Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Melted - Front Porch Candle Co. / Sugary Honeydew & Cream

Sugary Honeydew & Cream - 'Sugary Honeydew & Cream- (In House Blend) Blend of Honeydew, Warm Vanilla & Sweet Sugar and Coconut Cream.'

I've been working my way through all the tarts that were gifted to me last fall and Christmas.  It's been fun to try different vendors that I've never ordered from but now I'm finally getting around to a vendor I know I like.  I've been anxious to place another Front Porch order!  This scent, however, will never be on my order list.  The description includes things like warm vanilla and coconut but I got *none* of that.  This was a really bright and sweet scent that totally screamed floral to me.  A very sweet floral.  Weird, I know.

And it was very strong.  I melted this 1 oz. grubby tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had crazy strong scent and throw.  If it had been a scent I liked I would have been thrilled with the strength of this little guy, but for a really sweet 'floral' it was too much for me.  I almost turned it off but decided to leave it on for hubby's enjoyment.  It did seem to start fading after an hour or so, but was still at an easily noticeable medium strength until I turned it off after about four hours.

Melted - Sugar & Spice Gourmet Soy Candles / Lollipop Cake

Lollipop Cake - '*Sugar & Spice Exclusive Blend!*'

Another tart that was gifted to me, I was quite excited about this one because it's a vendor I haven't ordered from but have been wanting to.  No real scent description, heh, but I'm guessing it includes cake and candy.  (I'm a genius, I know.)  On cold sniff this was stronger on the candy-sweet note, with just a trace of cake note lurking far in the background.  The candy part reminded me of Lifesavers, and of orange.  It was an ok scent, a little too sweet for me, but not something I hated.

Unfortunately, my first experience with this vendor's product was a dud.  I melted this entire scent shot (about 1.5 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had only very light scent.  It seemed like there was an initial burst of medium scent right at the beginning but it quickly faded into almost nothing.  If I really stopped and sniffed, I could tell there was something very light and candy-like in the air, but in general I don't think it was very noticeable.  I do wonder, however, if results would have been different if I'd only melted half of this tart.  I have had great success with lesser amounts of wax several times.

I do have two other Sugar & Spice Gourmet wax products to try out.  One is another scent shot (but in a scent I already know I don't care for) and the other is some pieces of 'brittle.'  I'm not ready to totally dismiss this vendor yet!  I will indeed give them another try!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

NeoCell Chews Giveaway WINNER

I know, I know . . . I'm late with the winner of the NeoCell Beauty Bursts Soft Chews giveaway that I had going in THIS review post.  Some of the entries didn't *technically* qualify, but because there were so few I just went ahead and included all of them.

And the winner is . . .

Heather Graves!

Congratulations, Heather.  I will need your mailing address so I can forward that to NeoCell.  They will send the two bags of chews directly to you.  (Email me through the contact link in the right sidebar, or a private message on YouTube . . . whichever you prefer.)

Glade Wax Melts - New Scents

Now that the holidays are over I've been noticing some new 'everyday' scents popping up in the Glade section when I'm shopping.  And just a few minutes ago I got an email announcing four new scents, so while I was at the website to see what they were, I decided I'd just go ahead and do a post.

(Note - These might not be new Glade scents, but they are apparently new in tart form.)

Sunny Days - 'There’s nothing quite like feeling you get from a day spent relaxing in the sun. Let the perfect combination of citrus and floral notes help you turn any day into a sunny one. '
  • bergamot, sparkling orange, lemongrass, natural leafy green, crisp apple
  • melon, jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, peach
  • sheer woods, musk
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Red Honeysuckle Nectar - 'Prepare for an uplifting experience. A rich bouquet perfumes the air with vibrant florals and positive vibes.'

  • apple, dewberry, blood orange, mango, nectarine, raspberry, strawberry
  • honeysuckle, lotus flower, muguet, freesia
  • violet, violet leaf
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 Lavender Vanilla - 'Consider this your reminder to take a moment to take it easy. Unwind with the simple, soothing scent of relaxing lavender and warm vanilla.'
  • bergamot, fresh herbs, fruit blend
  • lavender, rose, jasmine
  • amber, vanilla, powder
------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Creamy Custard - 'Decadent. Delicious. Delightful. When the scent of whipped vanilla and white chocolate meet notes of buttercream and sugar, there’s simply no reason not to treat yourself. '
  • whipped vanilla, white chocolate
  • buttercream, custard, vanilla bean
  • spun sugar, crème brulee, warm vanilla
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Let Loose - 'Spring days get a little brighter with the fresh tropical scents of mandarins, pineapples and oranges. Don’t be afraid to let this sun-kissed, fruity scent be your reminder to let loose, and live life with passion fruit.'
  • mango, grapefruit, mandarin
  • pineapple, apricot, yellow fruits, passion fruit
  • sweet musk, tuberose
---------------------------------------------------------------
 
