Fannie 2015

In some ways, it was harder than I ever thought it would be. In others, it wasn't as bad as I imagined. 

We said our final goodbyes to our loyal and loving angel, Fannie, last Saturday morning. 

I've never been sadder. For all of my forty years, I've been spared the loss from death of immediate family, close friends or pets.  It's not that I haven't had pets die before, but at the time of their death, there was distance and time between us. 

Fannie was our constant everything for the past fourteen years. Constant fun, constant sweetness, constant love, constant protection. 


Not having her in our lives is a constant ache that I can not pacify. Can not make less.

She's still everywhere. Her imprint is still in the blanket where she slept every night, I can see the curve of her back where the blanket created a wave to fit her mold. Her scent is in her bedding. Her leash and collar, hanging. Her dog bowl, the smallest of the three, forever empty.  

And in spaces where she is so very absent, the void is just as great. 

My husband and I would always look at each other and smile when we heard all seven of her pounds hit the ground upstairs from jumping off the bed. And then when her tiny paws met hardwood floors we would both exclaim,


We knew our sweet girl was bounding down the stairs to find us. You could always tell where Fannie was in the house by the sound of her hurried paw steps.

In the end, Fannie's little stomach was overcome with cancer cells. She collapsed, her last night, and was unable to walk. But she fought so hard, triumphed over so much. She taught me the biggest lessons in resilience and love.

We put her to sleep. The last thing she heard me say was the same thing I've said to her on countless nights throughout her entire life.

Fannie. Let's go night night. 

She did. A night without her morning but a mourning nonetheless.

I knew the second I saw this picture in my viewfinder several months ago, it was going to be the one. The one that brought my girl back to me in memory and spirit. 

And here she is, awash with sunlight.  She loved the sun so much.  
I will miss you forever, my sweet baby girl.

My dear friends, thank you for reading this and helping me honor Fannie. I don't know when I will be back to blogging as I can't imagine writing about anything at this point. 

Again, I thank you.

Lust List - Vol. 3

I'm so relieved May is here because April is always a tight month for us, money wise, thanks to good ol' tax day.  I've been kind of pinching my extracurricular pennies but not so much that I didn't splurge heavily on Rosegirls and Streetman Company Store. Great excuses for both of those though, the former rarely opens and the latter is closing indefinitely. 

I wasn't deterred from dreaming about my wishlist, despite Uncle Sam's demanding grabs at our bank account.

  1. Nikon J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera - I'm a camera geek. I love a good camera and I'm always lusting after the next great thing. I'm usually perfectly happy just wishing and window shopping, until now. I have to have this camera or I might not be able to concentrate on another single thing. I have a perfectly great DSLR and an amazing point and shoot but I want to upgrade my point and shoot to this compact masterpiece. I'm 100% convinced this will give me big camera quality photos in a much smaller package.
  2. Mum Mum's Crafts Natural Deodorant - I blogged, once, that I wish I could wear less toxic deodorant without smelling like sour milk after a few hours. I received a comment recommending this deodorant and it's been in my etsy shopping cart ever since. I think May is the month I finally check out on this order.
  3. BareMinerals bareSkin - Jennifer Aniston's favorite beauty products made an appearance on my blog feed and I was intrigued by her love of this product. Jennifer's skin is the stuff my dreams are made of and BareMinerals doesn't test on animals - I'm sold.
  4. BareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balm - My lips have been Sahara dry lately and I'm always reaching for one of my lip balms, a collection that may very well be nearing the thousands. Lately I've been wanting a good balm that provides a bit of pigment. This is my answer.
  5. Super Goop Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 - If I'm ever caught out of the house in sunlight without SPF on exposed skin, I become a freak show. At best I look like someone who has suddenly broken out in hives and unable to focus on anything other than their skin. As diligent as I am at applying SPF at the beginning of my day, I never reapply it throughout the day and this has become a problem for me. Especially since I'm spending several hours on Saturdays struggling to bike to the beach.
  6. Khashab Al-Oud - Nancy pointed me to a couple of gorgeously written articles about fragrances and the Arab world and they made a lasting impression on me. If I had to choose one to pass on, I highly recommend reading THIS article from Elle. I've been obsessed with Oud ever since. Not just any Oud, as many of today's high end perfumers offer a version of it, I want oud as close to the source as I can afford.
Will this be the month I start my day getting out of the shower and feeling really good about using Mum Mum's natural deodorant prior to applying a sweep of bareSkin foundation on my face and pop of passion lip oil balm across my lips? Will I rush out the door with my new mirrorless camera to spend an afternoon in the flower fields with my SPF super goop mist in my tote? And lastly, will there be a beautiful silage of authentic Arabic Oud wafting around me?

