Sunday, May 12, 2019

To My Girls - Part 2

Some of my beautiful girls are starting households. Moving out on their own. Getting married. All happening regardless of whether I think they are ready!

I won't always be available to answer texts on how to get stains out of tea cups (baking soda or salt with a touch of dishsoap + elbow grease) or what to change in a recipe. So, this series of posts is dedicated to passing on practical knowledge about the business of running a life. And this particular post is about the art of keeping your home a (semi)clean sanctuary.

Keeping a house is about taking care of you and the people you love (and you are one of the people you love). Done well, it also makes your money stretch!

That said, I'm busy and always looking at ways to streamline household care - outside of hiring help. (That's always on the table and there are times when it makes sense to do that.) So these are my very best tips and tricks.

Keep it clean - Everyday Tips
Tip 1 - Do it when you think of it, if it is something that will take less than 5 minutes.  (Easier to hang up the one jacket now than pick up a pile of close off the floor later. Easier to put the dishes in the dishwasher than get confronted with a pile of dishes to deal with.)

Tip 2 - When you move, you need to clean the bathroom and kitchen in the new space before you move. (BTW - clean the cabinets and doors the first week you are there.)

Tip 3 - Use an apron when you cook. You splatter much more than you think and food stains.

Laundry - Making your clothes dollars stretch
Keep a small container  each of Dawn (specific brand) dishsoap, rubbing alcohol and peroxide in the laundry room.
- Dawn is for food grease/oil stains. Treat the stain before washing. (Cover the stain in Dawn. Let sit for 5 minutes and wash as usual.) You can wash and treat multiple times to good effect - as long as you don't dry the item. (The heat of the dryer sets the grease/oil stain.) 
- Peroxide is good for lifting blood off light-colored items. Same rules apply. (Heat will set it. Multiple treatments may be needed.) In this case, as long as there is protein (blood) to remove, the peroxide will bubble when applied. Wash immediately after treatment.
- Rubbing alcohol is for ink. Treat cotton or mixed cotton fabric with rubbing alcohol. Let sit 3 minutes before washing.

If you are confronted with caked-on mud, let it dry! Beat it out of the clothes out as much as possible. (I mean - hang it over a railing and whale on it. You are literally breaking the mud off the clothes.) Consider soaking to loosen mud before washing. Otherwise wash twice before drying. Use heavy duty soap.

Sort your laundry correctly and use the appropriate soap. (One soap - sorry Tide - is not good for all. You should have a heavy duty cleaner and a delicate wash at the very least. You should also have a peroxide-based whitener. Remember - you wear your clothese against your skin, your largest organ and it absorbes scent aka chemicals. The fragrance in some detergents are filled with hormone disrupters. Use natural cleaners wherever possible to help reduce the amount of toxins you+your family are exposed to. Also, I believe Tide is horrible. My skin has always hated it.) Taking care of your clothese will make them last much longer - some of you girls know that as you "inherited" a few of the clothes from my youth! Sort clothes by this order:
- Weight. Ex: Nylon jogging shorts dry much faster than a cotton sweatshirt (and might melt) as well as requiring a more delicate wash cycle to not tear. Towels, wash clothes and handtowels are a complete load. Sheets are a complete load. Do not mix - they have different dry times and your sheets will end up fuzzy.
- Color. Group like with like. Do not put blue (will make grey) or yellow (will yellow) with white. White is a stand-alone color.  Beyond that work the color sort as your clothes allow = blue + green, purple + pink + red, purple + blue, green + yellow, yellow + orange, browns + blacks, greys + blacks, etc.

You may need to do smaller loads of wash; you can dry bigger groups (like towels and sweatshirts). This will also help your washer last longer by not over-burdening the drum - some of you shove waaaaayyyy too much in the machine.

Wash dark clothes inside out. It will help them retain color longer. (Doubt me? Take 2 dark socks - same pair. Wash one always inside out [red thread on the top to help you know it] and the other one how ever. In 15 washes you will see a difference - and BTW, 15 washes is less than a season of wear.)

