Thursday, October 30, 2014

Natters - Dollar Stores, Nail Polish, and Purses?!

Well, hello there!  Seems like it's been forever since I've checked in with a good ol' nattering post.  I *think* things might be slowing down and mellowing out for me.  Finally!  I've had a couple days now where I've just chilled and did whatever lazy and unproductive things I felt like doing, and it's done wonders for my moral.  My mom is doing much better, is talking like she wants to start getting out by herself, and has an appointment to see about getting on some medication for osteoarthritis (or porosis?) that might help her hips feel better.  I still go one day a week and do her laundry, and take her grocery shopping every other week, but I don't stop by much in between now.  That's a huge relief to me.

Work is slowing down a bit and mellowing out as well too.  I work every other weekend, but in November my lines will be down three weekends, and every Sunday.  Then, going into December, I work a partial day on December 19 and then will be off the rest of the year.  Yesssss!!  I'm hoping for some nice, quiet, stay at home holidays this year.  I'm going to try keeping Christmas shopping simple this year too.  I get so stressed out about shopping!  Some people can just buy whatever and give it to whoever, but I'm always stressing about how they'll like it and if there is something better.  As my menfolk constantly tell me, I think too much.

Sometimes I think I'm bipolar . . . lol . . . or at least clinically depressed.  I go through such peaks and valleys these days.  I have made the connection that the lows usually come when I'm tired and frazzled from work, but it seems like things bother me at those times much more than they should for just being tired.  *shrug*  I need to remember to give myself some lazy time, some down time, and think more about the good things.  This blog is usually my first target when I'm in a low mood.  I almost always consider dumping it, and blame it for sucking so much of my time.  It really does take a good chunk of time, what with taking pictures, editing, writing, and trying to respond to all comments.  It might not seem like much, but you try it!  But then when my mood swings back up, I absolutely love blogging and want to pour everything I have into it.  Sometimes I feel like my blog is just a rinky dink mishmash of crap, like it's a thrift store next to the Macy's type blogs out there.  People tell me they like it though, so I guess I'll plug on for a while yet.

This past weekend was my nephew's 1st birthday party on Saturday . . . 

. . . and his baptism on Sunday.
My sister and her hubby live in Ohio now but were raised here in this area of Wisconsin.  This is were the families on both sides are, so they planned the events so it could all be done in one weekend trip back home and everyone could be there.  I am also Julius's godmother.  Yay!  Spoil the baby!  
They used to live in Illinois, and asked a friend of theirs to be godfather, so he and his wife came all the way up here for the occasion.

I didn't stay long at the little party after church because I had to get home to watch the Vikings WIN.

Because I've been feeling better about things and feeling better in general (quit drinking soda about three weeks ago!), it's like emerging from a dark tunnel or a deep sleep.  I'm feeling like I need to quit limiting myself in so many things.  I'm feeling like 'We're not getting any younger!' and it's time to allow little treats and stop *wanting* to do things and just *do* them.  Sooooooo . . . 
I painted my nails today!  It looks totally noobish and messy but at least I went ahead and did it.  And I've kept it on all day and allowed others to see me with it on!  Huge!

I hauled out some fall colored clothes that have been stashed for far too long, and because of that I also dug out a super cute fall pin that I've had for years but have probably never actually worn.  I bought this waaaaay back when I first discovered Etsy, and it was made by someone from my hometown.  This is a crappy pic, but it's two leaves and acorn, if you can't tell.

I also smacked myself around in a "Just do it!" sort of way and dug out this fall-ish looking purse that I also bought way back in my early Etsy days but have never been brave enough to use.  I've just never been a purse carrying person.  I do love this one though.  Handmade, quilted and clothy . . . I just need to get used to lugging a purse around.

My day off earlier this week was spent addictively watching dollar store hauls on YouTube.  Some things in those stores make me cringe but really, you can find some real gems there sometimes.  I'm itching to get back to the Dollar Tree store near my Walmart and see what Christmas things jump into my basket.  (Ya know, for Ty . . . )  But today I went to a Dollar General store that is close to me.  My mom tagged along and ended up getting more stuff than me.  

