Sunday, July 06, 2014

Flea market finds 7-6-14

C and I are flea market fans. Mostly we just enjoy getting out in the sunshine and walking around, but sometimes we actually run across some cool stuff. Today was one of those days.

I'm on a carnival glass kick and found 3 lovely pieces today.

I'll have to do some research on the patterns and colors since I am a total novice.
  I just love the look of each of these.

 I got the vase for $10.

The toothpick holder for $1.

The Fenton piece (the only one with a name marked) for $30. No idea if those are good or bad prices but they seemed comfortable enough for me.

I also scored a half dozen vintage holiday candles for only $10!
The pumpkin men and pumpkin don't have their stickers but they are in excellent shape otherwise. The Turkey is an original Gurley with it's 59¢. The snowmen are Tavern candles, with their original stickers. The lady said they were old store stock. They were quiet dirty and the box was filthy and mildewed to the point I wouldn't keep it in the house, I don't care if it DOES have value. But the candles cleaned up quite nicely.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Alamo Candelaria haul

I recently watched a video from Tiggy of Future Primitive Soaps where she talked about her Alamo Candelaria haul. I watch nearly everything Tiggy posts because I love her. Love her voice, love her soaps, love how she is always so positive and informative. So when the video came up in my queue I had never heard of Alamo Candelaria and had no idea what the video would be about. I just watched it because it was Tiggy. Turns out Alamo Candelaria is a soap shop out of San Antonio, Texas run by a lovely lady named Kyme. I sat enthralled as Tiggy unwrapped each carefully and beautifully wrapped soap. The soaps were mini works of art. And I was intrigued.

So down the rabbit hole I went searching out other YouTube videos of AC hauls. The more I watched, the more I wanted. Kyme even has her own YT channel where she shows her soap making and cutting. By the time I finished watching the series of videos on her Scentimental Serectorium collection I already had my cart loaded and was placing an order.

Her shop features soaps, candles, perfume and wax tarts. She has a collection of standard "artisan soaps", a collection of fancier soaps she labels "Ancient Series" and a special collection in honor of the All Souls Trilogy of books entitled "Scentimental Secretorium".
I ordered 3 of her artisan soaps, Blush (fruity, bright and sweet), Puro Gracia (clean and  fresh), Tamarind & Ginger (spicy and sweet). All came wrapped like precious little presents in signature wax/vellum paper with a paper band bearing the scent descriptions and ingredients all sealed up with a really, old fashioned, hand stamped wax seal. I couldn't bear to unwrap them. Click the links if you'd like to see what the soaps look like. They smell amazing!

I also ordered one of her soap/perfume sets from the Scentimental Secretorium line in Ysebeau. Everything in this line comes packaged in a hand decorated box featuring the alchemical symbols of a soap maker (water, lye, etc). Inside the products are wrapped in tissue paper and nestled in a bed of raffia. The scent is a rich, burnt sugar vanilla. Although I've drifted away from perfume oils of late, I do like this one and find it last a good while on my skin.

Kyme also tucked in 2 soap samples (Pompeii and Velvet & Violets) and a Salt Lique Lollie. I'm using the Pompeii sample and find it a wonderful soap. I am delighted with my order, as I'm sure you can tell. Next up I intend to order some of her wax tarts since she has far more scents available there than in her soap lines. Of course I'll be ordering more soaps too!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Latte heaven

I luvs me some yummy flavored coffee and when my Kindle Fire displayed a Mr. Coffee latte maker flash sale a few months ago, I was on it in a heartbeat. The last thing I want is another appliance to clutter up my counters and this is definitely a one trick pony. But it does it's one thing really well and it is light enough to move around and stow away when not in use.

The Mr. Coffee Latte Maker retails for around $65 on Amazon. The price was reduced to a crazy $20 during the flash sale! It is quite easy to and water in the top, milk (and flavoring if desired) in the bottom, push a button and in about 8 minutes or so you've got a steaming hot latte.
You also have the option of just frothing/heating the milk if you prefer. This setting makes super tasty hot chocolate. There is a recipe book included but anyone with an ounce of creativity can easily come up with their own creations. My favorite home concoction is a raspberry mocha (a squirt or two of Hershey's syrup and a few drops of McCormack raspberry flavoring in with the milk), YUMMY!
At the moment I'm using almond milk and it doesn't tend to froth quite as nicely as regular milk. But it works well enough and the flavor is delicious.

