How to Personalize Your Shopping List Under $20 for 2018

The Shocking Truth Most Retailers Don’t Want You to Know.

What are your favorites things? Some of us like to lavish in bath bombs, decadent chocolates, or creating a personal oasis. Sometimes, the best form of therapy is retail therapy, but what about shopping for what we truly need? Yep! I am talking about those moments when you are in the mall or department store and you purchased the essential items on your shopping list, but something else catches your eye. The bright side is you seized the moment and got what you wanted, but when reality kicks in, you are left saying “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I DO?”

Sound familiar?


Our Reaction at the Cash Register

Ok, enough with the torture and reminiscing, let me clue you into my number one method for shopping on a budget. Personally, I believe in shopping for timeless pieces, either if its clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, or household items. So my destination for all of these items on my list is not Amazon, even though I LOVE IT! Not eBay, Ross for Less, or Walmart. It’s ETSY!!!! Etsy is my personal platform for all things handmade and  I love that some of the items can be customized to suit your style. Since winter is upon us like whipped cream on hot cocoa, it’s time to crank out the extra winter gear, scarfs, and of course the infamous Yankee Candles.

However, what if I told you that you can make an average soy candle, smell just like a Yankee Candle without spending 20 dollars? Yes indeed, getting your money’s worth should be a priority, this is why most consumers are supporting small businesses on several merchant platforms, instead of the big brick and mortar stores. Just think, the hundreds you are spending could be invested in a timeless experience.  

So, here is another alternative to Yankee Candles, without the high price tag.

These are the candles that I received from The Retro Armadillo:


The candles sold in The Retro Armadillo mercantile are 100 percent handmade with you in mind and they even allow you to personalize each candle to your liking. I myself have received and personalized my own Retro Armadillo candles with warm toasty scents reminding me of the outdoors. Since it’s cold and windy out, why don’t you light some candles in your house too? But, WHAT! Before you decide to purchase please let me show you my first impressions of these candles. As a frugal shopper myself, I like to invest in a product that is in my budget, and the quality is top notch. Like I said before, you don’t want to be regretful, and left saying “WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I DO?” Now that we are on the same page, let’s get to the video!



This is my review tutorial and first impressions of the candles:


The candles in this video were provided by The Retro Armadillo. Below is a description of each candle and instructions for us. Shopping time!!



Fresh Cotton Soy Wax Melt Current Price $4.90, You Save $2.10 (30%)

Fresh Cotton Soy Wax Melt - $7.00 USD

Fresh Cotton Soy Wax Melt – $7.00 USD



Description via Retro Armadillo Etsy page: “The Retro Armadillo soy wax melts are hand-poured all-natural soy melts in a clamshell container. Each soy wax melt is created from 100 percent American-grown soybeans. These highly-scented soy wax melts are a safe way to fill your room with fragrance without the worry of a flame! Each package of melts is about two ounces of wax and comes with six cubes that easily pop out of their mold. If we do not have a scent listed that you are interested in, let us know and we can find a scent that fits you perfectly.** Melting Instructions **Pop out 1-2 cubes and place it on top of your warmer. As the wax melts, the fragrance is released throughout the room. You can continue to use these soy melts for up to ten hours per cube or until they lose their scent.”

*My Thoughts: The Fresh Cotton Mini Melts is very convenient and the small cubes can be placed in your candles to create more wax or candle burners. I specifically chose the fresh cotton scent, because it is a year-round scent and no matter the season change, the fresh cotton scent will never go out of style.




Mulled Cider & Chestnuts Soy Candle

Current Price $7.00+, You save $3.00 (30%)

Mulled Cider & Chestnuts Soy Candle - $10.00 USD


Mulled Cider & Chestnuts Soy Candle – $10.00 USD



Description via Retro Armadillo Etsy page: “The Retro Armadillo soy candles are hand-poured all-natural soy candles in an 8 oz and 13 oz glass mason jar. Each soy wax candle is created from 100 percent American grown soybeans. The Retro Armadillo uses cotton-braided wicks that are lead & zinc free that burn for 50+ hours. If we do not have a scent listed that you are interested in, let us know and we will do everything we can to find a scent that fits you perfectly.”

*My Thoughts: All throughout the holiday season, the mulled cider & chestnuts soy candle made every day feel like Christmas an Thanksgiving. The authentic bittersweet scent of mulled cider extends an exquisite aroma that gives off a hint of apple cinnamon with a little nuttiness from the chestnut. It sounds like I’m describing a dessert. Yummy!


Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle Current Price $7.00+, You save $3.00 (30%)


Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle - $10.00 USD

Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle – $10.00 USD



Description via Retro Armadillo Etsy page: “The Retro Armadillo soy candles are hand-poured all-natural soy candles in an 8 oz and 13 oz glass mason jar. Each soy wax candle is created from 100 percent American grown soybeans. The Retro Armadillo uses cotton braided wicks that are lead & zinc free that burn for 50+ hours. If we do not have a scent listed that you are interested in, let us know and we will do everything we can to find a scent that fits you perfectly.”

