Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ebb & Flow: January

The highs and lows of the month.

Sonoma Scent Studio Equestrian

The Bathing Garden Magician's Bonfire

Bath & Body Works Smoked Vanilla (in love)

Skin Care:
Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer

Lush Karma Kream

Handmade in Florida Candied Roses

Liberte' yogurts with fresh berries

Stok Cold Brew coffee with milk and creamer

Written In My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon

Beetlejuice and the rain outside

Upcoming Tradition:
Placing paper heart doilies on the doors of Adam, Savanna and Scarlette with one specific thing I love about them each morning. 

Another trip to Diagon Alley. Savanna picked Universal Studios for her tenth birthday celebration. We are so excited. Ready for Butterbeer, wand waving, Gringott's, the Leaky Cauldron for lunch and ice cream at Florean Fortescue's. 

February tends to be a long month (even though it is short) in teaching. The long stretch before Spring Break. 

The Jim Savage gnomish pirate folk art carving I found while picking at an antique store in town. 

Skin Inc. Pure Revival Peel, did nothing. Nada.

A fight with Adam that really had us low. Thankfully we are past it, but the tension made for a few very unhappy days. Another low was Scarlette being really ill for several days. 

Boopers! He is so cute and a wonderful addition to our home.

How was your month? Any hits or misses? Highs or lows? 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Melting Basket 85

Wax tarts I would purchase again: Glitterati Pink Marshmallow Fireside, TBG Magic Green Soup, Smitten Diaries, Sniff My Tarts Pink Noel/Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake/Pink Sugar, CFTKR Blue Cedar Lavender and Mistletoe & Ivy.

CFTKR- Balance and Glow
CFTKR- Ultimate Sugar Cookie
CFTKR- Serendipity Marshmallow Delight
SMT- Marshmallow Noel
SMT- Marshmallow Noel/Rose Jam/Serendipity
SMT- Peppermint Coconut Filled Cake
SMT- Peppermint Swizzle Sticks/Spearmint/Enchanted Forest
LSC- Cream Filled
Glitterati- Strawberry Serendipity Cotton Candy
Sonoma- Be Soothed
Rosegirls- Star of Wonder Star of Night
Vintage Chic Scents- Cookie Baking at Mom's/Edelweiss

I am excited about this basket. Lots of sweet and dreamy Candy Land aromas to lift the mood. If you would like to hear about more of any of these scents let me know. 

I wasn't feeling so hot this weekend. I think I caught a bit of whatever Scarlette had, so I mainly stayed home and took it easy. I replanted the trio of mini terrariums. Planted some seeds in pots. Painted a mini mural in the hall way. 

Unfortunately, I think Boopers has snake mites. I called and left a message at an exotic vet. Hopefully, we can get him fixed up right as rain. 

This chilly and drizzley weekend brought on lots of snuggles, lit candles and movie watching. Adam took Savanna to a Pokemon tournament (she won 3rd place!). Scarlette and I got pedicures for the first time. 

How was your weekend?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Yes to Coconut Sheet Mask

More like, Yes to Pain.

Yes to Coconut paper face mask runs around $3 or so and touts itself as boosting hydration of the skin. Some ingredients include: aloe, banana, guava, and hibiscus extracts, coconut oil and water as well as coumarin and other various items. The mask feels stiff and the paper does not drape against the face very well. The eyeholes are not traditional oval or almond shaped but are actually the huge vertical "U" shape that anime eyes traditionally have, strange. It also did not cover under my chin. The serum amount was pretty good, enough to be juicy but not dripping wet. The serum burned like the blazes though. I put it on and could only take it about 5 minutes. My skin was pink/red and blotchy with some raised areas. It almost had the feel and look of hives. Thankfully, it went away when I washed the serum off my face and slathered some more cooling moisturizers all over. 

Overall, not a mask I could in good faith recommend. Skip this bad boy, because based on Ulta reviews, I am not the only one who had this reaction. 

