Thursday, January 28, 2016

Hummingbird Soap Bar from Shari's Handcrafted Soaps

I raved about Shari's Patchouli Bar last fall and I was excited to get another bar into my shower rotation. I've been using the Hummingbird Soap Bar from Shari's Handcrafted Soaps since Christmas, in rotation with the other soaps in my shower. The fragrance is described as tart kiwi, lilac, tiger lily, pineapple and pears. This soap is a delightful experience. I adore everything about it.

Ingredients (from package label): Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Buttermilk, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Palm Kernel Oil, Fragrance, Sodium Lactate, Skin Safe Mica & Tussah Silk

First Glance: Packaged in shrink wrap with front and back labels, always a generous sized bar from Shari. A beautiful Caribbean Blue bar with a single white swirl through it. I studied this one for quite a while trying to figure out how she did it. I think it's a spoon plop with a hanger swirl (but I'm willing to be wrong. I'm still not the best at identifying soap color methods). The top is beautifully swirled with blue and white and a fun sprinkling of mica. One side of my bar had a dolphin  jumping through the waves shaped swirl (Can you see it?).

First Use: Smooth and silky lather, this bar is a bit softer in the shower than the Patchouli bar, so I've been extra careful to keep it well drained and out of the shower spray. The scent is super sweet, almost too sweet for my taste, but I still find it pleasant. I can really smell the lilac and pineapple with just a hint of pear remaining on my skin afterwards.

Overall Thoughts: I love the condition my skin is in after using Shari's soaps. The tussah silk really leaves my skin super soft (I can't stop touching my arms!) and the buttermilk creates a super creamy lather. I can't wait to use the other soaps and tell you about them!

Disclaimer: In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Sherry's Stuff. All products I review are either purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lily of the Nile

Lily of the Nile (Cleopatra's Daughter, #1)Lily of the Nile by Stephanie Dray
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

After almost a month and not breaking the first 100 pages, I'm going to let this one go. I read a book on the same historical figures two years ago that I enjoyed very much. If I hadn't read the other book, I may have enjoyed this one more.

Summary: Heiress of one empire and prisoner of another, it is up to the daughter of Cleopatra to save her brothers and reclaim what is rightfully hers...

To Isis worshippers, Princess Selene and her twin brother Helios embody the divine celestial pair who will bring about a Golden Age. But when Selene's parents are vanquished by Rome, her auspicious birth becomes a curse. Trapped in an empire that reviles her heritage and suspects her faith, the young messianic princess struggles for survival in a Roman court of intrigue. She can't hide the hieroglyphics that carve themselves into her hands, nor can she stop the emperor from using her powers for his own ends. But faced with a new and ruthless Caesar who is obsessed with having a Cleopatra of his very own, Selene is determined to resurrect her mother's dreams. Can she succeed where her mother failed? And what will it cost her in a political game where the only rule is win-or die?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Camel Olive Oil Soap

I picked up a couple soaps in India. This one I did not use while I was there (if I had, I wouldn't have brought it home).
As you can see from the picture, the label is not in English so I can't read the ingredients. A Google search proved to be fruitless. From using the soap, I would venture to say that it is 100% Olive Oil and (sadly) there is no camel milk or any type of milk in the recipe. I'm willing to be wrong if someone can prove me otherwise!

First Glance: This is a big hunk of soap. Very heavy and hard. Very rough looking. No coloring or  fragrance (not even a natural soapy smell).

First Use: The shape and size of the bar are very awkward to use, a more rectangular or thinner bar would have been easier. The bar is hard and the edges are very sharp. No lather was present when soaping hands. I tried a bath sponge, shower loofah, and shower brush. I did manage to get some very dense lather with the brush. Fragrance when wet was mild and sweet - I had to have the bar right up to my nose to smell it and it left no skin scent. Washed clean, but left skin feeling a little dry. I followed up with moisturizer, which I normally don't have to do.

Overall Thoughts: I used this bar a few more times, trying it once on my hair, before I binned it. The edges never softened so it was a very hard bar to handle. It never lathered well, but it wasn't snotty as some olive oil soaps can get. I was glad that I had picked it up for (literally) only a few cents, as it was not a good quality soap.

Disclaimer: In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Sherry's Stuff. All products I review are either purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with GraceOrbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An entertaining look at maintaining creativity and individualism in a corporate workplace. There are some very usable instructions in this small book. I enjoyed the artwork and writing style.

Summary: Creativity is crucial to business success. But too often, even the most innovative organization quickly becomes a "giant hairball"--a tangled, impenetrable mass of rules, traditions, and systems, all based on what worked in the past--that exercises an inexorable pull into mediocrity. Gordon McKenzie worked at Hallmark Cards for thirty years, many of which he spent inspiring his colleagues to slip the bonds of Corporate Normalcy and rise to orbit--to a mode of dreaming, daring and doing above and beyond the rubber-stamp confines of the administrative mind-set. In his deeply funny book, exuberantly illustrated in full color, he shares the story of his own professional evolution, together with lessons on awakening and fostering creative genius. Originally self-published and already a business "cult classic", this personally empowering and entertaining look at the intersection between human creativity and the bottom line is now widely available to bookstores. It will be a must-read for any manager looking for new ways to invigorate employees, and any professional who wants to achieve his or her best, most self-expressive, most creative and fulfilling work.

Recommended Reading:
The Innovator's DNA by Jeff Dyer
The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley

Friday, January 1, 2016

Go For 2016

Every year I go crazy over board with resolutions and burn out by February. This year, I want sustainable. I want simplicity. This year I want 100% success.

Continue drinking water and caffeine in moderation
Be able to do this yoga flow a year from now

Finish maintenance list on the fridge
Finish painting The Diva's Room
Make Joe's bed
Start painting the living room
Paint the garage (these colors)
Paint the deck

Get back on track with bill paying
Build up emergency fund
Keep AMD Soaps running on its own money

Nails (more about this coming, I promise!)

Books (because... ya know):
Continue reading the Bible
24 books read
TBR shelf down to 100

Decide if I want to or not

These are my goals for 2016! Some of them are do-able, some of them will be a challenge, and a few in particular I will probably fail miserably at. It's what I do.