March 1st, I started on the Keto Diet, Vegan style. I’ve been doing good sticking to it for my first 5 days. It hasn’t been easy at times but I’ve managed. I’m still not in Ketosis (burning fat) but I have lost a total of 5.2 pounds.
I use the Eat Smart Digital scale to weigh myself and it also measures your body fat and muscle mass. I’m happy to report that my body fat dropped 1.0% and my muscle mass increased .5%. Although these aren’t big changes, it’s still progress, however small.
The recipes for the meals in Dr. Cabeca’s book, “Keto-Green 16,” have been surprisingly delicious! I thought with limiting my foods on keto and then limiting them even more because I’m vegan would be problem with flavor. But luckily this is not the case which makes it so much easier to continue.
I’m still doing my 30 minute weight and 30 minute cardio workouts everyday except Sunday, my day of rest. My energy for the first 3 days was a little low but on days 4 and 5 my energy increased and I feel like I have more energy than before which is another plus.
Stay tuned because I will see you again on Day 10. Wish me luck!
Thanks for your support!
Recommend books for Keto Diet:
“Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
“Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca
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“The best six doctors anywhere, and no one can deny it are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet.” ~Wayne Fields
It seems there’s a lot of negativity in the world today, more than ever before. But what can you do when someone gets angry at you or says a lot of negative and hurtful things?
When you take in their negative energy you lose yours and feel terrible. You lose a precious piece of yourself like your self esteem. As human beings we have the ability to replay moments in our minds like a movie, good or bad. We can relive moments over and over again. Good moments fill us with joy while bad ones completely drain us of our power.
Sometimes it’s a loved one who says or does something hurtful not realizing how it may affect you, or it could be a friend or total stranger. But you need to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture. Usually that person is acting out of a past experience or fear where they may have been hurt in some way. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with you. As hard as it may be don’t take in their negativity. Instead forgive them and send them loving energy, in the end it will make you stronger.
“Forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.” ~Buddha
If you didn’t have a chance to read my Thoughtful Thursday post from last week, I ‘m starting the Keto diet today. The goal is to stick with it, no cheating and get my body into fat burning mode, ketosis. I’ll be measuring my pH and Ketosis levels with test strips. I plan on giving you updates with my progress every 5 days for the first 15 days, the good, the bad and the ugly.
This morning I started my day as usual, with a 30 minute weight workout followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I’ve done this routine for years and you would think losing weight wouldn’t be a problem, but it all comes down to what you eat. You can get away with more in your younger years, but as you get older, your body is not so forgiving.
Fingers crossed, this keto diet will work. I’m following Dr Anna Cabeca’s menu included in her book “Keto-Green 16.” She has recipes and modification tips for vegans and so that’s what I will be following. If you want to join in, would love to have you along on this adventure!
Thanks for your support!
Recommend books for Keto Diet:
“Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
“Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca
Share the Happy!!
“Nothing has benefited me more physically, mentally and most important spiritually, then adapting a vegan diet. The best decision I have made as a human for me and the planet.” ~Tim Shieff, Professional Freerunner
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of publications in the grocery store and online about the Keto diet. To sum it up Keto is a low carb, high fat diet with good protein. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume which turn to sugar and are used as fuel by the body, you put your body into a state of Ketosis. Ketosis is where your body utilizes stored fat as fuel and thus you drop weight, reduce inflammation, balance your hormones, get better sleep, reduce blood sugar levels, reduce brain fog and more. There are a lot of benefits to eating a Keto diet.
You may read some articles that claim it’s okay to eat as much fat as you want on Keto. However, this is Not True. The goal is to eat healthy fats like nuts, olives, avocados and some oil. But keep in mind that you cannot consume more calories than you’re burning in a day, otherwise the weight will not come off and any symptoms that you’re trying to resolve won’t get any better.
For most of my life I’ve eaten a low sugar, low fat diet. It has brought me to where I am today. I went vegan several years ago and overall feel pretty good and way better than when I ate meat and dairy. But like most us, I still have a little weight to loose, so I decided to try the Keto diet.
When I initially started the Keto Diet, I lost weight. But when I went off of Keto and then tried going back on the results weren’t the best. I’m having a harder time the second time around. Yes I’ve been cheating and that’s a big reason why it isn’t working so great. As of March 1st which is Monday, I’m going to start the Keto Diet fresh again. I will check in with you, my loyal readers, about every 5 days for the first 15 days and let you know how it’s all progressing. The good, the bad and the ugly. If you want to do it along with me that would be great!
I have a few books that I recommend if you’re interested in learning more about Keto and the effects a regular diet has on our bodies:
“Fat for Fuel” by Dr. Joseph Mercola
“Keto-Green 16” by Dr Anna Cabeca
Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!
“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need”. ~ Ayurvedic Proverb
My newest creation in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal. I completely panicked in making this angel. My white Posca Pen ran out of ink shortly after starting the outlines. I had a pretty good groove going on and didn’t want to stop so I switched to my white Uni-Ball Signo Gel pen and it worked beautifully. It makes a broader line but the gel ink is also bolder. Just like the Posca Pen, if you make a mistake you can quickly erase it with a little water and a brush, but the ink has to be wet. Once it dries it’s permanent.
Last week I wrote a post about the history of Valentine’s Day and learned we had a “Mother of Valentine, “Esther A Howland. I found her very interesting considering she was born in a time before women basically had rights and as a result the odds were not in her favor. Despite that, Esther persevered and moved forward with her vision. Below are some of the highlights of Esther’s lifetime accomplishments below:
1828 Esther was born in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her parents were Southworth Allen Howland and Esther Howland.
