186th Day Recap (aka Midyear)

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Am I the only one who keeps used wax for way too long?

If the 186th day of the year is meaningless to you, that’s because it should be. It is not the midway point of the calendar year, that was July 2nd, the 183rd day. I wished to post my annual mid-year recap then, but was out of town a lot in June, pushing back my monthly Best/Worst to the 2nd. Then there’s a Band of Bloggers post to think about and…you get the idea. All in all, its been a much better year so far than 2016.

Favorite Candle:

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Water Garden-Yankee Candle 

Most Disappointing:

Black Chamomile-BBW Stress Relief. Loved on cold, zero throw.

Best non-reviewed candle:

Black Tea Rose-Bath and Body Works. Cedarwood love.

Top 10 favorite melts (so far):

10.Wine Cellar-BBW. Semi-sale pickup reviewed in January, still holding as a favorite. I’ll be getting this in a candle.
9. Melisandre-House of Phoebe.
8. Blue sugar/Shave cream-Sassy Girl Aroma.                                 
7. Rock Star/Olive Branch-Rosegirl’s (gift). Look, a Lush dupe fave! 
6. Balance+Glow-Candles From the Keeping Room (gift).
5. Briarcliff/Rosemary’s Baby-Super Tarts. I put these 2 together because they were both surprise hits. Briarcliff has an ST mac apple note I can handle and shaving cream I love. Rosemary’s Baby is the first rosemary mint scent to have me enamored. Also, they are good melted together!
4. Delilah-House of Phoebe. I’ve never tried a creamier vanilla.

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3. Sugared Pie Crust-The Bathing Garden. As much as I love TBG, it almost didn’t make the list. Then I remembered this amazing sample. To die for.

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2. Bad Romance-Pour Girl’s Wax. One of the first Vanilla Lace/Shaving Cream blends I’ve heard about back in February. Team fresh heaven!

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1. Fresh Cucumber/Pink Sugar– Rosegirls. This #1 surprised even me because I tend to like more complex blends. So simple, fresh and realistic, but unique and perfect.

Current favorite scent notes: Shaving Cream, Pink Sugar, Cedarwood.

Future favorite prediction: It could be Vanilla Lace, though like nearly everybody else, I’m into Salty Sea Air blends too.

Scent note I’d like to see retired: Fruit Loops, loopy’s, fruity pebbles. Yuck! Cereal seems endlessly popular, however, so not likely.

Top 3 vendors:

Rosegirls-No arguments here as RG is one of the most beloved vendors ever. Availability was the only obstacle compared to my 1+2, but for now, at least mini-melters are open for a few months. I’m hoping with the updated website, and consistent pre-orders, RG will be more accessible from now on.

House of Phoebe-complex house blends in my favorite types, combined with personal customer service and accessibility. Only open less than a year, some growing pains are bound to occur, but it’s a small business vendor I’m proud to support.

Super Tarts-innovative, consistent and constant. Best fandoms and comprehensive scent list. If only Brandy would update on Instagram as well as Facebook. I’d also prefer less broken clamshells, but ST has the strongest throwing stuff around, pushing it to the top.

Favorite Indie body care: Just starting to dip my toes into the body care product pool, I tend to get one or two items from a vendor rather than a full body regimen.

Best product: The Dirty Goat’s natural deodorant. Faster production and newly shorter turnaround time makes it even better. Relieved to be restocked for awhile, I’m going to try for some of the hair products next time.

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Scents: Tonka, Coconut Milk, Mermaid

Best shower scrub: The Bathing Garden’s Shea Butter sugar scrub in Evernight. I aim to try all of TBG’s scrub formulations.

Best lotion: Soak + Unwind’s aloe lotion sample. Many more of these wonder lotions on the way, very excited to have found this brand.

Worst vendor haul: Fresh Picked Scents. Every body product had issues, also my least favorite wax scents this year.

Favorite Wax haul: Pour Girl’s WaxI’m out of nearly all of my PG scents and I’m really missing them, hope to hear of a restocking soon.

What I’m looking forward to for the second half of 2017:

  • The arrival of my Sniff My Tarts custom orders. The waiting is said to be the hardest part.
  • Testing more body care products. I just hauled items from Salted Rock Bath Co.
  • My first Fakery Bakery Wax haul coming sometime in July.
  • Picking up several Rosegirl’s mini-melters after my wax ban ends in August.
  • There are about 15 new-to-me vendors I’d like to try, I think I’ll do a poll to gauge which ones I should order from and review. 

