Sunday, July 5, 2020

June Musings - 2020

As we close out June, I want to check in with you. Have you forgotten about self-care in all the hubub? Things feel so busy and rushed that it's easy to stop taking care of you. To stop asking for what you want - because there just  isn't time. But there is time. And it's up to you to go after what you want plus, when you are 100%, you can give back so much more to the people you love! (Put on your own oxygen mask first!)

For me, that starts with food I want to eat, fresh flowers (this gorgeous farmer's market bouquet cost $5. I am WORTH $5 and so much more! - heck, I'm worth the tiny $8 bouquet at the local florist - so I got that too for my work desk!) And setting boundaries. So this month, I did that - I hope you had a good month too!

Now, let's get to it, shall we? Here's the rundown of the month, by topic.

Reading (Books):
I read. I didn't read. I didn't finish the same book for 2 months. I  listened to books. I Kindle Unlimited binged. It's a mixed bag and I probably need throw in a few more business books!
- Book 3 (Shadows and Surrender)  of The Jezebel Files by Deborah Wilde, which remains one of the best thing I've read in some time.  (Kindle Unlimited)
- Heart of the Thief, Soul of the Storm, and Crown of the Queen by Katrina Martinez (Kindle Unlimited) the first of which really needed a better editor; the second was just less than enthralling; the third of which felt like it was written by a different author.
- Dark Secrets by Linsey Hall (book 3 in her Shadow Guild series) - again the Kindle unlimited is the BOMB.
- The Flying Flamingo Sisters by Carrie Seim (Audible). Lemony Snickett spawned a genre, apparently. Well done for all of that.
- Beyond Strange Lands by Simon Taylor (Audible). And if not for the Australian accents, I would not have bailed. (I had a long drive.)

(And we are at 66 books for the year.)

Cooking: Went to a family thing and made the Frozen Fruit Cobbler and tortellini skewer appetizers. It wasn't a big cooking month overall.

Then I went to the farmer's market on Sunday.  Kung pow chicken with yellow peppers, snow pea pods and lily buds (sauce was jarred). Frittata with asparagus, red pepper, lily buds and a touch of bacon. Tortellini with sauted king mushrooms, garlic, tiny tomatoes, a touch of bacon and fresh oregano from my garden. Chicken with lime and tomato served with fresh peas and mint from my garden. (I also bought bagels and muffins and gorgeous soap. Everyone should go to a farmer's market!)

Another weekend brought fresh zucchini, and the return of Ben's Zucchini Bread.

Gardening: And we have tiny strawberries! And tomatoes! (The broccoli all went to seed.) And I've begun harvesting the Thai basil in small quantities. (Watermelon, blue berries, Thai basil, a touch of good balsamic vinegar and a dusting of feta cheese. Scrumptious!)

Gratitude: Pool time. Chirpy cats. Gardens. Dawn beachside Pilates.  Good vets. Evening painting. Badminton family tournaments. Farmer's market. Perfume. Catalpa trees. Garage sales.

Listening: Lots of meditation. Seriously. Night meditations to sleep. Morning meditations to have a stress-free day. I'm not good at doing them on my own, but guided meditations are good. Audible currently (covid) has a number of them for free and I downloaded all of them.

Watching: Finished out Ozark. My favorite part is that Marty was from South Bend. (And, man! He was one super manipulative dude. It's like he spent the better part of season 3 getting back at Wendy for the affair.) And (spoiler) I did not see Darlene and Wyatt coming. Whoa. Next, City of Troy (Netflix). My first disconnect was in how Cassandra was portrayed. She was NOT some vision-beset girl. She was the beloved of Apollo, gifted with sight of the future - and then struck down with the curse of unbelief when she rejected his love. That is a whole different level of Cassandra than what City of Troy was rocking. I'm a little shocked I watched the whole thing. It was so.... not like it lives in my head.

Also, so much Gordon Ramsay. It's the new family show. We are watching his original British show on YouTube.

Wearing (Perfume and Skincare): 


Imaginary Authors
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. It lasts lightly on my skin a few hours and then drift off. (Nice but I would not buy)
Every Storm a Serenade. Notes: Danish Spruce, Eucalyptus, Vetiver, Calone, Ambergris, Baltic Sea Mist. I think it's the vetiver but I loved this! (I had a rough weekend mid-month and decide this was my theme-perfume.)  It's airy and really is reminiscent of the sea. I had no specific open or base notes - it smelled complete, the entire time I wore it, whole. Again, the sillage is less than awesome. (I would buy this one.)