*My Thoughts: The Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle is simply delicious. This may sound terrible, but I’m going for it! Let’s say your in-laws are visiting and you know that cooking is not in your DNA. Just light the Pumpkin Spice Soy Candle and everyone will think you are a Parisian baker. This is a perfect candle that will make your home warm and festive in the winter and fall. P.S. If you want to light it up in the summer and spring do it.

Make yourself happy! Now quality has a seven dollar price tag attached to it, but it’s the experience that will be worth millions!The Retro Armadillo specializes in a variety of soy candles, so get jolly with aromas for the seasons. Visit: Today!



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Rain+ Cozy= Candles!! LirioVela

As the weekend comes to a close, we find time for things that we don’t normally take part in. This is understandable, if you’re a college student like me, or  a health care professional finding your zen can be difficult. Speaking for myself, I like to use natural ways to make my environment relaxing, such as, incense sticks, oil diffusers and of course candles!  I use all types of candles, with scents to fulfill my mood, so the candle company  that I recently discovered  gives the term relaxation a new meaning. LirioVela brings a vintage and artisan style to their packaging, along making creative candle scents using natural essential oils.


Here is my review video and description for the LAVENDER & SAGE  Vegan Soy Candle from LirioVela .


LAVENDER &  SAGE  Vegan Soy Candle:


The lavender & sage candle fills a whole room within 4 seconds once it lite. I was able to smell every single ingredient in the candle. In the video below, you will see my visual reaction and the actual candle. I really appreciated the size and the convenience of moving the candle to any location in my home. The first time that I lite the candle was two weeks ago, so I waited to review the candle during this time period to truly test the shelf life. Ok, so I didn’t light the candle everyday, but I guess this helped in preserving it. Note: Candles shouldn’t be left unattended, so make sure to keep an eye on your children if their near the candle.


Here is more technical information about the candle courtesy of  LirioVela:

4 oz of 100% natural soy wax candle scented with

LAVENDER & SAGE – perfect blend of garden sage, fresh basil leaves, and soft lavender.

Monastery Garden – our new collection. Fresh herbs scents are contained in the natural wax candles. Amber jar with metallic lid carefully wrapped with our signature packaging – natural burlap fabric sealed with letter “L” wax seal.

Handmade with love in sunny California.

NO Plastic! No Paraffin! NO Phthalate! NO Lead!



Here is my video review for the Lavender & Sage Candle from  LirioVela!



To purchase more of these products visit : to see all of their amazing candle scents!




Home Sweet Home w/ Henry Sherick Incense Stick

Life is such a beautiful journey. At one point we were all children, teens, and now adulthood.  Their is no telling which direction life can take, this is why here at True Vivant I will be sharing with you simple and affordable ways to maintain the beauty of your first home. No matter if you live in an apartment, town-home , or just buying your first home. Becoming a home owner is the dream of a young adult, so making personal touches shouldn’t be another prize tag. This why our friends at Mr Body Oil is making this happen for us, by making natural essential oils that smells like nature and doesn’t hurt your pocket.


Products Featured:
Strawberry Incense Sticks
Blue Nile Incense Sticks
Cotton Candy Incense Sticks
approximately 11 in 30 minutes
or 19 in 3hr
leaving your home or office smelling like fragrance and not just smoke.




Here is my video tutorial of these incense sticks:




To purchase more of these products visit : and see all of the homemade creations.




Everyday is Valentines Day: A Jar Full of Cocoa & Vanilla

As our Everyday is  Valentines Day series continues all through February, the one thing we haven’t talked about is dessert. Oh silly me! This is the center of any celebration, so since I forgot about this very important detail let me make it up to you. How many of you ever tried a jar cake? Basically, a jar cake consists of layering icing and cake in a jar. This  trend  began last year and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with them. The cake company called “Tart 37” specializes in making products of convenience. They sell cake pops,truffles, and cupcakes. All you have to do is pick which product  you want and my friendly baker Tamarah Majette will make your order unique.

Here is my first cake jars from Tart 37:



  1. Vanilla Jar Cake w/ Vanilla Buttercream:


The Vanilla Jar Cake was very moist and smelled pretty go. I wish I could say that it was delicious, but the packaging was lovely despite the texture of the cake.




2. The Chocolate Cake:


This Chocolate cake is something special, my first spoon turned into a second, third, fourth and fifth helping. The cake was very moist and the coco buttercream icing made this jar cake out of this world delicious. Words cannot describe how much I loved it! As I practically almost finished the jar cake, I thought their was chocolate chips in the center of the cake. Probably not! I don’t know what kind of fairy dust she placed in this jar cake, but after tasting the chocolate I completely  forgot about the vanilla cake. Usually, chocolate cake isn’t my favorite flavor, but I guess my mind has changed. I wonder how the cake pops taste? Well, it looks like your going to have to find out for me.


Visit: to see all of the sweet treats that Tart 37 has to offer.