Fall Fun Series II: Pinspiration

Fall Inspiration Board

Good morning, friends!  This Saturday’s prompt in the Fall Fun Series is to compose an inspiration board, a pictogram, a collage or even a simple list of the things that make our hearts sing every autumn.  For me, that means a heck of a lot of gazing at leaves, assembling my Halloween Town, wrestling my cat into goofy costumes and celebrating my wedding anniversary, among many other lovely autumnal things.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the Fall delights that always inspire my soul at this time of year.

Cats in Costumes Collage

Cats in costumes!  Here we have the Weeger as Eeyore, a bee, a centipede and a mylar shark, and our dear, late kitty Porky as Pooh Bear and a deadly little Mewback.  Porky was always deeply intolerant of the five to 10 minutes we would spend every year wrestling her into her costume and then chasing her around the apartment with a camera, but Weegie takes it with some degree of good measure (so long as we lavish her with soft food the second she’s wriggled out of whatever tummy-constricting costume we’ve managed to wrap around her pudge in the first place.)  We don’t have kids; please don’t judge!

Leaf Collage Again

Leaves!  Right outside my door, lining the Ottawa River, or out in the country, edging the highway, or up the Gatineau, where I go with my parents every year to tend my grandparents’ graves.  I’m so incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a bounty of leafy beauty every year, it almost makes up for the following six months of snow and ice.  Almost.

stranger-manis-collage

Stranger Things!  The second season starts on October 27th, and I shall be indisposed until such time as I have finished watching it.  I really don’t like binge-watching things – loved parsing out the first season episodes bit by wonderful bit, actually – but I don’t believe any of us will be afforded the luxury of remaining spoiler-free this time around. It’s the best show I’ve ever seen (sorry, Buff) and I am so. unbelievably. excited!  A very dope anniversary present from our Netflix overlords.

Wedding Photo 1

Yes, a fine anniversary present indeed for these two (young, so young!) goobers, who are celebrating their lucky 13th.  My gosh, we are just babies in this photo (but dang if my boobs don’t look SLAMMIN’; bless you, corset gods.)

Halloween Town

My Halloween Town!  A rather large operation that sprawls across my moss-covered diningroom table every Fall.  I had briefly toyed with the idea of letting the town go fallow for the year – setting it up and lugging it out of storage is a major, major pain – but I know I’ll cave in the end.  Gotta let the residents of my spooky little town vent their haunts for the year, yes?

Scary Movie Collage

Scary movies and TV shows.  Although I must note that I haven’t possessed the stomach or temperament for major (or even minor) gore in a long, long time.  Nostalgic picks like the deeply silly Friday the 13th series or my favourite terrible horror movie, Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, are about as wild as I get now, and I’m perfectly content with that. Bring on the G and PG-rated spooks!

NBC Fall

Like The Nightmare Before Christmas, a charmingly creepy little stop motion movie that has a place in my heart and home year-round.  I spoke at some length last year about our snow globe, a wonderful wedding gift from friends.  This year we were fortunate enough to find another gorgeous collectible, an anniversary gift to ourselves that I will be positively gagging to share with you just as soon as it’s mounted to the wall!

Wax Header

And, of course, we can’t forget all the delicious smelly things that will be sweetly scenting my home this autumn.  This is a photo of last year’s bounty (with the exception of the scoopable, a pancakes-and-campfire scent, I melted through all of this and then some.) Looking forward to more cozy scents this year.  To the Fall!

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Measured Meows

Kitten Measurement Collage

Bahahahahahaha!  There’s no such thing!  Fellow cat lovers, I don’t know about your fickle felines, but when my cat starts going off, it’s about the furthest thing from measured as you can get.  We’re talking meows (also mews, rrawows and merows) that break the sound barrier.  It’s kind of insanity-making!

These cats at least seem to be taking a more measured response to life.  I purchased this adorable little set of ceramic measuring cups from ModCloth years ago, but I see these best-seller kitties are still available on their website.  I’ve actually never used them for their intended purpose, as I figure the first time I do I’ll snap somebody’s tail off on the edge of the sugar canister, but they’ve been a cute decorative item, lined up (or stacked and leaning) on my kitchen window.

And so in keeping with the decorative spirit of these measuring cups, I decorated my nails with some matching kitties.  Cute!

Kitten Measurement Awkward

Do You Suppose This is His Way of Telling Me I Smell?

Demeter Birthday Pic

Simply curious, as my husband gifted me with a metric butt ton (actual measurement, “butt ton”) of delicious Demeter fragrances for my birthday, and you just don’t do that unless a) someone really stinks (“This smells so great!  Wear all of it at once, immediately”) or b) you know your spouse really well, as mine did when he correctly surmised that I’d love to receive such a bounty of beautiful birthday blends (also an affection for alliteration.) 😉

So what terrifically odd combination of fragrances did my husband put together for his beloved on her 40th? Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Starting with the header photo, this apparently represents my birthday breakfast, a thing I actually didn’t have because I was fasting in anticipation of a blow-out Italian dinner later that evening.  But the thinking here is that I’d wake up and snarf down a plate of birthday cake-flavoured cinnamon toast topped with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. With a tomato on the side (which I wholly approve of; all that sugar needs a bit of tart and fresh to balance it out.)

