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 Gumrood 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.



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


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Sunday, November 15, 2020

November - Week 2 - 2020

They never tell you that starting over is stressful and messy and upheaval - emotionally and physically.  It's all  "fresh start" and "you can create the life you want". I call B-U-L-L! It's lonely. And it's hard. And what you need to do NEXT, because it's everything from changing your drivers license to all your bank info and then all the house projects* can seem super freaking overwhelming. 

This is the 3rd time I've started over in this space. I was broken the 1st time after the divorce. The 2nd time I was very angry at what I'd allowed in my life. This is different in that I'm not broken or angry. I'm simply ready for a positive change. It doesn't make the starting over easier in what needs to be done, which can be overwhelming.

Remember to breathe. Read a nonsense book. Order pizza in. Be okay with unpacking 1 box that day - or none. Try to get 1 important task done. Give yourself the time and space to heal, to dream a new dream.

Book: Light reading only! 

- Never Been Hexed  by Christine Zane Thomas (Kindle Unlimited) Where-in the heroine spends too much time doing nothing and the actual villain is muddled.  (This is book 2. I keep thinking the next will be better.)

- Hex After Forty and That Good Hex by M.J. Caan (Kindle Unlimited) Which is an interesting take on not to scary paranormal world. Also, these don't grab you by the character and hold on. 

- Burn Brightly by Patricia Briggs (actual book) Which is part of my favorite Alpha and Omega series. I love these. They make me happy.

Cooking: Expect less recipes until I find people to cook for. Left to just me - I make a lot of eggs and spaghetti. With sides of Chinese food and pizza. (No worries. Just go to my recipe page.)

But, I am trying HungryRoot for a few weeks because they offer quick meal prep. Quick is my new speed. (Make eggs. Order pizza. Only "fast" food right now.)

Gardening: I had the gutters cleaned. It's the wrong time to put in anything but bulbs and my new yard will be undergoing changes next year. (Apparently the city is taking up the sidewalks.....) 

Gratitude: Fantastic friends who make their husbands change your turn signal bulb, in the rain. Local service businesses. 

Friends who send you decadent soaps and oils.



 Friends who help you paint numbers on your new mailbox. 


House repair: Bought a pane of glass for the garage and caulked it in. Not perfect but it won't let the snow in the garage any more. (This is added to - having the locks changed because people should not need a key to get OUT, and having the gutters cleaned.)

*Thinking I should set up a Go Fund Me for the house since I have vent cleaning and electrical work scheduled next week. I also blew out the porch light, which is basically unchangeable. Who knows what the following week will bring?

Listening: A podcast about Abundance. (House repairs.) A lot of Sting and Adele - because 1 name English people.

Picture of the week: My new Bambi friend! She comes in the afternoons.



Watching: All of Veronica Mars season 4. I kind of have a thing for Logan's character. (I love how he loves Veronica. It's probably obsessive and not emotionally balanced. I find it attractive.) And I'm not okay with how Season 4 ends.


Wearing Against the Skin

Perfume

Imaginary Authors

- Every Storm a Serenade - Scent notes: Danish Spruce, Eucalyptus, Vetiver, Calone, Ambergris, Baltic Sea Mist. I adore this scent. It is what I imagine a selkie would smell like. (I also love the name.) It makes me feel magical. I finished off the tiny sample and would buy again.

Sucreabeille

- Xanadu - Scent notes: fragrant white tea, grated ginger, saffron, a field of lavender swaying in a cool breeze, carrot seed oil, damp pine needles. This is a delicious warm kind of scent - it's the ginger. It lingers nicely on the skin - except this week. I had on too many layers and it was coolish. This isn't a scent that drifts up in cold weather. It defuses in the heat. It's made for tropic climates. I finished my bottle. Would buy again.

- 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.

- Lady SwearsScent notes: Bourbon, Tahitian Vanilla, Lemon.  I decided this is pretty much my signature scent and ordered a bottle! The sillage is gorgeous and now that this has rested dries down to an almost incense like scent for me. It still works beautifully with the change in seasons

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. 

- Night time - 1st cleanse - Lovinah's Dragon's Blood DHA Cleansing oil as first cleanse or the 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm. (Change in season has made my skin extra dry.)  . 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.

Random

Pro-tip. If your very busy, introverted friend made plans with you, they have likely re-arranged their entire schedule and moved other appointments to be there. You may be their only non-business contact of the week. Think about that before you cancel.

