Coconut Bavarois: Quite Possibly the Best Coconut Scent Ever Created

Thursday, July 31, 2008

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post from today, my allergies are really bad today. I just want to sit in a vat of liquid Claritin to try to clear this up. Darn those grasses, trees, flowers in my garden, and whatever else had caused this misery!

Thankfully my trusty mail carrier brought me the cure to remedy my allergy-induced grumpiness--my Crater Lake Company order.

I opened my box and was cheered to open my box of pink wonder. I love Sharonn's pink tissue paper, crinkle wrap, and CLC's overall sophisticated feminity. I placed just a wee order a couple of weeks ago: three "Sweet Touch" Touch Up glass roll ons in Coconut Bavarois, Creamy Pear Sorbetto, and Pan de Azucar con Leche. I chose the Sweet Almond Oil base, as oil bases not only are more natural, but they work amazingly well in the summer. Your natural body heat brings out the fragrance and when it is hot, I find that an oil base lasts at least 12 hours on me without a touch up.

Since my sniffer has barely worked in the past 48 hours, I was afraid I would not be able to give an accurate review of these perfumes. I had my Claritin this morning, sniffed some coffee beans to cleanse my nasal passages (a trick to clearing away scent if you're trying several perfumes so they don't all blend together), and opened up the bottles.

The first scent I tried was the Creamy Pear Sorbetto. What a lovely scent. I am on the fence with pear scents in general. Many smell fake, but this is very soft and realistic. You can detect the fresh pear and the gorgeous vanilla with it. It is truly lovely.

Next I tried the Pan de Azucar con Leche. At first, I detected a scent very similar to Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Matin Calin. It quickly dries down to a most scrumptious and rich flaky pastry. To me, this is Creme Brulee meets Matin Calin meets a flaky croissant with sweet butter on top. It is very, very nice. I will wear this on an early autumn day.

The last scent I tried I am blown away by: Coconut Bavarois. Sharonn's site describes this one as "A crave-inducing sniff that's just out of this world. Our wearable version of this dessert combines the rich notes of whipping cream and whole milk, the creaminess of coconut and the finest vanilla, into a velvety, custard-like sweetness.Perfect worn alone or layered. "

Sharonn is usually right on at describing her fragrances so that their true essence is captured. Not this time. Coconut Bavarois is what Sharonn described, HOWEVER, she failed to mention one key thing: this is the best coconut fragrance ever created by anyone at any price range. You literally can detect every single note Sharonn described.

I love coconut scents. I like coconut mixed with spice. I like coconut mixed with floral notes. I like coconut straight up. I like coconut and dark chocolate....coconut with get the idea. I love coconut in general.

Coconut Bavarois is a dessert scent, yes. However, it is taken to a level above your typical "foody" scent. The vanilla isn't a sicky-sweet version. It smells like vanilla absolute to my nose. This is a mature dessert scent. On cold sniff, it smells like a yummy coconut dessert. Once it it is on your skin and dries down, it changes into the most gorgeous scent. I think my husband will love it, too, and he is not into foody scents the way I am. He would be happy if I still were to wear Tommy Girl or Polo Sport Woman everyday like I did back in college when I stopped wearing Peach Hyacinth.

This scent is going to result in many compliments from other women as well. I know when I wear this I will not hear, "I love that scent you have on. It smells like a dessert." It will be, "What are you wearing? You smell fantastic. Where did you buy that?"

In addition to my wonderful perfumes, Sharonn included a True Lustre Conditioner sample (which she knows I love!) in Pop Star Candy. This is a fun, sweet scent--almost reminds me of the Tootsie Roll Pops with the bluish-purple wrapper that I had as a kid many moons ago. A "Twisted Candy" Aloe Smoothie lotion sample was included, as was a new cold process soap in Tangerine Breeze.

If you love COCONUT, what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and click yourself over to CRATER LAKE COMPANY and fill your shopping bag with everything Coconut Bavarois. It is that good.

4:45pm Update: Scent is still going strong. Got compliments (just like I thought) in both the checkout counter at Wegmans and at the hair salon when I took Nick & Ben for their cuts!

COMING SOON from Avon: mark. Earth EDT!

