Monday, November 30, 2015

Nov. 30 - Blogmas / Blogidays & Tiny Haul

If you follow anyone on YouTube you've probably heard of Vlogmas or Vlogidays.  It's where they post something every day in December, whether it's just a daily vlog, haul, DIY, or whatever.  I've been iffy on blogging for a while now but I'm finding I miss it, and I'm thinking of trying a blog version of Vlogmas.  Blogmas!  Blogidays!  I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I'm itching to blog again and I do love Christmas, so we'll see.  This technically won't start until tomorrow (Dec. 1) and any Melted posts don't count, but I felt like doing a Natters post for today too.

I had big plans of going to the local mall today and just browsing, one end to the other, picking up whatever Christmas gifts caught my fancy.  I very rarely go to the mall anymore.  I can't even remember the last time I've been there for more than dropping off a package at the UPS store.  Well, for whatever reason, I talked myself out of going and ended up just going to Target and Dollar Tree with Casey instead.

Target's Dollar Spot has a lot of pet items right now.  Fattycat has been acting like he's cold all the time so I've been wondering if he'd tolerate a pet sweater or something like that.  When I saw this fleece coat I thought it might be perfect.  I think it's meant for dogs but who cares?  If it fits and keeps him warm, so what?  
It's so cute for winter!  It's fleece on both sides, navy blue on the outside, gray on the inside.  There is a velcro strap across the chest and another around the belly.  This was only $3.00.
He walked a little stiff legged when he had it on, but really didn't seem too overly bothered otherwise.  I think he might have welcomed the warm, swaddled feeling.
Of course we had to try it on Minion just because he was laughing at Fatty wearing it.  It fits Minion perfectly, and he didn't seem too bothered wearing it either, but he doesn't have the old man problems like Fatty does, so this will still be Fatty's.

I realized while writing in my journal last night that one of my packs of Christmas stickers was missing.  I looked all over for it and could not find it.  Casey quoted something about "You know it's truly missing when a Mom can't find it."  LOL!  I don't know where he got that from but I'd never heard it, and I love it.  And yes, those stickers must truly be gone.  Luckily I found another pack at the Dollar Spot.  *phew*  I'll use these across the tops of my journal pages for Christmas.

The only other thing I got that I can show is this gold 'washi' tape.  I paid full price, and I almost always avoid anything but dollar washis.  I have a growing fondness for gold and cream/white Christmas things this year and had hoped to find more gold/white things in the Dollar Spot but nope.  This might just get set aside for next year though.  Hopefully I'll accumulate some clearance gold/white things.

I came across this big display of Burt's Bees wax tarts at Target.  Burt's Bees getting into candles and wax was big news in the wax community earlier this year.  My Walmart got a few candles in, but only ever got one scent in the tarts.  They must not have been big sellers though, because they went on clearance after a few months and I haven't seen them at Walmart since.  So yeah, I was surprised to see all these at Target.  I didn't sniff any, and most of them don't appeal to me anyway, especially at that price.  But if anyone is looking for them, try Target.

Right next to those was the Chesapeake Bay wax.  I wasn't looking to buy any wax today so I didn't sniff, and I'm not really familiar with this brand, but they did have a lot of fall and some winter scents.  And these cute little shaped tarts!  Oh my gosh, I almost bought some just for their cuteness!  There were owls too, but I couldn't get them all in the pic.  Are any of you familiar with this brand?

We then went to Dollar Tree, where I had many gold and white decorations in my basket at first, but then I talked myself out of those too.  My inner cheapskate kept warning me, 'What if you don't feel like gold and white next year?' So I wimped out and put them all back.  I didn't even look at stickers or washi tapes, and we walked out of there with only a phone case for Casey and some candy for stocking stuffers.

When we got home I grabbed the mail and was floored by this envelope.  That's hand lettered.  That's freakin' awesome.  There is a Christmas card inside but I might just tape the envelope to the wall too because I love that lettering.  I'm a dork sometimes, I know.

And now I'm just kinda chillin' for the day, watching some haul videos and getting some Melted posts ready to go.  How are you?  Getting started on all your Christmas stuff?  Are you going to try Blogmas with me?

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice - 'A crisp clean refreshing blend of sweet peppermint infused with hints of sweet vanilla bean.'
 The description of this is a bit deceiving, because I got way more of the vanilla bean than mint.  If you didn't know the mint was in there, you might never even notice it.  I still really loved this, but if you're going into this thinking you'll have lovely mint scent . . . nope.  I don't know if the vanilla bean is actually meant to be Vanilla Bean Noel?  It's a wonderful, warm and creamy, deep vanilla scent, with just the slightly bit of soft mint lurking way down in there.  Very, very nice.