Lift Off - 'Spring is in the air — and in your step! Floral scents of violet and jasmine meet peach and orange for an uplifting fragrance experience that’s sure to make your spirits soar.Available at limited retailers.'
  • orange, green tea, marine/water, fresh green, crisp ozone
  • rose, violet + jasmine, muguet, magnolia
  • musk, amber, peach, woods
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Live Loud - 'Every day is the first day of spring when your home is filled with the invigorating scents of peonies and orange blossoms. This spring, let the fruity and floral enthusiasm of Glade® Live Loud™ inspire you to get out and make some noise.'
  • apple, orange, mandarin orange, pear, peach
  • peony, orange blossom, plumeria, muguet
  • musk, classic woods
------------------------------------------------------------
 
Splash Out - 'Shed your winter layers and burst through the stimulating fragrance of spring. Hints of ripe berries and fruit meet sweet vanilla and cream for a fragrance you’ll love to get caught up in. Available at limited retailers.'
  • apple, sparkling champagne, orange, marine/water
  • strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, dewberry
  • apricot, vanilla, sweet & creamy
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
I've noticed some of the colorful ones at my Walmart but have not paused to sniff them or really take note of which ones are there.  These last four are limited edition scents.  I think out of all eight of these, Creamy Custard and Splash Out are the ones I'm most curious about.  And, as always, I bet some of these are Walmart exclusives and some are Target exclusives.  I'll have to take a closer look next time I do my shopping.
 
And I know there are people in the wax community who frown upon the retail brands, but I think there are plenty of people out there who do not order from private vendors and DO look forward to news about retails brands.  I enjoy buying from both worlds, and I enjoy blogging about both.

So, do any of these catch your eye?  There are always coupons for Glade products floating around, so you can try these for even cheaper.  Yeah!

[Photos and scent descriptions borrowed from the Glade website.  Coupons can also be found there.]

Melted - Beezy Tarts / Malibu Rum Cupcake

Malibu Rum Cupcake - 'A Fluffy Cupcake topped with Sweet Rum Infused Butter Cream Icing. This scent will leave you craving a Cupcake!'

Yep, another gifted tart.  Yep, another vendor I've never ordered from myself.  Yep, another shop that's only open part-time, so yep, another scent description I cannot get. I'd been thinking the Malibu Rum part was maybe a B&BW dupe but when I went to look it up on the B&BW site I found I was thinking of Malibu Heat, and Rio Rumberry, and there is no Malibu Rum.  Doh!  So yeah, I have no idea what's actually supposed to be in here.
(Thanks to reader Jean, who pointed out I had the description in my haul post last fall.)

This seemed like a coconut-cupcake scent mainly, but with something else happening in there.  I didn't really recognize it as rum though, if that is indeed what it was supposed to be, as the name implies.  This was a nice slightly tropical bakery scent, not overly fruity or sweet or bright.  I liked it.

I melted this whole scent shot (1+ oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  It was noticeable without being inyerface strong.  It did travel throughout the house.  I'd left the house for a bit and when I came back in this was the first thing I smelled all the way at the back door.

Melted - Molten Melts / Berry Nilla

Berry Nilla - 'A yummy blend of juicy red berries with tiny splash of citrus blended with a rich creamy vanilla.'

Another tart that was gifted to me, from another vendor I've never ordered from.  And of course I can't get a scent description because it seems no vendors are ever open on a daily basis anymore.  *grumblesigh*  I'm guessing it's a mixed berry scent and that the 'nilla' is vanilla.  Isn't there a Nilla Wafer cookie?  Ok, so the 'nilla' is either vanilla or cookie.  LOL  (Thanks to reader Jean for pointing out that I had the scent descriptions back in my haul post.)

This was a sweet berry scent, almost candy-sweet.  I really couldn't tell you just what berries were in there.  I also got a hint of something almost tart-like.  And in a weird way, this was sort of a powdery scent.  It didn't smell like baby powder, no, but just seemed, or made me think of powder.  There was just a touch of vanilla warmth.

I melted this entire scent shot (1+ oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had a light-medium scent.  It did travel lightly to adjacent rooms, but overall was a pleasant sort of background scent, just enough to pretty up the air a bit.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Melted - Butterfly Lane Scents / Marshmallow Birthday Cake

Marshmallow Birthday Cake - [no scent description]

I've heard that the vendor Butterfly Lane Scents has closed shop.  I had never ordered from them but was able to try them thanks to a gift from a waxy friend.  And I must be on a marshmallow-cake scent kick right now because I absolutely loved that pistachio one the other day and I also love this one.  This was just such a full-bodied, sweet cake scent.  The marshmallow adds sweetness and a sort of depth.  There is even a bit of creaminess in this scent.  So soooo good.

