Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Haul - Sweet Fixations

A wax haul??  And it's not from Walmart???  Yes, friends, I have ordered some vendor wax.  As you know, I haven't been into wax for some time now.  Oh, I've still been melting on a very casual level, and buy a pack from Walmart every now and then, but that's about it.  Even then, I found I wasn't satisfied with Walmart's scent selection for spring and summer.  There is only so much fruity and floral that I can take!  So when I noticed the Sweet Fixations had added a few new scents I figured I'd go ahead and order like old times.

Sweet Fixations has long been my favorite wax vendor.  It's not a crazy popular site, and I like that.  The site is always open, you can order any of the scents at any time, and you get it within days instead of months.  There is a decent variety on the scent list but not so many that it's overwhelming or repetitive.  And the wax is affordable.

I ordered the scent shots, which is my favorite option at Sweet Fixations.  They are usually right around 1.6 oz. in weight, and that's enough for me to cut it in half and get two melts from one cup.  The scent shots are $1.75 each.

Let's see what I got!

Pixie Stick - (SF Blend) 'Sweet, powdery candy just like when you were little!'
As mentioned, Tia added a few new scents so I went ahead and ordered one of each.  I always like to get the new scents just to at least say I've tried them, even if I don't think I'll love them from the descriptions.  Ya never know!  This one is very sweet, just like you'd imagine, but it's not that super powdery candy type sweet that can be too much for me.  There is a note deep in the middle that I can't place, almost like a strawberry bubble gum.  I actually do like this one.
Pink Pixie Stick - (SF Blend) 'Sweet pixie stick candy and pink sugar crystals.'
I'm not sure if the 'Pink' in this is supposed to be Pink Sugar?  The description doesn't seem to imply that but it kinda seems like I detect soft notes of that ever popular scent in this.  This one is not as sweet as the previous Pixie Stick.

Apricot Sorbet - 'A blend of fruits including juicy melons, peaches and a splash of milkshake.'
I'm often not a fan of peach scents, and melon can be iffy for me but hey, trying all the new scents, remember?  As I feared, I do not like this scent at all.  Whatever it is about peach and certain melons that I don't like is strong in here, and the creamy vanilla from the milkshake just makes it worse.  At least for me.  I know there are people who will love this type of scent.  I'm just not one of them.
Enchanted Forest - 'The mystical smells of walking through a forest with notes of greenery and pine, pink roses, and violets.'
Another one I doubted I'd like because I'm not a floral fan.  My scent tastes have changed in the past year so while I usually would not go for this type I thought maybe these days I might like it.  Nope.  I don't even know how to describe it because this just isn't my type of scent, but I'd say the floral is strongest, with greenery behind it.  Pine is in the description but it is in no way a Christmas tree type pine scent.  I already know who I will pass this one on to.

My Life's A Beach - (SF Blend) 'The fun scent of a salty beach with freshly scented beach towels.'
Again, not the type of scent I often go for but I'm happy to report I actually like this one.  It is of the cologne-y sort but it does strike me as outdoors instead of just the usual 'sexy man scent' that I usually get from this type.  I think the addition of the beach towels (laundry) notes helps save this for me.
Caramel Pear Tart - 'Pears drenched in maple and buttery caramel sauce with honey.'
The last of the new scents and this is one of two absolute favorites from this whole order.  Ohhh my gosh, this is so freakin' good!  It's warm and gooey, and you might even be fooled into thinking it's a caramel apple scent.  The pear is juicy and sweet but it's a minor note in the overall scent.  It's deep in the middle, wrapped in the deliciousness of that caramel.  The maple and honey make this the type of caramel I love, sweet and creamy, not salty at all.  Love this one!!!
I went ahead and ordered several other scents to fill up my order.  I picked ones I've had before, ones I knew I liked.  Comfort scents, if you will.  There is one in this next bunch that I don't think I've had before and I'm baffled as to why.  But, let's just look at the rest!
Lemon Curd- 'Sweet fresh vanilla lemon, creamy and tart.'
 This is the one I don't know if I've had before and this is the other of my favorites from this order.  You know I love my lemon scents, right?  I more than love this particular one.  It's a bright, sweet lemon, more like Lemonhead candies than Pledge, and there is just a little bit of creaminess to keep the zesty edge in check.  It's not really bakery, but you can tell it's more than lemon without dulling that freshness.  LOVE!!!

