Affirmations That Inspire Me.
There are always flowers for those who want to see them. #qoteoftheday #qotd #mondaymotivation #cbloggers #lbloggers #artislife


Empowering words?

Poetic truths?

Utter rubbish?

All of the above?

Earlier this year I came across an Instagram post from a woman I follow and admire that advised that in 2018 she hoped to see fewer affirmations. Her caption was lengthy and well thought out. She noted how she found them disingenuous and utterly gag-worthy. I understand. They can come across really silly or overly optimistic or quite judgmental at times.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. #qoteoftheday #qotd #mondaymotivation #cbloggers #lbloggers #artislife
Glow like the stars under the midnight sky. #qotd #lbloggers #quoteoftheday #dailyquote #cbloggers #flowerlover

Having said that, I can not resist a good affirmation. When in a foul uninspired mood I can always count on my “Lovely Quotes” Pinterest board to find something that resonates. I also keep a list of quotes on my phone for quick reference as well. Words have power. When we meditate on them, we find our truths—we find our power.

Books can provide us with such power as well. Once we fall in love with a story, it is easy to reread it, make it your own and pick out some of the quotes that most speak to us.

Alas, I will not be sharing some of my favorite bookish quotes today. That post will come in the not too distant future. My objective for today’s post is to share some of my favorite affirmations. These are simple but when recited with repetition and through deep Ujjayi breaths they live within me and somehow make me feel better for it. These words are powerful and I hope they affect you with great positivity as well.   

Blossom with grace. #qotd #quoteoftheday #lbloggers #flowerlove #flowerlovers #carnations

I am enough.

Que sera, sera.

I choose love.

Blossom with grace. #qotd #quoteoftheday #lbloggers #flowerlove #flowerlovers #carnations


Patient. Forgiving. Kind. Love.

With patience and kindness, anything is possible.

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. #qoteoftheday #qotd #mondaymotivation #cbloggers #lbloggers #artislife

What are some of your favorite affirmations?

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. #qoteoftheday #qotd #mondaymotivation #cbloggers #lbloggers #artislife
Two patriotic books and a heartfelt show that will steal your heart
Mini review of American Wife by Taya Kyle #patrioticpost #bookreview #bookbloggers #militarybooks

On Memorial Day we honor those we’ve lost in the name of freedom.

It is around this time every year that I gravitate towards picking up a nonfiction book relating to military stories; most have been autobiographies. Some of their authors are no longer with us, which was admittedly what drew me in, to begin with. Their stories were highly publicized, and it was hard not to pay attention. They sacrificed their lives for my freedom and because of that, I felt strongly that I should at least get to know them and their story.

 “If you brave enough to live it, the least I can do is listen.”

Ephram Jennings

Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Today I wanted to go over two books and a TV show that has really resonated with me. They follow the stories of soldiers and their families and how they must adapt to various military struggles. I hope that if you give them a go, you enjoy them as much as I do because I believe that they are brilliant. If you have any recommendations, please share them below.

Mini reviews of military books and a review of a show. #booklove #patrioticbooks #bookreviews #bookbloggers

Army Wives

Let’s start with Army Wives.

I fell in love with this series ages ago. I was still living at home with my mom, and while she just dreaded watching the show with me because I would ball my eyes out she humored me and watched most episodes with me. The thing is I am an emotional person and the older I get the less afraid I am of showing my true colors. She’s slowly figured that out and now comes to understand that I cannot watch a lot of things in public—especially scary movies—so at home will do. Having said that, I do not think most normal people will have the same reaction I did. I think she found it inspirational more than emotional

This series follows the stories of various Army wives and a husband. Each is in a different stage in their lives and their marriage and yet they somehow become friends and help each other out through the course of deployment, adapting to living on base, the expectations of them as supportive family members, cheating, and emotional support when they lose a loved one. It is amazing to see a somewhat realistic portrayal of a strong mostly female friendship group playout on screen under such straining circumstances.

