Friday, May 1, 2020

April Musings - 2020

The world is a different place for many of us now than it was in early March. And we are doing the best we can. Be kind to each other. Help if you can. Find the simple joys.

For me, this is also my birthday month! This was my favorite card.

Reading (Books): I did a bit of stress reading which meant I made out like a bloody bandit on Kindle Unlimited! (And I'm up to 39 books for the year)
- Blue Goldfish: Using Technology, Data and Analytics to Drive both Profits and Prophets by Stan Phelps and Evan Carroll (hard copy)
- Secrets and Alchemy by Linsey Hall
- Whisper of the Moon Moth by Lindsay Jayne Ashford
- Midlife Fairy Hunter by Shannon Mayer
- Talk Triggers by Jay Baer (hard copy)
- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (hard copy)
- Reset Your Mindset by Nicole Eckdahl
- Number 4 in Rosie O'Grady's Paranormal Bar and Grill, Well of Magic by B.R. Kingsolver
- The last two of CN Crawford's Court of the Sea Fae Trilogy, Fallen King  and Rising Queen 
- The last two of an Amy Boyles Southern Belles and Spells Matchmaker Mysteries, Magical Dames and Dating Games + Some Pig and A Mummy Dig 
- All 3 of the Newborn Pixie Cozy Mystery Books by Willow Mason

Cooking: I've made all the things. I have made things I haven't even made in a million years - chicken salad, tuna fish casserole, chicken with roasted garlic and tomatoes, pasta with asparagus and mushrooms, cornbread-topped chicken pot pie, Greek chickpea and rice salad. Chocolate Chess pie. Something about this lock-down situation has made me crave comfort food. (Reminder - I was a hard-core vegetarian for nearly 30 years. I still only rarely eat meat.)


Actually, I'm realizing I haven't shared the Greek chickpea and rice salad recipe. It's super easy and very delicious. 
- 1 can of chickpeas (15 oz) rinsed and drained
- 1 red or yellow pepper, diced
- 1 small red onion or an handful of spring onions
- Make a rice according to package (I like brown rice - 1 cup dried rice/2.25 cups of water)
- Good quality Greek (not Italian) dressing
- Red wine vinegar
- Oregano, salt and pepper

Cook rice. Dice onions and splash with red wine vinegar. Add diced pepper and the chickpeas. Add warm cooked rice and 1/2 bottle of Greek dressing to start. 1 - 2 tablespoons of oregano, a dash or salt and pepper. Mix. You may choose to add more of the dressing - just do it slowly so it doesn't get get sloppy wet. The rice will hold a good bit of dressing but there are limits.

This salad can be served warm or cold. On its own. Over a bed of lettuce or beside a bed of chicken. It will deepen in flavor over the first few hours. I like to make it in the morning for an afternoon event. It's a great summer salad because it is heat resistant and keeps for several days in the fridge.

Gratitude: Old red barns with giant yellow forsythia bushes in the corner as blue jays swoop across the sky - like all the primary crayons brought to life on a country road. To do lists to keep things simple. Good dogs. Cats who think they are dogs. Lawn bunnies - even when they eat my freaking broccoli plants! Garden centers. Flowering spring trees.

Listening: Classical channel on Apple music. Cocktails and Crooners channel on Apple Music. Nikki Rausch the Sales Maven podcast. NPR How I Built This.

Watching: Quantico seasons 2 & 3. Killed it and man, season 3 sucked. There is a reason it was short. I swear they hired all new writers who didn't know the backstory. The only good take-away is how Shelby can do damn near anything. Good role modeling. Designated Survivor Season 3.


Wearing (Perfume & Skin Care):



Perfume

Let's break it down between Sucreabeille and Imaginary Authors. (And people, I have so much perfume that I now have sleep perfume.)


