Avoiding Winter

What's your creative playground a/k/a table look like? Lately mine is filled with watercolors. Still. I got a few new Daniel Smiths last week and am excited to take them for a spin today! 

P.S. Lilly says hello!

Fresh Food Delivered

Last year, in a total rut for recipes, I convinced hubby to sign us up for Blue Apron. Have you ever ordered from a service that sends original recipes and fresh ingredients to your doorstep every week? We are loving my adventures in Blue Apron and wish I’d signed up sooner. Yup, we became fast friends.

There are a few companies like Blue Apron out there...Hello Fresh and Plate are similar. Whenever I write about our fantabulous meals on Instagram or Facebook, people all seem to have a preference for these services. 

Like a good chiropractor or therapist, that big brown box gives me just the right nudge to move my cooking in a new direction. I consider myself a pretty creative cook, yet certain ingredients like catfish or collard greens never made it to my week day repertoire. There’s a new spark to our dinners on Blue Apron nights. We are always impressed and in love with the meals because they are things I just don't ever make...which is kind of the point to even doing this, right? Our boys are continuously amazed with how great things taste, too. 

One of the recipes we had this week was Za-atar Chicken Souvlaki and they were amazinggggggg. 

If you have use a similar service, I'd love to hear about who you use and why. :)

 

 

 

Still Searching

So many creative legends lost this year and it amazes me (or does it) to learn about their battles with depression. George Micheal, Carrie Fisher, Prince...so many right?!

I have felt the pains of depression several times in my life and whenever I was in the thick of those feelings I used art as my way out. The artful act of expression was vital to me, so this really strikes a chord. I would sketch and paint to put the feelings somewhere else - on a canvas or a piece of paper...anywhere...so it wasn't in me anymore. It helped sooo much. 

The thing that's different with me now tho is I'm not that depressed person anymore. If you have been watching my artwork for over two years you can certainly see what I'm talking about. 

The portrait on the left was painted in the thick of sadness. About 6 months later I reworked the piece completely and that's her on the right.

 

 

Fast forward to current time and the need to create as a way out and has been for months. 

When I go to my studio I don't feel the need to create like I used to. I used to need it or I would explode. Not even kidding. Not for one second. 

That's not me anymore. 

I am sooooo glad I'm not that person anymore. It's very freeing really. I have evolved and changed. The sticks that used to save me from the inner dark cloud that confined my spirit have broken. I don't need art like I used to.

The challenge that I have now is can I paint as a happier person? I'm trying. 

What does that look like? It's almost like starting over if I'm being honest. It's doable I'm sure it is. Right? Is it passionate enough tho? That is what I wrestle with as I approach every new piece. 

The colors, the lines, the strokes. I'm experimenting there. 

Every time I fail now, I remind myself to grateful. Grateful that I am in this better state. Free from the darkness. 

 

Our Thanksgiving Break

We spent our Thanksgiving with family last week. My fav time of the year!! On our road trip we met with a good friend, Angela, and had a latte together. :) We've been friends for a while, but never met in person so that was awesome! 

We had a great time with our family, my mom, sis and her hubby. Our kiddos--getting ansy waiting for turkey...goofy photos just happen when they are together and there's never been much I can do about it so I just roll with it. 

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Allie even made a cherry pie! Isn't it beautiful? Wonder if she can teach me how?

Black Friday is another holiday we take seriously. The girls and I, yeah we don't mess around. We went to several fav must see stores like Plenty Merchantile and Lush

We spent a lot of time at a new (to me) store; Urban Farmhouse. OMW. Awesome place! We were all smiles after that!

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SUCH A FUN visit!!! :) 

The Tough Stuff Event

Hey friends!

Last night I featured a packed Event where I shared how I got thru the tough stuff. For those of you who got in, I'm providing a PDF at the bottom of this post! 

It was very late notice, and I thank you all who joined me. The 300 of us had a good time! 

For folks that didn't get in to see the Event, I shared my #1 secret for getting through the tough stuff so you can move on with your awesome self. Plus a lot more of really great info. SO GOOD! 

