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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Hello there. 2014 has already begun in some parts of the world, though it won't be here for another 13 hours in my neck of the woods. I've spent a couple days drafting a post about all the ups and downs of 2013, though it ended up being really long; so it will just remain in my drafts. I really struggle to find the right words sometimes. I will try to keep this short and sweet, beginning with the difficult parts of the year (I have always been one to enjoy getting good news after bad news).

My boyfriend's grandfather passed away on Saturday night. Death is never an easy thing to accept. It is so hard to lose someone. At this point, it still does not feel real. We have also lost two of our hamsters very recently. December has been a month full of loss, and only time can heal that.

The other difficult part of 2013 has been dealing with being sick all the time. I don't want to elaborate too much on it, but I've been tapering an awful medication that I've been on for five years. Now that I'm at a very low dosage, I feel sick often (physically and psychologically). It's without a doubt the hardest thing I've had to deal with. There comes a point when you get sick of tired of being sick and tired, and I've hit that point quite a while ago. The silver lining is that I will finally be medication free in 2014. It won't be easy, it will actually only get harder, but I think it will be worth it in the long run.

My new career is definitely the major positive of 2013. I love my job, and it truly gives me hope for the future. I have spent a lot of time and effort to finally get to this place, and I'm so thankful to be where I am.

Our dog entered our lives earlier this year, and that has also been a blessing. I love her very much, and I'm really glad she is part of our family. She is so loyal and such a loving animal. I really think fate sent her our way on the day we found her.

My boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary this year. I can't believe how lucky I am to have him in my life. He is my best friend and the most incredible person I've ever met, and having him in my life will always be the highlight of every year I spend on this earth.

In conclusion, dear friends, any given year will be bittersweet. But my wish for 2014 is that you are blessed with happiness, good health, and moments that take your breath away. I also hope that you have the strength to endure the moments of darkness. Cheers to a brand new year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winslow's by Solstice Scents

Hello cozy cups of hot chocolate! I am here listening to the Bright Eyes Christmas Album (!!!) about to talk to you about one of Solstice Scents' new winter perfumes! Last Sunday, Solstice Scents released their winter perfume collection. They kept with the Foxcroft town theme for the winter collection, which I find so charming. The perfume came with a cute little postcard that included a fabricated version town's current events. LV, you will be intrigued to know that the fire at the Manor is thought to be arson ;) There is also an annual crafts fair held at Winslow's TODAY, which I am sure will be amazing! Too bad I am far across the country. 

The perfume I ordered from the winter collection is called Winslow's. I am very excited about this perfume, and I just knew I had to own it just by reading the description. Let's take a peek at what Solstice Scents has to say about Winslow's.

Rows of Christmas Trees, Clove Studded Oranges, Bayberry Tapers, Handcrafted Wreaths & Mistletoe
Winslow's Christmas Tree Farm sits at the base of Mount Willow in the town of Foxcroft.  The annual winter crafts festival at Winslow's offers handmade bayberry candles, rustic wreaths, orange pomanders and much more.  Meandering down the lane leading into Winslow's, you pass rows upon rows of fragrant Christmas trees ready for harvest.

Winslow's is the scent of winter.  Fir, woods, bayberry and mistletoe meld with spicy clove and blood orange essential oil and the result smells effectively like bottled winter.  Winslow's contains fir absolute and essential oil, spruce EO, cedar, a touch of guaiacwood and a blend of several fragrance oils in addition to the bayberry, mistletoe, clove and blood orange.  Fans of our Black Christmas soap will love Winslow's as the fragrance is very similar.  If you enjoy evergreen and/or woods scents or our Shoikan Grove, Covered Bridge and the previously offered Cedar & Siberian Fir fragrance, make sure to try Winslow's.  The combination of bayberry and clove gives the impression of a Victorian Christmas.  Unisex.

Winslow's is all I could ever hope for in a Winter/Holiday/Christmas perfume. I truly adore it, and I
really wish I could describe it much better than I know I'll be able to. I think the Solstice Scents description of this perfume is incredibly accurate. This perfume truly is like bottled winter. It is such a warm and comforting scent. It's like being home for the holidays, sans the cranky family drama. A lovely blend of orange and cloves sizzles on the stovetop while the invitingly fresh spruce scent from the Christmas tree dances throughout the air. This is a very consistent perfume that, to my nose, does not stray from cold sniff to drydown. It is incredibly comforting. I wore it yesterday, and I am happy to report that it lasted all day on me. Solstice Scents definitely makes some of the longest lasting perfumes I've ever worn. The silage is also incredible. I kept getting whiffs of Christmasy awesomeness throughout the day, which I knew to be Winslow's!

