Tuesday, July 30

Boom Festival: The Alchemy Of Spirit

A dear friend of mine pointed out this neat documentary about the Boom Festival, a gathering in Portugal every two years on the first full moon in August. I rather liked it, and wanted to share. Not only does it look like loads of fun, it's a celebration of a lot of things that are dear to me now as an adult. What's also cool is that it's a test run to see if people can live together in environments such as this for longer periods of time. I think it's brilliant, and definitely a concept worth exploring a bit more in the future.

Give it a watch:


Part I

Part II

Perhaps one day I shall go too.
~Claudia

Monday, July 29

DIY Beauty: Blotting Paper

I want to share this easy beauty trick, that's not only free but extremely useful if in a bind. The other day I was frolicking about in town doing some errands and I caught my reflection when passing a mirror. Unfortunately I had put way too much jojoba oil on to moisturize before I left home and was reflecting the sun like a magnifying glass. Which was not the look that I was going for.

Well that just won't do! So I went over to the ladies room to fix the problem. I didn't have any powder or blotting paper on me, but knew of a great way to tame oil on the go without products. Just tear off a small piece of a clean toilet seat cover in the bathroom stall and press it on your chin, forehead, nose, and anywhere else that might be oily. It works like a charm, and exactly the same as expensive conventional blotting paper. It absorbs the oil and keeps your makeup in place. No more shiny mess!

Cheers and here's to happy, healthy living.
~Claudia

Friday, July 26

Lose Weight Eating Popsicles

Claudia’s Corner videos are dedicated to topics
outside the realm of digital art.

Lose Weight Eating Popsicles

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.



Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

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Please let me know what you think and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

♡ Claudia

Wednesday, July 24

Who am I? Personality Test

I stumbled upon this a few days ago and I thought that it was so cool. It's a personality test that's really well done, fun, and insightful. I'm always interested in what type of results one gets.

So if you want to do it, give it a go:

Also, here are my results:

So who are you? Go ahead, find out! It'll be fun.
♡ Claudia

Tuesday, July 23

Get Rid of Fruit Flies with this Awesome Trap

It's summertime and that means lots of delicious fruit, but it also means fruit flies. Sometimes this can be a problem, especially if one keeps fruit out in bowls around the kitchen like me.

Now, I don't like killing insects. They're an extremely important part of our ecosystem and I respect that very much. They're living beings, and therefore shouldn't be disregarded. It makes me sad to think that they're mistreated just because they're small and different looking.

Although I respect them, they don't need to be in my home and they belong outside anyway. So I want to share with you how I trap them, and then free them outside.

My awesome homemade fly catcher.

The trap's pretty easy to make. All one has to do is roll up a piece of paper (I'm using junk mail) into a cone with a small opening at the end and tape it together. Then just place the paper in a clear glass jar or cup (I'm using an applesauce jar) that's easy to see through with a little bit of apple cider vinegar and/or a small fruit scrap (I'm using a banana peel this time) at the bottom.

What's great about this is that the flies are attracted to the smell, and crawl through the hole but aren't smart enough to get out. Leave the trap on the counter for a few hours, and it works like magic. Then just let the little guys outside! Be free my darlings, go out into the world and enjoy your lives.

If saving a life isn't enough, it's also a time saver because one doesn't have to karate-kid around all day long catching and swatting flies. That, and cleaning bugs off a white wall isn't cool. So it's a win-win situation. Enjoy the day instead of wasting time murdering insects.

Cheers!
~Claudia

Monday, July 22

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits - 10 Amazing Ways To Use It

Bragg Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar - $6.99

Apple cider vinegar is one of those things I can't live without. It has so many uses and is great because it offers a natural approach to a lot of cosmetic, cleaning, and culinary needs. ACV, for short, is made from apple cider or apple must and takes about seven months to ferment into vinegar. Now this isn't a cure-all for internal uses, and should definitely be taken in moderation. Although, if it's used properly it's absolutely wonderful!

So here's some awesome ways to use the vinegar. I love that you can do so much with it and you don't need to own multiple products. It's a natural all-in-one solution to a lot of problems.


Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

1. A morning pick me up - Just add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a tall glass of water or morning homemade breakfast juice for a great jump start to any day. This will reduce toxins from glands, rev up the metabolism, and give one extra energy.

2. Hair clarifier - I swear by this and use it every month to clean my hair. It works even for bright dyed colors and I've found that it doesn't disturb the color anymore than water. Add a 1/8 cup for dyed hair or a 1/4 cup for natural hair to a cup of warm water and use it in the shower to add shine back to hair.