Sucreabeille was a lot like last month but I killed off the first 3 on this list.
Here's the thing, F*ck Everyone! - Scent notes: Bourbon, Rich chocolate, Dark amber, touch of dirt - This one opens on the bourbon and the chocolate is lighter than some of the others in the line. Sillage is good. It will last all day.
Irish Cream - Scent notes: Irish cream, salted caramel, espresso. Decided last month that this is more of a beer perfume than red wine. The sillage is decent, 8-10 hours.
 Rictus - Scent notes: Funeral wreath of white lilies and black orchids sprinkled with a dusting of graveyard dirt. A somber wake feast of dark chocolate drenched raspberries and a shot of dark rum. - I get straight up rum and chocolate off this. After about 8 hours, I get a touch of lily. This lasts forever - like 16 hours or more on me.
- Out West - Scent notes: Gourmand swirl of honeyed chocolate with a smokey undertone of palo santo. Sandalwood, black musk, coumarin and a drop of camphor create a mysterious, dark undercurrent. It used to be the camphor hits first and I'd have a "WHAT" moment because it's got a medicinal scent. But it fades to warmth of the honeyed chocolate and sandalwood as the lingering dusky scent. (January description). Now, either the scent has shifted or my perception has. I get the honeyed chocolate and black musk right off with a later bloom of sandalwood and light touch of the musk.
We Ride at Dawn. Scent notes: Hot black tea with honey and coffee absolute to rise early, cardamom vanilla for comfort, bitter almonds for the lost, a shot of whiskey for strength. I got bitter almond with a whisper of whiskey off this right off the bat. About 5 hours in the cardamon settled in with the whiskey and almond for the ride. 8 hours sillage, easy.
- The Mountain. Scent notes: amber, a pint of oatmeal stout, pure golden honey. The biggest feeling I got off this was warmth - like a morning hearth. And then oatmeal. So much oatmeal. I ended up mixing this with a OutWest for a more rounded profile.
Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again - Scent notes: A delightfully feminine blend of lavender, vanilla, honey nectar, and a light floral aldehyde. This is a very powdery, floral that dries down even more powdery. Nice sillage.
- I Come From a Long Line of Terrifying Women - Scent notes: rosewood, whiskey, and amber, gunpowder, guiacwood, and tobacco absolute. Which just smells tobacco on me with some amber. I like it. Okay sillage. 3-5 hours. 


Imaginary Authors
Memoirs of a Trespasser - Scent notes: Madagascar Vanilla, Guaiacwood, Myrrh, Benzoin Resin, Ambrette Seeds, Oak Barrels. The benzoin in this line is the first thing that always hits me. After that, it was the myrrh and the amberette seeds. It settled down to a vanilla with guaiacwood.  I got about 3 hours of sillage off it with a lingering hint at 5 hours. 



Skincare

Day time - Oh, time to finish things out! The Mad Hippie's Vitamin C Serum. (Definite re-purchase). I won't be buying the FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer again. It was fine but I noticed my skin doesn't glow with it. My skin does glow with the Lepaar Luminous Beauty Balm/ Moisture Lock + Stress Recovery (December 2019 Boxwalla Box). All my favorite products make my skin glow! Still trying to keep the eye creases at bay with the 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream. 


Night time - Nearly the same as last month, after cleansing with my favorite 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm and DHC Face Wash, and then gently daubing on 100% Pure night eye cream, The change is in what comes next. I've been alternating between 1) the African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October 2019 Boxwalla box) all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil or 2) the Lepaar Balm. (I did stray 2 nights and try Votary Super Seed Nutrient Cream (February 2020 Boxwalla box). The Super Seed cream is very emollient and just sinks into the skin. Can't wait to use it more often!)

Things 13 Says: I was describing something difficult for most people, drawing hands. Her answer was "They weren't that hard for me. I just looked at my hands and was like 'I'mma draw this'." And that, my friends, is why she will end up a life coach. Because how often do we let the drama in our heads and all the self-imposed restrictions stop or limit us? We should just DO things!

Random: Dyeing my own hair is not one of my strong suits, and I really miss pedicures. I also had to bathe the dog myself and I'm out of practice. Also it was very weird for the kidlets to be gone for a whole month.

Who else has a list of things they have bought due to Shark Tank? Brazi balls. The Fit Board. Neuro gum.  It's a whole new level of "As Seen on TV"!

Take-away: It may be true that everyone you meet is fighting a war you can not see and you don't know what their struggles are. But no one says you have to be their target practice!


PS - Need a creative spark revived? Going crazy during Covid and wanting to journal?  This FREE ebook is for you. 2 journal prompts a day. 1 great quote per day + 1  gorgeous image. 




