Halloween Candle collection + Yankee outlet trip

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The ghostly white halos around the candles is caused by light reflection coming from the window, no filter used, but I thought it was fitting.

Top, l-r: Two swirl jars of Pumpkin Patch (Harvest and Spiced Pumpkin), a cauldron candle filled with Witch’s Brew. 2nd row, l-r: Halloween trio of Ghostly Treats (toasted mallow), Candy Corn and Happy Halloween (licorice), tealights in Witch’s Brew and Ghostly Treats, Black Magic pillar (similar to Autumn Lodge, smoky with leaves) 3rd row l-r: Fright Night (Midsummer’s Night), Cider Web (Apple Cider), swirl in Moon Pie (Buttercream and Whoopie Pie) Bottom: Candy Corn topped with Bloody Drips tapers.

Halloween is the only holiday for which I’ve purchased candles with the intention of display rather than use. Mostly because I wanted the festive packaging, but also because I don’t like a lot of the scents chosen, such as licorice or candy corn. I have burned and enjoyed both Pumpkin Patch and Black Magic though they’re light throwers. My Halloween white whale is a Ghostly Treats full-size jar because it came out during my Yankee employment, but our store only received 4 which sold out before I was able to buy one. They were under-produced and for some reason I never understood, Yankee Candle hasn’t brought them back, nor any marshmallow scents, since.

Missing above is Forbidden Apple, first released last year, which I reviewed here for FFS. Literally missing is another Halloween candle, Toxic Tonic swirl (Forbidden Apple and Spiced Pumpkin) which I misplaced last year and it hasn’t turned up yet (a tell-tale sign of owning too many candles). My goal for October burning is to use up the halfsies, the rest remain display fodder for my Halloween themed holders. Do you have any candles purchased solely on packaging and not for burning?

Project Wax update: minimal progress 4-5 since July20170813_161146.jpgThought I was in good shape by avoiding the Semi Sales, then Yankee Candle released some fall treasures I’d hoped would return for years, Be Thankful and Pomegranate Cider. Also, their National Park candles went down to $10 and I loved the Great Smoky Mountains in theory and scent, how could I resist, I ask you? I suppose if I got really serious about not buying I’d unsubscribe from the email lists, which I had not done when a 30% off Outlet coupon came up this weekend-here’s what I hauled and a few new items I thought photo-worthy:20171001_113743My Halloween collection is evident that I can be a sucker for labels. Upon spotting these bird with branch snapshots, my heart melted. My family loves birds, especially my dad who got into bird-feeding when he retired from full time work. My parents have a few feeders and a picture window to view the birdie to-ing and fro-ing. These scents didn’t quite stand out, though Autumn Rain was a pleasant misty ozonic scent. I’m already regretting not picking one up for a Christmas present.20171001_110626 (1)The outlet used to be a sneaky spot to get some Halloween merchandise, but it’s dwindled. I’m proud of myself for not getting Boo Nilla just for the label, it’s an oldie but an unexciting vanilla. Of the “Velvet Pumpkin” candles, the white velvet cream pumpkin smelled the yummiest, similar to this year’s Sugared Pumpkin Swirl. The frosted Raven Gate tealight hurricane from 2015 was much harder to resist, it was half off with another 30% off from the coupon making $10.50 too good to pass up.20171001_111941-COLLAGEThe best part of an outlet trip is searching for new World Journeys candles, though I’ve never been a collector. I believe these 3 are new. Kyoto Autumn Leaves was spotted by Kari from Yankee candle sisters blog and yep, was totally scentless. Italian Tiramisu smelled fairly realistic but not my style. Siberian Fir, however, gorgeous uplifting frozen forest aroma with depth and nuance. There used to be a Siberian Silver Fir in the regular Yankee line, but I’ve never smelled it.20171001_112215 (1)Plenty of the now discontinued Pure Radiance jars lined the shelves, these two are pretty and reminded me I own a small Lavender Chiffon crackle wick somewhere…20171001_111648Wild Blackberrries smelled mouthwatering and I have just recently thought that Yankee has never done a proper blackberry scent. The closest being Black Raspberry.20171001_111151.jpgI have been known to collect UK exclusive candles when I can find them. These are part of Yankee UK’s 2017 fall release. Autumn Glow has a stunning label, but a disappointing feminine perfume scent. Vibrant Saffron is a unique, but muddled floral spice.20171001_112324These two UK exclusives were lovely. A sparkly orange with holiday spice mix and the subtly fresh Warm Cashmere. Okay, so I did walk out with one candle. Warm Cashmere has received great word-of-mouth and I’m looking forward to using it in the bedroom this winter. At least using it rather than saving it will be progress, baby steps.

