Coffee, Cookies And WordPress

My Blood Type Is Coffee

My Blood Type Is Coffee

Welcome to Weekend Coffee Share, the wonderful little blog hop where we all get together and share whatever we want to talk about over a cup of coffee. If you were here today, I would offer you some more thumbprint cookies. Store bought, sorry. It has been a somewhat crazy week.

You might be wondering why I am back at WordPress. The short version of this is, that Wix was not what it was cracked up to be. I will write more about my thoughts on Wix in a few days, but let me tell you they are not the best.

So, I am going to make the best of this blog format for right now. And guess what, I already feel better, less stressed, and more focused. Sometimes taking an action away from what you thought was a good idea can be freeing. No reason to try to make something that does not work, work. All that does is cause stress. Something I really do not need more off. I am sure you can relate.

There is a lot to do this week, I have three books to read and review, two products to review (once they arrive), organize this space a little better to make it work for me right now, until I switch over to WordPress.org ( I am not in a hurry, this time, I am going to make sure I took the time to learn everything I need to make this transition smooth, instead of listening to pure recommendations), work on some more designs for Redbubble and Zazzle, and create a few new freebies for you guys. I also have tons of content that I am working on, that I want to share with you, some of it related to making money online, others a little more personal about living with allergies and chronic illness. I am hoping you will stop back here to check those posts out over the next few weeks.

Until I have moved all of the content back from Wix to here, I am expecting to post almost twice a day, fresh content once, the other, those articles I had on the other site. Then, hopefully by the end of this month, everything will be back to normal.

But enough about me, how was your week? I hope your weather was as pleasant as it had been here in Las Vegas. I really enjoyed the warmth of over 75 degrees, even if the mornings are still really cold. The dogs enjoyed the weather as well.

My Dog Gwen Waiting for Me To Take Her Out

My Dog Gwen Waiting for Me To Take Her Out

Have a great week, and see you next weekend for more coffee talk!

Blessings,

Claudia

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Colds, Binge Watching And Tea

Colds,Binge Watching And Tea

 

Disclaimer: The following post contains links to my own art, and affiliate links, which pay for my art supplies and design programs – opinions are my own. 
Glad you called first before coming over for coffee, because I really do not want to give you the cold. I can send you some cookies if you like, maybe some thumbprint cookies? Those are my current obsession.

I am truly not used to colder weather anymore, after spending years in Florida, and while I hate taking time off, I know that sometimes it is better to step back, instead of producing mediocre designs. Okay, some of the stuff I made today was pretty awful, so I decided to binge watch stuff instead. The designs you  see here today were made last week, so they are actually ready for public consumption.

No, I do not simply watched Netflix or Amazon, and ingest a few seasons of the newest thriller, or mystery (I cannot stomach most comedies out there), even though I was tempted, I thought I could, at least, watch something worthwhile. Hey, who says having a cold is an excuse to not learn something. As long as it does not require physical movement, and I have a hot cup of tea next to me, it is the next best thing to working.

 

Creative Live: 

If you have not checked out Creative Live and their live stream that features anything an artist’s heart can desire, then you have been missing out. You can watch the above-mentioned life stream, but also pick out some of the online lessons you have missed – may it be about photography or content marketing – by purchasing one of the episodes. I try to catch as many shows live as I can – but because of my schedule that is not always possible, so I am happy that they have that purchase option. Check out this wonderful creation by Chase Charvis

 

Inside Quest 

You might know about Questthose bars that taste yummy but are really, truly good for you – but did you know that one of the owners of Quest has this amazing show that features the most successful and creative people on the planet? He interviews everyone from whom we can learn from – starting at Tim Ferriss, and Ryan Holiday. You should really check out this motivational tips and tricks. And eat one of his bars while you are at it. They truly are yummy!

 

Vyrt 

Yup, that is one strange name for a streaming service, but they are truly unique and worth checking out, especially if you are into music. The creation of Jared Leto – yes, that Oscar-winning creative genius, Joker Madman Method Actor and Rockstar – with which he has managed to create a platform for interesting content from vegan cooking tips by Brendan Brazier (Thrive), to their shows, and behind the scene material to other artists and musicians like Linkin Park, Boy Epic and more. Totally binge-worthy.

 

What are your favorite streaming platforms, or youtube channels that you find completely binge-worthy? Which ones do you think I should check out?