Speaking from a dietary perspective, that’s kind of horrifying!  But these fragrances are not – lovely single scents, all.  I particularly like Cinnamon Toast, which smells like cinnamon hearts, and, super surprisingly, Tomato, which on initial application smells exactly like a ripe, sun-warmed tomato.  It’s a unique smell that conjures up nice memories of my grandfather futzing over his heavily laden tomato plants out in the garden.

Demeter Zombie Collage

Next up we have the zombie fragrances, which, upon spritzing and sniffing, we decided I will never, ever wear because they smell like dirt and rot and probably skunk pheromones.  I love the theming behind these Zombie for Him, Her and Dog fragrances (what, the cats just fend for themselves?) but wowza, do they stink.  I suspect that Demeter’s Dirt fragrance, an otherwise pretty acceptable fresh earth kind of scent, is the base for all three of these colognes, with hits of dead flowers (for Her), decaying leaves (for Him) and something that’s erring awfully close to urine (for the Dog.)  I adore them, they are so weird, but these will probably remain collectibles only.  Also, you will pry my Snowmint Mallow from my cold, dead, zombiefied hands before I trade it in for something more apocalypse-appropriate.

Demeter Kitten Fur Pic

Leaving the best for last, we have my cat Weegie looking disillusioned (so basically a day ending in Y) beside a bottle of Kitten Fur!  Which smells a bit like very mild laundry detergent.  I don’t think Weegie’s tummy fur smells like soap (you get the best, most accurate results – also probably hissed and swatted at – by sniffing a cat’s tummy) but I suppose if any creature in this house is going to smell like laundry, it’s going to be the one that spends 22 hours a day lounging around on freshly washed linens.

All in all, a lovely, thoughtful gift full of fun surprises and some very unique finds.  Well done, sweetie. 🙂

April Band of Bloggers

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It’s that time of year again!  As the warmer weather soothes stiff joints and brushes off the last vestiges of winter, homes beg for the same fresh start everyone promised themselves at the beginning of the year.  Clothes are donated, rooms are scrubbed, and yards are tended.  While the fauna leave their winter dens or return from long migrations, the world blooms with new growth in vibrant splashes of colour.

For April’s Band of Bloggers post, we will answer a few questions about Spring and the ever-loved Spring cleaning.  Feel free to join in and answer these questions in the comments below!

Do you decorate for Spring?

Save some specific Easter decorations that I pull out around the end of March, it’s ALWAYS Spring in my apartment – lots of raspberry red, robin’s egg blue and a pink I like to refer to as “Strawberry Fluff.”  This spattered egg wreath actually sits on a little decorative shelf above the second bedroom bed year-round.  My best friend once commented that I have the perfectly decorated single girl’s apartment – remarkable, as I live with a man, and a pretty messy one at that!

Wreath Pic

Are there any products you find yourself reaching for as the weather warms?  This can be anything; food, clothing, bath and body, wax, you name it!

I suppose like most people shrugging off the final frosty bits of winter, I start to lean towards fresh, fruity and floral scents for both my person and my home.  After finishing off a bottle of hand soap the other day, I reached into my extras drawer and pulled out two choices – some fruity berry thing, bursting with Springtime freshness, and a beautiful Bath & Body Works scent by the name of Winter White Woods, an unexpected favourite of mine that smells like a still copse of snow-laden birch trees.  Glancing outside, I saw that the actual birch trees surrounding my building were laden with snow themselves, so back into the drawer Winter White Woods went – perhaps best to put a bit of distance between winter and Winter, yes?

Do you participate in the Spring cleaning craze?

Living in a condo apartment building, I thankfully have very few Spring maintenance duties to attend to.  But before the summer spiders arrive and drive me back indoors, I sweep down the balconies, wash the windows and frames, maybe set out a few pots of pansies (which I haven’t in years; my dear, late kitty, Porky, LOVED to nibble on freshly potted pansies – would actually race me to the balcony door so she could rip off their little lion’s heads like the savage predator she was – and I haven’t had the heart to buy any since her passing.  Maybe this year.  Miss you, Pork Chop.)