To really make your clothes last - dry less. Hang dry and/or underdry. Never over-dry or throw in with heat to "knock the wrinkles out". (That's what steamers are for.) Do not dry your bras (kills the elastic), hosiery or silk or chiffon.

And learn to sew on a button!

In the kitchen

Let's start with food prep. Cutting boards. You should have 2:
- Plastic. Only cut only meat on this. Put it in the dishwasher after every use. (Plastic dulls knives so be careful.)
- Wood. This is for veggies. Rinse with a vinegar wash after each use. Run it through a hand wash occasionally but do not let it sit in water or put it in the dishwasher - it will seperate.
Two cutting boards is not negotiable. You can easily make yourself and others quite ill with preparation contamination and the cutting board is a most frequent cuplrit. Specifically using a wood one - absorbs blood - for meat and veggies.

Never use a sponge. Totally disgusting germ-filled things. And they just spread germs everywhere you wipe. They now make lovely natural scrubbers (allow to dry between uses), and you should have dishclothes (washable). 

Wipe your counters BEFORE you start to cook. Many of you have animals. And paws may have tracked who knows what on the counter. (Pretty sure none of you every noticed me doing that - but I do it every time.)

Wipe your stovetop clean at least every other evening. It attracts bugs, plus grease on the stove grids actually makes your pans less efficient.

Baking soda and vinegar are MIRACLE cleansers. (Clean clogges drains with the combo; lift baked on food with a baking soda scrub; vinegar sterilizes, etc.) Use them in the kitchen or in the bathroom. Works both places as well as pre-made, commercial cleansers. Keep your cleansers as non-toxic as possible. Your home is the one place you can cutdown your exposure.

Cleaning the house

Go top to bottom. (Dirt falls.) I know some of your mothers taught the opposite - and they were wrong. Think of it this way, if you wiped the floor (where dirt, pets, etc) with a cloth, would you then wipe your food prep counters with the same cloth?   

I hate dusting. You all know this. But dust is 90% human skin. So, exfoliate more and dust less. If you have kids, Grandma Short aka Southern Gram says they make the best dusting helpers. (Fact: She also hates dusting.)

You will never notice the window frames and door frames are dusty. Just plan on dusting those once per season.  

Window blinds and high places require special tools to clean. (Or paid help) Get them. 

Hardwood floors harbor less dust/allergens than rugs or carpet. Get a broom and sweep regularly. (Manual labor is good for you and requires no fossil fuels.) Better to swiffer (dry or wet) than not to sweep or mop. This is the epitome of find a way to modify or make an easier version.

Try to buy washable rugs if you can. If that's not feasible - at least once a month, shake them out well.

Wash your walls every few years - especially if textured - or before you paint (do you want to paint the dust in permanently?). Dust the walls 1 time per year at minumum. Put an old T-shirt on a broom head - use rubber bands to hold in place by moving them up the broom handle - use that to dust the walls.  (The old T-shirt can then be washed with the rags.)

Wash your curtains quarterly. One time per month, wipe down your blinds.

Vacuum furniture 1x a week. Slip covers (like duvet covers on beds) are your friends. Especially if you have pets! Launder 1x per month. 

On that note, duvet covers always over comforters. Washing a whole comforter is hard on your machine and takes a while. A duvet cover is easy to wash - and changeable by season. Just remember to take the duvets in to the cleaners in summer. (Or get washable ones - they make those now.)

Remember to wash your sheets every week at least. (Nice to have a couple of sets so you can switch) And your towels every 2-3 uses. Wash any bathroom ruggs every 6 weeks or so - they can be shaken out in between - barring any mud + pet disasters.

Please note - anything I said "shake out" - that means outside. Do not shake things out in your own house. That doesn't move any dirt or dust out of your house - it just spreads it.

Consider setting up a cleaning calendar or digital reminders of infrequent tasks. 

Please remember 3 things, my darlings: I believe in you. I love you. And, I am proud of you. Always. (Even on days your home isn't perfectly clean - because a loving home is priceless.)

Pictures are my own + Gingertown photography

Other posts you might enjoy:

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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Musings - April 2019

April kicks off a month of changes. Personal and professional. 