What moved me the most was the dichotomy between the determination of their significant others to serve their country, and the support and fear with which each family member dealt with their families. It was wonderfully moving as most military-related shows follow the stories of those who serve and glean over the effect it all has on the family. The family unit makes up most peoples' support unit, especially for those old school individuals that do not believe in meditation or therapy. So it was quite refreshing to see the lives of these courageous men and women play out on screen so heartachingly beautifully.

Honestly, I have yet to finish the series as to me it lost its footing during its last season. I do, however, watch the first season every so often on Netflix and if you have a chance I think this is the season you should dedicate your time. 

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10American Sniper by Marcus Luttrell

I picked this up shortly after finishing American Sniper by Chris Kyle. I think I was a bit overwhelmed by everything he included in his book that I just needed a bit more and I craved it from a different perspective. I was expecting Marcus’s book to be similar in tone to Chris but I was quite wrong.

Lone Survivor reads very much like a novel. It is descriptive and quite emotional. American Sniper, in contrast, reads in a matter-of-fact tone. Both are worthy reads but I think that if you are not a fan of nonfiction due to most being filled with fact after fact and not really telling a story then I think Lone Survivor will suit you best.

It has been a few years since I read Lone Survivor but what I remember most about it is the underlying theme that while there are truly terrible people in the world there are plenty of brave individuals that are willing to sacrifice their safety for the wellbeing of a complete stranger, and one which you do not understand. That is amazing. That is magic. That is why I love this book.

I have not watched the movie, nor have I attempted to reread this book, I might in the future as a reminder, regardless, it will forever be one of my favorites. 

American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal by Taya Kyle

Right. So. This was quite a book. Taya was Chris Kyle’s wife. She is a strong driven woman that fell in love and married a Navy Seal. She had an idea of what she was getting into but, truly, I do not think anyone who marries a soldier will ever really know what they are getting into until they are in the thick of it. She dealt with it as best as she could. Of course, what broke my heart was that just when the stress of military life had eased she loses her husband.

I cannot imagine being in her shoes, even after listening to her story. I purchased her audiobook because I thought it would be most powerful experienced in that format. It was quite powerful. If you too choose to listen to this story and tend to be quite sensitive, do not listen to it on your way to work—do so on your way home. While I was listening to it I was hooked and made the mistake of listening to it once on my way to work. It was not pretty.

Taya covers more than her reaction to loss. She touches upon the generosity of loved ones and acquaintances.  She enlightened me as to how friendly neighbors can be of assistance when trying to be supportive, and that is to simply stop by to help with a chore or two because the grief can be overwhelming.

She endured so much heartache during his time in service. She unflinchingly supported him in his military endeavors, she supported her family and our country. I am grateful to Taya for sharing her story because I am sure that it was really challenging to relive it all.

Two charming books for fellow dog lovers
Two charming books for fellow dog lovers #booklovers #bookbloggers #lbloggers #puppylove

This post goes out to all my fur mamas. In February of 2014, Penny Gibson adopted us and since then our lives have been significantly enhanced. Her joy for life and food and pets is infectious. Whenever I’m having a challenging day at work I can always count on coming home and being greeted with genuine love and excitement. It is such an amazing feeling. It is because of her, or rather my love for her, that books about dogs seem to affect me quite a lot—i.e. I was not able to get through A Dog’s Purpose. (Have you read that book? I know the movie was a bit controversial but overall most who watched it enjoyed it.) When I think about losing her…I have a hard time seeing what life would be like...thankfully, there are plenty of wonderful stories that paint that reality, in the best possible way, which allow me to see that it will be okay. Life will be different, but okay. Here are two books that have touched me and that have not totally broken my heart in the process.

Two charming books for fellow dog lovers #furmom #puppylove #bookbloggers #booklovers #lbloggers
Two charming books for fellow dog lovers #furmom #puppylove #bookbloggers #booklovers #lbloggers

Little Dog Lost by Marion Dane Bauer

This little book is written in verse. (Here is a sample.) I was not expecting that given that it was an affordable cover buy from—one of my favourite sites to buy books I would never otherwise buy. (Be warned, their prices are incredible.) As soon as I received it, I inhaled it and then read it again because it was so sweet, and I think that Penny was getting her teeth cleaned that weekend so it helped me cope. (Not my favourite time of the year.)

