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Christmas shopping

I did a search and couldn’t find that I mentioned this right before we lost the internet, so I’m hoping this is new information from you.  You’ve probably heard of the Wish app, where you shop vendors at really low prices, pay almost an even amount for shipping, and wait a long time to get these little packages from China.  I learned about another app, Joom, that has no shipping charges and their items have been a lot better quality than most Wish ones, so far, in my opinion.

 

Now, I know some are going to be like “seriously, Christmas shopping in September?!  That’s going too far!”.  Stay with me here though.  For $30 I got a bunch of stocking stuffers (which have some of my best purchases for people usually).  Then try to forget about it and the packages slowly come in.  Due to the massive delays, I’d advise you check it out as soon as possible if you’re interested in some interesting, cost effective little items!

 

I do have a few bits of advise though.  One, the sizes are usually incredibly off on the clothing, so read reviews or may the odds be with you.  Two, use the app if possible – the website is much harder to navigate in my opinion.  In addition, the app immediately checks that you want to pay in US dollars instead of other currencies, so it’s a LOT less frustrating.  Three, if you’re considering makeup, see if there is a screenshot or list of ingredients, because knock offs sometimes have some bad chemicals mixed in, so just be aware (goes for any outlet type shopping).

 

They even have a section where you can enter a lottery for select items for that day, to get them for just $0.10, with the caveat that you need to do a photograph-containing review on the item.  I haven’t won all week, but I’m noticing that I kind of set myself up for loss anyway.  I was selecting items that a lot of people were in the raffle for, so I’m watching that number of other entries more now.  We’ll see if I might get a fun and wild wig or piece of jewelry this way.  *laugh*

 

So, I definitely recommend you at least take a look and see if anything appeals to you.  I even found a bunch of business items that are really inspiring me (unfortunately the most inspiring item is not here and it’s been almost two months – see, that’s why you need to order early!).  The only really bad side I’ve found so far is that it’s incredibly addictive.  That thrill of getting a great deal is almost nonstop, especially with “item of the hour” flash sales with things for $1 or such.  *grin* Hopefully this will help some people have a more cost effective holiday while still having lots of fun (check out the Harry Potter alloy wands if you have a Potterhead to shop for; looks so pretty but is a phenomenal price!).

 

This is definitely one of my favorite apps.  Makes for a rather random blog post, but that’s what makes me interesting, right?  *laugh* Who knows what the next one will be about, but for now, happy pampering (and shopping!)! 🙂

SA Face Shields

It’s no secret that I’m halfway through my Christmas shopping, which gives me time to hit sales when they come up beyond the frustrating ones that make the server crash usually. So, when I find an incredible deal, I’ll share them with you.

If you have an outdoorsy person on your list, then S A Fishing has a lot of great options for you, however, there are deals that are massively different than what they show on their bundles page. There are a variety of items available, but I think face shields are more versatile, so that’s where I went.

A bundle of five are currently on sale for $75. However, I found a sub link that takes you to a face shields sale page of five for $15, plus a decal HERE. If you want more you can even select another shield for just $3. If you don’t want to do the add ons, there are also 8 for $24 at this link. These are massive discounts from what the current “sale” prices are and I don’t know how long these sub links will work, so I hope to it if you’re interested.

As you can tell, they’re very versatile. I’m not outdoorsy and I use one of the two of mine almost daily. I use the pirate wrap, but tuck the extra under to make a skull cap and I use as a headband. They’re moisture wicking and help prevent flying outdoor nasties from getting in your mouth or nose when you use the face shield. Mine are actually for when I am crafting or working and are so much more comfortable than a hairnet or shower cap!! Some look pretty wicked when the face shield layout is used. My fav that I have is a hot pink with a half skeletal face, so it just rests on the nose and makes the rest of my face creep as hell, so I kind of love that idea come winter. *laugh*

My hot pink one is like the blue one in this pic.

Here’s another way of using them that I love, although I have short hair still, so it’s a doubled sheet hanging down my neck if left like that, which is why I go ahead and twist at the end of my hair and then tuck the bottom at the base of my skull.