3. Ease itching - Gently pat a rash with an apple cider vinegar soaked cotton ball. It will help relieve insect bites, poison ivy/oak, and rashes.

4. Mole Removal - This is the only one I haven't tried personally, but I've found that moles can be removed using apple cider vinegar. Do your research and make the best judgement for yourself.

5. Salad Dressing - I make a mean homemade salad dressing with raw honey, mustard, garlic, thyme, dill, parsley, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil. Have fun and get creative!  

6. Natural house cleaning - Apple cider vinegar can be used as a substitute for white vinegar to make an awesome homemade surface cleaner. Add a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water, put it in a spray bottle, and use it on floors, counter tops, dishes, sinks, and windows. 

7. Disinfect cutting boards - Use apple cider vinegar to sterilize cutting boards naturally. Especially wooden ones, because soap can degrade and weaken the surface over time.

8. Steam clean the microwave - Fill a small glass bowl with a cup of water and a 1/4 cup of vinegar, then microwave it for 5 minutes. Once it's done the mist will have loosened the food stains and the warm solution can be used to wipe off the walls of the microwave.

9. Clear a slow drain - Pour a 1/4 cup of baking soda into the drain and then add a cup of apple cider vinegar. Once the drain stops fizzing, rinse it with hot water, and use a plunger to naturally get rid of the clog.

10. Polish up brickwork - If the bricks around the fireplace are looking a bit dusty, use a cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with a gallon of warm water to clean the area so that the bricks look shiny and new.

So there you have it. Apple cider vinegar is just so useful. Give it a try today.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Friday, July 19

Video Feature: Tom Shadyac at Tower of Youth

I have so much respect for Tom; he does amazing work and is such an inspiration.
I want to work with him.

Live well my friends, and have a happy weekend.
Love Claudia xx

Wednesday, July 17

Diet for a New America

A few weeks back my friend Lucian sent me info about a great book titled, Diet for a New America. I read the preview on Amazon, and I definitely want to find this one at the library. From the surprisingly long book preview, I was truly inspired from the information despite the fact that it was published in the late 80's. For you see, I'm truly on the cusp of becoming a raw foodist. I've studied health and happiness passionately now for five years, and I'm still working on my food choices. Perhaps this book will be just what I need.

On a daily basis I maintain a low-fat vegan lifestyle. I typically eat two raw-food meals a day, and then the third contains something cooked. Typically corn, brown rice, or beans. So that's not terrible, but not optimal as well. My real issue with food is on holidays, vacations, and birthdays, because I don't maintain this lifestyle all of the time. It's completely physiological too, because sometimes these processed foods don't even taste so good. I definitely recognize the link between happiness and food. The problem, besides the ethical and eco issues, is that I get sick when I don't eat well. It's not a nocebo either, because I don't feel guilty at the time and I enjoy these moments, but my body doesn't care. It's so clean and efficient now that when I "treat" myself I end up sick in bed, or covered in spots. Neither is very much fun. So the past years I have been sick on the holidays, vacations, and birthdays! That's not a great way to spend those days.

I say this to encourage others, because this seven year experiment of mine is conclusive. Raw plants are optimal, and cooked/animal foods are not. Most of us have plenty of fresh food available to us daily, so survival is not a problem. We can choose the best food for a long healthy life.

Lastly, I close with this video on the topic:

Also, the creator has a website:


Happy movie watching.
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 16

Debt: A Global Epidemic

"Do not spend the money that you don't have." - Fortune Cookie

This is a topic that I've been wanting to write about for some time now. It's quite personal. I'm sure most adults with a mortgage, student loans, and car payments can relate. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do most of us live with debt almost all of our lives?

Well, ultimately it's so we can get stuff.
When we're little kids, adults ask us what we want to be. Not who we are, but how are we going to make a living. How are we going to pay for stuff, and then maybe later pay for their stuff if we're lucky and can make enough to help out.

Don't get me wrong, I love helping others from the bottom of my heart, but not with stuff (unless it's absolutely fundamental). In this modern era we're taught to believe that the more things someone buys for another, the more loved they are. Parents buying children toys. Teens getting that first car when they turn 16. Husbands breaking the bank and supporting an industry that does terrible things just so their fiancĂ© can have a diamond ring. Stuff equals love, and emotional advertising is partially to blame, but we're the ones that are buying into it. It's also a pissing contest. Who has the biggest home, the best car, and the latest smartphone? What about the environment costs of this type of consumerism? I've seen some of the most dreadful images of the dumps in third-world countries, the pacific garbage patch, and huge landfills scattered across the globe. This type of spending is not healthy for us or the planet.  

