Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Go to Seek a Great Perhaps

This quote was first introduced to me in John Green's novel Looking for Alaska.  John is not only my favorite author, but he's honestly one of the people who has had the largest amount of positive influence in my life, even though I've only met him once.  He didn't do anything extraordinarily profound and his books didn't trigger anything particularly spectacular within me, although they are all amazing.  No... all he really did was make videos with his brother Hank.

I started watching John and Hank's videos around April 2007, a few months after they started their year-long vlog project, Brotherhood 2.0, in which they eliminated all forms of textual communication for one full year, in an attempt to get to know each other better as they lived their own lives across the country from one another. They each made alternating videos every weekday for the entirety of 2007, and they've continued to make regular videos several times per week every year since then.

They gained a massive following, and while they were the two who got us all together, the community that began (called Nerdfighters) is what has always been completely awesome.

This community does more good than most people will ever knew. Because it's so huge and spans across the entire world, we really have been able to make HUGE changes and contributions.

This post wasn't exactly aimed at being a rundown of Nerdfighters, but more-so some reflections before I leave on a crazy awesome journey, yet another thing that solely exists because of some videos from five years ago.

First of all, Ahren and I met because of Nerdfighters.  We both used to log into the Nerdfighter chat on a daily basis, in early 2009.  That's where I met him, along with many other friends of mine, some of whom have become quite close.  My IRL best friend Julia and I started talking to Ahren a lot and we decided, pretty spontaneously, to go to Washington state to visit him over our Spring break. A week later, I met Ahren for the first time and honestly my life changed because of it.

Now Ahren and I are preparing to leave on a trip that I still can't believe is really going to happen! We're going to Germany for three weeks, leaving this Thursday.
There are a few reasons for this trip.
1. I've always wanted to go to Germany. My mother lived there when she was young and she always told me that she would take me there. I don't blame her at all for not having been able to yet, she's a fantastic mother and I know that priorities do not include European travel. But I've still always wanted to go, so I'm THRILLED that it's happening!
2. We have friends there.  In the same chatroom where Ahren and I first met, I met a guy named Alex. I've known Alex longer than I've known Ahren. We've been chatting and calling for over three years.  Alex also has two brothers who I met in 2009. I only really talk to ALex and his brother Tob but they've become good friends to both me and Ahren so I'm really, really excited to meet them in person and actually HANG OUT with these guys who I spend so much time with on Skype.

This will be the first trip I've taken outside the country (I've never even been to Canada).
It will be me and Ahren's first trip together, excluding trips to visit family.
This is the trip that I'm sure will finally make the world feel more accessible to me.  Before I took the trip to WA, it felt like the East coast was my limitation. I wasn't even sure if I'd ever go to states like WA, OR, or CA.  But that first trip made the U.S. feel completely accessible. So long as I had the money (which always is the biggest issue) I could go wherever I wanted.
I'm hoping this trip will give me that feeling.  I hate feeling inhibited by fear of sticking out, getting lost, or being alone in a new place and I'm sure this will break down some of those inhibitions.

Tying things back to the name... A few years ago, I was trying to figure out a new email address/user name.  I wanted something that spoke to me and about me, even if no one else knew it. I played around with different thins, and then one day remember this quote.  It was perfect.  I've always been restless, wanting to go somewhere, wanting to see new things, wanting to eat new foods, or walk new street. I always want to go, and I always hope to find something great, even if it's small.

This restlessness has changed my life in a big way once before, in my first trip to WA.  And while I love my life, and I'm not looking for any large changes, I am going on this trip with all of my heart, and I do seek a great perhaps.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

CBV Scent of the Day 3/9

I had a hard time picking a new scent to burn today. My nose just kept wanting to go to my standbys. I guess it wasn't feeling very adventurous.  BUT, I did end up choosing one new one to melt this evening. :)

Today's Scent: Brown Sugar

Cold: I got this one a while ago as my free SS, I believe.  I was really looking forward to trying it though, because I'd heard other girls say that it smells just like sticking your head into a bag of brown sugar.
Cold, I don't get that at all. To me, this smells like a sweet, almost floral scent and almost perfume-like. Not like a sweet floral like Bella Swan... it's deeper than that somehow. But I can't get the floral thought out of my head. To see if I was insane, I had Ahren smell it and asked him to tell me what he though (without knowing my thoughts). He said, "It smells sweet and kind of florally... And like a middle-eastern perfume." So apparently I'm not alone with my cold analysis. It definitely smells like a sweet, kind of floral, perfume type smell. 
I would definitely not say brown sugar though, at least not cold.

