Sunday, February 1, 2015

Amanda Louise Spayd pipsqueak figurine

Since my last post I have turned into a full blown ALS fan.  I'm a bit concerned by how quickly I became infatuated.  Recently ALS had a sale of her most affordable figurines ($18) in two different colors so I figured what the heck since they have resale value.  After ordering I felt guilty that I was impulse buying but I'm glad I went for him.  

I have small hands so he is itty bitty.

This pipsqueak is made of urethane resin.  He is a little over two inches tall.  I think he's cute in his bug-eyed way.

For a better size reference here he is with Tommy.

And earlier with Gato.  (Deb's cats' doppelgängers.)

I've decided this is not going to be the beginning of an obsessive need to buy a lot of these; collecting for the sake of collecting is not my thing.  (Excluding soap!)  I would get maybe one more sometime as a desk buddy.

That said I have been collecting the latest quarters with the state and national parks that started coming out five years ago, and own a cardboard coin map to put them in.  Last year was the first year I got all five that were released since they really upped the mintage from prior years.  (Woot!)

Do you have anything you currently or used to collect?

Monday, December 8, 2014

The art of Amanda Louise Spayd

Last week I was curious what a former soapmaker was up to these days.  Amanda Louise Spayd had an Etsy shop called Squeaky Queen with melt & pour soaps with a dark vibe that brings to mind Sugar & Spite but with brighter, punchy colors.  On her Etsy page, she said she stopped making soap to focus on art but I wasn't aware of any specifics.  I just found out she has been creating adorably odd creatures for the past few years.  The dolls in her line are called Dust Bunnies.


A few years ago a filmmaker approached her about making a stop-motion film starring her creations.  The five minute film is below.

Wow.  Beautiful.

Amanda's website and blog is here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter favorites

Haus of Gloi bath crumbles in Aged Patchouli

The first time I tried HoG's butterbombs I thought they left my bathwater overly buttery, but I purchased a few more at the end of last year and they were better, not as buttery and fizzier.  I got bombs in all of the essential oils available at the time -- Silver Fir, Lavender and Aged Patchouli, and the last two were really great.  Lavender reminded me of lavender absolute, my favorite version of lavender; it is strong and rich without that medicinal note that turns some people off.  The aged patchouli Britton found is also very deep and rich and both scents help me chill out and feel more grounded.

I picked up a jar of ground up butterbombs when Britton posted that she was clearing out some things for the new year.  The listing was 8 oz for $8, a bargain of $1 per oz compared with the usual $2.50 per oz.  When it arrived I was a little disappointed that it was a typo and the jar was 4 oz, so the discount was only 50 cents an oz.  Anyway, I used about 3/4 of an oz this morning and my bath was well scented so I am tempted to purchase this again since I order so rarely these days.

Snow (renamed Frosted Fir) soap by Missouri River Soap

Having just found my mailbox key to my old apartment after 7 months, I FINALLY picked up this soap from Deb E. that she kindly sent me from a giveaway she won in 2012!  Thanks again Deb.  Since this soap sat in an envelope with a fragrance oil soap for much of 2013 it has as much of the scent of the other soap as it does its own, but I really like that scent as well so I'm enjoying this.  This is a great formula, it feels like a cross between Beguile because of its hardness and My Planet Earth with its moisturizing lather.  This soap contains heavy cream, which I'm not sure I've had in a soap before.

One of my soap swapping friends sent me a sample of this and I love this fir blend with Siberian fir needle oil, Himalayan cedar, scotch pine, ho wood and lavender and the earthy colors.  Tiggy has a knack for blending essential oils, I think her background in plants carries over to perfume blending.  I'm also enjoying her Yule release's frankincense blend called Sixpence Pudding.

My experience with fir soaps is the scent fades more quickly than the average essential oil in soap does so I will be using this soon.  

Grapefruit Haven is a blend of various grapefruit essential oils, probably white, pink and ruby grapefruit.  If you're familiar with Blood Bathory by Solstice Scents this has the same bright, juicy scent.  What I like about this the most is I only have to use a tablespoon or two of this to scent my whole bath tub.  Many of Moona's blends with 100% essential oils are too lightly scented in my experience but that is not the case here.

Casey sent me a tube of this in my last order as an extra and this smells amazing!!  Definitely good enough to eat, which makes sense since the scent components are edible - vanilla, bitter almond and ginger.  It smells like a marzipan spice cake.  Awesome foody-scented lip balm.

