Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ebb & Flow: June

The highs and lows of the month.

Ole Henriksen eye cream for day, eye gel for night

Jack Black Mint Lip Balm with SPF

Tribute by Love Potion Magickal Perfumerie

Candied Rose Petals by Handmade in Florida

Bath Bomb:
Patchouli Oudh bath bomb by Handmade in Florida

Marshmallow Rose by Haus of Gloi

All my Sniff My Tart peppermint blends... they are really making the house smell amazing and psych me out into thinking I am cooler during these hot days. They are going to open soooooon!

Bath and Body Works Peace candles by my tub.

Boba tea, finally got on board with it.

Fuji or Pink Crisp Apples

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Ripper Street and Mr. Selfridge 

Outlander soundtrack like a million times.

Yoga pants, sports bras, flip flops. My summer uniform.

The Cleveland trip! Eating at the Westside Market, hanging out with family and Jacqui, smelling perfumes, seeing an apple tree, Amish country, castles in parks, more food, candle stores, and food.

The summer flying by so fast. WHY?!?!?!?!

Aftelier Chef's Essences Chocolate Absolute spray, it makes my coffee, steak and teas taste divine. Everyone I make coffee for has been telling me that it "tastes so good, what coffee is this?" Hint: it's not just the coffee. 

Lush Love and Light hand cream, it smells like bitter neroli tied up in burnt plastic bags. I was trying to fight my way through it but Adam told me it stunk so I gave up. I am dumping it and keeping the pot for trade-in on a fresh face mask. 

My grandmother, Nano, passing away. She taught me how to play piano, how to set a table, and how to persevere through hardships. She was a socialite who threw festive Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving celebrations. She dressed up for Halloween and the kids loved stopping by on the way to trick-or-treat. She was an artist who could paint a a hauntingly beautiful still life, like the one she painted that is pictured above that hangs in Scarlette's room. She was a crafter who embossed and stamped her own holiday cards and invitations to luncheons. She wore Shalimar. She took me to church. She loved poodles (I remember her getting their nails painted and sitting for portraits with crystal encrusted collars). She didn't take a whole lot of bullshit from anyone except PaPa but she loved just as fiercely. Sadly, after many decades of smoking her health declined rapidly and she spent the last decade of her life in a nursing home. She always lit up when we went to visit her and never made us feel bad when it was time to leave, even though we all knew she did not really enjoy where she was living. Savanna and I were the last people to see her, only minutes before she passed. I have comfort knowing I said good-bye and that I love her and that I thanked her. 
Rest in peace Gloria Virgil Metziere Erskine.

Watching my girls with their noses in a book, asking to go to the library, carrying books in the car to read while running errands, books on the floor by the toilets, books on the coffee table while they read quietly in the morning waiting for us to wake up, saving money to buy a certain book. Their love of books blooming and growing and me, praying it never ceases. My high is knowing that my girls love to read.

What did June bring you? Any highs or lows? Hits or misses?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Photo Journal: Monday June 27th 2016

7:51am- This was my first official lazy Monday of summer after busting my hump for two weeks straight painting and painting and painting. I am still not done but I needed a break. I slept in until 7:45 and vowed to watch as much TV as possible. So first up: coffee and blogging.

8:44am- Time to sew button holes for two playsuits I am making for two special little boys. I have a vintage button addiction.

9:13am- Girls needed tatting up.

10:01am- Library time. We bought lots of books and checked out about a dozen more books on rats, gerbils, lizards, frogs, and various other reptiles.

10:54am- The Juice Box for an Iron Man (kale, dandelion, orange and pineapple) and sundry drinks for the girls and I to imbibe.

11:26am- Spray painting a dumpster dive find, Scarlette's bookshelf. 

12:00pm- Lunch, leftover pizza while watching Mr. Selfridge on Netflix.

1:38pm- Decoupaged Harry Potter pages onto the shelves to finish the bookcase.

2:40pm- Climbed into bed to sew buttons on the playsuits while watching more Mr. Selfridge. I cannot decide if I like Jeremy Priven in this. But I am engrossed. Yes, I hang my bras on the armoire to dry. 

A shot of the finished playsuit for Ashley's new baby boy <3

3:36pm- Snack break, cherries and more Mr. Selfridge.

4:50pm- Finally updated the chalk fish in the kitchen while waiting for dinner to cook (Adam grilled pork steaks, I cut corn from the cob and creamed it and baked crescent rolls). 

5:52pm- Finally found a coffee table I liked and could swing so I bought it. Free shipping! Woot!

6:44pm- Played Qwirkle with my girls. 