Books: I actually finished a few this month! (12 peeps - count 'em!) The Moreau Factor by Jack L Chalker (who seems to have a thing for transformation as I recall from The Change Winds series) - a Little Free Library find. The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund. Still valid but a few years old - I felt like I need to read it since Amber was awesome about speaking at a conference for me. I totally wanted to validate her generosity with her time and brilliance. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. And the Little Free Library had a 1973 "classic" sci-fi from Piers Anthony, Race Against Time. (It was kind of awful. It didn't age well but was easy to read.) Also, Connections in Death by JD Robb - which, like all Eve Dallas books ROCKS. Plus, I've kind of lapsed on that "getting my money's worth from Kindle Unlimited" - so... a binge happened -  Hexes and Exes by Raven Snow. (Think cozy mystery. Yes. Nice quick read.) And well, I really needed a break after a stressful month - so I ripped through the Kindle editions of all 4 of Shannon Mayer's Questing Witch series. Plus her The Venom Trilogy series. 

Also.... I got a compliment on one of my books! (Yes, I occassionally write books. Check them out here.

Gratitude: Nearby Chinese food. Kitten cuddles. New vaccuum. Perfume samples. Stretching boundaries of "I'm not good enough." New friend.

Listening: So much Halsey + Dave Ramsey podcasts. Florence + The Machine in the car with 12 (it's her jam). Live Awake podcast for lunch-time quick meditation.

Perfume: I've rocked Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis every weekday for the majority of the month because it's time to finish it out and start fresh for spring.

But, I couldn't resist. Michelle Pfeiffer released 5 substainable, and eco-conscious scents under her new brand, Henry Rose.  Best part? She has a sampler pack!!! All 5, in generous sizes, for $20 plus shipping. (See image at top) And they send you a $20 coupon for your first full-sized purchase. Here's my take:
- Fog. OMG. Described as fresh - light + musk with a perfectly balanced freshness. It's more dense than I expected something described as "fresh" to be. Good sillage and this is a fantastic scent for me. Spring and summer scent.
- Torn. Described as warm, spicy and floral. Vetivier roots with vanilla bean. It opens almost chocolate and just gets more warm/spicy as the day goes. I put it on and thought - this is what Michelle Pfeiffer smells like on date night, I bet. Excellent sillage. (Note: I liked it more the first day I wore it than the second. Not sure why.) This is a November and January scent to me.
- Dark is Night. Described as sensual with woody patchouli with the richness of vanilla bean. I thought it heavy when I first put it on and reminiscent of some well-known late 1980's/early 1990's (unspecified) perfume when I first put it on. Extraordinary sillage. By the end of the day, I loved it. The next morning when it was still faint on my skin - I did wonder if I'd over-sprayed.
- Jake's House - Described as clean which it is with neroli top note and light musky finish. Very little sillage. Nice but there are others in the same scent family that are more "me". (Like my Water + Willow by Library of Flowers.)
- Last Light. Described as smooth - a fresh floral with smooth woody effect. Not on me. Very clean musk. No silllage and it made Lulu cat sniff my arm weirdly. And not for me!

I'd also note that the scent library for Henry Rose seems to be very limited - vetiver wood, patchouli (which I usually hate but this smells less "dirt-like" than others), musk, vanilla bean across a number of them. Most florals are not clearly defined. (Neroli in Jake's House is the only one specified.) So although her product idea is transparency, these feel like too complex of scents for the few scent notes mentioned.

Random: Jericho (19) and I went to a watercolor painting place. I suck. She's fantastic ! But it was fun.



Recipes: Nada. I made Easter breakfast (egg muffins, blueberry cornbread muffins, fruit pizza, etc.) And many other things this month but, no new recipes, sorry! (Pictured are remnants of Easter breakfast)

Self-care: This month is cleansing. April is good for that. And I ran out of my favorite make-up remover (100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm) and, as Murphy would have it, was out of stock online. Over to Soko Glam I went for an alternative I'd spotted on Instagram a few weeks before. Which came with the CUTEST little scooper! It feels less lux on the skin and a touch synthetic. But it washes out of the facecloth with my mascara better. It's good for now, but I like my usual 100% Pure better. 