I think I blogged about Ananda's limited inventory because she is going out of business but her store is still open and I believe she is not charging for shipping.  This is a clear balm with a gold shimmer.  She has a few purple tints that I am tempted to try; although dark in the tube they are supposed to be less dramatic-looking when applied.

How about you, is there anything new you've tried recently that you really like?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Graze box

Just in time for everyone's peak grazing season, I signed up for a snack subscription box called Graze.  Their website allows you to indicate how much you would like to try each snack and they send your highest ranked snacks with a possible seasonal snack.  The first box is free, after which get snacks monthly or biweekly for $6 shipped if you want to continue.  Below is a pic of the serving sizes which are usually somewhere near an ounce, which is normally sufficient to tide me over until dinner at work.

In my first box I got

garden of england - dried apples, strawberries, and black currants
olive and rosemary bruschetta - mini tomato breadsticks, rosemary and garlic cashews and kalamata olive croutons
coco paradise - milk chocolate drops, coconut flakes and cranberries
korean chili rice crackers - spicy chilli rice crackers

The first two of these were excellent and had me curious if they are getting requests to sell their snacks in largers sizes.  I have not tried the second two yet.

If you're thinking about trying this out they make you enter in a code as a new subscriber, here's a code you can use.  Your first & fifth box is shipped free, and you receive a code to share with others as well.

Have you or anyone you know tried this service?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Heavy duty lip balms for winter

If you live somewhere that goes through all four seasons each year, you've probably been experiencing the effects of cooler weather for a few weeks now and have started using moisturizing products if you weren't already.  Most of the year I can get by without a regular regimen, but I've made a few adjustments in the morning recently, like not using soap on my face every day and using a lotion or cream after shaving.  Since I started collecting lip balms about a year ago, I've been using one a few times a day to justify having all of them and have found some to be better than others at preventing and healing chapped lips.  If you happen to be interested in trying something new or want something with a little more oomph, here is a list of ones that don't let me down this time of year.

For Strange Women

I picked these up from a perfume forum for $4 each although they sell for $7, which is more than I would spend, so I'm glad I stumbled on them.  I received tubes in Pine Cone and Clove.  Pine Cone had very little scent when I received it, but Clove was quite strong and lovely and has not suffered any fade over time.  The formula in these balms is firm but becomes creamy during application.  I'm not sure when I will order more but I would like to try Absinthe and Poison Ivy some day, which is described as a soothing, deep green flavor.

Ingredients:  Beeswax, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, meadowfoam oil, essential oil, vitamin E, rosemary extract, stevia extract, mica

Mirasol Farm

If you're interested in a balm that is hard working but isn't shy on flavor, this is for you.  These balms go on very smoothly with a medium to heavyweight feel, and the flavor strength is the best I've tried from any brand.  I did a review on the Lip Balm Wrangler earlier this year, and since then I've also received tubes of mocha, pink grapefruit, and sweet patchouli.  I hope to get around to trying every flavor down the road. 

Ingredients: organic cocoa butter, unrefined organic beeswax, organic sunflower oil, organic coconut oil, lanolin, essential oils, vitamin E

Upstate Herb Works

This is a brand I discovered when I was reading the Lip Balm Wrangler regularly and am so glad I did.  I've been very happy with the quality of all of UHW's products.  Although the LBW's writing style making me want to try many of the brands she reviews, I was intrigued by the owner's description of her lip balm -- she used a technical word for chapped lips and how her formula is meant to heal and prevent them.  Since they were deeply discounted at the time I bought a couple, Lavenderaide and Cup of Joe.  Later I ordered a few more, Mint Chocolate, Porch Party, and Orange Vanilla.  All of her lip balms have undeodorized cocoa butter so they have a hint of chocolate in the background, which as a chocolate fan doesn't bother me.  If I order again I would like to try Solstice Spice, a orange, cinnamon, clove and cardamom flavor.

Ingredients:  organic shea butter, organic fair trade cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, cold pressed castor oil, local undeodorized beeswax, cold pressed meadowfoam seed oil, non-GMO vitamin E, essential oils and CO2 extracts.

Ananda Beauty

This is my favorite lip balm formula right now.  It is extremely smooth and creamy.  Ananda mainly carries tints although some of them are flavored also.  I just ordered this balm below, a golden iridescent tint, and a translucent red balm.  Right now all balms are $6 and shipping is free because the owner is going on hiatus.  Definitely check them out!