Technically, I am a mark. rep (an Avon company). I used to sell a long time ago before I opened my own business. I stopped selling to others once I opened my own business, but I do remain active so that I can get the great 40% discount...the products are already very affordable, and with the discount you just can't beat the prices for some things. Many items still cotain parabens, but I do like their hair styling items and perfumes, for the most part. Bohista, Instant Vacation, Instant Vacation Greek Isles, and Pure are all in regular rotation on my vanity. I am my best (and only) customer...I don't sell mark. to others because it wouldn't be right to sell products containing so many ingredients I am against...luckily the hair products I enjoy are A-OK!

Anyway, today I received several sample cards in the mail from mark. of a new scent to be released in the fall. It looks like it will debut in Magalog 10.

The scent is called mark. Earth and it is described as "a blend of dewy green notes, fresh cut flowers and warm, tender woods. Call it chic and sophisticated. Call it the perfect fall scent." I like what I can smell so far. It smells great--light and very green. I will have to try it later on to give it a more accurate review. I have horrible allergies right now and am unable to smell much of anything :(

It is going to be available in an EDT spray for $22 and a body butter for $12.

Online Reiki Class Beginning in This Fall

As many of you know, I am a Reiki Master/Teacher specializing in Usui Reiki. I also am able to teach Kundalini Reiki, Color Therapy and Chakra Balancing. I do not have an office an I not not charge people to come for treaments. If I did, I would have no time for my skin care business. I think if I did Reiki on a regular appointment basis that I would quickly become bored.

I love Reiki, practice it regularly, and believe in all of its teachings.

If you have checked into Reiki, you know how costly the classes can be. Traditionalists believe that the set $10,000 fee to become a Reiki Master should be set in stone. More progressive practioners believe that you should share your knowledge freely with others. When I reached Master/Teacher level, I joined an organization committed to offering free or low cost reiki to those who would benefit from Reiki, but maybe not be able to afford it. I believe anyone who is sincerely interested in Reiki should be entitled to learn about it, and to practice it.

If you've had a Reiki treatment, you know that a single treatment is around $100 or so.

The Reiki Master/Teacher I took my courses with back in 2005 charged a moderate fee, but was full of knowledge and experience. In 2006, after completing Reiki I, Reiki II, and level III, Reiki Master/Teacher level, I earned my Reiki certification and the ability to conduct classes.

I am planning to offer an Introduction to Reiki (Level I) online course beginning at the end of September. The class will be free of charge and limited to 10 students who have a genuine interest in learning about Reiki and discussing it. I will provide the reading and course materials via email and also plan interactive discussions.

If you have an interest, send me an email to

If Level I is a success, I will continue with a Level II class, and possibly Level III.

In the coming months, I also plan to have a very detailed and inclusive course on Aromatherapy.

Drop me a line to find out more.

The Eyes Have It Giveaway!

Beginning tomorrow, I am taking entrants for THE EYES HAVE IT giveaway from The Chic & Green Blog.

From Friday, August 1st through Friday, August 15th I will accept entries (enter by email: for readers to win a small gift set containing 2 of my products from kzm Facial Care Boutique: a full-sized AVOCADO, LAVENDER & SHEA EYE BALM and a full-sized VITAMIN E & CARROT SEED EYE SERUM. Both are 100% natural products made with the purest ingredients.

Each month I will hold a giveaway of kzm Facial Care Boutique items.

Good Luck!

Contest Rules: Contest is a random drawing from submitted email addresses. You may enter one time per monthly giveaway. Winners will be contacted by email.

July Month in Review

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's time again for my month in review.

Two more days until my self-imposed etailer "no buy" begins...I am doing this for 2 reasons. First of all, I don't need anything. Secondly, I am going save more money to add to my savings account and to put into my important cause fund (to donate to The Lustgarten Foundation).

I did BETTER in July than in previous months, but I still wasn't on my best behavior...I ended up saving about $35-40 over last month. NOT AS MUCH AS I WANTED TO....

I just got in my final etailer order for a while. My goal is to go from AUGUST 1 until after Nick starts kindergarten (September 5th). I can do it!

