Wednesday, January 29

3 Big Reasons to Get a Juicer

Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer - $269.00 - Purchased from Amazon 

Oh my! I can't believe I waited this long to get a juicer. It's an absolute must-have for any kitchen, and I'm in love with mine. After spending time with my sister Carin, I came to realize that a juicer is vitally important for optimal health. I have had this one picked out for a long time, not only because of its sleek black and chrome horizontal design, but mainly because of the raving reviews from the raw-food community.

It seems like this juicer can juice anything, including greens, which is great. It's slower than most juicers, but that doesn't bother me because I know that I'm getting more out of the juice. Unfortunately, all juicers are not created equally and there are different types. Mine is a masticating juicer that uses an auger to crush food into smaller pieces before squeezing out the juice while extracting the pulp through a separate channel. Masticating juicers are better than centrifugal juicers at extracting nutrients from plants, but not as good as a grinder/hydraulic press juicer. Those things are huge though, weigh a lot, are upwards of $2,000, and take a very long time to clean.

So I went with the Omega J8006 and I couldn't be happier. I've been juicing for about a week now, I've read the manual front to back like suggested, and am really getting the hang of it. The most important thing is to make sure to cut everything up small enough for the tube. I had some jams already, but that was totally my fault for not cutting things correctly. Now everything is good, and all I need to do is come up with some new favorite juice recipes!


Reasons to get a juicer right now:

1. Good health - I've known all along that freshly-made juice is better than buying it dead and pasteurized from the store, especially bottled in plastic. It's best to drink fresh juice right away, because light and air will destroy much of the nutrients after 15 minutes. So it's great to get a super dose of awesome every morning, being that I use a cup and a half of juice as a base in each batch of blended juice. Although, it takes about 30 minutes to make (most of which is cutting produce) and 15 minutes to clean both the juicer and the blender in comparison to the previous 15 minutes to make and 10 minutes to clean up just the blender. A small price really for such a beautiful thing, and I'm willing to put in the extra time. 

2. Save a lot of money - Money truly was the reason that it took me so long to buy a juicer. After doing the math though, I was shocked to find out how much I dropped on juice each week instead of investing in a juicer. I make blended juice every morning for breakfast, and use to buy two to three jugs of juice per week. That was $3.69 - $6.00 for a half gallon of apple (or two for $7.38 - $12.00) and a one quart of carrot for $3.99. This was roughly $7.68 - $15.99 a week, and that total differed depended on if I bought the expensive raw apple cider at the farmer's market. Now with the juicer, it only costs me $6.99 - $8.00 to buy the weekly organic produce for juice making. That's it! $2.49 - $3.50 for apples and other fruit, and $4.50 for the carrots. I can get 7-10 pieces of fruit and 12 carrots for that price, and it saves $35.88 - $415.48 a year. That means the juicer will pay itself off within a few years based on spending, and I will start saving money. That's incredible.

3. Being eco friendly - This is huge! There's no more plastic waste. The wonderful organic produce has no packaging in contrast to buying weekly jugs of juice. Come to find out I was consuming 104-156 plastic jugs of juice a year. That is so not cool. That's the definition of 'not cool'! So now that I don't buy them anymore, I'm so much happier because of it. It's a good thing for everyone, and everything on the planet.

Those are pretty fantastic reasons, huh? How about you? Is it time to buy a juicer? Or perhaps you already have one. Feel free to share tips and tricks as well. I would love to hear from you.

♡ Claudia

Tuesday, January 28

Live Life to the Fullest Now

"People at the end of their lives are incapable of bullshit."
- Kathleen Taylor, Hospice Counselor

Isn't that a great quote? I sure think so, and it really got me thinking because I found it to be truly inspiring. According to Kathleen, a health counselor for the dying, people that are wrapping up their lives really aren't worried or concerned about the little things. Things like being right, important, busy, guilty, self conscious, etc. She also states that many people become these crystalline, pure versions of who they are, because with no time, or strength, left they start becoming genuine.

That is profound, and I thought about how nice it would be to harness that potential earlier in life. Why wait? There is so much beauty in that honesty.

