Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Melted - Up The Creek Scents / Root Beer Float

Root Beer Float - 'Delicious authentic Root Beer Float scent!'

I love Root Beer.  To drink, that is.  But as home fragrance?  That I'm not too sure on.  This scent is dead on, a nice big creamy A&W Root Beer.  It was fun to smell in the beginning, but then it just started to be a bit too much.  Not a bad scent at all, just not something I'd want as a home fragrance.

I melted this one ounce tart and had nice strong throw throughout the house.  Casey said he could even smell it upstairs in his room.  Even on a lighter level, I think this might have gotten old fast.  I did let it go through an entire tea light burn (about four hours) so that tells you it wasn't horrible, but it's just not something I'd ever want again as far as home fragrance goes.

(This was a gift.)

Melted - Enchanted Candle Co. / Iced Orange Cake

Iced Orange Cake - [no scent description]

Once again, I really wish I had the scent description so I could do a better job of this, but of course the site is closed.  I really liked this scent.  There seemed to be a definite caramel note to it though.  It was a nice, softly sweet bakery scent, with what must have been the orange perking it up a bit.  But there was also a warmth to it, coming from what I thought was caramel.  This was very nice.

I melted this cute little ghost (.7 ounce) in my tea light warmer and had strong scent in the area around the warmer but it didn't seem to carry out much farther than a few feet.  It was okay this time because I was here at my desk anyway, but if I'd been hoping for something to scent more space, this would have disappointed.

(This was a gift.)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Haul - Bath & Body Works Semi-Annual Sale

Look what just arrived on my doorstep!  I'd received a Bath & Body Works gift certificate for my birthday and since it could only used online, and the semi-annual sale started online the day after Christmas, what better time to use it?

There were so many things that I would have like to get, but I tried to stay practical.  All those millions of candles I was drooling over would have been put aside for next fall and Christmas, and I didn't want to do it that way again.  I'm hoping to buy fresh and only as I go through things next fall and winter.  As for body care, it takes me forever to go through lotions and sprays, so I tend to go for the smaller sizes there.  Even shower gels take me a while since hubby and Casey use their own.  So yeah, this might look like a slightly underwhelming haul.  lol

Dark Kiss
The quick description of this is 'A seductive blend of dark berries with a kiss of vanilla,' but there is so much more than that going on in this scent.  I was thrilled to see this because I could have sworn this was discontinued long ago.  I noticed it says this is an online exclusive.  I got a full sized shower gel and lotion.

Black Raspberry Vanilla
I grabbed a full size shower gel of this, hoping it will pair well with the Bodycology Blackberry Vanilla lotion I got for Christmas.

Mad About You
I'd not heard of this scent before receiving a full sized bottle of the lotion for Christmas.  I decided to grab the travel size shower gel and spray to go with it.  This scent is described on the site as 'A love-struck pairing of soft peonies & black currant kissed with creamy vanilla musk.'  Do you see a trend here?  Dark berries, vanilla, and musk.  I guess that's me.

Twilight Woods
I've had this before and since I received a full sized lotion for Christmas and thought I'd get the travel sized shower gel and spray to go with it.  I think there is a Bodycology scent similar to this, and I know I liked that, so maybe I can pair it with the lotion when these little babies run out.

Warm Vanilla Sugar
I think this was my introduction to Bath & Body Works, many years ago.  It's still a favorite.  I received a full sized shower gel, and a Bodycology Toasted Sugar lotion for Christmas, so I grabbed this travel sized spray to go with them.

Pumpkin Cupcake
Although there were a ton of amazing looking candles on sale, I didn't want to stock up on things for next year.  I do love the look of these mason jar candles though, and I need a bit more to use up the gift certificate, so I caved . . . just a wee bit.

Pumpkin Gingerbread
I'm not sure I realized this was a mini when I ordered it, and even if I did, I had no idea just how tiny it would be.  It's freakin' adorable!!!!  I want a million of these next fall and winter!  It is a miniature mason jar, complete with lid!  It is a 1.3 ounce candle.  So so sooooo, farking cute!  I just might have to go back to the site and grab more, just in case they don't have them next year.  Heck, I might even have to hit up the actual store!  And since they included two '20% off your order' coupons, I can get 20% more minis.  wOOt!

That is my slightly boring but very practical Bath & Body Works haul.  Did you elbow your way through the semi-annual sale?  What did you get?  What are some of your favorites?  Most importantly, have you seen those mini mason jar candles?!

Melted - Streetman Candle Co. / Country Nights

Country Nights - 'A blend of pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, clove, maple, and toasted marshmallow.'

