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)--

SOAPS:

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

PERFUMES:

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.

JULY REVIEWS:

SMELLS SO SWEET

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.


AUNT NANCY'S HANDMADE SOAPS

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.


BEER SOAPS FROM BALSAM AND GUDONYA TOO

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.


DRUMROLL, PLEASE.........

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!!!
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