Her Father, owned the largest stationary and bookbindery business in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Esther attended college at Mount Holyoke Academy the same time as Emily Dickinson did.
1847 Esther graduated college at the age of 19 and received a Valentine card from one of her father’s friends which was decorated with lace and cut out flowers. During this time, Valentine Day Cards were imported from Europe into the States.
Esther loved the card and thought she could do better. She talked to her father and he bought her supplies to make her own cards. She created a dozen designs.
Esther gave the samples to her brother for his next sales trip for their father’s business. She hoped for $200 in sales which would be worth around $6,380 today. But to her surprise he returned with over $5,000, worth $159,501 today.
Esther knew she couldn’t handle these orders by herself so she employed friends, primarily women who were said to have been paid liberally and had pleasant working conditions. She used a guest bedroom on the 3rd floor of her home for her new business. She set up an assembly line to create the cards and inspected each one.
1850 The Worcester Spy published the first advertisement for Esther’s Valentine Cards and she became officially known as a businesswomen.
1870 Esther incorporated her business, New England Valentine Company (N.E.V.Co).
In red ink, Esther began stamping the letter “H” and price on the back of her cards. She also included in red ink, the letters for her company “N.E.V.Co.”
Esther’s business grossed $100,000 annually the equivalent of $3,190,024 today.
Esther expanded her business and made cards for Birthdays, Christmas and New Years. She also created May Baskets and Booklets.
1866 Esther suffered a knee injury and became bound to a wheelchair.
1874 Esther moved her Valentine factory from her home to Harrington Corner.
Esther passed away in 1904 at the age of 76. Although she was considered “The Mother of Valentine” she never married.
Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!
“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” ~ Estee Lauder
Did you ever wonder how it all got started? I mean, who came up with this idea to celebrate love on February 14th? The roots of St Valentine’s Day go back to 270 AD. I’m sure you don’t want a major history lesson so here are a few of the highlights:
Geoffrey Chaucer, an English Poet was the first person to record St Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules”
The oldest recorded Valentine was written in 1415, by Charles, Duke of Orleans. After the battle of Agincourt he was held prisoner in The Tower of London and wrote a Valentine to his wife which is now a part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.
Cupid is depicted on many Valentine Day greetings as a cute, chubby little cherub. However, his roots actually go back to the Greek God of Love, Eros.
In the mid 1800’s, friends and lovers would exchange small tokens of affection or a hand written note. By the 1900’s, printing technology improved and printed cards replaced the handmade versions from the 1800’s
In the 1840’s, Esther A Howland who became known as “The Mother of Valentine” began selling the first mass produced Valentines in the United States. Her creations were beautifully made with lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as scrap. Esther’s brother took a dozen card samples to their father’s store where she hoped to get $200 in sales. But her brother returned with over $5,000 in sales!!!
Today approximately 145 Million Valentine Day cards are sent each year making it the 2nd largest holiday to Christmas.
Below is a photo of Esther A Howland and a few of her Valentine Cards
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.” ~Judy Garland
Thanks for stopping by. Share the Love and the Happy!!
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day which is just a 4 days away, I made this Angel of Love. This was my last painting in this 5.5″ x 8″ journal. I finally filled it up, Yay!
I somehow keep making that beautiful turquoise blue color. I have mixed and mixed trying to duplicate but haven’t had any luck. Funny enough, it happens completely by accident. I don’t even notice it until it dries. I’m waffling buying a tube of paint, the hard part is finding the color of turquoise.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. We all know that we should express our love every day to those we hold dear, but Valentine’s Day is that 1 day to really shine. Without spending a lot of money, here are 14 Ways to Show Your Love to that Special Someone in your life:
Make a nice breakfast.
Take over and do their chores for the day.
Go for a nice walk together.
Do a yoga or other exercise class together.
Go out on a picnic.
Watch a movie with candy and popcorn.
Bake a special sweet dish like the vegan brownies from last Thoughtful Thursday!
Make a handmade Valentine’s Day Card.
Create a surprise “Love You” display on the kitchen table with candy, flowers.
Order a “To Go” meal and have a candlelit dinner at home.
Create a romantic music play list and dance the night away.
Leave little love notes for them to find.
Give them a Spa Day at home with candles, chocolates and bubble bath.
Spend quality time together talking with no distractions and really listen.
“Where there is Love, there is Life.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
Thanks for stopping by. Share the Love and the Happy!!
I always believe that angels are around every minute of every day, guiding and protecting us. In these tough times we need their love now more than ever.
I painted this angel, Bethany on 9″ x 12″ 140lb Watercolor Paper. She is full of bright, fun, happy colors and made with lots of love 💖 and is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop: FlowingWatersArtShop
“May Angels guard you through the night and keep you safe till morning light.” ~ Unknown
Many moons ago when I tried eating vegan, it really wasn’t the tastiest, at least not the recipes I tried. I’ve been vegan now for the past several years and can say that the recipes have improved tremendously. Some recipes are so good you can’t even tell they’re vegan and not made with eggs, milk and the usual ingredients. A lot are even better all plant based.
You may have seen Zucchini Brownies for sale in health food stores and restaurants. The thought of making something as delicious as a brownie from a vegetable didn’t quite appeal to my taste buds at first. But being a chocolate lover I finally gave into my curiosity and tried one at a small restaurant. To my surprise it was so delicious and moist, I pretty much inhaled it, lol.
