Friday, June 27, 2014

Haul - Sniff My Tarts

This is my very first order from Sniff My Tarts, a vendor I've long been aware of but never had much interest in ordering from because of the notoriously long turnaround time.  You know how I hate long TATs!  I'm not even sure why I went ahead and placed this order.  It has to be peer pressure.  My evil enabler waxy friends made me do it.  So anyway, I knew I didn't want to place a big order and I was trying to factor in that long TAT to estimate if I'd be in fall scent season or what, and then ended up just grabbing a Coffee Sampler and calling it a day.  Well, it arrived today and I'm pretty darn excited!

I must say, I don't remember if the scents were listed with the sampler when I ordered it, or if they are randomly chosen ones, or what.  I certainly don't remember any of these very unique blends!  I'm not sure I'd ever choose these if I just saw them on the site but I guess that's one good thing about going the sampler route, the fact that you get to try things you might otherwise pass by.

Let's take a look!

Blackberry Marshmallow Latte - 'A blend of blackberry, marshmallow, coffee and cream.'
Blackberry coffee?  Intriguing!  On cold sniff it's strong on the blackberry.  I don't really get any marshmallow at this point, but the familiar bitter coffee note is lurking there in the background.
 
Coconut Creme Latte - [no scent description]
Coconut creme?  Really??  My very first thought was that it totally reminded me of one of the Lifesavers flavors in the tropical pack.  Is that just plain coconut I'm thinking of?  Well anyway, the first note in this on cold sniff right now is a super creamy and warm coconut scent.  Again, that familiar coffee note is lurking in the background.

Sprinkled Sugar Latte - [no scent description]
Really wish there was a scent description to help with this one.  Usually 'sprinkled sugar' types are sweet perfume-y scents.  There is a hint of sweetness in here, just a wee bit of something possibly candy-like, but the coffee note is the stronger scent in here.  It's not a bitter coffee though.  I really need to find out more about this one.

Orange Danish & Coffee - [no scent description]
This one is not as unusual as the other because I've seen similar ones around, but it's still such a unique scent.  It's mainly a soft, creamy orange scent on cold sniff, sort of like a creamcicle scent.  There is warmth behind it, maybe from the pastry, and a non-bitter coffee note lurking way in the back.  Yummy.

Caramel Cookie Latte - 'Caramel vanilla with a hint of cinnamon cream and coffee.'
 This is a very creamy coffee scent, and surprisingly light on cold sniff.  I don't get any cinnamon note right now.  I don't even get a distinct caramel note, just a lot of rich creaminess mixing with coffee.

Pumpkin Coffee - [no scent description]
I was so so SO excited to see this one!  I'm already anxious for fall scents and have been making lists and plotting orders to stock up on them.  One sniff of this and my brain jumped right over summer and into fall, and for those moments I was at total peace with the world.  LOL!  On cold sniff this is pretty much a straight up pumpkin spice scent and I'm totally okay with that!  It's sort of a creamy, yet fresh pumpkin scent.  Part of the spice might be the coffee, lurking somewhere in there, but I don't care if the coffee is there or not.  This scent is just heaven to me right now.

Caramel Latte - 'Caramel vanilla blended with rich cream and coffee.'
I was happy to see a freebie extra in my order, and thrilled to see that it stuck with the coffee theme.  Like the previous caramel-y coffee one, this is just a creamy, mellow coffee scent right now.  This would be a 'safe' coffee scent for those who aren't sure if they'll like them or not.
 
And that is my Coffee Sampler from Sniff My Tarts.  I placed this tiny order back during the March 30/31 (?) opening, and received the package June 27.  Everything came nicely packaged in a bubble mailer within a priority box.  Each tart cup was in its own little zip baggie, and then those were all packed together in one larger zip bag for the sampler packaging.  That bag and the loose sample tart were then wrapped in bright green tissue paper.  Everything is very neat and clean, well presented.  The price of the sampler was $12.60.  Shipping was $5.84 and was not charged until later, when the order was actually done and ready to ship.
 
I'm thrilled with this sampler so far and am really hoping these melt good and strong.  I don't know if I'll ever be a regular Sniff My Tart customer because I just really have no patience for long TATs, but I will say that I'm happy with what I got today.
 
Are you a Sniff My Tarts fan?  What are some of your favorites?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Melted - Rosegirls / The Frosty Palace

The Frosty Palace - 'Blue raspberry icee, and cherry almond.'

