About Tessa Grace

I'm a 20something student lucky enough to grow up in the beautiful foothills of Northern California. This profile is a work in progress.

TiLT: Going Retro

It’s Mercury Retrograde. Again. [groan]

I feel like this flipping planet is in retrograde more often than not, and boy, it never hesitates to let me know when it is. Even when I prepare for it by rereading Gala Darling’s post, backing up my files, and being extra careful with my papers and electronics, everything seems to go profoundly wrong. Today is no exception: In the past 18 hours we were woken at 3.30 am by a smell so profoundly awful words can’t even describe (probably a family of skunks taken residence underneath our house), I’ve checked my local credit union checking account to find that I’m in overdraft, and I am in Brain Fog City when I need to do homework. All I really want to do is cover my nose in solid perfume, curl up, and sleep for a week.

Instead, I’m being utterly aware, careful, and gentle with myself today. Rather than freak out about overdrafting, I am having a cup of tea and a piece of toast and enjoying my day, consciously choosing to not get into a panic about how I’m going to pay the $30 overdraft fee on top of some miscellaneous school fees that have popped up. (In case you haven’t noticed, money stresses me out in a big way.)

Honestly, that feels much better than freaking out about money, studying, and how badly my house (and probably me) smell.

Here’s what else have been some great alternatives to freaking out….

♥ Gluten-free bakeries and little metaphysical shops ♥ Lavender balsamic vinegar (where have you been all my life?!) ♥ Day trips in general ♥ I have been buying SO MANY BOOKS lately, and I’m loving it. One of them is Jane Austen (fictionalized) solving a mystery with Lord Byron. I am beyond excited to read it! ♥ Revlon’s new line of Parfumerie scented nail polishes ♥ I’m totally late to the game but I just found out that Too Faced has a line of Teddy Bear Hair makeup brushes! How ridiculously dainty are these?! Maybe I’ve missed my calling as a beauty blogger? ♥ The rain that California is being treated to after a long, dry winter. About time! ♥ The huge loaves of Snow Cake soap that my Lush Faerie Ari gifted to me, lord above they are delicious ♥ Angel numbers ♥ Being excited for Valentine’s Day for the first time in my life ♥

A short list, but I never cease to find how a few things that go right completely counteract everything that seems to go wrong. How are you all coping with all the little things that are piling up during this retrograde period?

Until next we meet!

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TILT: Magical Fairy Princess Edition

It’s been a while, Thursday, but as always, I am very happy to see you. Thursday means recounting my blessings and the little things that bring me joy. I’m going through a lot right now, Thursday. I need some good mojo….

Here’s what I’ve been digging lately!:

REALLY PINK HAIR ♥ Powder blue nail polish ♥ Glitter ♥ SO MUCH GLITTER ♥ Coming to the very important, entirely unironic decision that 2014 is to be the Year of the Unicorn ♥ Perfume in every incarnation ♥ Rose macarons ♥ Welcome to Night Vale…live! ♥ Cecil Baldwin and all of the other folks behind WTNV being amazing and sweet while I stammered how much I love the work they do ♥ Divinely frothy bubble baths ♥ Spending two days with an amazing group of friends ♥ The Daiso market in Japantown ♥ Wearing crystals ♥ Top-shelf knitting ♥ This timely tinybuddha article. “You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.”  ♥ 

And finally, what I feel is the most important: ♥ Being able to say “I love you” – not just to my love, but to my friends and family members ♥ Meaning it ♥ And hearing it in return. ♥

Until next we meet!

Scents and Sensibilities: The Perfumed Home

It is no secret that one of the great pleasures of life, in my humble opinion, is scent. I find such happiness in the many facets of it, the ties to memory, the seemingly inexhaustible combinations available and the mad-scientist joy of experimenting with blends. Perfumery was my favourite part of running my small etsy shop, and every so often I will find myself in the grips of an idea for a new blend to dabble with.

Lately, I’ve enjoyed myself layering scents and have found great pleasure in conveying a theme through scent, first with soap or shower gel (or, my new favourite, Lush’s Bubbleroons) and following with a dusting of body powder, and finally, perfume.

