Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas DIY Treats

Now that I finally have a few days off, it's time to get busy making a few holiday treats! Like last year, I'm making body lotion bars. I love these! They make excellent gifts and are very easy to make in a short amount of time. They also have limited ingredients and are healthy for your skin! Last year, I wrote a post that included all the ingredients and the step by step process for creating them. Visit the body lotion bar page to find out more!


Materials: silicone molds, double boiler pan (not pictured)
Ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax, apricot oil, and essential oil of your choice (I used peppermint)

Cooling in the molds.....

Time to package everything and give it as gifts!

In addition to the lotion bars, I wanted to find a recipe for a more natural body lotion with limited ingredients. Searching Pinterest there were many great choices.  Life From the Ground Up had a great recipe with few ingredients. Using this recipe, I made three small glass jars, with a small amount left over for me! 

Creamy lavender body lotion
Decorative lid (scrapbook paper attached with matte medium gel),
and ribbon. I haven't quite decided how I will package this one, but I'll post a pic later.

A few other DIY recipes I'll be creating soon include lip balm from LiaGriffith.com , sea salt bars from Happy Mothering, and one gift baskets from the DIY Mommy. I'm going to be busy the next several days and will have more to share!


Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY Hair Treatment

After being sick all last week, I decided to pamper myself over the weekend. I slept in, spent some time doing yoga and gave my hair a nourishing oil treatment. One of my favorite oil treatments for hair comes from the book, Organic Beauty.  I love this simple recipe that requires just three ingredients: jojoba oil, sage essential oil, and tea tree essential oil. Jojoba oil is useful whether your scalp is dry or oily. Sage and tea tree oils both have anti-bacterial and cleansing properties, which make them both good choices for an oily scalp.



Oily Hair Treatment
4 tsp Jojoba oil
10 drops sage oil
10 drops tea tree oil

Directions for Use
Mix ingredients together and apply to dry, unwashed hair.
Comb through hair and blow dry for 2-4 minutes. 
Leave on hair 20 minutes (min.) to overnight (max.)
Apply shampoo, wash, rinse, repeat...condition if desired 

For those of you with dry hair give this a try....

Banana Hair Mask
1 ripe banana
1 tbs olive oil

Directions for use:
Mash banana and mix with olive oil. 
Massage mixture into hair.
Wrap hair in plastic or warm towel for 15 minutes.
Rinse, shampoo, condition

I hope you enjoy this treatment as much as I have over the years. It's simple to create, has limited natural ingredients, and is healthy for your hair!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

It's always nice to have a healthy snack on hand...something you can grab when in a hurry...something that will provide good nutrition and keep you going until the next meal. I found just the thing on Angela Liddon's Oh She Glow's website. Last weekend, I decided to make the Feel Good Hearty Granola Bars and I was not disappointed! They were easy to assemble, pop in the oven, and crazy good to eat! 

Finished bars cut into various sizes for snacking on later. I even saved a few for the freezer to have on
hand for the following week.


I made a few substitutions as I didn't have everything in the recipe on hand. Since I was one banana short, I used a 1/2 cup of applesauce. I used pecans instead of walnuts, and whole almonds instead of sliced almonds. I loved the taste and didn't feel like it needed anything extra.


I wrapped each bar in wax paper, taped the ends, and stored a few in the fridge and the others in the freezer.


I really enjoyed this recipe. I don't think I have tried anything on her site or within the cookbook that I didn't like. Some other favorites from her site, Italian Bean Balls (time consuming but SO worth it!),  the Perfect Veggie Burger, and the Easy Overnight Buckwheat Parfait

Do yourself a favor and check out her book, The Oh She Glow's Cookbook or the Oh She Glows website for fantastic recipes. Your taste buds will thank you!









Saturday, November 8, 2014

My Imaginary World

It's been several years since I created something crazy with Keri Smith's book titled, Mess: The Manual of Accidents and MistakesHer book was SO MUCH FUN and I always hoped to start another one. Just recently, The Imaginary World of (fill in your name) was published. So...I bought it!