They’re great for when you have to get sweaty or it’s windy and it’s worth getting the good brand (especially at knockoff prices!!). I have a different kind and it makes me hot even if I’m just vacuuming or making product.

There are a TON of options to suit anyone who would wear one, but take my advice – don’t pick mystery. Sure, it could be randomly selected by a computer, but I got two that I would much rather have just chosen black instead and suspect they pick from the less loved bins. *laugh*

I had a nasty fall the other day and am going to have to limit my activities, so batch 2 of the Dreadful Delight Soaps will be a little longer than expected. Instead I’ll post some helpful shopping bits or fun randomness (I’m definitely able to promise randomness!). In the meantime, have a healthy and fun remaining week! 🙂

Bring On the Egg Nog

I finally made a batch of lotion with the Cozy Christmas FO I bought a while back. Since I really like the Evening Primrose lotion I decided to use it for experimenting with the FO. I wish they had figured out “smellivision” so you could at least smell these jars.

I think the sweet, Christmassy scent pairs perfectly with such a soothing and light lotion. Larry and I actually agree (I’m just as surprised! Lol) that it smells like spiked egg nog straight out of the bottle (cream, sugar, spice, and rum), then mellows to mostly sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg once on the skin. I know it’s kind of odd, but I’m finding the sweet notes incredibly comforting and uplifting. Although it’s such a Christmassy scent I’m really tempted to make this in several mediums and sell it year round. Yeah, I like it that much. *grin*

Any input for the off season name? I haven’t decided if I want to play with the Cozy Christmas name for the holiday time or if I’ll just leave it alone. (I may have lost my cheat sheet that reminds me of the names that don’t correspond well to the FO names, so I had to remove several descriptions from my website while I track the info back down, which makes me a little gun shy now. *embarrassed grin*) Come to think of it some rum in my egg nog always makes me a little more cozy, so it kind of fits.

As tickled as I am with this I have about twenty things on my to do app to get done soon, so I look forward to my helper visiting in the next week. Hopefully I’ll have lots of new tidbits to share soon. In the meantime I’m going to head off and email the manager of my favorite grocery store to see about getting some egg nog. I think a spiked egg nog while soaking in some Cozy Christmas bubble wash sounds divine. 🙂

I’m Flushing This Fish

I had a very rare burst of energy that stayed for three days. I can’t even remember the last full day that I had energy, let alone more than one, since I got sick, so I took advantage of the energy. I made six batches of soaps, all of them experiments, and some were real flops.

First, I finally gave the whole “fair prize goldfish” soap a try. I was pretty excited at first. To start with I did a pour in a cello bag that I had balanced in a coffee mug so it wouldn’t collapse as I poured soap into it, then added the toy goldfish into the soap and kept it balanced with a Popsicle stick until it partially set.

20131024-011641.jpg Unfortunately there was a slight bit of oil on it from handling it a bit too much as I tried to get it down into the soap without plopping upside down, so the soap clouded a bit. After a partial set I added another 2.5 oz of soap “water” to finish it off. It was then that I discovered that I had experienced a brain fart after the first pour and forgot to do a light spritz with alcohol to break the surface bubbles. As you can see in the following picture there is a straight line of bubbles clearly marking the top of the first layer.

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Ugh. To top it all off I had to hold the bag in a slightly scrunched and rounded position until the second layer of soap partially set so that it looked more realistic, like how a bag with water in it would look. Between the extra labor (I won’t go into how hard it is to try to keep a top heavy item upright with a stick when you have a tremor. Lol.) and the mishaps, I don’t think I’ll be revisiting this soap concept for a little while. *grin*

The second mishap I admit I am still a bit miffed over. It was actually suppose to be a simple Christmassy bar soap. I poured a layer of dark green soap in bar molds and after a partial set I poured a layer of dark red, both layers in the new Christmas Eve Cookies scent. The colors massively changed after they set and then when you see the soap from overhead it has the oddest color; definitely not Christmassy.

20131024-012106.jpg I think I’ll try the next batch with a solid base, so there aren’t jewel tones that allow you to see the other color. I hoped jewel tones would work out though, since you can get deeper, richer colors in a clear soap. At least they smell great, so I’ll cut them up, melt them, and give them a new life. Not a total flop.

