November in Candles: Kringle Daylights, Woodwick Hourglass Melt & DW Home

Oops, I meant to get this post up yesterday but #reallife happened. Before I join the rest of the world on everything Christmas, I’ve a final recap on the candles I was loving in November. Just a few small treats of delicious scents that kinda wrap up Autumn candles for me. From here on in, it’ll be juicy pomegranate, mulled wines and clean balsam fragrances all the way.  

Hopefully you caught my post on the DW Home Pumpkin Allspice candle. This was delicious. Loved every last moment of it. If you haven’t read the full review… go! Pumpkin spice – Autumn candle essential, really!

I also tried a few daylight candles from Kringle for the first time ever. Kringle aren’t widely available in the UK, so I purchased a bunch of daylights and melts online, and enjoyed all three of these.  

My favourite was Welcome Home. The strongest scented of these three, where “friendly spice notes, a touch of baking bread and warm hearthside aromas evoke reassurances of homecoming and sanctuary found. ” It’s not soft and sweetly spiced like a lot of creamy pumpkin Autumnal scents, but richly and actually spicily spiced. The ‘hearthside aromas’ also add to the richness, and it is indeed a comforting smell. We enjoyed this a lot.  

I also really enjoyed Apple Cider Donut which is “infused with spice-sweet cider notes and a lavish dusting of sweet cinnamon. ” It smells exactly like the name suggests, and it really is lovely, though quite subtle. These are the small daylight candles (so named as they burn for a day, up to around 12 hours), and will only fill a small room. I tend to have them where I’m working/relaxing so I can enjoy the fragrance close by, but they won’t fill a large room with scent. As opposed to the fruitier mulled cider scents of Christmas, this is baked apple goodness with just a hint of cinnamon and vanilla, and lots of sugar.

Lastly, we tried Autumn Winds. It was nice, but not my usual cup of tea for an at-home-relaxing scent. It has spicy woody notes, and whilst it does a good job of conjuring images of Autumnal walks through crunchy leaves, it doesn’t have the warmth and fruit that I usually like in Autumn candles. Still nice, but not a scent I’d repurchase in a larger format.  

Finally, we enjoyed the Woodwick Pear Cider wax melt. Aren’t cider scents just so Autumn appropriate?! This really is a juicy pear and ginger cider, with notes of clove and vanilla. It’s warm, spicy, ever so fruity and delicious. The only negative (and it’s a small one) was that the scent didn’t last long. It was amazing for around 4 or 5 hours, and then just gone. It’s suggested they last up to 10 hours, and usually, I find wax melts gradually decrease in scent power. This however, had a wonderfully strong throw and then just nothing. It doesn’t put me off buying the mini hourglass melts, but this particular scent wasn’t as good value. Still better than any scent that has a poor throw to begin with though!  

And that’s my little lot for November! Time to get into the Christmas stash now! 

For now, with love,
Ellen  

 

Primark’s Exclusive Montagne Jeunesse Pumpkin Pie Facemask Review

So, before I give in to Christmas posts, I’ve a couple more wonderfully pumpkinny Autumnal posts for you. This time, a review.  

I ADORE facemasks. I love them. I really do. I’m not hugely into pampering, and although I like to look after myself, I’m not much of a girly girl. That said, if I do want to give myself a little extra love and attention, a facemask is my weapon of choice, and Montagne Jeunesse / 7th Heaven is my favourite brand. They do so many varieties, creams, gels, exfoliants, peel off’s, sheet masks, self-heating etc. and the scents and results are to die for.  

So, when I saw this exclusive Pumpkin Pie Sauna Mask in Primark a couple of weeks ago I could not say no! For a bargainous 90p too! Amazing! 

Normally it never would have lasted two weeks, but I didn’t have time to use it before going on honeymoon, and so have made the most and had a relaxing 15 minutes now I’m back. Ahhhh.  

It’s very true to its name with the smell, it is a proper pumpkin fragrance, so if you’re only into the sugar and cinnamon elements of these types of smell, this may not be for you. I LOVE it. It’s real pumpkin with just a hint of sugar and spice, and because of the warming effect it has on your skin you feel like you’re wearing a fresh baked pie! Mmmmm.  

