Sunday, January 31, 2021

Ebb & Flow: January 2021

The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Hidden Lodge

Perfume Oil:
Nocturne Alchemy Opal Vanilla

Future Primitive Inches Lane

Sugar Spider Blue Marshmello and Peppermint Schtick

Body Cream:
Blood Moon Botanica Pitch Pine Hand Cream

Future Primitive Dark Carnival

Skin Care:
Forest & Fjord Sea Silk Face Cream

Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint (in bedroom)

Bohemienne Life Mistletoe scents

Mermade Magickal Arts frankincense tears

Amber studs by Arrok Jewelry

Franklin-Christoph: Fortis Sling Bag. I am not typically a purse hound but I do buy a new one about every five years. It was time for a new one. I found this maker via IG and Pitch Pine Pottery of all places. I love my new bag.

Pickled radishes (they are spicy and smell like farts), Slim Jims, Oreos. You know... just cutting life short.

Dram sparkling water with CBD, coffee, tea. Not enough water.

The Witcher series, on the second to last book. I read that before bed in the evenings. In the morning while I drink coffee I am reading Meditations on the Tarot. It is quite moving. 

Instrumentals, Phantom of the Opera, anything Enya, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit soundtracks, fireplace crackles

Gardener's World

Whittling old man tree spirits.

Savanna's birthday, Spring Break, and the next cold front so we can have a fire in the fireplace again.

The unknown factors of my job once the school years ends.

The cheap batter powered candles that came with a remote from Amazon. They come as a set of 10 and I adore them. 

Victoria's Secret panties. After wearing them for the past two decades I am over them. The feel like saw blades cutting into my inner thighs and my bits are always falling out the sides. I need comfy panty suggestions, please. 

The lows of COVID: teaching during COVID, isolation during COVID, lack of travel during COVID, mental health during COVID. 

Having a job. Having a comfy home. My husband. My girls. Flowers, books, creating things.

How was your first month of January? Come at me with your undies recs. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Future Primitive Soap Company: Conditioning Hair Rinse

There are three things I would shed actual tears over if they ceased being made in the indie world: Arcana Wildcraft's Filthy Viking, Wildroots natural deodorants, and Future Primitive's Conditioning Hair Rinse. I try to always make sure I have at least 2-3 bottles of this magic elixir on hand. 

Future Primitive Soap Company is one of my very favorite houses for hair, soap and body products. Tiggy, the maker behind the brand, is a talented and kind person. They run 10.95 pounds which is about $15. 

This round I picked up Sparklebox, Festival, Dark Carnival and one other that I wanted to gift to a friend. 

Sparklebox is a stunning dark and sticky citrus scent that makes my mouth water. 

"Sugar dusted orange wheels, Italian mandarins, dark & sweet amber resin & black Madagascan vanilla bean."

Festival is a wonderfully earthy blend of nag champa, patchouli, and smoke. I loved this scent as a soap and it is just as meditative and soothing as a conditioner. 

Dark Carnival is the more gourmand of the three:
A curious Carnival cart offering sweet treats. Honeycomb drizzled with warm caramel sauce, newspaper cones of hot sugared walnuts, fresh coconuts from the shy and a velvet pouch filled with nuggets of amber & tonka bean.

I have been using these conditioning hair rinses for quite a few years now and swear by them for my thin, curly and dry hair. I condition every other day when I wash my hair and use these to finger comb out knots while it is wet and rinse. They leave my hair soft and curly with minimal frizz. Forever favorite.

Of these three, Festival is still available for purchase. Tiggy restocks often and she debuts new scent releases seasonally. It is worth signing up for her newsletter and giving her a follow on Facebook.

Thursday, January 28, 2021



Hey guys. How's it going? 

January and 2021 are starting slowly for me, strange peaceful days with a smattering of hope and then eerie quiet days with a slow burn of foreboding that infuses my mind and body. I know some of it is the continuation of COVID (which given history I suspect will be sticking around for a long haul) and some of it is knowing that there will be a shift onto a new path job-wise. The rest is just crankiness? Not sure.

I do sometimes feel like a cantankerous old lady. Perhaps I already am.

