Friday, September 30

Understanding Glycemic Load For A Healthy Lifestyle

Recently a good friend of mine, Charlotte, has been going to see a nutritionist to help her live and sustain a healthy lifestyle. I'm very inspired and proud of Char, because she is diligently following the advice that her dietitian has laid out for her. I know most people fall off the band wagon pretty quickly and revert back to their old habits, but not her. She is looking absolutely beautiful these days. Of course she was always beautiful, but there's still a noticeable improvement every time I go to visit her. Hurray for a healthy lifestyle!

Of course she's helped me with a few things as well. Specifically the importance of eating a low glycemic load. I had never really studied up on the subject. I have heard of it, but I didn't understand what the big deal was until now.

The glycemic load (GL) is a system that ranks foods according to the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in them. So an example of a good food would be something with a low glycemic index (a single food item is "index", the entire meal is "load"). Something like berries. Those are great and have a low GI. On the other hand, something like white bread has a high GI, so that is not ideal at all. The lower the GL, the better.

To help understand this better, here is a nutrition chart that shows this more clearly.


Notice how normal white or "whole wheat" bread is not on this list. That's because they're a junk food and are not considered to be nutritious. I'm reminded that The 4-Body talked about cutting out ALL carbs, which I don't agree with, but refined carbs like breads, pastas, pastries, flour tortillas, certain types of rice, and certain types of potatoes are items that should be omitted from the diet.

Also, for more on this subject, check out these Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. videos:


So there you have it!
xoxo,
~Claudia

Thursday, September 29

Precious Little Critter

I just couldn't help but to post more about Critter today. I'm having a hard time believing that she isn't with us anymore. She was so dear to me too. Carla sent me these darning photos today and I wanted to share them.






All photography by Carla Sutton. Photo editing by my.

She was a great little doggy. 
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 28

Tagged by Zeth!

Hurray! Justin tagged me personally! I'm so excited; I love taggy-tag-tags!


10 Random Things Tag

1. There is a man right outside my window with a ladder painting my house. Weird! He's like right next to me.

2. I spend a lot of my day cooking and preparing nutritious meals. They typically take me 30 minutes to an hour per meal and are made from fresh, organic, local foods. Today for breakfast I made a lovely fresh kale, lemon, celery, carrot, tomato, and apple juice (all produce is fresh from local farms) with my eggs. I find that it brings me a lot of joy, that is, to take the time out to make something wholesome and special. So if you ever come for dinner, I treat my guests very well.

3. The only places I've been outside the US are England and Canada. I'm dying to see the world. I renewed my passport two years ago and sadly haven't used it yet. It's been my dream to travel all over and meet some of you wonderful people.

4. I don't have any pets. I do love to observe animals in the wild though.

5. I use my Wacom for everything I do on the computer, including web surfing.

6. Burberry and Chanel are my favorite brands.

7. I've been having reoccurring dreams about going back to high school as an adult. And I never have my schedule printed and have to always find the guidance office to get it sorted out on the very first day back to school.

8. My computer is six years old, but I love it. Its name is Vader.

9. I was born a blonde, but my hair changed colors throughout the years until middle school. It's naturally a neutral dark brown. 

10. I don't have texting.

So there you go. Oh the random madness!
By the way... tag you're it.  
~Claudia

Tuesday, September 27

Critter the Rambunctious and the Beautiful

My sister lost a very dear friend this month. Her baby Critter, a mini dachshund, passed away a few days ago. So I wanted to honor her with a little memorial. She was 5 years old.


Critter was the sweetest thing. I was always so fond of her and looked forward to seeing her when I would go visit my sister. She would get so excited to see someone, that her tail would wag a million miles per minute and it always brought a smile to my face. Carla had her since she was a puppy and recently told me that they were like best friends (that was apparent to me just from seeing them together). Critter was there for her when she needed her most, and was a wonderful and loyal companion. She will be missed.

~Claudia

Owls and Laura Mercier

Hello there fellow night owls. Hoot hoot! I was so busy today that the day just flew by. Speaking of night owls and flying, I saw two owls tonight on my evening walk. Two! I love owls and I rarely see them in the wild, so that was a special treat. Isn't seeing an owl considered good luck because they're so rare?