This also has really fine exfoliating particles in it – it feels a little grainy when you put it on, though not in a bad way, and really has an effect when you rinse off, but it leaves the fresh, smooth, glowy skin we all want.  

The packaging claims it ‘Gently warms for a fresh, radiant glow’ which is exactly what my skin needs now I’ve returned to chilly old Blighty. It’s gone from sun soaked and regularly sun-creamed, to parched and chilled, so a little TLC is in Auuorder.  

It’s the usual method for the mask, thoroughly cleanse and leave the face wet, apply the mask, chill out for 10-15 minutes and rinse off. I always wait the maximum time, and usually pick a YouTube video of a similar length to veg out with, and on rinsing, I was pleasantly pleased.  

My face feels much softer and looks a lot brighter. I’m going to slather some moisturiser on, chill with another YouTube video while it sinks in, and then get ready to go out to see Murder on the Orient Express with DH tonight.  

If your local Primark still has this in store, I highly recommend you pick on up! 

For now, with love,
Ellen

DW Home Pumpkin Allspice Candle Review

So that’s it, Halloween’s been and gone. For retailers, it’s the cue for Christmas, but in reality, Autumn still has plenty of time left, and you shouldn’t be ready to swap out pumpkin for peppermint just yet.  

I didn’t get the Summer and Halloween posts up I wanted to this year, but I’m back now and still loving Autumnal scents at home. I actually just this week got back from our Honeymoon in Borneo and Kuala Lumpur, and have found cosy candles and hot water bottles a good remedy to get over missing the wildlife, the intense heat, and the fabulous food and hotel!  

It may be true that there’s no place like home, but sometimes you have to amp up the homeliness.  

This week I’ve been loving this particular DW Home candle in Pumpkin Allspice. If you’ve been reading my blog over the last couple of years, you’ll see I’ve come to really love this brand – they’ve never let me down. They burn well, the scents are amazing, and the jars are just oh-so pretty.

I purchased two small votive sized glass jars in Pumpkin Allspice and White Pumpkin. I haven’t burned White Pumpkin yet as DH isn’t a fan of the lack of sweetness and spice in it, although I adore that pure, creamy vegetable scent. The Allspice version is very close, but much more buttery-sweet and rounded off with clove and cinnamon.  

As I only have the small size, it’s a little light on scent throw, but then again, I’ve been burning it in a large room. I don’t think there’d be any problems with a more size appropriate candle/room.  

This is beautiful on it’s on, whereas to appease DH I’ll probably burn White Pumpkin alongside something fruiter and spicier – maybe Spiced Apple from Kringle.  

I have to say, I really appreciate that DW Home make smaller candles that still come in these pretty glass jars, as they look so good on the dining table and bedside, but allow me to swap out fragrances really frequently and avoid cluttering up my cupboards with half burned candles.  This deep orange toned jar is complimented with matching coloured wax and a metallic gold lid which is perfect. The White Pumpkin has cream wax and a rose gold lid. I purchased mine from TK Maxx, and you can read more about them on the DW Home website here

I’d happily give this perfect Autumn scent a 10/10.  

For now, with love,
Ellen

Review: Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying

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Hi!

Wow, this has taken me much longer to find time to write than I expected! But, on a brighter note, our new house is much nearer to completion, so it’s not all bad news!

When we do finally move into our new home, I want the fresh start to stretch into our lifestyle as well, regarding the house, maintaining it and keeping it organized and clutter free. I will be the first to admit that at present, our house is much messier than I find comfortable. And yet, we struggle to keep bringing in that level of tidiness that we want.

That’s what prompted me to buy Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying, available at Amazon, here.

I liked the cover promise of ‘a simple, effective way to banish clutter forever’, and to transform your home into a permanently tody, clutter-free space…’ Who wouldn’t want that? I promptly got stuck in.

