Three Things Thursday! May 26 2016

Woot!  It’s Thursday!  Sure, I keep thinking it’s actually Friday but.. that’s okay.

Thursday means it’s time for Three Things Thursday (hosted by Nerd in the Brain over at This Nerds Life!  A time to look back on some of the things that made me smile this week !  I started to do this over on Eclectic Alli Nails too, but here are three different things to make me smile!

  1. Midnight is being an entertaining Monster. If he’s not trying to coax the birds to come closer to the window by chirping at them, he’s scaling my desk chair, or turning my feet into a pillow (because apparently a lumpy pillow is the place to sleep.20160525_215553
  2. Last weekend just flew by because I ended up having a some unexpected social time! Saturday was going to see Annie and getting dinner with one friend, and then Sunday I did some childcare in the morning followed by an unexpected lunch date with another friend!  No pictures from those, but it was great to have time to catch up with both of those friends!
  3. I’ve lost some weight:)  I don’t talk a lot about weight on this blog, but I’ve started this new health-class/program offered through my health care provider and it’s been really neat to see it being effective!  It’s not a diet (because those just don’t work) but a gentle adjustment to lifestyle and eating/exercise choices that seems to be working well for me.  It hasn’t taken a lot of weight off yet (I’ve been at it for about a month) but I think I’m also just starting to really make the changes that will make a difference.

What’s made you smile this week?  


What’s inside a flower?

wp-1462307048487.pngFlowers… this month is all about flowers!  But I have seen woefully few flower things around.

So I want to directly challenge you all — with the promise of a prize!  Share with me some of your favorite flower-related things!

It could be a flower-related literary exercise (flower-based fiction?  I spent most of the last year participating in “Pink for All Seasons” which involved re-reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation series, all sorts of “flowers” in there!)

Maybe you want to dissect a flower and learn about the different parts.

Perhaps you want to learn about some of the different flowers and plants that bloom near where you live (for a real challenge, learn their Latin names!)

Put your photography skills to use!  Go on a flower-walk and take pictures of the most interesting things you see.

Create a picture from flower-petals, or do a flower-rubbing (like a leaf rubbing, only using a flower).

Try some flower-science.  Have you ever made a carnation turn colors?

Have fun, explore the flowery world around us, and share with me and Nerd In The Brain what you do!  You can link back to this post, or tag me on instagram, twitter, or facebook!

Let’s add some flowers to the interwebs!

Flowers in my front garden

If We Were Having Coffee- Theater Day~

If we were having coffee I’d tell you that it’s theater day again!  We’re nearing the end of my season ticket year, and I haven’t been able to renew the tickets for next year yet (and may have to give next year a pass).  Today’s show is Annie — I’ve only ever seen the old movie, so it will be interesting to see the stage production!

I’d tell you that I’m really excited about the new Disney Collection by Jamberry release – and for the wraps I’ve been designing.  I’ve been working on a new blog (this one isn’t going anywhere!) to put some more of my nail stuff on — it’s exciting and will be great to have a place to blog about some of this stuff without bothering all of you:)

I’d also tell you that I started to write again! It’s been a long drought where fiction has been running slow – but there was a beautiful day when I was able to sit outside and write during my lunchbreak… and it felt so good to do so!  I got a scene sketched out for the novel I put aside a few months ago, and came to some decisions about the problems that the novel has. It was awesome to have these realizations after so long of sitting with it, to finally have an idea of where I went wrong and what I need to do to fix it.  A reminder that I have to let things take their own time.

I don’t have much else to talk about, my back has pretty much healed up.  There are still plenty of other things that I need to get figured out, but I’m sustaining for now and that’s good enough.

I’m working on trying to get back into the flow of things with the blogs – it’s been hard to figure out what I’m doing sometimes and to get back into the flow of writing regular blog posts, so I’m trying to find ways to structure my time to get done what I want to get done.

How are you doing?  How have your weeks been?  Is there anything you’re struggling to get back into the flow of doing?

Stop and Smell the Roses.

wp-1462307048487.pngThis month’s theme for Go Play, Go Learn is “Flowers.”  So let’s think a bit about some of the places that we find flowers.

I mean, obviously, they’re in the gardens, growing in the wilds, and sometimes between the cracks in the sidewalk (or growing out of the storm grates).  But we also encounter them other places. I find flowers in book titles (Rose in Bloom, Flowers for Algernon).  I see it in phrases that we toss about like “Stop and smell the roses.”  Even when I doodle they sometimes turn out to look like flowers.

Where are some of your favorite, and perhaps unexpected, places that you encounter flowers?

Passionate Geek – Powder Compacts!

This months Passionate Geek is Robin. Robin Rivera trained as a professional historian and worked as a museum curator. She writes young adult thrillers and her blog is Or you can find her on Twitter at @RobinRWrites.

Background Artwork by Rose B. Fischer
Background Artwork by Rose B. Fischer.

I’ve been collecting powder compacts for years. My first one was a gift from my mom when I was about sixteen and I’ve been hooked every since. There are so many advantages to collecting compacts.

1. They are small. A huge number of them fit in a small box. They are not super fragile. And as long as you keep the dry and in acid free paper they’re easy to store.
2. You can find them in every price range. You can find inexpensive modern ones for a few dollars at yard sales. Or gold ones set with diamonds for tens of thousand of dollars at auction houses.
3. They are so many styles and colors to choose from. Even souvenir compacts from historic sites and monumental events, like Worlds Fairs or the Olympics from throughout the 19th century.

Stratton is one of my favorite names in compacts, I own five of them all made pre 1960. The oldest one is from about 1930.

Stratton started making compacts in 1923 in Birmingham England. World War II destroyed four of the company’s factories forcing them to halting compact production until 1946.