Dole Whip - (SF Blend) 'Fresh pineapple and vanilla ice cream.'
A very nice creamy pineapple scent that I've enjoyed before.  Perfect for summer.
Yellow Polka Dot Bikini - (SF Blend) 'Great summer blend of creamy coconut and lemon.'
 More coconut than lemon, but creamy summer yumminess just the same.

Blue Hawaii - 'Tropical fruity drink with juicy orange, pineapple, lemon,cherries, rum and coconut.'
This one is another great summer scent, juicy and sweet, with just a touch of warmth from the rum and coconut.  The cherry and pineapple are strong, blending together nicely.
Graham Crackers - 'Crispy graham crackers with honey, wheat, sugar, and cinnamon.' 
This is a cozy, homey scent that I was surprised to find I loved way back when I first ordered it years ago.  I thought it would be to simple and blah for home fragrance.  Nope, not at all.  It's just like the crackers.  It's just so . . . comforting.

Vanilla Frosted Grams - 'Vanilla gram crackers topped with raisins and cinnamon.'
The description of this and another fine scent called Hansel & Gretel's House are very similar.  I've had both and enjoy both but have never had them at the same time to compare.  Are they indeed the same??  Now I'm really wondering.  Anyway, this is slightly sweeter but darker and deeper scent than just plain Graham Crackers.  I like!
Chocolate Chip Cookies - 'The wonderful smell of freshly baked cookies with semi-sweet chocolate and vanilla.'
Another cozy home staple scent that I've enjoyed often from Sweet Fixations.  On cold sniff the chocolate note seems really strong, but once it's warmed the other notes come through more and it really does smell like someone is baking cookies.

7-Up Pound Cake - 'Lemon-lime, warm cake, vanilla, and sugar.'
Yet another cozy home scent that I really enjoy.  It's a slightly sweet bakery scent, the pound cake distinct, and the subtle lemon-lime adding a fun twist.
Banana Caramel Cupcake - 'Vanilla cupcake mixed with bananas, caramel, cinnamon and topped with cream cheese frosting.'
One of the earliest scents I ever had from any indie wax vendor, this is still one of my favorites.  It is a sweet, slightly gooey bakery scent.  The banana note is soft but distinct.  The cupcake is mellow, without tons of sugary frosting.  The caramel is warm and creamy, with a hint of warmth from the cinnamon.  Sooo good!

Bedtime Bath - 'Soothing blend of lavender, chamomile, lily of the valley and musk.'
 This was a free sample and not a scent I'd probably ever pick for myself based on the description.  But ya know what?  That is why free samples are so awesome.  I can't tell you how many times a sample has opened my eyes to something I might never have even glanced twice at!  While I don't love this and probably wouldn't rush to get it again, I do still kinda like it.  I'm not good at picking these types of scents apart but I do think it's mainly lavender.  There is a bit of sweetness and I get the tiniest hint of musk.

Pumpkin Chai - 'Hot chai tea with a hint of spice and baked pumpkin dessert. Has all of the fall / winter notes you'll love.'
This was my other free sample and ohhhhh my, Tia knows me well.  This was one of her new scents late last year, too late to enjoy during the fall melting season.  I did order it but I don't know if I melted it since I received it in December.  Hmm, I'll have to see if I still have it in my fall stash leftovers.  Anyway, I love this scent!  It's a very warm and spicy pumpkin scent.  The tea notes are there, and that sort of pumpkin tang is there, like puree from a can.  I can't wait till fall now!
That is my order.  Did you see any you like?  Have you ever tried Sweet Fixations?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

June 13 - Ludwig Anniversary

I'm really struggling in trying to get back into blogging but I at least wanted to get this post up.  Today marks the 132nd anniversary of the mysterious death of King Ludwig II.