The biggest downside is cleaning the carafe. It is not immersible and the milk tends to stick to the bottom. I wait until it cools down and then scrub it out well with soap and water and a sponge after every use. You also need to rinse the whisk very well since it also is not immersible.

In addition to the new coffee maker I need to point out my absolute favorite (new) mug. Isn't it fabulous! The mug I got holds 20 oz, a prefect coffee bucket for me. It feels perfect in my hands. It is a hand painted mug from Grey December on Etsy. Go check out her pottery. Gorgeous stuff. I MUST have this mug next.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Garden

Thanks to a day or two of fair weather in the last few weeks, we were able to get the garden planted. I've scaled back quite a bit this okra, fewer tomatoes. I'm hoping having things less crowded will result in better plants and more veggies. Here's what we've got
 The tomatoes are back in the big bed this year. 3 Early Girl and 2 Roma. Between the tomatoes I planted King Arthur Peppers and some Jalapenos. Filling out the bed are 2 zucchini, 4 cucumbers, 4 white eggplant and 4 purple eggplant and 2 Gypsy peppers. In the side bed we added a second blueberry plant. It is tiny (picked it up at the grocery store) so it's going to take a year or two to get established. The rest of the side bed has zinnias (last year's sunflowers were beautiful but unruly).
The long bed has our onions, all Candy this year. More pepper plants...Red Knight, Honeycrisp, Gypsy, Orange Bell and California Wonder. Finally a Supersweet 100 cherry tomato plant.

We have a small flower bed in the middle of our yard. Since 2001 it's had a Butterfly bush, planted in memory of our first cat that died (Allegra). Its been getting pretty old and woody these last few years and this year's hard winter finally did it in. The base was all broken and rotted out from the snow/ice pack. So C and I dug it out and planted a lilac. (Please excuse the junk in the background, not mine!)
We both love the scent and look of lilacs. We've been fortunate to have generous neighbors who have let us cut some every year to enjoy, but i still longed to have one of my own. The variety I chose is Miss Kim. It is supposed to stay on the smaller side which we need since the space isn't too big. The plant is loaded with buds so we are hoping to have some wonderful smelling flowers soon.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sweet Anthem Perfumes Seasonal Anthology summer 2014

Sweet Anthem is a niche perfume house out of Washington state with Meredith Smith at the helm. The perfumes are natural based and come in various formats (EDP, perfume oil and solid perfume). I recently heard that she was coming out with the "Great Northern" collection, two scents based on the Pacific Northwest. One, Cooper, is inspired by my favorite Twin Peaks character, Agent Cooper. I knew I HAD to try it. And Sweet Anthem was going to feature the two new scents in their Summer SA List sampler box. Sign me up!!

According the the website, the SA List offers a quarterly sample box featuring 2 samples of new seasonal perfumes as well as a surprise sample from a previous release. You receive 2ml samples which should be enough for several wearings. You also receive a $10 voucher towards a future purchase on their website. The cost ranges from $14 for 2 seasons to $24 for 4 seasons. I signed up for the 2 season option.

I was so excited to see my box arrive this week. I was in the last shipping group and didn't expect it to arrive until closer to June. The set was beautifully packaged in a silver box with a brown cigarband with the company's logo. Inside where the samples of Walden and Cooper along with a FULL SIZE solid perfume in Peter and a lip balm in Champagne & Rose.

The box was incredibly fragrant when I opened it. To my utter disappointment I discovered why...the sample of Cooper had completely leaked out of the vial. Walden also leaked, but a bit was left. Although the vials were in plastic baggies, the perfume seeped through and was absorbed by the cardboard box. The box has a nice, woody smell from the combination of the two scents.

Cooper is described on the website as: Nutty vetiver, smoky teak, coffee – black as midnight on a moonless night, and the transcendental Douglas Fir. All I get from sniffing the empty vial is alcohol. I am crushed. This scent sounds like something I would love and was the whole reason I bought the box. *sigh*

Walden is described as: Aquatic musks, vintage florals, and greenery everywhere. There was enough in this vial to actually get a few sprays out. It is very green and earthy. I don't get any florals at all. This scent leans more masculine.

