A Day in the Life - Birthday Style

Aloha from Maui, Hawaii! I'm here celebrating my birthday and we've had so many beautiful moments during this trip already, it's hard to imagine 8 more days of amazingness ahead.

Tomorrow (Friday) we are headed to the other side of the island where we will embark on our first Road to Hana journey. We've been to Maui before but this is the first time visiting Hana, which might just be what I've been most looking forward to during this trip.

Yesterday was my actual Birthday day and I thought it would be a great time to finally do the day in a life photo journal that I've been meaning to do.  

I fizzled out with the hourly dedication around mid-afternoon, mainly because some things like our couples massage and dinner took more than an hour. I know - poor me. 

all pictures taken with my iPhone 6. 

The day started out at 8am after a fantastic night's sleep in a heavenly bed -
At 9am we had reservations at The Plantation House restaurant. If you're ever in Maui, I highly recommend making reservations here. The prices for breakfast are moderate, the Eggs Benedict is five star yelp worthy and the views will make you cry little happy Maui tears.
Not sure if you can tell but beyond the patio railing is the majestic Plantation Golf Course followed by endless blue ocean.

My birthday breakfast Mimosa :
On the way back to the hotel, we did as the locals do and stopped at a farmer's market to get a pineapple and a few of Hawaii's own apple bananas. 
In the afternoon, after taking a luxurious after breakfast nap, we had a 90 minute couples massage. Heaven.
After our massages, we went down to Lahaina's Front Street where we did a little shopping and most importantly, cooled off with the famous Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice --so worth the hype! I went with strawberry, watermelon and vanilla on top of a scoop of macadamia nut ice cream served snow cap style (a topping of condensed milk)! I've been day dreaming about our second trip back there next week or tomorrow.  
Spent some quality time at the Lush store after slurping the shave ice. Three nights and four baths to date, my justification for bath bombs is undisputed. 

Bath bombs in Twilight, Sakura and Blackberry. Bubble Bar in Green. Bath Melts in Dream Time and Mango. Soap in Sultana of Soap (one of my favorite scents ever). Shampoo in Big (another favorite scent). Body Butter in Buffy. Facial cleanser in Coalface. Perfume in Sun (smells like a bright and zesty orange).
Dinner was at Morimoto's. Curtis and I both enjoyed the Omakase (chef's choice multi-course tasting menu). One of the courses was some of the freshest, most delicious sushi on the island.

That's how I spent my 41st birthday. I think the bar has officially been raised for all future birthdays. 

If we're not friends on Instagram, I've been posting my favorite iPhone photos over there (with great restraint I should add, forcing myself to not blow up my feed with an obnoxious amount of pics). My Instagram account is Here! 

Have a wonderful weekend! <3

Aroma Reeds by Aroma43 and a GIVEAWAY!

Several weeks ago I received a nice email from the owner of a company called Aroma43 inviting me to try their recycled paper aroma reeds. 

At first I was skeptical and questioned the possibility of a quality scented product. I wasn't sure how durable reeds could be made from recycled paper. What moved me to respond to the email was my love of companies that think of creative ways to make products that are sustainable.

I never make promises to feature complimentary products that I receive but for Aroma43 I am gladly sharing how impressed I am with their reeds. All of my initial doubts were quickly dismissed.

First, the packaging (that they make themselves) is classy, clean and professional. 
In addition to the two packets of aroma reeds in the box, I received two additional reed refills in the scents Beach Driftwood and Tropical Guava.

I was fully expecting a vial of scented oil to place the reeds into but was surprised when I discovered this cute little reed holder. A bit of an AHA moment occurred when I realized that each reed was scented as opposed to the reed being a medium to soak up the oil.
I love it!
I use reed diffusers all the time. I love them for my powder room and my other bathrooms. They're also great in my walk in closet and exercise room. I've never used a scented reed before though. 

After I took the pictures for this post, I had to leave the house for a few hours so I left the reeds in the dining room temporarily. When I returned I forgot that they were there but could smell Beach Driftwood almost as soon as I stepped into my entryway. The scent, right out of the bag, was strong and far reaching.

