Super Power.

I believe that prayer can create magic in your life.

I didn’t always believe this.

I grew up in a home that was more spiritual than religious.  My mother was raised Catholic and my dad Methodist.  My sister and I were taught the basics of the Bible but, we didn’t attend church regularly.

My mother would go to sweat lodges, burn white sage and had crystals everywhere.  We drank kombucha before it was cool. Mom had the Chinese herbalist on speed dial! When my sister picked a flower from the neighbor’s yard, she had to return with an offering of tobacco for Mother Earth! Mom had a true love for Native American culture, along with Catholicism and some good Cuban superstitions.

I’ve always believed in God, but, somewhere on my journey to adulthood, I stopped talking to him (except when I was pregnant-I begged for healthy children). I would sometimes hurriedly murmur prayers but the were not heartfelt.  I was so busy, I had no time for faith.  It was only after I married that my journey to find faith that fit me really began.

I got married when I was 19 to the boy I met when I was 12!  His family is Jehovah’s Witnesses but, by the time we got married he was no longer in the faith.

My mother-in-law set up a bible study with me much to the chagrin of my parents (“you’ll be brain-washed”, “it’s a cult”, “what about Christmas”).

For the next 3 or 4 years I inconsistently attended bible study and went to Kingdom Hall meetings-mainly because I wanted my MIL to like me but, I was also curious about their beliefs.

After a few really weird experiences, I decided that path was not for me and I began to embrace what felt good to me- the faith of my childhood.

It has been wonderful.

I have sage and crystals everywhere.  Cuban superstitions? Yep. Alternative medicine? Yep. I talk to God daily. I believe in the power of gratitude.  I feel blessed.  My kids pray. They think the sage is ‘way too hippie’. The most important thing to me is that they believe. They have a personal understanding of their own spirituality and they feel free to nurture it as they wish.

My husband has a very conflicted relationship with religion-I don’t blame him-he was raised in a religion that did not resonate with him at all and, when he finally broke free? He was shunned by his family and the entire congregation, literally cast out. He was eventually welcomed back, but continues to be at odds with his beliefs.  This is fine with me. I don’t push him to belive or accept anything. I think religion is deeply personal.

So, my super power?

Being grateful for the things I do have, believing with all my heart that the things I want will flow into my life, being kind and giving, prayer.

Staying in tune with my brand of faith keeps me grounded and, ultimately allows for blessings, good vibes and awesome karma to come into my life.

The Promise Project

The traditional meaning of a promise ring is a pledge of commitment between two people.

My promise rings are a symbol of commitment to YOURSELF.  I wear them with a specific intention dedicated to each one. A goal. A vow. A promise to myself.  Wearing them everyday is a constant reminder of your promise. You can meditate on them and affirm your goals.

After I have achieved my goal, I pass the ring on to a friend.  Or a perfect stranger.  I have left rings-with a little note attached-at the grocery store, bus station and, at the park.  I want to pass the good feelings on and inspire someone else to make a promise.  What is better than reaching for a loaf of bread and finding this little gleaming gift?

These rings were the very first thing I learned to make when I started on my silver smithing journey.  I size, cut, fuse and hammer each one by hand, all whilst invoking positive vibes.  Making these rings is a bit of a meditative process for me!

If you would like to order your very own promise ring, please email me or use the contact form! Promise rings are $15 each with free shipping!  Quantity and wholesale pricing is available!

F*ck Coloring, Get Me A Drink!

I HATE the adult coloring books.

Ugh. I get stressed out just thinking about them. They are everywhere. I hear grown-ass people talking about how calming and relaxing it is to just get ‘lost’ in coloring.

What the HELL?

Someone gifted me one of these books for Christmas a few years ago, so, I decided to try it out.  I started coloring. Then about 30 seconds later, I started freaking out about how much more I had to color to complete the picture, because you can’t just leave the thing half colored, right?

