Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pop-Up Video Journal

For many years, I watched inspirational and communication videos; a handful. Lately, I have been watching a lot of coaching and inspirational videos from Marie Forleo, Tony Robbins, Judith Orloff to Wayne Dyer. What I noticed is that all the notes I write down leave me feeling overwhelmed. I ask myself, how are you going to organize and file this stuff. The information in these videos are priceless but my mind could only handle so much chaos.

I designed a creative system that will make video watching and note taking whimsical and fun! Yes! A simple black marble notebook, markers, stickers and Mod Podge was the answer to my prayers.

  • Marble Notebook
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Craft paper
  • Mod Podge
*When watching videos, write your notes on scrap paper. We tend to jot things down fast, miss what the speaker says only to rewind the video to get the exact words. When rewriting notes, I tend to find more answers from within.

*Gather your supplies and theme color. Think about what you want your Pop-Up Video Journal to look like.

*Mod Podge the outside and inside cover of the notebook with colorful craft paper.Simply use a paintbrush to coat the cover with Mod Podge then place decorative paper on top and add more Mod Podge; let dry.

*Gather your notes. Write the name of the speaker at the top of the page along with the date. Use colorful markers to rewrite and organize your notes. Draw hearts or light bulbs instead of numbers to list the key points and questions.

*Make word bubbles of aha-moments, light bulb moments and anything that *Pops Up* into your mind.

To get the most out of videos, answer the questions that are provided, do the exercises that apply to you and write down what you already knew about the information. What can you do different? What aren't you doing? What works and doesn't work? How do you want to get your message out there (business)? How do you want to work towards self-empowerment, self-healing and working on your business and dreams?

Have fun with this. Make a Smash Video Book. Be creative and enjoy watching videos in a creative, whimsical way!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian wedding soup got its name from an Italian phrase si sposono bene. There are many meanings to this Italian Traditional Soup. Spinach represents money, tortellini represents unity (the wedding band) and it's overall meaning is "marital occasion."

Soup Ingredients:

4lb. whole roasted chicken
1 package fresh spinach
1 package cheese tortellini (or small pasta shapes)
2lb. ground turkey
Salt and pepper to taste

Meatball Ingredients:

1 large egg
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 small chopped onion
1 tsp. chopped garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 lb. ground turkey (or combine chicken and pork chopmeat)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place chicken in a large pot and fill with water. Cover chicken with water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Simmer chicken for about 2 - 3 hours. Keep an eye on the water as it will evaporate.

2. Meatballs - add the ingredients in a large bowl and blend well. With a teaspoon, scoop out the mixture and form into a ball. Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet covered. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes. Put meatballs aside.

3. When chicken is done, discard from the pot and place in colander; allow it to sit and cool down. Add your meatballs and spinach in the chicken stock. In another pot, boil water and cook your pasta.

4. While your pasta is cooking, cut your chicken in bite size pieces and place back into the home-made stock. Discard the skin and throw away. Stir well and serve with Italian Bread or Garlic Bread. Top with Parmesan Cheese.

Tips and Warnings:

*Place cooked pasta in the bowl of soup. Don’t add pasta to soup pot as the pasta will expand and get soggy.
*Don’t cook the meatballs in its entirety in the oven as it will continue to cook in the soup.
*You can use other pasta shapes besides tortellini. Try pastina, ABC’s Orzo, Stars and other small pasta.
*Purchase organic foods and fresh vegetables.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Creative Inspirations

Walking this journey, I have come across a thousand blogs, met fabulous people online, connected with others from all over the world and continue to be inspired by others.

I've written for two major online e-zines: Suite101.com and Ehow.com. I had over seven blogs at one time and many websites. This Journey towards Self-Awareness was filled with Blood, Sweat, and Tears for over twenty years. Being in a Domestic Violence marriage for ten years and finally getting divorced was when I went on my Spiritual Journey towards healing and self-awareness.

Working within the Creative Arts is something I have done most of my life. I have always used Creativity as a tool towards healing and now I help others do the same.  I found myself creating many things from handmade journals, bookmarks, gift tags, shell art, book binding, handmade cards, art journaling, writing a book, painting and jumped into Energy Work and Holistic Living.

I watched many videos from Life Coaches, Creative Coaches, Spiritual Coaches and Healers to listening to Meditation Music. I even worked on some Creative Artwork inspired from other Creative Coaches as a way to find my foundation within my Spirit and Business.

