My itty bitty Alchemic Muse order arrived the other day and I have now had a chance to try all of the sample bars I ordered. I have ordered soaps from Karen at Alchemic Muse before and have been very pleased. In fact, she is one of the three soapers I simply adore.
There have been some new scents I have been eager to try, so I decided to place a sample order and then determine which ones I would like in full size bars. I think I want them all!
The first scent, Blackstrap, Karen describes as "caramelized brown sugar, sweet blackstrap molasses and creamy coconut milk dripping over ripe Moroccan figs floating on a base of vanilla beans and soft white musk."
My thoughts: This one is really comforting. The molasses scent is predominant. The others do come out, though. As someone who simply loves molasses cookies, this one just felt comforting to me. It is quite warm and soothing for fall. I highly recommend!
Next up is Lovecraft. Trina and Amy, I think you'd both love this! Karen describes this one as "provincial lavender blossoms grounded in fresh pumpkin, sweet cream, and blackstrap molasses with a thick dusting of harvest spice."
My thoughts: I have always been fond of the marriage of lavender and pumpkin. There is something about the spiciness of pumpkin mixed with the tranquility of lavender. It is just divine. When you add in the notes of sweet cream and molasses though, it is just taken to a whole new level. LOVE it!
Bar three is Waxworks. I really think every single person who uses soap should own this!Waxworks is describes as "raw orange blossom and clover honey and warm, smoky beeswax whipped with creamy buttermilk (unscented)."
My thoughts: Well, if you know me at all, you know I am a suck for honey and beeswax. Love them both in skin care. The orange blossom adds a subtle citrus meets floral element and then you have the beeswax with its own subtle aroma. In addition to the gentle scent, which I believe is great for everyone from babies on up, this is a super creamy formula. It's just brilliant!
The last bar I am going to talk about may just be my favorite. It is called Turkish Mocha. Karen describes this one as "dark chocolate ganache topped with a dollop of whipped marshmallow meringue and a smattering of roasted hazelnuts immersed in steamy Turkish Coffee spiked with cocoa absolute."
My thoughts: My first thought is that I need to write down this description and take it to Heather at Dollop and ask her if she can make me a cupcake just like it. Seriously. This soap smells that good! It smells as it is described. You get the mocha notes. You get the fluffy, shimmery notes of marshmallow meringue. The nuts and the rich chocolate scent...this is pure heaven.
You can buy Alchemic Muse soap for $6 per bar for a hefty 4.5-5.5 ounce bar. You can also get a 4 mini bar sampler for $6. This is a great way to try Karen's soaps! I love the quality of ingredients used at Alchemic Muse and I admire her pledge to be free of palm oil. All in all, another stellar experience!
Thanks to your comments and emails, I have had some great suggestions for lip colors close to my beloved, but unhealthy and discontinued Estee Lauder Divine Wine.
Reader Lavanya suggested a company called Silk Naturals. I was unfamiliar with the line and am so happy she mentioned it. I was thrilled to see that this company is located near Ithaca, just over an hour away from us. The prices are really great, too.
What I like most from what I see, though, is the ingredients! No carmine. No parabens. No nasties....just things like coconut oil, joboba oil, castor oil, etc. I feel good about putting ingredients like that on my lips.
I ordered three lip products in colors I think I will like. Here they are:
Vegan Lipstick in Raisin (Ultra Deep Plum)
Fig Leaf Nude Plum Matte Solid Gloss (not to replace Divine Wine, but as a shade I'd wear daily...)
Vintage Deep Wine Shimmer Liquid Gloss
With shipping, which was a modest charge of only $2.95, I paid $19.39 for 3 lip products. This is less than the cost of my old Divine Wine.When my order arrives and I have tested the lippies out, I will report back!
OK, ladies, this time I need your help! I am on the quest for a healthy lipstick "dupe" of my most favorite lipstick color ever made: Estee Lauder's stunning raisin shade called Divine Wine. This shade first launched in the Futurist formula back in 1999 when I was working for the company. I used to buy two at a time because it was my staple.
I wore it on and off for years and years, putting it away when I went healthy with my cosmetics. Sometimes, though, I have turned to it on those rare days when I am frustrated, as it is like a comfy old pair of slippers for me.
The shade has long been discontinued. I used to buy it on eBay, although I didn't relish the crazy prices for a discontinued product. It is very, very hard to find. Even if I could find it , though, I don't approve of the ingredients....
I'm seeking a healthy formula in a shade just like it. This is my new makeup mission! If you have any ideas, let me know!
Here is the shade:
On me, this is how it used to look when I still wore it often--this is the actual shade (which looks different than in the tube) and before I apply gloss over it. Note, I am still growing my hair--this photo is from last year :)
I'd like to introduce you to a new weekly series here at Chic & Green called It's a Good Friday. Every Friday, we will take a look at some wonderful finds at World of Good.com by eBay. This online marketplace is specifically for Fair Trade, eco-friendly, and ethically sourced products.