I am still going thru the messages and comments...so I appreciate your patience! Also, you can check out the new oil website here.

 

That Time I Went To Utah

Have you ever found your feet smack dab in the middle of a lavender field? It's humbling that's for sure. I recently had the opportunity to do just that. Gorgeous. I mean....come ON...

Some oily friends and I gathered for a nice long weekend of fun and celebration at our Silver Retreat in Salt Lake City. These girls are amazing. So blessed with their friendship! Thanks for the great day Nikkee, Kati and Ashley!

The farm was my favorite part. Which was surprising to me because have spent most of my life as a city girl. Those mountains and that lavender tho...breathtaking!

We spent most of our trip in Salt Lake. Have you been there before? Such a clean city. I was amazed. Fairytale like really. We stayed at The Grand America Hotel downtown and were treated like princesses the entire time. 

This night we were celebrating. Not my fave photo but it is what it is! Ha! Nikkee, me and Lindsey.

Janelle, Justine, me and Nikkee...oily franz...

So much fun!!!! I can't wait to go back to Utah! 

 

 

I'm Sharing Oil Secrets Tomorrow!

Are we Facebook friends? If not, go friend me over there. I am doing a Quick Class tomorrow night via live video and there will be lots of helpful info shared!! What oils are good for physical wellness, emotional wellness, sleep...and more. 

There will be some fun giveaways too. I'm all about the fun guys!!  :) 

Download this Guide now if you want to follow along and take notes during the Live Class. See you over there at 7:00 pm, CST! 

Hope you are having a great week! 

Moms Rock

My mom was here visiting last week and we had the best time together! 

I have been so busy this month with the art workshop, essential oils events, son's bday and uhh life....and I was worried I wouldn't get to enjoy her visit. I mean, I barely barelyyyyyy had time to even clean up around here. I had a stack of come back lines prepared in case she said anything about that too. She didn't tho. Mom's are like that and I'm so glad. 

We sipped hot coffees at the breakfast table, shopped at our favorite stores here...yeah plenty of that...and had big family dinners in the evenings. Lots of laughter...oh she can make me laugh! 

I love her.

Today I'm getting back to things. With a happy and grateful heart.

 

Labor YAY Sale!

How great is it that we have a 3 day weekend? I love those! They kinda sneak up on me since I work from home, but how that it's here I am looking forward to having my hubby and kiddos home and enjoy that one last hurrah of Summer. :) 

I'm thrilled to tell you that my art workshops on sale right now! 

This is a great time to jump into the upcoming WAFE, The Energy of Art Workshop that launches September 5! Check it out: here

 

The Neon Forest and Gratitude With Attitude Art Workshops are on sale right now too! 

Hey, have a great Labor Day weekend and enjoy some sweet deal...get creative and make some art! 

A Lesson in Validation

Have you ever stepped way out of your comfort zone? And then done it repeatedly for 24 hours? A few days ago that's what I did. It was horrifying at first and then it was kind of exciting, then exhilarating and I am so glad I took risks and stepped out and did these hard things. Go me! Woot!

Here's the thing tho...this is the what happened next. After I did this string of hard things, I felt like I was hanging wayyyy out there in the land of no comfort and the little fear monger inside of me started to rear it's ugly head. 

How did you do that? You shouldn't be doing that...stay here with me...thoughts like that surfaced and it felt icky. I knew I did a pretty good job but that's what my fearful self was saying.

So, I did what every freaked outer does (well I think), and I started looking for recognition from folks close to me. I full on expected them to lift me up, stroke my hair, sing my praises. But they didn't. Woah.

So then a huge waterfall of "why's" started. Gosh I really got worked up over this! The friends and family I normally turn to didn't lift me up. That stung. 

Maybe it was because they were busy. They probably were. Maybe it was because they were tired of giving me positive strokes. Maybe they didn't even know I was sitting there feeling so exposed after that series of hard things and needed a little hand holding and a warm hug. 

Here is the kicker tho, I have taken some time to reflect on this and I have learned something so valuable and had to write about it. 