I totally like how the other four batches turned out, thankfully. *grin* I decided to experiment with the super rouge powdered pigment with some additional iridescent sparkles. When the light is just right the soaps look like Dorothy’s red shoes, fitting since I live in KS, and I loved the look so much that I did a second mold with the color. *laugh* I made a batch of small flowers to embed into other soaps, like my glitter bars from earlier this year, and then a few big hearts that I think would be really neat in a girl’s Christmas pampering basket.

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I decided to shake things up, still thinking of the girl’s basket, and did bubblegum guest rounds, but sprinkled some hot pink powdered pigment in there since I loved the look of it when I accidentally did that in some stars a few months back. Simple, but with a little pizzaz.

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Lastly I went back to the Christmas Eve Cookies (can’t tell I started to really like it, can you? *laugh*) and made another batch of flower embeds for the girl’s basket or for individual glitter bars in holiday scents to sell. I decided to add some white soap to the clear, which gave the embeds a really neat look that I love. Not a color that is a traditional holidays variety, but a mellow hue that can be enjoyed or displayed after the Christmas tree has been packed up.

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To top it all off I did a seriously overdue in depth cleaning of my supply shelves. It was hard, but I made myself part with scents that I really don’t like or that had expired, and organized all of the scents into categories to make it a lot easier to find the FOs/EOs I’m looking for. It turned into a 12 hour project, but I’m so proud of myself, and I feel all pumped up to keep chipping away at my holiday business to do list. (Shush now – I didn’t make a spreadsheet this time. I kept the nerd flag at half mast and stuck with a list. *sassy grin*) All in all it felt great to get to experiment with the new pigments and FO. I have that euphoria in my veins from getting to be all creative and artistic. *happy sigh* If this sticks around I will be able to get some new products out of my brain and available in time for the holidays. Warning – I am putting you on high alert now. If I can keep this up and make the new extra pampering line, then I will ask you to join me in a hearty round of the happy dance. *grin* Although no twerking allowed! *laugh* We’ll stick to a platonic jig, okay? 🙂

A Marshmallow World

I thought a little Dean would start this post off right. I know it’s a bit early to have Christmas on the brain, but the couple of months leading to the holidays are a big deal for crafters.

As I always do when I have insomnia I start mapping out ideas about products or researching things, and this week has been no different. I decided that this year I want a different holiday sugar scrub, so I figured it was about time to put in a supply order. *happy sigh* If you’ve been reading my posts, then you know I have a scent hoarding issue and can’t resist getting at least one new scent to try whenever I order supplies. My bank account cries, but I get all giddy, so the universe evens out. *grin*

Now here’s the tie in to the title. I am finally getting my hands on the Marshmallow FO that I’ve been wanting ever since I read about it. Most people love smelling something sweet and comforting, and marshmallows are great year round, so it’s not really too seasonal of a scent. S’mores, cherry chiffon, and hot cocoa…Marshmallow dominant foods really should be their own food group. *a goofy smile takes over as I daydream about the sugary pillows of delight* Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing something halfway intelligent about bath and body products. (You’re welcome to do Homer’s signature “doh” there. I’ll allow it this time. Maybe not next time, so I advise that you take advantage. *laugh*)

To add some depth to a few scents I splurged on the Madagascar Black Pepper FO, too. In regular situations pepper makes me sneeze and whatnot, but when it’s a lower note in a complex scent blend, boy howdy! Suddenly my eyebrow lifts, I get a little sassy smile, and see Gerard Butler smiling at me in my mind’s eye. (Got me why, but I just know he has a complex and masculine scent to go with that smile, those abs, and that bad boy vibe. Pepper and a hint of leather. I just can’t decide if he’s more of a crisp Black Tie FO or the woodsy notes of Twilight Woods for the dominant notes. I could totally suffer through either. You know, do my part and all. I’m a giving person like that.) Anywho! I’m excited to get to experiment with that and hopefully add an interesting note to some scents that haven’t really done the elusive “it” for me yet.

