Saturday, September 30, 2017

September: Ebb & Flow

The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Vanilla Pipe Tobacco

Perfume Oil:
Solstice Scents Gibbon's Boarding School

Skin Care:
Tatcha Polish face exfolitaion

Benefit blush in Dandelion

Lip Balm:
Blood Moon Botanica Peppermint Lip Butter

Blood Moon Botanica Coconut Silk Butter, down to my last few slathers... I will miss this.

Alchemic Muse Nevermore

Bar Soap:
Bohemienne Life Heart & Crown (so nice and scrubby!!! Smells amazing.)

Body Oil:
Solstice Scents Tenebrous Mist (pairs really well with Arcana's The Kraken)

Timberwick Vanilla Brulee

Sporting my Arrok pieces with abandon. And drooling over a few more in the process.

Leonard Cohen, I wish I could have seen him live in concert. 

Textbooks on agriculture, ag mechanics and ag education and parliamentary procedure.... not a happy camper.

Harry Potter weekend marathons

Nothing at the moment, just minor stresses and worries.

Some cooler days... October usually starts the below 80's dips from time to time and I am ready, baby.

The Fresh Market's Pumpkin Spice coffee

Hourglass Mechanical Gel Eyeline, the entire full sized thing was dry as a bone and a lead pencil would work better than that thing. Garbage.

Adjusting to the difficulties of Savanna being temporarily encumbered. So not only am I juggling more responsibilities at work but also at home. Plus Irma. Plus other things. Been an insane month.

Weathering Irma. But my favorite thing by far was a recent date night Adam surprised me with by taking us on an amphibious car ride around the lake at Disney Springs followed by dinner at the Boathouse (that lobster roll was insane) and a stroll about the area.

How was your September? Can you even believe it is October already?! What the heck? I will be posting my Fall Fun Series post tomorrow. <3

Friday, September 29, 2017

Cellar Door Bath Supply Co.: October Road Candle

My friend Jean sent me some Cellar Door Bath Supply Co. a few years ago and they were quite nice quality. I started following their Facebook page then and quite recently their candle caught my eye. I loved the frosted glass, appealing labels and lovely sounding notes and names. I purchased two candles in one go but I am going to review them separately. First up is October Road. 

October Road- Crisp apple, autumn breeze, leave piles, charred firewood, an evening ride down winding roads while gently falling leave fall over the windshield. (7.5 ounces for $18.00)
These are soy candles and recommended for small to medium sized rooms. I would agree with that. The throw was medium-light in a large room with a cathedral ceilings and stronger in my bedroom and bathroom. October Road's scent description does set the scene perfectly. Crisp airy Macintosh apples stacked in pyramids at the roadside market are chilled in the autumn air. Leaves tumble by and the chill makes you bring your freshly laundered plaid scarf up to cover your pink nose as you step out of your warm car to peruse the fall bounty. Distant woodsmoke hovers, ever present on these fall days, but the ozone of an approaching storm overrides all with a fresh cleansing tang.

This apple centric scent is more clean and brisk in the leaves rather than earthy and makes for a beautiful autumn scent, especially in this hot climate. I am happy with the wick and flame strength and the complete pooling and burn quality. No sooty smoke here. 

Stay tuned for Dead Man's Bones. Have you tried any indie candle vendors as of late? 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Vintage Chic Scents: Small Fall Haul

I must say... I am really starting to enjoy the ordering process from Vintage Chic Scents. For many years there it was a quick-or-dead type of showdown where if your quick draw wasn't up to snuff... well then you didn't get anything to sniff. This last opening Kirby had there were plenty of loaves and bars and bags and boxes left over hours, even a day, after the opening. I kept my order modest with one loaf and one 4-pack of coins in two fall scents that appealed to me based on notes. 

My free sample was a scent shot in Mutter Museum's Oddities (corn bread, yellow cake and butter cookies). This really is pretty nice for a heavy bakery. I was worried it would be too buttery and greasy and all sugar corn pudding insanity that hangs like an ominous pall over the home. The yellow cake must lighten it up. The corn bread is still obvious but it is sweet corn and light and fluffy and a touch sugary. I may blend it out some still to reduce the sheer bakery-ness of it but I am willing to give it whirl!

