Friday, May 31, 2013

Melted - Scentsationals / Coconut Macaroon

This Coconut Macaroon scent is gooooooood goodgoodgood.  It is not a tropical, summery scent, as coconut scents often tend to be.  No, this is more of a toasted coconut, a bakery scent.  There is a cookie note, and warmth, and sweetness ... all mixed with that coconut.  At times I was almost thinking there were a faint spice note but then I'd think no, it's more like the toasted note, or the crisp cookie edge note.  Whatever it really is, this is one yummy scent.

I melted two cubes (about .8 oz.) in my tea light warmer and had strong scent and throw.  And lasting power.  I'm on my second tea light burn right now and it's just as strong as when the first melt started.  (A tea light lasts about four hours.)  The scent is easily noticeable throughout the whole downstairs of the house but it is not so strong that it's choking or 'too much.'

I would buy more of this if I saw it again.

Read - Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost
by Vera Brosgol
2011
221 pages

Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part . . . 

Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century. 

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks.

Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.


This is the first graphic novel I've ever read.  I'm not even sure how to review such a book.  I've heard others commenting on the quality of illustrations in their reviews, if they are colorful or if the faces show enough emotion, etc.  Since this is my first, I'm sure I won't be nearly as technical as the old pros!  lol

After spending so much time reading long YA paranormal romance series lately, this little book was a complete breath of fresh air.  I whipped through it in about two hours.  I was amazed how many little things could be conveyed in seemingly simple comic strip style blocks of storytelling, how just a couple line changes on a face can change the whole emotion, how an added word like -SLAM- over a door could actually say so much.  It was just plain ol' fun to read this!

The illustrations in this particular book are just basic black-white-gray.  I've seen other books online that have lots of color and varying amounts of detail.

The story was cute.  There were some twists and darker points, and in the end there were some moral lessons, but it was very quick paced and stayed pretty light hearted.  My only real complaint would be that the story ended a bit too abruptly.

Upon finishing this, I was thrilled to be able to say I finished a book in just a couple hours, and thrilled to now have read a graphic novel, but there was not quite the full satisfaction of having read a full length novel.  It was sort of like fast forwarding through a movie and only picking up the very basics of the story, instead of sitting down and committing to it and having time to really get into it.  Overall though, it was fun and I wouldn't mind reading more graphic novels.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Read - Clockwork Princess

Clockwork Princess
by Cassandra Clare
2013
568 pages

THE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING

A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray.

Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever.

As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment, and the tangled threads of love and loss intertwine as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the very brink of destruction in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

*** CONTAINS SPOILERS *** 

This is the third and final book in the popular Infernal Devices series, which is a prequel series to the equally popular Mortal Devices books.  Over 500 pages, this one took me a while to read and was a roller coaster of emotions.  This was probably my favorite of the series, because it dealt so much with the emotions and relationships among all the familiar characters as they raced to stop the evil Magister from setting his plans in motion.  There weren't a lot of new storylines or plot twists, which always makes me happy. 

Although I did like this book in the end, I will admit there were many times it seemed to drag and I found myself skimming pages at some points.  And once again, I found myself really liking some of the lesser characters because the pressure is not on to make them as cool or perfect as the main characters.  I loved Cecily and Sophie, Gabriel and Gideon.   Tessa, Will, and Jem were awesome too but sometimes you just want to slap them, or you get sick of the endless passages about how beautiful one or the other is, or how deeply one loves the other.  It seemed the same heartfelt/heartsick conversations were being had over and over and over.

I knew this was going to be a hard story to read when, early on, the supply of Jem's life-prolonging drug was running out.  In the first two books we'd known that Jem did not want anyone searching for a cure.  A short chunk of this third book had him changing his mind about that and everyone racing to find that cure or at least some new way to keep him alive.  That was exciting and nerve wracking, but then it just switched back to 'Oh, sorry, no ... just let me die,' and it was like ... whaaaat?  That portion of the story seemed pointless.  I was dreading reading when it would be his eventual death, feared I'd be a sobbing mess even though Jem was not one of my favorite characters.  Then it came and went, and again I was like ... whaaaat??  He meant so little to the story???  This book jumps around from the perspective of several different characters.  While the scene where Will 'felt' Jem's death was sad, to not really cover the event from any other character's point of view seemed really odd.  I was kinda mad about that, wondering what the heck was going on?!  But then later we find out the twist and understand why it was done that way.  Ahhhhhhh, ok.  But still, I didn't like that twist either.  It added a few more opportunities for heartbreaking scenes but seemed really unnecessary overall.

