Friday, October 30, 2015

Oct. 30 - No More Wax?!

I had a horrible realization today.
Remember when I was telling you about Minion's bald heels?
I'd first thought it was a food sensitivity.  Then I thought it was more likely the litter.  I switched litter, and food, but he's getting worse.  He's always had a bit of this bald heel thing coming and going, but it's never been this bad.  And now he's getting bald spots elsewhere too.

Then I realized today . . . 
What if it's all the wax tarts I melt?!

Usually scented litter can be the culprit.  The vet said stress is also a very common cause.  He said, "You might not think cat's have anything to get stressed about but you'd be amazed."  

When I was doing laundry today, Minion was sitting on the dryer watching me, as he often does.  I poured the detergent into the cap and he stuck his head to sniff it then did that shocked retreat thing.  I'm sure you've all seen it in your own pets.  We all chuckle about it.  Then it just hit me!  Oh my gosh, what if he's sensitive to all the wonderful scents I have filling the house????

I mentioned this to Casey and he said, "Take a break for month and see what happens."  And -BAM- it hit me again!  Remember this summer when I *did* take a break?  It was like a six week break from melting because I'd run out of everyday scents and didn't want to start fall scent yet.  Well, some time ago . . . possibly in summer, possibly during this break . . . Minion's bald spots were pretty much completely healed.  I can't remember just when that healed time was though!  Did it coincide with the break I took from tarts?!  I wish I knew!!!!

I did some more Google research and found some articles that say scents can be overwhelming to cats, even stressful.  Aha!  The vet had said it was stress!  The articles suggest things like scented litter and carpet deodorizers, as well as things like hair spray, perfume, and air fresheners.  So no, apparently it doesn't have to be something they are in contact with, as I'd been thinking before.

So, I'm going to take a break from melting, effective immediately, and see what happens with his little bald heels.  In a way, I hope this IS the culprit, because it's easy enough to fix.  But then I think about all the wonderful tarts I have in my stash, all those pumpkin and cranberry scents for Thanksgiving, all those mint scents for Christmas . . . and I just want to cry.

Do any of you have any experience with this type of situation?
I'd love to hear about real situations and not just the general possibilities that most things online ramble about.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Haul - Country Lane Keepsakes (Wax)

My waxy bloggy enabler friends and I were talking about different vendors recently and I decided to order a bit of wax.  This ol' blog is kinda dead lately, and I'm ready to move on to winter scents already, so I figured 'Why not?'

I was not at all familiar with this vendor going into this order.  My waxy friends had heard a little bit and they're the ones that got me curious.  So I browsed the Country Lane Keepsakes shop on Etsy, and placed a small order.  The shop is new, and the scent list is decent.  It's not overwhelming like some vendors, but there are plenty to choose from and I had no problem finding a few to start off with.  I ordered three 4 oz. bags, which are listed at $3.95 each, and received several freebie extras.

Let's take a look.

Fluffy Candy Cane - 'This is not your traditional candy cane. We have added a bit of fluff and softness to it to create a fabulously softened scent that makes you feel like you have bitten into a puffy soft piece of peppermint that just melts in your mouth!'
Holy moly, I love this one!  A nice soft vanilla-mint is my favorite scent for Christmas, and it's surprising that there aren't more of those out there in the wax world.  This one is awesome but not quite my perfect version.  This is definitely a peppermint scent, strong and clear, but there is also a sugary note.  It's a soft scent.  Not soft as in light or weak, but soft as in not a sharp, sinus clearing mint.  It's gooood.

Harvest Cinna Berry - 'A strong holiday scent of cinnamon, fresh cranberries,fresh ginger and clove. This is a large room scent, perfect for those large area's needing a touch of holiday.'
I thought this might be the type of cranberry spice that I love, but nope, not even close to what I was hoping for.  It's an interesting scent though, kinda reminding me of holiday soap.  It's a dry scent, lots of cinnamon.  I have to really search for the cranberry note though.

Cranberry Preserves - 'A tart cranberry, spiced apples, and fresh California orange peel.'
I also picked this one in hopes it might be like my preferred cranberry spice and hoooo boy, this is nice.  I'm not sure it's like the cranberry spice I was looking for but I love this scent, and it's very familiar to me.  At first I thought it might be Apple Jack and Peel.  It's at least something popular in Halloween themed scents.  I'm quite sure of that.  It's a deep, dark, drink type scent, like a warm spiced punch.

The generous amount of extras came in the pink gift bag that you see in the first pic.  I love that this bag can totally be reused!  It's not marred by a vendor label or anything.

So what extras did I get?