I hope so!

I loved this. Because I love pizza.

It's Friday! Let's hug, pet a puppy, watch the sunset, hold hands, curl up to a good book, make a perfect cup of tea, go out on a FroYo date, catch the next matinee and eat milk dudes in our buttered popcorn, walk a couple of miles with our feet at the waters edge and catch up with each other ...........

Yes, all of that please on perhaps a better quality and more fulfilling Lush List. (not that I no longer want what's on the original list, to be clear.)

Wax Haul : Beezy Tarts Mar '15

After receiving countless packages filled to the brim with wax goodies, it was bound to happen that one of my beloved parcels would not arrive. I knew this day would come, but I wasn't anticipating that it would happen to one of my very favorite vendors of all time, Beezy. 

The United States Postal Service went ahead and messed with the object of my infatuation! The sad part is the carrier failed to hold the mail per my request when I was on vacation. I'm convinced it wouldn't be lost in postal neverland if the carrier had followed instructions.

There were two Beezy orders delivered during my vacation - remember that time Beezy had two openings in the month of March. Dream! Only, I didn't get both of mine.

What's more frustrating is that I filed a claim on the wrong order. The USPS website showed one of my packages without a delivery date or method. I assumed that was the missing one but it wasn't. My other order that showed delivered to my mailbox is the one I do not have.  

What I did receive made up for the major post office fail. Specifically, one particular scent that I am just gaga over - tea & cakes.

Not one to cry too much over spilled milk, here's to moving on to the order I did receive : 

  • sugar cookie royale - I can't remember if I've had the royale version of Beezy's sugar cookie before, but this sugar cookie has a very deep vanilla that almost verges on a mild banana. A good banana!
  • lemon sugar bundt cake - I've definitely had this one before. A lemon pastry favorite.
  • berry crumble brulee - very, very sweet berries. Grape-like sweet.
  • tea & cakes - This is THE one from this order that I'm getting most excited about. I smell a big whiff of almonds and a hint of pastry rounded out my a mellow lemon.
  • pink sugar bread - I'm a huge lover of pink sugar cookies and this may be a distant second. I'm assuming the bread is zucchini and it just doesn't smell as good as the cookies.
  • amber romance - I sing Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' in my head every single time I see or write Amber Romance. I absolutely love AR, I can't help it. It's an entry level, sugary amber that suits me just fine. rah-rah-ah-ah-ah...
  • tory burch - I got this because a coworker was going on and on and on about how great this perfume smells. It does. It smells good but might be a little too perfume-y for me in wax. 
The order that went missing had (2) pink peppermints, (2) fiji dates & lemon peel (2) spa day, (2) bonfire bliss, (2) pink toasty marshmallow (2) apple clove butter, (2) starburst and (2) pink sugar cookies.

I have tried (and enjoyed) all of them before except the one I was most looking forward to - the fiji dates & lemon. Luckily for me, a sample of that was included in the order above!

I contacted John to make sure he didn't receive the package back and it took all that I had to not pretend like he was actually my boyfriend. He was so helpful and seemed genuinely concerned making my crush on him rekindled and strong. I backspaced over the words 'do you like me? YES OR NO' and typed a very adult and professional, 'thank you I love you so much I might vomit' instead.

Sometimes I get carried away with blending chunks and whatnot, forgetting about the insane performance I get from Beezy-Tarts. I might be more excited for his next opening than any vendor out there right now. 