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Fall Fun Series: Forbidden Apple, chocolate drizzle optional

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Forbidden Apple, Yankee Candle– “A seductive potion that mixes apple with bergamot, black oak and vanilla noir.”

Not a mac apple fragrance fan, but I do fancy green apple fragrances and find there’s a notable distinction. Whereas, MacIntosh apple can be overwhelmingly sweet to my nose, Granny Smiths are bolder, tarter and tangier. I even have a cherished bottle of DKNY’s Be Delicious eau de parfum, gifted by my brother that I wear when I want to feel brightened up.

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This carries the same fresh-picked top note of Yankee’s Granny Smith reviewed in last year’s apple post, crisp green peels. However, the bases are different. Bergamot and oak lend the slightest masculinity to FA, not quite fruit and brut, but not the ultra juicy version in Granny Smith. Forbidden Apple is more sophisticated, without pear notes to sweeten, the woody aspect adds an exotic touch. Softened by vanilla and tonka bean, a tranquil fragrance emerges.

Just as the fragrance is more subdued compared to Granny Smith, so is the throw. I’ve tried all FA formats including melt cups and plug-in oils. The melts give the best performance, but I couldn’t resist the charming spooky artwork displayed on the glass. With mottled leaf green wax, apothecary label and smiling jack-o-lantern black metal lid, this year’s Halloween candle is a well-designed match for my new Raven Night Window tealight holder. Medium jars run $24.99, I used a b1g1 free coupon and split the cost.

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Burlap pumpkin by the Little Green Bean

Apples happen to be my favorite fruit. Though I won’t be making many recipes for Fall Fun posts, this one is too good and easy not to share. So easy, I packed up the ingredients and headed to my parents’ house to make them before dinner, enlisting the help of my niece and the recipe taste-testing of my nephews as well. Forgive me for not capturing step-by-step photos, they can be found in the recipe link below.  

Chocolate Drenched Apple Slices: (Recipe from Mom Loves Baking)

The reason these are winners is because they solve the annoying issue of the imbalanced apple-to-coating ratio found with regular caramel apples; too much apple, not enough coating. I only adjusted the recipe based on what I had available, used cranberries and walnuts instead of pecans and vegetable oil rather than coconut. Also added some marshmallow drizzle for color.

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About half the amount of caramels called for was needed.

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You will end up with uneven slices due to the curvature of the apples. The trickiest part was pre-cutting slits in the peels to insert popsicle sticks for handles.

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The left-overs, messy but delicious.

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My help, this crew would do anything for a freshly-drizzled chocolate apple. It was a fun and successful recipe I know I’ll be making again, I’ve already gotten requests for more. 

Extra apple sweetness to be found at these Fall Fun bloggers sites:

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Angela at Angela Kay

Jay at The Candle Enthusiast

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Michelle at Melting With Michelle

Sandra at Finger Candy

Autumn Inspiration Board

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We’ve entered the second week of the Fall Fun Series II and I can deny it no longer: Summer’s lease has faded, now autumn’s grasp is within reach. No more lengthy evenings spent on the deck listening to the song of unseen crickets, in fact, it’s gotten too chilly and windy for much deck lounging at all. In the Midwest, leaves are just starting to turn and signs of impending autumn ceremony are everywhere.

Fall is the most photogenic of the seasons, therefore inspiration is abundant. Below are photos I captured that evoke Fall feelings, followed by a few Fall wishlist items:

Outdoor elements:

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Hay bales harvested and rolled for the long winter stowed in the barn.