I can't say how long the aroma reeds will remain strong because I've only had them for a week but they have been putting out a steady scent since finding their new home in our downstairs powder room. 
Here's the fun part!

Because Aroma43 was kind enough to send me a
complimentary sampler, I would love to gift
a starter set to you! The kind owners have 
graciously agreed to ship straight to you
from their headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale. 

All you need to do is leave me a comment
letting me know you're interested!
US shipping only please.

I will choose a winner via random.org on August 1. 

You can read more about Aroma43 HERE! 
They have a Facebook page located HERE!


I'm headed off to Hawaii for the next 10 days! Lots of vacation photos to come :)

Products in today's post were sent to me free of charge. There was no obligation or expectation to feature this product in a favorable way. 

The Bathing Garden - May 2015

There's nothing quite like a heaping box full of wax tarts. My senses are ignited by the sight of it - always. I get a sort-of similar feeling when a Sephora package arrives or, better yet, a pair of designer sunnies but those fail to bring my olfactory sense alive like a box of wax. 

One of my most recent packages was from The Bathing Garden (TBG).  It's been a long time since I last ordered from Shannon, a little over a year, I think. 

It's not for everyone, but I really like Shannon's model of business. She sends emails with the scents that are going to be released and the dates the website will be available for ordering. The Scare 2015 Restock is happening now and will be available for a couple of months! 

Before I get too far ahead of myself, here's what my last wax + scrub order looked like :
In this order :
23 clamshells @ $3.75 each

The orange butter sugar scrub is $9
and the soy butter specialty scrub is $12.50

Whipped soap is $8 per jar.

Shipping was $16.00 - all items shipped in a large flat rate box. 

TAT (including weekends and holidays) was 51 days.

What I ordered from the Wonderland Restock :
The first two pictures are blends that I ordered two of - 

  • 7 Layer Cake - sugared frosting, white cake & a hint of strawberry. Reminds me of custard, a rich delicious custard. I have to concentrate really hard to pick up the strawberry.
  • Blueberry Nonsense - blueberry cupcakes & fresh baked zucchini bread. I forgot this had zb in it and thought this blueberry suddenly had a distinct scent of stinky feet. But a good stinky feet? Because I like it. 

  • Miss Melanie - watermelon, cantaloupe and honey dew melons. I believe this was extra from the March restock as it wasn't part of the wonderland email. I've had this blend before and enjoyed the sweet fruitiness of it. I can't help but think of Sonic slushes when I smell the layers of melons here.
  • Keep Your Temper - lemongrass, lemon curd and marshmallow. The lemongrass is dominant making this a unique gourmand scent because the lemon from the curd and marshmallow seamlessly hold their own.

  • Sea of Tears - fresh air, sea salt, ocean mists and aquatic florals. Although I'm not always a fan of aquatic scents, this is a beautiful and airy fresh scent. I really enjoy how the florals are subdued and powdery. Very pretty.
  • Knave of Hearts - fresh picked strawberries, 7 layer cake, brown sugar crystals and coconut flakes. I just melted this the other day and I love it. It's a wonderfully fragrant fresh strawberry blend.

  • Spring Fling - a citrus blend with coconut and cupcakes. I pick up a hint of pineapple, which isn't my favorite, but it's so far in the the background of this blend that I think I will enjoy it. 
  • Painting the Roses Red - buttercream frosting, coconut cream pie, raspberries and roses. Fascinating, isn't it? This is a floral-fruity blend above all else. I think the bakery notes only serve to round out the sharpness of the rose and tartness of the raspberries. 

  • Mad Hatter's Tea Party - white tea and cool moroccan mint. The white tea comes across perfume like and moroccan mint might very well be my favorite mint of all. Love this so much!
  • Cheshire Cat - lemon meringue and vanilla raspberry icing. Incredibly tart with a small hint of vanilla wrapped in the raspberry.

  • Keep Your Temper - I accidentally took a second picture of this blend. See Above.
  • White Rabbits Pocket Watch - berries, cassis and night blooming lily. Bravo! for this blend. It is an amusement of fragrance notes. The clove from the cassis makes for a sophistication worthy of a true stand out. Would love this in body care.

