Saturday, December 29, 2018

Best of 2018

2018 held some magic and sweet adventures for my family and me. We visited new places, soaked in some time at Aquatica and Universal Studios, watched many a birb in the backyard and made the most of our weekends and summer break. I struggled to make my health a priority. I took on teaching a new subject with a passion. My desire to blog waxed and waned. I learned more about Montessori and other teaching methods. I bit my nails. I wore my hair natural. I burned incense resins. I collected pottery. I pawed through old cards and notes from friends, family and vendors. I read a ton. 

I also continued to enjoy many small pleasures in 2018. These were some of my very favorite...

10. Dasein Winter (EDP)
9. Serge Lutens L'Orpheline (EDP) 
8. Solstice Scents Night Watcher (EDP)
7. Blood Moon Botanica Dark Winter Amber
6. Nocturne Alchemy Vampire Cardamom Bat
5. Olympic Orchids Woodcut (EDP)
4. Solstice Scents Hidden Lodge (EDP)
3. Arcana Wildcraft Her Forest
2. Nocturne Alchemy Oud Ombre #3
1. Arcana Wildcraft Her Coal-Black Hair

These are some of my favorites from purchases made this year. I have enjoyed many, many more but I would need to do a top 25 to begin to scratch the surface. I mostly purchased from Arcana Wildcraft and Nocturne Alchemy with some random Solstice Scents and Sixteen92 purchases. It was a very good year for perfume. I actually drained several bottles too.

My very favorite perfume is still Arcana Wildcrafts' Filthy Viking. I drained my 5ml this year and started working on my 10ml.

5. Sawdust & Ember Texas Cedar
4. Sihaya & Company Arcana
3. Wick & Fable Narnia Palace
2. Sawdust & Ember Rosewood
1. Sihaya & Company The Thinning of the Veil

I did enjoy several Bath & Body Works candle but I mostly wanted to focus on the small business, artisan candles. I plan on revisiting Sihaya & Company and Sawdust & Ember again next year. I would like to branch out in my candle experiences next year. It just can be kind of daunting as finding a good throwing candle is difficult.

Wax Tarts:
10. Glitterati Blood Orange Blonde Moment
9. Ten Digit Creations St. James Place
8. Dessa's Homespun Scents Harvest Cauldron Cider
7. Beezy Apple Clove Butter
6. The Bathing Garden Cardamom Apple Pie
5. Sniff My Tarts Marshmallow Fireside/Fireside/Camp Fire Marshmallow/Vanilla Sandalwood
4. Vintage Chic Scents Cozy Jackie O
3. Bohemienne Life Heart and Crown
2. Handmade in Florida San Marcos
1. Candles From the Keeping Room Warm & Cozy

My top wax vendors this year are: Candles From the Keeping Room and Bohemienne Life. I have ordered from both Carol and Kyme a few times this year and enjoyed my items tremendously. It was a slower wax year and I plan on continuing a no-buy into 2019 for the most part. I want to melt and use up my wax in order to make a good dent before we move this coming summer. 

10. Handmade in Florida Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
9. Tauer Perfumes Solar Engineer
8. Fatty's Soap Unmentionable
7. Mianra Amber & Plum
6. Painbox Soap Works Sisterhood of the Moon
5. B. Perry Studios Haint
4. Paintbox Soap Works Waking the Witch
3. Bohemienne Life Folktale
2. B. Perry Studios Vatican Archives
1. Handmade in Florida Spa Time

Body Care:
Obscurus Purge Potion (body scrub) in Rota Fortunae
Blooddrop Bath Froth
Firebird Viking Bath Salt
Life Flower Care bath bombs (Satvia, Flowerchild, Limonene, pretty much all of them)
Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations Miracle Budder in No 3rd Wheel
Witch Baby Bath Potions 
Moonalisa 4 in 1 Fine Bubble Wash (I love it as a luxe bubble bath)

Dida Metals
Gather & Flow
House of Epicurius
Laurel & Lime
LSD (Little Sister Designs)
Marta Oms
Sam Ryde
Stone Sparrow

These are the jewelry makers I have purchased from this year.  Earring studs, rings and necklaces are always my favorite things to wear to work each day. They bring a little bit of magic to my routine. I love supporting talented ladysmiths. 

Callahan Ceramics (mugs)
CBe Ceramics (planters and mug)
EarthErra (mug)
Elan Pottery (Mug Club and a crystal skull mug)
Grumpy Dwarf (tiny jar)
Hand to Earth (planters and mugs)
Kelsey's Star Stuff (mugs)
Made at Newton (lidded container)
OneEleven Pottery (mug)
Pitch Pine Pottery (planter , ornament and mugs)
Scrimshaw Pottery (mugs and planter)
Scumugs (planters)
Silver Run Ceramics (incense burner, trinket dish, mugs, matchstick holder)
Tthomas Arts (mug)
Wild Beast (planter)

These are the pieces that have come into my collection this year. I have finally cleared out enough room in my cupboard to fit my coffee mugs. I am thrilled to have gained so many great functional art pieces. I am a little bummed EarthErra has decided to stop making pottery but that will make the ones I managed to snag that much more special. I would love to add a few more planters and another mug from Tthomas one day. Hand to Earth will be dabbling in luminaries and that would be lovely to bring home. Also the Pitch Pine wax tart warmers are stunning. Maybe next year. 

Ultimately I would like to chill my wax spending in the new year and set some perfume buying goals (like maybe no more than three oils a month?) and explore candles and incense little more. I want to spend less and use more. Get my health back in line. Continue reading more books. Be outdoors as much as I can. Paint more. Take more photos of my girls. Travel. 

