Typing out of boredom. Jeezy Creezy I’m bored. Help. Typing out of boredom. Appreciating the calm but my own thoughts are boring me right now.  Hey, the Shins are playing. That song from Garden State. Liked that movie. Should watch it again. The 24 year old me really appreciated it. Wonder if the 30 year old me would find it whiny. I love Pandora. All my channels end up sounding a like though. I need to stop hitting those thumbs up and thumbs down options. Apparently everything I like sounds the same. I can start out with a Decemberists station and a Cake Bake Betty station, and they’ll end up being identical after a while. I’m predictable. I’m hungry. No, I’m not hungry, I just want something sweet. Gonna try to fake myself out with Crystal Light. I swear, boredom is hell on the waistline. But then so is stress. I’m just an eater, no matter what the mood. But sitting all day doesn’t help. It sucks, actually. I miss the activity of working retail sometimes. Don’t miss the money. Or the inane questions coming from customers. “Excuse me, where’s your non-fiction section?” You see that wall that says fiction? Non-fiction is EVERYWHERE ELSE. “I’m looking for this book but I don’t know the name. Or the author. But it was about X and had a purple cover.” Really? I guess I get inane questions from people now too, they were just more comical when I was working at a book store. Or maybe they were more comical because I was younger. I’ve become a cynic. A cynic who works in corporate America, who sits at a desk for 9 hours a day, five days a week. No wonder my back hurts. And yet when I get home I’m exhausted. How is that even possible? Sounds stupid to say I’m exhausted at the end of the day when a minute before I was complaining about being bored. I’m not always bored. I’m not usually bored. Usually I’m running ragged (at my desk, ha) from stress. I like the boredom. I do. It’s a nice reprieve. Something I’ve been begging for lately. Ugh. I need to cover up my clock so I stop looking at it. The more I look at it the slower it gets. This is why I shouldn’t wear watches. Aside from the fact that I just hate watches. They’re too sporty. Kind of ugly. Very no-nonsense. I used to try to just buy watch faces and string them with ribbon and tie them around my wrist. That was cute. Sort of whimsical. But they’d never stay tied. That was annoying. Bet I could find a better type of ribbon though. I should try that. I should go to Hancock and shop for crafty stuff. I need to sew more often. I have a sewing machine that’s collecting dust and projects I want to try yet nothing. I want to make something pretty. I always have idea but no follow-through. Like the crocheting thing. I bought a book and yarn and needles and tried at it for a couple of hours and got a blister (what a badass, I know) then got frustrated and put it away. Like, a year ago. I have no attention span. God I’m bored.


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A Joyful Manifesto

I, Jenny, hereby choose to make the following beliefs a part of my daily life…

  1. Make play a priority.
  2. Dream expansively.
  3. Treat myself like a queen.
  4. Reinvent myself when necessary.
  5. Give back to the world.
  6. Encourage gratitude.
  7. Challenge my greatest fears.
  8. Recognize my unique talents and gifts.
  9. Share these gifts with the world.
  10. Surround myself with beauty.
  11. Release all judgment of my creative expression.

Taken from Wabi Sabi Wishes.

(Artwork courtesy of The Graphics Fairy)

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I want…

Peace, stillness, water, smiles, freedom, happiness, music, dance, coffee, cleanliness, clarity, organization, looseness, breath, deep breaths, buzzing, tipping, highness, driving, rolling, floating, swimming, cuddling, wiggling, tapping, swaying, relaxing, hope, inspiration, blushing, flushing, openness, heart, will, passion, a thrill, then rest, sleep, talking, laughing, singing, greens, blues, golds, sparkles, softness, lightness, fuzziness, something genuine, powder, flowers, power. over. my. thoughts., a reprieve …

I have…

I do…

… believe it’s about time for a change.

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Base notes

I adore perfume. And given my passion for aromatherapy, sometimes I think I was a perfumer in a past life.

I’ve written before about how difficult it is for me to find one scent and stick to it. I just can’t. I love shopping for them. I love the process of researching my next purchase, which includes reading reviews and descriptions of a perfume’s top, middle, and base notes. I find these descriptions beautiful and poetic, and can lose hours reading about different ones.

Take this, for example, which describes something I bought last weekend.

On first application, I smell aldehydes, rose, carnation and powder. The aldehydes are mild, and have the effect of brightening the composition. The rose is dry and boozy at the same time. It is like a rose bouquet–some roses smell dusty, but sweet and powdery. Others smell like a fine rose liquor, complete with raisiny, spicy, sweet and tart qualities. The carnation is fresh and spicy, like a mixture of garden pinks which smell like cloves, and florists’ carnations which have a sort of frosted rose petal effect.

As the aldehydes burn off, the rose and carnation come forward even more, and the sweet base of amber and vanilla start to deepen the impression of these two floral notes. The rose and carnation seem dark and mysterious. The boozy, preserved fruit quality of the rose is very penetrating, and taking deep inhalations, it feels like it goes straight into my heart.  As the rose begins to fade, the sweet base seamlessly absorbs the rose and becomes more prominent. It is amazing that the spicy carnation keeps going strong through this phase, and is instrumental in the transition from top to middle to base.

