Thursday, April 30, 2015

Haul - Sugar & Spice Gourmet Soy Candles

Look at this!  I've actually dipped my foot back into the world of ordering wax!  Sugar & Spice is a vendor I've been aware of for a few years now.  I've enjoyed several S&S tarts that were gifted to me by my waxy friends but I've never placed my own order until now.

I'm still not overly familiar with how this vendor works.  It seems like the site stays open most of the time with multi-packs and custom blending available, but the ready to ship tarts you have to wait until she restocks and hope you can grab something good from the limited offerings.  And to catch those restocks, it appears you need to follow the Facebook group.  You guys probably know I am not a fan of 'Facebook vendors.'

I'd been sitting on a 20% off coupon code from waaaaaay back when I'd signed up for the Sugar & Spice newsletter.  I was not able to use the code on this order and I was a bit put off by that.  Granted, the code is from quite some time ago, but there is no expiration mentioned and it was part of a 'Thank you for signing up for our newsletter' type thing.  When I contacted the vendor, she said she had no active coupon codes at this time.

Hmm.  Well, anyway . . . 

Let's see what I got!

Butter Brickle - 'Incredibly buttery and sweet, this is awesome!'
OMG . . .  *dies a little* . . . such a delicious butterscotch scent.  I will need to try some blending with this one next time.
 
 Blueberry Muffin - 'The aroma of a freshly baked blueberry muffin. Top notes of juicy tart blueberries with orange zests, middle notes of butter cake, and base notes of vanilla and almond.'
 A very nice, typical blueberry muffin scent.

Caramelized Crimson Pear - 'Juicy, ripe crimson pears sprinkled in caramelized brown sugar with fresh churned maple butter, drizzled with honey and vanilla.'
 I wasn't quite sure what this was when I ordered it.  I didn't take the time to refer back to the scent description list because I wasn't sure how fast these restocks would fly out of the shop.  I just went down the limited list and grabbed several that I thought might be okay.  This is light on cold sniff but I do get a good pear note, along with some creamy warmer notes.  Quite yummy.

Pineapple Coconut Cake - [no scent description]
Strong on the sweet, cake note, with lighter hints of pineapple and coconut lurking in the background.

Blackberry Lemon Slices - [no scent description]
Candy-sweet lemon, like Lemonheads, with a very slight hint of dark berry deep down in there.

Peppermint Noel - '*Sugar & Spice Exclusive Blend!*blend of peppermint and vanilla bean noel type.'
 Oh, lordee!  This is an amazing vanilla-mint that just screams Christmas to me.  The VBN softens the mint and adds a bit of a creaminess.  Can't wait till Christmas rolls around so I can melt this!

Serendipity Marshmallow - '*Sugar & Spice Exclusive Blend!* serendipity blended with marshmallow.'
 Not sure why I grabbed this.  I'm not a huge Serendipity fan.  I think because I was racing to place and order and the list was limited, I was just looking for familiar things to grab.  It's a nice scent, definitely all those familiar Serendipity notes, but the addition of the marshmallow really tones down that over-the-top sweetness, and I like that.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake - 'The aroma of creamy pumpkin pie filling with rich eagle brand milk; surrounded with freshly baked yellow cake, melted butter, pecans, and hints of spice.'
Tomorrow is May 1, which means we're really not all that far away from fall.  Right?!  The Fall Slut needs to be prepared!  And this is so freakin' good.  Creamy and rich, the pumpkin note is there, along with soft spice and other cozy notes.  Can't wait for this one!
Down In The Islands - 'Sweet pineapple, acai berry, mango zest, tart passion fruit, yuzu zest, green apple, orchid leaves, and musky nuances.'
 I did dash back to the scent description to quickly check on this one before throwing it in my cart and racing to the checkout.  I don't think I like it.  I get a hint of apple and something that seems melon-like, along with other weird nose ticklers.  Hubby might like it.  If not, I'll set it aside for a waxy friend.