Peach Preserves - 'Sun ripened peaches, a touch of vanilla and smoothed over a crispy graham cracker.'
I am not a peach scent fan.  It reminds me of cheap stickup air fresheners that were placed around our house when we bought it.  LOL!  But *this* peach scent might be okay.  There is enough other stuff going on, and the peach note is minor.  There is a lot of vanilla and a slight bakery note from the graham cracker.

Mulberry Harvest - 'A fruity and berry blend with cherries, apples, peaches, strawberries and tangerines. There is a sweet cotton candy vanilla.
The name is so fall-like, yet this scent is sort of summery to me.  It's very sweet, and I get a lot of strawberry.
Pumpkin Pie Filling - 'Fresh pumpkin, spices and a hint of cream readied for the pie crust.'
Typical pumpkin spice type scent but softened and sweetened by the cream.  A lot of pumpkin scents have been failures for me this fall, so I'm curious to see how this one does.

Cinnamon Sticks - 'A full bodied scent of rich spicy cinnamon. Not your bakery cinnamon. Strong and bold.'
Kind of light right now on cold sniff.  It's a craft store during the holidays type cinnamon.
Country Lumberjack - 'Another CLKS original blend. This is a complex scent that has you feeling there just might be a lumberjack standing near you. Top notes of Blue Spruce with a bit of citron, patchouli, sandalwood, jasmine, carnation. This one is a wonderful outdoors in the woods type of scent.'
This is not at all my type of scent.  The pinecone is cute though!  It's very cologne-y.  I do get the spruce note, and everything else just sort of swirls together in a cologne type mixture.  I will probably pass this one on to someone else.
That is my first order from Country Lane Keepsakes.  I placed the order on Saturday, October 24, and received my package on Thursday, October 29.  Not a bad TAT at all!  Since this is an Etsy shop, the shipping calculations can be scary.  Don't worry though.  Owner Carol says she refund shipping overcharges.  She also suggests that if you know how many bags you'll be ordering, just contact her through Etsy's convo option, let her know your zip code and how many bags, and she will be able to tell you what actual shipping will be and get your refund started quicker.  For my three 4 oz. bags plus the bag with five extra tarts, I paid $7.55 shipping.  It arrived nicely packaged in a 7x7inch priority box.
I'm looking forward to trying these tarts.  If they perform well, I might go back and get more of the Fluffy Candy Cane.  I see she also has a Twisted Candy Cane Stick that sounds like my dream kind of Christmas scent.  I might have to do another order just for that!
Have you tried Country Lane Keepsakes?

Monday, October 26, 2015

Melted - Scentsationals / Pumpkin Latte

Pumpkin Latte - 'Sugar and spice and pumpkin . . . nice!'

Once again, a pumpkin scent with no pumpkin to be found.  And once again, this is a nice enough scent but doesn't qualify as a fall scent for me.  It's a nice coffee scent with a lot of warm creaminess, but that telltale bitter coffee note is still there.  There IS something else mingling in there, which is probably the pumpkin, but you'd probably never guess it was pumpkin if you didn't know.  It's more of something adding a solidness to the overall scent, if that makes any sense.

I melted two cubes in my tea light warmer and had decent enough strong throw.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Haul - Walmart Misc.

Casey and I went to town out of boredom the other day, and that's a dangerous thing because we always tend to spend more money than ever anticipated.  To be fair, there were a couple things that have been holding up my leap into paper crafting, and I wanted to pick those up, but some of the other things were, um, well, extras.

The main thing I needed was plain black paper to make Halloween cards.  I'd gotten those other packs with fun Halloween designs, but had no plain black.  I highly doubt I'll get any cards made for Halloween 2015 but I can still make some to practice, or for next year.

I also wanted a cutting mat.  This one sounded pretty neat with it's claims of 'self healing.'  We shall see.
Got a simple knife to go with my fancy cutting mat.  I saw a gold version of this too.  Not sure what that means?  It's more durable?  Stays sharp longer?  No clue.  If you know, please let me know.
I had found that my super cheap glue sticks do not hold, so I knew I needed something else.  I'd been seeing glue like this in super mega crafty peoples' videos so when I saw this at Walmart I thought I'd try it.
I see a lot of the crafty people using these types of tape runners too.  This is the cheaper version of the ones available at my store.  Hopefully it's sticky enough.
While digging through the cheapie movies bin, I came across these.  The first Paranormal Activity freaked me out so bad!!!!  I thought all of them that have come after have been letdowns but for only $3.74 each, yeah, I'm willing to build my spooky movie collection.  I was bummed I couldn't find #3 though.
We also found a couple of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies in the $3.74 bin.  I remember a million years ago when my sister and I watched the first one several hundred times because Johnny Depp was the new hot thing back then.  I have a few of the movies on VHS, but I admit I don't even know how many there are in total and I know I haven't seen them all.  While looking around the movies section more, we found this set of 1-4 for only $9.96, which was a better deal, and then we grabbed #5 from the cheapie bin.
Couldn't pass this up when I saw it!  I do prefer Goat Milk Stuff or Burt's Bees lip balms, but when I find fun seasonal things like this, I'm there.  This is quite spicy, as you'd expect.  I like it!  And it was only $1.00!
And of course I had to grab these when I saw them.  But I'm only teasing with this pic, and am going to do a separate post about these after I see if more scents show up soon.
That is my little mishmash haul.  I'd hoped to play around with card making this weekend but yesterday was busy and today we have company coming over to watch football, so no playing with papers and stickers for me.  And why do they have to come and watch OUR game just because THEIR team has a bye week?  Ugh, being social sucks.