This is the main reason I went to Dollar General.  Someone had mentioned here on the blog that this particular Glade Christmas scent was a DG exclusive and sure enough, there it was.  This is the Mocha & Chestnuts scent.  It's very warm and nutty and reminds me a lot of one from last year, but I don't remember offhand what it was called.  This was only $3.00 there at Dollar General.

I also ended up getting a bag of cat food because I want to switch Lynx and Minion back to this.  I've tried different foods for them over the past year or so, and the most recent one seems to be the worst, so I'm going back to this Purina Indoor formula.

Grabbed that pack of molasses cookies too because I love molasses cookies and really miss the Archway ones.

 While browsing around, of course I was drawn to the wax section.  I'm always curious to see what scents different stores have but I usually don't buy any because they usually don't compare to the good ol' Better Homes & Garden tarts at Walmart.  Also, I certainly don't need more wax right now!  But then I decided to just go ahead and try some.  This Candied Maple Sugar one smells so. freakin. good!!  Ohhh, it's just so sweet and warm and delicious smelling.  This was in the small section of remaining fall stuff.

Over in the Christmas section I found another variety of tarts and candles.  Again, I was hesitant to even get any because I'm convinced they'll be duds and because I just don't need any more wax.  But again, I reconsidered and grabbed a couple.  This Holly Berry one is pine-y and kinda of sweet.  If it's light, that might be good because I can only tolerate a little bit of pine every now and then during the Christmas season, just a whiff to put me back in the holiday mood.  And if I really don't like this, hubby can melt them while I'm at work.  As you can see, these are 3-cube packs and cost only $1.00.

They did have some other scents but they were bleah to me, except for this one.  I passed it by at first because I always think this will be something like the wildberry mousse scents that I don't like.  But no, this one surprised me.  It's a deep, rich, dark berry scent with a noticeable crust scent mixed in, and maybe even the tiniest hint of spice.  I think I'm most anxious to try this one.

They had different types and sizes of candles in all the same Christmas scents, but I could not find any of this Peppermint Bark scent in tart form.  I've been getting more into small candles lately anyway, so I thought this would be a cute little one to melt here on my desk while I 'work.'  It's only 2.46 oz., in a festive tin.  This is a sweet mint scent, not overly chocolatey, which is good because I'm not a chocolate scent fan.

And that is my haul dorky Dollar General haul.  I really do prefer Dollar Tree after being in this DG store.  Dollar Tree has soooo much more in the seasonal decorations section.  Oh, I also got a few Thanksgiving cards but forgot about them when I was taking pictures for this post.  Oops!  Oh well, the people who will get them don't need to see them yet.  =P

So how have YOU been lately?  Getting excited for the holidays?  Doing anything Halloween-y?  We live out in the country so we don't get trick-or-treaters.  My kids never really got into trick-or-treating either.  I'm almost 48 years old and I still have very fond memories of Halloweens of my childhood.

I guess I'll stop nattering for now and get to work on some upcoming posts!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Melted - Better Homes & Gardens / Pumpkin Ginger Cookie

Pumpkin Ginger Cookie
I didn't realize I'd never taken a pic of this until I already had the last cubes in the warmer and was preparing for this post.  Doh!  

So anyway, I went through a ton of pumpkin scents in the early part of October and sort of got sick of them.  They were all starting to smell the same.  I took a break, melted other scents, and now decided to try pumpkin.  This was a really nice, warm, bakery scent.  Very cozy.  It's more of a softly spiced cookie scent, with hints of pumpkin, instead of being a pumpkin scent.  At time I thought I was getting tiny hints of lemon too.  The spice is not at all strong or sharp, so spice haters have nothing to fear.

I was a little disappointed in the strength of this scent.  I melted two cubes at a time, in my tea light warmers and my Glade hot plate warmer, at different times, and had medium scent.  This is surprising to me because usually I have complete faith in the strength and longevity of the BH&G tarts.  This was still a really nice scent though, just on a lighter, more subtly inviting way.

Influenster - Moda VoxBox

It's been nearly forever since I've received a box from Influenster.  I admit, I'm not nearly active enough in the program but in the past it seemed that it didn't matter how active you were if you weren't pouring all your efforts into Twitter.  I've been seeing things about all these changes happening at Influenster.  I guess maybe they really have changed because out of the blue I got an invitation to qualify for the Moda VoxBox.  I took the pre-qualify survey and didn't think much of it.  Imagine my surprise when I got an email saying I'd be getting the box!

