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

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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!