That's it for what I actually ordered.  I was excited to see three freebies included too!

Strawberry Soda - 'Delicious, bubbly, sugary strawberry accord intermingled with fruity notes of raspberry and peaches sitting on base notes of vanilla and musk.'
 I'd briefly considered this one while ordering but then moved on, so it was fun to see it as a freebie.  I don't get any fizzy note like soda scents usually have, but I do get the strawberry and hints of the peach.  Not sure how I feel about this one.  Might pass this one on too.

Mystery Tart
This was another freebie.  I know some vendors include 'mystery tarts' which are usually just leftover dribbles from various scents they've poured.  I'm thinking that what this vendor does too.  It can be fun to try and guess what the scents are but in the end it really doesn't matter because you'll never know, and you'll never get to order that tart again anyway.  Having said that, this one is delicious!  I think it's mainly Pumpkin Crunch Cake because I smell that same rich pumpkin with soft spice on top, but the bottom smells different, like something nutty.  There is a slight color variation about halfway down the tart too.  Wish I could remember what else had been available in that restock.  lol

Mystery Tart
The last of my freebies, another mystery tart.  The yellow smells like lemon, and the bottom smells like strawberry, but I can't tell what the white, blue, or tan layers might be.  Should be interesting to melt!

And that is my very first Sugar & Spice order.  Even with the few little things that kinda rubbed me the wrong way, I'm quite happy in the end and can see myself ordering again.  As I said earlier, I think the site stays open for multi-pack and custom blending orders.  I don't like to commit to more than singles though, until I know if I like a scent or not.  So I'll have to start paying attention to the Facebook group to hopefully catch news of the RTS restocks.  TAT is super fast, which I loveloveLOVE in these days of 6 and eight month TATs becoming the norm.  (That's insane, by the way, and I don't know why buyers put up with it.)  There is a flat rate shipping charge of $6.99, which sucks for smaller orders, but the extra freebies more than made up for the overage in my case.

So all in all, yes, I can see myself ordering from Sugar & Spice again.

Are you a Sugar & Spice fan?  What are some favorites I should consider for next time?

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Cherry Melons

Cherry Melons (SF Blend)- 'Watermelon and Cherry! Super sweet blend!'
 
Sweet Fixations was my favorite vendor for quite some time but then I hadn't placed an order for a while because I was exploring other vendors, and when I came back to SF, things had changed.  My last order was late summer or early fall of 2014 and I was so frustrated with the experience that I'd thought I was done with that vendor.  TAT had increased dramatically, communication was almost non-existent, and the order itself was lacking.  I kept a casual eye on things over the winter and noticed the website and Facebook page both seemed rather dead.  Was Sweet Fixations done?  Had she phased out or given up?  Or had something happened?  One day in March, I posted on her page, just asking if Sweet Fixations would even be around any more.  She replied that she definitely would be reopening, and that she hoped to have more details in the next couple weeks.  I go the impression that she'd just been going through some things in her life and would be soon coming back to her shop.  I got really excited.  But now it's been over a month and there still hasn't been any update so, once again, I don't know what to think.  I do know that I'm itching to order from her again though!
 
So anyway, this Cherry Melons tart was a freebie in that last order I placed.  I had set it aside for spring or summer, and finally pulled it out of my stash today.  What a bright, fun scent!  The cherry is a bit stronger, but the melon note is right there with it. Like the description says, it is a very sweet scent.  It's candy sweet, but it's like juicy candy, not powdery sugary candy.  Jolly Ranchers kinda come to mind.  A great, perky scent for these sunnier, warmer days as we creep towards summer.

I melted this whole tart (about 1.5 oz.) in my Glade hot plate warmer and had a healthy medium-strong scent with decent throw.

I really do hope that Sweet Fixations opens up again because I will definitely be ordering.
I've missed her tarts!