My waxy friends and I had a conversation about how misleading the name of this one is.  My first thought with something called The Frosty Palace is that this would be a minty scent.  Even the colors seem to imply cool and minty.  But no, this is named after the hangout place in Grease, and it is a fruity type scent.
*cocks an eyebrow and shrugs*

The scent itself is nice enough.  I mainly got the cherry almond, with maybe a more sweetness from the blue raspberry.  I did get a slight cough syrup-y note, which I know some people are sensitive to.  This was a light scent though.

I melted this entire chunk (maybe 1.7 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and only had light-medium scent.  Most of that scent was fairly early on, then it faded to more of a light scent.  I really do wonder if a smaller chunk in a tea light warmer would have worked better.  Ah well, it was a nice enough scent for one time but I don't know if I'd want this again.  Cherry almond can get a little headache-y sometimes.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Melted - Rosegirls / Devil Woman

Devil Woman - 'Sweet lavender, cherry, almond, and vanilla ice cream.'

I didn't care much for this one.  Lavender scents are iffy for me, and this reminded me very much of dryer sheets.  I only got the occasional hint of the rich and creamy vanilla ice cream, and in those moments I could detect the cherry-almond notes and this would border on being an okay scent for me.  Most of the time though, the lavender was strongest and screamed 'Dryer sheets!' to me.  Not that the smell of dryer sheets is bad, but it's just not my preferred type of scent in home fragrance. 

I melted half of this little pie (1.8 oz. worth) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  I didn't hate this scent, but it's not something I would choose in the future.  I will set the other half of this small pie aside until I can find a new home for it.


This wax was a gift from a waxy friend.

Melted - Rosegirls / Strawberry Mint Ice Cream

Strawberry Mint Ice Cream - 'Strawberry jam, peppermint, and vanilla ice cream.'

Ohhhh, this is another one for my list of favorite Rosegirls scents.  I think there is just something amazingly wonderful about their vanilla ice cream scent.  I used to think their 'smoothie' was the fabulous one but since that has vanilla ice cream in it I'm now thinking the ice cream is the secret.  I didn't get any distinct strawberry in this, maybe just a bit of extra sweetness from it.  This was mainly a rich, creamy, sweet-mint scent.  It would be good around Christmas if you were lacking on traditional minty scents, but it doesn't really scream 'Christmas scent!' to me.

I melted this entire chunk (nearly 2 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and was super happy to have nice strong scent.  Even after seven hours, when I shut the warmer off, this still had a lot of scent left.  I wish I would have cut this in half and had to melts.  Definitely kicking myself for not ordering a bag in yesterday's opening.  Oh well, I've seen this in the store each time I've been there so I'm confident I can get more next time I'm there.

This is such a wonderful scent!

This tart was part of a gift from a waxy friend.

Melted - Rosegirls / Sunny Days

Sunny Days - (Rosegirls Custom Blend)  'Strawberries blended with Satsuma.'
I don't know if I'm going through a strawberry phase or if it's just Rosegirls strawberry that I love, but I was happy to be able to try this scent.  On cold sniff the Satsuma is definitely the stronger part of this, but the strawberry note came out nicely when warmed.  It became a very nice berry scent with just hints of orange zip dancing around the edges.

I plunked this entire 1.8 oz. chunk into my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium scent.  Well, actually I'd say it was the lighter side of medium.  That was a bit of a bummer because it was such a nice scent that I would have loved it to be stronger.
This tart was a gift from a waxy friend.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Read - These Is My Words

These Is My Words
by Nancy E. Turner
2008
416 pages

'A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose.

Rich in authentic everyday details and alive with truly unforgettable characters, These Is My Words brilliantly brings a vanished world to breathtaking life again.
'

Having just suffered major disappoint in similar type of book (diary type, 1800s, wild west), I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one.  It says in the description that this is inspired by family memoirs.  It says in the fine print in all the legal stuff at the front of the book that it's historical fiction.  I thought for the longest time this was true, that these were the actual diaries of Sarah Agnes Prine.  I guess not.  In some ways it's sad that Sarah isn't real.  I guess that shows how well this is written, if we want to believe she was real.

I really enjoyed this book!  I skimmed some reviews and saw people complaining about how it was written, about grammar and spelling and such.  It always cracks me up when people can't seem to tell that something is supposed to be written that way, as opposed to just bad writing.  Since this is a diary, sometimes the entries are short and choppy.  You're not always going to get the full picture of what's going on, or grand descriptions of everything.  I loved that things kept a quick pace this way, and often left you wanting more.  My problem with the previous book I had read was that, considering it was also supposed to be a diary, it was written more as a full narrative fictional novel.  There were conversations and descriptions in that other book that would just never be in someone's diary.

