Thursday, October 30, 2014

Haul: Sniff My Tarts Haul #5!

In honor of Sniff My Tarts opening this past weekend (though they are now closed), I figured I'd share my months-old haul.

This is my fifth haul from Sniff My Tarts in the last 2.5 years. They aren't always open, in fact, they are a vendor you need to follow on Facebook in order to see when their openings will take place. I love their wax, and while am not a fan of the huge TAT (as in longer than 4 months), I am usually am not one to complain about it, I will just sit quietly and wait my turn. As I mentioned, this haul is several months old and I am just getting around to sharing it. SORRY! I know, I know, I am a failure, but maybe you can find some nice blends in this post for the next time they open!
While I love the fact that I can order entire sheet cakes (aka MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF WAX) from SMT, I need to just realize that I hate, no, loathe cutting wax. It's a royal pain in the ass. So often I get caught up in the hype of buying these massive amounts that I forget how much disdain I have for my wax cutter. Anyways, SMT makes one of the best pink peppermints out there, so I am glad to have a ton of it, even if it means cutting it. It is crisp but sweet, and super strong. ALWAYS a repurchase!
With each SMT order, you can get up to 3 bags of these cute popsicle tarts. Again, they needed to be cut, but how can you resist something this adorable? I am realizing most key lime pie scents are just too crusty smelling for me, and this is really no exception, but the rainbow sherbet and raspberry lime work to drown it out as best as possible. I am not very creative at blending, but this isn't half bad. I probably didn't need 4.5 oz of it, though. Not sure if I'd get this particular blend again.
Their strawberry scent is another awesome one, and I saw that someone in the SMT group page recommended blending their fresh strawberry with cotton candy bliss. Uh, YEAH! So I did, and it's amazing. Very sweet but still manages to be fruity, love this one and will repurchase it. Karen, if you're reading, I totally forgot I had fresh strawberry in a blend until I went to make this post. Sorry! :(
I'm not 100% sure what type of cake oil they use, but Sweet 16 mixed with juicy watermelon and sweet cake is a brilliant blend! Love this one, too, and may even get chunks in this next time they open. My slight like of bakery is increasing by the day.
Peppermint is a staple in this house, as is pink sugar. Spearmint, up until lately, has been something I avoided because of a bad gum experience (don't ask). But, mixed with peppermint and pink sugar, this blend was incredible! Relatively strong but not so much that it was distracting, I am already done with this bag of chunks and repurchasing it. So good!
Do you like cake batter? Do yourself a favor and try ice cream cake batter. It's more creamy, more decadent, and more delicious. I LOVE ice cream cake batter, wildberry mousse, and pink sugar each on their own, so why not combine them? I have yet to melt this, but on cold sniff, whoooooooooa nelly! Wildberry mousse's creaminess is elevated when mixed with ICCB. Yum!
Unfortunately, cotton candy/watermelon/orange sherbet  was not a hit for me, and I don't know why. We like all of these scents individually, but together, it was just too sweet and artificial for us. Oh well, better luck next time. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this blend other than it's not to our taste, so I will be gifting these to those I think might enjoy them more than we did!
A staple, apparently! A ton of my waxy friends love this blend, so I decided to get in on it, too. It is lovely! The orange chiffon is subtly citrusy when mixed with the cake note, and the vanilla tones it all down. The pink sugar is also an excellent addition (but when is it not?). Love and will repurchase!
What's better than juicy watermelon? Not very much! Other vendors have good honeydew watermelon blends, so I tried to create my own, with pink sugar of course! This is juicy, fruity, strong, and delicious. Need to melt this asap!
Unfortunately, this was not the scent I was looking for, but it's still okay! Flower Shop, if you're not familiar, is the greatest Bath & Body Works candle ever created. EVER. AND THEY GOT RID OF IT. I'm not bitter. Anywho, this is a very sweet floral and had a decent throw, but not a repurchase.

Also, I did receive some samples, but they were melted by the time I made this post. When SMT reopened this weekend, did you order? What did you get? Please share your haul and thoughts on SMT!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wickless Wednesday: Trader Joe's Haul!

