Thursday, May 30

Trying Durian for the First Time

My Very First Monthong Durian

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to finally try a durian for the first time, and that I did. I got it frozen at an Asian market, because they tend to be a little stinky if they're not. When thawed out, they have a pungent rotten fruit smell. It wasn't that bad though because I was prepared for the worst. I thought that it was going to be much more unbearable than it was because of the big fuss that everyone was making about them. Sure, the smell is not pleasant, but it's not terrible either.

The reason they're smelly is because of the sulfur in them, which is a beauty element. Sulfur is amazing for the skin because it stimulants healing and collagen formation.

Once again, I want to feature one of Markus Rothkranz's videos.
He does such a great job explaining why durian is such an awesome plant.

So I basically prepared mine the same way, except for without the coconut water and I also ended up putting a lot of it in my morning blended juice. Another great way to eat it is to put it in the freezer for a while so that it hardens into an ice cream consistency, and that also stops the smell once again. This is yummy, and works out great for the spring or summer time when one's craving a cold treat. Definitely pick one up if you haven't tried it yet. It takes a bit of getting use to if it's your first time, but it's totally worth it.

Cheers and happy living.

Tuesday, May 28

Eco Oral Hygiene: Eco-DenT Vegan Dental Floss

Eco-DenT Vegan Cinnamon Dental Floss - $5.99

Recently I decided to switch over to an eco-friendly floss, and I don't know why I didn't do it sooner because I absolutely love it. Maybe it was the price though, because it's a bit costly. There's a good reason for that though. For one, the floss is flavored with real essential oils which is more expensive than synthetic chemicals. The warm decadent blend of cinnamon, orange, lemon, fennel, and rosemary is just wonderful and reminds me a bit of nutmeg. It also glides nicely and is coated with plant-based waxes.

The second reason it's a bit pricier than the average floss is because there's 100 yards in the box. Which is brilliant, because buying in bulk cuts down on a lot of waste. It's equivalent to three and a half 30 yard boxes or two 50 yard boxes. So then one doesn't have to go to the store as much as well.

Speaking of packaging waste, another amazing thing about this product is that the box is made out of paper instead of plastic and isn't packaged in a second ridiculous outer plastic container. The floss itself isn't perfect though. With a little research I found that it's made out of nylon (which is plastic) so that's still not safe for our bodies, but I haven't had any luck finding anything better. Also, the floss is encased in a small plastic bag to preserve flavor and freshness. It was a little bit deceiving because I thought that I was buying a container that was completely plastic free. The pros still outweigh the cons, and overall I'm relatively happy with the purchase. At least it's a step in the right direct.

Do you use eco-friendly dental floss? Perhaps you've found
an ideal brand. If so, what do you recommend?

♡ Claudia

Monday, May 27

Fanime 2013

I felt like Fanime was a bit weird this year. Mainly because of all of the construction, it just seemed to divide the attendees in an odd way. The entire front area was blocked off and that's where I typically chill and take pictures. That didn't happen though this year, so for the most part I sat in the foyer, relaxed, and watched cosplayers parade about. It was good fun, but not what I expected. Oh well. They're always next year.

Here are some of the costumes that I enjoyed:

Captain Scarlett & Sheriff of Lynchwood | Catwoman | Himari Takakura & Hibari Isora
(If this is you, let me know and I'll link to your website)

Unknown & Kamen Rider Kabuto | Stella | Navi & Link
(If this is you, let me know and I'll link to your website)

Iron Man | Steampunk Girl | Oerba Yun Fang
(If this is you, let me know and I'll link to your website)

Minako Arisato | Marshall Lee & Ice Queen | Mobile Suit Gundam Zaku
(If this is you, let me know and I'll link to your website)
See you there next year.

Monday, May 20

How to Keep a Raw Food Diet at Work

 My lunch full of organic goodness!

I was surprised by how easy it is to stay raw at work. Packing a lunch to bring in each day is not only going to save one a ton of money, but it also encourages one to make good choices. It's super easy and fast to prepare produce. Just wash it and go! It literally takes five minutes, if that, to make this in the mornings. One can't go wrong with fresh local fruits and veggies from the market. Also, I find that it's easy and energizing to bring a huge jar of organic applesauce as well for whenever I need more fuel (even though it's not raw). Microsoft is awesome because they compost and recycle properly, so it's great to dispose of food waste and glass in the right way. If they didn't I would bring my scraps and glass home instead of throwing them in the trash, because that's not cool. So for the most part, it's a great way to be zero waste at the office as well. One can always replace the applesauce with more fresh fruit for a completely raw and sustainable option.

Also, it's great to add some seaweed and raw soaked seeds occasionally as well if you're feeling super hungry. It's convenient to bring little goodies in a small glass spice jar because it's perfect when traveling. The produce that I pack is very resilient too, and doesn't get squashed easily. I blend most of my delicate greens and such in the mornings for breakfast so that I get a nice variety of plants throughout the day.

So just make sure to get enough. This amount pictured above is perfect for me. When in doubt, pack more fruit because that will provide more quality calories and carbs throughout the day. Eating this way is also inspiring to others. I've already noticed how curious my colleagues are, and have started asking for health advice. That's so neat to be a good role model. It's all in good fun too, and I've notice a lot more salads being ordered than before. Definitely hurray for that!

Cheers, and here's to a good day on the job.
♡ Claudia

Monday, May 13

TIME Timelapse of the Planet

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. 
Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" - David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Is this all inevitable? I would like to think not. But who am I to say? I really try, although sometimes I feel alone. I'm going to keep this short, because it's much more important to go read this article, watch these videos, and see these photos. See what's happening to the planet.


