Thursday, October 31, 2019

Musings - October 2019

October is always a transitional month. It starts Q4 and is the run up to the holidays with a side of settling into school. I decided to settle into a "get moving" theme for the month with street named perfume, road called lipstick and some adventure.

Books: Travel month! So, in addition to finishing Buying Signals by Nikki Rausch,  I picked up a new book, Hello! My Name is Awesome by Alexandra Watkins. Both of which I ADORED as business books by smart women and am telling everyone about.

Kindle Unlimited. 
- All 3 of the Rosie O'Grady's Paranormal Bar and Grill books by B.R. Kingsolver
- Winter Hours by Mary Oliver

There were other books during the travel, but I didn't get them all finished. (Pictured but they don't count yet.) 

Gratitude: Couch snuggles. Local coffee shops that remember what you like. Kittens! (They are a year old now. Maybe I should call them "young cats"? They are big - over 9lb each - but have baby faces and are so cuddly. Kali especially likes to come talk to me about all her woes in the morning. It's so cute!) October blue skies. Dinners with friends. Orange trees. Discounts at nice hotels. Soda fountains with alcoholic drinks. Unexpected water and fire shows. Art and wine.  And buying yourself a bouquet because you just damn want flowers.

Listening: My own thoughts. They are B-I-G right now. And during a LONG driving trip, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, which you can rock through at 1.5 speed and not miss a thing.

Perfume: It's October. Time for a change. I went with the new mini bottle of Magazine Street that Strange Invisible Perfume is offering. (And it became part of my weird travel theme.)

And I nearly forgot! I tried out perfumes! Skylar is the brand (clean perfume, made in the USA.) And... on me, it had ZERO sillage. I loved the easy packaging. I loved the fresh scents - and they were just as described. I loved the mix suggestions. (Arrow and Meadow were my two favorites   - possibly because they were the ones that stayed on - and I liked them better mixed.) But if it doesn't stay on my skin but 30 minutes - it's a bust as a fragrance.  
- Isle - Clean, Dewy, Fresh
- Coral - Fruity, Floral, Flirty
- Arrow - Spicy, warm, seductive
- Meadow - Floral, Chic, Beautiful
- Capri - Sparkling, Citrus, Sweet
- Willow - Woodsy, Cool, Lush
That said, I'm still tempted by the pricepoint on ordering Arrow and Meadow as a duo.....

Random: 
1) I now know the historical meaning of Bar and Grill - and it's not what you think it is. That meaning is also very well suited to the Kingsolver book.

2) I rented the cutest car for a business road trip. I wore Magazine Street perfume and Kismet's Country Roads lipstick on the trip to be on theme.

Recipes: Oatmeal cookie update! We've discovered I had inadvertently modified the standard recipe - and we like it more! (Here's the link to what we started with.) We've done it up with the blueberries and with chocolate chips. Both good.  

Here's my recipe (and yes, use this order to put it together):
- 1 stick butter, very soft 
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking sods
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3 eggs (beaten)
- nuts,  dried berries or chocolate chips to taste

Mix well before you get in the eggs. (I mix after vanilla extract. I also mix after flour. And again after oats. I use a fork.) Add beaten eggs 1 at a time. Once throughly mixed, spoon onto parchment lined-pan in even amounts. (It makes about 18 cookies for me - but we make BIG cookies).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. 

Self-Care Overview: 

I've been wearing Country Roads lipstick the second half of the month. It's part of my travel theme. (See top image for color.)

Soap of the month was Morning Dew. (The label says... lily of the valley. hyacinth. wisteria. spring blooms poking though the ground after a fresh soaking rain.) Very feminine and fresh. I took it with me on 3 trips (Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, St. Louis).


Keeping the Face Young Skincare...
Day - I killed off the Juice Beauty oil early in the month. So full switch for day to Mad Hippie's Vitamin C Serum then 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream and then top my whole face with light application of Pacifica's Super Flower Power Rapid Response Face Oil.  Seems to work well with either quick Bare Minerals powder or with full-on Juice Beauty CC Cream + finishing powder.