Derma Lift: Intensiderm Nerco Mask

This Derma Lift Intensiderm Necro Mask (Necro Mask?!) did not make me look like a necrotic zombie.... well maybe a little when I had it on... but after I was quite spiffy and shined up like a newly minted penny. Why did I look like a necrotic zombie when wearing it? Well, the mask was a light blue/green tinted, semi-translucent gel that was split into upper face and lower face (much like the Boscia one I reviewed here). See what I mean by creepy? In fact, the cut was the exact same, with the weird chin slit and all. This mask was a gift from Liz at Furianne

These masks are made by LG. The same LG that makes home goods. They also created NecroX, a patented chemical (X), that provides excellent skin protection "that you have never seen before." Some ingredients include: lactobacillus ferment (probiotic, but from the articles I have read, not much conclusive evidence on topical applications), skullcap extract (antioxidants to combat inflammation and acne), green tea leaf extract, Korean (or Japanese) mugwort, chameleon plant (detoxifying), broccoli sprout extract, and about a dozen other plants. 

The serum was abundant and did leak a bit in the sink as I was taking the two pieces out and applying them to my face. The serum felt slightly oily after I removed the mask. I massaged the remaining liquid into my face, neck, chest and hands. I would say this particular mask is hyper-moisturizing, great for winter use or dry skin issues. I have oily skin but still found it felt nice and left my skin soothed, though I would only use it at night and not in the morning as I don't think my makeup would stay put. Think of this more as a sleep pack treatment to wear to bed. This mask can be purchased on eBay and other Korean beauty sites for $3-$4 each or in 3 packs for around $12. I would buy again if I felt the need for extra hydration, but would not use on a regular basis as it seems intensely hydrating. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Beautibi Asian Skincare Boutique: First Experience

I placed my first order from Beautibi recently and I could not be more pleased. I had been window shopping on Beautibi for a little while and signed up for their newsletter. On Friday the 13th, they announced a free sampler special that piqued my interest and I found myself placing a small order. 

I scouted the sale section and picked a few masks for my face and even one for my feet. They sent my package quickly and with great care. Everything was wrapped in resealable cello bags, garnished with washi and folded into tissue paper. I got not only my order and the sampler but also another sample bag, confetti and a hand signed thank you note. Brilliant.

Opening a package like this is a joy.

These are the clearance/sale items that came home to me. 

The Hanaka foot peel is needed. Normally, my feet are soft as a baby's bum but right now they are a little rough. These foot mask baggies are supposed to cause a peeling effect that removes layers of dead, calloused skin to reveal smooth skin underneath. $14.00

Have you ever used a foot peel before? They say it is more effective than files or Ped-Eggs as they tend to build calluses in the long run. 

MasKingdom is a brand that one of my favorite sheet mask accounts, woodnotesong, on IG mentioned loving. Here are two varieties I picked up from this brand.

Masque Lift Express Line Smoothing Mask ($6) At 36, with my plump cheeks and tendency to go oily, I don't have a ton of fine lines or wrinkles yet but I strangely still like to use line smoothing masks and skin care. 

Intral Soothing Mask ($4) is for protecting the skin against free radicals. It came with a thin, soft cottony sheet mask and a plastic backing that needed to be removed. It left my face feeling a little tight. Not the most moisturizing mask I have used. I followed it up with moisturizer and it settled nicely.

L'Herboflore is another well loved mask brand. This one is the 2-Step Stylish Milan Anti-Aging Pack ($5) 

Another 2-Step pack but in the My Beauty Diary brand that I know and love. This one is a Primer Serum Firming Mask ($3.25)

So this was the free sample kit that had me ordering lickety split. A four piece Hyggee set, 107 soap, a MasKingdom sheet mask and a sampling from the Simplistic line were all included. I have used the 107 soap and it is amazing. It creates the fluffiest silkiest lather and cleans the face beautifully without reside or tightness. If you would like a review of any of these let me know. 