Cookie Monster in Salem Triple Layer Loaf- Sugar cookies, sugar cookie dough, buttercream frosting, sugar milk and pumpkin cinnamon sugared donuts. ($17.75 for over 14 ounces)

This one is soooooo good.

Vanilla cookies and cupcakes and donuts and cakes piled high with frosting and a warming touch of pumpkin spice. This reminds me of ultimate cookie and ultimate bakery scents without any bready notes. The sugar milk had me almost passing but it only adds a creamy sweetness, no sour. 

I melted a chunk in the kitchen and living area and it threw strong and smelled delicious. A new favorite for sure. And it is pretty cool, you can smell the various scents separately in all the layers. Kinda wished I would have grabbed two of these.

Autumn in Salem- Pumpkin cinnamon sugared donut. ($5.30, each coin is at least an ounce)

I love this scent. It smells just like it states. I warmly spiced cake donut made with pumpkin puree and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I have not melted any of these yet but if the loaf above is anything to judge it by, it should be nice and strong. I have found I am loving Kirby's vanilla bakery and spiced bakery scents. 

I see the next restock will be October 19th and there is a customer creation called Pink Twinkling Lights that I am dying to try (pink sugar, candy cane, VBN and toasted marshmallow).

Did you pick up anything from the last VCS restock? 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sixteen92: Anniversary Sale

Sixteen92 hosted their annual sale in late summer to celebrate their anniversary. A bunch of Party themed fragrances were featured, discounts were given based on amount of money spent and they offered a shirt as well for purchase. I did end up picking up a shirt ($19 I believe) and I love it. I also purchased two Mystery Sample sets for $13 each and two perfumes. One is a permanent collection scent and the other was a very limited time offering (only one day). 

From the two Mystery Sample packs I obtained:
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Hecate x 2
Merely A Madness
Baker Street
Liber Officiorum Spiritum
Waking in Winter
Apple Bourbon Cider

If you are curious how any of these smell, please let me know below and I will do a mini review for you. There are just so many and they are mostly all limited scents that I wanted to only review the ones that you wanted to know more about. I will say that Apple Bourbon Cider has been completely drained already and was a lovely fall scent of of sweet Macintosh apples, bourbon vanilla and pinch of depth from the cider. It did wear lightly and longevity was short.

Hellebore- Notes: Tuberose absolute, Sambac jasmine, oakmoss, tobacco, chilled earth, cocoa and black musk. 
I sampled this one a while back and fell hard and fast for it. The juice in the bottle reveals a loamy jasmine bouquet, dewy earth clinging to the creamy white petals. Once on the flesh, the heady perfume of boozy white florals intoxicates; tuberose, gardenia and jasmine all bloom in a riot. This is not the headache inducing artificial chemical composition of some white floral perfumes, this is purity, this is a bouquet under a gauze filter, a chain of blossoms encased in the glass dome of an icicle. As it matures on the skin, the blooms fall back to the earth and nestle in the forest bracken under a canopy of boughs in dappled sunlight. The drydown darkens as the sun sets and twilight blankets the ground. The velveteen shadows are hued by the sable tobacco and black musk. I adore this fragrance. The longevity is about 5 hours. 

The Cocktail Party- Notes: Dark chocolate Devil's Food cake with caramelized fig compote and whiskey ganache. 
In the vial this is one seriously sinful dessert. The chocolate is ebony hued and almost bitter in its richness and the boozy ganache slathers it with sybaritic delight. Once on the skin the chocolate opens up and becomes less bitter and more gourmand. The beginnings of warm fig compote stir around the edges and create layers that keep it from smelling linear. The accord of notes almost appears to weave a few threads of coffee and tobacco into the scent tapestry. The far dry down smells of faint oaken whiskey barrels and vanilla. It is a strong and heavy dark scent to warm the senses in the winter. The longevity was about 3 hours. 

Of these two I really enjoy Hellebore, it is a stunningly exotic yet elegant personal scent. The Cocktail Party is nice but a bit too much chocolate for my tastes, though it does not hang around long so it might be good for really chilly days to warm me up. Did you partake of the sale? 