Today I did the first project! To get started in the book, I needed to record some of my favorite things...books, weather, artists, landforms, and so on. I completely filled the page in a short amount of time. After I recorded my favorites, I spent some time just doodling on the page. I had some new colored pens that I wanted to use and couldn't resist brightening the page!


Building the database for my future Imaginary World.....

I decided to personalize the front cover by using collage and and a few Posca Pens.

I couldn't resist decorating the cover with my Posca Pens!

I'm looking forward to creating and exploring MY IMAGINARY WORLD!! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tulsa Run

We signed up to participate in the 15K at Tulsa Run months ago. I can't believe it is already here. My training has been a lot of ups and down over the last month or so. Some weeks I was able to get in speed work and tempos and other weeks it just didn't happen. It is always a challenge to train in the heat, which never truly seems to let go until November.  I recently saw on the news that this October is one of the top 10 hottest on record for the state....we are still having temps near the 90's in October!  (Thankfully a cool front rolled in late today!!)

Saturday morning we left early 5:45 a.m., heading to Tulsa.  Several car loads full of friends traveled along with us.  A group of guys, including Roger, signed up to participate in the Masters Championship. They were speedy enough to take second place and win $50 each! Congrats guys!


Jason B., Roger, and Jason H. take second place at the 15K Championships at Tulsa Run.

The course is usually hilly, but this year it was extremely hilly! After we had signed up, they changed the course due to road construction. I'm pretty sure it was 85-90% hills. I felt like the entire run was uphill with a few downhills. It was definitely the toughest Tulsa Run that I've ever ran! Not only was the course tough, the weather was very warm. I was proud of finishing with a 1:15:27, which averages out to about 8:09 pace. Not a PR run for me, but a good confidence builder! (Secretly, I was feeling rather tough after running all those hills!)

After the run, the large group of us went to eat at Blue Moon Cafe. It was a great time to visit and enjoy some tasty food after a long run. If you are ever in the Tulsa area, I would recommend it!

Thinking about running Tulsa Run in the future? Find course details and more at the Tulsa Sports website.







     


Friday, October 24, 2014

Update and Return to Blog!

Wow....it took me a long time to get back into writing and posting on the blog.  The summer was enjoyable but very busy and the start to the school year, well, it's been a challenge as always. I've pretty much put everything creative on hold as other things were more important. I feel like it is time to get back into doing some of the things I love, so I'm putting my words into action with my first post in a very long time.

Much has happened since my last post...even prior to that post, so I've chosen a few of the highlights, some of my favorite things, amongst the last several months to share.

In June, we traveled to Sequim, WA (xoxoxo) and decided we were close enough to Seattle to run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Well, it actually wasn't that close, as we had to get up at 3:00 AM...(YES 3:00 AM!!) and drive to Seattle. Even with the long drive and challenging course, we had a blast! It was the first time that we signed up for the VIP tent and it was definitely worth it. We met fellow runners while there and enjoyed hanging out before and after the run. The day was absolutely beautiful!


                                        
                                                 Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon, June 2014

Rog and I hanging out after the run...

After the run, we enjoyed many things in Sequim. There's so much to do! We visited two different Lavender farms (Purple Haze and Victor's Lavender Farm), ran along a trail to Port Angeles one afternoon, hiked to waterfalls, spent time on the beach, visited Hurricane Ridge and Dungeness Spit...and so much more. I could probably write a blog post about each day and what we saw along the way. I always love visiting the Pacific Northwest and this was definitely another amazing trip. There's nothing better than the ocean, the mountains, and perfect weather....

Purple Haze Lavender Farm. Lavender ice cream, lotion, spray, just about anything you could
dream of...made of LAVENDER! I would love to work here. 

My favorite running trail....right beside the ocean. It was incredible listening to the waves
and the rustle of the leaves in the trees (along the side not in photo). I wish I could run on this trail every day! 

Running along the trail to Port Angeles....we stopped in town and shared a
Dairy Queen float before running back!

Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park
Located behind the rental we stayed was a beautiful rocky beach and amazing views...like Protection Island. There's a really interesting story behind this island if you'd like to read it. I loved sitting on the porch and listening to the waves. I also loved watching the wildlife. During our visit we saw a killer whale the first day! We also saw bald eagles, seals, and a variety of other birds.

