Monday, November 20, 2017

Better Living Through Bean Broth

I'm old enough to have lived through many a health/diet fad. Some of them you can spot from a mile away as complete hoaxes. Some of them are just reversals of old fads - so for example, when I worked in a movie theater in high school, we used coconut oil in our popocorn. Then along came coconut oil hysteria, and as far as I know there were DECADES where we were not allowed to even say the words "coconut" OR "oil" and certainly never together.

And now everyone is squirting coconut oil into their mouths before yoga, rubbing it all over themselves, making popcorn with it again and generally feeling like superior earthlings about it.

Also popular now is "bone broth" - or what in the olden days we just called broth. Bone broth (which come on - that's not the best marketing, people - I don't like my food described with the words bones, balls, loaf, head or chunk, tyvm.) is now the cure for absolutely everything, which every grandmother alive today knew long before a millennial thought of it.

I was puttering around the other day thinking about bone broth for some reason, and I realized that there's something I consume several days a week which is even more magical and restorative than bone broth, and that I now I have a new word for it, which makes it so much more sustainable, renewable, eco-friendly, cruelty- and gluten-free than ever before:

bean broth
Or what I normally call it - coffee.

If you start every day with a cup of bean broth, you will have better mental clarity, you will have more energy - you will be taller, more in touch with your inner peace, and it's far less likely that you'll murder anyone at work.

It's also very simple to make. You can store the beans in your pantry, and then just grind them as needed. To prepare the bean broth, just either shoot steam through the beans with a special machine, run very hot water over them, or you can sort of make bean sun tea with them through a cold brewing process. Either way, you are left with a magical broth that will make you look and feel 20 years younger. I should really write a book about the benefits of bean broth. It's now even acceptable to go ahead and put the coconut oil right into your bean broth, along with a pat of butter and some cream. Heck - next thing you know we might all be able to talk about bacon and eggs again! It's a milagro!

Just wait long enough - and everything will come back around. The key is to be the first one to write the book about it that touches off the reunion.

I might just take a book template, filled with studies about something that's amazing for you and then just do find & replace with whatever the next formerly-banned-but-now-the-cure-for-everything food. Do not steal my idea!

At my mini-retreat, we played with fun foam a lot, which is one of my favorite things to to. It can be used for so many things, like creating tiny T-Rex shadows. All I did was stamp the little dino onto fun foam, put a little adhesive on it and attach it to a block to use it like a stamp. Easy! And you can leave the little foam shape in the stamp case to use again. To stamp the image, I recommend a permanent ink so it doesn't smear.
Wild About You by Understand Blue
Online Extravaganza
[ SUP ]
Pieces & Patterns Clear-Mount Stamp...
[ SUP ]
Lemon Lime Twist Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ] WHITE FUN FOAM 9" X 12" X...
Staz On Ink Pads - Jet Black
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink Pad by...
[ SUP | SSS | ELH | SBC ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SSS | ELH | SBC ]
[ MSW ]
Bar Magnet
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...

There's a lot going on online as usual for Thanksgiving week, so don't miss out!

Now today begins the Online Extravaganza - starting with a 24 hour stamp sale! Then through the 26th, there are sales on many items - 10% - 50% off, and also a flash sale on the 27th. You can see all the details here. This is all while supplies last, so don't wait too long.

My Sweet Petunia is having a sale - 20% off the whole store - details here, no coupon needed. That goes through the 26th. I recommend bar magnets and a studio bag if you don't have those already - I take that bag everywhere! I should have taken a picture of my friend Gail's bag that she brought to class this weekend - I swear it had her whole craft room in it!

  • Sign up to receive an Occasions catalog here.
  • Sign up for my RAK database to receive random gifts here
  • See all my online classes (Occasions classes coming soon, and a new Christmas one this week) here
  • Sign up for my November Arkon giveaway here. You get extra entries for every order in my store, every purchase of an online class. You can always get 20% off at Arkon with my coupon code below.
  • Online Extravaganza is here! From November 20-26, select products on sale for up to 40% off! On November 20th, there's an exclusive sale for select stamp sets for 20% off. Shop here, and if you use host code Y3YE2BS9 during November, you will be entered to win Occasions catalog product! 

