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



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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



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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 HotelTonight.com - 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...




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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



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

Monday, January 21, 2019

Lessons - 2018


Each year. as the year progresses, I write things down. To learn from them. To remember them. To share them. I keep them in the Random area of my blog until the year ends. 

And then, I share them! This is that post. And I'll frame it by noting this was a heavy year with relationship changes: eldest #NotMyDaughter got married, my paternal family underwent some massive shifts in family stress, I left a professional board I'd been on for more than 10 years, and my maternal family circled the waongs on family loyalty (with me on the outside).  Wave after wave of changes. And this is what I learned from them.

  1. All relationships can be boiled down to the pronouns used and the money. (Ex:Watch what they say and how they spend their resources. It tells you a lot.)
  2. Stay curious
  3. Instead of RBF, try Resting Pleasant Face
  4. When you can't help, step back so someone else can.
  5. Everyone thinks they invented it (so no one will use your referral link.)

I took number 5 from the 2016 lessons and made a 7 Day Boot Camp digital book. Click here to check it out:



Take-away - Life is short. Make everything a little bit special. (Picture top - cake with a bit of fresh fruit brings it to another level.)



Other posts you might enjoy:

Pictures by me.


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