My weakness in July? Hmm, that would be a toss up between Roll On perfumes and more soap. I bought both (hey, I didn't get any other bath and body items this month)--


Aunt Nancy's Mint Berry
Aunt Nancy's Lemongrass Sage
Aunt Nancy's Peppermint Chocolate
Balsam Honey Ale
Gudonya Too Coconut Lime Beer
Aunt Nancy's Sedona Rose
Aunt Nancy's Green Lilac Luxury
Aunt Nancy's Pink Peppermint


Smells So Sweet Coeur de Vahine
Smells So Sweet Chocolovers Type
Smells So Sweet Vaniglia del Madagascar
Smells So Sweet Zen Tea
Smells So Sweet Pumpkin Cheesecake
Starring...Fragrances! Mystery Bakery Blend
Starring...Fragrances! Rainbow Pixie Dust
Crater Lake Company Coconut Bavarois
Crater Lake Company Pan de Azucar
Crater Lake Company Creamy Pear Sorbetto
Mary Kay Journey (from eBay, an OLD favorite of mine, new in box...neat rectangle roll on)

So it looks like PERFUME was the weakness this month, wasn't it. The GOOD NEWS is that ALL of them were on sale ($2.90 each at Smells So Sweet, clearance at Starring...!, points redeemed on Crater Lake, $4 on eBay for the Journey) or very, very low priced.

The other GOOD NEWS? Well, between the roll on loot and my wonderful soaps, I am stocked up for a LONG time!

I hadn't planned to order more (I never do), but this morning I received an email from Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps, and Nan is having a great sale today and tomorrow! Buy 2 bars of her fantabulous soap and get a bar free! I am a sucker for a sale, so I ordered three new to me bars: Sedona Rose, Green Layered Lilac and Pink Peppermint. That's 3 big bars of soap ecstacy for $10.

I would like to share some of my thoughts on what I have ordered and received this month.

First of all, my eagerly anticipated CRATER LAKE COMPANY order is on its way! It was shipped a few days back, and my tracking info shows that it is in NJ. Why is it in NJ when Sharonn and I are both in New York? Well, I am not sure, but I am confident it'll be here by the end of the week so I can roll on some Coconut Bavarois, which I have heard so many wonderful things about.



A couple of weeks back, I received my Smells So Sweet order. Sandra was really pleasant, and I was really pleased with my order. It is too bad that she's closing her shop--but have no fear, she will open again in September! What I loved almost as much as the actual order was that the great roll ons were under $3 each on her sale! My body chemistry can be wacky with so many fragrances, so Zen Tea and Couer de Vahine don't smell good on me at all. That being said--they smell great NOT on me. I am loving her dupe of Vaniglia del Madagascar, one of my favorite scents ever, which is a pricey scent from i Profumi di Firenze. Is this identical to the i Profumi di Firenze vanilla orchid and Madagascar vanilla fragrance? No, but it is pretty darn close! I've been wearing this quite a bit.

I also know I am going to enjoy the Pumpkin Cheesecake scent when fall arrives. It is a wonderful sweet pumpkin with a slight spice influence. The cheesecake scent is true. I will layer this over vanilla in the fall. I also ordered the Chocolovers dupe. I am not in love with this, but do like it! I adore the Aquolina version--this is the only Aquolina fragrance I like. When that has been on me for a while, it dries down to a sweet chocolate without too much Pink Sugar. I do not, in general, like Pink Sugar. When it is done in moderation, however, it can develop beautifully when blended with other notes.

The roll on I received dries down into more of a Pink Sugar than chocolate...even though it is all chocolate to me when I first apply it. Again, this can easily be softened. I have layered it over plain chocolate lotion and over vanilla. The vanilla softens it--I add pure vanilla essential oil to my Miss Goat's Soothe Your Skin Lotion and apply this before almost all of my perfumes for a softer, yet long lasting scent.


Over the weekend, I received my Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps order. Two bars were reorders of ones I have had in the past. Mint Berry is the new one of the bunch. I have to say that it is now tied for first place with the Chocolate Peppermint as my most favorite bar of her soap! It is the perfect soap for a hot day--so refreshing, but ever so slightly sweet with the berries. This is not an artificial berry scent at all--it is very subtle. It's also perfect for me in the shower at 6am when I am trying to wake up and feel energized! The mint is a great refresher, while the berry just cheers me up in the morning.


I also have been on a BEER kick. Not drinking beer, but on the benefits of beer. As you know, by the end of summer, my beer and honey shampoo will debut. I have had a hard time getting my husband to use any kind of soap other than the MULTI PACKS of Irish Spring or Lever 2000 at Target...He likes a good buy, too...he will sometimes use handmade soap, but only if the ultra harsh detergent bars from Target are still in the cabinet and he is in the shower. I thought some beer bars would be good for him.

