I Mustache You What You Are Eating

eating3

I’m cutting out carbs. Aaaaagain. My track record on this surpassed “not good” long ago. To put it mildly, my healthy eatibg conviction and follow through has been at “stanky to the max” level for quite some time.

eating4

I prefer fruits, but even fruits are loaded with sugars. Some fruits are great, but the emphasis should be on the veggies. Bleh.

eating2

I’ve tried the liquid route – protein shakes, blends of veggies and fruits, etc. – but I just don’t feel satiated with those.

eating5

Clearly I need to up my protein intake, but even that can problematic for me. I can be extremely picky, and my getting burnt out and grossed out with the meat overload doesn’t help. Whenever someone throws out the word “tofu” as a possible protein solution, I find myself thinking about how it’s ironic that “tofu” is a four letter word that I associate with multiple other four letter words. I would provide examples, but this is a family show so you’ll have to use your imagination.

eating6

Maybe I’m nuts to go this route yet again, but I don’t feel good in my body. That makes me feel sad, so I have to try. And as I read that last sentence, I hear Yoda in my mind… “Do or do not. There is no try.” I’m guessing that Yoda never struggled with being a sugar addict.

If you have any websites or tips on low-carb, no sugar, paleo-esque, or other similar options, I would genuinely appreciate the advice. Please note that intelligent / common sense recommendations with regard to overall health are lovely, but they don’t sustain long-term commitment to low carb eating for this girl. I know what I should do, but somehow that’s not enough.

Thanks in advance.  😉  Jo

Liquid

Take a Moment to Observe the Beauty and Embrace the Magic Around You

painted bunting

These painted buntings seem surreal to me yet they spent several days over the past week transforming our backyard into a wonderland. They are little feathered miracles that lift my worries and make my heart smile.

So many of us live and breathe by our endless schedules. Our lists of activities go on and on, and we often forget to take a few moments to observe the beauty in the world around us.

Birds. Wildflowers. Clouds. Our children.

All are in plain sight yet we fail to notice them.

I’ve had another long day of my own and am finally finishing up today’s work at this ridiculously late hour once more. Although I am in dire need of a few solid hours of sleep, I wanted to take a brief moment to celebrate the beauty that has blessed my life this week.

I feel tremendous gratitude for the innumerable gifts that fill my world and move around me at all times. I am pausing to remind myself of the importance of reserving a few minutes of each day to simply be. To look around. To breathe in the wonder. To embrace the magic. I pray that you can do the same.

Miracles surround us always. We just have to remember to notice them.

Love, light and magic to all of you.  Joanna

Observe

Moving the Dream of a Child from Impossible to Unlikely to Reality

 

cardinal

The photos in this post were taken by my daughter who is still in elementary school. She’s a spectacular soul with such talent.

My daughter sees magic in every corner of her world and recreates those details in her countless creations. Drawings, figurines, fairy gardens, and, most recently, photographs. She sits for hours as she takes pictures of animals, interesting interactions, scenery, and anything else that she deems to be beautiful or unique. Unfortunately she gives a rather wide berth to her perception of these terms, so we are literally left with hundreds or thousands (yes – thousands) of files to review at the end of her daily shoots. As a bonus she firmly believes that almost all of those pictures are portfolio quality images.

They are not, and, sadly for her, I am significantly less reticent about deleting tons of them. I am attempting to teach her to be more discerning about what is and isn’t true quality work, but I am also a very busy mom / wife / employee who has other crapola on her plate. Consequently my daughter has managed to significantly outpace my file cleanup efforts. My sincere apologies go out in advance to each of you as she will be using up all of the internet shortly if this pace continues.

2018-05-02 hummingbird1.jpgNevertheless she has managed to capture some beautiful images. Although she is still so young, her raw talent reveals itself with every new creation. She just has that something that can’t be taught or learned. It’s woven into her soul.

But I have a something, too. It’s called being her mother, and I worry. I’ve yet to meet an artist who said to me, “I got into art because I knew that it would be an easy way to pay the bills.” I don’t need my kids to become millionaires. (Now I’m not going to lie to you. It wouldn’t suck to have a millionaire kid, but that’s not in my wheelhouse of “mom to kid teaching skills” just yet.) My goal is for my children to live in a way that will keep them generally happy and financially sound.

So I am trying once more to teach my girl how to safely leverage off of the world of technology. I posted a couple of her new photos to her blog and am looking forward to seeing a collaborative blogging effort with another brilliant young friend of hers. My dream is for our children to be able to shine by becoming the people they clearly were meant to be and executing the talents that are inherently their own. Maybe blogging will help open doors for her at an earlier point in the process.

2018-05-02 hummingbird2I want to believe that her path will forever remain clear and that she will always find her way. I want to trust without question that her unusual and beautiful perceptions and creations will invite endless wonderful opportunities into her life. I pray that these are her realities and that my involvement is more of a kindness than a necessity. But just in case, it never hurts to get a head start, and there’s no sense in wasting good internet while it’s still around.  😉

***Photo credits and tons of love go to dragondaydream.com.  Never stop making the world more beautiful my talented darling. You belong among the wildflowers, but I’m so very thankful that you are here with me instead. I love you to the moon and back bunny rabbit.

