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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Hello there. 2014 has already begun in some parts of the world, though it won't be here for another 13 hours in my neck of the woods. I've spent a couple days drafting a post about all the ups and downs of 2013, though it ended up being really long; so it will just remain in my drafts. I really struggle to find the right words sometimes. I will try to keep this short and sweet, beginning with the difficult parts of the year (I have always been one to enjoy getting good news after bad news).

My boyfriend's grandfather passed away on Saturday night. Death is never an easy thing to accept. It is so hard to lose someone. At this point, it still does not feel real. We have also lost two of our hamsters very recently. December has been a month full of loss, and only time can heal that.

The other difficult part of 2013 has been dealing with being sick all the time. I don't want to elaborate too much on it, but I've been tapering an awful medication that I've been on for five years. Now that I'm at a very low dosage, I feel sick often (physically and psychologically). It's without a doubt the hardest thing I've had to deal with. There comes a point when you get sick of tired of being sick and tired, and I've hit that point quite a while ago. The silver lining is that I will finally be medication free in 2014. It won't be easy, it will actually only get harder, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

My new career is definitely the major positive of 2013. I love my job, and it truly gives me hope for the future. I have spent a lot of time and effort to finally get to this place, and I'm so thankful to be where I am.

Our dog entered our lives earlier this year, and that has also been a blessing. I love her very much, and I'm really glad she is part of our family. She is so loyal and such a loving animal. I really think fate sent her our way on the day we found her.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary this year. I can't believe how lucky I am to have him in my life. He is my best friend and the most incredible person I've ever met, and having him in my life will always be the highlight of every year I spend on this earth.

In conclusion, dear friends, any given year will be bittersweet. But my wish for 2014 is that you are blessed with happiness, good health, and moments that take your breath away. I also hope that you have the strength to endure the moments of darkness. Cheers to a brand new year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winslow's by Solstice Scents

Hello cozy cups of hot chocolate! I am here listening to the Bright Eyes Christmas Album (!!!) about to talk to you about one of Solstice Scents' new winter perfumes! Last Sunday, Solstice Scents released their winter perfume collection. They kept with the Foxcroft town theme for the winter collection, which I find so charming. The perfume came with a cute little postcard that included a fabricated version town's current events. LV, you will be intrigued to know that the fire at the Manor is thought to be arson ;) There is also an annual crafts fair held at Winslow's TODAY, which I am sure will be amazing! Too bad I am far across the country. 

The perfume I ordered from the winter collection is called Winslow's. I am very excited about this perfume, and I just knew I had to own it just by reading the description. Let's take a peek at what Solstice Scents has to say about Winslow's.

Rows of Christmas Trees, Clove Studded Oranges, Bayberry Tapers, Handcrafted Wreaths & Mistletoe
Winslow's Christmas Tree Farm sits at the base of Mount Willow in the town of Foxcroft.  The annual winter crafts festival at Winslow's offers handmade bayberry candles, rustic wreaths, orange pomanders and much more.  Meandering down the lane leading into Winslow's, you pass rows upon rows of fragrant Christmas trees ready for harvest.

Winslow's is the scent of winter.  Fir, woods, bayberry and mistletoe meld with spicy clove and blood orange essential oil and the result smells effectively like bottled winter.  Winslow's contains fir absolute and essential oil, spruce EO, cedar, a touch of guaiacwood and a blend of several fragrance oils in addition to the bayberry, mistletoe, clove and blood orange.  Fans of our Black Christmas soap will love Winslow's as the fragrance is very similar.  If you enjoy evergreen and/or woods scents or our Shoikan Grove, Covered Bridge and the previously offered Cedar & Siberian Fir fragrance, make sure to try Winslow's.  The combination of bayberry and clove gives the impression of a Victorian Christmas.  Unisex.

Winslow's is all I could ever hope for in a Winter/Holiday/Christmas perfume. I truly adore it, and I
really wish I could describe it much better than I know I'll be able to. I think the Solstice Scents description of this perfume is incredibly accurate. This perfume truly is like bottled winter. It is such a warm and comforting scent. It's like being home for the holidays, sans the cranky family drama. A lovely blend of orange and cloves sizzles on the stovetop while the invitingly fresh spruce scent from the Christmas tree dances throughout the air. This is a very consistent perfume that, to my nose, does not stray from cold sniff to drydown. It is incredibly comforting. I wore it yesterday, and I am happy to report that it lasted all day on me. Solstice Scents definitely makes some of the longest lasting perfumes I've ever worn. The silage is also incredible. I kept getting whiffs of Christmasy awesomeness throughout the day, which I knew to be Winslow's!

Well, I have a bit of a busy day ahead of me, so that's all for now. I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for reading!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Twinkle Lights and Christmas Questions!

Hello there! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the month of December so far! It has been pretty cold here, which I'm so happy about. It was even supposed to snow yesterday, but unfortunately it didn't. Though, I would not be surprised if it does snow sometime this month. It is a lot colder than it was last year, and it still snowed the day after Christmas last year! I love the cold weather because you can bundle up, drink hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, and relax by the fireplace! It's just so lovely!

Today I painted my nails a color called Twinkle Lights by China Glaze. It's a really beautiful red, gold, and green glitter polish. It was released in 2011, and I've used quite a bit of it since then (though you can't tell because I needed to add thinner and shake it up a bit). Below are the pictures of Twinkle Lights! I used Orly Bonder as a basecoat, three coats of Twinkle Lights, and Sally Hansen Dries Fast top coat (that sounds so awkward, I know!).