This was true for me as well when I started to look at universities after high school. Which one would get me the furthest, so I could be successful and wealthy. That's what I wanted, and I didn't think about how much it would cost, because I figured I could make it back. That's a terrible way to start off on one's own.

The same thing happened when I got a house. It's an investment, one that will eventually pay off, and then I can buy a bigger house! "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.", said the late George Carlin. I couldn't agree more about that now. So I'm stuck with a big mortgage too, because that's what successful people do, right? Well, I don't feel successful. I feel trapped and cheated despite the fact that I know I did it to myself.

That's why I want to talk about money. Most of us know that if we have the basics covered that's all we need: Food, shelter, transportation, and a little for entertainment. That's really it, but that all still comes at a big price. According to many statistics, $75,000 a year is all one needs, and anything extra is excess. That's all well and good if people were actually making that, but most do not. To be quite frank, it seems a little high. I'm reminded of an old story about a fisherman and a tourist, which goes like this:

An American tourist was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The tourist complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, "Only a little while."

The tourist then asked, "Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more fish?"

The Mexican said, "With this I have more than enough to support my family's needs."

The tourist then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life."

The tourist scoffed, " I can help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You could leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you could run your ever-expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

The tourist replied, "15 to 20 years."

"But what then?" asked the Mexican.

The tourist laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions?...Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

That's pretty absurd, right? All of that time and money to get right back to where he started. That's how I feel, because I spent all of this money on an education, a home, a car, and all I ever wanted was to relax in the sun, have amazing relationships, and eat fruit all day long. Now, I have to pay for it.

Hope is not lost for young people though. Instead of selling this consumerist "American Dream", perhaps we should instead teach them about debt early on. I don't blame my parents, because they did what most loving parents do. I'm sure they thought it would all be okay.

I close with this, if you're on the cusp of spending a lot of money that you don't have, please consider all of the consequences. Ask yourself, why do I want this? Do I need it? Will I be able to pay it off? 

Five tips for managing debt:

1. Stop buying stuff. I'm not kidding. If it helps, create a spending budget and only buy the essentials.

2. Don't buy things without the money. This would seem like common knowledge, because it's truly that simple. I wish I would have thought this way years ago.

3. Cut back on restaurants. We all need to eat, but this one is huge when it comes to saving money. Even cheap fast food is still more expense than going to the store and buying a meal. 

4. Make biweekly payments instead of monthly ones. This will seriously decrease the interest on a loan, and will take less time to pay off. Make it a habit.

5. Get rid of credit cards. If you need one for emergencies, then fine, but for the most part they only make matters worst. Mine sits in a drawer and is never used.

I wish everyone well, and my heart goes out to people that are struggling with debt.
I know how it feels.
~Claudia

Monday, July 15

How to Stop a Charley Horse Instantly

I woke up today, yawned, stretched out really big, and then started to feel my right calf tense up. It was a Charley Horse coming on! I relieved it instantly with my super secret method and thought to myself, "I have got to write about this, it could save a lot of people from pain." So that's what I'm doing!

I started to get these pains in college, and always first thing in the morning or while sleeping. Like always, I would stretch and it would bring on a painful cramp in my leg or foot. I would lie there in agony massaging the muscle until the spasm went away. The problem with this method of relief is that it didn't work well, and the cramp would last for minutes. Sometimes it was so bad that my muscles would be sore for days. I was a sad rabbit, because it seemed like nothing could be done to stop them.

One day it happened again, and for some reason I just thought to stand up. This stopped the pain instantly! Not even a few seconds passed; I mean instantly and I was amazed. So whenever I get them, I stand up quickly and walk around. It always works, because what I think happens is that if the leg/feet muscles have to be used for walking they're forced to flex and stretch, therefore stopping the cramp.

Now prevention is another thing completely. To be honest, I don't know what causes these cramps. I've heard three theories about it though. One, is that they're caused by wearing shoes, specifically high heels. This can't be though, because I haven't worn shoes or socks in over a week (Yes, I didn't go anywhere at all and I've been exercising inside). My feet are spoiled as can be. The second, is a potassium and/or a vitamin e deficiency and this can't be either because I eat a ton of fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts because of my mostly raw food diet. The third thing is dehydration, and this may very well be what caused my cramp this fine morning. I've been bad with my water the past week, because I've been busy with projects. With a glass of water in hand, I can positively say that I'll be back to my usual six glasses a day.

