#Mashup Monday: Earth, Sweet Earth

Earth to Love Buds...Come in Love Buds! This week's mash up is a heavenly combination that is a merger of essences all with deep roots.

I started with "Sweet Earth" from Joans Gardens on Etsy. This is a vegan, natural, cold process soap scented with lemongrass, lavender, tangerine and patchouli essential oils with added poppy seeds for exfoliation.  This soap has great lather and skin conditioning and the poppy seeds weren't irritating to my sensitive skin.  The fragrance is uplifting from the citrus oils yet the earthiness of the patchouli serves to ground it while the lavender brings a wonderful balance to the entire experience.  At $5.00 for a 4.25 oz bar, this bar is a great value.

I then sealed with Lavender Body Butter from Cedar Ridge Soaps.  I visited with Joan, the owner at her home in Western Maryland a few months ago.  Her body butter is a rich, thick, shea butter based (no water added) sealant with the amazing scent of fresh lavender.  When layered Sweet Earth soap, my skin was hydrated, sealed and felt amazing and the ethereal experience of the combination of essential oils from the soap lingered for quite some time, with just and added kick of lavender.   Though rich enough to use in colder weather, I found that sealing at night with the body butter helped my skin remain moisturized all day, but it did not feel heavy or like I was overheating.

This combination is was really exhilarating!  I know the common feeling about lavender is that it is very calming and relaxing.  I find that for me, it really is an invigorating scent.  I keep a bit of lavender essential oil on my night stand, but instead of using it to fall asleep, I take a sniff of it when I am having a hard time getting out of bed and I find that it gives me a little boost.

How do you feel about lavender?  What Mash Ups do you have planned for this week?

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That's it for now -

Peace, Love & Lot's of Bubbles!

A Stroll Through The Soap District

The Soap District is a monthly subscription box service with a focus on natural, handmade bath & body care. The service is relatively new, shipping their first boxes out in June.  Monthly subscribers can "Spoil yourself with monthly awesomeness and get a thoughtfully crafted set of new blends each month".  Each box contains a full 5 oz bar of handmade soap, a 2 oz body lotion and a 2 oz scrub.  Monthly subscriptions are $15.00 and shipping is included.

Personally, I like what I like and I don't like what I don't like.  While I feel that subscription services are great for discovering new brands and products, I can't help but feel just a little irritated when I receive something I don't like.  Now this is not the subscription's fault, I know the hard work it takes to curate these services month after month and have first hand knowledge that you can't please all of the people all of the time.

I received boxes for the last three months at a special price in exchange for my feedback and review of this service.  

  •  You're Golden, Ginger Soap  5oz
  • Peppermint Punch Dead Sea Salt Scrub 1 oz
  • Orange Blossom Body Lotion 1 oz
  • Special gift: loofah
Thoughts:  I LOVE the soap!  Smells divine.  However all products included are void of any type of ingredients lists.  The scrub is really not enough to get one full body use but the scent is exhilarating! I was hoping for a nice neroli fragrance in the lotion, but it was barely any scent to it at all.  The loofah is a single use, maybe for the face, but was included as a free gift.  

  • Meet Me Under the Mistletoe Soap 5 oz
  • All That Jazz Body Lotion 2 oz
  • The Grapest Ever Scrub 2 oz 
Thoughts: A nod to Christmas in July with the soap, which seems to include real bits of mistletoe greenery (not my fav).  The lotion is nice, I like the scent combination and there is an ingredients list, but it seems to be incomplete.  Also, it is labeled as 2 oz, but is not quite an ounce. The scrub smells grapefruity, but the container is mostly empty.
How I received my July scrub
 The owner sent an e-mail out prior to receiving the July box regarding the scrub. With a bit of product making experience myself, the reason for the limited amount of product in the tin upon receipt is unclear - however, it was nice to receive some communication about it prior to receiving my package.  Subscribers were also informed that they would receive another peppermint punch scrub in August to compensate for this.

  • Orange You Lucky Soap 5 oz
  • Whipped Body Cream 2 oz
  • Matcha Green Tea Sugar Scrub 2 oz
Thoughts: LOVE the soap - smells like fresh squeezed orange juice! LOVE the body cream, this is 2 ounces of cream as labeled.  Again though, the ingredients list seems incomplete.  The scrub is nice, I'm not a fan of the cinnamon in it, but it still nice, though not enough for a full body scrub.  My promised peppermint punch was not included in this box.  There is a small note saying that starting in October, The Soap District will change all of its monthly members over to a new seasonal box which will include 9 full sized products, customized for each season.  