7:41pm- Watched Ripper Street with Adam in bed. We are enjoying this show as well. The first episode is a bit much but the rest aren't as tawdry.

8:55pm- Bath time with our gecko neighbor eating the moths that the bathroom light attracts. She comes out every summer night. After the bath I read a few chapters of Lady Midnight then hit the hay.

I felt like I met my big goal of watching lots of TV and relaxing as well as getting a few things checked off my "to-do" list. Yesterday I took the girls to a free summer movie and today I will be sanding down Scarlette's dresser and nightstand to repaint it. How is your week going? Watching any good series? 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FuturePrimitive: Summer Release, Indian Temple Attar and The Warrior

I kept my summer order from FuturePrimitive simple: Indian Temple Attar (a staple scent for me) and The Warrior. 

I prefer to use Tiggy's Three In One Whipped Cream Soap as shampoo then use the Conditioning Hair Rinse in the same scent. I purchased these at full price, 6.95 pounds for the cream soap and 9.25 pounds for the rinse. All the summer scents are currently marked down and the pounds to dollar rate is pretty good right now, so I went ahead and ordered a couple more conditioners from the sale. Looking back on past posts, I see that this is the third summer in a row I have ordered Indian Temple Attar. I love the dark labdanum enhanced rose petals, exotic and plush and full of beauty. I will continue to order it every summer if she releases it.

The Warrior boasts woods, spice and resins. The frankincense is aged and accompanies smoked wood, salty tang and I love it. In fact, it is in my rotation right now. 

The Three In One cleans hair without stripping it, is great for shaving and of course, as soap. It manages to be dense yet light as air. The Conditioning Hair Rinse offers nice slip for finger combing wet hair, a must for my curly hair, as well as moisturizing but not weighing hair down. My holy grail of indie conditioner.

The Warrior bar soap was 5.50 pounds. A past review can be read here. I love the new look. Very rustic and lovely, like the masts, canvas and wood of a ship. Tiggy is a master soaper. Abundant lather, strong scent and wonderful skin feel.

Love my FuturePrimitive bar soaps.

Two free samples slivers in Amish Friendship Bread and Lemon Squares.

Amish Friendship Bread, light on the bread notes but sweetly spiced and dotted with dried fruits. Comforting.

Lemon Squares, sweet shortbread crust topped with lemon curd, zesty and sweet. I believe this one is in her new palm free formula. I am excited to test this one out. I may review it more in depth later once I use it. 

I am thrilled to be stocked back up on shampoo and conditioner. Have you tried any indie vendor conditioners? What have you been washing your hair with lately? 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Travel: Gainesville Parks

Today was my first real sleep-in, lazy summer, no work day. Hence the late morning post. But boy did it feel good to wake up at 7:45 instead of 6:00. I think I will take the girls to the library to check out some books. I also have two cute outfits I need to add button holes to for two special baby boys, one that arrived and one that will be arriving in the fall. I may try to work on spray painting Scarlette's bookcase too.

Enough rambling, Saturday I drove up to Gainesville to visit my sister Heather. She is doing graduate work at the University of Florida in Entomology. She has been working really long hours in the lab and with our grandmother passing last week, I knew we needed some bonding time. We spent most of the day outdoors and walking various trails. I knew I wanted to visit the Devil's Millhopper again, as I had not been since I was a student myself at UF. The photo above is the very bottom of the large sinkhole.

The numerous steps leading down into the sinkhole provide a nice workout on the way back up. The Devil's Millhopper is beautiful and peaceful. There is a $2 park entry fee and a few trails to hike. 

Insect galls that my sister thought looked cool. Bug life.

Next we drove about 20 minutes to O'Leno State Park so we could walk a trail next to the Santa Fe River. This suspension bridge moved a bit when walking across and provided a lovely view of the river. O'Leno park had a $5 fee but there are many great camp grounds there and water activities that you can do on the Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe River disappears and flows underground for about 3 miles at this location and then rises back to the surface of the earth. 

I love cypress knees. I love the cypress tree in general though.

I built Nano a cairn. 

After O'Leno, we headed to Loblolly Woods Park where the Hogtown Creek flows. Heather mentioned that people go there to dig for shark teeth and arrowheads. No park fee. The water is really shallow, mostly above ankle level with some spots above the knee. Unfortunately, there were some hazards of broken glass and trash laying about. I recommend water shoes. My sister and I went bare foot.

Can you spot the green anole?

Some parts of the river were deep or blocked so we climbed the banks and hoofed it on land to get further along.

We spied out a cozy spot to squat and sift. We found several small shark teeth and two stingray teeth (the bars), and I found two flint pieces that may have been part of an arrowhead. It felt nice to put away the camera and phone and get our hands and feet wet and dig around for treasures like little kids in the quiet woods. I needed that solitude.

