Thursday, December 31, 2015

Natters - Dec. 31 / Looking Back

Here we are.  New Year's Eve.  I have nothing organized for this post, like lists or goals.  I can natter on for a while though, about the year that this was.

2015 seemed to be a very scattered year for me.  I felt like I was floundering in all aspects, and at best just getting by.  I had a lot of low time this year, probably to the point that I maybe should have sought some sort of medical attention or counseling or something.  I kept diving into different projects and interests, hoping it would be the next big thing to grab my attention.  And each time I gave up, suffering miserable defeat in everything I tried, even though I was giving up before allowing myself to ever really get started.  Like I said, I was scattered.

I know now that part of the problem, or maybe THE problem itself is that I have nothing to look forward to.  I don't mean that in a suicidal cry for help way.  No, no, no.  I just mean that there's nothing in particular going on.  My kids are grown so there are no kid or school related activities or goals to look forward to.  There are no girlfriends in the picture so there are no weddings or grandchildren to hopefully look forward to.  My job is my job and there is nothing new to look forward to there either.  I've admitted I'm not going anywhere so I need to readjust my approach to the work things that stress me out so much.  There is no room for advancement there, not that I'm looking for that anyway.  I have no hobbies to distract me, which is why I was throwing myself into anything and everything, just hoping one would stick.

As we're about to start 2016, I don't see any of these things changing BUT I think I do have a better outlook about the situation.  I'm very slowly learning how to get back into things like just sitting and watching a movie, or allowing myself to sit and play a video game without thinking there are 800 better things I could be doing.  I'm starting to admit to myself that I do like these simple days, and that if I'd just live in the moment more I wouldn't be so worried about what's not happening.

I'm not a resolution maker, and not a big goal setter.  I'm not going to proclaim in this post that in the year I'm going to do this, try this, start this.  I might end up with a repeat of last year, jumping into things and quitting again, but hopefully I'll at least give myself more of a chance.  Actually, I'm hoping I won't even feel the need to keep trying to find a favorite new hobby.  I'm hoping for a mellow year.

The same goes for this blog.  I'm constantly wondering which way I want to go with this, and whether I want to keep doing it at all.  Several people keep telling me to just keep it as is, do what I enjoy as I enjoy it.  I might go through phases of totally diving back into the wax world, and I might back off and only melt the occasional tart from Walmart.  I might even disappear in fits of 'I quit!' again.  And it's funny because, the thing I want is a hobby to occupy my time and mind, and this blog is very much that.  Why can't I see that and accept it??

So in this new year, I'm not going to say there will be big changes.  I'm just hoping for a more consistent, better mood.  I don't think that's too much to ask for, do you?

How has 2015 treated you, and what are you hoping for in 2016?

Melted - Scentsationals / Santa's Sugar Cookies

Santa's Sugar Cookies - 'Ho ho ho! Warm your house with the scent of St. Nick’s favorite cookies. Still warm from the oven, these buttery cookies shimmer with sweet sugar and spicy cinnamon sprinkled on top.'
 
 This is such a warm and cozy cookie scent!  It's a deep, rich buttery vanilla scent.  I never detected any specific cinnamon note, but I think there is just enough to put a slight edge on the overall scent.  At time I even thought I was picking up the slightest hint of something like toasted coconut.  Mmm, just a really nice, safe bakery scent to cozy up your house on a cold winter day.

I melted two cubes (about .8 oz. worth) in my Glade hot plate warmer and had deliciously strong scent.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Natters - Dec. 30 / Boring Day

Isn't this snowman pic the cutest thing?
And since I have no wonderful post related pics to share today, Cute Little Snowman will happily serve as your visual.

FattyCat had his checkup at the vet today.  It has been two months since his last thyroid check, instead of the one month that he had been going.  Last time they said his thyroid levels were "still a bit low" and adjusted his meds down.  Today they rechecked everything . . . thyroid, kidneys, whatever else.  His weight has remained constant, which is better than losing, but we still don't know why he's not gaining.  His thyroid levels are better, but his kidney test was a wee bit off.  The vet said we should consider getting one of those pet fountain things to encourage him to drink more water.  We have water available to them at all times, but the vet said cats are more likely to drink more from a fresh or running source instead of day old, still water.  I guess that explains why they love when we leave the faucet dribble for a while.  I don't think the vet is too overly concerned yet though, because he said Fatty doesn't need to come back for a year.  He said we could go back at six months just to be sure, but otherwise he'd see Fatty in a year.  I guess that's good news.

I went to my mom's today, did her laundry, helped her with things.  She didn't want to go to town today because of the snow we got yesterday.  That was fine with me.  She said she had fun at my brother's for Christmas and that next year we're going to try and all get together either before or after Christmas, instead of Christmas Day.  I vote for before.  That's one of the things I'd been thinking about in this year's blahness, that if we'd all gotten together Christmas Eve Day or something it might have seemed more exciting.  Seems like on Christmas Day we all just want to hang out with our own families.

After leaving my mom's I stopped at work to pick up my check and have my 'yearly work review.'  Those reviews are such a crock of crap.  They mean absolutely nothing anymore so I really don't care what they have to say about me.  I ended up hanging around for a while just chitchatting with my supervisor and a couple other people.  We talked about movies, and my supervisor (a huge movie addict) scolded me for having all this time off and not watching any movies.  But I DID watch a movie!  I watched that horrible Paranormal Activity #?? movie!

