Wednesday, December 31, 2014

KnitPro Karbonz interchangeable needles

So here's the Christmas present I bought for myself this year.

I caught a glimpse of these sexy, silver tipped black needles on a picture someone posted of a knitting project they were working on and became obsessed with finding them. She didn't list the needle brand so it took me several days of searching to puzzle it out. The needles are by KnitPro and called Karbonz. The needles are made of carbon fiber with nickle plated tips. And DAMN are they gorgeous.

I treated myself to the deluxe set which includes 9 needle sizes, 4 cables, end caps, keys, size markers and case. I am thrilled with the set. The case is compact and light. It looks like I'll be able to fit more tips if I decide to expand my set. I love that the sizes are not only stamped on the needles but engraved on the end that attaches to the cables. Some reviews had stated that the tips sometimes had uneven joins, however all of mine seems totally smooth.

I can not wait to get something on these needles. I've got two projects going right now (a sweater and a pair of socks). I'm still not back up to my old speed and hesitate to get too many projects going at once. But I'm thinking perhaps a scarf would be a good choice. I'll be sure to report back when I've had a chance to test them. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Moonalisa Halloween restock and Yule 2014

Back in October Moonalisa had a Halloween restock and Yule 2014 sale. We were at the cabin at the time, but thankfully had internet so I was able to snag some goodies. The turn around time was listed around 30 days with scheduled shipping to be around Dec 10. Due to some issues with her fulfillment company and the weather, things got pushed back some. Fortunately, my order arrived just before Christmas (about 4 days shy of two months after ordering!) As I said last time, however, it's so worth the wait.
 Here's the whole lot. The freebie gift is a mini solid massage bar. I thought it was a piece of candy! Thankfully I saw the description on the back of the pack before testing that theory!
 I ordered 3 Sugar Load Sugar Scrubs. They look like a creamy sugar scrub rather than the oily type. Gingernutter has a rich, warm scent. A bit buttery and nutty, not much ginger. Cassandra's Cauldron is chocolate covered orange. And Venetian Coffee Swirl is strong, dark coffee with a light, nutty background. All are totally delectable. I also picked up a Butter Rich Cream in Graveyard Gateau, a decedantly rich body butter that smells a bit similar to Cassandra's Cauldron, only with the chocolate being the predominant scent and the orange in the background.
 I picked up 4 perfume oils this time. Gingernutter and Venetian Coffee swirl to match the scrubs. Durga, which I had gotten in a hair mist last time, is a soft of citrusy/bakery scent. And No Witches on a Crackling Fire which is listed as a berry/smokey scent. Unfortunately, all I get is wood smoke. While this is a scent I do like, I don't care for it as much for a perfume. I'll probably end up using this in an oil burner as a room scent.
Just before Christmas, Moona posted a quick "mini-mini" sale with just a few ready to ship items that could go out before Christmas. I wasn't paying close enough attention to the time and missed out on the major goodies...mystery bags and lip balm sets. I did order just one of her Argan Oil Hair Rescue in Lavender Absolute. I would have rather had one of the sweet scents, but they sold out before I could get an order in. The lavender scent is strong and try, exactly like fresh picked lavender from my garden. I've tried the oil in my hair and it's a nice standard hair oil.

Overall I am once again thrilled with my purchases. She's got another sale coming up tonight (Dec 28, 2014, 9:30 pm eastern). This is the Valentines/MardiGras release, I believe. I'm pretty well stocked at the moment but will probably pop on just to see what's new.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Santa Jar

Just a quickie post to show you the cute Santa jar I created this morning. C wanted a gift for his hairdresser. He approached me with an empty pickle jar and asked if I could turn it into something that looked like Santa. A quick Bing search yielded tons of ideas. Having not crafted in ages I wasn't sure what kind of supplies I had around. But luckily I had everything I needed. I wrapped the jar in red felt and hot glued it on. Black fold over elastic provided the belt with a little glitter paint for the buckle. I found the perfect buttons in my button jars. Some fiber fill for the collar and more felt and a pompom for the hat. Totally adorable. Now I just need some candy to fill it!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Lake in Wood Campground

