Friday, December 30, 2011

Bodycology Scrub/Butter Gift Set

After an anonymous comment left on my previous Bodycology sugar scrub post, I popped into Target bright and early this morning after doing my regular grocery shopping.  And what did I find?

Just as 'Anonymous' said, there were Bodycology combo pack gift sets containing a sugar scrub and . . . a body butter!!  I didn't even know Bodycology had body butters!  Oh happy day!  I saw the Hazelnut scent I already have, and the Coconut Almond, and maybe one more, and then found the Brown Sugar Vanilla that 'Anonymous' had mentioned.  Of course I grabbed it.

Brown Sugar Vanilla is one of my favorites of the Bodycology scents.  It's described as 'The warm blend of vanilla, brown sugar and sensual amber creates a cozy, comforting scent,' and is very similar to Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar.  So I was very happy to see this scent in these products.

The body butter is nice.  It's not the light and fluffy type that I prefer, like what I can get in the handcrafted community.  No, it's more of that sort of springy or rubbery consistency that Bath & Body Works has.  It's a little harder to stick your fingers in and scoop some out but it works fine to just run your fingers across the top and sort of gather up what you need.  It's quite heavily scented, so the scent will indeed remain on your skin.  It spreads easily, absorbs quickly with no greasy feel, and so far (I've only been home about 15 minutes, lol) it's leaving my skin very soft and nice feeling.

Now for the heads up if you are at all interested in this gift pack . . . you might want to hurry to your Target.  These will be found in the Christmas clearance aisles.  You know, where they've crammed all the leftover Christmas items and marked the prices way down.  There were plenty of them at my Target but who knows how long they'll last?  The jar of scrub is slightly smaller than the regular single jar you can buy (10oz in the gift set, 16oz regular) and the body butter is only a 5oz jar, but these are still decent sizes, and perfect if you like to change up your scents more often. 

The set was originally $9.99 but with Christmas clearance it is now $4.99.  How awesome is that??  And why did it take me until I was home to realize I should have grabbed a bunch more of these?!  DUH!!!  The regular sugar scrub jar sells for $5.96 at Walmart.  So here I'm paying only $4.99 and getting body butter on top of it!  I have not seen body butters anywhere else yet.  I'm fighting the urge to go back and grab more.  I've warned hubby that if we go shopping anywhere today I *will* need to go back to Target.  He just laughed.

I had first looked in the regular Bodycology section of the store and did not see these sets there.  Did not see separate body butters either.  But I did notice another scent of sugar scrub that I had not seen yet . . . Coconut Lime.  So now we're up to five known sugar scrub scents.  This is one thing I don't really like about the Bodycology website.  They do not show new items.  Well, I can't seem to find them on their site.  When they came out with the new Enchanted Forest scent a while ago (which I really like), I first saw it on Facebook.  It was quite some time, and I'd already bought a bottle of the body mist, before I saw it had been added to their site.  I have not seen the scrubs on their site yet, or even the body butters.  And the other day I saw, again on Facebook, that they now have lip glosses.  I haven't found them in stores or on the site yet.  Guess I should be thankful for Facebook, huh? 

I know the handcrafted community is probably ready to burn me at the stake for venturing back to the bad side.  I do look at the long, unpronouncable names of some of the ingredients in these products and cringe.  I see that these are made in China and I cringe.  I'm not even sure why I'm drawn to this brand.  Part of it is price and convenience, I'm sure.  It gets frustrating trying to find a natural, handcrafted product you really like only to have that shop close or change or discontinue things.  Or, I really hate paying the extra dollars for an awesome handmade lotion that I love, only to find out it's just a pre-made base that the 'handcrafter' simply added scent to. 

Or ok, yeah, I should at least find a natural, US-made commercial brand if it's convenience I'm looking for.

But whatever . . . there are plenty of people out there who aren't concerned with such things, so these posts will be for them  :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Haul - Creamery Creek

Last week I posted, wondering if I should order from Creamery Creek or not.  I am trying not to buy any soaps for a while but they were having a holiday special and they're top on my list of shops to try next.  All of my Evil Enabler Blog Friends felt I should go for it, and I had said I'd think about it.  Well, obviously I went for it.  LOL

Since I first stumbled across handcrafted goat milk soap from Goat Milk Stuff, the other big one I kept hearing about was Creamery Creek.  And what I always heard was nothing but good.  So why had I never ordered from them?  I don't know.  When I was still a soap maker I was so into the whole YouTube soap community . . . which is quite cliquish . . . that I think I sort of had blinders on.  Once I gave up soap making, and started phasing out of that YouTube crowd, I started revisiting shops that had been pushed aside.  This is what brought Creamery Creek up to the top of my list for when I wanted to start buying again.