I also decided to snag a Christmas questionnaire from Tumblr, which I completed below. Please feel free to answer these questions if you are bored and/or if you like the questions. I'd love to read your answers too! I know a couple of you have been doing the perfume tag, and I've really enjoyed reading your answers to those questions. I will probably do that one during Christmas break, as my schedule this month is pretty crazy! Anyway, onto the questions!

❅ Christmas Questionnaire ❅
Gingerbread: Do you like tea? Yes! I absolutely love tea. I even have a tea cabinet that I did a post about a while back.
Tinsel: What perfume/cologne do you wear?  Lately, I have been alternating between Ice Station Zebra and One Thousand and One Nights.
Ribbon: What's a book that had a strong impact on you? By far, it's The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The books and movies got me through the severe depression I was experiencing in high school. It let me focus on a different world while I had a hard time with my own.
Holly: Who was the last person you sent a letter to? My landlord. I sent the rent this month in a Christmas card to her.
North Pole: What in your life are you most grateful for? I am so grateful for my family, my boyfriend, and my pets. Each one of them means the world to me.
Christmas Carole: Would you change your name if you could? No, I actually like my name.
Santa: What's your favorite month? I love October and December. However, this year, December has been my favorite month.
Noell: At a movie theater, which armrest is yours? I have no idea! I only go to the movies once in a blue moon, so I don't actually pay attention to such things.
Rudolf: What's a band a family member introduced you to? I think I've always tried to stray from the music my family has listened to, haha.
Candy Cane: Can you make paper snowflakes? Yes! We made them at work on Friday with the kids. I also made a glittery one for a winder wonderland they were making at the temporary school Sandy Hook students attended after the shooting last year.
Eggnog: What was the name of your first stuffed animal? Scruffy! And it makes me sad to say that because I wish I still had him.
Mrs. Clause: Have you ever been on a boat in the ocean? Yes, plenty of times. My parents are very outdoorsy, and they took me on a ton of camping and fishing trips when I was growing up. I have also been on a whale watching boat and a cruise.
Ice: Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed at every party? I am usually underdressed because IDGAF about fashion, so I'll go with that.
Hot Cocoa: What's your favorite thing about yourself? I am empathetic and kind to people. I think it's really important, especially in the hustle and bustle of a big city where there are a lot of rude people in a hurry.
Reindeer: What is your spirit animal? Definitely a cheetah.
Yule Log: Least favorite vegetable? I'm not a big onion fan.
Stocking: What color are your socks right now? I'm wearing red and green fuzzy socks with little stuffed reindeer on the top.
Elf: If you had unlimited money to one shop, which shop would it be? A grocery store. I know that's a weird answer, but I'd really be thankful to not have to worry about food money. Food where I live is more expensive than the national average.
Wreath: Are you allergic to anything? Not to food, but I am allergic to a couple antibiotics.
Cookies: Top three favorite bands? Atreyu,, Marilyn Manson, and Sublime. I've really been loving Marina and the Diamonds lately though.
Toys: Do you want children? Yes, but not anytime soon.
Sleigh Bells: Can you whistle? Not well!
Snowman: Do you like accents? Absolutely!

I hope you guys enjoyed the questions and I also hope you're having a great day/night! Thank you so much for reading!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Holly Berry Nails!

Hello again! I thought I'd share a nail look I did a couple days ago. It was super easy and didn't involve any actual nail art, but I called it "Holly Berry Nails" because the green with large red glitter reminded me of holly berries! I used two different polishes to create this look. First, I began with three coats of China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses (which can be seen on its own in this post). Then, I topped it off with two coats of China Glaze Party Hearty. Last year, I did a post about how hard Party Hearty was to find, which also included a swatch of what it looks like alone with approximately 4 coats. You can see that post here if you're interested.

So here is the "holly berry" concoction I created using Mistletoe Kisses and Party Hearty!

I thought it turned out pretty cute for how easy it was!

 I have some more Christmasy-Holiday type of posts planned soon, so I certainly hope none of this is too overkill for you guys. I don't even understand why I'm so incredibly excited about Christmas this year, though I suppose I could try to psychoanalyze it a bit. The nostalgia I get around Christmas based on Christmas as a kid is a big part of it. It takes me back to a time with no responsibilities, believing in Santa, and waking up at 4:00 A.M. on Christmas morning because I was so excited. I also am in a little bit better of a place with my new job. I'm not incredibly depressed and anxious and worried all the time about employment, money, and bills. My financial state is by no means stable, and I still struggle a lot, but it's not as bad anymore; and for that I am thankful. Without being so worried so often, it gives me the space inside my neurotic mind to actually enjoy the holidays. Just driving around and looking at the beautiful Christmas lights with a cup of hot chocolate is enough to make me the happiest person alive. And finally, working with kids and getting to see how excited they are for Christmas and holidays in general; it's really heartwarming! So that's my ghetto attempt at trying to analyze my Christmas excitement. :)

       I hope you're all enjoying your weekend and are having a great day/night! Take care!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chinovi Cosmetics Christmas 2012

Hello there! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great holiday yesterday. And if you don't, I still hope you had a great day yesterday! My boyfriend and I went to my parents house for the holiday. We played Apples to Apples before dinner (which is a fun game anyway, but a lot more fun with a couple glasses of wine). Then we had dinner, and my mom made a really special feast. She sent us home with like 18,000 pounds of food, which we honestly really appreciated (we don't get to eat special meals very often). A good time was definitely had by all! 

