Category Archives: creativity

homemade redness reducers

mint aloe cucumberI’ve been noticing some redness on my face lately (well, ok, for the last 20 years), so I took to researching natural home remedies to help calm my sensitive skin.  After reading up in a few books and magazines and on dozens of websites, there were a handful of ingredients that clearly stood out as redness reducers, many of them because of their natural anti-inflammatory properties.

1. Cucumber

2. Aloe
3. Green (or White) Tea
4. Mint
5. Licorice
Honorable Mention: Oats, Witch Hazel, Turmeric, Vitamin C and Milk

A few ideas for homemade treatments:
-Cucumber, aloe and mint got mixed in the blender today to create a soothing mask.  I also added a little honey to make it more thick and “maskish”. I spread the mask on, plopped some cucumber slices on my eyes and relaxed for 15 minutes.  Honestly, I noticed a reduction in redness as soon as I took off the mask.
Licorice powder and aloe combined could make a great mask as well.
-The cucumber oatmeal mask  I have used and written about before fits the redness bill.
-I plan to try using white or green tea extract and licorice root extract as a toner of sorts.

There are lots of possibilities available between all of these ingredients and I’m very interested in any recipes others may have!

I read some things about a  few of the ingredients mentioned that I wanted to share.
Witch hazel apparently has all kind of natural benefits, but some (rarely) do react to it and often it is sold at the store as a toner mixed with alcohol.  So, try a little bit first and make sure you buy it natural.
Turmeric is apparently amazing for treating redness, acne, pigmentation, etc., but it may temporarily stain the skin, so be aware of this!

As I treat my body with more natural ingredients, I continue to notice positive changes and hope you do too!

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awakening

“In a way it feels foolish and selfish to be dissatisfied with my life because I have so much…for which the gratefulness overwhelms.   But in the midst of the wealth of my life, I find that I am craving more.  More connection.  More love.  More sincerity.  More art. More nakedness.  More life.  More growth.  In a way, I am actually desiring less.  My cravings have a simplicity to them.  I want to breathe.  I want to exist in a new place…a place where I am stripped down.  Where I shed manufactured adornment and my heart becomes exposed enough to wake up.  My whole heart.”

I wrote those words  six months ago.  It was my birthday.  And now it is today.  This is me:

me 318

I don’t really know how to map the journey in words from that day I reflected in the mountains to this day.  And if I did share every divine detail, I am not certain that anyone would even believe me.  It has been a beautiful and chaotic whirlwind full of awakenings, serendipitous moments, dreams, real connection, harsh realities and vulnerability.

So anyway, about this portrait.
DSCN0534-001The words are drawn from the things I wrote on my birthday retreat and from what I wrote down during Holiday Council when asked, “How do I want to feel? What am I craving?”  Then, a couple weeks ago, I sat down with some markers and wrote them all down.
Vulnerable is in the center because that word has become like a fire in my heart, dangerous yet able to ignite every other craving.  Why I wrote down that I wanted to feel vulnerable is beyond me.  I didn’t even grasp the fullness of what that meant and I didn’t remember writing it.  But vulnerability decided to come knocking at the door of my heart whether I remembered inviting it or not.  And I let it in.  Ever since, I have been either wrestling with or embracing it.

vportraitThe picture is just me.

I decided to collage these words with an image of myself and immediately knew I wanted the photo to be simple and stripped down.

No makeup.
No hair styles.
No color.

And I decided to only take three pictures.  I didn’t need this to turn into some crazy photo shoot.
The exposure and contrast of the photos was created more by me with the camera than in editing because I wanted it that way.
I also wanted the expression to be simple and without too much of any one specific emotion.
After looking at the three shots, I almost took more because I was slightly uncomfortable with them.
But that was perfect because sharing these imperfect photos and these words and this collage and everything about it makes me feel vulnerable.
And that is what I want.

To be exposed enough to find my real heart.
To breathe in my own skin.
To be awake and authentic and alive.
Sincerely and wholeheartedly.

To draw from the opening pages of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (read the book, watch the TED talks), which seemed to providentially find its way into my hands in January (which, by the way, I just today discovered that the book came out on my birthday last year and almost had a cow), I want to be in the arena of my own life.  I want to move forward with courage and passion and whether I win or lose wont matter as much as the reality that I fought with my whole heart.

