Saturday, February 28, 2015

Lil' Kitchen Candles - Circus

Scent Description: Orange dreamsicle, banana smoothie and cotton candy. I smell mainly the orange dreamsicle and a bit of the smoothie, but the banana and cotton candy are still there.
Weight Melted: 1.0 oz initially, then I upped it to 2.0 oz
Cold Sniff: 3.5/5 I'm not particularly a fan of orange, but I'd looked for another 'circus' blend after my attempt with JMae's version of this. This was nothing like it, but I still wanted to try it out.
Warm Sniff: 3.5/5 The scent stayed the same as my initial sniff. Mainly orange dreamsicle with a tad bit of smoothie and underlying banana/cotton candy.
Scent Strength: 2/3 Orange will always be a more in your face scent to me, just because I'm not typically a fan of it.
Scent Throw: 3/5 This filled most of the kitchen and living room... not very far compared to some other things I've been melting recently.
Melting Power: 3/5 I got about six hours of scents before I called it quits.
Repurchase: No. This didn't quite perform like I would like, and the scent itself isn't something I care for.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Bathing Garden - Elf Sweat

Scent Description: Candy, candy canes, candy corn, syrup, soda pop. I most definitely smell the soda here. Think of a peppermint soda type scent.
Weight Melted: .8 oz
Cold Sniff: 3.5/5 I wasn't quite sure about this. It smelled different from anything I had smelled before, and I wasn't sure if it was a good or bad thing.
Warm Sniff: 4/5 After it melted, I was really able to smell all the different notes and I quite liked it. I can't really describe it outside of pointing you to the different scents combined and letting your nose put those scents together for you. I think I would like to combine this with a tad bit of cotton candy. I have two cubes left, so this should be fun.
Scent Strength: 2/3
Scent Throw: 5/5
Melting Power: 4/5 I let this go for 20 hours before I grew tired of it and switched it out.
Repurchase: Yes, if buying from TBG hadn't turned into the whole hoard and stalk fiasco every other vendor I've come to like has had to endure.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

JMae's Soaps & Candles - Circus

Scent Description: None available. I liked it enough, but I don't know what was in it and it doesn't fit anything that was in other vendors' 'circus' blends.
Weight Melted: 2.8 oz
Cold Sniff: 4/5 I liked it!
Warm Sniff: 4/5 No changes after this was melted
Scent Strength: 1/3
Scent Throw: 3/5 This filled half of the kitchen and living room. Basically a 5 foot radius around the warmer.
Melting Power: 1/5 This lasted about an hour and a half after fully melting before the scent completely disappeared.
Repurchase: No. Not from Jamie, at least. I really like the blend itself, but the performance was very lackluster. Because of this I searched my stash for other 'circus' blends and came across someone else's different blend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tripping Over My Shoes Ep. 5: Sleeping Woes

Here are some cute pictures of my parents' two dogs, Thor (left) and Drake (right). They recently turned 7, but they're still the same goobers they were when we first got them.
No, this post isn't anything about puppies, though I wish it were. Instead I have to complain about sleeping.
I didn't always have sleeping issues. In high school I would stay up until midnight and get up at 4 or 5 in the mornings, no problem. When I'd mentioned that to my doctor at the time, he expressed initial concern. After talking with my mother about whether she believed it affected my waking mood or habits, he concluded that I might just be one of those people that didn't need a lot of sleep. It's rare, but it happens.
When college started, I cut down on my sleep even more. Not really out of necessity. I just wasn't as sleepy. I'd go to sleep around 2 AM and wake up again at 4 or 5, without any alarms.
I don't know when my sleeping habits changed, but some time two years ago I started having issues. I would still stay up late, but when I laid down to go to bed I couldn't fall asleep. I didn't even realize it was an issue until Michael started complaining about it. My tossing and turning would disturb his sleep. Then I wouldn't want to get up in the mornings. If I didn't have to get up, I would easily sleep in until noon, which is incredibly late for me. Not only did I sleep in late, I would still feel groggy when I woke up.
Fast forward to when Michael left for basic. I still had sleeping issues, or I at least started noticing them, and I started realizing how much Michael would do to help me. He would rub my back or talk to me until I fell asleep. He would hold me and let his heartbeat lull me to sleep.
It didn't help that at the time Diana was having some serious separation anxiety. She missed Michael almost as much as I did, and she would stay up late crying at night, interrupting my sleep. I remember the only thing that helped the both of us was to cuddle up in bed and sleep together.
After she died, my sleep worsened. I remember the day she'd died, while waiting for my parents I'd cried myself into exhaustion. I tried to take a nap but every time I fell asleep I would get struck with images of her in the bathtub, the feel of her stiff body in my arms, or my mind would take those memories and morph them into dark beasts, shocking me awake as if I'd just been shot with adrenaline. I remember Michael saying it was the shock. That night I barely got any sleep because of this.
Over time my only way to battle this was to wait until I was absolutely exhausted to go to sleep. It helped that I got a promotion at work and had to work later than ever. I would get home with food and read or put on some YouTube videos until I was falling over from exhaustion. Some nights I would just sleep on the couch. Every morning I would wake up before 7, if I was lucky. Most mornings I was up before 5.
Even though I was up so early, I would drift through my day until about noon. Even once I was fully conscious of my surroundings I would sometimes daze out and forget who I was with or what I was doing. I didn't think anything of it until after I'd already moved to Georgia with Michael and told him all of this offhandedly.
Then I couldn't get to sleep when Michael needed to sleep. I would lay in bed from 9 until well after midnight, tossing and turning. Even as I 'slept' I would toss and turn, acutely aware of my surroundings. When I woke up in the mornings, I would have to force my body into movement in order to prevent myself from falling asleep.
Michael suggested seeing a doctor. I still don't want to go. I've been fighting since then, saying that I will only go as a last resort.
I've been forcing myself to get up when Michael gets up. At 3:50 AM. My logic is that I will be so exhausted by the time 9 PM rolls around I will have nothing to do but fall asleep. It's partially working. Some nights are better than others. Another thing I've tried is taking over the counter sleep medication, on really bad nights. I'm terrified of becoming dependent on drugs to sleep, so I only take those as a last ditch effort. Some medications work better than others. Ironically, NyQuil works better than ZzzQuil for me. I found it out one night after taking some NyQuil for a cold I had been battling for a few weeks.
Working out doesn't really affect my sleep levels. I haven't noticed any difference between days I work out and days I don't workout. There's really no rhyme or reason to whether my sleep will be good or bad. It's not my use of electronics, either. While we were camping and I did not touch my phone at all, I still had these same issues.
Overall, though, I've noticed improvements. So long as I force myself awake in the mornings at a fairly consistent time, I'm pretty alert for most of the day. Falling asleep varies on a night by night basis, but I'm having more good nights than bad. If I feel the need to nap in the middle of the day I can without it affecting my night time sleep. Some days I need to nap, others I don't.
The only thing I can do is try and be consistent in my sleep schedule. It doesn't help my sleep itself so much as it helps my personal sanity.