Anyway, over the weekend I had an appointment to get my makeup done at the Union Square Macy's Laura Mercier counter in San Francisco. It was such a treat because I'm the one typically doing makeup for others, so it was nice to finally have my face done instead. I could just sit back and relax (which was nice because of my busy schedule) and talk to the other makeup artists about their techniques. The lovely and talented Ya-ya Opler did my makeup. She went with something very editorial and in for the fall season, a heavy eye with an inverted crease pared with pink cheeks and lips. She did such a brilliant job, I felt like a celebrity all dolled up for my day in the city. Also, I loved watching her work because I always get a kick out of learning from other artists. It gives me a fresh perspective. One trick that I picked up from Ya-ya was to contour with blush around the temples if the look has a cool palette. I've never done that before, so I'm definitely going to add that to my bag of tricks.

Laura Mercier is a brand that I've been wanted to try for a very long time, because I've heard good things about their products from other professionals. Specifically the foundation. The Oil Free Foundation is absolutely amazing; I'm so impressed by it from an artistic standpoint. I would switch over in a heartbeat if it wasn't for some of the ingredients. It unfortunately has a lot of harmful chemicals in it. But even my Bare Escentuals foundation isn't perfect.

Here are the links if you're interested in the ingredients:


So yup, wearing no makeup at all would be ideal for the skin, but I can't see myself doing that. As a freelancer I'm lucky that I don't have to wear it everyday and when I do it's only for a few hours. Perhaps I shall pick up some Laura Mercier for the rare special occasions.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Thursday, September 22

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

"OMG Zelda Mew!" says Kitty.

When the first screenshots of the new The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D came out it made me so happy, but incredibly sad at the same time. Sad because I didn't want to buy a 3DS. I thought that I would never be able to play this amazing remastered version of my most favorite game of all time.

Fortunately, I have the best friends ever and they lent me both the cartridge and the 3DS. I want to give a big shout-out to Alicia and Andre (check out Andre's reviews on GameXplain). It was like Christmas 1998 all over again! Which is a really big deal.


So here are some final thoughts about the game:

Pros

- This game is beautiful and it's everything I imagined when I was young, except this time around it's really on the screen and not just in my head. It's like rediscovering the land of Hyrule all over again. There are so many "wow" moments that it blew my mind.

 - Seeing all of my favorite characters in glorious 3D, along with a higher poly count and nice textures makes me so happy. I spent so much time in first-person mode looking at all of them. Especially Zelda, I always loved her the most. 

- I like how the majority of the interface is now on the bottom touchscreen, which clears the top screen of all the clutter and makes the game more immersive.

- Rotating the physical 3DS to look around with the camera is a fun little gimmick. Again, it's just one more thing they added to make gamers feel more involved.

- The Shiekah Stones are cool. I didn't mind them because I would have never used them to figure out something, but it's interesting to see officially how the puzzles are solved. Sometimes they're a lot different than the way I go about playing. So that's neat to see a different take on it.


Cons

- Okay, so I'm one of those unfortunate people that gets a headache from the 3DS. When I started playing with the 3D cranked, I thought nothing of it, and then night after night I was going to bed with throbbing headaches. I thought it was work or that I wasn't eating enough, and then I finally figured it out. As soon as I stopped playing with the 3D on, the headaches went away. Nintendo even has warnings about this, but what's point if you can't use it? That's the main reason why someone would buy a 3DS! For the 3D! So I had to be very selective about what I watched in 3D. I always turned it on for the cinematic though.

- Other than the 3D headaches, it's a little annoying as well to keep the 3DS constantly at the right angle for the 3D to be viewed correctly. One little movement and you start seeing double. Now if you're in the middle of a boss fight this can be distracting. I don't need two Ganons, one is bad enough.

- I think I might have glitched out a Big Poe. I'm not sure, because I tried looking it up, but I couldn't find anything. It's the one by the rock by the trees in east part of Hyrule Field. I bombed the rock to get into the hole and then the rock never came back, so when I'm on Epona your suppose to trigger it by kicking it, and well they is no rock to kick. I also tried turning into a kid and then back into an adult and the rock was still gone. So alas, I never got my 4th glass bottle from the Poe Hunter. It's a sad day.

- All of the characters/enemies are not modeled constantly. This is typically the case with most games, but it is really apparent that the secondary characters (like the Bean Seller or the Carpenters) didn't have the same polish that the main characters do. I don't know if the system could handle higher quality, but it would be nice to see them all redone with the same level of detail.

- Princess Ruto is censored! Why? The new shirt and butt flap is really not necessary. She was better before.

- Why is Ganon's blood green? I know they changed this detail in the second edition for the 64, but really?

- I miss the chanting in the Fire Temple song. I had the first edition cartridge, so the original song is still in tack. I wasn't getting my hopes up on this though, because I know that it's a sensitive matter.