That’s half a year gone. Am I getting old, or are they starting to pass by faster? Any scents or vendors above that you favor too? Surprises? Scents I’ve missed out on, what’s on your best/worst list?

 

Vendor Feature-House of Phoebe Wax

This kaleidoscope of color represents one of my absolutely adored vendors. I named HoP my favorite find of 2016 in my year-end recap. Recently celebrating six months in business, House of Phoebe excels in my favorite scent types-earthy, woodsy, masculine, smoky and citrus. The store re-opened last week after a hiatus and I’m eager to check out the new fragrances Casey whips up.

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Each carefully wrapped black & cream package with gleaming golden touches presents a gift befitting of royalty, the 1.5 oz. cups inside resemble precious sparkling jewels.

The scent list is extensive and I’ve tried dozens. Because reviewing them all would be impossible, I shared a few of my favorite gems below. The melts run $1.35 and are sprinkled with shimmering glitter. Full-size samples included with every order. The categories featured on the HoP website are organized a bit differently, I grouped mine for broader simplicity.

Incense/Resins/Earthy:

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Baron La Croix-Cuban tobacco, earthy woods, musky sweetness.

Daenerys-Dragons blood, incense, bonfire, and blood orange. There is a quality spectrum of Dragon’s Blood oils, from rich smoky spice to sharper flowery notes. This falls on the good end, with an edge.  Imagine descending to the rocky depths of cool cavern air, rivulets run down the walls, when a sharp tinge of smoke creeps up…there be dragons ahead. A burnt offering of incense, fire and blood orange must be made.

Melisandre-Firewood, amber, currant, patchouli. Establishes it’s scent before you realize it, then it’s there, permeating the room with spice and sweet smoke. As beguiling and mysterious as it’s namesake inspiration.

Rebel Rebel-Lord of Misrule type (patchouli, sandalwood, citrus, black pepper) mixed with cedar, earthy moss, woody myrrh, and musky florals.

Third Eye-Saffron, sandalwood, leather, frankincense, and a touch of violets. Feathery wisps of sandalwood lighten rich, resinous frankincense. Aged leather provides a backbone to the powdery essence yet remains supple and tender, so as not to overpower. This fragrance soothed my inner savage beasts as I sought needed solitude to dwell in my own mind’s eye, to speculate on life, growth, change. I need to repurchase this peaceful, calming blend.

Vendetta-Smoky myrrh, scorched earth, a touch of citrus and light florals. The only bitter quarrel I’ll have is with myself if I don’t acquire more of this moody, musky, myrrh-soaked blend. Thank you Casey for fulfilling my sample request on this one, well done!

Citrus:

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Bless Her Heart-Sweet iced tea and lemon bars.

Bungalow-A tropical mix of pineapple, citrus fruits, and pomegranate over subtle tones of vanilla.

Mina-White tea leaves and lemon over earthy woods, rose petals, and a mixture of green florals.

Stars Chase the Sun-Orange citrus, bergamot, ginger, cypress, and rosewood.

Sansa-Sweet lemon cakes over notes of cedar and spruce. This was House of Phoebe’s first scent creation, inspired by Game of Thrones. (Character inspired scents related to the character are a must). 

Sugared lemon petit fours layered with chiffon cream and laced with delicate fondant served on a gilded tray. If cakes aren’t enough to send a young maiden into rapture in order to gain her secrets, then the clever nuance of stately blue spruce and sturdy cedarwood should do the trick.

On the lighter side, but I’m glad for it as both lemon sugar and cedar oils can be too much in heavy doses. I first received Sansa as a sample last August and adored it ever since. I try to grab it when available because I need this scent in my life.

Woody/Earthy:

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Forest Fairy-French lavender, lush green earth, sage, and eucalyptus. In love and admittedly confused by this one. I know I smelled a strong green minty tone when melting, and don’t believe I’m confusing eucalyptus with mint because they often pair together. Maybe it’s a more of an herb garden fairy? Either way, it’s fresh and strong.

Frau Holle-A blend of roasted pinecones and fir balsam with hints of apple and vanilla sweetness. A true-to-life fir tree essence enhanced by pinecones crunching underfoot.

