May Day

Hello! It is the first day of May, and I started it off with a refreshing barefoot walk through the morning dew. It was a cold 45 degrees, but so therapeutic.

To dress up my yard for the day, I decorated my little lilac bush and landscape tree with colorful ribbons looped around the branches. They look so pretty when the wind is blowing.

Do you see the violet in the grass? ^^

The day’s cold start turned into gorgeous weather, warm and sunny, so I enjoyed most of the sunlight with a spontaneous tea party~ I made Marie Antoinette tea and picked up some assorted mini cheese cake tarts.

Overall, it has been a very pleasant day. It inspired me to bring out all of my artificial flowers to arrange into vases to set around the house. They are perfect for brightening rooms~

Bye!

Home Remedy Notes: Castor Oil Compress

Hello, everyone! Today I am going to share a home remedy I tried this morning; a castor oil compress. Castor oil is known to help with inflammation. With that in mind, I decided to try a compress for my knee. For the past few weeks, I have been experiencing pain when my knee is bent, which makes it difficult when I need to squat to pick something up, or while sitting in certain positions.

Assessing the symptoms, it seemed to have bursitis–inflammation of the bursa–and since I wanted some relief, I decided to take the opportunity to try this remedy. It calls for: castor oil, a triple-layer flannel cloth, plastic wrap, a hot water-bottle, and baking soda.

This is the cotton flannel I used and the herbal castor oil with the Infinity Jar I store it in

I used an herbal violet leaf infused castor oil that I had made some months back, hence the green color. To apply the oil, it needs to first soak into the cotton flannel cloth. I kept the cloth folded, using a small rectangle section of the cloth to soak the oil into so that it would be enough for only the effected area.

After that, I placed the cloth, oil side down, on my knee and wrapped it with plastic wrap to hold it in place. The compress needed to be on for an hour with applied heat; so from that point, I was reclining in my bed with an XL hot water bottle over the compress–which I made sure to prepare before starting this process to make it easier. ^^

When the hour was over, I removed the plastic wrap, placed the castor oil infused cloth into a zip bag to save for another time, and washed the residue off of my knee using baking soda and water.

Something to keep in mind is that castor oil is super sticky and basically impossible to remove from fabric, so I used disposable gloves while applying the caster oil to the cloth, careful not to touch anything else. Also, I had a towel under my leg to ensure that none of the oil would stain my bed.

So, what was the result? It is surprising, but since the treatment this morning, I actually have not experienced any pain in my knee today. This was a sweet surprise–it feels so much better! ^3^ I hadn’t thought I would notice such a difference after only one application. I will probably repeat this process for the next few days, though, to see if that will prevent the possibility of the inflammation returning.

Has anyone else tried this?

Have a good night!

Angelic Pretty Dolly Cat One Piece Lolita Dress

Hello, sweeties~! I wanted to share my exciting news–I now have my dream dress!  It is a Dolly Cat print, one piece dress by Angelic Pretty in the pink colorway.  This was a re-release from 2015, and I was fortunate to find a seller that was offering one brand new with tag.  ミ( ❀ ◠‿◠ )/☆.。.:

This dress is a mixture of being super-sweet, girly-pink, while still incorporating the classical characteristics of Victorian clothing, such as a high-neckline, gold pearl buttons, bib collar, puffy sleeves, and lace.

The Dolly Cat print is so cute(>◕ω◕<)

This is such a lovely dress. I tried to get a full shot of me wearing the dress to show the whole silhouette and details, but none of the pictures were clear enough–they were too grainy.  ( ・-・̥̥̥ ) So here is a not-too-bad selfie~

Light was poring through the window–so bright

Bye, cuties~

 ​  ₍˄·͈༝·͈˄₎˒˒ 

Product: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker

Hello, people! For the past week, I have been enjoying a new appliance. It is an automatic tea kettle by Breville called the One-Touch Tea Maker. I have never had an automatic tea maker before. Normally, I would heat up an electric kettle of water whenever I felt like it, but sometimes I would forget to come back to make tea when it was done, so I would need to reboil the water. (*^^*)

This is the tea station in my room
Loose tea goes into this basket

But with this appliance, once it’s set up, it can make a delicious brew automatically at whatever time it’s set for. I have been setting it up to brew ten minutes before my daily alarm goes off, so I have fresh tea to start my day!