However, I am liking:
- the daffodils and crocuses that are blooming in my yard
- perfume each and every single day
- a simple Mercury dime for a necklace
- rose bushes that leave their mark
- Enya vinyl records
- the random videos and memes Savanna sends me on IG
- family Zoom calls on the weekend to see baby Ellie
- teaching Scarlette in my class, seeing her face each and every day, all day long (I will cherish this)
- Adam surprising me with a trip to the local small nursery for plants
- ologies podcast

Things that make me grumpy right now:
- isolation at work
- having to harp on the kiddos about masks and distancing all day, every day
- not many birds visiting me
- not drinking enough water
- lack of willpower in the various goals I have, and then beating myself up over the lack of willpower
- sleeping like crap, grinding teeth, neck cricks

Anything making you grumpy Gus? What are you particularly liking right now? Is January weird for you too?

Monday, January 11, 2021

Mermade Magickal Arts: Incense Blends


I have a confession. I have been remiss in my fragrant blogging duties by not telling you about my latest obsession that 2020 brought me: artisan loose incense. Between some handmade loose incense from Blood Moon Botanica, Forest & Fjord, and Nocturne Alchemy, I was slowly collecting various forms of it. I enjoyed it on the charcoal disks in the traditional burners but when I stumbled upon Mermade Magickal Arts a whole new world opened up. I purchased their Golden Lotus electric incense heater ($60) and started collecting my little obsessive heart out. 

Winter Wreath ($16) is composed of Scotch pine, fir balsam resin and needles, Utah juniper, and Red Thuja Cedar oil. Burning this one on the incense heater released a highly fragrant conifer forest right into my bedroom. It is exactly like the first night you bring that fresh Douglas fir home for Christmas to decorate and illuminate. The sticky sweet needles and resins are a revel of evergreen lushness with hints of camphor and turpentine that sparkle like aldehydes. When burning the tail end does speak of bark and soft heart wood. This is Christmas in a container.

I love how juicy and bright the incense is in this. Inhaling it straight from the jar is like a Christmas dream.

The Mothers ($22) was created as an homage to the ancient mothers of Yuletide. It was made "using a technique to produce a rough and wild-looking incense to hearken back to the Paleolithic era not only in its fragrance but in it's visual and tactile effects." It does indeed look wild and sacred. I burned this on the Winter Solstice evening outdoors on a charcoal tab. Its perfume was primitive and wildly beautiful. The evergreens and woods took precedence but the pungent herbs could be detected as well. It is a weaving of wildcrafted plants such as: balsam fir, juniper berries, spruce, hemlock, cedar, mugwort, tree mosses, pinyon pine, poplar, and elderberries to name a few threads in this tapestry of scent. 

Demeter ($16.75) was the first loose incense blend I had picked up from Mermade. I burned it with regularity. I take only a tiny amount, maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon full, and place it in the tin cup that goes in the warmer. I set the warmer at a middle temperature and slowly increase it as the various herbs, woods, resins and such burn and melt until the scent is finished offering its bounty. I love Demeter. It is an earthy and woody autumnal blend that highlights some truly lovely frankincense. It is a cornucopia of Black Oman frankincense, opoponax (sweet myrrh), crimson kua myrrh, labdanum, Peru balsam, Greek sage, garden sage, juniper wood, storax, and gratitude.

Santuary ($16) is a home blessing incense blend that houses copal blanco, copal negro, Maydi and Sacra frankincense, Breu Claro, Greek sage, palo santo, poplar and fir balsam. The sage and white copal are highlighted the most for me initially. They have that herbal smoky quality with a green edge that inspires cleansing and protective thoughts. This does feel like a ritual incense for burning after a good house scrubbing and airing.

Fortuna ($16) is a glowing blend that is meant to be an offering to lady luck. This blend of Kaffir lime leaves, Chinese anise seed pods, lemon verbena, galangal root, Saigon cinnamon, bitter orange oil, petitgrain oil, green frankincense, Carterii frankincense, and rose petals with s sprinkling of gold leaf and topped with a fresh bay leaf to be tucked into a wallet or pocket for prosperity. I burned this one on a charcoal disk outdoors and rather loved the citrusy tones that merged with the frankincense and spice. I look forward to burning this in the New Year on my electric burner. 

