Getting Organized with Walker Bags

September 25th, 2014 Posted in accessories, Fashion, Handbags, Organization, Style & Fashion | No Comments »

My recent solution to messy contents sloshing around in my handbag are the helpful and lovely double zip pocket Walker Bags.  I love them in metallic mesh for their elegance, though they do come in a range of other playful colors and even in single pockets.

*Photocredit: Walker Bags

 

Keeping Busy

September 19th, 2014 Posted in Arts & Crafts, Filofax, HummMomma's Journal | No Comments »

Since this is my first year in caring for the hummingbirds, their departure to the South has hit me quite hard :(.  I still feel blessed to see a few migratory females now and then but sharing my garden with them brought me great joy and gave me a new sense of purpose.  In order to remedy my literal empty next syndrome, I’ve been dreaming up next season’s garden design with a dual purpose as both hummingbird haven by day and a moonlight garden by night.  I have also lined up multiple art projects e.g. cross-stitch, paper crafts, and field journal, all hummingbird themed of course, to keep me busy while I look forward to their return and the great hope that I will have even more hummers next year :)!

*Photos to follow of my completed projects.  Pictured below is one of my loftier goals.

*Photocredit: 123Stitch.com

hummingbird and fuchsias crossstitch

My Favorite Cosmetic Brushes: Sigma Beauty

August 21st, 2014 Posted in accessories, beauty products, Cosmetics | No Comments »

Soft, durable, least shedding bristles, overall sleek design, grabs just the right amount of pigment whether natural or synthetic fiber [though this depends on you too ;)], fairly affordable (great investment), and easy to clean… these are all the things I love about my Sigma Beauty brushes :).  I have two of their sets (use them daily for nearly 4 years), their full-size and travel-size; it’s ideal to have two different sizes.  My only small qualm is with their eyeshadow brush (Pencil E30) which I use for the outer corners of my eyes; personally I would benefit from a smaller, stiffer brush since I don’t have the deepest creases.  Most people don’t have to be concerned with this…  To be fair, I may not be using the best brush for what I’m trying to achieve so I’ll have to look into another Sigma brush.  Honestly they are the best brushes I’ve ever owned and trust me, I’ve owned a good number of them from many well-known brands.

*Photocredit: Sigma Beauty

 

The Vintage Beauty

August 21st, 2014 Posted in beauty products, Cosmetics | No Comments »

For a long time I believed red lipstick simply looked awful on me.  One day, I was inspired by CamiLovesKiwi on You Tube to give reds another try.  At first I wasn’t used to the bold look of red on me, even with very minimal eye makeup minus winged liner, so I quickly gave up and went back to wearing mostly light to medium neutrals…  I continued to hide within my “safe” colors.  I finally learned that if I wanted to get comfortable with pulling off bold shades like reds and corals, it’s best to stick with it for even a little while ;); afterall, there’s a shade out there for everyone…  just takes a bit of patience to find it.

A few years later and most recently I discovered Besame Cosmetics because of You Tube Chrissstttiiine‘s Lipstick Collection video.  Since I love vintage glamour and retro looks, I was easily seduced by their Noir Red 1930, Merlot 1933, and Red Velvet 1946.  I love their attention to detail, whether the gold packaging with pretty chrysanthemum motif or whistle-shaped lipsticks!  Great formula too!  So give them a try!  Mwahhh ♥

*Photocredit: Besame Cosmetics

Magical Hummingbird Folklore

August 20th, 2014 Posted in HummMomma's Journal | No Comments »

My favorite legend of the magical hummingbird comes from the greeting card company, Papyrus

“Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy, and celebration.  Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends.  Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday.  The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning, and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.”

A good friend recently told me that the presence of hummingbirds is a reminder to appreciate the sweet little things in life ♥

*Photocredit: “The Lovebirds” by Dean Crouser, Artist

watercolor by dean crouser

Scarf Treasure: Faliero Sarti

August 20th, 2014 Posted in accessories, Fashion, scarves | No Comments »

I’m in love!.. again ;)… I saw a gorgeous Faliero Sarti scarf on 11th. Moon’s website because of You Tube’s Chrissstttiiine.  It’s a peachy pink, delicate half cotton half silk with floral border best worn as a shrug scarf in my opinion, though there are many other wonderful ways to fashion a scarf.  I have a soft spot for the Fiorenza since it reminds me of my love for gardening :).