It is a well known fact that C and I are homebodies and rarely venture out. See Webster's entry for homebody and you'll see our picture (just kidding). But for the last 2 years we've been dreaming of a lakeside cabin getaway for vacation. We tried last year, a place in Mount Grenta's Chautauqua, but it was a bust. Not to be deterred, we kept looking and this year settled on Lake in Wood Campground in Narvon.
We rented a cabin right by the lake for a few days the end of October. Being the end of season, the place was nearly deserted. However, it was peak for fall foliage in Pennsylvania that week and the colors were gorgeous.


 
Our view was perfect and I spent most of the time just staring at the lake.
 
The cabin was clean and cozy and had all the amenities of home (heat, tv, internet, kitchen and bathroom). We are very much looking forward to going back again next year and would recommend them to anyone looking for a nice getaway.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Moona Lisa haul

I heard of Moona Lisa years ago when I was big into BPAL and other eccentric indie perfumers. There was talk of how great her scents were, how gorgeous her presentation, but mostly how damn hard it was to get a hold of. I looked at the site a few times but it was always closed so I gave up and forgot about it. But recently I ran across a few MoonaLisa hauls on YouTube and it piqued my interest again. Again, the site was sold out. So I asked around and found out the scoop. Moona only opens up a few times a year with limited edition releases. Pretty much the only way to know when this is going to happen is to follow on Facebook. So this is where I heard about the Halloween release. Halloween was live for about a week starting August 30. I didn't know how fast things would sell out so I made sure to get my order in on day 1. Not sure what is typical since I've only participated in one sale but it looks like you wouldn't necessarily have to be there during the first few hours. From then, its been a long wait. She is very up front about the turn around time. If you are in a hurry, don't even bother. It is my understanding typical TATs are around a month. Since Halloween is one of the bigger sales it runs longer. I received mine Oct 18, so about a month and a half. Was it worth the wait????
I picked up 2 soaps, 2 perfume oils and a leave in detangler hair spray. She also had body lotions, salt soaks, shower gel, body scrubs and wax tarts.
The two soaps I picked up are Late Harvet and Pumpkin Clafouti. The bars are IMMENSE! One is 8.5 ounces and the other over 9!! That's nearly double the size most handmade soapers offer. They are stunning. There is little information on her website so I was leery of ordering soaps...would they be cold process or melt and pour? These are definitely cold process. Very hard and well cured. The scents are outstanding. Very strongly scented. I can not wait to use them but they are too gorgeous to use!
Next up are the perfume oils. I know I've said I have pretty much moved on from perfume oils but the 'weens always suck me in. I chose Sleepy Hollow, (her description: Experience the legend with this solid perfume flying Ointment reminiscent of smoldering seasoned oakwood fires, warmed leather from fierce riding through the eastern woodside and the distinct aroma of roasted spiced pumpkin flesh and smoldering marshmallows). At the top I get raw pumpkin (no sweetness or spice) and as it dries more wood and smoke come through. Of course I had to get Smoldering Havana Charmer (a new Amber Tobacco Chocolate scent, I made a new version of the Duchess but much more complex , grown up and edgy.) This comes off exactly as she describes it...chocolate, amber and tobacco. Fantastic. Loved that it came wrapped in a tube to look like a mini cigar. Too cute.
And lastly I got her detangler spray in Durga (Gingery, buttery, spicy brown sugar and a hint of grounding earthy patchouli & Neroli. Smells like the MOST delicious Halloween cookies baking and a breath of Autumn Graveyard air. Hmmm, Sweet Haunted Home). The scent seems rather faint to me compared to the detanglers I have from Alchemic Muse which leave my hair scented for hours. But I've only smelled it from the bottle, not sprayed in my hair. So I'll have to report back after I've had a chance to give it a good try.

