Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Color, A Random Post

I think about color more often than I should.  I love color. The richness. The endless variety. Blue will always be a favorite (I even have a book about the History of Blue).  Which means, of course, that I rather ravenously follow Pantone on Twitter. Did you know they tweet out a color of the day? It's almost life-changing*.

And in 2014, I had a theory about Pantone occur. I decided - based on the "evidence" - that the Pantone color team could viably be basing their choice for color of the year on the Chinese New Year. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Currently, October 2016

Books: Nothing I didn't write. (Seriously. Ego centric and so true. Not just the books I wrote but old blog posts and journal entries. Trying to wrap my brain around various thoughts and feelings.) This maybe a sad year when I read less books than months in the year. Normally it's more on par with weeks of the year.

Gratitude: Electronic help - computers that connect everything to everything and everyone (don't we live in the best age???), home appliances that make jobs faster and easier. All the non-family friends who treat me like their family.

Happy: A corn maze + movie night with kidlets; friends who emote Good-bye Earl when needed; celebrations with friends; waterfalls by night; continued partner in crime excursions - usually involving alcohol -  with Roxanne (#GirlsPintOutMichiana); tiny adventures, including concerts with the guy - basically, we are acquiring a collection of bad selfies at various concerts. (Also, why isn't it called a maize maze? So much more fun....)

Perfume: Still Pacifica. Specifically, Tunisian Jasmine Lime. With occasional forays into Paper Flower by Love + Toast. Light, quick, fun and very wearable. (I get a heartnote of the rose with dewberry very quickly which stays well.) As the weather shifts to almost autumn, I've been reaching for Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis. (Read more about my first encounter with Majalis here.)

Random: My obsession with soap is growing. I've gone long past Zum. (Hello, pound bag!) The Soapy Gnome trip a few months ago unleashed some kind of weird obsession. I'm now basically obsessed with getting my hands on a bar of Old Fort Soap, specifically Tobacco Flower.  (I did not buy it at a summer festival and have basically been obsessed ever since. The scent was fantastic!)

Stress: In August, La Gram Russe passed. There have been many family challenges as we worked through the funeral (Maria's Dream Funeral* - it was fairly pink and extremely Russian Orthodox), the additional services, the estate, etc. I have to remember kindness - for my own limited patience with their drama, for their emotional needs at this time, and - not the least - in dealing with people who made a choice long ago on how to see me. (Possibly I need one of those rubber band snapping habits to keep me focused when dealing with them.) As an imperfect human, I forget sometimes - and snap, much like a rubber band.

*PS - this is the source of the need for Good-bye Earl friends and outpouring of love from other friends. Some days love can be armor, especially against the slings and arrows of those who should love you and obviously don't understand the verb "love"  is a choice to accept  and support rather than attack. 

Take-away: Patience is precious. Are you any less worthy of patience than others? When you are patient with yourself, you have more patience for others.

Remnants of a celebration
Other posts you may enjoy:
- Message in a Bottle (2016)
Currently, July 2016
Currently, June 2016
Currently, May 2016
Currently, April 2016
Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

---As usual, all pictures by me and you can tell!---

If you like journalling, you may like my book - 52 weekly journal prompts with beautiful imagery. Seasonally grouped but you can start anywhere, anytime.

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

New Space, New Garden, New Bunnies

You may have noticed among all the havoc and mayhem in my life that we moved.  We found a nice space with a yard for the dog, a bit of garden for me and enough green for yard bunnies. Tulips and daffodils greeted us - still trying despite neglect  - which told me it was home, for a while. A sunny spot with birds told Coco and Lulu it was home, for now. And the 3 of us told Rusty he was home, again.

It's a pretty, sunlit space. Nice arched spaces, wooden floors. Relatively quiet neighborhood. Near several co-workers, so instant location information. All in all, a good space in this transitional period of our life.

The getting here was bumpy. It took months to find somewhere suitable, at the right price point, that allowed pets. The move came at a bad time with too much work, and the beloved niece was ill. It felt so overwhelming. Boxes for days. Deciding what to do with all the relics of a life I don't have any more.