I seem to be on a more non-wax oriented pace these days, but don't fret! These random posts are mere sprinklings, I assure you. Pretty much every week, Josh and I go to Trader Joe's, which, if you're not familiar, is the greatest store in the history of stores. Since it is fall now, they have added a slew of pumpkin products and what seems like 100 more than they added last year. Well, I'm not complaining! ;)

Let us get into the haul, shall we?
Champagne is my favorite alcoholic beverage. There's something so splendid about bubbly. Asti is my favorite champagne. It's sweet, fruity, and goes with pretty much everything. This Gaetano D'Aquino Asti that we get at Trader Joe's is the best one. *drool*
Green chiles are good to have around the house for quick meals and snacks such as quesadillas, a quick addition to rice, to spice up some salsa, anything! We usually buy a couple of these at TJ's since they are a little bit cheaper than at the grocery store.
Josh is not a fan of a lot of different global cuisines, especially Indian food...well, naan doesn't count, it's basically bread. Indian Fare's Jaipur Vegetables is a decent substitute for when I am craving a delicious delicacy from far away. This stuff is chock full of cashews, green beans, paneer cheese, peas, potatoes and more, plus a little bit of rice, it makes for a great Meatless Monday meal!
No matter what the weather is like outside, it's always time for lemonade. The stuff from Trader Joe's just happens to be ultra delicious. They also have pink lemonade. Yum.
String cheese is for suckers. I repeat: string cheese is for suckers. I don't care, FIGHT ME. I'm kidding, sillies! We have been a little tired of mozzarella string cheese, so these mild cheddar snack sticks are perfect for a mid-afternoon treat with a tortilla or an apple or two.
I have espoused the wonderfulness of Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate and I am still not tired of it. Most afternoons and some mornings, I have a cold coffee with vanilla creamer and milk. Sometimes half and half. Because I am a fat kid. This stuff is potent and delicious. It's even better cold.
Not sure if I have mentioned these before, but one of my new favorite items from TJ's are their roasted coconut chips. AGH! Dried and roasted little morsels of goodness. I could eat an entire package of these in one sitting, but I make it a point not to do this. Great in granola, on yogurt, or by themselves!
Pretty much every time we go to Trader Joe's, I have to pick up a box of Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper soup. It's the greatest soup ever made and is perfect the way it is, but it's even better with a little bit of cheese and a couple of croutons.
I've mentioned on this blog that I am in the beginning stages of trying homemade bar soaps. I am still a sucker for body wash, though, and TJ's Tea Tree Tingle is one of my favorites. Talk about a refreshing, invigorating bath! This stuff really does tingle! There's nothing better than peppermint, but it's even better when you're lathered in it. lol!
Another new TJ's product from the last few months. Skeptical at first, I read a ton of positive reviews about the potato chips with South African style seasoning. These are addictive! Great alone or with dip, the seasoning on these chips is unique, smokey and a refreshing change from sour cream and onion or salt and vinegar or plain. Yum!
We are huge fans of dried fruit, so on a whim, we picked up the soft & juicy mandarins. Oh. Em. Gee. Sweet, juicy, fruity, another addicting product. We often eat these in lieu of dessert.
Josh and I love making our own homemade pizzas. We have taken to making them in a skillet, which gives it a nice crusty exterior. We tend to add our own spices and some extra tomatoes to this fat-free pizza sauce to make one delicious base for our pizzas.
Has anyone told you about the benefits of baking soda? Besides cooking and baking, I mean? Well, I use it for all sorts of cleaning around the house! One is for food, one is for my cleaning caddy. Yes, I have a caddy with cleaning products. How annoying am I?
If you're like me, you love peanut butter. but have you heard of cookie butter? It is delicious, but not good for you, so use sparingly if you try it. Well, Trader Joe's has done it again with Cookies & Creme cookie butter. Holy and Moly! Oreo cookie butter?! This stuff is freaking incredible!! The chocolate part of much better than the creme part, but together, oh's insanely good. I hope they make ice cream featuring this stuff.
And last but not least, these iced pumpkin scone cookies are spicy, dense and addicting. They really are a combination of scones and cookies! And they are the perfect little size so that you only need two to be satisfied. I love pumpkin cookies!

Do you love Trader Joe's as much as we do? Any products stand out to you as things we should try? Have you bought any recent products from the store you want to rave about? Let us all know in the comments!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Subscription Box Corner: September 2014 Treatsie Box Review!