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Bathing Garden: Halloween Pumpkin Sampler

As most of The Bathing Garden fans know by now, Shannon has moved to a more RTS style of business, items are no longer pre-ordered and then created in unlimited batches with a 6 week TAT. I supposed she had some grumbling with 6 weeks so she is experimenting with a more limited supply of products to decrease TAT to 3 weeks. Shannon has often changed up her business model over the years so it was no surprise but I was still a bit bummed. It is a far cry easier still than her old Etsy days when she posted clams and soaps and they disappeared within minutes. She also did an email ordering system where she posted a list of items from time to time and you would email her your wishlist based off of that. I can see that as she grows bigger and greater demand is generated that she must change up her model to suit both her needs and her customers. All of this is said to introduce my first purchase with her new limited set up. I ordered this immediately after I saw it was announced because I did not want to take any chances. I had no issues picking up my pumpkin sampler but I did see many who had. Overall I think it is going ok though. Some items may be sold out but if they are it is few and far between. When I look at the stock on the site items range from 10 in stock to over a hundred so she is making huge batches. This sampler was $17 with $7.50 shipping and included 20 scents and one free sample. Due to the sheer amount of scents I am not including descriptions but will just give impressions.

Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Waffles- A thick chewy bakery blend where the waffles smell authentic and doused in butter and sparingly drizzled in syrup. Soft pumpkin note. A rich Pumpkin Pecan Waffles blend.

Death Becomes Her- A fruity mint that reminds me a bit of the Tinsel fragrance oil. Not a fan. I never enjoy this blend but it is nice to get it and see if I still feel the same. The combo of fruits and mint remind me of liquid cough syrup. 

Cemetery Keys- A tart fruity floral that leans more fruit. A middle of the road scent for me. I don't hate it, I don't love it but I will melt it and not mind. 

White Magic- This is a new scent from Shannon for me. I quite like it. A softly spiced citrus and black tea scent that is lovely.

Banshee Dreams- Sweet creamy coffee and pumpkin. The coffee almost has a chocolate tone. 

Charm & Ruin- A tart fruity pomegranate scent with a vanilla musk base. 

Haunted Hayride- Mostly apples and hay for my nose and I always enjoy having this one on hand. 

Eye of Newt- Goodness, I have not seen this one for years I feel like. It is very much a green and clean scent with that mint cooling it off in the background. A unique blend.

Netherworld Zombie- I bought a bundle of this last year. I thought I could enjoy it but it ended up being semi-ok for me which is generally not enough to repurchase. Dirt, coffee and whisky it what is smells like to me. A cool and out of the box blend but not one I would melt on the regular. 

Poisoned Apothecary- This is one I like getting every year. An earthy and woodsy blend with soft spice and cider.

Pagan Moon- Another new one for me. I enjoy it though it seems soft on cold sniff. It is a fruit basket with apples, pears and berries cushioned by leaves. Heavier on the leaves, not overly sweet.

Faerie Bonfire- Though I am a huge fire/smoke/campfire fan this one is beginning to not appeal to me. It is a touch too strong and slightly acrid yet very sweet. I would much rather melt Magician's Bonfire.

I actually cut Pagan Moon and Faerie Bonfire in half and blended them in the kitchen. The throw was nice and about medium and the scent was very pleasant together.

Colossal Pumpkin Lantern- I love this one in the parfait. Pumpkin and brownies. Dark cocoa brownies. Normally I am not hugely into chocolate, especially in home fragrance but I like it in the scrub.

Mummy Mademoiselle- Lush Rose Jam with salt water taffy. I think my preference for Rose Jam is waning and normally I do not care for salt water taffy scents at all but this one is ok once in a while.

Black Magic Laboratory- Orange cakes (almost reminds me of the hot orange danish scent that was popular years ago) topped with shaved chocolate. 

Tombstone Dust- I have always passed this one up but it is much nicer than I thought it would be. I don't pick up on the spice but I do get mostly Granny Smith apples covered in caramel.

Season of the Witch- A new one for my nose and this one I do get some nice spice out of. These are all the fall fruits, apples, pumpkin, berries, doused in earthy spice. The orange doesn't really pull through for me on cold but I like it just the way it is. 

Hoarfrost Tonic- This is one I love in a scrub. I found in the past that in tart form it melts really light in my home. I am interested to see how this one performs. The lime and cypress combine to make almost a cool stone scent but I can see a lime and gin cocktail too. It is a neat scent.

Phantom Queen- Tea, coffee and chocolate candies. For some reason the combo comes off as chocolate tobacco to my nose. Interesting but still not something I would gravitate towards. It is beautiful with the dried flowers and glitter on top. 