Warm: Sadly, this smells the same to me warm. =/ I was really hoping it would change completely and smell like it's name but it doesn't at all. It still smells like a sweet, ever-so-slightly musky floral. =/ I asked Ahren what he thought and he said it pretty much smells the same as it did cold.

I might repurchase this in the future only to see if this was a fluke of some sort. I can't imagine how it smells THIS far off for Ahren and I but smells like the real thing to so many others. =/

I thought I'd also let you guys know that I review the cold scent before I ever melt the warm one. I find that if I do it after, it alters the notes that I pick up cold. I'd really like these reviews to be able to show how alike (or different) each scent may be between it's cold throw and it's warm throw. 

Please keep that in mind as you read these posts. Sometimes cold throws smell nothing like warm throw and sometimes they smells almost identical so I really wanted to reflect that in my reviews.

I hope everyone had a good week!
Happy melting. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

New Scent of the Day 3/8

Today's new scent was inspired by Kelley's recent review video.  She mentioned Tahitian Vanilla (she used it in a CAS along with Clean Cotton, I believe) and it reminded me that I had a forgotten SS of Tahitian Vanilla!

I dug it out and decided to melt it for the first time tonight.

Cold: I really love this scent cold. It's a really great vanilla-coconut smell. I'd LOVE this in a perfume! It really smells like vanilla and sweet coconut milk. There's not much more to it than than. It is soooo nice!

Warm: This SS (I melted 1/4) did not throw very well. That's pretty common for vanilla scents, sadly.  I really do love the smell though. That coconut note that is there when cold isn't as present when warm. It just smells like a smooth, slightly creamy vanilla. Not at all custard-like or rich, to me. Just a nice smooth, vanilla. I think the coconut note, while not really present when warm, makes the scent a bit more complex and exotic than a straight up, plain vanilla.  I'm really curious to see if anyone has tried this in different size jars because I really really love it but I don't want to repurchase unless I could get a strong throw.

If someone didn't know something was melting, they very well may not notice the smell at all, which is why I wouldn't repurchase without a stronger throw. While I know it's nice and I liked the smell, I really had to search for the scent, if that makes any sense.

I'd give it 5/5 stars for smell but only 2/5 for throw. =/  Again, it seems to be a property of vanilla scents to be light ones.  If anyone has found a version of this that throws decently, let me know!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls!

A few days ago, Ellen (from the Pouring Pot) started a thread about cinnamon rolls.  She was saying how Victoria's Cinnabon scent smelled so good that it made her want to make cinnamon rolls; So, she did, and she was kind enough to share the recipe that she used.

I've been craving these since she posted and I finally made them tonight.
I just wanted to share some photos with y'all and link to the original recipe.

Here's the recipe that Ellen shared:

I did alter the recipe VERY slightly.
I like cinnamon, so I bumped the cinnamon up to a full 2 tbsp.
I made the icing pretty much as it was written, but I think I ended up using a BIT less sugar (maybe a few tbsps less).

They turned out PERFECTLY!

Ellen also warned me ahead of time that hers were a bit crispy for her liking after about 25 minutes. I, like her, like my cinnamon rolls fluffy and gooey so I kept a close eye on mine after about 20 minutes and they were done around 23 minutes so keep that in mind and judge the time by your preferances. :D

Enough with the chit-chat; on to the pictures!

I didn't photograph the first few steps because... well it was just a ball of dough. :P

Here are the lovely pinwheels, ready to sit for their second rising!


This recipe has a LOT of waiting time but it is SO worth it! Plus, you have plenty of time in between to wash up the few dirty dishes for each step, which is nice in my book because then you don't have to do it all at once!

Here they are after they've risen for 1.5 hours.

Nice and fluffy!

Ready to be slathered with melted butter!

Finally ready for the oven!

Fresh out of the oven to cool for just a few minutes before we drizzle the glaze all over them!