About Life, This Week -10

I'm convinced that resuming normal life after coming home from a vacation requires a certain degree of grace that I severely lack. I envy families that come back to a perfectly clean house where bags are unpacked and put away within the first six hours.

My suitcase is still wide open in my loft. And don't even get me started on my lack of meal planning and grocery shopping. Last night we had take-out pizza and antipasto salad from our local Italian restaurant - that was a highlight. Mostly it's been fast food by way of Jersey Mike's, Rubio's, Chipotle and in a delicious moment of weakness, Panda Express.

Add to the normal chaos of landing back on your feet after a hearty getaway, feeling under the weather takes re-nesting to another level of slow.

I've called in sick to work the last two days, fighting a fever and feeling queasy. I'm on the correct antibiotic now and I already feel much better.

The night before I got really sick, Curtis and I drove up to his sister's house in Mission Viejo to celebrate his birthday with a small, family barbecue. Our niece made him the sweetest card:
 happy birthday! I love you so much and I love the dogs too!
picture of Kayla and Curtis holding hands 

Is that not the sweetest thing - seriously.

Have you seen this picture that's been circulating around the internet in honor of Earth Day. It's strikingly beautiful and I can't stop staring at it.
NASA took this picture

When it comes to doing my share for the Earth, I'll be honest, I could do better. What I have been able to incorporate into my life have been easy changes. Here are a few things I do on an almost everyday basis:
  • recycle - this sounds like a no brainer but some areas still don't make recycling easy for residents. Luckily, California is on the ball and provides recycling services with our normal garbage pick up.
  • reusable shopping bags - every once in a while I'll forget to put the bags back into my car in preparation for my next grocery/Target/Walmart run but for the most part I've done away with using the store given plastic or paper bags.
  • turn off the water while I brush my teeth and wash my face. I guess some people leave the water running the entire time they brush their teeth. I can see this if they're trying to warm up the water to wash their face .......
  • wash my face with cool water instead of warm. I haven't seen any difference in using cool over warm water for my face.
  • traded in my big SUV for a Prius hybrid.
Some things I would like to start doing that wouldn't require too much effort:

  • military showers - not difficult in theory but this is a hard one for me. Ideally, I would like to get soaked, turn off water, wash hair, lather up, turn on water, rinse, turn off water, condition hair and shave, turn on water, final rinse. 
  • water bucket - slightly on the hippie side but still practical. While the shower water is running to warm up, catch the water in a bucket to use when rinsing off the razor when shaving. could also be used for plant water on non shaving days.
Requires a bit more effort, but definitely doable:
  • composting - I've been wanting to do this for a very long time.
  • maintaining a small garden - possibly just a container garden but fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces and carrots would be a dream.
A bit of a budget cruncher:
  • solar panels for the house - hubby has been wanting to do this and was close to pulling the trigger several times but something just seems too new with the technology to me. I want to wait a year or two.
I would absolutely love to know if you have any Earth friendly tips to share. 

Some great melts the last couple of weeks, full list HERE!:

Best of the Week
Lasting Scent Candles - lemon coconut angel cake
Rosegirls - monster cookie fluff puffs
Streetman Co. Store - lemon curd & rose petals
Steetman Co. Store - 'nilla & pumpkin
VCS - war of the worlds

Highlights & Repurchases
Front Porch - lemon honeysuckle
Lake Providence Lodge - strawberry fluff / melted marshmallow
Lasting Scent Candles - iced lemon biscotti
Rosegirls - soothing lavender dreams

I'm waning a little bit on the blogging front. I guess it's part of getting back into a routine just like everything else. 

I hope you are doing well and enjoying beautiful spring days <3

About Life, This Week - Spring Break Family Vacation

Hello, I've missed you! I'm back from a ten day trip to the Florida panhandle. I have all these pictures to share but really, all I want to talk about is this Beezy order taunting me as I write. Sitting here next to me so pastel-y and smelling marvelous. His Tea & Cake is making me weak. 