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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Saturday, April 18, 2020

2019 - What I learned

This is late! But 2019 was a challenging year. Especially the last few months. (Although beautiful too. I still owe you all a post from our amazing Belize trip. Maybe this covid shut-down is a good time to dream about far-away shores.) Here's the 5 things I took away from 2019.

  1. Life can look impossible but then it unfolds, and it is awesome. You have to believe in the impossible is possible.
  2. No matter how cute, never never never buy sheets that are not cotton (or at least bamboo). 
  3. No one is going to use your referral code - even if it would help them. (Click here for mine.)
  4. If people habitually treat you like an after-thought, it's okay to let them be in your rearview mirror - even if they are "family". (Click here for the story.) Because Oprah was right - the first time people show you who they are, believe them.
  5. Other people do not see you as you see yourself and that's okay. Just don't let them make you forget yourself.

If you'd like to see what I learned at other points: lessons in 2018,  lessons in 2017, lessons in 2016 , lessons in 2015 or learn about the rules. 



Other posts you might enjoy:

Pictures by me.


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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March Musings - 2020

Hello! Virtual hugs to all. It's been a troublesome month!

And I did what I do when stressed. I got plants. Broccoli plants. Strawberry plants. Columbine and peony plants to ward off deer. Seeds for beets, carrots and lettuce. All of these do well in early spring and made me feel productive.

(I also had to bring office plants home - see below - and wow that was a cat-sized challenge!)

Right now, I'm about making changes that work for me. Doing what works for me and simplifying every damned thing. So, there is a shake up in the topics!

Reading (Books): Let the trumpets sound! I finally killed off that book of Irish fairytales I've been dragging around forever! (As one friend said, "It did not capture your imagination." No, it did not.) And I gave it away, so you won't be seeing photos of that cover in the book line-up any more! I also binged a new book and read useful things.
- Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by WB Yeats (editor)
- Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs
- The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines
- The Checklist Book by Alexandra Franzen

Cooking: March is a birthday month, so there were pies. Raspberry and chocolate chess. (They seem to have gone over well.) Then a request for berry cobbler.

And then, the limited contact of coronavirus kicked in and we just kind of ate whatever was in the pantry.

Gratitude: Good health. Kitten snuggles. Hugs. Friends who get tickets to cool things. Streaming services. Mail. Couch snuggles. Grocery stores trying their damned best. (Seriously. Say thank you.) Early spring gardens.

Listening: Hello Seven podcast. Classical channel on Apple music. Cocktails and Crooners channel on Apple Music. Dave Ramsey podcast. Secrets of Wealthy Women WSJ podcast. 

Watching: Good Girls. (All caught up with the current season!) Full first season of Blood & Treasure. (The girls in this have real fight scenes!)  Quantico , Season 1.

Wearing (Perfume & Skin Care):


Perfume

People. I now speak in scent thanks to Sucreabeille. Go ahead... ask what I'm wearing!

- Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again - Scent notes: A delightfully feminine blend of lavender, vanilla, honey nectar, and a light floral aldehyde. - This is a very powdery, floral that dries down even more powdery. Nice sillage.
- Here's the thing, F*ck Everyone! - Scent notes: Bourbon, Rich chocolate, Dark amber, touch of dirt - I'm trying to figure out why so many of the scents have dirt in them... This one opens on the bourbon and the chocolate is lighter than some of the others in the line. Sillage is good but not extraordinary. 
- Rictus - Scent notes:  funeral wreath of white lilies and black orchids sprinkled with a dusting of graveyard dirt. A somber wake feast of dark chocolate drenched raspberries and a shot of dark rum. - I get straight up rum and chocolate off this. After about 8 hours, I get a touch of lily. This lasts forever - like 16 hours or more on me.
- Irish Cream - Scent notes: Irish cream, salted caramel, espresso. Decided this is more of a beer perfume than red wine. The sillage is decent, 8-10 hours.
- Xanadu - Scent notes: fragrant white tea, grated ginger, saffron, a field of lavender swaying in a cool breeze, carrot seed oil, damp pine needles.I LOVE this one. The ginger makes it feel warm on the skin and gives it a clean spice sent. The pine needles is the tiniest bit medicinal - as is the lavender. The sad thing is that sillage is low on this - less than 3 hours on the skin for me and then drifts off.
- We Ride at Dawn. Scent notes: Hot black tea with honey and coffee absolute to rise early, cardamom vanilla for comfort, bitter almonds for the lost, a shot of whiskey for strength. I got bitter almond with a whisper of whiskey off this right off the bat. About 5 hours in the cardamon settled in with the whiskey and almond for the ride. 8 hours sillage, easy.