This was the extra little set of samples that really surprised me.

Mini packets of MasKingdom serum (I assume??), more 107 and Simplistic samples and a couple of creams from LadyKin and a mini thank you card.

If you are curious about any of the brands here and would like more in-depth thoughts, let me know! 

If you think you might want to try Beautibi and get $5 off your order, click here and we can share a $5 off code together. 

Have you found any skin care gems lately?

Friday, January 27, 2017

Warmed Wax: TBG, SMT and Glitterati

Glitterati Pink Marshmallow Fireside is a favorite of mine. I don't believe this is a true Marshmallow Fireside fragrance oil but I think I remember Janine mixing her own house blend of it. Either way, it is amazing and sweet. It reminds me of Bath & Body Works original Fireside blended with pink sugared marshmallows. Heavier on the pink marshmallows. It threw medium-strong and is right at one year old. Repurchase if I can swing it onto the custom list next sign up period. 

The Bathing Garden Magic Green Soup is a dupe for Lush's Jungle scent. I love it. Super strong thrower. Green musk and woods with sweet earthy undertones swirl about in this scent. Great in the scrub too! Repurchase.

Sniff My Tarts Pink Sugar/Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake/Pink Noel in a frosted sugar cookie shape was amazing. I have done many blends similar to this but this one is my favorite and will be ordered again, exactly like this. I love the soothing sweet Pink Sugar blended with just that touch of calm lavender vanilla creaminess. Not herbal or medicinal at all but just sweet and smooth. Medium-strong throw from a quarter of the cookie. Repurchase.

Today is the big day for CFTKR opening. I will be trying to snag a few favorites. There are a few circus scents from The Bathing Garden I want to get but it might be a little while. Currently, I am enjoying melting and even eyeing a few more candles in my closet to light up. I am really loving burning Bath & Body Works Smoked Vanilla right now. It is almost used up already. 

Are you burning candles right now? What are you melting?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ten Digit Creations: Update

A little over a year ago, if you would have asked me what one of my favorite vendors was, I would answer Ten Digit Creations without a doubt. Amber's customer service, extensive scent list full of dreamy earthy and woodsy scents, prices and quality all lined up to make it a stand out vendor. Then one day she got a letter from Lush, demanding that she change the names of the Lush dupes. She settled on renaming those dupes certain crimes in honor of her officer husband. Normally, I could care less what racy or suggestive names vendors call their wax. As long as it isn't hurting anyone or demeaning, I can overlook it. But this time it hit home in a few ways. Some of the names were personally upsetting to myself, having lived through those very traumas as a child. Crimes happen to people every day and really are the ugliest part of man and do not have a place on wax tarts. And secondly, many customers were requesting the names to be changed but were pretty much told to get over it, it was going to happen anyway. It was at that point that I turned away, sadly, and left the group. 

I missed her wax, sure. And I found out the names were changed in the end. But I never ended up going back. 

Last week I got a note in the mail with an apology from Amber. Not a blanket statement that felt impersonal and mandatory, but a heartfelt out pouring. If there is one act I value above all others, it is forgiveness. I know I have said (sadly, more often than I wish with my runaway tongue) things and done things that I have no right to be forgiven for, but others have found it in their hearts to bestow that kindness upon me. Especially, Adam. Second (and sometimes third and fourth) chances are precious gifts. Some of my most treasured gifts. And I value giving them in return. 

Therefore, I am announcing my return to Ten Digit Creations. I have not made that initial purchase yet, but if you see one pop up, now you know why. Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you can understand where I am coming from if you were one who boycotted and if not, thank you for at least giving me the benefit of the doubt. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Lupicia Tea Order

As part of my 2017 Bucket List, exploring the world of tea appeals to me. Ashely sent me some Lupicia Christmas teas last year and this year for Christmas and I have enjoyed them so much that I decided to place an order myself. I ordered a few days after Christmas and most of these items were on a discount. This is a Japanese company so many of the products and emails and such are in Japanese, but not so much so that it is difficult to understand, as usually the English translation accompanies it. Shipping was decent and arrived via FedEx ground at about a week later.