Since I love to bake, I figured someone on the internet must have a pretty good recipe. Lo and behold I came across ElaVegan.com hosted by Michaela. She is a very talented vegan food stylist, recipe creator, photographer and writer.
Michaela’s Zucchini Brownie Recipe was absolutely delicious as are her many other recipes which I highly recommend you try. The recipes are written with easy instructions, lots of photos and helpful tips. She also puts a tab at the top of each recipe for a quick print. Even if vegan isn’t your thing, it’s a delicious alternative to healthier meals. I highly recommend trying these delicious brownies!
“Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.” ~Josh Billings
This is my latest angel that I created in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I started with a sketch and then painted her. I wasn’t too crazy about her green colors at first but it definitely grew on me. I can’t decide whether I like the halo or glowing aura more. Which style is your favorite?
Apple Cider Vinegar has become the latest buzz with all of it’s health benefits. Growing up, it was a staple in our house. My mom would use it to make delicious foods and salads, color Easter eggs (my favorite thing to do, although I remember not liking the smell too much) and to clean just about anything. There really wasn’t anything that vinegar couldn’t do.
Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented ripe apples. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, which is cloudy and has cobweb looking pieces in the bottle contain lots of gut friendly bacteria and is often referred to as “The Mother.” The unfiltered variety is considered to be the most nutritious.
Studies have shown that it can help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, improve skin health, detoxify the body, reduce dandruff, clean and disinfect fruits and vegetables, soothe sunburns and the list goes on.
Too much vinegar however can cause nausea, itching, sore throat, head aches, loss of tooth enamel to name a few. It can also adversely interact with medications.
I believe that moderation is the key to success with any health regime you start. But always check with your doctor/health practitioner before starting anything new to make sure it’s right for you.
“Nature itself, is the best physician.” ~Hippocrates
I wanted to share a quick post with you today. I created this lovely girl in my Strathmore 11″ x 14″ Watercolor Journal. She is part of the “She Blooms in Ink” online course taught by a very talented artist, Tamara Laporte at Willowing.org.
Since this is part of Tamara’s online class I can’t go into detail on how she was made but I can say it was loads of fun! I highly recommend Tamara’s course, it’s well worth it! I have a few more projects to do, so I’ll post them as I go.
Soap nuts, also known as Sapindus mukorossi are native to India and Nepal. They are not nuts, but actually a fruit, a berry to be specific. However, when you dry them, it forms a hard outer shell that looks like a nut. The shell contains saponin, a natural detergent. Saponin gets released when the shell absorbs water, it also softens your clothes. Soap nuts are a great alternative for people with allergies who need a chemical free detergent.
To use soap nuts you would need to put about 4-6 of them in a muslin bag and then toss it in your washing machine with your laundry. If you prefer a scent just add essential oils to the muslin bag before tossing them in. Soap nuts don’t create a lot of bubbles and can be used several times before they break down. They are very eco friendly and cost effective!
You can also use soap nuts to make facial washes, shampoos and natural soaps. I found quite a few site online that sell soap nuts. So I’m going to buy some and see how it goes.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
This is my latest angel that I created in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I always start with a light pencil sketch first and then paint with bright fun colors. I’m currently working on a larger angel but she isn’t done yet, so stay tuned.
Once I get the colors to where I like them I let them completely dry. Next I painted her halo with gold acrylic paint and let that dry. I then added doodles with my white Posca pen and a little more detailing with watercolor paints and colored pencils. I finished her off with a little bling. I love the little sparkles of magic.
I think we can all agree, 2020 is a year we will not soon forget. But the New Year has begun and it’s filled with endless possibilities. More importantly these possibilities will be a direct result of the choices that are made.
When you think about it, our lives all boil down to the choices we’ve made through the years. There are the good choices we’ve made when everything was simply peachy. Then there are those choices that when we look back, we question what the heck were we thinking at that time. It would be great if we had a crystal ball to see how things would turn out based on our choices. But where’s the fun in that?
I strongly feel that in the “not so great choices that are made” are important lessons to be learned. Sometimes the lessons are revealed quickly while other times, it just takes a while before it shows itself to you.
Make 2021 a Great Year! Be patient and kind to yourself, as well as with others. Do the best that you can. When faced with adversity, take a minute to breathe deep before responding harshly. Make the choice to have a positive enlightening day! Turn those days into a week, month and year!!
“May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.” Nelson Mandela
I hope you all are doing well and enjoyed your holidays. I ended up taking an unplanned but much needed break from the digital world. I feel refreshed, recharged and ready to start the New Year and I hope you do as well!
I love the dreaminess of these angels. I can’t stop painting them, lol. I created this simple angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I started with a light pencil sketch and then painted her with bright fun watercolor paints.
Next I added doodles with my white Posca pen. I added more detailing and shading with watercolor paints and colored pencils and of course a little bling with Stickles. I love owls and added one in on this painting which is something you will notice more of in my art.
I hope she inspires you to dream big and reach for the stars in 2021! Wishing you a Year filled with Joy, Good Health and Prosperity!
The holiday season is a very special time of year for celebration and good cheer with those you love. But they also can be tough for many reasons and this year goes without saying. I’m always looking for the silver lining in the cloud and I’ve found that for me, all this craziness has meant more time with my family. So tomorrow night we’re doing a little bit of baking, something we haven’t done for the last several years.