Hubby and I watched Ouija when I got home, so I could say I watched something.  Man, that movie sucked too!  As expected, my supervisor assured me that didn't count because it's a crap movie.  I can't win.  lol

We finished watching The Guild this evening.  It got quite boring in the last couple seasons.  Probably good that it ended when it did.  The NPC mermaid in the last season absolutely cracked me up.  At first I was like, why is she acting like that?  All stiff and never making eye contact?  Then it was like DUH!  She's an NPC.  That's how they act.
(Liz, have you seen The Guild?!)

So now we're just winding down for the evening.  Oh!  We finally decided to go ahead and order markers from Amazon and wouldn't you know, when I went to the site they were temporarily out of stock.  We ordered anyway, and they'll let us know when they get more in.  I also used my Amazon gift card towards a set of books I've had on my wish list for some time now.  I will do a haul post when I get them.  I also spent some time on the Lush site today because Julie and Liz have me wanting to get into Lush now.  I just don't think I can do it though.  The prices are so scary high!!!  All the sale things are out of stock.  Even though they've been randomly restocking, I'm not sure I'll ever catch one of those restocks.  I'm also afraid that I'll spend that money and then never use the bath bombs or bubble bars.  Heck, I still have the one from Petals Bath Boutique sitting here!

Alright, I'm going to go color for a while.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dec. 29 - Back to Natters

Minion wanted to say hello, and wanted me to get back to blogging.  Apparently my absence since Blogmas ended bothered him enough that he even came over to catch a nap on this couch instead of his usual spot on our other couch.  He *never* hangs out on this couch.  It was weird, and cute.

So anyway, yeah, it didn't take me long to get lazy about blogging did it?  I think having the motivation of Blogmas is what helped me go 26 days straight.  While doing it, I had it in my head 'Gotta get a post up!' each day, regardless of how I felt or what I was doing each evening.  Now there is no such goal or motivation, and I've found it very easy to just blow it off.  I guess I'll need to set some goals for myself, or set up a reward system for myself, or something.

Sunday I took our Christmas decorations down and get them all packed away.  We decided to keep the tree up though, probably till New Year's Day.  It's still fun to have that around, and watch the twinkling lights in the evening.  I've even considered *only* putting up the tree next year.  Hubby says there is no way I'll be able to limit myself to just that, but right now I'm kinda liking the idea.  One of the things I hate about decorating is that it takes a day to get all the stuff set out, and then a day to pack it all back up.  I guess we'll just see how I feel about things next Christmas.

We went to town Sunday morning to try and find some pens or markers for the coloring books we'd gotten for Christmas.  We don't have a Hobby Lobby or Michael's in the town we shop in most often so we ended up at Joann's, thinking that would be our best bet for crafty pens.  Ha, nope.  They did have some really expensive ones in small packs, but we were not interested in paying that much.  We stopped at Target to see what they offered and found tons.  We were mainly on the hunt for gel pens, and we found a bunch of options there.  I think we ended up getting three different variety packs.  Now we've been looking on Amazon to see about markers.  There is one set of 100 that we have our eye on.

On Sunday we also watched the Packers lose in that horribly hysterical game against the Cardinals.  AND we watched the Vikings walk all over the Giants to earn a place in the playoffs.  The next game is the finally game of regular season and we play the Packers.  It's a battle for the NFC North, with whoever wins claiming the title.  WOOT!!

 
We had three visitors in our yard Sunday evening.  We haven't seen many deer around lately, so it was fun to watch these guys.  These two pics are actually of the same deer.  This one came closest to the house and was the most entertaining to watch.  It was getting dark already, so these are shaky no-flash pics.

Monday we went to hubby's eye appointment, and I picked up a few things at Walmart.  There was a Winter Storm Warning starting at noon and running all night.  It started snowing around 11am and was already getting pretty nasty as we headed home.  We just stayed in after that, puttered around, and listened to the storm pick up throughout the evening.  Casey had to go to work early (7pm) and said it was horrible, that traffic was only doing about 30mph on the highway.
This pic was taken about 2:30pm Monday.  It was blowing pretty bad here already and it only got worse.

This was 8:00am this morning.  Luckily, we didn't get the six inches they were predicting.  Blowing and drifting was a problem though.  While you can see grass poking through in some spots, other spots are drifted knee deep.  Hubby was up early with the snowblower, getting the driveway cleared.  I was supposed to go tend my mom today but she called and said forget it, wait till tomorrow.  That was totally fine with me!

So today, Tuesday, hubby and I have just been chillin' here, watching TV and relaxing.  He used up his vacation time this week, and I'm still off.  We decided to watch The Guild today.  We'd seen the first few seasons years ago and fell in love with the series because we could totally relate to the gamer dorkiness of it all.  Then we forgot about it for a while.  I'd actually gotten the complete series DVD set last year for Christmas but for whatever reason, we never watched it.  Until today.  Ty was not here.  Casey was sick and had already gone to bed.  So just hubby and I watched and laughed our butts off through the first three seasons.  We're taking a break right now so I can make supper, and then we'll probably finish the remaining three season this evening.  (They are just short little webisodes, so a season is really only about 45 minutes.)  If you haven't seen this show, you need to check it out.

And that's what I've been doing these past few days.  I've been resisting the urge to order from several big name sales going on.  I had a ton of Yankee stuff in my cart, and changed my mind.  I had a ton of BBW stuff in my cart, several times, but keep backing out.  I looked at the Lush site and considered ordering a couple things but I'm afraid I'll just never use bath bombs or melts if I get them.  I didn't see any Glogg shower gel on the site either.  I'm still tempted though, by both Lush and BBW!

Have you hit up any of the big end of year sales?
What did you spoil yourself with??

