Sunday, May 31, 2020

May Musings - 2020

Didn't the May mini re-open feel great? We are all a bit cautious but being able to be out again (even if just a bit) was good! I've been doing Saturday walks with tea and a friend. We had a take-out dinner on a blanket overlooking the lake. Small steps.

Reading (Books):  I gifted a local Little Free Library with a heaping handful of books which was a high point of my month! (See the red arrow for the donated set.)

Current book count: 59 for the year. 
And I read a ridiculous amount this month. Seriously. R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.
- You Are a BadAss by Jen Sincero
- Double Down on Demons by Annabel Chase (Kindle Unlimited)
- The Messengers by Lindsay Joelle (Audible)
- Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter (Kindle Unlimited)
- The New Rules of Money by Rick Edelman (Little Free Library find). Seriously out of date.
- Once Bitten  and Wicked Deal, a new series by Linsey Hall (Kindle Unlimited)
- Books 1 and 2 of The Jezebel Files by Deborah Wilde, which was the best thing I've read in some time.  (Kindle Unlimited)
- Fangs & Fiction (part of the Library Witch Mysteries) by Elle Adams (Kindle Unlimited)
- High Stakes and Vampires (Pandora's Pride 2) by Annabel Chase (Kindle Unlimited) 
- Suddenly Psychic and Semi-Psychic Life from Elizabeth Hunter's Glimmer Lake series (Kindle Unlimited) 
- Knights Magica  by B.R. Kingsolver (finale? of the Rosie O'Grady's Paranormal Bar and Grill series) (Kindle Unlimited)
- All 4 of the Stolen Magic series by Jayne Hawke. (Which, after reading the first book of her Hidden Magic series is apparently a total repeat. And explains the name mix up in book 3 of Stolen Magic.) (Kindle Unlimited) 

Don't judge me. There was a holiday weekend and I was recuperating from putting in the garden, which required laying quietly and reading while the aspirin did its thing for the back and knee pain. Also, Kindle Unlimited is amazing!

Cooking: OMG, so I cooked so much at the beginning of the month that I killed the oven! (I'm still pandemic cooking.) I was making a double batch of breakfast casserole (tater tots, eggs, green peppers, jalapeƱo and cheese) and the oven just did not heat up! That became a take-and-bake for Israel instead of me bringing it to her. Now I'm Stove-top Sally - peirogies, tortellini, black bean tacos, various macaroni salads, stirfries.

Also I apparently now have batch cook days when I make like 2-4 meals so we don't have to think about it every day. (I still want a personal chef. #LifeGoals )

Garden: I put in everything. Ghost peppers. Okra. Cherry tomatoes. Carolina reapers. Strawberries. Early Girl tomatoes. Lettuce. More broccoli. Serrano peppers. Red peppers like crushed flakes. Yellow tomatoes. Thai basil. Purple basil. Thyme.

Some things came back as planned- the oregano, the tarragon, strawberries, mint. And that ginormous fennel. (I'm the only one who likes it and I never eat quite enough.

Gratitude: Saturday chai latte and a walk. 
Aquatic cats. Cute face masks. Fun perfume. Dried strawberries. Hummingbirds at the window sipping flowers while Kali kitten watches. Garden shopping with Israel.* The view of my newly weeded garden - very over-planted with marigolds due to BAD BUNNIES who at the cold garden (but are still cute). Summer return of the farmer's market.

Listening:  Center Yourself sleep meditation. (So much).  A little bit to podcasts (Hello 7, Redefining Wealth, Planet Money, Rich Coach Club).  A LOT of Cocktails and Crooners. 

Watching: Killed off Designated Survivor, Season 3. (Hannah Wells deserved better.) The Good Witch, Season 5. And Martha Tinsdale is underrated. Claws, Season 3. Those girls wear a lot of pattern on pattern. I started, belatedly, with Ozark.  Lots of popular shows about laundering drug money - Claws, Good Girls, Ozark. How popular is this as a line of work?? 

Also, so much Shark Tank. This is our new thing - Guy and I  watch old episodes and Google what happened to them.

Wearing (Perfume & Skin Care):


Let's break it down between Sucreabeille and Imaginary Authors. Because I wore a lot of perfume this month.

Sucreabeille - I wore each just a few days rather than finish things 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.
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 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.
Out West - This had been my sleep perfume but with the start of summer, I feel like it's a little heavy and have started mixing it with other scents. 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.
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. 
- GlitterTrashScent Notes: Watermelon Blow-Pops, baby powder, fistfulls of sticky white cake, last night's champagne and coconut cream. I decided THIS was my last week of May perfume after the long holiday weekend. Something in it - the baby powder? - reminds me of Toxic Masculinity. Right off, I got baby powder, coconut cream and the sticky white cake - also it is very possible there is glitter in this as my skin shimmered a bit. Sillage is light, about 3 hours. 