I love the look of a perfect cinnamon roll. :)

And finally ready for the icing!
I know it looks like a LOT, but it only really stays on the top.

Trust me, these babies are perfect!

I dug into this as soon as the picture was taken and ate the whole thing right there at the stove.

I'd never made cinnamon rolls before (unless you count pop'n'fresh, which you totally shouldn't after having these) and I was really surprised by how easy they were!

They did require a lot of time, but only about 15-20 minutes of actual work. Mostly, you just wait a lot. haha

These are seriously good and if you have any desire to try them at all, you should because they're awesome.

ONE note: If you don't have a stand mixer with a dough hook, kneading the dough will take some time and can totally count as a workout for the day.  It's still definitely worth it though!

I didn't burn a new scent tonight because I was letting my house fill with the cinnamon roll smell! In fact, while I was playing the waiting game, I burned Cinnamon Raisin Bread! :)

I hope y'all had a great day and, as always, happy melting (and eating!)
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Scent of the Day March 3rd

Today's Scent: Hawaiian Hula Muffin

If you've read my reviews before, you'll know that on cold throw I HATE pineapple scents.  I can't say if that's Victoria's pineapple scent specifically because I've never tried a pineapple scent from another candle company. I DO however like bath products with a pineapple scent in them, just for everyone's reference.

Onto this scent though!
Cold - I don't like this scent. Again, it's the pineapple note, I'm pretty sure because it's the same note I get in Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Island Delight (though ID is by FAR the worst offender of the three).  Beneath the pineapple scent on cold throw, I can smell a sort of buttery cakey note, but for me it's buried deep beneath the pineapple. Cold throw: I would definitely not repurchase this and I wouldn't even rate it because it's sooooo offbase for me that rating it feels unfair to CBV.

Warm - This scent (and probably pineapple scents in general) is not for me.  I'm trying to smell past the pineapple (which I don't think is extremely strong in this one, but it is to me) and I do get a cake-like smell. It reminds me a bit of the cake note in Apricot Crumb Cake... but I just can't get past the pineapple.
Ahren seems to like it and it doesn't exactly bother me so I MAY keep this one just because he likes it. If he didn't though, I'd DEFINITELY swap this one.

Ahren's Review - I really wanted to include Ahren's opinions on this because pineapple is obviously one of those rare scents that just does not agree with me. He likes it well enough though so I thought I should include this!
He says: It smells like pineapple mixed with sugar cookie. Warm the pineapple and the bakery note are balanced out at about 50/50.
He gives it 3/5 stars though he said he probably wouldn't repurchase it.

Sorry for such a bummer review today! I really wanted to try a pineapple scent warm to see if I felt any better about it but evidently it was not meant to be between me and pineapple scents. Ahren does like it though. If you're curious about this one, definitely try it. If you know that you really dislike pineapple notes though, I'd definitely stray from this one.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New CBV Scent of the Day

I've decided to jump on the bandwagon and do a CBV scent of the day post.  I will try to do this every day, because I do have a fair amount of new scents that I need to try.  Honestly, I'm terrible at remembering to Blog so please forgive me, in advance, if I slip up. Feel free to PM me on the Pouring Pot or comment on my blog and yell at me if I do! haha

So I'll be trying to do this everyday for the new scent that I try!
Most of these will be in SS (Scent Shot aka Tarts) but I do also have a couple new (or somewhat new) candles that I may throw in.

Today's New Scent is: Chocolate Orange
I only got this about 4 days ago but straight out of the UPS box this SS was highly scented!  I melted 1/4 of a SS and it scented my entire apartment like CRAZY! I have somewhat of an open floorplan, so that's not too difficult to do but this 1/4 SS scented up just as much of my house as my (wonderfully well throwing) candles do.

So, be warned, this is a strong one. You may want to try it out in a SS first and if you're wary, I'd suggest using only 1/8-1/4 SS at a time.

I think this one is candle worthy (Ahren's not convinced yet) but I would definitely want it in a 4oz, 8oz, or 9oz. I wouldn't want an opening any larger because it's on the verge of being way too much for me to handle.