There was a little goodie bag included as well with a collectors card, a piece of candy and a soap sample. Again, the sample is quite generous and comes in a little sealed cup. This is going with on vacation next week!

So, was it worth the wait? Hell yeah. If you are into this kind of indie bath and body stuff, get on her Facebook and start saving your pennies!! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

eSalon product review


A little over a month ago I received a hair coloring kit from eSalon as part of a BzzAgent campaign (see my initial post here.) The campaign is ending this week so I wanted to get my thoughts posted. While I haven't had a chance to try the color kit yet, I have been using the "Tinted Love" color enhancing glaze and the "Shining Armor" oil treatment.

Tinted Love ($15) is unlike most color glazes I've tried in the past. The product is quite thin and looks like liquid gold. You use the product between shampoo and conditioner. The odd thing is that it lathers like a shampoo. It doesn't seem to be a cleansing product in that my hair does not feel stripped. It is also not conditioning, I still use my regular conditioner after. I just use a quarter size amount, work it into my wet hair and let it sit for 3 or 4 minutes before rinsing out. I've been using it twice a week. It does add a nice shine to my hair and maybe some golden highlights. I would not say that it has prolonged my color at all, though. So, color enhancing, yep, color extending, no.

Shining Armor ($18) is a lightweight leave in oil treatment. It has a faint citrus smell that fades quickly. It did a fine job smoothing my hair and keeping frizz at bay. I've used it on both wet and dry hair with equally good results. I've used it at least 4 or 5 times per week and it feels like the bottle is about 2/3 gone.

As I said, these products were sent to me free to try with the campaign....Would I buy these products with my own money? Probably not. They ARE fine products but I feel like there are equally good products out there for a fraction of the price. I'm still looking forward to trying the color when I get to the point I need it and will post my thoughts on it then.


Monday, September 22, 2014

September 2014 Goodebox

I received my bi-monthly edition of the Goodebox last week. September's box is curated by Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre 3.
The main item in the box is a free 30 day membership to Barre3.com, an online fitness site. The workouts are based on ballet, yoga and pilates moves and range from 10 to 60 minutes. The site also includes recipes and weight loss programs. I'm planning to start my free month over my long weekend next week so it will stretch into vacation the end of October. I am excited to try the workouts as I love both yoga and pilates. A "field guide" with food tips, exercise schedules and tracking charts was included along with one of those tacky stretch bracelets. Since I'm already using Atkins.com to track my fitness/weightloss I doubt I'll use the booklet and the rubber band is going straight to the trash. (value $15)

Next up are 3 sample packets of Weleda Skin Food. I love that they included 3 since most foil packets don't contain much product. Skin Food is a rich moisturizer for dry skin. I do believe I've tried it a long time ago and liked it. I'm sure it will be perfect for the the inevitable dry skin of winter! (value ?, maybe $.50)

A tin of Jacobsen Salt Co. salt. I must admit, I'm pretty cool with plain old kosher salt. This flake salt comes in a cute tin but otherwise, tastes like salt to me. I'm sure I'll use it but wouldn't go out of my way to purchase it. (value $2.95)

A full size All Natural Face cream blush in Dusky Rose. I already know and love this brand. I have 2 of their cream blushes already but this is a new color for me. These blushes are easy to apply and give long lasting color. The brownish red color should be nice for fall. (value $5.75)

SquareHue nail polish in Canon Drive 08.14. SquareHue is a monthly subscription box that includes 3 limited edition colors. Cost is $14.99 plus shipping (total $19.99). The polish I received was a gorgeous purple color. Unfortunately it chipped on me in less than 3 days. I'll give it another try or two to make sure it wasn't just a bad week. (value $5 plus there's a coupon to receive a free surprise box with your first month's subscription, value $15).