So this post correlates with my previous post about past holiday eyeshadow collections. It's kind of a fail on my part because I actually started drafting it last December, but never got around to completing it. But it's all good, it gives me something to write about now!

Last year, an indie eyeshadow company called Chinovi Cosmetics released a beautiful holiday collection that consisted of six colors. I found out about this collection by reading Wendi's post here! I definitely recommend checking out her swatches of that collection, as they are really well done!

Here are the eyeshadow descriptions from Chinovi Cosmetics:

Berry Garland is a deep red with berry tones and swirled with cranberry and silver sparkles.
Blue Spruce is a deep evergreen with blue interference. It is lit up with blue and golden sparkles.
Flocked is an extremely shimmery white.
Star is a darkened gold with a lot of shimmering gold sparkles.
Tinsel is a mid tone blue with tons of purple, pink, teal, and silver sparkles.
Twinkle is a shimmery nude with silver and gold sparkles.

And now onto the swatches! These shadows are swatched over Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue on NC15 skin.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the shade.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the sunlight.

Above: I had to include a photo of the actual eyeshadows and the packaging, because it was so cute! The eyeshadows were packaged in the snowman bag (not solely, of course) and they were adorned with little Christmas trees.

Chinovi has a new holiday collection this year that is called Silver Bells. I am drooling after some of the shadows in the new collection, though I'm trying not to be so frivolous. I have a butt load of eyeshadow, and I want to use what I actually have instead of buying MOAR MOAR MOAR. I think I've done a good job lately of not buying makeup unless I actually run out of it (i.e. foundation, eyeliner, mascara). 

So that's my Chinovi Christmas 2012 collection, only a year late! I hope you all have a really wonderful weekend!

 DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday Swatches (via 2011)

Hello sweet little sparkles! Since I've been swatching holiday polish from previous years, I was inspired to swatch some of the shadows from past indie holiday collections. I realized the only holiday shadows I've swatched were from last year's Darling Girl Cosmetics Christmas collection. So, without further adieu, let's get into the sparkly spirit!

Today I have swatches from the Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday 2011 set. There were two holiday sets in 2011, both made in very limited quantities; so I feel very lucky that I was able to snag this set (I ordered the second set). I think these shadows are so fun and beautiful, and they really scream CHRISTMAS!!!!, which I adore! Below I included a picture of the jars, because they're just so incredibly precious!

And now for the swatches! I patted these shadows on clean skin on top of Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue.

Above from L to R: Overslept, Tinsel Fight eyelight, December 26th, and Midnight Light Show

I honestly think all of the colors in this set are beautiful. I love the color and name of Overslept. It's a lovely greyish-green with purple glitter. I've been wearing it to work the past couple weeks and I have really enjoyed it. Tinsel Fight is an eyelight, which is what Glamour Doll Eyes calls their glitters. It's such a fun and festive glitter! There is silver, green, and red glitter in Tinselfight. I wore it as a main lid color in a Christmas look I did last year, and I think it looked pretty neat! December 26th is a lovely rasberry shade with silver glitter. And my favorite of this bunch is Midnight Light Show. It's a black shadow with multi-colored glitter. It really is like a midnight light show! The swatch definitely doesn't do it justice. My favorite thing to do with Midnight Light Show is do a regular cat eye with black liner and pat Midnight Light Show over it. It brightens up an otherwise regular old cat eye!

I truly hope you all enjoyed these swatches, and I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. My boyfriend and I are going to his parents' house for an early Thanksgiving this afternoon, as they will be out of town for Thanksgiving.

Take care, and thanks so much for reading!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Hello there! I hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing weekend. It's been raining the last few days here, so I am enjoying this weather all snuggled up in bed with fuzzy socks and a new pair of pajamas! It's nice to be able to be cozy during this weather as opposed to being at work, so I am very thankful to have the day off today.

So, today's post might be quite redundant because I've actually already blogged about this perfume last December: once in a regular post and another time in a favorites post. I almost went through the entire 5mL roll on, which is pretty unheard of for me (I usually switch up the perfumes I wear too often to go through any of them). I really wanted to wear this perfume again this winter, so I am very thankful it was re-released on the Smellbent website for their holiday collection. I bought it in the biggest size they offered because I did not want to get close to running out again! I love this perfume very much, as I'm sure you can tell!

Above: Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Ice Station Zebra scent description from Smellbent:
"howling arctic winds, cracking ice, frozen earth,  and crisp evergreen buried under a drift of snowy musk"

Ice Station Zebra starts off with kind of a weird menthol note- very similar to Vick's Vapo Rub. And I know what you're thinking... Rachel, why don't you just buy Vick's if that's what your crazy ass wants to smell like? The thing is, that menthol-y scent disappears immediately and the most incredible winter scent is unearthed. The scent itself is as chilly as snow itself. In my last post, I described it as a snowflake melting on your nose! The evergreen is very prominent in this perfume, and is definitely my favorite part about it. Ice Station Zebra stays pretty consistent throughout the scent stages.The one downside to it is definitely the sillage. The sillage isn't terrible by any means, but I do wish it was a bit stronger than it is. The flip side to that is that I am able to wear it to work because I know I'm the only one that will be able to smell it. It lasts an average amount of time on me, about four hours. I've been using this perfume every morning before work and using the last tiny bit of my roll on to spruce it up during my lunch break. 