I bought two on Etsy. The first is the Honey Ale from Balsam (an affiliate of My Lavender Fair) and the second is the Mexican Coconut Lime Beer soap from Gudonya Too. I emailed both sellers on Etsy to make sure their beer bars contained no palm oil. I would like to rave about customer service at both shops. Nicole is wonderful over at Balsam, and Brian and Tina from Gudonya Too were also GREAT! I'd recommend either.

I received my Honey Ale Bar from Balsam and smiled when I saw the bar. It's very pretty with a "lime" on top. My husband isn't helpful when it comes to sharing his thoughts on soap, so I tried out the bar. First of all, the lather is ULTRA creamy. It is really nourishing and just had a beautiful, soft and creamy lather. It is unscented, which is nice. After using, I felt no need to moisturize. VERY IMPRESSED!

Monday's mail brought my Gudonya Too soap. Another attractive bar. I was concerned because the ingredients label had palm oil on it, so I convo'd Brian and Tina (the owners) and she said that the soap was, indeed, palm oil free, but that she had put a Floap (soap that floats) label on it accidentally. They assured me that their bars are palm oil free.

I used this bar today. I do not smell any coconut, but there is a real punch of lime. If you love straight-up lime, this is a great bar for you! This is also a nice bar of soap. It lathers well, although the lather wasn't rich and creamy like the Balsam bar. I would recommend this if the skin on your body is combination to oily. I think this one is going to be the winner of the two for my husband, as his skin is oily.

I really liked both bars, but the Balsam one has an exquisite creamy lather and really nourished. It is one great bar of soap. Keep in mind that my skin is on the dry side, though, so that makes a difference! If you're more oily, I'd recommend the Gudonya Too bar if you're trying to choose a beer bar.


I know it is July 30th and I technically have one more day to splurge on etailer goodness, but I am actually going to start my NO BUY after I publish this post....NO MORE ETAILER BUYING OR RETAIL BATH AND BODY (INCLUDING PERFUMES AND TARTS) until September 5th.

Do y'all think I can do it? This will be 37 days without a bath and body
purchase! I'm going to do it!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Randy Pausch died today. He was 47 years old, an expert in his field, a professor, son, husband, a dad. He raised awareness for pancreatic cancer research and his "last lecture" delivered to students at Carnegie Mellon sits on the best seller list (The Last Lecture). His fierce determination, wit, candor, and love for his family was shared with the world on Oprah, Prime Time, Good Morning America, several newspapers, magazines, and more.

He died of Pancreatic Cancer. He fought a valiant battle and left an amazing legacy to his children and to society in general. I know the stats for pancreatic cancer. They are incredibly grim. Once it has spread, you won't get is a brutal form of cancer. Pausch had beaten so many odds during his courageous fight. I almost erased the statistics from my head and thought he would be that one miracle who defied all of the odds.

"No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."

Dr. Pausch was a crusader in every sense, a real hero. The quote above is appropriate. It is one mentioned to me by another journalist when my father died--a quote taken from Dead Poets Society in a scene where the professor used it to inspire his students. "The Last Lecture" is a testament to this. Pausch's words have had, have now, and will continue to have a lasting impact.

Everyone who knows me knows how my own life has been touched by Pancreatic Cancer. My dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer at The Mayo Clinic in late October 2004--right when we found out we were expecting Benjamin. Dad died 3 months later. He had just turned 56 the month before. The doctors told him at the time of diagnosis that he had less than a one percent chance of living 1 year. Those are staggering odds. They told him he had about 3 case 3-6.

Not long after Dad's death I started researching different charities for pancreatic cancer research. The one I am most passionate about is THE LUSTGARTEN FOUNDATION. They are a wonderful group of people who are truly passionate about finding a cure through research. Did you know that Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most underfunded in terms of research spending, yet it is one of the deadliest forms of cancer out there.

I am making a pledge right now to go on a total etailer "NO BUY" in AUGUST 2008. The money saved that month will go right into my fund to donate to Lustgarten. I made a similar pledge about putting money into savings and also into charity (which made it to the Lustgarten's Purple Prose page on July 18th, where they also mentioned our other efforts) at the end of June.