Well, I have a bit of a busy day ahead of me, so that's all for now. I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful weekend! Thanks so much for reading!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me, all opinions are my own. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Twinkle Lights and Christmas Questions!

Hello there! I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the month of December so far! It has been pretty cold here, which I'm so happy about. It was even supposed to snow yesterday, but unfortunately it didn't. Though, I would not be surprised if it does snow sometime this month. It is a lot colder than it was last year, and it still snowed the day after Christmas last year! I love the cold weather because you can bundle up, drink hot chocolate, tea, or coffee, and relax by the fireplace! It's just so lovely!

Today I painted my nails a color called Twinkle Lights by China Glaze. It's a really beautiful red, gold, and green glitter polish. It was released in 2011, and I've used quite a bit of it since then (though you can't tell because I needed to add thinner and shake it up a bit). Below are the pictures of Twinkle Lights! I used Orly Bonder as a basecoat, three coats of Twinkle Lights, and Sally Hansen Dries Fast top coat (that sounds so awkward, I know!).

I also decided to snag a Christmas questionnaire from Tumblr, which I completed below. Please feel free to answer these questions if you are bored and/or if you like the questions. I'd love to read your answers too! I know a couple of you have been doing the perfume tag, and I've really enjoyed reading your answers to those questions. I will probably do that one during Christmas break, as my schedule this month is pretty crazy! Anyway, onto the questions!

❅ Christmas Questionnaire ❅
Gingerbread: Do you like tea? Yes! I absolutely love tea. I even have a tea cabinet that I did a post about a while back.
Tinsel: What perfume/cologne do you wear?  Lately, I have been alternating between Ice Station Zebra and One Thousand and One Nights.
Ribbon: What's a book that had a strong impact on you? By far, it's The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The books and movies got me through the severe depression I was experiencing in high school. It let me focus on a different world while I had a hard time with my own.
Holly: Who was the last person you sent a letter to? My landlord. I sent the rent this month in a Christmas card to her.
North Pole: What in your life are you most grateful for? I am so grateful for my family, my boyfriend, and my pets. Each one of them means the world to me.
Christmas Carole: Would you change your name if you could? No, I actually like my name.
Santa: What's your favorite month? I love October and December. However, this year, December has been my favorite month.
Noell: At a movie theater, which armrest is yours? I have no idea! I only go to the movies once in a blue moon, so I don't actually pay attention to such things.
Rudolf: What's a band a family member introduced you to? I think I've always tried to stray from the music my family has listened to, haha.
Candy Cane: Can you make paper snowflakes? Yes! We made them at work on Friday with the kids. I also made a glittery one for a winder wonderland they were making at the temporary school Sandy Hook students attended after the shooting last year.
Eggnog: What was the name of your first stuffed animal? Scruffy! And it makes me sad to say that because I wish I still had him.
Mrs. Clause: Have you ever been on a boat in the ocean? Yes, plenty of times. My parents are very outdoorsy, and they took me on a ton of camping and fishing trips when I was growing up. I have also been on a whale watching boat and a cruise.
Ice: Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed at every party? I am usually underdressed because IDGAF about fashion, so I'll go with that.
Hot Cocoa: What's your favorite thing about yourself? I am empathetic and kind to people. I think it's really important, especially in the hustle and bustle of a big city where there are a lot of rude people in a hurry.
Reindeer: What is your spirit animal? Definitely a cheetah.
Yule Log: Least favorite vegetable? I'm not a big onion fan.
Stocking: What color are your socks right now? I'm wearing red and green fuzzy socks with little stuffed reindeer on the top.
Elf: If you had unlimited money to one shop, which shop would it be? A grocery store. I know that's a weird answer, but I'd really be thankful to not have to worry about food money. Food where I live is more expensive than the national average.
Wreath: Are you allergic to anything? Not to food, but I am allergic to a couple antibiotics.
Cookies: Top three favorite bands? Atreyu,, Marilyn Manson, and Sublime. I've really been loving Marina and the Diamonds lately though.
Toys: Do you want children? Yes, but not anytime soon.
Sleigh Bells: Can you whistle? Not well!
Snowman: Do you like accents? Absolutely!