Ygritte-Earth and foliage, spruce, and a hint of crackling firewood. Crisp, woody, smoky, warm, it holds every element I love about being outdoors on late fall days. Strong enough throw to melt half a cup.

*Better Call Saul-Cocobolo wood and boozy tobacco. (not pictured) An eye-opening experience, as if relaxing in a zen spa setting, a steam room outfitted in coastal cocobolo wood and tropical teak. My first cocobolo scent, but hopefully not my last. A HoP favorite, must repurchase.

Masculine:

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Arya-Freshly fallen snow, warm hay, leather

Asha-Driftwood, sage, aquatic florals, sea moss, and rum.

The Bear and the Maiden Fair: Brienne (Clean citrus, rain water, mountain air) x Penny Dreadful (Herbal tincture of poppy and lavender)

Brienne-Clean citrus, rain water, mountain air. One of HoP’s most popular fragrances. It’s SUPER FRESH. If that’s not your happy scent place, it will likely overwhelm.

I’ll let you in on a secret to why I think this scent is beloved…it smells exactly like a swimming pool. One sniff reminds me of long ago summer moments; padding gingerly across hot concrete, peeking over the edge for that glimpse of crystal clear, shimmering water, first wading, then jumping into the bracing coolness. It also carries the tangy note I enjoy from aquatic plants and greenery.  Not chemical, or crisp, but misty and potent.

Outlaw-Vanilla liqueur, oak, leather, cherry tobacco

Floral:

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Amaterasu-Fresh bamboo, sweet lemongrass, coriander, and sandalwood

Earthling-Lavender and pink sugar.

Margaery-Crisp summer fruits over a bed of roses. My favorite rose scent ever. More rosewatered than fresh rose. Imagine a bowl of stewed fruits and dark berries just leaching their juice, layered with sugar and sprinkled with rose petals. It’s soft, summery, and special.

Penny Dreadful-Herbal tincture of poppy and lavender

Fruity:

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Cersei– Sweet white grapes, bergamot, and myrrh, the perfect mix of sweet and sunny fruits and smoky darkness. Saving this for July’s Game of Thrones season premiere.

Delilah – A mix of vanilla, amber, heliotrope, tuberose, and birch. No explicit fruit notes, but on cold it gave a ripened fruity sweetness. Upon melting, the most decadent vanilla I’ve smelled flowed forth into creamy, gourmand heaven. No floral appears, just divine velvety cream with hints of golden fruits and amber. At risk of repeating myself, I need to repurchase Delilah soon.

Screen Door in a Hurricane-Rich coconut, vanilla absolute, and tiare flower with a touch of lavender

Violet-Sugared lemons and blueberries, jasmine, violets, vanilla and cedar. One of the few HoP misses for me. A very muddled note smelled off immediately, the blueberry was the strange smelling culprit, I think. Wouldn’t repurchase.

Sweet:

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Decadent and Depraved-Candy cigarettes frosted in vanilla buttercream and pink sugar. Who conjures candy cigarettes scents? Maybe I’ll try this when I have the kids visit, as I don’t think candy cigarettes are widely available anymore. 

It’s Good to Be Queen-Rich black tea steeping next to fluffy white cake. Casey represents the classic blends well too, like this tea and cakes.

Outliers: scents which don’t easily fit into a category 

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Aristides-Mint Julep; bourbon and mint with a hint of powdered sugar. Brimming with a cool freshness, but thought it too minty sharp and boozy for my nose. My sister ordered some and raved about it, however. 

Lonely Girl-Tea rose, cardamom, vanilla, currant, and peach

Bastet-A rich blend of Egyptian amber, rich patchouli, jasmine, citrus, and musk. An unexpected surprise due to its subtle cold throw. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess, transports me to a balmy southern clime where smoky smudge pots of incense alight a green orange grove at dusk. The aroma of night blooming jasmine mingles with sacred oils. Misty amber clouds envelop the crisp night air beneath a perfumed veil. Stunning.

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Why do I love House of Phoebe so? The artistic blends ALL created in-house, affordable luxury, courteous customer service and the gorgeously saturated wax pools aren’t bad either. If I could suggest any future endeavors for HoP, I’d love to see clamshells make an appearance. They store easily and I know Casey would decorate them beautifully; it’s high praise, but this brand already shows glimpses of a young The Bathing Garden vibe. I wish House of Phoebe such luck and a long waxy future.