Night  - There was some travel. When I travel, I tend to use my DHC Beauty samples as night as lotions and to try different products. I also take my DHC Oilve Oil Cleanser and Face Wash during travel. (I love my various cleansing balms, but when I travel, I don't want to use the hotel washcloths on my face - who knows what those were laundered in?!? And balms need a face cloth wipe, for sure.) On non-travel days, at night, I've been using the African Botanics's Cell Recovery Serum all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil topped with either 1) Sweet Briar Hydrating Nectar by Heart of Gold that came in the Boxwalla box in August or 2) FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer from the April box. Nearing the end of the the African Botanical Cell Recovery and I'm sad. (Not a pricepoint that's friendly to my current life.)

Confession - I still haven't figured out how to use that Grommage Gel from the August box. Never seems to work for me.

As always, we wait to see who says I look young. (I think the best was the Earthwise serums for that.) And NO! The Meijer store kid just clicked "over 40" as I bought my wine.

Stress: Big life things are in flux. Change is a wave you've got to learn to surf. Oddly, knowing that and making CHOICES (feeling empowered) helped a lot with my stress this month.


Things 13 Said: Did. She's become a tater-tot thief. To which she tells me "Who counts their tater-tots?" Me. The answer is me because you steal them.

We went to visit her 19 year old sister at art school. We surprised her at work - and then stayed there as she works at a hotel! (Cute space, too and walking distance to lots of things.) 

The 3 of us tried rock climbing as our fun adventure. The girls were naturals! (I'm more of a natural anchor. But I did give it a college try.) And if you have never done it - it's hauling your entire weight up by your arms while balancing on small stones, then trusting a rope to not drop you to your death. I'd do it again. 


Watching: Designing Women on Hulu! Blacklist on Netflix. (Is it weird I want to BE Reddington when I grow up?) Schitts Creek on Netflix. And my spirit animal, Jessica Wong, is back in play with Fresh off the Boat.

Take- away - Some times you have to set boundaries with other people. But, you get to define the boundaries of you. Maybe it's time for you to stretch those boundaries!


Original musings posts you may enjoy:


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty



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Monday, September 30, 2019

Musings - September 2019

September felt like the start of a new year! It also felt a year long. I coped with books as self-care and a touch of skin-care changes. 

Books: I've continued to kill it on the Kindle Unlimited. As I finish the new author binge on Linsey Hall ....
- The 5 books of the Dragon's Gift: The Huntress by Linsey Hall
- The 5 books of the Dragon's Gift: The Amazon by Linsey Hall
- The 3rd book of the Dragon's Gift: Queen of the Fae by Linsey Hall

And then I went rouge from Kindle Unlimited and mixed physical with electronic on three books of JR Ward's Black Dagger series. (The King - electronic, The Shadows - electronic , and The Chosen - physical.) 

Also, one of my Twitter friends wrote a grand book which I devoured in 2 days. The Bear's Wife. It's sci-fi. It's historical fiction. It's a romance. It's an adventure. It's ALL the THINGS, and I am in breathtaking awe of the world she created in her head to share with the rest of us. It's available on Kindle Unlimited!

And then there was the clean up reading just getting a few things off my Kindle Unlimited since you can only have 10 things out at once:
- A Beautiful Poison by Lydia King
- The 2 books of the Southern Belles and Spells Matchmaker Mysteries by Amy Boyles
- All 6 of the Federal Bureau of Magic series by Annabel Chase
- Beaten at His Own Game (BackRoom Bookstore #9) by Susan Harper.
- Shadows and Souls (Eve Williams book 3) by Ashley Beasley

In summary, it was an escapist reading month. #SorryNotSorry My reading challenge of 52 books is dust. I'm sitting right around 130 books for the year. 

Gratitude: Chubby kitties. New nail polish. New skin care. Brunch. Farmer's market. The beautiful sky (because dog has to go out with a person, I get to really see the sky - far from city lights - at all kinds of hours in all kinds of moods.). 

Listening: In addition to the Dave Ramsey Podcast, I've been very Ophelia by Natalie Merchant. Just that kind of a month. A little Dido, The Girl Who Got Away and Stevie Nicks, Trouble in Shangrai-La.

Perfume: Every day is Willow & Water from the Library of Flowers. Except the days I've been skipping it because I'm bored. Starting a new set soon!


Random: Green River (lemon and vanilla) and Blue Moon (almond and lemon) are the best flavors ever - despite being fake.

Recipes: Early in the month, I made a lively Indian curry - using only green and white veggies. But since the sauce was pre-made, I won't count it as a recipe. 