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Blogmas - Day 26 / Wrap Up

 

Christmas has come and gone.  Blogmas is technically over.  I wanted to do a little wrap up type post though.  Originally I'd thought I would include a Christmas haul in this post, but I decided to skip that.  I got another book about King Ludwig that I'm anxious to read.  I got the complete That '70s Show series on DVD.  I got an awesome #7 / Ponder jersey that I absolutely love even though he's no longer a Viking.  I got a lot of other random little things too, but the hit this year seems to be those stress relief coloring books.  Hubby got one, and I got two, and we've been coloring in them most of this afternoon and evening.  We're having so much fun with them that we're going to town tomorrow to try and find more colors of gel pens.

Christmas just seemed really weird this year.  Back at Thanksgiving, I was so excited to dive into the Christmas season.  I couldn't wait to get the tree up and the decorations out.  I got the Christmas cards done and sent early.  I had my shopping done early and easily, without stressing too much about what to get and who to buy for.  And then the Christmas spirit kinda fizzled away during the middle of the month, when I had everything done.  The closer it got to Christmas, the more this weird detached feeling took over.  It really started to feel like Christmas had come and gone, and I'd missed it or forgotten about it.  To see other people still shopping and getting excited seemed so weird.  Seeing holiday commercials or shows on TV was weird.

Then Christmas finally did arrive and it still felt sort of . . . empty.  I mean, we had a nice enough day and all, but something just felt lackluster about it.  Hubby admitted today that yeah, it lacked something this year, but we can't figure out what.

The weirdness continued today when I did my regular shopping this morning.  Walmart was pretty busy at 6:45am.  That's to be expected the day after Christmas.  People were grabbing clearance stuff like it was Black Friday all over again.  They were getting pushy and grabby and defensive as they stacked their carts with tons of those bath and body products gift sets, and perfume gift sets, and all that gifty kind of stuff.  Seriously, some people had stacks of like ten Axe gift sets, and probably twenty of the little Bodycology gift sets.  Are they saving these for next year?  For birthdays?  Why so many, people?  I did look around but didn't see anything I absolutely needed to have.  I did get two rolls of wrapping paper, a pack of gift tags that I'd wanted way back at the beginning of the season but then they'd been sold out, and one small canvas art decoration thing.  But the weird thing I realized was that there were no checkout lanes set up for returns or exchanges.  There were no lines of people returning or exchanging things.  Once again, it was like, did Christmas really happen?

The super weird thing is that today felt mildly more like Christmas to me than yesterday did!  One radio station was still playing Christmas music, so I continued to listen to that.  We hadn't made our ham dinner yesterday because we'd been munching candy and sweets all day, so we did it today instead.  And we've been having fun with our coloring books all day, which reminds me of previous Christmases, when there always seems to be one new obsession for the day.

As for Blogmas, I'm surprised I actually got a post done every day.  Maybe this will have taught me to be vigilant on just regular blogging???  I'm not sure, because I still don't know what I want to do after today.  People say they like the daily natterings but I'm afraid it will eventually open me up to people picking my life apart.  Know what I mean?  So we'll see.  But for Blogmas, yeah, glad I did it.  I would have liked to have more holiday related posts like recipes and tags and things but I was just winging it this year.  If I do it again next year, I'll try to be more prepared, and will try to coordinate with other bloggers.  And I do hope other bloggers will do it next year!

There were some things I'd hoped to accomplish with Blogmas that didn't really happen.  I was hoping for more interaction from readers.  I loved the conversations with Liz, and Julie was here once in a while, but I'd really hoped others would have chimed in.  That kinda tells me that maybe Blogmas was boring to a lot of people.  There were a couple other little things that never developed even though I thought I'd left enough not-so-subtle hints.  I guess I'll have to be more obvious and blunt next year.

I'm happy to have a record of this year's Christmas season though.  I'll probably print out the posts and put them in my journal, which I stopped writing in because Blogmas took over.  Maybe going back and reading the entries straight through will give me some insight as to why I felt so weird this year.

So yes, Blogmas is officially done now.
Did you enjoy it?  Or were you bored and only checked in for the daily wax posts?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blogmas - Day 25 / Merry Christmas!

Well here we are at Christmas Day.  Blogmas was a success.  I did enjoy doing it but by the end it was getting a little blah because I just wasn't in that bubbly Christmas mood anymore.  If you stuck with me through the whole thing, I thank you.  I really appreciate it.

So, Christmas Day.  Casey was already up sometime in the middle of the night because he's a 3rd shifter, a night owl.  Hubby got up shortly before 5am, and kinda threw a kink in the normal Christmas morning routine of me being the first one up and putting the presents under the tree.  True, Casey was up but he was still in his room, probably glued to some shooter game on Xbox.  I ended up getting up earlier than my normal 5:30am, and filled stockings and put the presents out while hubby was in the shower.

Ty showed up quite early, before 6:30am.  He said Matt would  not be joining us because he'd been out drinking last night, but Ty had brought along gifts from him.  We had A Christmas Story on TV, our tradition, and had fun opening our presents.  We all did pretty good this year.  There is nothing that needs to be returned or exchanged!  I remember last year there were several things that need to be sent back, and that was a pain in the butt.

This is how a very drunk Matt wraps presents at 2am on Christmas morning.

Fattycat enjoyed his Christmas.  He always has to be in the thick of things, seeing what everyone got.

Minion just likes to play in all the paper.

After everything was opened, I put that breakfast bake thing into the oven, and then started picking up the mess in the living room.  Ty and Casey were already dueling in Super Smash Bros. because Casey had gotten a new Amiibo character.  Hubby was checking out all his new things.  We all had some of the breakfast once it was ready.  We all agreed it wasn't all that great, and not worth the trouble.  Next year we'll just go back to hubby whipping up some eggs and bacon and toast for us.

Later we ended up playing a Walking Dead board game that hubby had gotten.  It took some time to get it figured out, but we did manage to get one game in.  Ty headed home around 2pm.  Hubby had to go deliver one last present that had arrived late in the day yesterday.  And Casey had disappeared back upstairs into his room to play Xbox or Playstation or something.  I decided to sit my butt down and watch a movie for once.  Pan and the newest Paranormal Activity were both coming on, and I debated which one to pick.  I ended up getting Paranormal Activity.  Good lord, what a craptastic movie!  Each one of the Paranormal Activities gets a bit worse, so yeah, this one was pretty pointless and sucky.  I'm sure there will be another one.  And what a fine Christmas Day movie, huh?  LOL

So now it's evening and Casey has gone to bed.  Hubby's kicked back watching TV.  I'm just puttering around again until bedtime.  I didn't even make Christmas dinner today because we'd all been munching candy and sweets all morning.  That's a bummer.

The day was nice enough, but it STILL just did not seem like Christmas.  I had more of a feeling of 'Glad it's finally here and done' than 'Yay, it's finally here!'  It just felt empty.  I don't know if this is going to be my new norm or what.  Kind of depressing if it is, but I guess it could be much worse.

I would really like to start taking all the decorations down tomorrow.  I'll probably leave them up though because hubby and Casey still have festive feelings.  I'm just ready to pack it up and get back to normal and see what the new year brings.

And I'm looking forward to my regular shopping tomorrow because I might be able to find some fun clearance things!

How was your Christmas?!


Melted - Sweet Fixations / Candy Cane

Candy Cane - 'Sweet cool mint candy. Great holiday scent.

I needed a fitting Melted post for Christmas day and what could be more fitting than Candy Cane?  This was just as you'd probably expect, sweet peppermint.  I think it was still a little softer and sweeter than a straight up crisp, cool peppermint scent, so there must be extra sugar or maybe vanilla in this.  But that's okay!  Because this is how I like my Christmas minty scents, soft and sweet.

I melted this 1.8 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.  I would have liked it a bit stronger.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blogmas - Day 24 / Christmas Eve!

The weirdest thing happened last night.  We always leave our clock-radio in the bedroom playing while we sleep.  The oldies station that it's always on has not been playing Christmas music, but when I woke up in the night, I heard a Christmas song.  I realized it must be after midnight and they've switched to holiday music for the next two days.  And my Christmas spirit soared!  It was like this exciting little nudge that got me back on track!

We had windy weather last night and this morning.  I had to laugh when I saw this out the kitchen window this morning.
With all our non-snowy warm winter weather, ol' Frosty says "I'm outta here!"

I had to go to the bank this morning, then made a quick trip to the grocery store in town to pick up a few last minute things.  I expected it to be busy but holy moly!  At 9:00am that place was packed!  Every checkout lane was open.  It was crazy, but did add to my last minute Christmas mood.

Ty came over later in the morning and we all played some video games for a while.  Hubby had worked until noon, then came home and grabbed a few presents that he had to deliver.  Ty left for a while when Matt swung by and picked him up to go very last minute Christmas shopping.  And Casey went to take a nap since he's still running on a third shift schedule.  He said to wake him up when everyone got back.

I had a bit of time to myself at that point, and poked around on the internet, although there is not much happening today with everyone doing family stuff and getting ready for tomorrow.  Hubby got back first.  The boys got back a little after him, and brought pizza for supper.  I tried to wake Casey up but he was (and still is) out like a light, so we ate without him.  The rest of us ended up playing several games of Zombie Dice, and we had some good laughs.  That game is quick and easy, compared to when we play Munchkin and it takes hours.  Ty and Matt decided to leave then, about 6pm, because Matt still needed to wrap presents.

After the boys left, I asked hubby if he wanted to go drive around and look at Christmas lights.  He said no.  I called him a Grinchy Scrooge and went without him.  I just drove into the little town we live near.  There are some amazing looking light displays!  There were also some houses that just looked like someone had puked lights all over them.  Just because you have a million lights doesn't mean it's going to look good.  It was fun to cruise around but I was wishing someone else had been with me to make it a little more fun.  And then I started getting a little car sick from all the twists and turns and looking this way and that, so I headed back home.

We decided to try one of those make-ahead breakfast bake things this year.  Hubby always wants to have a big Christmas breakfast but we rarely do because we're usually all absorbed in opening presents or playing with our new toys.  I thought ah heck, this make-ahead thing will be great.  Ha.  No.  What a mess to put together!  We didn't have the right size baking dish.  We didn't have the required amount of boxed hash browns.  I kind of improvised.  I made a huge mess.  I would rather have been doing other things.  And I already don't care how it tastes tomorrow morning because I've already made up my mind that I'm not doing it again next year.

So now we're winding down on this quiet Christmas Eve.  Hubby's watching NCIS reruns in the dark living room with all sorts of Christmas lights on.  We've had some eggnog.  Casey is still asleep.  And after I get this posted I'll probably be heading up to bed to read.  Hubby will set out the presents he bought after I go up, because I don't like to see them before Christmas morning.  Casey will be up sometime in the night and set out the ones he bought.  This works out because it still allows me that excited first look at what Santa brought  when I get up tomorrow morning and set out the things I've bought.  We'll leave the tree lights and the radio on all night, quietly playing Christmas music, just like we did all the years the boys were growing up.

I hope you all had a great Christmas Eve Day, whether it was mellow or frantic.  I hope you get time to wind down this evening and enjoy your Christmas lights.  And I hope Santa brings you something wonderful!

