The joys that having your own “thing” can bring you.

A few weekends ago, while bonding with my good girlfriend from New York, we talked about how it was important to have your own “thing“. I have always had a thing, or many things, however, my friend hasn’t had a thing in many years, in fact, I am not sure she has ever had a thing.  While always very studious, dedicated and a big participator in lots of activities, none of them ever really encouraged her to have a thing.

Vanilla Clouds Rose Quartz BraceletsVanilla Clouds Perhaps there was a rock that was left unturned that when flipped upright could uncover a hidden joy that filled a void she never knew existed.

Once she married and had a child, that took up most of her time.  But now that her daughter was in school and becoming increasingly independent, my friend began to feel like something was missing in her life and that it might finally be the right time to find her own“thing”.  Something that she could do on her very own.  Something she could develop an excitement for on her terms.  Something that could allow her to relax, to be at peace, to think, to reminisce, to do whatever she pleased.HempBeadImage 3
I recently checked in with my buddy to see if she had done any more research into the “thing” idea, she responded, “negative” but it was certainly on her mind.

What I have noticed is that not having a “thing” isn’t something you realize until someone points it out to you or it comes up in conversation as it did for us.  It’s amazing how many people just mull through life without ever searching for a hobby or some sort of pass time that would bring them simple joy or help relieve some stress.Vanilla Clouds Aqua Bracelts

Vanilla Clouds Bead BraceletsHave you ever witnessed someone find joy in an activity and as a result it inspired the question within you…  “What is my thing”?

Vanilla Clouds Bracelets“Lets get a little crazy here” – Bob Ross

Personally, I have had many things, borderline too many, haha.  But I can tell you this, I am never bored.  My ideas have ideas and sometimes they keep me up at night.  I haven’t figured out if this is a good problem to have yet?

I am very visual and usually enjoy anything I can put together with my hands.  I’m a girly girl, so, of course, jewelry is lots of fun for me.  I also love fashion and creative photography and always have!  The above shots are images I took of my latest jewelry pieces.  I use a combination of Hemp, Glass Beads, Wooden Beads, Crystals, Gems and plated findings.

My Hemp Glass and Gem Bead Chokers are available on Etsy in my Vanilla Clouds Shop and I will also be selling at a local yoga studio here on St. Simons Island called Infuse Yoga!  It’s very exciting 🙂

Model is the beautiful Lauren Prince.


“There is always a gift in any challenge.” Bronnie Ware

So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to become a cleaner and more creative cook.  Now, I would like to say that this was a 100% internal growth sort of revelation, but the truth is, my body has built an intolerance to preservatives and bacteria produced in aged and fermented foods.  Such foods are high in histamine production and basically, my histamine intolerance is non-existent.

Essentially, my body cannot break down histamine because I am lacking the proper enzymes.  It’s rather confusing but I know that I need to stay away from foods that are high in histamines. If you google “foods high in histamine” I am pretty sure you will come up with everything you and I love, which as a result has made my food choices vs foods I enjoy a big challenge.

Do I choose between enjoying food or giving in to my vanity of having clear skin. Incidentally, that is my side of effect of eating too many foods high in histamine.  For others, it may be different, the effects may be more hidden, (but not less painful) however for me, it causes inflammation and hives in my face, sometimes my body. It would seem like an easy and clear choice because I have someone in my life who loves me for me, however, the truth is, this kind of thing takes a toll on your self esteem.  It eats at you little by little and you begin to just not feel like yourself anymore and all sorts of things manifest from that.  Not good things!!  It’s only when I really take the time to think about it that I realize that I have strayed from my base level mood.  By that I mean, I am normally a pretty optimistic person, fairly confident …but these kind of things chip away at that and make you less of the person that you normally are.

Now, I am very clear with the fact that this is minuscule compared to some of the challenges people go through in life, nonetheless, we all handle challenges in different ways.

Fast forward to my New Years Resolution of trying to eat clean to improve my skin and therefore my self esteem.  I got the idea of making my own tomato sauce as most if not all tomato sauces destroy my skin.  I was hoping that the fresh tomato sauce would offend my skin a little less than the jar version from the supermarket.   So, as I was cooking, of course I took a few photo’s!

This is the first time that the true authenticity of the colors mattered in a picture to portray my point.20150109_155618  So, I marched over to the grocery story(not really, I actually rode my bike Lucy over)  grabbed a bunch of random big healthy tomatoes, not really paying attention the color. I found a recipe on Pinterest, which you can find on my Pinterest board called Clean Foods which called for roasting your tomatoes for 1 hour on 400 degrees drizzled with salt and olive oil. Well, it turns out that the color of the tomatoes was pretty important, as the gals sauce on the Pinterest recipe was as red as this bowl, sauce, not so much.20150109_175652  It was orange, just like the color of my tomatoes.  Nonetheless, I continued with the recipe, sauteing garlic, basil, olive oil and a bunch of other herbs.20150109_175706  The apartment smelled absolutely divine, that is, if you like the amazing smell of roasted garlic and herbs. I happen to love it 🙂  No recipe is ever how they say it will be and I admit, I never follow it to a T.  I merged my sauce and my herbs then tossed in some turkey chopped meat that I cooked separately but did not get to properly grind as it cooked quicker than I had anticipated.  Oh well, all merged!  Taste test time!20150109_180427  I am usually too nervous to do this and have my boyfriend do it, which he usually obliges 🙂  Anyhow the result, the sauce was delicious, but not tomatoey enough?  How can that be?? tomatoes are it’s main component.  Well, my further online research said sometimes you can cook the tomato taste away,or… my tomatoes were not at their ripest. Nonetheless, I can tell you that the dish was very tasty and one of my best creations.20150110_230626  I had a second serving today 🙂

Did fresh sauce make the difference in histamine.  

Hmmm, that is a tough question because I did consume a few things that could have also been culprits, however, I am sad to report that this morning my skin was a bit swollen and I had an abnormally more amount of red tiny hives.  The hives were not itchy nor were they terribly disruptive to my day, but I knew that they were there and it bothered me.  So, back to the old drawing board.  I will say that I have bought more tomatoes today, but really ripe ones, as I am determined to get the recipe right.  Sometimes the sense of accomplishment can help me tolerate the consequences.  What started out as a resolution to help heal my skin has sparked a true creative interest and enjoyment in the culinary arts 🙂  How wonderful!