Friday, May 10

Look of the Month :: Spring 2013 :: May

Oh spring! How I love thee, but you flew by incredibly fast. So in honor of the last month of the spring season, I wanted to do something laid back for this digital face chart. This look is a five minute, work-safe makeup that's great for Casual Fridays. I've been wearing it a lot recently because it doesn't require too many products, and it allows for the skin to breathe throughout the day. I don't want to wear too much makeup during the weekdays, because of how it affects the skin. As much as I love makeup, it's great to go around barefaced too. Being natural is just as pretty, and this encourages healthy habits so that there's less to conceal.

Also, this simple look will work well with all of the bright flashy spring colors that are trending in fashion this season. Keep nails pale too, because this will go great with the colors and the makeup. 

The current look is:
M A Y  2 0 1 3

Color trends for this month:
Grey, lemon zest yellow, celery green, white, and silver

Current motivation for the look:
 The fast lane, simplicity in complexity, and staying focused

Previous Looks this Year:

J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 3

F E B R U A R Y  2 0 1 3

M A R C H  2 0 1 3

A P R I L  2 0 1 3

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.


Monday, May 6

Should I Go to Art School?

This is a question I get asked so often, and I have had difficultly giving others advice about it because I was unsure about the answer myself. After much reflection I have come to a conclusion about it. Remember, whatever feels right to you is always best. Deep down you will know what you should do and where you want to go in life. Don't listen to others if they're not supportive. This might be challenging if this is someone that you respect or has control over your situation, like your parents. Just try to kindly reason with them, and most likely they will respect and understand why this is best for you.

Now, I'm not saying go run off to art school and think that it will solve all of your problems. If you do not truly love what you do it will never work out. It will not get easier with time, it only gets harder, and if you're miserable doing something now, then it will never change. Whatever you choose to do will become your job eventually. So if you don't want your hobby that you love dabbling in every once in a while to become your 24/7 job, then it's not right for you. You will unfortunately burn out fast and find out the hard way. One wrong degree later, and six figures in debt.

Speaking of debt, this is not to be taken lightly. It will change your life, and not for the better. I didn't completely understand it when I was a teenager, and thought that everything would be okay and ends would meet once I got a bad-ass job. That's a delusional and naive outlook for sure.

Most artists will not make a lot of money, but that's the risk with any field. I'm not saying that to crush your dreams of becoming a rich famous artist, but in reality, artists in the entertainment industry are always behind the scenes, are lucky to get a credit, have average paying jobs in expensive cities, and are always working in extremely stressful environments. Is this something you truly want? Art can always remain a beautiful hobby, but when you choose to turn it into a career, it will become just that, a job.

If you're unsure about the path you want to take then I recommend dabbling in it first. Practice on your own, take a single class focusing on that particular skill, or go to a related summer camp. These are all great ways to give it your all and see if you still love what you're doing after some time has pasted.

Lastly, going to a university for four years is not always the only option. I absolutely loved my university and all of the social experiences that came with it. But looking back on it, because of financial reasons, I'm a big believer in only taking classes for what you need or funding them a few at a time. In today's day and age, a college degree doesn't mean that you will get work. Any skilled professional is sought after because they do whatever they do better than others and are hard to replace, college degree or not. I'm reminded of three skills one must possess to be successful professionally. One must: Have stellar skills, be punctual, and be a great person to work with. If you have these down, then you're a cut above the rest.

Let me go into it further. So the first skill is pretty self explanatory; you have to be an amazing artist from a technical standpoint. Is your work outstanding, and commercially is it what the client needs? Be truthful about this, and if not then this is where college or self teaching comes into play. If you're awesome, then a degree doesn't matter. I know so many people personally that have gotten a job in the industry and never finished school. There are loads of famous examples too, that I'm sure you can research if you're interested in. On the other hand, I know people that have several degrees and still can't figure out what they want to do. Forever wandering and using college as an excuse to never start living. They're afraid of anything other than school because that's comfortable for them.

The second skill is punctuality, both for deadlines and showing up on time. I have never missed a milestone or deadline with a client, and I'm always on time daily or for meetings/conference calls. This time management skill is so important to have, and makes you a reliable team member.

The third skill is being a kind and awesome person to be around. Are you a pleasant person? Do people smile and light up when you're around? Emotions and moods are contagious and affect everyone you work with. If you're a pain in the ass or arrogant, nobody is going to want to hire you. Happiness is learned just like everything else. If it doesn't come natural, it will in time if effort is put into it.

So these skills can be learned in a variety of different ways. How one chooses to get there is not important; but possessing all three is. That's why college, being the most traditional approach, is not the only way. There's an excessive amount of free information available online for young and/or inspiring artists. So many professionals are sharing their secrets and helping others learn on forums, blogs, YouTube, etc. This raises the bar for all of us, and lifts us up to inspire each other in new ways. Take advantage of this, especially if you do not have the funds for a university. It's all about one's drive and hours of practice. It doesn't matter if that's in a thousand-dollar classroom, or at home watching a video. It's what one does with the information that's key.

In closing, I will say this, surround yourself with like-minded people and move to wherever you need to be. I've heard stories about people jumping freight trains (don't do this please) to get to where they were going. Moving to California was one of the best decisions I ever made because it was where I personally needed to be for my ideal life. That will be different for everyone. Don't be afraid, because you have to go where the scene is. If you don't want to, or your heart is telling you that it's not right, then it's probably not. Perhaps freelancing is in your future. Or working remotely online. Whatever you choose, I wish you the best.  

If you have any questions at all, I'm here to help. Going to university is not the only path
in the art world. Stick with what you love, never give up, and never stop learning.
You will get there, and the world needs you for just that.


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