But first, my trip. The highlight is always spending time with my family and celebrating my dad in his 83rd year. With my siblings scattered on the opposite coast and in the middle portion of the country, we make a great effort to get together at least once a year. 

Visiting a part of Florida this Florida girl has not explored was the other highlight. 

We rented a large, modern beach front condo on Miramar Beach, just outside of Destin. I didn't know this but this part of the coastline along the Gulf is known as the Redneck Riveria. I found this extremely amusing in a 'it's funny 'cause it's true' kind of way. Alabamians were coming in hot the week we were there. Loved them, not a cranky or unkind one in site.
Officially, the area is known as The Emerald Coast.

I've said it before, Florida beaches are superior in almost every way to almost any beach, especially those in California. The parking is easier, the docks that lead out to the powder soft sand are well kept and often lined with scented plants that give a distinct island feel that make your senses go into overload. 
This trip brought my first experience in deep sea fishing. I had a great time but I think I'm okay with being one and done with that activity. We left the dock early on a foggy, low visibility morning, which is my favorite kind of morning.

The Destin Harbor Boardwalk:
Our efficient crew member getting the bait ready:

The first catch. It was quite violent, luckily it was the only big one (King Mackerel) we caught. It was so bloody violent, we missed the opportunity to shout out a hearty HOLY MACKEREL.

We caught a good amount and enjoyed feasting on our bounty during the rest of our stay. fried fish, fish gumbo, fish stew, fish cakes, fish burritos, fish sticks....I love Bubba.
As nice as our rental was, the kitchen was ill equipped and was lacking the necessary baking equipment that the girls in my family require for our competitive bake offs. I think this was the first time in our family history that we used icing from a jar. It wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined! 
Visited the idyllic town of Seaside. Second to the beautiful beaches, this is what Florida looks like to me:

We arrived in time for Easter egg fun:

This little lady was a super trooper. She wasn't feeling too well after a bout of motion sickness from the ride out but after some meds she began to feel better.

  • Driving Coast to Coast (and back) wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds. I guess this would depend on your level of road trip excitedness though.
  • Making my husband listen to self help audio books while imprisoned in a vehicle may be considered below the marital belt. 
  • We spent three extra hours in a New Orleans emergency vet hospital.
  • I found drivers in Alabama to be especially aggressive. Southern California drivers are still the absolute worst.
  • Another vacation, another urgent care. I'll spare any male readers the details.
  • I like Texas. We had the best BBQ of our lives in Houston. 
  • But I don't like the highways in east Texas. They create a high pitched whistle that is alarming.

Until next time Florida!

Prior to leaving, I had a good week of melts. Full list HERE!.

Best of the Week
Butterfly Lane - chicks dig it
Streetman Co. Store - 'nilla & pumpkin

Highlights & Repurchases
Beezy Tarts - paradise bay
CFTKR - berry good sugar cookies
HHS - granma's mango lime smoothie
Scentsationals - pink sugar berries
SMT - peggy's blueberry noel / lemon bread / blueberry cream
TBG - strawberry nonsense
TSW - velveteen rabbit

Honorable Mentions
the scents weren't for me but they were awesome, strong performers
RG - monster cookie / southern creme brulee / pumpkin chai
S&S - hazelnut espresso

While on vacation, I melted a Rosegirls almost exclusively. My family loves Monster Cookie Fluff Puffs!

Order of the Odor - Volume 8

We hope your spring is blooming with beautiful weather and happy circumstance.

Have you been craving any particular scents this month?
I'm crazy for mint lately. Spearmint, in particular. When blended with a creamy, vanilla base, it makes me euphoric. Also, bright and tart fruits are doing it for me. These scents make me want to open my windows, dust the naughty bits around the house, organize drawers and put away my sweaters. In the evening, I crave the fragrance of tea with lemon as I relax with a good British TV series.