I think that about wraps it up for today. Thank you all so much for reading. If I don't post before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

OPI - Crimson Carol

Hello beautiful twinkling lights! In my previous post, I was talking about how I'm less than thrilled about all of the holiday nail polish collections this year. Therefore, I've been shopping my own stash!

The nail polish I chose to wear today started off as a sad story. In 2009, OPI released an incredible holiday collection called Holiday Wishes. The polish I wanted the most from that collection was called Dear Santa, and I eventually found it at Ulta. Unfortunately, I have a Bella Swan level of clumsiness, and I dropped the Ulta bag before I opened the door to get in my house.Dear Santa literally exploded in the bag. I was so sad because I knew it was the last bottle in stock. I went back to Ulta, and they actually let me exchange Dear Santa for Crimson Carol (even though it was my fault for dropping it).

Crimson Carol must have some sort of magical Christmas resistance to thickening over time, because I bought it in 2009 and have not had to add any thinner. I painted my nails this morning, almost four years after purchasing it, and the consistency was perfect.

Below are the swatches of Crimson Carol on my nails. I used Orly Bonder as a base coat, three coats of OPI Crimson Carol, and Sally Hansen Dries Instantly top coat.

 Above: OPI Crimson Carol in the shade. 

Above: OPI Crimson Carol in the sunlight.

I know I don't usually blog about nail polish, so I hope these posts aren't too annoying for you guys. I really hope you're all having a great weekend, and I really appreciate you stopping by to my corner of the blogospere! 

Disclaimer: All items were purchased by me; all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

China Glaze - Mistletoe Kisses

Hello, sparkling glints of snow! In efforts to stay on a somewhat consistent blogging schedule, I decided I'd continue to do more Winter/Christmas themed posts from here on out (hence the new blog theme!). Today's post will be about a holiday-themed nail polish by China Glaze called Mistletoe Kisses. In the past, China Glaze has released some of my absolute favorite nail polishes during the holidays. Sadly, this year's collection was really disappointing to me. In fact, I haven't even found one holiday-themed nail polish from any brand that I found worth purchasing this year. But all's well that ends well- I just searched my nail polish drawers to find some lovely gems from previous releases.

Mistletoe Kisses was released in 2010. It is from China Glaze's 'Tis The Season holiday collection, and it's still available on Amazon for pretty cheap. Since I bought mine the year it was released, it needed some nail polish thinner (as it got thick from time), but I happily obliged to its needs. This polish is an absolute dream to work with. It goes on smoothly and without a fuss. It is opaque enough for full coverage in 2-3 coats, but I used three coats in the second picture below.

Above: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses

Above: China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses. The bangle I'm wearing is called Winter and is by a company called Omnia Oddities.

The silver glitter in this nailpolish reminds me of a Christmas tree with tinsel, it's just so lovely! I have a couple other colors I purchased when this collection came out in 2010, so I'll keep you guys updated when I do use them! Until next time, take care and thanks for reading!

DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Holly Jolly Haul - Haus of Gloi Yule 2013

This is such an awkward time of year where the seasons are in between autumn and winter. The Halloween stuff is on clearance and all the Christmas stuff is already out. Just like enjoying Halloween-themed items early, I'm more than okay with enjoying Christmas items early too! The days go by so fast that I figure I might as well enjoy my favorite holidays as much as possible. That being said, I went on Haus of Gloi's Facebook last weekend and found out their Yule release was last Sunday (November 3rd). Needless to say, I did splurge on a few things for the Yule release!

Most of the items I purchased are in Haus of Gloi's new Yule scent for 2013 called Wintervale. Here is the Wintervale description from Haus Of Gloi:
Snow covered blue spruce boughs, frozen woods, crystalline sugared violets and sharp wintery air, all wrapped around a minty mug of hot cocoa. 

Above: Wintervale Bubbling Scrub, Wintervale Pumpkin Butter, and Wintervale Whipped Soap.

Above from L to R: Silver Fir Butterbomb, Rain (single note that was free with over $25 purchace), Wintervale (I purchased this imp), and Rosy Cheeked (free perfume sample with purchase). All of the above items came in a cute little white pouch, like a little stocking stuffer.

So far, the only things I have used since I received this package are the Wintervale Bubbling Scrub and the Wintervale Pumpkin butter. The scent is quite nice, though a little difficult to describe. The minty notes in it make it a really cool, refreshing perfume that is really festive and nice for winter. The violet and hot cocoa notes also come through, which I think is a really neat combination. The spruce/woodsy notes are not as prominent as the other notes in this blend, which is kind of a bummer for me; but this is still a nice scent that I'm happy I ordered. The most awesome part about the bubbling scrub and pumpkin butter is that it has helped my dry skin immensely. I haven't tried the actual perfume oil in Wintervale yet, so I'll try to remember to edit this post when I do. I'm saving the Silver Fir butterbomb for a time when I can truly relax with a bath. I used their rose scented butterbomb in the past, and it was absolutely wonderful. Not only did it make my bath awesome, it actually left my entire bathroom smelling lovely for days. Haus of Gloi also offers a sugar cookie butterbomb that was released for this year's Yule, and that would definitely be a good choice for those of you that are into foody scents. It even has festive sprinkles on top like a real sugar cookie! Butterbombs are less than half the price of LUSH's bath bombs and just as good (in my opinion). Definitely worth the $2.50, especially if you're a bath person.