Hades & Persephone- I loved this one last year and continue to this year. A velvety patchouli, citrus and cognac scent that smells dark and mysterious. 

Free Sample (pink pumpkin) in Monster Candy smells like Hubba Bubba watermelon bubble gum to me. It smells great and my girls will love this in their bathroom but I don't think I will buy it. 

Overall my faves of the sampler are: Season of the Witch, Hades & Persephone, Tombstone, Haunted Hayride, White Magic, Poisoned Apothecary, and Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Waffles. 

I did place a small order and I chose: Ever Night (repurchase), Faded Opulence (repurchase), Boozy Vlad and White Magic.  I may pick up more but we will see how my stash is doing and what I feel like I need on hand. I may be content with just these. Did you purchase the pumpkin sampler or any Halloween scents? Shannon posted a Christmas sampler as well. 

Sunday, September 24, 2017

ScentSationals: A couple fall scents... and a Fall Tag!

Rustic Cabin Kitchen from ScentSationals smells fan-freaking-tastic. As soon as I saw the name and label art I was yearning to be back in the mountains tucked away into a wooden cabin in the Smokies. This is predominantly a dark woodsy scent with blackened vanilla amber and a touch of earthiness that is probably a pinch of patchouli. I don't pick up on much spice but it may be there warming the edges. It throws beautifully strong and smells amazing. I have already melted a whole clamshell and now I am working on one my friend Deb sent me. <3 ($2 each at Walmart)

Honey Crisp Cider from ScentSationals hopped into my arms at Walmart as well. This is a spiced cider for sure and I love that about this one. No shy guys here. And the apples do indeed smell of sweet nectar filled Honeycrisp. This may be due to some pear in the scent. I love the light golden tones of this cider blend. It makes my mouth water both in its sweetness, spice and tartness. I got a solid medium-strong to strong throw of fall fruity brightness. The spices settled and just added a bit of warmth. 

I would happily buy both of these again. Great scents. Have you tried either?

My friend Deb and I wanted to do a Fall Tag so without further ado:

1. What is your favorite thing about fall?
Can't do just one! I love how the weather is less muggy and the occasional cool breeze comes through. I love the spices and fruits and scents of the season. I love the baking bug I catch and the yearn for coffees and teas. I love decorating. I love approach of the holidays. 

2. Do you get fall colors where you live?
The Sycamore leaves change to yellow and the cypress trees turn brown and the oak leaves will start to turn brown and acorns fall but that is about it. It is more of a subtle transition here in the sub-tropics.

3. Favorite fall scent (wax, or anything)?
 Apples and spice. Pumpkins and spice. Woods. Ambers. Deep vanillas and patchouli. I want to wrap up in all the dark sticky scents and slather them on. I do love rich tobacco and smoky scents this time of year as well. I love my Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk and Winter Woods and Tabac Aurea this time of year as well as the Nocturne Alchemy Pumpkin Library scents and Arcana's Undead Gentleman and honey scents. 

4. Favorite fall food or drink?
 I have been enjoying Nestle's Natural Bliss coffee creamer in Pumpkin Spice with my Fresh Market Pumpkin Spice coffee. I also am loving my Wick & Fable Winter chai tea with a touch of cream. For food it would be homemade apple pie and pumpkin cookies.

5. Football.....yay or nay?
 Yay for the background noise it provides letting me know fall is here. Adam watches every game that comes on and I am usually right beside him reading. Unless it is the Vikings then I am rooting for Deb's sake or the Browns and then I am ribbing Adam. 

6. Do you rake, jump in, or burn piles of leaves?
 None. Not enough trees around any home I have ever lived in to even buy a rake. Sad I am sure. If I could though I would burn.

7. Haunted house or corn maze?
 Corn maze because I am a scaredy cat. I used to go to Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights but good grief did it freak me out. Corn mazes are unbearably hot around here so we usually end up cutting through the stalks to get the heck out of there. 

8. Have you ever gone on a hayride?
 Yep! Plenty of times! Quite fun! It does remind me we need to take the girls more often.

9. Cider or hot chocolate?
 Both! This year my goal is to make homemade apple cider.

10. Carve a pumpkin or eat pumpkin pie?
 Both! The girls and I each have carved our own pumpkins for the past few years now. I look forward to it every year. I also bake homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving each year. Adam looks forward to that.