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Claudia

 

The above post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Coffee Share

Be Inspired # 190

 

 

Planning, Goals, Progress and Coffee

If you were coming over for coffee, I would greet you with a hug and some chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. It has been a while since I posted on this blog, but I have been pretty busy. The fact that my computer has a nasty virus did not help either.

December is usually my busiest month, not only do both of my children have birthdays, and of course, there are the holidays, but it is the time where business picks up, and also the time to plan for the next year.

Which is exactly what I am working on this weekend: Goal and Action Plan for 2016.

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Of course, they can be beneficial, but why wait until a particular time to make a change? Yet I do plan the year, but not in a resolution kind of way.

There are overall goals to work out – that has to be the first step, never forgetting that there has to be a why, a reason behind each goal, otherwise, I am fully aware that I will not follow through on it.

Willpower can carry you far, reasons will carry you further.

Then there are the monthly goals – smaller steps that together build the picture of a successful year. Those are flexible, meaning, I can adjust those goals throughout the year to fit the progress I am actually making. The trick is to set these goals high, but not so high that they are not attainable. Otherwise,  the frustration of not reaching them will keep me from going further.

Next are tangible action steps. I ask myself, what do I need to learn to make this happen? How much time am I willing to invest into this goal? What do I need to do to see progress? Those answers will be based on the overall goal and the monthly  goals.

This leaves me with a framework for the entire year.

What I am questioning this year is about how public I should make these goals, and when. I have seen many bloggers and marketing experts, who put all of their goals and their achievements out there – that is wonderful, as it motivates me. But being an artist first, a creative, who might not see monetary results in such a profound way every month – while other months soar – I am not sure, I am going to do that yet. What do you think? How public do you make your goals?

If you were here with me, I would tell you that another year end practice I enjoy and intend to employ this year:

Expressing my thanks to those who inspired me.

Now, some of these people – some of whom are famous, some are very successful might never respond to my email, Facebook message or tweet, but some might (hey, I have had Brendan Brazer, the creator of Vega, and the author of Thrive, acknowledge my tweet the other day, where I was praising his mission, products and words), but that is not the point. It does not matter how successful you are, I am sure that it can not be a bad thing to hear something positive from someone who learned from you, or was inspired by you. Spreading a little kindness through expressing gratitude at the end of the year – and throughout the year benefits the receiver as much as the giver. It simply feels good all around.

So these are the questions I have for you this week:

Do you plan your year? Do you make resolutions? If you do, what steps do you take to allow yourself a better chance of success? And, how public do you make these goals and plans?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I enjoyed your company as always

Much love

Claudia

 

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops

Celebrate The Small Things

Weekend Coffee Share

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays 2

No Rules Weekend

 

Disclaimer: The above blog post contains affiliate links.

 

The #1 Writing Tool

Coffee, Vegan Nutella, Gratitude And A Story

Hey, good to see you! I just made coffee, and I have fresh bread rolls that are still hot from the oven, ready to be topped with delicious jam or some homemade vegan Nutella. How to make homemade Nutella, you ask? Rather simple:

Take 1/4 cup of hazelnut butter (you can use peanut or almond butter, but trust me it is not the same then using the real hazelnut butter stuff), put it in a bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of raw agave nectar, and a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Mix it well. I recommend doubling the recipe though because most of the time someone else will want some too. Just like the real thing, this stuff is addicting.

Drinking our hot beverages, I would tell you that I am still not fond of the weather here. Way too cold. I am hiding under my blanket with a space heater next to me, simply because I like it cozy. If it gets too warm for you, let me know, and I will turn it down.

I was looking through my older stories, and found the following Flash Fiction again, and I wanted to share it with you. It is called, “A New Friend” and I hope you will enjoy it.

 

A New Friend

He wasn’t such a scary fellow. Ugly maybe, but who was I to judge him by his looks? Too many people tended to judge people by their appearance. But I knew better.
His eyes, not meeting mine for more than a second at a time, where big and full of mistrust. Hair, thick and unkempt, covered up most of his distorted face, his body bent forward in a mixture of agony and malformation. As he reached for the spindle, his broken left hand was surprisingly capable of doing the deed in front of him. Again he glanced, and again the glance ended as quickly as it had begun.