I ordered on Tuesday morning and got my package in Saturday's mail.  Pretty darn good considering it was during the Christmas rush!  I had tried to keep my order to one bar because the holiday special was a free shaped soap with any purchase, so I knew I'd be getting a second bar.  But I just couldn't decide on ONE!  One thing I like about this company is that their scent list remains consistent, with enough variety to let you have some fun but not so many choices that you get overwhelmed.  And if you find one you like, you know it will most likely still be there when you go back for more.  Funny then, that I ordered two of their brand new scents.

Oats 'N Marmalade is described as 'This scent is nostalgic, tart, and spicy, not sweet like a regular orange. It is rich without being to heavy just like traditional orange marmalade. We have added ground oats for a gentle scrub. We think this scent is just dreamy!'  One thing I have heard about Creamery Creek soaps is that the scents are on the lighter side.  I don't know how it will be in the shower but sniffing it out of the box the scent is plenty strong.  I don't mean it's overpowering, not at all.  I'm just saying that I'm having no problem smelling it.  This one is very nice, a spicy but sweet unisex scent that will be a refreshing change after all the heavy fall and winter scents we've been working our way through lately.

Lemon Drop is described as 'Lemon Drop is a happy fragrance that combines zesty citrus notes of Italian lemon, yuzu, mandarin with lychee, orange blossom and ginger flower, then adds sensual undertones of oak moss, caramel, and white santal.'  You would think this would be pretty much a straight up lemony scent, right?  So when I read that there was oak moss, and caramel, and other things in there, I was intrigued and had to have it.  This is a two tone bar and I don't know if both sides are scented the same but I am picking up way more scent from the tan side and almost nothing on the white side.  And I think this would fall into that lightly scented category that people talk about.  I do detect traces of lemon, but the overall scent is just a light, bright mix of nothing specific.  It could be a unisex scent, and would be a great scent for morning.

The bars from Creamery Creek thick and chunky but fit the hand nicely.  The website states they are between 6-6.5oz, and they are only $5.00 each.  That is a great price for the size you are getting!  They come with a paper cigar band style label and no other wrap, which I like.  (Ok, I admit I adore a pretty package but in the end the less waste we have the better.)  If you look closely at the pics above you might be able to see the bars are stamped.  One has the goat logo, and the other says 'Beautiful Skin' with some flowers and the company name.  Very cute extra touch.

The holiday special was if you typed in the word SNOWFLAKE in the comments during checkout you would receive a free shaped bar of soap.  From looking at the pictures on their blog, it looked like some were small and some were big.  Luck of the draw maybe?  Not sure.  I screwed up when I was placing my order, and missed the comment box, so I emailed them right away and included the code and admitted my goof . . . and they honored it anyway.  Yay!  (I think the special runs through Jan. 1.)  My free bar is the green one on the right.  It is a decent sized (probably 3-4oz) star, sun, flower, something shape in Siberian Pine scent.  Described as 'As pure and fresh as a new Christmas Tree blended with natural ground vanilla bean to create this wonderful scent,' it even has little dark bits of ground vanilla bean in it.  I quite like this scent!  A tart in this would be great for Christmas!  It's definitely pine, but it's very nice and soft so maybe that ground vanilla bean really is adding to it.

I also received a small sample piece of Chai Tea scent, which I was thrilled to see because that is one I was also considering getting.  'This delightful spicy blend is the perfect Chai Tea!! Its complex blend of spices - with a touch of vanilla - is the epitome of what Chai Tea is,' and it definitely is a chai tea scent.  Oh, it's so yummy!  This will be in my next order for sure!

It took me a while to get around to them but I am glad I've finally ordered from Creamery Creek.  I look forward to trying these first soaps!

Have YOU tried Creamery Creek yet?