(So sad that this Firefly scent is discontinued because I think this is my signature scent... I Can Kill You With My Brain: Amber, Tahitian vanilla, smoked patchouli, English rose, wild rose.)


Skin care
Day time - using  Mad Hippie's Vitamin C Serum then 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream and then top it off with FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair Daily Moisturizer from the April 2019 box. 

Night time - After cleansing with my favorite 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm and DHC Face Wash, and then gently daubing on 100% Pure night eye cream, I've been using the African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October Boxwalla box) all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil. Winter is finishing out and my skin needs the extra moisture. Sometimes if we have to go out for the dog in the early morning, I'll do a rosewater spritz and then Bloom Oil on the corners of the eyes.

And let's have an update about the FlowerSpice Soothe and Repair. It's nice...but with daily use I have noticed that my skin gets "hot" (red spots at the forehead and splotchy cheeks) if I use it morning and night. It actually does best for me if I only use it once every other day. Then, somehow, my skin finds it comforting.

Also, no one thought I was 15 years younger. But I did get hit on a lot the week before lockdown. 

Random: I had a minor health scare that require a few in-office doctor procedures. Never underestimate the value of having someone to take you to that kind of thing; and, by all means, get your regular check-ups and catch stuff early! As a result of some of my clarity around that, I also took a new job. I'd been at my prior job for 7 years so that was a big change! This will also shift my stress. I had political and social stress at the prior position due to a misalignment with the culture (I think women should be in leadership, they didn't). Now I just have the stress of learning a new product line and audience!

I made a scarf for Isy (22) and forgot to document it with a photo. So I guess that didn't happen! 

Also, Roxanne and I went to a super fun Women's Expo (early March, before we all knew to self-isolate). We did all the things. We got fitted for bras. (I wasn't even close on the size I was wearing!) She got her hair styled. We made candles. We made perfume (mine is Jade, Rain, Fig)! We decided we might join the roller derby. All in the space of just a few hours! (And then we went to Trader Joe's because that place has the foodz.)

Take-away - Only connect. (EM Forester). Don't forget that in this time of troubles. And be kind because it matters now more than ever.



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



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

Sunday, February 2, 2020

February Musings - 2020

I'm late, I'm late, I'm late! For a very important date - posting day! So sorry! Very very frazzled month (and more of the same so far in March.) But here's a run-down of February, which was quite the bookish and perfume-y month.

PS - I still love you. 
Books: I had some work travel, which usually means some reading but got off to a slow start. Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz was enjoyable in the way of its genre but not a page burner. I've been meandering through - and taking notes -  on Marketing to the Entitled Consumer by Nick Worth and Dave Frankland. If you are in business, this has now hit my "must read" list to make you think different about how you are handling consumers. Every business and every manager in every business should read this book.

Then, around February 20th, I just started r-e-a-d-i-n-g. (It's how I cope with stress).
- The Elegant Warrior by Heather Hansen (it's okay)
- Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy (a good beach read)
- Queen of the Light by Linsey Hall (did not love Claire's series as much as some of the others, possibly due to brevity.)
- When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O'Neal (recommend)
- Hell Hath No Fury by Annabel Chase (beach read)
- The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O'Neal (it was fine)
- Love Spells & Late Fees by Elle Adams (it was okay)
- Grave Magic Bounty by Shannon Mayer (recommend)
- The Housewife Assassin's Guide to Gracious Killing by Josie Brown (beach read)
- The Housewife Assassin's Killer Christmas Tips by Josie Brown (beach read)
Kindle Unlimited is the bomb. And I totally got my money's worth in February!

Cooking: Nope. Gone too much.Reading too much.

Gratitude: Kitties. (The warm snuggles in winter are the best!) Perfume samples. Any samples! Sautéed spinach with quinoa, peas and dried cherries - weirdly exquisite. Modern medicine. Art days and cupcakes.

Listening: So much Dave Ramsey. And Apple Music has genres! I'm partial to Cocktails & Crooners. I find it very non-stressful and easy to listen to as I get ready.

