Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wax Haul Catch Up: Starry Skies

Starry Skies is another fabulous vendor that opened earlier this year that I have fallen in love with and keep ordering from again and again. Like I mentioned about The Scented Squirrel in a previous post, I also value Starry Skies for the same reasons: excellent and consistent quality products, unique blends that perform well and standout customer service.
This is my largest Starry Skies order in a while; she comes up with so many creative new blends for each opening plus I always have to reorder a few of my favorites. I was super excited to try her linen sprays this time around which I had heard raves about. They had sold out quickly the previous few restocks. I love that Lorena the owner takes a lot of input from her customers and makes larger quantities of poplar items so that more people get the chance to try them. I have not melted any of the wax from this order yet, but I have been using the linen sprays on my pillow at night and they are fabulous! High Tea With Emily (pumpkin cupcake + tea & cakes) is one of my favorite Starry Skies scents. One or two sprays leaves a nice strong but not overwhelming aroma on fabric. This is a most delicious pumpkin and rich warm tea & cakes blend. Yum! The Leaves spray is also very nice. It is a little sweeter than the BBW version in my opinion, but I still get lovely notes of crisp apple, freshly fallen leaves and clean air.
Overall the dozens of wax scents I've melted from Starry Skies usually have moderate to strong throw and smell delightful! She usually sends 2-6 free samples in my orders as well! I am happy to continue ordering from Starry Skies.

Have you ever tried Starry Skies wax? What are your favorite products and scents?

Friday, December 30, 2016

NOTD: Lemming Lacquer My Earballs!

I love the depth of this polish and how it looks like confetti! Rather New Year's appropriate. 2 coats.

Shopping OOTD

This is what I wore for my epic shopping hauls in the previous post. Just the right amount of comfort and style for a long day of spending! In the words of my favorite early 00's teen starlet:

Cardigan: Merona, Target
Tunic, necklace:
Leggings: Walmart 
Flats & bag: Payless 
Opal bracelet: gift from hubby 

Post Christmas Sale Hauls

The hubby and I received 2 Starbucks gift cards, as well as JC Penny, Target and Bath and Body Works gift cards. I don't think I've been blessed with such an abundance of gift cards before, and they stretched even further because many stores were having post holiday sales and coupons. Hubby and I had great luck and a lot of fun picking out things we wanted. Here are some of the great bargains I got.

Bath and Body Works (semi annual sale, everything 50-75% off).
I exchanged some lotions in scents I didn't care for ($25) and checked the gift card my in-laws had given me (60!), so with the 50-75% off and $20 off $50 coupon I made out like a bandit! Super excited about my 6 candles: they still had a bunch of the scents I wanted, despite being picked over. 5 of them were $8.72 each and the Toasted Graham Latte was only $4.36! 

I stocked up on some favorite handsoaps for $2.33 each. I didn't need much body care as I have a ton but the handsoaps and candles I go through quickly.

The shower gel and body cream were around $2.49 and the adorable bubble bath only $3.49!

This is my biggest SAS haul yet and I only spent $68 + tax and saved $142!

JC Penny navy swing dress and cobalt peplum top. Sale price for both was $35 and with 20% off coupon I only spent my $25 half of the gift card! Hubby got some nice button up shirts and a polo with his half. I've worn the navy dress already and it was super cute and flattering. I wish I had gotten a photo!

Target: gray and gold print tee, white pine tree print tee, pink and rose gold polka dot infinity scarf and a bunch of Valentine's/home decor stuff. All the Dollar Spot items were $3 each. I love Target Dollar Spot items; they have the most fun and inexpensive knick knacks! The tees were $9 each and the giant wood wick candle was the biggest splurge at $20. Totally worth it; I've had this triple layered candle before and it performs and smells fabulous!

One of the few areas I have to decorate in our tiny living space is the kitchen table/wax area. After I took wistfully down the Christmas decor, I put up this adorable metallic leather arrow banner and set out the heart shaped candy dish. That small dose of cuteness should see me nicely through February.

You know you've reached maximum shopping saturation when you discover this cute Target heart mug days later hidden in a bag of clothes.