Like all things, slowly the strange became normal. The new normal is a house that needs Swiffered daily as the gorgeous wooden floors attract pet fur, a lawn that needs mowed every 4 days, bunnies that visit, and a bathroom with no air conditioning. The kitties like the wide windowsills and the birds that visit the windows. Rusty is delighted to be reunited with his kitties - even though Coco is the boss of the house. It's becoming our space. I added a few plants. Bright and happy geraniums to greet me as I drive up. A few tomato plants, a pepper, some herbs in a box with my ridiculous bird ornaments in the backyard. My favorite part of having a garden is being able to run out and add a bit of fresh, delicious flavor to whatever I'm making. Even a small herb box makes such a difference in my happiness. Plus such a delicious difference to my food!

Left is a little dessert I whipped up for friends: 
- Fresh Michigan peaches (3), diced
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves (Thai globe)
Toss. Garnish with a touch more honey, cinnamon (to taste) and crushed walnuts.

This can be eaten fresh. It can be served over angel food cake, shortbread, vanilla ice cream or mango sorbet. (In our case, we took it to an outdoor music event - where serendipitously there was a food truck selling ice cream!)

The basil came out of the tiny herb-box garden. The peaches came from a roadside stand I pass on the way to work. The inspiration for the recipe came from my desire to waste not and use what's available. 

Take-away - Never forget the small things that bring you joy. Share them where possible.

Other posts you may enjoy:
The Call of Home
Winter Lights
- Avocado + Black Bean Salad
- Summer Bounty
- The Incredible Edible Egg

(Interested in more easy, tasty recipes? Check out In the Kitchen.) 

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Currently, July 2016

Books: One quick book via Kindle, Dead Deceiver by Victoria Houston. Very formulaic but fine for the day. Decision - I need more beach reading in my life! (Trip to Mexico was awesome for that.)

Gratitude: The kindness and support of friends, the bounty of summer.

Happy: A trip to the Soapy Gnome with the girl on a Goshen First Friday; excursions to movies; delivery Chinese (awesome!); a series of festivals with Roxanne, partner in crime (I always look surprised in her selfie shots...)

Perfume: Brand switch time! I left the Library of Flowers family. (Still love it - but I need a change.) I've been switching it up. Pacifica. Specifically, Tunisian Jasmine Lime.  I'd picked up a roller applicator and hand cream a few months ago - I always love hand cream and rollers are so travel friendly! After the first day of the perfume change, I stopped back over at Ulta and picked up a a full bottle.  The description says limes, jasmine and orange blossoms - but I smell something a touch musky at the end but the lime stays crisp a surprisingly long time. It exudes summer - the citrus, the jasmine. It's become my everyday staple. (Sad news - based on the clearance stickers at my Ulta, they may be discontinuing it.

Random: Fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies. Gotta love the ones that make you think! I got two great ones this month: 
- You are an angel. Beware of those who collect feathers.
- Excellent day for dusting. Start with a few old dreams.

Stress: Two this month. 1) Trying to figure out what is next. 2) And it continues to be family. And it will be for a while.

Take-away: Time only goes one way. Are you spending yours in a way you want to remember?

Other posts you may enjoy:
Currently, June 2016
Currently, May 2016
Currently, April 2016
Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

---As usual, all pictures by me and you can tell!---

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Currently, June 2016

Books: Nada. Zip. Have not even cracked one open. (Not even the one I was working on last month!) Obviously I need to spend more time on a beach!

Gratitude: Isn't this digital age amazing? Seek, find, connect; create, make, sell. All of it at our fingertips.

Happy: the covers of magazines, a gorgeous bride, summer outings with yummy food, good friends, happy pets.

Perfume: I've been switching it up. This month is still in the Library of Flowers family, Moon Shadow. (And apparently, they don't even offer it any more as it is so 2013!) Water lily, lotus, jasmine. Love. Love. Love. But... After Root last month (another 2013 scent not to be found) and the now beloved Willow + Water from the prior month - all in the same scent family, I'm just off the soft florals. Ready for something new. (I even went back to  Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis for a few cold, rainy days.) Fortunately, I've got a few sample vials to break out for next month!

Random: The girl and I have a new life goal - it involves a resort that teaches you to be a mermaid. The real question here is - can we do it in tiaras?  

Stress: It continues to be family. And it will be for a while.

Take-away: I've always said life is what you make it. Because it is. You always have a choice, even if the choice is only your attitude. And small choices lead to big life paths.