SkinnySkinny Dry Shampoo in Jasmine. I love the idea of not washing my hair everyday. And in that respect I am fortunate to have dry hair that doesn't get oily. Ever. So dry shampoo is a complete no go for me. However, this is a quite generous sample and I'm sure for someone that likes dry shampoo it would have been a great item. (value $7)

And finally a Coconut Cleansing Bar from Homespun Northwest.This is a small sample of a plain white coconut soap. It has no smell and, quite honestly, feels like a block of melt & pour soap. I use all the soap samples I get and I'm sure this will be a fine soap. I just prefer some bells and whistles in the soaps I buy so I don't think I would purchase this. (value ?, $1)

The Goodebox runs $18. So long as I actually use the Barre3 workouts I'll get my money out of it this month.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Latte

If there's one thing that just screams "fall" it's Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Something about cool weather brings out the craving for this spicy creamy drink. I don't have a Starbucks nearby so I've never had the original, but I have had various versions from local coffee places and they are all quite good. But pricey. And loaded with sugar. Since going back to Atkins this year I'm really trying hard to limit my carbs so I decided to make my own PSLs and see if I couldn't do it low carb.

I found a copy cat recipe for Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup and tweaked it a bit. Here's my version:
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups Splenda
4 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbl canned pumpkin puree

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often. Cool. Remove all but one cinnamon stick. I do not strain my syrup (why waste that healthy fiber!?) but you could if you prefer a super smooth coffee. Transfer to a clean bottle and store in the refrigerator. Shake well before using. I use 3-4 tablespoons of syrup for my jumbo coffee mug (I like my coffee pretty sweet).

Next time I would use less cloves or maybe just leave them out and up it to 3 tablespoons of pumpkin. This syrup is delicious and makes a darn tasty PSL. The original recipes says it should last a month in the fridge, but at the rate I drink these I don't think I'll be pushing the shelf life! Using Splenda instead of sugar and adding real pumpkin greatly reduces the carbs and ups the fiber of this treat. Now I can enjoy one of my favorite fall drinks without the guilt!



1
  • 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar[4]
  • 4 cinnamon sticks[5]
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • - See more at: http://www.copycatrecipeguide.com/How_to_Make_Starbucks_Pumpkin_Spice_Syrup#sthash.F2LcFaG6.dpuf

    Sunday, September 14, 2014

    Vintage Created Soy Candles

    2nd post today but I really wanted to get this one up too.

    I recently discovered Vintage Created candles on Etsy. I picked up two of her woodwick soy candles for fall in Tobacco Caramel and Fireside.

    They come in beautiful, heavy glass jars that she says can be washed and reused when the candle is used up. I'm all about reusing my candle jars and these are beauties. The wicks provide a lovely glow and gentle scent throw. I was afraid the woodwick would be hard to put out but I found it easy to blow out. Tobacco Caramel smells reminiscent of Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille, yummy and cozy. Fireside is more of a woodsmoke scent than the sweet smokey scent of B&BW's Fireside, wonderful on a cold day. The only downside was the scent names weren't marked on my candles (perhaps an oversight, perhaps just the way it is). However, there are paper labels on the bottom of the jars where I was able to right on the name.

    Recently the owner, Elaine, posted a contest on Facebook to suggest layered candle scent combos of her fall scents. The contest didn't have much response and I won! As a prize I received a candle in my suggestion, Hayride over Mulled Cider.

    This is a traditional wick candle in a square mason jar. I love how the layers are a bit tilted so I should have a period when both scents combine. So excited to burn this one but I think I'm going to save it for October.

     If you are a candle lover I highly recommend checking out her Etsy shop. She offers several sizes and varieties of candles in a bunch of scents and her prices are quite good. Right now (through Monday 9-15-14) she is offering a sale of 10% off your pumpkin scented order using the coupon code PUMPKIN.

    Library sale book haul

    Yesterday was the annual Myerstown Library book and bake sale. It was a cool rainy day. But attendance still seemed good and we sold a lot of books and yummy baked goods. I didn't find any of the specific books I was looking for but still managed to fill my bag with some good finds.