I hope you guys enjoyed the questions and I also hope you're having a great day/night! Thank you so much for reading!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Holly Berry Nails!

Hello again! I thought I'd share a nail look I did a couple days ago. It was super easy and didn't involve any actual nail art, but I called it "Holly Berry Nails" because the green with large red glitter reminded me of holly berries! I used two different polishes to create this look. First, I began with three coats of China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses (which can be seen on its own in this post). Then, I topped it off with two coats of China Glaze Party Hearty. Last year, I did a post about how hard Party Hearty was to find, which also included a swatch of what it looks like alone with approximately 4 coats. You can see that post here if you're interested.

So here is the "holly berry" concoction I created using Mistletoe Kisses and Party Hearty!

I thought it turned out pretty cute for how easy it was!

 I have some more Christmasy-Holiday type of posts planned soon, so I certainly hope none of this is too overkill for you guys. I don't even understand why I'm so incredibly excited about Christmas this year, though I suppose I could try to psychoanalyze it a bit. The nostalgia I get around Christmas based on Christmas as a kid is a big part of it. It takes me back to a time with no responsibilities, believing in Santa, and waking up at 4:00 A.M. on Christmas morning because I was so excited. I also am in a little bit better of a place with my new job. I'm not incredibly depressed and anxious and worried all the time about employment, money, and bills. My financial state is by no means stable, and I still struggle a lot, but it's not as bad anymore; and for that I am thankful. Without being so worried so often, it gives me the space inside my neurotic mind to actually enjoy the holidays. Just driving around and looking at the beautiful Christmas lights with a cup of hot chocolate is enough to make me the happiest person alive. And finally, working with kids and getting to see how excited they are for Christmas and holidays in general; it's really heartwarming! So that's my ghetto attempt at trying to analyze my Christmas excitement. :)

       I hope you're all enjoying your weekend and are having a great day/night! Take care!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chinovi Cosmetics Christmas 2012

Hello there! If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great holiday yesterday. And if you don't, I still hope you had a great day yesterday! My boyfriend and I went to my parents house for the holiday. We played Apples to Apples before dinner (which is a fun game anyway, but a lot more fun with a couple glasses of wine). Then we had dinner, and my mom made a really special feast. She sent us home with like 18,000 pounds of food, which we honestly really appreciated (we don't get to eat special meals very often). A good time was definitely had by all! 

So this post correlates with my previous post about past holiday eyeshadow collections. It's kind of a fail on my part because I actually started drafting it last December, but never got around to completing it. But it's all good, it gives me something to write about now!

Last year, an indie eyeshadow company called Chinovi Cosmetics released a beautiful holiday collection that consisted of six colors. I found out about this collection by reading Wendi's post here! I definitely recommend checking out her swatches of that collection, as they are really well done!

Here are the eyeshadow descriptions from Chinovi Cosmetics:

Berry Garland is a deep red with berry tones and swirled with cranberry and silver sparkles.
Blue Spruce is a deep evergreen with blue interference. It is lit up with blue and golden sparkles.
Flocked is an extremely shimmery white.
Star is a darkened gold with a lot of shimmering gold sparkles.
Tinsel is a mid tone blue with tons of purple, pink, teal, and silver sparkles.
Twinkle is a shimmery nude with silver and gold sparkles.

And now onto the swatches! These shadows are swatched over Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue on NC15 skin.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the shade.

Top Row from L to R: Twinkle, Flocked, Berry Garland
Bottom Row from L to R: Star, Tinsel, Blue Spruce
The swatches above were taken outside in the sunlight.

Above: I had to include a photo of the actual eyeshadows and the packaging, because it was so cute! The eyeshadows were packaged in the snowman bag (not solely, of course) and they were adorned with little Christmas trees.