I’m not sure how you do with indulging in holiday treats but I know at this stage in my life, the weight goes on quickly and fairly easily but is hard to get off. Sometime it seems like I just look at the sweets and the weight goes on, lol. But seriously, the holidays only come once a year and this year, I’ve decided it’s okay to indulge a little. Now, I’m not going gung ho and eating an entire batch of cookies but I’m definitely going to savor each bite enjoy a few.
The more you avoid something you really want, the more likely you are to binge eat. So having a few sweet treats is acceptable and should be enjoyed guilt free! But then just make sure you get back on track to eating healthy again and exercising if possible.
To compensate for my indulgences, I’m planning on running an extra mile here and there but nothing crazy. So my words of wisdom to you are enjoy this special time of year with loved ones and really cherish these special moments together, and “ENJOY” your holidays treats because I’m sure they’re well deserved!
This little snowman warms your heart with lots of love. Painted with professional watercolors on Cartiera Magnani 140lb Cold Pressed Watercolor paper, measures 5″ x 7.” I added extra shading with colored pencils and fine detailing with a Sakura Micron pen.
Aromatherapy is defined as the use of fragrances to affect or alter a person’s mood. And it does just that. Smelling a fragrant essential oil can completely change your mood. Some fragrances may even transport you back in time to a wonderful memory.
There are a lot of synthetic ways to bring fragrance into your home but most are loaded with harmful chemicals. Not to mention a lot of people can’t tolerate them and that’s where aromatherapy is a blessing because it’s natural.
Essential oils are a great way to add a nice fragrance to your home with a room diffuser. There are a lot of different blends. If you’re not sure where to start, I found a great website EssentialOilHaven.com hosted by Emma. Below are her 12 Favorite Holiday Blends. Now you can also create your blend. You just need to experiment a little and find what speaks to you. But at least you have a place to start.
My favorite scents for the holidays are cinnamon and pine. I’ve been enjoying sipping Cinnamon Chai Tea and smelling the fragrant pine from our Christmas tree. It really gets you in a great mood for the holidays!
Would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite holiday scent?
Creating these watercolor angels is simply magical! This is my latest angel that I created in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. Like my other angels I started by lightly sketching her and then painted her with bright fun watercolor paints. While the paints were wet, I added sea salt and let it dry, then brushed it off.
The next step was to add some doodles with my white Posca pen. I added more detailing and shading with watercolor paints and colored pencils and of course a little bling with Stickles.
I tried using gold leaf for the halo this time. It didn’t turn out the way I expected. Getting it into the small areas is hard but I like it much better than the gold gilding flakes I used in my last angel. It’s no where near as messy and easier to work with. But this is something I have to tweak a bit.
I hope she inspires you to create your own magical masterpiece. Thanks for stopping by!
The holidays themselves can be rather stressful, throw our unusual circumstances into the mix and it can easily become mega stressful. But this season, I’m finding the utmost joy in the little things.
I’m slowing down and simply enjoying being in the moment with my family. I’m making the time to bake cookies and cakes which is something I wasn’t able to do last year. I’m watching lots of holiday “feel good” movies and reading really good books. I’ve been playing a lot of holiday music, singing and bopping along as I work throughout the day which makes everything more fun 😊
My creative mind has been hard at work. Instead of buying all store bought gifts, I’m coming up with creative ways to make some unique handmade gifts. I’m even getting back to basics with giftwrapping and using brown craft paper nicely decorated with bakers twine and pine greens.
By slowing down and simply savoring each moment, it has made life more calm. I’m very grateful for that. I plan on capturing lots of special moments with my camera this year, so I can look back and always remember the love I share with my family.
What will you do to find the joy in all the treasured moments this year?
I enjoy sailing, but never seem to do it enough. It is so very peaceful to sail in the open waters. I love listening to the waves splash against the boat as it zips through the water at the mercy of the wind.
I created this painting last month from an online tutorial. My art for this week is a bit behind schedule with the Thanksgiving holiday but I’m working to catch up. It was my first try at painting waves with watercolor and it was harder than I originally thought. I used a pen for a little outlining and that was it.
This is probably the only painting I’ve ever done without adding bling with Stickles. It was hard to do, but thank goodness I survived, lol.
It has been one heck of year and we have all been through a lot. But we have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for my family and friends and all of you! Thank you for your love and support, it is so greatly appreciated!
I’m truly enjoying making these watercolor angels. This is my latest, earth angel. I created her in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I start by lightly sketching her and then painting with bright fun watercolor paints. While the paints were wet, I added sea salt and let it dry, then I brushed off the salt.
Next I added doodles with my white Posca pen. I also added more detailing and shading with watercolor paints and colored pencils. I couldn’t resist adding a little bling to the stars with Stickles.
The last step was her halo. I wanted more gold so I tried using gold gilding flakes but it was really hard to work with. What I disliked most is it would break down into small particles that would become airborne and you could potentially inhale it. I can’t imagine that would be a good thing, so you really should wear a mask, but the instructions don’t say anything about that. It also sticks to everything so you have to clean your surfaces well after you’re done using it. Bottom line is it looks beautiful but isn’t user friendly. I have one more product I’m going to try on my next one and I’ll let you know how that goes.
I hope she inspires you to create your own magical masterpiece. Thanks for stopping by!
When I start to feel a little off, I always turn to my essential oils. They’re my first line of defense against colds or flu. Essential oils have wonderful therapeutic properties and help shorten the duration of the illness when used at the first signs of symptoms including itchy eyes, sore throat, cough, sneezing and mild fever or just the general overall feeling of being unwell.