I melted this entire scent shot  (1.5 oz?) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had a medium strength scent.  It started out nice and strong, then settled down to medium before starting to fade around three hours.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Melted - Orchid Lake Candles / Lemon Confection

Lemon Confection - 'So scrumptious! Sweet lemony frosted perfection!'

Another tart that was gifted to me, from another vendor I've never ordered from myself.  (FYI - Orchid Lake Candles & Soaps is now known as Wilma.)   I loooove lemon scents.  This is a very bright and perky lemon scent, very much reminding me of Lemonheads candy.  The lemon is candy-sweet.  There is just a hint of softness, coming from whatever the 'frosted' part of this might be.  Just a really nice, lemon scent.

I melted about half of this scent shot (less than 1 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had a nice strong scent.  It was not too strong thought, which was good because it was quite sweet.  It was a nice cheery scent for yet another Polar Vortex weather day here in Wisconsin.  (Anyone else totally ready for the sweltering heat of summer?)

Melted - Tiffany Candles / Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth – 'Sugar cookies blended with caramel apples; very sweet. (A Tiffany Candles Blend)'
 
This tart was gifted to me.  Without looking at the scent description beforehand, I didn't even recognize this as a caramel apple scent.  Since I'm such a seasonal melter, I just don't think of caramel apple in the deep of winter.  While it was melting though, I did keep thinking 'What is this?  I recognize this.' Duhhhhhh me.  LOL
 
As the descriptions states, this is a very sweet scent.  There is a light cookie note to it, but it's mainly a really bright and sweet caramel apple scent.  It's actually quite a fun little scent.  And even though it's caramel apple, it doesn't really strike me as a fall scent because the cookie adds just enough extra to it.
 
I melted this whole scent shot (about 1.5 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had light-medium scent.  There was a constant sort of sweetness in the air but it wasn't until someone walked by and stirred up the air that the caramel apple part would really show up.  Probably good that it was on the lighter because it is so sweet.

Watched - Sleepy Hollow (TV series)

Sleepy Hollow just finished its first season earlier this week.  I think this is the first show in quite some time that I caught from the beginning and stuck with it to the end.  There are other shows I'm involved with (Suits, Vikings, Game of Thrones) but I came into all of those late.  Sleepy Hollow had me intrigued before the pilot episode ever aired.

You probably know the basics of the classic Sleepy Hollow story . . . Ichabod Crane trying to figure out the killings and reports of a headless horseman in the little town of Sleepy Hollow back in the late 1700s.  Well, the show has those well known bits, but adds some serious twists.  This version has Ichabod dying on the battlefield back then but is somehow awakened and finds himself in present day Sleepy Hollow.  That headless horseman has also been awakened, and we soon find out he's not just some crazy killer, but part of a much bigger plan.

Ichabod Crane is the main character, of course.  Quite soon after his awakening he finds himself stumbling right into the heart of an investigation involving some recent murders.  At first the police think he is a crazy man and that HE might be the killer.  Somehow he ends up working with the police on these cases and uncovers the much more troubling danger that threatens.

I love this guy.  He becomes known as Crane, instead of Ichabod, on the show.  His constant struggles to adjust to the modern world are quite hilarious, and his observations (and rants) about modern society are awesome.  Donut tax, anyone?

Abbie Mills is the police lieutenant who believes Crane first and sort of takes him under her wing.  The chemistry between the two works, can make you laugh or cry.  Hubby and I are wondering if they'll be a couple at some point.  I'm hoping they don't.  I love the strong friendship they're building.

Frank Irving is the police captain.  It takes him a while longer to believe in the weird things being presented to him.  At first he tries to ignore it all and is just sort of like 'Abbie, just solve the murders but don't tell me the weird stuff.'  When things start hitting close to home for him though, he has no choice but to accept what Crane and Abbie are telling him, and he has to get involved.

Katrina Crane is Ichabod's wife.  We find out early on that she is a witch and is the one who 'saved' him (allowed him to be awakened) by putting a complex spell on him.  We also learn early in the show that she is still alive but trapped in purgatory.  So now, not only is Crane working on the main task, but he's also wanting to find a way to free her from purgatory and be reunited with her.

Abbie's sister Jenny Mills is a regular on the show.  She's led a very troubled young life and has been locked in a psychiatric ward for some time now.  When it becomes clear that an event from their childhood is directly related to what is happening now, some strings are pulled to get Jenny out of the institution, and she becomes a key player in the investigation and battle against evil.  She is good with guns and shady things like stealing and lock picking and breaking into places.

Henry Parrish is a recurring character on the show.  He is the 'sin eater' they called upon to break the bond between Crane and The Horseman, a bond that was accidentally created when they both died on the battlefield that day and their blood mixed.  Without breaking this bond, to kill The Horseman would have likely meant Crane would die too.  Henry has been back since then, continuing to help Abbie and Crane uncover mysteries.  By the end of the season we find just how involved in all of this he really is.  I suspected part of it and then saw a spoiler for another part of it.  Doh?!