I melted this 1.4 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  It was an almost subtle scent because it's so cozy and safe, but it was definitely there.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Cinnamon & Spice

Cinnamon & Spice - 'Crushed cinnamon sticks and a hint of fresh clove creates nostalgic appeal. Reminiscent of cinnamon scented pine cones that fill the stores during the holiday season.'
 It's funny that this mentions the scented pine cones in stores, because the one I reviewed previously reminds me of that more than this one.  This is still that type of scent, a very nice holiday mood setter, but it's a more dry type of cinnamon scent.

I melted this 1.4 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent throughout the downstairs of the house.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Haul - Walmart / A Few More Christmas Things

Picked up a few more Christmas things while shopping this morning.  Now that it's after Thanksgiving, it's full steam ahead on all things Christmas!  So anyway, we needed more tissues so I grabbed these somewhat Christmas-y designs.  I almost paid the much higher price for Kleenex brand in their festive designs until I saw these.

I never knew, until very late in the season last year, that these types of fancy letters were supposed to be Christmas stocking initials.  Duh me!  I thought they were ornaments or something.  Well, by the time I figured it out last year all the letters were picked over and I was only able to find T and D.  So today I grabbed C and K, and now we'll remember who's stocking is who's.  (We have two green ones, two red ones.)

Grabbed more stickers, of course.  These are so dang cute.  There are twelve sheets in a pack, three sheets each of these four designs.  I'll use them in my journal for sure, but maybe also some on Christmas cards.

Not sure how much gift wrapping we'll be doing this year since everyone seems to be asking for gift cards for everything, but I grabbed these two rolls of paper just in case.

I really enjoyed that Thanksgiving canvas I hauled a while ago, so I got myself a Christmas one.  There was another one I really wanted too, but I only grabbed this one for now.  The other one is sort of cream and gold colors, and would go nicely with the lighter colored theme I seem to be growing fond of this year.  Too bad I don't have more things to really carry that theme throughout the house.

I also really enjoyed putting pumpkin spice marshmallows in my hot cocoa throughout November, so when I saw these gingerbread flavored marshmallows I just had to grab a bag.

And of course I had to have peppermint marshmallows for my cocoa too.  I had these last year and they really do add quite a mint flavor to hot chocolate!  Actually, I found these at Target.  My Walmart did not have any yet.

I also got started on Christmas shopping, mainly little stocking stuffer type things for now.  You know, grab them while you see them because they'll be gone if you wait.  I suppose I could have included them in this post since my menfolk don't read this blog.  Oh well, maybe I'll put them in a different post if anyone is interested.

Have you started Christmas shopping?  Are you a Black Friday shopper?  An online shopper, or a physically get out there and do it shopper?

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Cinnamon Garland

Cinnamon Garland - 'Classic Christmas - crisp fresh bayberry infused with spicy ground cinnamon. So warm and inviting. A Homespun Original House Blend.'
 I originally started melting this earlier in the fall, thinking 'Ah, cinnamon is a good enough fall scent.'  But oh my gosh, as soon as it started to melt and I got my first good whiff of it, I had to stop the melt and save it for Christmas.  So here we are now in the Christmas season and this was actually the first thing I melted the morning after Thanksgiving.  This is SO perfect for Christmas!  It's very definitely a strong cinnamon scent but it's a sweet cinnamon with something more.  This is Christmas-in-a-craft-store type cinnamon.  It has to be that bayberry that makes this so Christmas-perfect.  It's such a great holiday mood setter.

I melted this 1.4 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent in the room where the warmer was, with lighter medium scent in adjacent rooms.

A Christmas must-have!

Nov. 28 - Thanksgiving Recap

A little late, I know, but thought I'd do a quick recap of our Thanksgiving.
In the days before Thanksgiving I was feeling quite bleah about it all.  I usually love this holiday for it's quiet calm, but this year I was stressing myself about it.  Once I got going on making food that morning though, I started feeling more relieved and in a lighter mood.  We were just staying home, only having hubby's parents over, so it was very casual and relaxed.

My mother-in-law gave me the gorgeous flower arrangement you see in the above picture.

The turkey was looking pretty good this year.  It tastes good each year but I never really get it brown on the outside.  This year was much better.

We always do it buffet style because we don't have any big dining table.  I'm a traditionalist when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner.  All the basics are there.  Well, except pumpkin pie.  Only hubby will eat it, and only a small amount, so we usually skip it.  This will sound horrible but one reason I don't like going to Thanksgiving dinner elsewhere is because I get all bummed if there are weird foods.  The whole 'bring a dish to pass' is fine as long as my beloved basics are still there.  lol

I need to check if they sell frozen squash.  That's become the one pain in the butt for me, trying to get the squash done right.  I also grabbed whole berry cranberry sauce instead of the jellied kind that we prefer.