My favorite way to use essential oils when I start to get sick is through steam inhalation in the shower or bath or by using a diffuser. You can rub some blends directly on your skin, however you need to use caution because they can be irritating to some. Also, if you are pregnant you should consult your doctor before using essential oils.
Basil – useful in treating colds, aches and pains
Bergamot – useful in treating fevers and coughs
Cinnamon – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs and viral infections
Clove – useful as an analgesic and antiseptic
Eucalyptus – useful in treating sore throats, coughs, sinusitis, aches, pains and as an antiseptic
Lavender – useful in treating colds, flu, coughs, sinus congestion
Peppermint – useful in treating fevers, flu and can ease breathing
Sandalwood – useful in treating colds
Tea Tree – useful in treating colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections
Thyme – useful in treating bacterial and viral infections also helps to boost immunity
There are many books and online resources for finding oil blends but I recently came across a great book by Stephanie Gerber titled “Essential glow.” Below are a few of her recipes and I encourage you to check out her site at HellowGlow.com
I loved making the last angel so much that I had to make another one in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I lightly sketch her on the paper, and once I liked the design I wet the paper and added bright watercolor paints.
I let the colors flow and mingle on the paper. While the paint was still wet, I added a little sea salt and let it dry. Next I brushed off the sea salt and painted her halo with gold acrylic paint and let it dry. I added lines and doodles with my white Posca pen, and more detailing and shading with watercolor paints and colored pencils. Last for a little bling, I added Stickles.
I hope she inspires you to create your own magical masterpiece. Thanks for stopping by!
I wake up groggy like most and go through my morning routine, sometimes half asleep. But before I do any work of any kind, I work my body. I do 30 minute weight training and 30 minute cardio either on the elliptical or outside for a walk, weather permitting. On the days I don’t do my workout, it takes me longer to get going.
My morning workout literally crank starts my engine. It gets my blood flowing and my mind starts to click along. Exercising increases your energy levels too. It also helps you feel better and puts you in a better mood to start your day. Working out tones your muscles and helps build bone density and helps you avoid injuries by maintaining your strength. Plus it helps with weight loss and to get a better night of sleep.
Now I’m not saying you have to workout for an hour a day. For some that’s too much and for others, it’s not enough. You need to create a workout routine that works for you. It doesn’t need to be complicated with lots of equipment. You can do yoga, sit ups, push ups or walk in place to name a few. Make it easy so you’ll do it and stick with it. If you have limitations, there is a lot of information available online for doing modified exercises. Before starting any new exercise routine you should consult with your doctor or health practitioner. Just moving your body for 5 minutes a day will benefit you greatly and make you feel good!
I saw a painting online which inspired me to create this beautiful bright angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ watercolor journal. I started by lightly sketching her in the journal. Once I was happy with the sketch, I wet the paper a little and added my bright watercolor paints.
What I really loved about creating her was letting the watercolors mix and mingle on the wet paper. You never know what the paints will do and that’s the fun part. There’s a certain sense of freedom with that. No instructions, no rules to follow. Just have fun and let the process unfold in front of your eyes. It’s simply magical.
While the paint was still wet, I added a little sea salt. Then I waited patiently for it to dry. Next I brushed off the sea salt and using a white Posca pen, I added lines and doodles. I wasn’t happy with her face so I added more detailing and shading with watercolor paints and colored pencils. I finished her off with a little bling and added Stickles.
Hope she inspires you to create your own magic in your journal and in your life! Thanks for stopping by!
Five years ago, I was a pretty big meat eater. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I thought I ate healthy for the most part but as the years rolled by, things slowly started to go wrong. Looking around at everyone else, I thought this is how it’s supposed to be. This is what happens when you get older. But every now and then, I’d see an older person who was not the norm. They looked great, were in shape and had their wits about them. I thought Wow! They must have good genes because they weren’t like everyone else.
Then one day, my kids thought it’d be fun to gross me out by having me watch Food Inc. Great documentary by the way, but it definitely changes your perspective on food. After seeing it, I went even more organic than I already was with my diet and thought I was safe but more problems started showing up like joint pain, weight gain, the never ending cold/flu that would last for 2-3+ weeks when the season would come around, fatigue and head aches to name a few.
The cherry on the cake was when I developed sciatica. This was extremely painful. On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain was at 18. I was bed ridden for 2.5 months. I could barely walk, had to eat standing because I couldn’t sit down. I saw the chiropractor and physical therapist 3-4 times every week with little or no improvement.
I was getting desperate as the pain was unbearable and I’d search the internet on my phone in bed on how to alleviate sciatica. One of the things I found was that meat along with other certain foods, makes the body acidic and worsens the pain. So I decided to go cold turkey, no pun intended, and eat only plant based foods. I had very little appetite because of the excruciating pain and for over 2 months I lived on vegan shakes. Everyday I would have 1 plant based protein shake and 2 raw plant based shakes.
Then a funny thing started to happen. I began improving. The pain lessened and I lost weight! I lost a total of 25 pounds in that 2.5 month period with no exercise at all, just changing my diet. I felt so much better. Then just as I was getting back to my normal self, we were going to be hit by a hurricane which can be a little stressful and I resorted back to my old eating habits of meat, cheese, etc. It only took 2 days, and pain started to return. There was no way I was going back to that! I immediately started eating a vegan diet again and never looked back.
It’s been over 3 years now since I went vegan and all of my symptoms are pretty much gone. The weight stayed off, I rarely have headaches, the joint pain is gone, I have more energy and the fog lifted from my brain. Now when I get a cold, I get very mild symptoms and just feel a little off for about 2 -3 days instead of becoming really sick and feeling miserable for 2-3+ weeks like before.