It's been a while since I've done a melted post, and it's been a while since I've been wowed by a scent.  After taking down the tree and packing up the Christmas stuff the other day, I decided to pop in a random tart from my random scents box.  I had not clue what the scent description was while this was melting.  I was in love though!  I could have sworn it was a rich, cookie type scent with a hint of cinnamon.  Imagine my surprise when I found out well after that it is very much a fall themed scent!  When I smell the container now, yeah, I can very easily find the pumpkin.  I think the marshmallow is adding the richness that I thought was the cookie-type note.  There is a a bit of sweetness, very soft hints of spice, and a general warm and cozy feel to this.  Without knowing it's a pumpkin scent, I think it would be fine anytime you want some bakery, but knowing now that it is pumpkin, I'd love to get more of this in the fall.

I adore these little one ounce scent cups.  More vendors should have them!  (I think they are actually slightly less than one ounce though.) I melted this whole scent shot in my tea light warmer and was amazed at the punch this little guy packed.  We could smell it very easily all over the house, upstairs and down.

I loved this one!

(This tart was part of a gift.)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Subscription - Treatsie / Dec. 2014

Treatsie is a monthly subscription box that I learned about through Lauren, over at the Lolo Loves Scents blog.  This is a food subscription box though.  I've seen other snack boxes but there always seems to be more things in them that I wouldn't eat than what I would.  After keeping an eye on the types of things Lauren was showing in her box posts, I decided to give this one a try myself.
Like most subscription boxes, when you first open it you see an info card about that month's box, and the tissue paper and logo.

 This is how it looked inside.  You see some crinkle paper scattered in there.  And I immediately noticed the Christmas/winter flavor theme.

These are the items, outside of the box.

These two cookies were from Grey Ghost Bakery and were Cranberry Orange Pecan flavor.  Hubby and I ate these right away.  The orange flavor hits you right away.  These were very soft and very moist, but this particular flavor was not a favorite for either of us.

These are two large gingerbread flavored caramels from Serendipity Confections.  We have not tried these yet.  They seem to be a somewhat soft caramel, which I like, as opposed to something harder to chew.

 This is a three ounce package of Frittle, from Newfangled Confections, and is described on the info card as 'This aint' your grandma's brittle.  Frittle combines the classic peanut-buttery sweetness of brittle crossed with peanut fudge.  The result is a kinder, softer brittle with a crispy-creamy texture and just a hint of salt.'  We haven't tried this yet either.  Hubby is not a fan of brittle.  I am but yeah, that hardness is scary and difficult for someone like me who has less than stellar teeth.  I'm both curious and leery.

And then there is this guy, which I thought was like a fudgepop or something until I actually looked at the label.
This is from Ticket Chocolate and is 'Hot Chocolate on a Stick.'  You simply stir this chocolate block in hot water or milk until it is melted, and you have hot chocolate.  I'm looking forward to try this!

That is my first Treatsie box.  The info card says the value of this box is $21.00 (before shipping).  I'm not quite as impressed with that as some other subscription boxes, in as far as the box often times being worth much more than what you pay monthly.  Treatsie boxes are $15.00/month plus $4.95 shipping.  If you order six months, the cost per month goes down.  And if you order a full year, the cost per month goes down even more.  At first I felt a bit cheated there were only four little products in here but again, I have to remind myself that these are gourmet treats and not the cheap and simple everyday things that I'm used to.  And for a sweet tooth like me, this box would seem to be ideal.  lol

Have you tried Treatsie?  What, if any, subscription boxes to you enjoy?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Haul - Moeggenborg Sugar Bush (again)

After my other recent Moeggenborg Sugar Bush haul, I decided the fudge was perfect for small gifts this Christmas, so I went back to the site and ordered several more.

I got another box of the traditional chocolate walnut, to go with the two I already have from my first order.

I got two of the maple walnut fudge.  This was not available the first time I ordered, but I'd talked to owner Mary about it once more and she said they'd be making some for family gifts so she added some to the site as well.  

I also decided to try the peppermint fudge.  This will probably be all mine since my menfolk aren't mint fans.  Maybe I'll take it along to our family get-together on Christmas day.

Mary is awesome at including fun extras and when I saw this I couldn't help a big ol' heartfelt laugh.  You see, when I'd been talking to her about the maple fudge, we'd also talked about maple candy.  She said they didn't make them but if I found someone who did I should see if they also make maple creams.  I did find someone, and that post is already up, so it was such a joy to see that she'd made and included some of these.  Even the little wrappers are festively cute.