Review - Bodycology Sugar Scrub

I usually buy myself a little something for Christmas and this year it was Bodycology's new sugar scrub.  I'd actually bought this well before my disaster with the Bath & Body Works Scrub of Death, but I could not try it because it was a Christmas present.  It was in my head those several days in between 'Ohhhh, what if it sucks like that other one???'

I've tried several of the Bodycology products and have liked them all but with my mood swings between 'I love Bath & Body Works!' and 'I love all natural handcrafted!' this brand keeps getting passed over.  You can find Bodycology pretty much anywhere . . . Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc.  It's very affordable too.  So when I saw they now have sugar scrubs, I was super excited.  It's a 16 oz. jar, and costs $5.97 at Walmart.  I saw three scents: Apricot Mango, Coconut Almond, and Hazelnut.

I bought the Hazelnut scent.  It smells yummy, strong enough to be pleasant in the shower but not overpowering, and I don't think it lingered on my skin, which is fine if you like to use other scents in lotions or sprays afterwards.  The consistency of this product was on the more liquid side, but not totally oily and runny.  You can easily scoop some out and get to your body without having it run all over before you get there.  The sugar granules are small and gentle, but last plenty long enough to get a good scrub.  The oils left my skin feeling soft and moisturized but didn't leave me feeling like an oil slick.  My bathtub did not become slippery, maybe because the consistency is so workable that most stays on your body, not running down all over the floor of the tub.  That was a huge plus.

I am a fan of this scrub!  I will definitely get the other two scents.  They are convenient to get for me and highly affordable, and they seem to work just fine.  It is not all natural, which sucks, but I'm not hardcore on that rule anyway.  If I do find a natural one I like in the handcrafted community I will probably give it a try, but for now I'm happy with the Bodycology scrub.

Are you familiar with the Bodycology line?  As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Review - Bath & Body Works Sugar Scrub

I received a jar of Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy line sugar scrub for my birthday.  It is in the 'Sensual' line of the Aromatherapy products, which has a black currant/vanilla scent.  The jar is 13oz and is priced at $16.00.

I've been curious about sugar scrubs for a while now, have tried a few from the handcrafted soap shops I've ordered from.  I used to think scrubs were just a waste of a product to get you to buy more things.  Thought they were for high maintenance girlie girls who have to primp and preen.  But after trying the few I have, I think there really is some purpose to scrubs, and I really do think they work.  I get rough dry patches now and then, and have found scrubs really do polish and smooth such spots.

When I saw this jar in my birthday gift, I was super excited.  I didn't even know Bath & Body Works HAD sugar scrubs?!  The scent of this is fantastic . . . which is a good thing because hubby also got me body wash, lotion, and a candle in this scent.  Unfortunately, that was all I liked about this product.

First of all, it is the super liquid-y type of scrub.  I don't like the drier, crumbly scrubs but this is to the other extreme.  You scoop your fingers in and have to hurry it to your body because it's already running out of your hand.  Next, I found the sugar granules too large and too harsh.  They lasted a long time, which is good, but they were so large and hard and rough that it was like grinding your skin away.  I was already finding this experience an unpleasant mess when I was suddenly slipping and sliding all over my tub from the extreme oiliness.  True, it's rather common to have such products make your bathtub slick but others I have used have still been tolerable.  With this one, I was practically hanging on for dear life and moving around as little as possible.  I feared for my life when it came time to step OUT of the tub because I knew the remaining foot would want to go sliding, and it did.  Good thing I was clinging to the towel rack on the back of the bathroom door!

I will admit, my skin was smooth after using this scrub.  However, there was SO much oil.  I had noticed when I was trying to rinse off that there was still such an oily residue all over me, and the tub.  I grabbed my shower pouf and tried to lather up with my current bar of Beguile soap (which lathers like a dream!) and could barely get anything.  While drying off I couldn't help but wonder what kind of oily mess the towel was going to be.  And even after drying, my skin was slightly oily.  Maybe I just used too much of the product??  I don't know.  It was so hard to get anything workable out of the jar because of it's near liquid consistency.

The tub remained rather slippery even after I rinsed it for a while with really hot water, and even after the menfolk of the house took their showers, and it was still slicker than usual the next day after taking my next shower.  Not good.  Even the jar has stayed an oily, slippery mess on the outside, not matter how many times I rinse it with hot water and wipe it with paper towels.