It DOES however, smell amazing! While it's really strong, it smells great! Cold it smells exactly like the chocolate oranges that come out around Christmas and Ashtyn (from the message board) says it also smells like an Orange Tootsie Pop, which I totally agree with.

Warm, it's much the same, but richer and... warmer. haha It smells like a sweet orange scent with a rich milk chocolate blended. I haven't done this, but warm, it smells what  I imagine one of those chocolate oranges would smell like if you melted it.

So there you have it! The first post of my new, (hopefully) daily segment!

I hope y'all are having a great evening and, as always, happy melting! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Candles by Victoria Scent Shot Review: Bakery Edition

I've been saying for a while (at least 6 months) that I would review all of my Scent Shots.  It seems like every time I say that, I have an order coming soon and I think, "Well, I might as well wait for that order and include the new ones as well."  Factor in 2 weeks or so for curing time and another 2 weeks for trying them out warm and pretty soon we run into another order and the cycle continues.

BUT, I am being VERY good (because I have to if I want to do silly things like eat and have a house) and not ordering for at least 2 months. So, it's a perfect time to finally review all of my SS!

Let's go over the normal background info before we begin.

About Candles by Victoria:
These scent shots are all from Candles by Victoria.  CBV is a family owned, small business run by Victoria and her amazing family.  She makes the most highly scented, clean burning candles I've EVER used. I would not recommend any single product over hers. CBV is so much more than a Candle Company. Victoria and her family are like friends to us all. She's the sweetest woman in the world and you can tell how much love she has for her products and for her customers. I've never found better customer service, in ANY industry, than Victoria's.  If you're jonesing for some scented candles and you haven't tried CBV, DO IT NOW!

About Scent Shots:
Scent Shot are 2 oz wax tarts that can be used on a candle warmer. They're a really great way to try out scents (she has over 730!) without committing to, or paying for, a larger candle. At only $2 each, you cannot go wrong with these!

These are not all of the Scent Shots I have tried, some have been used up and I can't remember them or some I just don't have with me. But these are most of them. I'll be starting with Bakery Scents, which I have the most of, by far!

For Victoria's descriptions and to see overall user ratings for all of these scents you can go to The CBV Browser. (Shameless plugging, for the win!)

Alright, get yourself some coffee and get comfy because here we go!
(These are in no particular order, I'm just reviewing as I pick them up.)

Note: After writing this review I realized that there are quite a few that I have not tried warm, so I give the cold reviews as well as input on how I think they'll be warmed as well as popular opinions I've heard on them.

Bakery/Food Scents:

Granny's Pie Crust - I'm ashamed to admit that I still haven't tried this one warm. Honestly, I got it right before I moved and I only recently found my tart warmer to begin melting SS again.  
Cold review though: the funny sour pickle-like smell that I smelled when I first got it has almost disappeared. I know many people say it goes away completely when warm so I'll trust that. Honestly cold, this scent does nothing for me. It's a light scent, cold, and it smells like a faint smelling shortbread cookie.  I have high hopes for this one warm though!

Kettle Corn - Holy cow!  This scent is awesome! Victoria is amazing at replicating food and soda scents and this one is really good!  It honestly doesn't smell like Kettle corn to me, but it does smell like popcorn. It smells like deliciously buttery slightly warm movie theater popcorn to me. It's so good! Not sure if I'd get in it a candle, but I'm most likely repurchase every once in a while in SS.

Peach Ambrosia - I haven't melted this one either. I only have 1/4 SS that I got in a swap and it smelled so good that I wanted to save it for Spring.  Cold it smells like a yummy, fresh peach. I also pick up some other note, that I really can't put my finger on. But in general, it's a yummy, sweet juicy peach scent. :)

Boston Cream Pie - I have to say, I am not a fan of this scent at all. It does smell sort of like a Boston Cream Pie but I feel like it smells mostly like chocolate frosting, which I hate. I think if it had more cream and cake notes, I might like it more but as is, it's an overwhelming chocolate frosting rich scent that just doesn't agree with me. If you like the smell of a store-bought chocolate frosting though, I would recommend trying this! It seems like a scent that doesn't get much attention.