JMae's Soaps & Candles - Lavender Vanilla

Scent Description: This was supposed to be a pleasant blend of vanilla and lavender. I think anyone who is even remotely into melting wax or burning candles knows what this smells like.
Weight Melted: 4.9 oz. No, I did not make a typo. Yes, you read that right.
Cold Sniff: 2/5 I don't know what I got when I sniffed this cold. It was wax with a hint of something sweet. This less than promising first sniff is what made me decide to just melt the entire thing and see how it went.
Warm Sniff: 2/5 I really don't think this was Lavender Vanilla. It doesn't smell right, at all. There's nothing vanilla like or lavender-esque here. It smells like some light perfume smell you always get when you go into the perfume section of a dollar store.
Scent Strength: 1/3 If I could have smelled whatever it was I smelled more, I would have qualified it as a background scent.
Scent Throw: 1/5 Five ounces of wax did so crappy, I let the entire thing melt, waited five minutes to see if a miracle would happen, and then dumped it.
Melting Power: 0/5 I didn't give it a chance.
Repurchase: No. To be fair to Jamie, I've had this particular tart for a while. However, I've had other tarts for longer than this and they've performed spectacularly. I doubt the time is what made this tart so bad, anyway.

I'm slowly making my way through my stash of hers. While cleaning, I also found the old Fortune Cookie Soap destash that she'd sold to me when it was already a year old. That in itself isn't so bad, as I know FCS can have some long lasting stuff. What got me here was a lot of the stuff had obviously been used or it was stored improperly. When I received it stuff was discolored and misshapen and smelled... off. That stuff along with a lot of her other bath and body products went straight into the trash. Blech.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

JLCCW - Avalon

Scent Description: Tahitian Waterfall and Vanilla Bean Noel are what's in here, if my research has turned up correct results. These two combine to create a very relaxing scent.
Weight Melted: 1.2 oz.
Cold Sniff: 3/5 I was uncertain when I first smelled this. It was something 'green' and a little perfumey, but that's all I could really think of to describe it.
Warm Sniff: 5/5 I loved this as it melted. I can only describe it as relaxing. Towards the end I did notice that the VBN faded off quite a bit.
Scent Strength: 2/3 The Tahitian Waterfall is a little too strong for this to be a downright background scent.
Scent Throw: 5/5 It filled the entire apartment with its loveliness.
Melting Power: 4/5 I got 16 hours out of this fella before switching it out for another melt.
Repurchase: Yes, but I can't. Insert long rant about how much I miss JLCCW right here.

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I've decided to add a 'weight melted' section to my reviews. That will help figure out if what I'm melting is actually good for the amount of wax melted.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Orly - Glitz

Holy shmoly this girl is blingy! Seriously! Look at this! I don't even remember when I picked this up! I'm fairly certain it was during a time when I couldn't really wear nail polish but I would still pop in to Sally's every so often with Michael and pick up a few nice looking colors. I think this was from a 50% off clearance sale.
 If you examine it really really really closely you can tell that this polish is made up of smaller glitters in two shades of gold. It combines to create this super sparkly sheeny effect that I love!
This is two coats and unlike most of the other polishes I post about, this is true full coverage. I wore this over the weekend in Florida (WOOHOO! Key West!!) and it's held up really good considering all the stuff I did! Michael's pretty sure I strained the tendons in my feet from walking 12+ miles in less than 36 hours. Half of those miles were in flipflops that were very, very uncomfortable. The other half was in 5 year old tennies that survived through two Cross Country seasons in high school, plus all of my collective walking done in college.... I need new shoes >_>
Lesson learned! Now to go shoe shopping! YAAAY!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tripping Over My Shoes Ep 4: Cleaning, Procrastination, and Coffee

