Friday, December 23, 2011

Freebie Friday's Review Roundup

I have participated in several Sampler Village boxes and each time I send in 100 samples so I earn a free box.  As a result, I get the joy of trying out and reviewing lots of great samples from several amazing fellow shops.  Here are my thoughts on the products I have tried so far from the Nov/Dec box; all four I will be a repeat customer for:

Farm Hussy
Item: Whipped Soy Glace scented Gift Hog
Seller's Description of scent: "You are sure to be rooting through the gift pile if your snout gets a pre-Xmas whiff of this chewy ooey gooey frosting on butter cookies, candied cherries and fruits, powdered sugar and candy sprinkles."
My Review:  I can't stop raving about Farm Hussy - I just can't get enough of her products!  I was so stoked to get a sample of hers in my box.  Of course, the Glace is just as dreamy as the other lotions I've tried.  I LOVE the scent - it is my MOST FAVORITE now!  It smells like a bubblegum/cotton candy/cherry snowcone on steroids at a crazy carnival.  If it made my arm edible when I put it on, I'd eat my own arm.  It just smells crazy divine and I wish it were a food.

Sebastien's Nook
Facebook and Etsy
Item: Cranberry Chutney Soap Bar sample size.
Seller's Description: "Cranberry Chutney - Yankee Candle Type has to be one of my favorite scents for this season. Fresh cranberries, orange zest, rosemary, raisins, and a touch of golden honey make this a delectable addition to your holiday decorations. Not to mention this bar is chock full of skin loving emollients such as Jojoba oil infused with calendula, Goat's Milk, honey, and Aloe. Its rich lather will keep you coming back for more."
My Review: Considering practically everything in my box was scented Cranberry or colored Cranberry, I'm thinking Cranberry is the scent of the season!  This scent stood above the rest, even if it is a dupe of a non-handmade product. ;)  I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of lather from this little bar - probably the most soapy soap I've ever used.  I am a big fan of goat's milk in products, and this bar doesn't disappoint in its softness.  Even though it may look like a hand-drying plain glycerin bar to the layman, don't be fooled - it is far from that.

Bonny N Clyde aka B n C
Facebook and Etsy
Item: Solid perfume in lip balm tube scented Desire.
Seller's Description of scent: "Blend of citrus, geranium, jasmine, lily of the valley, amber, vanilla, vetiver, botanical musk and ylang ylang."
My Review: Now, I'm really picky about scents so samples are always a must for me because my sniffer can go either way.  I was really pleasantly surprised with this one - while it may seem like a strong heavy scent at first, it really isn't.  I'd say it's more of a winter scent, but I usually just wear whatever scent I want no matter the season.  It comes in a lip balm tube because it's a solid perfume, a genius idea, I think.  Having long fingernails, I don't do solid B&B products in pots.  Besides, gets your fingers all messy.  It was really easy to apply and I love that - just "roll" it on and go!  I could immediately tell it was working off the warmth of my pulse points, and I smelled it all day.

Facebook and Etsy
Item: Snowflake sachet ornament
Seller's Description: "The sachet has been filled with scented Cellulose (corn cob) fibers. The corn cob fibers are a wonderful scent holder and will last for many months.  The sachet smells like a freshly fallen snow on a cold winters day."
My Review: I really thought this was a great idea.  I love the scent, and want to have it up all year round so I hung it up on my front door knob.  My cat apparently thought it was a great product, too, because I came back to a shredded ornament after being gone a couple days. :(  So I'll have to figure out some way to fix it.  I think this is a really cool idea that she could market all year round - I wouldn't mind having it in another scent or two.  Maybe even put one in the car.  The scent is unique and refreshing, and I like that.  It can get old being exposed to the same scents all the time so I'm enjoying this new one. 

{{Each Friday I do a multitude of short reviews to sum up my experiences with free product I used since the last posting.  I am not compensated for my reviews other than the fact that I did not pay for the product.  However, this product was earned through Facebook contests or other free contest means through my own efforts.  The shops are not notified of the review until posted.}}

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday's Raving Reviews - Have It Sweet


Caramel is harder to make than one would think - temperature plays a huge roll in getting the end product just right.  Heat too little and you have sauce; heat it too much and you have hard candy.  And then there's the matter of using a recipe that you like... getting an end product that makes your taste buds dance.

How do I know this?  I've tried it myself.  And what they say is true: baking and candy making are two different realms.  So far, I've perfected one and not so much the other.

Being a part of Sampler Village, I am exposed to many great handmade shops every day.  I made my first purchase with Have It Sweet this past March when they were running a free shipping coupon code.  I haven't regretted that decision since.

I tried the Fluer de Sel bars because they are their most popular flavor.  When in doubt, I always try the most popular product first from a shop, then go from there after having my own experiences.  After all, stats speak volumes - customers know best (most of the time :D)!

The recipe is utterly indescribable.  I have never tasted dreamier caramel in my whole life.  Plus, what they say is true - sweet and salty DO make a great combo.  This stuff is ADDICTING.  The flavors linger on your tongue for several minutes afterward so you can't get the yumminess out of your head.  It's a psychological mind game, trying to stop eating.  And it's a losing game at that.  I always tell myself I'm going to be good, that I'm only going to eat a little bit at a time.  Sometimes I stick it in the freezer to help stop myself.  IT NEVER WORKS.  I'd rather break a tooth than stop eating.  I have never eaten anything in my life that has such a tantalizing aftertaste that it messes with my will power.  My waistline may hate me later, but those minutes are heaven.  The worst part is when it is all gone.  That yumminess I cannot have is torturous.

Part of the listing describes how it is a secret recipe perfected over many trials and tribulations.  I don't blame them for keeping it a well guarded secret because they would be out of business if we all knew how to make it.  And probably four hundred pounds heavier.  I would make this every day if I knew how.  I think it is probably for the better that I don't. ;)

Since then, I have gotten to know Beth, one half of the dynamic husband/wife duo, through various correspondence on Etsy and Facebook.  She is so wonderful to talk to, very sweet, and very giving.  I was so grateful and ecstatic when she donated to my Animal Charity Auction back in Oct.  Her stuff was a big hit - no shocker there!

I have made several more purchases since then.  I always intend to try something new, but I always go back to tantalizing Fluer de Sel.  I can't get enough of it!  Some of my purchases contained samples of other caramels and they are just as addicting as well.  Marzipan is my second most favorite.  But Fluer de Sel will always be the caramel that stole my heart.

Check out Have It Sweet's delicious selection today - there's sure to be something for you!  And you definitely won't be disappointed in the quality of products and customer service.  Let Have It Sweet know that BKD Signature sent you!

{{Each Wednesday I review a business that I thought gave me a superior customer service experience and offers amazing products.  These are opinions only, for which I was not paid.  I'm simply sharing with the world about this awesome shop I discovered! :) }}