Sunday, August 5, 2018

Stop & Chat: Are You Getting Any Pets?

"So are you going to get any pets now?"
Hamsters, yes, as they've been in our (read: my) plans since we first settled into our house. July was finally the month where I felt that I could start getting ready to bring hamsters back into our lives.

It all started early one Sunday morning (think 5 AM early) when I decided "Hey, let's draw up a schematic for a possible hamster habode."

Drawing the schematic turned into me waking up Michael. "Hey, wanna go to Home Depot?"

Me waking up Michael turned into "Hey they're open... and all of this stuff is in stock..."

...which turned into loading into the car and going to Home Depot, loading up all of the stuff I needed, checking out, bringing it home, and putting it all together.

Make your own hamster home, they said. It will be cheaper they said. My total from Home Depot? $296. LOL

To be fair, I'm about 99.9% sure that buying a hamster/small rodent home that provides over 1,645 square inches of living space, is raised up off the ground, has high walls to prevent escape attempts and allow lots of variety in decorations, has a screen mesh lid with handles, has a lower shelf system that provides storage for your hamster goodies, and is on wheels would cost me much, much more than $300.

I knew I wanted dwarf hamsters going into this venture. If possible, I wanted a species that I hadn't had yet.

Enter these two cotton balls! Meet Skittle and Peanut. These are roborovski hamsters, also known as the smallest species of hamster and little energetic balls of terror.

Okay, not terror, but holy cow these guys have energy.

Skittle is very energetic and very incredibly anti-human right now. I've managed to get her to eat out of my hand only by providing her with the delicious homemade treats seen above, but she seems much more happy without human interaction. Only time will tell whether I can fully tame her.

Peanut is more friendly and curious about humans. I've had her crawling up my hand while adjusting/adding in decoration to their homes and she's happy to run to me and sit on my hand and eat food.

These hamsters are so. Freaking. Tiny. Especially after having Bunny and Hammy last. I can't help but make very high pitched squeals of happiness whenever I see them up and about.

As for dogs, Michael and I just aren't ready for a dog yet. A dog is a huge commitment and we worry we wouldn't have the time and energy to commit to a dog.

Give me belly rubs kthanx.
We certainly don't want to bring one into our house when we're still in the process of cleaning up and putting everything together.

Plus, what if Michael has to go away for work? That's a lot of pressure to put on me right now to care for the dog.


Hurray! I've been adopted today!!
So. We have a dog too now. LOL

Michael has been getting his dog fix by volunteering at the local animal shelters in his free time, and one Saturday he fell in love with a little white husky named Koda. He fell so much in love he even wanted me to meet her and asked me to seriously consider bringing a dog into our lives.

I tried to resist. What about dog hair? And clean up? And both of us are working. What if she's destructive? The day I met her, I went home thinking "no way." By the next evening, I was 'casually' mentioning to my mom that Michael really wanted this one super cute, super sweet dog from the local shelter. I was thinking about the logistics of caring for her properly in the Arizona heat, rules and restrictions on where she can go in the house, and what kind of food she would eat.

As you can see, it was an impossible battle to fight and I caved in quite fast. I tried to establish with Michael that I wanted her to be his dog and thus have most of the responsibilities fall to him. I would help, of course, but since he wanted her he would have to be the primary caretaker. I understood if work took him away I would become her primary caretaker, but I didn't want to fill that roll while he was home.

The day we brought her home, Michael found out he had to leave for a month for work. Starting the next day. Well then.

Since then, I've learned that Koda is an incredibly well behaved and easy to care for dog. The only issues I experienced were part of some very bad separation anxiety she has, which can be solved with a crate/kennel or letting her out in the back yard while I'm at work. The good news is me leaving for work won't be a big concern for a while, but that's a whole other stor.

Long story short, I have a lot more free time right now and a ton of stress has been removed from my life, opening up time and energy for blogging again. Yaaaay! Now to work on that Glitterati haul post I've been holding off on....

Monday, July 2, 2018

Satin Suzie Scents - Berry Bellini

Scent Description: No scent description available.