And then there are the creepies.  Of course, The Headless Horseman is the most obvious but we learn he is only a part of the bigger danger.

The demon Moloch is the main creepy, and when we only got blurry insta-flashes of him back in the beginning, he was at his creepiest.  He is the driving force in this pending war of good vs. evil, and he is responsible for a heck of a lot of the other creepiness we see in the show . . .

. . . such as what happened to officer Brooks.  *shudders and hides eyes*  Poor Andy Brooks is killed very early but Moloch keeps him around for some things that still need to be done.  Bleah, the visuals of his story were probably the most disturbing of the whole show.


Just some of the other creepies.  There is usually some creature in every episode.  Some pop up more than once, like Moloch.  Some are just one episode encounters.  Some are kinda cheesy and cheap, while some have a bit of shudder-worthiness.

It's Abbie and Crane that really make the show though.  He's trying to adjust to a world 200+ years in his future.  She's trying to help him.  Yet all the while they are racing to solve these mysteries and find a way to stop the coming threat of The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.  This is a funny list of some highlights of Crane's struggle with the modern world . . . HERE.  One thing hubby and I had been wondering throughout the season was how long would he continue to wear his 200 year old clothes?  We agreed it won't be the same if/when they ever decide to start changing things.  Well sure enough, one of the episodes right towards the end of the season had Abbie trying to convince Crane to try some new clothes.  When he stepped out in skinny jeans I almost died.  I *HATE* skinny jeans!  They should be banned.  And to see my beloved Crane in them was horrifying beyond belief.  (Ok, yeah, it was freakin' hysterical too.)
Luckily he didn't stay in them long.  She offered him a pink and blue striped t-shirt and he was all "Absolutely not."  It was a nice shirt but no, I can't imagine Crane in it.  LOL!  Anyway, he changed back to his old clothes only a few minutes later and Abbie told him if he insisted on continuing to wear them he would need to find a dry cleaner.  So how did they solve this problem?  In the season finale he came across a Revolutionary War reenactment group and bought 'period' clothes from them.  LOL!!!!!

I know a lot of people have tried to watch this show and couldn't get into it.  I think part of the problem for them is that it's not a very 'deep' show.  At first I didn't like it that they seem to conveniently solve each part of the puzzle they encounter in one episode.  Some people don't like the mix of the old story in a modern setting.  I think the show has gotten stronger as it's gone on.  Characters and things seem more connected now, and not just popping in for whatever handy reason there happened to be.  One big magazine or newspaper review said something along the lines of 'There's nothing really scary here but the chemistry and mythology is fun.'  And it's true.  There is a lot of history in each episode, a lot of folklore or mythology, and then it's sometimes tweaked to add a layer to the story.  But it really all comes back to Crane and Abbie . . . 


As I said, the first season has ended and we have to wait until fall for the show to return.  BLEAH!  Luckily we saved every episode on our dvr and I fully intend to watch them all again soon.  I will also buy the dvd set when it eventually comes out.  But for now I want to make a prediction about the second season premiere.  I won't go into too much detail so the spoiler level can remain low.

Ok, in the season finale, Crane, Abbie, and Henry found some information and also figured out they need Katrina to help do something.  They found a way to get Crane and Abbie into purgatory, where Katrina is trapped.  She explained that a soul can leave purgatory if another takes its place, so Abbie decides this is her part to play in this whole thing, and she stays behind while Crane and Katrina leave.  They say they will be back for her and Katrina will take her old spot back and let Abbie go again once the task they need her for is accomplished.  Things, of course, don't go as planned and Katrina gets separated from Crane.  Also, Abbie comes across some information and is now racing to find a way back out of purgatory.

Meanwhile, Jenny had been working on a lead somewhere else and ended up in a car accident.  My prediction is the she will die as a result of this accident, and it will be her soul that takes Abbie's spot, allowing her to leave purgatory.  That's very sad to me, but I'm pretty sure that's how it will have to be.  Unless those sneaky writers left it that way so it seems like that's the obvious solution........hmmmm.  Ok, now I *really* can't wait for the show to come back!!!

Have you watched Sleepy Hollow?  Are you hooked like me?  Or did you give up and move on?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Melted - Vintage Chic Scents / Lucy & Ethel

Lucy & Ethel - 'You'll love Lucy all over again with this blend of pistachio pudding cake, coconut and marshmallow.'
I received this tart as part of a gift from a waxy friend and I was a bit excited to be able to try this brand new vendor.  I did not look up the scent description at all until just now while writing this post.  Good thing, because had I known it was pistachio I probably would have been like 'Eeuuw,' and not given it a fair chance.  I don't know why, because I've only had one or two pistachio scents, both samples if I remember correctly, and neither did anything for me.  This one though . . . wow.  I don't know if it's the coconut and marshmallow shoving the pistachio to the side?  Is it the strong cake note along with all of it?  I don't know but I freakin' love this scent!  It's sweet and somewhat creamy, but there is a bit of warmth to it too.  An absolutely delicious bakery scent!  This was a winner with the menfolk of the house too.