Apricot Crumb Cake - My SS of this is gone so I'm honestly sniffing the empty container for this review! haha  Anyways, cold, I don't really like this scent at all. I can't really pick out any individual notes in it. If I didn't know it's name and I smelled it cold, I could honestly not tell you in the slightest what it was.
Warm however, I really, really like it! It has a definite apricot/peachy preserves type scent on a really nice crumb cake base.  It smells really good warm! I'd highly recommend trying this and if you don't like it cold, definitely let it cure and try it warm because it's very different!

Bacon - This is probably much more of a novelty scent, and honestly I only got it because I was curious if it could be done and because my best friend and I have an ongoing thing about being obsessed with bacon.
This definitely smells like ham. It's not bacon, that's for sure. But it really does smell like a honey-glazed baked ham, which is awesome, but when warmed I find it really overwhelming and kind of gross. It's not a bad scent (though it required a LOT of cure time, about 1-2 months for the SS) before it smelled remotely like ham. Before that is smelled like jerky and it made me feel sick.  So, cool scent, it really does smell like ham but it's strong and I don't particularly want my house smelling like it. While it does smell like a ham, it's way too strong to be mistaken for a ham baking in your oven. Maybe using a tiny sliver would work if you want to impress guests or something. I dunno. I'll pass on repurchasing but it's a fun little scent to appease your curiosity. haha

Lemon Peach Pound Cake Preserves - I am not the biggest fan of this scent on it's own. It's really nice, I don't dislike any particular thing about it but it just doesn't do it for me.  However, I tried mixing this with Caramelized Pralines once, and I LOVED the combo. I loved how CP toned down the tartness of this and I loved how this toned down the rich sweetness of CP.  I will say, it does smell like a Lemon Pound cake. I don't particularly smell any peach but in comparison to the regular Lemon Pound Cake (which I haven't tried) it might be detectable.

Caramelized Pralines - Like I said above, I love mixing this with LPPCP. I'm not a huge fan of this scent on its own. I find it really delicious cold, but warm it becomes WAY too rich and overwhelming.  I really like it for combining with other scents though, particularly tart ones.  I will say as a side note that although I don't like this scent one its own in candle form, I LOVE Victoria's daughter Melissa's version of it in soap form! You can find her products at CBV Bath & Body.

Pumpkin Pickin - I LOVE Victoria's pumpkin scents. I have yet to come across one I didn't like. However, last fall I outdid myself with Pumpkin scents, burning things like Pumpkin Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pralines, Pumpkin Pear Strudel, and Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Bread, EVERY day for a few months. Now, I'm a little bit sick of them. haha But, I know come fall I will be in love with these scents again and I know that Pumpkin Pickin will be included in that list.This smells like her regular pumpkin scent, which I love, mixed with the slightest touch of creamy vanilla. It's very simple and very yummy smelling. I haven't warmed it yet but I'm confident that if you like Victoria's pumpkin scents, you will like this one. :)

Apple Cinnamon Butter - Honestly I had really high hopes for this one. My grandma made cinnamon apple butter when I was growing up and I was hoping this would smell like the real thing. To me, it doesn't at all. It smells cinnamony, though not strongly, to me. And it has a slight sweetness that I suppose is supposed to be the apple. But in general this really doesn't impress me. =/  I don't smell much and I definitely don't think it smells like real, warm cinnamon apple butter, which is what I was expecting.

Carrot Cake Orange Delight - I love this scent! It smells just like it's name; There's an amazing cake note, but not a very sweet one like you'll find with Pink Cupcake, for example. It's blended nicely with this sweet, earth carrot note and it just smells like the whole thing has a light, orange glaze drizzled on top.  This is one of my favorite scents for burning when guests come over because I find it really unoffensive and it smells like there's something delicious in the oven. :)

Rice Crispy Treats - I haven't melted this one but I love it! It smells exactly like a rice crispy treat! There's a powdery sugar cereal smell combined with a marshmallow glaze scent that just makes an out-of-this-world rice crispy scent! It's a really great one! I find it somewhere in between the scent of homemade RCTs and packaged ones. It's not quite buttery enough to be homemade but not quite as sweet as the packaged ones. It's really, really good! I'd definitely recommend trying this if you like the smell of rice crispies, homemade or packaged!