The powder comes out again in the drydown, along with the spicy carnation, the dried fruit aspect of the rose, amber and resins. The vanilla and tonka are not dominant, but typically notes like this are very important in amber, and the amber accord is what I smell more than anything.  The overall effect in the drydown is floral spice with sweet, powder and delicately resinous amber. I find it to be gorgeous at every stage–even the drydown is amazing in its beauty.

Or this one, which I’ve owned for quite a few years. Just reading this makes me want to go home and spritz it on my wrists right now.

The opening is a heady and clean, crisp mélange of rosewood, lavender and apple martini. The apple martini note is brilliant. It really adds an unusually vivid, effervescent quality to the opening and thankfully lacks the mustiness that some other apple scents uphold.* It’s boozy only in an elegant way – like sipping on the cocktail to appreciate the flavour, without getting drunk.

The heart notes are abstract florals – orchids and paper whites. Paper whites are not fancy silken paper sheets as I was almost lead to believe, but rather refer to a flower from the narcissi family – Narcissus tazetta. I can’t say that I smell narcissus in there, but there is a light floral impression that is hard to describe. As I said – abstract.

These soft, ethereal florals bridge into an even more abstract base of highly processed patchouli (dry and clean rather than earthy and musty), amber and musk – together resulting in an effect that is very close to the skin. An original, clean musk skin scent, subtly surrounding the wearer with a mystifying aura that is clean and pleasant.

Breaking all of this down is such an intriguing process . I love that you can pick out some notes on some days, and some notes on others. I love that a scent changes throughout the day, and that each scent is different depending on the skin it is on. I love that some work better in summer, some better in winter. I love that some scents evoke memories, some specific imagery, and nearly all evoke colors for me.

It strikes me that these descriptions aren’t unlike descriptions of wine–another passion.

(Artwork courtesy of The Graphics Fairy)

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Just Call Me Lydia

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Things I Love Today

Early walks in rain boots and fuzzy shawls.

Water droplets on leaves.

The park across the street that looks like a mysterious English garden when it rains.

How pretty my mom’s old dishes look stacked neatly after they’ve been washed.

Bribing the boy to wake up with promises of coffee.

Lazy, rainy, three-day weekend drives.

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Lipstick, and the Perils of Growing Up

I was looking through some old high school photos the other night, as girls are sometimes wont to do. I was looking at images of myself during some of my best, if slightly tainted with teenage drama, moments–and I was wondering what it was about me that seemed so different from now. Twelve years will bring changes for anyone, and yes, my hair was longer and thicker and my face a little rounder and rosier. But there was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

Then it hit me. That lipstick.

There it was. The lipstick that my mother always said looked best on me. The one she complimented me on,told me brightened my complexion and whitened my teeth. She never hesitated to tell me when she thought another shade I was wearing was too light or too dark; washed me out or didn’t flatter me.

I thought she was so controlling, and after high school I started ignoring her advice on such things, or telling her to back off altogether. But looking at the pictures now, it dawned on me.

Oh my god. She was right.

I celebrated my 30th birthday last weekend. And today, on Mother’s Day, I’m struck with how long it’s been since I’ve been able to share these occasions with her. It’s been nearly ten years since she passed away, and I’m left thinking about the many things she was right about, and millions more I miss about her. She was my biggest fan; she was my cheerleader, my champion. She was a mother, but always a friend–one of the closest I have ever, and will ever, have.

After she passed away she was raised to saint status in my mind. So much so that for a long, LONG time I would, well, pray and ask my mom for guidance, and my litmus test for right and wrong was “What Would Mom Do?”

As I got older I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. My mother wasn’t always right. She wasn’t perfect–she was flawed, and beautifully human. She made mistakes. She lived through less than ideal scenarios. There were many things she did, or didn’t do, during my childhood that I’m sure she regretted or wanted to do differently.

I suppose when a woman grows older (I’m 30 after all–yikes) she begins to examine her childhood and the things that she might want to do differently with her own children, if and when she has them. That’s human. There are things I would do differently. I do not hold all the same the beliefs my mother did. Not on religion, not on politics. Not on a lot of things. Whether those beliefs are “right” or “wrong” is probably open to interpretation, but allowing myself to believe she wasn’t always right about everything has allowed me to grow tremendously as a person.

I’m sure one day my (hypothetical) kids will look back on their own childhoods and the choices I made while they were growing up. They’ll look at my beliefs and my opinions and decide if they agree. And there will be things–many I’m sure–that they vow to do differently with their own kids.

When that time comes I hope I’m open-minded and support them in their decisions, because for me, realizing my mom didn’t have all the answers allowed me to grow into the person I am today. I’d like to think she would like the grown-up me, and that she’d be proud of me. We wouldn’t see eye to eye on everything if she were still around today. But I’ve learned that seeing eye to eye isn’t everything in a relationship.

God was she right about the lipstick, though. I went out and bought a new tube of it the other day.

Looking at those photos the other night I was struck with something else. Why did I spend my teenage years thinking I looked so bad? Why did I waste all that energy beings self conscious? I looked great!

Funny enough, that’s something she told me I’d say one day.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I miss you.

(Artwork courtesy of The Graphics Fairy)

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