While trolling new seasonal scents I landed on Christmas Cookies and managed to justify ordering it since it was fifty cents off. Lol. Yeah, I can justify almost anything if I really want it. *grin* It’s supposed to have dominant notes of buttery shortbread with a bit of vanilla and spice. I’m really hoping that it smells as yummy as it looks, because this is what I hope to use for a “sweet treats” sugar scrub instead of gingersnaps.

To finish my splurging I added Hot Buttered Rum to the mix. Several users commented that it smelled like butterscotch, so I think it’ll make an interesting FO to play with. If I smell more of a rum note then it might just have to mingle with the Egg Nog FO I got on sale a little bit back. A spiked egg nog bubble bath might be pretty sigh inducing come holiday time. Well, especially if I have a glass of the real deal in hand while I’m relaxing.

I also got a few items to amp up the pampering power (suddenly I heard “puppy power” in my head when writing that. Ah, Scrappy, I’ve missed you.). I’m getting tired of rinsing poppy and flax seeds out of the bath tub from Larry using the Men’s Scrub every day, so I decided to experiment with powdered luffa in the scrub. The improved scrub has worked great for him and still gets most of the gunk from Goodyear off of him, but for the sake of less nagging about rinsing the bath out after a shower, I figure it’s worth experimenting with a replacement for the seeds. The luffa soaps never hold up long for him, but he likes them, so I thought maybe a miracle can happen. ‘Tis the season coming up and all that jazz. If it works, then he’s getting a few buckets of it in his Christmas stocking. *grin* If a product can hold up to his intense use without nagging, then it’s a winner. I also ordered two kinds of body puffs; one is regular, but the other is a long and less frilly one, so I think that might be good in a men’s Christmas basket. *crossing my fingers* I added some spa eye masks since I haven’t done a play on the original spa baskets yet, and then a few samples of new colors.

I’m hoping the new items will strike me with some inspiration and that I’ll be doing a little better by the time I receive them, so I can make even half of what is on the new master list. At least I’ll have some sweetness for my oil burners while I pop my earbuds in and secretly listen to Dean and Bing singing about the wonders of the holidays. If only that dreamy snow didn’t make huge drifts in the driveway and make the path to the wood pile seem a mile long. At least a girl can dream when she’s listening to the happy crooners. I hope you get to enjoy “A Marshmallow World” in your dreams tonight.

What is Santa bringing?

I’m hoping that Santa will be bringing a little bag with a few lumps of coal soap *grin* Went very basic and I just got three pours of them finished, so I can start testing (and producing very soon hopefully!). While stocking up on supplies during a sale this silicone mold in the baking aisle gave me a slap my forehead moment. It’s a sheet of hmmm…yeah, not getting up again to check *grin*, but a whole lot of these miniature candy bar molds, each kind of like a bite size milky way. It hits me that complicated isn’t always better or successful. I had some grand ideas (let’s keep the epic failures between us) and this simple mold will fit the bill a whole lot better for the small lump of coal soaps that I so want to come out well. Okay, okay…I want them to sell well too for Christmas, especially since I think it’s such a neat idea. That’s beside the point of this post though! *sassy smile*

Anyway, when I had a problem with some bubble wash the other day I started experimenting on it. (Cue whichever monster theme song you prefer) Since I knew it wasn’t going to be sold I was willing to get weird. Along the way I found the blend of colors to make a nearly perfect black clear soap. It has a slight jewel tone to it, since it is clear glycerine, and when turned in the light I could pick different hues as dominant. If I can entertain myself looking at these for more than a few seconds, then it’s a keeper. I have such high hopes for these little soaps. I’m more anxious to unmold them and see how they look after curing than I remember being when I had a stocking stuffed by Santa lol. I have a young helper coming for awhile Thursday, so they need to get a thumbs up from her too. A youth’s opinion on a product made for kids? I’m so taking advantage of that (hence why I was making soap at 3:20 AM)!

Please cross your fingers that I’ve finally come across the best versions of lump of coal soaps that can be made. It’s the one thing for the holidays that I have a lot of emotional involvement in (yeah, emotional about some licorice scented soap…I went beyond nerdy to downright boring…ouch). I’ll let you know if getting coal for Christmas is a good thing in a few days. Plus, I have some other tidbits that I look forward to babbling about. Have a wonderful day!

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