I have to admit that I am right now fighting the urge to completely rewrite this entire post.  I feel like I’m saying too much or too little or not saying it eloquently enough or with enough humor.  And that is why it needs to stay exactly as it is…
If I wait until I am “perfect” to share myself and my heart, I will wait forever.  This is who I am and where I am right now.  And it is beautiful.

girl rising

10x10 Cambodia Writer's Trip


Suma
from Nepal
Ruksana from India
Azmera from Ethiopia
Sokha from Cambodia
Wadley from Haiti
Yasmin from Egypt
Senna from Peru
Mariama from Sierra Leone
Amina from Afghanistan.

 

 

I watched the trailer at least 25 times.  And then, I went to see the film so that I could hear and see more of their stories.
The statistics and lives shared on the screen were both troubling and inspiring.  These girls faced (and still do in some cases) everything from slavery, loss and abandonment to rape, abuse and arranged marriages, but the spirit that rises from these depths illuminates a hope for positive change.  And education fosters that spirit.  Though their lives and stories are diverse, they are bound together by the injustices they face and by the reality that educating these girls is changing and will continue to change their lives, their communities and the world.
I could say so much more about the film and the way different writers with connections to the countries took on different stories.  Or how beautiful the cinematography was.  Or drop the names of the well known who came on board to narrate. I think, though, that my most important response is to ask myself how I can help fight ignorance and fuel positive change.  Yes, the film was disturbing and inspiring.  Now what?  What can I do?
Well, for starters, I can share my thoughts and encourage others to see this film or support this cause.  So here I am.  To find out more about 10×10 or Girl Rising, how to get involved or where to see the film, visit their websites.  Also, check out a preview of the film below:

Another step I have taken is to give financially to this cause, which helps girls education initiatives throughout the world.
In addition to financial support, I was challenged by others and within myself to find ways to support this cause on a local level.  Within my own day to day world, I have the opportunity to educate and because of this movement, I will be more proactive about pursuing that.  I have also discovered a couple local programs that align with empowering girls and women through education and am getting involved with at least one of them (more details on this as it develops).
I want to share two other organizations that I have been a part of in some way already that align well with supporting girls education and happen to help two of the countries focused on in the film, Peruvian Hearts and The Anyway Foundation.

My passion lies in creating positive change in this world on an individual, local and global level.  For me, it anchors in the arts and I want to use my creative voice to fuel this change and give others the opportunity to do the same.  This film has inspired me to continue to pursue my passion.

There is a quote from the film that I want to end with here, but I cannot track it down or remember it in detail, but I will find it soon and it will be here. 🙂


photo from the 10×10 media resources page

shells and sunlight

DSCN0013 (3)-003

exposed
broken pieces tossed where
earth meets foggy sky
reflecting
heavy hearts dwell
as the symphony of waves plays on
tossing
broken pieces of air
breathing light
hope
exposed

unplugging

Updated:
March 1, 2013 through March 2, 2013, I joined a group of people in unplugging for 24 hours.   My computer and cell phone were OFF.  Instead of texting, tweeting and zoning out in front of a screen, I worked on a creative project and connected with what has been going on in my world and with those around me!
DSCN0527

I didn’t think this full day of being unplugged would be that challenging for me and in a lot of ways it wasn’t.  However, it did open my eyes to the amount of time and focus that gets sucked up in my world by things like my phone and computer.  I began to realize that once I am in front of a screen, I tend to lose clarity.  The other thing was that I basically had no idea what time it was all day long.  Like many, I use my cell phone as my clock and I wanted to reach for it dozens of times to find the time.  I didn’t really have a schedule on my unplugged day, so I finally chose to just let the time go and focus on what was in front of me.  That was insanely refreshing and freeing.
So, on a day of being unplugged, I found clarity, connected, created and felt refreshed even though I had no idea what time it was.  The day was good and all the things that happened in the day were good and as a result, I am choosing to unplug once a week.  Yep.  One full day each week to find some focus without the help of the technology we are in relationships with today.  A friend of mine asked me if I really thought this was a good idea.  The alarm in their voice only affirmed the way I already felt…YES, I think this is a fabulous idea.

hearty fruit kabobs

 How fabulous are these?!?

heart kabobs
I knew I had to make these the first time I saw the idea.  Valentines dinner gave me the perfect excuse, though they would obviously be lovely any day. 🙂
This was super simple and a lot of fun.  It did take a tiny bit of a time commitment to cut the fruit and assemble, but it was worth it.