Through it all, I found my home; Creative Life Coach. I designed my Signature Coaching Program; The Dreamcatcher Program and found my way towards Energy Healing and Reiki. To be honest, the most inspirational moments of all is finding my True Inspirations; those who you cherish the most for their inspiration and dedication to help make this world a Dreamy Magickal Place!

My True Inspirations:

Jennifer Contini - Jennifer is my utmost Dream Catching/Artist Inspiration! Her work is inspired through the most Exciting City Ever: New York City/Manhattan and the Hamptons, Long Island! Her artwork is a combination of Beach Botanicals and City Lights! Being a Long Island Girl myself, I feel very connected with her as I worked with Shell Art many years ago and went to school in the Hamptons. She is a Mixed Media Artist and participates and donates her work to charity events. A Playdate with Jennifer is on my Bucket List.

Jamie Ridler Studios - Jamie Ridler is an amazing soul. I have been participating in Jamie's online Creative Fun for about Eight Years with her Full Moon Dreamboards and Wishcasting Wednesday. She is dedicated, reliable, professional, funny and charming! Her style is Very Vogue and Fashionable! She is one of my dearest inspirations.

Andrea Schroeder - I have known Andrea online for over Ten Years when I found her at ABC Creativity! She ROCKS when it comes to Art Journaling and Creative Dream Journaling! I feel so creatively aligned with her as we are so much alike in many ways. Her down-to-earth style makes you want to burst out your Free-Spirit Soul! She is fun, whimsical, magickal and full of Glitter and Sparkle!

Being inspired by others is truly a gift. Who inspires you?

Friday, March 7, 2014

50 Shades of Creativity

I find it sad when people say they aren't creative. We are all created therefore we all create. Whether we sing, dance, cook, paint, write, design, speak, interact with others, share, teach and learn - we all have a creative mind and the one thing we all have in common is the desire to play.

Ready to get your hands dirty? Ready to get your mind all caught up in dirty play? Let's Get Started!