Ummm, in case you haven't noticed, I am waay behind on my posts. Sorry again, friends! I have my September Treatsie box to share with you today. Treatsie is the monthly subscription box that sends you candies and treats to your doorstep! Yay!
Cute blue paper with their labeling. I really like their brand's font, and I know that's probably silly, but it's fun and twirly!
As with most subscription boxes, a card of its contents is usually around somewhere. It looks like Treatsie also runs promotions for gift cards on Instagram, very cool!
The box in full! Upon first glance, I was 50/50 about what was inside. Let's go a little deeper into this stuff!
I received 3 different types of Bequet Caramels. Salted Mocha was my least favorite. Yuck! There was something really nasty as an undertone anyways, but then when I bit into it, it tasted like grossly over-buttered popcorn. 2/5.
Oh. Em. Gee. These Celtic Sea Salt Bequet Caramels were flipping incredible. There is something so amazing about warm, deeply rich and buttery caramel and delicious salt. Definitely a 5/5 product.
The Soft version of their caramels are sweet, lovely, and truly melt in your mouth. Wonderful, but a little one-note. 4.5/5.
While I love the idea of Quince & Apple small batch preserves from the upper midwest, I was not a fan of the tart cherry and white tea flavor. The label said it had hints of floral notes, but that's all I tasted. This is not like your normal jam. It's very liquid-y, and the cherries were not tarts at all Meh. 2.5/5.
The J&M Foods Triple Chocolate Cookies are crunchy, crumbly, and not super sweet enough though they have both white and dark chocolate chips. I wish they were a bit softer, but these were pretty good. 3.5/5.

Hope you enjoyed this look into my September Treatsie box! I was slightly less impressed with this box that I was with the first one I received, but I am going to stick with it. The only other thing I am slightly miffed about if that most of the boxes are barely over what you pay for them, unlike the PopSugar Must Have box or ipsy. It's alright for now, I guess! :)

*none of these links are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions and words are my own.*

Monday, October 27, 2014

Subscription Box Corner: August 2014 Treatsie Box Review!

A little while ago, I signed up for a subscription box called Treatsie*, which delivers "America's Best Sweets" to your door each month for $15 per month + shipping ($20 total). I am obsessed with subscription boxes, but need to limit myself to a few only or else they seriously add up! I have received two Treatsie boxes so far and have not been overly disappointed, though I wish there was an option to customize based on what kind of chocolate you like the best. I love dark chocolate over all and rarely choose anything else over it. So, I'm here today to show you what I got in my first box, even though it's a month and a half too late. ;)
Some subscription boxes have waaaay too much unnecessary packaging, and that's where Treatsie gets it both right and wrong. Since it was September and it was excruciatingly hot in California, my first box was shipping in a weird "cold bag," but this bag was uber, uber, uber padded, so much so that it took me 8 minutes to get to the middle of it. I wish I would have taken a photo of it, but it was such a freaking mess that I just vacuumed everything as quick as I could. Inside the cold bag was this tiny box, which was the perfect size for its contents. I love the brand labeling on the sticker as well as the box itself.
Sticker close-up!
Upon opening the box, I was greeted with a nice, small piece of tissue paper and another sticker. They sure do love their branding, eh? My camera didn't pick up the color, but it was a nice sky blue, one of my favorite colors, but this isn't important. ;)
The insides, unscathed from the heat! Everything was packaged so nicely and nothing was broken or bent or messed up in any way. Let's get into each item!
First, we have Kika's Treats caramelized graham crackers in pure milk chocolate. I didn't quite know what to expect with these since I've never had "homemade" graham crackers. I didn't care for these and they were my least favorite item in this box. Unfortunately, the milk chocolate was too sweet and the graham crackers had a strange texture. I'm usually not one to complain about texture, but they were almost stale tasting, yet not stale. You have to respect that these are different than most treats, but the taste was something we couldn't get over. Our score: 2/5.
Next, we have mini Chuao Chocolates bar from Chuao Chocolatier (located in Del Mar, CA!). I have never gotten to try these little chocolates and was excited to see them featured in the box. Josh and I split each of these.
  • Sweet & Salty: good, but plain. Just chocolate and salt. Deliciously boring. 4/5.
  • Potato Chip: so amazing. Chips and chocolate have a perfect place together. 5/5.
  • Salted Chocolate Crunch: my least favorite. For some reason, the breadcrumbs were a weird addition to the chocolate. Not bad, but not great. 2.5/5.
  • Maple Bacon: waaaay exceeded my expectations. I have only had one other maple bacon bar before from a different company, but this one was delicious! You got the sweet maple and chooclate mixed in with the salty, smoky bacon and they really complimented each other well. Very delicious! 4.5/5.

The Southern Pecan Toffee from Lambrecht Gourmet was my favorite thing in the entire box. Ohhhh man! If you love toffee, this is the product for you. Just sweet enough, caramelly, buttery and delicious. 5/5.
Finally, we have another Chuao bar, this time a full sized on in Ravishing Rocky Road. The marshmallows tasted weird at first, but we got over it. The almonds were caramelized and delicious, but again, I wish the chocolate was dark and not milk. This was a solid chocolate bar. 4/5.