Anyway, I loved the blunt honesty in this, the harsh realities of traveling and living in the wild west.  Very early in the book, while traveling by in dangerous territories, a little boy dies from a rattlesnake bite.  The family can do nothing for him out there in the wilderness but hold him while he dies and then quickly bury him and move on.  How heartbreaking to have to leave your child in an unmarked grave out in the middle of nowhere???  We watch Sarah's family and others struggle to survive, and continue to follow her through several ups and downs over the next twenty years.  It's funny to watch her not recognize flirting, courting, and love right in front of her face.  It's refreshing to see her admitting dark thoughts and opinions even while she's trying to learn to become more proper and lady-like.

There were a few things here and there that I thought were a bit too over the top, or convenient, and it was easy to realize in those places that this was indeed a work of fiction.  There was one oddly convenient death that had me rolling my eyes even though I was glad it opened the door for the next events.  There were repeated 'chance' encounters that had me rolling my eyes again in a 'Really? Really,' kind of way.  But those feelings were always short lived because the story just keeps moving and you're sucked right back into it.

This was a great book and I truly think being written in diary form is what makes it so strong.  I can see myself reading this again somewhere down the road.

Melted - Rosegirls / Sweet Lavender - Sweet Lemon Confection Muffin

Sweet Lavender - 'A gentle & soothing lavender.'
Sweet Lemon Confection - 'Decadent sweet lemon custard whipped to a creamy and smooth finish.'

Look at those gorgeous Minnesota Vikings colors.  Ohhh, what a glorious muffin.  Ok, I'll be serious now.  This was another of the blends from our Muffin Club, from way back at the January Rosegirls opening.  Since I do love lemon but don't always like lavender, I was wondering how I'd feel about this.  It was nice!  At first I thought it was coming across as just a really sweet lavender but no, the lemon is indeed making a show of itself.  It reminded me of a candy-sweet scent, like Lemonheads.  I'd still call it a really sweet lavender scent though.

I melted half of this muffin (about 1.3 oz. worth) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  It was bordering on overpowering if I was close to the warmer but throughout the house in general it was a nice scent strength.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Haul - Goat Milk Stuff

Back in 2009, when I stumbled into the world of handcrafted soaps, it was Goat Milk Stuff that was my introduction.  I had never heard of goat milk soap before then.  I had no idea so many people were making their own soap.  I was intrigued!  I placed a small order and before it even arrived I was already diving into this crazy new world and was soon making my own soap.

Goat Milk Stuff is still my sentimental favorite.  I still prefer goat milk soaps.  But it's been quite some time since I've ordered from GMS, or any soap vendor for that matter.  I'd completely fallen out of the handcrafted soap habit over the past year or so.  I had gotten lazy and switched back to commercial body washes.  Very recently though, I've been feeling the old soap urge coming back to me.  Hubby  has still been using bar soaps and when I saw that we only have two bars of handmade soap left I figured it was a good time to start placing some orders.  And then an email newsletter from GMS showed up with a June special for free shipping and I decided it was time to revisit my old favorite.

This is a very small order because I wanted to be sure I still love their stuff, and because there are a handful of other vendors I'd like to get a bar or two from as well.

Black Raspberry - 'It smells sweet like raspberries with a hint of vanilla and is one of our top sellers.'

I picked this because I know hubby absolutely loves the Black Raspberry Vanilla scent.  When I sniff this, ahhhhh, there is just something about the smell of goat milk soap, a sort of note unique to itself, it just takes me back to those super exciting crazy days of my own soaping fun.

Chamomile - 'To make the chamomile soap, we infuse chamomile flowers into olive oil. We then add some castor oil (for a better lather) and scent it with a blend of orange and lavender essential oils.  Why chamomile? Chamomile is a flower that is typically used in herbal remedies to sooth the skin, ease itching, and reduce inflammation. It is a wonderful addition to help keep your skin healthy.'

I think this is a new soap at Goat Milk Stuff.  This was immediately intriguing to me because I've been having a lot of redness and itching for quite some time now.  It's mainly on my face, so I've tried different cleansers and moisturizers, but it also seems to pop up on my arms now and then too.  I'm quite curious to see how this will work.  It smells so good in a fresh, soapy way.  I do get a slight lavender note.

