Spiced Cranberry, Fall Wreath, and Caramel's Perfect Autumn, LSC Fall Fest, Cabin Fever, and Autumn Apple Moonshine were amazing too. 

Most of these were bought by me, but also, many were gifted, swapped or bought second hand. The drawers are about 1/2 to 3/4 full right now. But after I get in my most recent Lasting Scent Candles order they will be much fuller. I also forgot I am waiting on a small Beezy order. My very last Sniff My Tart order arrived. I will blog it soon. Maybe in the new year. So that is my stash! It isn't crazy big as some out there but it is plenty big for me. I have enough to melt, share and trade. I am sure by looking at which vendors dominate which areas, you can tell who I prefer for certain types of scents. But honestly, if I did this again next year it would be slightly different. Last year I had way more Rosegirls, but I have simply melted it all. Plus I had a lot more Front Porch and Ten Digit Creations in there. So it changes in waves. I probably had more variety too. Ah well. Enough rambling. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Bath and Body Works: Wish candle

This candle has been burning since Christmas Eve. Wish by Bath and Body Works throws at about a medium-light in a large area. The scent reminds me of a cinnamon fireside. More dusty, aged cinnamon rather than bakery or candy, and a slight smokiness. I enjoyed it but probably would not repurchase.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Haus of Gloi: Reverie Release

Merry Christmas Eve! Haus of Gloi Reverie order arrived, festive and hilarious!

So yeah, Mr. Toki's Christmas Yule Logs made me cackle like a lunatic when I opened them. For $5.00 I got 2 ounces of a yummy marshmallow and cocoa foaming buttery bath. The chocolate scent was the scent of a perfect hot cocoa. No funky fake Tootsie Rolls here folks. 

Seriously, how funny are those?! 

Less poop-tacular and more lovely, I did order a ton of butterbombs while they had them restocked. These bad boys fly off the virtual shelves during releases. The butterbombs range from $2.50 to $3.00 each and are good for one indulgent bath.

Sleepytime- An herbal, realistic lavender with a touch of chamomile, herbs and sweetness.

Yule Mums- Fresh cut white flowers. narcotic and heavy. I get a touch of citrus and musk. This will create one gloriously beautiful bath. 

Holiday Citrus, though bright and sweet, has a touch of powered candy tartness, or even a similarity to Tang. Still a fun scent though.

Silver Fir is the one I waited for with baited breath. My friend Lynda gifted me one for my birthday and I laughed with joy to see it in the bag. When I saw it restocked I knew I wanted two more. The forest of fir trees has a touch of shimmering eucalyptus and camphor tones and there really is a beautiful metallic sliver edge present. This is a Christmas Eve bath. I am so excited to use it tonight (or rather the birthday one).

Winter Divinity pumpkin butter touts notes of peppermint and vanilla, though I do detect a jolt of chocolate, or maybe it is the rich cocoa butter that gives it a chocolaty texture. I love the cooling sensation of the mint, very refreshing and relaxing. Haus of Gloi pumpkin butters are still my ultimate body cremes. A 6 ounce tub is $10.00. The 2 ounce minis are $5.00. 

Even though the minis are not the best buy, I still like to buy them for trying out a scent I am testing for the first time. Snow Wolf features three fir trees, frankincense, vanilla and blood cedar. Cedar stands out on my skin the most. It is a dry, deep cedar note, more like a chest than pencil shavings. I love it.

The free sample of perfume oil is in Sweet Potato Treat, very marshmallowy at first but then immediately caramelizing over the base of thick whipped sweet potatoes. The treat here is more amber than foodie and that is what saves it for me. A perfect fragrance to wear at Thanksgiving.

Have you ordered from Haus of Gloi recently? Any stand outs? What are your favorite winter scents from the Haus? 

Any plans today? I woke up and decided to straighten my hair, first time in like two years. Still in my pajamas, added egg nog to my coffee, and about to start prepping the sausage, egg and cheese casserole for tomorrow morning. I decided to make hot beef cheddar subs tonight for when my mom and sisters come over. Other than that, not much going on. Might blog. Will read (The Handmaid's Tale). May try to watch a Christmas movie.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

AmbiEscents: Baby, It's Cold Outside

AmbiEscents Baby, It's Cold Outside perfectly lifted my mood on Tuesday. This $2.99 tart from Bed, Bath & Beyond had a nice medium-strong throw in the living room and kitchen areas. It brought a peaceful vanilla peppermint sweetness to my day as I threw out mismatched lids and containers and cracked cups and odds and ends from the kitchen cabinets. I have heard that this particular brand of wax tarts are being discontinued but not sure so don't quote me on that. But if I see this scent around I would repurchase.

I am ready for new dishes and cups. Our wedding set has so many broken/missing pieces and we never even really had a set of glasses (we are still using the miscellaneous beer brands of pint glasses we scored in college and we don't even drink anymore.) Do you have any recommendations on where to buy some affordable but cute plate and glass sets? Target was kind of bare today.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Olfactif Artisan Perfume Subscription: December

As you well know by now, I have been a paid member of Olfactif since May of this year. Half a year of happily fragrant mail later, I still remain a satisfied customer. This is my first gratis box however, but not because I am encouraged to review it. It was free as part of a freelance writing deal I have with Olfactif for their How To Smell series. This has been an extremely exciting opportunity for me this past month and I have enjoyed pushing my writing into nooks and crannies not previously explored. If any of the articles publish I will link to them in case you are curious about the finished product. In the meantime, let me showcase this snugglesome box of fragrance. The theme was "Smoldering."