Ocean view of Protection Island one evening...I'm in love. xoxo

Leaving all that beauty behind was hard! I often wonder if people who live in such beautiful places take the nature for granted or if they truly enjoy it each day.

After arriving home, "Project Declutter" began. It's always a long process, but I did clean out and reorganize a closet and several drawers. We even did a little decluttering in the garage. I'm still not done with this project and hope to work on it more next summer as we have a lot of clutter!! 

Everything pulled out of the closet....

Two very cute beagles, but not such good helpers. ha!
We also had an extra job or two that we worked during the summer. Seems like there was something to keep us busy every day! 

It wasn't long before it was time to start back to school. I'm thankful for the time we had to journey to other places and get some much needed maintenance done around the house. I was also thankful for a little extra time with family.

The days since August have flown by quickly and I'm in denial that it is nearly November! A few things to look forward to in the coming months....Tulsa Run, Tulsa Half Marathon, a new book adventure with Keri Smith's The Imaginary World of ___________,(remember Messy Book?) and more of Life Book 2014. I'm looking forward to sharing each of these and more!

Take care and have a great weekend!






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blogging Break Coming to an End

I didn't intend on taking such a long break away from the blog...it just that life happened to get ultra busy and I had more to keep up with than possible. Things are slowing a bit and I have so much to share on the blog. A few things that are on the way.....race report from the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon, a tutorial on creating your own painted coasters, and a DIY easy lotion. I'm excited to be sharing some of this very soon! In the meantime, I hope everyone is doing well and having a great summer.

A view from my sister's pool. We had a great time swimming
Sunday afternoon!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

OKC Memorial Marathon

Rain, thunder, lightning....and a TWO hour delay to the marathon! This Memorial run was definitely memorable.

The day started early....3:30 a.m. It's always strange waking up when it is still dark outside! The dogs were a little confused, but willing to have their breakfast early too. Leaving the house around 4:30 a.m., we headed for downtown OKC, found our usual parking spot, and walked to where we were meeting friends. After hanging out for awhile, we left for the corrals. It had been raining lightly, but that didn't bother any of us, we were eager to get moving! It was already crowded and a challenge to make our way down the sidewalks and into the corral. If I could change something about this event, it would definitely be to make more side entrances for participants. We had barely made it into the corral and completed a few warm-ups when they announced the first delay. The original start time was 6:30 a.m., now delayed to 7:00 a.m. Sounds of discontent could be heard throughout the streets, but everyone stayed where they were and patiently waited. As 7:00 a.m. came closer, another announcement was made...the race would be delayed until 8:00 a.m.! Runners were advised to leave the corral area and seek shelter in a nearby parking garage. At this time, rain had started to fall more heavily, and there was significant lightning in the area. We tried moving to the garage, but it was packed! Luckily, a friend's car was nearby and we spent our time hanging out with one another. We hadn't heard if the run had been delayed further, so we decided to walk back towards the start line. On our way over, It started pouring again and we had to take shelter until a narrow ledge at the post office.

Seeking shelter just before the run....you can barely see me in the yellow rain poncho under the US Post Office sign. (Original video clip from Channel 5 News.)
We were wondering if the run would happen at all, as we had heard that if the delay lasted past 8:00 a.m. the roads would not be closed and the race would have to be canceled.

Nearly two hours after the original start was scheduled, it was announced that we would begin at 8:15! Everyone was excited and more than ready to run! 


And....we're off!! In this video still you can see Roger as we get started....he's right in the middle wearing the blue singlet! Run, Roger, Run!
(News Channel 5/OKC Memorial Marathon Promotional video)
After sitting and waiting for so long, it felt great to finally be moving. The first two miles went by quickly and I even saw a friend, Julie, along the course. We ran together for a short while.

I loved seeing the crowd support along the way! I saw several students and friends, gave many high fives to some awesome kids, and even shared and received encouragement from fellow runners. I felt decent the first 6-7 miles, even though I was running low on nutrition (Remember...I ate at 3:30!! with only a small snack at 5:30, but that was over 3 hours ago). I had half of my GU around mile 4 and the other half around 7. I ran the pace I had hoped for the first half (about 8:00 minute pace), the next couple miles I slowed a little more and even more after that. I took several walk breaks and was starting to feel very tired. As I was going along Classen, I saw Julie again and we ran/walked together some more. 