I melted this 1 oz. rose shaped tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had an awesome medium-strong scent.  It was strong enough throughout the house to be intoxicatingly yummy but not so strong that it was ever overwhelming. Sadly though, it faded after only a couple hours.

I will now have to keep my eyes open for this scent.

Melted - Lasting Scent Candles / Blackberry Plum Tea

Blackberry Plum Tea - [no scent description]

The Lasting Scent website is closed right now so I couldn't get a proper scent description, and I've never even ordered from there myself, but this tart was gifted to me and I've been loving tea scents lately soooo, yeah.  One thing I always seem to remember about Lasting Scent Candles from watching YouTube hauls and reviews, is that the tarts were super oily and could be very messy.  I thought that had changed over time, but this tart was still pretty oily.  I didn't dare touch anything but the cup for fear of mess.  Maybe this was an old one, from back in the still messy days?  I don't know.

Unfortunately, all that oil did not mean it was strong in scent.  On cold sniff I had was only getting a light, sort of generic sweet scent.  Melted, I waited seemingly forever and wasn't getting any scent.  When I made a conscious effort to sniff the air and search, I did find the scent was there but it was one of those that just sit quietly in the background.  Once I found it, I did continue to notice it very lightly after that.  It was a nice dark fruit-sweet scent with that familiar tea note.  It wasn't bright and fruity like a summer scent, but a much deeper 'dark' sweetness.

I melted this entire tart (1+ oz?) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and as already stated, had very little scent.  It was definitely a background scent, to shy to make its presence known.  It was a nice scent, just not a strong scent.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Melted - Haley's Heavenly Scents / Lemon Noel

Lemon Noel - 'Our blend of Lemon Chiffon ('Reminiscent of a fresh creamy lemon pie.') & Vanilla Bean Noel ('A sweet vanilla sugar cookie with a slight roasted marshmallow background and a hint of caramel.')'

This tart was part of a gift to me, and I was pleased to receive it because not only am I a huge lemon scent fan but also because I've never ordered from Haley's Heavenly Scents. This lemon scent did not disappoint! If you're familiar with the Vanilla Bean Noel scent, just add a really nice sweet dessert type lemon scent to it and you have this. The cookie, marshmallow, and caramel of the VBN make this a warmer, richer lemon scent than some of the brighter, summer-type lemony scents.

I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had decent medium-strong scent. It did seem to fade after a couple hours though, and buy three hours I shut the warmer off because I wasn't smelling enough to keep going any longer. A really nice scent while it lasted though!

Melted - K's Kreations / Puckered Bliss

Puckered Bliss - 'Our signature Pure Bliss blend (hints of Pink Sugar are blended with various vanilla oils) is combined with lemon for a sweet lemon scent.'
 
I've never ordered from K's Kreations but thanks to a gift of wax goodies that included this tart, I was finally able to try them.  I looooove lemon scents and on cold sniff, without seeing a scent description at that point, I thought this was a lemon-marshmallow type scent.  Even when warmed, still not knowing the actual scent description, I still thought it was a creamy lemon scent, sort of thick and deep, if that makes any sense.  I mean, it wasn't a light and bright summery, cleaner type lemon scent.  It was more of a warm, sweet, creamy dessert scent.  And now that I've finally looked up the description and see that Pink Sugar is in there, it all makes sense.

I melted this tart, probably less than 1 oz., in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent that traveled lightly into adjacent rooms and lasted around four hours.  If I ever do order from K's Kreations, I will probably have this on my list.

Read - Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
by Ransom Riggs
2011
352 pages

'A mysterious island.



An abandoned orphanage.



A strange collection of very curious photographs.



It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.
'

*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***

This book is a few years old now and I've been aware of it all along because it's "that book with the creepy pictures."  Those infamous creepy pictures are also part of why I've put off reading this book until now.  Not quite sure what made me change my mind and give in, but I'm glad I did.  I think I'd watched a YouTube review where someone said that the story itself was creepy and fun and just really good.  I decided to put this book on my Christmas list and my son Ty got it for me.

First of all, those creepy pics ARE freakin' creepy!

What. The. Heck.....?  Yeah.

I was absolutely loving this book from the start.  There were two parts quite early on that creeped me out so much my stomach was in knots and I had that heebie-jeebie shake-it-off type reaction.  And I was loving that!  It's been a long time since I've had such a strong reaction to a book.  I was so excited, couldn't wait to pick up the book again each time I had to put it down, was just loving it.  Then it was revealed that the creepiness wasn't really so creepy after all, that it was time travel.  And I was like "NOOOOOOOOOO!"  People who know me know that I *hate* all things time travel.  I can't accept it and will argue and debate endlessly about it because there are no rules.  You can make up anything you want and be as inconsistent as you want because there are no 'rules,' and I hate that.  Yes, I'm weird.  I need rules and boundaries and structure, even in fantasy.