My favorite listen this week is the Case Files podcast. One good murder after another. Some solved, some not. Narrated by the Aussie host, which is a bonus. Did 11 episodes this weekend while I emptied my Scrapbox, which I sold to my friend and team member, Dana to make room for this beautiful antique mail sorting table from the Spicewood post office. I have a very small house, and so if new furniture comes in, old furniture has to go! It worked out perfectly, because Dana had had a scrapbox on her Amazon Wishlist for many years! I will miss all that storage, but I do love this table.

Antique Mail Sorting Table - Spicewood Post Office

Hope you have a great week!


Friday, November 17, 2017

Not Seven, Not Ten

When I was at OnStage I got an email that my debit card had been compromised. It's pretty routine now, and for a moment, as I was telling some friends about it, I didn't think much of it - which made me then ponder something I see a lot online - an imperceptible creep towards a tolerance for perceived "victimless" thefts like these.

Many years ago I went to go see The Kite Runner, by myself.

I had listened to the audiobook, which was nearly more than I could take, so I am not really sure why I went to see the movie, but I did. By myself, in the middle of the afternoon. And I'm glad I saw it alone, because it was heartbreaking and I don't think I could have handled company.

But there was what I call a Milan Kundera moment in both the book and the movie that was magnificent. And that was the author's idea that there is only one sin. Not ten. Not seven. Just one.

And I truly believe this.

Here's how it's said in the book:

"...there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. When you kill a man, you steal a life... you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness... there is no act more wretched than stealing." 
                                                                        ~Khaled Hosseini

I love that. I believe that with all my heart. We shouldn't become numb to the even a hint of this particular transgression, because at the end of the day - it's the only one.

At my fall retreat, my friend Holly had really enjoyed a product that we were using in class - the Dina Wakely Scribble sticks. Holly is the most generous, kind person you'd ever want to meet, and has done so much for me, and so many things to help me with my retreats, that I wanted to gift her the Scribble Sticks. I walked over - and mind you - there is complete and utter chaos at all of our workstations at retreat - and I put a tin of them on top of one of her piles. I never said anything to her and promptly forgot all about it.

The following week, she emails me in a panic - apologizing and telling me she must have packed up a box of the sticks by accident and could she mail them back to me? I told her they were a gift, and you'd have thought I'd given her the Hope diamond.

I love people like Holly.

There's no such thing as a victimless theft. If you can be anything - don't be Batman, be Holly. :)

Speaking of retreats, at my mini-retreat in Salt Lake, we did lots of fun projects. One of them required creating eight masks for the little bear in Pieces & Patterns. We masked off some stamped bears with my favorite masking paper and then did some inking techniques. When I was prepping for retreat, I noticed how cute and colorful the masks were all lined up on my desk. So since the theme for this particular class was how to stretch your stamps, I thought I'd incorporate the masks into a second card. I don't think I've ever made a mask part of a card design before, but I hope you agree, these funky little bears deserved to be on one. I discovered that exactly eight of them fit around the round sentiment in the set too. To align them, I put them at 12 and 6, then 3 and 9 and then the last four were easy. Hello there, bears!

Pieces & Patterns Clear-Mount Stamp...
[ SUP ]
Smoky Slate Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ]
Avery Self-Adhesive Removable Laser...
KAI Scissors
[ SBC ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SSS | ELH | SBC ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
Dina Wakley Ranger SCRIBBLE STICKS...

A few things on my desk and in my head this week I thought I'd tell you about. First - I'm listening to the audiobook version of The Martian, and it's excellent.

Second - appetizer recipes, as I prep for my Customer Appreciation holiday party. This year I need to triple my cheeseball output because these vanished inside of ten minutes. The other two recipes in this post are outstanding as well. If you have a favorite holiday appetizer recipe - leave it in the comments!

Third - this Pinterest board, for when my brain needs a break.

Fourth, this stamp set, which is my next online class - it will be up by Monday.

Fifth - this locally produced brown butter ghee - OH EM GHEE.

I can't believe next week is Thanksgiving. I need a month credited to my account this fall, I swear.