Gainesville has an amazing park system and National forest system surrounding it. Not to mention all the springs. We will be visiting some of those springs and rivers this summer. Have you been to any of these places? Do you enjoy visiting State and National Parks? Finding treasures? My girls were stoked about the shark teeth when I brought them back home.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Warmed Wax: Glitterati and Rosegirls

Glitterati Strawberry Cotton Candy was very yummy! It smelled just like its name, densely flavored strawberry candies spun out into a cloud of pink cotton candy. Sugary sweet but not overly so with a hint of multi-berry tones. I would repurchase this blend for sure. It threw medium-strong in my kitchen and living area.

Rosegirls Whiskers on Kittens, I am not sure of the scent description as I could not find much online but it reminds me of a Yankee Candle Christmas scent. I pick up apples, cranberries, very light spice and very light evergreen. I enjoyed it. The throw was about medium to medium-light in my bedroom. I liked it but would not repurchase probably.

Rosegirls Twilight Woods November Rain, is a fresh scent. Nice and clean like laundry but that slight sweet warmth given by Twilight Woods. It had a medium throw in my kitchen. I would probably repurchase for a nice laundry day scent. 

Anyone ordering from Rosegirls on Wednesday the 29th? Pumpkin Milkshake is drawing me in. Amy and Donna at Sniff My Tarts mentioned opening again for custom orders soon too. I know I will be getting more peppermint blends and maybe some spicy ones too. Dessa's, Sweet Fixations, Alamo Caldelaria and maybe Sugar & Spice are beckoning for orders as well. I am feeling the call for fall. How about you? Plotting any fall-ish orders? 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Haus of Gloi: Summer Release with Refreshers and Pumpkin Butters

For the past couple of summers I have neglected trying a wildly popular Haus of Gloi scent, Beguiled. When the latest HoG newsletter swooped into my email inbox and I saw Beguiled, Marshmallow Rose and a peppermint and a lavender Refresher, I knew it was time to rectify that oversight and splurge on a few of those others.

I have never used the Refreshers before, but the idea of them really appealed to me for this summer. They were reformulated for this release, but as this is my first time using them I have no idea how they compare to the past formula. They come in 4 ounce bottles.

Chillax- Notes: A blend of two vanillas, amber and Bulgarian lavender.
Mmmmmm.... yes, baby. Olde time apothecary lavender buds ground and mixed with vanilla bean pods and powdery sweet amber. The amber really deepens and highlights the duskiness of the lavender. The spray itself is a delightful milky hue that does need to be shaken before enjoyed. Applied liberally, it leaves my skin cool and soft, like a lightly mentholated sheen. The chill wears off in about 10-15 minutes but leaves the aroma behind for about and hour, when a light lingering sweetness remains. I will be buying more and using all summer for sure. They are $8.00 each and now they are out in the General Catalog fragrances... Moon Dog and a few more were just ordered. I am a bad, bad girl. Chillax and a few of the Summer scents are still on offer too.

Peppermint Wood- Notes: Local peppermint, crushed clary sage, and cedarwood.
I have watched Adam open and sniff this one twice when he didn't realize I was looking. I think he likes it. What starts out as a Peppermint Patty quickly looses the creaminess and develops an airy herbal mint tone with help from the sage, yet manages to retain some sugar. Cedarwood contributes an austere headspace. Regretting not getting two bottles of this beauty. Wow. Sadly it is sold out.

Ahhhh, my beloved pumpkin butter body creams. I always keep one of these bad boys on my nightstand for post-nocturnal ablutions. Currently I have Satyr near my bedside and am quite loving the deep orange resinous scent.  I chose the mini sizes  (2 oz) for Beguiled and Marshmallow Rose, $5.00 each.

Beguiled- Notes: Lemon cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk and raspberry coulis, with cardamom and pink peppercorns.
Tart lemon curd and gooey cake drizzled with raspberry sauce. The cardamom and pink peppercorn add pizazz to this decadent gourmand treat. I will love using this in the fall and winter to slather on my skin for a tasty treat. It may be too sweet bakery for me to wear during the hot summer though. Florida heat and humidity can slay the stoutest creature.

Marshmallow Rose- Notes: Homemade marshmallow and rosewater.
Delicious. The clarity of the rosewater adds a sheer beauty to the sweet vanilla bean marshmallows. This jar is going on my nightstand right now.