- Z-targeting, now L-targeting, is a little difficult for me. It felt awkward to target. I'm here zooming all over the place and couldn't lock on to things properly. It seems like it's the finger placement on the button and the D-pad at the same time that gives me the problem.

- WARNING: I'M GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A POINTLESS ISSUE - Well, not to me at least. They changed two of the spiritual stones. The Kokiri's Emerald and the Zora's Sapphire. They are smooth stones now, not cut like they use to be. The only one they got right was the Goron's Ruby. Why do they have to mess with that?

- WARNING: I'M GOING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT A POINTLESS ISSUE - Again, not to me. I noticed that the port changed a lot of colors. Now I'm huge on colors, so for me this is a big deal that perhaps others wouldn't even notice or be bothered by. The green rupee is not the same sea green, it's now grass green. Link's Zora tunic is not a turquoise blue, it's now sky blue. Adult Zelda's shirt isn't magenta, it's now purple. Oh the madness! Was it that hard to color pick off of the original textures to get the colors right? There's no need to change them. Cosplayers will forever be confused, "Oh dear, what color do I make my Zora Tunic?" Bah!


The Legend of Zelda will always have a special place in my heart, so if you loved the N64 version of Ocarina of Time as much as I do, this game is a must play. Perhaps you can borrow it from a friend as well if you don't have one like I did.

Happy gaming,
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 21

Mola Inspiration

I just finished sewing lovely Rango to my bag. I picked out the perfect blue thread to match the bag color, so that helped incorporate the blue into the design. Isn't he pretty? 

He was a gift from a dear friend of mine, Alfredo Arango (that's why he's called Rango). Alfredo got the artwork while he was in Panama, and thought that it would inspire me to think outside the box and look to it as a way to expand my horizons. So indeed it has. I've been researching the art of "mola", meaning clothing or shirt, and have found it to be quite fascinating. It originates from the traditional costumes of Kuna Panamanian women, which combines two panels of cloth, initially bought by European settlers, with intricate images or patterns sewn into them. That of which, I would have never been aware of if it wasn't for this beautiful little present.

A big thanks goes out to Alfredo. I loved the art so much that I wanted to sew him on my bag and take him wherever I go. That way inspiration will follow me to the ends of the earth and he'll be my little traveling friend.

                                                  Cheers and here's to learning new things.
                                                   ~Claudia

Monday, September 19

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy ther' maties. Today be Talk Like A Parate Day. Yar! The official day for all us pirates. N 'onor of the holiday, I've put t'gether some of me best piratey posts. Arr! Smartly, me maties.

Pirate Retrospective
Balthier and Fran Portraits


Indeed, t' pirate's blood runs deep in me veins. 
So drink some rum on my behalf, and have a happy pirate day!
☠ Poppet Claudia

Friday, September 16

I'll be going to APE Con

Hurray! I'll be going to APE Con for the very first time this year. I'm super excited because I've heard so many cool things about it. Will anyone else be going this year? I know a few of you are, so that's cool.

Anyway, if you see me there, say hi. I'll be floating around having fun on Saturday, October 1st. I don't have a booth, because I just want to enjoy my first experience.

Alternative Press Expo Website
Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco


It'll be fun, hope to see you there.
 ~Claudia

Thursday, September 15

How to Eat A Cactus

So like mentioned in my birthday post, Carla sent me a fresh cactus from a Colorado farmer's market. I have never had one before and haven't even seen them at my local market. So this is definitely a special treat. Carla's significant other Robert (I call him The Plant Whisperer because he's just so awesome with them) knows all about preparing cactus and taught Carla how to do it, and then she taught me.

All you have to do is wash the plant. Be very careful with the thorns because they hurt. 
Despite Carla's warnings I still managed to prick myself. 


Next, cut off all of the thorns and trim away the edges. 


That's pretty much it. Dice and serve. The cactus can be eaten raw or cooked over medium heat with a little water, stone-crushed extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, red pepper, and garlic. Also, I'm going to juice this tomorrow morning as well. I'm sure it will be delicious. Overall the plant has a very subtle taste and crisp texture. Nothing like anything I've tried before. Thanks Carla for broadening my horizons.

xoxo,
~Claudia

Wednesday, September 14

5 Reasons to go to The Farmer's Market

When I was little I remember going to a local farmer's market for the first time with my mother. At the time I didn't understand why we would go there when we had a grocery store right around the corner. It just didn't make sense. A vegetable's a vegetable, right?