I'd wanted to watch my beloved Ludwig movie today but things have been so crazy around here for a while now that, no, that's not going to happen.  His story really is sad if you look past the initial 'He was crazy as a loon!' that usually accompanies any mention of him, and his death is still an unsolved mystery, even in this day and age.

I also discovered it was this day a year ago that I announced my retirement from wax blogging (but not blogging in general).  Huh.

Okay, well I guess we'll see if ever accomplish really getting back to blogging or not.
Regardless, take a moment and remember King Ludwig II today!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

June 10 - Welcome Back

 Okay, finally getting a chance to do this.  I kept second guessing myself about whether I really wanted to return to blogging or whether it was just a temporary urge.  And then I was sidetracked my other things, so this just kept getting pushed aside.  But yes, here I am, back at it.  I have several book review posts to get done, and will try easing back into wax posts too.  You'll probably still see these nattering posts.  Something that I'm really trying to decide about is doing more reviews of things.  I dabbled in that some years ago and had fun with it, so I might try it again.  We'll see how things develop!

This guy had a birthday last week Thursday (June 7).  Yep, my little Minion is now 7 years old.  I can't believe that!!  Does 7 years make him a senior cat now?  Or is that just dogs?

Hubby and I had our 28th wedding anniversary last week Friday (June 8).  We went out for breakfast at a local place, did some grocery shopping, then came home and just relaxed all day.  My sister sent flowers, we got a card from my mom, and Casey came over to do his laundry and hang out most of the day.  Bad child Ty never acknowledged it.  *hmpf*  lol

This . . . THIS . . . is what has been taking up so much of my time lately.  Yep, still playing Wizard101.  Now that hubby's playing too, we're playing almost obsessively.  And I love it!  Even Ty and Casey have been sucked into it, although their characters are waaaaaay below us in levels.  Hubby and I each hit level 80 (out of 125 max) this evening.

(By the way, Kate, that pic is just for you.  LOL)

I have a lot to talk about from my time away but I'll leave this somewhat short and sweet to start.

How have you all been?!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

June 2 - I'm Coming Back!

Yes!  I know you're all weeping with joy.  Just give me a bit to get reorganized and try to remember how to do all this, and then I'll be giving this blogging gig another whirl.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Book Review - Scythe

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, Book 1)
by Neal Shusterman
435 pages

'A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.


I don't often read dystopian/utopian books because I'm just not usually into that type of thing.  I received this book as a Christmas present and when I looked it over I was like, 'Ugh.'  Well, imagine my surprise when I was hooked pretty much from page one, and continued loving it all the way through?!  Maybe *because* I don't often read this genre or watch these types of movies, maybe that's why so many of the ideas in this story stuck in my head, kept giving me things to think about even when I wasn't reading.

I can see how this book might not sit well with some people.  It is about a dark subject, killing and death.  And it's treated with everything from gentle passing on to brutal slaughters.  Luckily there isn't too much gory detail and I think that's part of the reason it worked for me.  We don't need every little thing described or shown to us.  Let our minds build that picture for ourselves!

While death is a huge part of the story, there was so much more that kept my brain going.  Well, let me explain a bit first.  In this future perfect world where they've conquered disease and death and just about everything, they have Scythes who 'glean' (kill) people to keep the population in check.  Scythes are the only ones who can permanently kill anyone, and they can also grant immunity.  People can become 'deadish' if they, for instance, get hit by a bus, but they are taken to a revival center where they will be completely healed in a matter of days.  Scythes are feared and worshipped, and they work outside the laws of the general population.  They are a self-governing body.  Scythes take on apprentices, which what this book is about, and every Scythe is required to make daily journal entries.  It's one of these journal entries, very early in the book that just blew me away.  It talked about the year that mankind finally learned everything there is to learn.  What?  Think about that!  It goes on to talk about how there was eventually no need to keep track of years by number because there was nothing to keep track of anymore.  Other bits throughout the book talk about how there is no need for school or college anymore, that people just do it for something to do now.  Handwriting and reading actual paper books are quaint little hobbies from days gone by.  So much information had been uploaded to the Cloud overtime that the Cloud began to 'think' for itself and grew into this massive A.I. called the Thunderhead, which eventually and effectively removed the need for any world leaders or governments.  There is no war, no poverty, nothing.  But the Thunderhead does not control or get involved with the Scythedom.