Being vegan is not for everyone. We are so programmed from birth to eat the meat, dairy products and sugary processed foods that we think we can’t survive without them. But I’m living proof you can. Even if you only replace 1 meal a day with a vegan one, you’ll notice improvements in your body and how your feel. You can also replace dairy with plant based products that taste really good.
I think we all pretty much know how to eat more healthy but choose not to and that’s okay too. But I know for me, I didn’t want to spend the later years of my life in pain or with limited mobility and being stuck with constant doctor visits and lots of prescription medications. I want to enjoy life to the very end with strength, vigor and vitality!
If you want to give it a try but don’t know where to start, Forks Over Knives has a website with lots of information and recipes. They also publish a quarterly magazine full of delicious plant based recipes and success stories to inspire you which can be found in most grocery stores.
So ask yourself, what is it going to take for you to change your diet and eat more healthy?
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” – Hippocrates
I created this fun whimsical girl in my Strathmore 6″ x 12″ watercolor journal. It’s an odd size journal which makes it quite a challenge to create in. I started by doing a light sketch and then I painted her with watercolor paints.
After the paint had dried, I outlined the sketch with Sakura Micron 005 Pen. Next I added a few highlights to her hair with a white Posca Pen and shading with a gray Stabilo Pencil. I also added a little bling to her hair with pink Stickles. Last I filled in the word Dream with Inkssentials Glossy Accents to give it a little texture.
I really love her wild pink hair. Thought it was perfect for the season Lol!
Hope she inspires you to create your own whimsical girl. Thanks for stopping by!
Everyone can use a little cheering up, especially these days. So I’m sharing with you a few thoughtful ways to brighten someone’s day. Again, these are just ideas to help get your creative minds going:
Help a neighbor in need by bringing them a meal.
Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while and chat for a while.
Create a bookmark with inspiring words and leave it in a library book for someone to find.
Buy the person behind you in the coffee line, a cup of coffee or a cookie or both!
Create a small piece of happy art and leave it in the park or by a tree for someone to enjoy.
Let someone having a tough day go in front of you at the check out.
Buy a small bouquet of flowers and give them out to those who need a little happy in their day.
Hold the door open for someone who needs a helping hand.
Leave a note with kind uplifting words in a friend or family member’s bag to brighten their day when they least expect it.
Smile at the beautiful souls you pass by throughout your day!
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” LaoTzu
How are can you brighten someone’s day?
Thanks for stopping by, Share the Happy!
Here’s another idea, give your loved one a morning greeting with their coffee!
Fall is my favorite time of year. When everything starts to cool down, leaves change into an array of spectacular colors, the days grow shorter and it’s time to just nestle in and enjoy a slightly slower paced life.
I wanted to create something different so I thought it would be fun to make a sketch using only my Prismacolor Pencils and no mixed media techniques. I recently bought a Strathmore 9″ x 12″ Toned Tan sketchbook and decided to use it for my project. This became quite a challenge as the colors are more muted on the tan paper.
My sketch had to have a few pumpkins but I wanted to add a furry critter of some kind. I searched the internet for a reference photo but nothing resonated with me. So I ended up finding a few different photos in my books and chose the parts from each one that I liked best. Then I lightly sketched everything on the toned paper and colored it in with the pencils using lots of layers.
This little guy is a West Highland Terrier. I normally draw in a much more whimsical style but I thought he turned out kind of cute. Hope you enjoyed this adventure in art with me.
Growing up mom always gave us Chamomile tea for anything that ailed us. Whether we had a cold, stomach flu or just feeling blue, there wasn’t anything that a cup of warm Chamomile tea with honey couldn’t fix. I still drink a lot of it today, especially if I’m starting to feel a little sick.
Chamomile works great to relax you at the end of the stressful day. It has also been shown to be antiseptic against bacteria and helps to bring down fevers and relieve achiness due to flu’s. Chamomile is great for relieving nausea, upset stomachs and head aches. These are only a few of the benefits of Chamomile and I hope this helps you get through the cold and flu season a little better this year.
However, a word of caution. Chamomile is considered to be a ragweed and anyone with ragweed allergies should avoid Chamomile altogether.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn
I created this witch with colored pencil on a 4″ square piece of mixed media paper last year for an art challenge. Sadly, she didn’t win but she sure was a lot of fun to make so I had to find a way to use her. In my stash I found these fun Halloween cut outs from K & Company and thought they went well together. I really loved that some were accented with sparkly glitter so I didn’t have to add Stickles this time, lol.
I used my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal for this layout. I started by coating the pages with white gesso. Once that was dry, I painted the background purple. The darker bottom layer was made using the same purple paint but mixed with black paint. While it was drying I cut a 4.25″ square from black cardstock and mounted the witch drawing. You can draw anything you want on the 4″ square with colored pencils, markers, crayons or whatever strikes your fancy. Just use your imagination and think spooky!
Next I used Ranger Black Soot to distress the edges. I picked the Halloween cut outs I wanted to use and glued them along with the witch to the pages. Next I used a little silver paint for shimmering shadows. Last I added more shading with a dark gray Stabilo pencil and that was it!
Hope you enjoy making your spooky layout. Thanks for stopping by!
Share the Happy!!!