Date Poured: November 22, 2016

Weight Melted: 0.8 oz

Location of Warmer: Office, in tealight warmer

Cold Sniff: 3.5/5 Very fizzy and tart, almost like a starburst.

Warm Sniff: 3.5/5 That tart note died down a lot while melted, but this was still an enjoyable scent.

Scent Strength: 2.5/3

Scent Throw: 3/3 This filled the entire office and probably would have extended beyond it if I didn't already have other fragrances melting outside the office.

Melting Power: This lasted through one tealight candle (about 5 hours) and it seems like it would have lasted through at least part of another tealight candle.

Repurchase: Probably not, just because I'm not a fan of drink type scents and they're not really ones I reach for myself.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Stop & Chat: Arizona Hates My Skin

Yup! I'm living in the beautiful -yet horridly dry- Arizona now. We're surrounded by mountain ranges on all sides and the view is simply gorgeous while going on bike rides, or driving. I can't say I appreciate the view while driving in to work at 5:20 in the morning, however. LOL

By now my skin has mostly adjusted to the new climate. My skin doesn't feel like it's going to fall off if I forget to apply any sort of moisturizer to it when I get out of the shower, but if I'm not careful it's still incredibly prone to dryness and cracking. I've made a few batches of whipped body butter since we've come here, as we run through it so fast. Michael hounds on me whenever his stash is getting low.

The good thing is I didn't have to change my skincare routine from what I had going in Korea. I made sure to stock up on several Korean beauty products (and backups) before leaving, so I'm set with what I have for a while. I finally got to the bottom of my Etude House Gold Darling Serum, which I've just discovered that I never wrote about in my blog!

I bought this around my birthday last year to try out some of Etude House's higher end skin products. This really makes my skin feel healthy. It's hard to describe. It doesn't make my skin oily, but it feels hydrated and smooth when I use this as opposed to omitting it from my routine. The price (around $45 US if I remember correctly) was incredibly steep for me but considering it took me about a year (less time if I hadn't been in the middle of a move and without it for several months) to use, the cost doesn't seem too unreasonable. Another factor - it's my skin and I want it to look nice, I shouldn't be afraid to splurge on some of those nice things! This comes in a set with anti-aging eye and face cream and is currently for sale on the English Etude House website for $28.80. I checked the shipping cost for my address and it's about $13 in shipping, plus there's a 50% off code currently to celebrate the Korean soccer team's recent win. Long story short, if you're looking to stock up on some Korean skincare, do it noooooow! The Wonder Pore toner is amazing if you have issues with your skin getting too oily throughout the day or if adding in more skincare adds to that. 

In January, I also took a huge risk (for my curls) and decided to try and go red again with my hair. I'm happy to report that my curls are still there! Yay!! You may also see that I got new glasses. I finally (after much longer than I'd like to admit) updated my eye prescription and got new glasses and contacts that not only let me see properly, but have a style that better fit where I'm currently at in my life.

I think that covers all that I'm ready to share in the blogosphere right now. There are more things I want to share but I figure I'll ease into Stop & Chats again with smaller posts here or there as opposed to one massive post that may or may not ever be posted.

Glitterati - Pomegranate/Cucumbert Mint/Watermelon

Scent Description: No scent description available.

Date Received: June 22, 2016

Weight Melted: .55 oz, in tealight warmer

Location of Warmer: Office

Cold Sniff: 5/5 A slightly tart fruity blend. Perfect for Summer!

Warm Sniff: 5/5 That tart note died down a lot, and I was instead left with a very pleasant fruity blend with just a hint of cool mint.

Scent Strength: 1.5/3

Scent Throw: 3/3 This tart threw past the office and into most of the entryway.

Melting Power: Lasted through 1 tealight candle (about 5 hours). It smelled like it could have lasted much longer, if I'd desired.

Repurchase: I just did! Whenever my 2016 custom order comes in, you may find that I have a lot of repeat scents. I really wanted to stock up on scents I've loved from Janine over the years.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Glitterati - Violet Toasted Marshmallow

Scent Description: Delicate Floral/Toasted marshmallows by the fire.