Guess what weather will greet us the rest of the week? Not this morning in particular; there's actually a load of sun making its way into my retina as I try and type this. 
I'm currently procrastinating on some work that needs to be done around the apartment. What a better way to procrastinate than by updating my blog on life and the hippy-haps of it? Yes. I seriously just wrote hippy-haps. I'm blaming my coffee. >_>
While I do this, enjoy pictures I took right after the movers dropped off our boxes a month and a half ago!
Is that a bedroom? Yes!
The best thing about having really curly hair is that I can cut it myself without worrying too much about how even it looks. Either way it's going to be a curly mess, with some strands being shirly temple curly and others being straight... Seriously, my hair does things I don't even understand, and I can only partially influence how it'll look on a day to day basis. One thing that did ruin it was about two years of dying it. I went red right after graduating high school and then experimented with various shades of red and one time even went blonde. One afternoon I was going through old pictures and realized how my hair had lost its curl. Of course, that could have just been from getting older, but I decided to let my natural hair grow back out and see if that was the culprit. While I loved having a different hair color, I felt it wasn't worth the loss of my curls. Whaaaat? Someone with curly hair that actually likes it? Yep.
Anyways, it's been almost two years since I last dyed my hair and the last remnants of bleached hair are still growing out. I know it's looked ridiculous as the natural color started making its way out, but I didn't want to continue to dye my hair just to keep it even. Vicious cycles and all, ya know?
Our living room... and hubby :)
Job hunting is an absolute nightmare when employers aren't looking for someone that can only commit three months. All of our resources on post have been tapped, so we're stuck looking at regular 'civilian' options. I don't need to have a job. Michael's job pays all of our bills and leaves us with play room. However, I'm going rather stir crazy here. Also, we grew comfortable with having a lot more money to play around with. We're not close on money by any means, but the first month was weird for us to adjust to.
Another thing is we want to build up more of our savings so we can relax a bit whenever we move out of country. From what we've been told, it'll take a lot more money than the Army will help us with, and it'll be a long time before I can get a job.
I'm not even looking for management like my last job. I really just want a job. Put me in the kitchen of a restaurant and I guarantee you I'll be right at home, even if I'm surrounded by a bunch of guys. Pay me minimum wage, I don't care. Just don't you dare schedule me 2 or 3 hour shifts and spread them out over 7 days so that I don't have any days off! Give me 8-15 (what? I'm crazy when it comes to work) hour shifts so I can haz moar days off!
The dining area.
So far today I've showered. That's more productive than I was yesterday. I worked out two days ago with Michael and further messed up my feet. Since virtually all workouts require footwork, I'm kind of out of the running for a while and it's driving me crazy. I have weights right next to my chair and every so often I get on the floor and do abs and any other exercises I can that don't make my feet angry. One thing I refuse to do, however, is change out of my PJs :)
Michael wants to go thrifting when he gets home this afternoon, so I'll just change then.
I'm really loving my coffee lately. It helps me wake up when Michael does so I can fall asleep when he does. A lot of my sleeping issues have gone away in the past two weeks. I still have nights where I can't get to sleep no matter how tired I feel, but I've managed to stay asleep most nights when I do fall asleep. I was worried for a while that I might have to go to a doctor and see if I have some form of insomnia. I probably do, and have had it for several years, but until it truly affects my ability to function as a normal human being I refuse to get help about it. That's how I always do it... though that plan has backfired on me before :)
I've been doing a good job of almost always melting stuff! At the rate I'm going I'll still have an unbelievable amount of wax by the time we move! It doesn't help that I still see all of the sales going on and the destashes... I'm a sucker for destashes. You still get high quality product (depending on the contents/vendors) but you get a greatly reduced price! Also, what a great way to try out new vendors!! Anyways, I've been very very good and haven't bought anything. I'm still keeping an eye out on the Cult Nails final liquidation opening or whatever they want to call it. At this point I suspect they're either putting it on the back burner since they were able to pay off all accounts the business had pending, or they're just not going to do it.
Aaaand this is the end of anything that you guys would even comprehend if I wrote about it. I'm still contemplating writing about Ultima Online, but I already have a separate UO blog... hmmm.... decisions....

Cover Girl Boundless Color - Violet Vision

This is the only good picture I managed to take. Somehow the other 20 were all blurry. Sigh.
In the bottle this looks like a shimmery greyish purple but on the nail it takes on just a tiny hint of duochrome. The formula was really good. Pictured is 2 coats.
I have a bunch of these Boundless Color nail polishes, as I picked them up for less than $1 several years ago from my local PX. I'm glad I did as they have some pretty colors and they were so cheap because they were being discontinued. Nooooooo!
I'm realizing after a discussion I had with Julie that I apparently lied when I told her I had very few drugstore polishes. Oops... it wasn't on purpose, I promise! I just forgot about these and a bunch of others. I've had it in my head for so long that drugstore = bad quality I've not been reaching for a lot of really good polishes!
Bad Liz! Stop doing that!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

China Glaze - Turned Up Turquoise

This is the only picture I could salvage. Every other picture was weird and distorted and couldn't capture the neon awesomeness that is this polish.
Pictured is two coats and I didn't have any issues with the formula. Neons are fast drying, so there's no chance for it to pool at the cuticle, and it absolutely needs a topcoat for the shine to come out. In case you didn't know, these dry matte.
So what about you? Do you own any neon polishes?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

JLCCW - Yellow Brick Road

Scent Description: None available from her website, as she had to close down to dedicate more time to her family. Upon searching teh interwebz I have come across this: a blend of lemon cupcakes, sugar cookies, and vanilla bean noel.
Cold Sniff: 4/5 Very strong lemon with a bit of bready-ness to it.
Warm Sniff: 4/5 The lemon tones down and the vanilla and sugar cookies blend with the lemon to create a pleasant foody scent.
Scent Strength: 1/5 If the lemon were stronger this would be a more prominent scent. As is, it's simply a pleasant almost-lemon scent :)
Scent Throw: 4/5 It didn't quite fill the bedroom of the apartment. Everything else it was able to reach
Melting Power: 4/5 This little bit of wax lasted about 12 hours before I took it out. I wish I weighed this before I melted it... It really doesn't seem all that big.
Repurchase: I would... but I can't. JLCCW's been closed for over a year now :( I've been saving this stuff, and I've become so obsessed with not melting it this makes two things I've melted from her in the past year LOL. The rest of stuff I've 'used' ended up being extras in a destash or I sent them to Julie :) I've entertained the idea of selling off what I have left, which is about 5 1/2 pounds. I kid you not. I just took the photo box full of JLCCW and weighed it just now. 5 lbs, 12.5 oz. And that doesn't count the full sized pies I have in a separate box alongside other loaves and pies from other vendors..
I have a problem.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