    I've read a few Susan Wittig Albert and Janet Evanovich books in the past and enjoyed them so I added these five to my collection. Pumpkin Muffin Murder, The Lord is my Shepherd, Jeneration X and Talking to girls about Duran Duran have all been on my Kindle wishlist so I was happy to snag copies. Sugar Solution was recommend reading by my doctor a few years back. I'm a firm believer in cutting sugar and high glycemic foods so this should be interesting reading. Pirate Latitudes is a complete wildcard. I've read some Michael Crichton when I was younger, I love pirate stories so it could be good. Looks like I may have lucked out this year and didn't purchase any books that were already on my shelf! C also picked up a big pile of books but I didn't get a picture before he put them away.

    Now if I can just find time to read!!!

    Monday, September 01, 2014

    North Coast Organics - new HG natural deodorant

    A few years back I talked about my ongoing quest to find a good, natural deodorant. At the time, Lavanilla's Healthy deodorant had become my go to. And I do still love it. It's a bit pricey but it doesn't irritate my underarms, smells good, lasts most of the day.

    For the last year and a half I've been alternating between it and Crystal Deodorant Stick. Crystal is dirt cheap, works exceptionally well and, even after all that time I'm STILL on my first stick. It can be a little messier to use since you have to wet it to apply. I find it easier to just apply right after showering while my underarms are still wet. It can also sting a bit after shaving, hence I alternate between the two.

    Even with two go to deodorants on my shelf, ever fickle me still likes to try new stuff as it comes around. This summer I tried 2...the first was Nourish Organics. It was ok. Price was decent, smell was good. The product comes in a standard deodorant twist up tube. I found it to be quite soft and it left a lot of product residue on my skin. It did keep me fresh about as long as the Lavanilla, 8 hours or so before needing to reapply. No irritation after shaving. Because of the soft nature of the product I blew through the tube in a little over a month. Probably wouldn't repurchase this one.

    The other was buzzed about a good bit in the natural beauty community on You Tube and piqued my interest. I started following North Coast Organics on Facebook and when they ran a sale a while back, I took the plunge and placed an order.

    I picked up a sample of Revolver (a slightly masculine, woody scent), a full size of Death by Lavender (duh, lavender) and this totally awesome tee shirt because you KNOW I can't resist the skulls.

    This deodorant has quickly become my hands down holy grail. The scent is light and fades quickly for me. The product is firm and applies without leaving a bunch of gunk in your pits (or on your clothes). I don't find it irritates my skin at all even though it does contain baking soda. The best part, the tipping point that makes this one number one, is that the odor protection lasts more than 24 hours for me. Seriously. Even after working out and getting all sweaty and gross, I don't stink. Now, granted, it's not a huge problem for me to begin with (fortunately, I know). But still. I'm incredibly impressed. 

    They currently offer 3 varieties (the third is unscented) plus some lip balms and lotions. They are available in a few stores but ordering online is easy and shipping is fast. Definitely worth checking out.


    Monday, August 25, 2014

    New fragrances - Summer 2014 edition

    The arrival of my fall SA perfume box got me to thinking I should probably talk about my spring/summer perfumes before it's time to talk about fall!

    As I've mentioned before, I've greatly cut back on my perfume purchasing, trying to sample before purchasing full bottles. I'm also trying to stick to one new bottle per season. I slid a little these last few months but only a little.

    My first acquisition was Replica Lazy Sunday Morning from Maison Martin Margiela. I did sample this one first and fell instantly in love. At the time it was sold out everywhere but I snapped up a bottle as soon as I could from Sephora. It is a light, airy rose. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. This one has been in heavy rotation. I wore it for days on end when I first got it. The bottle is immense, thankfully, because I could bath in this stuff. Signature scent worthy.

