Saturday, January 16, 2021

Week 2 - January 2021

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.

Random: 

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.

Wearing

Scent

It was a three house couple of weeks. I've been in a testing kind of mood.

Ellis Brooklyn

- 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.)

Sucreabeille

- 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.


Skin

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...

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




Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Let's Talk about 2020


Things we learned. Things we did not learn. Things we learned again. Unprecedented times. Life changes.  And where we go from here. That's my description of 2020 in paragraph form.

Every year I put out a list of what I learned. They are, honestly, mostly notes to self! And I swear sometimes I learn the same lesson - all over again. Below is my list for 2020. Maybe you learned the same lessons. Maybe you learned something else.  But either way, may we never stop learning and growing.

  1. Fear will stop you. It is what limits you. Step outside of it.
  2. Sometimes you've got to burn it all down and start over.
  3. Boundaries are good. But you are in charge of keeping them defined.
  4. Relationships require work from both parties. (Not a newsflash.) I refuse to be the only one working in it.
  5. Be grateful for the people who see you as who you are rather than who they want you to be.
If you'd like to see what I learned at other points: lessons in 2019,  lessons in 2018,  lessons in 2017lessons in 2016 lessons in 2015 or learn about the rules

PS - want to get started journaling in 2021 but not sure what to write? I've got you covered with a digital book of journal prompts. 3 per week, plus an inspiring quote. Check it out on Gumrood with this link: https://gumroad.co/NZTt

All photos by moi! And you can tell...

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

Saturday, January 2, 2021

December 2020 - Week 4


Who else is on count down to 2021 with high hopes? Yep! But here's the thing - you have to change if you want things to be different. (Because y-o-u are the constant in the life you don't want.) 

It may mean you stop tolerating things. It may mean you get in shape. It may mean you say "yes" when you are scared or "no" when you are overwhelmed.  And forget resolutions and word-for-the-year! (Over. And passive.)  

Make a CHOICE. Then, set yourself up to succeed in that choice, over and over again.

Books

- Next Girl to Die by Dea Poirier via Kindle Unlimited was enjoyable but a touch shallow. Echoes of Lily Bard in the detective, with a different trauma.

- Curvy and Cursed? by Rosalie Hunter via Kindle Unlimited which was rift with detail holes. I won't read the next. (Skip)

- Sweatpants and Spells by Keira Blackwood via Kindle Unlimited which wasn't bad. I'll read the next.

- Magical New Beginnings by Brenda Trim via Kindle Unlimited which was just bad. No two ways about it. Skips whole swathes of narrative and feels like it starts in the middle. I won't read the next. (Skip it.)

Cooking: All the Hungryroot! These are great. I love that they send all the stuff (see giant picture). You just start cooking. I did tell them I like stir-fries so there seem to be a lot of those. 

Outside of that, I'm still not cooking much. (One box of mac and cheese hardly counts.) We may scale back this feature until I'm regularly cooking again.

Gratitude: Friends who drop off cookies. Friends who offer to come get you when you are trapped in your drive-way. Warm, comfy pants. Black squirrels.  Friends who make you mimosas!

Listening: Check out Episode 47 of this podcast on goal setting! And you'll hear me. 

Things 14 Said: She came over a couple times and we built a cat tree. She has approved of the new space.

Watching - Gossip Girl. I finished it! But, I got issues: How did Daddy Van der Woodsen go from music director to doctor?  What happened to the actual son Lily and Rufus had? He's been AOL for many seasons. How did Carol go from Lily's big sister to her little sister and then back the next season?  However, for all the drama, there is something to the understated way Lily and Elinor handle drama moments with their kids - kind of understated. Queen of the South. Which I killed off - joke intended!


Wearing

Perfume

Sticking with one brand of scent for the rest of the month.

Sucreabeille

- We Are Stardust - Scent notes: Daisy crowns and sandalwood, a bouquet of peace lilies, vanilla cream fresh from Max’s dairy farm, and a drop of patchouli. I needed the reminder. We are stardust. And I still don't understand how Sucre came up with a patchouli that I don't mind and somehow I don't get daisy (cat pee) off this! I get a delicious cream and lily deal with a sandalwood base that I could wear all week.

- 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 light 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.) And I would expect "ruthless" to have a darker note. But it's a fun scent.

- Sinister - Scent notes: Freshly cut jasmine, Egyptian geranium, oud, a lavender field, eucalyptus, a musky attic. The name freaked me out. I hesitated to try it. Somehow this reminded me of La Gram Russe's beloved My Sin.  It had lovely depth.

  • (Lanvin My Sin (Mon Peche) was created back in 1924 by a mysterious Russian lady called “Madame Zed”, who worked on several more Lanvin fragrances. This feminine, provocative and dangerously seductive fragrant composition begins with aldehydes, bergamot, lemon, clary sage and neroli. The middle notes are: ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose, clove, orris, lily-of-the-valley, narcissus and lilac. The base is oriental – woody with vetiver, vanilla, musk, woody notes, tolu balm, styrax and civet. The perfume was discontinued in 1988.) 
There is not much the same between the two. Jasmine. There are a few reminiscent scents (woody notes  and oud; orris + ylang-ylang + lily of the valley = lavender) but not so much cross it should bring My Sin to mind. But it does.  It lasts hours on me - 6+. And softens as it lingers - it ends in nearly a powdery floral for me.

Skin

These were better skin weeks. Kept it the same as last week. Continuity.  Did throw in 2 face masks. 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 the Votary serum and topped with the Votary day oil (yes a switch). And I've added the Votary cream some days because my skin is starting to be dry for the winter. Moved the shot of Monastery Aloe Hyaluronic Moisture Boost on the forehead and neck to days when I have Zooms!

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. Liking the Naturallogic Elemental Advanced Hydration Red Wine Essence (last month's Boxwalla) as the first layer to restore moisture and fight off lines. The follow up moisture set has remained Votary night oil and cream (via the Boxwalla). Plus the Grown Alchemist eye cream.

(Boxwalla has a every other month beauty box that is the BOMB. Highly recommend.)

Random -  The value of promises builds over time. Break one and they are all worth less, until your word is worthless. (Yo, Peter, you paying attention?)

Also I miss samosas. (Indian potato food. Yum!) 

Take-away - New year doesn't mean a new you. Not unless you make different choices. Welcome to 2021. May we all be healthy and happy. Catch you on the flip side.


All photos by moi! And you can tell...

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