*this post contains my personal referral link that will give you 1/2 off your first Treatsie box and I will get a credit on my account. All opinions, thoughts, and words are my own.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Swift & Supersonically Snappy Short Review #39: Beezy Tarts' Apple Clove Butter

Perfection, sweet perfection...
Beezy-Tarts' Apple Clove Butter
Cold Rating10/10
Lit Rating: 10/10
Throw Rating10/10
Overall Rating10/10; absolutely, positively, without a doubt perfection. This will be the scent I melt in heaven. Between the sweet, rich apple and the spicy, wonderfully warm clove, this is a recipe for success. Extreme throw, like all the way to the outside of the house strong. Cinnamon and clove spices melange with apple butter so well that you want to eat the air. Eating air makes you look insane. Lasted all. freaking. day. 24 hours. 7am to 7am. Probably would have gone longer, but I needed to give something else a chance. Apple cake. Fall time. Seasons not changing, it was 88 degrees yesterday. This means no leaves changing. Angry at the weather gods. This scent bringing me back to sanity. Wanting a safe house somewhere in the mountains for fall and winter retreats. Mmmmm, treats...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Random Post: A Life Deliberate Soap Co. Haul #1!

A couple of my close wax buddies are also really into bath and body products, mainly homemade soaps! I have heard about A Life Deliberate several times within the past couple of years and have liked their Facebook page for some time now, and though I have had about 12 carts full of stuff throughout the years, I have never pulled the proverbial trigger and ordered. It might be TMI (??), but for some reason, I just haven't been able to use homemade soaps with any degree of success. They are always really drying on my skin. I don't know if it's because we have horribly hard water here in San Diego, but regardless, I have been deterred. The only soap I ever had any success with was one that my good pal Deb made!

Well, here we are today. At the end of September, I did it. I bought from A Life Deliberate! There was a scent I just could not pass up. Let's take a look, shall we?
Pumpkin Lager goat's milk bar soap: the one that drew me in! The description reads: "A warm fragrance blend of pumpkin puree, fresh ginger, crushed spice island's nutmeg, ground cinnamon, vanilla sugar, and sparking rum." Doesn't that sounds amazing enough to eat!? No matter how many times I took the photo, the pumpkin would never come out quite right, unfortunately! I love the brown swirls and colors, very fall indeed! This smells incredible, I almost don't want to use it. You pick up on the cinnamon first, then is transitions into a sweet vanilla pumpkin, Aghhh, so good! The ingredients sound like this will be a very moisturizing bar, so I have faith it won't dry out my skin!
Happily Sever After goat's milk bar soap: the description reads: "this fragrance is a cut above the rest with top notes of tangy lemon zest, blood oranges, and bubbly carbonation; followed by middle notes of Italian bergamot, fresh mint, gin martinis and lavender, sitting on a base of rosewood." WOWZA! I definitely pick up on the orange and lemon notes with a fizzy after scent, too. The fizz is more than  just carbonation, though, there is a slightly alcoholic bubbly to it! Love that. There is a complex woody note in there as well, but I can't tell if it's a rosewood or a bergamot type of smell. I love this way more than I thought I would, and I gotta admit, I really bought it because of the finger, LOL! And look at those colors and swirls, so gorgeous.
Creepy Cooties Wax Melts: the day I bought these soaps, she mentioned on her Facebook page that she was going to be stocking a couple wax melts, too. HELLO, MOMMY! After much debate, I went with the creepy cooties because they were so dang cute. Big mistake. I should have known that I wasn't going to like this scent but still bought them anyways. It's basically an oatmeal cookie scent, but this is not your typical oatmeal that is toned down scent...all I smell is weird oatmeal stinkiness, like a face mask made from oatmeal. I am going to melt it to see if it clears off while warming, but I doubt it. I should have gone with something fruity instead!
Along with my purchases, I got 2 free samples, which I did not expect! I know wax vendors give samples, but didn't know if soap vendors did. Cool! I got a Farmhouse Shampoo sample that I'm not quite sure what to do with? Do I just rub it in like I would a cream/gal shampoo and rinse out? Do I use my conditioner after? SO MANY QUESTIONS! I also received a free sample of her gourmet body mousse in Viva La Juicy, which is a very popular perfume. This is super smooth but a bit greasy for me. I am willing to give it another shot, though!

Have you ever purchased anything from A Life Deliberate? Let me know if you have an what kinds of experiences you have had with her products!