2018-05-02 rose-breasted grosbeak1

Unlikely

Living Outside of the Lines When You Don’t Blend In

bunting

I just want to be normal.

My heart aches deeply whenever I hear my son say this. I understand this feeling more than he can fathom. I faced the same struggles at his age, and speaking honestly, I often still do.

So many of us dream of blending in. Of feeling accepted. Of being another regular face in the crowd.

Instead we become fluent in the nuance of the dismissive body language of others. We try to join the herd only to find that we are met with annoyed looks, caustic comments, or the cold shoulder. We feign strength and indifference on the surface, but we are aching and crumbling on the inside.

Why don’t they like us? What are we doing wrong? What can I do to change myself?

Well I have a few suggestions that I believe hold merit:

  1. Refrain from acting like a jerk in return.
  2. Use deodorant, brush your teeth, and shower every now and then.
  3. Don’t change a damn thing.

If other people treat you with tremendous unkindness, it speaks to the faults in their character, not yours. No one races to buy a book or jumps on the internet to search for a story about someone normal. We don’t clamor for more movies about the bland life. The world is not changed by people who live life inside the lines.

The people who shake things up are anything but average. They are the unathletic types. The nerds. The misfits. The weirdos. The losers. They are made to feel less than because they don’t fit the mold.

People who are secure in themselves don’t need to step on someone else to build self worth. Never allow others to make you feel small because they can’t see their own value. Your light will always shine even when another tries to keep you in their shadow. Their ugliness does not detract from your beauty nor does their unkindness reflect on your truth.

We are better because of our differences, not in spite of them. We each have unique roles to play, and the divine colors we bring to our part in the scene are not there by chance. You my precious darling are so far beyond the standard. You were never meant to blend in, and no matter how hard you may try, you never will. You are spectacular, you are miraculous, and you are a world changer.

Own your beauty and your uniqueness. Forget trying to blend in, tell the status quo where to stick it, and embrace life outside of the lines. You never have to run with the herd. You were made to soar!

Love and light always – Joanna

This post is dedicated to all of the incredible misfits of the world, especially the ones who call me Mom.

painted bunting

***For the bird nerds in training (like me), the beauty in this photo is a painted bunting. The solid blue birds in the top picture are indigo buntings. I was beyond thrilled to see these stunning birds outside my window last weekend.  🙂

Lines

Inspiration in Focus

aIMG_0346

Inspiration often presents itself when I least expect it. Having the ability to capture a unique moment in a photograph can kickstart writing creativity while also potentially adding a little visual swag to a post.

I have found myself in a multitude of photo-worthy situations since moving to our new home a few months ago. Unfortunately I must have left my camera’s ability to focus at the old house as I no could no longer snap a quality shot. The incessant appearance of blurry unusable pictures sent me into a creative tailspin as my irritation heightened.

I looked into repair but was told that I might as well replace it given the cost. Consequently my artsiest of children became the proud owner of an art-generating machine and instantly began to work that fuzzy angle like the creative boss she is.

That left me to I consult the magical world of Google in search of a replacement and immediately became overwhelmed. Being one who refers to the dials on the camera as “these thingies right here” and the buttons as “those doodads on that side,” I was clearly in need of a device that could compliment and possibly improve on my own my unique photographic approach. If I had to describe it, I would say that my style draws heavily on a total lack of skill combined with a penchant for taking photos with hands so unsteady that they seem to be driving down a road comprised of boulders.

As I already owned a couple of decent Canon lenses, it made sense to start there. I contacted camera stores for feedback and was ultimately pointed to the Canon ESO ADD. It seemed like a poor marketing approach on Canon’s part to call it an A-D-D, but it also felt like a comically divine sign that it was right up my alley. I post frequently about my own struggles with ADD and felt like it would be ironic to have a camera that was dealing with the same label. Of course it became exponentially funnier when I went to pick the camera up and saw that the name was actually 80D – not ADD.

Regardless of the name, I immediately found myself smitten with the camera. My photos are far from perfect, but the overall quality has improved. In addition, I have taken more time to learn about a few more elements of photography to be able to speak with greater confidence about the aforementioned thingies and doodads whenever I have to contact Canon customer service. That doesn’t mean that I use those dials and buttons correctly on any level, but I feel cooler and that’s the most important part.

I’m thankful that the renewed focus in my camera equipment appears to have renewed my inner focus as well. Please be warned that you are about to be assaulted with inspiration in the form of countless bird photos, home and decor images, step by step walkthroughs of DIY madness, and other miscellaneous subjects. Apologies in advance if the relevance seems unclear, but the good news is that the photos shouldn’t be. 😉

Joanna

***Please note that I’m not saying that my photos are particularly good or that the pics included in this post are my favorites. I just love the camera relative to what I was working with previously. 🙂
aIMG_0818

%d bloggers like this: