reading list

May’s Reading Selection

Happy Monday, friends! I’m excited to step into another week full of possibility and fun. I hope you all take full advantage of all of the good things that await you if you are BOLD enough to seize the day!

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May is shaping up to be quite an exciting month, so I want a book that keeps in step with that high energy but also reflect my goal of making 2018 the best year of my life. The May reading selection is The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. I’ve read this one several years ago but I rushed through it. This time, I really want to pace myself and take in the lessons.

The past few weeks have been a bit more stressful than normal. Despite participating in the Joy Challenge and actively cultivating joy in my daily life, I feel like my creativity is suffering a bit (not to mention my dissatisfaction with my job is increasing).  My hope is that this reading selection will help me to get back in touch with my creative “fire” as well as align me with better options for either eliminating or minimizing my dissatisfaction. If any of you have experienced similar feelings of frustration and stagnation, it may be worth check out this book, as well. I’ve linked the book above, so if it interests you, go ahead and pick it up!

wine

Low Cost Libations: I’m Trying Inexpensive Wines

 

A recent trip to Trader Joe’s ended up with me browsing the wine section and being floored by the super-affordable wines. So many options were less than $5! So I had to ask myself, do I, the wine lover, give inexpensive wines the thumbs up?

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I bought 6 bottles for less than $5 a piece. I’m not a wine “snob” but I prefer wine that costs a bit more because they tend to taste better. But I’m curious about the overall qualities of the wine that I purchased. So here I am: trying some new wines and figuring out whether the flavor and quality far exceeds the cost. I’ve tried one so far, and I’ll be trying a new bottle every few days or so. When I’ve finished trying them all, I’ll come back and give a review.

(here’s a review of one of the wines on my Instagram account)

Do you all have any favorite inexpensive wines? Let me know in the comments below!

reading list

Book Review: How to Be Adored by Caroline Cox

It’s the weekend, beloveds! I wanted to drop in and do this review quickly, as I have a very busy Saturday ahead of me. I’m a sucker for glamorous style, so what better way to honor my passion than to talk about last month’s Hollywood-inspired book selection?

This post is a review of the March reading selection How to Be Adored by Caroline Cox. Throughout the book, Cox assures us that we, too, can be glamorous and adorable.

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The book opens with Cox explaining the glamour is a form of magic: a supernatural force that attracts and charms. The best glamour doesn’t offend nor does it discriminate: it intoxicates both men and women. This kind of sorcery is what the book promises to help readers achieve.

The book assures readers that we need not be born beautiful to become glamorous. It goes through the process of analyzing your physical traits and explaining how to best enhance them. It also dishes on the beauty secrets of several stars.

The book is over 250 pages but is a remarkably quick read (that may have something to do with it’s small size and generous use of photographs). I like the specific details outlined, as well as the behind-the-scenes look at the beauty routines employed by women that we all know and love. It even has recipes for Hollywood-inspired cocktails!

I recommend this book for anyone that enjoys reading random facts about stars as well as learning the beauty secrets for looking flawless on a daily basis. This is a fun read: you’ll enjoy it!

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Zora Neale Hurston

Happy, happy Friday! We made it through another week, and a glorious weekend is upon us. Let’s celebrate!

Today, I’m going to spend a few moments talking about one of my favorite authors, Zora Neale Hurston. She is an inspiration on many levels: accomplished writer, anthropologist, and all-around crafty woman (she posed as an 18 year old in order to get a free high school education – she was 26 years old at the time!).nndb

I love her determination, her confidence, and her adventurous spirit. She researched communities in the Southern US and in the Caribbean, gathering information that she documented for historical purposes as well as using it for writing fodder, weaving the details into her folklore and short stories.

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It’s no surprise that a gifted writer like Zora had some interesting observations on life in general, as well as her experience as a Black woman living during the Jim Crow era. Her musings have proven to stand the test of time, and give us great food for thought down to this day.

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How many times have we gone through a period of our lives and wondered, “What the heck just happened here?” If you’ve had that experience, you were probably in a year that asked questions. Just hold on and continue to do your best, the year that answers is on the horizon.

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Zora had interesting political views: she was a conservative Republican, though, if she were alive today, her views would probably place her closer toward the libertarian end of the spectrum. In any case, she believed that she could create her own fate and make the life that she dreamed of living – and she did.

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It takes some special to have a high opinion of yourself during a time that every social structure in place was invested in your oppression. Zora managed to THRIVE during a hostile period in US history. Her example inspires me, as I remember that the ability to THRIVE is always available to us.

