Tag Archives: graphics

NEW Color Palette Designs

Hello friends; I hope you like art posts and looking at how other people’s minds translate to visuals. First time doing this kind of thing and it’s awesome to create my own!

A little bit ago, I decided to try my hand at making my own color palettes based on some of my photography and artwork I have taken and completed. They’re not fabulous yet, and some could be better, but here is what I have so far. Once I get it down, I want to create a color palette style myself and make one for my blog and have a branding page available (or at least a document for myself to look back on!)

I’m trying to get back to my roots and focus on some sort of art, design, computer work and blogging to keep my mind occupied more on a daily basis this year. 2020 is going to be very busy for myself and my husband and I hope it helps with my depression and anxiety I’ve been dealing with for quite some time.

#FreebieFriday – Fall Recipe Card

HAPPY ALMOST FALL!

With the first day of autumn being September 23rd this year, I thought you would all enjoy a new freebie this weekend of a recipe card! It’s a simple design, but oh so adorable to use. I mean, look at that little squirrel in the bottom left corner. I’ll add this to my Freebie Tab in my blog for you to download if you’d like to use it to keep all of your favorite fall recipes together and in order.

Enjoy!

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Striving Towards A Simple Life – Just a Bit Further

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Is it even possible?

Is it possible to live a simple life, given the velocity that life careens through the cosmos these days? A life that gives you room to breathe and ultimately to live life on your own terms. Not necessarily life as the result of ditching everything and living off-grid in a self-hewed cabin in the wilderness of northern Ontario, but a life regardless of where you are, that in all intense purposes is simple.”

How many of us are desperately seeking this kind of quiet change? A major hurdle to overcoming this pilgrimage of living “simple” is the concept of “living simpler”. Sadly, this is pretty much polar opposite to the world as we know it.

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This comes as no huge shock, but we live a crazy, and insanely busy time.

What defies logic is; although we bemoan and complain about how insane it all is, when we flip the coin over we find ourselves glorifying busy and all the insaneness.

We extoll with our friends and colleagues on how many hours we can work. All of which goes hand in hand with how little sleep we need to work all those hours. At the expense of friends, family and relationships in general, we glue our noses to computer screens or our smartphones, using each precious second we can find. We become addicted to the “likes” and “comments” hoping they will inject a level of validation into what can be a somewhat superficial and sad commentary of our affairs.

Like sitting around a poker table, we raise the stakes higher and higher. We take on more commitments. Our jobs demand more and more of us, to produce greater outputs, meaning longer hours and even more commitments. We are driven to do more and, yes, buy more. Many people abuse themselves with drugs and/or alcohol in an out of control attempt to get distracted from the insaneness until they are anesthetized into dreamland and stressed beyond human comprehension.

Okay, that might be a stretch for some, but it certainly is the reality for many. But, granted it is tough.

Many of us were raised in environments where achievements and the pursuit of wanting more is hard-wired into our DNA. So, there is never enough and there is always more to be had. We push more and more to get further ahead. To be better than last year, striving for a better and more prestigious title at work. And always lurking out there somewhere, like a northern pike circling the shallow water for his next meal, is the lure of more money. We believe “money” to be the answer to all our troubles and strife. Believing that more money will buy us the peace, happiness and a simpler life we have so longed for.

What might happen though, if we decided to take a bit of side-step?

To strategically work on leaving the craziness and insaneness behind, and to go for a life that was much simpler in its complexity?

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Is it even possible?

Let’s make the assumption that it is. If so, what might a less simple existence even look like?

Again, I’m not suggesting or promoting heading off to a northern Ontario wood-lot deep in the boreal forests anywhere north of Manitouwadge and hand whacking a tiny cabin together with nothing more than an axe, grit and determination. Although, if that’s what you think it takes, more power to you!

Like I do, most of us live in the real world and we have real-world commitments. It is those commitments that require us to live in the real world. The reality we see each day when we open the front door.

How can we be in this world (the crazy and insanely hectic one), but move towards living simpler? How to get out of the “race” and to step away from the busyness, whether self-imposed or not. How can I/we slow things down, while fulfilling our purpose, doing great work and living a wonderful life?

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Breathing

Creating and living a much simpler life is all about breathing.

Establishing space through cutting or scaling back gives you space to breathe.