11. Do you dress up for Halloween?
 The girls do and I sometimes do. It depends on what is going on.

12. Candy corn.....yay or nay?
 Call me a weirdo. I do enjoy a handful of candy corn each year. <3

13. Favorite Halloween movie?
 Hmmm... maybe Nightmare Before Christmas or any Tim Burton movie. I also like that Cartoon Network series "Over the Garden Wall."

14. Scariest movie?
 Anything revolving around torture or demons. The Saw movies were gross and brutal and the book and movie Seven and I couldn't finish The Hills Have Eyes when I was pregnant.

15. Halloween or Thanksgiving?
 Thanksgiving. I love the food and family. Halloween is fun too though.

16. Do you watch the Macy's parade?
 No. We never have time for it as we leave for an annual reunion every year around that time. This year is the first year in about 50 or so that our reunion will be shut down due to the park closing where it has been held since the beginning. So watching Macy's will be the new thing. Plus it will give me a chance to reminisce about the NYC trip I would have just returned from. 

17. Apple pie or pumpkin pie?
 I would have said pumpkin in the past but apple is gaining steam. Both.

18. White or dark meat?
 Both! With extra crispy salty skin.

19. Jellied or real cranberry sauce?
 Both! I chill a can and slice it up and make homemade sauce each year. I love cranberry sauce.

20. Will you host or travel for Thanksgiving this year?
 Host. Normally we travel for lunch but not this year. I host dinner every year though and invite anyone who wants to attend. We don't have much room but we will fit you in. 

Hoping your September is ending well and your October starts festively! Feel free to join in on the tag! What are some of your fall traditions? Find any new great fall drinks, foods, books or movies?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nocturne Alchemy: Tibetan Crystalline and Moonstone

Moonstone by Nocturne Alchemy- Notes: African white vanilla and Crystalline (a Nocturne Alchemy vanilla accord). $27

Inhaling Moonstone from the bottle reveals a soft woody vanilla marshmallow musk. Layered on the skin, gauzy vanilla lace billows forth, edible and both creamy and chewy. It vacillates between an airy cottony vanilla and a chewier mallow nougat vanilla. I love how is wears on my skin, all creamy and shining with vanilla bliss. 

Tibetan Crystalline by Nocturne Alchemy- Notes: Indian nag champa, Indian sandalwood, benzoin, henna, Mesua Ferrea absolute, aged Crystalline absolute, Tibetan musk and bergamot leaf essential oil. $27

 Fresh from the amber vial, a serene and whisper soft nag champa emerges with facets of velvety flower petals, plush herb leaves and a breath of neroli. Once applied to the wrists, creamy sandalwood and sweet benzoin flesh out the earthy yet refined incense of the nag champa. It dries into an elegant fleecy nag champa blend that I adore.

Both of these scents are sold under the Studio Limited line of Nocturne Alchemy. These scents are limited in the fact that there are limited resources for some of the ingredients so once they are out, they may potentially be out for a long while. If you are a vanilla lover or nag champa lover, either of these could become fast favorites. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Alchemic Muse: Autumn Release

It has been way too long since I ordered from Alchemic Muse. Ages ago my friend Lynda told me about the gem Countrycide, so I picked it up, and a sample of Bad Wolf hit my nose then too, here is the review I did on those scents way back when. So I would say a 3 year time lapse is quite long enough. Once I saw Alchemic Muse stocked some fall goodies I hit the store running hard. 

I bought a foaming body scrub, shower gel, hair mist and body whip all in the scent Bad Wolf. The hair mist ($8.50) works as a detangler, which my girls love as it works wonderfully (if you want to hear dramatic prose at its best... brush either of my daughter's tangled rats nest), and as a scented primer to use before styling to tame frizz. I used it on damp hair and added my usual gel over it and my curly frizzy fly aways stayed at bay longer than normal. I look forward to experimenting with it more. 

Bad Wolf Body Whip ($10)- Notes: A basket of freshly picked berries and cream fused with a shady forest brew of mahogany, apple wood and blood cedar to round out the darker, more sensuous base of patchouli, tonka bean, oakmoss and vanilla bourbon. All the better to eat you with my dear...