JMae's Soaps & Candles - Pink Lavender Vanilla

Cold Sniff: 3/5 I like Lavender Vanilla so I  would normally like this, but I can't smell any of the Pink Sugar in here.
Warm Sniff: 2/5 I don't know what I got when this was melted. Vanilla. With a hint of something else that might be Pink Sugar, but it was never strong enough to really identify.
Scent Strength: 1/3
Scent Throw: 2/5 I first had two tarts, then added the other two, and the throw didn't improve any. I didn't have to shove my nose in the wax to smell it, but I couldn't smell it farther than 3 feet from the warmer.
Melting Power: 1/5 It did not last long at all. I gave all four tarts 3 hours before I called it quits.
Repurchase: No. As far as I'm concerned I'm not buying anything from this vendor until I hear anything better about her products. Last time I heard from her she had moved on from bath and body and on to bows or something... I don't know. I made a huge mistake when I first got into wax, and that was spending a lot of money on not only one vendor, but a newer vendor that couldn't decide what kind of products she wanted to sell. I got roped in after buying a destash (that turned out to have items that were over a year old and were disgusting) and at the time was too nice to admit even to myself that her stuff sucked. I'm making myself melt through her stuff just so it's not a complete waste.
Maybe I'm bitter. You would be, too, if you somehow convinced yourself to spend hundreds of dollars on this quality product.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lush Boxing Day Haul

Let's just accept that I will never, ever post anything during a relevant timeframe. I expect my holiday manicures to make their way to this blog some time in July at this rate. 
Anyway, happy Valentine's Day! I don't typically care for this 'holiday.' I'm one of those of the belief that Valentine's Day is a commercialized holiday where the companies make money off people's emotions. Was that a harsh way to put it? Yeah... I'm a pessimist.
Besides that, I don't think you should wait for a special day to show your special someone that they are in fact special to you. Love is something you need to work on and show every single day. I don't condemn those who enjoy using this day to do something special with their significant other... it's just not for me.
That being said, I'm currently camping right now. This very moment. Scheduled posts FTW! As you read this (no matter what time it is, so long as it's over this weekend) I'm probably pigging out on meat cooked over an open fire. We didn't plan for this camping trip to coincide with Valentine's day, Michael's 4-day weekend this month just so happened to fall on it. So I guess this is doing something for Valentine's day, right?
Anyways, I've totally derailed this post. Back on topic, Liz!

I didn't plan to go to Lush this year. The last time I bought anything from them was three years ago at their last Boxing Day sale. Truth be told, I just now finished my last item from that haul. Don't judge me. I know it was old. I have issues with using up items I buy, okay? I feel that's wasting it... even though it's supposed to be used for that... Yeah, don't ask. I've finally rid myself of that irrational train of thought for the most part.
We ended up in the area while shopping some other sales, so I decided to check it out.
We got there at around 10 AM and everything was pretty picked over. Upon looking at their Facebook page, I discovered that they apparently never bothered to restock after their initial holiday stockup. At least, that's other people's accusations on their page. It's not the first time this particular location (the only location anywhere near me, FML) has failed to keep their store stocked up.
I picked up two Dashing Santa bath bombs. I assume this is the newer iteration of the old Satsuma Santa bath bomb. It smells the same. I plan to use it pretty soon.
Next we have two snow fairy sparkle massage bars. I just wanted to pick up a massage bar to use on Michael. I kind of didn't take into account that this is super sparkly... oh well! I just wanted to be able to spoil him, since he spoils me so much. Maybe I'll get something more masculine and just ask him to use these on me.
Also, these don't look as nice and pretty as the official pictures. Understandable, though, since they are very malleable. I don't like that they put this in a paper bag, though. I wrapped mine up in some wax paper once I got home to keep it from seeping more into the bag.
When Michael saw that I'd picked up four of these Candy Mountain bubble bars, he initially had a negative reaction. "Why?? You don't need that much, you have two of everything else!" When I told him this was my favorite product from Lush, however, he tried adding more to the basket. Silly Michael, all I wanted was four!
I'm pretty sure they changed the design on this from the last time I bought some. Oh well, same smell and I'm thinking it'll perform the same.
Besides this there was nothing else I could pick up. I wanted to pick up some bath melts but there were only a few crumbled up pieces left in that basket. So Michael and I got in line...
and I managed to convince Michael to let me pick up two of these :)
I don't typically look at  their gift baskets since they have all sorts of extra products I don't care for. I've only ever been interested in bath items from Lush. This year was somewhat different in that I picked up two massage bars. In this gift box, however, I was super excited for what I saw.
Four Fun bars and two shower jellies, in Whoosh and Snowman. The shower jellies looked interesting and the fact that the other items were essentially bubble bars had me super excited. 
I had to look up a list of the products Lush offered this past Christmas season, and I'm realizing exactly how little I was able to get from my little haul. Seriously, that store has to get their act together! I woulda bought more if there had been more! :)
Maybe that's for the best, though.