Also, what's curious about this light-bulb moment is that it seems to be something that someone has to just turn on. Decide right then and there that it's a new way of life, and change. Of course with minor corrections and reminders along the way, one could truly become that person at anytime. It just usually takes a serious experience to embrace it, or even the end of one's own life.

For me, that was dealing with my sister Carin's illness. It was tragic, but it brought so much clarity to those around her. Luckily, she's well again, and has a second chance. We all do. We can decide to change in an instant, right now, without having to go through something like that. Think about all of the things that you're perhaps not being honest about. Things like true forms of creativity, expression, consideration, forgiveness, love, and joy. We hold back so much, or even hold on too tight when it's not serving us.

The one thing that I tell people all the time is to follow their heart. Deep down we know what's right, not only for others and the planet, but for ourselves. We all have this inner pilot light that guides us. Sometimes we listen, and other times we're too afraid to for whichever reason.

Well, that's what needs to change. I challenge you to rethink and recreate when it's needed. Is that job working out for you, or that relationship? How about loosing those extra pounds, or allowing yourself to relax? Think about the present and how those things make you feel. Are they wonderful, or a burden? Living in the moment, and finding that authenticity within you will bring so much peace and happiness. Don't be afraid of change, letting go, or taking a leap of faith. Why wait until the end to find your true self? Live it now.

~Claudia

Monday, January 27

Artist Feature: Charlotte Cheng - Silly McGilly Illustrator

St. Patrick's Day Fun for Your Wee Little One!


My dear friend Charlotte has a special book that's hitting shelves this February. It's an adorable children's book called Silly McGilly. This original tale is written by three sisters: Michelle Dougherty, Eileen Cowley & Victoria Coffey, and was illustrated by Charlotte. It tells the story of a friendly Leprechaun who enjoys playing fun little tricks on children throughout the St. Patrick’s Day season.

I actually had the pleasure of working with Charlotte one on one to help her brush up on some of her skills before the book launched. She said that she was working on something very special, and it was vital that she prepared properly. Now I can see why, and I couldn't have been happier to know that I was a part of it in some small way. The book is absolutely brilliant.

So head on over to the site to pick up a copy! They're having a super sweet pre-order sale for a nice limited-edition set that includes one 8" Silly McGilly plush doll and one beautifully illustrated hardcover copy of the 8.5"x 8.5" Silly McGilly book.

Pre-Order the Limited Edition Silly McGilly Doll & Book Set

So go show some love, and tell her that Claudia sent you.

Cheers,
~Claudia

Thursday, January 23

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

This is late, but it's better late than never. I got to see this film the first week that it came out in Michigan with my sister and a bunch of friends. I had a grand time, and I actually liked this film a lot better than the first! Surprising for me, because I tend to like the first films best. Everything about them is intriguing: Meeting the characters, developing favorites, the call to adventure, the point of no return, and we're thrust into a huge world for an epic adventure that we know will span many movies.

Seeing movies with a big group is always enjoyable as well, and it's been a while for me. It's nice to have a good respectful crowd that doesn't talk or goof off during the film, but is still enthusiastic. That energy is there. Also, I saw this one in IMAX 3D and I loved it. I wish I would have seen the first one like that, because it was fun and distracting. Distracting, because I still don't like the plastic feel of the CG in these films. It did seem better this time around, because there was less needed, sans the dragon. Or at least, the effects were a bit more subtle.

Then there's the elves! Goodness, I was excited to see them. They're just so pretty and they always steal the show. However, Legolas did look really different because of his new contacts. They're just so piercing and light that he almost looked like a different character. I don't know how to feel about that. They do make him seem colder, which complements the story quite well, but that connection to the old character is missing. Also, I did notice that every elf had their own unique ear tips which added to their personality. Unlike the first trilogy, all of the elves had the same shaped prosthetics, so it was a nice change. Lastly, it was awesome to see Mirkwood for the first time as well, and they did a great job of bringing that city to life.

So now I'm pumped for the third, and final, chapter. They cut it off at a really juicy part too, which sucks. I hate when they do that! Oh well, December will come faster than I know it.

Happy movie watching!

Wednesday, January 22

LET'S Mingle: I'm Back In California

Come, relax, and have a conversation with me. Let's Mingle!