I was a little worried when I read online that this was a beauty and fashion box.  Why was *I* getting such a box?  My profile and badges don't lean that way.  I was relieved to see it's a variety of things, many of which I actually will use.

Of course you get the usual info card about the box, and there are some coupons too.

 This is Puff's softpack of tissues.  It is the basic tissue, no aloe or lotion or anything fancy.  There are 132 tissues.  The package is a thin, flexible, vinyl type material, and the info card says it holds up better than an ordinary cardboard box.  I don't see how, but okay.  I like the color and the polka dot design, but I think the 'look' of it is a bit messy.  It makes me think it's a refill pack, meant to be torn open and placed in a container.  I do kinda like the squishy package though.  For a kids room or for traveling or something, this might be great.  And since we're coming into colds and sniffles season, these will come in handy.
(Info card says these retail for $1.99-$2.49.)

Clairol's Hair Food is a product line I am not familiar with.  This instantly had me curious though because I'm weirdly drawn to foodie bath and body products.  This one is a 'moisture hair mask infused with honey apricot fragrance.'  Mask?  I'm sooo not a fancy hair product girl.  I use 2-in-1 products, just wash and go.  This sounds like a conditioner . . . ?  It's very thick.  It has a pleasant enough scent though.  Sure, I'll give it a try.  And looking at the other products on the coupon card, it looks like there is a shampoo I need to check out too.
(Info card says this retails for $14.99.)

Love me some cocoa!  And it's just about cocoa season too!  I've already been dropping hints to family members that flavored cocoas are an easy Christmas gift for me.  This was a very exciting find in this Influenster box.  This sounds like a back to basics cocoa, just five simple ingredients.  The coupon card shows there is also a dark chocolate flavor.  Yum!  I will absolutely be using this.
(Info card says this retails for $2.29 a box.)

I really need to find a good hand lotion.  I've gone through a few lately that I thought I liked but then found they weren't really working for me after all.  This was a welcome find in the box.  It does have parabens in it, which is a no-no, and I don't like that it's higher on the ingredients list than others that usually have it listed nearly last, BUT . . . I'm also wondering just how bad those taboo parabens really are.  Once again, is more damage being done in stressing about parabens than the size of the threat they actually are?  Regardless, I will be trying this little guy (3 oz.) out and see how it works for me.  It says it's 'perfect for hands' and it's Ultra Healing formula.  Yep, gonna try it out!
(Info card says this retails for $5.99/$6.99.)

I was really happy to see this in the box.  It's a 23.7 oz. bottle of Resource - Natural Spring Water.  Hubby and I are *trying* to quit drinking so much soda, so this is definitely going to be consumed.  I don't pay much attention to these fancy waters.  I'm not familiar with the Resource brand.  It says there are 'naturally occurring electrolytes' in here.  Is this like Gatorade?  Or just water?  I'll have to try and see, huh?
(Info card says this retails for $1.49.)

Ah yes, now the beauty items . . .   I did laugh when I pulled this out of the box, because I just do not use any kind of makeup.  This is Rimmel London's Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves Mascara.  It is in the color #003 Extreme Black.
(Info card says this retails for $5.49-$5.99.)

Another Rimmel London product, this is the Moisture Renew Lip Liner.  It says it is a 'Universal transparent lipliner.'  As mentioned, I do not use such products, so I'm clueless and don't understand the point of a *transparent* lip liner.  Someone please enlighten me.
(Info card says this retails for $5.99-$6.49.)

And finally, to go with your transparent lip liner, here is Rimmel London's Moisture Renew lipstick in color #360 As You Want Victoria.  It's a really nice color, a deep, bright red with a sort of purple or wine tone to it.  It's not just red.  
(Info card says this retails for $6.99-$7.49.)