Date Received: June 22, 2016

Weight Melted: 0.7 oz

Location of Warmer: Office, in tealight warmer.

Cold Sniff: 5/5 A slightly sweet and smoky floral, with just a hint of sticky sweet goodness.

Warm Sniff: 5/5 No surprises once melted.

Scent Strength: 1.5/3

Scent Throw: 3/3 This filled the office and poked its way through a closed door into the entryway.

Melting Power: Lasted through 1 tealight candle. It could definitely have lasted longer, but I find myself content with melting each scent only once while I'm trying to melt through what I have.

Repurchase: I just did! My name just got called up for the 2016 customs list, yahoo!!

I haven't quite revisited my wax rating system since moving, so I'm kind of in a transitional stage for some of my rating system. Bear with me as some of these things get adjusted!

Also, it's been so long since I've melted anything in my tealight warmers. I've been making do with a (please don't kill me Deb) Christmas type cranberry and spice wooden wick candle I got for Christmas. We didn't get our household goods until the middle of March, and I swear somewhere along the line packers must've stolen our many boxes of matches. Either that or the matches were in some of the boxes that went missing in the move. Sigh. In any case, I finally remembered and picked up some matches the other day and I'm slowly getting back into the hang of melting things. I don't have a little wax station set up with a cutting knife, basket of "to-review" wax, pen and paper, and a scale, but I'm getting there.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Where'd You Go? I Miss You So...

Do you know how hard it is to blog when literally everything you've been blogging about is either 10,000 miles away or packed up and being shipped to your new home? Let me answer that for you: Mission Impossible. LOL

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Band of Bloggers - Vol. 22/October 2017

Halloween BoB Header Photo WM'd
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, it was a dark and stormy night. So dark and stormy, in fact, the power had gone out, and you had naught but a handful of scented three-wick candles with which to light your way. As you crept down the darkened hallway of the cabin in the woods along the picturesque shores of Crystal Lake that you and your randy teenage friends rented from the eerily helpful maintenance man back at the abandoned service station with all the weird pelts hanging outside, you caught a glimpse of movement out of the corner of your eye. Whirling madly about, you brandished your glass jar of Pumpkin Cupcake Crunch, set to square off against any number of undead, masked killers with nothing but the three-wick in your hand and your own blazing moxie. Then, with a chuckle of embarrassed relief, you realized it was just your lucky Chucky Doll figurine - must have fallen off the shelf when that puzzle doodad covered in all the bizarre symbols you found in the basement behind the walled-up root cellar tipped over. Pressing a hand to your fluttering heart, you shook your head as you contemplated the massive, flammable waxcident that nearly was - heavens, THAT certainly could have been messy!

And then THAT'S when one of your friends came banging through the swinging door of the kitchen, catching you square in the back, throwing you forward and the candle up, and out, and then eventually down, where it exploded in a geyser of molten wax, covering everything in the livingroom with burnt orange pumpkin spice, including the creepy two-way mirror and the snarling wolf head affixed to the wall. Congratulations; now you're really in a horror movie!

Oh, we've all been there, and not just waxies, but anyone who enjoys a hobby that occasionally errs towards the messy and dangerous (jest not, glitter glue burns are a real thing!) So this month, in honour of Halloween, we're taking a look at our most monstrous pastime nightmares - the waxcidents and beauty blunders and crafting calamities that haunt our hobby dreams. What's the worst hobby hazard you've ever suffered? And do you have any magical tips for cleaning Pumpkin Cupcake Crunch out of carpet fibers (or wolf fur)?

Soapmaking. It's a very rewarding, but also incredibly infuriating hobby. One thing could go wrong and an entire batch of soap could be ruined, or worse, expelled.

Back in my earliest soapmaking days, I hadn't fully grasped the importance of heat in regards to soapmaking. In short, hotter = soap thickens faster, coolder = soap thickens slower. At this time I still liked using a thrift find crock pot to melt down the oils and butters I planned to use in my batches of soap.

