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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to You All!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who see this.
I am MOST grateful today, being able to shop this week, and this time at a new store we didn't have here in these parts yet, Trader Joe's. Before I even walked in, all the Holiday Greenery outside hooked me and I got my Holiday Greens.
 I found those little cypress style evergreens I wanted for the first time, and had no idea where to find them and lo and behold, there they were in two sizes at affordable prices, in silver and gray containers, perfect......with glitter I might add! :D:D:D. 
I got pine garland, a boxwood wreath, a mixed green swag.......a miniature FRAGRANT rose, a white flowering plant I have never seen before, organic apples, raw cashews for ice cream and a bottle of wine for $2.99!? we shall see if it is decent.....everyone looked at my cart and commented how beautiful it was with all the greenery and miniature flowers and I couldn't stop smiling at everyone, and so many people smiled at me too. One of the managers also loved my cart and said all I needed was candles which I DID need actually but didn't know they carried and there were the tapers cheaper than any I'd found before! A perfect day.

I am so grateful today and wish for everyone always, healthy delicious food, beautiful shelter, loving friends and family, health, joy, wealth and Gardens of Beauty!

sharing this with Home and Garden Thursday

and with The Charm of Home


Monday, November 24, 2014

A Place For Beauty

*Hello Lovelies.....

I have a book that I love. It always brings me to rights. I read it often and gaze at its images before bed so I can relax enough to get to sleep. It also is so correct in every aspect of what it is expressing, about the Intimate Home ~ Creating a Private World. That is the name of the book and it was put out by Victoria Magazine.

You can get the book on amazon now for penny and it is worth far more than that. The irony.
I think in a harsh world, every woman needs to be reminded of the essential requirement for seeking grace and timelessness, and a greater indulging into Beauty of Self....and when I say "self".....this is inclusive of the whole of body mind and spirit.....take care of the body also nurtures the spirit, this I have felt. Take care of the spirit, also nurtures the is one and the same

I want to share one of its chapters called "A PLACE FOR BEAUTY''.............

"devotion to beauty is a careful and daily tending, a ritual
 of polish and gentle refinement that takes place from
 bathing to dressing. In a place for beauty, a woman looks
 leisurely to her appearance and increases her allure. 
Such a pleasurable time deserves surroundings filled with grace".


''Victorians treated the daily ritual of bathing and dressing the same way they approached all aspects of everyday living, with a lavish appreciation for utilitarian beauty and an equally lavish love of the sensory. After the day began with a languid steep or under the invigorating needles of a shower, came the toilette, the measured application of cosmetics, jewelry, and perfume, and enhancement of the body before dressing.
Toilette, the devotion to beauty, is not practiced in a hurried way. A woman is seated in comfort before a vanity on which is laid everything needed to pamper, nurture, replenish, and protect her beauty. Prepared with creams and foundations, the face in the looking glass is the canvas on which a woman works her art. Palettes of color appear from a vanity drawer for a delicate brush of petal pink or soft lilac. Then, the skin is given a final polish with an airborne sprinkling of silken powder from a feathery pouf, a finish that will cause the face to glow with the inner beauty of porcelain. Finally, perfume, the heart note of a woman's soul, decanted in heavy cut-glass flacons, is applied. When a gentlewoman steps from her dressing room, the sweet results of her labor are for the world to behold.''

I have told of my desire to have all nurturing things in one place and my intuition was right. When there is no place for tending leisurely, with focus and attention, that which needs tending will suffer.
I knew everything should be organized so that the tending to ones skin and beauty was time well spent with everything I need and use in one place, not merely organized but so aesthetically pleasing that the space enticed me, pulled me in to spend the time, making nurturing an enjoyment of all the senses. In that case, one is regularly looking forward to tending to oneself. And the results are that one feels beautiful, regardless.

I was gifted a vanity as an early Christmas present and I am in love with it. But before I found it I was trying to figure out how to create such a vanity. I had the space, I just didn't know how to put it together. There are many ways and I have discovered another just today in my imagination.

