Thursday, December 13, 2018

Melting Basket 133: Holiday Home Decor

Wax from the last basket that I would purchase again: Bohemienne Life Pacific Forest, Book Scents The Gathering, Beezy Apple Clove Butter and Country Bumpkin, SMT Banana Nut Bread/Celtic Moonspice/ Honey Gingerbread, CFTKR Maple Buttercream Cookies.

Handmade in Florida- Peppermint Place
Handmade in Florida- Welcome Winter
Handmade in Florida- Wonderland
Lasting Scent Candles- Cranberry Citrus Balsam
Lasting Scent Candles- Sugared Berry Clove
Lasting Scent Candles-Holiday Hearth
Candles From The Keeping Room- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Candles From The Keeping Room- Noels of Christmas Past
Candles From The Keeping Room- Plumberry Spice
Candles From The Keeping Room- Frosted Pine Noel
Vintage Chic Scents- Fezziwig's Christmas Party
Vintage Chic Scents- Smoky Mountain Christmas
Vintage Chic Scents- Christmas Time is Here
The Bathing Garden- Ghost os Christmas Yet to Come
Candy Panda- Wonderful Christmastime
Sniff My Tarts- Enchanted Forest/Frasier Fir/Vanilla Snowflakes
Bohemienne Life- Pacific Forest
MoonaLisa- Kris Kringle
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Santa's Pipe

I think this is it! This is my Christmastime basket of holiday scents to make my home comfy cozy during the festivities.

I was excited to decorate for Christmas this year. I think it is because I know it will be the last one in the home that started it all. Adam and I were newly weds when we built our simple, small home back in 2005. We briefly had a "man cave" for Adam before news of a baby arrived. Soon it was painted green and yellow since we did not wish to know the gender. Christmas soon took on more magic under the watchful eyes of toddlers.  

I still have the watchful eyes of one believer in the home and I think this may be the last, which is fitting.

The girls ask if we will still do the advent calendar and carry on our traditions. Of course we will. They will still get emails from Santa and tacky Christmas socks even if they don't end up in a Montessori school. (Because in Montessori the kids take their shoes off in the classroom and socks are the coolest form of individual expression.) 

I think we will have a lovely holiday. I cannot believe Christmas is already less than to weeks away. 
 Are you traveling to see family or friends? What are your holiday plans?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sihaya & Co: The Art of Hygge

Sihaya & Co. sent this box gratis in exchange for photographs. All opinions my own.

Sihaya and Company's winter box is themed around The Art of Hygge, which even though I haven't read any of the books concerns hygge I am familiar with the term and comfort is always something I can embrace wholeheartedly. The traditional full sized winter boxes were $67 while a petite version, that lacked the perfume and whipped soap, was offered for $42.

Latherati contributed a 4 ounce body lotion in Cozy Winter ($8). "Imagine being wrapped in a cashmere blanket with a hot peppermint mocha warming your hands, a comforting vanilla dessert, the soft glow from a smoky fire in the corner and snow covered pines through frost covered windows." 
I mentioned my enjoyment of Latherati body lotions a couple times in the past and this one is just as enjoyable. A light, easily absorbed formula that doesn't feel greasy or oily is scented in what predominately smells of peppermint hot cocoa. There may be other notes at play but these two feature as the stars. I love minty scents and this is a nice one to wear before bedtime.

Lumina Noctis Hygge Lip Butter ($8.50) arrived in a dainty glass jar and holds notes of spiced winter clove, herbal lavender, dark cocoa and bourbon vanilla. I quickly fell in love with this creamy thick lip butter. It indeed feels like a gourmand butter on the lips. The notes unfold in a beautiful but unexpected ways. The herbal metallic coolness of the lavender pushes nicely into the bittersweet chocolate while the clove is warm and woody. The vanilla lies like a current of cream that all the sharper tones sink into. If this was a candle I would be in heaven. The lip butter imparts a mellow shimmer coming from its golden base. It is nourishing and luxe. If you enjoy a slippery, soft and oil based lip balm (rather than a waxy one) this one is for you. I already know I am in love. I picked some up as gifts and one more for myself. A little goes a long way so it should last a good long while.