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Cold blue morning skies and once green crops turned into fields of spun-gold.

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A weathered, wooden plank barn sighs as summer recedes, unsure if it will see the spring.

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Knobby, pastel pumpkins hoping to be picked by their curly stems.

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Does a more perfect autumn pairing exist than simple pumpkins and mums?

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Murky moonglow illuminating an eerie night sky.

Indoor comforts:

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Jewel-toned glass and glittery pumpkin scatter among fall hued candles aglow in my copper candlescape tray.

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Sherlock socks by Out of Print

Cozy sock Sundays spent sipping coffee, immersed in classic suspense. (Yep, those are my socks and there’s probably a Sunday football game on in the background too.)

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Countdown calendar from Victorian Trading Co.

Perched on a vintage style sign, a wee witch keeps watch of a Halloween countdown.

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Twilight holder from Yankee Candle 2015

A favorite decor piece houses glowing tealights while bare trees cast spindly shadow silhouettes.

 

September’s candlescape inspiration is owl woods. Leaf magnet and Incense candle-Bath and Body Works, pierced owl light strand-Victorian Trading Co. Owl-head perfume decanter, vintage. The leaf magnet reminded me of the foliage clasps on the capes worn by Hobbits, the mixed media owl box houses the battery compartment and matches. At first too bare and metallic, I tucked in bunches of moss for an earthy texture.

Handmade wishlist

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Photo from TheLittleGreenBean.com

Fabric pumpkins from maker, the Little Green Bean in a variety of patterns and colors. Two of these burlap fall treasures are currently on their way to my home, but didn’t make it in time for a photo shoot. Missy creates all her items handmade to order and I can’t wait for these adorable additions. 

Fall body care desires:

 


Stunning handcrafted cold-processed soaps in Autumn Nights and All Hallows Eve by Euphoria Soap Works, Santa Carla Vampire by Future Primitive (sorry Sandra, I think this has already sold out) and Maple Mocha by Potter Made Soap

 

Or if yummy polishing sugar scrubs are more your thing (and mine), Caramel Candy Apple by Sunbasil Soap and Pumpkin Gingerbread by Salted Rock Bath Co. All product photos from vendors’ websites.

Hope you enjoyed a peek into my Fall inspiration board, all photos are mine (the countryside pics are from the village where I work), except for product photos. We’re also to share a memory or poem that gets us into the seasonal spirit, below is a Fall (ish) poem:

Grandmother Moon

Each day is a journey, a leaving home,

over paths that wind between rocks and bog. 

Behind each rock is a shadow; behind each shadow, a flower,

or a wellspring, or a trembling rabbit, or an unfolding fern.

Only if you look will you find.

Only if you leave will you arrive.

One step, then another, as day unrolls itself along the road toward night.

And at evening, look who welcomes us–

Grandmother moon, waiting in the doorway, 

the stars in her hands–to lead us safely home.

                                                               by Jane Yolen

Lots more Autumn inspiration from my fellow bloggers:

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Angela at Angela Kay

Jay at The Candle Enthusiast 

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Michelle at Melting With Michelle 

Sandra at Finger Candy

Mixin’ it up

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Inspired by a conversation with Kari, one of the sweet Yankee Candle Sisters, I’m showing off some mixology I’ve been melting this month. My endless stash of Yankee Candle tarts have nearly been forgotten since discovering vendor wax, but what else is a girl to do when she’s on a wax ban and isn’t sure when her customs and pre-orders are arriving? She returns to her wax roots, in my case, Yankee Candle. Kari mentioned experimenting with mostly bakery blends, while I gravitate to the fresher end of the spectrum. I aimed to challenge myself with a few and am mostly happy with the results.

Fails: Of course, not every combo is a winner.

Coconut Beach + Coastal Breeze

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I wish I’d tried Coconut Beach before mixing to judge it’s throw, combined with this, I only got a hint of perfumed coconut. The Coastal Breeze was a little old and may have lost it’s aroma, making this combo as pale in scent as it looked. My hoped for combo of Salty sea air/Coconut was a dud.

Black Sand Beach+Oceanside=Midnight Beach (Did I mention I love naming my creations?)

