Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Week 3 - February


You did not miss a week - I did! Spent some much needed "me" time working out things and de-fragging from the busy-i-ness wheel. Recommend!

Random: 

People make time for what matters.  People who cancel on you, again and again are telling you that you don't matter. Stop making time for them. (Note to self.)

Hello! I was on a podcast! Click to listen.

Books: There was a weekend binge. It made me feel MUCH better!

  • Linsey Hall's Shadow Guild: Hades & Persephone series (3 books). Nice beach read. Nothing to write home about those.
  • Linsey Hall's Shadow Guild: Wolf Queen 1st book (Darkest Moon). Laugh out loud on several parts of how this heroine things. 
  • Lia Davis's Witching After 40 series 1st book (A Ghoulish Midlife) and a matching holiday novella, Cookies for Satan. This was actually better than the cover lead me to believe. Que Dolly Parton - don't judge me by my cover because I'm a real good book.
I'm slowly making my way through a book on fairytales. It's less groundbreaking than I thought and I don't like the way some of my favorites are being retold.



Gratitude:
Pizza. Sweet kittens. Etsy vendors - because man they make personal style pretty easy! (Check out my new scent hanger for my car!) People who listen to you and don't project. Becoming okay with changes. Updating calendars. Dogs who don't mind sad days and snuggle. 

Listening: The Chicks. Apple has a playlist. (Although, Natalie Maines - it's not that uncommon for your husband's girlfriend's husband to tell you about the affair. That's how I found out. And why I got divorced.) What Would Dolly Do playlist, also on Apple. Not a podcast to be found. (Not even the one I was on - but I listened to it the week before.)

Watching: Dexter. I know it's weird but I find it very easy to follow and not requiring much brain power on my part (probably because I read the books.) and I've not even been watching much of it. Really just music, books and resting.

Wearing - Scent & Skin  

Scent

Imaginary Authors

- Telegrama  - Scent notes: Talc, Lavender Absolute, Black Pepper, Teak, Amyris, Vanilla Powder, Fresh Linens. The scent line up - heavy on the talc and the vanilla with a strong side of lavender- hasn't changed. But somehow I'm starting to like it more? Baffled that there is still anything left in the sample. I've worn it a couple of weekends now. 

Sucreabeille

R.E.S.P.E.C.T Scent notes: your mother’s expensive cold cream that she dutifully applied every night and now you do, too, mixed with fragrant, sumptuous black cherries. The longer I own this one, the more I like it. It's rich and incense laden - the fruit almost smells like smoke. The vanilla is hidden info a sweet richness.  Sillage seems to increase with age. This aged so beautifully into an amazing scent and I could wear it every day. I'm out. I miss it. I will be buying it again.

Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. Don't ask me explain, but this seems like a February scent. This is such a sweet scent. I continue to get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts well into the day and it drifts around me in a tiny cloud. Done with the little bottle. I've bought it a couple of times but I don't think I will  again. It's really too sweet to be me.

Skin

Still fighting off the maskne. I'm now doing a mask every 2-3 days. All the masks in my cabinet (tell you about them next time). And I added in the new eye cream, which is a lovely, softening bit of moisture and is a gorgeous green blue due to the tansy in it.

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser  - plus a buffing scrub (Essentially NOLA's Exfoliating Grains) - Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence to restore moisture and fight off lines (go to the decollate too!), Fine Cosmetics Daytime Radiance Eye Serum tapped in around the eye with 3rd finger, then Votary day oil and Votary cream. And I'm now topping that off with the new eye cream, Aqua Aura by Earth Harbor Botanicals.

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder (for a little extra exfoliation) or the Natura Detox Wash. And I'm continuing to spot treating the rest. Earthwise Beauty's Yasumi Face Balm on the cheeks.  Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum on the forehead and around the eyes. Topped by the Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm around the eyes, on the forehead and neck. Frownies on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging. And another layer of Aqua Aura eye cream tapped around the eyes before bed.


Things 14 said:

I was telling her about what my physical therapist has me doing. (Also that his job is basically to boss people around having them do painful things.) 

"Sounds like a job a cat would like." And this is now how we determine if she will like a job or not.


Take-away - Look, you are the only one who can take care of you. And sometimes you need to do that first.


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jobs

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Week 1 - February 2021


February blew in with cold and snow. I know people who love this month. For me - much like November (outside of Thanksgiving) - it's a month I could skip. The last few years it's cold and snowy. Heavy snow and bitter cold. It's a good time for a vacation. Maybe next year.

 Random: 

- All vitamins should come in gummy form. That way it's like a treat!

- Take a day off, you need it.

Books: Quick reads over the weekend is still my speed. And I've started rocking mermaid gloves while reading. Because February came in cold.


- Making Midlife Madness by Heloise Hull which is better than I expect. Because I know the Greek gods well, the way she unveils information keeps catching me off guard in a good way.

- Night Shift Dragons by Rachel Aaron which was fantastically fun. I loved this series. Apparently it's part fo a larger "world" - but I never read those, so it feels fresh for me.


Gratitude: Laundry machines. Breakfasts out. Fancy soaps from friends. Snow that shovels easily and comes down on Saturday (so you have time to deal with it).Calendars. Getting things off the To-Do list. Scented candles. Food boxes filled with healthy food. Mermaid gloves.

ListeningDon't keep your day job podcast, which I find super inspiring. Grind and be grateful podcast. (She rarely talks about gratitude, I've noticed. Not sure this will stay on the playlist.)

