New Year, New Snow

I am fashun modelllll in my new sweaterrrrr

January – greatest month of the year, amirite?!?!?  No?  Me neither.  Now starts the slog to spring, which … is even longer here in Santa Fe.  In Washington DC (which just had a big snowstorm), spring starts busting out its warmer rains and greener grass in late March or early April, with the scattered joys of spring bulbs (crocus, snowdrops) even earlier, sometimes much earlier, i.e., whenever they feel like it.  Snowdrops in actual snow are a delight.  In contrast, February – April here (if you’re inclined to visit) are the worst weather months, cold and brown and windy; spring finally shows up some time in May. It snowed here this week, which is lovely to look at although it was quite cold (8F) and Coco was not loving it; I did get her a coat and some sweaters which she clearly needs.  It’s warmer today, finally, and in a couple more days it’ll all evaporate.

My job is allegedly coming to an end this Friday (I still don’t have the paperwork) and like Cinnamon, my feelings are … complicated.  It was a good job, but it was also a stressful job made much more stressful from the other side of the country.  I have savings, and I didn’t expect them to let me bring my job in the first place, so.  I’m going to coast for awhile and figure something out in due course.  I did see the kids at Christmas, which was great, but the travel was brutal and a bit terrifying with Omicron, so I’m self-quarantining for a week, but so far, so good.

I still haven’t worked up the courage to pull my perfume out … one of these days.  I desperately want to smell Mitsouko but I think I’d be too upset if it’s a bust, so I need to lower the stakes.  I’ve been yearning for L’Artisan Mure et Musc for some reason.  I was late to that party – I think it was their most popular fragrance long before I found it – but there are times when nothing else will do.

Indoors here at the moment is fragranced by some evergreen-scented pinecones I got on a whim from Trader Joe’s which are really quite nice, along with my old standby, Thymes’ Frasier Fir candle.  I also ran across (at TJ Maxx of all places) a Volcano candle from Capri Blue, which I think of as the smell of every Anthropologie I’ve ever been in; I like it, but it’s a heavy hitter for sure.  When I need something light, I go with Aquiesse’s TMandarin, which does indeed smell like tea.  That should be a more popular scent; I demand more tea-scented candles!  I kept my eyes peeled for a candle that smelled like ginger (or gingerbread) but no dice.  There are entirely too many holiday-cookie candles that are waaaay toooooo sweeeeet although I’m not complaining because hey, at least I could smell them!!

Do you smell all the candles at TJ Maxx (or wherever?)  You do, don’t you, it’s not just me?  Also, do you ever buy, like, the weird “gourmet” candies or chocolate or hot sauce or whatever at TJ Maxx or World Market or some random store, just for fun, kind of a low-stakes gamble?  I got some Belgian chocolates that turned out to be excellent and I wish I’d bought more of (all gone when I got back) and some truly terrible shortbread.  Win some, lose some!

Tell me about a thing you tried (food, fragrance, book, etc.) that turned out to be a pleasant surprise or … not!


  • ElizaC says:

    There is something in many commercial candles that amps up the smell and attacks my sinuses. However, a wonderful restaurant in Seattle (Mamnoon) sells cardamom and orange blossom candles made by Marigold and Mint. They are stunning and, happily, they don’t attack my sinuses.

  • Musette says:

    I take those low-stakes risks alladetime! Joe’s & World Market are excellent spots for that type of gamble. In fact, it was WM (newp. I lied. It was Marshall’s) that I first fell in love with dark chocolate-covered cherries. I’d seen but dismissed them because I was a Lazy Reader and all I could conceive was a dark chocolate version of maraschinoandnothanks. But these are like more picquant raisins – I wish I’d gotten more. I wish I had either/both WM and Joe’s anywhere near me. The WM gingersnaps are FABBO!


    and Looneyface looks magnificent in that sweater!

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    Best wishes on your job hunt! I’m also all about tossing off-the-beaten-trail sauces, cookies, bath products, teas, spices, etc. into my cart at TJ Maxx. Back when they used to get so much high-end Christmas stuff (at least at our local store), I purchased a box of real floral petal chocolates and have never forgotten how fabulous they were, have not seen them since.

    • March says:

      That’s where I got the Belgian chocolates — they looked good but who knows, right? They were fabulous, and really well-priced. I’m glad I’m not the only one who takes low-stakes risks and thinks, hey, who knows, this thing could be great! And if it isn’t, oh well, no biggie. Those petal chocolates sound fantastic.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Lol I love Coco’s expression! She’s adorable. Not a huge candle lover myself so I just smell the ones with the interesting names. Got an air fryer for Christmas so….let’s see what it can do! Hoping work will find you soon!

    • March says:

      Ooooh an air fryer! Everyone I know who has one loves it, hope it works out for you! Thanks, Coco was not thrilled about the try-ons but seems to like wearing them!

  • Dina C. says:

    Coco is so cute! I hope you find a new job that’s just to your liking at a time when you feel like picking back up in the work world, March. I just finished burning a candle recommended by Victoria over at Bois d’Jasmin. It’s Voluspa’s Moroccan Mint Tea. Lovely tea scent. Otherwise, my favorite is Frasier Fir by Thymes. I buy them for myself and give them as gifts often. It seems to be loved by everyone. A recent food gamble was Costco’s jarred Tikka Marsala sauce. You cook it with your chicken. This was a big gamble for us because my husband doesn’t like really spicy food. We tease him that he thinks water is too spicy. Well, it turned out great. Yay!