When I saw a bar of chocolate I knew this was a true hygge box. All it needed was a quilt and a steaming cup of lansang souchong to be complete. I have not really explored the world of artisan chocolate like I have wanted to so this bar is very much welcome.

Immortal Mountain Chocolates handcrafted chocolate bar in First Frost Cacao ($5.25) nestled inside the box with its blue foil wrapper gleaming like a grown up Wonka treat. This vegan bar of chocolate is composed of Ecuadorian cacao, Vermont maple syrup, vanilla beans, black lava salt and peppermint oil. The dark chocolate bar breaks with a satisfying snap and smells of dark, bittersweet cocoa. There is a velvety grain to the chocolate that is quite lovely. It melts easily on the tongue and hints at the faintest sweetness. The peppermint imparts a coolness but never comes right out and speaks of candy canes or minty disc candies. Once in a while a tingle of salt reaches the tongue to highlight the dark chocolate. This is first and foremost a dark chocolate bar and everything else serves to lift that up. It is delicious and I already picked up a forest version.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab brewed up an exclusive concoction just for the winter box, a scent called Black Cherry Apricot Glogg and Sweet Incense ($26). "Both celebratory and cozy, this is the scent of a warm mug of muscatel, dry red wine, brandy, akvavit and bitters steeped in orange peel, cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, dried apricot, Luxardo Maraschino cherries, and cardamom embraced by a thick shawl of myrrh and red benzoin. 
I did not wear this one as I sent it off as a gift to a friend who simply adores cherries but from my brief experience sniffing the vial this one is a stout dark cherry with soft mulled spices and a thread of wooden incense and resins laced throughout. I have a feeling it would be a beauty for those who enjoy holiday fruits.

I was stoked to see this Whipped Soap from Haus of Gloi in the aroma Cozy Sweater ($8) since I have not been frequenting Haus of Gloi as often and I know I love Cozy Sweater. "Pale skin musk, faded perfume, Egyptian amber, softly burning nag champa incense and a fine aged vanilla."
This is lovely. The nag champa floats tenderly like the petals of delicate flowers rather than earthy and pungent like it can sometimes be portrayed. Musk feathers out the incense even further, blending it out beautifully. The whipped soap feels tacky with an emollient base that is easy to grasp and lathers into a creamy white silk. The scent is wonderfully strong and it rinses clean but still leaves the skin feeling baby smooth. It is almost like a cross between whipped soap and body cream.

Sydney Grace is a fabulous high quality artisan cosmetics creator. They were lined up to contribute an exclusive taupe shade of cream eyeshadow for the Hygge box but the California wildfires hugely impacted their production. Sydney Grace sent out various shades instead and I landed a color in Boardwalk ($8) which is a stunning metallic copper. A tiny bead of the cream applied perfectly to both eye lids. I used my finger and blended it onto my lid all over. No primer was used and it lasted all day. Granted it was a lazy day with no sweating, running around or being exposed to the elements but the lasting power was great. It didn't crease and the pigmentation pay off was stellar. 

Sihaya and Company candles are always welcome in my home. I love the scents, the label art, the burn quality and the shimmery glitter.

Courage, Comfort & Joy- Notes: Glad tidings of warmth and hope. Ligonberry, mulberry, red apple, balsam fir and cozy wintery spices. ($12)
I love the robust fruitiness of this candle. The mulberries and apples and bright red ligonberries swell with sugary tartness and crimson juices. The spices flicker like warm diffuse candlelight to warm the aroma and the fir needles translate into a melodious sugared spruce that barely breaks the surface but adds cheer.

This candle burned beautifully with a medium strong throw in the bedroom on my nightstand.