EPIC FAIL, Bath & Body Works.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this product . . . if you've tried it, if you've been considering it, or even just scrubs in general.  Any good (and affordable) ones you'd recommend?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review - Beguile Soap

Beguile is a handcrafted bath and body product shop that I used to confuse with Haunt and often thought of together with shops like Haus of Gloi and FuturePrimitive.  When I realized Beguile was an Australian shop I sort of sighed and figured I'd never order.  But wait!  FuturePrimitive is a UK shop and I have ordered from there several times, so why not try an Aussie soap? 

I ordered three bars . . . Milk, Honey, and Ritual.  Coming all the way from Australia did take a bit of time, but I was prepared for that, and it was still rather quick considering.  Once the conversions are all figured out, I think Beguile's bars are around 4.5oz, and cost right around $6.00.  I think she must have been having a sale at the time though because my receipt shows I paid $5.10 per bar.  Shipping was high, as was to be expected coming all that way. The bars each come in a clear biodegradable plastic baggie with a tag/label tied on.  These bars are so cute, sort of a compact, chunky bar with big lazy swirls on top.  I also received two small samples in my package.

The only bar I have used so far is the Honey one.  On the site it's listed as Honey 'n Oats, but mine is just labelled as Honey, although the ingredients do show there is ground oatmeal in there too.  The only scent in this one comes naturally from the ingredients, mainly the honey, and even then there really isn't much to smell.  But that's ok because it's an all natural bar.  I would feel differently if it was *meant* to have fragrance.  The other ingredients are fairly simple, and that's all fine by me.  As I've said before, I'm not convinced adding oodles of 'fancy' ingredients really do anything.

I used this Honey bar in the shower with a pouf, as I always do.  I tend to rub the bar on my body first before lathering up the pouf, and let me tell you . . . this baby explodes into lather with the littlest of effort!  The oatmeal is not scratchy, and was a pleasant bit of scrubbiness before doing the bulk of my showering with my overly sudsy pouf.  I *LOVE* lather, so this bar was a joy to use.  I know the common saying is 'Lather does not equal cleansing,' but give me lather!  It was sad to rinse it away but when I finally did it rinsed easily and I did not feel any dryness or tightness afterwards.  Being an unscented bar, I didn't pay attention to whether there was a generic 'soap' smell or not while in use.

Overall, my experience with Beguile has been very positive.  It's really too bad this is a shop so far away and shipping is a killer, because this is one of the better soaps I have ever come across.  If you are an extreme soap connoisseur, always looking for something new and fine to try, I would absolutely recommend this shop.  I would definitely order again as a treat to myself.  I'm not sure how often Beguile has sales or specials but it might be worth it to keep an eye on the site and snatch some bars at those times.  There are also scrubs, body oils, herbal balms, and wax tarts available.

And if you're already a Beguile user, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  What should I try next time??

A Small Haunt Soap Review

Haunt is a handcrafted soap company with a wildly popular cult following.  I had been curious about this shop for a long time, loved the look, the style, and was intrigued in general.  But this is one of those shops that you can't just pop over to a website and order when you feel like it.  No, this is one those shops that only pops up with sales every now and then, and only the fastest internet connections have a hope of ever getting anything.

But still, the Haunt fans seem to believe so strongly in this shop that I finally decided give it a shot when the last sale happened.  Of course I didn't get anything, and that only added to my changing opinion of this shop and others like it.  (These 'only open for a day here and there' shops, I mean.)  Some time later I won a blog giveaway and part of the prize package was a bar of Haunt soap in Cinnamon Girl scent, the same product I'd been trying to purchase.  Well, alright!  I could finally try this and see what all the fuss was about!

The bar is a decent size, on the thick and chunky side, which I was glad to see.  According to the Haunt site bars are approximately 4.5oz and sell for $6.50.  That's kind of pricey, but I tend to be cheap, and I know it's getting harder and harder to find handcrafted soaps for under $5.00 lately.  The ingredients in this soap are average, not a bad thing as I'm not convinced so-called 'high end' ingredients do anything more than common stuff.  The bar came with a beautifully designed cigar band type label.  I don't know if it originally came in shrink wrap or anything, because I  had gotten it from someone else and not directly from Haunt.  The scent was nice, not overwhelming but enough to know it was there.  Again, not sure how strong it was to begin with because I don't know how old the giveaway bar actually was.