Sugared Corn Pudding - I haven't melted this one either, and I think this is one that comes out much truer warm. I can't really describe this cold. When I first got it, I could smell a sweet corn smell that I really loved. That smells seems to have gone away and to have been replaced by a very very light cookie-type scent.. Most people say this smells exactly like a fresh baked sugar cookie when warmed so if that sound appealing to you, try this. :)

Brown Sugar - I've had this one for a few months and I still haven't tried it cold. Honestly, I'm a bit afraid to. This doesn't smell at all like brown sugar to me. It's a light sweet scent and it's VERY perfumey to me.  I don't really like it at all but I want to try a sliver of it warm to see what that smells like. It's very off-putting how perfume-like this smells though.

Lemon Gingersnap Pie - I wasn't a huge fan of Lemon Peach Pound Cake Preserves because of it's tartness so I thought I may just not like Victoria's lemon scent but I LOVE this one! There's something about the zesty lemon mixed with the spicy gingerbread that I just love! This is definitely worth a try, even if you haven't found a lemon scent that you like. :)

Blueberry Cobbler - Another newer one that I haven't melted but I know I like it. It has the same cobbler note that you find in Berry Blackberry Cobbler (which I LOVE) but the sweet tart blackberry scent is replaces by a very sweet juicy blueberry scent. This smells really great cold. I don't know if I will like it better than Blackberry Cobbler because I love the combination of the slight tartness with the sweet and cobbler notes. Blueberry Cobbler has no tartness at all and it a purely sweet juicy blueberry on top of a buttery, salty, delicious cobbler scent. It's very very good!

Pumpkin Cheesecake - I had this one for months before deciding to melt in. It does not impress me at all cold. It smells like a light creamy pumpkin scent, similar to ones I've smelled from Yankee. But warm.... OH MY GOSH! This is sooooo good! It's rich and pumpkiny and sweet. It's so delicious smelling! If you've dismissed this one on cold throw, WARM IT. It is sooo much better! Definitely in my top 10-15 scents from CBV. :) This is probably my number 1 pumpkin scent!

Bear Claws - This is one of my all-time favorite scents. WHile I don't particularly think it smells like a bear claw (I don't smell raisins at all), it does smell like the most delectable cinnamony, doughy, possibly maple glazed donut EVER!  This scent is so amazing and I find it ever more amazing when I light it in one room, go to another to do something (like dishes or shower) and then come out. My house just smells like the best donuts shop you could ever walk into! Definite top 5!

Butter Pound Cake - I got this from my SS I believe and I still haven't warmed it. Cold though, it smells like a room temp version of it's name. It's a sweet, buttery pound cake. There's not much ore to say about it. It smells delicious and I'm really looking forward to melting it soon! :)

Key Lime Pie - Another new, not melted one. I'm a bit afraid to melt this one because while it smells really good, it's REALY tart smelling, which tends to make me think it will overwhelm me or give me a headache when warmed. It does smell exactly like this Raw Vegan Key Lime Pie that I make that is AMAZINGLY delicious! I'll definitely try this warm, it does smell really good. I'm hoping the crust notes will come out a bit more and tone down the tartness.

Hawaiian Hula Muffin - This is one that I had not heard anything about until recently. I haven't warmed it (I know, I know, I'm sorry!).  I think I don't like pineapple scents, which is odd because I love pineapple (the taste and smell). But I have this as well as Pineapple Upside Down Cake) and while they both have a cakey scent that seems nice, it's REALLY buried beneath the pineapple scent which, at least cold, I do not like.

Cinnamon Buns - I love this scent! This is probably tied with Bear Claws as my favorite cinnamony bakery scent. It is soooo delicious! I haven't melted the SS BUT I have a candle in Chocolate Fudge Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Surprise which starts off with a layer of Cinnamon Bun crumbs and it is abso-freaking-lutly amazing! Some find this very very heavy on cinnamon, but I have a high tollerence and love bakery cinnamon smells so I don't have that problem. If you're worried about it being too cinnamony but want to try it, I might suggest trying Cinnabon instead, as it has a sweet frosting scent that tones down the cinnamon. :)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Like I said in my review of Hawaiian Hula Muffin, I don't like the pineapple note, at least cold. I haven't warmed either because I really can't get past the strong pineapple note. This does have a detectable cake note and I swear I even smell the maraschino cherries that go in the center of the pineapple rings but the pineapple is still a tough note for me to get past. Hopefully I'll find a good day to try these two scents out warmed to see if that pineapple scent bothers me while warmed. The cake notes may come through enough to balance it out better when warm. 