I did not have a gift card for this last haul, but I did stumble upon an amazing sale online: up to 75% off at Nordstrom Rack. I was able to get 8 items for $79 shipped and saved a few hundred! I just received most of items today; I am so excited to wear them!

To cap off our mega 2 days of shopping, we had a wonderful home cooked Italian dinner with my aunt and uncle. The most delicious baked ravioli with meat and marinara sauce and a wonderful garden salad! 

We had a wonderful time and laughed at the antics of their 3 calicos. Here's spoiled Princess Cali getting fed on the counter!

Did you find any great post Christmas sale deals? What's on your shopping and/or wishlist?

Recent Wax Reviews

Universal Voodoo Light Years: "Light Years is Lemon, Sandalwood, Geranium, Lavender, Basil." I had never tried this brand before but had heard they are known for their especially unique wax and perfume blends. A waxy friend sent this tart to me and I have to agree, it is quite unique. It's sharp and citrusy and spicy to me. I'd guess blood orange and patchouli with a dusting of fresh wild herbs. It had very strong throw for a good 8 hours. Definitely a departure from the usual type of scents I enjoy but it wasn't unpleasant. Overall grade: A-. Probably wouldn't repurchase.

Kitty's Konfections Christmas Morning: fresh baked cookies, peppermint and pine trees. A wonderful and whimsical winter blend. I get all the notes, sweet, fresh and minty and they're very harmonious. Fairly strong throw for about 8 hours. This was much enjoyed by myself and my guests on Christmas day. I'm sad I cannot repurchase this scent since the business is closed. I may try doing a custom blend of it from another vendor. Overall grade: A.

Kitty's Konfections Christmas Miracles: cotton candy frosting, peppermint and vanilla bean noel. A decadent blend; warm vanilla and thick frosting with a sweet candy cane peppermint note. O love it! Fairly strong throw for about 8 hours. Overall grade: A. Cannot repurchase.

Starry Skies Winter Magic: bayberry, tinsel, vanilla cake pops. This is one of the strangest yet oddly captivating wax blends I've ever smelled. I'm not sure what bayberry or tinsel are supposed to smell like, but this blend translated into something like a wild berry banana bread to my nose. Odd but I like it! Strong throw that lasted all day. Overall grade: A-. Fun but I probably wouldn't repurchase it.

BHG Sugared Maple & Evergreens. I adore this blend and it was just as I hoped it would be. Sweet maple sugar well blended with fresh evergreen needles. Strong throw that lasted all day. Overall grade: A+. Would repurchase.

NOTD: China Glaze Joy To The Waves

Sally Beauty was having a post Christmas clearance sale on their nail polishes and some other items. I had $5 left on a gift card so I decided to pop in and see what treasures I could find. The shopping gods were with me; they had 1 each left of the 2 China Glaze Seas & Greetings polishes I wanted most, marked down to $2.99 from &7.50. I was also super excited to snag this 2 full size OPI Audrey polish and free makeup bag set for only $5 (reg. $20!) Also got some more Seche Vive since it's become my favorite top coat.
The next day I put on Joy To The Waves, 
a pretty blue with an interesting finish. I can't decide if it's more of a frost or a shimmer. I think it reads a little juvenile on on me; reminds me of like Bon Bons or Claire's polishes from the 90's geared towards preteens. I guess I liked it more in the bottle. I wanted it to be a bit deeper and richer with a more prominent shimmer.

Do you like to shop at Sally's? Have you tried China Glaze polishes? What are your favorite shades?

Wax Haul Catch Up: The Scented Squirrel

I must have ordered from The Scented Squirrel nearly a dozen times now since they opened several months ago. In them I have found a vendor with high quality and lovingly crafted wax, unique scent blends, speedy next business day shipping for RTS and most importantly excellent and personable customer service. I would consider Jess, half of the husband and wife duo, a wonderful online friend. She is always such a pleasure to interact with and her products deliver exactly what they promise. I usually get moderate throw from the wax, with a few scents being quite strong, but it is the whole package of the business that keeps me ordering again and again. I highly value consistency and reliability in a business.