I liked that the emphasis wasn’t purely on minimalism, although incorporated some of the same principles. It’s not about doing without, and learning to do so, but more about living only with what you truly love. I liked that it explored dealing with other people in the household, and their belongings, too. After all, you can’t apply an approach such as ‘keep only what sparks joy in you’ to other people’s items. But I didn’t finish the book and immediately start the tidying process.

And I still haven’t. And more so, I won’t be applying this approach when I come to move, either. Not in the exact method described, which Marie Kondo will tell you, is the only way to make it work. To summarize, the basic principle is to, in one single period, go through all of your belongings, holding each one in your hand and only keeping those that truly ‘spark joy’. There is a set order in which you should go through your belongings, the order helping you to learn and hone your craft to really narrow down what you do and do not need in your life.

However, I didn’t feel this was a practical approach to my belongings. I’ll admit, not wanting to get all of my clothes together into one room (literally, everything, that coat on the back of the door, the dressing gown from the bathroom, the scarves and the handbags and the shoes that probably aren’t inside your wardrobe either, the laundry…) was part laziness. I’d recently gone through the majority of my clothing and donated what I no longer wanted to charity. I also kept a pile of things to sell on eBay – some which did, some which are still in a storage box under the bed. I didn’t want to get everything out again. And also, I felt the book didn’t cover a huge proportion of belongings – those things you don’t necessarily love, but need regardless.

Maybe it should be taken for granted, if you need something, you keep it. Maybe the KonMari method is for those items that aren’t essential, this wasn’t really specified. Take for instance, my work clothes. I don’t have a uniform, I just have to wear black. Now I don’t particularly wear black outside of work. These items of clothing don’t spark joy in me at all. I just need them. I don’t have the option of throwing them all away and buying items of black clothing that truly spark joy in me, because I don’t have the funds to do so and because I don’t think buying clothing for work purposes would ever really spark joy for me.

I also struggled at the concept for non-work items too. For example, my jeans. I have five pairs of denim jeans. If I really had to think about it, none of them are that great. The newest pair, too loose around the waist. The previous pair, grey (I don’t like grey) sit in the eBay box under the bed. The pair before that I loved, fit lovely, have a stain on the front. The others, look wrong with all kinds of shoes but flip flops. The last pair haven’t fitted in five years and I still keep them. Not even because I hope to fit in them again – just because they remind me of what good jeans are like! This pair is probably my favorite, even though I can’t wear them. But I don’t have the option of getting rid of them all and buying new. And I can’t reasonably use reading one book as justification for doing so. So I just can’t work with Marie Kondo’s method of tidying, and if I never achieve tidiness to her scale, so be it. It’s not my version of tidy.

This isn’t to say I didn’t take anything from the book. There were some passages that gave me a new way of looking at things. For instance, the purpose of items. Take gifts. The purpose of a gift is to give it, and to receive it. No more. If someone gifts you an ugly umbrella for your birthday, and you don’t, and won’t, ever use it, Kondo’s reasoning for getting rid of it is that it has already served it’s purpose. Those acts of giving and receiving were enjoyed and marked the birthday. It is now okay to get rid of the umbrella if it’s current purpose is just to make you sad that you don’t want to use it. I’m not sure I’m totally comfortable with this, I tend to keep gifts whether I like/use them or not, as they still serve to remind me that someone at least thought about me when choosing the gift. Nonetheless, it was an interesting way to think about things.

You cannot ignore either, that the book has sold 1.5 million copies, worldwide, and is raved about. I thought that perhaps I didn’t take much from it because it was a little too specific for Japanese culture and didn’t fit in with my ideas and belongings. However I have heard and seen many references to the book online from the USA and UK, all from people who really believe in the principles behind it. The 300+ reviews on Amazon (where I first heard of the book, and went on to buy it from) are overwhelmingly positive, with an overall rating of 4.5 stars.

I’m sure Marie Kondo would think that by not trying her approach, I’m only failing myself, but I’m ok with that, and I still have the knowledge should I ever decided to put it into practice. I’ll be thinking carefully about what we move into to our new house, and how to store and organize things. When I come up with solutions that work for me, I’ll let you know.

If you’ve read the book, I’d really like to know your thoughts, and what you learned from it.

For now, with love,

Ellen