Friday, January 23

LET'S Mingle: Heal Disease and Lose Weight with Water Fasting

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

 LET'S Mingle: Heal Disease and Lose Weight with Water Fasting

For more information, please read the YouTube info box.

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


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

Check out these other videos as well:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

♡ Aaron and Claudia

Thursday, January 22

Look of the Month :: Winter 2015 :: January

I'm always a bit daring for my first digital face chart of the year, and this look is no exception. I've been inspired by artistic ways to wear liner, and what better time of year to experiment. I love simple geometric shapes, and there's something very beautiful about adoring the face with them. So this time around I wanted to incorporate tiny liner dots with the color of the year, marsala, to create a powerful eye. It's very war paint-esque, and a perfect way to own the new year.

Speaking of fresh starts, this year will mark the end of the "Look of the Month" face charts. Makeup will always be a passion of mine, but I'm going to become more responsible about what I put on my skin. That, and I love being natural. So starting this year, I'm going to reduce my makeup collection to the bare essentials. I'm not going to throw anything away, because I don't like wasting things, but I'm just not going to be repurchasing as much. In the future I will have a very small kit, featuring only my favorites. The rest will go. It also helps that I have the most amazing man in my life. This year for New Year's Aaron told me that he wanted me to leave my lip gloss in the hotel because he preferred the color of my real lips. Wow! Well then.

Again, a little makeup always goes a long way and I will continue to have fun. As an artist it's a wonderful way to express myself, and I still enjoy it. I'll probably even do more face charts from time to time here on the blog, just not on a monthly basis.

So enjoy this last run! The Look of the Month posts have been going strong for five years now, and I feel in my heart that it's a good time to retire them. Thank you for loving them as much as I did. 

The current look is:
J A N U A R Y  2 0 1 5

Color trends for this month:
Marsala, aurora red, misted yellow, black, and yellow gold

Current motivation for the look:
 New beginnings, colonial America, and unique creativity

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, January 12

How I Went 10 Years on Only 80 Trash Bags

In 2005 I bought a box of 80 (13 gallon) trash bags and didn't think much of it. I needed them, and I was out. A few years later I started to change. I was more eco friendly, and I started to really educate myself about such things. Two things happened: I discovered the Johnson Family and their zero-waste home, and I also found Beth Terry's "My Plastic Free Life" site after watching her TEDx Talk about how she lives without plastic.

These people inspired me so much! If they could do it so could I, or at least to some extent. It looked pretty easy too, and I could still live a convenient modern life. I decided that I was going to try to cut back on the amount of trash that I produced, by making a few simple tweaks.

Here's how I made my trash bags last:

1. Stopped buying food in packaging. This was huge, and probably accounted for most of my trash. It's just amazing how much food is in packaging. It was encouraging as well, because this made me reflect upon my choices. I started to go to the farmer's market to buy good fresh food, and I always brought my own re-usable bags. I even returned the food containers and rubber bands to the farmers to reuse because I didn't need them, and I would only end up throwing them away anyway.

2. Incorporated minimalism into my lifestyle. I was already a minimalist, I just didn't know that there was a word for it. When I started to study it, I realized how much I appreciated going through life lightly. I spent less on stuff, therefore I didn't have to throw much away, and I spent the money on quality experiences that enriched my life. I love to go out and travel, so this was a worthy trade.

3. Stopped buying things that I couldn't recycle. This mainly pertains to food as well. If the product wasn't in glass or paper, I typically didn't buy it. Metal and plastic can be recycled as well, but I don't like buying food that's packaged in them. Some plastics are tricky to recycle as well, and it's easiest on all of us that live on this planet if less is consumed. That, and I try not to bring too much plastic into my environment. I love natural items that are made from quality materials, so I buy those instead. Besides, they tend to last much longer and then I don't have to replace them so often.

This worked so well that I'm now finally finishing the box of trash bags from ten years ago. Going in, I would have never thought that I could have achieved that. I'm pretty excited about it, and I'm going to keep going.

These are the bags that I use now. They're actually green!

This year, I downsized my trash bin, and started to get biodegradable bags made from corn. Aaron and I get them from local farmers that give them to us for free when we purchase produce from their stand. They're so awesome! So we reuse some of these bags for the market, and then the rest for trash bags.

