reading list

Book Review: Lunar and Biodynamic Gardening

Hi friends! I’m really excited to discuss today’s book with you all. As you all may know, I’m still a new(ish) homeowner, and I love flowers and gardening. So instead of waiting until March or April to start thinking about my garden, I decided to begin my garden planning now, so that I can hit the ground running after the first frost.

The book I’m reviewing is Lunar and Biodynamic Gardening by Matt Jackson. The book focuses on gardening in a way that allows you to create an optimum environment that supports the plants organically. This focus on healthy soil, working with nature’s natural rhythms, and disturbing the environment as little as possible makes it so that both the plants and all wildlife thrive.

Unfortunately, I got this book from the Dollar Tree and I’m unable to locate it on Amazon. However, the author has another book on Amazon that may be worth checking out (it covers the lunar phases and their effects on plants). Make sure to check that out if you enjoy this sort of content.

This book is broken down into six, easy-to-read chapters. The first chapter teaches the basics, explaining what lunar gardening and biodynamics are, and how these two differ from one another. The next chapter outlines what you need to start, depending on the size of your intended garden. The next chapters focus on soil and compost, growing food, growing flowers, and container gardening.

The author resides in the UK, so he is located in the Northern Hemisphere like me. But, he has generously provided resources for readers that may be in the Southern Hemisphere. He also shares resources to help readers get further clarification on certain principles.

I love how accessible lunar and biodynamic gardening approaches can be for novices. Jackson does a great job explaining how to work with various yard/garden sizes. My yard is medium sized, but my garden will be planned as if I have a small yard, and if I’m inspired, I will expand in future years. It’ll be great to start small so I can really master the concepts before I dive deeper.

In this world of law of attraction/conscious creation, it’s really easy to focus on the spiritual or esoteric sides of things to the point where we may not see the practical side of tuning into nature. But this book is a great reminder of how energy works, and how everything works together. I’m fascinated by the moon cycles, and I’m eager to see how these principles influence my garden’s success. I’ll be writing about this in upcoming posts, so look out for updates!

That’s it for today. I hope you all are staying safe and having a great day. Take care!

*This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · Uncategorized

A Joyful Return

I’m so happy to be back on the Bronze Butterfly blog! I took some much needed time to care for myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and I especially felt the weight of this year when I considered the fact that I’m unable to travel internationally. As you all know, international travel is one of my favorite pasttimes, and the lack of travel has left me a bit depressed.

That being said, there are many things that I am appreciating at this year’s end. My family and close friends have been healthy (no COVID infections) and safe this entire year. My grandmother and her sister have been able to live comfortably in my home since March, and they are thriving here. And speaking of my home, I’m so grateful for a house that is in great shape and hasn’t needed any major repairs. My car, however, did need some small repairs, but these repairs were done affordably and with ease.

This time at home has allowed me to focus on what really matters, and I’ve relished the domestic duties that I’ve completed. This year has, indeed, been a good one (all things considered). We’ve been blessed beyond measure, and it’s been a year full of love, many changes, and lots of gratitude.

I am overjoyed to be back. I hope you all are doing well, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

I’m so delighted to be back over here! I am looking forward to chatting with you all soon. Have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

What wonderful things have happened for you this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

beauty · life curation

Embracing Natural Beauty

With all of this “free” time at home, I have been concentrating on slowing down and enjoying the simple pleasures around me. The main pleasure I’ve indulged in regularly is taking in the stunning beauty of the flowers and trees surrounding my home. Here are a few of my favorite photos. Enjoy!

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My hot pink azaleas

A yellow rose bush that is beginning to bloom

Baby pink rhododendrons

My Japanese maple (the leaves are stunning!)

I find that spending a little time walking the perimeter of my home does wonders for my mood and my energy. Embracing natural beauty has such a calming effect on me. I also planted some irises, tigridias, and gladiolus bulbs that I’m patiently waiting to bloom. When those flowers bloom, I’ll take more pictures and share them with you all.

luxury

A New Way of Defining Luxury

Since purchasing my home last year, I have thought carefully of what I consider to be luxurious when it comes to my surroundings. I am committed to creating a beautiful, inviting space that feels opulent and elegant. But, I had this nagging feeling that maybe I’m “missing the mark” when it comes to TRUE luxury.

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An opulent room that is just a wee bit too extravagant for me

I got back to basics and look at what defines luxury. Luxury is –

“the state of great comfort and extravagant living”

Luxury, then, could be filling a space with items that cost significant amounts of money (that would be extravagant but not necessarily tasteful). But this lacks the personal taste that I want to infuse into my space. I want my version of luxury to reflect my own preferences, regardless of the cost of the items.

In this way, a new (or better) way of defining luxury for myself is creating a beautiful and comfortable environment irrespective of the cost of the objects I buy. And true luxury could also include the intentional absence of excess, as well, so long as the absence of excess creates more comfort in my space.

I’m curious about minimalism but I’m not committed to the aesthetic. So while minimalism has defined luxury for many affluent Gen-Xers and Millenials over the past couple of decades, I’m declining to hop onto that trend, and I’m aiming for a balance between excess and the Spartan approach.

So far, I’ve added some art, antique furniture, and a few rugs. However, I’m not aiming to cover every surface of my home: I’m content to have a few things here and there to display my personal flair without cramming each room. I’ve got a lot more to do before the house is exactly where I want it to be, but I’m delighted that I’m defining luxury for myself and enjoying my home in the process.