I was disappointed in one thing about Will and Jem's goodbye scene, the one after the twist reveal.  I had soooo wanted there to be a tearful, clinging embrace.  I wanted Will to be much more of a wreck, crying even, and have Jem assuring him he'd be ok.  And it just didn't happen.  Oh well.  Later on, in the epilogue, the description of Will's death had me sobbing like I would have been if the goodbye scene would have gone my way.  *sniffle*

Will has grown on me over the course of this trilogy.  I was loving him by the end of this book.  I did like Tessa pretty much all along, and I did like Jem, but I *never* felt a connection between them.  So much had been set up for the Tessa-Will storyline that it sometimes seemed like the author was trying to backtrack and make up lost ground in trying to convince us there was ever a chance between Tessa and Jem.  I liked Jem for Jem, not as an attempted match for Tessa.  I loved Jem and Will's relationship though.  That tore me apart like nothing else in ANY of Cassandra Clare's books so far.

I was never into the automaton part of this story, and never really understood the whole background on that.  (Probably because I didn't care.  Doh!)

There was one glaring flaw in this book.  Or maybe I just missed something.  If Henry and Magnus were rushing to invent a Portal because there was no time to get from one end of London to the other in a day (this was 1873, remember), then how the heck did Shadowhunters from all over the world gather for the mandatory, extremely short notice council meeting there in London???

I've also wondered all along about Church, the cat.  I thought his immortality would be explained in this book but it wasn't.  I'm assuming he is the same Church we know in the Mortal Devices books, and we see how he gets from the London Institute to the New York one in this book, but there is still no explanation of just what he is.  I had even wondered more than once if Magnus IS Church, because it always mentions Magnus's cat-eyes.  Maybe something will be said in the final Mortal Instruments book, which comes out next year (I think).

In the end, while I thought this book could have been shorter and with a quicker pace, I did enjoy it because of the time it spent on all the emotional relationships.  I'm glad this is the final book, and really hope the author does not decide to continue the series afterall, as she did with the Mortal Instruments.  There is a family tree on the inside of the book's dust jacket that sort of fills the gaps and shows us how we get from the characters in these books to their descendants in the Mortal Instruments.  I'd heard everyone screaming that there are spoilers in the family tree so I made sure to never look at it.  Well, once I finished the book I finally allowed myself to look and the only spoiler I could see was who Tessa ended up with as far as Will or Jem.  But really, I think it was clear all along how that was going to end up, so I'm not sure what the 'spoiler screamers' were upset about.

So anyway, yeah, quite an emotional journey, and I'm glad to be finally be finished.

Melted - Better Homes & Gardens / Vanilla Cookie Crunch

Vanilla Cookie Crunch is a super yummy bakery scent.  There is a strong cookie note, like a warm sugar or butter cookie, and then there is an added sweetness almost like butterscotch.  This one actually reminds me of Front Porch's cookie scents ... there is just something sort of creamy about it.

I melted two cubes (about .8 oz.) in my tea light warmer and while the scent is absolutely delicious, the strength and throw were iffy.  This totally surprised me because I don't think I've ever had a Better Homes & Gardens tart that was weak!  It's also weird because when the air was stirred up from someone walking by or a breeze from an open window, I would get a nice strong whiff of this.  Casey said he could smell it up in his room.  Hubby said he could smell it in the next room.  Yet I was only getting very light traces unless, like I said, the air was stirred up.  When I could smell it, it was full and deep and rich ... just wish I could have smelled it more consistently.

***UPDATE***
July 11, 2014
Melting this again and not having any of the weak scent issues previously mentioned.  It is strong and full and oh so delicious.  I don't think of it as an almost butterscotch-like note anymore either.  It's totally reminding me of Golden Grahams cereal this time around.  And I'm loving it.  I'm grabbing another pack next time I'm in Walmart, just to always have some on hand.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Small Mixed Haul

I freakin' love hauls, whether it's in blogs or on YouTube.  Seriously, if you posted a boring grocery haul, I'd be all over it.  And since I'm lacking in things to post about these days, I figured at least a mini haul is SOMETHING.  Nothing really surprising here since I'd already mentioned these two books in a previous post but here goes anyway!