Overall, I feel this is an exciting concept and with some tweaking can be a great little gift to yourself.  From the distinct look of the soap, I can see it is from a popular wholesaler.  Which is fine, they are known for making high quality, handmade soap.  Most importantly, when it comes to natural products, ingredients matter!  Natural product consumers each have unique criteria for what is natural and make their product buying decisions based on what a product contains.  I think this is the biggest issue with this box, a full ingredients list should be included for each item. 

I will say that Faraz, the owner, is extremely friendly and responsive to my feedback.  Whenever I reach out to him, he responds in an acceptable amount of time (or makes apologies for being busy) and never comes off as hostile or belittling.  I hope to make it out to Northern Virginia soon to have a sit down with him regarding his company for my YouTube channel.

On anther note, Faraz made mention that the new seasonal boxes will be $39.99.  When compared to the current subscription, 3 months would be $45 so there is cost savings in those terms, but a higher up front investment.  The seasonal boxes will include 9 full sized products including 3 bars of soap, solid lotion, face mask, lip balm and more.

I'm keeping my eye on this one.  I will wait to reserve final judgment until the seasonal boxes come out.

Do you like subscription boxes?  Tell me about your favs and those we should avoid.

Later Love Buds,

Peace, Love & Lots of Lather!


*Edited 8/26/15 @ 8:52am.  Correction regarding soap ingredients lists and seasonal box info.

#Mashup Monday: Burn, Berry Burn

Cream & Coco's Infused Glazed Tinctures are some of the most decadent hair/body oils on earth!  Nourishing oils are Infused with botanicals that beneficial both skin and hair as well as a bit of glycerin to help draw in and retain moisture from the environment.  They are a head to toe way to soften and seal in beneficial hydration. I love using these right after a bath or shower when my skin has absorbed its fill of moisture and it keeps my skin hydrated all day. 

The Strawberry Bamboo fragrance isn't one of my favorites.  I purchased it to go with a soap from Cream & Coco by the same name.  From pictures of my soap rack, Cream & Coco soaps are definitely in heavy rotation with me. The soap had a very tangy fragrance, but I find that this tincture is heavy on the jasmine notes and light on the strawberry and tea notes.  However, waste not, want not what does not coordinate (shoot, this stuff still works great even if the fragrance isn't quite what I expected).  So it was an excellent candidate for this week's #MondayMashup.

"Fire Fruit" is a luxurious goat milk soap from the Clean Line Soap Company.  The fragrance combines the sweetness of valencia orange and tangerine with black and chili pepper.  The result is a complex blend of spicy and sweet that was a delight to use.  The soap lathers great and leaves skin feeling smooth. 

In tandem, these products leave behind wonderfully clean, conditioned and hydrated skin.  The resulting fragrance experience is hard to describe - sweet fruits meet soft florals meet spicy undertones.  I REALLY enjoyed the combination of these products and recommend giving products from either of these two artisans a try.

What mashups do you have planned or would like to share?  I want to know what I should try next!

Love Buds, if you're enjoying this blog, would you mind taking a moment to subscribe?  Just hit the "follow me on bloglovin" button or the "join site" button in the followers section.  It would really help me be able to keep bringing you reviews and insights about new products. (and sharing them via giveaways ;)

For more #MashupMonday posts click here

That's it for now -

Peace, Love & Lot's of Bubbles!

#MashupMonday: By the Grace of Mermaids

This Monday, I finally had the heart to use one of my gorgeous soaps from Sunlit SoapJan, the owner, is a true artisan when it comes to the soap treasures she creates.  Not too far from me in Warrenton, Virginia, she has refused a video interview with me for my blog, but I'm not done trying....

This soap, called "Sunlit Beach", is described as smelling similar to Coppertone sun tan lotion.  I did not grow up using suntan lotion and I have to tell you I missed out on a lot!  I LOVE (did I say LOVE? because I LOVE) this fragrance!  Demure notes of greenery intermingle with delicate floral essences of jasmine, rose, lavender, and lilac describe this exquisite scent.  The soap itself looks deceptively small in the pictures.  It is a full 5 ounces and though I thought the square shape would be odd to hold, it fit comfortably in my hand throughout my shower and the lather was dreamy, bubbly and creamy.  