I would also like to announce that in NOVEMBER, I will be donating FIFTY PERCENT of the profits from my Etsy shop ALL MONTH LONG to The Lustgarten Foundation in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

I will continue to plan smaller events as well, along the lines of my June 2007 Soaps For Hope or December's Light a Candle for Hope. For a bigger event, I plan to have our second "A Day of Hope and Giving" January 29, 2009. The first time we held that event, over $500 was raised in that single day.

When fall comes, Dad's Pumpkin Pie scent will be offered again in several items, and 100% of the proceeds of the scent will be donated.

Right now in my shop, Dad's Margaritaville is available in 3-in-1 Hair & Body Wash and Dry Oil Spray. That is my scent of the summer where 100% of proceeds of sales of that scent will be donated. It is a great scent, by the way...a salty margarita with lime essential oil!

I will soon be putting up a special category in my shop of special products which will benefit this foundation all the time. Like I said, every little bit helps!

JULY'S Random Act of Kindness

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I have some items up this month for a Random Act of Kindness again.

Here is what I have so far. More may be added to the list soon!

*BATHED AND INFUSED IN BETWEEN CREAM (4 oz, one tiny bit swiped out with spatula, but 99+% full) in PEACH HYACINTH TAKEN 7/26


*ISLE OF EDEN EDEN'S MIST in Caramel Beach (4 ounces, about 75% full) TAKEN 7/24

*SMELLS SO SWEET Sweet Roll Eau de Parfum in ZEN TEA (0.33 oz., tried once)

*CLEANSE YOUR SOUL CREAMY OIL in CACTUS & SEA SALT (2 oz, squirted one time but the scent just doesn't love my chemistry)

*MEMA'S COLD PROCESSED SOAPS (Etsy Seller) Chocolate Mint Bar (This is a palm-oil free bar (yay!), very LIGHTLY scented, Small bar about 2.5 oz., never used) TAKEN 7/28

I know I have more to list and I will do so in the next day or so...these are just the ones I have off the top of my head :)

Want anything I have listed thus far? Email me at

THE CATCH? Not a catch, but rather a Pay It Forward. Go through your own items and give something away to someone who would enjoy it or just do something random and kind for another human being.

Gift With Purchase at kzm Facial Care Boutique; A Look Ahead

I am having a GIFT WITH PURCHASE through Saturday at midnight.

All customers will receive a complimentary GOAT'S MILK FACIAL CLEANSER (2 ounces) and a deluxe sample jar of GOAT'S MILK FACIAL CREAM with any purchase.

I have added MANY new pre-made 3-in-1 cleansers, hand creams and body creams to the shop. Most of these are products I had made a few weeks back for my gift baskets and for events. I am phasing out custom scent requests. The only items that I am currently offering in ANY scent off the scent menu are my DRY OIL SPRAY (until August 1) and my HAIR MIST. Hair Mist is most likely going to be offered in any scent for the duration.

What else is new: AUGUST 1st will be the debut of my DIVINE DESSERTS COLLECTION featuring 4 ounce body creams ($7) and 2 ounce Dry Oil Sprays ($6).

These will be the only scents available in body creams and dry oils sprays from August until my Fall Harvest Collection scents debut. Some are new, others are long-time favorites.

Here they are:

Peach Baked Alaska Cupcake--White cupcakes, creamy vanilla ice cream, meringue and hot sliced peaches

Flour City Berry Cake--White Cake, Blackberries, Red Raspberries and White Tea Infusion

Bakery Cakes--Cupcakes, Yellow Cake Batter, Pound Cake and Chocolate Fudge

Scrumptious--my exclusive blend of dark chocolate truffle, a dash of nutmeg, almond cookie, a drop of honey and vanilla absolute

Lemon Almond Creme Cupcake--Lemon custard is blended with almond cookie bites, whipped cream, and Italian Creme Cake

Pink Coconut Cherry Cupcake--Fluffy pink cotton candy, coconut, marshmallows and black cherries blended with white cake batter and iced to perfection! If you have tried my PINK COCONUT CHERRIES scent and enjoy cake scents, this one you'll surely love!


Honey Brew Shampoo will be out in August. The same basic recipe as my 3-in-1 (a Vegan Castile liquid soap infused with aloe vera juice), this recipe is made with Rochester's own HONEY BROWN LAGER, clover honey from a seller at Rochester's Public Market, and fresh lemon juice.

A hair rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar and an infusion of essential oils and herbs will be offered as well. My scented conditioner (again, time issues!), although a best-seller, will no longer be offered.