Have you used the Fun bars before? Was your local Lush better stocked than mine?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Shayz Scentz - Dragon Blood

Cold Sniff: 3/5 Very thick and incense-y.
Warm Sniff: 3.5/5 The thick, generic incense smell faded and I was able to appreciate the smell more. Dragon's Blood (I assume that's the way the scent was supposed to be named... my tart cup has "Dragon Blood" as the name) is a very hearty musky scent.
Scent Strength: 2/3 Once the incense  smell came back, it was distracting.
Scent Throw: 4/5 This couldn't reach the bedroom.
Melting Power: 3/5 I melted this for 6 hours before I called it quits.
Repurchase: I don't think this was a true Dragon's Blood fragrance. Too... generic incense smell. So I guess the answer would be no.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Rosegirls - Pecan Waffle Fluff Puffs

Scent Description: Pecan Waffle chunks, Monster Cookie chunks with a Marshmallow Smoothie overpour. Not exactly a scent description, but you know how hard it is to find them sometimes. At least here I was able to find out what's in this tart.
Cold Sniff: 4/5Unmelted, this smells like a sweet ice cream cone.
Warn Sniff: 5/5 This scent changed a lot over the course of its melting as the different parts were melted. First I still had the ice cream cone scent. Then it started morphing into a more bready, sweet and succulent ice cream. By the end of this melt it had patted down to smell... crunchy. That's the only word I can come up with. Sweet and bready and crunchy.
Scent Strength: 2/3 That monster cookie could never be a background scent :)
Scent Throw: 5/5 I really need to stop melting food type scents. It makes me hungry when I shouldn't be.
Melting Power: 5/5 This lasted for 24 hours before the scent had faded enough for me to feel comfortable switching out my melt.
Repurchase: Yes, but only under very specific circumstances. I'm really turned off from Rosegirls and have been for a while. I'd bought some flash lots well over a year ago and there had been a mixup with the address Jenny sent my winnings to and somebody else ended up getting my stuff. She offered to refund or remake the melts, and I'm wishing even now that I'd asked for a refund. It took her almost a month to remake the items, and then once she sent it the damn post office gave my stuff to another person. Three phonecalls and no answers later, I tried to claim insurance on my items, but the 'insurance' was expired as I could only claim from the date of my original purchase, almost two months prior at this point. At this point Jenny said she couldn't do anything, which I understand as this part of it wasn't her fault, but as this was the end of an already sour experience I'd had enough. I've taken to enjoying anything I get as a gift or through destashes, but I'm not dealing with them until their TAT is more under control.
This particular melt was a gift from Julie. Thanks, Julie!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cult Nails - Baker

This polish has been sitting in my untrieds for about a year now. With Cult Nails closing up shop, I figured I would wear some more of their colors. Also, they've been sitting right in front of me instead of hanging around in my Helmer... something about easy to reach for stuff being nicer to put on?
Baker is a nice brown with gold shimmer throughout. It's a sheer polish, and I have on two coats above, but another coat would have easily made this full coverage.

Unfortunately for me, this does not compliment my hands very well. I'm not quite lobster hands here, but it just doesn't look right with my skintone. Phooey, because I really like it. I actually wore it for 4 or 5 days before the chipping as so bad I had to replace it. I wish I'd replaced it sooner though, looking at my nails, because my nails took a lot of chips and one really bad tear. I was pretty hard on my nails this past weekend, though, so I guess it's to be expected.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tripping Over My Shoes Ep 3: Goodbye, My Love

A picture I took to send to Michael while he was at basic.
One of the most significant events to happen to me this year was the loss of a loved one. Twice. The first time isn't as dramatic. Michael left to join the military and we started a long distance relationship. It was hard. His 12 weeks of basic were a nightmare. I know the only reason I made it, that I didn't feel so alone was because of Diana. She was my mobile Michael.
The picture above illustrates something about her that we both loved. She was a ball of energy that loved jumping and leaping and punching you in the face until you rubbed her belly.
If you were laying down to take a nap, however, she loved laying down with you and snuggling. Sometimes she would lay down on your head... not quite comfortable, but she was too cute to be mad at.
She was still very subdued at this point. Very loving, though :)
This is Diana shortly after she showed up on our back doorstep. It's the only picture I took of her before she had recovered. If you look hard, you can see her very bony rear. Hell, just look at her face and you can see how unnatural she looks. I remember making a point not to take many pictures while she was like this. Why should I have? I didn't want her to ever be remembered as this husk of a beautiful dog.
I used to have a post about how she came to us. I deleted that when I came back to blogging. I'll recount it.
It was when we lived in the rear house. Michael and I had over a coworker and his nephew. We'll call them Big E and little E. Big E had been in a long distance relationship for a few months at this point, and part of the making it work was nightly phonecalls. We had little E over because he wanted to play video games all night to celebrate his birthday and because Michael and I couldn't make it to his real birthday party due to work.
I was on the computer playing The Sims 3, just building up a family. Big E's conversation was getting heated with his significant other, and he was making his way to the back door to go out and get some privacy, or that's what I assume his reasons were.
I remember hearing the back door open, and hearing E stop talking. The door slammed. We heard a "Uh... guys... did you adopt a dog?"
Michael jumped up and got ready to grab a bat. This was less than two weeks after he had been bitten by a dog while walking to work. I could post pictures of the bite, but it's... fascinatingly gruesome. He still can't feel that section of his calf. I still get nightmares about taking his adrenaline-pumped phone call at work.
I watched Michael open the dog to see a very small, very bony, very shivery dog. It was cold and drizzly that night. She'd looked like she stood up when E opened the door, but was frozen there, either out of fear or out of lack of energy. I got the impression that she'd wanted to run, but lost the energy halfway through getting up.
Over the course of the next hour and a half Michael used some hotdogs to coax her into the kitchen. Every time I went over to check on him she was a little bit closer to him, nibbling on the little hotdog bits he'd given her.
Eventually she was in his lap, and he was trying to hold her to warm her up. At this point I stepped into the room with a towel and to close the back door, as I didn't want to startle her with too many people before she was more comfortable.
The first time we tried taking her out for a walk she didn't want to leave the front door.
The first thing we noticed was her collar. It was covered in blood and mud and other bodily fluids. The funny thing was, it was very tight on her emaciated body. We thought of that, along with behavioral traits she showed as she was recovering, and realized she was most likely abused and wasn't lost... more, she'd escaped from a very horrible household.
The next thing we noticed was that she was covered in ticks. Michael took several hours and tweezers and matches (used after the ticks had been removed from her) to start to de-tick her. 
After she'd relaxed a bit under his care, we took her to the bathroom and bathed her. She didn't like it at all... but she stopped struggling when her body gave out. All I was to do was hold her head up to make sure Michael didn't get any water in her nose. I remember being vaguely worried that she would bite, and then looking into her eyes. I've never seen such a defeated look in someone's eyes before. 
So we bathed her of the blood and urine and feces and mud and wrapped her up in blankets and towels and set up a little bed on the floor of the restroom. Michael, being the practical and levelheaded thinker he is, decided that we should keep her in the restroom until she was completely tick free. We set her up with some chopped up hotdog bits in a bowl as well as some water. I remember making a point to put them as close to her head as possible, so she wouldn't have to move at all. It didn't look like she wanted to move from her little cocoon, anyway.
We both had to work the next morning. I remember running home as soon as I was cut, not bothering to wait for Michael. Worst case scenarios had run through my head all morning. She needed more food. She'd hurt herself. She'd ended up dying because we weren't there to help her.
When I opened that bathroom door, she looked up from her little pile of linens, and I noticed for the first time that instead of a normal length tail, she had a little nub. That was the first time I saw that little nub wiggle. It's all she could do to show that she was excited to see me, and I will treasure that memory forever.
Several months later, at a Disc Golf outing. You can see Michael's scars from his bite here.
We kept her in the restroom for three days. On the fourth, while I was home and Michael at work, I left the restroom door open while cleaning. She followed me around as best as she could, staying close enough to lick me whenever I moved.
We didn't need a leash whenever we walked her.
We looked for her owners. I'm glad we never found them. We'd fallen in love with her too fast, anyway. We finally gave her a name, as opposed to calling her Girly.