So, how did it perform?  I used it in the shower with a pouf, which is how I use all my soaps.  It lathered nicely after a bit of work to get it started.  The lather was sort of a light, small-bubble type which was nice but it didn't quite last long enough.  It rinsed away easily and didn't feel drying.  The scent was barely noticeable in the shower.  Every once in a while I'd get a whiff of something like cinnamon but overall I couldn't detect much.  The bar is quite hard and didn't seem to get overly gooey or melt-y as I used it.  It was a pleasant enough shower experience.

Overall, I found the Cinnamon Girl bar of soap from Haunt to be . . . average.  There was nothing wrong with it, but I've had better.  And because it was about the same as a lot of handcrafted soaps out there, it makes me wonder why people jump through hoops to get this stuff when they can go to just about any other shop and get what they want, when they want.  Even if you do manage to snag something from one of the Haunt sales, you still face the ridiculous turnaround time of something like eight weeks or more.  I've been watching the updates since that last sale and there have been shipping delays after delay after delay.  With hurdles like that I would expect this soap to be something really special, something above average.  Maybe then I could understand the thrill.  But for me, no thanks.  I will not be bothering with Haunt again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

HurriKayn Natural Soap

I received a package the other day but was waiting for today to post about it because it was a birthday gift from my online friend Mindy.  We've known each other for years, going all the way back to the first season of Lost, when we were both on a Lost message board.  (Those were the days!  Marshall the marshal, anyone?)  She is well aware of my soap addiction and this year has treated me from a shop I'd never heard of . . . HurriKayn Natural Soap, Inc.

I received this bar of Oatmeal Lavender soap, and while I'm not a lavender fan this one also has cinnamon, which somehow turns it into THE most amazing scent ever.  I would never have imagined those two would compliment each other so well!  I am in love with this scent now and will be looking for it in any shops I visit in the future.  There is also ground oatmeal in this soap, making it both soothing and gently exfoliating.  I'm looking forward to trying this one!  (After I sniff all the scent out of it.  Mmmmmmmmmm!)

I also received this bar of Spice Of Life soap, but I don't know much about it because there was no label and the website is not very informative.  It says on the site this is for deep exfoliation, so I don't know if the dark specks I see are coffee grounds . . . ?  There is a soft spicy scent that is very nice, definitely cinnamon, and maybe a hint of vanilla or something sweet.  Very nice, just wish I knew more about it.

Looking at the HurriKayn website, I see they also have bath salts, lip balms, sugar scrubs, and body butters.  Nice!  I just wish they listed their ingredients on the site.  The body butter looks rather pricey, so it would be nice to see what is in there before committing to such a purchase.  Same with the scrub, would love to see the actual product and know what is in it.  I wonder if they do sample sizes.  Hmm.

Well, for now I am looking forward to trying the two bars I've been given, and I send heartfelt thanks to Mindy, for once again making my birthday a very happy day.

Thank you, Mindy!!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Eco-Emi December Box

My second Eco-Emi box came today!  Let's just dive right in . . . this is what I found upon opening the small flat rate box is came in.  Oooooh, how fun already!?!?!

I admit, a couple of the wrapped items totally reminded me of tampons.  LOL!  Moving on . . .

Look at all those fun things! And on first glance it looks like I will use everything in here.  Score!  Let's take a closer look . . .

Genesis Today Vitamin C With Zinc chews - Who couldn't use a boost of vitamin C at this time of year?  I know these are easily available at Walmart, which is one of the reasons I like Eco-Emi, you can actually find and buy the things you sample.

Green Shield Organic Free & Clear Laundry Detergent - I've tried a few homemade, natural laundry soaps and they haven't done a thing in our hard water, on hubby and Ty's super grimy machinist clothes.  It will be interesting to try this.  And I can buy this at Menards!

Artisana 100% Organic Raw Cacao Bliss - This is a raw chocolate coconut butter that is supposedly good on fruit, bread, cookies, etc., or used in smoothies, or for anything you want to sweeten up.  I will probably give it a try on toast, unless anyone is familiar with this and has a better suggestion.