I will soon be doing a more lengthy blog piece on the benefits of beer for the hair, so stay tuned!

Fast Forward to Fall

I have already been working on my fall scent availability! I know that I will be bringing back DAD'S PUMPKIN PIE, KARLEY'S FALL HARVEST, SPICE IS NICE, VANILLA GLAZED DONUTS, OLD FASHIONED POPCORN BALLS, and APPLE BROWN BETTY. Those are tried and true best sellers for me in the fall.

A Note on Custom Orders:

Did I phase out something you are missing? Let me know. I often receive emails asking if I could make up something they used to buy but that I no longer offer. Sure, in most cases, I will be happy to make up that item for you. I won't be able to do it nearly as quickly as I can from my pre-made offerings, but I am always happy to accommodate my customers, both locally and over the web.

Even More Etsy Love....

Etsy is my favorite shopping venue. It's funny. Two years ago, I would've laughed my head off if you told me that one day the bulk of the items I buy would be handmade creations and that I would soon dread going to a busy mall.

When I met my mom at the mall a couple of weeks ago, I realized that while I was enjoying our time together, I was no longer happy with the mall. Everything seems the same. Even my favorite store, White House Black Market, seems generic to me nowadays...until I make them my own with my favorite jewelry! If you do not know me "in real life", I wear black and white or just black most days....sometimes I do wear chocolate brown. Either way, I adore any handmade pieces of jewelry with some sort of shade of blue, namely turquoise...

I have recently found two new (to me) Etsy sellers who make some really unique pieces of reasonably priced jewelry: Earth Wrapped Jewelry and Corkycat and her Delights.

For only $7.50 I purchased a Blue Crazy Lace Agate ring. It is made of sterling silver, which is delicately wrapped. The stone is so pretty--one of my favorites. I adore all things in the turquoise color field and this is just so pretty, working well with my fair skin!

From Corkycat and her Delights, I bought an intriguing pair of Green & Purple River Stone glass beaded earrings for less than $5! Yesterday I wore these with a black boatneck 3/4 sleeve top and the earrings just added some flair. I received several compliments on the earrings.

Customer service was wonderful at both shops, and turnaround time was speedy. I will be a repeat buyer at both shops for sure! If you're looking for a pretty piece as a gift, I will suggest either shop. As I mentioned, both are affordable and the quality is very nice.

Bundt anyone?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Above: A bundt soap in a Pumpkin scent from Aunt Nancy

Above: The Lemon Bundt Cake from Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps

Every time I see or hear the word "bundt" it makes me chuckle like a kid. I think back to one of my favorite movies, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, to the engagement party when Tula's mother was given a bundt cake by the in-laws. She had no idea what a bundt was, nor could she pronounce it.

Anyway, I was over at my favorite soap shop today pondering another soap order (actually, I do need some soon!) You've probably seen my posts about Nancy's wonderful soaps before. No one makes a better soap. No one. Her soaps are palm oil free and they are just so incredibly gentle. I have a hard time picking one favorite, but the Peppermint Chocolate is probably my most favorite.

I got to her Etsy shop and came upon her newest listing: the most beautiful bundt cake soap. It is Lemon Bundt Cake and looks incredibly decadent. I can almost taste it as I sit here eating my bland Wasa crackers...

It has this sweet and delicate looking glaze on top, which is actually coconut oil soap on top.

This one would make a purchase for a garden party or a wedding shower. You could have it on the table and slice up some soap to use as favors for your guests. What a beautiful soap cake this is!

I emailed Nan to see if I could share the picture with you and she so kindly included another picture of a pumpkin spice soap cake she made last fall. That looks even more delicious...Almost.
Nan also told me that the cake listed in her Etsy shop is scented with her Lemongrass Sage scent. Having used that bar before, I can tell you right now that this big bundt (and one that won't give you a big butt, LOL), smells incredible! Lemongrass Sage is one I tried in the last bunch--fresh and lemony, yet soft at the same time.

If you haven't tried Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps, what are you waiting for? Her soaps are exquisite. The lather is soft and nourishing and your skin will simply thank you!

As you know, I have a struggle with NOT hitting the "add to cart" button...this bundt is hard to resist....seriously, though...if you are having a shower or just want to truly indulge, this bundt may just be what you're looking for!