I think I’m on to a pretty good thing, and whenever I’m on to a good thing, it’s hard to just stop there, which is why I’ve started incorporating layering scents into my home-tidying routine! For a while I’ve been spritzing my sheets with Home-Maison’s Orange Blossom linen spray, which makes me think of the decadent and delicate orange blossoms housed in the Orangerie at Versailles. On my pillows goes a comforting lavender and chamomile aromatherapeutic spray, which hastens me right to sleep.

Since moving into the new house candles have been a prominent feature, and we burn at least one every evening. My favourite, however, has been Cozy Sweater jar candle from Yankee. The scent is warm and comforting yet fresh, without being weighed-down or too rich; perfect for this wintery space as we transition from the old year into the new.

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Flowers are another favourite, and now that I’ve bought one bouquet, I don’t think I can live without the sweet and subtle scent of fresh-cut hothouse flowers perfuming a corner of my room. I’d sooner go without my weekly latte than without a little bouquet to brighten up my space!

Finally, incense is perfect whenever I am craving a shift in my atmosphere. Indian Temple incense cones provides a heavy and lingering fragrance that I find incredibly uplifting. I am exited to return to my mainstays of White Plum Blossom incense sticks in the spring, layering it with a fresh and green-smelling peony candle, and later my all-time favourite Rose Avenue incense sticks in the summer. Perhaps layering it with a cool or airy-scented room spray and soft gardenia votives….See how much fun this is?!

Wishing you beautifully-scented bliss until next we meet!

An Annual Refresher

If you pay any attention to astrology or the phases of the moon (believe me – I do) you’ll know that we’re opening 2014 with a New Moon. According to astrology.about.com,

New Moons are a great time to set intentions for things you’d like to create, develop, cultivate, make manifest.

Add this to our yearly practice of writing New Year’s Resolutions, figuring out what to do with this blank slate we’ve been handed, and we’ve got quite the metaphysical, manifestational powerhouse!

I’m still undecided on most of my Resolutions for 2014. I, admittedly, did not accomplish as many of 2013’s as I would have hoped, but 2013 has more than made up for it in other ways.

I moved across the country (twice)!
I’m one step closer to accomplishing my educational goals.
I spent the entire year in the company of amazing, inspiring, supportive people whose friendship I cherish.
I have a rad boyfriend, whom I adore to distraction.
And Sherlock’s 3rd season premieres tomorrow. (ABOUT DAMN TIME).

There’s so much more than I want to experience in 2014, and I have a wonderful feeling that this will be an awesome year. ♥ I hope everyone is having a blessed, fun, and safe New Year. Happy 2014 from Tiny Quails!

Knit, Purl, Hurl (from Sheer Excitement)

As I mentioned in my last Things I Love Thursday post, there’s been some great opportunities and exciting news in my life as of late!

Firstly, I’m so excited to announce that a local shop in Old Town, Wild Women in the Garden, will be carrying some of my hand-knit items this fall and winter!

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The short version of an otherwise long story is…sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to ask! My first trial order with the shop should be completely knit up and delivered very soon, which means my fingers have been flying.

Offerings will include fingerless gloves/wrist warmers, and my favourite thing to knit, hooded scarves. Between this and Christmas gifts, if you see me without a pair of knitting needles in my hand, there’s something terribly wrong.

The other bit of exciting news I found out recently: After visiting a campus counselor I mapped out that, if I hit the books hard for the next two semesters, I’ll graduate next year! As an off-and-on student since 2009, this is so exciting – especially considering I’ll not only be getting an AA-Transfer degree in History, but another unexpected AA in Liberal Arts. So begins my gleeful collection of degrees….As Oscar Wilde said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” (Needless to say, I am ecstatic to somehow be both.)