The notes of Peter are listed as Champagne, Matcha Tea, Black Current, Lemon, Leather, and Patchouli. I get a lot of leather with a hint of lemon and a sparkling note (I assume that's the champagne). The solid format is kind of nice. It leaves a gentle scent that lasts about two hours on my skin. I feel this scent could be unisex.

The lip balm smells neither of champagne or rose. It has a nice smooth texture and feels moisturizing on the lips. It's a nice freebie, but I don't care for lip products that you have to apply with your fingers so not something I would rush out and buy.

I did contact Meredith about the leaking vials. She explained that they had run out of their usual vials and were using new ones in order to fill the orders. She apologized for the problem and offered me a free shipping code on my next order. I would have rather had a replacement of Cooper since the whole point was to try to decide if I even WANT to place an order. However, her prices are not bad (ranging from $6.50 for a small solid perfume to $32 for a 10ml perfume oil) and with the $10 voucher from my box I'm not rising a lot to buy a full size unsniffed.

Click here to join the Sweet Anthem SA list.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The All Natural Face April subscription box

I received the April All Natural Face subscription box this week and I am excited to share it with you.

This month's theme is Spring Bling and the contents definitely hint at Spring.
The first thing I saw when I opened my box was a large hibiscus flower hair clip. Definitely not my style but cute for someone who likes that kind of thing.

There is a pouch of 6 eyeshadow samples. I love their eye shadows; the samples are generous size and come in nice snap=top containers (much better than messy baggies some companies use). The colors are all shades of gold, pink and coral (includes: Fireball Fuschia, Brandied Peaches, Tiger Lily, Coral, Deep Mauve and Sunflower). Should be really pretty for summer.

Vegan Gel Pot Peach Ice. I wasn't sure what this was until I watched Wheaten Beauty's unboxing of her sub-box. She said it's the same formula as their gel pot liners and can be used as an eye shadow, base or liner. I hate the gel pot liners I've tried in the past. They go on splotchy and disappear on me in no time. But this shade is quite pretty so I will give it a try as a shadow base. Should be lovely with the eye shadows in the box.

Coral lip gloss. A nice full sized tube of lip gloss. My pale, cool toned skin doesn't play well with coral lip colors so I'll be passing this on.

Unscented Crystal Spray Deodorant. I've never tried a natural spray deodorant. I have memories of horrid aerosol Secret deodorant when I was a teen. Left your pits wet and sticky if you managed to actually hit your pit and not your eye! This is a much more manageable spritzer spray. I've been using Crystal deodorant for well over a year now with no complaints but will be happy to test this one out.

Foil packets of Age Defying Extract Daily Moisturizer and Hair Serum Silky Tresses. I'm not a fan of foil packet samples (is anyone?) but I am very much looking forward to trying both of these. I'm not on a hunt for a new moisturizer since I've got several that are already working well for me but it will be fun to see how theirs feels. I'm ALWAYS on the hunt for new hair products, though. This is basically a mix of oils (no silicones); it might be a good alternative to the Moroccanoil I've been using.

This is my last sub box for a while. Lately I'm just not getting enough stuff I'll actually use to justify the price. I still think this is one of the best sub boxes out there and would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in sampling natural products.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Celebrating spring...

...and my first day off after tax season with a sweet pedicure (Susie always gives my a little nail art. She's the best!)
and bringing out my warm weather fragrances.
Bring on SPRING!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Austenland book & movie

I was gifted a copy of the Austenland book for Christmas and got around to reading it this month (I suppose Valentine's Day put me in the spirit for a romance story). The story centers around Jane, a woman in her thirties who has yet to find true love...mostly because she is obsessed with the fantasy that someday she'll find her own Mr. Darcy. A rich aunt guesses Jane's secret fantasy and bequeaths a trip to Austenland to Jane. Austenland is a place where women go to live out their Austen fantasies complete with actors to play out the Austen roles.The premise is pretty ridiculous to me. Who in their right mind would think a fake pseudo-romance with a paid actor could bring happiness. However, the book was a quick easy read so I muddled through (albeit with much eye-rolling). Perhaps someone who is a big fan of Austen would enjoy the book more. I do like Austen, but am not obsessed. The ending was predictable (sort of) but also incredibly unlikely.