A Little Update: Since I am down to a partial bar of the Citrus Delight and about 3 days' worth of Island Coconut, I did buy 3 bars of soap for $12 at Nan's shop. Soap, in my eyes, is a necessity....I am trying one new bar, Mint Berry! I cannot wait to try it. I also purchased 2 old favorites: Peppermint with Chocolate Swirls and the Lemongrass Sage (a wonderful lemon). The damage? $16.90 including shipping.

Update on my end of month goal from June...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In my June 30th post, I said that my plan for July was to buy no more etail bath and body until I ran out of things...the money saved this way would go into savings and into my fund to donate to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research the next time this year that I send them a check.

How am I doing thus far?

I am proud to say that my bath and body etail shopping sprees have
been MUCH BETTER in July than the previous months of 2008.

Let's look at June. In June I ordered from Cleanse Your Soul, Bathed & Infused, Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps, Starring Fragrances...!, Crazy Time Candle & Soap for the salt bar, and my two Etsy bath and body duds...this time last month I had already spent much, much more than this month.

I have been *pretty* good in June...I did make 3 unplanned etailer orders, though. The 3 orders totalled $39.24 (including S/H) using my shopping points at Crater Lake Company and with a closing sale at Smells So Sweet. Her roll ons were $2.70 each!!! Plus, Starring...! had some roll ons for $4 on the clearance as well.

I guess I can justify buying perfume. I wear it daily. I hardly ever purchase high-end perfume anymore at retail boutiques. I adore roll on EDPs and have many....however I need my own bottles for my Eye Serum and Scrumptious EDP, the only perfume I sell.

I am not allowing myself to did into my work supplies for perfume. Besides, my accounting guy/organization guru/man with the REALISTIC plan/"you need a chart and spreadsheet" husband says I throw things off when I do that since I am using work-related Artisan's Alcohol and bottles this way...apparently it is not OK to use my work ingredients/bottles, etc. especially when I forget to account for these things and then my inventory on the b-o-r-i-n-g spreadsheets gets messed up.

Even though I did break my goal and shop online, I am very proud of
myself this month! I know July isn't over yet, but I have done very
well and am happily using up what I have right now. I know I have
saved at least $100 this month by doing this. In August I will save
even more, because I am telling you, my readers, that I AM NOT GOING TO PLACE ANY ORDERS FOR TARTS OR PERFUME OR ANYTHING ELSE BATH AND BODY (other than soap when I need more) UNTIL FALL SCENTS COME OUT! YOU CAN HOLD ME TO THAT! I actually do not even have any lemmings going on either!

Details of my perfume orders:


Mystery Bakery Blend
Rainbow Pixie Dust


Pumpkin Cheesecake
Chocolvers (Aquolina type)
Coeur de Vahine
Zen Tea
Vaniglia del Madagascar


Coconut Bavarois
Pan de Azucar
Creamy Pear Sorbetto


Compared to months past, I have done extremely well in July. I spent
$7.56 at Crabtree & Evelyn a couple weeks ago. I bought three items!
Can you believe it?

I bought a gentle Citrus hand sanitizer for$1 to tote in my handbag and 2 body mists from their Naturals line: White Tea & Birch and Olive, Almond & Myrtle (which smells like heaven
in a spray bottle and could easily be my new favorite fragrance of all
time). They were $3 each for a 3.4 fl. oz. bottle at their big sale!


The last beauty-related expense was from a great eBay seller. She
has a great reputation selling new Smashbox items. I bought a full
sized Cream Eye Liner duo in Caviar and Lava, an Audition compact with
eye colors and Taupe Brow Tech wax and powder, a Trio of boxed mini lip glosses and a
full-sized lip pencil/lipstick in one in a great plum shade all for
$30.90 shipped. That is the cost of one Smashbox tinted moisturizer at

I was needing some evening eye Speed colored lip product
was gone, and I have always wanted to try Brow Tech and compare it to
my beloved Bare Esentuals Brow Powder.


My goal was to not spend anything on bath & body this summer from
etailers and save the $.

Yes, I bought the roll on I did break that goal. Looking back, I didn't need to buy any more perfume. If I did not use perfume every single day of my life since my teenage years, I would say it was a waste...but since it is something I use every single day, I am not going to put myself in timeout. I managed to cut out the anticipated etail scrub and the Creamy Oil spending, though! If you know how fast I go through sugar scrub, you'd know that is a big step! I am 100% out of scrubs and have been back to making my own salt-olive oil-rosemary oil-honey scrub at night before my bedtime bath! That is a big savings and I just refill my own jar every few days.