There was a dip in my enthusiasm when I got to that point in the book.  I think I let it sit for a day because I was so bummed.  But curiosity got the best of me and I eventually went back to reading.  I was pleased to find the story was still quite interesting.  Although I still consider it time travel, I guess technically it's just a loop they're stuck in.  Still, that was interesting.  They're reliving the same day over and over, and not aging as long as they're in this loop.  Why are they in this loop?  Why this particular day?  What happens if they leave or stop the loop?  There were plenty of interesting things to ponder, and that sucked me back into the story.

There is a sad love story in here, and a budding new love story that's related in a peculiar way. 

One thing I really liked was that the plot was not overly complicated.  Ok, yeah, there is a time loop, but the story is still pretty simple and uncluttered.  It was very easy to read and follow the story without having to try and sort out a million side plots and characters.  Even the few things that seemed unrelated, eventually do show their place in relation to what's going on.  But then right towards the end the action picked up and it did start to go downhill for me.  The 'bad guys' found these people and found a way to break into their loop, so of course there was a battle to defend themselves.  It just started to get complicated fast at that point and I don't think it needed to.  The 'monsters' seem to have more strings attached to their storyline than the whole story did overall.  I don't know why the author felt the need to cram so much in right towards the end.  Was he worried he wouldn't have enough story to tell in a second book?

Still, it was pretty good even through that busywork at the end.  The second book just came out last week.  I'm not nearly as excited about it anymore but I know I will read it.  Part of me wants to wait for the paperback version, yet part of me wants to get it right now and continue while the story is fresh in my head.

I've heard there is a movie already in the works and that Tim Burton will be directing it.  This seems right up his alley, but I hope he doesn't make it too weird. 

Oh well, I'm glad I've finally read this book and I really did enjoy it.  I would have given it five out of five stars if not for the ending.  Even so, I give this a firm four out of five stars.

Have you read this book?  What did you think??

Monday, January 20, 2014

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Hansel & Gretel's Cinnamon Buttercream Cookie Crumbles

Hansel & Gretel's Cinnamon Buttercream Cookie Crumbles - 'A blend of gingerbread house, cinnamon buttercream, and our sugar cookie crumbles!'
 
This was the surprise blend in the debut (December) box from The Melting Fairy.  I was so excited about this . . . don't know why it's taken me this long to finally melt it.  Doh!  This is quite a spicy scent, so spice haters should beware.  There is a lot of the cinnamon and gingerbread first and foremost, but there is a sweet buttercream note mixed in there too.  I don't think it's quite as full and rich as regular versions of Hansel & Gretel's House that I've had, probably because of that buttercream note sort of morphing it all into something lighter and sweeter.  Still a nice, warm and spicy scent though.
 
I melted this chunk, about 1 oz. of wax, in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent with strong throw.  I think any stronger and the spiciness would have been overpowering.  This is one time when lighter was better.

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Mexican Fried Fruity Loops

Mexican Fried Fruity Loops - 'A sweet, rich, and delicious blend of Mexican Fried Ice Cream and Fruity Loops!'

This was the surprise blend in the January box from The Melting Fairy.  On cold sniff, there was a decent amount of the Mexican Fried Ice Cream coming through but once I had this melting, Fruity Loops was pretty much all I got.  Fruity Loops is an ok scent, always amazes me that it really does smell like the cereal, with that sugary sweetness and slightly crunchy cereal background note.  It's just too bad that the Fried Ice Cream part didn't show up for the melting party.  (If you read my previous post though, the review of that particular scent, you'll know that it was a weakling on its own too.)

This was a huge 3 oz. chunk so I cut it into thirds and melted a 1 oz. piece in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer.  There was nice, strong, Fruity Loops scent right off the bat, with just the tiniest hint of Fried Ice Cream in the beginning.  Then it settled into a light-medium version of just Fruity Loops.

As a Fruity Loops scent, this was fine, but as the blend it was supposed to be, it was a sad bummer.

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Mexican Fried Ice Cream

Mexican Fried Ice Cream - 'A rich and buttery ice cream scent with added notes of toasted nuts and cinnamon, blended with sweet marshmallow.'
 
I don't know that I've ever had Mexican Fried Ice Cream, either in real life or in scented wax.  I wasn't sure what to expect but the description sounded interesting.  And it really is a yummy kind of interesting!  On cold sniff it kinda reminded me of Butter Rum Lifesavers, heavy on the rum.  Warmed though, the creaminess of the ice cream really comes through.  Or maybe it was the marshmallow?  Although cinnamon is listed, I'd never guess that there is any in here, so spice haters have nothing to fear.  It might be working with the nuts to add the sort 'rum' part of this scent.  A creamy, warm Butter Rum Lifesaver is how I'd describe this one.
 