Although I was rather disappointed with the book, I decided to give the movie a shot since it has just recently shown up on Amazon Prime (and DVD). Surprisingly, the movie was much better and actually kind of good. The premise is mostly the same with a few details changed. The ending was changed enough to make it (slightly) more believable. I found the actors made the characters come to life a whole lot better than the written word. I had a hard time getting a feel for a lot of the characters in the book, but in the movie, every role makes sense. Jennifer Coolidge is fantastic as is JJ Field who is very Darcy-esque. All of the Austen characters are delightfully over the top. It was a fun way to spend 90 minutes. Skip the book, watch the movie.

Mostly the duo has rekindled my interest in Jane Austen. I've queued up Northanger Abbey on my Kindle to read next.


Sunday, March 09, 2014

The All Natural Face March subscription box

It's time for another TANF subscription box. This month's theme is Pot O' Gold, just in time for Saint Patrick's Day.

The box included another very generous set of ten eye shadow samples, all in various shades of green and gold. Green is sometimes hard for me to pull off with my pale skin and brown eyes but I am looking forward to giving these a try.

There is a sample of Diva Stick Eye Shadow Primer. I've tried two other of their eye shadow primers. Both have inconsistent reliability for me. They must be used quite sparingly or I find my eye shadow creases. So we'll see how this one fairs.

There is gold gel eye liner. Not a fan of their gel liner so this will probably go straight to the swap box.

A sample of Tea Tree Hydrosol Toner. I can't find any information about this product. I believe Tea Tree oil is good for oily/acne prone skin. Mine is neither. I may hold on to this for summer, though, and see how it works as a refresher on hot humid days.

I'm super excited to try the Argan Oil roll on. I love argan oil and this will be a handy, non-messy form of application.

Finally there is a tub of French Green Clay. I love clay masks so this is a sure winner.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

My Beauty Addiction haul

Having a pale skin tone and leaning a bit towards the goth, I'm always on the search for a good, wearable purple lipstick. I thought I had found my holy grail in Pumpkin & Poppy's Lily Boob Tube Lip Butter, but it is sadly discontinued (a fairly common occurrence with indy makeup companies). So before my tube of Lily is completely gone, I decided to start looking again.

Since I'm trying to keep my makeup as natural as possible, I decided to look around Etsy to see what I could find. There are tons of options available but one that caught my eye was My Beauty Addiction. A quick look on Facebook and I discovered they were running a sale that weekend so I jumped on the opportunity to place an order.

My ordered arrived lightening quick, within 4 days! Everything was well packaged and a free eye shadow sample was included. I picked up 3 lipsticks, the Sand & Sea eye shadow sample kit and eye shadow primer (which I forgot to include in the photo).
The lipsticks are available individually or in a set of 3 choose your own colors. I went for the set. MAB offers a wide range of fairly unusual shades as well as awesome everyday shades. The 3 I chose are (from left to right) Candy Baby, Paranormal and Exotic Orchid. They look a bit bumpy in the picture, but they go on totally smooth. The colors are highly pigmented and last for hours. The formula is creamy and moisturizing. The purples probably look a bit wild in the tube, but I find them totally wearable. I've found I can change the look up quite a bit by layering them over a nude lip pencil or under a gloss. A+ for these lipsticks!

I wanted to try some of their eye shadows too and the Sand & Sea sample set seemed like the best value. The set includes 12 extremely generous pots of eye shadows (Cloud Nine was the free sample I received). In retrospect, the set probably wasn't the best choice for me as I don't wear a lot of pastels and even the darkest shades in the set are quite pale. However, I have used them all week and have loved them. They apply and blend beautifully. They don't have fallout and I haven't had much issues with creasing (the primer really helps if creasing is an issue for you). MAB has tons of pre-picked color collections to choose from or you can buy individual colors or choose your own color sets. I can't wait to go back and try some of their darker shades!

If you are on the hunt for unusual lippies or some fine eye shadows, be sure to check out My Beauty Addiction.