Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Saturday, March 17, 2018

It's Almost Time!!!!

For the Swap n Hop 2018!!!

I've been having a few technical difficulties as far as trying to get my pictures from my phone to my computer. Because of that, I have not been able to show you what I sent my bead swap partner Lisa Johnson of Spud & Mrs. Butters. I finally figured out a way to get my pictures, so here ya go.....

The first thing I knew I wanted to send were these abalone chips. I knew Lisa liked the more natural look, and I figured these would be perfect. 
I love abalone...all the different colors in the shell are so pretty.

I love the shape and shine of these. They go perfect with the Abalone!

You really can't tell in the picture, but these have some sparkle to them. I think I remember her saying she liked a little bit of glitz, so I tossed these in the mix.

Now, I needed some color, so I remembered I had these glass turquoise beads. So....in the went.

Now for some fun, and a bit of a challenge, I threw in some guitar strings. I have made ornaments, bracelets, earrings, keychains, pendants, etc, with used guitar strings. 

I've also used the beads off of them to put into earrings or use as spacer beads in other pieces of jewelry. I'll be curious if she does something with the guitar strings. 

My family and I love to cruise, and last year when we were in Puerto Rico, I picked these babies up! Rhodochrosite is a stone of love. The Inca called it Inca Rose. 

Some of the requirements for sending was to have something that was handmade. We were also to put in a focal.  I couldn't decided what focal, so I sent her three...all of which I made.

A wire wrapped shell piece I found while beachcombing near my old stomping grounds...Cocoa Beach, Florida. I wire wrapped this shell with a gun metal colored wire.

Then I wired wrapped some cultured sea glass and added a mermaid charm. Cultured sea glass does NOT come from the ocean or lake...it is actually tumbled by man. Sadly, the beaches I grew up around do not have sea glass....actually that is probably a good thing, because sea glass come from people throwing their glass bottles in the ocean or lake, and not in the garbage where it belongs.

Then I decided to add this piece. I have used these as a key chain, a pendant, or an ornament. If you notice the bead just below the loop on the top is a bead that came from the guitar string. This bead is what hold the string onto the instrument.

These beads are among my favorite! I love all the different colors!

Well, there you have it! That's what I sent my Bead Peeps Swap n Hop 2018 partner, Lisa Johnson. Stay tuned for the beauties she sent me, and what I do with them. The reveal date is April 6!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Vegan Can be a Delicious Adventure!

Yes it can! My daughter started her vegan adventure several years ago, and I have been quite impressed with some of the delicious dishes she has served.

When I first saw this book, I was intrigued! Chloe Flavor, Saucy, Crispy, Spicy, Vegan by Chloe Coscarelli has some pretty yummy looking dishes that I want to try! I just received it today, and I already tried the Oatmeal Smoothie. That won't be the last time I have it. 

Some other dishes that I will be trying this week are, California Nachos and Fiesta Taco Bowl! Our family loves Mexican style dishes, and these look not just yummy, but healthy too!

Chloe has her book mapped out nicely. She takes you through her journey to vegan. She explains her philosophy on food and gives some really nice advice. She has a chapter on what a vegan kitchen needs. I was quite surprised that most of the things are easily accessible. I don't live in a big city, or a place where you can get a lot of health food, but looking at the basics on her list....they are all right here at my local grocery store, and that is very important me!

Whether you are vegan, wanting to go vegan, or still like your meat and animal products, I would still recommend this cookbook. Not sure I will ever go entirely vegan, but I do know I will use many of these recipes.

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Sunday, March 11, 2018

April is Autism Awareness Month!

I have a special place in my heart for those who live with Autism. Several blogs ago, I wrote about why Autism plays an important role in my life. I wrote about my sister's two boys, ages 12 and 15 who live with autism, and also introduced my awareness bracelets. 

So, what is Autism? According to Google dictionary----

"A mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts."

Autism Spectrum Disorder encompasses a wide range of conditions and challenges. Social skills are affected as well as speech, including nonverbal communication. Stemming, or repetitive behaviors, are also very common. Many with Autism can have unique strengths.  

I have had the privilege to meet several who are on the Autism Spectrum, including Aspberger's. One little boy I know, has a great knowledge of sea creatures. I'm really not sure how he knows everything he knows about the ocean and it's inhabitants, but he is very knowledgeable! Incredible! One girl I know has a great gift of writing stores, including illustrations of the stories. 

I remember when my sister's oldest boy was about two, he would spin anything that was circular. He was amazing! He would be attracted to anything that was round. After gathering them up, he'd start them spinning on the table, run down the hall, and try to get back to the circles before they quit spinning. He made a fun game out of it. He would have been great on the Ed Sullivan Show (ok, most of you probably have no idea who that is or what that has to do with anything. Check it out here...). We thought it was so cute, that my sister put together a fun video of this. Later, we found that this was a red flag, and was a form of stemming. 

My oldest nephew is very good with computers and music. He has been know to pick out a song on the keyboard. 

The younger of my sister's two sons is a very loving young man. Most people think autistic children don't like to be hugged. This little boy is full of hugs. At the age of 12, he still has no words for communication, but he knows how to get what he wants known, lol. 

As you read this blog, you may wonder, "Why on earth is she posting pictures of bracelets?" Well, it is because I want awareness out. I want people to know more about Autism...and not just that it exists. Sadly, I have heard of many stories, where families are out in public with their autistic child, and people are down right RUDE! A child might have a melt down, and things are said, like, "Can't you control your kid?!" 

Autism is growing and society needs to know more about it. One other thing that society needs to be aware of is that these children are growing up to be adults...adults that have no wear to go, no way to support themselves, etc. So many communities do not have places for these individuals as adults. These children will out live their parents, and most do not have other family members to take care of them once this happens. 

