Tuesday, February 14, 2023

MoonaLisa: Spring Perfumes

 Happy Valentine's Day!

These perfumes were my choices from the MoonaLisa spring collection release last year. These scents were at the MooScents webstore and ran $15.95 each. Most are currently available right now.

Mon Citron Bijou (My Citrus Jewel)- Notes: A patchouli lover's dream! With lively all-natural grapefruit, and five other citrus oils, and earthy patchouli notes.
I had this as a soap sample a very very long time ago. I remembered it being a cheerful and energetic scent that felt clean, vital, and happy. It translates beautifully into the perfume. The patchouli is fresh and clean, robust with citrus and sunshine. It sparkles with lightness and natural beauty. This one will get worn often.

Aphrodite- Notes: Sandalwood, cinnamon, cypress and more. Spicy and woodsy. Represents "The Maiden", love, passion, Venus, growth and longevity.
I am embarrassed to say that I happened. I have so much perfume that I bought this a second time without realizing that I already had one. Yikes. I guess it isn't all bad news. I mean, after all, it is only 3mL so it is a very small amount. Good thing Moona is affordable! After smelling and wearing Aphrodite, I am happy I got an extra. I have a soft spot for sandalwood and cinnamon and this is an excellent rendition. The sandalwood is creamy and soft while the cinnamon is warming. The wood and spice marry beautifully.

Duchess of Willowdale- Notes: Amber, labdanum, Salome's Secret, mixed with dark decadent chocolate oils.
This is an interesting fragrance. The chocolate is dark with cacao and behind it is a sharp resin. The duchess possesses a razor edge smile. She may beguile, however, something nefarious lurks in the depths of her eyes. This is polarizing scent that pushes and pulls the senses. 

Chocolate Butter Run Beignet- Notes: Dark premium rich chocolate covers a deep fried beignet soaked in buttery rum sauce.
I have often read about the pure and simple magic of Moona's chocolate scents. I typically do not wear chocolate scents with much happiness but I wished to sample the wares. Chocolate Butter Rum Beignet is without a doubt a chocolate perfume. This one is sweeter, creamier, and easier to wear than the duchess. It is a straightforward gourmet scent. There is a caramel thickness and a vanilla lushness that compliments the chocolate. 

Aurelia- Notes: Delicious ripe raspberries top this lovely, raspberry jam filled white wedding cake, doused with vanilla cream, topped with dried rose petals, and with a hint of sandalwood ambered musk.
I used to adore the home fragrance wax tarts from Lasting Scent Candles that were all about the wedding cake and fruits. I must have been feeling nostalgic for that aroma when I tossed this into my cart. The raspberry is juicy, sweet and bright. It emits a sticky jam texture that brings to mind the wonderful raspberry scent that The Bathing Garden uses in wax and scrubs. The sugary jam melts away and the raspberries gain a tartness that glistens with subtle nuances of rose and vanilla. It never turns into Lush Rose Jam. This always remains a raspberry first and foremost. It is lovely.

Salome's Secret- Notes: A crushing blend of various amber resins mixed with a rich and boozy vanilla absolute, for a smoldering promise.
I had this perfume several years ago and after a bit of aging it became the most lovely gilded resin. I wore it frequently, received compliment frequently, and drained every last drop. When I saw it remerge I purchased two of these lovelies to wear at my leisure. If you enjoy amber perfumes, this one should be in your radar. Give it some age and wear with abandon.

Ostara- Notes: Rites of spring. Cedarwood, lavender, rose, clove, and a touch of dragon's blood.
Years ago I had Ostara as a wax tart from a Moona mystery bag and it was love at first sniff. Ostara is a earthy floral beauty that is soft and plush like velvet. The resins and roses and woods are pillowy and comforting, yet suggest a breath of a dirt floored cottage with fresh herbs strewn underfoot. It is peaceful and nurturing.

Field of Dreams- Notes: Amber with lavender kashmir, lavender absolute, and lavender.
This is a limpid lavender that starts with a watery herbal quality. As it dries down the the lavender moves from the its dewy water element into its earthen phase. A bit of ambery sweetness edges into the lavender. It is beautiful to wear if you area a lavender lover.

Bee's Knees- Notes: Honey, honeysuckle, and hyacinth.
This is not a scent profile I typically go for, but with the affordable pricing of MoonaLisa's perfumes, this is a wonderful house to get adventurous with. I had read some glowing reviews of this scent for people who enjoy honeysuckle, and this just happened to be a hole in my collection. Wearing this scent is akin to walking in a fairytale meadow, honeyed sunshine pouring through the air, flowers brushing claves and lending their fragrant pollen and perfume. The honeysuckle and hyacinth possess a liquid clarity without being screechy or overbearing. The honey offers sweetness and roundness to the florals. I love this one so much I also picked up the EDP format in order to layer them on my body and hair and clothing. This is spring in a scent.