Read - Percy Jackson / The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Battle of the Labyrinth
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Four)
by Rick Riordan
2008
361 pages

'Percy Jackson isn't expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to diabolical.

In this latest installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos's army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop them, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth-a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn. Full of humor and heart-pounding action, this fourth book promises to be their most thrilling adventure yet.
'

----------------------------------------------

This is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  While I have enjoyed the series overall, this has been my least favorite of the books so far.  The plot got to jumbled and 'busy' in this one.

Percy and the regular cast of characters continue to prepare for the battle that is looming, and still race to try and find a way to defeat Kronos and avoid that battle.  The bulk of this book involves the labyrinth, and that's where it becomes confusing and frustrating for me.  Their goal was to find the ancient creator of this labyrinth.  I can't even remember how they come to this idea.  All I remember is once they start, too many things start happening, too many characters and creatures and situations are encountered.  A lot of the incidents and mini battles were interesting, but there were just too many.  The labyrinth becomes this cheesy way of having people end up anywhere and everywhere, and all rules go out the window.  It very much reminded me of the dorky traveling apartment in the Mortal Instruments series, just a cheap way to tie otherwise unrelated happenings together.  I'm also finding the see-all 'dreams' to be cheap storytelling too.  There were so many back stories and side deals going on, I lost track of who was on what side and who was after what.  And what purpose did any of it serve in trying to get to the center of the labyrinth and find this old guy? 

I still enjoyed the book though.  I just thought it was an over the top attempt at cramming more bits of Greek mythology into an already successful venture.  It felt cluttered and messy, like the spotlight was taken away from our main characters in order to highlight as many names and old stories/myths as the author could mention.  Hopefully the fifth and final book gets back on track and streamlines things again.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

100 Followers Giveaway! (CLOSED)

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Finally, finally, FINALLY . . . it's time for my 100 Followers Giveaway.  It's taken quite some time to get over 100 hundred followers, but I think it's a pretty nice accomplishment considering I do not self promote my blog anywhere.  There was a brief time when I tried to get into that, when I thought I'd turn this into a 'professional' review blog.  There have been times more recently when I've thought about it again, seeing so many people self promoting through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc..  But since I always seem to waver on just what I want to do with this ol' blog, and I'm not even sure from day to day anymore if I'll even keep going, I don't feel like I want to start advertising myself . . . yet.

Whatever happens though, I'd like to take a moment to thank those 100+ people who have followed me on this journey.  Whether you've been here years, or months, or maybe only weeks, I appreciate you taking the time to read.  I especially love when you take time to comment.  It's the interaction that I love.  And who would have thought that simply nattering about various topics would lead to some of the wonderful friendships that have developed along the way?

This is not a high budget blog, so this prize is not huge.
When I asked for prize ideas in a recent post, most of the responses leaned towards Target.  You certainly know by now that I'm hooked on Target's Dollar Spot.  LOL!  So I'm offering a $15 gift card to Target so you can pick some Dollar Spot goodies out for yourself.  Or try the Method foaming hand soap that we talked about.  Or those Glade colors products we talked about.  Or try some of the Target wax tarts if you haven't yet.  Or even some of the Yankee candles that Target carries.  Or anything your dear little Target loving heart desires!

RULES
  • Must be at least 18 years old, or have parent/guardian permission to give me your address.
  • Must have a US mailing address.
  • Must be a follower of this blog.  (There are 106 of you at the time of posting this.)
  • Must leave an email address that I can contact you at, if I don't already know yours.
  • Must answer the following 2-part question.
What is your favorite type of post on this blog?  And what do you think you'll use the gift towards?
(I'm just curious, hehe.)

This giveaway will be open from Saturday, April 25, 2015 to around noon (central time) on Friday, May 1, 2015.  A winner will be chosen using Random.org.