Are you a seasonal melter?
Yes, although I'm very tolerant of full bodied bakery scents all year round. Which means the pumpkin pecan waffles are almost always a go. Other pumpkins, cranberries, eggnog, the little bit of cinnamon that I can tolerate and pines have to be put away for next season.

Please share with us your answers to these questions in the comments and see what is going on in the following waxy blogs:

Deb, over at It's Always Something, has found a rich buttery sugar cookie tart that you NEED to try! Best part? It is really affordable and may be only an errand away! 

Pop over to Fragrance Obsessed to see what incredible blends Sunnee ordered from Sniff My Tarts, and find out what scent she is head over heels in love with enough to order a full sheet cake in....

Ready for another fabulous 10 out of 10 high performing tart from Lolo?! This one even smells like the much lauded London Calling candle from Bath & Body Works. Come check out what vendor creates this awesome tart!

As waxies, we are probably all familiar with Scentsy, but what are some of Julie's top Scentsy picks that stand out from the vendor crowd? 

About Life, This Week - 9

It's been awhile since I've shown glimpses of my home. I'm horribly slow at decorating and adding furniture. For this house, I'm trying to find the perfect pieces and not be hasty with filling space just for the sake of filling space. 

When I purchase items for my home, I try to answer one of the following questions in the affirmative:

  • Is it beautiful
  • Is it meaningful
  • Is it useful
Those questions also help me declutter most everything in my house on a regular basis, bathroom and closet excluded. I might need professional help with those areas.

One of my Christmas presents to myself last year was an entry way credenza that would serve as a place for us to drop our keys and wallets/purses. I'd been looking for about a year, knowing exactly the style I was looking for. Mirrored. It's trendy, I know, but I love it. It also had to have drawers to hide the keys and hubby's wallet. Bonus for easy storage under the drawers to fit my purse. 

It was an exhaustive search because most everything that was a match was upwards of two thousand dollars. 

Finally, a black Friday sale provided exactly what I was looking for. It was on sale with an additional 
20% off and free shipping. I snagged this one for about $800. 

The lamps were also a Black Friday find from Target and the picture above is my framed Instagram snaps from 2014. I plan on changing out the picture every year with a collage of the prior year, which reminds me to start taking more pictures for Instagram.
Here's the view from our garage door/hallway to the great room. 
We purchased this house as a foreclosure when the housing market was in the dumps and we got lucky because the prior owners didn't act like animals before they vacated. Our neighbors' foreclosure left them without both of their air conditioning units. We also lucked out because our house was a prior model so there are some nice upgrades throughout. I question the taste of the decorator though, she/he was going through a very odd wallpaper phase. I love wallpaper, but the olive green wallpaper they chose for the kitchen was not the highlight of their portfolio.

It takes quite a bit of cash to decorate or remodel a house. We still have a long list of things we would love to do so in order to keep myself from getting discouraged with how long it's taking, I splurge on little things on a regular basis, like fresh flowers or houseplants. 
 Grocery store flower finds - 30 stems of daffodils for $5.
Perfect for my mantle. 

I haven't felt like blogging lately which is incredibly ironic because of the flurry of traffic I'm getting from Facebook. My heart has been heavy with worry for my sick pup and I fear that the end of our journey together is near. 

Next week, we leave for our Florida beach vacation. We chose to drive knowing that the situation with Fannie could make it necessary that she goes with us.  It's difficult for me to feel excitement for much these days but knowing that I will be surrounded by the love of my family as well as the beauty of the Gulf has me somewhat looking forward to the days ahead. 

What I've melted for the past week : HERE.

Highlights and Repurchases:
CFTKR - fresh picked strawberry
Front Porch - Lemon Noel
HHS - Serendipity Noel
RG - soothing lavender dreams

Best of the Week:
Rosegirls - Berry Lovely Sugar Cookie
Scentsy - French Kiss

Honorable Mentions:
the scents weren't for me but they were awesome, strong performers
CBV - satsuma punch
Tiffany Candle - donut shop
VCS - cookie baking at mom's
I think cookie baking at mom's and donut shop are the same oils. They are very similar and both were so strong.

Have a great weekend!