My latest order was rather small but contained some great treasures! I am absolutely "over the moon" about the Marshmallows Under The Moon scent. On cold it smells like the most rich and wonderful warm toasted marshmallow and vanilla with a pinch of exotic spices. I can't wait to melt this one! A favorite that I repurchased is the "Winter Sweater" blend. It is similar to BBW's Sweater Weather scent and is so strong! I will be melting the "Cheers" scent tomorrow to celebrate New Year's Eve. And I must mention the free Rose Jam type sample that smells absolutely heavenly!

I have just put in a custom order for a mini wax loaf and some body sprays. I'm very excited to share the scents with you so check back in a couple of weeks for that post!

Have you tried The Scented Squirrel? What are your favorite scents?

Wax Haul Catch Up: Long Cane Primitives

Long Cane Primitives is one of those brands I had tried samples of and enjoyed but had never ordered from directly. When I was alerted to a 35% off RTS sale I figured it was about time to order. My package shipped out quickly but good ol' USPS held it hostage for nearly a week. I believe I received it just before Christmas and although I snapped a few quick photos when it arrived, I didn't have time to share about my lovely order until now.

I received quite a lot of wax for just over $30 shipped! Even though the amounts were listed on the site I didn't picture quite this much, haha. 2 free samples were also included: Caramel Macchiato and Pink Key Lime Noel Ribbon Bread. Everything smelled wonderful on cold sniff I love the array of bakery and peppermint blends I chose. So far I've only melted Coconut Zucchini Bread which is absolutely fabulous! It's a perfect warm coconut and bakery blend with fairly strong throw for about 8-10 hours. I've also melted the Caramel Macchiato sample which had surprisingly light throw especially for a coffee blend. I'm glad it was just a sample. I can't wait to try the rest of these delightful sounding blends!

Have you tried Long Cane Primitives? What are your favorite scents?

Monday, December 26, 2016

NOTD: Tonic Polish Angelfish

Stunning! I'm so glad I got it; it has all my favorite polish qualities: iridescence, shimmer and flakies. Very easy to apply too. This is two coats.

Post Christmas Wrap Up

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday celebration! I have to say for myself and my family, this goes down as one of the best Christmases on record! I am blessed to be very close to my family and my husband's as well, and many of us live within a few miles of each other so getting together for the holidays is a breeze. We usually do four rounds of gift openings. Christmas Eve is spent opening gifts with hubby's grandparents. They have a beautiful tree and other Christmas decor.
My hubby gifted me a fun light up necklace and the family got a big kick out of it. I went casual with my blanket scarf and reindeer leggings.

Christmas morning first thing hubby and I open our gifts to each other. He got me a book I had wanted; I'm a little late to the party on The Girl On The Train but I'm excited to crack it open. I also adore this stunning opal bracelet he got me! Opal is my birthstone and it matches the opal ring he got me for our 5th anniversary. Way to go hubby!

Then we went next door to the in-laws house and opened gifts with them.

Santa was good to everyone this year and we all got a ton of stuff we wanted and needed. I got a plethora of Bath and Body Works lotions and a gift card which I plan to use on candles and handsoaps at the semi-annual sale. I also received these super cute and comfy slippers.

I got ready and put on my super festive holiday party outfit. I said I felt kind of like an elf ballerina, haha!
My tulle skirt was a bit more... er, voluminous than I had been expecting. And of course the light up necklace made a second appearance.

My parents, brother and uncle came over and we did the final round of presents. I received gift cards and See's chocolates from my uncle, some beautiful nail polishes and a handcrafted abalone bracelet from my mom and Mainstays scented candles, butter cookies and pistachios from my dad.

My most favorite thing was that everyone seemed to love the gifts I'd picked out for them. Then we all gathered to have Christmas dinner. I fail to take a photo of the food every year, but it's always supremely delicious! Everyone talked and laughed for several hours and hubby and I finally went home and watched TV on the couch in our pj's and new slippers.

Do you celebrate Christmas or any holidays this time of year? What are some of your family traditions?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wax Advent Day 24

I can't believe this is my last wax advent post already! I have thoroughly enjoyed coming up with a little something to right about every day. I hope you enjoyed reading these posts. I'm not sure what post Christmas and the new year will hold as far as content, but I will definitely still be taking a stab at this blogging thing; if not daily then at least a few times a week. It looks like I may become a new member to a monthly Band of Bloggers series with some of my bloggy friends, so I am excited to see what's in store.