Watching: Vikings. (I'm on Season 4.) I'm slowly losing interest in the series. There are now so many characters to pay attention to.  American Housewife. (Current season). Dexter. (Season 2). It's a very non-stressful watch for me, maybe because I've read the books and watched it before.

Wearing - Scent & Skin  

Scent

Imaginary Authors

- Telegrama  - Scent notes: Talc, Lavender Absolute, Black Pepper, Teak, Amyris, Vanilla Powder, Fresh Linens. Heavy on the talc and the vanilla with a strong side of lavender - this goes right to old lady; the teak and black pepper never show up for me. 

Sucreabeille

- R.E.S.P.E.C.T - Scent notes: your mother’s expensive cold cream that she dutifully applied every night and now you do, too, mixed with fragrant, sumptuous black cherries. This has aged well. It's rich and incense laden - the fruit almost smells like smoke. The vanilla is hidden info a sweet richness. The older this sample gets, the better I like it. Sillage also increases with age. This has mellowed into an amazing scent and I could wear it every day

- Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. Don't ask me explain, but this seems like a February scent.This is such a sweet scent. I continue to get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts well into the day.

Skin

Still fighting off the maskne. Keeping up the system from last week.

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser  - plus a buffing scrub (Essentially NOLA's Exfoliating Grains) - Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence to restore moisture and fight off lines, Fine Cosmetics Daytime Radiance Eye Serum tapped in around the eye with 3rd finger, then Votary day oil and Votary cream. 

- Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. And I'm continuing to spot treating the rest. Earthwise Beauty's Yasumi Face Balm on the cheeks.  Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum on the forehead and around the eyes. Topped by the Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm around the eyes, on the forehead and neck. Frownie on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging. 

Ordered some new eye cream. Needing a bit more moisture due to the February dryness.


Take-away - Someone asked me, what are you doing to take care of you? It's a really good question to think about. What are YOU doing to take care of you? Because you have to put your own oxygen mask on first so you can help others.


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Monday, February 1, 2021

Week 4 - January 2021


Random:
 

I miss the sea. 

People who do not take responsibility annoy me:

- We would love to see you. Come visit us. (Hell. Come visit ME! I don't have time to drive down there. Do you have time to come up here?)

- Figure out what I owe you. (Hell. Why don't you look up what it costs and offer your half? I'll let you know if it isn't enough)

- Let me know when you want to be on my show. (Hell. It's your show. Why don't you tell me when you have time slots. I don't know your schedule.) 

- I don't have your current address. (Hell. I sent you a link to the house I bought. What did you think that was? Also, every item I've sent you in the last 5 years had the same mailing address on it.)

- I did not know you were on Instagram. You never get suggested to me. (Hell, you read my newsletter. There is a link to Insta at the bottom of it.)

Trying to figure out if I'm being an unreasonable bitch or if I just know WAY too many women who don't accept personal responsibility for anything and want to put in the least effort possible while acting as if they are sooooo busy.

Books : Perhaps that is my issue. Perhaps I didn't read enough this week and it put me in "a bad humor."


Gratitude : Mermaid gloves. Painting. Cute cats. Lip balm.

Listening: Way too many people with judgements and ridicule about choices that are not theirs. And I'm done being nice about it because I'm not the person in your head. I'm flesh and blood and free will. 

Watching: Vikings. (The dog likes it too.) I did not finish it and don't remember it well - so I started over on Season One. It's more enjoyable than I remembered. I like the women's roles.


Wearing - Scent & Skin 

Sucreabeille

- We Are Stardust - Scent notes: Daisy crowns and sandalwood, a bouquet of peace lilies, vanilla cream fresh from Max’s dairy farm, and a drop of patchouli. We are stardust. Remember. And someone said I smelled good.  Sucre came up with both a patchouli and daisy that I don't mind. On me, it's a delicious cream and lily with a sandalwood base.

- R.E.S.P.E.C.T - Scent notes: your mother’s expensive cold cream that she dutifully applied every night and now you do, too, mixed with fragrant, sumptuous black cherries. This has aged well. It's rich and incense laden - the fruit almost smells like smoke. The vanilla is hidden info a sweet richness. The older this sample gets the better I like it. Sillage also increases with age.

Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. This is such a sweet scent. I continue to get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts a good well into the day.

Skin

Change is good. This week adjustments were made to re-set the skin which has been unappealingly spotted of late due to the wearing of masks. (Mascne.)

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser  - plus a buffing scrub - followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream (until I ran out), Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence to restore moisture and fight off lines, then Votary day oil and Votary cream. 

The new eye treatment is Fine Cosmetics Daytime Radiance Eye Serum. A little less nourishing (read creamy) than I like, but seems to help the undereye. And eye make up is less smeary as a result. (If I gave everything more time to set that would help but I'm always in a hurry.)

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. And I've spot treating the rest. Earthwise Beauty's Yasumi Face Balm on the cheeks.  Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum on the forehead and around the eyes. Topped by the Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm around the eyes, on the forehead and neck. Frownie on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging. 


Take-away - To all things there is a time. And patience is one of them. Watch out for what happens when it ends.



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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Week 3 - January 2021

I feel like we have entered the cold moon part of the month, despite the waxing moon. The late January/February part of the year has been the coldest the last few years. 

Random: 1) I got a new rug for the living room and the cats keep sliding and playing on it. (Dog never does that and would like to proclaim his innocence of the mess behind him.)  I've taken to wondering if the cats are trying to decide if the new rug is Arabian or Persian. When I find it rucked up, I know it didn't fly. When I find it flat in other rooms, then I wonder what they did while I was gone.

