Saturday, June 30, 2018

Ebb & Flow: June 2018

The highs and lows of the month.

L'Artisan Caligna

Perfume Oil:
Nocturne Alchemy Enchanting Mermaidens

Andy Tauer Solar Engineer

Bath Bombs:
Life Flower Care Sativa

Handmade in Florida Pistachio Macaron

Body Oil:
Kings Road Apothecary Deep Woods

Everything Paula'a Choice

Nail Polish:
Polished For Days Unicorn

Tiziana Terenzi Laudano Nero, this candle is 2 years old now and I keep burning it intermittently and it still smells as fabulous at the first time I put a match to it. You can read about it here. I also bought a back up so I can burn this one more often now. 

Candles From The Keeping Room Fresh Picked Strawberry

Endless coffee, not enough water.

Bagels with butter and blackberry jam.

Riverdale Season Two, The Fly with Jeff Goldblum and my husband and daughter play Fortnite.

Coming to My Senses by Alyssa Harad

Midnight Syndicate, I think I am getting ready for Halloween a tad early.

Messy buns, scratched cheap sunglasses and no make up with lots of sunscreen.

Savannah, Georgia trip! The itinerary is made, dinner reservations complete (The Old Pink House, The Pirate's House and 17Hundred90), ghost tour, kayaking and cemetery tour booked. 

Going back to the dentist again. My gums are healthy (YAY!) but I did have to have two onlays. I elected to get the first a few days after the appointment but I still have one more lurking in July. My teeth must be getting more sensitive as I age because I can only just now eat on that side of the mouth without pain. Ah well. 

Clipping wildflowers to stick in Ball jars and old Frostie glass soda bottles and tucking everywhere.

Bath & Body Works Tiki Beach wasn't as good of a thrower as I remember it being. It was ok, but not a repurchase.

No lows right now. I am trying my best to enjoy summer break. I do get a little melancholy if I think too much about how old the girls are getting, how we only have 6 more summers like this with both my girls enjoying the limbo between grades, having adventures, chilling out, baking cookies or painting together. Getting ice cream, swimming, skating. Six. That's it. Then they will be in college or off and about doing their own independent things. And I am under no delusion that well before then will come summer jobs, boyfriends and endless sleepovers. So more like 3 years? Ugh. I need to stop thinking about it or I will have a low.

Maine. Lindsey and Dustin's beautiful wedding. A new brother. Acadia National Park. Whales. Puffins. Birch trees. Wildflowers. The most amazing bubble baths with candles, books and bath bombs as of late. Soaking up lots of sunshine and fresh spring water and salty gulf water. Being easy on myself for a spell. 

How has your June been? What are you loving? Any banes or bugbears? What are you watching?  

Friday, June 29, 2018

Warmed Wax: Handmade in Florida, CFTKR and Lasting Scent Candles

Eastern Oudh by Handmade in Florida throws strong and smells of silky resins and sweet musk. Comforting warm vanilla amber woods with a darker tone but not heavy at all. I love this one to pieces and repurchase it every time I get a chance. One tart easily cuts up into four or more pieces to melt.

Blackberry Cream Puffs from Handmade in Florida threw medium-strong to strong in the kitchen and living area. The pastry really comes through nicely in this deep fruity bakery scent. The berries are ripe and realistic and made into a jammy filling. A very nice scent, but fruity bakery is not generally something I go for so not a repurchase, but I very much liked melting it.

Twenty-Nine High Street from Candle From the Keeping Room was a medium-strong burst of sweet candies and citrus and perfume musk. The Lush store come to home. It was a very nice scent but not a repurchase for me. A little too pretty.

Deviant from Candles From the Keeping Room threw medium and smelled of a more darker berry and floral version of Bath and Body Works perfumes. A pretty scent, but again, not one I would reach for personally.

Summer Tide Wedding from Lasting Scent Candles threw medium-strong and smelled of beautiful creamy vanilla cakes shot through with citrus and mango fillings. A delicious scent and happy to melt it but not a repurchase from me. I prefer the Key Lime Wedding Cake and, in general, not a huge craver of fruity bakery with some exceptions. 

I don't want my lack of desiring to repurchase these tarts (other than the oudh) to shine negatively on these, they all performed amazingly. I find I am very picky now-a-days when it comes to where I want to spend my wax money and what scents I desire to get with it. I will still branch out and try new things but I have to be bowled over in order to want to buy it again. 