In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. "heavenly" or "divine") was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals.
Michael wanted to name her Diana after the Roman goddess, and I had no ideas. So Diana became our little hunter. Hunter of our hearts, that is.
She had a dog bed, but she always preferred to pile up my clothes and lay on it.
 Diana was a labor of love. Initially she hated people. She never bit, but she would bark at and hide from anyone that wasn't Michael or I. By the time she left us, she would love coming up to and loving new people. We never got to fix her dislike of other dogs, but I know we made leaps and bounds in progress.
Over the time we had her, she changed from a subdued, scared dog into a ball of energy and love.
She wasn't a lap dog, but she sure loved climbing into our laps and getting comfy.
After Michael left, she became my rock. I poured all of my time and love into her, and continued training her to behave better on the leash. When we moved from the small apartment, I purposely looked for a house with a large yard so she could run around more. What a bitter slap to the face that house and yard ended up being.

Look at those beautiful eyes. Here she knows she's in trouble for the mess she made.
See the mess around her? That was her. See how I couldn't get a good picture of her? That's because I could never get her to sit still.
She was so well behaved with me. I loved coming home after a long day of work and finding her excited and happy to see me. I loved sitting on the couch to wind down and having her join me. Of course, she always tried to steal my food, but I learned to adjust.
The day Michael left for basic.
I noticed something was wrong in early July. It was a few weeks after we'd moved into the house. She had stopped eating as much. The enthusiasm was still there, but I noticed her food was hardly touched. She went through the same thing when we'd moved the last time, so I simply changed her food. Gave her more canned food with some dry food mixed in. It seemed to get better in terms of how much she ate, but she still seemed to lose weight. I wish now that I'd taken her in sooner. I blame myself for what happened next.
One night in early August I got home near midnight after a rough close at work, and brought her in from outside. I remember opening the back door for her and noticing that she didn't run inside like she normally did. She responded when I called to her, but it was like she didn't realize the door was open. She stood there on the porch uncertainly until I coaxed her inside.
After she finally came inside, something clicked in my mind. She wasn't responding to visual stimuli.
I broke down and hugged her right there, and took her to a local emergency vet clinic.
They said she had a nasal infection that had affected her eyes. They prescribed antibiotics and gave me special vet food, meant to help her maintain her weight and keep her hydrated.
They also told me that she would get worse before she got better. That some side affects of the medication included lethargy and diminished response to other stimuli. 
I watched as my dog stopped eating and drinking. Then she stopped reacting to my voice. She only responded to my touch. I was watching my dog digress to the husk of a dog she had been when she first came to us. Poetic, if you want to think of it that way. Fucked up, if you want my opinion. No matter how many times I called that office, I was told it would pass. They'd seen nothing that concerned them. Just keep waiting.
 I let her sleep with me the night of August 10th. I'd researched things to do with a blind and potentially deaf dog. Let her roam around and get acquainted with her surroundings. So I left the house open for her to explore as opposed to keeping the bedroom door closed like I normally do.
I heard her moving around all night. She never whined or barked. Just moved around. I was used to her making noise if something was wrong, so I just slept and let her be.
The next morning before work I found her dead in the bathtub.
I paid extra for an autopsy with her regular vets. They said she'd had a tumor that reacted badly with the antibiotics. If she hadn't been prescribed that specific antibiotic she would have continued just fine without anyone being any the wiser until it was too late.
Our baby was sick and never showed it. But I still feel guilty. Like I'd failed her. Like I'd neglected the signs. Like she had been trying to tell me something was wrong even as she ran around me in circles because she was so excited I was home.
I walked for 5 minutes and it was exhausting!
This post is meant to act as some sort of closure for me. In reality I don't think I'll ever recover. Not only is this the first time I've really dealt with death, but I was alone in dealing with it. I had to move her body to the porch for the vets to pick her up, as I still had to work and they wouldn't be able to pick her up before I left. My work told me they still needed me when I'd called to tell them what happened. And I was too distraught to think clearly about how messed up that was. I wrapped her in her favorite blanket and used that to pick her up. 
I still can't sleep very well. I relive having to pick her up and particular details about that morning I'd rather forget. It makes my heart race and I wake up feeling like I just got a shot of adrenaline. Michael can't do anything on those nights besides hold me until I'm out of tears.
I called my parents before I even called work that morning, and they drove up and spent a few days with me. Mom scrubbed the bathroom three times and threw away everything that had the stench of death on it. They tried their hardest not only to just be there, but change around the house just enough to not completely debilitate me while being there.
It was still a slap in the face every time I looked out back and saw how big the yard was, or pulled up in the car and didn't see her waiting at the fence for me.
There is no happy ending for me here. I haven't taken a single step in recovering. Guilt racks me every time I think about this past summer, so instead I don't think about it.
I forced myself to write this in an attempt to start the process of moving on. In letting others know that she did exist, and that she will never be replaced. I apologize if it was hard following the flow of my thoughts. As you can imagine, it was hard to write.
Would I do it all again? Absolutely.