Good luck, everyone!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Read - Percy Jackson / The Titan's Curse

The Titan's Curse
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Three)
by Rick Riordan
2007
312 pages

'When Percy Jackson received and urgent distress call from his friend Grover, he immediately prepares for battle.  He knows he'll need his powerful demigod allies at his side; his trusty bronze sword, Riptide; and . . . a ride from his mom.

The demigods race to the rescue to find that Grover has made an important discovery: two powerful half-bloods, whose parentage is unknown.  But that's not all that awaits them.  The Titan lord Kronos has set up a devious trap, and the young heroes have just fallen prey.

Hilarious and action-packed, this third adventure in the series finds Percy faced with his most dangerous challenge yet -- the chilling prophecy of the Titan's curse.'

  -------------------------------

I've enjoyed this Percy Jackson series so far.  While I continued to enjoy it with this third book, the plot is starting to get a little 'busy,' and I hate when books are like that.  It almost seems like this one has shifted now into setting up things for later instead of telling a third story.  It was still a fun read, but it left so many things open ended.

Percy, Annabeth, and Thalia go to help Grover pick up two new half-bloods that he's found.  Problem is, they're being closely guarded for some reason.  In the chaos that erupts while trying to get the kids away from their school, some characters go missing, while new ones are introduced.  And that's just in the opening chapter!  lol

Back at Camp Half-Blood with these two new kids, things continue to be troublesome.  Percy is having weird dreams about his missing friend, and he finds out one of the The Hunters (who are staying at the camp for the moment) is also having weird dreams about her missing leader.  A quest party is formed to find the missing leader and see what's going on.  More adventures ensue, more monsters and characters are encountered, and some surprisingly touching deaths find it harder and harder for our good guys to keep carrying on.

Bad boy Luke is still out there but even he seems to be having some troubles these days.  Has he gotten in over his head in his mission to raise Kronos and destroy Olympus?  Is he finding he's just a pawn in a larger game?  Some characters still hold out hope that he can be saved, while others are glad to see him fall to his apparent death in the obligatory battle.

Not everyone makes it back from this quest, and those that do are left with more questions and problems than they had before.  Like I said, a lot of things are being set up for later.

I'm still enjoying the series though, and immediately dove into the next book upon finishing this one.


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Subscription - Walmart Beauty Box / Spring 2015

I received my Walmart Beauty Box - Spring edition yesterday!  Let's dive right in.

As with most subscription boxes, you open it to find tissue paper and a card of some sort.

There are several sample/travel sized products, as well as some coupons.

I laughed when I saw this because Sunnee recently posted about it.  This is Caress body wash, the 'fine fragrance' line, in the Adore Forever scent.  This stuff apparently has micro beads of scent, or something like that . . . ?  I'm all about body washes, so I'll be happily trying this.

This is the L'Oreal Paris - Total Repair 5 shampoo and conditioner.  It says it is for 'damaged, overworked hair.'  My hair is not in great condition but I don't know that it's damaged and I know it's not overworked.  I mean, heck, I am just a wash-n-go girl.  I'm kinda over the excitement of trying new hair products.  Well, first of all, I really want to get my hair cut and I just keep putting it off.  It's way longer than what I prefer, and I feel that just adds to the crappiness of it.  Also, I prefer 2-in-1 products because I'm lazy.  But I will go ahead and try these anyway.

Or maybe I should just go get my dang hair cut first.

I love lotions but for some reason I was disappointed to see this one.  I don't know why I always think of Palmer's Cocoa Butter and some cheap, bottom shelf, product of the '70s type thing.  ?!  LOL  I will laugh hysterically if I end up loving this.  I can't seem to find a decent hand lotion anymore, so here's hoping!

The little sample packet of Skin Therapy Oil didn't get me very excited either.  I'm not into extra face products, don't do the serums and all that stuff.  Maybe I should be since I'm an old lady now.  I guess I'll give it a try and see what I think.  Also, with these little packets, is it ever really enough to even know if it's doing anything?