2) Here's the thing about projecting... it's about you and people may call you on it.

3) There were big orange leaves outside on the road by the river. When I looked more closely, a deer had smashed a pumpkin and licked it clean! I'd thrown the pumpkins from my front door decorations into the compost pile. Less than 2 days for the riverside deer to find and pillage them!

Books: Weekend reading is so much more than a guilty pleasure. It is sanity restoring. I recommend doing it.

- Wild Cards and Witches by Annabel Chase (finishing out the Pandora's Pride). The ending felt rushed after all the build up of three books.

- Twice the Fun by Rosalie Hunter. Eminently skipable.

Gratitude: Friends who distract you. Snuggle cats. Sweet dogs. Chinese food. Beautiful candles. Unstinky puppies. Face masks. Reimagining things. Lip balm with a pretty tint.

Listening: Christy Wright's new podcast. P!nk. Dido. 

Watching: Finished The Magicians (burning the Castle Whitespire candle from Novelly Yours  to set the mood.) Watched the Madame CJ Walker special on Netlfix. (I know it got dissed a little for the historical accuracy, I enjoyed it more as a story than strict history.) Flack. PR show. Dark and surprisingly fun. And Dexter. I've watched it before and read the books. It's also, like Queen of the South, a non-stress show. Vikings. I'm restarting it. Willing suspension of disbelief on calling it "England" in the 8th century.

Wearing - Scent & Skin 

Scent

Imaginary Authors

Memoirs of a Trespasser - Scent notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Guiacwood, MyrrhBenzoin Resin, Ambrette Seeds, Oak Barrels. This smelled like a vanilla ice cream root beer float on me. No idea why. It was not something I'd buy, so it's a good thing I found an additional tiny sample. Almost no sillage, either. 

Sucreabeille

- We Are Stardust - Scent notes: Daisy crowns and sandalwood, a bouquet of peace lilies, vanilla cream fresh from Max’s dairy farm, and a drop of patchouli. We are stardust. Remember. And someone said I smelled good.  Sucre came up with both a patchouli and daisy that I don't mind. On me, it's a delicious cream and lily with a sandalwood base.

Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. This is such a sweet scent. I continue to get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts a good well into the day.

Skin

Sunday night face masks are now a thing. Malaya Advanced Repair Mask (with neem flower honey) is wonderfully skin clearing. No change in daily or nightly skin routine. But I'm about to run out a  few things - so the routine will change in the next few days.

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser  - plus a buffing scrub - followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream (which is almost out), then Votary day oil and Votary cream. (No change.)

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. First moisture layer is the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence to restore moisture and fight off lines. Next, Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum topped by the Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm (the December Boxwalla box.) And slapping that Frownie on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging.


Take-away - Sometimes it feels like you are standing still. You aren't, even if the progress is small. And the time will pass, whether you make progress or not. So start now.


Reminder - It you are looking for some journaling inspiration, I've got you covered with a digital book of journal prompts. 3 per week, plus an inspiring quote. Check it out on Gumroad with this link: https://gumroad.co/NZTt  

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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Week 2 - January 2021

WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? This past week or two just felt insane. And heavy and so very tiring. I know it's not just me. It feels like a collective angst. 

Once, I bought a box of scents and CDs. The box was literally called "Serenity". I bought a BOX OF SERENITY. (It did not help.) But I feel like we all need the calming aromatherapy and visual stillness of white candles with the sound of raindrops in the background that was in that box. I wish that serene feeling for all of us. Here's an image I like of the winter dawn sky near my house that feels like that.

We're going to start mixing it up! (Hey, 2021 - looking at you.)  Books, Gratitude, Watching, and Listening are all still parts; but, we're starting with Random from now on. It's often too true to be buried.

Random: 

1) Pro tip - if your friend is newly single in a pandemic and you know has a difficult family, maybe asking "How were your holidays?" or "Did you enjoy the holidays?" is not the smartest question. It can be very triggering. Try asking "How are you doing?" or "Are you enjoying the New Year?".  

BTW  - everyone who asked me that is married with solid family. No damned clue. I'm delighted to hear about their holidays and family time, but it's not a good question to ask me.

2) Toxic positivity is a real thing. Currently experiencing it from a friend who really has no idea how dismissive that is of people's experience and feelings. Feelings come in all shapes and sizes. Experiencing (not wallowing in) them is actually healthy.

Books: I have this thought about the first book of the year ... I think it sets up the tone of the year. 

In 2019, I started off with Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips to Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths by LaRae Quey (former FBI agent.) I wanted to be stronger and more emotionally resilient. 

In 2020, the book was The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles by Marianne Williamson. I wanted to draw in more abundance to my life.

This year (2021), being newly single - new job - new house - new car, I wanted to think about how I want my future to be. So I picked....The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg. Because I want to remember who I wanted to be and think about who I want to be going forward. It was interesting. Her life was privileged in ways I'm not sure she even realized.

Making Midlife Magic by Heloise Hull has an Italian flair and is fun. Nice light reading!

Cooking & Garden: We skip those topics this month. Too cold to garden. And I just heat up the Hungryroot that arrives.

Gratitude: Snuggle cats. Groomers for stinky dogs. Perfume sample sets. Fancy soap. Pretty dawns. Light snow that melts off. Good skin care - including the most lusciously scented body oil ever. Cute benches.

Listening: I've been listening to Apple Music - Tiera Country. (It's okay.) Audible - Hellcats podcast. It was more visceral than I expected. Florence and the Machine - because there is never a time that isn't appropriate. 