Thank you, Mary!!!
(I haven't tried them yet, waiting till Christmas.)

And that is my quick and simple Moeggenborg Sugar Bush haul.  I'm not sure yet who will get gifts of fudge, but it will be fun deciding!

Review - Yes To Coconut Shampoo & Conditioner

I received this set of Yes To Coconut shampoo and conditioner as a gift recently.  I've been curious about the whole Yes To line for some time now and was super excited when they came out with the coconut line earlier this year.  (Unfortunately I hated the coconut lip balm.)  The price is what always keeps from diving in and exploring these products.  But hey, now I'd been presented with some!

This coconut shampoo and conditioner is labeled 'ultra moisture' and says it is for normal to dry hair, and that it smooths and restores.  I guess my hair would be considered dry, but by the second day the problem is more that it's oily.  I wash my hair every other day.

So what do I think of this stuff?  It was okay.  I've had worse, but I've also had better.  In fact, my plain old Pantene 2-in-1 seems to work better on my hair.  I did use this several times, just to see if the hair had to go through a readjusting period.  My hair felt amazing while washing/conditioning it in the shower.  It was soooo soft and silky!  Out of the shower and after towel drying my shoulder length hair, the first thing I noticed was that it wasn't as easy as usual to get a comb through.  It wasn't hard, but I did noticed an obvious difference.  Once my hair was dry, and throughout the rest of the day, it didn't quite feel as soft as usual, but it looked like it was laying more nicely, in a more relaxed and behaved way.  There wasn't as much static or fly away ends.  But it just didn't seem impressively shiny or soft.  On the second day, it seemed about the same, and didn't seem as oily as normal by the end of Day Two.  I didn't really notice any change or improvement after using is a couple more times.

In the end, I wasn't impressed with this enough to spend that kind of money, not when the more affordable Pantene 2-in-1 seems to work better for me anyway.

Thank you again for this gift, Sunnee!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Subscription - Walmart Beauty Box

Did you know Walmart had subscription boxes?  I didn't either.  My sister stumbled across it online and mentioned it to me.  They have a beauty box and a baby box.  I don't know about the baby box, but I did sign up for the beauty box.  It is quarterly, with the seasons.  They say the box is free, but you're paying $5.00 shipping.  It has several sample or full sized products that are beauty related, like makeup, skin care, etc..

I received my first box today!

This is the winter box.  When you sign up, you don't get any choices like for what your preferences are.  And since the boxes are 'free' they are probably all the same for everyone.  My sister and I did wonder if the colors of any makeup products might vary from box to box.  I purposely avoided looking up any YouTube videos or blog posts about this box, because I wanted to be totally surprised.

One thing I was pretty sure I would like about this box is that the brands are familiar and easy to get if I find a product I love.  I was hoping like it crazy it wouldn't be filled with makeup products, and I was happy to see that it's not.

There is this sample of Maybelline's Dream Wonder Powder.  It's on the cardboard, under a plastic sheet.  There is a $1.00 coupon on the back of this.  I don't wear makeup, so I'll pass this on to someone who does.

This Covergirl's Outlast 'all day lipcolor,' in color #542/Brazen Raisin.  It looks slightly more brown than the camera is showing.  The package says to use the white one as a moisturizing, shiny top coat, or just use a regular lip balm.  I do love lip balms but I don't wear lip color, so I might pass this set on to someone else too.

Pond's Wet Cleansing Towelettes in 'original fresh' scent.  There are five in this travel pack.  It says these can be used for makeup removal or just a quick face wash.  I don't remember ever trying these types of wipes but they do seem to be all the rage.  I will go ahead and try these.

Pond's Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream, in a 1.75 oz. jar.  I do like (and need) face creams.  I've never been into all the fancy anti-wrinkle or age defying types.  Just give me a simple cream.  I'll try this though.

This is Dove's Deep Moisture body wash and I was very happy to see it.  Love me some body wash!  I've used Dove in the past and have enjoyed it.  I will gladly use this little 1.8 oz. guy.

To go with that, I received this Dove shampoo and conditioner set from their Advanced Hair Series.  This is the Oxygen Moisture one.  I don't know if I've used Dove shampoo but I do know I absolutely loved a leave-in conditioner spray that they used to have.  Looking forward to trying these.  They are one ounce each.

I'm please with this first box.  No, it's nothing "Wow!" worthy like some of the proper beauty boxes, but for low maintenance girls like me, it's rather fun.  Looking at the products, even if you were to buy these out of the travel section, you're probably paying at least a dollar each, so the Pond's and Dove products have already passed the $5.00 you pay for shipping.  The Covergirl lip product looks to be full size.  I don't know how much that sells for but it's pretty much free in this box after the other things.  I think this is a fun little box!