I am not dependent on their validation. I thought I was at first, but now I see more clearly. My feelings were valid...to me. I am 100% capable of working through them and patting my own self on my back. 

That feels really good. In fact it feels amazing. 

Do we really want to leave our self-worth in the hands of others? I don't. 

 

Learn to give yourself the attention, approval, love, and acceptance you seek from others. Beautifully.

Here is an except from a great article about the two steps you can take to help get you there. 

Validating yourself is not just a matter of looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are a wonderful, beautiful child of God. It's not just a matter of telling yourself throughout the day that you are OK.

Your inner child—your essence—won't believe you if the approval is coming from your limited, programmed mind (your ego-wounded self). Your programmed mind is like a child or adolescent. Whose opinion would you be more likely to accept? A child’s or that of an older, wiser person?

Probably the latter.

5 Creative Ways to Practice Self Care

There are times when we all need to turn inward and take care of ourselves. It's a must! Especially for moms who spend so much of their time taking care of others, right? The to-do list is never ending. I know mine certainly is. As soon as I cross off one thing, I need to add three more to the list. I couldn't function without my to-do lists and planner. No way!

I do make time every week to create. Often times I am painting for others (commission stuff), or for a workshop, or making pieces to sell, but it's really important to just play, too. 

It's critical. 

Taking care of you, is a priority. If it isn't, make it one! 

Have you read the book The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner? I read it last Fall and that book really opened my eyes to the importance of making time for me. 

I am heading off to my studio after this blog post, to do just that. 

Even treated myself to some new juicy tubes of color to make it extra fun.

Here are my 5 creative ways to practice self care:

1. Get in your studio and clean it up. Like to clean? Hey, some folks do. So tidy it up in there and you will all of the sudden find yourself feeling more invited and welcomed in there. Voila! Don't be a stranger to your sacred space.

2. Turn on some music. Music starts to get things moving in your space...especially your gray matter. Who likes to create when there's no movement in the room? Get some sounds waves going.  Bonus points for dancing! 

3. Create with the intention of not creating anything. Just pick up whatever supplies you are drawn to and explore. 15 minutes of this equals major happy. Promise!

4. Move your hands. With a brush or a marker...pen...pencil in it...across a surface. Go big, go uncomfy...use your non-dominant hand...explore and surprise yourself. 

5. Do something new or haven't done in a really long time. Change up the colors or try adding new lines to it. Revisit that old canvas or an old art journal you haven't touched in forever. yeah, the one that's just been sitting there because you didn't like it enough months ago...why not switch it up or make and experiment out of it? It's very freeing to do!

Okay...like I said, I'm off to go play. Which means self care. :) 

 

WAFE Workshop

Well, BIG YAY! I have a new art workshop to announce! I'm just so excited to share this with you! More on that shortly. For now...let me share the vivid details about The WAFE Workshop!

This all new Workshop has been on my mind for over a year. I felt the need to share it but wasn't sure how to. So I did a lot of researching the past 8 months and while that was really interesting, I started to feel smaller and smaller and lost in the pages (and hours) of research. Ever felt like that? So I thanked the research for helping me and decided to continue with what I know. And that is art. 

Art from a teaching perspective, but also as a person. I love the way I feel when I create, and when I create something good then all the better. That's my magic. Check out this video about the new Workshop:

You can enjoy early bird pricing of $48 now through August 15! The Workshop will be $68 so by enrolling now you save a nice $20 you can spend on art supplies or whatever makes you smile! 

Okay the back story I hinted at earlier...I have wanted to do this Workshop for over a year but my computer was old and out of memory (wow it was so mad at me). I always provide video rich content and that takes up a lot of memory. My computer refused to honor my wishes. When I created that labor of love video introduction this afternoon I literally had tears in my eyes I was so overjoyed. It's been a long time coming! I am sooo thankful for my new computer! HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN! Woot! 

Bop on over to this page to get all the details for WAFE Workshop: here!

A Birthday With Sprinkles

I had the bestest birthday ever you guys. Ever! Well, in a very long time haha. My sweet girl came over and we spread our current projects all over the kitchen table and painted and painted. It was super hot so we couldn't paint upstairs in the studio, that's July in the midwest for you.