I glimpse more and more of the woman she is evolving into coming through her skin. Reminders every day in a cut of the cheekbone or insightful murmur, a generous selfless gesture or wondering curiosity, a drive to learn. 

Time rolls like the waves, changing the landscape of my life and the shapes and contours of my soul. I hope it is also polishing me like a precious shell, eroding the tough unfeeling spots and letting the tender fragile parts shine through.

But what frightens me is that sometimes I forget to look. I forget to see. The changes in my daughters are imperceptible when I am mired in the quicksand of the minutiae of the everyday banalities. I miss their personalities blooming or their desires unfolding or their ideas and mannerisms sharpening when I neglect to truly listen to them or watch them. I don't want to miss any of it. 

I want to see. I want to listen. I want to soak the moments up like nourishing manna, inhale it like rare precious perfumes. 

I want to remember it for the days ahead, crystalize it in my heart for the time when waves crash over the past and propel us into a different landscape.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Studio Limited Ombre #3 and #23

Nocturne Alchemy produces a line of perfumes in the Studio Limited collection that focuses on a gradient of aged resins. These Ombre perfumes utilize the aged resins and a precious ingredient is highlighted among each scent. I chose myrrh and oud for my first Ombre scents but patchouli is in the corner of my eye as well. These scents tend to wear like veil and possess very little sweetness. The effect is an aura of resin that floats about the skin cloud-like. 

Myrrh Ombre #3- Notes: Arabian black myrrh with Ambre Ombre (rare black amber, black patchouli amber and black frankincense). $28
Myrrh was the first one I picked up about a year ago. At first it was very sharp but I let it age for months and it burnished beautifully into a fragrance that wears like a halo. The myrrh possesses splintery edges of cedar that loosen and smudge in a haze of smoky sage. This is incense at its best. An atmospheric experience.

Oud Ombre #23- Notes: Exotic Indian grown oud aged in black oak, NA Oudh ICON absolute, perfume attar of rare black amber, black patchouli amber, black frankincense and black myrrh. $28 
The oud version is a relatively newer release. Adam picked this one up for me when he saw me commenting on Nocturne Alchemy's page. He's so sweet.
The oud in this fragrance issues forth in a round and robust manner, a full bodied resin made for snuggling. Sweet tonka duskiness and a buttery copal fullness reside within this dark ebony wood. It smells like a much more expensive perfume than it is. I will be backing this one up and I have only purchased a back up perfume two other times.

These are both easy to wear, gorgeous scents. I actually often wear Myrrh on one wrist and Oud on the opposite.  They play off each other really well given their differences in density.

Prices at Nocturne Alchemy will be increasing a bit here soon. These are on the more pricy side of their offerings given the ingredients, so I wanted to pass it on in case some shopping was going to happen.

Have you tried an oud based scent yet?

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: My Favorite Studs

I love my stud earrings. I have three piercings in each ear plus a cartilage piercing. I like to have choices but do prefer tiny cute ones most of the time. After collecting a nice little stash I wanted to share some of my favorite stud earring silversmiths. 

Marta Oms creates chic simple studs as well as intricate wee skulls and other nature inspired earrings. I have many from Marta as she prices them very affordably, they are great quality and they have a nice post size, not too long and not too short. Pictured above are some larger skulls I purchased, you can see the smaller ones here. Sadly, I lost one of these mini skulls so I picked those up again recently. Mini Skulls ($18)

These rose studs are from Marta Oms as well. 

Star studs from Marta Oms.

Mini moon studs from Marta Oms ($12). Marta is very responsive to messages and frequently has sales. She had 20% off recently and I picked up some turquoise studs and mini punk earrings. She also has lady bugs, feathers, opals and more. 

Nicole at Arrok is another ladysmith that I frequently pick up earrings from. These heart studs are easy to wear and look pretty with just about anything ($32).

These bees. Utterly perfect. Nicole has a pair of spiders that I keep eyeing up too. The bees were ones I had scooped up when she had an earring sale. If you follow Arrok on IG or Facebook you will catch frequent sales and codes as well. ($34)

These sparrows from Arrok were a Christmas gift from Adam last year. They are a touch on the larger side but still fly alongside my other earrings pretty well, not too much crowding if I wear some smaller studs next to them. I bought some really cool wing ear climbers from Nicole for my sister Darby for her birthday. Nicole also carries stars, moons, infinity symbols, owls, wings, wolves, starfish and lightening bolts. 

