What I’m Reading: Elizabeth Gilberts “Big Magic”

What do Emma Roberts and I have in common? We both are currently reading this book! “Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”. This book is about finding the bravery to let your creative self thrive. What I am most enjoying about this book is that it is not just for the professional artist or entrepreneur, the principles she explores are really applicable in all areas of life.

BM

I have always been a creative person and a bit of a perfectionist at times, and one of the key ideas that stood out for me was her emphasis on creating for the sake of creating. Oftentimes its easy in this Capitalism driving world we live in that if it doesn’t make money(and lots of it) its not worthwhile. In this book Gilbert challenges that notion and says just do it, even if your not that great at it, or it won’t be a means to support you financially, or no one else gets it. Just do it because it brings you satisfaction of expressing your personal inspirations.

That idea was very motivating to me. I don’t know how many times my soaping has stalled because I worried about how well things were going, or getting an idea perfect, or feeling like small detail was holding me back. This was a nice wake up kick in the pants to just do the things that make me glad to be alive more than worrying about the “what ifs.”

Are there any projects, great ideas, or life goals you have been putting off? What motivates you to get creative?

Here’s a great video of Elizabeth Gilbert discussing her book, and some of the ideas from it with Marie Forleo(whom I also like but more on that in a later post). Enjoy!

Advertisements

Why I started making Handmade Soaps: A spotlight on Amadora Soaps

In 2010 after a particularly bad episode of psoriasis, I made some handmade soaps in an effort to alleviate the dryness and discomfort I was experiencing with other store brand soaps. Little did I know I would find a such a fun craft I could share with others. Here’s a little background info on what makes Amadora so special.

Amadora in latin means “gift of love” and that is what these soaps are to me. I would like these soaps to be a kind of daily retreat,  a little gift to customers to put a big smile on their faces. My motto is  Live, Love, Laugh.. & Lather!

If you want learn more or try it yourself check out my shop on Etsy

https://www.etsy.com/shop/AmadoraSoaps

Raven-Symone and Why we should embrace her..

..And why her comments were in fact racist not just “discriminatory.”

image

Like most people I heard the comments Raven Symone made recently on the view stating she wouldn’t hire someone with a ghetto sounding name. Obviously this has cause a wave of backlash and only driven the wedge further between her and the black community. My initial reaction was one of anger. I was disgusted that a person of color with such a large public platform would use that platform to ridicule and belittle others with racist ideas. I definitely would like to cast her off the island but the more I thought about it my opinions slowly shifted.
image

I think racism is so deeply rooted in American culture it often takes on various forms and springs from unexpected places. Ravens comments were racist regardless of her own racial background. Describing the name as “ghetto” and the name “watermelondrea” strongly implied black Americans. The use of watermelon also had a decidedly racist undertone. She didn’t say Ming Lee, or Svetlana when giving an example of a non-traditional American name, she said Watermelondrea.
image

Yet still the reason I feel an impulse to temper my emotions and not go on the offense or verbally attack her is because basically I feel sorry for her. I empathize with what it must have been like being a black child star of such a magnitude. Hollywood is notoriously known for its stereotyping, and attempts to typecast black actors in very specific and often negative roles. Raven is also a lighter skinned black woman, and I have heard in interviews other actors of color comment on the difficulty getting cast if they weren’t very obviously of a certain racial/ethnic group.

Growing up constantly scrutinized for not just your actual talent but your blackness itself and how she should represent that couldn’t have been easy to deal with as a child, a time when most are still grasping at a sense of identity and where they fit in the world. I imagine because of her career she also was somewhat isolated growing up especially from other black people and depending on the nature of her limited interactions she probably formed some of the basis of her beliefs about herself and other black people.
image

Let’s not forget Raven is also a Disney kid. We have seen time and time again how the pressures of constantly portraying a squeaky clean public image has cause other teen stars to crack and rebel like Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan, or Britney Spears. This casting off of labels, the things she says, and maybe even her look seem may be some kind of act of rebellion.

Does any of this excuse her behavior or offensive comments, not at all however I do think it’s something to consider before we “throw the baby out with the bath water.” I believe in compassion and honestly when you meet someone who is filled with peace, confidence, love, joy etc. their words reflect that. That kind of person, anyone they interact with will be left with a similar feeling.

Based on the kinds of things Raven says, I believe she doesn’t even need anyone else to try to make her feel terrible, she’s probably been doing that herself for a long time now.

(Secret) Healthy Meals with our Guest blogger Lauren from Lazy but Healthy

Hey everyone! I’m Lauren from Lazy But Healthy. While now at the age of 20, I’ve actually found ways to enjoy eating healthy, I will never forget (actually my mom won’t let me) how picky an eater I was when I was little. Just the sight of vegetables on my plate was enough to make me dramatically gag and push them as far away as possible. Of course I would still have to eat them if I wanted dessert, but it was not an enjoyable experience.

In an ode to my picky childhood habits, here are some (secretly) healthy, simple meals that won’t have anyone pushing their plates as far away from them as possible. Again, sorry mom.

Zucchini Lasagna

Zucchini Lasagna

Lasagna was always one of my favorites and this recipe is more simple, light and can be used for a few dinners throughout the week. It also swaps out pasta for zucchini but includes so many other yummy things that it just might fool some hungry kids.

Zucchini Lasagna from crunchyradish.com

Veggie Frittata

Frittata

This recipe is pretty much just eggs, milk, cheese and as many vegetables as you’d like to stuff in there. For this recipe, they used zucchini, broccoli, and leeks.

Get the recipe here

Skinny Chicken Salad

Salad

Lighten up your chicken salad by swapping out heavy mayonnaise for greek yogurt and serve it up with multigrain crackers or in pita pockets.

Get this Recipe from Skinnymom.com

Try some of these out or let me know some of your favorite healthy meals!

And be sure to check Lauren out at https://lazybuthealthyblog.wordpress.com/

Quick and Easy Meals: Flatbread Pizza

She loves it!

She loves it!

Mealtime is seriously one of my least favorite task. I’m constantly looking for ways to streamline the process. Having some easy go to meals are crucial for me when it comes to getting everything done some days. One of these meals is the flat bread pizza. All you need is the flatbread, sauce, cheese and whatever toppings you like.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

I buy the greek flatbread at my local supermarket for around $3.00 which comes in packs of 5 or 6, and get some regular tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. My kids palate is pretty basic so this is all they like on top of their pizza but its really anything goes.  This is a go to snack for me for the children when they get out of school or lunch on the weekends. It takes very little prep and cook time, just top the flatbread with the sauce cheese and toppings, then drop it in the oven(on a cooking sheet if you like the bread softer, without if you like it crispier)for about 15 min or until cheese melts and crust is browned.  I’ve made this for myself with pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce and veggies like spinach and  broccoli. Its just really convenient when you don’t have much time or energy.20150927_144133

If your in the mood for some extra bonding time, the children always like to “make” the pizza themselves and it’s still pretty quick and minimal mess. What are some of your favorite “go-to” meals?