I was first introduced to World of Good.com by eBay when my brother and sister-in-law gave me a gift from the site. I was really impressed and appreciative of the story behind each item. I started to order from the site myself, buying gifts for others. Yesterday, I received a birthday gift from my brother and sweet sister-in-law. Again, it featured lovely finds from World of Good.com by eBay. I received a gorgeous, colorful tote and a beautiful eggplant colored necklace and bracelet set. A gorgeous journal was also included and I am just so thankful for this gift. I know my sister-in-law will be reading this--Laura, thank you and I love you!
This gift reminded me of the importance of Fair Trade and of helping others. I would like to make every Friday at C & G "Good Friday" to promote World of Good.
I just have to tell you all about a line of skin care made primarily of antioxidant olive and grapeseed oils called OlivinaNapa Valley. I recently was introduced to this line, which was founded in 2002 by Susan Costner-Kenward.
I had heard of the line before, having seen it featured in several magazines ranging from Country Home to Real Simple and InStyle. I just hadn't had a chance to try it yet. I am sorry I waited this long. All Olivina products are free of parabens, chemical preservatives, and sodium lauryl sulfate. There is no animal testing and all of the company's packaging materials are eco-friendly.
The line gives both a green and luxurious vibe. The packaging is exquisite and truly worthy of gift giving. The ingredients are lovely as well. The number one ingredient in the Hand Creme, for example, is Olive Oil. It is followed by grapeseed oil, chamomile, algae, sea kelp, and aloe vera. You get the idea. It really is chock full of skin pampering ingredients. This rich and nourishing product is available in Olive, Fig, Lavender & Bitter Orange, Meyer Lemon, and the new Honeysuckle Rose.
As a special treat, I am going to offer one luckyC & Greader a chance to win $36 in products from Olivina Napa Valley!
This is a quickie giveaway! Today is my birthday so I want to give YOU a present, too! Enter by leaving a comment or fanning me on Facebook. You have until midnight and I'll announce the winner tomorrow. Good luck! Open to all over 18 in the USA.
*Disclosure: I received Olivina products free of charge. This is no way influenced my opinion.
I did a bit of shopping with a free shipping offer and sale pricing at LL Bean today :)
I regularly shop at both LL Bean and Lands' End online. We have a Lands' End near here and we also have a newly opened LL Bean at Eastview Mall, so I plan to head there soon as well. I find that I can get great fitting staples like sweaters and jeans....things that last me for years from both stores. I like to stock up on staples here and add in trendier pieces from other brands that might not stay in style or last as long.
I used to think both of those companies only catered to grandmothers with snowflake sweaters, Docksiders and pleated khaki skirts, but that was long ago!
Here is what I found today:
Fuchsia polka dot peep toe flats with robin's egg blue accents
I ordered the Seaport cardigan (above), only I opted for fuchsia.
I also ordered the Camden jeans. They are wide leg trouser ones and I like them with a cardigan and fitted top for fall.These are a repeat purchase for me...and now they are on sale!
I believe in following the eating healthy foods 80% of the time rule. When vacation comes, though, all bets are off. That is when we are much more lenient with eating. We really enjoyed our meals in New York City. I thought I'd share some of our favorites.
My favorite lunch place was not fancy by any means. It could easily be on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives" and was really lived in with loads of character. It was also my most favorite lunch time stop. I read about it in one of the travel books and I can see why it came recommended. Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint is where we decided to head after spending much of our day at the Museum of Natural History. Located at Broadway and 77th in the Upper West Side, we strolled over and enjoyed reading pages and pages of menu.
I had the Gyro Blue Plate Lunch Special for $7.95. It was delicious. Loaded with flavorful meat, feta, onions and tomatoes, I thought it was really the best gyro ever. This is coming from a picky person with Greek roots. My favorite part was the delicious Tzatziki dressing. I also loved the Chocolate Egg Cream to drink. It's long been a favorite drink of mine and this one was fabulous.
We tried lots of pizza in New York. I am a huge fan of NY pizza and I my favorite place happened to be John's Pizzeria. We ate at the location near Times Square because we were on our way to the mammoth Toys R Us around the corner. This was probably my most favorite pizza ever. We also enjoyed their meatballs and sausage in marinara sauce and I can tell you that I am still thinking about it several days later. So, so good.
After Thursday's Yankees game, we took the subway back to Manhattan and ate at Shorty's on 9th Avenue near the Port Authority terminal. You normally would associate cheesesteaks with Philadelphia, but these truly are as authentic as they come. I had the special, which was a small ("Shorty") cheesesteak and a pint of beer for less than $10. My cheesesteak, which I had with Wiz--something I refuse to eat on anything other than on cheesesteaks--and onions & peppers. This was incredible.