So if you ever feel one coming on, get up! Just stand, and walk around.
I'm confident that this will help you.

Much love,
~Claudia

Friday, July 12

Ask Claudia: Bamfing Around the World

"Ask Claudia" is a series that helps me help you. That way I can address frequently asked questions in a creative and interactive way, which may also be useful to others that have similar inquiries in the future.

Ask Claudia: Bamfing Around the World

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.



Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

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Want to be featured? Please feel free to leave me your questions on YouTube.

♡ Claudia

Thursday, July 11

I Got Tagged by Ash

Ashley tagged me, so now it's my turn!


Part One: Write 10 Things About Yourself

1. I've been really reflective about life recently.

2. I don't like gratuitously violent media. Like war or horror themes.

3. I can't spell definitly (see what happens without spell check) for the life of me! Whenever I use it in a sentence it's been auto corrected.

4. I keep my cellphone turned off most of the time to conserve energy and limit radiation exposure.

5. I love fruit. Lots of it! I had like a million peaches yesterday.

6. I wish I was on a tropical island right now living off the land.

7. White flowers are my favorite.

8. Raw foodists inspire me.

9. I don't kill insects inside my home. Instead I let them go outside, because I respect life and understand that they're a valuable part of our ecosystem.

10. I need to meditate more... I'm going to do that after this.


Part Two: Answer These Questions

1. What would you do if you were given a bank account full of stolen money?
It would seem like that could be traced, and I'm sure I would be blamed for it. So I would report it.

2. Favourite Vocaloid song e v e?
What's Vocaloid? Just kidding, but I've never heard the songs.

3. If you were a guy what would your name be?
I'm sure my parents would have named me.

4. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Want some tea?"

5. Who would you like to meet in person?
The countless people around the world that inspire me.

6. Your biggest fear?
Not seeing the world before I go.

7. If cats ruled the world what would you do?
Rest assured; they would probably do a better job than us.

8. Zombie apocalypse! You're only allowed four things with you. What are they and why would you take them?
Drinking water, a boat, a map... and do people count?

9. If you could chat with any anime/manga/oc character, who would it be?
Can I talk to a great leader instead?

10. Amuse me >8D Tell me a joke, something random and funny, I dun care! Just amuse me!
More Fuzzins Black Cat!

If you would like to do this feel free. Tag.
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 9

Look of the Month :: Summer 2013 :: July

Argh Mateys! It be thee 10th Anniversary of the release date of one of me favorite movies of all time: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

In honor of that, this fun summer digital face chart is based specifically off of Keira Knightley's look from the movie when she's running around with Jack Sparrow in her white undergarments. I researched what Ve Neill (my favorite makeup artist by the way) did for this look, and surprisingly it wasn't much at all. Keira's just so pretty that she's barely wearing any makeup! Here's what she wore in the film:


Sunscreen
Various sunscreens were used to protect the skin, such as Dermalogica Solar
Defense Booster, Peter Thomas Roth, Skinceuticals, and DDF Therapeutic Skincare.

Concealer
Kryolan Dermacolor was used sparingly around the eyes and very rarely for any blemishes.

Eyes
Although it looks like eye makeup was used, they're just natural shadows.
There's no color on the eyes.

Lashes
Curled, and no mascara.

Cheeks & Lips
Benefit Benetint Lip Balm was used not only on the lips, but on the cheeks because
of the creamy consistency and the natural color it gave to the cheeks. However, most
of the time Ve would just pinch Keira's cheeks before the camera started to roll.


So that's pretty much the same look that I recreated as well, with the addiction of a little extra contouring on the cheekbones for that killer Keira bone structure and switching out the sunscreen for the natural coconut oil option. This look's so simple too, and it's perfect for a hot summer's day out at the beach. So get adventurous everyone, and remember: A pirate's life for us! 

The current look is:
J U L Y  2 0 1 3


Color inspiration:
Rosy pink, nude, champagne, white, and silver

Current motivation for the look:
 Elizabeth Swann


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

M A Y  2 0 1 3

J U N E  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.

 xoxo,
~Claudia

Monday, July 8

Final Fantasy XII Fran Cosplay Update: Hair

Check out the New Hair Section of my Fran cosplay!
Please feel free to leave all comments and questions that you have there on the page.