Doing more and having more doesn’t lead to happiness and fulfillment. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s about finding joy in the simple things, and being content with solitude, quiet, contemplation and savoring the moment.

A few things to keep in mind though.

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We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

All of the stress, the irritations, the dissatisfaction, and disappointments; all the craziness and rushing around; we created all of it. So, whether you like it or not, we are our own worst enemy. Every one of those things we created in our own minds. We made those decisions and we created these with attachments in our heads. By letting go, we can relax and live more simply.

Clutter and Complexity

Get rid of stuff.”

When we can get rid of “stuff” and become less attached, a couple of things can happen. If you sell some of the “tangible stuff”, you’ll have a bit of cash in your hand and most significantly, getting rid of clutter can result in these benefits:

  • sense of confidence – I have only X amount of space, so I need to be bold with what goes and what stays
  • more energy – relates to the first point. Puts you in the get things done mode
  • reduces anxiety – most of us prefer order as compared to chaos. Decluttering creates order and order reduces anxiety
  • creates more time – not overwhelmed now with the time that WAS needed to clean and tidy. Creates time for other things or to do nothingWhen we can do something like getting rid of the clutter around us, our lives start to become simpler.

Social Media

Might as well blurt it out there – “social media is the scourge of today. Okay, it might not be “the scourge of today,” but it rates right up there.

There is no getting around it, we are addicted to those little electronic devices. Our phone, Ipads, computers and all that they deliver – we can never get enough. We check our FB feeds to see how many likes did that post get. We upload a picture of our dinner on Instagram and then head over and update our life on Twitter. Each time we “just check for a second,” a wee tiny blast of dopamine let’s loose in our brains and we become more and more addicted.

For too many of us, it’s insanely hard to stop.

In search of making our lives simpler, cutting back on social media time is an excellent element in our quest. In checking to see who’s doing what and who said what, we waste time and energy. Sadly, we get stuck in a trap of comparing ourselves with “influencers” and others on social media, which over time can erode our confidence and takes away the power we have within us as individuals.

Less screen time equates to more breathing time and space.

A Few Simple Things

How many feel that their lives and activities need to be complex. In that, complex equates to better. Often, that includes a cycle of “more complex and better” as time moves along. Yesterday’s complex and better doesn’t cut it today.

Striving towards a life that is simpler means looking inside of us, deep inside of us to discover those simple joys and activities in life.

For me, those include writing/blogging, reading and discovering new things; as well as the outdoors; including hiking and walking. Most importantly, spending time with Lynn, while she captures all of this with her photography skills and passion.

When we downsized our home after our daughter left for college, we gave more stuff away than I can remember. And when I say downsize I mean downsize… to a 700 square foot two bedroom home.

When our lives become focused on the simple things you love doing, life suddenly becomes simpler.

Less clutter; less stuff; less worry.

“No” Is Not A Bad Word

Most of us are not very clear about what we want. How many of us see a post on social media of something really neat or exciting and we become obsessed about doing whatever that was. Next thing you know, we find ourselves heading in a new and totally different direction.

When someone invites us out, we instantly say, yes. Why? Because we’re “yes people” or “people pleasers.” We simply cannot say no.

Because we can never say no, our lives and schedules get stretched to the breaking point. There’s never enough time left for the things that are most important to us.

No is not a bad word.

What if we worked really hard on those things in our existence that held the most and dearest value to us? Saying, “yes” to those things and “no” to the other stuff. If we knew what we wanted to create and the direction we want our lives to head in, we could say yes to these things, and no to everything else.

Saying no to more things would simplify our lives. No is not a bad word!

Do Nothing – Practice It Until You Get REAL GOOD at it.

Have you ever just sat back and did nothing for a day? Just hung loose and did NOTHING. No need to feel that the day had been wasted if something had not been accomplished.

We all need idle time. Time built in to sit and watch the clouds drift by on a warm summer’s afternoon. A time that is free to do nothing.

Many people feel the need to have every waking moment filled with activities and the need to accomplish so much, each and every day. The reality is we need that down time to rejuvenate ourselves…..to meditate; to think; to reflect.

Why?

Having that time to do nothing and just “be you” helps to foster and create contentment with life.

Get In Alignment

When working towards achieving a simpler life, at some point along the way it will become clear to you which things in your life are no longer in alignment with your values.