Free sample of Driftwood- Notes: Sun bleached driftwood, dry black musk, warm sand, dune grasses, and damp oceanic breeze.
Gorgeous. Salt encrusted driftwood, sweetgrass and musk so deep it smells of ancient frankincense and other resins. Not really overly ozonic or aquatic, which is nice. I could sport this for sure.

Did you buy anything from the Haus' Summer Release? Whatchoo think of the Refreshers?? Sounds like something you might enjoy? You know how I like my tingles. Cool, sweet, minty tingles. Ahhhhhh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Verdant Faerie: Enchanted Botanical Perfumes

These samples were sent free, to experience as a friend, I am choosing to blog my experience. 

Doreen, the Verdant Faerie, has been one of my favorite accounts to follow on IG the past couple of years. Her whimsical eye for natural and magical beauty always make me smile. We chat from time to time since we share a love of mermaids and fairies. She began working with natural perfumery a while back but she just recently opened up for business on Etsy. I immediately favorited her shop and began perusing which to sample, however, before I ordered, she lovingly sent me some to wear as a gift. They are indeed enchanting, let me tell you about them.

Invisioning Roses- Notes: Bulgarian rose, neroli, sandalwood, frankincense, Madagascar vanilla, cardamom, pink peppercorn, bergamot, sweet orange.
Pink pepper and spice infuse a crisp gin, served neat. The bergamot showing a boozy side in the opening. A lush heart of rose burgeons, alive with the cinnamon bark velour of petals, neroli sharpness mimicking green sepals and the resinous heart of stamens that reach for the light. The sandalwood dry down is beautiful, showing green facets and vanilla bean smoothness. A beautiful rose.

Dryad- Notes: Cedar, fir, lavender graced with the spirit of fern, violet leaf, cassie flower, oakmoss, tonka bean, patchouli.
Dryad is in the fougere family, those scents that were created by imagination to envision what ferns would smell like if they had a scent. Doreen did a fabulous job bringing the verdant fern to aromatic life. It starts out earthy and damp, the perfect habitat for those prehistoric plants. Then fuzzy green tendrils manifest from the forest floor, redolent of leaves and stems and soft leathery underbellies. Oakmoss then wraps around the leathery ferns and the dryads who dwell there, offering warmth and serenity. A charming scent I will love wearing.

Anam Cara- Notes: Petit grain, lavender, citrus, coffee, rose, amber, vanilla.
Anam Cara is celtic for "soul friend." It opens sharp and clean with petit grain and lavender. The lavender is wonderfully herbal and good medicine for the soul. A rose peeps through with a cool menthol breeze that turns warms when your Anam Cara arrives with a hot cup of coffee, roasted and dark then magically sweetened cream and sugar. A comfort. Vanilla and amber merge for the base, your dear friend sharing a Werther's to end the afternoon on a sweet note.

Dusk Blossom- Notes: Jasmine, tuberose, beeswax, orange blossom, ginger, coriander, lime, sandalwood, tobacco, patchouli.
Sparkling spiced aldehydes bubble up for the opening, light, ephemeral and dreamy. Dusky orange blossom and neroli pull through the star bursts of the gingery bright top notes, merging with the jasmine and tuberose to create a hauntingly beautiful aura. The white florals shine in the night under the silver orb of moonlight. Patchouli and sandalwood are earthy and velvety, blended brilliantly. A scent for magical evenings.

Most scents are offered in various sizes: 1 ml sample daubers are $7, 5 ml splashes are $30, 8 ml sprays are $45, and 15 ml sprays are $75.

If you are looking for an all natural fragrance choice and desire the small scale, hand mixed and poured experience, then give the Verdant Faerie a go. Doreen also writes a blog about her mystical adventures, it is quite the pleasurable read! Which of these all natural, faerie inspired scents would you like to sample? 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Society6: Laptop Skin

I bought a used 2011 MacBook Air recently and one of the first things I wanted to do was get a skin for it. Yes, yes... priorities. Society6 was a no-brainer. I really enjoy their unique offerings and featured artists. Normally I am fandom driven but this time the magical forest scenes and cats kept vying for my attention. I ended up choosing "The Fog" by littleclyde. At the time everything in the store was 15% off and free shipping so the $30 skin was marked down to $25.50. The sticker is nice quality and is removable/reposition-able. I just adore the giant fog kitty traipsing about the little medieval village. It almost reminds me of Hogsmeade... so maybe I didn't stray too far from my fandoms. If you sign up for the Society6 newsletter they will send you updates of sales and free shipping and various codes. They carry artwork on mugs, phone cases (good quality!), pillows, shirts, techie gear and much more.

Here are a few others I am dreamy headed over (all photos from Society6):

Have you ever shopped on Society6? Do you know any of the artists? What are some of your favorites?