    • March says:

      I love those jarred sauces — such a quick way to make dinner, glad it worked out and wasn’t too spicy! And I should try the Voluspa, I bet I’d love it. Honestly, tea is such a nice scent for a candle I’m surprised there aren’t more of them. Thanks for the well wishes, and here’s to a better, less exciting 2022…

  • cinnamon says:

    Quick PSA: Les Senteurs appears to be having a sale and the British Beauty Blogger has featured the Miller Harris Tea candle which sounds like it’s worth checking out.

  • alityke says:

    Coco looks as chic as Chanel herself is her golfing sweater! Poodles & Poos do feel the chilly weather, Mr Jarvis Cockapoo is currently wearing his “I’m Snow Cute” jumper in honour of the snow on high ground” here last night.
    I hope your forthcoming period of rest & reflection in your new(ish) home allows you to wrestle out those smelly bottles, put your big girl pants on & check them out!
    Not sure why, but in my head, that phrase “big girl pants” always creates a mental pic of stumpy, chubby me wearing a Superman costume with my biggest pair of nude Spanx over the top. Not quite the picture of Superwoman! But laughter always makes me braver ?
    My recent weird TKMaxx purchase? Teas.
    I’m bored of PG Tips so bought instant Chai latte & some Rose, Rosehip & Hibiscus. BIG ERROR! The main spice in the Chai is sugar ?? & the RR&H? It’s diuretic, I drank two mugs after 6pm & having vaginally birthed two chubby boys & being post menopausal I was peeing every hour ALL night. NOT what I was aiming for

    • March says:

      Oh no, those teas sound dreadful! I would not be pleased! I am sure I’ll get those bottles out, just not quite ready yet…. “I’m snow cute” is the cutest thing ever, I’m sure it looks adorable on your pup!

  • cinnamon says:

    No clear weather patterns here. We’ve had summer start in April and then disappear into a meh grey/damp/cool rest of season. Ah, candles. It never occurred to me that TK Maxx (it’s TK here for some reason) would be a good place to search. Ironically, my fave candle this season was the Diptyque Biscuit which was ludicrously cookie-ish. Scrumptious and comforting. I wish I’d bought a back up or two as it has disappeared. Goodest wishes on decompression. With the move and now the work situation you’re seeing a lot of change.

    • March says:

      LOL I wasn’t sure you even had the Maxx stores, although I figured there must be something similar … yes that Biscuit candle disappeared quickly! Most of the Maxx candles here are weird off-brands you never see elsewhere, but I have seen Voluspa, Aquiesse, Thymes and other well-known brands there from time to time, at deep discount.

  • Portia says:

    Heya March
    No, sorry, I rarely smell the cheap candles. Something ubiquitous to many of them makes me recoil. One I do like, even though it isn’t very glam, is the IKEA vanilla one. Also, it could be that I’m the only person who wants my candle to refresh the room air without heavily scenting it. Just a whisper of it is enough for me. This in contrast to my very heavy handed perfume wearing.
    Enjoy your coasting and I bet there will be a perfect job waiting around the corner for you.
    Oh, and how freaking cute is your pooch?
    WARM hugs
    Portia xx

    • March says:

      When I was wearing a lot of perfume, I didn’t want my room (or my body products) to be strongly scented. The off-putting note I get most often from Maxx candles is whatever they put in (aquatic-musk?) that’s supposed to signify “breezy” or “refreshing” and smells like something you’d find in a teen boy’s body spray. No thanks!

  • Pam says:

    Oh March, I’m the one smelling all the TJ Maxx candles and I thought I was the only one! I face the back of the store and pull the mask away from my nose quickly for a whiff. I especially like the Sand and Fog ones that smell like a forest or cedar. The quirky food items are also a magnet.

    • March says:

      Hehe so it’s not just us, either! I don’t know why, they are just super fun to smell, even the ones that 100% sound like something I won’t like. I need to re-sniff the Sand & Fog, there are tons of those.

  • Maggiecat says:

    I made oyster stuffing to go with the Christmas turkey and was pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a traditionalist about stuffing, but this New Orleans version was good!

    • March says:

      Ha! I have heard of oyster stuffing and it sounds so wrong, so of course I want to try it. I like oysters, and stuffing, so maybe I’d love it!

  • Tara C says:

    I am notorious for buying experimental food items. Usually they are not great, but at least it’s not a big financial loss. Bought a bottle of hot sauce made in Canada (not known for their flavorful foods) and it was actually pretty good.
    We are freezing here in San Diego and it’s only 50F. We’ve got poorly insulated houses and thin blood. Dreaming of Hawaii right now.

    I hope your job situation resolves well and you find something local you enjoy.

    I’ve found some nice candles at TJMaxx, latest one was Sand & Fog. My perfume mojo is quite low at the moment due to hormonal issues but I hope at some point things will settle down. My housing situation is not settled and likely won’t be this year, so I’m working on relaxing into the uncertainty. (Ha! Who are we kidding.)

    • March says:

      So it’s NOT just me!!! Those weird food things are such catnip … hey maybe this curry sauce will be GREAT. And sometimes it is! Which Sand & Fog (I thought that was the brand, not the scent? I see a ton of them! The DW Home ones can be a good surprise.) Ummm, 50F in San Diego sounds terrible, I am so sorry! Y’all aren’t set up for that, I hope it warms up soon! I’ve given up and decided we’ll never be relaxed/settled again, then if/when it happens it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

      • Tara C says:

        It was a Sand & Fog one that had a dog on top, for pet odors? Anyway it’s super light and unobtrusive. Like Portia I don’t care for really strong candles. I like your idea that you will never be settled again. I think that’s a good approach, no expectations.