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Monday, March 28, 2016

Fixing the Gut

Not very glamorous sounding I admit. But if we want to live the healthiest possible life it's essential to make sure to have healthy gut bacteria. I've been binge reading about health and the latest up-to-datest research about what makes a great diet. And I'm not talking a losing weight diet, but instead a general diet of what to eat for maximum health. Although by following a super nutritious diet you will more than likely return to a weight that is good for you.

Back to the gut. Without going into detail (I'll leave that up to the experts), your stomach should have a mix of bacteria, mostly the healthy kind. Research shows that you can ward off and heal many ailments and help make your health generally all-around better by fixing your gut and eating a diet rich in nutrients while eliminating sugar and processed foods. Read about it on Dr. Josh Axe's website or look into his new book coming out March 29th, 2016 called Eat Dirt. Here is the link: Eat Dirt Book . He has some great recipes on the site and lots of advice. I also follow him on YouTube. Here is a super concoction he came up with that should help get your gut back to healthy. He suggests you drink this once a day about 20 minutes before a meal, preferably breakfast or lunch. If you are just starting out getting your gut flora back to normal he suggests drinking this three times a day, 20 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner for two weeks then scale back to once a day for maintenance. I've tried another much simpler version of this but I love cinnamon and the taste of this drink so much better. It does take a little work mixing the cinnamon into the water but keep at it and stir as you drink and you're good to go.

Here's the recipe:
1-2 Tablespoons Braggs raw vinegar (use organic raw vinegar and give the bottle a shake)
     (Dr. Axe suggests you use 1 T to start then increase to 2 T when you're use to the vinegar taste)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (either organic or fresh squeezed)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a TINY pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 pack of stevia or 4-5 drops of liquid stevia (don't use artificial sweetners! - Nasty stuff!!)
12-16 ounces of water

Mix it all together as best as you can and drink. I like mine at room temperature.

Don't think you can drink this and all will be well! You need to eat a healthy diet high in vitamins and minerals (including lots of vegetables) and get rid of sugar and processed foods forever. 

A wonderful book I also recommend is by Dr. Mark Hyman called Eat Fat, Get Thin. He has some wonderful nutritional information and what best to eat to stay healthy for life. I follow his plan mostly but make it fit my preferences from what I've learned over the years. He recommends that you listen to your body and do what's right for your body as we are all different. I don't take all the supplements he suggests but choose based on my personal circumstances. His website is and the link to his book is Eat Fat, Get Thin. Some great info from both. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is another wonderful source.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Becoming Artful

I'm taking a personal art discovery class at Peony and Parakeet called Imagine Monthly. The first project, pictured above, used watercolor, color pencils and marking pens plus a collage method using my own painted art doodles. The instructor, Paivi from Finland, teaches via video and PDF class hand-out. There is a special Facebook page for the students to post their work. It amazes me how each student has her own take on the project. They all turn out so different and fascinating.

This year my main resolution is to play more. Part of that is taking art classes online, connecting with friends who like art and making an art journal. It will be interesting to see where this leads. I've shoved art aside for too long. We all need creative time to do what we feel inspired to do. That could mean so many different things, just like the art instruction did for this project. We all took off in different directions with the same set of instructions and video to follow. I love that!

I'll post more journal pages as class progresses.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Christmas Card

Years ago a family friend, Tom, sent us a Christmas card with a black and white photo on the front. It was a picture that was taken of his family Christmas tree when he was growing up. It's one of my favorite all time Christmas cards and the photo is so simple and beautiful. The tree was spindly and plain. That's what I love about it. Unwrapped presents lay under it. It reminds me of my childhood Christmases.

Tom's card was my inspiration for The Christmas Card still life photo. I thought about each year how we use to sit down with a cuppa something and pen our cards to family and friends. These days my husband 'writes' our Christmas letter on the computer and we email to most and mail to those without email. It's not as personal but we still reach out to our loved ones with news of the year. That's important to us.
Here is a close-up of the metal container I recently purchased at a craft fair. I fell in love with it's simplicity. Just like the tree. 


Sunday, December 6, 2015

Love Grows Wild

No photo to share today but instead a blog worth sharing. While cruising a Pinterest board I made a wonderful discovery for a DIY project. It led me to Love Grows Wild.

Back in the day I was more into DIY projects but have grown away from them over the years. OK, I just buy stuff instead. Easier. BUT this website has me excited about heading to the local hardware/lumber and craft stores for supplies.

Click on the Project Gallery tab for photos of some pretty amazing projects. The blog owner, Liz, has separated projects by three themes:
  • Home Projects
  • Crafts
  • Holidays & Seasons
A couple that caught my eye are How to Make Rope Letters and DIY Photo Clipboards .

I'd like to make the clipboards a different size and paint them distressed white. She also shows you how to distress by clicking on other projects.

It would be fun to make the word Wine or Chef out of rope for wall art. She says you have to make the words short so they don't sag and suggests tiny nails at key points in the letters when attaching them to the wall. You could probably even paint the rope. White or black maybe. Hmmm.... Lots of possibilities.

Oh, and recipes too! There are some vegetarian dishes as well. I'd love to try the Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo, 30 Minute Fresh Tomato Marinara, and Spicy Cilantro Shrimp with Honey Lime Dipping Sauce, with or without the sauce or substitute light sour cream. Yum.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Peaceful White

There is something so peaceful about the color white. When you go outside after a big snow, you know how quiet it is? That's what white is. A room filled with white is calming and refreshing at the same time.

The birch candle holder was made by my friend Sharon's husband for a garden club fundraising event. I love the texture and the way the bark peels, the color and feel of it.

A recent class assignment for My Still Sunday at was Shades of White and Still Side Light. My Still Sunday is not only about still life photography but also about the quiet and calm. When setting up and taking photos of still life I forget everything else except what's in front of me. I look through the view finder, adjust my position or elements in the scene, take a photo, repeat. It's just me, the camera and the elements. Simple, quiet, still. I love that.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Treasures From Grandfathers

I love photographing special treasures that mean something personally. The pocket watch belonged to my husband's Grandpa Lawrence. The slate board belonged to my Grandpa Proctor whom I never met. He used it as a schoolboy and his name is carved on the other side.
The vintage math book and key were among my mother's collection. She loved collecting 'old-timey' things. Since I was the only one in the family that expressed a keen interest in old things she would occasionally pass them my way when she was thinning out her cupboards. My favorite treasure she picked up at a garage sale was a vintage crib quilt that was hand pieced and quilted. She paid a dollar for it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

New Purse Love

I belong to the Arlington Garden Club in Arlington, Washington. This is an amazing group of ladies and gentlemen but that's not what this is about. The club hosts an annual event each fall, the Holiday Garden Art and Crafts. We invite local vendors to sell their high quality handcrafted items. It was there that I found THE purse!

Karen Young of Frill handcrafted this to-die-for purse. It's made of Pendleton wool and the colors are so yummy. She took time to show me her many beautiful purses on display but I just couldn't take my eyes off this one. You can tell Karen takes great pride in her work because of the high quality and design. I will love this purse for many year to come. It makes me happy just to look at it.