“I will do what you asked for.”
His voice, as broken as his body was soft, but determined.
“I am sure you will.”
“And you will do as promised.”, he demanded.
“As I always do.”
He paused, then nodded, continuing to work the spindle, swiftly, with a confidence that defied his outer appearance and demeanor. Two minutes later, he stopped, his crackling voice echoing through the silence “Why?”
“Why, what?”, I answered.
“Why do you watch?”
“Because I am curious.”
“Ahh”., he murmured, beginning to move again, repeating the motion that was so hard for able body me, and easy for challenged him. Another two minutes passed in utter silence. Stopping as suddenly as the first time, he glared at me longer, his green eyes darkening, as they penetrated through me, to my core.
“Why?” he asked once more.
“Why, what?”
“Why do you care?”
“Because you are interesting.”
“You have no fear?”, he questioned, surprised
“I feel no reason to fear you.”

He stroked his hair away from his misshapen cheek bones, pinning it behind his large ears, nodding, then with what was a twisted smile, that despite its broken shaped showed a kindness, apparent and deep.
“Then forgive me, my Lady. You have nothing to fear. And you owe me nothing for my work.”, his voice stronger this time, as he straightened as much as he was able to.
I smiled back at him, stretching my hand toward the old figure in front of me.
“So I shall give you my friendship, dear Sir, if you wish.”
“I would be honored indeed.”
We shook hands, swiftly, with the same efficiency, with which he had moved the spindle.
“What may I call you Sir?”, I dared to asked?
Rumplestiltskin.

___________________________________________________________

 

 

I did not write my gratitude lists on  the blog this week, not for Thursday, Friday, nor Saturday but I am using Thanksgiving as my excuse. Those three days belonged to my family. I hope you had a wonderful celebration, and were able to connect with your loved ones.
Because of this, I am going to share parts of my gratitude list with you today, and hope you will take a moment to reflect upon what you are grateful for as well.

  1. I am grateful for my oven, which has been and will continue to be used in over-abundance until
    all of the winter holidays have left us. I might gain some weight, as a result, but that is what new years resolutions are for.
  2. I am grateful for my husband’s business partner (and who happens to be my boss), who send me a pretty nice text message out of the blue on Thanksgiving, saying how thankful he was, that we are helping him with the business. It is nice to be appreciated.
  3. I am grateful for Canva and Picmonkey, which I used to make the typography throughout this post. Both have free versions (I use premium on both), that are wonderful for bloggers, especially now that my computer is acting up. I really do not want to fight with any more complicated programs, like Photoshop or Illustrator, when I have a laptop complicating things.
  4. I am grateful for that adorable not so little dog, with white eyes, who seems to have taking a liking to me. It belongs to a neighbor, but every time she sees me, she acts like my dogs do, after I been gone for a couple of hours. That is so cute. I tried to take a picture of her, but she is too hyper to hold still long enough I think she adopted me.

 

This has turned into a much longer conversation than intended. I am going to let you go, but not before telling you to take some of that Nutella – of course, I made extra.

Blessings!

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops

Weekend Coffee Share

Celebrate The Small Things

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Thankful Thursdays

Light And Dark

Welcome! Would you like some coffee? The following post is part of the Weekend Coffee Share Blog Hop, and contains links to my artwork, and stuff I actually buy (affiliate links). 

If you were here with me, having coffee – or tea – I got some yummy imported Japanese green tea, if you prefer the latter – I would welcome you to Linzer cookies, and new pieces of art. You would probably notice that this week, I have been working in contrasts – either creating very dark pieces, such as “Anger”, and “Masks“,  or light ones, like “Tree With Roots”. No colorful “in-betweens”, no “something in the middle,” but each on the opposite ends of the color spectrum and theme.

Why, you might ask, would I go from a subject matter such as Domestic violence to something really light in such a short period of time?

My answer to that question is  balance. While I enjoy working on both ends of the contrast, I find myself is automatically balancing my creations, often without noticing, and almost never intentional. I do the same with writing, instinctively seeking the balance that the Universe seems to crave.

It is  concept present in all of the celebrations of this season, no matter which spiritual connection one chooses to follow. The light, peace and hope of what is bright, and warm, piercing through the darkness of the Winter months, creating once again balance.

Do you embrace the contrast of dark and light? Does it show in your creative process, or do you enjoy one side of the spectrum more, when you are being creative? Is that an intellectual process for you, or are you creating instinctively?

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Weekend Coffee Share

Tater Tots And Jello

 

 

Coffee, Pie And Books – A Weekend Coffee Share Post

 

Hey, nice to see you again, glad you could stop by! I got a hot pot of coffee waiting for us both, and a fresh apple pie, that I made after I bought way too many apples this week. Of course, it is vegan, but you would not be able to tell if I would not point it out. Trust me, I tried it out on a few people. No one could tell the difference.

