Goose Creek, Better Homes and Gardens, & ScentSationals Small Haul

Happy Independence Day to those of you that celebrated! I had a great time with my family on the 4th. The holiday inspired me to place an order with Goose Creek a few weeks ago, so I could enjoy their festive Red, White & Blue two-wick tumbler during the day. I missed the candle last year, but was happy to see it in stock this summer.

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Along with that candle, I picked some scents for the seasons ahead: 1 Frosted Pumpkin Cake two-wick tumbler, 2 wax melts in the fall scents Carrot Cake and Kentucky Harvest, and 1 Balsam Fir for winter. I kept it as simple as possible since this was a spontaneous purchase.

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Carrot Cake is a re-purchase, because I’m in love with this fragrance. Balsam Fir is new to me, since I kept skipping over it and figured this year, I need to have it. Kentucky Harvest is delightful. It includes apple, caramel, clove, vanilla, and cedarwood notes in its description. I also received a free gift with this purchase: 1 Exhilarating Pineapple room spray. I know either my mother or my sister-in-law would love this scent, so I will most likely pass the spray along.

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To burn for the current season, I chose a few sweet bakery wax melts from Walmart: 2 Better Homes and Gardens melts in Brownie Pecan Pie and Vanilla Cookie Crunch, and 1 ScentSationals wax melt in Iced Lemon Sugar Cookies. I am stepping out of my comfort zone a bit by trying out lemon and chocolate scented wax. I need some sort of wax fairy to boop me on the head with her wand and dissolve my strange wax-related worries. The worst thing that has ever happened to me when I tried something new was that I had a fierce craving for a cappuccino.

Do any of you have any “out of my comfort zone” scented candle and wax experiences? I am always curious about other people’s scent preferences!

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Yankee Candle Semi-annual Sale Summer 2017

After a few years of uncertainty, I decided to give Yankee Candle another shot. I wasn’t getting much throw out of the large jar candles, wax tarts, or votives that I was buying, so I pulled back and resisted their products. The company addressed these concerns in a Facebook Live video last year, and had unsatisfied customers contact a designated “We Listen” e-mail about hard-to-smell products. Yankee Candle has since released new scents, as well as entirely changing the look of their brand. I was due to see how the company responded to customer feedback, and thus, my semi-annual sale order was placed.

I ordered six large jars for $60 along with free shipping. I picked three fragrances in the classic large jar, and three in large two-wick tumblers. At least three of the scents are new. It will take some time to compare and contrast these fragrances, but for now, my initial thoughts are overwhelmingly positive. They seem like strong scented candles, and my expectations are not as low as they were a year ago.

 

First Impressions (all cold sniff!)

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Ocean Star – Better than I expected! I could see this being a very refreshing, unisex body care scent. Out of all the aquatic-type scents available, I’m glad I chose this one.

Pumpkin Buttercream – True to its title, but deepened with a lovely clove note. I think I may have to do a “pumpkin cake showdown” with other candles that are similarly themed.

French Countryside – Not as floral as I expected, but more like a soft spring and summer perfume. I’m really loving this candle, but I’m a seasonal burner… I may wait all the way until next spring to light it.

 

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Peeps – This smells like a delicious vanilla and marshmallow cupcake to me. I was expecting it to be a little more… candy-ish? I’ve never sniffed the Marshmallow Chicks Yankee candle with yellow wax, so I can’t compare the two.

Stars & Stripes – Really, this candle makes me think of a craft store, but during spring and summer months. To be honest, I bought it for the label – I really wanted a festive 4th of July candle.

Island Waterfall – The scent reminds me of a cleaning product, but in a good way. I think this would be a great neutral fragrance to burn around a lot of company.

 

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…and I only bought a single wax tart. I kept putting a Vanilla Lime large jar candle in my cart, but decided I wanted to test it with a tart first. I know this one isn’t new, but it’s new to me! Oddly enough, on cold sniff, I feel like I’m getting mint from this fragrance.