Tarts first!  I'd seen this Coconut Macaroon scent from Scentsationals at my Walmart before but since I haven't been buying tarts I always passed it by.  Yesterday I just sort of said 'Screw it, I want it.'   I saw it, sniffed it, and tossed it into the cart.  The scent description on the package says 'Sugary, baked coconut,'  and it smells soooo good.  It's not an overly sweet scent, not a tropical type coconut scent at all.  It's definitely more bakery.  It's more like toasted coconut, and there is a soft cookie note behind it.

I'd mentioned before that I'd found the second book in this series in a bargain bin for about $3, so I had to get the first book somewhere before I could start reading.  Since I had to place an Amazon order for something for hubby last week, I went ahead and searched for this and found a cheap copy from a private seller.  Again, I only paid $3-something for this, and it's a hardcover edition.  I took a chance on this brand new seller and it paid off.  The book arrived quickly and is in perfect condition.  Looking forward to reading this soon!

I also found a cheap copy of this from a private seller on Amazon.  This is the graphic novel I mentioned in a previous post and I've been so weirdly excited about getting this.  I've always just poo-pooed graphic novels because they always seem to be super hero type stories or weird looking retellings of popular books.  I always thought of them as fat comic books, and wondered if was just a lazy reader's way to say they read.  But after seeing more and more lately (as I get more into the book community online) how many avid readers do read graphic novels, and how there are indeed some 'normal' stories out there, I was curious.

Yes, it is like a fat comic book.  There are 221 pages in this particular book.  I should be able to whip through this pretty quick, maybe even just a day?  I even showed it to the menfolk of the house and told them they are welcome to read it too.  Ty surprises me now and then by reading some random books.  Casey is quite into manga, and while this isn't the same, I do think he'd be interested in reading graphic novels too. 

I'm not going to read Anya's Ghost until I finish the book I'm currently reading, which is taking me forever to get through.  I really think I need to shift away from reading YA paranormal/romance books for a while.  There doesn't seem to be any stand alone novels in that genre, just long, drawn out series.  I realize the Infinity series (Chronicles of Nick) is also that genre but I think I might be able to get through it a bit quicker than than what I've been reading lately.  The font and spacing is bigger so even though they are still 400+ page books, they will be easier reads.  Am I getting lazy or what??  LOL

I will finish what I'm reading now, then read Anya's Ghost, then the two books that I have in the Nick series, and then I'm hoping to shift away and read some stand alone adult contemporary novels for a while before coming back to, hopefully, finally read the Beautiful Creatures series.  *phew*

And that is my little mixed haul.  Hope you enjoyed it!  Have you bought anything interesting or random or odd lately?  Any books you have your eye on?  Or tarts you have your nose on?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Melted - Febreze / Almond Sugar

The commercial brand Febreze has had their new line of wax tarts and candles out for a while now.  From the moment I first saw them, I knew Almond Sugar was the one I wanted.  It's taken me a while but last week I finally caved and bought a pack.

This scent is amazingly delicious!!

What you get on cold sniff if pretty true to what you get when it's warmed.  It is a sweet bakery scent.  I swear there is a cookie note in there.  I don't get any kind of cherry-like note, which is common with almond scents.  There is just this bright yet warm, sort of creamy, sweet cookie scent.  It would almost seem like a candy-sweet scent but there is a warmth to it.  But it is not a heavy or sickening scent.  It's just yummy!

I melted two 'bars' (approximately 1 oz.) in my tea light warmer and got medium scent and throw.  As mentioned, it is not a heavy scent.  While at times it seemed I wasn't smelling anything, when I'd go into the next room I would easily pick up light traces of it.  This is definitely a background scent, something to softly perk up the air throughout the house instead of something that loudly announces you have something melting.  I could still smell hints of it all over the house when I got up this morning.

I'm undecided if I would buy this again.  The price is probably the major downfall for me.  At $2.97 a pack, I know there are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there, and with stronger scents.  But this was still nice.  I absolutely loved this particular scent, and because it was one of those lighter types I know I can still melt it while scent-sensitive people (my mom!) are around.  And the fact that it lingers for so lone in all corners, on that very light scale, was nice too.  If I ever find the Chai Latte scent, I'm going to try it!  I'm also curious to see if they come out with any fall/holiday scents later this year.

Have YOU tried the Febreze tarts yet?  What did you think?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Small Book Haul

I'm scrambling for things to post about so this poor ol' blog doesn't become buried under a layer of dust, so I thought I'd do a quickie book haul.  I've bent the rules a bit on our Cut Spending goal when it comes to books but I've still been keeping it low.  I really should start going to the library, but I just hate having that due date and feeling pressured to get the book done fast.