So I guess that's all for now! Thanks for putting up with my super early Christmas haul. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me for my own personal usage. I am not affiliated or compensated by any of the companies mentioned. All opinions are my own. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn Daze ~ Covered Bridge by Solstice Scents

Hello lovely little ladybugs! Some of you may remember the Manor collection that was released last year by Solstice Scents. It was a themed collection where each perfume was a scent from one of the rooms in the manor. It was a really neat concept, and my favorite from that collection was Library. Anyway, Angela from Solstice Scents has released another Autumn-based "themed" collection this year. However, this year the collection is based on Foxcroft perfume. This new collection is based on a quaint little town called Foxcroft, and each of the scents is inspired by different locations in the town.  I have not tried Foxcroft yet, but I did purchase one of the perfumes from this collection called Covered Bridge.

Covered Bridge scent description from Solstice Scents:

Woods, Moss, Leaves, Wood Smoke, Dirt, Ozone, Fir Absolute

Bell's covered bridge is the main conduit for crossing the North River in Foxcroft.  The view of town, the rushing river water and the towering peak of Mt. Willow are inspiring sights from either side of the bridge.   This fragrance celebrates the dry wood notes which represent the bridge itself, fresh Northern air and mossy green notes and is a must for lovers of woodsy outdoors blends.  Sixteen premium fragrance and essential oils bring the Bell's covered bridge to life.  Wood notes comprised of Virginia Cedarwood EO, Alaskan Cypress Wood EO, Blue Cypress EO and sandalwood meet earthy notes of patchouli, vetiver and musk.  A cool blend of oakmoss, dirt, fir absolute and fern envelopes the dry wood notes and pairs well with a blend of sweet fall air, hay and wood smoke elements.   Covered Bridge is a very smooth and evocative woodsy blend.   Fans of Crumbling Crypt and Wail of the Banshee may also enjoy Covered Bridge as it shares a few similar notes.

The cold sniff of Covered Bridge is very earthy, like wet leaves and moss. Initial application is incredibly smoky. It really reminds me of Smoky Mountain Mallow at this stage, as I'm guessing the same smoky note was used in this perfume. You guys probably know I really enjoyed Smoky Mountain Mallow, as it really brought up some awesome nostalgia for me; so the similarities are not a bad thing. The drydown unearths the beautiful woody notes in this blend. The cedarwood really stands out to me, as I am familiar with it through Attic (which, again, was another Solstice Scents perfume I enjoyed). The smokiness still remains during the drydown, but everything is so well-blended that it takes a few sniffs to realize what stands out on my skin and what doesn't. Sillage is medium, and I'm not sure about how long it lasted because I honestly didn't even check. Overall, I am pretty satisfied with Covered Bridge. I think it's awesome that it contains elements of some of the other Solstice Scents perfumes I enjoy while still containing elements of its own. I don't think you would need this perfume if you already own Attic or Smoky Mountain Mallow; however, I do think it's worth a sniff if you really enjoyed one or both of those perfumes.

DISCLAIMER: I haven't been putting disclaimers in any of my posts lately because it just feels so redundant. Additionally, I know you guys know I did not receive anything for free and I don't have any company affiliations. But for anyone that hasn't read any of my old posts, please know that I purchased all the items mentioned with my own money, I am not being paid to write about any of the products mentioned, I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned, and that my opinions are always my own. As always, thanks for reading- it truly brightens my day to know that you guys enjoy the kind of things I write about too :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November Adventures

Hello there and happy Sunday! I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. Yesterday, my boyfriend and I took Cheyenne to Red Rock, which is a place to hike and rock-climb and do other such outdoorsy things. It's really beautiful there, and our dog absolutely loves it. I'm so glad I remembered to bring my digital camera, because we had a wonderful day and I wanted to be able to have pictures to reminisce! 

The trail we chose to investigate started off pretty rugged, but almost immediately changed into a breathtaking meadow with various deciduous trees scattered about. There were tiny little streams among various places throughout the meadow, which Cheyenne had a blast trudging through! There was this really amazing spot only about ten minutes into our trail: it had a beautiful tree for shade, logs to rest on, and an amazing view. We enjoyed the spot for about ten minutes before continuing on our journey. 

Above: The awesome shaded resting spot!

We continued to walk up and down various pathways, and had a fun time doing so. Cheyenne was having a blast too, of course! But my favorite part of our journey is what I'm about to describe. When we turned back, we had to go back and forth to find a good trail to return on. I'm actually glad this happened, because my boyfriend spotted an owl!!! I have never seen an owl in person, so I was beyond excited to see this little fellow. I was so excited to see the owl that my footsteps scared it away, so all I saw was the owl glance toward my boyfriend and fly away. Well, we decided we wanted to see that amazing creature for longer than two seconds, so we carefully found our way back to where the owl flew off to.

This was the coolest part of our day, hand's down. When we found the owl for the second time, its tail was facing us, but its head was turned 180 degrees to watch us like a hawk. We stayed as still and quiet as possible, mostly watching the awesome little dude through binoculars. I don't have words to describe how amazing this was, and the pictures I snapped do not even begin to do it justice. Feel free to click on the following pictures to enlarge them for a better look at the owl.

Above: Our owl friend!

We were both on cloud nine from seeing such a cool creature in person like that. When the owl flew away once more, we decided to start heading back. On our way back, we head a frog croaking from one of the little ponds. Though we did not find the frog, we did stumble upon quite a few tadpoles resting in the ponds. They were such little cuties, I couldn't help but snap a picture of them.