The Daily Basics

- Day - Juice Beauty line for brightening emulsion, s
erum, eye cream, CC cream.The brightening emulsion has started to make my skin a littel angry some days. It fades quickly but it goes a hot red when I put it on. And it's not every day - so some other element is at play. A mystery.

Night - Night is basically bargin skincare. Most of what I use I got on sale -  Predire Eye Care Anti-Aging Night Serum. (And reminder, I did not pay retail for it) which I am trying to run out  - and I've decided may be the best value ever since it seems never ending. I've been trying to run it out for 2 months now! All over moisturizer is H2O Infinity Renewing Youth Serum (which I got on mega-clearance of $28) and which seems to be running out quickly. Plus I'm still using Little Barn Apothecary oil .

And YES - good skin care matters. It was my birthday this month and 3 people actually thought I was 12 years younger than I am! (Wear sunscreen)

Things 12 Said:

Me - Let's make blueberry muffins!
13: Hurrah!
12: Can we add chocolate chips?
Me: That's not how blueberrry muffins are made
12: Are you sure?


Me: We are super-awesome and amazing women! (We'd gotten a lot done - pet medications for 4 cats and 1 dog; baked a cake, baked cobbler, and baked muffins; swept the house; and did the dishes.)
12: Yep, but mostly you because you baked cobbler.

She also found a "dragon skull" and was super excited. Until I sent it to the nature center and we discovered it was a hawk's pelvis. (But as you can see, she was fairly justified in that thought - I had her put it next to a dollar bill for size.)

Watching: Santa Clarita Diet. (That is freaking hilareous. And I've hooked Jericho as well.) Impostors, Season 2. I caught up on Empire, too. And we're back to Grimm

Take-away - Change is our only constant. You better learn how to roll with it.

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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Sunday, March 31, 2019

Musings - March 2019

March winds bring change. I always forget that. And then March happens. 

Books: Zip. Well kind of zip. No finished actual books. But I signed up for Blinkist and read about 10 short summaries. All non-fiction. Plus I also signed up for Good Reads.  (Pictured are the books I strated and didn't finish. I thought Irish Fairytales for St. Patrick's Day but yeah, that fizzled.) I'm at 5 of my 52 books for the year - and certainly not making enough of my Kindle Unlimited membership, obviously I need to kick it in gear a bit with reading next month! Travel is happening so that always helps with the reading more.

Gratitude: Live butterfly exhibits (see the cycle of life in the photo below - little caterpiller, big caterpillar, coccon, and new hatched butterfly). Nice pens. Digital tools. Kittens. New friends and wine evenings. Art. Dinners with smart women. Little Free Libraries.  New vacuum.

Listening:  Halsey. Florence &  the Machine (which, it turns out 12 loves as well.) And I found the best new podcast for rocking about 10 minutes of meditation at lunch - Live Awake

Perfume: I am ready for a change. So I've been using  Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis everyday as I want to run this out and move on. March isn't the only thing ready for a change!

Recipes: I don't think I made anything new or a fresh recipe but I made A LOT of desserts. Seriously. Banana bread. One Friday evening I made pumpkin pie, cherry pie, and strawberry-stuffed pound cake from scratch in under 3 hours. I probably made the quick fruit cobbler 6 times this month. It's officially the go-to dessert of the house.

Self-Care: I am a little bored. So things got switched up a little.  The basics are in place - most days. But I've moved things around for weekends and nights.

The Basics

- Day - Juice Beauty line for brightening emulsion, s
erum, eye cream, CC cream. That pretty much is my standard and it continues to serve me very well.  (Of course next month, I'll need to add suscreen. Because spring is about to happen.)
Night - Night is basically bardin skincare. Most of what I use I got on sale -  Predire Eye Care Anti-Aging Night Serum. (And reminder, I did not pay retail for it! ) which I am trying to run out. I've added H2O Infinity Renewing Youth Serum (which I got on mega-clearance of $28) plus I'm still using Little Barn Apothecary oil  (See first picture of this post for what that looks like and options). 