It was an Indian curry kind of month. I made it several times with different combos of fresh veggies. I love my new tiny farmer's market and bought several awesome sets of mushrooms, okra and even paw-paw fruit!

Something new - I added blueberries to oatmeal cookies. Delicious! The blueberries were starting to dry out just a bit and it was the perfect use for them.


Self-Care: Nails, Skincare and Soaps.


Ooh! I discovered a grand new nail polish - LBK. It's USA made and free from many nasty chemicals. And.... you can flick up the lid to see the color against your skin. Best bottle design ever!

Skin...Day - On hot days, I'm stil using the 5Yina - the Lucent Beauty Duo  from the June  Boxwalla box . I'm still adding Farizad's Veil from Earthwise Beauty to the oil as my first line of sun protection and layer underneath my 100% Pure Eye Cream. On non-sun days, I've been using what my Juice Beauty serum and oil (again with the Farizad's Veil mixed-in, just in case.) I did, however, buy a new duo of mis-matched day wear.

Night  - After a cleanse with the Heart of Gold's "Sea Change Cleansing Balm" which came in the August Boxwalla box, followed with my DHC Cleansing Powder I've been mixing up the after-care.  I've been using the African Botanical's Cell Recovery Serum  all over plus Fleur d'Afrique Oil (same brand) around the eyes and at the neck + Plus a little of the Siam Seas Sai Clear Skin Serum on problem areas - until I killed it off mid-month. Alternatively, I picked up a Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum and a Pacifica Tansy Oil that I've used just a touch of. More next month!


Soaps. Alright. I finally figured out the deal with Cellar Door Soaps. They are wonderful. But they have a masculine vibe to me. Even this month's new soap - Dogwood Apple Blossom. The ginger in that just jumps up and bites you, overpowering any floral essence. And then, on Instagram, I caught that the owner, drum roll.... is a guy! His wife does the Instagram photos but the nose behind the soaps is masculine. It also explains the heavy coloration that lingers on your bathtub and requires an extra scrub. Villianess soaps (female creator) are also heavily scented but don't require extra tub clean-up. And the thank you gifts from Villianess extend the product line - cream and oils as well as extra soap bits. I highly recommend trying soaps NOT made by mass production. There are pricepoints for every budget (Cellar Door is about $7 each bar, while Villianess is about $11 - but the Zum Bar, lovely goatsmilk soaps, are just $6.50 and richly lathers) and so many scents.



Stress: Changes are hard, messy and I'm still waiting for the gorgeous part becasue right now I feel like I'm flying without a net.


Things 12 Said: 1) This was not said but done. She labeled the cookies.


2) We "shared" a container of gummy bears - she carefully doled out 2 at a time for me, but never the red or pale yellow, because those are her favorites.
3) She decided the dog's new haircut was "formal, like a butler." (They messed up his faux hawk.)  
4) At lunch we were thinking about vegetables she likes to eat - carrots, beets, potatoes - and she tells me she just basically likes "roots and fruits". She's not wrong.
5) For her 13th birthday - we did her first mani/pedi

Watching: I binged  Carnival Row. (I recognize so many actors in this.) A few episodes of Orange is the New Black but this last season is very dark so I get "tired" quickly. And guess what? Designing Women on Hulu!!! (I am Julia Sugarbaker, forever.) I had 13 watch a few episodes - she agreed.

Take- away - What are you willing to risk to get what you want? Something you are holding on to is holding you back. This month, I decided what I'm willing to risk. It's going to be an adventure from here!


September is a total start over month. As such, if you need a Boot Camp style re-start, check out my book with a 7 day kick starter. (Click here!)




Original musings posts you may enjoy:


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty



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Monday, September 2, 2019

Musings - August 2019

August is really less summer than pre-fall. It's been fairly cool and bit rainy. Perfect for making nightlights.