Candles From The Keeping Room - Chamomile

Scent Description: the wonderful aroma of freshly picked chamomile flowers, with hints of fresh green herbs.
Cold Sniff: 4/5 Smells just like chamomile. I forgot how flowering it is.
Warm Sniff: 4/5 Same thing as cold... this isn't a very complex scent, so there wasn't anything hiding inside the wax.
Scent Strength: 1/3 I was doing some work in the kitchen and living room while melting this, and it helped create a very relaxing atmosphere.
Scent Throw: 5/5 It was very faint in the bathroom and bedroom, but I could still smell it.
Melting Power: 4/5 These two tarts lasted about 18 hours.
Repurchase: Yes, if I ever feel like ordering during one of her openings. I'm really turned off from ordering from vendors with long TATs or difficult to deal with openings.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bath and Body Works Haul - Forever Ago

Seriously, this haul is from late April/early May of 2014. The pictures have sat on my computer and camera for almost a year, and now they shall see the light of day.
Let's be honest: you only look at hauls to live vicariously through others, right? At least that's what I do. Thus, when the haul is from doesn't really matter! I've never taken someone's on-the-spot review of a product to heart, anyway. I want a dedicated post/video to reviewing the item(s) in question! Hauls are more.... someone trying to describe what they see and smell, as well as boasting that they got a killer deal. Which is kind of why I'm posting this. Want a look into the mind that is Liz's? Want to see my crazy buying logic? Want to take a trip inside my crazy brain? Then enjoy yourself at the end of this post. Or the middle. Or any part of this blog, really.
Anyways, on to what I got!
Obligatory box shot because I like looking at  them in other people's hauls.
The little bubble burrito was a perfume sampler. This box had brown paper on the top, but besides the little bit of bubble wrap here there wasn't anything else in terms of protection. This isn't bad, just something to note. The only things that were glass that I have here was the perfume sample and the French Lavender & Honey perfume, which is in a box and shipped just fine. The rest was plastic that I wasn't too concerned about.
Please don't click to zoom on this picture. The ottoman is covered in dog hair. Diana used to love sitting on that right next to me while I played games on the computer.
I think it's really easy to figure out what I got, but I'll try and break it down for you here. Seriously, I did not set up this shot at all with the thoughts of explaining what it was I bought.
The big blue bottle in back is a fine fragrance mist in Morocco Orchid & Pink Amber.
The foaming soaps left-right are Berry Sangria, Island Breeze, Coconut Cove, and Aloha Orchid.
The little travel size perfumes left to right are Velvet Sugar, French Lavender & Honey, and Pure Paradise.
The big perfume in the middle is French Lavender & Honey and is honestly the only reason I made this order. More on that in like 3 lines. If you're interested in that kind of stuff. I rant a lot.
The little fragrance tester is Endless Weekend.
I don't describe scents well, so I just won't do it here. 

Anyways, on to my buying logic. I'm going to take a moment to say it's really awesome and yet surreal that I was able to find my breakdown on buying this. I knew I'd broken down the buying process to Michael in a letter while he was at basic, and I've just found that letter. I also took some time to read about what else was going on in that time, and around this moment I was super excited because our time apart with limited communication was over halfway over. I'd also gotten to the point where seeing Michael at basic wasn't just a dream, it was a reality. Our money situation had cleared up (it took almost two months for his paychecks to start coming in... bills were scary) and we were back to not only making bills, but putting money in savings! Of course, I celebrated by placing a relatively small order.
Anyways, on to the breakdown. Assume I didn't just break down what I bought above in this post. Wipe your brain. This is a brand new order! Now, let's travel back in time to early May of 2014...
Bath and Body Works had eau de parfum bottles for $20, or almost 50% off. I'd had my eye on the French Lavender & Honey bottle, as by that point I'd fallen completely in love with the scent. I had a smaller sample size of the perfume and liked how it performed so I decided to buy a full size perfume.
While here I added in some hand soaps that were $3 on the site, as well as the 3/$12 travel sized fragrance mists. Out of curiosity I decided to pick up the $4 Endless Weekend sample, and a $6 full sized fine fragrance mist.
If you're keeping up with the math here, we have $80 worth of product ($79.49 technically. I still have the actual math from their prices in this letter LOL) for $54, not including shipping. That alone isn't enough to sway me. I don't care how much I save; I care how much I spend, and even better, break it down to how much I spend per item. Including shipping. At this point, I would have spent $63.33, making my price per item $6.33. Not good enough. We must go deeper!
Enter the lovely coupon I'd had sitting at my desk since my birthday splurge. 25% off PLUS free shipping at $50 or more. You know what this coupon didn't say? That the amount had to be higher than $50 after the coupon had been used. *insert evil grin here*
Long story short, I paid $43.84 for all of this. Shipping included, or rather, taken off because I didn't pay shipping. That makes my overall average for every item $4.38. Which may be steep for the smaller items, but keep in mind my $15 (with coupon) full size perfume. Take that off (leaving the tax in because ain't nobody got time fo'dat) and the average is ~$3.20 per item.