Mermaid hugs whipped soap sugar scrub - foaming bath whip, whipped soap sugar scrub, exfoliating sugar scrub, beachy scentPrior to using the soap, I exfoliated with Willow & Honey's Mermaid Hugs whipped soap sugar scrub.  I previously reviewed their Mermaid Hugs soap and I absolutely love this marine scent. The consistency of this whipped sugar soap scrub is best equated with that of sand that is perfectly mixed with the right balance of water to build a sand castle.  When you scoop up a bit, you can actually mold it with your hands.  The scent is slightly different than that of the bar soap, which is contributed to it being a different product.  Not as salty a marine scent, but still nice.  This scrub provides light exfoliation and rinses clean.  This product has a high content of propylene glycol and I found my skin to be a little itchy after use, due to my sensitivity to this ingredient.  But following it with the Sunlit Beach soap and a cream moisturizer alleviated the itch for me.

Philosophy's line of skin care products has always intrigued me, but I have never used their products.  My mother, however loves their Pure Grace fragrance and today, I decided to give it a try.  By itself, Pure Grace is not a favorite fragrance of mine. Their ode to a pure soap and water clean scent to me, has a light musky undertone that I don't really like.  The whipped body creme has an amazing dense creamy texture that is rich and deeply moisturizing.

When I finished up my shower routine with the Pure Grace cream, my skin felt soft and moisturized and the scent layering of all the products left a fragrance that was fresh and water like at its essence with a light almost powder like finish.  The Mashup was a hit!

What products are you mashing up this week?

For more #MashupMonday posts click here

Catch you next time, Love Buds ~

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!


My Visit to Petals Bath Boutique!


When I visited Kia last week, it was like Christmas, I absolutely LOVE her products.  She has a constant rotation of so many great scents that if I could only use one brand of soap again for the rest of my life (though I can't think of any crime I could commit or amount of reward that would result in receiving such a heinous punishment) it would Petals Soap.
I was chastising my hubby and therefore look like a rabbit here, but Kia loves how it came out, so I'll let her have this one.

Kia, the sweetheart that she is, send me on my way not only with my fill of the Mid Summer's release soaps, but a loaf of my absolute favorite soap of all time, VENOM!  

She is my friend for life!

Don't miss the Petals Bath Boutique Mid Summer's Release starts Friday 8/14 at 8:30pm TONIGHT! (hope you're reading this today, lol) I witnessed with my own eyes that this release is definitely "mini", meaning Kia did not make her usual amount of these soaps, so they will sell out fast!

Oh, I forgot to add a few pictures from her studio:

Have you tried Petals Bath Boutique soap?  What's your favorite?

Check ya later Love Buds!

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles~


*edited 8/14/15 @ 12:11pm to include additional photographs

Mashup Monday: On My Waves to My Grandma's House

Today's #MondayMashUp takes me back...back to the summer's I spent at my grandmother's house in Jersey City, New Jersey.  In the heart of the city, just outside of New York City, in the sizzling summer sun, this urban landscape was riddled with people trying to beat the heat by hanging out on fire escapes and dancing in gushing fire hydrants.  But wait, this doesn't sound much like the beach or apple orchards, does it?  How does this week's MashUp take me back to those memories?

It's the fragrance combination. The soap, from one of my favorite soap makers, Kia at Petals Bath Boutique, is sweet and tart, but reminds me more of apple candy, than the fruit.

The Beach Hussy cream of the crop body cream, by Farm Hussy, in the "Don't Make Waves" scent is described on the website as "fresh currants of strawberry, raspberry and quava swirl around breakers of mandarin, dates and a sweet swell of coconut milk".  When I first smelled it, it reminded me of peach flavored Rock Creek Soda.  

In my grandmother's neighborhood, there was a local corner store, Jack's.  Every morning, I would go to Jack's to get a buttered roll for breakfast, the newspaper and to stock up on my candy stash which included my favorite apple now & laters and you guessed it, delicious, refreshing peach Rock Creek soda!  This combination of scents took me right back to those hot days of summer where I hung out on the brick steps of my grammy's home with my "summer friends" and tried my best to learn to jump double dutch (which I never did, so I always wound up just turning, lol).  There on the block where I fell in love with my first teen aged boyfriend, Charles Austin - yup, I still remember his name - and his initials were mine in reverse so we knew it was destiny. On those same brick steps is where Hip Hop was introduced to me in its infancy.  But that's a whole other story....

Thanks to my soap partner in crime, Tracy, for introducing me to Farm Hussy.  I can't wait to try more from their line!

Until next time, Love Buds,

Peace, Love & Lot's of Bubbles,