1. Play in Dirt - Grab yourself a spoon or stick and start playing. Write your name in the dirt, make designs of mandalas and dreamcatchers. Enjoy the meditative state of mind that you encounter; you'd be surprised what unfolds.
2. Sand Art - Run your fingers and toes through the sand and feel its smooth texture. Make sandcastles. Collect beach sand and use it on a canvas. Create Sand Art.
4. Creative Coupling - Creative Love Art - Make abstract Art with your loved one.
5. Play in The Rain - Let the rain fall on your face. Stick your tongue out and taste the raindrops.
6. Creative Cooking - Get creative in the kitchen. Try a new recipe every week. Make exotic foods that you've never tried before. Create a theme - make your kitchen smell like Italy or Paris. Enjoy the process. Try a new spice!
7. Handmade Tattoo - Design your very own tattoo!
8. Photographic Project - Love the 365 Grateful Stories by Hailey. Grab her FREE e-book on 10-Grateful Projects.
9. Morning Pages - Yes, Cameron must be part of this journey. Write in your journal every morning before work and starting your day. Even if you write three words: *I Love You.*
10. Wooden Art Palette Project - Wooden Art Palettes aren't easy palettes to work with. I purchased one and made a Art Palette Chalkboard by painting the palette with Chalkboard paint. Use the palette as your canvas.
11. Simple Abundance - Go on a Simple Abundant Journey as Sarah offers 366 essays - one for every day of the year for women who want to live by their own light; a time to be grateful and be authentically creative.
12. Write a Letter - Since emails, skype, Facebook, and text messages - letter writing has become obsolete. Write a letter to a friend and family member. Mail the letter and design the envelope. Have fun.
13. Make A Card - I love making handmade cards. I have boxes of Stampin up supplies. Make handmade cards for children's hospitals and domestic violence shelters. Make a handful of cards and keep them in your car - hand them out to others for pure inspiration.
14. Wrap a Feather - Feathers can be purchases at Michaels Craft Stores. This is a fun, neat project.
15. Create with Chocolate - Who doesn't love chocolate? Ok, maybe some people. Imagine drizzling melted chocolate with a paintbrush onto a piece of cake or using melted chocolate as your medium. Share this fun creative mess with your partner.
16. Spray Paint on Canvas - This is a fun project! I spray paint on canvas. It is fun and easy. Caution: do this outside.
17. Art Journal - Art Journaling is very popular. Grab a journal or marble notebook and start creating.
18. Earthing - Walk barefoot. Walk in mud, sand and the ocean. Lay in the grass with hardly anything on. Meditate naked outside planted on the ground.
19. Fingerpaint - This is a childhood love for all. Try finger painting your body, too.
20. Candle Making - Make your own homemade candles.
21. Wax Dripping  - Light a candle (all colors) and allow the wax to drip on the canvas. Use a crayon to melt as well.
22. Bake Cookies - Make a batch of cookies once a week. Try something challenging.
23. Nature Walk - The benefits of walking in nature is amazing. I do it all the time and take pictures. Go for a nature walk, take pictures, collect findings along the way. Gather your nature supplies and create something magical.
24. Make a Bead Curtain - Such a popular item lately.
25. Make Your Own Mala - Beautiful!
26. FREE Mandala Coloring Pages - Too Cool!
27. Write a book - We all want to. We all have a story inside us.
28. Dreamboards - Grab those magazines and start dreaming!
29. Write a Poem - Awesome article.
30. Write a Song - I've written silly songs. Dirty little secret of mine.
31. Make A Dreamcatcher - Awesome!
32. Paint A Rock - This is SO cool!
33. Make A Fairy Garden - This is my all time favorite site! Love The Magic Onions to pieces.
34. Daydream - It does the body and mind good.
35. Recycle Greeting Cards - Endless Possibilities.
36. Start a Creative Blog - Share your talents and ideas with others.
37. Make Fairy Dust - Too sweet.
38. One Drawing a Day - Draw one picture a day. Color, draw, watercolor or colored pencils. Just one a day.
39. Cover your body in paint and roll on large paper.
40. Foot Paint - Dip your toes in paint and paint on paper.
41. Pottery Painting - Spring is coming. Gather some pottery and pour paint. This is an awesome technique.
42. Shell Painting - My all time favorite. Gather beach shells and create a masterpiece.
43. Earth Art -  Glue rocks, sticks, leaves, dirt, and other nature botanicals onto the canvas. Mixed Media is awesome.
44. Plant Herbs - Love this!
45. Make a Comic Strip - With a ruler make 4 - 6 boxes on a piece of paper. Create your characters and add writing under each drawing. Be daring and make a Life Comic Strip - one about yourself.
46. Make Homemade Pickles - Heaven on Earth!
47. Make Love
48. Dress up as your favorite Rock Star! Show the World!
49. Learn a Musical Instrument.
50. Take time to Smell the Roses.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Doodle A Dream

We are all creative. All of use have life experiences and stories we want to share. We want to be heard and want to help others through our own amazing gifts. We are Creators and Artists - and would like to see our work shine and in hope we want to inspire others.

We all have dreams whether it's through your own self-journey, self-healing, spiritual path, wanting to be happy, owning your own business, selling your art and writings, having your own coaching business, workshops, projects, etc.

I offer a coaching program called The Dreamcatcher Program. This program is a 4-week self-discovery month where you are in your own Spotlight: it's a month of pure Discovery of Self. The fun creative twist is using the Dreamcatcher to find your true essence and a whimsical way to accomplish your dreams and goals.

Many use doodling, scribbling, mapping, mandalas and other forms of art as a way to tap into their creative juices and accomplish their goals. However, my Secret Technique of using the Dreamcatcher is a Self-Discovery Process. Each section of the Dreamcatcher holds meaning as we tap into each meaning one step at a time.

Drawing the Dreamcatcher is a slow process and one that may be continued to work on after the coaching session is over; the key is tapping into the essence of one's soul.

If you are ready to embark on a Self-Discovery Journey, hop on over and check out The Dreamcatcher. If you are interested in keeping up with some fun pictures within my own journey of dreams check out my Facebook Page.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Smell The Roses

"Wake up and smell the roses; it's a beautiful day." Chloe Moretz

Sometimes we need to stop and smell the roses. We need to embrace the simple joys and allow ourselves to rest and have peace. We live in a world where everyone is struggling, trying to make ends meet, chasing dreams, playing the lottery, and in search for true happiness.

It's time to stop and rest. To take long nature walks and stroll along the ocean waves. We need to absorb the warmth from the sun and the bright energy from the moon. It's time to be in the present moment; to enjoy this day.