Stasia, at The Cave Lady, crafts some cool earrings and jewelry as well. I picked up these weaver studs ages ago and wear them pretty often in my second holes ($13). Stasia also creates arrows, hammered studs, polished studs and other abstract designs. 

My all time favorite maker to get teeny tiny micro studs is from Candice Vostrejs on Etsy. I tried to use the wee amber corked jar as a kind of reference for size of the earrings, and these guys are SMALL. And I love having teeny earrings in my third holes. I tend to lose these as they are so small, so I have purchased multiple pairs from her ($13). She also creates them in copper and bronze and in bars, stars and open circles, which kind of fascinate me, and other geometric shapes. I will probably order more soon as I am down to this last pair. 

All these earrings are in either sterling or fine silver. 

Do you have a favorite place to buy handmade silver stud earrings? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Cbe Ceramics: Goddess Mug

I picked up my first ever Cbe Ceramics mug from Cate Be a couple restocks ago. She has a few designs that tug at my heart strings, a bear, whales, her No Face and Totoro, owls peeking through cacti and this Earth Mother, this goddess of love and tenderness. 

The size of the mug is wonderful, enough to hold a little more than a cup of coffee but not so huge that 3-4 cups of coffee swim in it. The hand is nice and stout with neat details and texture, almost like stepping stones.

The back features a little mantra I am beginning to better grasp and take to heart. "Self Love Best Love"

Deep sapphire blue glaze washes down into an indigo blue splashed with lilac. The white flecks look like stars peeping through the early evening sky. 

I love my mug. It has a lot of heart etched in it and it will bring me many mornings of peace and fulfillment as I sip a warm beverage to begin my day slowly. My hands will cup this long haired lady with a sacred heart with gentleness. The night sky, spiked stars and glazed moon herald quiet. The forest behind and the grass beneath remind me to get outside, barefoot if possible. And to nurture myself in ways unseen. 

What does she remind you to do? Who is this lady to you?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Glitterati: Mystery Box

Janine is the best. Very much the sweetest. She saw that I gifted away the Mystery Box that I had purchased for my blog's birthday and she sent me one to keep for myself. <3 Glitterati chunks have the magical vibrant scents that make any home smell summery and bright. Janine recently hit a big milestone too, she has 7,000 members in her Facebook group and hinted at having some big celebrations tonight. Make sure to join in the fun. The best way to get some Glitterati in your life if you aren't on the custom or Mystery Box sign ups is to join in on the Sunday flash sales. 

Strawberry Pink Chiffon Cookies is so sweet and yummy. It smells of cotton candy frosted cupcake perfume to me. I forgot how much I enjoy Pink Chiffon. It blends really well with other scents. 

Wildberry Crumb Cake is rich and thick and strong, full of that dense wildberry mousse and extra crumbly cake. There is almost a shortbread vibe there.

Mandarine Mimosa Mango Mojito sparkles with light orange effervescence and the herbal tones from the mint mojito create freshness and tamp down the sweetness. It is a clever summer blend. I melted a quarter of a chunk in each warmer and it threw medium, creating a billowy citrus atmosphere. 

Blood Orange Blonde Moment is mouthwatering!!! Blonde Moment... good golly I forgot how much I love that sweet bubbly grape, add an intense orange to it and it smells like an orange Airhead and grape Pop Rocks had a love child. And I want to eat that baby.

Tart Berries & White Tea is an old favorite. The tart berries have currants in the mix and the white tea is pleasantly floral. It is a lovely scent that is perfect for airy summer melting. 

Strawberry Slush has a creamy component to it. Like an iced strawberry gelati with soft serve vanilla swirled in. I need to go to Gelati Joe's now. I think this has the Strawberry Jam fragrance oil in it. It smells familiar like that. It is great. 

Mandarin Clean Air lifts up in a lemony bright citrus cloud of bubbly freshness. Like a lemon and orange seltzer water.

Sunflower Sexy Citrus Berry Ocean mixes up the 90's powerhouse perfume of tweens everywhere, Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden, with salty ocean aquatics and subtle fruits. Thankfully the fruits and ocean notes help tame the flamboyant yellow perfume. 