Zambeezi tangerine lip balm - Lip balm?  Yes, please!  This is an organic, fair trade product from Zambia, Africa.  I haven't tried it yet but it has a pleasant, light tangerine scent.

Lauren Brooke botanical lip gloss in Winterberry shade - This is a full size tube, worth $8.00, so this month's box has paid for over half of itself just with this.  Pretty cool.  This is the one thing that I probably won't use because I don't wear lip gloss and I don't wear lip color.  Maybe I'll try it just to play around with it, or maybe I'll pass it on to whoever is interested.  Not sure yet.

Wyk Candle in Whispering Pine scent -  Lynda, LOOK!  Weren't we just talking about pine scents??  LOL  This is just a tiny candle, maybe 1oz, in a cute little tin.  I'm not sure yet if I'll burn it as is or try to pop it out and melt it like a tart.  Wow, just looked at their site and they are super pricey.  Ah well, at least I have this little baby to try.

John Masters Organics Blood Orange & Vanilla Body Wash, and Jojoba & Ginseng Exfoliating Face Cleanser - Nothing more to say than 'Can't wait to try these!!'

Maggie's Functional Organics socks - How fun is that?!  I had seen a teaser about this on Facebook but had forgotten about it until I was tearing the wrap off my pair.  There were four designs available and mine is in a cute snowflake pattern. 

Natural Candy Store's organic candy cane - A festively fun little treat for me.  Yay!

And then of course there is the info card about this month's box, along with several cards from the companies, many including discount codes.  If you think you might like to order from any of these, let me know and I"ll pass the codes along to you.

This second box was even more fun than the first.  Several people have told me they'd rather put that $15 monthly fee to better use, and I totally understand that, but for now I'm enjoying this.  And I enjoy sharing it with you!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Tudors - Final Thoughts

I finished watching The Tudors last night, the entire four season series.  Thought I'd share some final thoughts on it all.

First, I wonder if the creators knew going into the project that it would only be four seasons.  With the show Lost, the creators met with the TV execs and laid out a plan for how many seasons the show would be so they knew how to pace the story.  It seemed the finally season of the Tudors really started jumping through things.  Ok, I do realize most of the drama came earlier anyway but it just seemed to start flying through things, touching on things here and there, and suddenly it was done.  It seemed like in the third and fourth season characters were disappearing without explanations.  (Or maybe their absences were mentioned briefly in conversations and I missed them.)  I'm just curious about it now.

*HATED* the whole Katherine Howard portion of the story.  I realize she was supposed to be much younger than Henry and was supposed to be a scandalous breath of fresh air in his life but . . . really???  There were plenty of other young brides and mistresses and ladies at court, yet they made this one carry on like a spazzy ten year old.  Seriously?!  Her constant inane giggling made me want to fast forward through every bit she was on.  Her stupid reactions to, well, everything, were soooo freakin' annoying.  Oooh, it's snowing so let's giggle and stare wide eyed with our mouth hanging open because, you know, we've NEVER seen snow before.  Oh look, it's raining!  Let's giggle and stare wide eyed with our mouth hanging open because, you know, we've NEVER seen rain before . . . and then let's go dance it in like a five year old.  And let's use every possible chance we have to push the boundaries of child porn because she looks like she's twelve.  They could have done so much better with this part of the story.

I can't find a good pic of how Charles Brandon looked by the end of the show but even in his old man not-hotness, there was still some Henry Cavill hotness lurking.  I was very disappointed in what they did with his story though.  Granted, I'm no expert but I did consult the Wikipedia biography of him and there was no mention of the French mistress he took in his final years.  In the series, he and his wife were having problems but since they'd been the one good couple through it all until then I thought it would be worked out.  I don't know if the actress playing his wife didn't return to the show or what happened but suddenly when Charles was off fighting for Bologne he captures a French soldier who -oops, surprise!- happens to be this beautiful French woman.  Of course he keeps her prisoner.  Of course they start banging.  And then he's in love with her and takes her back home after the battle.  Huh?  And the story didn't really go anywhere after that.  This is one of the things that makes me wonder if the series was originally meant to be longer, especially since I see no mention in the bio of him having a significant mistress.  I did love, however, when his wife snubbed the mistress at his funeral.  Yessss!!

