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!)
Posted by Picasa

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! :)