And yes, you did see quite a few lip balms in that first picture.  I absolutely love the Goat Milk Stuff lip balms!!  A coworker of mine has also come to love them, so we took advantage of the free shipping special to get a handful.  She got three vanilla.  I got a vanilla and a peppermint.  I should have also grabbed a Black Cherry but at the time I was ordering I'd forgotten *that* was the one I liked most.  Duh?!  Oh well, next time I'll get more.

If you're not familiar with Goat Milk Stuff, I encourage you to snoop around the website and read their story.  They are a mom and dad and their eight kids, all working in this family business.  It started as a mom learning to make soap as a gentle alternative to harsh store bought products, and grew to the point where they both quit their jobs to grow this business.  The kids all work in it too, from the time they're old enough to do the simplest chores all the way up to oldest daughter Brett now handling the phones or customer service or something like that.  Many of the kids have their own side projects within the business too.  One developed the lip balms.  One makes bracelets.  One makes washcloths.  Cute little extras like that. 

The family raises their own goats, and uses all their own goat milk.  They recently sold their farm and moved to a much bigger location with a custom built soap shop that now has a retail space.  They have traveled the country and appeared on shows like Good Morning America.  They don't follow trends with the hottest new scents or beautiful eye candy colored swirls.  They have a steady lineup of tried and true scents, with the occasional new one or seasonal one here and there.  That's one thing I like about this company, if I liked something I know I can go back and get more.

If you're into handcrafted soaps, you really should consider giving Goat Milk Stuff products a try!
 

Haul - 'iheartwax'

I had never ordered from 'iheartwax' but I had enjoyed the pieces that my waxy friends had shared with me, so when there was a shop opening, and there was custom blending available, I went ahead and placed a small order.  I'm not much of a custom blender, seems like all the ideas I come up with are already made.  My waxy friends sort of got me more interested in it though after our first Muffin Club order with another vendor.  I thought I could practice by using 'iheartwax' because the TAT is shorter.

I went into this first order pretty excited.  I did get frustrated when it came to the actual blending again, and chose one really random combo in a desperate act of "Must be adventurous!"  I chose the 4-pack grubbies style because this way I would finally have something to share with my waxy friends, returning the kindness they have all shared with me these past many months.  Then while I waited for this order to come I was getting more and more excited about placing future orders and trying new blends.

And then my order arrived and, well, my first response was horrible disappointment. There was such a disgusting note coming from the package!  It was super strong and bitter, sort of plastic-y or chemically.  At first I thought it was from the packaging itself but I let the bags sit out, separate from each other, for many days and their true individual scents came back to themselves.  The offending note was narrowed down to one of the blends in particular.

Raspberry Cream - 'Rich cool cream and tart summer berries.'
Vanilla Wafer Cookies - 'True vanilla cookie scent.'
Marshmallow - 'Sweet creamy marshmallows.'
I think this is the smell culprit of the bunch.  I *hate* zucchini bread scent and for some reason this smells very strongly of the most offending parts of that scent.  Look at what I picked for the blend.  There should be nothing like a zucchini bread note anywhere in here.  I also wonder if part of the problem is the marshmallow scent, because the plastic-y note seems to be in here, in the marshmallow.  After thinking about this for some time, I remember two other incidents with two other vendors that had a similar nasty note and I'm pretty sure there was marshmallow involved in both.  Weird how some vendors have amazingly creamy and sweet marshmallow, and some have plastic chemical nastiness marshmallow.


Vanilla Mint - 'Creamy, sweet mint.'
Flip Flops - 'Tons of coconut mixed into a creamy rich vanilla!'
This one doesn't smell too bad.  It's actually quite nice now, after sitting for a while.  The mint is strong but it is a softly sweet mint.  I don't get a distinguishable coconut note.  I think it's adding to the sweetness and the slight creaminess.  While not quite the dupe of another vendor's coco-mint blend, it's still pretty good.

Strawberry Jam - 'Sweet strawberries in sticky syrup blended with vanilla and sugar.'
Vanilla Mint - 'Creamy, sweet mint.'
I mainly get a sweet strawberry scent right now.  There is just the lightest hint of mint lurking in the background.  I think that might come through more when warmed.

Pomegranate - 'Sweet pomegranate with hints of green.'
Rosemary Mint - 'Rosemary & spearmint leaves.'
This was my crazy blend, the one where I picked random scents in a bold attempt to be wildly creative.  This is the one I was most excited about, and the one I feared most.  I kinda like this!  I'm not too sure what pomegranate smells like on it's own so I don't know how much is really coming through on this.  I do get the mint and some herbal-y greens.  I think there might a hint of sweetness, like the very first fleeting note that passes your nose, that might be the pomegranate.