P.S. 11th. Moon’s customer service is impeccable!

*Photocredit: 11th. Moon

A New Relaxation Ritual

August 15th, 2014 Posted in beauty products, Spa Retreat, Toiletries | No Comments »

Inspired by Priscilla Ahn’s (musician) positive review of Rain Living, I’m planning to make a purchase to include a few of their bath bombs and bath salts.  It’s been a small decision put off for too long; maybe about a year even :(.  Oh my, has time flewn!  I recently saw their products at the Westport Connecticut’s Terrain on one of my terrarium shopping expeditions; the first time I’ve seen their stuff sold in a store, though their free-standing shop isn’t too far away by train.  A welcome reminder of how detox and rejuvenation is essential before taking on future cares… and now I must formulate a special bathtime playlist ;)

*Photocredit: Rain Living

My Top New Finds of Summer 2014…

August 14th, 2014 Posted in beauty products, Toiletries | No Comments »

I don’t differentiate between seasonal or day/night scents.  To me preference will always supersede trends.  Here is a playful medley of my new favorites…

While browsing at my favorite Anthropologie, a tube of Library of Flowers‘ Arboretum caught my eye, but didn’t make a purchase until my visit to New York Botanical Garden weeks later ;).  It delivers all that it promises too… “divinely creamy, dissolves quickly into skin, extra-conditioning delivering deep hydration to parched skin, a replenishing pick-me-up, restorative and healing, unique formula with superior soothing power, sublimely scented & irresistibly soft sweet, silky joy at hand!”   With a top note of green cardamom, middle note of ylang ylang, and bottom note of amber resin, you’ll be smelling like a beautiful bloom.  Love their gorgeous packaging as well!  I picked up their reimagined triple-scented perfume alternative, the Parfum Crema (a modern interpretation of parfum intended to be worn in place of traditional fragrance).  I would categorize it as a sophisticated exotic floral and I’m very excited to try all the other scents they offer!

library of flowers arboretum handcreme

*Photocredit: Library of Flowers

 

Can’t wait to become better acquainted with this next brand… none-other-than, Illume Candles.  Their Cactus Verde has a crisp refreshing “green” scent as its name suggests.  It’s a soothing and moisturizing paraben-free blend of cassis, pink sea salt, and wild geranium with a hint of avocado.

 

illume candles Cactus Verde Hand Cream

 *Photocredit: Illume Candles

 

Last but not least, Zents :)… I remember agonizing over the choices of Ore, Petal, Sun, Water; and though the light and feminine fragrance of Petal won out at the end, I still have the other scents on my mind…  Another day, another splurge ;).  Though it’s a”greasier” (for the lack of a better word) formula than the previous two products, its texture is non-lingering and very quickly soaked up by the skin.  I always feel like Cleopatra as I open the pretty stone container (so very nice!), as crazy as this sounds.  With the notes of lily of the valley, freesia, and lemon, it’s no wonder that anyone would feel like a queen ;).  Zents raves, “this deep conditioning daily treatment balm transforms even the driest skin, repairing moisture-depleted elbows, knees, heels and cuticles. With a powerful infusion of 100% organic shea butter and a protective dose of beeswax, the Concreta rehydrates and restores skin’s natural softness.”  I can substantiate that this is no empty rave!

