Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Review: The Awe-Manac

The Awe-Manac by Jill Badonsky is exactly what its tagline says it is:  a daily dose of wonder.  It's one part almanac, one part journal, one part coach, one part muse.  It sparks your creativity on many levels by providing food for creative thought throughout your day.  Each day starts with you naming the day, (i.e., Kick that Cold Day) and completing the sentence:  Today I get to ________.  What a cool way to set a goal. 

From there you'll find any variety of celebrations, quotes, and observances.  You may be asked to write an ode to peanut butter, or doodle a bird, or take a walk.  Every day is an adventure, waiting to be experienced, just like real life.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a different way to jumpstart their creativity.  The exercises are quick, and Jill's sense of humor is infectious.  You're sure to start your day with a smile, and a bit of awe, indeed.

Great SCOT! (Something Completely Off Topic!)

The scheduled and unscheduled merriment of the holidays obviously took a bigger toll on my body than I thought.  For almost a week, I was knocked flat with a head and chest cold.  I try to stay away from antibiotics unless I have a fever, because on the rare occasion when I am sick, it is most often my body saying:  KNUCKLEHEAD--slow your roll! No matter how I try to pace myself, it seems that my tasks, meetings, deadlines and such all seem to pile up into a few CRAZY busy days.  During that time, I don't eat properly, burn the candle at both ends, and run my body down.  Most times, I get away with it, but a couple of times a year, my body defends itself,  and in no uncertain terms.

Most OTC (over the counter) drugs treat symptoms I don't have, and I hate that.  Would I take a pain reliever if I didn't have a headache?  No.  Why would I use something containing a pain reliever and fever reducer if I only have a cough or nasal congestion? I wanted to share two recipes that help me get through most colds; to this I might add whatever single product (i.e., a nasal decongestant or specific cough syrup) needed.  Important note:  these recipes are designed to make you sweat; after using them, keep yourself warm.   Bundle up, head to toe, in bed or the sofa!

Toddy for the Body
Hot water
Lemon Juice
Freshly grated ginger (important!)
Cayenne Pepper  (important!)
Optional:  shot of bourbon, rum or whisky

Combine lemon juice, honey, grated ginger; add shot if desired.  Pour hot water over mixture; add more lemon or honey to taste.  Sprinkle cayenne pepper over top and stir.

Garlic Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)
2 tablespoons butter
15 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoon flour
2 cups chicken stock
cayenne pepper (as much as you can stand!)

Melt butter over medium-low heat.  Add garlic and saute until mixture is just golden, about 2 minutes.  Add stock and bring to boil, stirring constantly.    Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.  Season with cayenne and salt.

Creative Women's Collective

I attended my first meetup (I promise I'll submit another post extolling the brilliance of with the Creative Women's Collective.  The meeting was held in Glen Ridge, NJ, at the studio of one of the members, and I got to meet ten like-minded, creative spirits.

The CWC is focused on the mission of networking with other people who create and sell handcrafted products.  Creating your art is often a solitary activity; working craft shows on your own gets tired pretty quickly.  The CWC offers not only a support network for selling, but also the collective (pun intended) intellectual and creative capacity of the other group members. Last night, we discussed venues and sales opportunities, but we also discussed the business of owning businesses like ours, sharing successes and pitfalls.

This was the first meeting of the year, and the topic of discussion was how many shows to participate in and which ones were worthwhile.  The group is fun and open, with everyone's input sought and respected .  An upcoming meeting will talk about accounting.  If you're interested in joining the group, visit and use the search feature at the top right hand of the page; enter Creative Women's Collective.  Alternately, you can certainly search for craft seller meetups in your area, or start your own meetup; get on out there!