Perfume: My love for Sucreabeille continues. As I mentioned last month, I did order the tiny samples in a ridiculous quantity of 10 to which they added 5. (Special that month that included free shipping. It was great.) More on that in March. I've mostly been rocking the Frozen Moon and Don't Get Murdered - Stay Sexy from last month.

I also ordered a sampler set of 8 - to which they included 2 extra! - from Imaginary Authors. I've been trying 1 scent a weekend or so. This is the order in which I've tried them....
- A City on Fire. Notes: Cade oil, Spikenard, Cardamom,   Clearwood, Dark Berries, Labdanum, Burnt Match. This smelled like a city on fire. Really. Smoke everywhere. If you know a firefighter, don't wear this around them.
- SunDrunk. Notes: Neroli, Rhubarb, Honeysuckle, Rose Water, Orange Zest, First Kiss. This smells like citrus and summer in the best possible way. It was like a shot of summer sunshine on a winter day. (I would buy this one.)
- Slow Explosions. Notes: Saffron, Rose Absolute, Leather,   Apple, Benzoin, Cashmeran, Arpora Night Market. For me, this had decent sillage but opened on benzoin with apple and closed on a leather note. It was quite masculine. I read a review that called it an oriental but I'm not sure that person knew what "oriental" means in perfume.
- Every Storm a Serenade. Notes: Danish Spruce, Eucalyptus, Vetiver, Calone, Ambergris, Baltic Sea Mist. I think it's the vetiver but I loved this. It's airy and really is reminiscent of the sea. I had no specific open or base notes - it smelled, the entire time I wore it, whole. Again, the sillage is less than awesome. (I would buy this one.)

Here's my next Sucreabeille wish buy. Glitter Trash. What Fresh Hell Is This. (This names make me laugh until I cry, in the best way!.)

Random: Florida birds are loud! And they love a water hazard.


Also, I made a scarf for 20. 

Self-Care: OMG all the indulgences! My friend Roxanne and I went to a local spa to tryout their infrared sauna. ($30 for the anti-aging + $5 bump for brining a friend. Very budget friendly.) 

And then, the very next week, Israel (22) and I went to a girl day at a fancy hotel spa - brunch, massages, facials, manis and pedis. This place was great - you get access to their sauna and fancy spa shower as part of the deal, which I did not know. I plan on doing massage and facials there again. (Note: this was less budget friendly, but one can plan for indulgences.)

Watching: The Witcher. (Which, PS - Geralt of Rivia and I are both Logisticians according to the  16 personality types test. Specifically I'm an ISTJ-T) The October Faction. Basically, I got my value from Netflix this month via bingeing.

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


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

January Musings - 2020

Fresh year. Fresh start. Time to shake out a few changes.

Books: I like to start the year with a book to set the tone for the year. (Last year it was LaRae Quy's Mental Toughness for Women Leaders.) For 2020, it was Marianne Williamson's The Law of Divine Compensation

Kindle Unlimited rocks. Favorite author Linsey Hall has opened a new series, The Forbidden Fae. I started with Crown of Fire (Book 1) and Fate of Fire (Book 2). I also picked up Witch Way to Death & Destruction by Jane Hinchey. Unexpectedly enjoyed What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon more than I thought I would.  

Goal this year is 104 books. Standard tracking on Good Reads. Counting the audio books (noted below), I'm at 8.

Cooking: Well, I made Frozen Fruit Cobbler several times. And enchiladas. Favorite sauce recipe from Fast, Fresh and Spicy Vegetarian Cooking. (Best new filler was a rice, black bean and olive stuffing. Quite good.)


Gratitude: Change is a mindset. Nice candles. Good skin care. Desk flowers. Sweet, purry cats. Friends who are good photographers. Mail delivery. Good news. Bunny tracks in the snow.

Listening: Dave Ramsey podcast. I got an Audible trial and listened to the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.  Also Trevor Noah's book, Born a Crim. And Faith Hunter's Junkyard Cats which was surprisingly engaging.  Not thinking audio books are my thing. I get bored of them.

