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New Year’s Eve…Reflection on 2018

So, today is the last day of 2018.

New Year’s Eve is a beautiful time for reflection of what was accomplished within the last year. When I look back at 2018, what stands out mostly for me is a time of learning and some very important decisions and life changes. I find myself feeling a flood of emotions looking back and some of the things I’ve been able to pull myself through still shocks me to this day.

Without going into a ton of detail, I wanted to recap something wonderful that happened every month. Continue reading New Year’s Eve…Reflection on 2018

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Merry Christmas..Eve!

Good morning, beautiful readers!

Just popping by really quick to wish you all a fabulous day and the merriest of Christmases! It has been so amazing these last few days having my husband home and it has been wonderful to feel completely whole again (aside from one missing pup in doggy day care back in Texas).

My wonderful husband is currently making us breakfast this morning and the house is filled with the scent of pancakes and homemade stewed berries. We’ve had a great time just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

He also made me open one of my gifts early this morning and to my surprise….

He knew how badly I’ve been wanting one for my work. I’m honestly speechless, you guys. This was so incredibly thoughtful and I am so excited to use it at today’s Christmas party! This was the reason he wanted me to open it early.

Just a quick art update this morning too! There will be no new painting or painting process video this week due to holiday festivities, but please anticipate everything returning back to normal next week.

I hope you all spend time with your loved ones and remember the important things in life. I’ll check in with you all again soon. Merry Christmas and God bless.

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Festive Friday, Day #7: Neighborhood Sweets

Happy Friday, my beloved readers!

This is THE LAST Festive Friday post before Christmas!

How are we here already!? I won’t say it this time. (Even though time is flying!)

So, I mentioned in last weeks’ blog that I wanted to wait till closer to Christmas to deliver these goods. My husband is on his way home at this moment (yay!) and because it is the weekend before Christmas, I’ve got to make sure that all the baking is done for both the neighbors and for our family Christmas gatherings! Therefore, today I have recruited a little help from none other than my beloved sister, Desi! I’m so grateful to have spent the past few days with her and am even more so since she’s graciously volunteered to help me finish my baking!

Two sets of hands in the kitchen is always better than one and two sisters in the house makes baking a lot more fun! – Sorry, I just had to! I know that was cheesy.

20181221_160210.jpgWe decided that we wanted to make some fun little gingerbread men! What’s even more fun was that these little babies are totally vegan friendly! Yay!

For the sake of not making this blog into a cookie recipe book, I’ll only be sharing the basics and the end result. If you guys want to get your hands on this recipe, then please comment below and I’d be happy to share more with you!

All the recipe called for was molasses, sea salt, baking soda, flour, brown sugar, vegan butter, vanilla extract, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and ground ginger.

We made the icing with powdered sugar and water!

Bake at 350 for about 6 minutes and voila!

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I sincerely applaud those holiday bakers (such as my mom) who really go all out in the kitchen. While I could definitely sit at an easel in my studio for hours on hours, I find ti a lot more difficult to spend all that time in the kitchen. The cookies we made this afternoon were by no means “extravagant” cookies, but we did spend most of the day in there baking these few batches!

It’s moments like these that I really appreciate my simple taste in life.

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At our last house, our neighbor was the sweetest lady you could ever think of. She would come over to our house every year with the largest tray of baked goodies and it was such a nice gesture especially for me because no one ever did that in my neighborhood when we were kids growing up. After receiving such a heartfelt gift, I knew that I wanted to take part from then on in the years to come. While we did carry on this tradition last year, I was so sad that I wasn’t able to go deliver them in person. Needless to say, I just can’t wait to meet some of our neighbors and deliver all of these sweets.

I hope you all enjoyed today’s Festive Friday blog.

I know it was short and sweet (there I go with another pun), but I’ve still got a lot to do before Mr. Du Bois arrives!

There are a lot of Holiday Festivities coming up within the next week and I promise I’ll write you all again as soon as possible!

Till next time, loves. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Update! Story Behind My Last Painting

Good morning again, loyal readers and happy Monday!

I hope the weekend treated you all well! I find myself extremely motivated this morning and for good reason. We’ll get into that in a minute.

First off, I don’t really have many exciting art-related announcements to share with you all. I pretty much covered that whole thing in my last art blog. (Missed it? I’ll leave a link here.) I still have a good amount of canvases and paint so no new art supplies just yet.