Vicious Sex on the Beach sounds like something that someone should get arrested for, but it smells amazing. Just might be one of my favorite blends of the bunch. It is a punchy blend of red fruits and tropical sweetness, maybe some banana leaf and watery melons, orchids and plumeria. 

Cranberry Yuzu Fresh Pear is very unique blend. Even though only fruits are listed I get a touch of bakery. Maybe the pears have caramel or the cranberries are in a cobbler? It has a holiday warmth to it with out any spice. 

This Glitterati box brims with jeweled fruits and oceanic freshness. It is the perfect way to scent my summer. Thank you Janine for your generosity! 

What is your favorite summery scent blend? 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Good Morning

Jay reminded me that I neglected to post my photos of the beautiful Cedar Wax Wings that I saw for the first time in Maine. I heard some enchanting birdsong when we had hiked to the top of Flying Mountain and it was really close by. I scanned the area of trees it was coming from and they were less than 3 feet from me at eye level. I was so giddy when I recognized their black masks and beautiful coloring. And that edgy crest of feathers on their heads. 

I have been pawing through lots of Birds of North America type of books.

My reading has been going strong. I was reading a thick epic book about the immigration of the Celts from the Iberian peninsula (Spain) and Gaul (France) to Ireland. I will do a mid-summer recap soon. Right now I am reading a book to fit the scent category, Coming to My Senses written by Alyssa Harad, a perfume blogger. It is fun reading about all her experiences reading blogs I have read and enjoyed for years. To know so many people enter the world of fragrance through those same circles and virtual doors. 

My garden is pretty much done for the summer. The plants have produced and now they revolt the heat. I don't blame them. I think I will continue to plant wildflowers all over it for now. I like seeing their sunny faces as I look out the window. Plus I have been indulging in some wildflower arranging in the home. 

A winner was randomly drawn for the Sanaria candle giveaway and the winner was Elaine Cole. <3

Don't forget about the 20% code: TLC20

And I wanted to pose a question to you. Do you use hair masks? Would you recommend me one for fine, dry, curly hair? My locks are being brutalized by all the chlorine at Aquatica lately. Our passes run out in August and we have been enjoying the water park as much as possible but it leaves my hair feeling like straw. 

Now that summer is in full swing... what is your favorite summer activity?

Friday, June 22, 2018

Melting Basket 122

It has been since April since I have posted a melting basket. What is that all about? I have been melting but mostly for testing and reviewing here on the blog. Plus just kinda grabbing anything I might be craving on the fly. I finally decided I wanted to make a more summery and fruity basket to choose from so here we are! I am not even going to attempt looking back to see what the last basket included so think of this as a reset. 

Handmade in Florida- Sweet Blood Orange
Handmade in Florida- Blackberry Cream Puffs
Handmade in Florida- Eastern Oudh
Lasting Scent Candles- Berry Panna Cotta
Lasting Scent Candles- Summer Tide Wedding
Lasting Scent Candles- Grapefruit Watermelon
Candles From The Keeping Room- Strawberry Margarita
Candles From The Keeping Room- Marshmallow Fireside
Candles From The Keeping Room- Twenty-Nine High Street
Candles From The Keeping Room- Waikiki Beach Coconut
Candles From The Keeping Room- Sweet and Sassy
Candles From The Keeping Room- Snowkissed Sugar
Candles From The Keeping Room- Teakwood and Coconut
Candles From The Keeping Room- Deviant
Candles From The Keeping Room- Sorrel and Lemon Jo Malone
Candles From The Keeping Room- Mandarin Tiki
Sniff My Tarts- Lord of Misrule/Pink Sugar/Sugared Violets/Vanilla Smoothie <3 gift
Rosegirls- Mango Sorbet Mini Melters <3 gift

If you would like any of these reviewed in depth, just let me know. 

Summer.  Here she is. Some summer wish list items and bucket list items have been checked off. We visited a new National Park, Acadia. We have visited the beach and some springs. Lots os lake walking, roller skating and reading have taken place. 

I have some summer chores to still complete. Some quilts to finish. Some curtains to hem. A mushroom pillow to make. The girls are addicted to Fortnight, so monitoring that and making sure they do some math every weekday has been a priority. 

Some things I would like to get to before the summer is over: cinnamon rolls, tubing down Ichetucknee springs, a summer concert and maybe some movies. 