DSCN0161 (2)What’s Needed:
Fruit.  Be creative!  (I used watermelon, kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries and blueberries)
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
Kabob Sticks (or whatever they are called…they have them at most grocery stores)

I bought halves of the pineapple and melons and cut slices of desired thickness to cut the hearts.  The kiwi and strawberries were easy to quickly slice and heart up.  One thing I would say is to make sure the hearts are thick enough so that they stay intact on the stick.  I made mine about half an inch thick.
I then put one of each fruit on each stick with blueberries in between.  A lot of fun could be had with less fruit or more fruit or fun color arrangements!
I thought about making a yogurt dip with a little bit of cinnamon for these, but just kinda forgot to…

I went for the breakfast for dinner thing with these and served with eggs, bacon and heart-shaped pancakes, of course!

Enjoy!

This beautiful  idea was inspired by mint in the middle

the heart…

Totally in love with this collage I just created with my photos.  I am going to print this onto canvas without the text and paint my own handwriting on it…one of my favorite quotes ever!
xoxo

the heart...

a little self-love…box

self-love boxComing into this new year, I spent several weeks defining goals, dreams and cravings and mapping out a road to success in achieving them (much thanks to my wonderful friend and founder of Stratejoy and her program, The Holiday Council…check it out!)  There is sooooo much awesomeness I could share about all of this, but one of the most important moments of clarity I gained from the experience was this:

I need to be LOVING MYSELF.

This might seem an obvious thing to do as a human, but somewhere along my journey, I completely missed that turn.  Now don’t misinterpret my feelings.  I don’t dislike myself.  In fact, I am a positive person with what I consider a fairly strong self-awareness and sincerity and I take pride in my strengths and accomplishments.  However, I have struggled to truly focus on myself in a way that nurtures my soul and instead focus on others with unbalanced abundance or walk straight into selfishness in an unhealthy way and then wonder why I still feel unfulfilled and even guilty.  My heart has been awakened to the reality that there is a distinction between selfishness and self-love and that I should be pursuing healthy self-love.
And so, I made loving myself one of my main goals for this year.  Figuring out how to do this took some time and brainstorming and is still developing, but one tool that I have created is what I call my self-love box.
I started by making a list of ways that I could love myself.  Then, I cut out a bunch of little hearts and wrote the items from my list on them.
Some of the thinself-love heartsgs from my list?

buy yourself a special t
reat
reach out to an encouraging person
get dressed up
take a nap
do something that inspires you
forgive yourself
dream, plan and go on a personal retreat
stop. breathe deep.
write yourself a love note
get a massage
be grateful.  make a list of things you are thankful for.

Next, I found an inexpensive heart shaped box at a craft store and plastered it with some meaningful and inspiring pictures.  The little self-love list hearts went inside and I am challenging myself to use the box several times a month.
Creating this simple little box and using it has been a rewarding and wonderful experience thus far and I recommend doing something like this to absolutely anyone.  Whether you create a box or a list or not, though, please remember to LOVE YOURSELF!  You are worth it!
xoxo

walls

walls

found on pinterest via design bolts Read the rest of this entry

getting it together

Ok, so one month is long enough for my “yes, please winter wonder” (see previous post) retreat.  I spent much of this time writing, walking/skiing/hiking in the crisp air, focusing on defining my priorities, cravings and action steps for this year (thanks Holiday Council), writing, experiencing a lot of serendipitous moments, going on a mostly spontaneous New Years day venture where I came face to face with myself and my demons, listening to my heart and writing.  Did I mention that my journal was open a lot?  One important and wonderful thing that I discovered during this time is that this blog is aligned perfectly with what is important to me right now.  I crave moxie.  And three of my top priorities for the year are health, creativity and balance.  And so I am back in blogland and ready to pursue my passion and to do more, share more and grow more here.
About a week ago, I was staring at an emotionally filled journal page when this song popped up on pandora.  I was dumbfounded.  Many of the words that fill this song were the same as the exact words filling my page.  It feels like this song was made just for me at this very moment of my life.  It will be hard to convince me otherwise as I get it together, heal my heart and learn to fly…

winter wonder

yes please

tumblr_lw2t7hHAz01r66ciro1_500

found on http://ignitelight.tumblr.com/

rainy day sunshine

live swim drink


originally found on pinterest (the pin wont link anywhere, so that’s all I can reference…)