Naturally, it’s time to start looking at universities. My ultimate dream is to study at Berkeley’s (legendary) Dwinelle Hall…but the thought of tuition makes me break out into hives. In the meantime, my interest is caught between UC Davis’s history department, which has offerings such as “Christianity and Culture In Europe from 50-1450” and “Medieval and Renaissance Medicine.” Their medieval studies courses seem much more varied and well-rounded than other UCs, though I am very tempted by UC Santa Cruz’s class on “Saints and Holiness in Medieval Europe.” What’s a poor, indecisive student to do?

Finally, (and this is more personal, and probably less exciting), autumn is here at last! The air is crisp, my collection of cardigans is now being worn on rotation, and pumpkin goodies adorn the shelves at Trader Joe’s.  I was lucky enough to attend a Mabon (Autumn Equinox) festival last Sunday with my friends Karl and Katrina, and had a wonderful time despite getting a gnarly sunburn. We participated in a circle ritual, went metaphysical shopping (my wallet was safe from the crystals, but I did walk away with a teeny bottle of Full Moon incense that I can’t wait to use), did a spot of yoga (tip: yoga poses in a dress is not easy), and wrapped up the day with delicious sushi and frozen yogurt. It was a great experience, and I am so grateful they invited me along to share it 🙂

Things are still busy here at the New Nest. Life is steadily humming along, despite my tendency to stick my fingers in my ears and pretend I don’t have anything going on – a major failing for someone who wants to graduate next year, no? There are so many big things on the horizon for the remainder of the year, and I’m eager to experience and share them with you.

~xo

TiLT: Fantastic Lists and Where to Find Them

Well hello, Thursday. We really need to stop running into each other like this. …No? You’re going to make the effort to come around once every seven days? Well, that works for me. We really need to hang out more often, Thursday. You remind me that I need to keep the good things in mind. Things I dig. Things I love, such as…

My wonderful friends (you know who you are) ♥ Vegetables from the Farmer’s Market. Beets and the sweetest little plum tomatoes and mini summer squashes, oh my! ♥ Candles ♥ Where I live now and all the opportunities here – more about that soon! ♥ Cool crisp mornings ♥ Brace yourselves: Pumpkin everything is here. ♥ Inspirational photos ♥ Discovering how close I am to accomplishing my goals…a separate blog post about that coming soon! ♥ My cute little room ♥ A NEW HARRY POTTER-UNIVERSE MOVIE. DO NOT KEEP CALM. DO NOT CARRY ON. WE GET A NEW MOVIE SERIES!! ♥ Cementing friendships over  a mutual love of tea ♥ “Taps on the shoulder” – thank you, Universe, I know you’re listening ♥

I’ve been so very busy this week. Without my noticing, school has consumed my entire being, but I also have some exciting news that I’ll post about soon. Until next we meet!

Feathering the Nest

As you may know (seeing as how I am unable to silence myself for any long period of time about it), I’m in the middle of a huge transitory period. Moving out from my childhood home and being – accordingly – festooned in the trappings of an Official Bona Fide Grown Up – not only that, but being comfortable with being an Actual Adult for the first time in this new space!
I thought the transition from my childhood home would be uncomfortable and awkward and send me into screaming fits of panic, but I’m surprising myself at the ease with which I’m moving.

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So far I’ve had a lot of fun going through my possessions, culling what I don’t need any more, and figuring out the direction that I want my new digs to go in.
It’s not easy…between going to class four days a week and still living out of boxes, sometimes all I want to do when I get home is roll straight into bed when there’s still unpacking and cleaning to be done and household chores to take care of!
My general rule for keeping vs throwing away is “If it’s not beautiful or useful, then why hold on to it?” I’ve been able to put so much stuff that I was afraid to get rid of in the trash/Goodwill box by applying these rules! Not only does cutting down on your personal belongings reduce clutter, but it also clears out stagnant energy – and allows you to make room for a flow of new, fresh energy into your life, whether it be money, friendship, or health. And I’m ready for all of the above!

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Though I loved my room in my beautiful old home, I realize that it was only a matter of time before I had to outgrow it. And even though this new room is much smaller, I’m completely in love with it. Not only does it make me think critically of what to take on this physical journey through life, but it also presents me with a blank canvas for this new stage of my life.

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Here, it feels like I do magic.