Strathmore Mixed Media Journal – 5.5″ x 8″
Spooky Halloween Drawing on a 4″ Square piece of Mixed Media Paper
K & Company Die-Cut Cardstock (TC Halloween Pumpkin and Friends)
Researchers have found that smiling, evokes a feeling of happiness and has many positive effects on our overall wellbeing. On my morning walks I’ve encountered many people on the road especially these days. But to my surprise, a lot of them were, well, grump misers. I would smile and give them a nice “Good Morning” a few would respond but a lot would just grunt and keep going.
My parents always told me stories of how I was the happiest baby, always laughing and smiling and I still am. Truth be told, it just makes you feel good. Sure, life isn’t perfect and things go wrong for all of us, but it comes down to what are you going to do with that curve ball life just threw your way. Are you going to be miserable or are you going to make the best of it and find something to smile about. Personally I prefer to find that silver lining in the cloud.
With all these morning grump misers, I thought I can’t let them be this unhappy, because happiness and positive energy is contagious. So I upped my game. I started giving everyone a big smile with a resounding “Good Morning!” And if that didn’t work, the next time I’d add in a twinkling little wave along with my big smile and greeting. I was determined to share the happy!
Funny thing started to happen, even the grumpiest people would get happy when they saw me coming their way. The happiness and positive energy has been so contagious, that they are now, seeking me out for that “Good Morning” smile and it’s just really nice to know that your smile and positive energy has the power to brighten someone else’s day.
We have unusual circumstances these days where many of us are in environments where we have to wear masks a lot but you can still see a smile in a person’s eyes and you feel the positive energy radiating from them. So don’t use that as an excuse not to smile and share the happy. Imagine how different the world could be if more people would share a smile and positive energy.
Who did you share your smile with today?
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh
This is another mandala I created. It represents the beginning of autumn, when there’s still a lot of green but just starting to change color. I created this on 8″ x 8″ 140 lb, Cold Press water color paper. I used watercolor paints, colored pencils, pen and acrylic paint pen for highlights.
I really enjoy creating these mandalas and hope you enjoy it too. It’s available for purchase in my etsy shop: FlowingWatersArtShop
I read an interesting article written by Chip Gaines in the Summer 2020 issue of Magnolia Journal. In the article he posed a good question: “If fear wasn’t a part of the equation, how would your life look different?”
It really got me thinking. Fear always plays a pretty big role in all of our lives everyday. We don’t move forward with projects out of fear of failure. We hold back on meeting new people because we’re afraid of being rejected. We don’t sing, create art or dance to our hearts content because we’re afraid of being ridiculed or laughed at.
But ultimately, we end up hurting ourselves. We lose out on life, by sitting on the sidelines allowing fear to grip us tight and hold us back. I’m not saying that fear is bad, it’s also a good thing because fear keeps us safe. But often times we let it get out of control when it isn’t necessarily needed. We need fear but we also need to keep it in check. We need to be sensible but when it comes to living our lives and being in the present moment or sitting it out on the bench, please choose to enjoy life! It is so much more fulfilling and it’s one of the reasons we’re here. So live your life to the fullest everyday!
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” ~ Lewis Carroll
I found this wooden cut out in the Art and Craft store and thought it would be fun to make it into a Halloween Decoration. It’s fairly easy to make with minimal supplies and would be a great project to make with kids, supervised of course 😉
Wooden “Spooky” cut out with hanging wire
Folkart Crackle Medium
Acrylic Paint: Red, Black
Acrylic Paint Pens: Red, White
Stickles: Xmas Red
Inkssentials Glossy Accents
2 Black glitter pumpkin bell ornaments
Paint the wooden cut out with gesso. Let dry.
Paint cut out with red acrylic paint. Let dry.
Paint cut out with Folkart Crackle Medium. Let dry.
Paint cut out with black acrylic paint. Note: While this layer dries, the paint will start to crack and you’ll see the red paint underneath show through. Make sure to let this completely dry before moving on.
Using the white and red acrylic paint pens, outline the letters a little to make them stand out more. Note: If you don’t have the pens, you can also use a liner brush dipped in white and red acrylic paint to make the thin lines.
Add drops of blood to the letters with the red Stickles. Let dry.
Using the Glossy Accents, go over the Stickles blood drops. Once dry, this will give the droplets a 3D effect.
Last, tie on your pumpkin ornaments to the ends where the wires are and that’s it!
I am a collector of quotes. They inspire and motivate you and touch your heart and soul. These are a few of my favorites from “Inspirational Quotes illustrated” by Lesley Riley.
This book quickly became one of my favorites. Lesley did a magnificent job collecting 130 quotes and paired them with beautiful illustrations by various artists. The pages in the book are perforated so you can easily tear them out and frame them if you like.
“We are not human beings have a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~Helen Keller
“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as the attitude you bring to life.” ~Khalil Gibrain
“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” ~Emory Austin
“We have a tendency to obscure the forest of simple joys with the trees of problems.” ~Christiane Collange
Just a quickie post today. Pam Carriker is a super talented mixed media artist who wrote “Creating Art at the Speed of Life.” This page was a created based on her book so I can’t go into detail on how it was made. I can tell you though, Pam did a fabulous job putting this book together. It’s packed with information and lots of step by step instructions with plenty of photos. It’s full of inspiration and is one of my most favorite books!
I highly recommend you check out Pam Carriker’s website and and her book!
Not sure if you read last week’s Thoughtful Thursday Post but I entered a virtual challenge for the week from Garmin, competing against 9 other runners. The goal was distance. It officially ended on Monday and I walked 33.9 miles and took 1st Place!! That was such a milestone for me. I was never able to do this when I was younger, much less win 1st Place but I was determined. I wanted to throw in the towel a few times but I had to reach down deep and find the courage and perseverance to keep going. Everything in my body was starting to hurt. But I really wanted to win.