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I enjoy both of these especially having a patchouli heavy summer option with an added driftwood note in Black Sand Beach. This combo failed because the BSB simply overpowered my beloved Oceanside. Though, a watery marine note did enhance the patchouli, there wasn’t enough of a balance to be a proper mix. I think I’ll take the remaining half of Oceanside and mix with the leftover Coconut Beach and see what happens instead.

Successes:

Macintosh+Juicy Peach=Summer Jam. Inspired by Yankee’s retired MacIntosh & Peach candle which I never got a chance to try.

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Macintosh is a most beloved scent but doesn’t do anything for me on it’s own. Mixed with a summer fruit, it creates a punch of tart tangy apple and golden sweet peaches. Sugary, but not overly so, the combo becomes reminiscent of a fruit jam. It is a winner. Unfortunately, I don’t think Yankee offers a straight peach scent in their current lineup, but I believe this would also work with Mango Peach Salsa. I love this enough to get the candle if it ever makes a return appearance.

Lavender Vanilla+Stormwatch=The Calm before the Storm

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I’m not sure how often I’d mix these two but the lavender brought out the floral note in Stormwatch and the rich vanilla softened it’s somewhat soapy aspect. As they’re both singly wonderful I was surprised to find they were improved upon when combined. The result is a strong fresh floral perfume.

Dreamy Summer Nights+Golden Sands+Beachwood=I dream of summer

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Beach Wood dominates and is enhanced by the powdery vanilla of DSN and cool musk of Golden Sands. The GS is honestly too subtle and gets lost, but the triple blend makes for a more exciting beach fragrance as I’ve always found the woody note to be on the bland side. A soft, soothing blend for a cool summer night.

Peach Cobbler+White Gardenia=Southern Charm*

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Here’s an example of two scents I wouldn’t melt in wax on their own, the gardenia being too strong of a floral and the cobbler too sweet of a bakery fragrance. However, put together the combo is a revelation. Intoxicating gardenia blossoms become toned down by the syrupy nectar of brown sugar, peach juice and crumbly crust. This would make a stunning perfume or body mist.

*I’ve had success melting votives in my Yankee Scenterpiece warmer, but when using tarts, which have harder wax, it takes much longer to liquefy. I recommend using a few small bite-size tart pieces, but votives are better yet.

Fresh Mint+Juicy Grapefruit=Pink Julep

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Oooh, I adore this blend. The tangy grapefruit carries an earthy tone which blended with mint leaf becomes a vibrant cocktail of mouthwatering refreshment. Sparkling citrus and crisp mint make a crowd-pleasing combo. Yankee should create this fragrance!

Granny Smith+Sugar and Spice=Granny’s Pantry

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My goal with this blend was to find a complementary scent for green apple that didn’t involve caramel. I don’t care for overly caramel scents, but am also dreaming up combos for my green-apple-scent-loving niece, who is very finicky with her preferences. She likes apple, buttercream, vanilla, marshmallow, watermelon and pumpkin. I almost grabbed my French Vanilla or Merry Marshmallow until spotting S+S. Succulent green apples are drizzled with golden butter, warm tonka bean, brown sugar and spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Not your standard spice mix, there is an additional toasted nutty flavor in which I can almost taste the crunchy note. I’m pleased as punch that I gave this combo a try and can’t wait to share it with her this fall.

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Now, I’ll spill a secret…I used to dream up scent combos all the time as a YC employee. We were tasked with offering a ‘complementary scent’ with customers’ candle choices and I favored matching a fragrance with a companion. I even kept scent pairing lists. It’s been fun trying out some ideas with the stash I have, not quite as many as offered in store, but close. As a vendor wax customer I’m much more inspired nowadays, thanks to the innovative blends vendors are brewing up. I plan to return to my YC roots again with a festive mixology version later this year.

Do you practice mixology? Are there any appealing combos above, or some favorite blends of your own? Nothing’s too far out there for me to pair up.