Watching: Rewatched Firefly to start the year. Because, I love it. Godless is a Netflix show that features women in the west - I finished that up. The Magicians have a new season on Netflix; I'm 2 episodes in.

Wearing

Scent

It was a three house couple of weeks. I've been in a testing kind of mood.

Ellis Brooklyn

- Myth  - Scent Notes - top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, cassis; mid: tiger orchid, pink lotus, jasmine petals; dry: patchouli, liquid musks, white cedarwood. (Billed as "the most alluring musk around"). Last time out, it had zero sillage for me - trying it immediately upon arrival. This time - gosh! It lasted a full day as a light drift of scent. The bergamot and jasmine took center stage with the white cedarwood. I'm wondering it the time (resting) helped - I've had this sample for more than 6 months.  (Killed off the sample.)

Sucreabeille

- Shennanigator- Scent Notes: Opens with the rich, warm aroma of buttered popcorn. Next comes raspberries, lemons, and green figs. Sweet oud lingers as a heart note. Yep to the raspberry and popcorn - possibly there was a hint of fig. No lemon. This was not a scent that worked for me; it was just a weirdo mishmash of scents that didn't go and flowed away into nothing on my skin but a hint of popcorn in about 3 hours. The good news is that it was a teeny tiny sample and I killed it off.

Ruthless B-Word - Scent Notes: An unbelievably juicy blend of blood oranges and lychees. White amber and ginger lilies blend to give a sophisticated presence. For me, this is a lightly fruity floral that lasts one hot minute on my skin. (Seriously - maybe 2 hours in my hair. Something in it - maybe the citrus - is gone against my skin.) I get none of the amber, which usually lingers on me. No lilies. Maybe a hint of lychee. It's sweet and a fun name but I'd like it to last longer and linger on my skin the way RBG lingers in our consciousness as the classiest judge ever. (Killed off the sample)

- Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. This is such a sweet scent. I get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts a good 4-6 hours and makes me feel better about winter.

Wylde Ivy (from the Boho Dreams collection)

- Chasing Dreams. - Scent Notes: white freesia, faded cotton, pure white vanilla, southern magnolia, wild violets, blackberry brambles, and dainty sugar cubes. I loved the part of the sample description about whispering secrets to the stars - and oh that sounded lovely. This was such a generous sample! I got 4 days of trying off this. For me the scent was heavy cotton as I put it on. In a few hours I got a little magnolia and sugar with vanilla. Then the vanilla roared in. (I literally woke up in the middle of the night from the scent of vanilla cotton.) The sillage was amazing - a full day. At the end, this was too cotton and vanilla for my taste. (Not a bit of blackberry!) But I'm excited to try the others from this line.


Skin

These were better skin weeks. Kept it the same over both weeks. Did throw in 2 face masks over the weekends - it's absolutely skin saving right now. Naturallogic Unmask Detox Hydration Mask  and Malaya Advanced Repair Mask (both courtesy of Boxwalla on different moths.) That hydration mask is the BOMB for winter skin. And the repair mask (with neem flower honey) is fantastic on the now ubiquitous mascne. 

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then Votary day oil and Votary cream. 

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. First moisture layer is the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence (last month's Boxwalla) to restore moisture and fight off lines. Next, Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum from the December Boxwalla beauty box. (Without the sample, I would never have tried anything that expensive. But it's glorious.) I close the skincare with Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm (again, the December Boxwalla box.) And slapping that Frownie on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging.

Boxwalla has a every other month beauty box that is the BOMB. Highly recommend. The December box included Blüh Alchemy Active Relief Body Oil which is the most delicious thing I've ever smelled! Totally replaces perfume and makes your skin feel amazing.

Take-away - There is a time for releasing. Sometimes that feels like breaking. (A husk that's too weak to contain the new life.) New growth is painful at first; but, how can you be the flower you are meant to be unless you blossom?


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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Let's Talk about 2020


Things we learned. Things we did not learn. Things we learned again. Unprecedented times. Life changes.  And where we go from here. That's my description of 2020 in paragraph form.

Every year I put out a list of what I learned. They are, honestly, mostly notes to self! And I swear sometimes I learn the same lesson - all over again. Below is my list for 2020. Maybe you learned the same lessons. Maybe you learned something else.  But either way, may we never stop learning and growing.

  1. Fear will stop you. It is what limits you. Step outside of it.
  2. Sometimes you've got to burn it all down and start over.
  3. Boundaries are good. But you are in charge of keeping them defined.
  4. Relationships require work from both parties. (Not a newsflash.) I refuse to be the only one working in it.
  5. Be grateful for the people who see you as who you are rather than who they want you to be.
If you'd like to see what I learned at other points: lessons in 2019,  lessons in 2018,  lessons in 2017lessons in 2016 lessons in 2015 or learn about the rules

PS - want to get started journaling in 2021 but not sure what to write? I've got you covered with a digital book of journal prompts. 3 per week, plus an inspiring quote. Check it out on Gumroad with this link: https://gumroad.co/NZTt

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

December 2020 - Week 4


Who else is on count down to 2021 with high hopes? Yep! But here's the thing - you have to change if you want things to be different. (Because y-o-u are the constant in the life you don't want.) 

It may mean you stop tolerating things. It may mean you get in shape. It may mean you say "yes" when you are scared or "no" when you are overwhelmed.  And forget resolutions and word-for-the-year! (Over. And passive.)  

Make a CHOICE. Then, set yourself up to succeed in that choice, over and over again.