  • Drink Me Blue - blue hawaiian and coconut rum cupcakes. It's very possible I had my upcoming vacation to Hawaii in mind when I slipped this in my cart. It's interesting to say the least. Blue hawaiian would make any punch bowl proud and coconut rum cupcakes are just ...yeah.  
  • Alice Dressed in Gold  - raw honey, jasmine, lily, bergamot, rose, musk and black currant. How did I not know this is a dead on dupe to my favorite soap on the face of the Earth -- Lush's Sultana of Soap. If I ever see this or Ophelia in Gold again, I'm going to order an ungodly amount.

  • Summer in a Jar - tart and juicy citrus fruits w/ a touch of green floral. I smell quite a bit of pineapple and a hint of a fragrant leaf like the geranium leaf. I'll probably pass this on as pineapple turns me off in home fragrance. 
  • Cheshire Cat - lemon meringue and vanilla raspberry icing. Incredibly tart with a small hint of vanilla wrapped in the raspberry.

    • Rainbow Candy Creamy Soda - I can't put my finger on what this reminds me of but I can't get Twizzlers out of my mind which isn't quite right. I love the hint of creamy soda in this sweet candy blend.
    • Pink Sugar Pie Crust - still not a fan of pink sugar + bakery. But! I can't get this pie crust layer out of my mind. It is scrumptious and I would love to melt just the Pie Crust part. The PS is way too perfume-y to be blending with such a stellar bakery. 

    • Garden Tea w/ Mango & Mint - this reminds me of Herbal Gum, the kind that's sold in health food stores. The kind without the presence of artificial sweeteners. Above all, this is a minty blend that would be perfect as a bedtime melt.
    • Vanilla Wild Berry Cupcakes - when Shannon says something is covered in sugar, it's the most authentic sugar out there. It smells down right edible. This is vanilla cake batter and berries with a sugar coating done perfectly.

    Sugar Scrubs and Whipped Soaps :
    Sugar scrubs in Summer in a Jar and Tea Party w/ Alice. 
    Whipped soap in - White Apple Vanilla Bean and Miss Melanie.

    Mummy Mademoiselle sugar scrub and 
    Colossal Pumpkin Lantern scrub & soap parfait
    Blackberry Fudge - this freebie steals the embed show - it's darling! 
    The fudge automatically makes me think chocolate but
    I'm almost certain this is the vanilla butter fudge variety that
    gets whipped up with tart blackberries.

    Also included were a handful of mini bundts and embeds. My favorite is a bundt in The Olive Lemon Grove. 

    This restock had several more wax tarts to choose from than previous restocks. So many of them grabbed my attention, I couldn't pass up the chance to order.

    In the beginning, I was a pretty hardcore TBG fan ordering every chance I could. A combination of an excess of tarts, several low throwing misses all in a row and not seeing as much conversation about TBG in my newsfeed led to my hiatus from ordering. 
    I think it's safe to say, I'm back in the TBG saddle with as much enthusiasm as I had in the early days.  

    Did you get the email with the Scare 2015 info? 

    These are the blends that stood out to me:

    Boo Berry Mansion - blueberry, strawberry, vanilla, sweet sugar and iced birthday cake.
    Faded Opulence - clove, ginger, blood orange and bubbling soda.
    Hoarfrost Tonic - lime, cypress, pine and cool air notes.
    Magic Green Soap - rainforest fruits, rosewood, tuberose, coconut, clove, cedar wood, grasses, jungle leaves and patchouli.  BRING IT.
    Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Waffles - pumpkin waffles and butterscotch chips.
    Wolfsbane Bites - holiday cookies, butter and moroccan mint.

    I've had most of these before and they stood out because they were excellent! 

    I think Shannon is an impeccable scent blender. Her scents are insanely well done and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with.

    The Bathing Garden's website is HERE. You can sign up for the email notifications on the homepage.

    I hope your weekend is exactly what you want it to be! <3

    Olde Primitive Treasures - First Order and Thoughts

    Once you've been into scented wax for a couple of years, it's pretty rare that a company that has been around for years jumps out at you spiking a curiosity to order. 

    In my case, the company is Olde Primitive Treasures who have been around since 2004. 