1000

Something awesome is happening on my photo blog, daily perspective, right now.  I just posted my 1000th photo a week ago!  To celebrate, I am giving away free prints of photos from the blog and you get to choose which one you want!!   Find out more on the blog and tell me your favorite before the holiday ends!!! 🙂

sometimes?

try almost all the time

mountain sound

thinking. longing. loving this today.

homemade honey nutmeg mask

As I’ve mentioned before, my sensitive skin and I are on the search for some great homemade beauty products.  When I saw a post about this acne mask, I knew I had to give it a try.
All three of the ingredients in this mask help to heal the skin.  Nutmeg has long been known and used as an anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic properties, making it incredibly healing.  Honey is a natural moisturizer and is packed with antioxidants.  It heals, protects and rejuvinates.  Milk is naturally soothing and lactic acid is also a great exfoliator.

I was a little nervous about this one because I had read some reviews in which people complained of their skin burning (most likely due to nutmeg sensitivity), so I tested a small area before I smothered it all over my face.  Green light.  The mask was simple to make and easy to apply.  I have to admit that while it was on, I felt nothing.  I wasn’t sure that it was actually doing anything, but once I took it off my skin just felt happy.  I look forward to using this again!

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey
1 Tablespoon Ground Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Milk (recommend whole organic)

1. Combine ingredients.
2. Spread mixture generously on face and neck and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
3. Wash mask off with water.


found recipe on huda beauty

doing what i love

I have been on a blog hiatus.  On purpose.  Kind of.  Life got busy and I needed some room away from all the screens to breathe.  While I was away, I found some fresh air, but I lost the motivation that comes from the discipline of making my thoughts, photos, musings, projects and inspirations public in blogland.  Not only does it motivate me, but I genuinely love the creative outlet of blogging.

And so I am back.  Doing something I love.  Looking for motivation to do more of what I love.  And to let this love infiltrate all that I do.

What do you love?  What would you love to do?

four from the fourth

learning through the lens

found via pinterest and origianlly from here (where you can buy prints)

homemade cucumber mask

If you know me, you know I have crazy sensitive skin.  (yay!)  If you don’t know me, you know that now too, I guess.  I sunburn in about a half a second, have a bazillion allergies and have been trying forever to find beauty products that I can use safely.   I don’t know why it took me so long to get in on the homemade beauty product scene, but I am there now.
Below is a recipe for an oatmeal cucumber face mask.  All of these ingredients have benefits for your skin.  Basically, I just threw it all in a blender and then put it on my face.  Simple.  It pretty much looks like cucumber oatmeal out of the blender.  (Okay, so it basically is cucumber oatmeal)  I was a bit apprehensive at first…thought it was going to slide off of my face and get all over my clothes.   Still, I was hopeful, so I put a headband on, put a towel on the floor and put the mask on.  I also set aside a couple cucumber slices for the eyes.  Let the healing begin!
About a minute into the experience, I thought, “I have cucumber oatmeal on my face.  What am I doing?”
Two minutes into the self-made spa moment, I realized the mask was not sliding off my face, but I was still feeling a little silly.
Then, somewhere around minute three, I felt the mask working.  It tightened and my skin felt tingly and cool in a refreshing sort of way.
I kept the mask on for about 20 minutes.  The last 17 minutes were spent trying to let my body re-teach me how to relax.  Seriously, when is the last time you actually cleared your mind and tried to relax your muscles intentionally?  It had been a while for me.  (sleeping doesn’t count)
After I washed the mask off, my skin felt and looked refreshed.  And, surprisingly to me, I felt refreshed.  Overall, this was a very positive experience and I will absolutely make this mask again.


Ingredients:
1/2  Cucumber, cut into chunks
1/4 cup Oatmeal
1 T. Raw Honey
1 t. Aloe*
1 t. Avocado Oil*

1.Combine ingredients in blender or food processor.
2. Spread mixture generously on face and neck.
3. Lie down and relax for at least 15 minutes.
4. Wash mask off with water.

*The aloe and avocado oil are optional and avocado could be used in place of the oil as well.

Enjoy!!

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