Also, when you break up, its only polite to return the other person's things. Especially if you know they did not intend to leave them.


Take-away - You can let delays get in your way. Or you can accept that you don't always control the timing and things happen in their own time. Acceptance is an interesting thing to practice.


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Sunday, November 8, 2020

October 2020-

My friends it was a month. But the welcome mat is out.


Books: I read a little, towards the end of the month, after things settled to cope.

- Spellcasting with a chance of Spirits by Mandy M. Roth was a Kindle Unlimited disappointment.  Jumped in in the middle and limited character development.

- Five Card Fae by Annabel Chase was a nice Kindle Unlimited development in the series. I really like where this is going.

 - Midlife Curses by Christine Zane Thomas as again Kindle Unlimited adventure into a new reality. Interesting. We'll see how it develops.

- Witching for Joy by Deanna Chase was again Kindle Unlimited and what the hell is it about the 3rd book of the series being a jump in with zero development of how it got there?

- Playing with Fury by Annabel Chase was another Kindle Unlimited enjoyable romp.

Cooking: People. I broke up. I moved. There was no cooking. The local pizza place is on speed-dial. I can recommend Mason's in Nashville. Great flatbread and old fashioneds.


Gratitude: Very awesome friends who bring you champagne when you start a new life, and help you find the right people to work on your new space. Margeritas. Nashville (both of them) and unexpected finds. Road trips and SUVs.


Gardening: I put bulbs in at the new house. I want spring to look like my house. It also came with window boxes! (They need a little upkeep.) 


Listening: One of my friends has a podcast called Getting Out of Your Head And Taking Action. And I binged all of it! (Episode 21 and 16 are my favorite.) Driving is the best time to binge-listen. There was some quiet Pandora. 


Watching: Schitt$ Creek dropped a new season on Netflix. Shut the door! And let's talk about how much Burn Notice I watched. (Ridiculous amount. And Fiona's eyebrows in Season 6 are scary.)


Wearing (Perfume and Skincare): 



Perfume
The perfume situation is no longer crazy. It's delightful. That is my final word on the matter. And it's not too much. 


Imaginary Authors
Nothing this month. 

Sucreabeille


- Xanadu - Scent notes: fragrant white tea, grated ginger, saffron, a field of lavender swaying in a cool breeze, carrot seed oil, damp pine needles. This is a delicious warm kind of scent - it's the ginger. It lingers nicely on the skin. I spent a lot of the month wanting to be elsewhere as I packed up and so this was wonderful - and I'm close to using it up.
- Sea Hag (Suffer No Fools) Scent notes: Cool rain on the fierce ocean. Petrichor, sour limes and sweet oranges. While I liked this scent, it was a little citrusy and the "rain" scent (which I love) has the unfortunate tendency to pull right off my skin. And this one I had a tiny bottle and finished it out. 
- Lady Swears Scent notes: Bourbon, Tahitian Vanilla, Lemon. The sillage is gorgeous and now that this has rested dries down to an almost incense-like scent for me. I love this so much and bought a bigger bottle.


Skincare

Now was not the time for changes! Routine is good.
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. 


- Night time - 1st cleanse - Lovinah's Dragon's Blood DHA Cleansing oil as first cleans. Delicious scent and it takes the eye make up right off. Starts oil but mixes to a lotion-like texture on the skin with water. Following with a 2nd cleanse with  with Boxwalla's June cleanser, Nini Organics' Detox Foam Cleanser - which does the powder to foam thing. So both cleansers switch texture. The Boxwalla also sent a few Votary items a few months ago - so I've been using the night oil and cream. Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.


Random: Get you some paw-paw fruit! It's smells like ripe bananas and tastes like amazing mango. And, fun fact - the skin is edible! 


Stars (Grace Potter & the Nocturnals). Long ago and far away, we meant something to each other. And this is what we have become. (But I'm glad we're done doing Throwing Stones/Paula Cole.)

I had trick-or-treaters at the new Bunny Haven. Unmasked but costumed. One little boy had Doritos and microwave popcorn (when did Halloween get so diverse?). When I commented, he sat down on my porch and showed me everything he'd received! (His favorite was a flashlight). After I exclaimed over each, he thanked me for the candy and went back to his mom. (He was maybe 5.) I'm throughly charmed.

Take-away: Grace. Are you giving yourself the grace you deserve? There is a lot going on in everyone's life right now.


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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