One evening, we (Jericho, me, and 12) did a homemade mask for girl's beauty night. Mashed strawberries + honey + a bit of dry clay. It's been ages since I made my own mask from simple, natural ingredients. I had some recollection of hand-mashing the strawverries - nope. The best option is a blender. We discovered that the hard way with chuncks of strawberry falling off our faces. But, I will say we had beautiful, glowy skin afterwards.

I joined something new a few months ago. An every other month beauty box that - at a subscription rate - lets me try green brands that are usually out of my price range. (Click here to check out The Boxwallas).  Right now, I like the Earth Wise Resiliancy Face Serum for weekend days and African Botanicals Cell Recovery Serum and Oil for night. Plus I've used the Siam Seas Clear Skin Serum a few nights - which does a beautful job of clearing up minor bad skin flares.)

Things 12 said: Well, she's renamed her sister's kittens. (Isaac and Israel got 4 month and 5 month old kittens - super cute.) Their actual names are Lucy and Roy. She's calling them Milly and LeRoy.

She also declared herself magic after a butterfly became her best friend at the butterfly exhibit. (I had a blue morpho land on my hand. Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids is beautiful.)

She's not doing well in math - but on her latest math test, she corrected 3 grammar issues on the test. Her English skills are off the charts.

Watching: I finished the latest season of Shameless and I'm plowing my way through Grimm. (What was UP with the opener the first few episodes of Season 2?) I love a good series for cooking binges and also digital chore time - who else has noticed that modern life has a CRAZY amount of paperwork?)

Random:  An actual person bought one of my digital books! Woot hoot! (I have a tendency to give them away. And one of them is free all the time anyway.) If you want to check out my books - click here.

Here's the deal, people - if you don't want someone to attend, just don't send an invite. Sending the only notice of an event mere weeks ahead, when you know people travel for business (aka they don't have a choice on being in town or not), just to say you sent the invite is RUDE. 

Take-away - Change is the only constant in life. You better figure out how to handle it.

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 Beaty 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!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Musing - February 2019

Welcome to the month of love! February was super cold (thanks polar vortex) and it is still lovely in many ways. (Mostly soap and people.)

Books: Late bloomer over here! I just read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland! It was a lovely read. Quick but with lines that make you think later. And because I was sick for a few days, I read books about death - Apprentice in Death and Dark In Death by JD Robb. I'm still working  my way through The Now Revolution

Gratitude: Good Asian food. Good chiropractors. New soap. Quiet hotel rooms. Purring cats. Organized things. Amazing friends. Washing machines. Changes. Groomed dogs. Tulips. Pasta ready when I get home.

Listening: Southern Lady Code is confirmed as my new favorite podcast. (There is a book coming soon!) And I've been listening to a lot of Dave Ramsey and Entre Leadership and Marketing Over Coffee and Household Name. And I highly recommend Rethinking Leadership, Episode 31 Dealing with Negativity. For music, I've been Florence and the Machine or Halsey. (Probably in a bit of a rut there....)

Perfume:  Same as last month, most weekdays I've been wearing  Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis  and Dirtyque's Ofresia. (Boring! I know. But I'm about to run out of both and am finishing them.)

Recipes: I made a round of Lavender cookies for Artistic Girl's 19th birthday.  And zucchini bread for 13's good grades. But nothing super new or interesting. Somehow I seemed to make a lot of pasta this month.

Self-Care: The soap love may have achieved neverending status. My new favorite day is "new soap day" when I open up one of the Cellar Door Bath Supply soaps. This month's main sop was Birchwood Spiced Rum.