Cinnabon - Like I said above in my Cinnamon Buns review, this is very similar but it has a frosting note to it that tones down the cinnamon scent. I'm actually melting this for the first time right now and I can't smell it yet but I'm 97% confident, based on the cold smell, that when warmed it will smell VERY much like sniffing a fresh, warm cinnamon roll with gooey dripping icing! I think I still prefer Cinnamon Buns, because I like a heaver cinnamon scent but this one is still really good!

And last but BY FAR not least:

Elvis - I purchased this one by randomly selecting a user from the CBV Browser and randomly selecting one of their favorite scents.  I honestly would have pushed ordering this off for SO long had I not decided to do that. BOY am I glad I did because this is AMAZING! It's an awesome almost candy-like banana scent mixed with a light peanut butter scent.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this! I melted the SS for the first time and immediately decided that in my next order there would be a huge candle of this! I think I'm going to get it in a Mustard Jar! Seriously, try this scent; it's really awesome. It does have the candy banana scent that some people associate with Victoria's banana scents but I happen to LOVE that even though I didn't think I would. Give it a try, it's a great one!

Okay! That's all for the bakery Scent Shots! If you made it through that, you honestly deserve a cookie and if we're ever in the same place, I'll make you one. ;)

I will post another review of my remaining SS (which categories combined, I don't think I have as many as I do Bakery) so be on the lookout for that! I will warn you that I have played the I-have-it-but-haven't-melted-it game with non-bakery scents a lot more because bakery is my favorite type so I gravitate toward those. BUT I will still give reviews and hopefully enlighten you on a few scents that you may be wanting to try!

Thanks for reading everyone! I hope you are all having a great day and, as always, happy melting!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Candles by Victoria Jars (a comparison)

Hey everyone!

As most of you know I'm a HUGE candle addict: And not just ANY candle addict but a Candles by Victoria candle addict!
For those of you who don't know, Candles by Victoria (or CBV) is a family-owned-and-run business in Van, Texas.
Victoria Elliot is the sweetest woman you'll ever meet and on top of being so nice, she makes THE BEST scented candles. I cannot rave enough about them; you seriously just need to try them yourself.

Moving on...
One thing that I've always thought would be helpful to have is a size comparison between her jars SO I've decided to do just that.

Let me start by saying this is a bit of a long post; I took TONS of photos for you guys! But trust be, it's worth it!
I lined up one of every type of jar that I currently own (minus the scent shots because... well... I forgot about them) and had a nice long photo shoot!
I hope you all find this helpful, or at the very least enjoy the photos! haha

Here's a photo of all of the sizes that I'll be comparing!
From left to right:
4oz mini jelly, 8oz tureen, 8oz jelly, 9oz country, 14oz Black Label, 16oz country,
16oz comfort candle, 18oz Love Victora, 22oz tureen, 24 oz mustard.
Just to save myself from having to answer this later the scents (also left to right) are:
Pumpkin Pear Strudel, Vanilla Grapefruit, Honeydew Pear, Strawberry Danish, Earthquake, Chocolate Fudge Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Surprise, Pumpkin Gingerbread Splash, Vanilla Bean Noel, Ginger Peach, and Pumpkin Pralines!

Now here are the "children" of the family:
4oz mini jelly, 8oz jelly, 8oz tureen, and 9oz country jars.

The 4oz mini, 8oz JELLY, and 9oz country all have the same opening size.

A size comparison of the 4oz mini jelly jar and the 8oz jelly jar.

A comparison of the opening size of the 4oz mini vs. the 8oz TUREEN.

Now, onto the medium sized jars!
Left to right:
14oz Black Label, 16oz country, and 16oz Comfort Candle jars.