Other posts you may enjoy:
- Currently, May 2016
Currently, April 2016
Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

---As usual, all pictures by me and you can tell!---

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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Avocado and Black Bean Salad

About three years ago I concocted a recipe which fits my criteria of healthy with a side of easy. I made it often over the next few years as it was a Bunny Haven Manor East favorite. Somehow in the shuffle of closing down the original Bunny Haven Manor and moving (thrice), I lost sight of the idea of creating food - pretty, delicious, soul-nourishing food. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Currently, May 2016

Books: Continuing to slowly read My Kind of Place by Susan Orlean. No trips this month, so far, so I seem to have little time to finish it despite the bite-sized nature of the stories. 

Gratitude: Simply this girl and the animals' happiness at seeing her well again.

Happy: Excursions with friends, mini golf and beaches, the glory that is spring, when a project launches, and pizza and puppy floor picnics.

Perfume: Willow + Water (by Library of Flowers) has been pronounced fabulous by my partner in crime (Roxanne, pictured below during an excursion). La Gram Russe also declared it smelled like a version of her beloved My Sin. (I find it "My Sin Lite" - the floral bits are reminiscent but not oriental enough to truly be My Sin.) And yes, I did buy myself a bottle (and matching cream) for my birthday.

I've also been testing out Root by Library of Flowers this month. The scent family is close to Willow + Water but less floral and more green. It's a good everyday spring perfume as the weather warms a bit.

Random: I actually play dress up way more than people realize. Pink  dress, black sweater, and big hair? Elvis day. (And that's all I'm listening to all day.) Green scarf, green sweater, and Root perfume? I'm Poison Ivy. Jeans and T-shirt that says "This is my costume"? Yeah, I'm pretending to be a human adult.

Stress: Two this month 1) Time. When is there ever enough? And 2) Family. We all have that one relative, right?

Take-away - Sometimes you need to remember that life is what you make it. Make it memorable, make it joyful, make it yours.

Other posts you may enjoy:
Currently, April 2016
Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

---As usual, all pictures by me and you can tell!---

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Message in a Bottle

I do not write because I have all the answers. I write because I have questions. I write because it is how I think.

More interestingly, sometimes the act of asking the question creates an answer, like a message in a bottle from the universe.

I recently used the the image at the left as a small promotion for my journaling prompts book. It seemed a good thought on a sad day for me. I felt the need for a little kindness.  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Currently, April 2016

Books: Finished off A Star Called Henry. (A very Dublin book). Pulled from the reading shelf a long-waiting book (2004!) to kill time with during my trip to Minneapolis, My Kind of Place by Susan Orlean. It's more observations on a place than a travel book - and I like that about it.

Gratitude: Springtime, doctors who pay attention, medical miracles, the mending health of beloved niece, and every single kind soul who sent a prayer, a good thought or positive energy our way (we know it made the difference; thank you!).

Happy: Rizzoli & Isles, tiny sprouts in the yard and buds on the trees, the friendly people of Minneapolis (and thanks for the "sha hey hollar damn"!), and the return of Rusty the Wonder Dog. 

Perfume: Discovered Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis is perfect for a cold wet spring day. Still enjoying the Library of Flowers exploration. I maintain their Kirimashi Air is the perfect travel perfume - lingers near but not so much sillage that your fellow travelers must endure it. This month's Library of Flowers try vial - Willow & Water  - is  a fantastic combination of luscious white flowers and greens. It's perfect for spring, and I love it enough I'm probably getting myself a full bottle for my birthday.

Random: Lack of laundry facility at (otherwise cool) new space means early Sunday AM trip to the laundry mat. If I get there early enough, I listen to several people pray for the famous people they perceived as "good" people.

  • Wouldn't it be nice if we did more of this for regular people?
  • Prayer is energy. Ever wonder if why people are propelled to success is the power of the energy behind them? (Kind of had a flashback to Stargate's last 2 seasons - and if you caught the reference, you might be a geek.) 

Stress: Moving. Oyi. It was a week at the beginning of the month. Hopefully it's worth it.

Take-away - It has been a roller coaster month. And somedays, the whole trick is just hanging on.