I ask again, did you know Walmart had subscription boxes?!  lol

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Haul - Boston Post Dairy (aka Top of the Hill Sugarbush)

When I ordered that fudge recently, I went back and asked if they made maple fudge and that started a conversation about maple sugar candy.  That place does not make them so back to good ol' Etsy I went.  The fudge lady had also said that if I could find someone who made maple creams, those are delicious.  Well, I'm not sure what sort of creams she was talking about, but I found an Etsy shop that does both the hard candies and a cream type.

Of course I ordered some of each.

I don't know if I've ever had maple sugar candy, to be honest.  A coworker was talking about his parents making them years ago and they just sounded so good.  This bag I ordered is 6 oz., contains 25 cute little maple leaf shaped candies, and sells for $5.99 in the Etsy shop.  I have not tried them yet.  They look like they will dissolve quite quickly, like they are pressed sugar.  I was thinking they'd be more like hard candy, like the sample piece I got that you can see in the first picture.  That one is much harder and has that sort of clear look, like lollipop candy.

The maple chocolates come in a cute plastic container, four to a pack.  They are pretty big, one ounce each.  They are described in the Etsy shop as 'Our Maple Chocolates have a creamy maple filling and are hand dipped in milk chocolate. Each of these delicious chocolates are rolled and dipped in chocolate by hand. The filling is made with our own Vermont Maple Syrup, and maple flavoring to give it that sweet taste.'  This four pack sells for $4.25.  I'm definitely looking forward to trying these.

I mentioned the sample piece of candy I received.  And I've also noticed on the enclosed business card that they also make goat milk soap.  Hmm!  I don't see any of that in the Etsy shop!  Maybe they have a sister shop for that?

Anyway, just wanted to share my random little haul.  Have you found any little goodies lately?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Review - Yankee Scenterpiece

I recently received this Yankee Scenterpiece wax warmer as a gift from a very generous waxy friend.  I'd been curious about this since seeing how much ScentMyWay (on YouTube) enjoys hers.  I've never had luck with Yankee's tarts but I thought maybe this might be better.  Several people have been waiting for me thoughts on this, and I finally had a chance to use it today, so here goes.

There are several different colors and styles to choose from.  I really like this one that I received.  It's simple and fairly neutral.  It reminds me of the clay pots we probably all made in school.  This one is a little over four inches tall and about four and a half inches wide.  It's quite heavy, very solid.  There is a nice long cord with an on/off switch.  The cord is longer than the Glade warmer cord, and I really like that.

The wax comes in a sturdy plastic cup with a resealable plastic lid.  There is 2.2 ounces of wax and the label claims you'll get approximately 24 hours of fragrance.  I only have one 'meltcup,' as they are called.  It was part of the gift but did not actually come *with* the warmer.  This one I have is Winter Garden and is described as 'Quietly captivating . . . the refreshing scent of lush evergreen branches captured in icy splendor.'

The cool thing about this system is you don't have to measure any wax, don't have to break off pieces or cut chunks.  You just put the whole cup in the warmer and you're ready.

So, how did it work?  
I'll just say it.  I was disappointed.

 See this?  This is the meltcup after about 35 minutes of being in the warmer.  At this point I started noticing the first wisps of scent.  See how much is left to melt?  Yeah, it took a full hour to get fully melted, and it took that full hour to really consistently smell anything.  I'm too impatient for that.  I've been spoiled by years of tea light warmer usage, where I have scent within the first couple minutes.

The scent itself was nice, but it was way too light for me.  I don't know if this scent in particular is light in general?  Or is it the same old deal of having no success with Yankee's tarts?  I'm not sure.  If anyone is familiar with this scent, let me know.

I don't really want to give up on this yet because I feel bad for not liking something that was gifted to me.  After Christmas maybe hubby and I will go visit the Yankee outlet store near here and see if they have any of the meltcups there.  Or maybe I'll browse the website and pick out a few.  I think I'll just set this aside for now though.  I have too many other Christmas/winter tarts that I need to get going on.  Even if I do get some other scents in the Yankee meltcups, I think this would only be good to use on days you know you're going to be home all day.  The slow melt time is definitely not for those times when you have a few hours and want to pop in something quick.