Invincible, by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Nick Gautier’s day just keeps getting better and better. Yeah, he survived the zombie attacks, only to wake up and find himself enslaved to a world of shapeshifters and demons out to claim his soul.

His new principal thinks he’s even more of a hoodlum than the last one, his coach is trying to recruit him to things he can’t even mention and the girl he’s not seeing, but is, has secrets that terrify him.

But more than that, he’s being groomed by the darkest of powers and if he doesn’t learn how to raise the dead by the end of the week, he will become one of them...

Found this one in the bargain bin.  Only $3.48 for a hardcover book?  Not bad at all.  Just one problem ... this is the second book in the series and I don't even have the first one yet.  Doh!

Mystic, by Alyson Noel
Since arriving in Enchantment, New Mexico, everything in Daire Santos life has changed. And not all for the better. While she's come to accept and embrace her new powers as a Soul Seeker, Daire struggles with the responsibility she holds navigating between the worlds of the living and the dead. And with the fate of her boyfriend Dace in the balance, Daire must put aside her personal feelings and focus on defeating Cade, whose evil plans threaten everyone she loves and the world as she knows it.

MYSTIC is the third book in The Soul Seekers, a magnificent new series about a girl who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël.
Again, had not really planned on getting this one.  Originally I had bought it thinking it was going to be a gift to a friend but then ended up revising the gift plan.  It didn't break my heart being stuck with the book though because it's a series I'm planning on reading anyway.  But once again, this is the third book and I don't yet have the first or second.  LOL
Loki's Wolves, by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr
"The runes have spoken. We have our champion...Matthew Thorsen."

Matt hears the words, but he can't believe them. He's Thor's representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents...or the world ends? He's only thirteen.

While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.

But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.

In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.
This one IS the first in the series, and a new series at that.  One thing I've discovered in the online book community is that A LOT of people still love to read 'middle grade' books.  This is kind of comforting because there are often 'kid' books that look quite fun, and sometimes you just need a quick and easy read to clear your head and get you out of a reading slump.  And this brand new one caught my eye because of the whole Vikings thing, and you know we're all about Vikings stuff in this house.  Skol!!
Those are the three books I've bought over the last several weeks.  There are TONS more that I want but I'm *trying* to hold off until I read through what I have already.  But there is one more that I might just go ahead order today . . . 
Ya see, another thing I've discovered from the book community is that A LOT of people also enjoy graphic novels.  I don't mean like 50 Shades graphic, I mean like comic book style.  I saw a couple people talk about this book, Anya's Ghost, in their videos and thought 'Hmmm, I might like to try a graphic novel too!'  And since hubby and Ty both need something ordered from Amazon, I might just sneak this book into my cart too.  The people at work will probably think I'm nuts for reading kids books and comics but hey, they'll still worship me for being a Reader.  LOL

So what do you think?  Have you read any graphic novels or middle grade books lately?  Have you stumbled across any fabulous new books I need to know about?  Let me know!

Small Tart Haul

I bought some tarts today!  My stash is about as close to gone as you can get, just four Sinus Relief tarts, a pack of lavender-vanilla (but I'm not a lavender fan), and some leftover holiday scents that I'm hanging onto until fall rolls around again.  Oh, and the two packs I got for Mother's Day, but those are scents I'm not fond of so I won't be melting them.  So yeah, stash is pretty much gone now!  I'm itching to start ordering from private vendors again but I also still want to keep spending down for a while longer, so I caved and bought some affordable Walmart tarts for now.

Finally finally finally gave in a bought a pack of the Febreze tarts!  I knew all along the first one I'd get would be Almond Sugar.  If the chai one would have been there I might have grabbed that, but it wasn't so Almond Sugar it was!  This smells sooooo darn yummy.  There is no scent description on the package.  To me there is almost a cake or cookie note.  The almond is not at all cherry-ish.  This is just a really nice, sweet, slightly warm, slightly creamy, bakery type scent.

These Febreze tarts cost $2.97 for a 3 oz. package.  (It says 2.75 oz. on the label but each bar weighs .5 oz, so you do the math.  Heh.)  The scent is pretty strong on cold sniff, so I'm not sure if I'll melt one or two bars at a time.  Looking forward to finally trying these!

I'm pretty sure I've had this Vanilla Caramel Spice before, and it's one I always seem to see in stock at my store.  On cold sniff it's quite strong on the cinnamon, sort of a Red Hots candy type cinnamon, but the sweetness and warmth of the vanilla and caramel are definitely lurking behind that.  Even though it's cinnamon, it's not like a holiday type scent.  It doesn't make me think of fall or holidays at all.  I'll do a better review after I've had a chance to melt this.