Melted - Scentsationals / Pumpkin Berry Twist

Pumpkin Berry Twist - [no scent description]

This was a nice enough scent but didn't strike me as fall or pumpkin-y at all.  The easiest way to describe this is: a toned down Fruit Loops scent.  Seriously!  For some reason, there is that cereal grain note in here.  Maybe that is the pumpkin?!  There is a brighter note too, some sweetness that might be cranberries.  If you don't like the heavy, warm, pumpkin scents for fall, this might be one to consider.

I melted two cubes of this in my tea light warmer and had awesomely strong scent with far reaching throw.  I could even detect light traces of this later in the day, many hours after this had been melted and cooled.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Friend Mail - Pocket Letter

I first heard about pocket letters many months ago and the hobby has blown up like crazy among internet friends.  When I first saw them I thought it would be a really fun little thing to get into.  As I watched more and more YouTube videos about them though, the swaps people do and the supplies they buy, it started to seem to me like the only way these could be fun and worth it was if you were a major crafter swapping with another major crafter.  Most of the goodies I'm seeing fly back and forth among swappers are stickers and embellishments, goodies for planner fans and crafty people.  My interest faded then.

Several months go by and somehow my bloggy friend Julie and I decided to try a pocket letter swap.  She'd already done her first swap, but I was still a pocket letter virgin.  I went into it very excited.  And I gave up in frustration very quickly.  I'm such a friggen perfectionist about these types of things.  I can't just let it happen and have fun.  I over think it all.  I was trying to get away from just stickers and things but it's quite hard to come up with ideas that are relatively flat, to fit into the pockets of baseball card pages.  After giving up several times,  I finally yelled at myself one day and just dove into the project.

This is what I ended up creating.
I did end up putting a lot of stickers in this but I also added twine, ribbon, washi tape, candy, and gum.
I was rather proud of myself when I was finally done.

I received the pocket letter that Julie made for me yesterday.  She had some creative things in hers too!
There are tags and stickers and notepapers, a gift card, tea, and other little treasures.  The black label things in the upper left corner are really cool.  I think they are that chalkboard material that's all the rage.  I don't know if she made them . . . ?

 She also had this slip of paper included, with a quote that I need to remember on days I'm feeling selfish and greedy and lonely.

This pocket letter swap turned out to be fun afterall.  I don't know if I could get into this craze and keep doing millions of letters and swaps with people though.  It would get hard to come up with creative new items to include, beyond the popular Dollar Tree stickers that everyone seems to pass back and forth.  I wonder what kinds of things a Thanksgiving theme letter could include.  And I think I'd be willing to do Christmas themed ones if anyone else wanted to do some.

Are you a pocket letter fan?
Have you made / swapped any yet?

New Wax At Walmart - American Home (by Yankee Candle)

I'd recently noticed a new line of candles at Walmart,  very predominantly displayed in the fall/seasonal section at the front of the store.  It is the American Home line, by Yankee Candle.  Yankee at Walmart?!  What the . . . ?  I haven't fully explored this new option much because we already have plenty of candles for fall.

WELL!  Imagine my surprise when I was in the store today and saw WAX MELTS by this new American Home / Yankee Candle line?!  And they were Christmas scents!!!!
(I did not go in the fall section at the front of the store this time, so I don't know if they had fall scented tarts over there.)

  • Merry Cherry
  • Sweet & Salty Caramel
  • Holiday Spice Cake
  •  Winter Morning
  • Sage & Red Berry
  • Sparkling Cinnamon Spice
  •  Banana Walnut Bread
  • Delicious Cranberry
  • Santa's Treat
  •  Fresh Balsam Fir
  • Moonlit Night
The only one I bought today was Delicious Cranberry, because you know I'm always on the hunt for the perfect cranberry spice scent.  This one is not quite perfect but it's better than a lot of the others I always come across.  The other one that really stood out to me was the Sweet & Salty Caramel.  It was sweet and warm and gooey, without a harsh salty note.  I might need to grab that one next time.  I didn't spend too much time sniffing the others but I do remember Moonlit Night is one of those cologne-y types that I'm not fond of.