Now for the final scent from The Scented Squirrel Advent Calendar! Warm Vanilla Sugar Plums- sweet plums, warm vanilla sugar and musk. A warm, sweet and fruity blend; very pleasant.

I spent most of yesterday at home hunkered down against the rain, but I did manage to get some cleaning done and my oil diffuser necklaces arrived so I tried out making my first blend. 

I did a couple drops of clove oil and and a couple of sweet orange and had the oddest reaction to the aroma. It smelled just like a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce to me, haha! Not exactly what I was going for. I added a couple drops of cedar wood oil and it added some woodsmoke to the sauce, lol. I definitely don't think I'd  do this scent combo again, but the necklace is diffusing quite nicely; the oils are noticeable but not too in your face. The only thing I don't like about the necklace is it will be very difficult to change the felt ball inside; I actually think the hinge was made incorrectly. It is really pretty though. I am excited to try other blends.

I'm ready and excitedly awaiting Christmas; how about you?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Wax Advent Day 23

Today's melt is Mulled Cider- apples, oakmoss, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange zest and lemon peel. The Scented Squirrel makes an exceptional Mulled Cider scent. It is warm and slightly sweet with just the right touch of spice. Very enjoyable.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! Is your holiday excitement reaching a crescendo yet? While we are waiting for the big day to arrive, I wanted to share my December Sephora Play subscription box contents with you. You can read more detailed descriptions of each of the items here
I am quite pleased with my first Play box; there wasn't a single product included that I wouldn't use. I enjoy testing out new products and only $10 a month for these mid to high end deluxe product samples is a good value for me. I have only tried the Elizabeth & James Nirvana Rose perfume so far, but I love it! It's a wonderful rose and musk blend with a slightly warm woodsy drydown. I ended up purchasing a 4 piece rollerball fragrance set including this perfume because I like this line so much. My fragrance loving friend also tested it and couldn't stop sniffing herself.

I think I will wear the cosmetics samples for a fun new look on Christmas and/or New Years.

Have you ever tried the Sephora Play box subscription? What are your favorite products from Sephora? Do you subscribe to any other boxes?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wax Advent Day 22

Today's scent is Whipped Cream Topped Spiced Pears- pears, spices, musk, white pachouli, and whipped cream. I like this one a lot, it's a nice crisp and spicy pear scent with a touch of creaminess.

Happy Winter Solstice! Did you enjoy the first official day of winter yesterday? It was chilly here but not below freezing like last week.

I've received a lot of packages in the last couple of days and many of them are items I want to do posts about. I will try to catch up on those posts over the next several days but for now I want to give thanks for a sweet wax goodie package I received. I first got to know the wonderful author of The Candle Enthusiast bblog when she participated in the Fall Fun Series and have enjoyed reading her musings ever since. She sent me a lovely package of waxy goodies and did an excellent job of choosing scents and vendors I love. Many thanks!

Speaking of packages, I decided to show a little thanks to my local postmaster because she does such a great job! I've probably sent and received hundreds of packages in the past couple years and none have been lost. So naturally I am bribing her in hopes that it will stay that way. ;) I picked up this scrumptious looking Hershey's box of chocolates and a pretty tin of vanilla tea for her, both of which are available at Walmart for around $5 each. I know Walmart can sometimes have a bad rap, but honestly they have many wonderful and inexpensive gift ideas if you actually have good taste at picking them out, haha. (No one will be receiving a singing bass or humorous beer cozy from me.)
Do you like to give gifts to the public servants in your community? Postal workers, doctors and nurses, teachers, fire and police? I think it's nice to show appreciation to those whose jobs make our lives a bit better. Whether it's a gift, a meal or a heartfelt "Thank you for your service." Tis the season to give as well as receive.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NOTD: Pop Polish See Me With Them Hands

I am super impressed how highly saturated with glitter this is. I can't believe it only takes one coat and has a super easy to work with formula. It's like a holiday party on my nails!

It is rather textured and oddly enough dries semi-matte so it does need one or two good shiny top coats to really bring out the sparkles. I did end up adding a second top coat after taking the photos and prefer it with the extra shine.