It wasn't until I started to turn my life around that I became interested in organic whole foods and farmer's markets. Basically I ran my body into the ground working long hours, sitting in a chair for 8-10 hours, eating crappy junk food, and stressing out about unnecessary issues. So enough was enough, and that's why I ended up becoming more interested in eating right and connecting with people on a more social level (dark cubicles are lonely). So why was there so much talk about farmer's markets? Why were they so special and what was the big deal?

Here's why:

1. Market's sell fresh foods, in comparison to the week-old produce sitting on store shelves. So to answer the previous question: No, all veggies are not treated equally. It's so important to eat fresh produce, because then you get all of the vital nutrients the food provides, which can be lost if the food gets old.

2. Certified organic food is much more accessible and cheaper at a market. You can do your entire weeks shopping for a fraction of the cost. This is a big deal, because this makes organic an option for most people. Most of the food is so cheap that you can't even get it for that price at the grocery store, organic or not. An example of this is that I can buy six tomatoes, a head of lettuce, celery, and six cucumbers, all organic, for only $9. And of course these are always the most scrumptious tasting veggies ever! I'm so spoiled by them.

3. Getting to know your local farmers and where your food comes from is important. It's also a wonderful, fun experience. Farmers are so friendly and helpful. I've learned so much about food, which ones are in season at what times of the year, how to tell which ones to buy, and cool preparation advice. I even get free food from them sometimes, just for being a regular. They'll through in an extra fruit or two, which is extremely generous. Nothing beats the community and being outside in the fresh air, rain or shine. I much prefer that to fluorescence lights and rows of junk food packaged in plastic.

4. Speaking of plastic, I love that the food I buy doesn't have any packaging. If I want a tomato, that's all I get, no waste at all. That, and I use reuse bags, so just imagine how much materials are saved just by that alone. One person makes a difference.

5. The farmer's also encourage you to try new things. For instance, I never even knew delicious white raspberries existed before trying them at a stand. Samples are always given out to get people interested in the foods. Another example is Asian pears or purple peppers. If it wasn't for the interaction and encouragement to try them, I would have missed out. A variety of all sorts of plants and food is crucial for a healthy body. Just think: Where are you getting your red, orange, yellow, green, and purple fruits and veggies from today?


So if you don't already go to a farmer's market in your area, I highly encourage you to give it a try. I got my sisters hooked on going as well. I was telling them for years, "You have to go to a market, they're so great." And finally they started going and couldn't believe they didn't do it sooner. The prices alone are worth it for most people.

This website will make it easy to find a farmer's market near you:

Best,
~Claudia

Tuesday, September 13

Birthday Wishes and the Hookah Bar

First and foremost, I want to thank everyone for all of the lovely birthday wishes yesterday. I took my special day off and spent it celebrating. It was wonderful to have so many happy messages, phone calls, and presents. It means the world to me. Birthday's are always so fun, but if you you ask me my age I'll pull a Fran.

Yesterday, I spent most of the day shoe shopping in San Francisco. I needed new shoes, because my old ones have massive holes in them. They lasted about four years, but sadly I couldn't walk in them any longer because the insoles were falling out and dirt can now easily get into them. Blah! I hate throwing shoes away, because I always get so attached to them. They have taken me so far in life, on so many adventures, that I get sentimental. That, and the whole minimalist thing, only buying new things when I absolutely need them. The fact that they're going to the dump is always a sad thought. RIP old shoes, you will probably take hundreds of years to disintegrate.



On a more happy note, I really do love the new one's. They're very 90's combat boot, mixed with a delicate Victorian-inspired toe cap. Casual meets elegant. So that's true love, and I hope that they last me forever and ever and EVER!

Also, my mother sent me some beautiful vintage dresses that have been in the family for ages. One belonged to my grandmother and is from the 1950's. It's so beautiful and I love the fact the she lives on through this dress. To me clothing means something, it should tell a story, your story: Where you come from and who you are. So this dress makes me feel that. I would love to pair it with some red stilettos, pearls, and black little gloves. It would be so classic.

1950's                                                        1970's    

Then there's a 1970's dress my mother made with a charming floral print. The 70's are trending right now, so I'm dying to wear this dress, but I can't fit into it. My mother was so skinny (it's about a 22 inch waist) that it's too small for me. Even my grandmother's dress just barely zips up on me, which is humorously a size 9 (probably equivalent to a size 1 today) and has about a 24 inch waistline. So, that is going to be my new goal. I want to fit into these dresses, meaning I have to get back into tip-top shape. I'm sure the birthday cake didn't help much either, but my sister Carla did send me a wonderful cactus and zucchini to help counterbalance that. This will be my first time eating cactus; which I'm very excited about.