What a splendid, plump, dark fruity scent. Years ago, the scent in soap form hit my nose with more of the woods and sweetness. I am loving Bad Wolf even more this year. In the lotion, scrub, hair mist and shower gel Bad Wolf boasts a melange of dark berries dripping juice and sweet ripeness backed with woods and black vanilla bean pods. I really am loving this scent for fall as a nice break away from apples and pumpkins. It smells like deep fall. Beautiful and ripe in its fullness. The body whip has a great formula that is not greasy or waxy but a nice light custard that sinks easily into the skin and feels nourishing. And I must say the name Bad Wolf always makes me think of Doctor Who and Rose so that pleases my geeky soul as well. 

Alchemic Muse's Foaming Body Scrub ($10) formula I am pleased to say is fabulous. My standard for sugar scrubs is The Bathing Garden. I like a thick, dense, nicely scrubby formula that is not harsh or course or sparse and easily dissolved. Alchemic Muse has a very similar feel to The Bathing Garden. It is packed with sugar, thick and to top it off... foaming! Rubbing and scrubbing and massaging the goods into my skin creates a bountiful foaming and bubbling soapy experience along with the exfoliation.

I am thrilled I picked up more scrubs given how much I enjoy the results. 

Nevermore- Notes: Dark and beguiling... dusty casks of warm blackberry wine laden with wild herbs and acrid tea leaves amid whispers of warm skin musk, crackling firewood and a somber touch of freshly dug earth. 
I simply cannot resist a Poe reference but add in those notes and I am doubly sold. First and foremost this is another brilliant dark fruit scent like Bad Wolf but where Bad Wolf brims with vanilla and woods in the berry sweetness, Nevermore haunts with a hearth-side sangria specter, ghostly, lightly smoky and intoxicating. I love it. 

Vanilla Oak- Notes: Flighty top notes of bergamot, camphor, cassia root lead to a heart of smoky vanilla-tobacco and warm spice grounded with aged oak, soft amber and frankincense. 
This one makes me swoon because it smells extremely similar to my beloved Serge Lutens Bois de Vanille. A smooth blend of vanilla woods and that rich tobacco and glowing amber. Don't let those top notes fool you... there is not one lick of harshness or herbal tones to this. It is all a refined candied amber vanilla woods. I think I need this in a body whip and hair mist pretty soon. If you like Bois de Vanille, you need this in your body care stash.

I am excited about the shower gels ($8.50). I tend to use these as bubble bath products and they work incredibly well for that. A 3 second squirt generates a plethora of bubbles across the surface of the water. 

Countrycide- Notes: A crisp veneer of of sweet, earthy autumn leaves with top notes of green fig, bergamot, golden hay and dried flowers masks a darkened heart of musky clover, caramelized benzoin, beeswax and black vanilla absolute. At the center a corrupted foundation of bitter almond, tonka bean, gaiacwood and sandalwood, waiting to be revealed.
It is just as lovely as I remembered. This is more of an authentic fall foliage scent. This is the heart of the leaf pile that children and pups plunge into with abandon. This is the autumnal stroll lovers take under arching maples and sycamores. Running over with crisp leaves, sweet hay, damply fecund soil and a subtle sweetness of fall fruits, this scent will conjure images of fall's finest offerings.

Free sample soap sliver in Reaper was generously added to my order. It may be my next purchase as well as more Vanilla Oak. Reaper is a another version of darkly sweet fruits, but rich stewed apples this time with soft spice and woods and earth to round it out. 

My Alchemic Muse order has me in raptures of fall colored fragrance. I can promise my next order will not be three more years down the road but much, much sooner. 

Do you have any Alchemic Muse favorites? What are you bathing and exfoliating with as of late?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Metal Studio

I featured Arrok Metal Studio on my blog before when I purchased a scrimshaw sparrow piece, here. Nicole's style of silversmithing just keeps reeling me back, hence, my newest raven necklace.

I love all the details. The back has this gorgeously rustic crescent moon, the clasp has a maker tag, the chain is unique and the bits and bobs and dangles all woo me.

And that raven. Look at him. Cawing under a peach moonstone. Telling the secrets of the trees, familiar of Odin, harbinger of omens and magic and companion to the moon.

The charms run the gamut of stamped, etched and beaded with freshwater pearls and garnets and a wee skull thrown into the lot as well. 

It is a long chain and hangs right between my heart and solar plexus and is a very nice sized pendant, a bit larger than a silver dollar. I look forward to wearing this often throughout my life. 