**Photos by me - and yes, you can tell :-) **

Other posts you may enjoy:

- Currently, March 2016
Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Eyes Have It

As mentioned, I've been trying new things. (This will never be a beauty blog. But I'm still a serial sharer.) I've been in a bit of a rut, eye-make-up-wise. Also, in the month I didn't wear eye make-up, post-lasik surgery last year, I got a bit out of practice. It just seemed like so much bother. I wanted easy. Crayon stick easy and good for my skin - but not crayola like Mimi (Drew Carey Show)!

Enter, Vapour Organic Beauty. Another natural, US-made make-up brand? OOH, yes please! Hello Vapour Beauty with your gorgeous packaging!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Currently, March 2016

Books: A Star Called Henry by Doyle. Another Dublin novel. It seems to be my theme of late - they are a genre onto themselves. (I also handed off to one of the nieces Gail Carriger's Finishing School series - she immediate began devouring with delight.) 

Gratitude: Shared interests; sensitive skin laundry detergent; springtime flowers brightening up the world; new perfumes; and the lure of new spaces.

Happy: Got a few new dresses for work! (Following Rule #10 about only buying clothes that make you want to do a small dance.) Spring Easter sale - this is my second year hitting it and I think it's about to become an annual event. Shopping in person was more tiring but more successful than my Stitch Fix experiment - probably for the same reason, trying on lots more stuff.

Perfume: Still finishing finishing out Passiflora by Nest because it's still winter-dry out and I love the accompanying hand cream. This month was for playing with new perfumes, starting with Forget-Me-Not  from the Library of Flowers, (Kirimashi Air by the Library of Flowers remains in the rotation as a light day splash, but I'm hoarding it a bit for my upcoming travels - as mentioned, I think it's the perfect light travel perfume.) 

A few Sundays ago I was hugged at church and told I smelled lovely - I had on Forget-Me-Not! It's a delicate floral with a white orchid heart and an osmanthus start. If you don't know what osmanthus smells like - you are not alone, I had to look it up! The description is of a delicate fruity-leather, which I agree with - it gives depth to the floral notes. Truth? I may just be in love with Chinese flowers - but osmanthus will never replace my beloved peony as my favorite flower.

Random: I'm just going to say it. It's Not Your Father's Ginger Ale is less good (by far) than It's Not Your Father's Root Beer.

Stress: Moving. Need I say more?

Take-away - Things fall into place when they should, but you have to have the framework in place. Build the frame.

**Photos by me - and yes, you can tell :-) **

Other posts you may enjoy:

Currently, February 2016
Currently, January 2016

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Call of Home

Home may be a state of mind, but it's also a physical space. A place to be surrounded by what you love and be with who you love.  

And what I've discovered over the last few months is looking for a new space is challenging. (Sometimes beyond challenging.) The space I temporarily picked is less than optimal and lacks a garden. Clearly, this won't do for a long-term option. I have a list of what a space MUST have, none of which I ever thought to be difficult:
  • A yard for the puppy*, my garden bits, and the garden bunnies to frolic in 
  • A space for my books
  • A kitchen to cook in

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Scents and Sensibility

I've been on a "bit of a tear" for the last 6 or 8 months. Restless. Craving something different. New things. Which meant, of course it is time for a bit of perfume exploration! I started small, ordering a few samples for DSH Perfumes over the summer. And discovered that is not a line of perfume which suits me.

Just before the winter season changed everything, I ordered a few new perfumes, mostly sample sizes of new-to-me scents, from one of my favorite web sources, BeautyHabit. I like to think of perfume as a fragrance garden since I'm between garden spaces; even it weren't winter where only witch hazel and hellebore are possible, a Midwestern winter garden is a barren place.

Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 Books

Things have been hectic. But that seems to be the pace of things now, frantic. I guess we adjust; we learn to run faster. Oddly, I picked books to start this month which are set in the past rather than hectic present. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Currently, February 2016

Books: I finished Reading in the Dark by Deane (on a plane back from Las Vegas). I started A Star Called Henry by Doyle. (I seem to be in an Irish literature phase, perhaps due to the impending St. Patrick's Day...) Plus, I finished a few small creation projects. Here's one: 

Gratitude: Emotional support from unexpected sources; tiny white lights on snow-covered trees; fabulous friends; serendipitous travel; and good company for dinner.