Vanilla Cookie Crunch is one I think I first saw around the holidays.  I'd always passed it up because it seemed like another generic cookie scent, but lately whenever I'd give it a sniff in the store it really called to me.  Maybe it's because my stash is gone and I haven't had this type of scent for a while.  While it is a fairly simple cookie scent, there is just something extra yummy about it, like a sweet, creamy, warm note.  Maybe it's like butterscotch?  Toffee?  Just soooo yummy.  Again, a full review once I've had a chance to melt this.

Not a huge or exciting haul, but a haul nonetheless.  And it's a tart haul.  And it's something to blog about.  Everyone is happy now, right??

Monday, May 13, 2013

Read - Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince
by Cassandra Clare
2011
498 pages

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when it becomes clear that the mysterious Magister will stop at nothing to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, tortured Will and the devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal and fueled by revenge. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa is drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa answers about who she really is? As their search leads to deadly peril, Tessa learns that secrets and lies can corrupt even the purest heart.


*** MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
This second book in the Infernal Devices trilogy picks up pretty much where the first one left off.  After the events of the first book, Charlotte's ability to head the London Institute is challenged by a rival.  The Consul gives her two weeks to produce some results and prove herself, or she will lose all she has worked for.  And so we are thrust right back into the hunt for the evil Magister, and for Tessa's brother Nate.  Along the way, Tessa wonders more and more just what she is.  A warlock?  A Shadowhunter?  Some sort of Downworlder mix?  She also finds herself drawn more to kind and gentle Jem after Will's nastiness at the end of the first book, and his constant pushing away.

I had mixed feelings about this book.  While it should have been right up my alley with several emotional storylines, it also seemed to add a lot more extra stuff into it.  The plot has become complicated.  Most of time I couldn't even keep track of who had done what to who and how it was all connected.  I hate when authors do that!  I also never really felt anything for Tessa and Jem as a couple when she was constantly thinking about Will.  Then again, I didn't feel anything for Tessa and Will as a couple either.  So much time was spent swooning over how beautiful he was, and that got old fast.  I was also disappointed (but not surprised) that things followed the usual Cassandra Clare format, right down to the party that needed to be infiltrated.

I'm just not thrilled with the automatons aspect of this story.  Thankfully there wasn't too much with them in this book.

There was a sort of Harry Potter feel to this book.  There were bits of magic and . . . hello . . . does anyone else see Arthur Weasley in the Henry character??  Only made more bumbling and goofy too a ridiculous degree?

Still, I did enjoy this book and am anxious to read the third/final book.  I'm just as curious as anyone to see 'what' Tessa is, and how the love triangle will be resolved.  (I do know who she will end up with, I just don't know how the events play out to get to that point.)  Everyone says the next book as amazing.  I hope so!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Influenster - Ivory 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash


I was invited, through the Influenster program, to try a new body product: Ivory 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash.  I was surprised to receive a full sized bottle (24 oz.) instead of a smaller trial or sample size.  That was kinda fun to find in my mailbox!

Now, I am a very low maintenance girl.  I use low end 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioners.  I use low end body wash when I'm feeling lazy and not using handcrafted bar soaps.  But even I have not had any interest in the body/hair wash combos I see popping up more and more.  I don't know, it just seems like it would be lacking to me for some reason.  Still, when Influenster asked me to try this Ivory product, I figured I'd give it a shot.  Heck, I'm not paying anything for it this way, right?  Once I actually received the bottle though, I was quite curious and excited to try it.

So what did I think?

I've been using this as a body wash every day for about two weeks now.  As a body wash it is nice.  At first I thought it was going to be fabulous because the lather is rich and creamy, more so than my usual low end brand.  Using this in the shower, on a shower pouf, there is a ton of immediate and long lasting lather.  The scent is nice, sort of a generic 'clean' soap/shampoo scent, noticeable while using the product but not lingering on the skin afterwards.  This is good for those who don't want the scent to clash with whatever scented lotions or sprays they use after.  The lather seems to rinse easily but then it almost seems like there is some extra moisturizer left on the skin.  Not like an oily film or anything obvious like that.  Just sort of 'something' that makes you think it's moisture-rich.  It didn't seem to work out that way though because I noticed about the same amount of dry itchies with this as with my cheap body wash.