I hope you have an awesome weekend.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

You're So Extra

Between Falliday Fest and OnStage, there was such a brief period of time for me to do any crafting, that I was dying to just sit down and color something after I got home, and I had my eye on one of the host sets from the catalog that we'd been able to preorder - Cozy Cottage. It was crying out for my Polychromos, so I took my lunch hour yesterday and just gave in.

All week I kept asking people why they were so extra, so I thought this card would be the perfect tribute to all my extra friends here on my blog.
Cozy Cottage by Understand Blue
Cozy Cottage Host Set - Avail Jan 3rd
[ SUP ]
Smoky Slate Classic Stampin' Pad...
[ SUP ]
Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and...
Artist's Choice 110lb White Card Stock
[ GNK ]
Smoky Slate 8-1/2" X 11" Cardstock by...
[ SUP ]
Whisper White Cardstock - Thick
[ SUP ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSW | SSS | ELH | SBC ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
Ipoint Orbit Pencil Sharpener, Turquoise
Absorber - Synthetic Cleaning Cloth
Multipurpose Liquid Glue by Stampin' Up!
[ SUP ]
I wanted to soften the lines of the stamp image a bit, so I decided on no-line coloring.

I started by stamping the image in Smoky Slate onto some Artist's Choice cardstock from Gina K. I got to test this cardstock at a retreat last month and I fell hard for it. It has just enough tooth for colored pencils - which is really something she's an expert at, and I'm a tiny grasshopper at. So I was excited to find out that I loved the way my pencils worked on this paper. It's also a good alcohol marker paper. I haven't tried that myself yet, but if there's one person you can trust on the subject of paper, it's most definitely Gina.

Then I just selected some colors I thought would be harmonious - warm greys for the stone, and warm reds and browns for what looks like a thatch roof on the cottage. The only cool colors I chose are in the sky and on the mountains.

FYI for color geeks like me - the Prussian Blue in this set, which I used on the mountains, is SPOT ON and very vivid and beautiful. I actually had to tone it down with cool greys, because it's a very saturated color.

The colors I used (which you can buy in open stock at Blick) are as follows: Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Earth Green, Earth Green Yellowish, Chromium Green Opaque, Prussian Blue, Sky Blue, Brown Ochre, Terra Cotta, Burnt Siena, Burnt Umber, Warm Grey II, Warm Grey IV, Warm Grey VI, Cold Grey II, Cold Grey IV.

The other thing Gina got me addicted to at retreat was her pencil sharpener. I have hated all pencil sharpeners before this one and I am now in love. What's cool about it is that it has an auto-stop, so it's won't over-sharpen, but it gives you that tiny fine point you need for the rock shadows, the birds and the grass above. Life is too short for dull pencils. I'm so mad I didn't know there was a turquoise one!

So then I matted the image with Smoky Slate and put it on a Whisper White card base and called it a lunch hour. Not a bad way to do lunch!

A few things to note before you go!

  • Sign up to receive an Occasions catalog here.
  • Sign up for my RAK database to receive random gifts here
  • See all my online classes (Occasions classes coming soon) here
  • Sign up for my November Arkon giveaway here. You get extra entries for every order in my store, every purchase of an online class. You can always get 20% off at Arkon with my coupon code below.
  • Online Extravaganza is coming! From November 20-26, select products on sale for up to 40% off! On November 20th, there's an exclusive sale for select stamp sets for 20% off. Shop here, and if you use host code Y3YE2BS9 during November, you will be entered to win Occasions catalog product! 


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

That's Not Normal - You Have a Gift

Well, I'm home. :)

I spent an amazing week at OnStage in Salt Lake. The weather was beautiful, despite my fears about needing actual shoes or a jacket. I needed neither. The high desert is stunning in the fall, and last week was no exception.

If only I didn't have to leave my friends, all the things would be perfect.

My friend Brian said to me when we were lamenting having to all say goodbye to each other: "I don't understand how you do your retreats and then have to say goodbye to all those people."

Well I don't either.

Honestly - it just stinks. I hate it.

But today I will try to take Lyle Lovett's advice and not cry about the leavin' - and share some of our fun.