Part of living more simply will help you identify those unnecessary aspects of your daily life. It might be less FB and social media time, or it might be areas in your life that need significant review and thought. This could be your job; friendships; where you live; belongings (getting rid of things) or anything else that just doesn’t line up with your simpler existence.

So, is it even possible?

Yes, it is possible and like much of life, it comes down to a decision. We are the only ones who can decide if we want our lives to be less hectic and more simple in existence.

It doesn’t mean packing up and living in a tiny cabin out in the hinterlands cut off from everything. It’s about making priorities; figuring out what we want our lives to look like and then acting on those things to accomplish it.

Something tells me that as time marches on, life will become more and more complex, with greater demands on our time. Perhaps now is your moment to re-evaluate where you are… where you’re headed. To start now and simplify your life to create something that gives you room to breathe and room to live!

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To quote Yvon Chouinard, an early rock climbing pioneer and founder of the outdoor equipment and clothing company Patagonia and environmental activist.

Thanks for reading and stopping by.

Mental Health Mini Series: 4 Reasons Why You Should Start to Exercise – Stephanie Robbins

Hello Friends!

I am so happy to be back doing a guest post series for Koral! Thank you so much for this chance.

I’m Stephanie from A Red Hair Girl. In January I wrote a post for Koral that gave you some background about my mental health issues. Then I went on to explain three ways I helped myself with my mental health.

First I admitted to myself I had a problem and that I needed help. Second I told a few people that I felt comfortable telling (my husband, my mom, sisters, and my OBGYN). And third I made the scary phone call to a therapist to get up an appointment. It is worth the read. I hope it will give you courage to seek out the help you need if you are struggling.

At the end of the post I mentioned I had a post about the things I have learned in therapy that have helped me. Welp, I had good intentions but I never got around to writing it… AHHH! I’m sorry!

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I thought this mini-series would be the perfect chance for me to tell you about 4 things that I learned from my therapist. And tell you why they have helped me. I’m super excited!

So, let’s get right to it! This post is all about exercise! Here are 4 reasons why exercise is great for your mental health. I hope that by the time you are finished you are ready to get your sweat on.

Working Out Releases Our Feeling Good Endorphins

When we have our feeling good endorphins are flowing it just feels great. This is a natural way to get them going. So why wouldn’t we want to do that? My therapist always ask how my level of exercise. She doesn’t care how hard I’m going at it. She just wants me moving.

Even a walk around the block and kick start the good feeling endorphins. In fact if you exercise outside it can increase the amount of good feeling endorphins. That’s a double win! She tells me to get outside and talk a walk around the block sans kids if I’m feeling stressed, depressed or anxious. That isn’t always possible. But when I have, I come back refreshed.

Exercise Can Help Take Your Mind off Worries

When your brain has less to worry about your depression and anxiety will have less to feed it. When I’m working out it is harder for me to think about negative things. After a workout it is even hard to be negative. It’s all those good feeling endorphins. J

So if you exercise most days then you will have less time during those days to worry, which will help. Because the less you worry then the cycle of negative thoughts that help to feed your depression and anxiety will not be as present.

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Exercise Can Help You Gain Confidence

What happens when you work out consistently? So many wonderful things! Among them is you will start to feel better about yourself. When you take the time to work out and do something that is hard you gain confidence.

You may start to lose weight or gain muscle. Your clothes may start to fit differently, a good different. People may start to give you complements. Or you may catch yourself in the mirror and think, WOW! All of these help you to gain confidence.

When you have more confidence you start to have a change in your thinking. For me, I become less depressed. Both of those things (being less depressed and gaining confidence) are very important to your mental health.

Working Out Can Help You Eat Better

If you are like me (and so many other people) then when you start to exercise consistently you may start to eat healthier. You may find yourself grabbing for an apple instead of crackers. The can of soda may not look as tasty as water.

When I am able to get myself out of bed and work out first thing in the morning I tend to make better eating choices all day long. Why wouldn’t I want to start my day off in that way?