In the long run, it truly is an easy change to make. It's just about wanting to do it. If we all do our part, we can make the world a better place. That's why I do what I do, I'm happy to for all of us, and perhaps this will inspire you to make everlasting change as well.

We're all in this together, one less trash bag at a time.

Wednesday, January 7

Come Chat with Me on Wednesday, the 14th

Come say hi next Wednesday, the 14th, at 3:00pm EST on deviantART for a live chat! This post will be updated on Wednesday, 5 minutes before 3:00pm to provide a link to the chat room.

We can talk about lots of things. It will be fun:
Art Topics
Portfolio Tips
Video Games
Questions or Help
Just to Say Hi
Health Tips
Or Anything

Talk to you soon!

Here's the link:
Let's Rock It!

Thank you everyone that stopped by this afternoon.
I had a great time and I'll have to do it again soon.

Tuesday, January 6

What Happened to My Nails After a Year of No Nail Polish

Last year I decided to do an experiment because I was sick of my nails looking awful. I knew that it was the nail polish that I was putting on them, because every time I used it they looked worse. They would turn yellow, become more brittle, split down the layers, and chip very easily. I even noticed that little pits and ridges would form where the nail polish hit the cuticle. This sucked because it would take a long time to grow them out to look healthy again. So I said enough was enough.

Here's what my nails looked like before the experiment. 

I proclaimed right then and there that I was going to go without nail polish for an entire year to see what happened. I already knew that they would get better, but I didn't know the extent of it.

I knew that I had traditional crappy chemical nail polish, and that it's bad for me, so why wear it? Well, it's truly just about having fun with color. I thought that during this year I would miss my polish a lot, but that's not what happened. I actually enjoyed it! Instead, what happened was that I got a mini vacation from doing my nails. No smell, no drying time, no chipping, and no hassle. I didn't even miss the color, found other ways to express myself creativity, and really enjoyed how my natural nails looked.

Here's what my nails look like after a year of no polish.

They got so pretty that they looked like they had a manicure. I was ecstatic, because everything healed! They grew faster, the whites were white, the pinks were pink, the cuticles were flush to the nail, I had healthy little moons (lunula) on each one, they stopped peeling, they didn't crack, and there were no more pits or ridges. It was so nice to have happy nails at last.

It didn't take too long either, definitely not the whole year. The splitting and cracking stopped first, followed by the yellowing. Then the cuticles healed, followed by growing out the pits and ridges. Also, the ridges stopped forming, because there was no polish to irritate the cuticles.

So, will I go back? I haven't decided yet, and haven't painted them since. If I do, I might pick up some better polish. There are natural brands that aren't as bad and don't contain the harsh ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrance, and phthalates. Unfortunately, it still seems like there are a lot of words that I can't pronounce in these 'natural' products.

Take something like ammonium ferrocyanide, which was an ingredient in one of the natural brands, it's an exotoxin and causes organ toxicity. Well that sounds awesome! All in the name of colorful nails, right? So I just don't know if I want to do it anymore. Besides, Aaron loves how they look, and I'm sure that most would agree that they're lovely how they are when they're healthy. At least if I do go back, and paint them again, I know the consequences: One week of pretty colors traded for months of sad ugly nails.

Help a girl out! If you know of any safe, natural ways to color 
one's nails let me know. I would really appreciate it.

Love Claudia xx

Monday, January 5

Happy New Year: The New Leaf and the Unforgettable Year

I always say, "May this be the best year yet!" So if that's the case, this year is going to be a pretty memorable time. Sometimes words just don't describe how beautiful life is, and writing about how special last year was will be a challenge for sure. I am so incredibly grateful for everyone and everything.