Books

- Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier via Kindle Unlimited was enjoyable but a touch shallow. Echoes of Lily Bard in the detective, with a different trauma.

- Curvy and Cursed? by Rosalie Hunter via Kindle Unlimited which was rift with detail holes. I won't read the next. (Skip)

- Sweatpants and Spells by Keira Blackwood via Kindle Unlimited which wasn't bad. I'll read the next.

- Magical New Beginnings by Brenda Trim via Kindle Unlimited which was just bad. No two ways about it. Skips whole swathes of narrative and feels like it starts in the middle. I won't read the next. (Skip it.)

Cooking: All the Hungryroot! These are great. I love that they send all the stuff (see giant picture). You just start cooking. I did tell them I like stir-fries so there seem to be a lot of those. 

Outside of that, I'm still not cooking much. (One box of mac and cheese hardly counts.) We may scale back this feature until I'm regularly cooking again.

Gratitude: Friends who drop off cookies. Friends who offer to come get you when you are trapped in your drive-way. Warm, comfy pants. Black squirrels.  Friends who make you mimosas!

Listening: Check out Episode 47 of this podcast on goal setting! And you'll hear me. 

Things 14 Said: She came over a couple times and we built a cat tree. She has approved of the new space.

Watching - Gossip Girl. I finished it! But, I got issues: How did Daddy Van der Woodsen go from music director to doctor?  What happened to the actual son Lily and Rufus had? He's been AOL for many seasons. How did Carol go from Lily's big sister to her little sister and then back the next season?  However, for all the drama, there is something to the understated way Lily and Elinor handle drama moments with their kids - kind of understated. Queen of the South. Which I killed off - joke intended!


Wearing

Perfume

Sticking with one brand of scent for the rest of the month.

Sucreabeille

- We Are Stardust - Scent notes: Daisy crowns and sandalwood, a bouquet of peace lilies, vanilla cream fresh from Max’s dairy farm, and a drop of patchouli. I needed the reminder. We are stardust. And I still don't understand how Sucre came up with a patchouli that I don't mind and somehow I don't get daisy (cat pee) off this! I get a delicious cream and lily deal with a sandalwood base that I could wear all week.

- Ruthless B-Word - Scent Notes: An unbelievably juicy blend of blood oranges and lychees. White amber and ginger lilies blend to give a sophisticated presence. For me, this is a light floral that lasts one hot minute on my skin. (Seriously - maybe 2 hours in my hair. Something in it - maybe the citrus - is gone against my skin.) And I would expect "ruthless" to have a darker note. But it's a fun scent.

- Sinister - Scent notes: Freshly cut jasmine, Egyptian geranium, oud, a lavender field, eucalyptus, a musky attic. The name freaked me out. I hesitated to try it. Somehow this reminded me of La Gram Russe's beloved My Sin.  It had lovely depth.

  • (Lanvin My Sin (Mon Peche) was created back in 1924 by a mysterious Russian lady called “Madame Zed”, who worked on several more Lanvin fragrances. This feminine, provocative and dangerously seductive fragrant composition begins with aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, clary sage and neroli. The middle notes are: ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, clove, orris, lily-of-the-valley, narcissus and lilac. The base is oriental – woody with vetiver, vanilla, musk, woody notes, tolu balm, styrax and civet. The perfume was discontinued in 1988.) 
There is not much the same between the two. Jasmine. There are a few reminiscent scents (woody notes  and oud; orris + ylang-ylang + lily of the valley = lavender) but not so much cross it should bring My Sin to mind. But it does.  It lasts hours on me - 6+. And softens as it lingers - it ends in nearly a powdery floral for me.

Skin

These were better skin weeks. Kept it the same as last week. Continuity.  Did throw in 2 face masks. Naturallogic Unmask Detox Hydration Mask  and Malaya Advanced Repair Mask (both courtesy of Boxwalla on different moths.) That hydration mask is the BOMB for winter skin. And the repair mask (with neem flower honey) is fantastic on the now ubiquitous mascne. 

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then the Votary serum and topped with the Votary day oil (yes a switch). And I've added the Votary cream some days because my skin is starting to be dry for the winter. Moved the shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck to days when I have Zooms!

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. Liking the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence (last month's Boxwalla) as the first layer to restore moisture and fight off lines. The follow up moisture set has remained Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla). Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.

(Boxwalla has a every other month beauty box that is the BOMB. Highly recommend.)

Random -  The value of promises builds over time. Break one and they are all worth less, until your word is worthless. (Yo, Peter, you paying attention?)

Also I miss samosas. (Indian potato food. Yum!) 

Take-away - New year doesn't mean a new you. Not unless you make different choices. Welcome to 2021. May we all be healthy and happy. Catch you on the flip side.


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Monday, December 14, 2020

December 2020 - Week 2


Someone I know travels to see new things. I like doing that, too. But, you only see what you l-o-o-k at and there are small beauties all around us, every day. Be still and look.

Something to remember as we move into this new season.

Books: Reading as a form of de-stress is priceless. Seriously. Books and the worlds in people's heads are a gift.

- Umbertouched (Kindle) by Livia Blackburne is the 2nd (Rosemarked) was the first. It's called a Young Adult novel but there is no forever at the end. Just a sunset on a short life. That said, I liked the series.

- Midlife Ghost Hunter by Shannon Mayer (Kindle Unlimited.) I adore this series. Seriously. Could this please be my life?