TOTAL SPENT THROUGH TODAY: $77.70 (including all tax/shipping fees).

I plan to spend no more on myself in bath-body-home fragrance-makeup RETAIL or ETAIL through August!


Hair Care

I do not buy any shampoo or conditioner. I use my own and if I need a rich hair treatment, I use pure coconut oil. That is money saved AND bottles reused here at home and that not only saves me $$$, but also helps the planet! Since my taste in hair care is more expensive than a bottle of $2 shampoo (Wen, Abba and Bumble & Bumble), this is good! My hair also behaves so well without sulfates and silicones that I spend $7 every 3 to 4 months on Tres Semme Ultra Mist hair spray and a styling aid from V05! That is cheap!

I also save $$$ each month on hair. ONCE A YEAR, I splurge on a very pricy haircut and lowlights/highlights, generally in July. For instance, last year I went for lowlights, a few front highights and the Victoria Beckham cut (see July 2007 for that post). The rest of the year I maintain it on my own, doing my own color, trims, etc. I even was bold and gave myself some fun bangs in June to go with my bob...and for the first time in ages, I am NOT planning my big $$$$ salon trip! I did my lowlights this week, painting in pieces to go with the foil highlights I did earlier this summer. The result? My color looks good still and I spent $20 on supplies. THAT is a huge savings!


I am lucky to have been so pampered and spoiled when I worked in cosmetics. I literally have a huge rolling trunk which once held HUNDREDS of high-end products. Some I swapped away or sold. Most was donated to women's shelters and some was also donated to a program for women with cancer. I still have some things...but in reality what I use each day fills a tiny makeup bag:

Tinted Moisturizer (Smashbox)

Concealer (Sorme)

Powder (BE Mineral Veil which is NOW paraben-free so I had to go back to it since my cool new Physician's Formula powder had the tops broken off twice now and I just am giving up)

Brow Powder (BE)

Lip Gloss (I rotate 3; Smashbox usually)

Laura Geller Bronze & Brighten (used on eyes, swept over cheeks too)

Mascara (Maybelline Full and Soft now until I find a good paraben-free that I love and DOESN'T contain palm oil-based ingredients like the new L'Oreal one)

I generally average less than $10 per month on makeup because I simply
do not need makeup. I have my go to items, so my average is low on
money spent each month. I buy mascara every 3 months and then I have
two larger makeup purchases twice a year. My tinted moisturizer is
purchased about every 6 months or so. I buy my BE Brow Powder every 11-13 months. It lasts July was out of the ordinary at $30.90. Tom and I are going away in August to a bed and breakfast for a romantic weekend, so I needed some new "evening" makeup for the nights out.


All in all, I am really fine with what I have spent on bath and body/makeup this month. I will obviously be stocked up on perfumes...I have all those June tarts from Starring...! as well. I am set with hair care...have some soap left...I am confident August will result in ZERO spending on ALL etail bath and body!

Since I put into perspective how much money I truly save on makeup and hair care, my July has been no big deal!

So that is my update this month thus far...

I am enjoying my 2 Starring...! organic roll ons. I will do full reviews on the others when they arrive.

I cannot wait to tell you about some great handmade jewelry finds over on Etsy in my next post! Stay tuned!

SNS on Etsy Tonight

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I do not usually do the Saturday Night Specials on Etsy because I am not usually home at that time on Saturdays to post it on their site.

I will be having a wonderful special tonight, however!

Between 5pm and 12am EDT, I will be giving away a free 4 ounce Face Mist with any moisturizer or facial serum purchase.

Simply purchase one of the following: Goat's Milk Facial Cream, Goat's Milk Light Facial Fluid, Jojoba Facial Serum or Grapeseed & Tea Tree Elixir and you will get a free face mist!

You have your choice of three great toning mists:

*Rosewater & Aloe Vera (normal/combo skin)
*Carrot Seed & Chamomile (sensitive/aging)
*Grapefruit (Oily/Acne Prone)

Serums and moisturizers range from $9.50 to $10 each and the free facial mists are $6.50 to $7 each.

Shop kzm Facial Care Boutique between 5 and midnight for these great offers! While you're there, you MUST try my Soda Sparkles scent in the hair mist. I cannot get enough of it!
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