 

Follow me on Instagram @angela.mally for extra candle & wax stuff! ❤

Blogmas 2016 Day 5: Goose Creek Goodies

I placed one online order for Black Friday on the night of Thanksgiving this year and it was for Goose Creek Candle. I can’t say enough positive things about Goose Creek. The staff are wonderful people that are happy to chat with us candle fanatics in their Facebook group every week. Their customer service is excellent, and they have very fair prices and great sales throughout the year. Most importantly, their products perform well. I get a nice, clean burn with each candle so far, and there are plenty of unique scents that stand out in my collection. They are powerful scents that throw throughout my home. This is not a sponsored post! These are just my honest thoughts, and the reasons why I was happy to spend a minute away on Thanksgiving to purchase a couple of new holiday scents to try out.

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I was most curious about Christmas Cakes, so I went ahead and ordered it in a large jar despite never sniffing it before. I haven’t lit the candle, so I can’t review it quite yet, but I love the smell of it so far. I get a really yummy bakery, vanilla scent with a bit of brown sugar.

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I ordered two wax melts: Christmas Cookies and Peppermint Snowflake. I’ve had my eyes on these two wax melts for over a year now, so I figured it was time to get ’em and beef up my winter holiday collection.

Another new scent I was intrigued by was Italian Winter. I ordered this in a 1.5 ounce firefly (mini-candle) and I am saving it for Christmas dinner, as it will fit in nicely with the large Italian feast that will be served. This is by no means a foodie scent; it is fresh and herbal in a way I have never smelled in a home fragrance before. The scent notes listed online include merlot, ivy leaves, and warm amber.

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I also received a free gift for my Black Friday purchase and it was a 1.5 ounce concentrated room spray in the scent Confetti Cake. I was very happy about this gift, because I ordered the scent in wax melt form earlier this year and loved it. It reminds me of the cereal Fruity Pebbles.

As I was putting my scents away (I am saving them to burn on Saint Nicholas Day tomorrow!) it dawned on me that I was so distracted all weekend, I’ve forgotten about my advent calendar! I had 3 days of chocolates to catch up on.

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Now the rest of my evening/night will be spent on health & fitness. I’m trying to make more of an effort to be healthy and fit again after getting into a slump over this past summer and fall. I have an hour of cardio planned followed by some light weight lifting. I’ll be fueled by a chicken-topped garden salad.

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Body Care Scent of the Day: Bath & Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar
Home Fragrance Scent of the Day: Bath & Body Works Vanilla Snowflake

Blogmas 2016 Day 3: Candle Sale & Birthday Time

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I was up bright and early this morning to run some errands, hit the Bath & Body Works candle sale, recharge at Starbucks, and pick up another little birthday gift before the party tonight.

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I had much better luck with this year’s candle sale than last year’s. I was in right when they opened and managed to grab each candle from my wishlist. I was also able to use a $10 off of $30 coupon along with a 20% off coupon that came attached in the mail. Each candle came to $4.80 each; it’s just too bad there weren’t any others that I really wanted or needed. It would have been an ideal time to stock up. I then walked over to Starbucks for a peppermint mocha frappuccino and was enticed by their bags of holiday coffees.

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I made a final trip to get someone some birthday treats: their favorite party drink and candies. I just woke up from a nap with enough time to throw some cookies in the oven and paint my nails a shimmery silver shade.

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Body Care Scent of the Day: Bath & Body Works Be Joyful
Home Fragrance Scent of the Day: Better Homes & Gardens Twinkling Holiday Lights

Blogmas 2016 Day 2: Starbucks & Other Goodies

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How cute is that snowman cookie and the cup from Starbucks? I’m such a sucker for little details like that. If anything can cheer me up about the fall season being over (and no more PSLs), it’s definitely a peppermint mocha after shopping that hits the spot. The cookie was a last minute bonus.

As I mentioned yesterday, the bulk of my shopping was related to a birthday event this weekend, but I stopped at Walmart for some festive purchases too. I picked up a couple of Better Homes & Gardens wax melts, a throw blanket, and a pair of fuzzy PJ pants so that I am ready for the freezing winter weather. I live in Wisconsin, so I do literally mean freezing. What I forgot to grab were fresh pairs of fuzzy socks. Oh well.