- After the Rain by Alexandra Elle (actual book). Some chapters I enjoyed. Some made me think. Some didn't resonate. But, if you have been going through an emotional storm - this may be a book to help. (Full disclosure, I thought about Little Free Library'ing it because a few flipped to chapters did not resonate. Then I started at the front. And there is too much good to give up but I might be buying a few people copies!)


Cooking:
Making up that Hungryroot! I'm telling you, this may be the best thing I've done in a bit. Food and recipes delivered to my door. Now there is a learning curve as they figure out what you like but I've yet to have a full delivery where I did not like anything. We're down to one or two items a delivery - then I just mark that and they don't send again! (And the next one, thanks to a few edits, looks perfect!)


Gratitude:
Sunrise over the river. Cute dogs (even when stinky). Cuddle cats. Creating order. Breakfasts with friends. Downtown shopping at cute stores. Small, shiny things; because everything you touch should be beautiful. New dog friends, who trust you when other humans made them scared.

House: I like to call unpacking "unfurling". Because you are releasing your belongings into the space. Still have about 10 boxes. I'm down to figuring out new homes for things that went somewhere ELSE in the prior house. (Not all houses are configured the same. Space changes.)

Good news - No major repairs! Although the city did put in the start of a new water pipe. So happy I painted that wall last week.....  

Listening: Apple has a whole holiday channel with different kids of holiday music - country, jazz, classics, etc. This may be heaven. Also a couple of the usual suspect podcasts - Redefining Wealth and Don't Keep Your Day Job. (Not that I don't like my day job but she has good guests.)

Watching: Gossip Girl. (It's going off Netflix. Gotta get it while it is there.) As I was watching, Chuck Bass said his mother's birthday as Bart Bass's safe combination. And I realize...she's 3 years older than me. OMG. I was old even when the show was new! I'm also over the headbands but on to slouchy purses and scarves.

Wearing

Perfume

People. I went exclusive to one brand for the week. Mostly to one scent, too!

Sucreabeille

- Troll Food - Scent notes: melted chocolate, toasted marshmallow, sweet honey graham cracker.  I get the honey and marshmallow in the scent layers but still find traces of cinnamon and caramel (the latter may actually be graham cracker). Continues to smell like I'm delicious food that would go well with a latte. It lasts pretty well, most of a business day, on my skin. I did kill the tiny sample bottle, so we are off to new pastures!

- We Are Stardust - Scent notes: Daisy crowns and sandalwood, a bouquet of peace lilies, vanilla cream fresh from Max’s dairy farm, and a drop of patchouli. I needed the reminder. We are stardust. And I still don't understand how Sucre came up with a patchouli that I don't mind and how I don't get daisy (cat pee) off this!

Skin

I think my skin is starting to show my age. I am less than pleased. Changes will happen.

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then the Votary serum and topped with the Votary day oil (yes a switch). And I've added the Votary cream some days because my skin is starting to be dry for the winter. Moved the shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck to days when I have Zooms!

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. Liking the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence (last month's Boxwalla) as the first layer to restore moisture and fight off lines. The follow up moisture set has remained Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla). Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.

(Boxwalla has a every other month beauty box that is the BOMB. Highly recommend.)

Random: I can a-l-w-a-y-s tell when a man's wife does not work. It's in the respect with which he treats my time. If she works, and has a professional job, he treats my time like his own. If she does not, he treats my time as if it is less important than his - late for meetings, canceling on appointments, arbitrarily changing agreed delivery. (And yes, I had that experience this week. I probably won't be doing business with that company again.)


This weekend I shopped downtown at local stores. I did my holiday shopping, which will ship late. And I'm okay with that. I spent my budget, not more, and I feel like I helped the beautiful downtown community. (Pictured, a gorgeous candle - of which I bought more than a few for gifts  - and, above, a light pull to add pretty into one of my spaces.)

Take-away - Remember the starfish story. You can't save them all, but you can make a difference - even if for just one. Who are you making a difference for?


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Monday, December 7, 2020

December 2020 - Week 1


No snow. And a fresh month. And a box of chocolates to share. 

Confession, I've never watched that movie with the box of chocolate quote. And I never will. But there is something amazing about having beautiful food to share with guests.

Books: I painted and wrote this weekend. (Also, guests!) So, the only book that happened was an Audible while I did other things. Silverswift by Natalie Lloyd. 

I did start a really fascinating book. Maybe I'll be done by next week...and will share....

Cooking: I actually did cook! I made a tater tot casserole for oldest kidlet in the toaster oven. Apparently, I live in adventure! Because cooking in that thing is like living in pioneer days.

Liking the Hungryroot. Several of the stir fries were very good. But they send a TON of food. And I'm not going through it fast enough.


Gratitude: Friends who get you fun soaps (see below), and that feeling of new when you get to use them. Friends who come to dinner but bring wine, dinner and dessert! Pretty boxes of chocolates. Ridiculous eyeshadow names (night in werewolf woods, strange old shop) that let you have theme days at work without anyone realizing.


House:  I've now done the midwestern plastic on bad windows thing. Basically the whole house needs new windows. Adding it to the Go Fund Me campaign....

Listening: Dolly Parton's Apple Christmas playlist. (And Audible)

Watching: Godless. (3 episodes in.) Gossip Girl. (On the 3rd season.) I have a craving for headbands and scarves.

Wearing

Perfume

Ellis Brooklyn

- Myth - Scent notes: warm florals -  ambrette seeds, jasmine petals, musk. This was a Sunday afternoon spray from a sample and lasted deliciously into the morning. The musk anchors the jasmine petals with ambrette seeds providing depth. This is still my favorite of the set.