TL:DR Stack your coupons/promotions, yo. Also, SHIPPING IS PART OF YOUR PRODUCT COST! One of my relatives likes to boast about how much she saves on stuff online, but if you question her enough you'll realize she's spending more on shipping than she would for the item normally. If you can buy something for $10 in store, and buy it for $7 online with $5 shipping, it's not cheaper to go online! AAAUUUUUUGH.
So there you have it. My buying logic plus an opportunity to oogle some pictures of products that you may or may not want but in reality don't care because all you're doing is feeding your need to shop by looking at what others have bought.
What? No, I'm not projecting myself onto others.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Finger Paints - Lemon Sour

You know how pastels like to apply streakily? How if you're not careful about your layer thickness you end up with really thick, weird nails that annoy you because they look so damn unnatural? Yeah, that's what happened here.
This was three coats. I couldn't use two because the polish was still too streaky. Of course, I may be at fault here for not applying the coats thinly enough, but let's just stick with blaming the fact that this is a pastel polish.
Do you see how thick my nails look? I'm all for thick nails along the free edge to help protect the nail, but this was something else. It was that thick all the way through. Not to mention on my middle finger in the top pic you can see a singular bubble on the nail. That was my fault. I didn't clean my nails of the oil I'd just applied to my cuticles.
Anyway, I've been having really bad luck with polishes lately. This one gave me a bad case of lobster hands. I'd never understood how people didn't wear colors because it didn't fit their skin color until I wore this.
Today I'm also wearing a color that doesn't quite give me lobster hands, but the hue just doesn't fit my skintone. Seriously, I go 5 years without dealing with any bad colors and now I'm 2/2 on wearing colors that either look bad on me or make my skin look bad.
On the bright side, I'm wearing more colors more frequently!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Closet Full of Wax - Lavender

Scent Description:  An enchanting meadow fringed with springs of lavender.
Cold Sniff: 3/5 This is a sweeter herbal lavender. I can't say I've really encountered sweet herbal on its own before.
Warm Sniff: 3/5 The only notes I have written down for this is 'I guess I wasn't in the mood for lavender today.' Normally I love straight lavender, but the sweetness here was... weird. I was looking for something like the BBW Lavender candle I'd picked up last April.
Scent Strength: 1/3 A normal herbal lavender would be a 2/3 to my nose, but the sweetness takes this down just a notch.
Scent Throw: 3/5 This filled most of the kitchen and living room area.
Melting Power: 3/5 I let this melt for about 6 hours before it had diminished enough for me to not feel bad calling it quits.
Repurchase: No. This didn't throw far enough for my needs, even with two tarts melted at once.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lookit my New Warmer!

While we were packing up in Lubbock, I made the decision that it was time to retire my old warmer. It was an old, brown hot plate warmer that I'd gotten from Michaels for $5 with a coupon, if memory serves correct.
When we arrived in Georgia I took the opportunity to take Michael out to... Michaels. Haha. I married Michael because he's named after one of my favorite craft stores. You guys found me out. *snort*
All joking aside, we couldn't find any of those freakin hot plate warmers that are always at Michaels. Am I wrong? Did they discontinue them? Auuugh!
Anyways, while I was considering picking up a votive candle warmer and some votives, Michael came over and put this in my hands. "I want dis." Yes, we talk rather childishly to eachother. If you heard some of our conversations you'd think we were a couple of two-year-olds communicating in our own broken form of English.
I kept looking, but no matter what I looked at if there wasn't an 'owl' version, Michael didn't want it. This was almost $20 without any coupons, and I wanted to look for a cheaper option. Since I'm cheap like that and I'm always looking for the cheapest option.
Finally I conceded that there were no other options that Michael would like. I liked this, it was a neutral color, and it was a cute design.
Lookit me! I'm a bulb warmer! 
Crap... I don't actually remember the wattage on this baby, but she's been able to melt anything I've put on her so far. The only tart I've had issues with so far is that Rosegirls melt I talked about here. At this point I'm thinking that Rosegirls wax was just old.
So... yup. This is my new warmer. The only downside to it is that we can see the light from this in the bedroom when we're trying to sleep. I like it to be as dark as possible whenever I sleep, and even the slightest bit of light annoys me. Fortunately we have an amazing light-stopping mechanism known as a 'door' to prevent the light from getting in :)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cupcake Candles - Fluffy Pink Candy

I have a lot of Cupcake Candles' products. I finally decided to put a dent in this stash!
Warm Sniff: 5/5 If you love Lush's Candy Mountain bubble bar, you'll love this. It's an exact scent dupe, minus the suffocating notes of the bubble bar (has anyone else noticed this in the tub? I feel like I can't fully breathe after using the bubble bar)
Cold Sniff: 5/5 Same thing
Scent Strength: 1/3 I consider this a lighthearted background scent.
Scent Throw: 5/5 Buahahaha, I was in a very Lushy-mood over the course of three or four days that I melted this. Two cubes gave me exactly what I needed for the apartment.
Melting Power: 5/5 I got a full day's worth of scent from two cubes before switching this out. I'm down to two cubes and I'm thinking I'll use this again in a few days.
Repurchase: I would if I could. I have so much of this company's products, but when I go to their website there's nothing. I've looked online and there are so many things that pop up when you search 'cupcake candles' I'm not sure which company this originated from. So... If anyone else knows where this company is now or if they're even open I'm all ears!