 

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

(photos courtesy of AZ Quotes, American Museum of Natural History, Notable Names Database and Library of Congress)

life curation

Living Your Best Life: Law of Attraction Keys for a Smoother Divorce

As part of living my best life, I want to continue exploring the things that I’ve used successfully to get certain “wins” in my life. While divorce was painful and life-changing, I had some tools that helped me significantly as I transitioned into divorcee life. I’m convinced that using these tools consistently has made the difference between feeling full of despair and being excited about what lies ahead.

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I heavily utilized law of attraction (LOA) techniques to assist me with transitioning to this phase of my life. Here are my top three techniques that I used, as well as some details on how I used them.

Affirmations: I woke up every day and affirmed what I wanted. Some days, my affirmation was as simple as “Every day is a great day”. On other days, when I had a little more pep, I might say something like, “I’m lucky, gorgeous and always attracting awesomeness!” The beauty of affirmations is that I got to repeat whatever felt good, or comforting, at the moment, and that did wonders for setting the tone for my day.

Scripting: When I had the energy, time and focus to put into thinking about what I wanted my ideal post-marriage life to look like, I would do a bit of scripting. Scripting is the process of writing your ideal life as if you are living it NOW. It takes the dream life from fantasy land and immerses you in the experience now (even if that experience is virtual). When I review “Lifestyle Design for a Champagne Life” by Cassie Parks, I’ll have a bit more detail about the process of scripting. Cassie also lists the details of how to script in this podcast episode..

Rituals: I found tremendous comfort from engaging rituals throughout my separation and divorce. When I say “ritual”, I’m not speaking of a religious practice: I’m talking about the routines and habits that gave me stability and relief. One thing that I did consistently is go to the gym and walk on the treadmill to clear my mind. I also used to frequently visit the nearby museums when I needed a mental break, and I enjoyed many afternoons soaking up nature in picturesque Haupt Garden. I consistently used these diversions to give me some peace when I had a lot of inner turmoil.

All of the LOA practices I engaged helped me to get relief from the stress of separation and divorce. For me, this was never about engaging in fantasy or throwing on a bunch of “positive thought” in an attempt to avoid the pain. I moved through the pain and, when it became overwhelming, I reached for what would help me to make it through. I hope that you are able to use some of these tools during some of life’s less-than-ideal challenges.

beauty · luxury

Fun with Perfumes

perfume

30 scents in 30 days: I’m up for the challenge!

Do you follow me on Instagram? If not, you’re missing out on my #30Days30Scents series. Every day, I’m wearing a different perfume and giving my overall review of it.

Day 13 of #30scentsin30days brings us to @tocca Giulietta. I accidentally went spritzing crazy with this one, and I immediately regretted it when I realized that this #scent has lilac in it. You all remember that the #fragrance I wore on Day 9 (@cleanperfume Blossom) had lilac and lily, and I wasn’t a fan of those floral notes. However, doing this challenge has helped me pinpoint the scent that I dislike most on my skin: it’s lily. While Giulietta has lilac, I enjoyed this #perfume a lot more than Clean Blossom: this one doesn’t have lily in it. It does have some other floral notes, like heliotrope, iris and orchid. This scent is sumptuous: this elegant Italian contessa. I will enjoy wearing it in the fall, as I think this one will be great during the cooler months #smellgoodfeelgood #smellgoodfeelbetter #beauty #blogger #thebronzebutterfly #thebronzedbutterfly #bronzebutterfli

A post shared by Missy Delano (@bronzebutterfli) on

If you want to learn more about the fragrances that I’ve reviewed on this blog, along with some others that I haven’t formally reviewed, then this is the series for you. I’m also open to suggestions as I progress toward the end of the month, so feel free to comment either here or on Instagram and let me know which scents you think I should try!

life curation

Joy Challenge Update: How Things Are Going So Far

Hey friends! I figured that I would share a Joy Challenge update, since I’m a little over halfway through the month. I’ve been throwing myself into the challenge and really focusing on having a good time and reducing/eliminating my stressors. I’ve also been following my “highest joy”, including making reservations and buying tickets for events that I want to attend.

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I’d fallen behind in journaling about my joyful experiences, but as soon as I realized I’d been slacking, I got focused and picked up the pen again. It’s important to continue doing all of the steps, so I can get the most out of consciously enjoying myself.

This time around, the biggest focus for me was unapologetically pursuing joy. Many times, I “held back” from throwing myself fully into the activities that bring me pleasure, because I feared being viewed as too ambitious, too self-assured, or too  much of an “overachiever”. I’ve been penalized for these traits before (usually in the form of being denied things that I was qualified for – like promotions – or harsh criticisms), so I suppressed these attributes. But this shift to embracing joy and delight unapologetically has been SO good for me! I really feel like I’m hitting my stride and getting into a groove. This has been such a fun experience!