First one must gather all the things they use and see what they have so they know what kinds and size of containers one actually needs. If one cannot find a proper vanity, then trips to the stores or thrift stores will come up with a small desk, maybe with drawers on one side, or a secretary desk or even a flat desk will do as long as you can sit in front of it with your legs beneath it. Benches usually come with them but if not, they are easily found in stores too. They can be covered with fabric you love or simply draped with a lace. For the top you can find lovely small cabinets from stores like Home Goods, Marshall's, TJ Maxx etc, sometimes in the bathroom section called medicine cabinets which can be decorated inside and out....... and collect beautiful containers that you love for all the things you use and want to store. Then you can find lovely mirrors etc. Painting the desk, containers, mirror etc to the color or look you want is important to give it that purposeful look of being a vanity.
I happen to like cut glass Victorian style jars etc which are found in thrift stores or on ebay. You can also find beautiful ones in the stores mentioned above or get creative. You can decoupage containers or even the desk you find using some of the gorgeous napkins sold in places like Party City. I'm actually going to decoupage this secretary desk soon.
Use your imagination by seeing in your mind what you want to see.

The idea my muse gave me today was a plain desk can be made into a vanity with a beautiful stylish jewelry box on top to hold any cosmetics and jars one uses. I found some really useful looking ones by googling them in images and realized these can work well if you don't have drawers.
One like this for example comes with a mirror already. It can be painted or decoupaged, trimmed with metal trim or appliques, etc....

Can't you just see this one filled with brushes, small jars, compact makeup rounds, cotton balls, etc? I don't use much so this would be enough for me. One could remove the top part for the rings and use the space for jars. There are so many styles and sizes to choose from and thrift stores usually have them. A mirror could be found to fit the desk or hung on the wall behind it.

I just think they are important, these Places for Beauty.
I wish to see a return of the woman who spends the time on her God Given Feminine Grace and Beauty, slowing down in the rush driven society where busy is celebrated and nurturing laid to the side.
I wish to see more nurturing and ''busy'' laid to rest. In this way a natural repose is released like endorphins and may catch you by surprise how wonderful it is......if you give it the space, and the time.
I wish to see the woman who spent such care for her appearance that she oozes a rare dignity. She KNOWS when she shows up, she will have made a statement of refinement. She will receive admiration.....not for her outer beauty but for the inner one she refines by nurturing herself through the looking glass. It is a vibe, an energy the woman emanates when she has tended well to her Self.
I wish to see more vanities......if you have them please share. If you make one please share.

Here is mine for the moment.......I have three more jars I for powder, which I'm going to make...... one for my shea butter, and another for the organic coconut oil I use to cleanse my face each night. I prefer all to be in the same type of glass jar with silver lid. I abhor plastics and things with ads on them, I just want the pure product in pure just makes me feel more beautiful.

And there is nothing more beautiful than the woman who feels beautiful, no matter what.

sharing this with A Return to Loveliness

and with The Charm of Home 


and with Rooted In Thyme

and with Shabbilicious Friday

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Gardening Blog, Please Share

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to share a new blog, Serena's South Florida Garden, I have created for journaling my ever deepening love of the Green Kingdoms and Mother Earth. I have decided to literally garden my own passion, to make it grow, especially after watching several dozen shows of gardeners from England such as Carol Klein and Monty Don of Gardeners World, and their gardens, their travels around the world to beautiful gardens, seeing what is indeed possible by gardeners all over the globe, and how beautiful and devoted these beings are to the beauty and life giving plants and trees of this world, the immeasurable Beauty they create from such a diverse imagination.
You can watch a fantastic series of 10 one hour shows here Around the World in 80 Gardens in this playlist which has blown my mind and heart wide open.
This one below is only the first of 10 shows all highly recommended.

A playlist I highly recommend is Great Britains Garden Revivals, excellently presented and demonstrating how people all over the world can green up the planet for the benefit of every living thing, and its easy to do. 

I have been even more opened up to the passion of Gardens and Gardening, its great medicine in not only feeding us but its abilities to alleviate things like depression and purposelessness, and to raise us to great spiritual heights through the simple observance of its Beauty, arranged through loving hands.

This is about my quest for such great beauty, self sustainability, to live and nurture the Earth and to live Green. And so I created Serena's South Florida Garden to journal my deepening experience of it here in South Florida, a unique climate.