Above: Little tadpoles resting in the pond.

So that about wraps up our little journey! We all had a really great day, and were pretty pooped by the end of it. We are definitely going to hit this trail again when we get some more days off. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading about our little adventure!

Friday, October 25, 2013

One Thousand and One Nights by Iris Handmade Soaps

Hello lovely falling crimson leaves! Last week was a pretty difficult week for me at work, so I was planning on crashing on the couch and watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix, but I started drafting this post instead. Blogger has been wonky lately, so unfortunately I couldn't finish this post until now. The reason I drafted this post last Friday is because I purchased a perfume from Amanda's new etsy story  two weeks ago, and it came in the mail last Friday! I was really surprised that it arrived in America just one week from when she shipped it! It was a really nice surprise after the week I had, and I am very happy to say that the perfume I ordered (A Thousand and One Nights) is absolutely stunning. So stunning that I am very sad I couldn't finish this post sooner. 

Here is the scent description for A Thousand and One Nights from Amanda's etsy:

This was named by my mother after she tried this on!

A perfume all about the warmth and abiance of telling a story:

ginger cookies,vanilla, oats and spiced milk.

This is buttery and foodie. Yum!  

  Above: A Thousand and One Nights. The labeling is really charming and pretty.


  Above: The packaging was really awesome. Amanda sent everything in a lovely (and reuseable) blue box. She included a very sweet (and incredibly cute) card adorned with a teddy bear. She even sent me some extra goodies- candy and a beautiful handmade soap with a starfish molded on top!

The perfume itself is absolutely stunning. Most of you probably know that I don't usually go for foodie scents, but I had a feeling this would be an exception (and it certainly is!). This is definitely a foodie perfume, but a very wearable foodie. I know some perfumes with spice notes can get a little overwhelming, but that is not the case for A Thousand and One Nights. The vanilla and oats balance everything out to make the spiced milk and ginger notes really warm and comforting. The notes are very well blended and they work together to create a very charming and incredibly beautiful scent that I greatly look forward to wearing for the colder weather and holiday season. The sillage is incredible. I did not need to sniff my wrists to be able to detect this perfume, I could definitely smell it on me! It also lasted for hours. I don't know the exact amount of time, but this perfume has really wowed me in all the areas that make great perfumes!

Amanda, thank you for the very sweet note and for the extra goodies in my package. You are truly talented and I really wish the best for your new store! *hugs*

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Autumn Daze ~ OHWTO Halloween goodies!

Hello sweet little pumpkin pies! I hope you are all doing well. I greatly apologize for not posting and commenting on your blogs as much as I'd like. Work has been pretty crazy and I've also been sick for what seems like an eternity. Plus, I can't wear perfume to work, so I can't test scents unless I'm off or until I get home from work; so that makes getting posts up a little more difficult. But, enough with excuses! :)

 OHWTO has seemed to be really quiet on the social networking side of things, so I found out about their Halloween 2013 release by just checking their website and seeing the lovely "Halloween" link! I ordered two full size perfumes and some extra black magic soap (not pictured). The perfumes I ordered were Zalgo and Slenderman. 

Scent Descriptions from OHWTO:

Zalgo: The scent of those unnamed things which lurk and creep where we can't see them; say their names, and they will come. The Green scent of brush underfoot, murky grey Puddles, wilted, faded Flowers, ritual Herbs, sharp peppery Musk, tinged with Fear.

Slenderman: A modern-day urban legend, Slenderman is described as very tall and thin with unnaturally long arms which it can extend. He has a white, blank head and wears a dark suit. Slenderman is usually seen in and around the forest, where he can easily camouflage himself to better sneak up on unsuspecting victims. The cologne of a well-dressed man, hidden in plain sight among trees and ferns in a creepy copse, the creaking of a heavy mahogany door in an abandoned forest retreat nobody has entered in decades. 

Above: Zalgo, Slenderman

Above: Becca included an adorable blow-up eyeball, a spider ring, skull stamp, and candy in my package. I thought that was a really sweet of her!

The Verdict

Out of the two perfumes I purchased, my favorite one by far is Zalgo! I know it's a bit unconventional as far as the notes are concerned, but it is very creepy and it really just works. The perfume smells exactly as described. The cold sniff is both green and aquatic, though in a very eerie sort of way. Initial application is very similar to the cold sniff, though the florals spring to life among the other notes. The drydown is a beautiful combination of the notes listed. It is so well blended that it's very difficult to distinguish individual notes seperately. I've really been enjoying this perfume!

I can't say much about Slenderman because it really didn't work for me. I usually adore forest type of scents, but I almost scrubbed it off because I really didn't like it. I hope to find it a new home where it will be more loved! :)

This order included two solid Halloween perfume samples, so I'll include my thoughts on those in my next post. I hope you all have had a great weekend and enjoy this upcoming week!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Autumn Daze ~ Spooktacular Halloween Questions

Hello sweet little pumpkins! Sorry to be missing for so long. I've been super busy with work and doctor's appointments and getting blood work, andddd I have a cold, haha. So I thought today I'd share a fun Halloween survey that I'd love you guys to do if you so desire! So consider yourself tagged if you're reading this and feel like doing these questions :)

1. Favorite Halloween movie(s)? Nightmare Before Christmas. My favorite horror movie lately has been Cabin in the Woods though. 
2. Favorite Halloween song? “This is Halloween” cover by Marilyn Manson

3. Favorite candy? Reese's cups

4. Favorite fictional horror movie character? Ash from Evil Dead

5. A personal supernatural experience? Too many to count, but one of the scariest was seeing my mom's doppelgänger standing in my room door. "It" called my name to wake me up twice. When I turned around to face it, it looked at me and fucking disappeared. Though I knew it wasn't her for a couple reasons (main being my mother doesn't have a habit of disappearing out of thin air), I asked her if she woke me up the previous night. Of course, she didn't.