Sadly, it failed in performance.  I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had an initial burst of strong, wonderful scent, but it quickly (like within the first hour) faded to a light scent and then was gone within maybe two more hours.  Huge bummer because this scent was so good.

NeoCell Beauty Bursts Review & GIVEAWAY **CLOSED**


** GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED **

I was contacted way back in November by a company called NeoCell, with an offer to try their products.  I dismissed the email at first because I am not into supplements or things like that.  Frankly, they kinda scare me.  Something made me come back to the email though, and I did check out their website.  Looking at all their wonderful claims about what collagen can do got my interest peaked but the stubborn part of my brain is not easily sold on such things, so I did a quick bit of research to see if there was a bad side to all of this.  I also spent some time in email conversation with the company rep that had contacted me.  Eventually I decided to go ahead and try a product.

I explained to the company rep that I was concerned about my knees and joints, not so much about having better hair and skin.  She told me she was almost opposite, that she'd come into the company and started taking collagen supplements looking for the hair and skin benefits but was amazed to find relief for her back pain.  I told her I was most interested in their newest product, the Beauty Bursts fruit chews.  They are marketed as 'beauty from within' supplements, meant to improve skin and hair, but the lady I was talking to through email thought I'd also get the benefits for my knees and joints.  So, what the heck, why not?  I was allowed to try up to two products and since the chews came in two flavors I chose a bag of each.

Info taken from the NeoCell website about the Beauty Bursts chews:

2013- "Best of Natural Beauty" Better Nutrition Magazine
2013- "Best Beauty Supplement" Delicious Living Magazine


  • Collagen Type 1 & 3 For Firm, Smooth Skin & Strong Hair & Nails
  • Hyaluronic Acid For Skin Hydration & Renewal
  • Vitamin C:  Collagen Enhancer
  • All Natural Formula Bursting With Delicious Flavor
Having beautiful & radiant skin has never been so easy- or so delicious.  NeoCell Beauty Bursts deliver high absorption beauty nutrients in delectable, gourmet soft chews.  Collagen Type 1 & 3 is the body's beauty protein & strengthens skin, hair & nails.  Hyaluronic Acid is know as "Nature's Moisturizer" & hydrates the skin.  Vitamin C is essential to boosting collagen in the skin.  Together, these three beauty nutrients work together to build beautiful skin from the inside out.* 

This is the 'fresh mint chocolate' flavor. I love chocolate and mint, but in this type of product chocomint just seems a bit bleah. 

This is the 'super fruit punch' flavor, and I much preferred this one. It tasted like fruity little chewy vitamins.

The soft chews are fairly small, maybe an inch long, but they are a very sticky and chewy type chew. They are a little bit hard at first too. I started holding them in my hand for a bit to warm and soften them up a bit before chewing them. They're about like Startburst or Laffy Taffy candies. If you have sensitive teeth or dental work, you might want to be aware of that.

The package suggests taking 2-4 chews a day. I took two a day, usually in the morning. The lady I had talked to said some people like to take them throughout the day as an after-meal treat. I don't know if there is a 'right' way to take these, like all at once or spread throughout the day, or on an empty stomach, etc. I was taking one of the mint, and one of the fruit each day. There are 60 chews in each bag, so at two a day, that would be a one month supply. The lady I talked to said I should see results within that time.

Now things get interesting. I took two of these every day for a bit over six weeks. I didn't notice any ill effects. I didn't notice any difference in my creaking, grinding knees or in my achy joints. BUT . . . I'm pretty sure there was a difference in my hair and nails, and possibly in my skin. I would look at my forearms and hands sometimes and think that something was different but couldn't really figure out just what. A couple times I thought my face looked somehow different too but again, I couldn't pinpoint just what it was. I hadn't gone into this looking for skin benefits so I wasn't paying that much attention to before and after type things in that area.

I don't wear nail polish or fuss with my nails much but it did seem like I was having to trim them more often. I keep my nails short because of work so while some women might be cheering and dancing for fast growing nails, I was not. LOL!

I think my hair was the most noticeable difference though. I'd never mentioned to my mom that I was trying this product but one day she commented on my hair, asked what I'd done to it. This made me laugh in surprise because I'd been thinking there was a difference too. To me, it seemed more moisturized and well behaved. I don't do anything special with my hair, just wash and go with inexpensive products, and it's usually dry and static-y with crappy ends. It was seeming to me that it was now laying nicely, far less dryness and static, and just an overall softness. When I told my mom I'd been taking the supplements she felt sure they were helping my hair. She said "You're hair looks more brown again." I laughed, doubting the chews were getting rid of my gray hairs, but who knows? Maybe just the general health boost made it look that way?

