There is a first time for everything...and I discovered this while working on my newest canvas, my husbands cast! I've never painted a cast before, but it just made sense to "beautify" my husbands, although I think he would rather say I made it more "edgy", that works too :) And it wasn't caused by a recent injury, but rather a broken wrist that was never cast 29 years ago from a MotoCross Accident and debilitating arthritis had taken over, time to get it fixed.
My husband chose the colors and wanted the Peace sign and the Yin and Yang symbol, and I decided to throw in the Reiki healing power symbol, which I often use in my paintings. I really love how well this turned out and the symbolicalness of the symbols to promote healing and positivity. It made me realize I need to incorporate more of this positive, zen style symbolism into my art, so keep an eye out for it!
Here are some in progress photos and the final Masterpiece below :) Click on any image to see larger
These days it's hard to go online and not read something negative, or people insulting each other, calling each other names, even horrible comments, such as "I wish you would die", etc., etc. And most times these are comments and attacks from complete and total strangers. It's a very disturbing "trend" that is the ultimate form of bullying. But, there are things that you and I can do to help minimize this negativity in our online interactions. See some of my guidelines below to disengage from a negative online situation.
I like to be happy, I seek out things and people that create a feeling of happiness in my life, and try to avoid drama at all costs, it's just not worth it! This is why I paint happy art, it's part of who I am, how I live my life and reflects my personality, so dealing with online negativity can be very draining and counter productive to my creativity. So, I work hard to avoid getting wrapped up in negative online situations.
The problem is that a lot of people have so much negativity in their lives that it spills over into what they say online. It is much easier for people to hide behind a computer screen and let the negativity take over. They think there aren't any repercussions because a lot of times the people they are being combative with are complete strangers in another part of the world. But, the reality is, they are perpetuating the negativity in their own lives and to the people they are engaging with and/or attacking online. It's a vicious circle that needs to end, do your part and step away from any negativity that you may start to become embroiled in online. For your overall mental, emotional and physical well being, avoid the negativity.
I myself had to do this a few days ago when I made a comment about choosing healthy foods for children over buying prepackaged, processed food. I was instantly attacked by numerous people for an innocent comment about looking for other healthy food options, it was really quite ridiculous and at first I tried to defend myself and my opinion, but the rudeness and insecurities of some of these people was so over the top I realized there was no point in continuing the conversation where it was only going to spiral into an even darker hole. So, I stopped my engagement in the conversation, even though I had more to stay, it wasn't worth reading the negative comments and letting it bother me. I would rather live my life positively and engage in worthwhile discussions with people who don't need to resort to ugliness online. There are plenty of people who can have great debatable conversations without attacking others for their opinions or thoughts, these are the people we need to focus on having discussions with and perpetuating a positive online experience with friends, families and strangers.
Guidelines to Disengage from Negativity Online:
Don't engage with people who are already in a negative state of mine, even friends and family. All this does is frustrate you and feed into their negativity, it's best just to step away and let them work it out themselves. You can immediately tell if someone is in an argumentative or negative mood by the first comments they post; if they instantly want to argue, dismiss your opinion as having no value, etc. be aware of the signs to avoid engaging with them unnecessarily.
Even if you post an innocent comment in a discussion that is hotly debated, you will most likely get at least one person who is going to want to argue with you just for the sake of arguing, do not engage with them, simply step away from the conversation.
Don't post inflammatory comments that you know will get people riled up, don't be the reason for negativity in any aspect of your life or anyone else's.
If someone innocently misinterprets what you said, don't get angry and react with negativity, instead try to diffuse the situation from escalating by nicely explaining what you initially meant. If they don't chose to see the harmlessness, or value in your opinion, than they are not someone you should be in a conversation with. You can initially give someone the benefit of the doubt, but if it quickly becomes clear they are just looking for drama, disengage.
These are just a few signs and ways of avoiding negativity online, what are some of the ways you stay out of "online drama and bullying" situations? I would love to hear your thoughts!!