6. Favorite Halloween attraction? The Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror
7. Favorite Tim Burton movie? The Nightmare Before Christmas. I cleaned my parents' patio to earn money for it as a kid, and I've never looked back!
8. Favorite Rocky Horror Picture Show song? I hate to say it, but I never saw RHPS.

9. Ideal Halloween costume? Ariel
10. Your biggest fear? Losing my loved ones.

11. Zombies or vampires? Vampires.

12. Favorite Nightmare Before Christmas character? Barrel! It always has been. I even got a bracelet at my elementary school's autumn fair with "Barrel" etched into it because he's awesome!
13. A Halloween tradition? Carving pumpkins

14. Favorite fall food? Anything pumpkin is good with me!

15. Plans for Halloween this year? Hopefully getting our zombies out and of course passing out candy.
16. Favorite family Halloween movie? Hocus Pocus
17. Your costume this year? None :(
18. Favorite things you like to do around Halloween time?
 I love holidays and anything theme-related, so I love decorating, carving pumpkins, reading scary stories on Nosleep... I guess that's all I can think of!
19. Would you spend the night in a haunted house (on Halloween)? All aboard the nope train!
20. Would you rather carve a pumpkin or eat pumpkin pie? Carve a pumpkin Then eat pumpkin pie for my efforts ;)

Lastly, I re-did my Frankenstein Halloween nails from last year! Here is a link to that post. It includes the video I used to recreate this manicure. :)

I hope you're all doing well and enjoy the rest of your weekends!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Autumn Daze ~ Dudleyville by OHWTO

Hello little harvest moons, and happy official first day of autumn! I just completed my first week at my new job, and I love it so much! My coworkers are so nice and down to earth, it's such a relief from every single job I've had in the past. It's not exactly easy, but the people I work with make any hard task so much easier by just being so chill and understanding. I told them how lucky I am to be working with them. 

I haven't had energy to do much of anything while I get used to this new schedule, so I'm so sorry for not posting sooner. Today I will be revisiting a perfume from last year's One Hand Washes The Other Halloween release- Dudleyville!

Here is a bit about the inspiration beyond this perfume from

This abandoned settlement is known for its overwhelmingly negative psychic energy. The land was first settled in 1738 by the William Dudley family but conditions provered too difficult for farming. The production of charcoal from pine trees was the only profitable industry, although it lasted only a few decades. Residents of the settlement were viewed with great suspicion. Odd accidents, suicides, and insanity seemed to plague the people of Dudleyville. The town quickly gained a reputation for being cursed and no one wanted to live there. Today sensitive individuals still feel dark forces, and modern witches hold annual ceremonies here. The area is technically a dead zone where birds and other animals rarely venture. Recently a film producer aand a group of friends encountered a black shape rising out of an old stone foundation. As they got closer they all experienced trouble breathing, as if the life force was being sucked out of them. Dudleyville is considered one of the most haunted locations in the United States. So far, there have been over 500 reports of paranormal activities.

Scent Description:
Dried leaves, wood smoke, patchouli, fennel, dirt, palo santo, petitgrain, spectral musk, amyris, catnip, ginger, and cardamom

The cold sniff of Dudleyville reminds me so much of Haus of Gloi's Samhain, but with ginger added to the mix. I'm not a fan of Samhain until the drydown because it's too sharp for me until then, but actually I'm in love with it after that. Initial application is exactly the same as the cold sniff. Much like Samhain, I find this perfume much more enjoyable during the drydown. It's just fabulous with the earthiness of the dirt and leaves, and the other notes blend together so seamlessly that I cannot detect them individually unless I try REALLY hard. Though I don't care for the ginger and sharpness of the initial application, the drydown is definitely worth the wait! Dudleyville and Samhain are fairly similar, so you might like this scent if you're a Samhain fan!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Autumn Daze: Sugarpill's Cold Chemistry Palette

Hello, sweet little sparkles! I have another change of pace from perfume posting today. For the longest time ever, I've been stalking the Sugarpill website and Facebook to see when the Cold Chemistry palette was going to be released. It was very hard to find an official release for this palette, but it finally came out (seemingly out of the blue)! While this palette is not part of any fall/autumn/Halloween collection, I think these colors are absolutely perfect for fall; so I decided it would be okay for this post to be part of "Autumn Daze!"

The Packaging

The packaging on this palette is different from the rest of the Sugarpill palettes. The main difference is that the Cold Chemistry palette contains four shadows horizontally. There is still a mirror in this palette, but as you can see below, it's an asymmetrical mirror to go with the theme. It's not very functional, but it's cute of course!

The Colors

There are four colors in this palette that compliment each other very well. They're very blendable, don't have much fallout, and are incredibly pigmented. Here are the color descriptions from Sugarpill's website:

Soot &Stars: Metallic gunmetal with prismatic sparkle

Diamond Eyes: Satin white with crystalline sheen. An excellent brow highlight color!