The story follows Buddy around on her journey to reconnect with her owner. She is adorable. She is skittish. She reminds me of Penny Gibson. I mean look at her.

Two charming books for fellow dog lovers #furmom #puppylove #bookbloggers #booklovers #lbloggers

I love everything about this book. It is a sweet story. It is written in a sweet lyrical way and I think it is a story any dog owner can enjoy as we all love a good happy ending.  

The Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron

This was my introduction to W. Bruce Cameron’s storytelling. Honestly, I do not know very much about him but it is clear that he understands the spirit of a dog lover. He understands that we tend to love hard and have a hard time letting go. I think that his novels are his way of doing us a favour as he attempts to prepare us for the inevitable in a direct yet loving way.

This is a beautiful book and a beautiful story. It follows Josh Michaels who unexpectedly falls in love with Lucy, a very pregnant dog. She is sweet and smart and loving. Josh is going through a challenging time in his life at the time but somehow this little creature provides him with a cure. It is because of her that he meets an amazing woman who helps him navigate the challenges of owning a beautiful pregnant dog and once she gives labour she assists with the puppies. (Here is a sample.)

This is the perfect book for anyone in my shoes; anyone who finds it difficult to envision what it would be like to let go of their furry best friend.  Yes, it was a tough read but it was really therapeutic as well. I will definitly be revisiting this story in the near future. 

What are some of your favorite books about furry friends? 

I hope you enjoyed a loving Mother's Day. 

Two charming books for fellow dog lovers #furmom #puppylove #bookbloggers #booklovers #lbloggers

P.S. This post is not sponsored. 

A blog post to honor three strong literary mother figures
A blog post honoring three literary mother figures #lbloggers #bookbloggers #booklovers #bookishpost #mothersday

Mother’s Day is right around the corner—happy early Mother’s Day to all my loving goddesses! Thank you all so much for your compassion, patience, and love. Because of your dedication, our world is a better place.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to provide a bit of a spotlight to a few amazing literary mother figures that have touched my heart. When I read/listen to a story, I cannot help but dive head first into a book when I feel a personal connection with a story. As a result, I end up falling in love with characters, thinking about them at unexpected times and somehow making them a part of my life. I know I am not alone in this sentiment as I have watched a lot of BookTube and read blog posts from book bloggers that make similar statements. Today, I am sharing just a few of the characters that have stayed with me, long after finishing their literary journey.

Please note that I have left out a lot of what makes these women especially amazing as that would be giving away big parts of the story. My hope is that my post inspires others to start their journey with these characters or to be reminded of it.

A blog post honoring three literary mother figures #lbloggers #bookbloggers #booklovers #bookishpost #mothersday
A blog post honoring three literary mother figures #lbloggers #bookbloggers #booklovers #bookishpost #mothersday

Abby O’Chanter from Paul Durham’s series The Luck Uglies

Abby O’Chanter is Rye’s mom in Paul Durham’s series The Luck Uglies. She is an amazing enigma. She is the woman I wish I could be. By day she takes on the role of “single” mother of two who runs a shop of random magical artifacts. By night, when needed, she becomes a fearless warrior. She wards off danger with a bow and arrow and, occasionally, with a strategically placed knife aptly named “Fair Warning.” I wrote “single” in quotes because she is completely taken, although her husband seems to always be off on a mission. I think of her as an Army wife—patient, brilliant, fierce. While she is quite a strong character, you do not really get to see her in action in the first book. She takes on a bigger role in the last book of the series, which, by the way, was quite a satisfying book indeed as it provided a lot of action and resolution.

If like me you do not currently have the time to sit down and enjoy a good book, you should look to the audiobook because it is narrated by Fiona Hardingham. Her performances are consistently beautiful and steady in pace.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Mrs. Lancaster from John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars

Mrs. Lancaster is probably the character that most reminds me of my mom. She is relentless, strong, supportive, and nurturing to a fault. Thankfully my own has not had to face the exact struggles Mrs. Lancaster faced, but I could envision her handling the situation similarly. While Mrs. Lancaster has a small part in the book, she made a big impression on me. She somehow guides her family together through great heartache and finds her calling in the process. She is amazing.