MoonaLisa is open for spring scents currently at MooScents.com 

There are some stunning perfumes and soaps, candles, and such available now. I hope to get a few bars of soap. They are so generously sized and smell amazing.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Travel: Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands

Last summer, after a couple years of saving, we were able to fly out as a family to visit my sister, her husband and their new baby in Belgium. They are stationed near Peer, Belgium in the Air Force. It is a tiny base with no housing or schools or even a commissary. They have to drive to the Netherlands to visit the BX. But the street and town they live in is lovely. Very bucolic. There are horses in the backyard, wheat fields on the street, and a quaint temple at the end of it. 

They sleep with windows open. The doors are unlocked all day, even when they leave the house.

Meeting my niece for the first time was amazing. Ellie and Scarlette hit it off pretty quickly.

We made our way to the city center. The streets were immaculate, the buildings had fun details like this cheeky fella holding a shutter open.

We ate some gelato, fries with copious mayo, and walked around.

The poppies and wildflowers were everywhere. I was totally enamored.

We visited Antwerp, Belgium and went sightseeing, but I didn't take a ton of photos that day. It was mostly about soaking it in and spending time with the family. We drove to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg next. The Walls of the Corniche were awesome to see, encircling the city. They are called Europe's most beautiful balcony and I can see why. 

There was a small market going on in the city center. I picked up a few thrifted trinkets from a sweet lady. We visited the museum and ate at McDonald's of all places. The girls loved seeing the menu differences. And yes, instead of a Quarter Pounder, I had the Mc Royale. 

Luxembourg was Savanna's favorite place.

After that we rested a day and hung out at the house, watching TV, catching up. Then it was Scarlette's 13th birthday. She chose to go to a theme park in the Netherlands (I looked up a lot of different places, an arcade, a zoo, and more- this is what she landed on) called Eftling. It is an old fairy tale theme park that was utterly enchanting.

We rode rides, Scarlette and Dustin rode a roller coaster, we did a boat cruise, and walked through a fairy tale forest.

The food was surprisingly cheap. I am used to Disney and Universal prices. The huge hotdog I got was only $4. It would easily have been $14 at Disney. It was delicious too.

We spent a week staying at their home in Belgium. It was charming, beautiful and peaceful. The second week we all packed our bags and took the EuroStar high speed rail under the channel to the UK.

I will post that adventure next. We loved Belgium. Adam, the girls and I still talk about it. It was funny, even a couple nights ago Adam told me he had a good dream about being back there.

Monday, January 2, 2023

2023 Reading Challenge


Jay and I got together once again to create a reading challenge for 2023. I was thrilled with how last year's went for me. I got a ton of great reading done. It is all tucked away in my heart and mind, enriching my thoughts. We typically do close to 30 prompts, but with the coming year being extra busy for us we whittled it down to 25, that is two a month plus a bonus. Please follow along with us and use the hashtag so we can see what you are reading and recommending!

1. 2023 Word for the year- Inclusive. Choose a book with an author that has an IDD

(Intellectual and Developmental Disability) or topics or themes revolving around IDDs. 

2. Viva Magenta! or Rainbow Colors! Pick a bold cover with vibrant hues.

3. Read something by the best selling novelist of all time (only behind the Bible and Shakespear)- Agatha Christie. 

4. A blind pick: have a friend or partner pull a book for you, or close your eyes and choose. Some thrift book shops

even have blind paper bag buys. Those can be fun!

5. Seasonal: Read a book with a season in the title. 

6. Diving Deeper: Read about a topic you listen to podcasts about, watch documentaries on, or are learning about.

7. LOL!- Find a book that makes you literally laugh out loud, or at least crack some smiles- if not these,

then authored by a comedian.

8. Long-Ass Title: Find a book with at least seven words in the title. 

9. Absolutely Amazing Alliteration in the title.

10. Book set in Africa.

11. Weekend Escape: A book you can finish in a couple days.

12. Mood Reader: Read whatever feels good or fits your mood.

13. Miniature Delights: Read a book that is 5 x 7 or smaller. 

14. Book pairing: choose a book and a favorite chocolate, tea, or wine to enjoy right along with it.

15. Magpie: Choose a cover with stars, sparkles, glints, or shimmery attractive bits and bobs.

16. Book Shield: grab a book for when reading is your coping mechanism

17. 90s: set in, or written during

18. Enigmatic title: one that makes you do a double-take, in which you must find out more.

19. Eye-opening read

20. Speculative fiction: encompassing books that take place in our world but with an added

magical/supernatural/futuristic twist

21. Author you can't believe you haven't read yet

22. Library setting or Bibliophilia

23. Booked on a feeling: books that cause big feelings

24. Fantasy subgenre: for reference: High, Low, Epic, Historical, Urban, Magical Realism, Grimdark...

25. Reflections: cover or content

This year I would like to reading the last book in the Outlander series, I have it sitting on my shelf ready to go.

I would also like to add in The Outsider by Stephen King, some Emily Dickinson poetry, and a new series.

What are you hoping to get to?