Ingredients:  organic castor seed oil, organic hemp seed oil, organic cocoa butter, candelilla wax, vitamin E oil, mica, and oxides.

Blue Q

The "Get Real" line of lip balm is out of production so when I saw a pack of 4 on sale on a random website I snagged them. Because of the how many balms I have now I'm still on my first one, so if you are interested in trying this brand let me know and I'll send you one.  :)  The replacement for this line is called Lip Shit and comes in more unique flavors than the Get Real line.  I just checked their website to see where it is carried, and apparently it is in a deli in the town where I work, as well as Urban Outfitters and a Barnes & Noble elsewhere. interesting assortment fitting for a quirky brand, lol.

So if you're starting to experience cold weather where you live, are you doing anything extra as part of your routine?  Do you have any lip balms that you are turning to more?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Haul - Bodygoodies

At least twice a year Bodygoodies has a free shipping sale, usually around the beginning of the summer and the holidays.  Since my last order was a year ago and there were many new things available, I decided to place an order even though my soap stash is still sizable.  I'm glad I went for it because it turned out to be my favorite order so far.  I ordered 4 soaps and a mystery bag.  Below is most of what I ordered.  Some of the soaps have had samples taken from them and are no longer full size (1, 2, and 4).

The first 4 I picked and the others were from the mystery bag or extras.
  1. caribou crossing - unscented with a ground loofa bottom layer.  
  2. clay bar - I'm not sure what this is scented with but it smells manly, my guess is black pepper or frankincense.  
  3. bar none - unscented, this is the only one I haven't used yet.
  4. lavender mint - I love the scent of this one and the swirls are pretty too.  I've used about a 1/3 already.
  5. metz road soap ball - Smells like a cinnamon pastry, this was the first one I used because it was rolled in brown granulated sugar and the sugar had melted into the paper around it.
  6. room 42 - rose geranium, patchouli and cocoa
  7. amyst - rosemary mint.  I really like this one also but it has been retired.
  8. samples of honey orange and beer soap
Between the mystery bag and the extras there were a lot of surprises.  In the bag were (5) and (7) above, a serum sample, a laundry stick, and a low tide sample.  (6) and (8) were extras everyone received with their order, and Heidi kindly included a tinted lip lotion I requested.

Below is the treatment serum sample and tinted lip lotion.  I'm not a regular serum user so I expect this will last a long time.  I've used it around my eyes a few times.  The lip lotion goes on nicely and the tin is pretty big for a lip product.  The tint is very light when applied.

Lip lotion and treatment serum

Tinted lip lotion in natural light

For anyone thinking about trying bodygoodies, the lather on these soaps is why I buy them, it's hard to describe the difference but it's worth splurging on if you want to try something new.  And if you already have a lot of soap, wait for the free shipping sales, which is usually $40 minimum.  Both times I've ordered during these sales I've received an extra free bar.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Moonalisa summer order

I lucked out again - I received another person's order by accident but was notified of the mistake before it arrived.  Like last time it doesn't bother me because there are so many scents I haven't tried.

  • Blueberry Hill - Delicious, warm blueberry syrup, butter and pancakes, slurp.... this one is a straight up fragrance that is so good on its own, I never had the heart to add a thing.
  • Bohemian Velvet - Sandalwood, Patchouli, and Nag Champa incense type of notes. Inspired from MoonaLisa's Haight Ashbury days as a Goth girl. It's like walking into one of those dark and exciting old pagan magic shops in the Haight, sadly which no longer exist  The lovely incense type aromas are sure to bring back old memories or build new ones.
  • Blue Milk bubbling bath brew sample - no official description, it is a blueberry candy-type scent.

I opened these to sniff only without touching the roller balls.  If anyone is interested in them, I was planning on putting these on a couple forums or eBay at a discount from Moona's shop.

I like both perfume scents, I'm not into the sweet scents as much as I used to be so I would prefer Blueberry Hill in a wash-off product.  I've seen a few people rave about Bohemian Velvet and it is a really good scent, it smells like incense, I would like this as a home fragrance oil or a wax product.  Sometimes I find burning incense too smoky, and this doesn't smell that way, more like incense before it is burned.

My order contained perfumes of some of the scents I got in my Easter basket - Don't Get Your Knickers in a Twist, Dr. Bombay, and Patchouli & Petitgrain.  I wanted to get Lavender Absolute but figured I could buy a bottle online somewhere else and make my own version with a carrier oil.

If you ordered what are you looking forward to receiving?