    Next I purchased Fleur en Fleur from West Third Brand. This was a blind buy. I can't remember exactly what spurred me to buy this one...I was craving florals and it was dead cheap is my guess. Happy accident to be sure. This is another gorgeous scent. Super-girly, sweet floral. And the bottle is so retro cool. Don't let the label "body spray" fool you, this is a real perfume and lasts for hours.

    The third bottle is Avon's Today Tomorrow Always Together. I heard about this one on Fragrantica and really wanted to get my hands on it. Every time a new Avon catalog came out I scanned the pages only to find it not there. Diligent watching on Ebay led me to a bottle from Poland (I'm pretty sure this is still the only place you can get it at this time). Avon perfumes are really hit or miss for me. Most end up smelling exactly alike and not very good. This one, however, is an exception. For one, the bottle is stunning. Heavy, pale blue glass, delicate gold designs and a cap that looks like molten crystal. The scent is wonderful, white florals with a hint of peach and aldehyde. This one has gotten me the most complements when I wear it.

    There was a fourth purchase...another West Third Brand called Amber Bound. Another blind buy that didn't work out. The notes sounded so promising to me...sandalwood, tobacco leaf, amber, vanilla, and on and on. But the scent was liner, uber sweet amber. At least WTB is inexpensive and I was able to pass the bottle on to someone else who will enjoy it more.

    So those were my perfume purchases this summer. All in all I'm quite happy with the three. These could possibly be year rounders depending on the occasion.

    I'm already sampling scents for fall and think I have my single bottle picked out already. Hoping for Labor Day sales.

    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Sweet Anthem SA List Fall 2014 subscription box

    My much anticipated fall subscription box from Sweet Anthem Perfumes arrived this week. The fall collection is called "Smoke Under Glass". Being the smoke lover I am, you KNOW I was super excited for these to arrive.

    Unlike my first box which arrived with leaking/empty vials, this season's box arrived in excellent condition. Meredith has switched to new vials which didn't leak. She had each individual vial in it's own zip bag (I moved them all to one) and all were housed in a tin box.

    The fall collection is comprised of two scents, Ella & Petra.

    Ella is a blend of agarwood, black tea, lavender and pumpkin. While Petra has notes of candle smoke, cherry, heliotrope, immortelle, myrrh, and vanilla.

    I thought all along Petra would be the winner for me but it was actually my least favorite. It's ok, but comes off a bit medicinal on me, kind of like the smell of bandaids. Ella, on the other hand, is gorgeous. The notes blend perfectly into a sweet, rich scent.

    Also included in my package was a solid perfume of Catherine, amber, bergamot, neroli, red tea and wisteria. I already have this one and like it as a light citrus.

    And finally a sample of Owl.  The description starts "essence of barn owl". WHAT? I wouldn't have a clue what a barn owl would smell like but I'm assuming not this. This actually smells pretty good. Notes are listed as jasmine, mimosa, black and white ambers, Chai spices, juniper berry, and vetiver. In the vial the vetiver smells quite strong but on the skin the chai spice and amber dominate. Quite lovely. (ALWAYS test on your skin! Bottle sniffs can be totally different!!)

    I'm exceptionally happy with my box this time. Well worth the price and I will definitely be using my coupon to get a bottle of Ella, and maybe Owl too. 

    Subscriptions to the SA list are currently closed. Sign ups will start the end of November and you can sign up now to be notified.

    Flea market finds - Aug 24, 2014

    This weekend's flea market finds...
     Awesome skull ring found at Renninger's Adamstown outdoor market for $10
    A Snoopy paperback to add to C's collection. $1 at Shupp's Grove.

    Large (12") footed carnival glass bowl. An absolute steal at $5 at Shupp's Grove.




    Monday, August 18, 2014

    eSalon custom hair color kit


    I'm really excited to share a new BzzAgent campaign I'm in. The company is called eSalon and they specialize in customized home hair color. I used to color my hair at home most of the time but with long hair it's tricky to get the color even so I usually leave it to the experts now. However, BzzAgent was offering a great deal to try eSalon for free (a $60 value with addons) so I decided to get on board.