The display screen shows the temperature and the remaining brew time

It does not over-steep the tea either. This kettle has special brewing features based on the type of tea and desired strength, and based on the temperature the water needs to be for optimal flavor and brew time. However, if you know a certain tea needs more or less brew time, it can be customized. For example, I have a fruit-and-floral tea blend that tastes better the longer it brews, so where the preset brew time would be five minutes, I change it to eight.

The tea is fully brewed!
I love drinking tea from pretty teacups–it tastes so much better that way ^^


This tea maker has been a wonderful investment into my daily routine. It gives me a solid reason to wake up early in the morning. ^^

The full make, style, and name of this product is Breville BTM800XL One-Touch Tea Maker

Has anyone else tried this maker? If not, it’s worth it!

Bye~

Save the Planet: Earth Day

Hi, everyone!  It’s Earth Day, the perfect day to reacquaint yourself with the beauty of this planet and appreciate nature, it’s beauty and longevity. The life cycle in plants, animals, and even the landscape is fascinating as it continues to grow and change.

There are many things that raise awareness of Earth preservation. Making time to forest bathe, sketching a plant, bird watching, plant trees and gardens, setting up bat houses… These are all things that lead to more Earth preservation efforts.

Since it’s sometimes hard to come up with ways to celebrate Earth Day, here is a list of ideas I came up with. ^^

Ideas for the Day

DRINK MATCHA: it tastes like Earthy goodness

FOREST BATHE: go into a forest, with no sounds other than the wildlife, and soak it all in

BIRD WATCH: for a more interactive activity, bird watch; keep track of bird species you find in a notebook

WORK IN YOUR YARD: maybe this is a good time to clean up the landscape or start the garden (if you haven’t already)

SKETCH PLANTS: it’s a good past-time that also gives you drawing practice

READ OUTSIDE: I like to read, specifically from antique botany and plant books, natural remedy guides, and biographies of historical figures

Let’s save the planet. It’s Earth Day.

To finish, I will leave you with a few inspirational quotes from the 19th century national parks advocate, John Muir:

“The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best he ever planted. The whole continent was a garden, and from the beginning, it seemed to be favored above all the other wild parks and gardens of the globe.” –John Muir

“God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools.” –John Muir

Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

Home Tearoom: Sakura Blossom Tea

It’s time for a Home Tearoom session! Right now is the season for cherry blossoms and I wanted to share what it’s like brewing the blossoms themselves into a tea. I have tasted a blended sakura tea, but I wanted to experience the pure flavor of the flower alone. The brand I purchased is Honji-En and the flowers are harvested from a cherry tree variety called Yae-zakura.

First off, the packaged blossoms are preserved with salt and plum vinegar, so they will need to be rinsed before using for tea.

It only took a light dip in the bowl of water to remove the salt. Once the salt was off I placed the flower into a cup of hot water and let it steep for five minutes.

I decided to use this girly Pikachu cup for the tea ~ so cute

It was surprisingly simple washing the salt from the blossom and the tea itself was not salty. However, I probably needed to use less water–there wasn’t any flavor… (*・‐・*)

Eventually, I will try it again, but I want to save the flowers for a special occasion next.

Anyway, if you want to try this yourself, just know that it is not too difficult to rinse off the salt, it’s worth doing, it’s so elegant, and makes for a very photogenic cup of tea.

