Creative Coloring for stress relief

I’m sure you’ve heard of the adult coloring book craze going on these days.  Many are raving that coloring helps them to reduce their stress + anxiety. Expressing oneself creatively is also something that I find satisfying and gratifying. It’s great to finish a piece of artwork and look back and think “Wow. I made that.” That sense of pride isn’t something you can buy.

Well, if you love coloring pages, you’re going to LOVE what I’ve got in store for you. I’ve worked with a designer to create 5 coloring pages that celebrate our Cajun culture. These pages will be available as a free download to everyone on my email list next week. To kick off this exciting project, I’m hosting 2 coloring parties in Lafayette + Baton Rouge where you’ll get to see the designs before anyone else. I have free, high quality printouts of the 5 coloring pages, markers + colored pencils for you to come and enjoy some craft therapy and meet me in person.

Laissez les bon temprs rouler Cajun coloring page

Laissez les bon temprs rouler Cajun coloring page

I’ll be hosting creative Cajun coloring parties in Baton Rouge and Lafayette in the next few days:

  • Thursday, July 21, 2016 @ Coffee Call from 4 PM – 6 PM
  • Friday, July 22, 2016 @ CC’s Coffee at Johnston + North College in Lafayette from 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM

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Reflections on hurt, fear and love

A few weeks ago when the civil unrest began in our country, I remained silent. I didn’t want to take sides. I didn’t want to pretend that I knew enough on a subject to write coherently about a situation that in reality, I knew nothing about. I didn’t want to say something ill advised, stupid or inconsiderate in an already tense situation. I thought that keeping quiet would be my best choice.

After nearly 2 weeks of continually violent episodes all around the world – many in my home state of Louisiana, I’ve decided to break my silence. My heart is broken, y’all. How much more are we going to hurt one another before this awful behavior stops? I feel like we’re at war with ourselves. There’s no other way to describe how heartbreaking this is to watch unfold.

Reflections on hurt, fear and love

Reflections on hurt, fear and love

I’m not one of these people who overdoses on news. I actually make a conscious effort NOT to watch the news. I do this for my own peace of mind. I find that my experience is that news outlets generate drama and hook me into their stories, which just generates more anxiety and strife. I’ve decided that it’s before for me to not allow myself to get sucked into the media black hole.

However, I’ve done a great deal of thinking over these past few weeks and I wanted to offer a few insights about what I see happening from my viewpoint. Throughout these scenarios, I see 2 things coming up again + again: fear and hurt. Continue reading

Navigating the storms of life

We had a couple of nasty storms move through our area today. As I sat on the 2nd floor of a building in an all day workshop and watched the rain move in, I had some thoughts about the vantage point from which I was watching the rain and from my reactions to the rain in the past few years. I didn’t get upset or afraid – a reaction I might have had as a child. I knew it was only a matter of time before the storm passed and the beautiful, sunny sky would re-appear. Perhaps with the blessing of a rainbow, too.

No Rain....No Rainbows

No Rain….No Rainbows

As I’ve aged, my perspective on rain and thunderstorms that we experience during our lives has changed. What I define as a crisis has changed. My father had a saying, when something wasn’t that big of a deal, he’d remark “That’s small potatoes.” The point was that whatever he was referring to was small stuff – and we’ve all heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” This was his version of saying the same thing. I’m starting to realize that most of what I once worried over is indeed “small potatoes”. Continue reading

Make your own iced coffee

Everyone knows that Louisiana in the summer months is oppressively hot. The last thing you want to do when it’s that hot outside is to settle in with a nice, warm cup of coffee in the morning. But what to do? We all need our caffeine fix in the morning – how else are we supposed to wake up like a civilized human being?

Cold brew coffee to the rescue! I’ve enjoyed iced coffee for a while, but I’ve recently starting making my own at home. Cold brew concentrate is the key to great tasting iced coffee. While you can buy cold brew concentrate in grocery stores, I find that making my own is quick + easy.