In addition to the continued great face oil experiment, I also grabbed a clearance new face cream and mask duo to try. Here's the updated day and night routine:

- Day -I'm still using Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular  Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum around the eyes. And I'm still totally Juice Beauty for the 
day. Serum, oil, eye cream, CC cream. That pretty much is my standard and it continues to serve me very well.  (Although, now that I use more oils - I don't think I like the Juice Beauty oil as much as some of the other oils for feel. Efficacy to be determined.) 
Night - I've kept using  Predire Eye Care Ant-Aging Night Serum. (And reminder, I did not pay retail for it! ) I'm still using Little Barn Apothecary oil  plus Juice Beauty nutrient cream to keep neck wrinkles at bay as well as Juice Beauty's anti-wrinkle cream on my forehead. I tried the Peter Thomas Roth' Fountain of Youth set mid-month. The mask does something I've never felt before - it heats up! Lots of different kinds of oils in the mask and the cream so it's weird to rinse the mask off. I don't think I'd like a larger size. But it was fun to try something different!

Things 12 said: 12 and I love the same type juice - orange, no pulp. Usually, I don't mind if she drinks all of it. But mid-month, I was sick and that's all I wanted. My first day after being sick, I came home from work to her drinking a glass of juice.

- Me: Are you drinking my orange juice?
- 12: Just a little bit.
- Me: But it's MY juice
- 12: But I'm just having a little bit
- Me: Yes, but it's MY juice. What if I wanted it?
- 12: But I'm just having a little bit.
- Me: (I relented because I was only teasing) - It's fine. You can finish it.
- 12: That's good because I already did.
- Me: I thought you said you just had a little bit!
- 12: Yes, I did. But there was only a little bit left.
She is a character. She'd even already put the juice container in the recycling!

Watching: I finished The Americans - which was weirdly comforting with the Russian language use. And I've begun a serious binge of  Grimm. I have a serious love of mythology and fairytales - I'm not sure if you'd enjoy Grim as much if you don't. (At least so far from Season 1 & 2.) I am a little weirded out that none of the actors match the look of the origins of their creatures but it's a global mixing pot.

Random:  The polar vortex. So, Guy and I have not spent that much working time together. Usually he works outside the home and I work at home. And...we have very different work styles. Much like night kayaking, I'm going to call it a testiment to our relationship that we both survived working from home the few days of polar vortex non-starting cars.

Take-away - Be present. Life isn't lived in the future. Don't spend your life here but paying attention to unreal things and other people's lives. 

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 Beaty 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!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Scenes from Philadelphia

Guy and I took a quick business trip to Philadelphia in late December to look at some equipment for his shop. And while we were in that lovely city, we enjoyed the food and art a good bit!

It started with the window boxes on the street. So very pretty! We took a lovely stroll down a street and around a corner with 2 great restaurants:
- The Belgian Cafe
- OCF Coffee House
We had a very relaxed and delicious breakfast at the Coffee House, went to see the equipment, toured a historical prison (Eastern State Penitentiary) - which was surprisingly interesting, had a lovely lunch at The Belgian Cafe (best vegetarian burger I have had in my life and LOVELY desserts).  

I really should have paid attention to the name of the street because while Philadelphia has beautiful murals on many walls, the one on that street was exceptional. The mural appeared to be a garden! It was a full block long and wrapped around the end of the block. It actually looked very life-like!  (Also, notice the cobbled streets. Aren't those awesome?)

We also went to the Viking exhibit at the Franklin Institute, which was fascintating. Great place to take kids, lots of hands on activities. And I made Guy pose for a picture! Or two.
We stayed at a lovely hotel as well. Which was amazing considering Guy didn't make a reservation. I can now, whole-heartedly, recommend - we got a great deal and stayed right downtown at Le Meridien.

Getting there was interesting as we passed THROUGH mountains! Blue Mountain, Kittatinny Mountain, Tuscarora Mountain, and Allegahny Mountain.  Which made me wonder how we name these things....

Side note - we also discovered I hate driving on curvy roads. 

Take-away - Go somehere new. Take someone you love. Have an adventure. (Picture from a zoo trip a few years ago. It's my motto!)

Other posts you might enjoy:
- Musings - October 2018
- A Texas Weekend
- And Again, Please
- The Crescent City

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

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

Monday, January 28, 2019

Musings - January 2019

Here's the round up of the first month of January. I hope your year had beautiful start. 

