Like It or Love It.

Loving It.

What your girl Snap’s been loving as of late.

. . .

  1. The Toy Story Franchise. Toddler Snap has really taken to these movies, which we watch in succession nearly everyday. (Well, okay. Let’s be fair: We make it through the series about every other day.) Anyway, color me impressed, yo. Being a 90s kid, I sure as hell saw the original when it came out. But that was the only one I’d ever seen, until a few weeks ago. And let me tell you: they’re brilliant. So. Well. Done. They’ve also made me cry like a baby (or, more accurately, a postpartum mom). Toy Story 3? It’s perfect. How precious childhood–and life–truly is.
  2. All the Drinks. Okay, not all. But now that my body is back to being my own, I’m all about the iced coffees. And IPAs. It’s so nice to savor the simple things again: to sip artisanal drinks like only a hipster knows how.
  3. Our Stash. Two years of living in a pandemic will make just about anyone reevaluate their home. We’ve done our fair share of online shopping–our Amazon rewards are almost embarrassing at this point–but we’ve also utilized the things we have. In fact, I sort of unofficially proclaimed 2022 as The Year of The Used. Instead of buying more–more body products, more coffee mugs, more candles–I’m making myself dig inside forgotten drawers. There’s a surprising amount of goodies, from shopping trips long since past. It feels good to bring them back to life.

. . .

Wishing you some simple pleasures today, friends.

. . .

SnapDragon is an artist who enjoys driving her car with the windows down.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her Two-Bit Musings and more.

Two-Bit Musings.

This is Where We Live.

May we thrive.

. . .

Jumanji Kinda Life, 2021.
Pennsylvania, USA.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved, yo.

Why hello there, Dear Reader.

And greetings from our insanely green back deck! We’ve got colorful lilies, tomato vines galore, and bushels and blossoms out the yin yang, yo! It’s like Mother Nature knew that life’s been pretty sucky for the entire world as of late, and decided to throw in an extra dash of growth this spring.

She’s here, and she’s proud.

I’m sitting here on our wicker furniture, crossed legged and snacking on those incredible Lego-shaped candies. I love the way the blocks clack against my teeth; I love how they slowly dissolve into the sugary wonderment only candy-makers can dream up.

And as I think about what to post, I’m reminded that a lot of my entries have recurring themes.

Like:

-Treasure the little things.

-Be your authentic self.

Time is out of our control.

Empathy is everything.

-Music and art and novels make life worth living.

-Paul McCartney might actually be God.

. . . You know. That kind of thing.

So as I write–and as you read–it’s probably no surprise that I’m reveling in our house, our home.

And I’m happy to say that this is where we live.

We’re nestled in a lovely townhouse, which was built roughly two years after I was born.

Our neighborhood has leisurely walking trails; a little playground and basketball court; trees hosting birds whose songs ring out like music boxes.

We’re close to pretty much everything a SnapDragon like me could ever want: a quaint(ish) downtown; multiple pharmacies; the deliciousness that is Wawa; numerous parks and historical sites from The Battle of Brandywine; farmers markets; art centers; real-deal Mexican restaurants.

And that’s just the beginning! Oh, the surprises that await you!

So even though we may not live in this town forever–‘cuz things can change in a heart beat, I know–I’m aiming to settle in: to really dig my heels into this luscious piece of earth.

Because as the planet spins for yet another day, this is our spot.

I will smile. I will recycle.

I will drink beers at Levante.

I will tip generously.

I will sincerely thank my Amazon driver and postman.

I will explore the used book shoppes, the new boutiques, the first Fridays.

I will take pride in all we’ve accomplished.

And I will, Dear Reader, dare to dream of all that can be.

. . .

Bloom where you’re planted, right?

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and pretty simple human being.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for Two-Bit Musings and more.

Two-Bit Musings.

Perfect Day. (A Version)

Feeling Kinda Fallish, 2020.
Pennsylvania.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

If I could snap my fingers and conjure up the perfect day. . .

(Cue the wobbly screen of a 90s-sitcom dream sequence)

A Perfect Morning:

I wake up naturally, with the bedroom window cracked ever so slightly. An audible drizzle patters on the roof.

Eggs scrambled in a cast-iron skillet; French butter; freshly-ground coffee.

A leisurely shower wakes me up for a blanket-and-couch session of intense fiction reading.

Double-dose of Seinfeld to break my reverie. Belly laughs. Cat snuggles.

. . .

A Perfect Afternoon:

Baby Snap and Sweet Husband by my side, we walk the streets of a new place. We marvel at the thoughtful architecture. We stop in a corner café for exotically-flavored iced coffees. We feel the rush of wind as we hop on the subway. Down Town awaits.

Siesta; craft beers; delicious Asian cuisine.

We buy one-of-a-kind knickknacks, delighting in the promise of our future selves.

iPhone tidbits to capture time in celluloid.

. . .

A Perfect Evening:

Our kitchen buzzes with the chatter of old friends. Glasses clink. Old songs are played and stories shared with wine-teeth grins.

Freshly-washed face; warm feet; comedy on TV.

We climb into gentle, floral-patterned sheets.