I think the new YouTube routine has been going well. I’ve been uploading a new video every Thursday for the past month now. I think I’ve accustomed pretty well to filming my painting process and slowly, but surely, I’m getting better/faster at my video editing skills. yay! Practice really does make perfect!-we’re getting there. Speaking of YouTube though, I’m totally obsessing over my latest featured piece. It describes a soulful connection between a woman and a wolf.

I titled it “Escort” and wanted to give a somewhat seductive/vulnerable vibe. The woman and wolf seem to have a certain closeness and familiarity. She’s comfortable around him and his beaming red eyes look at the viewer and almost say to them: “Don’t mess with her.” He is big and frightening but she’s got her arm on him suggesting that he’s belongs to her: he is her protector and will escort her safely. As already stated in the video, these paintings are reserved for the first month after creation exclusively for patrons, but I will make this available on my website once that time period passes by. Prints and posters will also be made available as well!

See it on YouTube

In the video for this piece I talked about how important I think it is to put yourself out there and to just simply be yourself. I was vulnerable in recording this video and it’s the first one I’ve published that has me discussing a topic (first time really using my mic). If you’ve missed it, I’ll leave a link here. I think I’m going to do more of these videos from now on. It’s more interesting to listen to a topic/story while watching a painting video than to just be listening to music, in my opinion. So far, my subscribers seemed to have enjoyed the change as well! Definitely be on the lookout Thursday for when I upload this week’s YouTube Featured Acrylic Painting video. I’m going to be going over another art/supportive topic for that painting as well and I’d love to hear your feedback on these kinds of videos!

That’s all I really have for art related announcements, BUT! I am so excited that now I am only days away from seeing my husband for Christmas! I’m extremely eager to get my work for this week accomplished so that I can just get to marking sure everything is prepared for his arrival! He will be here for about a week and I’m still debating exactly on how I’m going to about my upload schedule for that week. Obviously I’m going to be wanting to devote that time to him while he’s here – it’s also the week of Christmas so there’s that too. I may still be able to get blogs up that week, but as for the painting video on that Thursday, I may just end up doing a vlog or something of that nature. I’m almost positive that I won’t have a new painting that week unless I can manage to double my workload this week-not likely.

That’s all I’ve really got for today, guys. Just thinking about all I’ve got to do within the next few days is making my head spin! I’m gonna get to work now.

I’ll see you guys in the next one!

Stay tuned!

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Festive Friday Day #6: Cookie Coma!

Good afternoon, friends!

Just a few more weeks of Festive Friday after today! Only two more, actually! Wow. I feel like the holiday season has flown by so fast. Perhaps it’s because my husband has been gone and I’ve been pouring myself into my work to compensate for his absence. This is a good thing though! Christmas is almost here and guess what I’ve got going on today? That’s right! I’m baking Christmas cookies!

Good guess. 🙂

My Christmas baking last year was absolutely insane. I spent a fortune on a bunch of different ingredients and had spent so much time in the kitchen! SO. MUCH. TIME. And no one wanted to eat the treats because everyone was trying to watch their calorie intake! (No fun!) In all honesty, I wanted to do the opposite this year with my baking, which is why I’m sharing with you my simple holiday baking solution.

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Just a LITTLE of last year’s baking to give you some perspective..

Today, instead of causing unneeded chaos in the kitchen, I just put together one of my favorite cookie recipes. This one is an all-time classic: the timeless oatmeal cookie. I realize this isn’t the most “festive” cookie recipe out there but I love the simplicity and that they can easily be enjoyed year-round.

You all know I’m not much of a chef and I’m a very minimalist baker. This is a recipe that I just eyeball when putting the ingredients together until the consistency looks right. It consists of vanilla extract, salt, sugar, brown sugar, flour, oats, dairy-free butter, and a flax egg (since I’m vegan). I also like to throw some dairy-free chocolate chips in the mix. Is there really an explanation needed for that? If you want it to look a little more colorful, just omit the chocolate chips and use m&m’s or a similar type of colorful candy (candy canes?) and there ya go!