May’s monthly highlights and NYC itinerary

Hello friends, I hope nobody minds an early recap this month. I’ll be too busy with last minute travel plans to push it back any farther, as this Memorial Day holiday provides a perfect opportunity to whip up a quick post.

Screenshot_2017-05-29-09-36-28-1May was full of many lovely melting and blog-related moments. I received generous gift packages, including gorgeous Rosegirls pie slices I plan to show off from Sandra, at Finger Candy, and an amazing mixed bag of melts from Jessica, at The Meltdown blog, who continually feeds my Super Tarts addiction. Thanks to my blogger buddies, my upcoming summer-long wax ban won’t mean I’m starved for great melts.

Last month, I forgot to include the slightly startling experience of meeting a few blog readers, I didn’t know previously, in the flesh. My sister held a party I attended with lots of her friends and co-workers. After introductions, a few ladies kindly told me that they enjoyed reading my blog! I was flabbergasted (thanks for sharing sis) and humbled that these women would take the time to read. They even shared that they loved my scent descriptions, so here’s a shout out to them, thank you so much for your readership!

Onto the month’s melts:

Rosegirl’s wax: Rockstar/Olive Branch, gifted.

Somehow, between wishing the Lush dupe scent trend would end while trying more and more of them, I fell in love with the Olive Branch scent. Never having experienced the inspiration body product, or any Lush product, I can’t say whether it’s spot on. But, this Rosegirls version is a gentle kiss of the bergamot, mandarin and leafy vine infusion of the serene scent, enhanced with comforting vanilla absolute of the Rockstar dupe. If this combo shows up in pre-order, I’m dead.

The Bathing Garden Caterpillar Mischief: Apricot and lemon jam, caramel cake bites, and coconut vanilla buttercream, a spring sample.

Very enjoyable, the sweetness is light and non-pervasive as the swirled fruit mingles with the bakery confections. The very last hint of scent is the lemon jam, a note I might stay away from singly, but added here is the perfect refreshing finish. 

Candles from the Keeping Room Pink Sugar and Strawberry, gifted. Okay, I may have found a strawberry I can handle. I wouldn’t order it on it’s own and still can’t help smelling an artificial tone, but I WOULD get more of this lucious PS/strawberry blend, it just conjures spring beautifully.

The Purple Fox Wax, 29 Palms: baja cactus blossom, green kelp, sea spray, blue sugar. I snagged my first geo bar on a whim when I saw they were still available hours after a PFW opening, one shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and all that. The geo has to be my favorite wax design, but the scent was a little too light on first melt, especially for blue sugar, so I’m curing for a few months to see if it develops.

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Along with the generous waxmail and the excitement of my super sized first Sniff My Tarts custom order, another blogging highlight arrived in the above melts from Bonjour Wax Co. I was surprised and humbled to receive this little package one day about a month after I posted a vendor review on Bonjour. Unbeknownst to me, Mandi read it and wanted to rectify the unsatisfying throw I experienced from one of her melts. She sent me the new stronger version of that one to try along with some samples. I was wowed by the lengths taken to ensure customer service. I’m letting the melt cure a bit, however, I feel this unsolicited generosity made a lifetime customer of me. Mandi is creating some inventive new wax samplers and has become a favorite vendor of my friend and sister, she’s quite an impressive girlboss.

Calypso by The Bathing Garden: sea salt, vetiver, driftwood, jasmine, and coconut.

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I can’t believe it has only been one year, this week, since I received my first vendor wax order, and if you saw the size of the stash I’ve amassed in that time, you wouldn’t believe it either. The Bathing Garden scent is proof of how far my tastes have grown and changed since my first order. I received Calypso last July, but didn’t like it, so I set it in a box and forgot about it. While hopping on to my sister’s summer TBG order, I pulled it out again for a sniff and realized it’s a winner.

The salty mix of fragrance merges with the aged driftwood capturing a true marine quality my fresh scent-loving heart adores. Milky coconut softens the saltwater tang perfectly. Maybe it needed nearly a year’s cure time to develop? All I know is I have ordered more.

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio

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When I think of Akron, Ohio, I think of an aging industrial city of concrete walls lining the highways. There wasn’t much reason for me to visit until this Mother’s Day when I was fortunate to spend time with my mom and sisters on a tour of the Tudor castle style estate and gardens. Akron is the rubber city and this is the former home of rubber baron, F.A. Seiberling and his clan. It’s the 6th largest historic home in America and the 65 rooms were incredibly appointed with 95% of the original furnishings.

But the gardens were some of the best I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to quite a few. I had to share photos of our lovely day.

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English gardens resplendent along the grounds with gorgeous sculptures dotting the landscape in unexpected nooks and pathways.

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Perfect Japanese gardens woven along the back of the estate. There were also spectacular birch tree allee`s, budding tree and rose gardens, grape arbors, rolling lawns, meadows and greenhouses. It was such a gem to behold.

I’ll be leaving soon for the trip mentioned above. The next time I have a (pre-scheduled) post I will be enjoying New York City on my first visit!

A portion of our New York City itinerary:

Icons/landmarks

  • The Empire State Building
  • The Met Cloisters
  • The Guggenheim
  • Broadway 
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Times Square
  • 9/11 memorial

Shopping/sites

  • SoHo shopping
  • 230-fifth rooftop garden
  • Chelsea Market

Outdoor features

  • Central Park
  • The Highline
  • Washington Square Park arch

Bookish

  • BookCon 2017
  • The Strand bookstore
  • J.P. Morgan library/museum
  • New York Public Library

Can it be done in 3.5 days/4 nights? Probably not, but I’m hoping to try for most of it. I am aiming to be present in the moment and enjoy myself no matter what we are able to fit in during our stay. Also, we only have a few restaurants locked in, so I’m still taking suggestions if anyone has a can’t miss venue.

I’ll be excited to share our adventures when I return, until then, I wish you a beautiful start to summer.

Sniff My Tarts-custom blend list

Beads of sweat appeared as my hot little hands hovered over our laptop keyboard on Saturday morning. Months of dreaming up fragrance blends, list making and revising all led up to this moment; the Sniff My Tarts 30 minute custom opening.

20170521_080552As a first time custom wax customer, I was anxious about ordering for many reasons, from computer glitches to untested blending skills. Luckily, I wasn’t going into SMT completely nose-blind. My lovely blogger friends shared some of their custom blends, giving me a generous taste of SMT’s scent offerings. I’d also have been much more in the dark if one of my besties hadn’t joined the Facebook group just to keep me updated on the custom news front-that’s friendship! She is very welcome to any of these, assuming they work out.

Order 1: The Spring/Summerish order

8 oz chunk pie:

*Barbershop overpour, Aveda rosemary mint, pink sugar

9 oz muffins:

*Blue Raspberry overpour, Sweet lavender, Cotton candy, Rosemary mint (inspired by a scent from Tori’s Tarts, not sure what the raspberry note was exactly but hoping this comes close)

10 oz No fuss chunks:
*Sun ripened raspberry overpour, fresh basil, spearmint (a collaboration w/my friend for a nice summery blend)

*Salty sea air overpour, Barbershop, Sandalwood

4 oz frosted cookies:

*Japanese cherry blossom, juicy grapefruit, pink cotton candy
*Apricot, swt lavender, angel food cake
*Sugared violets, vbn, blueberry noel (inspiration from Furianne, Liz’s blend)

Single scents:

Pink coconut
Lavender vanilla coconut milk
Vanilla baby powder

You can tell I started devising my customs during Springtime, with lots of herbal mint, floral and current favorite, shaving cream blends. I’m most excited for the chunk combos. I debated between blackberry and raspberry herbal mint, but thought the blackberry I tried was a little soft and might end up overpowered.

Noticing a lack of marine notes in the previous scents, I was overjoyed when Salty Sea Air popped up in the updated list. I have high hopes for that one.

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Loved this divine blend of Mango sorbet, Coconut cream pie and Vanilla waffle cone. I would have ordered it too, if I hadn’t pre-ordered the exact same scent from The Fakery Bakery wax, coming in July.

I made two separate orders hoping to get my summery blends sooner and to be less overwhelmed with a monster pile of wax all at once. Time will tell if this method proves successful.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake when transferring my paper list to the online cart and forgot to include my Creamy coconut, Chai tea, Coconut latte blend. A bummer as I really wanted to try SMT’s new Creamy Coconut, also because I planned it with my husband’s scent preferences in mind. I couldn’t get to the second, later time slot opening and thought 3 orders would be a tad excessive.

Order 2: The Fallish/Winter order

8 oz chunk pies:

*Buttercream sprinkles overpour, peppermint swizzle sticks, cream soda

*Marshmallow Fireside overpour, Sweet lavender, peppermint swizzle sticks

10 oz No fuss chunks:

*Barbershop overpour, Dragon’s Blood chunks

*Pie crust overpour, fallen leaves, marshmallow noel (inspired by Super Tarts’ Misery scent, with added mallow)

9 oz muffins:

*Lord of Misrule overpour, sugared violets, pink sugar, vanilla smoothie (inspired by Electric Love by Bonjour Wax Co)

4 oz frosted cookies:

*Cranberry spice, apple cinnamon, whipped cream

*Toasted pistachio, vanilla sugar

Single scents:

Eggnog Bread
Serendipity

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The above melt was a Lord of Misrule, peppermint swizzle sticks blend from a friend’s decorated wax cake. Melting it prompted me to include a second swizzle sticks pie. The little snowflake was revealed as the wax melted😊

Though I wanted one badly, I chose not to order a decorated wax cake. I’d rather spend the money on another combination instead, but I’m looking forward to seeing the beauty of these cakes as others receive them.

Now the long wait begins for my creations to be made. So does my summer wax ban, but at least it will be filled with visions of custom scents dancing in my head.

Okay ladies and gents, if any combo catches your eye, I’m very willing to trade for Creamy Coconut!

Band of Bloggers-May

 May, May, May. Welcome back, ol’ friend! May is a turning point in the year for a lot of people. The school year is almost over, summer is coming soon, and those mild months will soon become scorchers. The birthstone of May is the emerald, which symbolizes love and success. This month, we’re focusing on those two things!



We all love something with all our hearts, so tell us what you love the most. It could be the story of how you met your spouse/significant other, where you got your pet, or a nod to your parental units.

~*Yeah, so, this was a challenging prompt. In a way, I already share what I love the most by writing this blog, particularly in my monthly Best/Worst posts. Of course, I love my husband, family and friends and write of them often.

I decided instead of focusing on the ONE thing I love the most, I’d dedicate a credo poem to my loves. This provides a rounder picture, still creates a challenge and avoids having to choose only one. I adapted a credo, or “I Believe” poem to an “I love” poem:

I love…

I love fighting for the underdog,
Browsing through my library’s catalog.
I love the rhyming poetry of Ogden Nash,
Pulling out my winter coat to find a pocket of forgotten cash.

I love receiving a package from a distant friend,
Stimulating conversation you never want to end,

Guacamole,

ice cream,

craft brews,
Smiles on the faces of my niece and nephews.
The sound of my grandparents’ old hall clock when it used to chime,
But never the feeling that I’m wasting my time.

I love watching a live production on the stage, A book that stays with you long after the final page.

 Ballgames,

leisurely morns,

the sound of summer thunderstorms.

I love the soft snores of my sleeping pup,
Pouring myself that morning cup.
I love the emotion of laughter through tears,
And the feeling of conquering my fears.*~


In terms of success, and keeping it blog related, have you ever participated in and/or completed a successful “project wax” or spring wax/perfume/makeup/scented product purge? Have you ever had so much product you felt the need to use it all up before you bought again?

*~I’m not a hoarder, but I’m not a purger either. I’m guilty of keeping make-up past it’s expiration, clothes past their prime and accumulating stashes of candles and wax larger than I could ever use.

In January, I claimed I would burn more candles than I would buy and I plan to update the status of that claim soon. Spoiler alert, I’m failing horribly. Letting stuff I love, or loved, go, can be a struggle for me.~*

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Spring Candles
 This month I plan to redouble and triple my efforts to get through some of my spring candles. 
Please, feel free to answer these questions in the comments section below!

I’m looking forward to reading what my blogging friends love today.
We hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

 

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

April: Best & Best

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This mish mash of fragrant goodness represents some of the best melts I’ve experienced in quite awhile and they couldn’t be more different! Spring has carried lovely scents my way, ergo these melts are a must for April’s recap.