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I’ve got a night of laundry ahead of me, plus I need to catch up on The Walking Dead before any spoilers get me. Hopefully I don’t keep myself up too late, because I’m getting up early to head to the mall and shop the Bath & Body Works $8.50 candle sale tomorrow.

This morning I had a biiig chocolate chip muffin for breakfast with a side of advent calendar chocolate. Don’t worry, I don’t always eat this crappy. A red velvet scented candle and body care was an obvious choice for the day after all of the cocoa goodness.

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Body Care Scent of the Day: Bath & Body Works Red Velvet Cheer
Home Fragrance Scent of the Day: Goose Creek Red Velvet Cupcake
What are your plans for the weekend? Are you doing Blogmas this year too?

Fall Fun Series: Pumpkins

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I’m back from my trip into the Northwoods and I’m adjusting to life in the city again today. I was sad to leave the cabin, but what made it a little easier was the fact that it got pretty cold and windy, and started raining a little our last morning there. It helped to know that all of my cozy fall decor would be waiting for me at home.

Alright, so I’m a little pumpkin crazy during fall. I’m that girl that bought Pumpkin Pie chapstick at Walmart. Whether it’s body care, home fragrance, desserts, decor, and of course, the real thing – I’m all about the pumpkins starting September 1st. This year, though, I’m at least practicing a little self control and not pulling out *every last* pumpkin item that I own. I’m focusing only on what is new to my collection, or what I am currently using.

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Some pumpkins came home with me after my trip to the pumpkin patch last weekend, and my favorite is sitting pretty in the window with a couple of gourds that came from my parents’ garden. I also got three new glitter pumpkins – because, why not? – and during my cabin trip, I picked up a little baby pumpkin for our table that also came back home with me.

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This copper pumpkin 3-wick candle holder from Bath & Body Works circa 2014 is special to me. I was absentmindedly complaining to my boyfriend last year that I missed out on getting a pumpkin candle holder, and about a week later, this one arrived for me from Amazon. It’s great to be with someone that supports my habits!

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Of course, in addition to Bath & Body Works home fragrance products, I have four different sets of pumpkin-related body care fragrances. All of the shower gels are currently in my shower, which is definitely excessive, but it just wouldn’t feel like fall without having these pumpkin scents around.

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I ordered a few pumpkin melts from Kringle Candle a couple of months ago and so far I’ve tried out two of them: White Pumpkin and Pumpkin Frosting. White Pumpkin is phenomenal, in my opinion. Its scent is totally unique to my collection. Pumpkin Frosting was good, but forgettable, as it really didn’t leave an impression on me. It’s just pumpkin spice and vanilla.

The new ScentSationals Pumpkin Marshmallow Cream smells yummy, but the performance wasn’t all that great to me. It was just a lot more weak than I expected of a fall fragrance. I did also pick up the Pumpkin S’mores wax melt that contains the same scent along with Pumpkin Spice, so I will be sure to use that combo next time.

I ordered my first 3 room perfumes from Bath & Body Works, one of which is Caramel Pumpkin Swirl. I’m pretty happy with the scent strength and longevity of these products. If I’m not at home long enough to wait for wax to melt, a few sprays will get the job done quite well.

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These two are my newest pumpkin/fall candles from Bath & Body Works and Goose Creek. I broke in Pumpkin French Toast on the first official day of fall, but Creamy Pumpkin Pie has yet to be lit. I’m thinking this one will be a fitting Thanksgiving candle next month.

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This is the big mama that I use to make my homemade pumpkin spice lattes. Torani’s pumpkin pie flavored sauce isn’t the official Starbucks flavoring, and it does come out tasting differently than an official Pumpkin Spice Latte. When I was reading reviews online, Torani seemed like a better choice than the Fontana pumpkin spice flavoring, so I decided to try something new.