Sleep arrives without worry.

. . .

What’s your perfect day, Dear Reader?

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and faithful seat belt-wearer.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

No, Thanks.

Snap takes a moment to tell you what she’s so over.

Distinction, 2017. Acrylic on Canvas. Original Painting by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Three Things I’m Over, Yo:

1. Fake Bread.

I know, I know. #firstworldproblems. But, let’s be serious. Why is the rye “bread” I purchased two weeks ago still spongy and without a speck of mold? Same with the bagels! That shit ain’t right. When I can safely go grocery shopping again, I’ll be buying straight from the bakery, thanks. I’m pretty sure my intestines approve.

2. Reading on an iPad.

Both my eyes and my concentration can’t take it. Kindles are great with their newspaper-like look, but the iPad? No matter how much maneuvering I do with the backlight and nighttime mode and whatever else, I’d much rather have the paperback. A real book also makes it easier to resist playing SimCity BuildIt for three hours straight.

3. Bath & Body Works.

Why do I continue to buy these products? (Because they send you coupons, Snap.) Every “new” shower gel I try smells like the same, overly sharp cranberry that hurts my brain. There are too many high-quality products out there that are much more worthy of my money, and of being on my precious epidermis.

. . .

So what am I going to do with all this stuff? Maybe I’ll snack on an overly-processed bagel while reading H.G. Wells in the bathtub.

Or you know, not.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and lover of mac n’ cheese.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

Mama Earth.

Celebrate & Unite, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.
Calendar by Stephanie McMillan:
365 Daily Affirmations for Revolutionary Proletarian Militants, 2015.

Happy Earth Day, friends!

And given that almost the entirety of our populated planet is taking a break–albeit a forced break–my guess is Mama Earth is breathing just a bit easier as of late.

I promise you this isn’t a post to make you feel like a self-centered slob. I’m not going to pretend that I’m some guru of sustainability.

I am not.

We all can improve.

All of us!

So in the spirit of Earth Day, I’ve made a little list for myself.

. . .

SnapDragon’s List of Things She Can Do to Maybe Help The Planet a Little Bit:

1. Reduce.

Nobody needs all those plastic bags. Cat or dog parent? You can find biodegradable poop-scoop bags on Amazon. Yep.

Skip the straw. It seems like this is catching on! How many sad sea turtle pics do we need to see? (starts crying)

Buy a Brita. Some people may think it’s a nuisance to fill, but really. . . it’s just turning on the faucet. And you’ll reduce a shit-ton of plastic in the process.

2. Reuse.

You don’t smell. I’m an advocate for good hygiene, but do we really need to wash our clothes so much? Is your blouse really that dirty from you sitting in front of the computer all day? Think of the water, soap, energy (and time!) you’ll save.

Dishcloths are cute. Paper towels are handy. I won’t lie and say we don’t use them. But a washable, reusable dishcloth works just as well. And in the meantime it’ll save a tree, and space in our ridiculously-expanding landfills.

3. Recycle.

Just do it. There were times in my adult life when recycling either wasn’t an option or was inconvenient. I’m not proud of this. But I’m going to make more of an effort. We’ll set out our bin each week, and when we stop at Dunkin? We’ll take those iced coffee cups home to ensure their destiny into recycling center heaven.

. . .

. . .And there we have it!

Not the most prolific of lists, but an important reminder that Earth is our home. It’s also home to millions of other organisms. They want to live in beauty, too!

So on this day–and all of our days–let us respect this incredible planet.

She’s the only one we’ve got.

. . .

SnapDragon is a curly-haired reader of fiction.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Happy at Home.

The Wisdom of House Plants.

Three Ways You Can Bloom & Grow, Dear Reader.

Aloe I Love You, 2020. Pennsylvania. Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

Oh! It is springtime here in Pennsylvania, friends.

I saw a cardinal flittering about the yard yesterday, and I thought my heart would burst with happiness.

And this morning? I gazed outside and despite the current state of our world, I saw a bounty of buds and blossoms. I felt . . . hope.

For there is wisdom among the vines.

So during these socially-distant, self-isolating-and-quarantining times, I thought I’d look to the wisdom of house plants.

Because what keeps them healthy and strong can also work wonders for the likes of us.

It’s simple, really.

. . .

Give ‘Em Water.

Ground-breaking, right? But without it we will shrivel up and ultimately cease to exist. Are you feeling a little less-than? A little gross? Pour yourself a glass of icy goodness and drink it right down. Feel your roots come back to life. Your body and mind will thank you.

Give ‘Em Sunlight.

We live in a townhouse, so abundant rays of sunshine are to be relished, as a rule. So you’d better believe our blinds are pulled, and our front door open. Bonus points for opening the windows for a little springtime breeze. Let that sunshine in, yo. It might just save your soul.

Give ‘Em Room.

Nobody likes to feel confined, whether in life or in skinny jeans. Keep a plant in a too-small container and it’s bound to give up. So allow yourself some wiggle room. You’re growing too, you know! Every single one of us needs time. Time to learn. Time to grieve. Time to embrace the journey.

May you bloom and grow, Dear Reader.