Nicole will be stocking some more scrimshaw pieces. Not sure how I am going to resist but I will try. Maybe. 

Are you partial to particular birds or animals in your jewelry? What stones do you enjoy gazing at? 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pier 1: Sweet Caramel Pumpkin Candle

We spent Labor Day weekend with my in-laws down in Bonita Springs. Adam's brother and sister-in-law drove down from St. Louis and we all spent time together. Sheryl, my mother-in-law, is very sweet and she had a candle from Pier 1 waiting on my sister-in-law and me. Mine is scented in Sweet Caramel Pumpkin. This 7.8 ounce candle for $10.95 (BOGO 50% off all fall fragrances as of time of writing) burns evenly and smells delicious. 

Sweet Caramel Pumpkin- Notes: Pumpkin, orange and peach mixed with a blend of creamy milk, sweet caramel and rich vanilla, enriched with almond and coconut, them sprinkled with cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and tamarind. 

With all the notes given, really it just smells like a very creamy vanilla pumpkin blend. There is a milky coconut quality that reminds me a little of Bath & Body Works Pumpkin Coconut scent. The spice doesn't translate much, mostly a thick rich baked vanilla pumpkin treat. The throw is medium-strong in a large living area. Make sure to keep the wicks trimmed as they can throw out some soot if left a smidge too long.

I am pretty impressed with my very first Pier 1 candle. I love the frosted glass jar and the pine candle topper. The throw and scent are pleasant and I would be happy to burn more. 

Have you tried any Pier 1 candles? 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Melting Basket 106

Fallish wax from the last basket I would happily seek out again include: CFTKR Hot Apple Pie and Baked Apple, Dessa's Haunted Hollow, LSC Sugar Berry Clove, TDC Marshmallows by the Fire and Fire Witch, RG Cold Winter Day and TBG Victorian Midway.

Southbound Soap Co- Witching Hour
Southbound Soap Co- Ghostly Brew
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Crackling Campfire
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Autumn Garland
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Fall in the Country
CFTKR- Cinnamon and Amber Type
Bohemienne Life- My Chai
Super Tarts- Wizard <3 gift
ScentSationals- Apple wood <3 gift
ScentSationals- Honey Crisp Cider

 If you would like any of these reviewed in depth, just let me know which ones and I would be happy to oblige. 

I am trying to rise out of the fog of a strange purgatory we have been floating in the past week. 

No school, no power for many, no routine. It was hard to remain constant in anything during those chaotic several days. 

Monday saw me headed back to work and I was ready to be there. Rescheduling conferences that were missed, signing up for certification exams and registering for college... again. It all feels surreal and I bit all my nails off worrying about whether I would pass now that I am so far removed from those agriscience days and if I would be able to juggle work, home, family and school again.

But this is my path. I am being stretched again and yes it is uncomfortable at the moment, but new and better and shinier things will come of it.

It is time to remind myself to take one day at a time. One test at a time. One course at a time. 

And for something cheerful:

"By all these lovely tokens, 
September days are here, 
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer."
- Helen Hunt Jackson

How is your September rolling along? Is the fall bringing any changes? Challenges? Stretching? 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Warmed Wax: RG, LSC and Dessa

Please accept my apologies for the craptastic photos. Sometimes I am feeling up to prettying things up and sometimes I am lucky I remembered to take a photo at all. It was a crazy week.

Rosegirls Cold Winter's Day is a blend of birchwood, vanilla, nag champa, vetiver, tonka bean and bergamot. It smells amazing and throws beautifully. Easily a medium-strong to strong scent in large areas. I mentioned before it smells like upscale nag champa and I think that still fits. It is a lovely woodsy yet plushly sweet incense aroma. I would repurchase it again in a heart beat. This was my last muffin and now it is all gone. Tears. If anyone wants to trade some Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board for some Cold Winter's Day please drop me a message.

Dessa's Homespun Scents Haunted Hollow (sorry! See! I forgot to take a pic until it was entirely melted... fail) is a nice strong throwing blend of cedarwood and cinnamon. On cold it has a slightly earthy soil scent to it but that dissipates as it melts and just becomes the most lovely spiced woods. Repurchase for sure. In fact. I already need more, since I shared I am out. 