These are 2.6 oz. packages (6 cubes) and sell for $3.93.  I also so 4 oz. candles for $4.93, 1-wick 19 oz. jar candles for $14.93, and 2-wick 19 oz. tumblers for $14.93.  My interest lies in the tarts and the 4 oz. candles.  I'm bummed there wasn't any minty scent.  I can't wait to see how the pack I bought performs!

Have you seen these tarts at your Walmart?
Does that fact that these are Yankee intrigue you at all?
Have you already tried them???

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Melted - Lasting Scent Candles / Apple Scotch Waffles

Apple Scotch Waffles - '(LSC Original Mix) Brown sugar glazed apples on top of a buttermilk waffle and drizzled with warm butterscotch, sprinkled with honey roasted pecans.'
This, was delish!  I didn't ever really notice any apple note but oh my, the butterscotch was warm and gooey and sweet.  There was a little bit of a bakery type note, and maybe a slight hint of nuttiness but this one was all about the butterscotch.  Yummy!
I melted this whole tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent.

(I'm getting bored with these Melted posts . . . again.  LOL!  You had to know it was coming!  You probably just don't realize how boring it gets, trying to describe each and every scent with something besides 'This was nice, I liked it.'  This might be the last one for a while.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Won It - Jeanie Louise / YouTube Prize

I started watching Jeanie Louise on YouTube recently.  She does hauls and crafty things, and is such a bubbly lady.  I liked her even more after finding out she's a Vikings fan, and mentions them in her videos.  That's such a kick for me.  Anyway, she's been having small giveaways recently as her subscriber numbers climb at a rapid pace, and I won the 100 Subbie Giveaway.  Yay!

I received these two sheets of stickers, one being Halloween and the other being owls.  Love them.

Also received these three fun little packs of Halloween stickers.  These are just small, meant to be party favors or trick-or-treat treats.  They're really cute though, and even the boxes can be trimmed down to use the images in card making.  Since I don't have any fancy punches or die cuts yet, I have been saving images from packaging.

I received this Christmas washi tape that comes on a dispenser.  I don't have any of these dispenser types yet.  Well, I didn't before this one anyway.  This would look awesome on Christmas card envelopes.

I've never bought any of these decorative packing tapes either.  Now I have this cute animal print one.

Received this cute pair of Breast Cancer Awareness socks.  They look kinda small for my big feet, but we'll see.

I received these two beauty products.  You all know I'm not into makeup or things like that.  I'll probably pass the lip product on to someone else but I might actually try the black-n-sparkles nail polishes for Halloween.

I laughed so soooooo hard when I saw this in the box!  It's a Vikings tape dispenser!  I'd seen her haul one of these in a video and she'd mentioned getting more for Christmas presents.  So yes, I was absolutely thrilled to see she'd included one in my prize.  Skol, Jeanie!!

And can we take a look at this card for a moment?  She made this.  How awesome is that?  And quite simple too!  Some of the paper crafts and cards I've been seeing from others on YouTube have been much more complex and that keeps overwhelming me.  Seeing this has given me a bit of faith that I *can* do this.  
Of course there are still some supplies and tools I need to get.  Like the edge smudger stuff all the people that I watch use.  I'm not sure if I want to get into stamps.  I'm kicking myself for getting rid of all of them that I had before.  But anyway, this card is so gorgeous, yet still looks fairly easy to make.  I'm inspired!!

So thank you, Jeanie, for all the goodies, and for all of your fun videos.  Your bubbly personality and positive attitude are such a joy to watch.

Melted - Lasting Scent Candles / Caramel Apple Empanadas

Caramel Apple Empanadas - '(LSC Original Mix) Fried apples, brown sugar crumbles, and a doughy shell...with a drizzle of our caramel candy sauce and just a pinch of cinnamon.'

I almost turned this one off early into the melt because that sort of salty note that pops up in certain caramel or brickle scents was strong.  I decided to let it go a bit longer and was glad to find that the other notes eventually emerged and somewhat subdued that 'salty' note.  Hints of juicy apples showed up after a while, a bit of sweetness and a smidgen of doughy bakery made their shy appearance too.  There was a tiny hint of cinnamon.  It took a while for these sweeter notes to come out though, probably half hour into the melt at least.  Once they beat that salty note down a notch or two, this scent wasn't too bad.  I don't think I'd ever get it again though.