The in-laws only stayed a few hours, and after they left it was time to finish getting all the meat we could off the turkey.  Of course Minion had to oversee that project.

Overall it was a quiet, mellow day.  It was warm (53 degrees) but gray and rainy all day.  I watched a bit of the Macy's parade in between kitchen chores.  That was kind of a bummer because all I was seeing was a lot of commentator face-time and a lot of Broadway style performances.  Where were the floats and bands and balloons?!  Ty and Matt were still here after the in-laws left so we played a few rounds of Zombie Dice before Matt had to get going.  That was fun.  To just sit and laugh at such a fun and simple game was just what I needed.  And then later that evening the Packers lost to the Bears, which put the Vikings back in sole possession of the #1 spot in the division.

Minion hopes you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you survived Black Friday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Haul - Sweet Fixations / Christmas Scents

(Apologies for the lackluster photos.  It's a gray, rainy day here, and lighting is bleah.)

When I saw that Sweet Fixations had added Jack Frost to the scent list, I decided to place an order for some Christmas scents.  I didn't want to go too crazy because it's really just the basics that I crave for this holiday.  Give me some candy cane, eggnog, gingerbread, and a bit of pine, and I'm happy.

Jack Frost - 'A wonderful blend of vanilla beans and mint! Great for the holidays or year round!'
I love sweet, soft mint scents like this for Christmas!  This is creamy and mellow, the peppermint being the main note but softened quite a bit.
Candy Cane - 'Sweet cool mint candy. Great holiday scent.'
I was a bit surprised to find I like this one more than the Jack Frost.  The peppermint is sharper in this one, but there is still a bit of vanilla or something holding it back.

Peppermint Cocoa - '(SF Blend)- Delicious hot cocoa topped with crushed candy canes.'
 I just had to try this one because I'm a fan of Badger State Cocoa (from Rosegirls) while all my waxy bloggy friends consider that 'the stinky badger.'  There is a chocolate note in here but the peppermint makes it such a fun Christmas scent.

Gingerbread - 'Richly spiced gingerbread, nutmeg, and clove with just the right hint of sweetness.'
Just a typical gingerbread scent.  This is the spicier version, not the sweeter cookie type.
Spiked Eggnog - 'A yummy holiday drink with vanilla, rum, and nutmeg!'
I really like this.  The 'spiked' adds such a warmth to it.
Almond Rum Eggnog - '(SF Blend)- Frothy and creamy eggnog with a dash of almond and rum.'
 I thought I'd try a bunch of different eggnog scents, just to see how I liked them.  I'm actually not fond of this one.  The almond note is strong.  I'm usually okay with almond but with that added eggnog note it's just not a scent I prefer.  It reminds me of Playdoh.  Hubby says he likes it though.

Butterscotch Eggnog - '(SF Blend)- Buttery butterscotch and creamy holiday eggnog.'
This one, on the other hand, I love.  It's a deep, sweet butterscotch scent with those tell-tale eggnog notes mixed in.  Mmmm.

Vanilla Bean Eggnog - '(SF Blend)- Sweet and creamy eggnog and vanilla bean noel.'
I don't get much eggnog in this, if any.  The Vanilla Bean Noel is strong and beautiful, and that's okay with me.

Elf Sweat - 'Magical, bubbly blend of candy canes, candy corn, and sugary syrup.'
This scent has been around forever, even back in my soap days, but I don't know if I've ever had it.  The mention of candy canes is what made me toss it into my cart this time.  Sadly, there is not enough candy cane to notice and nothing about this strikes me as Christmas-y.  I suppose it would be an okay scent for spring or summer.  It's very sweet, reminding me almost of 7Up for some reason.

Jinglebell Rock - '(SF Blend)- Holiday Gingerbread Cookies and a cup of Eggnog!'
 I don't know if I've ever had this scent, and since I was trying all things eggnog I decided to try this too.  I'm really curious to see how this melts because right now on cold sniff the gingerbread and the eggnog are each there, each doing battle to be the dominant note.  This one will be fun.

Sleigh Bells - 'Fruity blend of berries, strawberry, grape and sweet peaches. Great for any time of the year!'
I passed on this while shopping because there is nothing Christmas-y in the description.  I chuckled a bit when I saw it was included as a freebie.  Again, a nice enough scent for summer or something because it's very candy-fruity-sweet, but absolutely nothing Christmas-y about it.

Pumpkin Pie - 'A warm and scrumptious blend of pumpkin pie filling, spices, and sweet creamy vanilla.'
I smiled to see this was my other freebie.  It will be tucked away in my fall leftovers stash, waiting patiently for next fall.  This is not spicy.  It's a strangely bright pumpkin scent.  Maybe the candy sweetness of those others mingled with this in shipping.  We'll see how it is next fall.

