Monday, August 31, 2020

Ebb & Flow: August 2020

 The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Wolf Spirit

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Filthy Viking

Blood Moon Botanica Olive & Tallow Hand and Body Cream

Lip Balm:
For Strange Women Baba Yaga

Body Oil:
Aftelier Patchouli Spice

Forest & Fjord Sea Silk Face Cream

Wildroots Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Black Magic Alchemy Root Beer Soap

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Vanilla Creme

Candles From the Keeping Room Apple Dumpling

Grapes, chocolate, trail mix

Water, Starbucks Fall coffee blend at home

Finished all the Gilmore Girls plus the new Netflix extensions, kinda taking a TV break for now.

Finishing up the Nevernight Chronicles, it is ok- silly, gory and smutty. Wouldn't re-read but don't regret reading them. 

Picked up a Bangles album and breaking it in.

Cooler weather, camping with the family in late September, bonfires.

That I will not be able to handle a lot of the paperwork side to the classroom on my own without my co-teacher to balance it with me. Nervous about not keeping up with it (record keeping for IEP, 504, MTSS, Transparent Classroom, Parent Square) while still trying to lesson plan, prep the classroom, help students one-on-one, perform progress monitoring, maintaining a clean environment, enforce social distancing- which by the way is VERY hard with preteen children. 

The new lip balms from For Strange Women. They are 100% natural, smell and feel amazing and look very stylish. 

My favorite Bearing Thorns necklace chain broke, my favorite Erra Jean handmade coffee mug broke, and I am slowly killing my favorite feathery fern. 

I am definitely riding the Struggle Bus. I can feel that my stop is approaching and that I will be disembarking in the near future but in the meantime I have been fighting some self worth issues tied to my pay (with my Master's in education and 7 years teaching experience- thought I have been technically teaching for 12 years- I am now only making $500 above starting first year teacher salary with no additional credentials), struggling with my uterus as usual, and overall concerns about my students. I know this will pass and I am set to take this one day at a time. 

I had a nice summer with my husband and girls. I had time to wake up slowly and create some fun art. I read copiously. I got a raise (that is me spinning the above "low" into a "high"). I have some raised beds to fill up with soil and seeds. I am keeping my roses alive. My hoyas are happy. I am burning fall candles.

How was your August? Are you ready for fall or wanting to extend summer? Do you have a veggie garden? What are you favorite herbs or vegetables to grow? What houseplants are you good at nourishing?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Black Magic Alchemy: RootBeer Float and 50 Shades of Chaga Soaps


My friend Julia sent me some amazing soaps from Black Magic Alchemy last week and I wanted to share them with you since you guys know I love my bar soaps. After browsing about their website I found some incredible sounding chaga elixir and chaga tea to try out when I reorder these soaps. Yep. Reorder. Spoiler: this soap is fantastic.

50 Shades of Chaga- "Surrender into an activating soap blend of wild harvested chaga mushroom, black spruce, and coconut oil to sexify skin, clear your mind, purify your lungs, and stimulate your senses." $14.95

This an exfoliating and detoxifying soap that not only boasts chaga mushrooms and activate charcoal but also coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with cedarwood and benzoin to accompany the black spruce. Made with 100% organic of sustainably wild harvested ingredients that provide lung therapy and clarity of the mind. I was anxious to get this one in the shower and once I did it was awesome. 

I enjoyed the buffing and exfoliation that the soap provided but what really grabbed my attention was the scent and the lather. The aroma of bracing cedarwood, lightly mentholated charcoal and spruce made for an invigorating perfume. And the bubbles? Let me say, with our well water and water softening system I rarely have trouble getting a lather up on a bar of soap but this was insane, it was a blizzard of bubbles. At one point in my latherings I looked down and noticed that within the ring of my arms I held a giant single bubble framed by hundreds of frothy friends. The chaga soap felt wonderful on the skin and left behind a soft and nourished canvas for the evening.

Wild Chaga Root Beer Float Soap- "This ain't your grandpapi's root beer. We synthesized ancient forest resins, our wildharvested chaga mushroom and aromatic plants into a purifying soap." $14.95

This soap is composed of coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with benzoin, wintergreen and bergamot oils. It is comprised of 100% organic or sustainably wild harvested ingredients that can heal the skin, ease inflammation and sooth pain. After some extra time spent in the yard this past weekend I was ready to take this one for a test spin in the shower. Am I the only one who gets cramps and pulled muscles super easy nowadays?

I cut a nice chunky hunk from this soap and used it a few nights ago. I love the scent on this one. It reminded me of the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" with its old fashioned hard vanilla candy paired with trees and earth. A quaint river of burbling cream soda flows through a stand of oaks where mushrooms colonize on the edge of the banks, capturing stray scoops of vanilla ice cream as they bob down the stream. Sweet and earthy. Deliciously scented. This one is a mad bubble generator too but without the extra exfoliation. The Root Beer Float soap possesses a firm yet silky texture that feels buttery soft running through the hands. Wonderful soap.

I am so thankful to have been gifted these soaps and will be ordering from Black Magic Alchemy very soon. I have a mind to try their elixir and tea as well as grabbing a back up of these soaps. Have you found any mushroomy treasures? I am loving the Four Sigmatic reishi cocoa. It is yummy in coffee and chai tea. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Melting Bakset 153: Full On Fall


I think have been stress melting. Is that a thing? Just constantly craving comforting scents to waft and wrap about the house and nose? I have a friend called The Fall Slut who would give me a solid rap on the wrist if she knew I was already decorated for Halloween and melting apples and pumpkins in the house. It is hilariously early to be in fall mode here in Florida but my girls and I were salivating to decorate so we did.