Imaginary Authors
- Whispered Myths - Scent notes: Natural Cambodian Oud, Cantaloupe, Cedarwood, Muskdana, Honey, Salvaged Shipwreck. I loved this scent! And oddly, everyone said it smelled floral on me. (Salvaged Shipwreck perhaps is a wreath of flowers?) And it easily lasted more than 7 hours.
- Memoirs of a Trespasser  - Scent notes: Madagascar Vanilla, GiaiacwoodMyrrh, Benzoin Resin, Ambrette Seeds, Oak Barrels. I get a lot of Vanilla and Ambrette seed with a touch of oak barrels. It almost smells like vanilla root beer. 
- Yesterday Haze - Scent notes: Fig, Iris, Cream, Tonka, Tree Bark, Walnut Bitters, Orchard Dust. Iris is not a strong scent. And this drifted off inside of a half hour to a vaguely creamy scent dusted with fig and iris. This became my second sleep perfume (basically for hot nights I felt this was a better option.) 
- Sundrunk - Scent notes: Neroli, Rhubarb, Honeysuckle, Rose Water, Orange Zest, First Kiss. With summer officially kicked off by Memorial Day, this seemed like the best way to celebrate - citrus and summer in a bottle.  This became my third sleep perfume - great for a night of summer dreams.
(If you are keeping score - I'd buy Every Storm a Serenade and Whispered Myths. Those deserve a longer wearing.) 

All Mixed Up
I did a weird thing. I mixed two brands. A City on Fire. Notes: Cade oil, Spikenard, Cardamon, Clearwood, Dark Berries, Labdanum, Burnt Match. Plus 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. I made "Los Angeles" - because this feels like, name-wise, what Los Angeles would be.

I also mixed Sucreabeille scents as well - The Mountain with Out West (code name: Sierra Nevada) because I felt like The Mountain needed a non-breakfest breaker scent.


I read this scandalous article about less skin care. HAHAHAHAH. No. More is MORE, and choices are great. This month just proves that because I may have tried everything in my skincare kit.

Day time - I started the month alternating between 1) the Lepaar Luminous Beauty Balm/ Moisture Lock + Stress Recovery (December 2019 Boxwalla Box) until I felt like it was too hot to wear that and started on  2)  African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October 2019 Boxwalla box) which I killed in the first 10 days.  Most of the rest of the month, I used the Sweet Briar Hydrating Nectar by Heart of Gold (August Boxwalla find) topped with the African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil with a little Earthwise Farizad's Veil mix-in sun protector.  Still trying to beat back those eye creases with the 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream. 

Night time -  I just basically threw the kitchen sink at my night-time skincare this month.  You name something in my "arsenal" and I used it!  After cleansing with my favorite 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm and DHC Face Wash (or a couple of fancy nights of Odacite face wash), and then gently daubing on 100% Pure night eye cream - I went crazy with options.  At the beginning of the month, I alternated between 1) the African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October 2019 Boxwalla box) all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil  until I ran the Masque out or 2) the Lepaar Balm. 3) I did stray  a few 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.) And that became my go-to for the second half of the month. Love how this Super Seed just sinks into the skin and feels so nourishing. 4) A couple of nights, I tried the April Boxwalla - Monastery. the XX Rose Glycolic Gel is a great light exfoliator when topped by the Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost. 5) A couple of nights I also threw the Sweet Briar Hydrating Nectar from August Boxwalla Box on top. I love the Heart of Gold products! 6) A couple of nights - hot nights - I put on nothing but the eye cream because my skin felt smothered.  7) A few days I also put on a bit of Bloom Facial Oil from Generation Bee on my neck and forehead but left everything else blank. 

Random: I may like gummy vitamins too much.

Our basement flooded with the big May rain. Days of dehumidifying and clean up. And a stupid Queen of Heaven tree is killing off my lilacs!  (Guy is unconcerned as he wants to remove things and create a porch - for the last 4 years.)

Speaking of lilac, my new favorite candle has a scent like neon Lilac! WickedPop Candle Company's Do You Suppose She's A Wildflower. Gorgeous! 

Take-away: Sometimes you have to put yourself first. Self-care. Time alone. Rest. Remember, that's okay.

*Israel, age 22. Oldest. Has her own home and garden.

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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