ZENTS Concreta Petal

*Photocredit: Zents

Hummingbird Books & Websites

August 14th, 2014 Posted in HummMomma's Journal | No Comments »

Along the way I’ve discovered several amazing books and websites regarding hummingbirds and wanted to share…

 

The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley

 

The Sibley Guide to Birds book by DAS

 

Hummingbirds of North America: The Photographic Guide by Steve N.G. Howell

 

Hummingbirds of North America book bu SNGH

 

The Secret Lives of Hummingbirds by David Wentworth Lazaroff

 

The Secret Lives of Hummingbirds book by DWL

 

The Complete Book of Hummingbirds by Tony Tilford

 

The Complete Book of Hummingbirds book by TT

 

*Photocredit: Amazon.com

 

Websites:

Hummingbird Society

Hummingbird Journey North (migration patterns)

Hummingbird Gardening

Garden Experiments

Audubon e.g. please also see nectar sources by region

New Jersey Audubon

The Wisconsin Gardener (Kathi & Michael Rock)

Duncraft

Park Seed

Bellacor

Creek Tree

Hummingworlds

Birdzillia

World of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds.net

Hummingbird HQ

Par.A.Sol

Hummingbird Society: Hummingbird 101

Hummingbird Garden with Perennials & Annuals

August 1st, 2014 Posted in Home & Garden, HummMomma's Journal | No Comments »

I started gardening in 2004, creating a perennial raised-bed garden (always remember that raised beds need extra watering!).  When my husband and I returned from our Cape May trip early June, after discovering the presence of hummingbirds, I decided to read more on the topic (a resource post will follow this one).  Transforming my old perennial garden into a hummingbird garden has been a great source of joy for me!  Through this process, I’ve rediscovered my passion for gardening; sadly I had abandoned my perennial garden for a few years minus some basic pruning, post Fall & winter cleanup, and fertilizing (meaning there were no new plant installations/landscaping for a while).  Even with the recent new plant additions, I have kept a few of my previous perennials, namely Dragon’s Blood, daylily, bleeding hearts, and miniature roses.  The others since have been transferred to a neighboring garden patch which we usually refer to as “The Bowling Pin” because of its shape.  I saw a question posted to The Hummingbird Society Facebook site (hope you will decide to join!) regarding the perfect zone-specific plants and flowers to establish in one’s garden to successfully attract these birds.  My best advice is to consult with your local nursery; they can be a wealth of information and you will have the confidence in knowing your purchase will have a higher potential to thrive in your garden.  I know, shameless plug here to support your local small business, but you know how much I love small businesses ;)!  My local nursery even had a printout highlighting perennials versus annuals (was very thankful for this list)!

The following are for Zone 6 (keep in mind these are dependent on sunlight and water conditions in your garden):

Astilbe
Beard’s Tongue
Bee Balm
Begonia
Blue Indigo
Bugleweed
Butterfly Weed
Canna
Cleome
Columbine
Coral Bells
Dahlia
Delphinium
Foxglove
Fuchsia
Garden Phlox
Gayfeather
Geranium
Gladiola
Hollyhock
Honeysuckle
Hosta
Impatiens
Joe-Pye-Weed
Lantana
Lily
Lupine
Morning Glory
Monkshood
Montbrieta
Nasturtium
Pentas
Petunia
Pincushion
Red-Hot Poker
Red Valerian
Rose Mallow
Sage
Snapdragon
Sweet William
Turtlehead
Verbena
Veronica
Zinnia

There may be more hummingbird-attractive plants I have not included on my list; I don’t consider it comprehensive since I’m still learning like you.  I will try to update as I encounter them in the future.  I hope this list will be helpful to all of you in Zone 6!  Seems like nectar-producing species, red (hummers can see color), and/or tubular-shaped flowers (in which they typically find their bugs of choice here) are the way to go ;).  Remember to set out your nectar feeder(s) and keep them very clean and full.  The hummingbirds will become more and more reliant as nectar-producing flowers diminsh with the progression through summer into autumn.   Also, place your feeders near these hummer-friendly plants.  Hummingbirds love a place in which they can enjoy opportunities for shade, part sun, full sun, and cover (mature trees & shrubs) as a protection against potential danger.  I suspect this is why they’ve chosen to remain in our garden for this reason.

Below, is a picture of my hummingbird garden in the middle of its transformation, enjoy =)…

As always, happy gardening!

*Photocredit: NYCupcake

 

nycupcake hummingbird garden