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green was the first fiction book that totally blew me away as an audiobook. I was captivated from beginning to end, and let me tell you, given the content of the book I am almost 100% sure that I would never have been able to read it on my own if not for the assistance of Kate Rudd. She was brilliant. Her voice lends itself perfectly to this story. While at times I found the story challenging, Kate Rudd brought a bit of levity when needed. I know I would not have been able to provide myself the same experience.  

If you still have doubts about reading this book, if you have not already, you should watch this interview with Kate Rudd. It is lovely.

A blog post honoring three literary mother figures #lbloggers #bookbloggers #booklovers #bookishpost #mothersday
A blog post honoring three literary mother figures #lbloggers #bookbloggers #booklovers #bookishpost #mothersday

Bronwyn from Juliet Blackwell’s series A Witchcraft Mystery Series

Bronwyn is Lily’s business partner and trusted friend in Juliet Blackwell’s enchanting witchy series A Witchcraft Mystery Series. Bronwyn practices Wicca, a spiritual practice, and because of her beliefs has a distant relationship with her daughter, who is unaccepting of her beliefs. Of course. that broke my heart. Bronwyn is one of the kindest, open and honest characters I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She is loyal, friendly, loving, accepting and patient. She is a grounding force in the series and often provides guidance and knowledge to Lily who has serious family & trust problems. If not for Bronwyn, I think Lily would have found it much more challenging to allow so many wonderful characters into her life.

Again, I highly recommend that you listen to this series on audiobook. Xe Sands lends a bit of mystic and romance to the story I am certain would not be present in my own voice. Whether or not you have listened to one of her performances, I think you might enjoy her narration of The Velveteen Rabbit. It is a soothing, short sweet read.

I have digressed—if you love a magical, clean, and subtly romantic series. I think this series will satisfy your needs.

Who are some of your favorite fictional mother figures? How are you celebrating your mom this year? I will most likely be spending the morning with her as he works from 12 pm to 8 pm. Hopefully, we will enjoy a lovely breakfast at home…if I don’t make a mess of things, of course.

A blog post dedicated to literary moms. #bookish #booklove #bookmoms #motherlylove

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.

How To Take Care Of Your Lovely Brass Jewelry

How to care for your brass jewelry.

Brass jewelry is versatile, affordable and relatively low maintenance. That is why I love it. Second to brass jewelry, I love silver jewelry but unlike brass jewelry, it tends to tarnish quite quickly. Honestly, I do not know of an alloy that does not tarnish but some tend to tarnish more quickly than others and silver is one of those that has caused me heartache over my lifetime. For the price paid for such pieces, I just expect that the tarnishing process would take longer, but it is rarely the case as it simply cannot be helped.  Alas, I have had to learn to work with what I have—and such is the motto of my life.  

If you are a jewelry lover like I am, chances are you have also run into the unavoidable tarnishing problem and have researched different ways of keeping your gems shiny and new. If this is you, I would love to know which process is your favorite.

My two favorite ways of keeping my brass jewelry clean involve 1) cleaning as infrequently as possible with the help of Ziploc Bags and 2) using water and a gentle soap.

How to take care of your lovely brass jewelry #jewelrylovers #fbloggers #lbloggers #cbloggers
How to take care of your lovely brass jewelry #jewelrylovers #fbloggers #lbloggers #cbloggers

Ziploc Bags

It is not a glamorous way of storing my pieces but it sure is effective. Using a Ziploc Bag has been wonderful for my pieces. I especially love tiny little bags as the less my pieces rattle around the more likely they are to stay detangled, and the less space they take up in my jewelry box.

Soap and water

I like to think of this method as a simple tune-up. No soaking. No harsh chemicals. All you do is run a steady stream of water on your piece of jewelry while cleansing with a nonabrasive cloth & dish soap. I personally use Dawn Dish Soap. Once satisfied with the cleanliness of each piece, I use a nonabrasive dry cloth to remove as much of the moisture as possible. If after doing all of the above I still feel grime on the piece I start all over again and repeat until satisfied with the feel of the piece.

How to take care of your lovely brass jewelry #jewelrylovers #lbloggers #cbloggers #accessories
How to take care of your lovely brass jewelry #jewelrylovers #fbloggers #lbloggers #cbloggers

Stronger Cleaning Solutions

The methods above work great for maintenance but sometimes the grime becomes too excessive. This is when I bring out the big guns. The stronger chemicals, but only when things get to an unmanageable level.

I can not stress enough that I only use the following as a last resort as I find that they can be a bit too harsh if used too frequently. The original finish may be compromised and as a result, pieces may end up raw. Raw alloys tend to tarnish faster and once this happens your piece will lose its original aesthetic. Alloys that have been treated have a stronger defense against tarnishing, hence it is important to use the following options as a last resort.

EZ Brite Penny Brite Copper & Brass Cleaner / Polish 7oz by EZ Brite Brands

The first necklace I ever made was made with a combination of copper chain, a magnetic heart clasp, and seed beads. To this day it is my favorite necklace, maybe because it has such sentimental value. Unfortunately, I stored it in a bag that was not locked securely, and it tarnished. I tried soap and water but when I first wore it I could smell the scent of tarnish grime. I turned to Amazon and found that this little gem is quite affordable and highly rated. Most customers complain that when it arrives it is not clean or a full jar. I totally agree with them. When mine arrived, it was wrapped in some bubble wrap which was also covered in the product resulting in a tub that was almost half empty. Yes, I was disappointed with the shipping and handling but the results derived from using the product were amazing! My necklace cleaned right up, and the smell was virtually nonexistent. I used so little that what I had that I have not felt the need to repurchase. I highly recommend this little tub of magic if you are in the market for something effective and affordable.

Lemon Juice

WARNING - Whatever you do, do not soak your jewelry in lemon juice. If you do, expect that you will forever change the appearance of your jewelry.

The best way to use lemon juice is sparingly. Moisten a soft toothbrush with lemon juice and use it to apply the lemon juice to your jewelry. Brush with as much vigor as you see fit but do be careful. The end game is to clean your piece, not change its composition. (Well, at least in this case.) Once you have brushed off as much of the grime as you can, whip it off with a soft cloth dampened with water. Promptly follow this step by drying your piece with a soft dry cloth.

Following this step, I like to smell and tactically inspect my pieces to ensure that there is no lemon juice residue. If I smell lemon juice or feel the presence of it, I again use my soft dampened cloth and again quickly dry it off. I repeat these steps as often as I see fit as the last thing I am looking for is to forever change the appearance of my jewelry pieces.

I hope you found this post useful. It is by no means all-inclusive. These are measures I have used and tested and found to be most effective and cost-efficient.

Again, if you have a favorite method of cleaning your brass jewelry which I did not cover here, please share it with us as we would all love to hear.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your time.  

How to take care of your lovely brass jewelry #jewelrylovers #fbloggers #lbloggers #cbloggers

PS: All of the pieces featured in this post were handmade by me. Some can be found in my shop

PPS: This post is not sponsored. Thank you so much for stopping by. I really appreciate your time.  

Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch
Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista

Have you heard of Juliette Blackwell’s A Witchcraft Mysteries Series? It has become my newest obsession! This series inspires me to be a better person as well as to be more adventurous with my wardrobe, hence my OOTD.

A Witchcraft Mystery Series by Juliet Blackwell

Calling on Lily Ivory - a post inspired by Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries Series #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista

This is such an addicting series. It offers a bit of magic, a lovely leading lady, a diverse cast of characters – including one adorable pot belly pig – and it often focuses on the importance of friendship. There is also a bit of romance, but that really is not a main focus in the series. It has added to the storyline and helped us understand Lily, our heroine, a lot better as her story is told in flashbacks. I have yet to finish the series. There are now, as of April 2018, nine books in the series and I have read four of them.

#BookTalk - A Witchcraft Mystery Series Jul#bookbloggers #booklove #audiobooks #bookishpost
Calling on Lily Ivory - a post inspired by Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries Series #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista
Calling on Lily Ivory - a post inspired by Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries Series #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista
Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista

Things that I love about this series:

·        No time jumps from book to book – at least not as of book four.

My problem with time jumps is that I feel like I have missed out on crucial parts of my favorite character’s story. If I am invested in a series, chances are I’m going to seek out the next book right away because I do not want to forget anything or lose the spark. However, if the next book has a time jump then I kind of feel like the spark is lost.

·        Aunt Cora’s Closet

Lily has a love for vintage dresses. She sells them and often wears them, and I feel inspired.  I love the description of her outfits and I love that her shoe of choice is a pair of Keds because fashion need not be uncomfortable– a woman after my own heart. Of course, many of her outfits are procured from the inventory in Aunt Cora’s Closet. (What a dream to own a successful vintage clothing store and also wear its treasures…)

Aunt Cora’s Closet is a place I would like to visit. It seems like the perfect setting to wind down with friends and explore racks of beautiful clothes. Oh yeah – and if I’m in need of some herbs or a talisman these too would be available. Unfortunately, no such place exists. I’ve looked. It is totally fictional.

·        Oscar.

Oscar is Lily’s gargoyle/potbelly pig familiar. He may not be the voice of reason but he sure is adorable and funny.

·        The cast.

The cast of characters is wonderfully diverse. It is made up of believers and skeptics as well as people from all walks of life. All together they add a sense of familiarity to the story, which keeps me coming back to the series.

·        The atmospheric setting.

The series takes place in San Francisco – one of my favorite places to visit. It is colorful and lively and oozing with magic IRL. I literally can not imagine a better setting for this series.

·        Magic and how it is explained and described.  

Do you believe in magic? I do. However, I am not an expert on the subject and explanations and descriptions of what is going one are greatly appreciated. Maybe one day I will pick up a book on the lore of witchcraft as I think it would benefit my enjoyment of fictitious books about witches.

·        The theme of self-acceptance.

Lily identifies as an outsider; hence, she finds it hard to enter new relationships with muggles. While she now embraces her talents, that was not always the case and a lot of her progress has to do with the theme of self-acceptance.

Witch or not, I think we can all relate, to some degree, to the feeling of being misunderstood. Some may try to fight it and blend in while others embrace their differences and do their thing regardless of an outsider’s perspective.  

·        It’s not too deep.

The series deals with some serious issues, tangibly. I really appreciate that as I often feel beat up by books that dive in head first. I know that such books are meant to educate but where is the line between educating and overdoing it? I think that it all depends on what the writer wants to accomplish and what the reader expects from a book. I expect to learn while being entertained and this series has not disappointed.

·        Xe Sands narrates the whole series.

If you are an audiobook addict, then you probably have a set of favorite narrators. Is Xe is one of them? If not, please let me know why she has not made it to your list and please share some of your favorite narrators. I love Xe Sands as a narrator. Her voice is soothing as well as animated which I can not say of many other narrators – even those on my favorites list. The series is mysterious as well as magical hence her voice lends itself well to creating the perfect setting.

Do you have any witchy book recommendations? I, seriously, can not get enough these days.

Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista
Calling on Lily Ivory - a post inspired by Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries Series #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista
Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista
Vintage Fashion Inspiration from A Powerful Witch #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista

P.S. My dress is from Modcloth. My shoes are from Convers, and my necklace and bracelet – which is actually a necklace styled as a bracelet –  are both from my Starry Night collection. They are the Shooting Star Choker & the Star Necklace – Ribbon or No Ribbon.

Calling on Lily Ivory - a post inspired by Juliet Blackwell's Witchcraft Mysteries Series #booklove #booklovers #bookish #fbloggers #fashionista (60).JPG

P.P.S. This post is not sponsored.