    The reason my OPT order was submitted is a typical tale of old fashion word of mouth joining forces with the king of social media, Facebook. In my news feed was a series of posts that lasted several weeks. I would see these fantastic 'what I'm melting today' type posts in a general wax group on Facebook (What Smells So Good). At first, the posts would just catch my eye by impressing me with the fonts used, the composition/lighting and clarity of the pictures. I'll be honest, I definitely had several envious thoughts that wished I would have come up with that style of melted posts. 

    There were two girls who posted these great photos of what they were melting, both had similar styles. I began to notice that the majority of their posts featured one vendor in particular, OPT.   

    I was so smitten with these pictures and the sweet girls that posted them that I joined the OPT group page and waited for a sale. 

    I didn't wait long. A sale quickly came along and I placed my first order. 

    OPT has a good selection of shapes to choose from (I roughly counted fifteen in a variety of shapes ranging from tart brittle to chunks). 

    I kept my first order simple and opted for a single shape in a variety of scents. I remembered the flip flops from the melted pictures so I went with those :
    They are larger than they appear, each flip flop is approx 1.6 ounces.
    The two packs are $3.25 per bag and they ship in unsealed clear cello bags tied with twine.

    My order:
    honeydew melon, pink chiffon, blueberry muffins, 
    olde village bakery (butter vanilla fresh dough gooey batter and sugared almonds)
    jammin rock candy, strawberry jam, wild watermelon, coconut cream pie
    candy fluff, fresh linen, pink sugar, beach daisies 
    best friends, bunny burps, danish butter cookie, strawberry passion

    I melted through almost my entire order and I was a bit underwhelmed. Most of the blends melted at a low to medium strength and lasted about three hours before quickly fading. There were a couple of exceptions that had a strong throw and lasted significantly longer - like pink chiffon. I loved that one! 
    One that I do not recommend is strawberry jam. It was strong but it had a distinct cough syrup smell to it.

    My biggest disappointment was the twine that loosely tied the non sealing bags. I could smell a lot of scent coming through the tops of these bags and I would have much preferred them to be tightly sealed with an adhesive or zip top bag. 

    I always feel horrible when I blog that a vendor's product did not perform for me. With some vendors I can confidently say 'not worth it, don't bother trying'. Others, I take more of a 'it just didn't work for me' stance. OPT is definitely in the latter category. I think that this vendor has a quality product, has the experience to back up the product and a catalog to impress almost every wax customer out there. 

    I am even excited to order again and give OPT another shot. I try not to rule out a vendor on one order alone as long as the customer service and website experience was good. I had no problems in those areas with OPT.

    If you're interested in checking them out, you can find their website HERE and their FB group page HERE. 

    Looks like this post is ill-timed as OPT is going on summer vacation in a couple of days. They are, however, having a beginning of July sale. 

    I think that they are worth a try! Maybe they will perform a little better for you!

    this post is not sponsored. all products were purchased by me.

    Order of the Odor - Volume 11

    Happy Summer! We here at the Order hope your days are bright and sunny and the wax is melting in the warmers and not the mail boxes. Please join us in answering this month's questions:

    If you could create any theme for a wax tart collection what would it be? What three scents would you have in this themed collection?

    I really wanted to come up with something else 
    because I find this just slightly embarrassing but, being a kid of the 80's, 
    I grew up  with this show and did not miss an episode.

    Samantha's Party - strawberry shortcake with a dash of coconut and a big scoop of vanilla ice cream  

    Angela  - almond cake bites dunked in sweet tea with a sprig of mint.

    Tony from Brooklyn - sweet lavender wrapped in vanilla and soaked in Irish Spring (type). 

    Deb melted a tart from Dessa's recently that was so good, so strong that she is even saving it to melt and reuse again! It is a delicious fruity bakery that she thinks you need to try before she scoops them all up for herself. You've been warned.

    Sunnee's Rosegirls sampler came this past month and it will full of brightly colored and highly fragrant chunks of happiness. See which ones stood out as her favorites and which just didn't make the cut. Get ready to feast your eyes!