I melted this whole tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent, just wish I'd liked that scent more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Walmart Beauty Box - Fall 2015

I missed the summer Walmart Beauty Box because customer service of the third party vendor that actually does the boxes is not very efficient or quick.  When the time came for the summer box to ship and I started seeing everyone else getting theirs, I wondered where mine was.  I waited an extra week or so, thinking maybe it was on its way.  Eventually I contacted Walmart through their website and asked about it.  They directed me to the company that actually handles the box subscriptions, so I emailed them.  It took a good while to get any kind or response from them, and even then is was brief and vague, saying there had been a problem with my payment method.  Well that's nice to know.  Why didn't I get any kind of alert or something?

So I was a little crabby about it all and never did update my account.  Imagine my surprise when it was time for the fall box to ship and I *finally* get notification that there is a problem with my payment method.  I almost ignored it and let my subscription run out, but then was thinking that I wanted something fun to look forward to in the mail.  There are sooooooo many subscription boxes out there, but most are too pricey or have too many things I'd never use.  At least with this simple little box odds are slightly better that I'll use the affordable products that are featured, and I know I can easily pick up more at Walmart if I like what I've used.  So I went ahead and fixed my account and today I received my Fall Beauty Box.

For those who don't know, the Walmart Beauty Box is a "free" subscription box and you only pay $5.00 shipping.  It is a quarterly (seasonal) box, not monthly.  You get a handful of sample or travel sized products, as well as several coupons, and there is even the occasional full sized product.  There is a slight variance in boxes depending on your age group, but within your group things seem to be pretty much the same in everyone's box.

Let's take a look at the Fall 2015 'Old Lady' box.  lol

A 1.8 oz bottle of Dove body wash in Mandarin & Tiare Flower scent.  I do love getting body washes but I am bored with always getting Dove.  I will happily use this though.

A 1.5 oz. can of Aussie Mega hairspray.  I've been loving the Aussie 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner but I did not like the Aussie hairspray I'd tried a while ago.  I don't think it was this particular one, the Mega style, so maybe I'll like this one better.  I will give it a try.

A 1 oz. bottle of Act - Advanced Care / Plaque Guard mouthwash.  I don't find much difference in mouthwashes so we just use a cheap and highly medicinal kind, but yeah, I'll use this too.

I was very excited to see this 2 oz. bottle of Amlactin body lotion because I'd never heard of it, and I'm always looking for a good lotion. It does have all the bad ingredients like mineral oil, aluminum, and parabens but I'm not one who gets too overly freaked out that.  I'm tired of suffering through all-natural products that just don't work.

I'm not a big fan of Aveeno.  I tried it years ago when an extreme all-natural fan friend of mine swore by it, and it did nothing for me but turn my towels orange.  I also have to wonder about that person's all-natural beliefs because I see this .3 oz. tube of Aveeno daily moisturizer has all those things like parabens too.  I will give this a try though, just to be fair.

I have no need for this tube of Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara because I don't wear makeup.  It is in the color Black (02) and I think this might be full sized . . . ?  I'll probably pass this along in a friend mail or put it in a Christmas goodie bag for someone.

There is a little foil packet sample of L'Oreal Paris - Age Perfect Glow Renewal facial oil.  I don't use these types of oils but I'll try this.  There is also a little sample of Jennifer Aniston's perfume.  It's on a little square of face wipes type material, which is interesting.  At least it's not the messy, tiny vial that you can never open anyway.  And I think I actually kinda like this scent.  Hmm.  There is a $3.00 coupon too.

Another L'Oreal Paris product, this time a foil packet sample of Revitalift - Miracle Blur instant skin smoother finishing cream.  Well, okay.  I don't even know what all that means but I'll slather it on and see how smooth I turn out.  Next to that is a 2-step foil packet sample of Crest 3D White - Brilliance toothpaste and whitening gel.  There is a $2.00 coupon included.  I don't use this whitening stuff, and I doubt this little bit is enough to do anything whitening-wise anyway.

And finally, a $3.00 coupon for any RoC anti-aging product.  I don't think I've ever tried any RoC products.  I don't use anything fancy on my face.  I am getting old though, so maybe I should start.  I'll have to take a look at the RoC line of products someday.

This is pretty good box.  Nothing overly exciting, but at least I'll use plenty of the items this time.
I did watch a video of a much younger girl opening her box and the 'young' box had things like Simple brand face wipes and a sample sized deodorant, along with some of the same things I got in mine.

Are you a Walmart Beauty Box subscriber?
Do you subscribe to any other boxes?