On this particularly fateful day, I forgot to turn off the crock pot once all the butters had melted down, and it was still around 100°F when I added in my water-lye mixture. I stirred once. I stirred twice. And the soap immediately hardened up. Like, finished soap hard. Like, I couldn't get it out of the crock pot hard.

Thus began the longest cleanup session I've ever had, with none of the final product I had grown so accustomed to enjoying. The lesson stuck with me. Now, I always check the temperature of the oils before I start the saponification process.

On a more personal note, I've been having a lot of jaw and tooth pain over the past few weeks. It culminated in an emergency visit to the dentist yesterday morning, where I had an impacted tooth removed. I don't know how some people have their teeth removed and go straight back to work like nothing has happened. I'm nauseous whenever I'm doing anything that's not laying down. I can't eat very much - in fact, I'm currently subsisting off of chicken broth and water. The site of the tooth is in pain, even with the pain medications I've been given to keep it under control. In short, I'm a big, miserable baby right now.

If you have a story to share about the worst hobby-related catastrophe you've ever suffered, please leave a cringe-worthy comment in the section below! And we hope you'll visit these Band of Bloggers blogs and help support the blogger community.
Amanda at Thrifty Polished
Lauren at LoloLovesScents
Liz at Furianne
Sandra at Finger Candy
If you are a blogger and would like to join us for our monthly Band of Bloggers posts, please feel free to contact us.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Glitterati - Cotton Candy/Honeydew

Scent Description: None available.

Date Received: June 22, 2016

Weight Melted: 0.5 oz

Location of Warmer: Kitchen, in tealight warmer

Cold Sniff: 4/5 A gentle honeydew melon with just a hint of cotton candy. Quite delicious and sweet.

Warm Sniff: 4/5 No surprises once melted.

Scent Strength: 2/3

Scent Throw: 3/3 Filled the kitchen, hallway, and office with its delicious goodness.

Melting Power: 4/5 I got a little under 8 hours of scent from a piece of this chunk.

Repurchase: Yes! I think I'm going to try experimenting with some blends with the rest of the chunk I have. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Stop & Chat: Word Vomit

Michael returned from his work trip on Friday the 1st. It was a nice reunion. I didn't realize how much I missed him until he was back. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder. :P

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Band of Bloggers - Vol. 21/September 2017

Welcome back to the September Band of Bloggers! It's that time of year again. School is starting back up. Trees are starting to turn. North America is recovering from the apocalypse brought on by the eclipse. Wait, what?

The eclipse that visited most of the United States on August 21st has been described as a once in a lifetime experience. The next eclipse to cover the US from coast to coast will not come until 2045.

That brings us to our question this month. What is your once in a lifetime experience?

It feels like such a cop-out response, but our time in Korea has really been a once in a lifetime experience. I do not think I would have gotten the same experience if Korea had happened at any other point in my life. If I were younger, I would not have appreciated it as much as I do now and would have ignored all of the opportunities for personal growth. If I were older, I could have been too wrapped up in our family or my career to take the time to enjoy what this country has to offer. 

Korea has altered my perception of the world. Of America. Of my own perception of an open heart and mind. It has challenged my viewpoints on culture and politics. Until Korea, my entire view of the world was based from my home in the US.

Korea has helped me finish healing hurts and moving forward in life. Back in 2016, I said I wanted to move forward. I have been able to do so in ways here that could never have happened in the US. Stepping outside to a foreign world, with a foreign language, culture, and people staring me right in the face has pushed my comfort zones so much further than the US could have ever done. That's not to say that I could not have gone through all of this growth back home. Things have just lined up in Korea in such a way that it felt easy and effortless. The end result is this country will forever have a soft spot in my heart.

If you'd like to play along at home, please feel free to answer this question in the comment section below, and we hope you'll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!
Amanda at Thrifty Polished
Jessica at The Meltdown Blog
Lauren at LoloLovesScents
Liz at Furianne
Sandra at Finger Candy
If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.