Have you tried the Yankee Scenterpiece system yet?  What are some Yankee scents that you know to be strong, that I can look for in meltcup form?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Haul - Moeggenborg Sugar Bush

Several years ago, I stumbled across Moeggenborg Sugar Bush through someone's blog or something, and I was smitten.  This was in my soap making days and not only was I thrilled that they had goat milk soap, but they also had wax tarts, and foodie things, and just a mix of stuff.  It was like walking into one of those little country craft stores that I love.  Mary, one of the owners, was very friendly and helpful when I had soap making questions, and was always generous when I placed orders.  Since drifting away from the handcrafted soap world, I hadn't placed an order for quite some time.  I'd meant to get some fudge last year for Christmas and then never did.  When I saw mention of this year's fudge flavors on the MSB Facebook page, I decided to finally place that long overdue order.

I ordered the chocolate walnut fudge and received two half pound boxes.  I love how these are packaged.  They're cute and small, but well presented, so you could get a bunch of these as stocking stuffers or little gifts for teachers or coworkers or whoever.  I'm already thinking of ordering more just that purpose.  When I ordered, it was one pound (in two half pound boxes) for $9.00.  Now I see on the site that only the half pound boxes are available, and they are on sale for $4.50 (regularly $5.00).  Hmmm, yes, seriously considering getting more!  There are a handful of different flavors to choose from too.

Grabbed a bar of soap while I was shopping at the site.  I've had their soap before so I already know I love it, and decided to get my old favorite Honey, Oats & Milk.  Like I said, Moeggenborg Sugar Bush makes goat milk soap.  Yay!  ($4.00/bar)

Raspberry Jasmine Spice - 'Raspberry is the predominant note in this uniquely exotic fragrance. Other fruit and floral notes round out this delightful scent.'
Of course I had to get some wax.  They used to have the cutest little grubbie tarts, but now I see they've switched to clamshell style.  I admit, back when I used to get the grubbies, they weren't always as strong as I prefer but they weren't bad.  Maybe these are stronger now.  I decided to go with a non-seasonal scent because I have so many Christmas/winter ones at the moment.  I took a chance on this scent, being that I'm not into florals.  I was hoping the other notes would help make it okay for me.  And I think they did.  This will be excellent for spring.  It's like a softly spiced fruit scent with a base of prettiness.  It's like a perfume that's not too perfume-y.  But the spice doesn't make it fall-like either.  It's a very interesting scent.  ($2.50/clamshell)
Gingerbread - 'Gingerbread is one of our favorite fall and winter scents and this one does not disappoint.'
I had just been talking to someone about how I was bummed I didn't have many gingerbread scents in my wax stash this Christmas, and then the mail arrived with my Moeggenborg package in it.  I pulled this clamshell out and was confused, wondering 'Did I order this?'  Checked back on my receipt and no, I hadn't.  This was that generosity that I mentioned earlier in this post.  Apparently that sweet lady Mary included some holiday greetings with my order.  (Thank you, Mary!)  This is a good gingerbread scent, more the spicy traditional type, and not so much the sweeter, iced cookie type.
 I ordered a packet of the Chili Cheese & Bacon Dip mix because hubby enjoys chips and salsa on Vikings game days.  I thought this would be an interesting change.  It's described as 'Our best-selling dip mix, this cheesy, spicy mix packs a lot of bacon flavor. Just mix with sour cream and mayonnaise. Sure to be a crowd pleaser. Each packet makes 2 cups of delicious dip.'  And then I was momentarily confused again when I pulled out the packet of BLT Dip Mix.  Checked the receipt again and found that this must be another bit of Mary's generosity.  (Thank you again!)  This one is described as 'One of our best-selling dip mixes, this savory dip has a hint of sweetness. Packed with dried tomatoes, spinach and bacon, this hearty dip will make you smile! Each packet makes 1 cup of delicious dip.'  Hubby is looking forward to both of these.

That is my Moeggenborg Sugar Bush haul.  I don't remember exactly, but 'sugar bush' is a common term referring to maple syrup production, or something like that.  And yes, the Moeggenborg family is a maple syrup producing family.  Keeping in the spirit, in the past I have tried their maple scented soap and tarts, and have ordered they're maple flavored coffee for hubby, which he really enjoyed.  I did ask Mary if they make maple fudge.  She said they have in the past but it's not a big seller.  I think if I see it offered, I will order some.  I wonder if they ever do little maple candies that I've heard a maple loving coworker talk about?  Perhaps I'll shoot Mary an email and ask.

Another thing they have, and might be most well known for, are their handmade, personalized Christmas stockings.  One of these days I'm going to splurge and get a set for me and my menfolk.  By the time I remembered this year the deadline was past, their order list was full.

But anyway, if you're not familiar with Moeggenborg Sugar Bush, I highly recommend you check out their website.