Then when you start making better eating choices and continue to work out you will see a difference in your body. This will help you gain more confidence. See how many of these are intertwined? J

Some Tips and Tricks to Help You

  • You do not need to go out and join a gym or an online membership unless you want to.
  • There are plenty of free resources online or books you can check out from the library.
  • Walking is a great way to get started, get some good shoes to protect your feet and body.
  • Workout clothes are so much fun to have. They are pricey. I mostly use t-shirts and my husband’s old shorts. I have bought some workout clothes but they don’t fit very well, thank you baby #4. Haha! I reward myself by meeting exercise goals with workout clothes. J
  • Yoga is SOOOOO good for your body and mental health. One of my favorite yoga channels on You Tube is Yoga with Adriene. I just really love her, this is not sponsored. After I started to do yoga more consistently I noticed mood improvements. Woohoo!
  • Ask a friend to be your accountability partner or workout partner.
  • Self-promoting here… J Last fall I created a 3 month free workout program. Check it out and see if it is something you’d like.

Good luck my friends with exercising! It has helped me so much with my mental health and confidence. I know it can help you as well!

Happy working out!

Xoxo, Steph

#FreebieFriday

So today is Friday, and I know I already posted a guest blogger BUT I wanted to hand out a freebie that I made for ya’ll to print and hang up as you wish. I love chicken and waffles, and SO many other people have their own interpretation of what chicken and waffles is to them so I decided to make something for all you lovers of chicken and waffles out there!

Here’s a smaller preview of the image, but you can download it here from my Google Drive for the larger version to print and frame for your home. I’ve made multiple images for you with different colors so you can express yourself.

Have fun and if you download it and hang it up, send me a photo in the comments so I can showcase them!

Chicken and WafflesChicken and Waffles-2Chicken and Waffles-3

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EST 2010

So I came to realize something this morning – I’ve had my blog now since 2010 and it’s really made an impact on me. Now, it wasn’t always hosted here at WordPress – I used to have Blogger before I transferred everything over to WordPress for 2 years – but I’ve been with WordPress itself since 2012.

In that time I’ve published 163 blogs.

163! That’s amazing! I had no idea I had that many here on the site. I know a few are old, some have been taken off for security reasons and background checks for my new job with the government etc. But damn that’s a lot! And for that I’m quite proud of myself.

I’m teaching myself to use Canva currently for work and made this quick little design for you all to enjoy. Yay for writing so much and keeping you 223 followers entertained enough to stay following me. And as my promise to you, I’ll post more often and make more designs for everyone and maybe even get into the #FreebieFriday posts for printing that I see so many people do that I use all the time.

The Unsanity - Blog

Enjoy!

xoxo

Koral Dawn

 

 

A Collection of Art

Good morning, and happy Hump Day. I’d like to showcase my Adobe Spark edits in one location and I thought what better way to do it than on my blog that I haven’t written on in a long time. Has WordPress died? It doesn’t seem to be talked of or used much anymore for some reason. Hmm.

Well, these are in no particular order really I just wanted a place to showcase them all at once since they’re mostly on Instagram at the moment.

To The Man Who Made Me Believe I Was The One

This is to the man who made me believe.

This is to the man who made me believe I was the “apple of his eye.”

This is to the man who made me believe I could do no wrong.

This is to the man who made me believe forever was too short – that we would be together to infinity and beyond.

Nearly four years ago, I had met you at a sporting event with friends in tow. You were skinny, wearing hip hugging jeans and skate shoes. You had the shaggiest sandy hair one could ever imagine, driving your Mitsubishi Evo, showing you were “all that.” You were everything I had been looking for. Someone with a job, a goal oriented mind, you knew how to handle your money. You were smart and everything fit like a glove. There was always something to talk about, always something going on that we both enjoyed. Your friends were my friends. My friends were your friends. Everything was exactly the way we wanted.

We spent weekends together at your house. Cuddled all night in your room on that stupid futon (we almost broke a few times).. We would play video games, have friends over, go for food; then come back and stay on the couch all day through the night.

There were rough patches, like any couple. We fought. Words were said that neither of us meant to say. I left you.

We didn’t talk. I eventually learned how to live my life without you during that break. We conversed through email when we could, even though you wouldn’t text me. Often I wondered, what had happened to you, where are you, how are you? What did our distance do to change you from who I thought you were?

You lost a family member, your grandmother. You hurt. Away from you, I hurt, she loves us together and wanted to see us happy. We both lost something, but we couldn’t share it.

But there you were again after, saying hello.

You were drunk, very drunk, the first night we hung out. It was a surprise to your friends to see me, I didn’t mind. I loved them too.