Books: I've been killing it on the Kindle Unlimited. (Seriously, they are making nothing on me this month.)  And I may have gone on a bit of a binge on a new author.
- The first 4 books of Jane Hinchey's Witch Way series. (I'm team Blake. And like being team Ranger, I think I'll probably lose.) I'd recommend these for a beach read.
- The first 7 books of Susan Harper's Back Room Bookstore series. It's easy and light but could use some editing to correct errors in the story. (It contradicts itself on details too often.)
- The last 4 books of Blooms, Bones and Stones Cozy Mystery set from Olivia Swift.
- The 4 books of the Wicked Witches of Destiny Cove by Sara Bourgeois
- The 5 books of the Dragon's Gift: The Valkyrie by Linsey Hall
- The 5 books of the Dragon's Gift: The Sorceress by Linsey Hall (And hello. I'm team Declan. )
- The first 2 books of the Dragon's Gift: The Dark Fae by Linsey Hall
It's a ridiculous amount of books!

Gratitude: New perfume samples. Dinner with friends. Cardio drumming. Girls night out. Small-town farmers' markets. Small town diners. Boat rides. Coffee with friends in flower filled splendor. Chubby kittens. Tiny harvests. Crafting pretty things from glass.

Listening: Have discovered that 19's jam is The Civil Wars. I'm slowly getting both girls on board with my music! She also said the chorus of Halsey's Castle should be my sound track when I walk into board meetings. (HA!)

Perfume: Every day is Willow & Water from the Library of Flowers. Except when I am trying the new sample perfumes!!! I ordered a sample of Ellis Brooklyn, the Chronicle's series. And here are my thoughts, rank ordered by my preference.
- Sci Fi is a blend of green tea, pink freesia, bitter orange and vanilla beans.(Billed as an "otherworldly vanilla"). The tea and orange were top notes for me in a base of vanilla. I loved it. But, this barely lasted 4 hours on my skin. However, I liked it enough that I'd just carry a refresher option with me.
- Fawn is coconut milk, bergamont, amber and lily of the valley. (Billed as "summer in a bottle"). I got the lily of the valley with amber right away and just the tiniest hint of coconut. I had high hopes for this one. This lasted less than 3 hours on my skin.If there were a way to make it last longer, I'd love it.
Rrose is rose and lemon over vanilla orchid. (Billed as "Not your grandma's rose"). It lingered about 8 hours. For me, it blew through the rose scent in about 1 hour and went heavy on the lemon and vanilla orchid. The scent evokes spring in a clean and fresh way.
- Fable is honeysuckle and amber with a few other things. (Billed as "pretty and complex".) It was lovely for all of 30 minutes and then it was like I didn't bother to put on perfume at all. Lack of sillage makes it a nope for me.
Myth is a completely forgettable scent on me. (Billed as "the most alluring musk around"). Bergamont, jasmine, and white cedarwood sound gorgeous - I love those scents! But, like several of the others, zero sillage. A rather boring white musk and off in under 2 hours. 
- Rives is the unisex fragrance of the bunch with orange, lavender and cashmere suede. (Billed as "incredibly clean, incredibly modern"). The instant it hit my skin, I thought 'Wow. Unisex. Nope.' - unisex just usually doesn't have enough floral for me.
- Raven this is peony and patchouli. (Billed as "your power scent".) I was so caught up in the idea of peony fragrance - my favorite flower, I didn't realize how overwhelming the patchouli would be. So very strong and sadly, it was all the earthy dirt-smelling patchouli-ness that I hate. If you like patchouli, this would be a good scent and the sillage is excellent. (As fate would have it, this one lasted damned near 20 hours while I hated it.) 


Drum-roll - none of them beat the Henry Rose for sillage but there were a couple I'd like to have in my line-up.  On to the next sampling! 

Random: 19 and I went on a small town adventure. We went to my hometown for First Friday to explore. We saw all the things - the little soap shop, the best 2nd hand store, adorable jewelry store, La Gram Russe's church, and a diner featured in Dives and Diners. I even got guy the most beautiful mug, hand-crafted at a pottery shop in Goshen.

Recipes: Still barely cooking.

Self-Care: I've basically gone rogue and am using everything I own on different days.

Day - Last month I started using the Boxwalla box from 5Yina - the Lucent Beauty Duo  most days as it was designed for summer. And I  still love it. It's completely perfect for the hot sticky summer months. I'm still adding Farizad's Veil from Earthwise Beauty to the oil as my first line of sun protection. I really adore that I don't have to layer on another product or skip something so I don't over-layer products. 