So, about 2 minutes into coloring, I had a panic attack.  Great. Very relaxing. NOT! You know what is relaxing? Crown and Coke. Patron. Mojitos.  Beer. Netflix. Kindle Unlimited.

Besides, I have stacks and stacks of drawings from my 9 and 3 year old that I can look at and relax while having my Crown and Coke (you can’t ever throw that shit away either, they seem to have a 6th sense and KNOW when you throw a drawing away)! AND, you can’t tell them to stop making pictures for you because it would crush their artistic spirit and make you seem like a shitty (or shitty-er) mom.

And, while I’m on this rant, who has time to color? What do you do that you have enough free time to just color? Is coloring fun for you? How old are you? Do you have kids? Where do you work?  How do you not stress out?

Also, my kids always wanted to ‘help’ color and that was even more stressful. So, booze + Netflix + Kindle = calming and relaxing.

I Love Matcha

If you want to up your green tea game, matcha is what you need!

Matcha is the finely ground powder of shade-grown green tea leaves.  During shaded growth, the tea plant, Camilla Sinensis, produces more theanine (an amino acid) and caffeine.  It is these two chemicals that account for the amazing feeling of calm, memory boost, focus and energy that comes with drinking matcha! The first time I tried matcha, I was hooked-I was like, super. Super clear and focused and productive!

This drink is my fave! I’m actually a little obsessed with it. It has a sweet, minty, grassy taste that I can not get enough of!  I sip this all day long for the focus and energy boost but, also because of the antioxidants and appetite suppressing powers of green tea!  The focus and clarity I get from matcha is awesome-I don’t feel jittery or paranoid that I’m going to have a heart attack from caffeine overload like I did when I tried an energy shot from the gas station!

Mr. Make Peace Love Food calls this swamp juice but, always asks me to make him a big glass!

1 cup  warm brewed tea-this is one of my favorites, but  I usually use a minty tea, like spearmint or peppermint.

2t matcha powder

2 cups cold water

Ice

Sweetener of choice (I use 2 or 3 stevia packets)

Combine warm tea, sweetener and matcha in your blender, blend until matcha is dissolved and frothy.

Add cold water. Blend.

Pour over ice, enjoy!

How to make a killer salad

When I was dating my husband, his grandparents (2 of the sweetest souls I have ever met) invited us over for dinner. As Margie was bustling around the kitchen she asked if I would like a salad.  Hell yeah-I love salads!  What I got was a bowl of iceberg with ranch dressing.

What is this devilry?

Where is the romaine? Olives? Tomatoes?  Cukes?  I was so confused until Mr. make peace love food confirmed that the salad was indeed complete with just those two ingredients and if I wanted to get fancy to add some pepper to it (he has been reconditioned and now knows that pepper is not fancy. It is basic)! Salad at my house was way different. Salads were sometimes the main meal they were so big and filling.Veggies, meats, cheese, nuts, fruit-all the good ish. My dad used to make these colossal Greek salads with tons of olives, sweet peppers and feta. My mom made the dressing. Yum. So good.  He made an epic fruit salad in the summer, every summer! The epic fruit salad took like 3 hours to make it was so big and delish!

Throwing a salad together seems simple enough…put veggies in a bowl and add dressing, but, does simple mean boring?  

Salad generally isn’t something we search around to find new recipes for — it’s usually the same old routine, which can  become boring.

But guess what?  It doesn’t have to be that way.  (Whew)!

It’s time to mix things up and make salads exciting, delicious and something you crave!

Salads are good for you.  They generously provide you a healthy helping of nutrient-packed greens, nourishing raw veggies and an extra pep in your step afterwards.   

With so many perks all in one bowl, it’s time to re-kindle your relationship with salads and get them back on your plate.  

 Here are some tips for making killer salads:

Don’t use iceberg. Use something that tastes good, like, romaine, arugula, baby spinach-you get what I’m saying, right?

Use ingredients that are fresh and in season.  Take a trip to the Farmers Market to pick up some local, fresh and in season produce…your taste buds will thank you.  Don’t know what is in season in your area? Check this out!