We are gearing up to spend a week in Savannah, Georgia. Do you have anything you like to do in that city or the surrounding area? 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Travel: Maine- Bangor and Bar Harbor

Maine has been a place I have dreamed of going for some time now. It is funny because, before my sister Lindsey ever met her now husband, we talked about visiting Maine together one day. It turned out she would give us a very good reason to visit Maine. She met Dustin, who is an airman at MacDill Air Force Base, who is a Mainer. They got engaged and voila! Trip to Maine to watch them get married. <3

We flew into Bangor on Friday and stayed until Monday. The first place we hit up was Stephen King's house. There are people living there and the gate was open. A Mercedes sat in the driveway and a green Chevy truck pulled in as we were lurking about. A Stephen King tour van pulled up while we were there too. It seemed to be a hopping place. 

The home is on a quiet tree shaded street with beautiful homes all about. The wrought iron fence work was whimsical and creepy cool.

The weather was spectacular. Highs in the 70's and lows in the 40's. Vibrant blue skies, breezes and not a stitch of humidity. Perfect break from the 90's swampy Florida summer. Though everyone's noses were dry and sore. We are used to our moisture I suppose. 

We walked around downtown Bangor and grabbed some lunch at Bagel Central (highly recommend) before headed to the Lucerne Inn in Dedham.

The Lucerne Inn was where the wedding was held so we went ahead and booked our rooms there. Nicely appointed rooms in a 200 year old inn with a pool, propane fireplaces in the rooms and the view shown above from right outside our window. Our particular room was $150/night. 

I found a trail behind the inn that led down into a birchwood copse. I very much enjoyed hiking down there on my own.

This is the inn from my mom's room which was across the way.

Saturday morning we woke up early to drive down to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Forest, about 45 minutes from the Inn. There are dozens and dozens of trails that meander all over the park and island but we only had time for one trail. We chose the hike up Flying Mountain. We initially were going to try and watch the sunrise on Cadillac Mountain (the first place to see the sun rise in this hemisphere and the highest mountain in the area) but sunrise was at 4:45 am and we are not that great at early rising.

The views from the top of the trail were breathtaking.

We stopped off for some sea glass searching before heading into Bar Harbor for the whale watching tour.

The Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co took us on a 5 1/2 hour expedition into Canadian waters to search for puffins and whales. The tickets were about $63 per adult and less for the girls. Normally a tour is 4 hours but they have the right to extend it, so don't make plans for afterwards. Also, seasickness is real. I brought some anti-medics and they came in handy for sure, but poor Scarlette felt like crap towards the end.

We came upon a research station and were able to radio in the scientists there to ask questions about the birds.

These birds! The puffins! So cute. 

These are the scientists who were talking with us.

We moved further out and were able to see a pod of seven Fin whales. They are endangered.

It was a very cool experience and it brought tears to my eyes. Savanna wanted to see Humpback whales but no dice. They did end up seeing them the next day on the tour but I am not going to tell her that. This was worth it to do once in a lifetime.

Sunday morning dawned brilliant on the day of the wedding. 

Lindsey and Dustin had a moving ceremony outdoors and she even let me take their pictures in that birchwood forest I found.

Later that day we headed back to Bangor to walk around some more and take in the last little bits of Maine before heading home.

My favorite store was The Rock & Art Shop. The girls and I picked up our treasures there: wooden color pencils, gemstones and crystals, stationary and bugs. 

One of my best treasures though.

Downtown Bangor is picturesque. From interesting angles of buildings to Ginko trees and crocheted benches, the city has it own beat.

I particularly enjoyed the fact that I got to travel with my mom and also got to spend time with Dean, my former step-dad who has been in my life since I was five. The girls enjoyed spending time with him too.

Favorite things about Maine:
- Wildflowers on the roadside
- Fox Family chips and Humpty Dumpty All Dressed chips
- Stone lined rivers and creeks
- Chocolate whoopie pies
- Birch trees and evergreens
- Cedar Wax Wing birds
- Nice people
- Ravens
- Rolling hills and low slung mountains
- Cool morning breezes
- Lobster rolls and chowder
- Maple candy
- Wild skunks
- Bounding deer
- Sea glass chips and tightly curled snail shells
- Birdsong
- Ice cold sea water

I would love to go back to Maine and spend more time in Bar Harbor and exploring Acadia National Park. 

Have you been to Maine? Would you want to? If you have, what is your favorite part?