The sun was coming out and it was heating up. Heat + humidity + low calories = Get to the finish line fast! It was a welcome sight to finally make it towards the green FINISH banner. The crowd was cheering for all of us and the announcer was calling out names of finishers as we ran across the line.

Roger was waiting for me just past the finish. We grabbed some water, chocolate cookies, and orange slices (those cancel out the cookie calories, right?) We stayed awhile and visited with friends, then headed home for a shower and some real food! 

It was a memorable experience, and I'm always thankful for the opportunity to be able to run. :) 


**As we didn't take our iPhones (due to the rain), I didn't get any pics! There are quite a few at Race Photo Network... bib 12226. 








Saturday, April 26, 2014

OKC Memorial Marathon Eve

It seems unreal that in just a few hours I'll be waking up to leave for downtown OKC.  Time went by quickly since that first training day several months ago. There have been ups and downs throughout training, but I still intend on doing my best and having a great time! In the last few days there have been forecasts of tornadoes, large hail and rain. Not unusual for this time of year here. Hopefully, things will change between now and in the morning, and everyone will enjoy the event!

Half Marathon gear ready to go...

Good luck to everyone running in the morning!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Little Quiet Time...

Where have the last several weeks gone? I can't believe my last post was over a month ago! The last month has been filled with half marathon training, overcoming some health issues, keeping up with the never-ending "to do" list, and squeezing in moments of art here and there. This afternoon, I'm thankful to have a few minutes of quiet time to get back on track. Well, mostly quiet, except for Abbey's cute snoring.

It's the perfect afternoon for napping....I think I should join her!

I was able to spend some time last night creating some cute Easter cards for my mom, dad, and sister. I used the ideas I learned from one of the Life Book 2014 lessons to create two "Quirky Animals" cards....a bunny and an elephant.

My sister chose to keep the pink bunny, while my mom and dad wanted
the purple elephant.




The Quirky Animals lesson..it turned out very cute!


Well, my quiet time is coming to an end. I need to get some house work done, make some body lotion bars as gifts, finish some laundry, get lunches ready for tomorrow, and sneak in an hour run at some point. Too bad the weekends can't be 3 days long! 

I hope each of you had a blessed time with family over the holiday weekend! Have a great week!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Art Supplies

POSCA PENS HAVE ARRIVED!!

I love getting new art supplies. After hearing so many wonderful things about Posca Paint Pens, I decided to give them try. They aren't easy to find, so I was happy to see them on Amazon. I ordered a set of 8 fine tip pens and received them within a few days.

The pens are amazing. They easily glide over a variety of surfaces such as wood, canvas, paper, and glass. So far I have only used them on watercolor paper and canvas. The colors are vibrant and the ink flow is smooth. Even though they are "fine" tipped, I think I would also like to have the extra fine tip for writing words....adding them to my wish list now!

Here are a few of the mixed media journal pages I've completed using the pens....

Posca Pens used for outlining flowers and drawing symbols. I
used a Sharpie pen to do the writing at the lower left corner.


On this page I primarily used the white posca pen for highlighting
and details. 

Both pages were created based on lessons from the Life Book 2014 class (lessons by Alena Hennessy and Tamara Laporte). Since I am still working on the 29 Faces Challenge (even though it is finished!), I am counting the girl on the swing as face #10.

Work in progress on canvas...posca pens used for outlining and adding
shapes...I'll post the final pic when it is completed. 

I can definitely say that if you are thinking about purchasing Posca Pens, they are well worth the investment. I love mine!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Ninja

So...last weekend I was making some awesome veggie burgers using my Vitamix. It's one of my favorite recipes from the book, No Meat Athlete, and I make it often. While I was cooking I was busy chatting with my husband and working away in the kitchen when I realized I had left out the dry ingredients. I added in the oats, stirred a bit with a spoon, and placed the container on top of the Vitamix base. Unfortunately, I forgot to take the spoon out of the container before turning on the blender!!!  (It was somewhat hidden in the oats.  AGGHHHH!) What followed was pretty much a disaster and the result was one ruined Vitamix, a spiky spoon, and a dinner down the drain. I ended up making sandwiches instead and feeling like an idiot...not to mention wondering how much this was going to cost to fix.