This is a comparison of the medium jars to the 8oz jelly.
Left to Right, top to bottom:
16oz country, 14oz Black Label, 8oz jelly, 16oz Comfort

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Can we just take a moment to focus on that freaking adorable candle to the right? Ya know, the one with a fracking lounging gingerbread man!?"
To you I say, "Yes.... yes, we most certainly can."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is one of Victoria's lovely Comfort Candles. This one is called Pumpkin Gingerbread Splash and you can read all about what's in it at this lovely page:

But for now, I'll just show you how adorable it is!

Is it just me, or does Gingy look a lil' bit high?

(PLEASE excuse the mess, we still haven't totally unpacked!)
Sarge was enjoying looking over the photo-shoot. He's just so cute, I had to share.

Hmm... where were we?
Ah yes! Comparing!

This is the 16oz country and 8oz tureen side by side. I am almost positive that they have the same sized opening.

And now we've arrived at the big kids' table.
Dining with us this evening will be the:
18 oz Love Victoria, 22oz tureen, and 24oz mustard jars.

Let's look at some comparison shots before we get to all of that lovely glitter!

We have the Love Victoria (white), 22oz tureen (pinkish), and mustard jar (orange)
up against the 8oz jelly jar.

Left to Right:
22oz tureen vs. 18oz Love, Victoria

16oz Comfort Candle vs. 22oz Tureen

16oz Comfort candle vs. 18oz Love, Victoria

16oz country jar vs. 24 oz mustard jar
Top: 16oz country, 24oz mustard
compared to 8oz jelly

Now, onto the glitter candles!!!

Here is the 22oz tureen (which is also available without glitter).
This is a (somewhat) decent shot of Orange and Pink glitter.

I honestly think this may have been red glitter instead of pink because it's WAY darker than other orange/pink combos I've seen. Anyways, I'm not sure if this combo is still available but here it is regardless. :P

Here is the 8oz tureen against the 22oz tureen.

And the openings:

And now for my newest glitter candle:
Halo White glitter in a Love, Victoria jar!

Major thanks to Ahren for helping me get the perfect lighting to capture the TRUE colors of this Halo White glitter! It's so subtle but SO pretty!!!

That's all of them! I hope the comparisons were helpful for you and I hope you enjoyed the photos half as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Some jar info:
Like I said, the 4oz mini jelly jar, 8oz jelly jar, and 9oz country candles all have the same size opening so when looking at the above comparisons, keep that in mind. :)
Glitter candle are currently available in the Love, Victoria and 22oz Tureen jars.

These are NOT even close to all of the awesome jars that Victoria offers but they should give you a good taste of opening sizes and a good way to compare sizes.
To sign off, I'll leave you with some photos of the AWESOME new lighter Ahren bought for us this week! It's so adorable and I love it! haha

Take care, everyone! Happy CBV melting! :D

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Vegan Rice Pudding (It's SOOO much better than it sounds)

SO, in an effort to get healthier I've decided that I'd like to REALLY try cutting out animal products. In all honesty, I doubt I'll be able to go completely vegan, mainly because I don't want to. BUT I am going to attempt to eat as vegan-ly as possible the majority of the time. :)

I started out swimmingly by having this delicious rice pudding for dessert tonight! It's a pretty basic recipe and it's very easy and yummy! Do NOT be intimidated by it's lack of traditional pudding fare (like sugar and milk) it is REALLY good, I promise.

Vegan Rice Pudding
I didn't measure how much this made, but my guess would be about 4 cups.

-2 cups cooked brown rice (you could use white, it would be a bit fluffier, but I prefer brown)
-2 cups Vanilla Almond Milk (or any vanilla non-dairy milk)
-1/4 cup raisins (I didn't have them, so I left them out but I will def. add them next time)
-3 tbsp amber agave nectar* (this stuff is so delicious, I use it to sweeten everything)
-1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon (use less if you're not a big cinnamon fan, or you could omit it)

After you've cooked your rice, combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Heat to desired consistency. If pudding becomes too thick, thin it with a bit more milk. Top with more raisins and a dash of cinnamon.

*You could replace the Amber agave nectar with light agave nectar or 2 tbsp Maple syrup. I like Amber agave the best because it adds a sweet, rich flavor without dominating the dish - like maple syrup would.

This would be great in the morning, warmed with a splash of milk, some raisins, and/or some berries!

I hope if you make this that you enjoy it and have fun adding your own touch to it!