Thanks for reading ~

Laundering Mysteries

Have you ever looked at a tag on a garment and seen these little graphics you couldn’t understand?  They are laundry symbols and they tell you if and how the garment should be handled to wash, bleach, dry, iron, and dry clean.  You may not see these on many garments, but occasionally you may come across a foreign garment and these symbols come in handy; if you know how to read them. To help you out, I created a pictorial guide to show you what they are and mean.

Symbols mean, in order, machine wash cold, non- chlorine bleach as needed, tumble dry low, iron medium, do not dry clean

In this post I will explain the common symbols and what they mean, so the next time you see a tag with pictures, you will know how to care for your garment.

The international order of laundry symbols is: wash, bleach, dry, iron, dry clean (as shown above).

Washing

The base of the washing symbol is a washing tub.

Read the pictures left to right, starting at the top.

Washing Symbols
  1. This symbol means the garment may be washed normally, with the hottest water available, detergent, and agitation.
  2. Machine wash cold.
  3. Machine wash warm.
  4. Machine wash hot.
  5. Machine wash, permanent press. Garment may be machine laundered only on the setting designed to preserve Permanent Press with cool down or cold rinse prior to reduced spin.
  6. Machine wash gentle or delicate.
  7. This is another way to say machine wash cold or 30 degrees Celsius.  This symbol may be used in combination with the second symbol.
  8. This symbol means water at 40 degrees Celsius or warm.  This symbol may be used in combination with the third symbol.
  9. Water 50 degrees Celsius or hot.  This symbol may be used in combination with the third symbol.
  10. Hand wash.
  11. Do not wash.
Wash cold, non-chlorine bleach, tumble dry low, iron low

Bleaching

The symbol base for bleach is a triangle.

Bleach Symbols

Meanings:

  1. May use bleach.
  2. Use non-chlorine bleach as needed.
  3. Do not bleach garment.

Drying

This section is separated into two categories: tumble dry and natural dry.

The base for drying is a square.

I. TUMBLE DRY

Tumble Dry Symbols
  1. Tumble dry normally.
  2. Tumble dry normally with low heat.
  3. Tumble dry normally with medium heat.
  4. Tumble dry normally with high heat.
  5. Tumble dry normally with no heat.
  6. Tumble dry for permanent press.  This symbol has one line below it.
  7. Tumble dry gentle.  This symbol has two lines below it.
  8. Do not tumble dry.
  9. Do not dry.

II. NATURAL DRY

Natural Dry Symbols

Meanings:

  1. Drying symbol.
  2. Line dry.
  3. Dry flat.
  4. Drip dry.
  5. Dry in the shade.
  6. Line dry in the shade.
  7. Dry flat in shade.
  8. Drip dry in shade.

Iron

The base for an iron is an iron.

Iron Symbols

Meanings:

  1. Iron any temperature, steam or dry.
  2. Iron low, steam or dry.
  3. Iron medium, steam or dry.
  4. Iron high, steam or dry.
  5. Do not steam.
  6. Do not iron.

Dry Cleaning

Since I don’t think it’s practical listing all of the professional dry-clean-only symbols, here are the common ones.

The base for dry cleaning is a circle.

Dry Cleaning Symbols
  1. Dry clean.
  2. Dry clean with petroleum solvent.
  3. Dry clean with any dry cleaning solvent (except trichloroethylene).
  4. Do not dry clean.
Do not wash, to not bleach, do not iron, dry clean with any solvent, do not tumble dry
Machine wash cold and gentle, non-chlorine bleach, dry flat, iron normal

I think it’s time that garment manufacturers better educate the public about these symbols as so many garments are made in other countries and the instructions aren’t written in English.

I hope that my post has helped you understand laundering symbols that you probably never noticed.

Just take note, there are other formats besides the international laundry symbols out there. One notable variation I came across was on a Japanese-made garment with this label:     

Japanese laundry symbols: hand wash cold, no bleach, iron low with pressing cloth, any dry-cleaning agent can be used

This is called the Japanese Care Labeling System.  It’s symbols differ from the international system, but don’t worry; there are plenty of resources online to help you decipher them.  Such as this website called The Indian Textile Journal.  It is a great resource for learning different laundering systems; the International Care Labeling System (GINETEX), ASTM Care Labeling System, British Care Labeling System, Japanese Care Labeling System, Canadian Care Labeling System and the Indian Care Labeling System.