LET'S Mingle: I'm Back In California

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

Thursday, January 16

Look of the Month :: Winter 2014 :: January

Ah! Good old California. It's so great to be back. Despite the fact that I'm not caught up yet, I feel like I'm starting to settle in again. The Golden Globes where last weekend and I absolutely loved the red-carpet looks. Poppy color is huge this winter! Not only in fashion, but for makeup as well. So this first digital face chart of the new year is based on Hollywood glamour. That, and I got a new liquid liner for Christmas that goes perfectly with it. Navy is in too, so the bright blue complements that and the poppy shades as well. 

The current look is:
J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 4


Color trends for this month:
Poppy, navy, camel, white, and rose gold

Current motivation for the look:
 Hollywood fashion, warm sunsets, and catching up with friends

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

Wednesday, January 15

The Best Way to Contact Me...

For me, it's important to respond to as many of your lovely messages and questions as I can. Some ways are definitely better than others. Times change and so do websites, so I'll update this whenever there's new information. For the most part, here are the best ways to contact me online. Holidays and vacations are the exceptions, being that I don't check any messages when I'm away.


The Best Way to Contact Me Online:

  • Blog: If you want a fast response back within a few days this is the way to go. I check them first, so feel free to write if you want to chat. It doesn't even have to be about the posted subjects, you don't need an account to post anonymously, and it's free. Just pick one and say hi! People do this all the time, and it's a great way to get questions answered quickly.

  • YouTube: I do not respond to comments anymore. This is because I'm not a part of social media sites. I don't have the capability to respond, because Google forced people to comment via G+. For this reason I have disabled comments, with the exception of any videos that require a call to action. Also, my inbox on YouTube is set to private, so I don't receive any personal messages there.

  • DeviantArt: I do not respond to comments here anymore as well, and have disabled comments on my artwork. I do respond to all questions though on the front page, journals, and activity. I respond to all DA Notes however, but it will take 1-10 months to get a response back because I only check them a few times a year.


So keep in touch! Thank you again for the brilliant messages. I do what I do because of you, and I'm eternally grateful for all of your love and support. It's really important to me that you get proper responses, so help me help you, and I hope to hear from you soon!

Cheers,
~Claudia

Tuesday, January 14

New Year's Resolutions: A Bright New Future

It is so good to be back in California. I feel absolutely refreshed after my amazing two month holiday with family, and I'm ready to start the year off right. New Year's is always a special time for me because it's an opportunity to reflect and be grateful. It's a time to reminisce about the past and get excited for the future. This year was special too, because I got to celebrate twice: Once with family in Michigan and another in front of the fireplace in California getting lost in thought.

Carla, my sister, even had a beautiful vision about my year to come and drew out a picture for me. Here's what she wrote:

 This sounds pretty good to me.

How exciting is that! It was very kind of her to relay it in a way that I would appreciate, hence the leaf analogy. So I'm definitely ready to hop to it. That being said, I was quite happy with my results from last year. I was very successful, with the exception of my Fran cosplay. Despite the fact that I didn't finish, I still got a lot done. So for that, I'm content. Everything else was awesome, and I got gold stars all round. Seaweed is now a part of my daily diet. I've tried guava, durian, and bee pollen. Stress and worry are a thing of the past. (I definitely had an astounding transformation last year, and it makes me smile just thinking about it.) Then lastly, my biweekly schedule for creating YouTube videos was successful as well, with the exemption of holidays and vacations.

Now on to the new resolutions! Share yours with me as well. I want to hear all about your wonderful goals.  
Here are mine for this year: 

Diet: Continue to clean up by extremely limiting my salt intake and cutting back on packaged foods. Also, I would love to try new varieties of plants at the farmer's market. Like shallots, leeks, and tomatillos!

Body: Work on flexibility and strength. To the point that I can do the splits both ways, and be able to do 1-3 pull-ups without help.

Others: Continue to give to people more often both in person and online. Don't be afraid, and don't hoard when I know that I can share or give.

Creative: Finish my Fran cosplay! For real this time. I also have a few paintings that I would like to get out of my head and out into the world.

I wish everyone out there a splendid New Year, and good luck to you with your personal resolutions. 
Love Claudia xx

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