Making your own iced coffee is quick + easy

Making your own iced coffee is quick + easy

Today, I’m going to show you the steps to make your own cold brew concentrate so you can enjoy affordable, iced coffee during the summer months. Continue reading

Custom Cajun nail polishes with Handmade Beauty Box

I’m not a girly girl. Not in the least bit. I hated wearing dresses as a child and I rarely have a manicure. It’s just not something I make time for in my life. However, when I heard that Handmade Beauty Box (a monthly subscription box that sends a ready made project to your door each month) had a nail polish kit for sale, I jumped on the chance to order one. I’d missed out on the nail polish kit last year and I wasn’t going to let that happen again. After creating my custom nail polishes, I sat down on Sunday night and took the time to give myself a nice manicure with my newly created nail polish.

My nails polished with my custom pale purple nail polish

My nails polished with my custom pale purple nail polish

Handmade Beauty Boxes can be be purchased as a monthly subscription or you may order from a limited number of individual kits (“Singles”) for sale after the project is mailed to regular subscribers.

The box arrived late last week and I was delighted to find everything I needed included in the kit – all packaged and ready to go. They even include pre-printed labels for your projects! Continue reading

Tips for a Great Summer Road Trip

As I outlined in yesterday’s post, I’m heading to Louisiana to hang out with friends + family for a week. Frequent driving between Atlanta and various destinations across the US, including a few trips to Montana and beyond have yielded me a true road warrior. It occurred to me that a few of my road trip tips might come in handy for y’all, so I’m sharing them below. I hope you find them useful.

Ahhh, the open road

Road trips make great memories

1. Avoid “Sleepy” food + beverages:

I changed my diet a few years ago and I noticed how much energy I had once I removed sugar, processed foods and junk beverages from my daily diet. In order to stay as alert as possible, I have a no junk food rule when I’m driving.

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Moving away from Louisiana changed me

There are days when I think about how my life would be different had I never left “home” (Louisiana). Then, I sit back and realize how much my life has changed because I left Louisiana.

Oak tree with exposed roots

Roots of an old oak tree in Arnaudville, LA

I made the decision to move away from Baton Rouge during my last semester at LSU. I’d accepted a job with a big computer company for the sole reason that I would be allowed to live in Baton Rouge. My new job would require nearly 100% travel each week. It was the perfect arrangement: I had the option to live near my family, but it was a great job and I’d get to travel the world. I was going to set the world on fire.

Then as it always does – life happens.

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The August 2016 Bayou Book Club selection is here…

Our next selection for the Bayou Book Club is here!

What’s the Bayou Book Club? It’s a virtual book club where we read and discuss books that are related to the Cajun culture. Members are given 6 weeks to read each book club selection and then we meet via conference call to discuss our favorite portions from the book selection. I created the Bayou Book club because I love reading books that remind me of my Cajun roots. I’ve always enjoyed reading books about the Cajun culture, it’s one of my favorite ways to learn about our history and to stay connected with the spirit of the Cajun culture.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been sampling books to come up with a great selection after our inaugural book club call to discuss “Bayou Farewell” by Mike Tidwell. Mr. Tidwell is such an excellent storyteller, that I had trouble coming up with another great book selection, but I think I found a gem that y’all are going to love! Continue reading

Cajun Cultural history: A story of sadness

I’ve been re-reading a favorite book of mine – “Bayou Farewell” by Mike Tidwell in preparation for our Bayou Book Club call this Sunday evening. The book focuses on the erosion of the coastal wetlands of South Louisiana and the culture of the people who live in that region. Mr. Tidwell weaves an interesting tale through his journeys with the colorful individuals he meets while traveling through the region. One thing that I love most about his writing is how to describes the culture in an entertaining, but respectful way. As a native Cajun, I’ve seen all too often how the culture has been characterized as an out of touch, simple, rustic and uneducated bunch of hillbillies eating snakes in the swamp. It’s refreshing to hear someone describe our culture in a manner in which is it valued. Cherished. Appreciated.

"A Cajun will give you de hat off his head on a hot sunny day if you need it"

“A Cajun will give you de hat off his head on a hot sunny day if you need it”

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