Beezy Amish Quilt
Beezy Pumpkin Apple Strudel
Handmade in Florida Caramel Apple
Handmade in Florida Fallen Leaves
Vintage Chic Scents Cream Cheese Spindle Curse
Vintage Chic Scents Bourbon Orleans Hotel (Marshmallow Vanilla Cake with Pumpkin Cupcakes and Cider Lane)
CFTKR Honey Apple
CFTKR Buttercream and Snickerdoodle
CFTKR Apple Dumpling
CFTKR Lumberjack
CFTKR Vanilla Sugar Waffle Cone
CFTKR Noels of Autumn
CFTKR Pilgrims Pie (<3 gift)
CFTKR Apple Brown Sugar
CFTKR Cookie Snacks (<3 gift)

I think the afternoon thunder showers and copious amounts of Gilmore Girls has inspired the fall feels. Plus day dreams of doing my fall planting soon. Adam and I finally upgraded our creaky wooden boxsprings and old spring mattress for those new fangled metal box frames and the kind of mattress that comes delivered in a long skinny box. I got it in my head that we could turn the old box springs into raised bed gardens. Adam was kind enough (after a birthday gift of sawhorses and a circular saw >cough< >cough<) to fashion me two raised beds by enclosing the sides of the old box springs. 

Now I am on a mission to slowly fill the boxes with soil. I think it will take me about 10 trips or so to Walmart. But the beds should be ready by September for planting. I am hoping the squirrels will leave some goodies for me once they get growing.

In the meantime I am still puttering about the yard weeding and trying to figure out how I want some of the landscape beds to look. I had a nice roll of waking up and doodling but now that I am back to work I have not had a chance to do that and I miss it. I did brew up some more lemongrass though and it made me feel better. 

I have some cool soaps and some new BPALs to chat about. I took some photos and hope to get sniffing in the evenings this week. I have also been reading the Nevernight series. It is gratuitous skanky gory candy fluff but it is entertaining enough for my needs at the moment. I plan on trying to read The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury this fall and maybe start The Witcher books so I can watch the show. What are you reading or watching? Any recs? Are you ready for fall? It's because we want to get this year over with isn't it?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Melting Basket 152: Summer's End


It has been so long since my last basket pot (May!!!) that I am just going to list what I stuck in this most recent one. I have emptied two or so baskets since then... meaning to post about them, however, it has been a strange summer. 

Vapid Wax Autumn Harvest
Beezy Honey Clementine
Rosegirls Coconut Pumpkin Marshmallow Cupcakes
Dessa's Charred Oud Vanilla
Dessa's Fall Foliage
Ten Digit Creations Fireball Marshmallow
Ten Digit Creations Marshmallow Sugar Cookie
Ten Digit Creations Black Vanilla/Palo Santo/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations Apple Butter/Caramel/Creme Brulee
Ten Digit Creations Black Raspberry Vanilla/Marshmallow Sugar Cookie/Pink Sugar
CFTKR Welcome Home
CFTKR Gooseberry Pie
CFTKR Pumpkin and Pine
CFTKR Pumpkin Ginger and Apple
CFTKR Merlin's Forest
CFTKR Apple Fritter
CFTKR Powdered Donuts
CFTKR Spearmint Cake

If you are curious about how any of these melt just let me know and I will review them.
Normally summer is my time to catch up on the blog, go on adventures with the girls and lay back and relax. This summer didn't quite pan out like that given our current worries and realities. I did strive to spend time out in the yard or with my nose in a book. 

The girls and I did go on a few trails, found a new coffee shop or two and watched tons of TV recklessly.
I worried about coming back to school. What that would look like for my students, my own kids and myself. I spent the last week prepping with my two co-workers for our first two virtual weeks (that start Monday) and then the transition into the building on the 24th. Out of the 4 upper elementary classes we are the only class going back into brick and mortar. The rest will be online. I will get to teach my own daughter for the first time ever. That will be an adventure. :-)
I hope if you and yours are headed off into this fraught school year that you all will be protected and safe, healthy and whole. 

I think I will bring out the fall decorations this weekend to bring some cheer in the house. And maybe even bake an apple crisp. 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Patchouli Clove Bar Soap

One of my favorite soapers, Brooke Perry from B. Perry Studios, created a handful of soaps for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab not too long ago, all hauntingly delicious sounding. There was some pumpkin spice (this one is still available!), apples, pumpkin cheesecake and this patchouli clove. I decided to pick up two bars of this version.

Patchouli Clove-  Notes: Husky patchouli and bitter clove in a soap swirled with bonfire ash. $12

This 3.5 ounce cocoa butter based bar soap is crafted by B. Perry Studios using BPAL fragrance. It comes beautifully wrapped in an antiqued paper sleeve that even has a castle scene on the back. 

It will be my soap for the month of August, carrying me into the wiles of autumn gently and fragrantly. The patchouli is earthen and herbaceous with woody buds of clove and green hazy woodsmoke wafting about. There is a tang to this soap, as if the good being burned was still bendy and verdant with sap and life. It lathers with tiny bubbles and viscous silken cream. It rinses cleanly leaving behind soft sweet skin.

Now I am eyeing up that last soap in Pumpkin Spice Everything.

I feel like I am ready to bust into the shed and break out my fall stuff. I was planning to this past weekend but things got busy and I wasn't feeling in the right frame of mind with work coming on Monday and a potential hurricane (turned out to be just a few moody rainstorms) and my cycle approaching. I think this coming weekend will be good. Are you decorating yet? Do you plan to?