I post several times a day on my Instagram account, anything and everything from work in progress on my paintings, healthy food, products with my art, travel photos, my lifestyle, everything!! And I also am involved in fun giveaways either hosted by myself to win art, or with a group of other fabulous bloggers to win great items such as vacations, luxury brand purses, shoes, etc. So be sure to follow along on Instagram to get a peak into my every day life as an artist and join in on the opportunity to win great prizes!!
I'm currently running a contest with other bloggers for you to win two fabulous Kate Spade purses, looooove the colors! You can win one and your bestie can win the other :) Click on image to go to Instagram for rules and to enter.
In addition to the contest running right now, I will be joining in on an AirBnB giveaway for a fabulous vacation in a few days!! You DON'T want to miss out on that one :)
PS: Stay tuned for information and discounts on a CHRISTMAS IN JULY Sale for originals and limited editions prints, coming up soon!! Sign up for my e-mail newsletter to get an even larger discount only available to subscribers, sign up here ~
I LOVE spicy food! And there is not anything much hotter than a Scotch Bonnet Pepper! I never even knew they existed until I met my Jamaican husband, they love their Scotch Bonnets, they use it in just about everything from curry chicken to jerk chicken. It's not just the heat that it puts out, but it also has a very distinct and yummy flavor. We buy several bottles of Scotch Bonnet hot sauce at a time, we simply can't run out. So, I thought I would give my hand at growing my own Scotch Bonnets, which for me is not something to take lightly as I have a black thumb, everything I grow or plant, doesn't last very long, haha!!
I purchased three little mini scotch bonnet plants from Amazon (I'm an Amazon Junkie) and they arrived in perfect condition and started growing immediately! As I live in Florida and it's summertime I had to water them every morning or they would get angry and wilt, and eventually my husband created an automatic watering system so I wouldn't have to worry about them and it works perfect!! Always good to have a handy man around, hehe :) Within about a month of planting my little bushes they started producing peppers, I was amazed, I actually grew something!!
I have picked about 25 fully ripe peppers off the tree in the past week, and eventually plan on making some hot sauce with them, but will freeze them until I do. We did decide that we needed to try them on some chicken first and it was soooooo delicious!! The flavor and heat is the perfect compliment to chicken, here is the recipe, very simple and easy to make, I use all organic or homegrown ingredients:
4 Chicken Breasts
7 cloves of garlic
1 or more scotch bonnet peppers (depends on how much heat you like)
Fresh Thyme (out of my new garden too!)
4 tablespoons of water
5 tablespoons of Olive Oil
Emeril's All purpose seasoning (or any all purpose seasoning you have on hand)
Finely chop the peppers, if you want lot's of heat be sure to use the seeds, but be aware that is where most of the heat comes from. Experiment with how many pepper and seeds you want until you find just the right amount of heat and flavor, it all comes down to personal preferences, I personally like more heat, but my husband likes a little less so we meet in the middle and make a semi-hot sauce.
Combine the chopped peppers, garlic cloves, thyme and water into a food processor until ground up and makes a liquidy paste/sauce. Dip the chicken breasts in the paste until they are covered with pieces of peppers and garlic and then place on a heated griddle with the olive oil preheated, pour the remaining paste over top of the chicken on the griddle and sprinkle your seasoning salt. Cook until fully done and browned, and voila, a quick and easy scotch bonnet chicken dinner!!
I chose some great sides to compliment the chicken: spinach and arugula mix laid under the chicken, the heat from the chicken will soften up the spinach and arugula, almost steams it right there on the plate. Some mashed potatoes, slices of avocado and my favorite butter bean recipe: just add some butter, Old Bay seasoning, chopped garlic, Italian seasoning and all purpose seasoning to a can of butter beans and cook for about 10 minutes, so delicious!!