Lasting Scent Candles Sugar Berry Clove is a nice one. It threw medium-strong in the kitchen and smelled like a sweet rich compote of stewed berries and spice. Divine. I do wish I lasted a touch longer since it smelled so good. Repurchase.

Lasting Scent Candles Clove Cinnamon was a dud. The throw was very light. Which is strange given it is a predominately spiced scent. Ah well. 

I finally finished that Enchantress of Florence story. Good grief that took me like two months!! Thankfully this current read is a much quicker, less cerebral, page turner. I think I will be finished with it in a day or two. What are you reading? Melting anything good? 

Some orders I have in the queue... my Sniff My Tarts custom (my name should be called any day now!),  a small Halloween Bathing Garden order, Handmade in Florida pre-order, Cosmic Cleanse pre-order (almost ready) and some perfumes from Nocturne Alchemy and a conditioner and whipped soap from FuturePrimitive. I may have just ordered three candles from Streetman Company Store as well. What are you waiting on to arrive? Any order plotting?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall Fun Series II: All About Apples

All About Autumn with some apples thrown in.

It's time for some apples today on this Fall Fun Series post.

Today I am sharing with you one of my favorite apple pie recipes. I think this came from Southern Living magazine. It uses Granny Smith apples and a cornmeal crust dough. 

First up, the dough!

Cornmeal Crust Dough:
Makes 2 dough disks

2 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of plain yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed small
1/4 cup of cold shortening, cubed small
8 to 10 tablespoons of chilled apple cider (or unfiltered apple juice)

Stir the first four ingredients in a large bowl.

Cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry blender (or fork) until mixture resembles small peas or rocky soil in my case.

Mound flour mixture on one side of bowl. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of cider along edge of mixture and gently toss with a fork in that small area until the flour is moist. Yeah, you read that right. I said moist

Keep adding cider/juice until all the flour is.... moist. It should form a sphere of dough easily. If too dry, add more juice, if too wet try adding a touch of flour. Do your best not to over mix. The butter and shortening being in clumps helps make the dough flaky. 

Split dough into two roughly equal portions and form a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1 hour to 24 hours or freeze for a few weeks. These are nice to make ahead for holidays. And this cornmeal crust tastes great with pumpkin pie as well. 

Homemade Apple Pie:
Serves 8

- Preheat oven to 375. Peel and cut 4 1/2 pounds of Granny Smith apples (I doubled this recipe so I could make a pie for my grandpa so I used 8 apples for 2 whole pies). Slice into 1/2 inch thick wedges. 

- Mix apple wedges with 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let stand 15 minutes, gently stir. I like to add in a bit more cinnamon and a touch of vanilla extract if I am feeling frisky. 

Roll out both discs of dough onto a well floured surface. Flour your rolling pin from time to time too. About 11 inches wide will work to cover a 9 inch glass pie plate (non-greased). 

- Spoon apple mixture onto crust, pack tightly down and mound in the center. Dot with butter. I use roughly 1-2 tablespoons cut up. Top the pie with the second disc of rolled out dough. Fold edges over and crimp. Cut 4-6 slits in the center for steam to escape if using the whole sheet of crust. Or get creative and do some fun pie artwork! Place pie on a jelly roll/cookie sheet. 

- Bake at 375 in center of the oven for 50 minutes, then cover loosely with foil and bake 40 minutes more. Cool 1 1/2 to 2 hours before serving. 

Mine are not Martha Stewart worthy but they tasted pretty darn good. I may fancy it up next time. Or not. 

Here is a link to a Fresh Spiced Apple Cake I enjoy baking this time of year as well. 

Last year I sang the praises of Solstice Scents' Corvin's Apple Fest for all things apple scented. I do still enjoy that perfume oil, but this year I am adding two more apple filled fragrances: Arcana's Apples Crave Terror and Mulled Apple. I particularly enjoy these two layered together. Mulled Apple is in fact intended as a layering scent. It adds a warm spiced apple clarity to any scent and is nice on its own as well. Apples Crave Terror is a scent I purchased second hand after reading some recommendations. It is a resinous apple scent that smells rather naughty. Arcana has a whole "Apples Crave" line but this is the only one I have sniffed and worn. I do enjoy the sample of Sixteen92's Bourbon Apple Cider I have from a Mystery Sampler as well. 

Do you have any apple related scented products your are enjoying that I should try?