The wintery shimmer in the candle is stunning. Like a frosted winter scene. 

Sihaya & Company's owner, Chris, is currently on maternity leave as her baby is due any day now. The store is still open but she will only be shipping once a week. I believe she will eventually get back to making candles and boxes and such but right now it is time to nest. Time for comfort and finding hygge during the holidays. 

My hygge: 
- Toddles in my lap purring.
- Warm spiced tea under a quilt I made from scraps.
- Winter nights snuggled in bed with a good book, usually Adam watching videos on his phone beside me.
- Evening movies with the girls piled up on the couch.
- Twinkling lights abound both inside and outside.
- Woodwick candle crackle.
- Patchouli.
- Bubble baths with milk bath and some reading material, candles and quiet.
- Thunderstorms.

What is your hygge?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Hoping you have a nice day today. 

I started my morning out on a cheery note. I just opened up a box of wonderful from a friend and it included a National Geographic  Song and Garden Birds of North America. I am petting it and basking in the birdy glow. 

What is one of your favorite collector's books? What is your favorite bird?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Hand Necklace

I know I just featured Nicole from Arrok last week, but hey. She rocks. Plus she is restocking several of these dainty hands necklaces in her shop today so I wanted you to see them. I don't recall the exact price on these since I purchased mine privately but I do remember that it was a hair under $100. 

It is a mixed metal creation with silver and a tiny glowing garnet. I simply love how easy it is to wear and the meaning that can be applied to it.

I wear mine at least once a week, it has become a fast favorite. Nicole is releasing a simpler version with a moonstone and without the crescent moon as well as a burning heart hand that is lovely. 

Do you wear necklaces? If you do, do you like dainty or statement?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Layering Notes, a Soap and a Halloweenie

I picked up a handful of Arcana Wildcraft scents a little while ago during Julia's Halloween release. I believe the layering notes are still available, but Sabbath Eve is not as it was a Halloweenie.

Golden Musk- Notes: A clean, strong, voluptuous musk. $23
The name fits perfectly. In the amber vial the musk floats up in gentle waves of clean skin, a soft neck drenched in candlelight. This is the tender flesh in the valley of the bosom that feels of warmth and solace. Fine spun wool, thin strips of pliant suede and a breath of iris. These nuances glimmer underneath the ambery musk.

I have Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. Though this is by no means as pungent as MKK, I do get the finer, softer, more wearable side of that icon form this scent. It is truly lovely and if you are a musk lover I think you would enjoy this. I will be wearing this both on its own and layered.

Marshmallow- Notes: The scent of a soft, fluffy, vanilla-infused marshmallow. $23

It is utterly incredible how this smells like a fresh jar of Marshmallow Fluff. I make the Magic Fudge recipe on the back for Christmas every year and scooping out the sticky pillowy melted marshmallow cream always makes me smile with its perfume. On the skin this chewy squishy marshmallow aroma brims with a buttery vanilla base. It smells exactly like making Rice Krispy Treats with giggling squealing tots and mile-long strands of melted marshmallow pulling from the bowl to the spoon to fingers in white webs of warm sugar. As the scent settles into the nooks and crannies of the flesh the marshmallows cool into the solid yet spongy forms of homemade square treats that have a fine dusting of powdery goodness on top. The vanilla moves from warm, chewy, gooey to cool and spongy with a dusting of powdered sugar. This will be brilliant to wear alone or layered to amp up the sweet vanilla factor. This really is unique to my vanilla perfume collection and perfectly honors the robust marshmallow. 

Sabbath Eve- Notes: Crisp dead leaves, evening woodsmoke, dark amber and smoking church incense. $26

With these notes I know I wanted to lay my nose against this one. The amber phial releases puffs of charred embers and smoke along with a dank and almost acetic incense that gives interest, perhaps even a little foreboding. Poured onto the tender area inside the elbow Sabbath Eve kindles smoking embers to life. Piles of desiccated and withered leaves ignite into ashen flurries and molten sparks that gambol upwards into the Plutonian sky. The mounds of burning brush and foliage dot the landscape to welcome the holy event that began at sunset and continues into the darkness. Tallow candles illuminate the homes and temples and incense and offerings lace the night air with their pungent breath. 