Mix it up.  Get creative with your ingredients and play with mixing textures. Combining raw veggies with one cooked veggie can really take it up a notch.  For example, roasting some broccoli, mushrooms or onions to add to your salad will add an interesting and delicious element to your plate.

Add some nuts for crunch.  I like pepitas and sunflower seeds.  Hemp seeds are tasty too!

Step out of your comfort zone! Try something new-jicama, dandelion greens, avocado.

Don’t forget the fruit!  Adding berries to a summer salad is refreshing and quenches that taste for something sweet.  I love adding apples and cheese to my salads.

Spin your greens.  After you wash your greens, spinning them dry will help them not become soggy or too wet to absorb your ingredients and dressing.  So break out that Salad Spinner and spin away! 

Are your ideas brewing already?  What are you inspired to throw in your next salad?  

Like A Boss

In my entire adult life I have had 4 ‘legit’ jobs.

I was a taco maker at Taco Bell.  I had short hair and customers frequently mistook me for a boy (even though I had boobs and wore lipstick)!  I got free food, so, being called ‘sir’ or ‘son’ was worth it to me.

I worked as a seasonal clerk for the USPS.  I loved this job.  I could come in, do my job (sorting mail for the carriers) and leave.  I was often paranoid about anthrax though.

I worked at a ‘green’ store.  This was the best job ever.  The owner was super cool and working here exposed me to lots of new ideas and people.

The worst job I have ever had been when I worked as a merchandiser.  I stocked ugly, cheap jewelry at Old Navy and Famous Footwear.  It sucked.

In between these jobs I always had a side hustle.  Jewelry was my first hustle.  I was on bed rest with kiddo #4 when I randomly received a beading catalog in the mail.  It was great but, I was feeling uninspired by the beads, so I began to research silver smithing.  As soon as I was able to move beyond a reclined position, I bought a torch, some silver wire and a book on silver fusing-I was in business. Hubs thought I was crazy. I nervously signed up for a 2 day art fair.  I was terrified-I am the very definition of a̶n̶t̶i̶-̶s̶o̶c̶i̶a̶l̶  introverted. How was I going to handle having to talk to people about stuff I made and convince them to buy it?

I asked my mom to come with me (she makes beaded stuff-ha ha) and toughed out the first day!  Profits were $250!  I was hooked!  I worked fairs successfully for a few years selling jewelry until, it seemed everyone was selling jewelry.

At this time I was working at the green store.  We sold these really nice bars of soap made by a local lady.  We sold her soap for $6 per bar and people snapped them up!  One day she came into the store and informed us she would no longer be making soaps!  I googled soap making, and started making soaps for the store.  The soaps took off and provided a nice side income.  Years later, when we ended up in a homeless shelter, I would make soap in my room and schlep it to the farmer’s market in the next town to make some extra bucks!

My next hustle came at Christmas time.  Hubs lost his job and we had 5 kids to buy presents (and groceries) for.  We had no $ but I had already signed up and paid for a few fairs intending to sell some soap and jewelry.  I had just a few pieces of jewelry made and some soap but no money to buy supplies to make more.  I did have flour, sugar, butter and booze!  I made ‘wasted’ cupcakes and sold them for $3 a pop!  Aldi had a huge sale on tomatoes, raspberries and blackberries so I bought a whole bunch and made ‘wasted’ jams that I sold for $8 per jar!

We didn’t have a tree, but, the kids had presents and a good Christmas meal!  They were happy (they also learned the value of perseverance, hard work and creativity).  Frosting cupcakes until 1 a.m was so worth it to see their faces on Christmas! In times of need, some prayer and a little bit of hustle works wonders!  What is your hustle?

Fake Detox

Detoxing is so trendy now.  Everyone is doing a juice cleanse or whole food cleanse.  This is great!  These cleanses can be a great thing.  They can reset our bodies, give us energy and build good eating habits, but rarely is there any real detoxing going on.

Let me explain.