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Gingerbread

Gingerbread - 'Richly spiced gingerbread, nutmeg, and clove with just the right hint of sweetness.'
 
 This was a really nice Gingerbread scent, not too dark and spicy, but still spicy enough.  This one leans towards that slightly sweeter side, like I prefer.  It also had that sort of sour tang that I'd mentioned the Sonoma brand Gingerbread House having.  I don't know what that note would be from but it does make the overall scent quite interesting.

I melted this 1.7 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent the first couple hours, before it settled down to a more medium type scent after that.

I would get this again as part of my Christmas must-haves.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Blogmas - Day 23 / More Friend Mail

I received a festively fun friend mail from Liz yesterday.  I was surprised by how heavy the box was!  I'd known she was sending some Bath & Body Works soaps but wow, the heft of the box really had me intrigued.  I'd also been wondering if she'd included one of her handmade Christmas cards, which she'd mentioned working on.

She sure did!
It's so pretty, the sparkly wintery theme.  I'd been admiring the snowflake background she's been using in her recent soap and wax pics on her blog, and I smiled to see she used some for this card.  Well done, Liz!

FIVE Bath & Body Works hand soaps!  And look at those scents!  Warm Vanilla Sugar, Frosted Cranberry, Twisted Peppermint, Winter Candy Apple, and Black Cherry Merlot.  They're perfect.  It takes us a while to go through hand soap, so these will last us a good long time.

She included some of her own handcrafted soaps too!  Hubby and I were excited to check these out.  I'll venture back into using bar soaps just to try these.  I need to check back on her blog and see if these are goat milk soaps.

Look at this cute little paper box that she made.  I need to learn how to do this.
This lovely Cucumber Melon & Strawberry scent was making the whole package smell bright and fun.  Hubby REALLY likes that scent blend.  You might be onto something here, Liz!

And what's a friend mail between waxy bloggy friends without some wax in it?
These will be a nice start to restocking my stash after the holidays.

Thank you so much, Liz!
You sent way more than I was expecting, and it sure did brighten my day.

Well here we are on Day 23 and my Christmas spirit is nowhere to be found.  At least I'm not in my mopey funk about it anymore though.  Casey is wrapping presents in the other room.  Kurth did a bit of last minute shopping after work today.  We got one more card in the mail today.  But it all just seems out of place to me.

 I spent my day pretty much camped out on the couch, alternating between playing Skylanders and watching true crime shows on TV.  It was 54 degrees today!  Of course it was also very gray and dark and rainy.  Not much else to report today.  I'm hoping tomorrow will seem a little more Christmas-y, what with hubby only working a half day and Casey off and Ty maybe coming over to hang out.

Are you ready for Christmas???




Melted - Rosegirls / Peppermint Royal Sugar Cookie Muffin

Peppermint / Royal Sugar Cookie - [no scent description]

Another of our last Muffin Club creations that has patiently been waiting for Christmas to roll around, this one was really quite yummy.  There is a rich, cozy sugar cookie bakery note, and that signature sort of creamy note that all Rosegirls scents seem to have, and then a pop of crisp, cool peppermint to make it festive.  This fits rather nicely in the sweet vanilla-mint type of peppermint that I love for Christmas.

I melted half of this muffin (about 1.2 oz. worth) in my Glade hot plate warmer and had scent that traveled well throughout the house but was on the lighter side.  It was a gentle sort of background scent, just enough to notice that it was there.  I wish it would have been stronger, but even so, it was very nice and probably safe for anyone, like if you had company coming over and you didn't want to overwhelm them with home fragrance.

Melted - AmbiEscents / Baby, It's Cold Outside

Baby, It's Cold Outside - [no scent description]

On cold sniff this seems like a somewhat minty scent but definitely with something else going on.  I'd wondered if there might be pine or something lurking in there.  I tried to find some info about it online, and only found someone's blog saying it was a great vanilla-mint.  I disagree with that.  There is definitely more than vanilla-mint in this.  Warmed, a distinct peppery note emerged and that totally threw it off for me.

I melted three cubes in my Glade hot plate warmer and had decent medium-strong scent, but that peppery note had me losing interest fast.

(This was gifted to me.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Blogmas - Day 22 / Special K Bars


Thought I'd post a recipe today.  Special K Bars are something that have become a Christmas tradition in this house.  It's usually the only time during the year that I make them now, just to keep us from getting tired of them.  If I make them early, I have to tuck them away until Christmas Eve or they'd be devoured well before then.  They're super easy, super sweet, and super yummy!

Special K Bars
Slightly boil together:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup white corn syrup

Add to sugars:
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1 tsp. vanilla
Stir until peanut butter is melted and well mixed.

While sugars are heating, measure out 6 cups of Special K cereal and crush until pieces are quite small, but not down to powder.  Put the crushed cereal into a large bowl and add the boiled sugar/peanut butter.  Mix well.

Spread into a shallow 10x15 inch pan.
(I like to slightly coat the pan with shortening first.)
Pan will become hot, so be careful.

Melt together:
1 package of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 package of butterscotch chips

Pour the melted chips mixture over the bars in the pan.
Add festive sprinkles if you'd like.
Let cool.
I've found it easier to cut these bars if you do when still a bit warm.  I pop the whole slab out of the pan and use a pizza cutter to cut into small bars.  Because they are quite sweet and quite rich, I make the bars quite small.

ENJOY!
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We had snow overnight!  I haven't been paying much attention to the weather lately because I know we won't have a white Christmas this year.  So I was quite surprised when I got up this morning and saw a little bit of white stuff.
Of course, it warmed up enough later in the day and this little bit of snow is gone already.  We're supposed to be in the mid-50s tomorrow.  Whaaat?!