Two Christmases ago Ashely sent me a pack just like this and it was amazing. This is the Holiday Tea Set and contains a sampling of six holiday teas. Normally $8, this set is on sale for $5.60 and still available. These are tea bags and not loose leaf. A few of these I did get in greater quantities. 

The greater quantities being this item. Here are three tins of Carol, White Christmas and Jingle Bells. This item at regular price is $19, but it is on sale for $13.30. And there are still a few left. How lovely is the packaging? 

These are the tins, each hold 5 tea bags. 

Carol- A strawberry and vanilla flavored black tea, elegantly decorated with rose petals. 
First things first. That cat making a strawberry buttercream cake with the squirrel?! So sweet. And this tea is sweet too. Black tea and schmear of homemade strawberry preserves, add in a dash of vanilla cream and a decadent cup of tea is created.

White Christmas- Black tea inspired by baked sweets made with white chocolate and nuts.
Brandied pecans, dripping with syrup. This tea is rich. And with a sugar cube and a glug of cream added, it is like a dreamy latte. This tea has tiny silver spiky nubbins of sugar in it already, but I like this kind of gourmand tea on the sweet side. 

Jingle Bells- Black tea scented with flavors of grapes and fruity sparkling wine.
Another whimsical scene on this tin cover, a fox and a kit blacksmith hammering out stars. <3 
Moscato tea. What an clever blend! If you love grape, you need this. The black tea is sprinkled with the teeniest wee tightly furled flower buds I have ever seen. I believe I cooed. 

The Mari set contains 5 blooming teas. These are floral green teas with flower flavors such as jasmine, chrysanthemum, rose and lily. Blooming teas are more ceremonial and enjoyed for both their beauty and fragrance rather than a regular afternoon tea. I enjoy adding a touch of honey to mellow out and sweeten the white flowers. This set of 5 teas is $19.00. You can buy the teas individually for $4.00 each, as well.

I had a hard time figuring out exactly which scent was in each bag, as my Google translate was a bit sketchy on the whole thing, but if you look online you can read more easily which flavors they are. Below I have some photos of what one of the teas looks like fully bloomed and ready for sipping.

I scanned the clearance section (because that is what I do) and did see this bag of Matcha au Lait mix in caramel for $5.60. Heck yes. I appreciate a nice matcha every now and then, but the good stuff can be spendy. I use a tiny whisk to get mine frothy, but a bamboo whisk is on my wish list. This caramel Matcha au Lait tasted wonderful. Slight toasted sugar sweetness underscored by that rich seaweed tang of matcha.

I was surprised and happy to see a free sample bag of tea included with my order. 

The blooming tea did best when I stuck the hard little ball of tea in the bottom of an empty glass and slowly poured steaming hot water directly on top of it. Eventually it sank and expanded and was quite lovely. It tasted like jasmine green tea.

I will happily return to Lupicia for my tea needs. I love the vast array of scented teas and products. The quality is phenomenal and the attention to detail is on point. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sonoma Scent Studio: Equestrian

Equestrian. To name a fragrance after anything horse related might seem a stretch but if you have spent any time around horses or livestock you will recognize many of the pleasant sources of effluvia on offer in this perfume. 

From the time I could toddle, I could smell horses. Our next door neighbor had a pasture with two chestnut beauties that I would pet from time to time. My elementary, middle and high school years featured some equine and cattle. My sisters even had two ponies, though that was short lived, and my stepfather owned about 200 head of cattle in a typical Florida cow/calf operation. When it came time to round up the herd, I would watch in awe as the cowboys swayed with their horses and lassos and whips, nudging the cows into the pens for their shots, worming and testing. My last three years of high school I had my own steers (Kaw-liga and Mr. Bo Jangles were my favorites) I would raise and fatten up for market. Twice a day, every day, I would be mucking his stall, brushing his coat, leading him on a rope and feeding him flakes of hay and show feed. Molasses and sweet hay would clog my nostrils for hours on end. Then I became an agriculture teacher at a middle school and dairy goats taught me the earthy melody of peanut hay and the fermented tang of chaffhaye. 