I used this as a shampoo only twice.  I have shoulder length, natural (uncolored, unpermed, etc.) hair that I wash every other day.  My hair tends to be dry at first and then turns oily.  Using this Ivory product as a shampoo, it seemed ok while actually in the shower.  It lathered nicely, rinsed cleanly.  Out of the shower though, I immediately noticed my first problem: tangles.  I almost never have any trouble running a comb through my towel dried hair, so when I hit a snag right off the bat with this, I was not thrilled.  But whatever, the real test would be how my hair was once it dried.  Throughout the day I would touch my hair, run my hands through it just to see how it felt, and found it was 'ok' but seemed just a bit drier and rougher than normal.  Nothing hugely noticeable, and I did take into consideration that switching shampoos can sometimes do weird things.  The second day, which is a no wash day, my hair already looked slightly more blah than usual.  Not really oilier but sort of dull and limp.  After using the product a second time and getting the same results, I already knew this wasn't for me and switched back to my regular shampoo/conditioner.

What are my overall thoughts?  Well, as a body wash this was no better or worse than my regular brand, and since my regular brand is cheaper and comes in a variety of lovely scents, I won't be switching.  As a shampoo, I did not like this.  I didn't hate it ... it wasn't horrible ... but it wasn't as good as what I'm already using, which again is cheaper.  In the end, I would not buy this product for myself.  My sons tried it too and while Casey seems to share my opinion, Ty actually likes it.  Might be interesting to note that Ty has really short hair, so maybe there is not much difference to notice as far as shampoo.

So yeah, while it was fun to try this new Ivory 2-in-1 Hair & Body Wash, I was not impressed enough to consider switching from my usual brands/products.

Disclaimer: While I was sent this product for free to try, I am not being paid and it has not affected my opinion.

Target Tarts - Gift Haul

A tart post?!  Can you believe it?!  I was starting to wonder myself, if I'd ever have anything wax related to post about.  But aha . . . Mother's Day to the rescue!  Ty got me these two packs of tarts from Target.  While I have tried Target's tarts before (see a post from last fall HERE), these look like a new style.  Or maybe they are just the smaller packs that I never paid much attention too.

While there is sort of an attempt to come across as the traditional six cube clamshell style we're all familiar with, these are actually very different.  The tray is very shallow, and the cubes are very wide and flat,  The packaging leaves much to be desired.  First, the outer plastic package has a frustrating double tab flap thingie that keeps the package closed.  Once you pry that open, you have to pull the hangie tab thinger back through the slot and then sort of awkwardly hold the flap and tab apart with one hand while you try to dig your fingers into the opening to get the inner tart package out.  And then once you have that out you flip it over to find there is just a piece of sticky-sealed plastic over the back (flat) side of the tart tray.  It will stick again when you lay it back over the tarts but it will probably be wrinkled and crooked.  Well, I guess once you shove the whole thing back into the frustrating outer package it will be better protected, but geez.

Moving on . . .

Since these were a gift, I don't know how much they cost, but total weight of the wax bar is 2.4 oz, which is about what you get in Better Homes & Gardens/Scentsationals.  This means I will probably melt two cubes at a time when I use these.  Oh, and these are Chesapeake Bay Candle brand tarts.

There are no scent descriptions on the package and I couldn't even find tarts on the Chesapeake Bay website, so I'll have to wing it on these.  Paradise Flower is sort of a sweet, greenery-floral scent.  There is almost something watery about it, like an ocean type scent or something.  Sometimes I think there is just a hint of something like fruit in there too.  If I had to come up with something familiar to compare it to, I would say it's almost like a very light lilac on a rainy day.

Bamboo Sugar Cane might be familiar to more adventurous wax lovers.  I know there are plenty of vendors who have this type of scent.  My very first thought when I first sniffed this was of those tubes of model glue, like my brothers always had while putting together model car or airplane kits.  When I go back and sniff the tarts to get a more reasonable idea, it's once again a sort of wet greenery-floral type scent.  I really don't care for this one much.  There is that sort of perfumey floral note that is the key to what I don't like about floral scents in general.  BUT, just because *I* do not like this type of scent doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people out there who do  It's just not for me.

While I was thrilled that Ty got me tarts for Mother's Day, I'm sad that he chose some duds as far as my tastes go.  I'm not sure what I'll do with these.  I'm considering doing a giveaway because I know someone out there will love these scents.  I might have to get Ty's permission to do that though . . . lol

So what do you think?  Are you familiar with either of these scents?  Have you tried Target's tarts?  Would you be interested in a giveaway??  Let me know!