Perfume: I've been finishing out Passiflora by Nest, mostly because it's got a matching hand cream and winter wreaks havoc on my dry skin. In addition to the previously mentioned American-made, small batch favorite Library of Flowers, True Vanilla (full of the hallmark warm scents of winter), I've discovered the perfect travel perfume, also  from the Library of Flowers, Kirimashi Air. It's lovely and light without being overwhelming to the others packed like sardines in the plane. (Nothing worse than a heavy oriental fragrance, that you are not wearing, in a small space.) It's supposed to be white tea, bamboo and orchid petals. What I get from it is a combination of pepper and a powdery floral. 

Random: There is magic in the earth, in growing things. Being too far from this magic - in structures of dead trees, stone and glass - perhaps it changes your view. Perhaps you lose sight of what's real.

Stress: Finding a new space. Ugh. This was supposed to be easier.

Take-away - Growth is never without pain. Pain doesn't change the need to grow. 

Other posts you may enjoy:

- Currently, January 2016

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Stitch in Time

I hate shopping. Seriously. Unless it is for shoes or furniture or books, I don't like it. Which means clothes shopping is one of my least favorite activities. Recently I discovered a service - at a great price point - which will shop for you! Heaven!

This is what happened when I tried Stitch Fix. (And yes, chalk this one up to serial sharing as well.) 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lessons - 2015

Life's about change and nothing ever stays the same. Truth.  Life's also about lessons. This is what I learned in 2015:
  1. Receive gratefully. It tells the universe you are ready for gifts (aka opportunities).
    • Take that cup of coffee if someone offers it. Say thank you. By not doing so, you are depriving other people of the gift of giving. People like to give. It's part of how we show care as humans.
  2. Being grateful (having a grateful heart) doesn't mean you can't want more.
    • Wanting more doesn't negate your gratitude. It means you accept the universe has more to offer. The universe is infinite, so there is certainly more available. 
  3. Reflect. You may notice a pattern of positivity you've missed before.
  4. It's okay to take your time being sad, just don't wallow - you'll miss opportunities.
"Learned" may be too strong a word for how the year unfolded. It's more like I was reminded of these essential life truths as I was ready to hear them.

Take-away - Who you are is largely part of what you've learned, and it's never too late to learn who you really are.

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    Sunday, February 7, 2016

    Vegas in the Winter

    Recently I spent a few days in Las Vegas on business. Despite the rain and chilly weather, it re-affirmed my love for multiple word cities that start with 3 letters: New Orleans, Las Vegas, etc...

    I stayed at the beautiful Four Seasons, right on the strip. My first time at that particular Las Vegas property. (I used to go to Vegas on business regularly and have stayed at a number of Las Vegas hotels over the years.) It didn't take long for me to decide I quite like the Four Seasons and would love to stay there whenever possible. The question now, how can I make it more possible?

    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

    Currently, January 2016

    Every year I try something different in this space. (Life's about change.
    Image credit: Unsplash
    • In 2014, I added books. 
    • In 2015, I added recipes and then a touch of random beauty tidbits (serial sharer in the house!)
    •  For 2016, I'm adding a monthly catch-up post. 
    Welcome to my current obsessions and random observations - Stardate: January 2016

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Coming Clean

    Bunny Haven Manor is still not a beauty blog, but I am still a serial sharer. And over the last few months, as things in my world have changed, I've been in the mood to try new things, to expand horizons. So, I'll be sharing what I try - along with the usual books, recipes and random.

    One of the shake-ups has been in my skin care routine. I've been a faithful fan of DHC Care for years as my cleanser, but it's a Japanese brand. I'm a huge fan of American brands, in all things. When I came across a similar style of product to what I was using which was both all-natural and American-made? Color me SOLD!

    Meet Thesis Beauty.

    Sunday, January 3, 2016

    Winter Lights

    Image via Unsplash.com
    Winter just isn't my season. To me, winter is darkness and silence. I try to enjoy the elements of the season  - bad ice skating, snowball fights, the stark beauty, but winter is rarely something I enjoy. It is stillness and too much space to think about what might have been. Sometime in January, I usually remember to let in the light.

    This year has been different. The winter season was late; and the darkness came from my choice not to accept what was unacceptable.