Elemental Chaos: Deep grape shimmer with iridescent blue undertones.

Subterranean: Lustrous peacock green with navy blue undertones.

The Swatches

And the most important part of this post- the swatches! These shadows were swatched on my arm over urban Decay Primer Potion.

Above: Cold Chemistry Swatches in direct sunlight. 

Above: Cold Chemistry swatches in the shade. 

Okay, so I do have an announcement before I go! After five years of agony and part time jobs with no hours, I finally got a job offer on Friday! It's still part time, but I'm going to be working five days a week, which I am very thankful for. I'll still be posting here as much as possible with autumny things!  I hope you guys have a wonderful day/night. 

Above- A rainbow from the walk my boyfriend and I went on the other day :) There's actually two rainbows, but one is hard to see. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Autumn Daze: The Horseman by Haus of Gloi

Hello lovely little raindrops! I hope you're all doing very well. I thought today would be a perfect day to begin my Fall-based series, since we are already two days into September!

Recently, Liber Vix wrote about some great things she picked up from Haus of Gloi's Indian Summer collection (you can view that post here!); and she gave us a sneak peak of one of Haus of Gloi's new Autumn scents- The Horseman! I was so excited about the scent description, and I just knew I had to own it.

The Horseman official scent description:
Autumnal forest and wood, distant fire, smooth saddle leather, brown musk and the lingering scent of a dark gentleman's cologne on a black woolen coat.

I jumped and purchased the full size perfume oil, which I'm glad I did! I also ordered the bubbling scrub in the same scent. I actually received the pumpkin butter in The Horseman instead, but I didn't even contact them about it because I have a plethora of soap and not much lotion. I have no doubt in my mind that Matt and Britton would make it right if I were to ask, though. I have always gotten excellent customer service from them.

Onto the pictures and my thoughts on this perfume! :)

The Horseman is very dark, musky, and smoky upon cold sniff; and I can even smell the autumn woods. I sniffed Samhain to see if they were alike in the bottle, but Samhain is completely different to me.
I know this is crazy, but The Horseman completely captured The Headless Horseman in a bottle. It is musky, woodsy, and autumnal, with a good amount of leather from the haunted rider's saddle. It's like walking through the woods on a foggy fall evening. You can't see what's through the mist, but you're pretty sure it's a good thing you can't. The light from your torch does nothing to your field of vision, but releases a sweet smokiness into the autumn air.
I am seriously in love with this perfume and couldn't be happier that I got it. I wore it yesterday, and it lasted about 5 hours on me.

If you'd like to see what I ordered last year for Haus of Gloi's autumn release (which includes my thoughts on Samhain, Ghost Puffs, and Spider Silk),  please go here! :)

Thank you guys so much for reading, and I hope you have a great day/night!

Friday, August 9, 2013

BPAL ~ A Nocturnal Reverie

Hey lovely ladybugs! Today I will be discussing one of BPAL's Halloweenies, A Nocturnal Reverie. I was a bit reluctant to do this post because I wanted to save all my autumn/Halloween perfumes for a Fall-based perfume series that I've already started drafting. But after lurking BPAL's website this morning (and also reading Amanda's recent BPAL/Arcana haul), I knew that my fate had already been written. Speaking of Amanda, she very kindly sent this lovely imp to me. Thank you so very much, dear one!

Scent description for A Nocturnal Reverie by BPAL:
Violet musk and oudh with black amber, ambergris, agarwood, black currant, dark musk, fig, and lavender incense.

The cold sniff in this blend is straight-up lavender. It's an earthy lavender as opposed to medicinal. Lavender is a scent I have always enjoyed. I remember buying lavender linen sprays and lavender scented lotion in the dark ages before I got into perfume. Lavender is also a perfect scent for me right now, as I'm a huge mess of stress and it's well known for its ability to relax people.

How many times can I say "lavender" in one post? :)

When initially applied, the lavender is still there. However, it is also paired with beautiful muskiness and fig. These notes kind of battle to be the center of attention for awhile. It's incredibly enchanting, like being inside a dark fairy tale with a malevolent creature lurking in the forest.

The drydown on me is a wonderful musky violent scent that I very much enjoy. Sillage is medium, and longevity is absolutely astounding! This perfume lasted all day on me, which is very rare due to my climate and skin type. This is a wonderful Halloween scent that I would happily wear year round. Lavender and lilac haters need not apply ;)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Undead Polka Dot Mani

Hi there, sweet, wonderful, precious people! Today I have a bit of a change of pace from my normal bloggy routine. Last night, I found a really cheap black and white polkadot nailpolish when Aaron and I were grocery shopping. We went to a grocery store we don't normally go to, and I haven't seen this particular color in my go-to stores. It's a clear-based polish with multi-sized black and white polka dots. It reminds me of a couple of the famous indie polish colors- only this one did not require me to be on a waiting list or constantly stalk websites. Oh, and it was only 3 dollars! The nail polish I am referring to is Maybelline Color Show Polka Dots in the shade Clearly Spotted. Because of its clear base, this shade requires a base coat in a more opaque color (underwear!). The base color I chose to use with this manicure was Immortal from China Glaze's Halloween 2012 collection. And this is the result!

What I used:
China Glaze Immortal
Maybelline Clearly Spotted
Sally Hansen topcoat

Well I suppose that is it for now! Thanks so much for reading!