    Flaming Star Scents used to be Pic, Petals and Scents and Liz recently melted a nice huge chunk from PPS that has had plenty of cure time! So how did this old wax perform? And what has Liz been up to lately?

    Subscription box popularity is going as strong as ever. Lauren bought a box recently that any waxy home fragrance lover would enjoy. It comes with three tiers of price points, amazing packaging and high quality candles to boot. Ready to be enabled?

    Thirty Street Crafts creates a fun themed wax release about every month. June's release was built around a circus theme. Julie scooped up an order of her very favorite wax tart shape to date... any guesses?

    Who doesn't love a "Favorites" post?! Michelle lays it out for us and lists her all time Top 5 Vendors for us and why in her most recent post. The best part? You can order from almost all of them right now!

    Target Beauty Box : June 2015

    As I begin to write about my experience with the Target Beauty Box, I think I should preface by saying I'm probably the last person to be discussing anything beauty related right now. It just doesn't seem fitting for someone sitting on her bed watching Mommie Dearest and eating Cheetos straight from the bag. Perhaps if I had put the Cheetos in a bowl first? I should also mention that it's 3am. 

    Well, this Cheetos snacking night owl thinks the beauty box from Target is a hit. For only $7.00 (shipping included), I received three full sized products and two generously portioned samples. 

    I ordered the box on June 1st and received it on the 10th.
    The contents of the box:
    1. Olay Regenerist Luminous Eye - $24.64 - a full sized product to help with dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles. 
    2. Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher - 1.7 ounce - $10.00 
    3. Sinful Colors Professional Nail Color - $1.99
    4. Revlon Ulta HD Lipstick - $7.99
    5. Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover - a 10 pack sells for $3.99, I received 3 pads. 

    I've been rather obsessed with subscription boxes lately. Every time I read about one, I almost always immediately want it. There are varieties beyond imagination available in boxes now. I have my eye on a candle box subscription.

    If you ever see the Target Beauty Box for sale, I recommend trying it out. I know I will be ordering the next one available, if I can. I approximated the value of this box to be around $45.00. Having only paid $7 and the products included being things I look forward to using (with the exception of the lipstick - not my color), I am very happy with this order. 

    Next time I think I will purchase the Men's box for hubby as well!

    About Life, This Week - 13

    Gah. I went flower shopping for my planters last weekend and picked up these geraniums. I swear they're electric. If they were any brighter they would hurt my eyes. 

    The only thing I really want to talk about lately is Orange is the New Black. Seriously, I'm always 3 years late to everything cool. Multiple people have begged me to watch this since season one. I remember thinking I wasn't interested in a show about a bunch of women in prison. How wrong was I! The hubs and I are four episodes into the first season and we are hardcore hooked. It's a bit saucy, yes, but terribly funny. 

    Lately, I've been stuffing my face with watermelon. I can not get enough. I try not to sprinkle my chunks with salt but it's so hard to resist. Watermelon + Salt, all summer long. Not a lot of salt, just a light sprinkle. 

    I made quesadillas in my cast iron skillet for the first time last week. Actually, cast iron skillet aside, it was my first time making quesadillas ever. I thought my husband was going to propose to me again. HOLY melted cheese it was so good. The tortillas were deliciously buttery and crispy, the cheese was ample, the chicken moist (although next time I will shred the chicken instead of cubing it --easier to flip I think) and the sauteed onion and bell pepper allowed me to think it was healthy-ish. Quesadillas for life. 

    I now have 15 wax warmers in action throughout my house. I can no longer reason that this is normal. Is this normal? This could be normal, right?

    The Scentsy warmer and two tealight warmers downstairs are used when the other warmers are resting as well as the Scentsy warmer and plug in upstairs. 

    When I get up in the morning I load up and turn on six warmers downstairs and three upstairs. 

    I don't pick out the scents ahead of time and sometimes going to my "to melt" basket is like opening the refrigerator at 3am aimlessly staring and hoping that something will pop out and scream EAT THIS. Or trying to find something interesting to watch while flipping through a selection of 700 channels on satellite TV. 

    I sit on the edge of my seat curious about your wax routine. I want to know all about it. How many warmers? Do you plan your scents the night before? Do you purposely coordinate your scents? Tell me everything.