Pan's Earth Pastilles ($24) are small cakes of incense  packed in vetiver roots. These cakes are made with Pan's Earth oil, agarwood, and fragrant resins. These were created to be used on the Golden Lotus heater. I am in love with the rustic feel of these pebbles and inhaling from the container is pure bliss. I feel like I am on the Wild Hunt, nimble as a dryad when I huff these. These pastilles are a pleasure to burn. The agarwood is deep and dusky, beautifully fragrant. These might be my favorite incense yet.

Incense Comfits ($29) are individual drops of labdanum coated with fine resins. Seven comfits come candy wrapped in gold foil and are to be used on the electric burner. Comfit ingredients include: raw labdanum resin from Crete, black frankincense, Yemeni myrrh, caramel benzoin, agarwood and oud, and black currant absolute. I have not burned these yet because I know they will be a rare treat. I am a labdanum fiend and want to save these for special occasions. 

Sunpati ($18.00) is a quiet mind incense composed of rhododendron anthopogon leaves and flowers, linden leaves, flowers and essential oil, and Lawudo incense blend. This one is mild and softly floral. It wafts about the bedroom like a ghost that dwells in a wild meadow. Perfect for spring or times when serenity aches to be created.

Sugarplums ($16.75) are: "Hand-cut triangles of Honey Frankincense, Cocoa Absolute, and Carmel Benzoin, laced with Saigon Cinnamon and delicious spices, and dusted with a sparkling sugar of ground White Pine resin." If Pan's Pastilles were one of my favorites then this one is second. These rock-like chunks emit a sticky sweet incense delight that smells indulgent and other-worldly. Definitely one to buy more of when the opportunity arises. 

I have since picked up a few more incense goodies from Mermade Magickal Arts and will be doing so for a long time to come. The best way to stay abreast of limited incense blend releases is via their Facebook page. When I see something debuting I will pop on over and pick it up on the website. 

Do you like loose incense? Do you use a charcoal burner? Have you heard of electric incense warmers? 

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Bucket List and Goals

Happy New Year!

One of my favorite feelings is the fresh bloom of a new year. Yesterday I spent the day opening the windows, sweeping the floor and mopping with lemons, vinegar and oils. I shooed negativity out the front door and welcomed in happy moments, good health and peace. Today I will be cooking black eyed peas, mustard greens and pork for good fortune, prosperity and good health. I also sat down and made my annual bucket list.

This was last year's list:

2020 Bucket List Things I Did Do:
- Walk the neighborhood a few times a week 
- Begin some raised beds
- Bake those cinnamon rolls
- Many moments in front of the flickering fireplace
- Swim in the pool as often as possible
- Three random acts of kindness
- St. Augustine with the family (ended up with just Adam but we will go back one day with girls)

Things I Did Not Do:
- Take the girls to a play or concert (COVID)
- Plan a trip to Discovery Cove (too much money)
- Watch a show at the Garden Theater (had tickets but then COVID)
- Brew fire cider tonic (will try again this year)
- Visit Merritt Island bird sanctuary (still want to try this)
- Build a chicken coop (on this list for this year)

2021 Bucket List:

- Birds of Prey in Maitland
- Juniper Springs
- A weekend in Daytona Beach
- Bioluminescent kayaking in Titusville
- Mead Botanical Gardens
- Watch two meteor showers
- Bake meat pies
- Buy a large gnome
- Finish Lindsey's quilt
- Create a plant journey book
- Plant a spring garden
- Chicken coop
- Plant 2 rose bushes and a holly
- Track bird sightings
- Lose weight
- Brew fire cider tonic

I tried to make my new list COVID friendly with mostly outdoor or home-based things to do or see. I have a feeling it will be sticking around for a while.

I also would like to decrease wax and perfume purchases. My goal is to get my wax stash down to one three-drawer bin instead of the three bins I currently have. I want to keep my reading game strong. I would also like to focus more on my health this year.

What would you like to do this year? Do you make goals? Are you making resolutions?

I am wishing you and yours abundant good health, magical moments in nature, prosperity and security, as well as your heart's desire.