And that is my Moda VoxBox, the first box I've received from Influenster in quite some time.  If you are not familiar with Influenster and think you might be interested, I encourage you to check out the site.  It is a completely free program.  You register, fill out your profile and earn badges by doing various social media things like linking your Facebook account, or posting things on Twitter, etc.  There are a variety of badges, in different areas like pet lovers, beauty gurus, foodie, travelers, and so on.  If you are selected for a box, you agree to post about the items and spread the word through social media.  The more active you are online, the easier this program is.  And it's all free!  Look at the value of the items in this box!

(These items were sent to me, for free, from Influenster to be tried and reviewed.  All opinions are my own.)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Melted - Candles From The Keeping Room / Apple Cinnamon Donuts

Apple Cinnamon Donuts - 'A new CFTKR blend...our sweet apple and bakery cinnamon mixed with a wonderful cakey donut iced with a sweet glaze.'

 This was a nice apple-cinnamon scent with a little bit something else going on.  The spice was not strong, just adding some warmth.  There was almost a perfume-y note to the apple-cinnamon part, weird as that sounds.  The donut note was more of a doughy type than a finished pastry type.  At times that almost ruined this scent for me.  But overall, it was still a nice enough scent.

I melted this 1.2 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had a lighter medium scent.

(This tart was a gift.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Melted - Candles From The Keeping Room / Caramel Apple Pie

Caramel Apple Pie - 'Macintosh apples, buttery caramel, rich milk, brown sugar, buttery toffee, nutmeg and spices.'

 This was a really nice caramel apple scent.  I didn't notice any distinct crust or bakery note, but that's okay because the caramel apple scent was nice enough.  The apple slightly nudges by the caramel as the stronger note, sweet and juicy and bright.  A yummy, happy scent for fall.

I melted this 1.3oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had delicious medium-strong scent.

(This tart was a gift.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Decorations - 2014

Decorating for Halloween was a struggle for me this year.  I hauled all my stuff out, started decorating, hated it all, and packed it back up.  People told me to get it out again, leave it out, and see how I felt after a day or two.  So I got it all back out again, put most of it out, and tried to leave it for a day.  I still hated it, and put about 80% of back into storage.  I don't know if I'm just tired of seeing the same old things I've had for years, or if my tastes have changed, or maybe a little of both.  The only things I really wanted to keep out were things that were new this year.  In the end, I did a minimal job of decorating.  We didn't do anything outside this year, for various reasons.  We've all been so busy with work and life changes and tons of stress this fall that we've neglected the yard work and are just plain old tuckered out most days.

Oh well, I'll show what I *did* do for decorations.

The picture above is the display on our buffet.  This is the main display area for most holiday decorations.  The room, our former dining room, is the center of the house.  All traffic goes through here, with the living room on one side, the kitchen on the other.  Years ago, we put our antique dining table and chairs into storage and moved our three computers into this room.  (Yeah, we were gamer geeks for many years.)  Where my computer is, where I spend most of my time it seems, is across the room from this buffet, so this is what I see the most.  That's why I like to make this the main display.

Enough rambling!  The fake flowers are new this year.  The pumpkin wall hanging is new this year.  The little black Happy Halloween sign is new this year.

On the coffee table in the living room I have a small, simple felt pumpkin as a sort of placemat for the candles we burn in there.  Julie's beautiful Halloween coasters are next to that.  One the shelf below are the three jars I painted, and the one (dark, hard to see) that hubby did.  We have little fake tea lights to put in these but we'll wait till Halloween night to actually light them up.

We also have these spooky frosted glass tea light/votive holders that I got on sale from the Claire Burke website.  We really enjoyed them with the tea lights that came with them, so I bought a pack of pumpkin pie scented tea lights for next time.

Over in a corner in the living room I have these on an end table.  The skull and pumpkin totems do light up and flicker but I don't bother plugging them in any more.  The basket sits on this table most of the year but for Halloween I have this cute Halloween-y liner.  The basket holds votive candles and holders that aren't in use.

On the other side of the living room is the usual display of these ancient McDonalds Happy Meal buckets.  We got these when Ty was a baby/toddler, so they're over 20 years old.

This little pillow is new this year.  Found it for $3.00 in Target's dollar bins at the front of the store.  Looks cute just sitting in the chair that no one really uses.

If I'm ambitious for any given holiday I will pack up all these old family pictures and load up the shelves with decorations.  As we know now, this year was not one of those years so I just set these two squishy pumpkins among my ancestors instead.