Here's a pic of Brian and Melissa and I in the Product Spotlight. We are all cut from the same cloth. Ridiculously mischievous. Also none of us are looking at the same place on my phone. Give us a break - we had like 15 hours of sleep the entire week.

In my hotel, there was a magnetic scrabble board near the lobby, so we had some fun with that. 

That's Brenda Quintana, Dana Keith, me, Melanie Hopes and Ellie Wilkins.

We had a blast at my mini retreat the day before OnStage.

Here are some shenanigans with my sweet friend Trevor Snyder who works at SU. We had numerous ridiculous pictures at the info booth. I'm not sure why Chad is so mad at Trevor's phone here, but he's clearly upset.

This is most definitely not the most important part of the week, but I am proud of it. I am in the top 250 of the worldwide achievers - so out of the 49,000 global demonstrators, I was ranked at 160. That's super fun. And in the US, I'm #82. And I always have to remind people - this is not my full time job. I work full time for Splitcoast, and truly consider myself a successful hobby demonstrator, so this recognition means a lot to me.

And at the CentreStage event, we had the pleasure of hearing Jason Hewlett entertain us, and then he was our keynote speaker at CentreStage Leadership. He was absolutely amazing. He was hilarious, a fantastic singer, but mostly I loved his messaging. At the leadership lunch he said a few incredible things that stuck with me. 

As you know, I'm on a mission to eliminate cell phone zombies. A story he told really went right to the heart of the zombie issue. He said he took his son to McDonald's to play on the playscape. His son went up to the slide, said "watch Daddy" and slid down. Then he went up again, said "watch Daddy" and slid down again. After a few times, Jason took out his phone and started to post on Facebook - "I'm here on a father son playdate..." and stopped. He said he suddenly realized how terrible that was and that he was not being present, but instead creating content for other people. He said he immediately deleted the Facebook app, and that it changed his life. He urged everyone in the audience to just actually show up for real life and stop living life on the phone. I could not agree more. I've been in situations where people are just completely silent with me while they look at, laugh at, stare at their phones, and it's sad and unnerving. I worry about people I see on my walks who have no clue about what is happening around them because they are captivated by their phones. I didn't grow up with a television, so that whole screen thing is more foreign to me than to most people my age, but still, most people I know are just oblivious of anything outside their phones, and I'd like that to change. I loved every moment this week with real people - and I have very few pictures to show for it, and I am happy that I didn't lose time to Facebook or Instagram. I was just there, and it was awesome. It was 100% fine to upload my photos in my downtime alone in my hotel room and not be glued to my phone while some of the most hilarious people you'll ever meet were inches from me.

But the other part of his message was even better. He has a very unique - (I need a word here that means gift, talent, oddity - all wrapped up in one) - thing - that I won't spoil for you - but it's something that made him seem less (or more) than average as a child. Who can't relate to that? 

The thing that made him different became the reason he has a wildly successful calling, and it's the reason he was our keynote. Had that thing about him been the thing that beat down his spirit, the world would definitely have not had the bright spot that is Jason Hewlett. Thankfully, he had a person or two who was open-minded enough to know that that thing was a huge gift. 

On the last day, during the keynote, he said something I will never forget - something one of these special people said to him...

that's not normal. you have a gift.

That might be the best seven words in the English language. 

Whatever it is that makes you not normal - that is most definitely your gift. Embrace that. Wear it like a satin jacket at a skating rink. 

Thankfully, I was raised in a house where "normal" wasn't a thing. So I never cared what other people were doing. I still don't. I was always free to be my own quirky self, and it has served me well. I encourage you to look at your quirk and fly it as your flag. 

If you ever get a chance to see that man speak, please take advantage of it. He's funny and wise and truthful and positive. Very grateful to have seen him.

If you would like an Occasions catalog, please let me know here. And get ready to save - our Online Extravaganza sale starts November 20th. If you shop this sale using host code Y3YE2BS9 - you will be entered to win Occasions catalog products! 

And finally - on the topic of friends I miss - I finally organized all the videos with Kat into a single playlist - so you can see all our Team Unscripted videos here. More to come when we get together next. 

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