Sucreabeille

- Troll Food - Scent notes: melted chocolate, toasted marshmallow, sweet honey graham cracker. I've been very unstoppable about life and nothing short of a troll is going to stop me. (Mythical, not on-line. The on-line ones are nothing.) Maybe this is settling in but this week, while I still have cinnamon and caramel coming off this, I got more honey and marshmallow in the scent layers. Still very "gourmand". It lasts pretty well, most of a business day, on my skin.

Skin

We mixed it up just a little bit this week. Because change is good for you.

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then the Votary day oil and Votary serum. And I've added the Votary cream because my skin is starting to be dry for the winter. Moved the shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck to day time.

Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. Added something new (from the latest Boxwalla Beauty Box) Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence as the first layer to restore moisture and fight off lines. The follow up moisture set has remained Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla). Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.


Random: Too many anniversaries and special dates and memories of better times crowded around together. Like taking sage and smudging the new house, having visitors to dispel the memories and create new ones is cleansing. I love having visitors at the new house!

Take-away - Life moves in seasons. Sometimes the rhythm is predictable. Sometimes things become unpredictable. Move through change like you would swim through waves. Keep your goals in sight like the shore. 


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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

November -- Week 4 - 2020


 

Kill the month. November is full of dying memories and falling leaves. Wash it clean with a dust of snow and be done. Several movies I love are set in November, and they are sad. I think November is a sad month, despite the protests of gratitude. And it settles in with me like a damp chill.

This is the 4th year my family hasn't invited me to Thanksgiving. (I did force an invitation 4 years ago. Lesson learned. This is the 3rd year I didn't even ask.) It's interesting to be the family black sheep. But I look VERY good in black.

And this is how you kick off a 4 day weekend: a nice drink, a big project, and a stack of books (even virtual).

Books: My feast of light, distracting reading materials continues, unabated. I make no apologies for my reading choices. (I have an unfinished masters degree. I've read plenty of scholarly books.)

- Nikki Kardnov wrote a set of 4 books called the Blackwell Djinn - I barreled through all of them on Kindle Unlimited. I didn't like the 2nd one as much as the others but all were good to a degree and a few hours worth of entertainment.

- Magic Uncorked by Annabel Chase (Kindle Unlimited) And I did not really like this. I won't be reading the others in the series.

- Magical Midlife Invasion by K.F. Breene (Kindle Unlimited) Was the high spot of my weekend. And Austin is the hero to be, folks. (He reminds me of the scene in Red when Bruce is reading romance novels to figure out what the woman he is interested in likes. Do that.) I would buy this set in paperback to revisit like favorite friends on sad days. I may still do that.

- Troublemaker by Kayley Loring (Audible). I was painting the basement. And I didn't see any reason to listen to anything heavy. Some of the banter was laugh out loud funny. 

Cooking: Week 2 of the Hungryroot and I ordered extra due to the holiday. Unfortunately, I did not like much of this week's selection. Week 3 had a holiday delivery day and we'll see how it goes. 

I will say the portions are super generous. And means I have more left-overs than I like. (Example - this recipe made 4 super generous portions.)



Garden: No such thing. Check back May 2021. I think I'm doing something on the patio.

Gratitude: Friends who bring you dinner. Friends who let you vent. The magic of re-creating your life - but damn, girl, no one said it would be easy. The mute button for notifications. The cutest freaking cats on the planet. A good dog. The power of paint to make a space different. A nice newer SUV that makes me feel safe. (Prior car was 14 years old. It had the sullenness of a teenager, too.)

(The dinner my friend brought me. Plus pie! And tea. She knows me.)

House adventures: Now that the lights work in the basement again; mostly, I decided that I should paint the part I want to use as a workout space. Paint is cheap. And I can work.

1) Kilz everywhere



2) Paint the floor and add a rug. Paint some old boxes a brighter color. Not done yet. Have a few more pieces of equipment to put in. 

And I really am serious about the House Go Fund Me. The outside needs power-washed and repainted; some electrical needs done in basement....

Listening: Apple Music had a Thanksgiving play list that rocked it out of the house. Patrice Washington's podcast, Redefining Wealth, is my current vibe.

Watching: Dumplin'. I enjoyed this more than expected. Locke and Key. Not really my thing. Probably bailing. Queen of the South. Shockingly, this is easy watching for me. It really requires no mental effort on my part.

Wearing:

Perfume

Sucreabeille

- Troll Food - Scent notes: melted chocolate, toasted marshmallow, sweet honey graham cracker. I've been very unstoppable about life and nothing short of a troll is going to stop me. (Mythical, not on-line. The on-line ones are nothing.) Maybe this is settling in but this week, while I still have cinnamon and caramel coming off this, I got more honey and marshmallow in the scent layers. Still very "gourmand". It lasts pretty well, most of a business day, on my skin.

Skin

 - Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then the Votary day oil and Votary serum. And I've added the Votary cream because my skin is starting to be dry for the winter.

Night time - 1st cleanse - First cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. The moisture set has remained Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla). Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.And a quick shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck.

(Let's have a moment on Monastery and Votary as names - the ritual and religion of skincare....)

Random

"I do my duty. I am not interested in the rest."
- Marcus Aurelius (Meditations 6.22)

This. This is who I am at the end of the day. I do my duty. The question is do I want to live way forever? Am I more than my duty? Some days I wonder.

Take-away - The full moon went eclipse on the 30th. Weird energy everywhere the day before and day of. Did you feel unsettled? Does everything from the beginning of this month to the end feel unsettled? It's okay to be unsettled. After all, all the work of becoming a butterfly is done in the cocoon. 