If you are drinking your smoothie out of a plastic cup.  Toxins!

If you are cooking all those organic veggies in a teflon-coated pan. Toxins!  Carcinogens!

If you have Scentsy shit everywhere you are inhaling toxins.

If you are still using chemically laden personal care and home cleaning products during your detox you are still being exposed to toxins.

To detox properly is to address all these environmental toxins in your life.

Here are some tips to make your fake detox a real detox! Just remember as you are purging your home, you can donate items that no longer fit into your lifestyle.  I suggest finding a family homeless shelter or a domestic violence shelter to donate to.

Purge your pantry.  If you live with other people and this is not possible, dedicate a shelf just for you.  Load it with good stuff!  My shelf has hemp seeds, hemp powder, baobab powder, gluten-free flour, etc.

Purge your cookware. Throw out the teflon or aluminum pots and invest in cast iron, stainless steel or ceramic pots. I love cooking in cast iron!

Get a water filter and a stainless steel water bottle.  No need to buy bottled water! My faves.

Get rid of your plastic/acrylic/melamine dinnerware.

Bring your own!  Use reusable produce and shopping bags. My fave.

Use non-toxic cleaning products. Castile soap, essential oils, vinegar and some elbow grease are all you need.

Ditch plastic storage.  Try glass or reusable sandwich wraps.  Use reusable paper towels and napkins.  Also, vintage and thrift stores will sometimes have really cool vintage pyrex glass storage and bakeware-stock up!

For a fresh smelling house, use essential oils in a diffuser.  Synthetic fragrances are toxic.

Purge your personal care products.  Anything that has synthetic fragrances, ingredients you can’t pronounce or are unfamiliar with have to go.

Do your research-this is your health, it is precious.

 

 

Want To Feel Motivated? Do These 6 Simple things.

Despite my many efforts to succeed in life and not procrastinate, there are times (quite often, actually) that my motivation seems to fall off a cliff. I only finished high school because Mrs. McCurdy took pity on me and allowed me to turn in like, 50 assignments at the very last-minute.  She had given me at least 100 warnings not to put off completing this work because it was mandatory for graduation. She was a super lax teacher and, I had her class 7th period so, I often just skipped it to hang out downtown with my friends! It was only after my dad refused to buy graduation announcements for me (because he didn’t want to waste money since he didn’t think I was going to graduate)  that I got my butt in gear. I never did get those announcements but, I did graduate!

I am a super-procrastinator but, since reaching adulthood I have devised easy ways on how to get motivated to actually function like a “real” adult.  Check out these really easy steps to get yourself fired up:

Check Your Health.  Workout, eat a healthy diet, and keep your body physically fit. The very first thing that you should not overlook is your body. Good health, looking and feeling good, is a confidence booster. Nothing beats good health.

Tidy Up.  Clean up your space.  Having a clean, organized space to work in is a good mood booster and can help your motivation.

Find Out What Easily Bothers You.  There are certain things that bother us most of the time. These are those little things that really annoy and immobilize us.  Find out what it is and take time to realize the situation and come up with a plan to keep yourself sane. I worry about money all the time!  Do we have any? When will we have more?  I counteract this by trying to always have a $5 bill in my pocket.

Rid Yourself Of Fear. Although a little fear can be a good motivator, in large amounts it can be really stressful for you. Anxiety and fear are all psychological. They are only existent in your mind. If you can create fear then you can erase fear as well. The same goes for anxiety. If you are too afraid of the consequences or too anxious of what’s about to happen, you’re not motivated at all. Breaking down your fear into small manageable portions helps a lot in gaining motivation.

Start The Day With Positivity. Have you ever woken up in the wrong side of the bed? Most of us do and it lasts throughout the day. If negativity can last from the moment you wake up till you lay to rest at night, so can positivity. Kick start your day with a nice warm smile and a positive attitude. The right mindset at the right time can be a game changer.