Chinovi has a new holiday collection this year that is called Silver Bells. I am drooling after some of the shadows in the new collection, though I'm trying not to be so frivolous. I have a butt load of eyeshadow, and I want to use what I actually have instead of buying MOAR MOAR MOAR. I think I've done a good job lately of not buying makeup unless I actually run out of it (i.e. foundation, eyeliner, mascara). 

So that's my Chinovi Christmas 2012 collection, only a year late! I hope you all have a really wonderful weekend!

 DISCLAIMER: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday Swatches (via 2011)

Hello sweet little sparkles! Since I've been swatching holiday polish from previous years, I was inspired to swatch some of the shadows from past indie holiday collections. I realized the only holiday shadows I've swatched were from last year's Darling Girl Cosmetics Christmas collection. So, without further adieu, let's get into the sparkly spirit!

Today I have swatches from the Glamour Doll Eyes Holiday 2011 set. There were two holiday sets in 2011, both made in very limited quantities; so I feel very lucky that I was able to snag this set (I ordered the second set). I think these shadows are so fun and beautiful, and they really scream CHRISTMAS!!!!, which I adore! Below I included a picture of the jars, because they're just so incredibly precious!

And now for the swatches! I patted these shadows on clean skin on top of Darling Girl Cosmetics Glitter Glue.

Above from L to R: Overslept, Tinsel Fight eyelight, December 26th, and Midnight Light Show

I honestly think all of the colors in this set are beautiful. I love the color and name of Overslept. It's a lovely greyish-green with purple glitter. I've been wearing it to work the past couple weeks and I have really enjoyed it. Tinsel Fight is an eyelight, which is what Glamour Doll Eyes calls their glitters. It's such a fun and festive glitter! There is silver, green, and red glitter in Tinselfight. I wore it as a main lid color in a Christmas look I did last year, and I think it looked pretty neat! December 26th is a lovely rasberry shade with silver glitter. And my favorite of this bunch is Midnight Light Show. It's a black shadow with multi-colored glitter. It really is like a midnight light show! The swatch definitely doesn't do it justice. My favorite thing to do with Midnight Light Show is do a regular cat eye with black liner and pat Midnight Light Show over it. It brightens up an otherwise regular old cat eye!

I truly hope you all enjoyed these swatches, and I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday. My boyfriend and I are going to his parents' house for an early Thanksgiving this afternoon, as they will be out of town for Thanksgiving.

Take care, and thanks so much for reading!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Hello there! I hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing weekend. It's been raining the last few days here, so I am enjoying this weather all snuggled up in bed with fuzzy socks and a new pair of pajamas! It's nice to be able to be cozy during this weather as opposed to being at work, so I am very thankful to have the day off today.

So, today's post might be quite redundant because I've actually already blogged about this perfume last December: once in a regular post and another time in a favorites post. I almost went through the entire 5mL roll on, which is pretty unheard of for me (I usually switch up the perfumes I wear too often to go through any of them). I really wanted to wear this perfume again this winter, so I am very thankful it was re-released on the Smellbent website for their holiday collection. I bought it in the biggest size they offered because I did not want to get close to running out again! I love this perfume very much, as I'm sure you can tell!

Above: Ice Station Zebra by Smellbent

Ice Station Zebra scent description from Smellbent:
"howling arctic winds, cracking ice, frozen earth,  and crisp evergreen buried under a drift of snowy musk"

Ice Station Zebra starts off with kind of a weird menthol note- very similar to Vick's Vapo Rub. And I know what you're thinking... Rachel, why don't you just buy Vick's if that's what your crazy ass wants to smell like? The thing is, that menthol-y scent disappears immediately and the most incredible winter scent is unearthed. The scent itself is as chilly as snow itself. In my last post, I described it as a snowflake melting on your nose! The evergreen is very prominent in this perfume, and is definitely my favorite part about it. Ice Station Zebra stays pretty consistent throughout the scent stages.The one downside to it is definitely the sillage. The sillage isn't terrible by any means, but I do wish it was a bit stronger than it is. The flip side to that is that I am able to wear it to work because I know I'm the only one that will be able to smell it. It lasts an average amount of time on me, about four hours. I've been using this perfume every morning before work and using the last tiny bit of my roll on to spruce it up during my lunch break. 

I think that about wraps it up for today. Thank you all so much for reading. If I don't post before then, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Disclaimer: All items mentioned were purchased by me; all opinions are my own.