So then there's the hookah bar. My dear friend Alfredo came back to SF to visit this past weekend, and that was an excuse for a lot of AAU alumni/friends to get back together. We spent the evening eating amazing Italian food and then we all went over the Cafe Chanta on Post Street to sit on soft pillows and smoke some Hookah. No, I didn't partake, I'm not a smoker; and yes, I know that the second hand smoke is just as bad. But for me it was more about a cultural life experience that I have never had before. The bar was so much fun and I felt like I was in Wonderland. I told all of my friend that they would turn into blue caterpillars and start speaking in riddles if they smoked too much hookah. So that, plus the awesome company, trumps any worries about the smoke. I'm sure my birthday cake was just as evil.

That pretty much wraps up my amazing weekend. Birthday's always make me appreciate life and reflect on all of the things that I still want to do. So get out there and live a little! That's what I say.

Cheers and here's to a brand new year full of possibilities.
~Claudia

Friday, September 9

My Thoughts on: Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You

I've been listening to this album pretty much nonstop since it came out and I must say that it's not an overall hit for me. It's catchy and some of the songs are great, but as a whole it's not a favorite. YET! That's just my initial impression, some of the best music has to grow on you over time or tastes might evolve. Another thing to note is that RHCP is a very nostalgic thing for me, and therefore enough time hasn't past for me to go "Oh I remember how I felt then, and where I was in life." So that is hard to predict if it will become a favorite, but right now I'm not dying to listen to it. I do catch myself singing the songs randomly, so that's cool.


Here are my favorites from the album so far:
"Monarchy of Roses"
"Ethiopia"
"The Adventure of Rain Dance Maggie"
"Did I Let You Know"
"Even You Brutus?"
"Meet Me at the Corner"

Anyone else out there listening to the Peppers new album? 
☠ Claudia

Thursday, September 8

Never Let Me Go

Hello everyone! Long time no talk. I have been so busy with work recently that I haven't had time for much else. I did however find time to watch Never Let Me Go. It's hard to talk about this one without spoiling anything, so I'll try my best. That's why I'm not linking to any trailers or footage, because it is best to just dive in without any idea of what's going to happen.

First off, this is a must watch for anyone that's into artistic concepts. Meaning, this film was quite refreshing and I haven't watched anything else quite like it. The themes did remind me of other movies, but it was the way that they were executed that interested me the most. Also, it's an adaptation of a Japanese novel, which explains why the story is unique, and of course I love British culture so that was nice as well.

What else I find fascinating is that the film is a reflection of humanity and how we could potentially look past inhuman issues. The problem is quite serious in the story, but again, it's interesting to think that people can turn a blind eye to something so important. The same could be said about issues that we have in the real world. Sometimes it is easier just to except it and do nothing, than to fight it.  

Cheers and happy movie watching.
~Claudia

Thursday, September 1

Look of the Month :: Fall 2011 :: September

It's the beginning of fall and that means that it's time to shift to darker colors, not only in fashion but makeup as well. There are a few prominent runways trends that I've noticed this season including, but not limited to: heavy 90's and 70's influences, along with matching makeup colors, cat-eyes, and wine-stained lips. So what better way to bring in the new season, and incorporate some of these trends, then with vampire inspired makeup looks. I wanted to create the looks from the artwork that I did for White Wolf's Vampire: The Requiem and they just so happen to be perfect for this season (or also great for a Halloween costume or vampire cosplay). Personally, this would be an awesome night look, because I like editorial-looking makeup. Don't be afraid to be daring. Fall is the time to do it. Pair this with crazy contact lenses and tons of jewelry. Facial piercing would also be great; just like the Daeva rock star vamp that this was based on.


"The Daeva evoke the image of vampires as seductive, decadent, sexually transgressive predators who blur lust and hunger together, equating the act of feeding with sensual pleasure." - Vampire: The Requiem

The current look is:
S E P T E M B E R  2 0 1 1


Color inspiration:
Crimson, teal, pale green, black, and sterling silver

Current motivation for the look:
Vampire: The Requiem - The Daeva Clan


Previous Looks this Year:

Please feel free to express yourself as well! Share links, tips, or any other suggestions in the comments. I would love to hear from you.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Jojoba Oil Benefits - 10 Amazing Ways To Use It | CLAUDIASUTTON.blogspot: Health and Lifestyle