I want to connect with other gardeners of this world, so Please share with others who are gardeners as I'd like to be part of a communicative group of people who garden for food, passion, for sanity, for flowers, for an organic and self sustaining and green, beauty full and abundant lifestyle.

sharing this with FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bougainvillia As Cut Flowers

This is the time of year here in South Florida, when Bougainvilleas bloom. I don't normally like reds inside the house, but my magenta bougainvillea has lots of flowers right now, the oldest one....but they couldn't be seen from the outside, only behind the lattice wall, and only if you are a bird. So I cut some down along with some coleus, bought them inside and mixed with some faux, made several arrangements for the house.

Bougainvilleas are beautiful, and as showy and bright and intense with color they can be few people think of cutting them and bringing them inside. There are so many flowers held in such high esteem and others overlooked. I think bougainvilleas are beautiful.



 Just sharing some beauty of Nature in Flowers.....always must have flowers. Blessed Be.

sharing this post with A Return to Loveliness


Monday, November 10, 2014

D.I.Y. Topiary From Cuttings, and Flowers

*I felt like having topiary's. They are enchanting my heart again. I have a few outside but wanted some inside. I knew there must be a way to make some and do it simply, and I did. I used whatever I have growing here on the property, and cutting and shaping it into topiary ball shape, somewhat :D, inserting into an urn or pretty container filled with rocks, crystals, pebbles, marbles etc, and water, and I have topiary's.
You too can make some out of something you have growing.

I have a bush called Thryalis which has fragrant yellow blossoms, and the stems are woody. I went through the stems for length and a roughly roundish head and I cut it, trimmed it and inserted into pots.  This is the first one I did, then I wanted more. :D      How adorable is this?!


 I love odd shapes, not perfect balls, a little bit Nature, when some rogue branches simply must break through forced structure? alot like me :D

 This one sits on the Vanity, its about a foot high. As long as its in water it will do well for a time.


 I love this little guy :D



I wanted more. :D:D:D So I went out and cut three long stems of coleus which I have plenty of, and tied them together at the ''head'', trimmed the lower leaves which were only few, and filled another container with rocks and water, added a stake and tied it.

 I had two of the same containers so I did another one lolol....these two are sitting on the mantle.

I wonder what You have around that you can cut and shape into topiary and put into a nice urn or container?? get imaginative and see what you can come up with. I'd love to see. You can make much larger ones, or much smaller ones....they are all adorable.
I want to do a couple more and line the top with moss....I LOVE moss! Laying on top of the rocks in water will do them well too, for a spell......indoors.

Some random pics of flowers and things that are moving my Spirit......

I moved this vase of dried baby's breath from my bureau to the middle room, and I LOVE how the sun hits them and the little beaded garland which you can't see, mimics them, there is something magical here which can not be created but just happens

 I will explain these pretty jewel tone little boxes in a minute......

I refreshed the plumosa fern I keep in a very tall apothecary jar, and these ones have tiny tiny white flowers. I tried to capture them but they didn't come out, but the wildness and airy lightness of this whimsical fairy fern takes my breath away.

 spray roses and musaenda, rosemary and coleus

Is there any such thing as too many pictures of lavender roses in a silver pitcher??!  I didn't think so :D

 I was keeping tall palm fronds in a vase here but I didn't like it lately. I figured a nice living houseplant with flowers would do well, and I love the peace lily.....such huge elegant blooms! Into a Chinese planter which I wasn't doing anything with, perfect when that happens!

 An odd thing.....I am taking supplements again, and they are helping, but all those ugly plastic jars with odd labels and print makes me dizzy and I don't like seeing them laying around. John found these beautiful trinket boxes a couple years ago and brought them home for me because I have a large jewelry box given for a Christmas present that match them.

I never found a good use for them until now.....I use them to keep my vitamins and now I actually take them every day because it is such a pretty thing to do lolol.......

I was taking only 4 supplements but then I added one more and didn't have a box for them, ugh....:D until yesterday, when I found a small mercury glass trinket box. It is NOT for food only decor but I needed it for my vitamins so I lined it with a silver doiley, and it works just perfectly......



Hope this gives you Pretty Ideas.
Sharing this with A Return to Loveliness

and with Rooted In Thyme

and with The Charm of Home