Project Wax Update: Summer candles

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Summer collection

It’s time for a rotation of the summer candles, past time considering it’s July, but I didn’t want to change any out until I finished a few off. I’ve been making stellar progress (for me) on my candle depletion project. Okay, the empties below aren’t super impressive but I wasn’t home much to burn last month. To put it in perspective, my pre-candle depletion numbers totaled 5 empties for the entire year, in a good year. Considering those poor stats, I think I’m doing pretty well.20170709_112454What these finished burns lack in quantity was made up in quality. Early Sunrise and Lake Sunset are two retired favorite Treasures. The Relaxing Rituals line was discontinued years ago. I still have the fragrance oils of this soothing combination of Cardamom, Rose and Cedarwood, but I was sad to say goodbye to the candle. I’ve even finished Black Tea Rose since this photo was taken, giving me a good jump on my next empties post, with my fall collection roll out.

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Bath and Body Works’ Salted Vanilla seemed to take forever to get through for a 3-wick, but it was enjoyable. I’ve heard it reviewed as sour milk smelling, but I got nothing close to that. The vanilla was subtle with a golden brown butter essence and the briny tang of sea salt. Initially, the burn didn’t produce much throw, but by the third go, it threw respectably. Not a repurchase, but not awful. 

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Progress is all jolly-well, but I’m also on a wax and candle buying ban. Early June brought a minor setback when my good friend, who works for Yankee Candle, brought me two Pure Radiance crackle wicks. She knew I loved them and they were being discontinued, I didn’t have the willpower to turn them down! Pumpkin is set aside for fall but Citron smells yummy.

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My seasonal copper tray is the simplest yet: found seashells, a shell guidebook, glass starfish dish from a Charleston, South Carolina honeymoon stop, the nautilus tealight holder was a Yankee Candle clearance item from summer 2015 and retired Sandalwood Vanilla jar with Beachcomber illumilid.

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My mid-to-end of summer burning goal is six candles. I still have spring’s Fresh Cut Herbs going in the kitchen, determined to finish it. My summer stash holds some of my all time favorites, including Mountain Lodge and Campfire Treat. If a candle from my summer collection catches anyone’s eye for a review, let me know, any excuse to burn!

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?

 

Project Wax-candle countdown

In May’s BoB post, Lauren, of Lolo Loves Scents, posed the project wax question; essentially asking if we’ve ever had so much wax product that we felt a purge was needed before acquiring more. My answer is~oh yes, yes I have. It’s been ongoing at a snail’s pace since January and I’ve finally acquired enough ’empties’ to update.

Note that I don’t normally post my empties because I don’t like to see them myself. Something about viewing all of those empty plastic bags, cups and jars makes me cringe at the conspicuous consumption. Inevitably, I start to wonder if all of that plastic is getting recycled, which leads to worry about the environment, which leads to overwrought visions of apocalyptic doom, and honestly, people don’t need to hear about my neuroses. I recognize the benefits of posting photos of one’s empties though, it absolutely holds you accountable, as it’s hard to deny visual proof.

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I started off with a 5:1 ratio of using up jars to adding new, the baby steps approach. With only one semi-sale purchase from Bath and Body Works, I was feeling good. My winter candles lasted through most of spring, but at least I burned my quota. Then one night in March, I got an email for a random $9.50 B&BW’s candle sale and ended up with 3 unintended additions. Major impulse buys that I’m mostly happy with. At least the 3-wicks can be used quickly, compared to the single wick jars from Yankee which take FOREVER.

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I can’t really explain these last two buys, except I got all squealy when I spotted retired, masculine Evening Air for $13 at TJMAXX and this DW home scent is the first Eucalyptus I’ve enjoyed. I didn’t want to chance passing up that lightning in a bottle (jar).

I’m pretty satisfied with this progress actually, because many of these are retired scents that would be hard to repurchase. The old Jay would have burned these 2 or 3 times and packed ’em up for next year. The old Jay foolishly thought she could keep buying candles without finishing them and it would cause no storage/hoarding issues whatsoever.

Tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with so much wax, be it melts or candles, that a “project wax depletion” is required. I’ve since graduated to 10:1 ratio. I declare I won’t get another jar till I’ve used up 10 older ones. 10, I say!