I would ask you how your Halloween was. Mine was fine and quiet. While the kids did their own thing with their friends, I snuggled up with kindle and read. And of course, I could not stop, and had to force myself to go to bed a little past midnight. It was one of those books that I found on KindleUnlimited and hoped I would enjoy, but at the end not only did I enjoy it, I could not stop reading it. If you love romance novels – the hot and steamy kind, check out “Pretend You’re Mine – A Small Town Love Story” by Lucy Score

Today, I am thankfully only working on my business, and not on the business of a friend, my husband and I are helping to build. So the plan for today is to write on a few blog posts, connect with people and put out a few designs. I have created a few more floral designs this week – as you can see – but I want to play with a few different themes this evening. My problem is sometimes that I have to choose between commercially profitable designs and more experimental and freely expressive designs. When time permits I do both. Lately, time has not been permitting me to just go for it. Hopefully with a little adjustment in my schedule, I will be able to give myself a little space in creating freely this week.

I would tell you that I am considering in committing myself to posting every day of the month of November. NaBloPoMo  is upon us, and I feel guilty enough for not participating in NaNoWriMo this month, that I might end up at least doing that challenge. I already had to tell my son, who is a budding writer and often times my soundboard, that I am not working on my books right now, because of all of the other things that need to be done. He understands because he knew our temporary stay here in Las Vegas was for work reasons, and would keep my husband and myself very occupied, yet he loves it when he can help me figure out story lines and makes sure I don’t go too crazy with some of my fantasy elements. I miss that back and forth as well, but hey, one has to make a living – especially if I have three people to get through college in the next few years and our dream home we are going for by 2019 is way up there in price. If we want to pull this off, I have to prioritize. That includes what I can write when.

Speaking of books, I would tell you that I am currently debating on putting “Mixing Spices”, out in print form as well. That will not happen until next year because I need to add more visual elements in order for me to be happy with it, but it is something I am considering. I like eBooks, but I prefer holding a book in my hand, over reading it on a device.

So what are you up to this week? I am looking forward to hearing all about what you did how your Halloween went, and what your plans are for the future. And I do encourage you to share your plans and thoughts with the group. Simply follow this link and add your post. I will try my best to stop by as many blogs as I can throughout this day. Blessings!

Claudia

Gratitude, Coffee And Staying Motivated

Welcome to our weekly coffee share session. I am always looking forward to seeing you. Come on in, the  coffee is hot and fresh, but I also got tea, and some vegan cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, if you want some. Help yourself.

If you were here with me I would greet you with a smile, and tell you how grateful I am to have a quiet home at the moment. Half of the family is doing their own thing, so the noise level is way down. My head is grateful too, as I need space to think, quiet company and one on one conversations, rather than music or television in the background. Makes it easier to focus on what is important. You would probably notice my gratitude journal on my table. Do you write in a gratitude journal on a regular basis? Today I mentioned my family, the cool breezes of the last few days, the great lunch I had yesterday with my hubby, and of course, coffee.

If you were here with me, I would ask you if you are working on your dreams and goals, and how you stay motivated. Is it easy for you to stay on track with your goals, or do you have to drag yourself to take the necessary steps? If you are dragging, I would ask you what your reasons behind your goals are. A great why helps to pull you along, even when the day is tough.

What is your biggest, most outrages dream? I would share it with you – owning a home in  Hollywood Hills is mine – and hope you would share your dream with me. No dreams are too big, too outrageous if you are willing to work for them. I am. Are you? What are you doing right now to make them happen?

Weekend Coffee Share

As you can tell, I love helping others reach their goals and dreams. A part of me is always going to be a motivational life coach, even if I have given up my practice a few years ago (it has been that long already? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun). Maybe that is the reason why I love helping other designers, creatives and writers succeed. It’s my thing, I guess.

What are you currently reading? Are you reading something that can help you along in your career, or business? Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It is currently on my Kindle. I am a fan of Gary’s videos, if you have not heard about him, I suggest you check him out. Very motivational.

I am glad you stopped by and we had a chance to talk. If you get a moment, check out all of the other participants of the Weekend Coffee Share and those who post as a part of the Celebrate The Small Things Blog hop. They would appreciate your visit.

See you next week – oh, but please feel free to drop by anytime. I always have something to share!

Blessings

Claudia