I really liked the nearly life-long relationship between Lady Mary and Ambassador Chapuys.  No, not THAT kind of relationship.  It was like a father-daughter relationship, like he was the one constant in her life.  He was always so sweet to her, and when he died . . . oh, yes, I cried.  Again, consulting the Wiki bios, there is little mention of any relationship between them but I loved how they added it to the show.  It was like the one good thing all along.  I'd really like to see a second series, this time about Mary's life.  I know she goes on to become the evil 'Bloody Mary' but I find her whole life sadly interesting.

Before I started watching the series, when I'd just catch bits of the show here and there from commercials or flipping through channels or whatever, I didn't think they'd 'aged' Jonathan Rhys Meyers much over time.  Even as you watch the episodes back to back in long marathons, the changes are subtle.  But then suddenly you're at the end and you realize, wow, they really had been tweaking him!  In the finale, when they flash through memories on a couple occasions, it's shocking to see how young they all really did look in the beginning.

So was Henry going mad by the end of his days?  They were rushing through things so much it was hard to tell what was really going on.  I know he was supposed to be this evil tyrant but I found myself feeling bad for him many times.  I want to know more about him now.  I want to know what HIS father was like.  I need to get some history books.  Ooohhhhh Santa . . .

Overall, I really liked this whole series and am glad I have finally watched it.  I think the second season was probably the best because of all the Anne Boleyn drama.  The third season was boring by comparison, and the fourth season seemed so rushed.  If you're a total history geek maybe you'll not enjoy this as much because you might be picking it apart for it's historical accuracies/inaccuracies . . . I don't know.  Remember, I'm an English history noob.  If you're not a history geek you can just enjoy the show for it's beauty and it's soap opera type storylines.  I say at least give it a try!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lookee What I Won . . .

I recently won a giveaway and my prize arrived yesterday.  YAY!!  More soap!  And just in time because, you know, I was running dangerously low . . . *snort*

This bar of Cinnamon Girl soap from Haunt is the main reason I entered.  You might remember my frustrating failed first (and will be my only) attempt at ordering from Haunt, and if the prize for this giveaway had been anything other than Cinnamon Girl I probably would have passed.  But since was this was THE one I was trying to get I thought I'd at least try to get it in this roundabout way, hehe.  Described on the site as 'Creamy vanilla, sticky molasses, and fresh coconut shreds, lit with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg ~with coconut milk and blackstrap molasses,' it is a very nice scent.  It's not a strong, spicy cinnamon because the other notes are there to tone it down a bit.  It's more of a warm spice, but does not fall into a foodie or bakery type.  I was glad to see the bars are at least a decent, chunky size.  It looks like there are some hints of lighter swirls in the brown, and the large, lazy swirled texture on top make it look almost like fudge or something good enough to eat.  I'm really curious about this bar of soap and might pop it into the shower ahead of all others just to finally see what all the fuss is about.  Looking at the ingredients, I see nothing more impressive than any number of other handcrafted soaps out there.  So, we'll see.

I also received this bar of Lassi soap from Haus of Gloi.  You already know I love me some Gloi.  I don't see this one on their site, but I see on the label it is from their Spring '11 release.  It's described on the label as 'Fresh mango cream, orange blossom water, black ginger to ground, splash of green tea and a soft squeeze of lime juice.'  Reading that description, I don't think this is a scent I would have ever ordered on my own but that just goes to show, you never know what you'll get sometimes.  I quite like this one!  There is something fruity about it but there is also something that must be the tea and ginger, something making it more sophisticated than a simple fruity scent.  It is a bit 'cooler' and 'brighter' than the fall and winter scents I've been surrounding myself with lately so, yeah, it makes sense that this was a spring release.  I'll have to remember to go ahead and try things I might be leery of next time I'm pondering a Haus of Gloi purchase.

A surprise in my package was a free tart.  Can you ever have enough tarts???  This one is from AJ's Country Cottage on Etsy, a shop I'm not familiar with, and is in Caramel Pecan Pie scent.  Described as 'Divine blend of luscious, creamy caramel and sweet nutty notes with a touch of buttery vanilla,' this is right up my warm, bakery alley!!  The vanilla, caramel, and nuts blend together in a nice, warm, creamy scent but you can also pick up hints of buttery crust.  I can't wait to melt this one!

So, a very  nice little prize package indeed.  I'm glad I entered!