Many of these children have the ability to learn skills, but as far as facilities that will help them to learn skills, well, there just aren't enough of them. I have talked to my sister and she has a great concern. She is the youngest in the family, and she worries what will happen to her boys once all of us are gone? 

I have started an Autism Awareness campaign with my surfer style bracelets which are made of the autism colors. Made of wax cording, most are waterproof. It's not much, but every little bit helps. 

I have been wearing my bracelets for almost two months, and it has brought awareness to those who see them. I have had several opportunities to talk to people about this subject. And...for each bracelet I sell, I will donate to different Autism Awareness nonprofit organizations. Locally, our university has an autism center. I have a craft fair and art show coming up with which I will be offering these. The money will go toward the university's autism center. In addition to the autism center, I hope to sell a lot of these this summer, so I can donate to Surfer's for Autism...my nephews love to surf and have had the opportunity to surf with them.  

In April I hope that we can get more awareness out about autism. 
See my other styles of Autism Awareness bracelets here!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Loosing Weight is IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!

Yep!!! It is!!!

Three weeks ago, I decided to cut out all my sweets....and I've been a good girl. So many times during these past weeks, I have been tempted. Tempted with Girl Scout Cookies, Bunco Party treats, Birthday parties, Valentine's Day (the day I actually started this adventure), and the list goes on! I have yet to have a bite, a cookie, a morsel, a crumb!!!! lol

Why did I do this? Well, because I wanted to see if I can do it. Also because of Lent. I grew up in a Baptist home, going to a Catholic school, and at the age of 19 joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, with which I am still very active, today.  I've never really observed Lent by giving anything up, even during my years from 3rd through 8th grade at the Catholic school. 

This year, I decided I was going to observe Lent...and give up something that is truly a sacrifice. You see, the giving up for Lent is in representation of the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Now, there is NO way that any sacrifice we as mortals can do, would even come close to being equal to that of the Atonement. But, you know, if the Savior went through all of that for us, what is a little sacrifice from us? I decided to go BIG...and give up something that I really LOVE!!!! SWEETS!!!!

I will have to say, I do feel a lot better! BUT!!!!! I really thought I would lose a few LB's....Well, a FEW is about it. The first week, I was so excited, because I actually lost 4 pounds. Then...I gained them all back! Yes! All four of them, ugh! And I gained them over night. What the heck?! 

Okay...well, maybe I lost water weight, and then drank it all back on, lol. By the way, water is all I ever drink, and has been that way for about 10 years. 

Back to the weight....about a week later, I loss some more...two pounds this time, then another three, for a total of five (from my original weight).  That was the second week...and I'm still at that point. My weight has not budged. I have friendSSSSS, that have been so happy when they gave up their sweets. BOOM! 30 pounds down, 25 pounds down, etc. And this was pretty quickly, I might add. Me....five, ugh! I really had a goal to loose more than that. They say, that loosing two pounds per week is doable, and healthy, so...if I do the math correctly, I should loose 14 pounds during the time of Lent. My goal was 10. 

I still have time to do this. I guess I just need to be more patient with myself. Also...to be honest, the real reason to do this is not necessarily the weight loss, but there is a Spiritual side of it. I need to remember, that the sacrifice I am giving is to keep in mind what the Lord did for me...for all of us. Through His Atonement, we have the opportunity to live with Him for eternity. So, yes, I am doing this to be more healthy, to take care of this body I have been blessed with, and to feel better (which I definitely do). But also to always remember HIM!!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Celebrating a Healthier Way to Eat

A review of Danielle Walker's Agains all Grain Celebrations. A Year of fluten-free, fair-free, and paleo recipes for every occassion

I can identify with Danielle Walker, author of Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations. In our family we have several that are dealing with autoimmune disease, and changing the way you eat is something that is a must when living with this. The hardest part...going to family parties, events and other gatherings! 

Even if you you don't live with autoimmune in your family, this book is a wonderful addition to your cookbook library, as it has all types of healthy dishes. Danielle lays it all out for you, with menus and recipes for different events like, New Year's Eve Cocktail Party, Game Day Buffet, Birthday Party, etc...Twelve chapters and 19 events! 

We have a birthday coming up in our family in a few weeks, and I do believe I will be looking at the Birthday Party chapter for ideas to entertain our guests!

There are beautiful pictures throughout that show the different dishes...and boy do they look yummy! The only thing I would recommend for this book is to have it a spiral, other than that, it is a perfect addition in your home.

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Denim Apron

I have an artisan fair and Autism Awareness vendor fair coming up in March and April, respectively. I've been doing a lot of preparing. In addition to making jewelry, there are other things that go into preparing for these events. There is paper work, paying fees, 

Trying to figure out your set up...

Figuring out how you are going to take payment is also something I had to think about. Yesterday, I got my credit card reader in the mail, so now I can take credit cards!

When you are running a booth at these fairs, you also need to have a lot of stuff on your person. I hate carrying a purse or bag, so I decided to make me an apron.  I didn't want just any apron, so I did some investigating on apron styles, and found some ideas as to how to use old jeans. 

Our youngest son had given me a couple of jeans for me to fix...lol, they were way beyond fixing.

I cut the jeans to the right size, and dug around in my fabric stash to find this pretty piece. I added a ruffle to the bottom, using this floral material.

Added some lace to the pockets and hook and loop to keep the pockets securely shut. I don't want anything falling out!

The ties are made of the same fabric. I sewed it to look like a belt.

I am going to take the front of the jeans and do the same thing for my helper. I think it turned out pretty nicely...especially, since I am not a seamstress....

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