Z4

Don’t forget to visit these fellow participants in the Band of Bloggers and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Fall Fun Series: A Small Fall Haul

rg-fall-cake

Today’s installment of the Fall Fun Series called for a showing of our Fall decorations, but I can’t do that because a) I don’t have that many; my Fall decorating funds (and precious, precious storage) have already been allocated to my Halloween decorations, and b) my balcony, which is where I house my seasonal decorative items in covered storage, has been INUNDATED with terrifically large spiders (and their webs, and babies, too!) that I like to joke (?) are chilling at our place while on vacation from their jobs as extras in the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies – they are seriously that big.  For scale, here is a photo of my cat Weegie sunning herself in a corner window, oblivious to the eight-legged death dangling just above her head.  Also, just to terrify you even further, I’ll note that when she jumped up into the window, the spiders rappelled down from somewhere out of sight I don’t even want to think about, bouncing to a stop just above her head when I think they realized they were on one side of the glass and she was on the other.

spider-snack

So large, aggressive and super smart arachnids have overtaken my balcony; do you blame me for not wanting to go rustling about in those covered containers trying to find an old spiderweb-covered wreath I’ll only have out for a couple of weeks before it’s replaced with a Halloween one?  No!  Or at least I hope not.  Besides, I can’t blog about ANYTHING if I’ve screamed myself to death.

So instead of showing the decorations, I thought I’d do another showing of the scented wax, because – no joke – about three minutes after I hit the publish button on last week’s Fall wax post, a lovely box of goodies from Rosegirls showed up on my doorstep, positively brimming with Fall scents (plus a few winter holiday ones just for good measure, an odd little blank spot in my wax collection.)  And so I did what I always do when I get a bunch of wax that I’m not sure whether I want to sniff or stare at or maybe even eat and slapped it on a cake tray and took pictures of it to share with you!  Man, blogging is a weird animal sometimes.

So what are the most recent additions to my Fall wax stash that have necessitated the purchase of a bigger basket in which to house all the delicious-smelling stuff?  Additions like pie slices in:

Apple Puff Pumpkin Pie, a highly spiced apple blend with an interesting, not-quite-bread/not-quite muffin bakery note.
Apple Colada, a sweet, mild apple tinged with something slightly tropical.
Egg Nog Caramel Ice Cream; Tucking this sweet slice away for winter holiday use.

pie-slice-collage

And then an unexpected bounty of fantastic Fall scents in a variety of chunks, including:

Harvest Bake Sale Noel, a craft-store-in-the-Fall kind scent infused with Bath and Body Works’ musky (and insanely popular) Vanilla Bean Noel fragrance.
Spicy Apple and Peaches Ice Cream; My favourite scent out of the whole sampler – spicy, creamy, fruity and tart.
Toffee Apple Ice Cream, a creamy candied apple scent.
Peppermint Noel; Vanilla Bean Noel strikes again, this time tempering Rosegirls’ nose-burningly strong peppermint.  Another one I’ll be tucking away for the colder winter months.  Lord knows I’ve got enough of those ahead of me!

rg-fall-chunk-collage

Surf Kitties

SurfinKittyHand

I love the idea of surfing, but unfortunately, as we all know, I’m a real weenie about getting in the water with sea life that wants to eat me. But surfing looks glorious, doesn’t it? I love everything about it – the culture that surrounds it, the people it attracts, the athleticism, the spirituality, the breathtaking locales. I love it so much, Blue Crush is one of my favourite movies, and that’s not something a lot of people would admit! So it’s something I love the idea of, but I’m also fully aware that it’s something I’ll never, ever do, because I am so scared of being munched on by sharks, and I’m also not that jazzed at the thought of dashing my brains out on a wall of coral. So once again, this will have to be one of those admire-from-afar things, which is cool when what you’re admiring are these fun, super summery nails instead.

For this beach kitten mani, I used some glittery kitty nail stickers from Daily Charme. A note on using a topcoat over the stickers: Don’t. They will pretty well melt on contact. That’s a lesson the cat that was on my middle finger learned the hard way.

Space Kitties! (OMD3)

Space Kitties Hand

Having lost my dear old cat, Porky, to old age not two weeks ago, I initially wasn’t super keen on tackling a manicure to fit day 15’s theme of cats in the Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. I have lost pets before – my childhood Cocker Spaniel, Boo, my young adulthood cat, Puddin’, my goldfish, Fred – but none have hurt like this. She was just such a major part of my life for so very long – 15 of her 22 years – and there’s a weird part of me that doesn’t know how to be without her.

All that to say I’m not quite ready to put brush to nail to create a wonderous bit of nail art honouring my kitty. Or any kitty, really. 😦 So what better time to bust out some glittery kitten nail stickers to do all the heavy lifting for me? I bought these particular stickers through Daily Charme, and they’re adorable – the cutest little glittery cats, shooting stars and tantalizing fish bones. I’m typically not one to think there’s too much of something, particularly when that something is either holographic glitter or cats (or in this case, in the best of both worlds, BOTH) but with the holo base I used here, Enchanted Polish’s Instant Galaxy holographic topper over a plain black creme, I think there may be a touch too much going on. You can barely even see Darth Kitty hiding out there on my middle finger! It’s just a lot to process, what with the glimmering rainbows, hand-painted holographic stars and glittery kitties floating in space. Huh, didn’t think that’s a sentence you’d ever hear me say – too many glittery kitties floating in space? 😉

Space Kitties Fingers