I love this aroma. It is not sweet at all but very austere and atmospheric. The leaves, woodsmoke and earthen incense all meld so beautifully.

Haint soap by B. Perry Studios ($18) possesses notes of white musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane and a faint trail of white pepper. Each bar contains a full 5 ml of Julia's Haint perfume (which I finally bought recently). I sliced a fat sliver of this soap off to use in the bath tub. She is a beaut. The soap lathers up with heaps of silken bubbles and it has a nice exfoliation to it. This is a palm-free formula and contains rice bran oil, coconut oil, olive oil and cocoa butter. Haint in soap form is a rich, dusky, almost earthen vanilla that is musky with white pepper. Have you ever smelled white pepper when cooking? It has an almost fecal or damp fold-of-the-skin scent that is a little jarring when sniffing in a spice jar. But in a perfume it adds a human element that is very real indeed. I love it.

Julia released her Yule collections recently. I did pick up three perfumes on my own and I have the full Yule Deer line to feature. 

How is your holiday going? Any fun plans? Do you have any traditions?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Mood Earrings

As soon as I saw the mood earrings posted from Nicole at Arrok I knew they would be magical. And they are. She has some still listed in her store for $38.50. They are handmade silver studs with fast color changing stones that hold just a faint glimmer of glitter inside. 

The colors shift from a royal navy blue to teal and emerald green when warm.

As the earrings cool they morph into maroons, brown and purple bruised shades.

They remind me of galaxies or planets. When I wear them on my ears they tend to have a multitude of colors that fade from blue to green to warm maroon.

Zoom in to see the fine glitter.

These would make stunning gifts for those who like a little throw back magic in their lives. 

Did you ever have mood stone rings?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas Birbs

The winter birds are all making their way to Florida and my backyard once again. I missed them terribly over the summer. I had some new birbs come visit. These golden brown birds had a finch looking beak. Could these possibly be female goldfinches?? If you might have an idea of what type of bird this is will you please let me know?

The Sandhill Crane family still swings by our house for some seed and water from time to time. They might comes  three or four times in one day or simply spend the whole day here in our backyard. The girls and I collect the feathers they leave behind. We should probably name them.

We had a hawk spend some time drinking in our birdbath. Based on my book it might either be a Sharp-Shinned Hawk or a Cooper's Hawk (though I am thinking Cooper's Hawk because of its larger size). He was a handsome fella. 

My eyes keep wandering to the feeders and trees outside our home. I cannot wait to see what else flies into our neighborhood.

Do you enjoy birdwatching?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sawdust & Embers: Winter Woods Candle

This candle was sent gratis from Sawdust & Embers. All opinions are my own.

I have blogged about my positive experience with Sawdust & Embers in the past and today I have another candle from John that houses a whole lotta Texas charm.

Winter Woods- Notes: Essential oils of Noble fir, balsam and cedarwood. Citrus, amber and moss. $32

According to the website this 10.5 ounce glass candle has a burn time of 60-70 hours. The one I was sent states it is 8.5 ounces with about a 60-65 hour burn time. The candle has a sturdy and snappy woodwick that pops and sizzles with sound. The candle wax is a coconut wax blend. It throws strong with a a beautifully festive evergreen and soft citrus scent that reminds me of Carol's Balsam and Citrus wax tarts that I love so very much. Having it in a candle from with essential oils is decadent. Trimming the wicks on this one is very important. It can get sooty with a crazy high flame if proper candle maintenance is not observed. 

I love this candle and will happily burn it through the holidays. 

What candles are you burning? Do you like essential oil candles?