Create Your Own Mantra. Meditating is an effective method of motivating yourself. It’s long been referred to as a means of finding inner peace. Meditation can help you clear up your mind, rid you of all the anxiety, frustrations, and everything negative. There’s no exact means of meditating so you can come up with your own. As long as you’re comfortable and you can find calmness, that will do fine. It’s a lot easier to feel motivated when you’re mind isn’t clouded with negativity.  Sometimes I have trouble meditating because I am so easily distracted and I live in a house with 5 children so, it’s never quiet and I never, ever have any privacy.  My alternative to meditation is prayer. My favorite is the first part of Psalm 46:10: Be still and know that I am God-when I am super anxious I take a step back and repeat this as a mantra.  It gives me some perspective on things.  I just give it to God and let go!

What do you do?  How do you handle anxiety and lack of motivation?  What are you fave mantras?

Grow your veggies!

During the last decade the farming industry has been in a downward spiral.  Monoculture, pesticides, additives, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, Monsanto, and mass-production techniques have caused the modern farming industry and its consumers great pains. All this is clearly affecting mankind’s health, and new diseases are spreading rapidly among humans and animals. The use of pesticides and gmo seeds is proving to be disastrous!

Fight back by growing your own veggies.

If you have space for a few pots or even a small piece of land, you can grow your own organic vegetable garden. Check out these seven reasons for getting a your hands dirty:

1. You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.  Pesticides and hormones are used on vegetables to grow disease and bug resistant plants. Ethylene is a hormone used to artificialyy ripen fruits and vegetables! One of the consequences of this practice are vegetables which look all the same and are usually tasteless. Besides, we end up consuming the hormones that have been used on the vegetables, with great risk to our health.

2. There will be no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers used. These chemical products are applied to crops all the time and affect the quality of the vegetables. Besides, pesticides are usually poisonous to humans.  Have you seen the field workers in HAZ-MAT suits spraying pesticides on strawberries?  And then the package tells you to rinse your berries in water before consuming?  What the what? Poison does not come off with water!

3. Your vegetables will not be genetically modified (GM). When you grow your own, you are in control of the seeds you buy and plant.  Choose non-GMO!

4. Eating your own organic vegetables is good for you! They will not contain any of the products or chemicals named above, and they will be much more natural than any ones you would find at the supermarket.

5. Your own organic vegetables will be much more tasty. The use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics make vegetables grow unnaturally and take the taste away from them.   There is nothing like eating a homegrown tomato!

6. Organic farming is friendly to the environment. Because you won’t use pesticides or other equally harming products on your vegetables, you will not damage the soil or the air with the chemical components.

7. When you grow your own organic vegetables you are contributing to your own self-sustainability and the sustainability of the planet.

To better care for your health, grow your own organic vegetables – a few pots is all you need.  To better care for your soul, share your bounty; give to your neighbors or donate to your local homeless or domestic violence shelter.

For seeds:

Also, if you are receiving SNAP benefits, you can use them to pay for seeds and veggie plants!
For pots:

Green and White Pizza

This pizza is so YUMMY!  If you need a break from pepperoni, try this basil and cheese pie.  Besides being delish, basil is a good source of vitamin K, zinc, calcium and magnesium!

It smells good too!  I just want to roll around in fresh basil leaves-weird, yes, but I would smell so good!

2 cups packed fresh basil

A few sprigs each of fresh: rosemary, mint, oregano, stems removed and discarded

1/2 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons minced or  finely chopped garlic

1 cup  parmesean, shredded

2 cups mozzarella-if you can get fresh mozzarella in water, DO IT!- You will love it!

2 whole wheat pizza crusts

Brush a little of the olive oil onto top and sides of crust.  Sprinkle on minced garlic.

Add basil, olive oil,  de-stemmed herbs, sea salt and garlic cloves to blender or food processor. Process until pureed.

Spread sauce onto crust.

Sprinkle on cheese, alternating between the parm and mozzarella

Bake at 450 on preheated baking sheet or pizza stone for 8-12 mins.

Let cool before cutting, then stuff yer face with green & white pizza!