Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beautiful Sunflowers and Giveaways

I have a few sunflowers in my garden at different stages of their development. They are not very tall. Being the 3rd batch that was planted, there was not much time left in their natural light cycle to vegetate and gain the height for which they are known. The first 2 batches of sunflowers that I planted were uprooted by the crows and other birds. They are very fond of the sprouts.

The sunflowers are so beautiful to watch this time of year. The geometrical patterns at every stage of flowering is quite breathtaking.

My oldest son has started Middle school and the change in him from School aged to Teenager was almost immediate. He has a new girlfriend that he speaks with on the phone at least 6 times a night.

In the week ahead, I have 2 products that I will be reviewing here at Music and Mommies. One of these products is a Degreaser from Stanley Home Products. It was sent to me with a list of 50 uses for this product. I plan on trying out use #28 and cleaning my BBQ racks with it and whatever other random uses hit me in the moment. If you happen to 'like' their facebook page, be sure to say hello.

The second review I will be posting this week is a Chickweed Herbal Salve and Serenity Moisturizing Lotion from Meadow Muffin Gardens on Etsy. The shop owner Stacy has also offered up a prize for residents of the US and Canada. If you check back sometime during the day on Friday you should be able to enter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Etsy #Review: Madame Scodioli's Solid Perfumes

I recently stumbled across the most delightful Etsy shop. Madame Scodioli Bearded Proprietor has a wonderful line of solid perfumes and shaving soaps made with natural ingredients. The shop, product descriptions and visual artwork carries you away to a small gypsy caravan where Madame Scodioli charms you with her luxuriously scented potions. The magic of the carnival, the music and the memorizing people grant you a freedom that you have only felt fully now for the first time in your life.

I contacted Madame Scodioli about reviewing a product and she graciously sent me a full sized Clofullia solid scent and samples of Gypsy Caravan and Drabardi to review. I also had to ask about the product branding because I found it very impressive and Madame S. informed me that her assistant is a graphic designer.

The solid perfumes are deliciously pleasing to my senses. Since they are crafted with natural ingredients there is no chemical irritant to mangle my sensitive snout, which is great for the obvious reason... and also because I can now live with my nose buried in these wonderful scents.

One of her more complex scents, Clofullia is crafted with jasmine, patchouli and orange. Jasmine is the first scent that hits you, so those of you who don't care for floral scents might find this discouraging. As you breath deeper the patchouli and orange undertones surface creating depth and balance within this scent. I highly recommended this to Jasmine lovers.

Drabardi is a very relaxing and uplifting scent. The bergamot is calming and the coriander gives a very complimentary spicy lemon scent. I adore it and I think it will get put to good use this winter as part of my plan to alleviate the winter blues. I find myself opening up the container and getting a whiff of it when I feel a little down in the dumps or anxious.

Gypsy Caravan is my favorite of the 3 scents. Romantic, captivating and sweet scent oozing with fresh, ripe pomegranates. Madame S has captured the essence of two lovers sharing a blanket, feeding each other pomegranates seeds over a bottle of wine at sunset in a field of fruit trees and wildflowers.

Madame Scodioli also offers sampler packs for those of you who do not wish to commit to a full sized scent without smelling it first. The samples are a good  size and will last for awhile. So if you are unsure, this is a great way to try out the different scents and still have some duration of use.

I am so very impressed with this shop,  I plan on ordering a couple full sized solid oils in Gypsy Caravan because it is wonderfully intoxicating and also some samples of the scents I haven't tried yet to see what else I enjoy! Please I encourage you all to buy something from Madame Scodioli's Bearded Proprietor.

Disclaimer: I received samples of these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are based upon my honest product experience.

Review: The Book of Life by Stuart Nadler

A collection of seven short stories involving characters who are all involved in the midst of conflict involving faith, family, grief, love, temptation, and redemption.

Stuart Nadler's writing is uniquely driving and intensely captivating. I had a difficult time putting the book down and if not for other obligations, I would have finished it in a day. Nadler has a way of describing the situations involving his characters both efficiently and effectively. Throughout the book I found myself empathetic, uncomfortable and even awkward as I related to these people with an endearing attachment as though they were dear friends.

These stories have cliff-hanger timing. It angered me dearly as he would end one story and begin another at  times that felt so inopportune to me that I found myself cursing him silently. I had become so invested in that story, it forced me to let go and move on to the next story, not knowing if things ever resolved themselves or if the characters were successful with their paths from that moment forward. I had no chance to negotiate with this 'Ghost of Christmas past' and perhaps stay for a moment longer onlooking. No closure, as much as I hated that... it signified to me the capabilities of a great author, as he invoked many emotions in me.