Capture and embrace these simple joys:
  1. The love of family.
  2. The love of friends.
  3. The love of our spouses and lovers.
  4. Licks and kisses from our pets.
  5. The sound of purring from a cat.
  6. Smiles.
  7. Hugs and Kisses.
  8. The smell of fresh air.
  9. The ocean ( The smell, the sound, the feel of the soft sand).
  10. Parks.
  11. The sound of birds chirping in the morning.
  12. The comfort and coziness of the rain and thunderstorms.
  13. The warmth from the sun.
  14. The stillness from meditation.
  15. Taking a walk.
  16. Acts of kindness.
  17. Listening to others.
  18. Listening to self.
  19. Reading a book under a tree.
  20. Taking a cat nap.
  21. Laughing.
  22. Volunteering.
  23. Dreaming.
  24. Walking dogs from your local shelter/Humane Society.
  25. Writing a love letter to self.
  26. Take pictures of nature.
  27. Embrace nature.
  28. Hug a tree.
  29. Count the stars.
  30. Embrace the Full Moon.
  31. Say *I Love You* to someone.
  32. Say *I Love You* to your self.
  33. Talk to a stranger.
  34. Visit a bookstore.
  35. Dance in the rain.
  36. Make snow angels.
  37. Jump in the leaves.
  38. Take a relaxing bath.
  39. Window shop.
  40. Write *Life is Good* on a dirty car window.
  41. Visit an old teacher.
  42. Run outside naked.
  43. Clean your home (release negative energy).
  44. Think positive thoughts.
  45. Taste the rain.
  46. Jump in puddles.
  47. Create a blog (it's Free).
  48. Listen to music.
  49. Feed the ducks.
  50. Paint a picture.
  51. Visit a pet store.
  52. Have a snowball fight.
  53. Smell herbs (at a local market and nursery).
  54. Call a friend.
  55. Color.
  56. Walk barefoot.
  57. Collect nature botanicals (pine cones, acorns, sea shells etc.)
  58. Watch a Disney Movie.
  59. Look at old photos.
  60. Write in a journal.
  61. Skim Rocks at a near by lake.
  62. Go skinny dipping.
  63. Climb a tree.
  64. Write a book.
  65. Share your story.
Christopher Gardner: "It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?" The Pursuit of Happyness."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Magickal Mondays

“The past has no power over the present moment.” - Eckhart Tolle 

I wanted to create a day that was filled with Magickal Moments, A-ha Moments, Creative Bliss and a time that was completely focused on the NOW; I call this day *Magickal Mondays.* Every Monday I take my journal and markers and head out to Starbucks. I sit in their comfortable brown leather chair curled up as if I am sipping a Latte' in the comfort of my own home. I will doodle, scribble, and write about my upcoming articles and projects. It's a time when I relish in the present moment soaking and inhaling the smell of White Chocolate Mocha!

After sipping and pacifying my coffee, I head out and window shop at beautiful stores that lift my spirits and makes me want to sing and dance. Of course, Michaels Craft Store is part of the journey as well as The World Market, Pottery Barn and Pier One Imports; surrounding myself with pretty things and positive energy ignites my soul!

I always take the time to visit the park and embrace nature. I take lots of pictures of the trees, woods, sky, ducks, water, lake, ocean and unusual findings along the way. Doing this truly helps me to reach my fullest potential and connect with my higher self. You can do the same. You, too can have a Magickal Day filled with joy and happiness!

Yes, having a job, kids, family, marriage and other life commitments can truly dampen our alone time, but it can be done. You may want to read my article A Silent Retreat as I share how you can truly have a Self Retreat even if it is for only one hour.

Choose a day (or evening) that works around your schedule. Write your Magickal Day in your daily planner - yes, pencil your Self in. These daily planners are not just made for doctors appointments and teacher's conferences. Create a Magickal Day filled with activities that resonate with your soul. Go to the movies and grab some popcorn. Visit the park and play on the swings. Go for a nature walk and take pictures. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and visit the mall. 

Always put your beautiful Self on the top of the list. You're worth it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Nature Girl

"It was then that I heard her answers and embraced her wisdom." Tery Brouwer

Through my own healing process when going through something in my life, I turn towards nature. Many times I go for a walk with my camera; taking pictures of flowers, trees, the ocean, the sky, the moon and unusual findings along the way; the silence and beauty allows me to let go and listen to my higher self.