I was super excited to see a Burt's Bees product, then sighed when I saw it was another face serum.  *sigh*  This one is their Renewal - Intensive Firming Serum, with hibiscus and apple.  I'll probably try this before the Palmer's one, just because Burt's Bees is more exciting to me.

I wasn't sure what to think when I pulled this Lady Gaga perfume sample out of the box.  I'm not into fancy perfumes.  Just give me a cheapie bottle of body mist in a simple scent and I'm good to go.  But hey, I can spritz on something more upscale if I like the scent.  Unfortunately, I hate this scent.  Is the name of this scent Fame?  Or Black Fluid?  I don't even know.  It's described as 'Tears of Belladonna, crushed heart of Orchidea, with a black veil of incense, pulverized apricot, and the combinative essences of saffron and honey drops.'

This will go into a friend-mail or get tossed.  I have no interest in it.

For coupons in this box, there is a $3.00 one for any Burt's Bees Renewal item, $1.00 of Palmer's face oil, and a free dry spray antiperspirant from Dove, Degree, or Axe.

I'm a little disappointed with this box.  I don't know why.  I mean, I didn't get any makeup or nail products that I wouldn't use anyway, so I should be glad.  And it is basically a free box, only $5.00 to cover shipping.  I've purposely stayed away from watching videos until I received this, because I didn't want to know what might be in mine.  I went ahead and watched one this morning and that lady had a different lotion in place of the Palmer's one.  She had also mentioned being a little bummed by this box, and said she'd seen videos of the younger ladies getting much more interesting products.  I'm going to go watch a couple more videos now, see what other things are popping up in this Spring Box.  I also wonder if there is a way to change our settings for our subscription.  I'm pretty sure the boxes go by age group, but I really don't remember for sure what was all involved when signing up.

Oh well, it's still fun, and it's cheap.
Like me!  =P

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Melted - Rosegirls / Muffin Club Sage Blend

Sweet Lemon Confection / Orange Revival / Sage

I kept thinking I had a lemon-lime type scent going while this was melting.  When I finally had to look again at the label to see just what was in this, I was amused.  Apparently sage can morph orange into lime?  But no, once I saw this and then paid closer attention, I could pick out the subtle orange notes in the blend.  There is a really nice herbal-spice note to this from the sage.  Herbal-spice?  Is that a new category?  I don't know how else to describe it.  This is not quite the bright and zippy summery citrus scent you might initially expect it to be.  The sage really works to make it something else, something more grown up and a touch warm.  This was a really nice blend!

I divided this muffin and melted 1 oz. worth in each of three warmers.  I had two tea lights and one Glade hot plate warmer going in three adjacent rooms and had a good medium-strong scent.

Order of the Odor - Vol. 8


We hope your spring is blooming with beautiful weather and happy circumstance.

Have you been craving any particular scents this month?
I've been wanting lighter, brighter scents now that we are officially into spring.  I've been craving coconut and pineapple scents in a huge way too, but I'm trying to hold off on those until summer.

Are you a seasonal melter?
Absolutely!!!  There are some 'everyday' scents that I'm okay with anytime of year but I just can't get into melting pumpkin scents in spring, or lilac as Christmas is creeping up.  I even cringe when others do it.  *fingers to eyes and then pointing at three waxy chickies I know*
=P

Please share with us your answers to these questions in the comments and see what is going on in the following waxy blogs:

Deb, over at It's Always Something, has found a rich buttery sugar cookie tart that you NEED to try! Best part? It is really affordable and may be only an errand away! 

Pop over to Fragrance Obsessed to see what incredible blends Sunnee ordered from Sniff My Tarts, and find out what scent she is head over heels in love with enough to order a full sheet cake in....

Ready for another fabulous 10 out of 10 high performing tart from Lolo?! This one even smells like the much lauded London Calling candle from Bath & Body Works. Come check out what vendor creates this awesome tart!

As waxies, we are probably all familiar with Scentsy, but what are some of Julie's top Scentsy picks that stand out from the vendor crowd?