Laurie Ericson at Sonoma Scent Studio spent many youthful afternoons around her horse at the barn, and this new fragrance, released during the summer of last year, cocoons those aromatic memories of hers and frames them within the bounty of exquisite notes to create an opulent fragrance. 

Equestrian- Notes: Apple accord, grassy notes, hay absolute, leather accord, jasmine sambac absolute, violet, labdanum absolute, Virginia cedar, natural oakmoss absolute, patchouli, New Caledonia sandalwood, benzoin.

The first misting hits the senses with that familiar, yet often overlooked, joy of biting into a sweet crisp apple belly. Farmer's market fresh, the aroma lifting from crates of apple varieties laid out in rows like beads on a necklace. The fruity flesh and peel softens under the spell of apple blossom petals and earthy flakes of hay. After several minutes the most incredible leather accord emerges. Worn leather, ripe with age and use, polished like a stone in some areas and sweetened with resin and waxes from polishing and care. Labdanum and violets float around the edges of the leather, imparting an aura of ensorcelled sentimentality. As the apples, blossoms and sweet hay fade into the ether, shimmering bronze oakmoss and tall stands of sacred cedar flank the sun warmed leather of the saddle beneath. The horses' heart tattoos its powerful rhythm into the skin, surging through the forest, an errant wave crashing into the underbrush. Diaphanous veils of magic hour sunlight stroke the rider and companion, leaving trails of balsamic vanilla wake in the heart of the wood. 

I wanted to highlight the shifting shades of this juice. It looks like a deep loamy green at times then shifts to show burgundy tints and then a deep bronze appears. I purchased the 17 ml bottle for $55.

This one is a real dream. If you have an affinity for leather, please do yourself a favor and sample this beauty. Laurie has a new fragrance releasing soon that is a cozy gourmand scent with notes of dark fruits, chocolate, amber, tobacco, patchouli and more. It promises to be a stunner as well.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

In Essence Sheet Masks: Astaxanthin, Snail, Donkey Milk and Strawberry

I am not really sure what specific brand these are other than them being from the Hadariki Corporation and made in Korea. So I am calling them "In Essence" masks. And in case you run across them in your Asian beauty experiences, I figured I would review them. These were gifted to me by Ashely of The Bohemian Sassenach.

Astaxanthin in Essence- Astaxanthin is a red carotinoid pigment that can be found in various plants and animals (salmon, lobster, flamingoes, flowers) and this particular one was derived from red flower petals. It acts as a powerful (and expensive at $325 per pound) antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Also hyaluronic acid, aloe vera leaf extract, ginseng root extract fermented broth among other ingredients can be found in this mask (and most of the rest in this brand).

Snail in Essence- Ahhh... the old snail secretion solution (as listed on the ingredients) along with hyaluronic acid, aloe leaf extract, and ginseng root extract fermented broth. A nice mask that hydrated and smoothed, allowing for excellent makeup application about 20 minutes after taking it off and preparing for my day, as I used this one in the morning. 

Donkey Milk in Essence- Some key ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera leaf extract, vitamin E,  grapefruit extract fermented broth, allantoin, glycyrrhizic acid (from licorice root which has been shown to reduce subcutaneous fat) hydrogenated lecithin and folic acid. The mask wore well, the serum quantity abundant and the feel was slightly tacky until dried. Not sure where the donkey milk came it. Maybe that was the lecithin?