May you thrive.

. . .

SnapDragon an artist, homemaker, and advocate of second helpings.

Find more ideas on how to be Happy at Home on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Two-Bit Musings.

Ebenezer.

As I woke up this morning, ready for another day at home, I thought of Ebenezer.

Scrooge, that is.

Because as I write this, countries, cities, and towns all over the world are closing up shop. They are engaging in an involuntary pause. . . a pause that may last longer than a simple winter’s nap.

And while I would never presume to downplay the very real dangers, death, and heartache of this time, the optimist in me searches for a silver lining.

She has to.

. . .

I like to think of the story Grandpa Joe tells a starry-eyed Charlie, the one where Willy Wonka closes his factory for a few years. And when he reopened? “More delicious candies were coming out than ever before!”

This can be our time of reawakening, Dear Reader.

I like to think of parents with their children, gathered together on the living room floor. Reading and crafting. Exploring the forgotten contents of their toy bins. Laughing, with no place to go.

I think of artists going back to the drawing board, blank canvases before them. Paints. Crayons. Embracing the opportunity for unbridled creativity.

And as for Ebenezer?

I think of the man that lay within, bursting with love and life and generosity. Springing forth after having a dismal glimpse of just how sorrowful things could be.

Could be.

. . .

Will we learn from this?

Will we reconsider the importance of family? Of health? Of simple pleasures? Of the fact that every single one of us is human?

Will we prioritize the common good over our exploitative efforts to make a buck?

When the world reopens, will it be ready to invest in the future of our children, and the future of this planet?

Will we have softened, allowing for even just the smallest bit of humanity?

Surely. Surely, we will.

. . .

I think of Ebenezer.

I think of what could have been, had he not heeded the warning of the apparitions.

I see an old man, counting his coins.

Alone.

. . .

SnapDragon is an old-soul who thinks everything is better with a little wine and cheese.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Homemakers Unite!

Homemakers Unite!

Because all of those little things? They transform your place into Eden.

Stay Awhile, 2018. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.
PS: This book sucks. Don’t read it.

This post is in celebration of The Homemakers.

It matters not if you are full-time, part-time, or somewhere in-between.

Without you, your dwelling would be a wasteland. Dust would swirl. Crumbs would stick to your elbows and feet.

“Home” would merely be a way station to another vibrant destination, always just beyond your reach.

. . .

Five Under-Appreciated Homemaking Gems:

5. Tending the Garden. It could surely be debated as to whether or not anyone needs a garden. In my circle of friends, gardening is not a means of survival, but an extremely satisfying hobby. The Sweet Husband has planted a plethora of botanical treats for us to enjoy. He patiently tills the soil, feeds and waters the sprouts, and encourages the vines to take root. Welcome home, young ones. You live here, too.

4. Choosing a Feature-of-the-Week. My wonderful mother may have coined this term, in relation to the humdrum task of grocery shopping. We all have our “usual” items on the list (and if you’re anything like me, most of those are accompanied by a diligently clipped coupon). But you ought to treat yourself, no? Choose something new! A specialty baked good, an indulgent body product? Go ahead! You deserve it.

3. Sprinkling Creature Comforts. I like to evaluate each room in our house, and assess its level of comfort. Is a clean and cozy blanket available? Unique books and magazines? A tube of my favorite lip balm? A tropical-scented candle? It’s those little creature comforts that come through in the clutch, yo.

2. Displaying a Ridiculous Amount of Options. We like to eat. And drink. And play games. So you can bet your sweet ass that our home is filled with fun. Let’s dig through the toy chest for a board game. How about this bottle of Zinfandel? Or is it a Sour IPA kind of day? Want to watch Battlestar Galactica? Yes. We like to rediscover all of the tiny treasures we’ve collected. We bought ’em, and we aim to enjoy ’em.

1.Celebrating Happy Memories. I took this one from Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which I read and loved long ago. Because she’s right: Our homes should be filled with relics of our happiest times. Hang up your photos, no matter how wacky or absurd. (Also, move them around from time to time so you continue to see them, and they’re not just absorbed into the background of your day-to-day.) I also like to display postcards from places we’ve been, or whimsical quotes on the bathroom mirror. Last time I checked, Better Homes & Gardens hadn’t called for a photo shoot. So I will celebrate the mismatched beauty of my life, conventions be damned. This is our home, and it’s perfect.

. . .

What are some of your favorite homemaking habits, Dear Reader?

The Quiet.

The Quiet.

In Bloom, 2019. Pennsylvania. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

This moment is real.

The spring air is cool, still, and transfixing.

Oh, how I love The Quiet.

Have I ever told you that, Dear Reader?

Because The Quiet is alive.

The tick-tock of the cuckoo clock reminds me that time waits for no one.

Unidentifiable birds call to each other across the yard.

The Fur Babies’ water fountain trickles away, to ensure a fresh gulp is at the ready.

The ice cubes clink against the glass as I enjoy another sip in solitude.

Never Enough Thyme, 2019. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

I perch upon the porch for a handful of minutes. The morning sun has never felt better; my skin relishes its power.

This is The Perfect Moment.

I am alive.