Cute little display on top of the fridge.

Cute little display on the kitchen table.

The Halloween-y welcome sign is new this year, sitting on a little shelf in the kitchen.

And that's pretty much it.  I do have my two pumpkin soap dispensers from last year out, and some Halloween dish towels and one Halloween potholder, but I think that's it.

Do you decorate big or small or not at all for Halloween?  I'd love to hear about it!

Oh, and Halloween decor is not complete without a black cat.....

Rosegirls Store Haul

I paid the Rosegirls store a visit today.  I've had some credit waiting to be used up and it was really starting to nag at the back of my brain so I decided I'd go now and finally use it.  I didn't give my waxy friends much advance notice this time.  I'd considered not even telling them!  But then I thought nah, maybe they're itching for something in particular that I could pick up for them.  So while I did end up going with a small list for other people, my main goal was to get MY stuff.  *evil giggle*

The store was quite well stocked today.  There has been some trouble recently, with personal shoppers constantly buying so much that there is nothing left for locals.  I think that absolutely sucks, but that is a whole 'nother rant.  Anyway, today was quite well stocked but the scents I really wanted still were not there.  I debated just using part of my credit and trying again next time.  I wondered if Jenny would have found that annoying though, so I just went ahead and picked things to use it up today.

And what did I end up getting?

Watermelon Peppermint Smoothie
Grabbed this sucker as soon as I saw it, which was pretty much as soon as I walked into the store.  We had this in our first round of Muffin Club and I loved it.  I think I got a chunk of it in my sampler order, but now I have a whole bag.  This is a blend of watermelon and Snowflake.  It's a softly sweet peppermint scent with just a hint of watermelon.
Dunk My Donut Cuppa Cake Noel
I think I got this for a waxy friend last time I went shopping for them, and I think I loved it when I sniffed hers.  Two of the people I was shopping for today wanted a bag of this so when I saw a whole row of it, I grabbed one for myself too.  It's bakery, with a bit of spicy kick.

Windmill Cookies
Pretty sure I got this for a waxy friend last time too.  Because I wasn't finding a whole lot of scents I really wanted today, I grabbed a back of this.  It's a nice, crisp almond scent, like extract.

Bananas Foster Ooey Gooey Caramel Waffle Cone
I kept coming back to this one while trying to pick things for myself.  I love Banana Caramel Cupcake scents, and I've had and loved Bananas Foster scent from another vendor, so I figured why not.  That waffle cone note does come through, like a nice bakery bed for the sweet and gooey caramel-bananas.  Yum!

Cinnamon Glazed Oranged
I had a chunk of this earlier this fall and once I'd melted I seem to remember thinking it would be a better Christmas scent than a fall scent.  So I went ahead and got this.  Just like the name implies, it's a spiced orange scent.

Blueberry Buckle Cake
There were two berry/cake scents that I kept re-sniffing and I ended up getting this one.  It's a nice, creamy blueberry bakery scent.  It's not like a blueberry muffin scent.  It's creamier and sweeter than that.

Wacky Candy Doodle
I asked Jenny what was in this and now I absolutely can't remember anything except maybe Cotton Candy Frosting.  Oh oh oh, sniffing it, I think I remember her saying Monster Cookie.  But what is the other thing?  I can't remember!  The third ingredient is sort of fruity, maybe berry something.  The scent as whole is more of a sweet Monster Cookie.

Bird of Paradise Raspberry Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream
I saw this lonely little muffin sitting in the carousel rack over in the corner and decided to get it mainly because these muffins are usually unique blends.  Whoever placed an order with this blend, I'm letting you know they must have finished it.  LOL!  Another creamy scent, softly fruity, with a coconut kick.  It's almost like a toasted coconut, more than a sweet tropical coconut.  Interesting blend.

There was quite a variety there today.  Several Christmas scents but none really grabbed me.  There were some scents that sounded interesting but when I sniffed them they were kinda blah to me.  There were a lot of things I'm pretty sure my waxy friends would have loved.  I wish it was easier to relay info to them while I'm there.  Is conference calling possible on cellphones?  lol

What Rosegirls scents are YOU itching to get?