Some days, when I knew I'd be inside most of the day, I've been using what my Juice Beauty serum and oil (again with the Farizad's Veil mixed-in, just in case.) Having now used a good many oils - I don't like the Juice Beauty oil as well as some of the others. (Order of preferred oils: 5Yina, Fleurs d'Afrique, Little Barn Apothecary, Physician's Formula Oil Elixir and then Juice Beauty. Which is super weird because the Juice Beauty formulation is at least as good as the prior 2. Just a texture and absorption thing.)

And a few days, if I'm not going out at all -  the April box's FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer on the neck and my 100% Pure Eye Cream on the eyes. 

I've added a 100% Pure Eye Cream - which I've been using days and nights depending on needed. I've also restarted using my Frownies! (Funny story - both 19 and Guy caught me wearing them. "What do you have on?" Not pretty. But quickly removable. "Nothing.")


Night  - That has been a toss-up. After a cleanse with either my Miscellar Water or a coconut cleansing balm + face wash....
- For sweaty days, I've been using the Siam Seas' Sai Clear Skin Serum  (all over), the FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer on the neck and my 100% Pure Eye Cream on the eyes. The Siam Seas is a little gritty and as the amount in the bottle lowers, it's gotten harder to pump out - but it's light and does a nice job keeping the skin clear. Harder to pump out = tap the bottom to re-engage. A few nights I did break out the Earthwise Yasuni Face balm with the 100% Pure Eye Cream.
- For beach and regular days, I've been using the African Botanical's Cell Recovery Serum  all over plus Fleur d'Afrique Oil (same brand) around the eyes and at the neck. Plus a little of the Siam Seas Sai Clear Skin Serum on problem areas. 

This month's Boxwalla box is from Heart of Gold in Portland. Which is funny because I always wanted to go there when in Portland. And it's a GENEROUS box - cleansing cream, a gromage (which I've not heard of) and a serum. Very excited to get a cleansing cream!

And this month I've stymied 2 people with my age! Success.


Stress: Work can be weird.


Things 12 Said: Mostly, as she approaches 13 she speaks in "Nothing" and grunts

Watching: Wynonna Earp, the latest season. And I binged all of The Librarians again. Sometimes you just need light-hearted mystery.

Take- away - It's fine to escape from stress but remember your way back to who you are.


Original musings posts you may enjoy:


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty



Follow my blog with Bloglovin  - A new way to follow!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Musings - July 2019


This was a slow month, but it goes by quickly and with it the summer brushes up into fall - just a hop, skip, and jump from the end of the year.


And, the garden is in! I've got segregated the eds a bit - an herb bed (image), a strawberry patch (image), several tomatoes and a crazy amount of hot peppers. Three beds in total. I did not even try cucumbers or squash due to the late start. I officially bought plants July 1st and put it in July 2nd. By July 3rd it had tiny thumbsized hop-toads bopping around the plants. 


In contrast, we put in Isy's garden over a month ago. She and I already did our first weeding and a garden adjustment session on July 4th. She's already eating strawberries from her garden, and we've planted her blackberries for next year. She also found raspberries on her new property and those are producing as well!  

I did manage to do a tiny harvest from our wild blackberries and the strawberry patch (image). The tomatoes have been slow but we're harvesting herbs already - and one jalapeno.


Books: I've officially finished out all the currently available Lainwich Witch books - a 21 book series from the improbably named Raven Snow. (These are the book equivalent to Schitts Creek - light, entertaining, and not like your life. Bless her for writing them. ) Kindle Unlimited is the bomb. Boom.

Also on Kindle Unlimited I started a new series by Ashley Beasley. Excellent world building. Bramble and Blood. Birdsong and Bone.

Next up, via the Kindle Unlimited, Olivia Swift did a series of cozy mysteries - 6 total - called Blooms, Stones & Bones. Easy reads. I made it through the first 2 one weekend. Enjoyable. Although I do wish the author - who is British and lives in France - wouldn't set them in the US. Her English is very English and sounds quite off in a number of places to an American reader. Her geography is also a little wonky.

Create Your Own Luck by Susan Hyatt was my inspiring read of the month. I love Susan's podcast so this was fun to read. My beach read was from the Little Free Library, Priam's Lens by Jack L. Chalker (pictured top with the other beach read I didn't finish) which was not his best work. 

Gratitude: Cold showers on hot days. Catalpa trees blooming still in July (such a slow summer!). Cardio drumming. Fireflies and night skies. Beach passes. Mohawks on puppies (image). The Henry Ford Museum - which rocks.