I called Vitamix the next day and explained my dilemma. To my great surprise, the customer service representative told me that my machine would be fixed at no charge! I've had my Vitamix for almost 8 years and haven't had any problems, so she said they would honor my warranty (even though it was my fault) and fix it for me. Wow. Incredible customer service. They sent me a UPS label and I mailed it this past Thursday.

Repair time? Two-four weeks. Hmmm. I needed something to help in the kitchen until my Vitamix returned, so I decided to purchase a food processor to use in the meantime. I researched my options, and decided to try a Ninja.  Amazon had a decent deal and a few days later the Ninja arrived at my door.  I unpacked it, washed it, and had it ready to use by this afternoon. I decided to see how the Ninja compared with my Vitamix for making veggie burgers. (My husband kindly reminded me to avoid blending a spoon this time! Metal shards and veggies don't mix well. HA!)


Ninja loaded with black beans, spices, spinach, sun dried
tomatoes, olives, carrots, celery...and some other stuff!

This model has removable blades, a motor on top, and one speed for pulsing ingredients.  It comes with two different sizes of containers. Blending is okay, but the items on the bottom were blended more, while the items higher up were more chunky. This worked out fine as we both liked chunks of carrot, nuts, etc. in the burgers. Of course, since this is my first time using it, there may be tricks I am not aware of yet to better blending throughout the container.  

Once the ingredients were mixed, I formed them into patties and browned them in a skillet. My photo didn't turn out well of that process...my sister said they looked gross! LOL...so I decided not to share. I really should work on my photography skills! I have a "real" camera, besides my iPhone, but often times just grab what's easy. Learning to take better photos is on my summer "to do" list.

Super Power Chia Bread....mmmmm. Great for open faced sandwiches, nut
butter spread, or even plain. Delicious!
In addition to making the burgers, I also made Super Power Chia Bread from Angela Liddon's online recipes! This is the second batch that I've made in the last couple weeks and I'm in love with it! It's easy, it tastes amazing, and it's healthy. For lunch, I added a layer of homemade pesto, the veggie patty, sprouts, and tomatoes.....MMMMMMM. Loved it. 

LUNCH! Chia Bread + veggie patty + more veggies = :)
Even though I'm missing my Vitamix, I think having the Ninja as an additional tool in the kitchen will work out just fine. Tomorrow I'm hoping to try the Ninja to make Pumpkin Pie Smoothies. I'll let you know how that turns out! 


Monday, February 17, 2014

Ink Spray FUN!

This past week's Life Book lesson was an adventure in ink spray play! It was so much fun! I wanted to share a few pictures of the process with you.

 SPRAY, SPRAY, SPRAY! Oh, and a little dripping too. 


Watching Tamara while learning how to create a face...
 

Close up of the face in progress

Finished journal page! I am debating coming back to it to tweak a
few things....for now I'm leaving it though. 

I've also been working on a few other faces for the 29 Faces Challenge. I've posted them on my Mixed Media Journey blog. I hope you will stop by and check them out!



Wednesday, February 12, 2014

OKC Memorial Half Marathon Training


It's that time of year once again and training for the OKC Memorial Half Marathon is underway! This weekend finished the first week of official training with some very chilly runs. Although the temps were below 30, the views were incredible. With the recent snowfall the ground was partially covered and much of the pond along the running trail was frozen along the edges. 


Taking a short break to enjoy the beautiful view...

I definitely have sock envy...Roger's socks are really cool!

Last loop around and then we are done...

I enjoyed my weekend runs, even with the temps (and no wind!) It's much better than running in the humid hot weather of the summer. I'll be looking back as these pictures in June dreaming of snow. ;P I may even be looking back at them later this week...temps are rising from the upper 30's to the mid 70's. Crazy!