Some of my favorite things this year were bird watching (I now log them in a book I picked up), exploring the Wizarding World as often as possible, quilting again, gardening and dreaming of travel.

My 2018 Bucket List:

- Planted a raised bed garden (it was successful and I will do it again one day).
- Mailed a card.
- Did the Whole 30 again (April with my friend Nancy).
- Visited a State Park (Ichetucknee)
- Visited a National Park (Acadia National Park in Maine).
- One lazy day a month.
- Obtain a Rabbit's Foot fern (and it is thriving!).
- Thrifted for vintage ornaments (ended up with a glass strawberry).
- Take the girls to a concert or play (Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra).
- Bake Adam a treat once every two months. 
- Plant lavender (it didn't grow).
- Attend a festival (Strawberry Festival).

Bucket List Fails:
- Didn't take the girls cane pole fishing.
- No top off Jeep ride (so ashamed).
- Finish a quilt.
- Visit a succulent farm. 
- Play with the girls in a summer rain.
- Buy a German Christmas pyramid.
- Weekend beach getaway.
- Save for a Disney Cruise.
- Cook a prime rib dinner.
- Bake cinnamon rolls with yeast.

Checking off a little more than half of my bucket list is decent. I will probably carry a few over to 2019 and abandon others for different goals. I swear 2019 will be the year of the cinnamon roll, dagnabbit.

What were some of your favorite things or experiences from 2018? How was the year for you? Did you discover any new small businesses or beautiful art? Do we have any overlapping favorites?


  1. 2018 was sort of a miserable year for me yet I still feel I'm coming out of it in a better mental place. I was not blogging most of the year, and even quit/deleted my blog for a while. (It's back now though, if I may shamelessly plug myself: ) I had health issues, family issues, financial issues. I barely bought any wax, and the little bit of crafting I did was forced and unsatisfying. I'm going into 2019 in a good state of mind though. We have a new game plan for our little hobby business, I'm blogging again, and just have some doable goals set for myself.

    Here's to a great 2019 for all of us!

    1. I need to move your blog back to the blog roll!!! I need to do some up keep and stuff anyway. Maybe I can do that tomorrow. I am sorry this year was a bust for you. I hope the health and finances and stuff get better. I can't wait to see what all comes out of the hobby!!! You know... with the move I will be needing some bird houses. LOL! And I would love to see your goals. They always inspire me.

    2. Funny you mention bird houses! Hubby has been cranking out so many feeders for everyone that he's said more than once he wants to get some houses done instead. So yeah, I'll be sure to let you know when he gets some finished. :)

      I'll natter about my goals soon on my blog.


    3. Yes, please. I would be thrilled to buy a couple. I want to have some for when we move. <3 Attract some birdies. Off to go check your blog. <3

  2. You know, I have never really sat down to make a new years list. I'll think on one this year. Also, dont forget we need to knit a scarf! Maybe we visit a material store in January? Something about this year just makes me very excited. I can feel that it will be a year of resilience, love, and growth. Here's to a new year of collecting books, telling secrets in Massachusetts, and always our mountain summer vacation. I am just so excited.

    1. I hope you do! I would love to see it. I like writing them in my journals too. I made sure to add knitting to my list. I still kinda want to learn at that knitting shop in Winter Haven. I hear it is super cute. I know this year will be simply amazing. So many adventures and changes and big events. I love your descriptors too. Resilience, love and growth. Let's find some books together and memories together this year! Maybe we can go wildcrafting too.

  3. I love your lists! I have found a lot of wax that I need to melt in 2019. I haven't melted wax in months and I don't think I've lit a candle, either, with the exception of one on Day of the Dead. Everything has been up in the air and chaotic in our house, so I'm really excited to get settled in our new home and then work my way through all of my wax and candles. I also want to do Whole30 again, especially because my new kitchen has so much more counter space and I'm getting a new fridge! We ordered it but it won't be delivered until the 15th, so we'll be using the fridge from the old house and bringing things over from there to a cooler until it arrives. (I have the old house through Jan but hope to be out completely before the end of the month.) I truly think you are the most gifted writer I've ever read when it comes to describing fragrances. Someday you should consider writing a book! It would be magical!!!! <3

    1. Thank you! At least you will have some lovely things to scent your new home with!! I am kind of tempted to save some of my favorite candles for the new home too. More counter space is always a bonus! Hoping to get more counter space and cabinet space myself. Will you do the Whole30 via your FB group again? I would be happy to join again if you are running that way. <3

      Nancy, your kind words me so much to me. I worry sometimes that I get a bit carried away and then the scent is lost among the words but I enjoy where it is going to much that I just keep flying on. Happy New Year!!

  4. I'm so delighted that you're getting such great use out of your Universal passes already. Going to Disney with my parents were just the greatest vacations ever, and they hold such a special place in my heart. I hope you're likewise having a great time (looks like it!)

    1. Thanks! They really have been a great investment. And the deal they were offering was fabulous too so we have then through 2020. Lots of time spent sipping Butterbeer and spying velociraptors and hanging with Sneeches. I loved going to Disney with my family too. <3 Maybe I can squeeze in a family day at Disney once we're over there.

  5. Julie--do you have a bread machine? It is soooo easy to make cinnamon rolls in the bread machine! Love your blog, btw! -Alyssa

    1. I don’t have a bread machine. I don’t mind taking time to bake... I think I just haven’t had a weekend where I wasn’t busy and then a free weekend where I wasn’t drained. But I WILL SOOOOOON! Thank you so much Alyssa for your kind words!! Xoxo nice to talk with you.