Best fragrances of the month year:

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I only melted the tail if you must know.

Balance and Glow- Candles from the Keeping Room (gifted) Delicate honey blossoms kissed with sunny citrus, infused with lavender and Echinacea blooms. Ribbons of raw vanilla and honeycomb wrap the scent in sheer delight.

Not explicit in the description, but this is an amazing tea scent. When melted, my husband searched me out just to tell me how good it was. Not dripping with honey, but lightly sweet and invigorating. Imagine sipping a green tea Starbucks refresher, but better with added herbal essence. No tea scent I’ve tried comes close to this uplifting brew.

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Fresh cucumber and Pink sugarRosegirls chunks.

Though I’ve melted this beloved vendor before, I made my first official Rosegirls pre-order last month. Honestly, they all rocked my world, but this simple blend became a fast favorite. Cotton candy perfumed berries and carmelized sugar twines with crisp, crunchy garden cucumber. Though cucumbers may not be for everyone, this blend works. And I’m not the only one who thinks it, as I’ve read others rave about it’s distinctive scent. Fresh, identifiable, sweet and relaxing.

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The Golden EggThe Bathing Garden reviewed here. Sugared marzipan atop dainty almond pastry filled with vanilla bean rose cream. I doled these eggs out like a wax easter bunny. They were such a hit with my entire family and melt like a dream.

Speaking of The Bathing Garden…

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Sugared Pie Crust- The Bathing Garden

This exquisite pie-shaped sample didn’t last 24 hours in my house before I had to try it. My nose was rewarded with warm flaky dough, baked to golden perfection, sprinkled with a dusting of sugar crystals. The blue-ribbon worthy top note is a dash of salt, just like in an authentic pie crust. SPC is the current scent of the month bundle for TBG and the first I’ve had to strrrugggle to resist.

Spunky Monkey Bread- Lasting Scent Candles reviewed here, SPM was the winning scent from my not totally successful LSC haul. And yes, I have no shame in admitting I’d snap this up in a loaf if I ever got the chance. Pure peach perfection.

White Gardenia fragrance plug-in-Yankee Candle Peach, Berry, Clove top notes, with Gardenia, Jasmine, Lily, Freesia and a base of musk.

I’ve never touted a fragrance plug-in before, but this performs too well not to. Diffusing near the garbage bin in my kitchen and every time I walk by I think, who gathered the bouquet of fresh flowers? Dizzy, intoxicating botanical perfume tones.

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Water Garden- Yankee Candle (gifted) water flowers, melon and musk. This takes me back to the floating water gardens of Jardin Botanique in Montreal. Green pools, misty droplets of hothouse air, water lillies, aquatic hyacinths and delicate fern fronds. The epitome of a fresh spring scent. I can’t say how long it’s been since I was excited about a candle from Yankee.

Best:

Way to chisel my heart of stone:

At our annual Speech Night fundraiser held in early April, our graduating seniors surprised us. Whereas, typically after the performances my husband, the coach, gives a few closing remarks on the individual seniors and their accomplishments. This year, the seniors delivered brief letters to both of us, acknowledging how speech has changed their lives, what they’ve gained and how they will miss it, us, each other.

I can’t express how it touched my heart to hear those heartfelt words of admiration and gratitude for the commitment we make to our team. I’ve spoken an awful lot of them because they are so special to us. Painful as it is to see these students go, I’m honored and grateful to be a part of their successes, their failures and a cherished piece of their teenaged lives.

New method of Easter egg decorating: Using shaving or whipped cream, who knew? 

My niece did (those are her hands) and suggested using as an alternative method for dyeing eggs. It takes food coloring, some practice and a lot of cool whip! All worth it to create these artistic eggs. Tip: for a marbled pattern, skim the egg across the swirls, don’t over blend. For a soft watercolor effect, submerge the egg in well-blended colors.

Read: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Listening to the audio of this tightly woven book kept my mind focused on the workday commutes. I plan to review sometime soon if I can do it justice.

Throwback to the early days of dating:

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After striking a deal to fix up his old acoustic guitar, my husband’s been breaking out in impromptu serenades. Not since the days of early wooing, ages ago, have I been treated to 90’s classic renditions of “Glycerine,” “I’m Free” and “Please Do Not Go” by Bush, Oasis and the Violent Femmes respectively. It’s been sweet, mood-boosting nostalgia and I think it’s kinda cool.