    After completing a survey on eSalon's website I was presented with a number of color options to choose from. I selected a color to match my current color since I'm happy with it and am not looking for a change. I was also able to select additional products (these addons are all optional). I placed my order and my kit arrived in only a few days. Everything was presented beautifully
    First there is a folder showing my custom color blend (light brown golden) and detailed instructions for using the kit. Under that was the actual color kit with everything I'll need to color my hair.

    The additional products I selected were the set of coloring tools (mixing bowl, brush, timer and clips) as well as an oil treatment (I'm ALWAYS game to try a new oil treatment!) and color enhancing treatment to match my custom color.

    Since I just recently had my hair dyed at the salon it will be several weeks before I can try out the color kit. I am super excited to try the oil and color enhancing treatment right away, though. I'll be sure to post back after I've had a chance to give these a test and also when I am able to use the color.

    Click here if you would like to check out eSalon for yourself. If you do, I would love to hear how it works for you.

    Saturday, August 09, 2014

    Future Primitive haul

    It's been quite a while since I ordered from Future Primitive. But during her recent summer sale I heeded the siren song and placed an order.

    I ordered just one soap since I just recently got those soaps from Alamo Candelaria and fall releases are right around the corner. Tobacconist sounded right up my alley with cedar, sandalwood, and oak. It doesn't disappoint. I went for the triple play with soap, bathing grains and aromatic oil.

    I also picked up the oil of Rook and Raven and bathing grains in Rook and Raven and Black Honey. I've long loved scented baths and have recently settled on bath salts as my favorite scent delivery method. I was digging bath bombs for a while but they leave the tub such a mess. It's wonderful to have some luxuriously scented salts that perfume the whole bathroom yet rinse clean from the tub. Tiggy had these pouches full up to the brim. Unfortunately all 3 came open during shipping anointing everything in a salty film. It's amazing how messy a small amount of salt can be because the pouches are still very full. I haven't tried these yet but they smell amazing.

    Delivery took about 3 weeks but she was on vacation for a week so really it only took about 2 weeks in transit. Postage costs were insane which is the main reason I don't tend to order from overseas. But every now and again, it is so worth the treat.

    Sunday, August 03, 2014

    Dorco Razors

    I received an invite to share a coupon from Dorco this morning and realized that though I have been meaning to for a long time, I have never talked about them.

    I switched to Dorco razors almost a year ago. I've had used Gillette Venus razors for years and years and thought nothing could dethrone them. But my interest was piqued last fall when many of the beauty vloggers I flow on YouTube started buzzing about Dorco.

    They have men's and women's razors in both refillable and disposable varieties. I've tired the Shai Soft Touch and Shai Smooth Touch (previously called Pace) refillable. Soft Touch features two 3 blade heads that flex a bit. While this does provide a close shave, I find the head quite bulky and hard to maneuver. Pace/Smooth Touch is also a 6 bladed razor but all contained in one single pivoting head. This is by far the best razor I have ever used. Holy Grail. The shave is close and nick free. The blades stay sharp for a long time and the rubber-encased metal handle is sturdy and slip free. Another nice thing about Dorco is that all of the heads and handles are interchangeable. So if you prefer the chunkier handle of the Soft Touch, but the smaller head of the Smooth Touch, you can make that change.

    I'm pretty sure Dorco razors are available only from the company's website. They run specials all the time and shipping is free over $25 (plan on ordering at least $25, though, because I feel shipping is quite expensive if you don't). I was just rereading the FAQs and was reminded that they do offer $2.99 shipping on orders under $5.98 so you could try just one razor for under $10. They offer bundles so you can stock up on your favorite razor or try a variety pack. As I said at the start, they are offering a referral coupon at the moment for 15% off, good through August 31. If you are dissatisfied with your current shaving solution, I do recommend checking out Dorco razors. I hope your experience is as positive as mine!

    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 use...coffee 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.