Key Lime Pie - 'Lime and sweet meringue perfectly blended on a graham cracker crust.'
Tropical Soda - 'Orange, cherry, sparkling red raspberry, blended with dried plum and violet.'
 Vanilla Bean Noel - 'Vanilla sugar cookie, roasted marshmallow, and a hint of caramel.'
This was a freebie chunk in my order.  I had to laugh because on top of the initial funky weirdness, the freebie had to be in Green Bay Packer colors?  Why me??  LOL!  But seriously, this is quite an interesting little blend.  The 'sparkling' part hits you first and it's very much like a lemon-lime type soda, but it's also sort of perfume-y.  I do not get any sort of bakery note from the crust or cookie.  I don't get any creaminess from the meringue or marshmallow or caramel.  It's just a really bright and perky, happy scent.

I placed my order on May 2 and received the package on June 13.  This is a shorter TAT than most vendors these days but it's still long for me.  Everything arrived in fine condition.  Shipping was reasonable.  The scents have settled down but I don't know, they say that first impressions are everything and that first blast of weird harshness has really put a leeriness into me.  I'm considering placing another small order and staying far away from anything with marshmallow in it, and see how it goes, just to be fair.  I don't know when the next shop opening will be.  Maybe I have time to consider this.

Have you tried 'iheartwax'?

Melted - Rosegirls / RSC - Butterscotch - OR Muffin

Royal Sugar Cookie - 'This is a homemade traditional sugar cookie with crisp buttery goodness rolled in sugar, baked to perfection then iced with vanilla bean, powdered sugar icing and topped with sugary sweet sprinkles.'
Butterscotch - [no scent description]
Orange Revival - '. . . burst of sweet oranges with tangy tangerines!'
 
Another of our Muffin Club blends from the January opening, I didn't really like this one when I first got it.  There was a weird aftertaste that reminded me of dried baby formula puke . . . LOL!  Thankfully that seems to have gone away in the time it's sat here because when I melted it, all seemed fine.  You definitely get the orange in this one, even an almost zestiness, but it's still very much a bakery scent.  I didn't detect any specific butterscotch note, just nice warm and sweet, almost creamy bakery notes.

I melted half of this muffin (about 1.3 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.

Melted - Rosegirls / OD - Wildberry - VIC Muffin

Orange Danish - [no scent description]
Wildberry - 'Blueberries and Strawberries blended together in a thick jam.'
Vanilla Ice Cream & Blends - 'A wonderful sweet vanilla scent.'

One of the muffins from our Muffin Club back in January, I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this one because whenever there is wildberry involved my mind jumps automatically to wildberry mousse, which I'm not a big fan of.  This was nice though.  I didn't really get any orange but there were hints of a bakery note that probably came from the danish part.  Overall though, it was a creamy, slightly warm scent with a mellow blend of berry notes.

I first melted half of this muffin in my tea light warmer and was bummed to find it seemed to have an initial burst of strong scent then died down to near nothingness fairly early on.  Then I decided maybe it was because I had the warmer in a room I didn't usually have it in, and maybe I just wasn't noticing the scent.  A few days later I melted the other half of this muffin in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer in the usual room and spot and medium-strong scent but it did seem to fade after only a couple hours.  Bummer.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Melted - Rosegirls / Peppermint-WS-MS

Peppermint
Watermelon Slush - 'Watermelon.'
Marshmallow Smoothie - 'Melted marshmallow trailing down pure vanilla bean ice cream.'

Another of our Muffin Club creations from the January Rosegirls opening, this was one of my blends but it wasn't really 'my' blend because I'm pretty sure I just copied something someone had already mentioned online.  Oh well.  This was probably my favorite, and a surprise favorite at that, when I first received the box and gave everything a first sniff.  And it's still a contender for favorite now that I've melted it.

On cold sniff you mainly get a creamy peppermint scent, but if you're paying attention you do notice the hint of watermelon lurking in there.  While melting, the peppermint is still the note you get first but be patient!  After it all melts and has a chance to warm up, that watermelon comes charging through like a wax addict on Rosegirls opening day!  Once things settle down, the watermelon is almost the dominant note, but there is still a slight zip from the peppermint and a nice sweet creaminess from the marshmallow.  The mint and marshmallow keep the watermelon from being a juicy super summery scent.  As a seasonal melter, I would be happy melting this any time of year.

I melted half of this muffin (about 1.3 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had nice medium-strong scent.  There were times when I thought it wasn't strong enough, but then while doing something upstairs I'd realize I was smelling it all the way up there and I was content.