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There’s something pleasantly nostalgic about baking oatmeal cookies. The smells wafting through the house brings me back to childhood when we’d come home from school to some freshly baked cookies as a snack. It just brings me back to simpler times and that’s exactly what I was in need of this year. It’s so easy to get caught up around the holiday season. We’re all running around spending money on gifts and things we don’t need and stressing about things that don’t need to be stressed about. It’s true that shopping, baking, and gift giving are all fun things, but I just wanted to remind everyone not to get too caught up in all the commotion.

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What says “homemade” more than a classic such as this?

I like to give homemade goodies to our neighbors for Christmas and there are around 6 houses that are surrounding us. I was working last year so my husband was the one who hand delivered all the treats. I’m excited for us to be able to go to each house together this year and present them together. We haven’t met all of the neighbors yet, so I’m hoping this will brighten up their holiday seasons. Since Mr. Du Bois isn’t home yet, these cookies will probably just be enjoyed by me and I’ll have a new batch ready when he’s home (that and so that the neighbors will have some fresh ones).

I will do more Holiday baking, but that day is not today.

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Well, guys, that’s all I have for you this week. Thank you once again for tuning in to my blog. I’ve only got a week left until I see me husband and I can’t wait to write all about it! I’ll be back Monday! Have a fantastic weekend!

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Running Through a Winter Wonderland +Art & Life Updates!

Hello, loyal readers!

I hope you all had an amazing weekend! I actually took a day off for myself as well. I feel so rejuvenated and am very excited to finish this year strongly. I realize that this is a rather cliché statement for this time of year, but it’s true nonetheless.

It was a beautiful day yesterday when I took my dogs out for our midday run. I just had to take a few shots of the experience as it was truly magical. The way the snow glistened Continue reading Running Through a Winter Wonderland +Art & Life Updates!

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Festive Friday Day #5: Holiday Cards

Festive Friday is back again! Yay!

Welcome to this week’s post!

I feel like I’m a little late in the game for this one, but today is all about Holiday cards! Do any of you make several different cards and have the hardest time choosing between the different designs? Normally this is me EVERY time, but not this year! I’m happy to say that I even created my cards for at least half the cost that I normally purchase them at! (Right!?) I was so excited when I saw the price that I just had to share how I did it! Continue reading Festive Friday Day #5: Holiday Cards

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Monday again! So, where’s the Motivation?

Good morning, friends.

I’m always coming up with new ideas and business plans over the weekend so come Monday, I am usually fired up and very productive. However, it seems that I have a hard time getting back into the right mindset after drill weekend passes. It ended up being a pretty hectic last few days and I find myself having difficulty getting motivated this morning. I’ve spent the day so far by scheduling out my work week, taking care of some bills, cleaning the house a bit, and giving some extra love and attention to Nova and Haku (my huskies) since I’ve been on base for the past weekend.

This week, I feel like my “to-do” list is pretty heavy. I’ve got to plan our unit’s Holiday party for next month and there is a lot to do to make sure that it is all in order. As president, I feel responsible for making sure it all goes off without a hitch. I’m  definitely up to the task, but I think the pressure of making sure it all works out has been clouding my mind with worry and stress. I’ve also got some left-over work from the weekend I haven’t finished so there’s that too.

On top of the Air Force responsibilities, I need to make sure I keep up with my blog, painting, and filming schedules. Since I’m just beginning with my blog and films, I know how important it is to keep the content flowing on a regular basis. My recording mic also came in the mail Friday and I am so excited (and intimidated) to film my voice-overs for my Patreon videos. I’m not a very charismatic person by nature and I have a hard time putting my thought into words so naturally I’m a little nervous I won’t have much to talk about. Wish me luck with that!

Thanks for staying with me while I whine about my responsibilities. It really does help to put the thoughts down in writing. Now that my mind feels a little clearer, I really need to tackle some of the things I’ve got on my list for today. Write blog post √

Be sure to look out for a new video this Thursday on my YouTube channel and tune in later this week for another Festive Friday blog! You guys mean more to me than you know. Thanks for reading-now get your Monday on!

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Festive Friday Day #4: A Simple Update and Snowy Adventures

Welcome back to another Festive Friday post! Thank you all for tuning in today. It means a lot to have you here. Blogging is less exciting when no one reads your posts, so I am truly grateful for the support of my readers. I see you and you all make my posts worthwhile. Thank you for that.

Today’s blog is just going to be a simple update. I have Continue reading Festive Friday Day #4: A Simple Update and Snowy Adventures