That’s all for today, friends. I’ll talk to you all tomorrow!

life curation

What Happens to Our Goals During the Quarantine?

Happy Monday, friends! It seems weird to actually keep up with the days despite the fact that many of us are staying home 90%+ of each day. As a result of the quarantine that most of us are experiencing, the days tend to run together. It’s so easy to lose track of time while we’re at home!

In the midst of this, many of us still have our goals and desires on our minds. While we’re home, we may not feel like working on our goals. After all, we are being urged/forced to stay home and this tense period of time can make us feel exhausted and uninspired (I wrote all about it here). But for those of us that are feeling motivated to work on goals during this time, the question remains: what happens to our goals while we’re quarantined, especially those goals that require that we leave our homes (perhaps for internships/jobs, in-person networking or training, purchasing supplies, etc.,)?

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While we may not be able to leave our homes freely at this time, you can still work steadily toward your goals (if you’re so inclined). Finding alternative methods to accomplish tasks should be a priority. Look online for virtual job and internship opportunities if you need certain experiences to achieve your goals. Network through social media and online groups: regularly engage with others on these virtual platforms and remember to OFFER VALUE (it makes it much easier to connect with others). Look for virtual training sessions to help you keep your skills sharp or, in the case of those trying to meet fitness goals, to stay in shape. Many of the supplies you may need can be found on large online retailers, but also try to support local smaller businesses (which are particularly impacted by these times).

Take a close look at your goals and break them down into small steps, then see which steps can be done now, while you’re at home. Even if the steps are time-consuming, you’ll be much further along if you start now than if you allow yourself to be discouraged to the point of inactivity.

That’s it for today, everyone! I hope you have an enjoyable Monday. Talk to you all soon!

hollywood glamour · life curation

Wonder Woman Overload!

A good friend – who has officially earned sainthood by sharing the link I’m going to discuss in a moment – is even more Wonder Woman obsessed than I am.

We’re always sharing links to WW gear because, well, we’re a bit obsessed. But when he shared this link, it was official: he is the ultimate WW fan!

Behold: Wonder Woman items galore! BoxLunch has so many Wonder Woman-themed items for your home. Looky, it’s a Wonder Woman coffeemaker:

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Ooh, it’s Wonder Woman dishes:

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Wonder. Woman. FLATWARE!

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And if you really want to be fancy, you can have Wonder Woman ice cubes (these are available on Amazon):

And finally, I fully intend to sip wine from a Wonder Woman glass! (this is also from Amazon)

So, don’t be surprised when you see photos of my spoils in the future. I plan on stocking up!

life curation · style

Clothing Solutions 101

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(Photo courtesy of ClipArtPanda)

Recently, one of my friends came to me with a dilemma. She dripped a bit of salad dressing on one of her favorite tops. She lamented over how the oil in the dressing had practically “ruined” her top. I’ll admit: I was genuinely confused. I had spilled salad dressing, coconut oil, frying grease, and a host of other oils onto different outfits and I never considered them “ruined”. Then it occurred to me: I didn’t think those items were ruined because I knew how to get the oil stain out of them. I told her my trick, she tried it, and she raved about how well it worked. I’ll tell you all about my trick in a moment.

That conversation inspired me to write this post. So many of us invest in beautiful, long-lasting pieces, and we want those items to look as stellar as possible for a long time. So when we encounter clothing issues, like awful stains, it can be a bit frustrating. But I’m going to share some of my household go-tos, which I’ve used consistently to preserve and retain the appearance of my clothing.

My first recommendation is Dryel. This at-home dry cleaning system not only leaves your clothing look like they just came from your favorite cleaners, but the concentrated stain removal solution enclosed in the kit is amazing. I’ve used that stain remover so many times, and you only need a little bit. One bottle tends to last me quite a while, even when I find myself using it regularly.

Lingerie bags are my next favorite laundry item. I used to buy them on a nearly monthly basis, until I purchased the ones made by ATopDay. These are the most durable lingerie bags I’ve ever owned. They are made of fine mesh, so they seem to protect your clothing better than the wide mesh that is usually found in lingerie bags. The price on these have doubled since I last purchased them but, given the number of lingerie bags I’ve purchased over the years, even the doubled priced still seems to be a good value. However, there’s a good chance that you can find these at a lower price, so feel free to shop around for the best value.

About that oil stain I mentioned in the first paragraph . . . Baby powder is the cure. The trick is to apply the baby powder to the oil stain, and pat it a bit. Allow it to sit for at least an hour, though I usually let mine sit overnight, or until I wash it (which could be two or three days later). After letting it sit for a period of time, launder the item and check to see if the stain is completely gone. Sometimes, the oil is pretty persistent; in those cases, I do the baby powder treatment again. No oil stains seem to last through that second powder treatment.

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(photo courtesy of StockUnlimited)

Baby wipes are another fantastic item to have around (I don’t know what it is with the baby products, but they are fabulous for laundry!). I use these to remove stains from clothing as soon as the spills occur, but I also use these to quickly remove and pretreat stains before laundering. These are good to keep in your glove compartment and in your laundry room.

My handheld steamer is my last favorite laundry item. This is great for knocking out the wrinkles that the dryer may have missed. I love using this on scarves and delicate lingerie as well: it gently removes wrinkles without too much direct heat.

The steamer I own is the Crazo Garment Steamer, pictured above.

 

Do you have any laundry tricks you’d like to share? Tell me in the comments below!