I think this is actually one of the regularly available Rosegirls scents, which is probably where I got the idea from without realizing it.  This one has now become a must-have.  If you come across it, try it!!!

Melted - Rosegirls / GB-VIC-FKLP Muffin

Gilligan's Brew - 'Coconut milk blended with heavy whipping cream.'
Vanilla Ice Cream - [no scent description]
Florida Key Lime Pie - 'Lime, graham cracker crust, whipped cream.'

This is the first of the muffins from our Muffin Club that I melted.  I was actually quite surprised by the scent when this was warmed.  It was way more bakery than I ever would have guessed with having that lime and coconut in there.  I kept thinking I was getting a waffle cone note, so I had to look up just what the notes of these scents were.  Now I'm thinking it was the graham cracker crust and vanilla that I was smelling.  The coconut comes through but is not at all like a tropical summery scent.  I did not notice any distinct lime at all.  I found this to be just a really nice, deep, creamy, bakery scent.

I melted half of this muffin (about 1.3 oz.) in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer and had delicious medium-strong scent.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lathered - Rafa Natural / Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland - [no scent description]

Earlier this year I received this bar of soap from a waxy friend who shares a love of handcrafted bar soaps.  For the past year or so, I've been pretty lazy about soaps and have slipped back to the commercial body washes.  I haven't made soap for a while.  I haven't even ordered because we still had enough on hand for hubby to poke his way through.  (Our sons don't use bar soaps, only body washes.)  Well, this past week I've been feeling the urge to get back into using handcrafted bar soaps.  So when hubby finished up the bar of soap he had been using, and I checked the dwindling stash to see what was left, I decided to finally put this bar in the shower.

And I've decided to start using it.

I know nothing about the Rafa Natural company besides the fact that they are based in Lakeland, Florida.  They do have a nice looking website that I browsed.  While I couldn't find this particular soap to get a scent description, when I used the 'search this site' function for the Winter Wonderland name it took me to a candle called The Woods.  I have no idea if this is Winter Wonderland with a new name or what, but the description for The Woods is 'It's so hard to describe this scent.  More than just pine, it's more like a snow covered forest with whiffs of cinnamon, clove, and vanilla.'  I *think* this might be it.  The scent if soft, but I do get a pine note, and I can tell there is indeed something else going on but it's not spicy like you might expect.  It does strike me as sort of Christmas-y.  It's a light scent though, so I don't mind using it now as we creep into summer.

This is not a cold process soap, I can tell that from the tell-tale glycerin soap look of the green parts.  It says on the label that it is a coconut oil soap, but there are no other ingredients listed on the package or the website.  It lathered nicely and easily, a thicker, creamy type lather more than a big explosion of bubbles.  The lather lasted the length of my shower, and rinsed easily.  My skin has felt fine after using this soap, no dryness or itchiness, so it's moisturizing just fine.  The scent was light while using the soap but I did not notice any scent lingering on my skin afterwards, which is fine with me but I know some people like their soap scents to hang around for a while.

I have not tried this soap on my face.

Would I order more?  I'm not sure.  It was a nice enough soap and their prices are comparable to other vendors, but I prefer goat milk soaps, and I prefer cold process soaps.  Still, I'm happy to have received this soap and am enjoying using it and being able to try a new (to me) vendor. 

The Melting Fairy - June '14 Box

Melting Fairy time again!  I was a little bummed to find this month's tarts in scent shot cups again.  I preferred having two tarts of each scent because it was just easier to share, and easier all around because I don't like cutting wax.  I know, I know, most people just melt the whole dang tart.  I suppose it's much easier to make them this way though.  I was also quite bummed to find no chunk blend this month, but I'll get more into that later.

Let's see what I picked for this June box!

Jammin’ Rock Candy (NEW) - 'Base notes of icy peppermint and sugary sweet rock candy blended with citrus and berry notes.'
 
This is interesting.  I think I quite like it.  I don't think I'd ever guess there is mint in here.  There is a sort of juicy fruity-berry note, along with an almost tart note.  I think the mint might be that part of it, not really adding a minty note to it, but sort of sharpening the overall scent.
 
Strawberries & Cream (NEW) - 'Fresh, juicy strawberries topped with thick, sweet whipped cream.'
 
I think I'm going through a strawberry phase.  I never used to care one way or the other about strawberry scents but lately I'm loving all of them that I come across.  So when I saw this was new for June, of course I picked it.  A sweet strawberry, almost candy-like, with a slightly creamy note.
 