I'm looking forward to this training season and being ready to run the half in a few months! If you are in the area in April and would like to participate (walk, run, volunteer), visit http://okcmarathon.com.




Sunday, February 2, 2014

29 Faces Challenge

It's that time again.....The 29 Faces Challenge! I'm excited to participate in this challenge for the FIRST time! The challenge:  Create a face each day for 29 days. I am going to do my best to complete a face each day that is at least a pencil sketch. If time allows, I will make sure my faces are spiced up with color!

My goals for this challenge: Be creative...try new things...HAVE FUN!

While I was getting started, I did have some inspiration from other artists. My first page was a limited color face I created after watching Tamora Laporte's video on You Tube. You can see it here. It's a fast forward view of her creating a journal page using limited colors. 

Day 1


The second page I created was my own version of a lesson that we had with Marieke Blokland on Life Book 2014. I changed the face and hair to make it my own style. I really love how she turned out! While I was creating this journal page, I was having so much fun that time got away from me. When I looked at the clock it was 1:00 AM!! I finally went to bed and finished the page after breakfast this morning. 

Day 2


Sugar Sugar journal page from LB 2014, week 4. 

I have many ideas for upcoming faces....I should probably jot them down somewhere so I don't forget. It's all I could think about last night, which made falling asleep a little difficult! I am looking forward to seeing everyone's faces during this challenge! I've already seen some amazing works!

If you would like to join the challenge there's still time. Go on over to the 29 FACES CHALLENGE blog page and get started!



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Projects in Progress

I have several projects underway, but none that are quite completed yet! Unfortunately, I've been  under the weather for the past couple weeks, which has put many things on hold. Hopefully I'm on the mend and will be completing these projects soon!

Projects underway include....

WASHI TAPE DISPENSER

As my washi tape collection continues to grow, I wanted a place to keep
it organized and easily accessible. I found a great idea on a fellow blogger's
page that I will share with you.


LIFE BOOK 2014 JOURNAL PAGES

I just started a new journal page over the weekend. I'm already loving the way
the gesso/stencil process is looking on the page. 
My Inner Artist Guardian...the first lesson of of LB 2014.
This page has recently been completed! You can view the
entire process on my new Mixed Media Journey blog at:
www.courtneylemmons.blogspot.com

CANVAS PROJECT

I've bought all the materials for a button heart on canvas project and am ready to get started on it. I found the project on Pinterest from Home Decor Nut. I plan on making a few tweaks to the project and can't wait to get started on it!  

I hope each of you are doing well and keeping healthy! Have a great week!




Friday, January 10, 2014

DIY Magnet Board

Since last summer I've had these cute animal magnets and been thinking of a way to use them. My sister's birthday was coming up and I thought making a magnet board would be a great place for her to display photos in her house.



I purchased several materials, including a cookie sheet (you could also use an old one), scrapbook papers, and ribbon. The items I had on hand included Liquitex Matte Gel (you could probably use Mod Pod) and the metal piece that says, "Capture Life's Moments." The perfect phrase for displaying photographs!

My supplies....after I got started, I ended up choosing a zebra print
ribbon instead of the one shown in the photo. 

I started by tearing the strips of scrapbook paper into various sizes and then thought about the placement on the cookie sheet. I rearranged things several times, until I found the arrangement I liked the best. Using my paintbrush, I applied the matte gel to the cookie sheet, laid the paper on top, and carefully smoothed out any wrinkles using an old credit card. I also added a coating of matte gel over the top of the paper.  I really liked how the matte gel retained the brush strokes on the paper surface!

Adding the papers using matte gel for adhesive...

....and finally a coating over papers

I added the black ribbon and embellishment, attached the zebra ribbon and allowed everything to dry overnight.

Added embellishment, "Capture Life's Moments."

I have seen hanging magnet boards, but when I tried tying ribbon through the holes on the ends (not pictured), the board would never hang very well. I happened to have an easel and decided I liked that better.

I love how the finished project turned out! More importantly, my sister loved it too!

Finished magnet board with homemade matching card and Starbucks gift card. 

I had a great time creating this and hope you find it useful!