I had absolutely no plans today.  I played a bit of Skylanders in the morning, but just couldn't get into it enough and abandoned the effort.  Tried to get our extra computer set up for me to use because I fear mine is going to die any day now.  This extra computer was originally meant to be hubby's but he lost interest in computer games long ago and it's pretty much just been sitting ever since.  I know that one can handle World of Warcraft better than this one though, and since Casey and I have been having an itch to play that I thought I'd get it set up again.  I didn't finish though because of my own impatience.  So I sat and got caught up on some of the many episodes of Snapped the DVR has recorded for me.  Nothing like murderous women to bring on some festive spirit, huh?

Actually, the Christmas spirit was almost completely non-existent for most of the day.  I didn't have the radio playing Christmas music in the background.  I wasn't doing anything Christmas-y.  I wasn't seeing any Christmas-y commercials on TV since I was fast forwarding through them.  I was looking at the tree and decorations around the house, and it just felt to weird.  Like, detached or something.  I'm not sure why but a bit of holiday spirit started to creep back into me late in the day.  It's not much, but at least it's not still at that 'Pack up the tree and move one!' point.

We got two more cards today.  Our display is looking quite substantial this year!
Well done, people!  This is a tradition we shouldn't let die.  I'm always curious to see how many come in the last day or two before Christmas.

And now I'm going to log on to UO and get a round of daily gains for my character.

I hope your Day 22 was peaceful!


Melted - Scentsationals / No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home - 'Sweet cinnamon and warm clove.'

The description on the package sounds simple enough but when I checked for a description on the site it showed a different package and said 'The comforting essence of sweet cinnamon, warm clove and fresh nutmeg accented with subtle nuances of fresh basil and eucalyptus.'  Is it really the more complex one?  To me it just seemed like another 'craft store at Christmas' type cinnamon scent, but not quite as potent.  It was a bit on the dry side too, as these spice blend type of scents can often be.  It didn't really scream Christmas too me, and it didn't seem warm and spicy enough to be a fall scent either.  I guess this one is just lacking.

I melted two cubes (about .8 oz. worth) in my Glade hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Holiday Eggnog

Holiday Eggnog - 'A favorite holiday tradition. You will want to drink this. Rich and indulgent, creamy concoction blended with rum and dusted with nutmeg. Cheers!'
 
This is a nice eggnog.  The rum note is strong in here, but it's not quite as 'thick and creamy' as some other eggnog scents I've had.  Still very nice for the holiday season though.
 
I melted this 1.4 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had very strong scent for the first 30 minutes or so before it settled down into a more comfortable medium-strong.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Blogmas - Day 21 / Happy Birthday

Yep, it's my birthday today!
I just whipped up a cheap, boring yellow cake with chocolate frosting this year.  Didn't even do anything fancy with it, just left it in the pan.

This is the super duper awesomely cool thing I hinted at in my post from Day 17, the thing I'd bought but Casey was going to give to me for my birthday.  A Vikings jersey!  #84 - Cordarrelle Patterson!  I love him, but have been afraid to admit it because all the players I like, I curse.  I reasoned that Patterson is already struggling this season, so my openly liking him won't curse him.  lol
I don't know if I'll keep this jersey though, because it's oddly narrow across the shoulders.  Maybe that's why it was at a discount store, because it's flawed?

I got this awesome biography of 'Mad' King Ludwig of Bavaria.  I was mildly obsessed with him when we came back from Germany back in November 1999.  It is his castle, Neuschwanstein, that is the model and inspiration for the Disney castle.  We visited Neuschwanstein, and the story the tour guide told was fascinating.  After all this time, I'm anxious to dive back into that subject.

I also got the fourth season dvd set of Suits.  Yay, Harvey!

The green package on the left is a helicopter 'character' for the new Skylanders game.  I do love Skylanders but the newest release hasn't thrilled me much.

The blue package on the right had us all laughing.  It's a new reel for a fishing pole.  I guess hubby thinks I'll be doing a lot of fishing with him in 2016.

Got a World of Warcraft subscription card to help me *try* to get back into that game.  Got a Books A Million gift card, someone's attempt to make sure I get to the mall.  And some yummy cocoa to sip while I play games or read new books.

Bath & Body Works! 
Twisted Peppermint!

A very pretty candle holder.  The candy cane design with the frosted glass flickers so nicely when the candle is lit.  It came with that one tea light candle, which we've already burned through.  We'll put battery operated ones in now.

Some purple (yay!) gloves with the tech fingertips.
I got a pair of black ones last Christmas, and Casey adopted them.

And finally, this shirt.  Do you remember last year, or maybe the year before, I posted a shirt that a coworker had gotten me for Christmas or birthday, and it was something I'd never wear?  This is from that same coworker.  This is sooooooo not my style.  It's all flowery and girly and there are even some gemstones over there on the right side.
It's the thought that counts, right?

Thank you for the birthday greetings, those of you who took a moment to do so.

In other news, my Christmas blahs funk continues.  I took my mom shopping this morning and the store was packed with those people falling into the last minute craziness.  My holiday spark tried to reignite with all that going on around me but then I saw the Little Debbie snack cakes Valentines hearts all neatly lined up on a shelf and I was like "Really?!"  When I got home I saw a haul video featuring the new Valentines things in Target's Dollar Spot.  Gah!!