Carla, my sister, predicted that I was going to have a great year (she's clairvoyant). I can't even begin to express how right she was. It truly was 'The New Leaf' that she described it to be. At the beginning of the year I was dealing with mental growth. Coping with things like fear, accepting death, finding clarity, understanding that security is an illusion, and being present in the moment. Then there were things that came later, like being happier with less and cutting back on consumption. Even eating better, and becoming the strongest and most flexible I've ever been. Some of my resolutions from last year were to try new plant foods and to be able to do pull-ups and the splits. Well, I'm happy to say that I've tried a huge variety of things this year: Tomatillos, jack fruit, star fruit, sapodilla, maca root, goji berries, Brussels sprout leaves, fresh cranberries, fresh turmeric root, purple sweet potatoes, parsnips, trumpet mushrooms, spirulina, aloe, eggplant, raw chocolate, wild fennel, and new varieties of seaweed. That's a lot, and I'm most pleased! Also, I achieved my pull-up resolution, but not the splits. Despite the fact that I'm still not to the ground, my daily stretch routine has sure paid off. I'm the most flexible that I've ever been, and I'm only about three inches from the floor. I consider it to be a success, and I'll continue to work on it until I do get down to the floor completely.

During the middle of the year, I focused on a career change. I'm completely satisfied with the time that I spent in the video game industry, and knew that it was time to focus on the next big thing. This is where lifestyle mentoring comes into play along with being a YouTuber and a blogger. I now know that this is the next chapter, and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Then, the most undeniably important thing in my life happened: Aaron and I got to be together. Truelove is something that I lost all hope in, and I didn't think that it was realistic to expect such things. A younger Claudia would have been sad to see me in such a state. Fortunately, that has changed and I once again believe in fairy tales. I moved to Pennsylvania to be with him at the end of the year, and to begin a whole new chapter.

Even though Carla foresaw a big exciting year, I couldn't have imagined it all! What a beautiful experience, and I am so happy with how it played out.

So, what will this new year bring? I'm excited to see. I have already dubbed it 'The Unforgettable Year', and it will be awesome. Although, resolution wise, here are some things that I'm going to focus on for the year.

My New Year's Resolutions:

Mind: This year is going to be about calming the mind and working on toning back the sarcasm. It's best used sparely, and I'm willing to let it go. I now understand that it's hostility disguised as humor, and there are better ways to laugh and have a good time. So I'm excited about the change.

Body: I'm still going to keep working on the splits. It will happen and I'm pretty close. I'm happy to continue on with my routine and to keep going until I hit the floor.

Balance: This is as much mental as it is physical. I wish to find my balance between work and play this year so that I have more time to be with the ones that I love. Making time for rest and the important things in life is valuable to me, so I need to work on that.

Creative: This was the category that received the cold shoulder from me last year. Therefore, I'm going to keep this one the same. My Fran cosplay needs more love for sure, and I'm going to find time for it. Then of course I have a list of other projects and paintings that need attention as well. It will be good times!

Now Aaron would like to share a few words:
Greetings, all! I wanted to emphasize how incredibly and unfathomably important being with Claudia is to me. Seeing her standing before me for the first time was by far the most pivotal point in my life, and the moment when I consider life to have truly begun for me. You absolutely mean the world to me, Claudia.

Also, I'd like to list a few things that I've decided on for my New Year's Resolutions:

Mind: Be more sure, both of myself, and the energy that I imbue into life. Release fear, so that my mind is free to think and imagine clearly. I've made strides to achieve this in the past year, but while I've made considerable progress, I feel that there is more openness to be explored.

Body: Starting in 2013, my journey towards a truly healthy lifestyle finally began after reading Claudia's article about healthy skin. Sans special occasions, I completely ended my consumption of dairy products. In August of 2014, and with Claudia's guidance, I began diving into the wonderful world of healthy living. Every step of the way brought rapid and amazing results. So for this year, I resolve to take the next step by experiencing a water fast. Based on all that I've learned about the process, I anticipate great things.

Spirit: Making positive changes to both mind and body can affect the spirit immensely, but the spirit should always be improved directly. My beliefs are rooted in Nature and Her processes. I use the term Druidism, but it does incorporate Science because the physical understanding of Nature's mechanisms often are as magical as stories of olde. We as a species are still so young in our awareness, and many aspects of the 'Verse from whence we are born are mysterious to us. With that in mind, I will continue to grow in my understanding through inquisitiveness, creativity, and love.

We wish you well, and may you have a fantastic New Year. 
Good luck to you with your personal resolutions as well. Let's rock it!
♡ Aaron and Claudia

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