WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT? This past week or two just felt insane. And heavy and so very tiring. I know it's not just me. It feels like a collective angst.
Once, I bought a box of scents and CDs. The box was literally called "Serenity". I bought a BOX OF SERENITY. (It did not help.) But I feel like we all need the calming aromatherapy and visual stillness of white candles with the sound of raindrops in the background that was in that box. I wish that serene feeling for all of us. Here's an image I like of the winter dawn sky near my house that feels like that.
We're going to start mixing it up! (Hey, 2021 - looking at you.) Books, Gratitude, Watching, and Listening are all still parts; but, we're starting with Random from now on. It's often too true to be buried.
1) Pro tip - if your friend is newly single in a pandemic and you know has a difficult family, maybe asking "How were your holidays?" or "Did you enjoy the holidays?" is not the smartest question. It can be very triggering. Try asking "How are you doing?" or "Are you enjoying the New Year?".
BTW - everyone who asked me that is married with solid family. No damned clue. I'm delighted to hear about their holidays and family time, but it's not a good question to ask me.
2) Toxic positivity is a real thing. Currently experiencing it from a friend who really has no idea how dismissive that is of people's experience and feelings. Feelings come in all shapes and sizes. Experiencing (not wallowing in) them is actually healthy.
Books: I have this thought about the first book of the year ... I think it sets up the tone of the year.
In 2019, I started off with Mental Toughness for Women Leaders: 52 Tips to Recognize and Utilize Your Greatest Strengths by LaRae Quey (former FBI agent.) I wanted to be stronger and more emotionally resilient.
In 2020, the book was The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money, and Miracles by Marianne Williamson. I wanted to draw in more abundance to my life.
This year (2021), being newly single - new job - new house - new car, I wanted to think about how I want my future to be. So I picked....The Woman I Wanted To Be by Diane Von Furstenberg. Because I want to remember who I wanted to be and think about who I want to be going forward. It was interesting. Her life was privileged in ways I'm not sure she even realized.
Making Midlife Magic by Heloise Hull has an Italian flair and is fun. Nice light reading!
Cooking & Garden: We skip those topics this month. Too cold to garden. And I just heat up the Hungryroot that arrives.
Gratitude: Snuggle cats. Groomers for stinky dogs. Perfume sample sets. Fancy soap. Pretty dawns. Light snow that melts off. Good skin care - including the most lusciously scented body oil ever. Cute benches.
Listening: I've been listening to Apple Music - Tiera Country. (It's okay.) Audible - Hellcats podcast. It was more visceral than I expected. Florence and the Machine - because there is never a time that isn't appropriate.
Watching: Rewatched Firefly to start the year. Because, I love it. Godless is a Netflix show that features women in the west - I finished that up. The Magicians have a new season on Netflix; I'm 2 episodes in.
It was a three house couple of weeks. I've been in a testing kind of mood.
- Myth - Scent Notes - top: bergamot, ambrette seeds, cassis; mid: tiger orchid, pink lotus, jasmine petals; dry: patchouli, liquid musks, white cedarwood. (Billed as "the most alluring musk around"). Last time out, it had zero sillage for me - trying it immediately upon arrival. This time - gosh! It lasted a full day as a light drift of scent. The bergamot and jasmine took center stage with the white cedarwood. I'm wondering it the time (resting) helped - I've had this sample for more than 6 months. (Killed off the sample.)
- Shennanigator- Scent Notes: Opens with the rich, warm aroma of buttered popcorn. Next comes raspberries, lemons, and green figs. Sweet oud lingers as a heart note. Yep to the raspberry and popcorn - possibly there was a hint of fig. No lemon. This was not a scent that worked for me; it was just a weirdo mishmash of scents that didn't go and flowed away into nothing on my skin but a hint of popcorn in about 3 hours. The good news is that it was a teeny tiny sample and I killed it off.
- Ruthless B-Word - Scent Notes: An unbelievably juicy blend of blood oranges and lychees. White amber and ginger lilies blend to give a sophisticated presence. For me, this is a lightly fruity floral that lasts one hot minute on my skin. (Seriously - maybe 2 hours in my hair. Something in it - maybe the citrus - is gone against my skin.) I get none of the amber, which usually lingers on me. No lilies. Maybe a hint of lychee. It's sweet and a fun name but I'd like it to last longer and linger on my skin the way RBG lingers in our consciousness as the classiest judge ever. (Killed off the sample)
- Frozen Moon - Scent Notes: crisp winter evening air, frost, sweet sugar plums swirl with delicious marshmallow. This is such a sweet scent. I get a lot of sweetness off it crossed with fruit. It lasts a good 4-6 hours and makes me feel better about winter.
Wylde Ivy (from the Boho Dreams collection)
- Chasing Dreams. - Scent Notes: white freesia, faded cotton, pure white vanilla, southern magnolia, wild violets, blackberry brambles, and dainty sugar cubes. I loved the part of the sample description about whispering secrets to the stars - and oh that sounded lovely. This was such a generous sample! I got 4 days of trying off this. For me the scent was heavy cotton as I put it on. In a few hours I got a little magnolia and sugar with vanilla. Then the vanilla roared in. (I literally woke up in the middle of the night from the scent of vanilla cotton.) The sillage was amazing - a full day. At the end, this was too cotton and vanilla for my taste. (Not a bit of blackberry!) But I'm excited to try the others from this line.
These were better skin weeks. Kept it the same over both weeks. Did throw in 2 face masks over the weekends - it's absolutely skin saving right now. Naturallogic Unmask Detox Hydration Mask and Malaya Advanced Repair Mask (both courtesy of Boxwalla on different moths.) That hydration mask is the BOMB for winter skin. And the repair mask (with neem flower honey) is fantastic on the now ubiquitous mascne.
- Day time - Standard in-shower wash of tea tree cleanser followed by a third finger (gentlest finger) tapping into the skin of 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream, then Votary day oil and Votary cream.
- Night time - 1st cleanse with 100% Pure's Blood Orange Cleansing Balm following with a 2nd cleanse with my DHC Washing Powder for a little extra exfoliation. First moisture layer is the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence (last month's Boxwalla) to restore moisture and fight off lines. Next, Blüh Alchemy's Multi-C serum from the December Boxwalla beauty box. (Without the sample, I would never have tried anything that expensive. But it's glorious.) I close the skincare with Live Botanical Sanctuary Barrier Balm (again, the December Boxwalla box.) And slapping that Frownie on the forehead because forehead wrinkles are aging.
Boxwalla has a every other month beauty box that is the BOMB. Highly recommend. The December box included Blüh Alchemy Active Relief Body Oil which is the most delicious thing I've ever smelled! Totally replaces perfume and makes your skin feel amazing.
Take-away - There is a time for releasing. Sometimes that feels like breaking. (A husk that's too weak to contain the new life.) New growth is painful at first; but, how can you be the flower you are meant to be unless you blossom?
All photos by moi! And you can tell...