We did get one more Christmas card today.  And I did have a moment of warm fuzzy Christmas spirit when I was sitting in the dark living room late this afternoon, no lights but the twinkling of the tree.  I just loved it.  I was overwhelmed for a moment, feeling very much like 'Oh okay, the feeling IS still there,' but then it passed and I went back to getting supper ready.  Hubby says he still has a lot of holiday spirit and is very much looking forward to Christmas.  I need to learn to just let all the other petty troubles ease away and just enjoy things in life once again.

How are you guys doing?  Still enjoying the season, or ready for it to be over?

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Spiked Eggnog

Spiked Eggnog - 'A yummy holiday drink with vanilla, rum, and nutmeg!'

This was pretty much your classic eggnog scent, with that strong note of rum that I like.  It's creamy vanilla, with that sort of tell-tale eggnog 'sour' note, a wee bit of spice and that warm rum.  Such a nice, comforting and classic Christmas scent.  There is an almost almond-y note in here, so almond or cherry haters might want to skip this.

I melted this 1.7 oz tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent.

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Jack Frost

Jack Frost - 'A wonderful blend of vanilla beans and mint! Great for the holidays or year round!'
 
 Today is my birthday and I knew I wanted a great scent for today's Melted post so I was happy to put Jack Frost here.  Soft, sweet vanilla-mint is my favorite Christmas scent.  This particular one is so nice, so creamy and gentle.  It is a mint scent, for sure, but it's softened by the vanilla.  This is not a sinus clearing kind of mint.  Mmm, I just love it.

I melted this 1.8 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and was a bit disappointed to only have medium scent.  It did throw well though, and it was strong enough to notice, so it wasn't a total bummer.  Just wish it had been a tad stronger.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Blogmas - Day 20

(No, I did not make these cookies.)

I was going to have this be my Christmas decor post but I was unhappy with it on so many levels.  Our days have been so cloudy and gray lately that I haven't been able to get any decent lighting.  The flash on my camera is so harsh, so I avoid using it at all costs.  This means, with our cloudy day, I kept getting the low light / shaky camera warning thingie and a lot of the pictures just look blah because of it.  Also, there are just so many pics!  Even without getting most of my decorations out this year, and with not even taking pics of some things, there were 41 pics to post.  And in the end, it's most of the same stuff in the same places that you've already seen in previous years, so I decided to scrap that post idea.

It's been lazy, boring kind of day.  I made Special K Bars and my birthday cake this morning.  I forgot to add the vanilla to the Special K Bars but the menfolk say they taste fine anyway.  I only allowed us each one small bar and have set the rest aside until Christmas Day.  The birthday cake was just cheap yellow cake mix and boring chocolate frosting.  I should have just splurged on donuts again this year.  lol

Ty came over to do his laundry and play some new video game character in Super Smash Bros. with Casey.  Hubby and I watched the Vikings win their game against the Bears.  Other than that, nothing much really happened.  I did read a bit more but not nearly as much as I'd hoped.  Reading at home always makes me sleepy, probably because I usually read right before bed.

No cards today since it's Sunday and there is no mail.  I kept looking at our tree during the football game and while I was trying to read, and was getting more and more disappointed in it.  I'm seeing all the gaps in ornament placement, and how screwed up the garland is, and wondering why all the ornaments keep turning to the left.  By turning left they are facing north.  Are they looking towards the North Pole???

So here we are, 7:30pm and I've been ready for bed for about an hour now, just out of boredom.

Ho ho ho hum.

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Vanilla Bean Eggnog

Vanilla Bean Eggnog - '(SF Blend)- Sweet and creamy eggnog and vanilla bean noel.'
 This at first just seems like a creamy Vanilla Bean Noel but then you realize there IS eggnog lurking in there.  I do think VBN is the stronger scent, and if you're not paying attention you might think that's all that it is, which is still okay, I guess.  I'm loving VBN this year, and I'm enjoying all the eggnog blends I've been trying.

I melted this 1.7 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong scent.

Melted - Dessa's Homespun Scents / Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark - 'A layer of bold dark chocolate layered with smooth white chocolate, covered in crushed peppermint candy canes.'

I've said it before, that I'm not a fan of chocolate scents for home fragrance.  Apparently adding mint to it though, makes it okay for me because here is another that I really enjoyed.  The chocolate might be a bit stronger than the mint in this but there is a creaminess that just blends the two together seamlessly.  It reminds me of a hot cocoa scent.

I melted this 1.4 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had strong, but not overwhelming, scent.

This one will probably go on my holiday must-have list!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blogmas - Day 19 / Losing Followers

Feeling a little sad today.  While shopping this morning it seemed like Christmas was over already and I'd missed it.  The shelves are quite picked over already and the Christmas sections are getting compressed, moving the decreasing amounts of decorations and things onto fewer shelves.  I mean, yeah, we are less than a week away, but it just struck me as sad.  It didn't seem like the other shoppers were excited about Christmas anymore, like no one was anxiously picking up wrapping paper or filling carts with gifts.  Are they all like me and have their shopping and wrapping done already?  Is online shopping really taking over?  And once again, I just don't have that holiday mood anymore.  This seems to happen every year.  Sometimes it's worse than other years.  It just really does feel like Christmas came and went while I was looking the other way.

I'm also bummed that two of my blog followers abandoned ship last night.  When I noticed it this morning it was just kinda like 'Bye!  Sorry I'm boring!'  As the day went on though, it's really started to bug me.  I've always thought that of the 100+ followers this blog has, maybe only a handful actually faithfully read it.  This blog has gone through many phases, so it would not surprise me at all if people I picked up in my soap making days have wandered away, or if people who followed farther back when we were friends because of Titanic lost interest long ago.  I'm quite sure most people just don't come here anymore.  But when someone dislikes it enough to actually unfollow, you can't help but wonder why.  It's also happened at a bad time because I've been wondering what will happen after Blogmas.  Will I keep going with daily Natters?  Will I just give up again after Christmas?  So yeah, losing two little followers has kind of derailed me today.