I have always loved to walk in the woods when I was a kid. Growing up when I wanted to be alone, I always ended up in the woods reflecting and embracing nature. Embracing nature is a form of meditation for me and as a child I never really looked at it that way. As children, we truly are intouch with who we are, we are intouch with our soul and as adults we need to reconnect with our inner child and go back home.

I always listen to the answers that are hidden beneath the forest. I enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting outside near a lake or park. I relish in putting on my sunglasses, grabbing a magazine, journal and taking my camera with me on my nature excursions.

Being around the ocean, woods, trees, flowers and the sky - I feel a sense of peace. Getting in touch with nature truly cleanses my soul and helps me to find the answers that allows me to heal.

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." Khalil Gibran

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reach for The Stars

"You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it fearlessly." Steve Maraboli, Life, Truth and Being Free

When you were young, did anyone ever ask you, what do you want to be when you grow up? I love this question. How could someone know what he or she wants to do in life when they haven't experienced life yet? I remember at a young age, I wanted to be a nun, teacher or social worker. What I knew for sure was that I wanted to help others.

I was in the restaurant business for nearly twenty-five-years; bartending, serving, busing and made it to management. But, I was unfulfilled; there was something missing. It wasn't enough and I felt I wasn't truly doing in life what I was put on this earth to do.

So, off I went to college to pursue a career. I went to college for law to become a paralegal; landing a job in this field was like winning the lottery, at least in New York. So, where do you think I ended up working at? You got it, the restaurant: it was what I knew best.

Of course, that little voice inside of me was nagging and still on me about helping others. I wrote for an online e-zine called Suite101.com as a way to help others. I had columns including Women Abuse, Teenage Pregnancy, and Celebrating Life. I wrote and published a book for Mothers and Daughters on self-love and goal achievement. Helping others is something I love doing - no matter what - I was going to find a way to make a difference even through the written word.

I knew there was more, something deeper. There was this bigger picture, an overpowering vision that was far beyond my wildest dreams. So, I went back to college for psychology to be a counselor. Perfect, right? To have my own practice and help others. As I was sitting in psych classes, that little voice kept saying expand your horizons - dig deeper.

This whole self-discovery journey was literally making me depressed. The meaning of *Success* to me was truly about achieving my greatest self and live out my purpose in life. Through endless searching, creative therapy and battling with depression, the answers started to fall into place; the funny thing, the answers were always there.

I was already helping others.I was already healing others through my kind heart, intuitive gifts, and of course, my writing. From there, I found my true calling: to be a Life Coach and Healer. I became a Reiki Master which then lead me towards becoming a Holistic Health Practitioner and then..a Creative Life Coach. The more I worked on myself, the more my purpose in life started to fall into place.

In my opinion, the answers are always with us; it's our fears, doubts, inner critics, opinions from others that steer us away from our true selves. We all have passions, desires, dreams and a life purpose!

I am truly living out my purpose. Healing through creativity is my life line, and sharing my experience in life, and helping others is what I was meant to do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Color Outside The Lines

I am every English Teacher's worst nightmare! As a Creative Life Coach/Writing Coach, I inspire my students and clients to *not* focus on grammar or perfection; I encourage them to focus on their incredible desire to create.

The key ingredients towards becoming creative in your personal and business life are Coloring Outside The Lines and Breaking All The Rules. Natasha Bedingfield sings it the best, "I break tradition-sometimes my tries are outside the lines. We've been conditioned, to not make mistakes, but I can't live that way, no."

Creativity is the Colors of Our Soul! It is the Rule Breaking Desire to express our deepest emotions without taking the time to worry about perfection. It is a time to release our inhibitions.

Inhibitions: Inappropriate conscious or unconscious restraint or suppression of behavior, often due to guilt or fear produced by past punishment, or sometimes considered a dispositional trait: a mental state or condition in which the varities of expression and behavior of an individual become restricted.

When being creative we have no time to waste worrying about how to spell to, too, or two. During our artistic adventure, we have no time to waste worrying about whether throwing dirt on our canvas is really the artistic choice to make. When creating and working on our dreams, we cannot worry about whether we fit in or whether our ideas and creativity will meet the standards of society.

The important steps within creativity is preparing, expressing, and illuminating our thoughts and creative desires! When we release our souls to simply create and be free, all the *other rules* will come into play.

Come Play With Me: The Dreamcatcher Program

**Article originally published in 2013 at my previous site Willow Creek Studio.**