I decided to stop using the product after about six weeks because I was not seeing any difference in my knees or joints, and *that* is the main thing I'd been looking for help with. Talking to the same NeoCell rep since stopping this product, she suggested I try one of their other collagen products, that maybe the dosage in the soft chews just wasn't high enough for the benefits I was looking for. I've been doing some reading about the product she recommends, and I'm still debating.

So to sum it all up, I was looking for knee and joint pain relief and did not find it in this product, but I *did* see differences in my skin, nails, and hair . . . which is exactly what this product is marketed for to begin with.

NeoCell's Beauty Bursts soft chews are sold in stores like Whole Foods and GNC/health stores, as well as online. I've seen prices vary from about $12 all the way up to around $20, depending where you look. As mentioned, if taking two chews a day, one bag is a one month supply. Not a bad deal if you stop and think how much money you probably spend on skin creams and hair products anyway, right? WELL, guess what! NeoCell has generously offered to host a giveaway here on my blog, and one lucky winner will receive TWO bags of these Beauty Bursts soft chews!

To enter:
  • Simply leave a comment below saying which flavor you'd like to try (or one of each?), and what benefits you'd most like to see when you use this product.
  • You can earn extra entries by liking NeoCell on Facebook and leaving another comment saying you've done so, and by following NeoCell on Twitter and leaving a comment saying you've done so.  (Leave your Facebook and/or Twitter name in your comment, so we can check.) 
  • Must be 18 years old or older, or have parental permission.
  • Contest open to US and Canada only.
  • I will need a way to contact you, and NeoCell will ship the prize directly to you.
  • Contest will run until 12pm/central, Tuesday, January 28, 2014, and a winner will be chosen using Random.org.
  • GOOD LUCK!!!

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Fruit Tea

Fruit Tea (NEW) - 'Green tea blended with fruity notes of peaches, oranges, and spiced cranberries.'

I freakin' LOVED this scent.  I've had three tea scents from The Melting Fairy now, and have loved all of them.  In my cold sniff notes I'd said this was like a spiced cranberry-orange with hints of tea, and that it would be a good fall scent.  Warmed, it was even better.  It was a delicious, warmly spiced fruit scent, and then the tea note just adds a sort of something that I don't know how to describe . . . like a cleansing or clarifying note.  That sounds totally dumb, but it's like a grownup fruit scent.  Oh, it was just so good!

I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had beautiful strong scent and throw.  It was not overwhelming at all because I think the tea part keeps it from being cloying.

I need to find out if there is any way to buy tarts outside of the monthly subscription box, because I want to get more of the tea scents!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Fairy Land

Fairy Land - 'This scent is a sweet blend of cotton candy, bubblegum, and vanilla with fresh notes of apples, pears and lemon drops!'

I'd suspected this was a dupe of something because the notes in the scent description seemed very familiar.  It appears this is a dupe for Lush's Candy Fluff, but I think it might be popular under another name in dupe versions and I just can't think of what it is.  The only reason I'm even mentioning this is because if you're familiar with that scent, you'll have a better idea what this scent is like. 

Anyhoo . . . this is like you'd expect, a candy type scent, but it's not the really sugary, cavity causing type of candy-sweet.  I kept thinking of Vanilla Bean Noel while this was melting, which is weird, I know.  I think the vanilla and pears, and probably the bubblegum too, really work to add a sort of warmth to an otherwise bright and sweet candy scent.  I liked this.

Unfortunately, it was too light for me.  I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and most of the time couldn't even tell there was anything melting.  If I was close to the warmer I could smell it on a nice light-medium level.  If the air got stirred up, like from the furnace kicking on or someone walking by, I'd get a nice strong whiff of this.  Otherwise though, it was barely there.  Huge bummer because I do like the scent.

Melted - The Melting Fairy / 7-Up Pound Cake

7-Up Pound Cake - 'A warm and delicious blend of sweet pound cake mixed with lemon-lime fizzy soda.'
 
A very nice, warm but sweet bakery scent.  The cake part is the dominant note in here.  I've had versions of this scent from other vendors where the 7-Up part is very distinct, but it's more subtle in this one.  There is a bit of lemony-lime sweetness but you don't really get the fizzy part that sometimes comes with it.  Still, this is a very nice cake/bakery scent.
 
I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  This is a great 'safe' scent if you have company coming and you aren't sure how they'll respond to scents, or a scent choice that would be good for gift giving.  It's delicious and warm and cozy.

Melted - The Melting Fairy / Orange Cream Swirl Cake

Orange Cream Swirl Cake - 'A delicious creamy cake with swirls of sweet orange syrup topped with cream frosting. SO delicious!!'
 
This was indeed delicious.  It was orange and creamy, just like a creamcicle, but it was also warm and yummy because of the cake note.  It leaned more towards the bakery side than the bright and fruity.  It was delish!
 
I melted this 1 oz. tart in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had nice strong scent, but not to the point of overpowering.  A very nice level of warm and cozy scent throughout the house.