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Saturday, November 21, 2020

November - Week 3 - 2020

New week. New moon. Get your sass on and make your intentions known.


Books: We only read light things in this house as things change. We seek the solace of mind-candy like other people watch Hallmark movies.

- Twisted Twenty-Six by Janet Evanovich - Let's just get it out of the way that I'm #TeamRanger #RangerForever and, I suspect Stephanie may be leaning that way, too. (Ranger is a keeper. Morelli is a player. IMO. I'll die on this hill.) I kind of liked that Stephanie is feeling a little stagnant and wants to shake things up. A good shake-out isn't a bad thing.

- Must Love Charms by Christine Zane Thomas (Book 3). Kindle Unlimited. This series has not improved. I would not read a book 4.

Cooking: I tried the HungryRoot. It was pretty good! I loved the easy recipes and felt like I was being healthier than eating pizza 3x a week. The red bean quesadillas were particularly delicious and fast. The generous portioning also meant it made 3 rather than 2 suggested. I also had a nice brussels and ravioli dish that was unexpectedly easy and tastier than expected. (I shot you a picture.I also shot a picture of the MASSIVE amount of food I ordered for the week of Thanksgiving since I'll be home. Catch it next week.)


Gratitude: Friends who let you bitch about Tuesdays and like cute cat pictures. Friends who call on Friday morning to wish you a good weekend. Friends who remind you to be safe and not stupid. Cat cuddles. Streaming TV - it's the BOMB. Bunnies on the patio. Taking a risk and having it work out.



House adventure: Electric is back on in the basement and we have a new front porch light! And the vent cleaning got rid of most of the musty smell. 

Still thinking that GoFundMe sounds good.

Listening: Sales Maven podcast. Apple Music's 6am-7am New Music station. Apple's Cocktails and Crooners. 

Watching: Warrior Nun (which I liked a lot less than other people seemed to - probably all the subtitles.) In The Dark (which I liked more than I expected.) The rest of Season 2 of new Charmed which is markedly better than Season 1.

Wearing

Perfume

Imaginary Authors

Memoirs of a Trespasser - Scent notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Guiacwood, MyrrhBenzoin Resin, Ambrette Seeds, Oak Barrels. This smelled a bit like root beer to me. No idea why. I love the name but it was not something I'd buy. Almost no sillage, either.  I finished off the tiny sample.

Sucreabeille

- R.E.S.P.E.C.T - Scent notes: your mother’s expensive cold cream that she dutifully applied every night and now you do, too, mixed with fragrant, sumptuous black cherries. I get a lot of cherry and dark vanilla off this. It's still sexy cupcake but richer smelling. It works well for the change in seasons. Sillage is amazing. I get a full day off it.

- Troll Food - Scent notes: melted chocolate, toasted marshmallow, sweet honey graham cracker. I got NONE of that off this. I totally had a cinnamon and caramel coming off this! Very food. It did last very well on my skin. I opened up a sample so we'll have this going for a few weeks on and off. As the mood strikes.


Skin

 Day time - Standard a shower wash of tea tree cleanser  followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, followed by the Votary serum. (And remember to change your mask regularly. I wore the same one about 3 days and now have nose "maskne". Ick!)

Night time - 1st cleanse - Lovinah's Dragon's Blood DHA Cleansing Oil as first cleanse (which I killed off - would buy - it's amazing). Following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. The moisture set has been Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla) Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.And a quick shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck.

Things 14 said: Iceland is just like Michigan. But not. (Insert laugh from me.) What? They are basically the same climate. (She was explaining her science project to me. Due to covid, they don't go upfront any more but speak from their seats which she said was a lot more comfortable. She got a B-.)

Random

1) Pony-Os are harder to use than the videos make it appear. I tried the BunBar and damn near had to cut it out of my hair.

2) I'm done feeling guilty about spending money. I now make a count every day of what I spend that supports local businesses. Seriously. The best way to keep our economy afloat is to keep our friends and neighbors employed + small business is an employment generator like no other. This week:

- Monday - Had the vents cleaned (local business)

- Tuesday - Had my hair done (local business + most hair dressers are self-employed)

- Wednesday - Mailed in my payment to a local service company for the gutter cleaning.

- Thursday - Got coffee and a donut at a local coffee shop.

- Friday - Bought a newer car from a local dealer rather than Carvana. (My car had 246,500 miles on it - it was time.)

- Saturday - Got coffee and a muffin at a local coffee shop.

This is my impact on my local business community in a week. What's yours?

3) Do what you can, where you are, with what you have. Theodore Roosevelt

Sometimes I feel like I've lived my whole life by that. I'm scrappy. I'm resourceful. But damn it - there is an inherent LACK in that phrase now when it hits my ear. (I used to hear it as a mantra to leverage what you have and grow.)  I have done a LOT with what I have. Truly. And it's perfectly okay for me to be grateful for what I have and want more. And I do.

I want...more of a relationship (me + a guy), permanently - I want someone who makes me feel like his sun and who values me; and is fun, funny and smart and reliable and responsible and likes adventures of every shape and size. I want more friends. I want to make the friends I have feel valued. I want more help with household stuff. I want new furniture. And that's all okay. Because I'm D-O-N-E playing small.

Take-away - People think of New Years and Spring as fresh starts. They are. But you can start anywhere. The "trick"? Deciding to start.


BTW - if you like the idea of journaling but aren't sure where to start - I have some prompts. And like a fresh start you can start anywhere, anytime. Check out 52 weeks of journal prompts here.



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