Listening: Dave Ramsey. Don't Quit Your Day Job podcast. Rich Coach Club podcast. And all the cardio drumming songs which have invaded my head in an endless loop!

Perfume: Most days were still Ofresia by Diptyque - until I killed it off mid-month. And I've been working in a little of the Willow and Water from the Library of Flowers - both creme and spray. I need something new - and at a friendly pricepoint - soon.

Random: Guilt trips only work when you let the travel agent book them. Decline the trip.

Recipes: I've made that chocolate chess pie at least once a week. And triple fruit cobbler 3x a month. But nothing new.

Self-Care: I swear the last week of June, the switch just flipped and now it is full on SUMMER. Hot. Humid. This has meant some changes in skin care routine.

Day - I started using the Boxwalla box from 5Yina - the Lucent Beauty Duo I got last month for days. And I love it. It's completely perfect for the hot sticky summer months. I'm adding Farizad's Veil from Earthwise Beauty to the oil as my first line of sun protection. Some people may not like a mix-in, I adore that I don't have to layer on another product or skip something I like so I don't over-layer products. 

Night  - That has been a toss-up. It really depends on how much I've been sweating (did I work in the garden, did I go to the beach, did I do cardio drumming) that day. After a cleanse with either my Miscellar Water or a coconut cleansing balm + face wash....
- For sweaty days, I've been using the Siam Seas' Sai Clear Skin Serum  (all over) I got a few Box Walla boxes ago with the April box's FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer around the eyes and on the neck. I love the whipped texture of the Flowerspice product and how it sinks in. (And Flowerspice's Midnight Beauty oil is now on my wish list!) The Siam Seas is a little gritty and as the amount in the bottle lowers, it's gottten harder to pump out - but it's light and does a nice job keeping the skin clear.
- For beach and regular days, I've been using the African Botanical's Cell Recovery Serum  all over plus Fleur d'Afrique Oil (same brand) around the eyes and at the neck.

And we wait for someone to mistake my age -  by a lot.....

Stress: Relationships are still hard. (And here's the thing with that - sometimes the problem is in your mirror with all those expectations. Beans, I hate that!)

Things 12 said: Not 12, but 19. I asked her what she wanted for dinner - she said, "The blood of my enemies." I could NOT stop laughing because she's always the peacemaker.

Watching: Binged with 19 on Umbrella Academy. And finished Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery. The new Charmed - killed of Season 1 -  less engaging than the original and the writing seems scattered. The Good Witch - all the seasons which are less "witch-y" than I'd expected. (And I've never seen the movies - so I'm a little out of sync.) Basically, it's Stars Hallow with coincidences. 

Take- away - Time goes faster than you think. Make sure you are spendign yours in a way that you'll enjoy remembering. 


Original musings posts you may enjoy:


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty



Follow my blog with Bloglovin  - A new way to follow!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Musings - June 2019


June is the season of cottonwood blossoms floating in the air. And the year the library's catalpa tree decided not to bloom! (I had to hunt down other catalpa trees to admire. Fortunately, in lower Michigan there are a good number of them.) It rained a lot. Many things grew and blossomed. None of which was my garden which I did not get put in yet!

Books: This month was a slower reading month. I had a lot to process on the family and personal life front. I did get 3 books done. Another few of the Lainwich Witch books (Murder Comes Calling and Murder Before Marriage, both digital)  - Book and A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams. The Witch Cozies were obviously lighter reading but A Certain Age was more interesting. (I will be setting it free to the Little Free Library - the new one mentioned below.) 

And those push me over 40 books for the year. I think the goal of 52 is within striking distance.




Gratitude: Purry, sweet kittens. Art brunch with a new and talented artist friend plus the oldest two #NotMyDaughters . (Yes, that's my piece at the top. Guy's comment "You are getting better.") Beach days. Peonies, graceful in all their re-cut glory. Yard bunny. Lawn toads (on the steps). Modern medicine for evil weed itch. Mermaid festival. Escape rooms for birthdays.

Listening: Dave Ramsey. So Obsessed podcast - all of season 1. Side Hustle School. But not really music. I've kind of enjoyed silence and learning in equal quantities without other distractions. It was a strange month. I usually crave more music.