My most favorite food find was so decadent and rich....and oh so memorable. Who knew a cookie could taste so unbelievably good? I am a big fan of Throwdown on the Food Network. Last year, I watched the chocolate chip cookie "throwdown" Bobby Flay had with the ladies from Levain Bakery. Flay lost. I wondered how, though, because I have made Bobby's losing recipe from Food Network website for a long time and those cookies are heavenly. I usually prefer a thinner, crisper cookie and Flay's meet that requirement. Levain Bakery's cookies are anything but thin and crisp, so I wasn't sure how they'd rate.
We ordered the Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip and the Throwdown winning Chocolate Chip with Walnut. They were huge, dense, and every single bite was full of gooey deliciousness. These are easily the best cookies on the planet. I once thought the Teaism Chocolate Salty Oat cookies in Washington, DC were my most favorite, but they have moved out of the lead. They are worth the $4 you'll pay for each 6 ounce cookie. Both varieties we tried were scrumptious. I think I may have liked the Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip a bit more, but these were both divine.
We visited Levain Bakery after a nice walk through Central Park. It's located at 167 West 74th Street. They also have a seasonal branch in the Hamptons.
We enjoyed lots of different things to eat along the way. I am looking forward to returning for more soon!
I have been looking over some new to me bars of soap from one of my favorite Etsy shops, Alchemic Muse.
I have used her soaps before and they are breathtakingly beautiful and they work well, too!
I've been tempted to buy some more bars even though I do not really need anymore at the moment. I figure we always use soap, though, so I ordered some samples. I love to order the sample packs (4 small bars for $6) so I can try before I commit to the bigger bars.
Here is what I just ordered:
Waxworks--a blend of honey, beeswax and buttermilk
If you've been a reader for any length of time, you will know that I simply adore black and white. About 80% of my wardrobe consists of mix and match black and white pieces. I also love anything and everything French inspired. That is why I am so very excited to announce the August Giveaway here at Chic & Green.
I have written before about the company Shabby Apple. I have some of their clothing and reviewed a dress this spring that I received. I also talked with you about their brand new line of oh so lovely vintage inspired aprons recently on the blog. A couple weeks back, I featured my favorite Eiffel Tower finds from Etsy as well.
You can only imagine how positively giddy (yes, C & G is a closet nerd)I am to be sharing the news of this month's giveaway!
Shabby Apple will send one lucky reader "La Tour Eiffel" dress valued at $76. This gorgeous dress features a black and white striped boat neck jersey neck top with 3/4 sleeves and with a solid black A-line skirted bottom. It is chic, sophisticated, and will look gorgeous on any of you beautiful readers! It will be available to you in your choice of sizes as well.
Happy Friday my dears! Kate from Southern-Belle-Simple, joining you again. I hope you've all had a wonderful week. I know you miss that fabulous blogger Karley, but I appreciate her entrusting me with her divine blog for a couple of posts this week. Today's post is a giveaway, so I'm crossing my fingers for whoever the lucky winner will be!
Since this whole green trend has taken off with consumers, more and more products have become available to allow us to embrace an Eco-friendly lifestyle. I have gathered a little round-up of green items that, in my opinion, are also quite chic.
The loot includes two Starbucks travel mugs that are bpa free, a pair of reusable canvas grocery totes in a pouch, and two adorable gift bags. You can keep everything for yourself, or just one of each and have a ready-made gift with the second set. It's up to you!
To be eligible to win you must leave a comment on this post with your best green living tip. This is the mandatory part of entering the giveaway.
For an extra 2 entries, you can hop over to my blog and become a follower. Then come back and leave a comment on this post saying you did so.
So there you have it...a possible total of three entries. The giveaway will be open until August 27th at midnight. Then I'll do a random drawing and post the winner! Thanks for playing and let's all welcome Karley back, safe and sound!
Note from Karley: I promised my family an internet free vacation, so your comments will not appear until I return. No worries, though! They will be read and posted upon my return!
Eat, Pray, Love, the big screen version of Elizabeth Gilbert's best selling book debuted in movie theaters last weekend. Magazines, fashion sites, and home shopping channels have already been focusing on the trends inspired by the movie.
One trend is meditation beads. Julia Roberts is seen sporting Zirconmania's Mala, or Tibetan Buddha prayer beads. These lovely and bold wooden beads aren't solely for meditation. These will add that special touch to anything in your wardrobe and now you can be the proud owner of these beads, too.
Chic & Green is giving away the fuchsia colored Mala with a gold fireball (gold ball covered in cubic zirconia). This string of beads sells for $27.
I will draw a winner for this giveaway on August 31. Thank you so much to Zirconmania for providing Chic & Green with these beads!
*Open to adults over 18 years of age in the United States and APO addresses. Immediate family members or paid advertisers of C & G are not eligible for prizes.
WINNER WILL BE DRAWN AUGUST 31 AT 9PM! ENTER UNTIL THEN. THERE ARE MULTIPLE GIVEAWAYS THIS MONTH. YOU MAY ENTER *ALL* OF THEM. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM AWAY FROM MY DESK FOR A FEW DAYS. NEVER FEAR! I WILL STILL GET YOUR COMMENT/ENTRY AND IT WILL BE POSTED WHEN I AM BACK.