Perfume: I got bored. I could not exist with just the scents I had - Library of Flowers' Willow & Water in solid perfume and spray, the tiniest bit of Strange Invisible Perfume's Magazine Street, and essential oil roller of Honeycomb to match my favorite ZuriBella lotion. Especially since the Magazine Street had turned to a weird diesel sent base. I think the temperature change of travel was bad for it. 

Find of the month -new perfume company! Sucreabeille. And they offered a sampler kit! You know I ordered it. (I was a little bit conservative as I only ordered a sample of 5 as I could've ordered 15...And, I may have, late in the month when I discovered the small sized option.) But, here are the larger sized I originally ordered before I found the minis. 

  • Stay SexyScent notes: Tahitian vanilla, rich honey, fresh grapefruit
    • This has beautiful holding. The grapefruit and vanilla fades off pretty quickly and the sweet honey lingers.
  • I come from a Long Line of Terrifying Women Scent notes: A swirl of rosewood, whiskey, and amber, with a sprinkle of gunpowder, a drop of guiac wood, and tobacco absolute.
    • I love this one. It's more feminine than it sounds.
  • Frozen Moon Scent notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow.
    • The sugar plums are a bit like raspberry and sweetness. That's the lingering scent. The frost of a crisp winter evening is the top note.
  • Out WestScent notes: a gourmand swirl of honeyed chocolate with a smokey undertone of palo santo. Sandalwood, black musk, coumarin and a drop of camphor create a mysterious, dark undercurrent
    • The camphor hits first and you have a "WHAT" moment because it's got a medicinal scent. But it fades to warmth of the honeyed chocolate and sandalwood as the lingering dusky scent.
  • RESPECTScent notes: your mother’s expensive cold cream that she dutifully applied every night and now you do, too, mixed with fragrant, sumptuous black cherries.
    • Sweet is the overwhelming note to this. I can't pull out cherries or cold cream but I do get a cupcake-y, rich vanilla that feels "adult", like alcohol.
Also in the scent category but the solid version, I've gone a little bit candle happy. And because I'm a serial sharer, I want y'all to know about these great companies!
- Fresh Coast Candles (I got Sleeping Bear)
- Novelly Yours Candles (I got Castle Whitespire and Blossoming Dusk)
- Wicked Pop Candle Co. (I got Six Impossible Things, Girl Boss, and  - I think I need the Veronica Mars one.)

Random: Somedays I think American society is losing the meaning of words. I hear so many words mis-used on an almost daily basis.

Also, I killed my ankle the last 10 days of month and had to layoff the cardio drumming. Then I caught a cold and swimming was out. I need to find an indoor option that is fun but not ankle killing.


Self-Care: Skincare and Soap

"Keeping the Face Young" Skincare...
It was time to switch it up. I walked into the month using December's plan. And then, around the 10th I moved to a new plan thanks to the December Boxwalla box.

Day - For moisturizer I've been using the African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October Boxwalla box) all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil. Winter is setting in here and my skin needs the extra moisture. This combo seems to work well with my Juice Beauty CC Cream + finishing powder. But was not as moisturizing as I hoped. So I switched out to the Mad Hippie Serum and FlowerPower (Boxwalla from a good number of months ago.) Both options worked find for under liquid make-up. The first option for days didn't work as well as powder make-up.


Night - After cleansing with my favorite 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm and DHC Face Wash, I've been using  Mad Hippie's Vitamin C Serum then 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream and then top it off with Lepaar's Luminous Beauty Balm/ Moisture Lock + Stress Recovery (part of my December box from Boxwalla). Mid-month I switched to the African Botanicals for nights.

Report - No one thought I was 15 years younger this month.

Let's talk clean.

There was a lot of a soap again. I found a new local company, Aylamethyst Soaps at a craft fair in November. I bought a few more. (The one you can't see is the one I started with, Stardust. Lovely cinnamon and anise scent.) I like the brand - clean lather with a  bit of moisture.


Watching: I finished off Orange is the New Black; I didn't like the end. I'm loving Dolly Parton's Heartstrings. (Y'all know I love Gerald McRaney.) I re-watched Tidelands one weekend while writing. Strowlers from Prime. And I'm binging on Disney+ while we have it - the Marvel universe, Star Wars, etc. It's a lucky time to have streaming. But I'll be cutting back on services. 

Take-away - Before you launch into your year, catch your balance. Once you have it, set your focus and have your best year ever.

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



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