We did get another card in the mail today though, so that was nice.  And the last of the packages that I've been waiting for arrived today so I now have every last gift here and wrapped.  I'll probably make the Special K Bars tomorrow.  Then it's just relax until Christmas.  Maybe I need to go drive around some evening and look at Christmas lights.  Or park my butt on the couch and watch Christmas movies all day.  Hopefully some a spark of Christmas excitement hits me again.

Do you ever feel like this?

Melted - BHG / A Wonderful Winter

A Wonderful Winter - 'In this fragrance, icy peppermint shimmers through regal evergreens adorned with glimmering icicles, bright winter citrus and leafy mistletoe.'
 
 First of all, I can't believe I actually found a scent description for this!  I had not known the description when I melted this, and thought there was some kind of berry in it, maybe something like bayberry.  Even now, when I cold sniff what's left in the pack it seems like there is something almost dark or slightly spicy.  The mint and pine might be what's causing me to think there is spice.  They just blend together so seamlessly.  I knew there was something moist or juicy happening in there even before seeing the description, and I think that is what killed this for me.  I think that juicy note, or the phantom berry note comes out more when this is warmed, and then it seemed odd, like there was too much trying to happen in this scent.

I melted just two cubes (about .8 oz. worth) of this in my Glade hot plate warmer and had super strong scent.  Normally I like really strong scents but this one was just a little odd for me, and a softer version might have been better.

Melted - Sweet Fixations / Jinglebell Rock

Jinglebell Rock - '(SF Blend)- Holiday Gingerbread Cookies and a cup of Eggnog!'
 
This was quite an interesting scent.  Without remembering the scent description, I could not identify what I was smelling.  I even thought there was a hint of mint.  After looking up the description, it still took a while to be able to pick apart the notes and recognize them.  I eventually did start to really like it though.  It's more of a gingerbread scent, but it's sweeter than the really dark and spicy ones I've had so far.  The eggnog could be doing that though.  Once your brain decides it's gingerbread, you pause and think 'Wait, no, I smell eggnog.'  So it was a fun little holiday combo scent, a little bit spicy, a little bit creamy, with a nice warm sweetness.
 
I melted this 1.8 oz. tart in my Glade hot plate warmer and had medium-strong scent.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Blogmas - Day 18

Today was the day my car was supposed to get fixed.  I woke up feeling pretty darn good this morning.  I'd slept pretty decent last night, and was in a great mood as I started my day.  That kinda fizzled a bit after some miscommunication with the garage that was fixing my car, but it evened out after that.

Ya see, I got new tires recently.  Like a month ago, or two months ago?  Time's flying these days so I can't remember when it was.  Anyway, since then I've noticed my brakes squeak and screech sometimes, and I've started to think they make grinding noise if I'm coming to a complete stop.  After class the other day I'd stopped and made an appointment for today to have them checked and fixed.  When Casey got home from work (yes, he's back to work when I'm off, hehe) he followed me into town so we could drop my car off.  The guy called within an hour and said my brakes were fine.  I asked about all the noise.  He said after getting new tires sometimes dust or dirt or rust gets knocked loose and into the brakes.  He said they could try lubing them.  I said yeah, do that.

Then I asked about the windshield washer fluid tank that I'd wanted replaced, that I'd told him about when I originally made the appointment, that he'd written down right next to 'brakes' by my appointment time.  He said they hadn't looked at it.

What?

He talked about the brakes a bit more, said it would take about 45 minutes, and he'd get me an estimate for the washer tank.

Um, okay, dude.

Two hours later he called back and said my car was ready and he'd have a tank quote for me when I got there.  So I woke Casey up to drive me back to town.  The dude then explained about the tank, that it's more complicated than just popping a new tank in, and it's a dealer part, yadda yadda.  I told him I'd have to get back to him on it because he said he might need the car for two days, one to get the fender off and see just what's wrong, and then time to order and get the part.  I've been without windshield washer fluid for most of the time I've had this car so I'm not too worried about not having it now.  I'd just thought since it was in for brakes I'd finally get that fixed too.  I guess not.  Oh well.

Then we came back home and Casey went back to bed because he has to work tonight.

I got two more cards in the mail today.  I also FINALLY got this!  I'd been looking online for some Vikings stickers and just could not find any.  All I was seeing was car decals and window cling type things.  I eventually went to Etsy, where I figured if I couldn't find any at least maybe someone could make them.  I found one shop that offered these, so I ordered one sheet.  It took nearly three weeks to get here.  I'm a little disappointed in that TAT but the stickers are nice.
And the girl included this . . . 
A free sheet of different planner stickers.  How cute!
I've also decided I want to start collecting fox things.  See those kissing foxes in the upper left corner?

I keep forgetting to post these next two pictures!
A couple weeks ago when I took my mom shopping, I noticed this life sized Santa display on top of the freezers.  Kinda cool when you first see it.  But then I noticed something.
Why on earth would they put these creepy hoods on the reindeer?!  It makes the whole thing look scary and evil now.  *shudder*

That's about it for today.  I puttered around on the internet and got laundry started, did a bit of reading, and played with the cats for a while.  Now I'm waiting for hubby to get back with our usual Friday night fish dinners, and then I'll probably read a bit more while he watches something boring or weird on TV.

Do you think those deer look creepy?
Do you think three weeks for a sheet of stickers is a long time to wait?
Did you do anything festive on your Day 18?