I placed my order on Friday, November 13, and received the package on Wednesday, November 25.  Not a bad TAT in this world of 6+ months TAT from hard to order from vendors.  The scent shots are 1.7 and 1.8 oz. and cost $1.75 each.  Shipping is charged separately, when the order is ready to ship.  I paid $5.95, and my order came nicely wrapped and packed in a padded envelope within another padded envelope.

I'm looking forward to melting these!
Have you ordered from Sweet Fixations lately?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's early and I thought I'd hop on to wish everyone
before all the cooking starts.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Nov. 21 Natters - You're Snow Vain

 This is the view out my window today.  Snow!  I don't care how old you are, there is something about the first snow of the season that makes everyone run to the window and look.  That happened yesterday at work.  It was only flurries then but we all did do the 'Ooooh!' thing at the window.  Then overnight we got real snow.  It wasn't nearly as much as they'd been predicting but it did cover the ground and it hasn't melted yet, even as we creep into later afternoon.  It's a nice holiday mood setter.

 I forgot to mention something in my previous Natters post.
The other day, in all the news of Paris and refugees and Charlie Sheen, the biggest news for me was that Carly Simon finally revealed that the second verse of her song You're So Vain is about Warren Beatty.


She also revealed that the song is about three men, not just one.

Mr. Propson, one of my high school history teachers, used to do a Jeopardy style game in class as a way to review and prepare for tests.  Most of the 'questions' were about whatever we were studying but there was also the Misc. category.  I remember one time it was something about who sings backup in the Carly Simon song that is written about him?  No one got it, and Mr. Propson explained that it was Mick Jagger.  I did not know the song back then but that always stuck with me.  The last several years I've come to love the oldies and have finally come to know and love that song.  I always get a kick out of hearing Mick Jagger singing in it.  But I'd also heard that it was not known who the song was about, and the likely candidates were Warren Beatty or Mick Jagger.  I was always like 'No, it's Mick Jagger.  It's Mick Jagger!'  lol

So yeah, hearing that she's finally revealed some info about it was thrilling to me!

Work is somewhat okay lately.  It's nowhere near as stressful as it was not so long ago, so I'm welcoming that change.  Is it work changing, or me changing?  I'm not sure.  Might be a bit of both.  There was some drama yesterday but I tried to let it go as fast as it happened.

I'm having so much fun with the Vikings being in first place!  Oh, the crap we hand back and forth at work, me and the once arrogant Packer fans.  And tomorrow is the big Vikings vs. Packers game.  We've built up such a rivalry at work, it's hysterical.  There are little bets all over the place.  And I just keep irking those Packer fans because even if the Vikings lose tomorrow, the Packers will only be crawling back into a tie for first.


Haul - Walmart / A Few Christmas Things

Picked up a few Christmas things while shopping at Walmart this morning.  Today's shopping was mainly about Thanksgiving prep, but I had to grab these few things before they were gone.  Next week though, full Christmas shopping mode!

We've really been loving fake tea lights in votive holders this fall.  We have orange ones that are fine for Halloween and Thanksgiving, so I decided to get these red ones for the Christmas season.  I might pick up a pack of silver glittery ones for after Christmas, through the rest of winter.

Do you remember earlier this year when I was whining about not being able to find bags of bows in everyday colors?  I saw these tiny bows in a bunch of not-necessarily-Christmas colors and grabbed a pack.  I forgot to go back around to the aisle with the bags of big bows to see what they have.  Next time . . . 

My mom loves cardinals and has cardinal everything.  She really doesn't need or room for any more but this ornament was so different.  I just couldn't resist.

They haven't restocked that booklet of gift tags that I really want, so I figured I better grab something else that I like before I'm forced to settle on something I wouldn't have picked otherwise.  These are very traditional, and have some glittery accents.  I quite like them.

These are supposed to be reusable wall decorations.  I'll probably just put them on the fridge though.  They're much more sparkly than the picture shows.  I'm in a bit of a Noel theme this year, I think.  Remember the pillow from Target?

Got these stickers with my journal in mind.  There were several other designs but these were my favorites.

I was so excited to see they had Christmas washi tapes!  My store never did get all the really cool Halloween ones I saw everyone hauling.  Well, my excitement for these quickly died when I saw how boring the designs were.  I don't know if they're trying to do a Starbucks kind of politically correct thing or what, but the 14 different designs I saw were mainly just 'How many ways can we do red and green stripes?'  This one was the only one that caught any of my interest.

And that's it.
Have you been buying any fun little holiday things yet?