We even had birthday cake martinis. Sure did! No martini glasses in this house, so we used wine glasses. :)

Now for the best part...I got a new computer for my bday. I was so surprised and elated. I've been needing one for forever and a day. I'm on it right now as a matter of fact. This will make blogging so much easier. And now that memory isn't a problem....bring on the art workshops! I'm so looking forward to it! It's been far too long!

 

 

 

Painted Bowls

A sister visit means art will be made. We make sure of it. In fact, we have a hard time doing anything else. :) We called this time our Art-Party-For-Two.

One of the funnest projects my sis and I did during her visit was making painted bowls. It was so hot out but we did it anyway! Early stages...

Here is my finished version. I had quite a colorful, happy energy to it.

Of course, I want to make more now. :)

A Sweet Summer

Things have been busy around here and full of life. Hope you are enjoying your Summer!

My Mom was here earlier this Summer, and then my sis spent the week with us last week. My heart is full. So full.

I am looking forward to a bit of calm around here if that's possible? I want to study and paint and have more Summer night's on the deck. Maybe a bonfire or two. That'd be wonderful.

I have to tell you about this deal, because it so rarely happens. Like twice a year maybe? This is one of those times! The Starter Kit I know and love is on sale right now! What?! 10% off! I try and keep my essential oil stuff in my website section under essential oils, but I am a rebel and had to share here too.

This is the Kit I started my wellness journey with. My team and I have helped hundreds of families with so many issues, as we share and guide them on their oil journeys. Talk about filling your heart with good stuff. We've helped with sleep (I raise my hand to that one), emotional wellness (I raise my hand again), physical issues, seasonal sniffles (hubby raises his hand) and so many other things. Naturally. 

I still find therapeutic grade essential oils to be fascinating. We're not talking about the cheap oilsyou find in health food stores. Nope. I'm talking about the therapeutic grade oils. How about you? Have you thought about oils for your wellness issues? I know you will be surprised and elated and grateful them!

Have a peek at my stories about essential oils here.

Quick link to getting that kit, while it's 10% off: here.

Questions? I'm an email away. :)

 

 

 

Shop Update

Still digging the watercoloring. Woot! It's a test of patience and an explosion of color and that certain unexpectness (watercolors are sometimes rebellious) that make me keep coming back for more. As this watercolor collection grows, I'll be adding them to The Shop! Here's what listed now:

Party Puppgog

Party Puppgog

Ollie (SOLD)

Ollie (SOLD)

Where You Go

Where You Go

Top 6 Fav Things

Mad crush day, I love it when people share their fav things and I haven't shared mine in forever. Here's what I am crushing on lately!!

 

1.  Floral purple/pink Starbucks tumbler. If you know me at all, you know I'm big on Starbucks. The double wall keeps things cold longer and I must have a straw. I must. The cute factor is pretty high on this one, too!

2. My planner. I'm a junkie. I confess I've fallen victim. I sticker and highlight it up like a 5 year old, too. No judging.

3. YL Northern Lights Black Spruce. I think I have a bottle in every room in my house. It smells grounding and refreshing to me. If it ever goes out of stock I will cry!!

4. Brookside Acai Blueberries a/k/a my innocent treat. Maybe they aren't real blueberries but I'm ok with that. Yummm.

5. Urban Decay Ozone Layer lipliner. It's clear and it helps all the Tarte (or any) lip stain or lipstick from spreading. That's just genius! It works like a charm.

6. The Big Leap, by Guy Hendricks. I've highlighted and bookmarked so many pages it'll take me a day to read them all!! It's going to be hard to top this book!! I just finished this and am nervous about starting a new book now!

There we have it... my 6 mad crushes!  

 

Keep the Mystery

Keep the Mystery

Truth bomb: if I knew what the outcome would be when I started painting something, that would take away the fun and surprise element. I never want that...that's where the magic is!! I go where the mystery is. Whatever tools and whatever it takes to get it...that's where I go.

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