Perfume: Daily, it's been Ofresia by Diptyque. On the weekends I've been rocking Willow and Water from the Library of Flowers. (Reminder - I apparently adore Margot Elena as most of the lines I like - Love + Toast, Library of Flowers, TokyoMilk - are actually hers and recently housed in one website.) I still would like to order Fog (from Michelle Pfeiffer's Henry Rose line). Perhaps soon. Meanwhile Jericho has been rocking my sample of Torn this month. And we discovered at a family event that maybe we should coordinate who wears the Henry Rose... (sillage overflow).

Random: Several random thoughts this month.

1) I found the saddest Little Free Library in the next city over. It's my new mission to improve it. I left 2 books  - the two paperbacks from April - to help early in the month. (Sadder even than the one in town was a few years ago.) 

2) I found out Erno Laszlo made a cream for Marilyn Monroe. It's luscious - and expensive. It's my new covet. (At $275 a bottle - it may remain so for a while. But it's got great ingredients in it.) Also - apparently Jackie and Marilyn used the same face cream? That's borderline creepy.

3) The only bat I want in my house is the one on the Bacardi bottle. That was not the case earlier this month.

4) Did you know, you can grow peonies from SEED? Yep. I'll be doing that!

Recipe: I cooked little but ate well! I had a meal catered by a local chef for an event - and OMG. Everyone should do that once. Or once a month. Whichever. 


I also made pies. It was 13's 14th birthday and he likes cherry pie. No one else does (except me), so two pies.

The other is Quick Triple Berry. (Make a decent crust, mix triple berry frozen fruit with a bit of sugar and tapioca.)

Also, I made my first Chocolate Chess Pie. It seems to have been well received. (Photo documentation 3 hours after making the second one. I had not yet have any, either!)  I started with the basic All Recipes version.  And then for the second, I made amendments. Here's my version.


- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons good baking cocoa
- 1/2 tablespoon coffee
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 3 eggs (beat each one)
- 1/2 can evaporated milk

Mix well. (I blended the sugar and coffee and cocoa in the blender to superfine them.) Put in a pre-made pie crust or make your own. (I use a flour, butter, vodka version). Then bake for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow it to cool thoroughly.

Self-Care: It was NEW SOAP DAY! I'm trying a South Bend, Indiana-based soap line. It's "nice" but not awesome like the Villianess soaps or even Zum. 

But... attention all soap makers. Watch your color choice and saturation. Yes it looks beautiful. But it makes a mess in my shower that I have to clean - long after the memory of my enjoyment of your soap fades.


This was a Boxwalla month (see picture) and I simply adore the pricepoint that allows me to try luxury products at such a value. This month's set has a summer theme from 5Yina (Lucent Beauty Duo) and I expect I'll be raving about it next month as summer heats up. And again, only the $49 subscription price makes enjoying these luxuries possible because the items in the box are worth more.

The Daily Basics


- Day - During travel, I've been using the Earthwise Resiliency Face Serum for day. (After I finished up that sample of Nap in the Meadow). During weeks at home, I'm using the Juice Beauty line for brightening emulsion, s
erum, eye cream, CC cream. (So, on the Earthwise days, I tried the H2O Serum around the eye area. Not for me. Causes stinging and tightening in that area for me. But my forehead likes it at night!) I've also added Farizad's Veil from the Earthwise Beauty line. I absolultely adore that I can just add it to an oil I already am using for sun coverage.

Night -  All over moisturizer, most nights, is H2O Infinity Renewing Youth Serum (which I got on mega-clearance of $28) and which seems to be running out quickly - which may be good given the season as my skin doesn't love it when sun-stressed. (Makes me red. Fades quickly.) During travel weeks, I've been using the Earthwise Beauty Yasuni Balm plus eye cream samples from DHC Beauty. I've also been using DCH's eye masks - I forgot how much I love those.


Stress: Relationships all take effort. 


Things 12 said: Next year we will be better mermaids.

Watching: The Gifted - both seasons. (Okay, it's fascinating the unsung Season 1 super power of the female mutants seems to be looking fabulous, including make-up, in refuge conditions. Also, dating Thunderbird is bad for your health.) Finished out Pretty Little Liars, Season 7. And whoa. Strange Angel is a little risque for CBS. 

Take-away - Don't forget that you have choices. Good choices. Bad choices. But they are yours to make. Make them with deliberation because they have consequences.





Original musings posts you may enjoy:


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty



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