Monday, April 1, 2024

I'm in a slump of some sort

 

I've been struggling with ideas lately. This happens when I'm overwhelmed at work.  Or over stimulated. Or lazy. I fall into a slump that is sometimes hard to get out of. 

My plan is to write up a brief review for a couple of books I've read the past month.  I'm hoping this pushes me in the direction of reading the other two books in the series. The series consists of four books written by Alice Hoffman, written about the Owens women through the generations.  

As many of us did, I fell in love with Practical Magic the first time I saw the movie, so so many years ago. It is now a quasi Halloween tradition as we watch it every October.  When I learned there were books, I was beyond excited to read them.  

I’m trying to get back into reading like I used to, back when I loved to read and get lost in a fantasy world.  I’d gobble up a book (or two) in a weekend.  Then law school happened and I’d read a couple hundred pages a night to prepare for class the next day.  Law school legit killed my desire to read anything.  I graduated in 2014. I was able to read a whole book (after starting it at least 11 times) in 2018.  Since then, I’ve read many books and the Practical Magic series is my latest grab. 

It is said that you can read these books in any order, because they all tie into each other but do not require reading one before the other.  Chronologically, however, the books flow are as follows:

Magic Lessons, set in 1664 tells the story of Maria Owens.

The Book of Magic, set in the 1960-70s, tells the stories of Franny, Jet, and their brother, Vincent

The Rules of Magic, set after the Book of Magic, tells the story of Franny and the things we do for love. At any cost.

Practical Magic, is set in the 80s-90s and tells the story of sisters Jilly (Gillian) and Sally.  

I have read the first two books, Magic Lessons and The Book of Magic.  So I'll write up a brief review of each and post them in the next few days. And by days, I probably mean weeks. Because again, work, lazy, yadda yadda yadda. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Record your journey

I've created more books! 

Are you looking to expand your mind? Delve into deeper thoughts? Dip your toe into the world of witchcraft?  The occult? Goddesses and Deities? These books will record your journey.

Book of Knowledge: A lined Journal, Diary, Grimoire, Notebook  (coming soon in a larger size and in blank and dot grid options).  YAY!  

Behold the Book of Knowledge – a 120 page journey into the realm of whatever you make it. This Book of Knowledge is your blank canvas for whatever mystical mischief you fancy. Document your not-so-serious magical mishaps, create your own incantations, creative spells, potion experiments, and doodles that may or may not resemble sigils or mystical creatures. Whether you're a seasoned witch or a magical newbie, this journal is your canvas for conjuring dreams and curiosities, your magical confidant. Flip it open, let the inner you flow, and may your spells be potent and your adventures enchanting.

Lilith Sigil: A blank Journal/Diary, Grimoire, Book of Knowledge, Notebook currently available in paperback and hard copy. (coming soon in a larger size and in lined or dot grid options). 

Lilith, a rebel, feminist, fiercely independent, a goddess, the original she-demon, not just Adam's first wife.  The Lilith book of magic helps you dive into your deeper self.  Lilith holds little something for everyone. Add your own instructions for spells, charms, or invocations. Write down your thoughts, feelings, wants and desires. Include recipes and instructions for divination. It is known by many names: book of spells, book of knowledge, magick/magic book, or simply a spell book, book of shadows, and of course Grimoire. Whatever you call it, it is yours to become whatever you you desire it to be.

  • Record your dreams and thoughts and your feelings; Draw, doodle, track spells, recipes, and outcomes.
  • Write your spells, charms, rituals.
  • Draw your tarot layouts
  • Create your sigils
  • Each journal includes two pages of basic symbols/sigils and related information

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Journals, Notebooks, Diaries - blank, lined, & dots for your thoughts

I've created several journals, notebook, diaries, burn books, whatever you want to call them.  They're fun and sassy and easy on the eyes.  Some are easily portable at 6" x 9", and others are 8" x 10". There are paper back and hard cover. I'm working on getting several updated so there is a blank, lined, or dot grid styles, available in both paperback and hard copy, as well as both sizes.  In the meantime, the following are ready for order:

 Thoughts and Pears (6"x9", paperback)

 

Hopes + Screams: A dumping ground for those thoughts that can't be hashtagged  (6"x9", paperback)



 

Corn I tell you something? (6"x9", paperback)

 

 

 


Bullet Journals. These come in paperback or hard copy. 

                                 

Bullet Journal (Pink) Paperback          Bullet Journal (Blue) Paperback
Bullet Journal (Pink) Hard Copy          Bullet Journal (Blue) Hard Copy

I also made an activity book.  Filled with word searches, mazes, Sudoku, tic tac toe, letter tiles, and a few other brain games. It's available in paperback and the it's currently on sale as a Kindle edition.   


  Oh look! Another Activity Book - paperback | Kindle

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to shop around and please, follow my author page to get new release updates, and promotional or special offers.  Thanks as always for your support. 

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Make you're own vanilla extract

Making your own vanilla extract is not difficult but it does take a minute.  Or 264,960 minutes if you're counting.

Need: 
Patience
About six months
Preferably two 8 ounce jar(s) with a tight lid(s)
12 to 16 vanilla beans/pods*
Vodka*
 
*good vodka. good beans/pods.
 
By good I mean not the cheapest out there. For my extract, I use Tito's or Five Wives (a local Utah brand). 
 
By good beans/pods, I also mean not the cheapest out there. There are Grade A and Grade B beans/pods and my understanding is that the Grade A are longer in size.  Grade B are slightly cheaper (and apparently recommended for making extract).  I have used both Grade A and B and do not have a preference. 
 
I have heard that the Madagascar Organic Vanilla and Tahitian Vanilla beans/pods are good. Both are Grade A. I haven't tried Tahitian.  I suggest trying a couple different kinds of beans/pods.  Maybe you can tell a difference in taste/quality, but honestly, I cannot. Me palate is not refined. I used a Grade B Madagascar Vanilla Bean from Amazon for my current batch and it's as good as any I've tried.  I get my vanilla on Amazon because it's better than what I can find at local grocers, and often slightly cheaper online.  Plus, I don't have to leave my house. #Winning
 
To begin, you want to wipe your vanilla beans with a damp paper towel to clean them. Make a slit down the side of the beans (you don't need to cut in half but it won't hurt them). Basically you're just opening them up to expose the vodka to the vanilla.  If any of the bean guts come out, just scrape them into your jar. The guts are the good stuff.

Add 6 to 8 beans (about 1/2 to 3/4 ounce/15g to 21g) to a clean, dry jar.  Cover the beans with 8 ounces of vodka. You can fold or cut the beans in half if they're too tall to be completely submerged.  Close tightly and give a good shake.  

Put the jar in the back of your cupboard or some other dark place where it will sit until you remember it again. The jar needs to be out of direct sunlight. 

Give your jar a vigorous shake every 6 weeks or so.  I usually shake mine on the first day of the month when I change my calendar (because the jar is in the same cupboard where the calendar hangs).  Set a reminder on your phone or just don't worry about it. But it'll be better vodka if you give it a shake routinely.  

Now the patience part. You need to let your vodka sit for AT LEAST six months before you use it.  The longer it sits, the better it tastes.  Some people say you can use the extract after two months. I believe those people are wrong
 
I suggest making two jars at once so you've always got a jar in use, and a jar brewing. During the holidays, we will easily use a whole 8 ounce jar so it's good to always have a spare. Especially when you're waiting months for it to be ready.  
 
Plus, I promise once you make your own vanilla extract and let it age 6 months to a year (the longer, the better), you'll never use store bought again.  It really is that good and your food tastes better for it. And you know exactly what's in it.