Saturday, September 29, 2018

Musings - September 2018

Good-bye September! You were a pretty good month.

Books: It was a good month for reading, due in part to a business trip to Nashville. (Which also means an airport bookstore. We know this is my Kryptonite. I used moderation. Only 3 new books. Amazing!) It is also the month my Quotle app died, so I'll start including any quotes I like in On The Shelf area of the blog. Enjoy!

I did manage to finish handful of books over the month:
- The Mermaid by Christina Henry - this was a good read. Nice for a beach!
- What She Ate by Laura Shapiro - this was a lovely series of short stories. Recommend! (And already passed to a friend to share.)
- The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett which was a bit boring for a grown up. I read it to check if 11 might like - I suspect she would not. 

Gratitude: Machines, specifically dish and wash. (Seriously.) Love notes left on doors. Guy and what appears to be his never-ending patience. Kittens, purr-monsters who like to cuddle at night. (And fight with each other). Breakfast with friends.

Listening: Dave Ramsey podcasts. All the podcasts. Chalene Johnson's podcast. And I've finally trained Pandora to only play things I love - Halsey, Carly, Sting, etc. To keep this from being a rut, I've created a new Pandora channel with only music with the word BLUE in it - song title, band name, etc. Results are ...interesting.

Perfume: Sing a small sad song. Finally managed to finish off that rather large bottle Paper Flowers from Love + Toast. Happy dance as I opened something new - Diptyque's Ofresia. It's supposed to reminiscent of a garden, so it's a nice transition into fall (for me) because I miss the dwindling flowers in fall. And apparently, based on this and Les Perfumes de Rosine Majalis, I like French perfume.

Recipes: Nothing adventurously new this month for creation. I made a bit of this, a bit of that and a few cakes. It was kind of like a Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade kind of month:
- Due to being bored, I finally created a cake the boy (13) would eat! 1 box King Arthur's gluten free yellow cake (plus a touch of vanilla), into which I threw about 1.5 cups of frozen blueberries before baking as directed. I didn't have frosting - that was the turning point for the boy, who does not like frosting (too sweet, he says, like that is really a thing). I used the juice of 1 lemon and 2 cups of confectioners sugar to create a lemon glaze. The kidlets said it was like a cake donut. Delicious!
- Due to a birthday, I made what I like to call a "boxes and cans" cake. Box of Betty Crocker pound cake, can of raspberry pastry filling (cut the cake and put in layers), can of vanilla frosting, and a box of fresh raspberries on top. It's 11's favorite, and she requested it for her special occasion.
- Due to the garden being crazy abundant, I made zucchini patties. Which were surprisingly delicious! Equal parts zucchini and King Arthur's gluten free flour - about 2 cups of each in this case.(Grate the zucchini and let it sit on paper towels for 5 minutes with salt to get moisture out.) A bit of salt, pepper, grated onion, a pinch of baking powder and  double pinch of baking soda. I used 3 eggs to keep make it mix. Fry in a bit of oil (olive) flipping often. I served them with spicy ketchup and with curried Indian sauce. Both delicious!

Self-Care: Last month I mentioned my slight soap obsession (hello, Villainess Soaps). Well, I opened up the full sizes - starting with Pearl Diver (pictured). It was a lovely, creamy lather and I loved the bits of Irish Moss + Kelp. While the generous sample packet they sent made me feel pretty happy in my purchase, now I feel very much justified in the extravagant soap purchase!

And this month I decided to try face oils on a schedule. (I tend to just try whatever I feel like that day.) Specific oils for evening and morning. Every day. For the month. I grouped them in the photo above:
- Physician's Formula oil + TonyMoly Green Tea Lotion (both grocery store bargains)
- Little Barn Apothecary oil + a bargain bought Lumene Vitamin C night cream

I think my skin looks better - eye crinkles a bit less, the couple of dark spots on my forehead and darker skin around the mouth lighter.  But no one raved about seeing a big difference. (No one who knows me. I did have a dermatologist that I just met in a social setting be shocked at my age.) So as I keep trying things, that will be the "yard stick" - if people who know me notice the skin in a positive way. (Yes, I'm still a serial sharer.)

Apparently September is National Self Care month - so don't forget to take care of you. And if you need a kick- start your self-care, click here to check out my ebook on doing just that.

Things 11 said:
Me - You can't count on being cute to get what you want. Someday you won't be cute.
11 - But that day is NOT today.

One Sunday, she also make an Kitten Inn. Please note, it has a 5 star rating - probably due to the grooming salon. 

This month is her birthday. Henceforth, she will be known as 12!

Watching: Agent Carter. Yep, I do themes. I rolled on from last month's Agent X to Agent Carter. Then onto the next season of The Blacklist. And now on to The 100, at 11's request. 

Random: I need to get the dog re-trained. He has taken to pottying on the floor, specific location.  At first in protest of kittens. Then they got ginormous (both 7 lbs now!) and stopped being in that space. But now, he seems to think that is okay. It is so not....

I was almost famous in Nashville. I stayed where Reba McEntire lunched a few months ago and where - apparently - Drake was staying.  I danced at Blake Sheldon's bar - and just missed seeing him leave his car (rest of my group noticed him, I spaced.) 

As we head into the holidays, I'm going to take some time to talk with someone because "family" time like that can be stressful for those of us with less than loving families of origin. (As I've written, I do that to help keep my perspective.) This month, I've had a few family run-ins that mean the next few months will be trying. 

Take-away - Never forget to count your blessings. Remembering them will keep you from falling into the trap of thinking your life has "lack".

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

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

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