I love to create quick healthy meals, and this is a perfect one to try, let me know if you give it a go and how you like it!! You won't be disappointed :)
I truly believe in the statement "you are what you eat", as I notice whenever I eat something unhealthy my body instantly reacts and let's me know it is NOT happy with me! I've become very sensitive to a lot of different foods over the years, even some fruits and vegetables! So, I try to be very careful and eat as healthy as possible.
I recently discovered I have an overgrowth of Candida and it has lead to lot's of nagging health problems, from fatigue to severe allergies. One of the best resources I've found for dealing with Candida is the site "The Candida Diet" and it has directions for taking the "spittle test" to quickly determine if you may have a candida overgrowth creating an imbalance in your system, go Here to follow the test. I clearly tested positive when taking this test and have so many symptoms, including a non-tolerance for sugar. As long as I can remember, me and sugar have NOT gotten along!! One of the first symptoms after consuming sugar is a horrible headache, so I routinely avoid sugar in it's most obvious forms, candies, cookies, and other sweets. But, over time I've noticed even natural sugars can wreak havoc with my system, and now that I understand the relationship between candida and sugar, it makes perfect sense! Candida thrives off sugar, it's the main source of fuel.
So, for the past couple of weeks I've been on a completely sugar free diet, no fruits, no breads, no rice, minimal grains, I have a popcorn addiction so can't completely go cold turkey with that, just minimize it. And I'm trying to watch my intake of processed foods, which for the most part just leaves me with lot's of vegetables and chicken, as I don't really like any other meat; I would actually go vegetarian if I could, but I need a good source of protein as I mountain bike a lot which requires considerable muscle engagement. And I normally don't eat a lot of dairy, but have started eating organic, natural yogurt with live cultures, and I have butter on occasion.
I've found it's really not that difficult at all to cut out all sugar!! I am already a gluten free person for the most part, so that helped, and then I started eating quinoa and love it, even my husband is preferring it over rice, so YaY for that!! I use it in place of rice or potatoes, for breakfast cereal, and just purchased some quinoa pasta, will have to see how that turns out.
One thing that really surprised me is I have NO sugar cravings, none, nada, nope! And what a relief that is, I actually crave saltier foods more than anything. And the other day my husband had a box of Wheat Thins and I snacked on a couple, bad I know, but discovered something very interesting, I couldn't eat them! They actually tasted like chemicals and were just gross, I guess my body is cleansing itself and likes the clean eating and will rebel at the bad food, which makes it that much easier not to eat the garbage.
I also try to purchase organic everything, it's more expensive, but nothing can replace your health. When I don't feel good physically it affects me emotionally and mentally and I don't feel like doing anything, including painting and creating. And I just can't deal with that, I need to create, and I love to mountain bike which requires an enormous amount of energy, so healthy eating it is! And I feel the difference already, and don't have any issues with bloating and have even lost a couple of pounds, bonus!! I'm on a goal to lose another 15-20 and this lifestyle diet will help me achieve that goal in a healthy manner.
Here is a yummie, nutty recipe for your morning to provide you a nutritious and energizing breakfast, gluten free and sugar free! It's what I had this morning and feel like I could paint all day or ride the trails all day!!
Quinoa Hot Cereal Flakes
Paleo Hot Cereal
Nutiva Chia Seeds - I add about a Tablespoon
Milled Flax Seeds - I like these because they come in easy, one serving packets
Almond Milk - I buy the Silk brand, unsweetened 30 calorie version, main reason is it doesn't have the nasty chemical Carageenan, which causes a host of problems on it's own, watch out for it in dairy!
I usually get most of these ingredients at a nearby health food store or local Publix grocery, but they can all be purchased on Amazon if you don't have access locally.
Follow instructions on the cereal packages to determine how much almond milk, or water, to add depending on how many servings required, and how long to cook.
I also like to add a little Amish, or organic butter to add some extra creamy taste. And if you can have fruits add some banana, blueberries or strawberries for a natural sweet taste. This is a great way to start your day knowing you are feeding your body and mind to be at peak performance. Now I'm ready to get out from in front of this computer and go paint!