As the book talks about the Thunderhead, and has scattered mentions of the old gods that mankind set aside, it's kind of like they've accepted this new god (Thunderhead) without realizing they're still religious.  And as the book reveals the growing corruption within Scythedom, with older Scythes trying to hang on to more traditional Age of Mortality ways, and newer Scythes letting their power and glory go to their heads, you see they're actually moving backwards as a society now.  It's like that child's toy with the rubber ball on a string connected to the paddle.  This perfect world reached it's peak of perfection when the ball hit the farthest point that string would allow it to go, and now corruption is dragging them back just like that little ball is speeding back towards that paddle for a big ol' splat.  It's all very verrrrrry interest to think about!

In this particular story, Citra and Rowan are two teens with very different lives.  They are chosen by honorable old school Scythe Faraday as apprentices and neither one is thrilled with it but they don't have much say in the matter.  The two become friends and are starting to develop feelings for each other when a dramatic turn of events finds them being split up and taken on by new mentors.  Citra is now with Faraday's friend, another very honorable and old school Scythe, while Rowan finds himself with a much younger Scythe mentor, one who feels it's time to move Scythedom forward.  This is where and how they start to discover that all is not quite perfect in the world afterall, and they see more and more how corrupt Scythedom really is.  What can two kids do?  What are two kids *willing* to do??  And will their friendship survive as they're now groomed in very different ways???

Not only was this whole story fascinating to me, it was extremely well written.  I love that!  It's rare to find such a well put together story!  Everything fit, the plot kept moving at a nice pace, and information was fed to us as needed without bogging down in tons of side story fluff.  There was only one inconsistency that I found and even that was minor and nitpicky in passing, and that was if one main Scythe's style of gleaning was to choose their target randomly how did they know whether or not that person had been granted immunity?  But in the overall story, it was a minor blip on the radar.

I'm looking forward to diving right into the second book in this series!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mar. 20

How is the weather where you are?  Is it springlike?  We've slipped backwards a bit, only in the upper 20s today after several days in the upper40s/low50s.  Oh well, this too shall pass.

And wow, my blog has had more activity in it's current dead state than when I'm actively keeping it going.  That's really sending me mixed signals.  LOL

But anyway, wanted to decorate for Easter here and needed a new post without the shamrocks of St. Patrick's Day.

Hope all if well for you!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mar. 15

Hello!  I have zero interest in blogging these days but I didn't want that harsh book review to be the last thing anyone sees here.  As mentioned in a previous nattering post, I just don't have any blog-worthy things happening in my life at the moment.  I'm not saying I'm giving up blogging for good, but I am finding myself quite content in not doing it lately.

The weather has been warming up enough that hubby and his friend have started puttering around in the barn again.  Hubby spent most of last weekend working out there.  He made several bird feeders and now we'll work on tweaking the designs.  Like blogging, I have zero interest in card making these days but I am getting excited about being the painter of bird feeders and bird houses.  I'm also going to dabble in making suet bars and seed cakes again.  I made them for a short time years ago, when I was making soap.  So yes, Achy Joints Creations is beginning to stir from it's hibernation and I'm getting a little excited about it all again.  Not sure if I'll revive the AJC Facebook page yet, or wait till we actually have things to sell.  Also not sure if hubby and his friend will be trying some craft fairs and farmers markets this year or if that's more of a goal for next year.

I'm still playing Wizard101.  It's still frustrating now that I'm over level 50, still feels like the game changes once you hit that milestone.  I'm level 56 now but so much of that has required finding a group to help me do things.  Hubby has helped me here and there.  Yesterday I was actually playing on two computers, playing my character and his character in boss battles.  It was confusing but I got it done.  I'm still frustrated though because if I can't keep playing solo I don't know how long I want to keep playing.

That's about it for now.

How are you doing these days?