Scent Intense by Costume National- Notes include: Amber, woods, jasmine tea, mother of pearl hibiscus.
Of the three scents this one was the most smoldering to me. A gorgeous crisp green opening from hot jasmine tea almost immediately segues into a softly smoking wooden ember. This is not the acrid smoke of an artificial fire, but the realistic smooth burnings of a piece of tinder. After the ephemeral flame dies out, a lovely amber ensues for the duration of the scent. A full 50mL bottle of EDP costs $94.

Otis & Me by Jazmin Sarai- Notes include: Black pepper, bergamot, cardamom absolute, Turkish rose absolute, incense, coffee grains.
The fire in this fragrance comes from black pepper. As a fragrant ode to Otis Redding's "Cigarettes and Coffee," it illustrates a soulful R&B 60's vibe. Dark, spiced and gritty it paints an abstract work of coffee without ever really being photo-realistic. A full 50mL EDP concentration is $90.

Laudano Nero by Tiziana Terenzi- Notes include: Wormwood, cognac, rosemary, tobacco, myrtle, amber, red rose, black locust honey, cedar, iris, sandalwood, ash, slate, cashmere, laurel, incense, camphor, oud, vertiver, musk, oak, vanilla, labdanum. 
This one smolders as a dark look across a smokey room. The cognac, absinthe and tobacco swirl around the opening like a long night of debauchery. I absolutely adore the opening. The almost overwhelming opulence fades and becomes ashy and colder, the camphor and myrtle working their eucalyptus effect. Images of walking on a cold rainy night down a New York street flicker in my mind. The asphalt is soothing, but then the labdanum and vanilla and oak wood start warming the scent up again and stay on the skin as the finale. A full 100mL bottle is $145. 

All three offer different smoldering experiences, but Laudano Nero would be my first pick for a full bottle. Scent Intense is wonderful, but for a realistic fire and amber I always choose Sonoma Scent Studio Fireside Intense. Otis & Me is lovely and retro but the deep luxury of Laudano Nero cannot be denied. 

Do you wear smokey, fiery scents? Which of these would you gravitate towards? I wanted to note that the levels in the vials are post-testing, they were much fuller but I dove right in as you can tell.

I find myself wearing Serge Lutens Chergui, Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods and Fireside Intense the most this winter. What winter fragrances have you been spraying on?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Melting Basket 55: Christmas!

Wax tarts from the last basket I would buy again include: CFTKR Balsam and Citrus, Orange Clove, Lingonberry Wreath and Main Street Christmas.

The Bathing Garden- Winter Woodland
The Bathing Garden- Yuletide Trimmings
Super Tarts- Miracle on 34th Street <3 gift
Prairie Antiques- Pomander Spice
Prairie Antiques- Peace on Earth
Olde Primitive Treasures- Christmas in New England
Dessa's- Santa's Pipe <3 gift
Sniff My Tarts- Sleigh Ride
Rosegirls- Citrus Spruce Swizzle Sticks
Rosegirls- Where Are You Christmas?
CFTKR- Spiced Cranberry
CFTKR- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
CFTKR- Plumberry Spice
CFTKR- Balsam and Citrus, yes again!

If you would like any of these reviewed in further detail, please comment with what scents I would be happy to do so just for you.

As I was prepping to take some photos recently I stumbled across this box of ornaments that was given to me by my great Aunt Sue before she passed away this year. It is a wooden crate filled with Santa's from around the world. I am deeply in love with it. They are the vintage looking glass ornaments about 3 inches tall. Finding this box in the corner of our computer room after visiting EPCOT seems apropos. I caught Savanna walking all around the tree touching them when she came in from playing. With all the ornaments already on our tree I was surprised she noticed them. 

I think this is probably our last year of Christmas where both girls still mostly believe in Santa. Savanna has already been asking me probing questions that I cannot help but answer as truthfully as possible. I am thankful that it is becoming a gradual understanding and not the fearful shock of betrayal so many of my friends speak of having themselves. 

Have you had any pleasant Christmas surprises? Are you ready for the holiday? Is it already running full steam ahead? 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmas Decorations Around the House

Good morning friends! Well... only a few more days until Christmas. We are expecting temps in the upper 80's for Christmas... nothing new there but we have obviously had a warmer winter than usual. It does not bode well for the strawberries or citrus. They need a few cold snaps to sweeten. Even though the weather is not cooperating, we do still have festive decorations to rely upon. The old patchwork Santa on the cabinets was given to me by my stepdad ages ago. Not sure of the origins.

Only thing new in this area of the kitchen this year is the towel, gifted by a student. 

Creeptastic 50's vintage Elf on the Shelf. This guy stays put though. No nocturnal shenanigans for him. Quite frankly he is lucky to even be there. >shudders<

China cabinet decor.

The terrarium is still kicking... the moss died long ago, but the plants are still living. I think I will replant them in the spring, new soil, new moss. Merry Christmas deer family.

This nativity was my post-Christmas steal from Hobby Lobby last year. Originally 100 some odd dollars but 80% off. It is my only real nativity scene. 

We had to brainstorm a new way to hang our stockings this year. Previous years we used the knobs on the entertainment center we used to have in the living room. That went away with the old TV, so 3M it filling the bill nicely so far... ask me how they do once Santa stops by though. Tod's kitty stocking is hanging on the wall in the upper left. She gets one every year.

Our tree. No gifts until Christmas morning!

And lastly, the Christmas quilt, Christmas afghan, and some Target dollar bin lights in the corner. And Taco Bell fiesta potatoes from lunch. 

I think I would like to get another light up figure for the yard this year and maybe a decoration for the house after Christmas. How about you? Anything you are thinking of grabbing post-Christmas? Or are you one of the sane ones who stays home the day after Christmas? Do you have a favorite decoration?