Books: I got all flummuxed on what to read! I still want to try to do 50+ books for the year, but then I read where someone said the book you start the year with IS your year. And well, at the time, I was reading both an older social media book and Midnight in the Garden fo Good and Evil - I obviously didn't want to start my year with either outdated info or deception, so I had to go to my bookshelf. And there was the book I was meant to read, LaRae Quy's Mental Toughness for Women Leaders. She's ex-FBI. Since it's 52 tips, I guess you could read and concentrate on one per week but I decided this book would be the perfect way to start my year. And then I finished Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. (I prefer the movie. Sacrilege, I know.) Which is clearly less than the four books I should have read for the month but still not a bad start to the year.

Gratitude: Trying new things. Good chiropractors. Fun restaurants. Unexpected boxes. Cool co-work spaces. Purring cats. Cleared roads. Amazing friends. New ventures. Soft snow.

Listening: Even more podcasts! I went to a luncheon that had Interview Valet's president as a guest and learned about more podcasts! Southern Lady Code is my new favorite as I mourn the coming end of the Bombshell Businesswoman.

Perfume:  Most weekdays I've been wearing  Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis  and Dirtyque's Ofresia.

Recipes: I'm honestly not sure I cooked most of the month. (Okay, cobbler was made, but the kidlets pretty much require that.) Things have been very busy. The only exception was New Years Day. We made something delicous and sweet to start the year with sweet success.  

Fruit pizza!

Super delicious and easy. 
- 1 container of crescent rolls (I get the reduced calorie kind)
- 1 jar of Nutella
- Your choice of fruit

Unroll the crescent rolls as a single sheet and bake. Allow to cool. Top with Nutella and then your favorite fruit. At our house, that's strawberries (17 loves them) and raspberries (12 loves them) plus blackberries for me. Most the rest of the house eats a combo of fruits.

Self-Care: The soap love continues. My new favorite day is "new soap day" when I open up one of the Cellar Door Bath Supply soaps. The only - tiny - criticism I have is the dark colors do make a bit of a mess in the bath. But they smell gorgeous and lather beautifully enough to double as shave cream.

The great face oil experiment continues with specific oils for evening and morning. (Sad update - no one this month mentioned thinking I'm years uounger than I am.) Every day. Here's the day and night routine:

- Day -I'm still using Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular  Anti-Wrinkle Booster Serum around the eyes. And I'm still totally Juice Beauty for the 
day. Serum, oil, eye cream, CC cream. While I like to experiment - that pretty much is my standard and it continues to serve me very well. 
Night - I've kept using  Predire Eye Care Ant-Aging Night Serum. (And reminder, I did not pay retail for it! I picked it up for about 1/10th that price on a Vegas business trip last fall.) I'm still using Little Barn Apothecary oil  plus Juice beauty nutrient cream as my skin has started to chap with the winter weather change. 

Things 12 said: We went ice skating. 12 was magnificent. I clung to the side of the rink for 5 turns. I fell 4 times and had to visit the chiropractor a few extra times the next week. But when I asked what the best part of her week was, she said ice skating - so there is that.

There was also cross-country skiing! My second time. 12 and 13 took the hills like champions, and Guy was amazing. I fell. A lot. But like life - it counts that you keep trying to get up.
- 12: How many times DID you fall?
- Me: I gave up counting after 5, Little.
- 12: You did keep getting back up.
- Me: And that is what counts in skiing and most all of life.

Side note - snow is MUCH softer than ice, if you have to fall on something. 

Watching: Tidelands which has the most gorgeous soundtrack ever. (The mythology is a touch wobbly but it's a good Netflix watch.) I caught up on Bull and Criminal Minds. And then I re-started The Americans from the beginning.  

Random: I made things! A gallery that teaches fused glass classes has opened up near me; I've taken a few classes now. Last month, ornaments. This month, pendants. 

Here they are unfired and fired. Strangely, I almost prefer the unfired. Something about the sharp edges appeal to me. 

Take-away - Your life is made up of the every day. It's the small habits that that make you or break you. Want to change? Start with one small thing and build it. And never step away from the opportunity to do something new.

PS - January 21st is the day that marks the fall of resolutions. If you need a kick to start back up, I have a digital book that can help! (Click here to read more.) 

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 Beaty 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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