Strawberry in Essence- The mask features: hyalic acid sodium, (hyaluronic acid), ginseng root extract, and something from the male silkworm (trying desperately not to imagine what I am... imagining).... Translating these ingredients proves to be an adventure and a mystery of the greatest sort. Not sure where the strawberry is coming in. The male silkworm contribution still has me pondering. The strawberry mask felt cooling and soothing. 

- heavily saturated
-masks fit well without altering eye hole placements, nose or mouth cut-outs
-serum full of beneficial ingredients (that I could decipher)
-wide variety of mask types
-no discernible fragrance (though perfume is listed at the very bottom in the least quantity)
-hydrating, smoothing and plumping
-enough essence to reapply the next day or slather all over

-not sure where to purchase these online at the moment
-not sure if the essences always line up with the ingredients

Overall, if I spy these at any of the Asian beauty sites I would buy for sure. I quite enjoyed them. Thank you, Ashley. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lush: Boxing Day Online Haul #1

Boy howdy am I behind on my Lush hauls. I showed you my in-store purchase a little while ago, but I also made two online purchases. This one is the first. 

I pretty much had to pick up two small bottles of Lord of Misrule. Still loving this scent. The 3.3 ounce bottles are the smallest size (well, in general) and run $9.95 each, these were BOGO. Smells just as good as always. 

Golden Wonder held two items. An ultra tiny (2 ounce) shower gel in Bubbly and a Golden Wonder bath bomb. 

I can't get over these "new" gift sized shower gels. Boo. Totally boo. And $15.95 for what basically amounts to a sample of a scent and one bath bomb seems like insanity.  Cut the price in half and I feel like I am getting a tiny deal. At $7 or so, I am paying for the bath bomb at full price and getting a generous free sample of shower gel. Ok, enough ranting. Obviously I still bought it. The scent of Golden Wonder (Celebration and Bubbly too) reminds me of a fancy Tang. I don't mind the powdered orange scent too much. But I do love the results of the Golden Wonder bath bomb in the tub. It is a shimmery aqua mermaid delight. And pretty much any shower gel I use as bubble bath, sometimes the occasional shampoo or body wash. 

Sweet Christmas came with three items: Twilight shower gel, Shooting Star bar soap and Snow Fairy lotion for $27.95 each, but BOGO during Boxing Day. 

Thank the heavens the Twilight was a regular small and not a "gift" size. But really. Twilight is the only reason I bought this box. I was hoping to nab some The Night Before Christmas boxes because it came with Sleepy lotion, which is Twilight scented, but they were out. I am not a huge fan of Snow Fairy but I knew I could give them to friends. The bar soap is ok. Really bright and citrusy. I have used one bar and gifted the other. I tend to find Lush bar soap drying. Except Yog Nog and a few others. Why is Lush no longer releasing Twilight as a stand alone shower gel?? They would sell so much of it. Boggles my noggin'.

If I had my druthers I would just buy the shower gels and cream and bath bombs I wanted separately. But sadly, everything goes so fast that I don't ever catch them and have to go the gift box route. But hey. It allows for sharing. And sharing is caring. 

Do you enjoy the Lush gift boxes? Is it just me or are they way overpriced at full retail? And what is up with the gift sized shower gels now?? I have a feeling we will be seeing more of these tinier sizes in the gift boxes in the future. And if you are interested in the Bubbly shower gel there are still some for sale on the website as of last night. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Melting Basket 84

Wax I melted in the last basket that I would buy again, turned out to be: SMT Enchanted Forest/Pink Sugar/Frosty Pine, TBG Belladonna, Deadly Gardens, Cemetery Keys, Satin Suzie Peppermint Noel and Berry Bellini, Kringle Kringle, FP The Gloaming. 