I had no intention of walking this much but Jon, who was in 2nd Place was absolutely relentless. Every time I tried to put a little more distance between us he up’d his game and closed the gap. I am very thankful for Jon because he pushed me to do more and more. More than I ever thought I was capable of. Almost 34 miles in 1 week!!! It was unbelievably hard and I’m so glad it’s done because I’m exhausted.
After finishing this race, my confidence in myself definitely went up a few notches. I now know that that I have the drive and ability to tackle what may appear as a monumental task and come out victorious. Even if I don’t know how to go about it, I’m more than capable of figuring it out and that’s a very good feeling.
This wasn’t an official race. There were no trophies, no one cheering you along from the sidelines. It was just me and my Garmin, tracking my miles. But I’m very proud of my virtual win because for me this was so much more than just winning.
What area of your life do you need to boost your confidence in? Take on that monumental task and prove to yourself that you CAN do it!
The year seems to be flying by. Stores are displaying fall decorations and before you know, Christmas will be here. So I’m slowly starting to transition myself from summer and into fall. Although I’m a little sad to see summer go, I’m so ready for the cooler fall temps.
I created this spread in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal. I started by coating the pages with white gesso and letting it dry. Next I used Yellow, Fuschia, Orange and Red acrylic paints for the background. Once that was dry, I used black acrylic paint for the tree. Using a white Posca Pen, I added a little detailing to the tree. I went into my paper stash and found pretty shades of green, yellow and orange that I cut into very small leaves and glued them to the pages. I added a little detailing to the leaves with a Sakura Micron Pen 03.
I found this quote which I thought went pretty well with the falling of the leaves: “The one who falls and gets up so so much stronger than the one who never FELL.” I typed it on my old singer typewriter and used pink washi tape to adhere it on the right page.
I stamped a bird with Black Staz On Ink to the right page along with a few circles in pink acrylic paint. I also sprayed a little watered down white acrylic paint to the pages. I distressed the edges and last, I added Stickles to the tree for a little bling.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy creating your journal pages!!
I never thought I would like competing as much as I do. I guess it drives me to do better and that’s why I’ve grown to like it so much. I got a Garmin Watch from my hubby for my birthday a few months ago. I had no idea what missing until I got this watch. I really, really love it! One of the cool things is that you can install the Garmin app on your phone and sync it with your watch. Garmin has different challenges every week and month. So I entered my first challenge last week.
The goal of this challenge was to walk 25,000 steps in a week which is about 12.5 miles so you can advance to the next level. I entered it a few days in and was excited to see I was in 6th place out of 10 other people who also entered. I moved up to 4th and sadly dropped finished in 7th Place. The other walkers had way more steps than me, I didn’t even come close. The winner of the group completed about 29+ miles. Very impressive to say the least!!
After losing that challenge, I entered it again for this week. I’m determined to finish in 1st place so I’ve been doing a lot of walking, much more than usual. The hardest part is the South Florida heat. The humidity has been really bad lately. It definitely slows down your pace but I refuse to give up. Today I walked the furthest yet, a whopping 5 miles. It took me 1 hour, 20 minutes. I really started to fizzle in the end but I persevered and reached my goal! I’ve walked nearly 13.5 miles in 3 days which is not bad considering I would normally have anywhere from 6 to 9 miles for an entire week.
As of this moment, I’m still in 1st Place. But the others are closing in fast. It’s going to be a tough challenge but I’m seeing it through. Wish me luck!!
What is something that challenges you and drives you to do better?
This was truly a labor or love. I created this mandala with a lot of small areas that took a bit more time to paint than I expected. But I finally finished. It’s painted on 8″ x 8″ 140 lb, Cold Press water color paper. I chose this color scheme because it reminded me of summer and this will most likely be my last piece done like this because I’m slowly switching gears for fall. I’m really looking forward to the cooler weather!
I sketched the design in pencil and then painted it with watercolor paints. Next I used a Sakura .005 pen to outline my design. I added shading with colored pencils and highlights with a white posca pen.
It was very relaxing creating this piece as I had to really focus on what I was doing with all the small areas. I hope you like it!
Last week when I went on my walk, I was saddened to see a squirrel that had been hit by a car. About 3 days later, I went on another walk with my husband. We almost didn’t go that morning because a very bad thunderstorm was moving in.
To our surprise it moved in much faster than expected and we had to cut our walk short and run most of the way to get back home before it started to pour rain. As we came around the corner, we saw something small in the middle of the road and didn’t know what it was at first. But as we got closer we saw it was a baby squirrel which was a few feet away from where the adult squirrel died a few days earlier.
We carried the baby home and put him in a box. He was so small that he could fit in the palm of your hand. The poor little thing was very weak and we knew he needed help fast. So we made a few phone calls and found the Florida Wildlife Center would take him in.
We debated taking care of him ourselves but he was in such bad shape and needed lots of care so we thought he’d have a better chance with them. We drove him across town and dropped him off at the Center. Their policy is to rehabilitate the animal and once they’re ready, release them where they were found which made us happy.
I just received news today that the little guy is doing well. He was malnourished and dehydrated but other than that, he is recovering just fine. From what I read online, orphaned baby squirrels can’t make it in the wild until they’re around 4.5 months old because their survival instincts aren’t developed yet. I’m guessing, this little bambino has a few more months to go before being released so I’ll keep you posted.