I’ve already touched on the lows of this month and sense a slow shift towards feeling more like myself. It’s been a hard climb, but I’ll take it because I have to. 

What have you treasured lately? Any new beginnings or bittersweet endings on the horizon?

Lasting Scent Candles: Way waylaid review

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In January, a fellow waxie posted a pic of her Lasting Scent Candles order, online. I’d heard of the popular brand previously, but wasn’t aware of the store opening because updates are made soley through Facebook. Unable to resist the wicked temptress of catching a hard-to-get brand’s opening, I made an impulsive decision to order. Results revealed below.

Lessons from my Lasting Scent Candles order:

  • It’s unwise to make impromptu orders for a first transaction with a shop, picking at random while knowing nothing of scents offered, turn around time, or having a scent list in mind.
  • I probably don’t have the required patience for a 9 week TAT and I will likely forget what I’ve ordered.

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  • Expectations of greatness may lead to disappointment upon first sniff.
  • If that happens, always take a second sniff. Lukewarm about my order when it arrived, partly because I was given an incorrect scent, but also hadn’t received a packing slip. After checking my original order confirmation in Paypal to clear up confusion, I let it sit for awhile. When I returned to it, most of the scents improved in my estimation.
  • Strange soy wax consistency here, super soft and squishy!

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  • Not all ambers are equal, but amber and vanilla do make a glorious combination eventually. Starting with half of a 1.5 oz. melt (using the whole scent shot is recommended by LSC) then adding the other half. About 30 minutes before I was able to detect the fragrance, but then, a warm comforting veil of amber descended upon the room like a blanket. Oh so sweet and cozy, if subtle. Better for a small space, performance-wise.

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  • I had no recollection of ordering a scent titled Spunky Monkey Bread. After double-checking, it turns out I had and I’m happy I did. Major yes to these honeyed peaches and spice, yes to gooey bread, yes to this sweet nectar-of-the-gods, best-peach-smell ever-to-cross-the-path-of-my-nose. Described as, sticky pull apart bread filled in the center with a peach compote and topped with a sugary glaze. Um, yes!
    1/2 a melt worked perfectly with delicious throw on this one.

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  • Lemon Custard Cookies is the one I was sent, in error, for the Creamy Lemon Chai Latte. Out on a limb with the lemon latte pick, this is probably the better scent. My nose seems to have an aversion to lemon bakery notes lately, however, so into the giveaway stash this goes.
  • Pam, the vendor behind LSC, was prompt and professional in dealing with the mistake, once I got around to emailing the customer service contact. She responded in hours and refunded the cost of the scent shot.
  •  By waiting so long to ask about an incorrect order, I missed out on a chance to try the correct one. Pam explained she waits a period of time before selling RTS after shipping out preorders in case of mistakes. Lesson learned.
  • Passionate-Comforting Lavender scent…with Crushed Patchouli Leaves, a hint of Sandalwood, Sweet Neroli, and Woods with a touch of Agave Nectar and Orange Blossom.
  • I should love this based on these oils, but on cold throw, the only note that came out was a generic patchouli. It bloomed into a sweet, gentle floral when warmed. Perhaps too mild, I crave more spice, less powder from Nag Champa types. Guess I like a little more champa, but a pleasant background scent.

 

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  • These two I (weirdly) did not enjoy. Sweet DreamsPink sugar, lavender, sticky sweet marshmallows.  Purple Haze– Mint Mallow Creme and sprinkled delicate Lavender Buds on top. All notes I’m pretty fond of; however, something smelled off with the mallow, kind of syrupy and gummy.
  • I knew not all mints are for me, I learned neither are all marshmallow scents, maybe not all lavenders? 

2 full-sized! generous samples came with:

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  • Me thinks there’s wintergreen in Below Zero, but also a rustic woods and icy mint I’m digging. Reserving judgement till after melting.
  • Strawberry Crunch Muffins smells just like my Strawberry Shortcake doll from childhood! The addition of the crunchy bread pairs well enough to make me like a strawberry scent, it’s that good.
  • Having learned I really don’t have to fall into the ‘must order every hyped vendor with rare restocks trap’, I will likely order from LSC again, gotta get more Spunky Monkey Bread!