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 felt like I needed the sentiment for my dawn beach Pilates. (Yeah, that ended with me limping.) I got bitter almond with a whisper of whiskey on this right off the bat. About 5 hours in the cardamon settled in with the whiskey and almond for the ride. 5-6 hours sillage, easy. (And this one is finished. I would likely not buy it - it was nice to smell but not "wearable" - which is a different thing entirely.
Toxic Masculinity Ruins the Party Again - Scent notes: A delightfully feminine blend of lavender, vanilla, honey nectar, and a light floral aldehyde.  I've now decided this is a weird mix of powder/honey. It's sweet, but dry smelling and goes more powder the longer it is on. Nice sillage.
GlitterTrash - Scent Notes: Watermelon Blow-Pops, baby powder, fistfuls of sticky white cake, last night's champagne and coconut cream. Right off, I always get baby powder, coconut cream and the sticky white cake - also it is very possible there is glitter in this as my skin shimmers a bit. Sillage is light, about 3 hours. (I want more watermelon!)
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 found this - with a tiny bit left - at the bottom of my work bag the week I was dealing with a particularly difficult person at work. I decided it was an omen. I get strong upfront rum and chocolate with a settle down to a lillied chocolate in about 6-8 hours. This scent basically lingers until I wash it off.


With the covid-19 masks, I feel like there is a renewed need for good forehead and eye crinkle care - because those are not the things I want people to remember about me.

- Day time - Started the month out with my standard a shower wash of tea tree cleanser and swipe of Rosewater Witch Hazel (Dr. Theyer's, obviously), followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream. After that - all bets are off. Since we've hit summer, I've been mixing Earthwise Farizad's Veil mix-in sun protector with the Sweet Briar Hydrating Nectar by Heart of Gold (August Boxwalla find). But the 2nd week of June I started using the Sweet Briar as a base on my face and then mixing in the Veil to Earthwise Magical Babassu Face Oil. This oil is amazing, it lays on the skin for about 90 seconds and then just melts in. I don't feel oily - just super moisturized and non-crinkly. 

- Night time - I'm just a box girl. I'm second cleansing with Boxwalla's June cleanser, Nini Organics' Detox Foam Cleanser - which is a little greener  + baking soda smelling but does the powder to foam thing my Green Ceremony Cleanser by Odacite does! (I've temporarily suspended using the Green Ceremony Cleaner to enjoy this new one.) BTW- the Nini cleanser does not have baking soda in it - it just smells a bit like that to me. (Reminder - 1st cleanse is always 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm - which is my second favorite and much more affordable than my actual favorite. It also melts off stubborn eye make-up.) After this combo - my skin is perfectly clean and so balanced it almost doesn't feel like I need a night cream. But I'm over 40 - so night cream happens. As the heat has been rising, I've lightened up. I've been switching off between Sweet Briar Hydrating Nectar + 100% Pure Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants PM Eye Treatment OR (from the April 2020 Boxwalla beauty box) a quick sandwich of Monastery's XX Rose Glycolic Gel/100% Pure Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants PM Eye Treatment/Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost. 

And again - the Boxwalla Beauty box is absolutely the best way to sample high quality, "green" skin care. It has great options. It's affordable. And the products are amazing - I would have never found most of these brands without the box!

Also , the June box came with ridiculously expensive hand cream. Which I took to work to use as I sanitize many times a day there and deserve to have nice things at the office. When paired with my Afternoon Mist (SpaRituals) nail polish - I think this is a winning combo!

*And we win! I had random person at the grocery store tell me I have flawless skin.

Let's have a minute for straight talk on good skincare and time. I buy good products. (I also eat decent food and stay out of the sun.) And I spend 3-5 minutes morning and night caring for my face and neck. I'm worth 6-10 minutes a day. Aren't you?

Indulgence - Also I purchased a few soaps from my favorite local soap maker. (Picture left of the one I opened this month. ) Plus I found a new one who makes the cutest gift bags at the farmer's market! (Mine did not photograph well but here's a link to her Etsy.)

Things 13 Said: 
(Eating almonds) Don't these have cyanide in them?
Me: No. But you are correct that cyanide smells like bitter almonds.
Her: What food has cyanide?
Me: Apple seeds and cherry pits in minute quantities. That's why we don't eat them. 
(This has me reconsidering my perfumes with a bitter almond scent....)

In other news, her new BFF's name is Buck. (Horse camp.)

Random: Founder's Mas Agave is the perfect summertime beer. Hands down. (Note to self - buy as much as you can when it comes out in early May.)

And...the dog tore his ACL (technically CCL, because - canine.) Expensive surgery to fix! And hey - did you know they do post-surgery physical therapy on dogs? Yep, it's a thing - and I'm learning how to do it! (Next career???)

Take-away: If you don't value yourself, it will be hard to accept that others value you. Learn to value you - and you'll be surprised what else you find along the way.

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!