Wednesday, July 3

What I Would Do If I Had A Million Dollars

For a long while now I've been pondering about my life. Where do I want to go, and what do I want to do? Well for the past three years or so I've had a burning desire to help people and it all started with this blog and my YouTube channel.

I found that it was what I wanted to do with my life, and I truly give credit to all of the wonderful people that reached out to me throughout the years. They came to me for advice, and would tell me how their life had changed in someway because of a post that I wrote, a video that they saw, or they receiving personal help individually. This has changed me as a person, and made me realize that I want to continue down this path.

I'm reminded of one of the 6 basic human needs in life, and that's Contribution. We desire to give something of value, and to help others or make the world a better place in some way. I have found more value in doing this over the past few years than anything else, and want to continue dedicating my life to it.

So here's what I would do when I get the money. I'm not sure how, or when it will come about, but that's not important. All I know is that I'll look back to this post one day and say, "It's happening!"

Where the money would go:

#3. Dealing with my loan debt first, so that I can focus on projects and others. - This would free me of my burden so that I can continue forward. I don't want to worry about the past, and I won't because this will all be taken care of in due time. It will be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. That way I can continue to focus on future projects that will inspire and help others.

#2. Take most of the ads down from this blog and my YouTube channel. - Currently, this is true for most bloggers and YouTubes as well, ads are the way that I can earn a living doing this type of work. It takes a lot of time and hard work to build up enough to live on, and that can mean a lot of ads. So taking most of them down is definitely part of the plan.

#1. Travel the world and help people. - This is the big one. With this money I would travel around and help others for free. If I'm financially stable there's absolutely no reason to charge, and besides, I'm a minimalism so stuff is not important to me. I go to bed with this thought, and I wake up with it in the mornings. "How can I help others today, and how can I work towards this ultimate goal?" I'm not concerned about the money, it will come in some shape or form. I'm determined to see it manifest.

This is my purpose, and I will make it happen.
~Claudia

Tuesday, July 2

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Erase Freckles?

We all have freckles. Some of them we love, some of them not so much. I've always been fascinated by an old remedy claiming that apple cider vinegar could lighten freckles if it was topically applied to the mark over time. Could this be true? Supposedly the liquid is so acidic that it lifts the pigment from the skin, and leaves it soft, even, and spot free.

So I decided to do a little test, and applied Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar straight to a specific freckle that I picked out for the experiment. I did this twice a day with a cotton swab, once in the morning and once at night before bed, for 30 days straight.

Here are my results:

This is an extreme closeup of a tiny freckle on my neck.

My conclusion is that absolutely nothing changed. The freckle didn't fade or disappear. The only thing the apple cider vinegar did was irritate my skin pretty badly because of the acid, and left me with a red dry mark that took about a week to fully heal after I was done. So sadly, I didn't have any luck with this natural remedy.

I'm also reminded that freckles are a reflection of what's happening internally, and there's probably no shortcut. Heal the inside, and heal the skin. It's that simple. Over time the liver, lungs, kidneys, and glands are so overburdened that the only way for the body to expel waste is through our largest elimination organ. It has nowhere else to go, so the body tries to push these toxins out through the skin. That's why we develop freckles. The skin on these meridians are weaken by acids, and the body tries to protect itself by producing melanin right under the epidermis. Also, these acids can be so problematic that fungus can form and turn into a mole or even a skin tag. It truly comes down to stopping the problems at the source.

Eating properly will help nourish an overburdened body. One can slowly reverse the aging process and remove their freckles (even moles can fall off apparently) by eating raw living foods. Another thing is to stop using cosmetics with chemicals that contribute to this issue of waste build up under the skin. These products can definitely exacerbate the problem, because they're filled with terrible ingredients that end up in the bloodstream. Especially if they're baked into the skin by the sun. That's one reason why uneven skin is frequently blamed on sun exposure.

With that being said, I'm still on my quest to improve my skin because I know that freckles are not harmless. Once again, it's a signal from the body telling us what's happening beneath. So I want to listen.

It's time to get rid of them for good.
♡ Claudia

Monday, July 1

Nightfall in the Mountains


Inspired by the summer sun and a beautiful photo that my sister Carla took from a magical night.
Painted in Photoshop in 3 hours.

"Nightfall in the Mountains" - Painting Steps
Level: Intermediate


Content, editing, and compositing by Claudia Sutton.
Music composed by Alvin Muolic.

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