Rainbow Sherbet (NEW) - 'Base notes of vanilla blended with pineapple, oranges, raspberry, and lime.'
 
This one is very light on cold sniff.  While I think I'm getting a bit of a lime note, this mainly reminds me of freezer pops.
 
Fruit Tea - 'Green tea blended with fruity notes of peaches, oranges, and spiced cranberries.'
 
Decided to start stocking up on some tea scents since I'll only be getting one more box after this, and because we can't buy scents individually outside the monthly subscriptions.  I have LOVED The Melting Fairy's tea scents.  I don't know where she gets her fragrance oils but they are awesome.  This is very warm and fall-like, with just a hint of spice.  I will tuck this away until closer to fall, and savor it then.
 
Chai Tea - 'This scent is a complex and calming blend of creamy soy milk, green tea, spicy cinnamon bark, and light nutmeg notes.'
 
Also got another Chai Tea because it's just so freakin' yummy.  I think in my post the first time I had it, I might have mentioned it wasn't as creamy as some chai scents I've had.  That doesn't bother me this time.  It's just a nice, spicy tea scent that I will tuck away along with the Fruit Tea, until we get closer to fall.
 
 Fairy Fluff Cookies - [no scent description]

Since this is two toned and has glitter and is a blend, I thought this was replacing the usual chunk blend tart.  But no, according to the information card included in the box, this is not the blend of the month.  As soon as I saw the Fairy Fluff part of the name I had flashbacks to the chunk in blend in February, which I pretty much hated.  And yeah, this one does nothing for me either.  I don't know what that offending note is but there is a gross plastic-y note that overtakes whatever else is going on in here.  I'm not even going to melt this one.  I'll pass it on or just dump it.

Spiked Berry Lollipop - 'A blend of delicious berry bellini and sweet sugary lollipops.'

This little bunny head tart is apparently the blend of the month because this is the scent that is included on the information card.  Seemed like kind of a ripoff to me at first but I guess the 'freebie' two-toned tart is to make up for the chunky chunk we're used to getting.  As for the scent, I'm not crazy about this one either.  It's light, but what I do get is a tart berry note with a bit of fizz.  There is also something sort of 'off' in this one, something that almost reminds me of a fake black cherry scent.  I'll probably pass this on too.

If you're not familiar with The Melting Fairy, it is a monthly subscription box of wax tarts.  Cost is $14.50 a month, and that includes shipping.  You get to pick five scents from the scent list, and you will receive two 1 oz. tarts a 2 oz. scent shot in each of those scents.  You will also receive a surprise chunk blend each month, and sometimes one of two freebies.  Sign up by the 20th of the month to receive the next month's box.  New scents are added each month.  There is also a Facebook page . . . HERE.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Melted - The Bathing Garden / Bubbling Butter Brew

Bubbling Butter Brew - '. . . interpretation of Harry Potter's Butter Beer. Sweet clotted cream, salted caramel, rich butterscotch, and a touch of bubbling cream soda.'

As mentioned in my previous post, I don't seem to have much luck when it comes to The Bathing Garden.  In an attempt to clear out things from my stash cupboard, I've finally come to the handful of Bathing Garden leftovers that keep getting shoved aside.  I'm giving them a last shot before deciding whether or not to pass them on to someone who will appreciate them.

I'm a Harry Potter fan, and a butterscotch fan, so of course I had to get this one when I saw it some time ago.  Ohhhh, it is such a delicious scent on cold sniff!  Deep, rich, creamy butterscotch scent.  Love it!!!  I don't notice any type of fizz from the soda.  There is a very slight salty note from the caramel.  Mostly though, it is just delicious butterscotch.

I melted two cubes of this in my tea light warmer and was ecstatic when there was an initial burst of strong scent.  That quickly faded though, and I was left with the usual light scent.  The cat jumped off the desk at one point and I caught another strong whiff in that stirred up air but otherwise there wasn't much happening.  Bummed, but not really surprised, this is how my experiences with The Bathing Garden usually seem to turn out.  I do think that in a smaller, enclosed room these tarts would perform fine.

Melted - The Bathing Garden / Lady of Winter

Lady of Winter - 'Candy cane over Sugar Plum Fairy.'
 
I never seem to have much luck with wax from The Bathing Garden.  It's frustrating because I see so many people so in love with this vendor and I want to be one of those people.  But no.  The handful of clamshells I have left just keep getting pushed to the back of my stash cupboard.  Now though, as I am determined to melt through everything I have before making a few changes in my wax buying, I have come to these long ignored Bathing Garden tarts and have decided to give them one last try.
 