As for my other favorite pumpkin treats, who am I kidding? Those are all gobbled up before pictures can be taken of them. To substitute, I’ll share a cute little pumpkin display spotted just outside of my happy place, B & BW.

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Fall Fun Series: Recipe – Cornbread Stuffing

My favorite recipe to make during fall, especially for Thanksgiving, is cornbread stuffing. The recipe that I use came from my mother. She was born and raised in Germany, so she never experienced a Thanksgiving until she met my father while he was stationed in her country with the army. They moved all along the U.S. west coast and ended up in Tucson, Arizona, where she first started learning how to cook “American” food. I made her recipe on Thursday this week, and while it was cooking, I decided to chat with her about it over coffee.

 

Me: How long have you been making this cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving?
Mom: Since 1975.
Me: How did you discover the recipe?
Mom: Your dad took me to a friend’s house in Tucson for my first Thanksgiving dinner, and his mother served cornbread stuffing like this.
Me: And you asked for the recipe?
Mom: Yes. It originally had apple in it, but I avoided adding that once you and your brothers came along.
Me: Did you ever have “traditional” stuffing on Thanksgiving?
Mom: Yes, your aunts make the regular stuffing, and it’s fine. We ate that if we were with them for the holiday. I just prefer the cornbread kind, so that’s what I serve.
Me: Did you eat anything like this in Germany?
Mom: Well, we obviously didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and turkey was not a very common food served back then. I ate potato salad, but not mashed potatoes.
Me: Did you like Thanksgiving dinner?
Mom: No, not really. It was weird to me, like most other foods. I only liked cheeseburgers, and this stuffing once I found it.
Me: What about now? Do you like Thanksgiving food?
Mom: It’s great. I love leftover turkey sandwiches.

 

Since I grew up with this recipe, it’s my go-to when I cook my own Thanksgiving dinners now. Cornbread stuffing is pretty common, but I don’t see it a lot here in the Midwest on Thanksgiving. I like that this version of stuffing is a little sweet, because in my opinion, it complements the mashed potatoes and gravy quite nicely. It keeps the meal from being a total salt-bomb, and I find that I miss having it if I am someone else’s guest for the holiday.

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The recipe calls for two boxes of cornbread or corn muffin mix (my mother prefers to use corn muffin mix, so I use it too), about four carrots, about four celery sticks, about four eggs, an onion, a half-stick of butter, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and a half cup of chicken stock. I use 3-4 tablespoons of the poultry seasoning and salt and pepper it to taste.

The first thing to do is mix the batter (needs an additional egg and 1/3rd cup of milk per box) and bake the cornbread in a large glass dish for 15-20 minutes. Usually, this is done the night before Thanksgiving, so that the turkey can hog the oven. Next, the carrots and eggs are boiled, peeled, and chopped. About half of the onion is chopped and added to the pot with some butter.

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I like to cut the cornbread into cubes and assemble everything together inside of the glass dish while the onion is sauteing in the pot. When the onions are browned, I add all of the remaining ingredients into the pot, add a little more butter and some water, season it well with the poultry seasoning, and let it cook on low for an hour or two.

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The stuffing is nearing completion once everything is well blended and becomes “mush,” as we lovingly call it. The stuffing can be returned to the glass dish and baked for another 30-40 minutes (or as needed) at 375 degrees.

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The end result should feed around 10-12 people. We usually have leftovers, because this is a pretty large batch.

 

 

I took a break from pumpkin scents this week and finally decided to try my Carrot Cake wax melts from Goose Creek. I’d been holding onto this particular melt since spring because I thought it would be best used as a transitional fragrance from summer into fall. I couldn’t be more pleased with this scent! There was nothing weak or artificial about it – I really felt like I was smelling the most decadent carrot cake baking in my oven. It was quite strong, too, although not as powerful as the Pumpkin French Toast experience I had last week.

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The scent lingered for hours after only melting in my warmer for an hour or so. It was incredibly tempting, but I did not break down and go get my own *real* carrot cake for consumption. I would definitely recommend this one to any foodies out there.