Although post war production was slow at first, Stratton became a well-respected brand and sold compact worldwide until the 1980’s when demand for compacts slowed down. The company was shut down for a few years in 1997, sold and reopened on a much smaller scale. The Stratton heritage for quality and style still remains.

My favorite Stratton compact is from the luxury ocean liner era and dates from the 1950s. It was common for Stratton to make compacts for liners to give as gifts for all first class female passengers. Mine features the P and O Line flag, however others versions feature images of ships in profile and those are highly sought after.

My next favorite compact company is Elgin American. As Art Deco exploded the Elgin American company embraced it, they hired designers from France and quickly brought to the American market a huge selection of personal products including compacts, lighters, desksets and carryalls that embodied this new aesthetic. Carryalls are a step beyond a compact. They have tiny compartments for not only powder but lipsticks, cigarettes and even money.

I happen to own a gorgeous 1940’s carryall called the Gazelle made by Elgin American. It’s a gold tone metal clutch shape decorated inside and out with motifs of leaping gazelles. My carryall contains a powder compartment, a cigarette compartment, a money clip, a rouge compartment and a space for a lipstick.

Unlike many other compact collectors, I am fickle. I will buy any compact I take a liking too regardless of manufacture.However, these two are my favorites.

If you want to start your own collection five tips to remember!

1. Age: Do your homework before you buy. A new compact can look exactly like its older more valuable cousin. Because compacts are mass-produced and machine made it is often small distinctions in size, shape, quality and compositions that define new from old.

2. Condition: Just because something is beat up (or as collectors call it: purse worn) is not a reason to reject a compact outright. However, scuffs and scratch should be reflected in the pricing. Also some types of wear are easier to deal with than others, like a sticking catch.

3. Completeness: A compact is its parts. Puffs, sifters, and mirrors all count as part of the item. They should be included. Don’t underestimate the value of the original puff to a hard core collector. Also the bag and box the compact sold in are highly sought after.

4. Manufacturer and features: Some company is known for their own innovations so always look for a makers mark. For example, Stratton compacts are known for the way their inner powder compartment door releases as you open the compact. A feature intended to save your nail polish from chipping.

5. Style or uniqueness: Compacts are commercial items, lots of them were made. Understanding how popular each compact is helps create a better understanding of the values. Some brands are only coveted for a few styles or a style they are best known for. Elgin American, for example, is highly prized for Deco examples. So compacts favoring long lines and geometric shapes as decoration.

Compact Books


If you want to try your hand at compact collecting I highly recommend joining a group so you can learn from some experts. However, there are also many blogs, YouTube videos, museums classes and books out there to help new collectors learn more about compacts.

If We Were Having Coffee – Guard Cat and Bed Week

If we were having coffee I’d have to meet you somewhere that has a place where I can lay down.  I threw out my back on Tuesday and have spent the week in bed in a fog of medicine-induces sleepiness.  The back is healing up slowly, my muscles are loosening bit by bit. I’m very hopeful that by Monday I’ll be able to go back to work — but this week has been strange.  I’m not used to doing so much NOTHING.  Normally I can at least read, or write, or something… but most of my time has been spent being able to do little other than zone out at the TV (well, phone screen streaming movies), and sleep. Broken up by maneuvering myself to the kitchen for a meal to take my medicine with.

My view for most of the week
My view for most of the week

Not my most exciting week, and certainly not much to tell about.

Midnight has been an excellent snuggler and encouraging me to remain in bed.\


I’ve been able to do some more Jamberry work — it’s been pretty cool to see the excitement about the Throw Back Thursday wrap (available only through Monday!) I’ve ordered a few because they’re lots of fun.


Throwback Thursdays are something that they’ll be doing for 10 weeks and I’m looking forward to seeing what other wraps they bring back.  Since I’m so new to Jamberry a lot of the “throwback” styles are going to be new to me!

Oh!  I’d also tell you that this month I’m hosting the Go Play, Go Learn STEAM challenge — the theme is Flowers!  Check it out – I’m hoping to have lots of fun with this one!

That’s about all I can do now, my back is starting to hurt again from sitting up so I have to go pay another visit to bed.  I’d love to hear about how your week has been, though!  What are you up to?

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted every weekend by Part Time Monster – it’s a great change to check in with one another, take a break from whatever is going on in our lives and check in with one another. Check out her page to join in the fun and be sure to pay visits to other participants to check in!


Go Play, Go Learn STEAM Challenge!


It’s May so, naturally our STEAM challenge (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), we’re going to have the theme of flowers!


Here’s how it works:

All month you’re encouraged to explore flowers! Learn about them, create art about them (or with them! Did you know that there are different methods of flower arranging?), write about them, choreograph an interpretive dance… the sky’s the limit!

All month, Nerd In The Brain and I will be exploring flowers on our blogs – and we want you to share what you’re doing!

Blog your projects (be sure to tag us so we see it!), share on twitter, tumblr, Facebook or Instagtam. Or even just email us to let us know what you’re doing – we’d love to hear about it!

And who can participate?  EVERYONE!!  Grown-ups, families, kids, everyone is encourage and welcome to participate!

Be sure to let us know – email us, or use the contact form,  share on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or by linking back to this post! (use the tag #goplaygolearn to help spread the word!)

At random we’ll choose someone who participated to be the Nerd honored on the sidebar of the blog.  Even if you haven’t been chosen as the honored Nerd, you’re welcome to snag a Nerd badge (available starting next Friday)…  as long as you’ve participated in a challenge, of course!)

Look out for some flower fun coming all around social media this month!

The challenge will be open through May 31, 2016!

What kind of flower fun are you thinking of doing this month?  Will you be planting flowers? 

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.


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