Happy learning!

Hanami: Sakura Flower Viewing ❀

Hello~!  For the last few days I have enjoyed my cherry tree’s blooms.  They finally opened!  I had been eagerly waiting for my weeping cherry tree to flower for weeks.  I was concerned that they would prematurely blow off because of storms, but they have lasted so that I could appreciate the bud-to-bloom progression.  This was my needed excuse to sit under a tree and to enjoy some treats I have been saving for the occasion.

​The items I had were Lipton sakura tea, two types of mochi, a red cocoa KitKat bar, and Little Twin Stars sugar star candies.  I also made roasted barley tea (mugicha) to sip afterward. ^^

Since I had several treats to eat with the tea, I just set them on the saucer and brought it outside.  The tea is a blend of black tea with Japanese cherry blossoms, so it is a dark color.

It is still pretty early in the flowering period, so the tree isn’t super fluffy with flowers yet, but it is still so pretty~ the flowers are pure white with yellow stamens.

This tree blooms during the changing weather, so there is a lot of wind and/or rain that tug at the the delicate petals.  All of these factors make the already short flowering period even more short-lived–I am lucky for it to last a week!  But because of this, I have learned to appreciate the beautiful flowers sooner than later. ^^

Bye~

Happy Easter! Pastels, Tea, Bunnies, Goodies

Hello, sweeties!  Easter is a wonderful holiday.  It coincides with the beautiful Springtime weather, plants growing back and flowering.  Thus there are many Spring aesthetics that work well for Easter.  Here are some of my favorites: for motifs, bunnies, lambs, eggs, flowers, and crosses; pastels colors; real and artificial flowers and grasses for a Springtime feel; and teatime decorations to add a touch of grace and hospitality.

So on that note, I put together some displays in honor of the holiday.  I decorated a pink shelving unit with all kinds of knickknacks.

(* • ᴗ • *) و ̑̑

The top shelf has two lamb ceramic planters decorated with pompom bows.  In the middle is an Easter egg necklace.  It’s so sweet~

On the second shelf I have two Easter baskets, one with a vintage Rainbow Brite Easter card, and the other with Usakumya mini pouch.

There was one new thing I added to the Easter schedule this year: a teatime!  I had a new tea to use for this and some special seasonal cheeses.  The tea was a lovely Marie-Antoinette tea, made of rose petals, apples, and black Ceylon.

For the cheeses, there were three types: Wensleydale with raspberry and white chocolate, Wensleydale with lemon and honey, and aged English cheddar.  They all tasted soo good!  We ate them with Ritz crackers.

All-in-all, Easter day was fun.  I dressed up in a lavender dress and I did wear the Easter egg necklace I showed on that pink shelf–it wasn’t just for display. ^^

Oh, yeah, this was my favorite colored egg~

Toodles~

˙˚ ᕱ⑅ᕱ ˚˙

Vintage Valentines and Cards

Hello!  Here is another mix of vintage Valentine’s Day cards.  This assortment includes Sky Dancers, The Magic of Unicorns, She-Ra, Care Bears, Lovely Lady Locks, Barbie, random vintage, Sailor Moon, and Popples.  They are all sooo cute~! 

Besides the Valentine cards, I also have blank Rose Petal Place cards, a Lisa Frank party invite, Rainbow Brite party invitations, a Hugga Bunch party card, The Swan Princess party invite, and a Lovely Lady Locks thank you card.

In this last picture, you can see the cards are not in a frame… I kind of ran out of nice frames to use. ʕ→ᴥ←ʔ  So they will be on my little pink shelf for now.

Bye~

P.S.: most of the Valentines were purchased from RainbowValentineShop @Etsy. ❥Maria