And once again, I'm not having much luck.
 
This particular scent, Lady of Winter, is very nice on cold sniff.  The scent description is not very descriptive, with the Sugar Plum Fairy part of it being described as 'Walking through a candy cane forest in winter.'  I'm guessing that means more mint, but I don't know if that also means pine?  This is a minty scent but surprisingly it is not inyerface minty strong.  It is a softer, sweet mint.  Very pretty.  There is indeed something else going on in there but I can't pinpoint just what it is.  If there is indeed pine in this, it is in no way like a Christmas tree scent.  If there is pine or some sort of tree, it is very quietly nestled under a blanket of soft mint.  There might be something candy-like in this too.

I melted two cubes of this in my tea light warmer and was bummed to find only light scent.  What I could smell was beautiful, but I just couldn't smell much.  I wonder how it would perform in my Glade 20 watt hot plate warmer?  I'm going to offer what's left to my sister and if she doesn't want it, I will try my Glade warmer just to see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Haul - Amazon / Books

I haven't been into reading as much this year as I have been in recent years.  I don't know if I'm just not liking the things I'm reading or if I'm just not feeling like reading which is then making me not like what I'm forcing myself to read.  I've tried to hold off buying books too, for money and space reasons.  But then it all comes back to the simple fact that I. Love. Books.

Somewhere in the back of my head, I was aware that a couple books I was anxious for would be coming out around May.  By the time I remembered and realized that one of them was out, and went to check Amazon to be sure, I found that not only was the other one already out but a third one I'd forgotten all about had come out around then too.  Well, I placed an order immediately for all three of them! 

And they just arrived today.  wOOt!

Odin's Ravens - by K.L. Armstrong & M.A. Marr
Seven kids, Thor's hammer, and a whole lot of Valkyries are the only things standing against the end of the world.

When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right?

But the descendants' journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that's only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor's hammer, and stop the apocalypse--a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.

Authors K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr return to Blackwell in the epic sequel to Loki's Wolves with more explosive action, adventure and larger-than-life Norse legends.

This is the second book in the Blackwell Pages series.  These are middle grade books but still entertaining enough for adults to read.  I was drawn to this series because of the whole Norse thing.  There is a lot to be learned in these books!  I like that.  Even if a kid picks it up to read for fun, he or she will be learning, and sometimes the things we don't realize we are learning are the things that stick with us most.

I admit I don't remember a lot about the first book so I'll have to find a summary to read before I dive into this one.

City of Heavenly Fire - by Cassandra Clare
Shadowhunters and demons square off for the final showdown in the spellbinding, seductive conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian—but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?
 
Finally!  The final book in a series that was originally supposed to stop at four books.  I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with this series.  There are some things I absolutely love about it, and some that just make me cringe, gag, and roll my eyes.  I think there was a definite change from the feel of the first four books to what the fifth one was like.  It was like the author tried to cram too much stuff into the story after that fourth book, almost like 'Hey, my series is wildly popular so I can do whatever I want!'  Seeing that this new and final installment is a beast at 725 pages, I hope it's just tying up what we were bombarded with in the previous book and not adding more to it.
Empower - by Jessica Shirvington

It's all come down to this.

The final battle between Angels and Exiles is about to begin in this stunning conclusion to the must-read series Entertainment Weekly calls "addictive."

Two years ago, Violet Eden walked away from her home, her friends, the Academy, and hardest of all, she walked away from her soul mate, Lincoln.

But it's time to stop running.

Violet must find out who she really is—and exactly what she is capable of—before the abilities the angels gave her are turned against them. She is all that stands between the forces of good and evil...

It's time to make a choice.
 
Although City of Heavenly Fire was the book that made go to Amazon that day, THIS is the one that made me place the order and has me the most excited.  This is also the final book in its series.  I'm glad, and sad.  I absolutely loved the first book in this series, Embrace.  It rivals Twilight for me (book, not movie!) and the Violet-Phoenix relationship in that first book blows Bella-Edward out of the water in the Hot Sexual Tension category.  But as the series went on, I did have some problems with a few things.  Even so, I do think this is my favorite series as a whole so far.  I'm super anxious to read this one!
And suddenly I'm excited about reading again!  I need to put some major effort into finishing the book I'm currently reading and then I will be throwing myself into Empower.  Yaaaaayyyyyyy!!

Have YOU read any of these books?  What did you think?  Or what else have you read recently?