Glitterati- Pink Marshmallow Fireside
The Bathing Garden- Magic Green Soup
The Bathing Garden- The Smitten Diaries
Long Cane Primitives- Pink Serendipity Peppermint
Long Cane Primitives- Caramel's Perfect Autumn
Sniff My Tarts- Pink Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake
Sniff My Tarts- Pink Ultimate Bakery Waffle Cone
Candles From The Keeping Room- Mistletoe and Ivy
Candles From The Keeping Room- Blue Cedar Lavender
AmbiEscents- Snowball Donut Holes <3 gift

Drop a comment if you want to see any of these reviewed in depth, please. 

Friends, meet Boopers. Boopers, these are friends. Boopers is an albino Rosy Boa; a wee fella, he is about 12 inches long and about the girth of my ring finger. He is Scarlette's new companion and is as sweet as pie. 

Owning a snake was not a concern. Any time Adam found a baby snake outside, he hollered for the girls and they all took turns petting it then he would release it back. He is pretty savvy about whether the snake is venomous or not. Of course, venomous ones do not get picked up. 

The only thing that was a wild card was feeding. Luckily, there are frozen mice so all you have to do is thaw, warm and dry. Scarlette even picked up with the tongs and feed him all by herself. So a win as far as I am concerned. (She loved mice, rats, hamster, gerbils, rodents so I was unsure how well that would go over and we talked about it constantly before she picked a snake as her next pet).

Just wanted to introduce you to our newest family member. Did you ever have a snake or reptile for a pet as a kid? Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Secret Forest Patisserie: Artisan Lollipops

A Secret Forest Patisserie is run by Vanessa, a talented artist and confectionary out of L.A. who crafts the most beautiful lollipops I have ever seen. They taste amazing too. Vanessa paints her creations on formed marzipan, adding sparkles, florals and gold flake along the way. Lollipops are sold in sets of three usually and range in price from $15 to $36 a trio.

A perfumer I follow in Instagram shared a photo of her cherry blossom pop and I swooned. Immediately I began window shopping A Secret Forest's website and building a cart for Christmas gifting. The silver mouse lollipops are the largest of her lollis, about the the width of the palm of my hand. The girls got these in their Christmas stocking and Scarlette already devoured hers. I saved the third one to photograph for you guys. And mayhap for my own tasty pleasure. You can select the flavor of your choice for certain designs and this was one of them. I chose a simple strawberry for the girls. ($36 for three x-large lollipops)

These holiday bluebirds are stunning. They are flavored in sugar cookie. I have not tasted these but plan to soon. I have one set aside for a giveaway that is currently happening on my Facebook page. ($21 for 3)

I bought a few Christmas themed pops for tying on packages: snowmen, Rudolph and Clarice and gingerbread houses. The snowmen are flavored in peppermint marshmallow and tasted minty delicious ($21 for 3), the reindeer in natural peppermint ($21 for 3) and the gingerbread houses in gingerbread ($30 for 3). The gingerbread houses blew me away with the level of detail and pure cheerfulness. I loved eating it. The gingerbread flavor was more sweet than spicy and mellow yet delicious. Eating the actual marzipan gingerbread house was my favorite part though. The chewy almond flavor and the sweet crunch of the decorations satisfied my sweet tooth.  

The girls also got a Lucky Cat lollipop in strawberry in their stocking as well. ($18 for 3)

When browsing her actual website make sure to just scroll through all the lollipops and not just click on collections or you will miss a lot of fun things to look at. Her Halloween and Valentine's lollipops are divine. I am dying to try her Marie Antoinette one, and a moon, and a lavender bud, as well a few others. I ordered several lollipops and it took a couple weeks to get them since she crafts each one by hand. Make sure you message her if you are wanting a certain amount for an event. She also does custom orders and can do rushes. I had a great experience and will be back for sure. 

I do recommend gifting the lollipops as soon as you get them or at least within a couple weeks. After about a month the clarity does cloud as is the nature of sugar and candy. They still taste amazing but just won't be as crystal clear. She also has premium flavors you can add to your lollipops like elderflower and organic plum for an extra charge. 

I am in love with artisan candies and these fit the bill for beautiful sweets to both enjoy and gift.