The weight you had gained was troublesome to me, I didn’t know you this way. All those nights of ordering pizza and wings… it showed. But looks are not why I was attracted to you. The way you made me feel was always the best, it made me desire to see you again and hope.

We worked, quite well for a while, but the fights came back. Many rumors were spread, and some were true. We stopped seeing each other again.

Though the pain and troubles there were times we found each other, unofficially but true. You didn’t want to date again until you were sure nothing could go wrong, when everything seemed right. Your company picnic was incredible, our summer with everyone together was better the second summer around.

One night in Winter when I introduced you to a friend of mine, we all had some great beers, he couldn’t drive home so I had took him home from your house at three am. On my way taking him home, you sent me a message: “Is he okay? You’re amazing. I love you.”

That was the first time you had said that to me since when I lost you many months ago. I was overjoyed. I was happy. Everything was going to work out, be perfect. That was the night you wanted to be with me again.

Immediately, you changed. You moved, you found a new high paying job, you lost interest in or common bonds. There was no more cuddling, you didn’t allow me to share a bed with you, and I couldn’t stay over, I couldn’t even hold you hand.

There were no dates for us to go on, except to get food that I paid for and things that interested only you.

Then came the lies. You started lying more and more – to me and to yourself. You didn’t want to do anything for me, or “us” anymore. It was always about you, never about us, NEVER about me.

Everything went downhill. We fought more, and we were never intimate. You were afraid of sex, because you were afraid of children. Condoms and me being on the pill, it was not enough for you to reach out and love me physically. This hurt as much as anything, that we could not connect romantically while dating.

The man I once loved was not the same man.

The man I loved was still a man, but not a child, broken and unwilling to change. The highlight of your life was drinking excessively every Saturday, and ignoring everyone he “loves” on Sunday.

We split, again. This time it didn’t seem salvageable. But as a friend, I still cleaned up after your drunken escapades, because I cared and you needed someone to do it. For me, it was to show you I care, and make sure you were ok.

I still cared.

I haven’t seen you in person for more than a month, It still feels weird to me.

You were my best friend You still are a friend, or you could be. You told me we are “better this way due to all the issues you had with relationships and the constant flirting with other girls while we were dating.” Is that what a relationship meant to you? It wasn’t to me.

You didn’t even try to be a friend to me, it was always me trying – in the relationship and after when I was told I was to be just a friend. Even that, you couldn’t. You wouldn’t. You refused.

I don’t know what happened. I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t deserve to be blamed for everything. I didn’t deserve to be kept waiting for when you needed me.

It hurts that I haven’t heard from you in a long time. I hurts that in your eyes, I don’t even exist.

After everything, I would still drop it all if you needed a friend. The truth is, I can’t hate you. No matter how much I want to hate you and never talk to you again; I can’t.

I want you to feel the pain I went through. I want you to look at your dinner one night and not be able to eat it because it was my favorite meal and it reminded you of me. I don’t want that at all.

I deserve better than a half-assed friend. I deserve the friend who met me and wooed me and let me believe I was bound for better. I deserve the friend who was always there, and you do too.

To love someone who once made me believe I was the one for you, and now you believe I was everything wrong for you… that is what hurts.

This isn’t an apology, this isn’t acceptance, this isn’t a plea, and this isn’t an attempt at something new. But it is my time to reflect and know we both could have been better. I’m choosing that road, for me, and knowing we’ll likely not be together again, I hope you choose that road too and we can find ourselves again as the friends we once were somewhere along the way.

I will always love you, but first I will always love me.

Originally published on Thought Catalog

Profile on Thought Catalog

Koral Dawn

2017

If I Lose Myself Tonight…

It’ll be by your side. 

Good evening everyone. It’s about 9:30 PM and I’m sitting here at my computer and have been since 2 PM working and then doing some graphic designs since I haven’t in a very long time. I needed to take my mind off some things, and just actually use my computer for once. I should be playing games, but I really don’t feel like it. I know. Bad nerd, right? But, I’m an artist, and I haven;t embraced that part of me recently at all. Not to mention now I need to work tomorrow for longer hours because today was a bust. I worked for 5 hours today. I need to do more. So, Friday I’m waking up early and then Saturday morning I’ll do some more so I can get in at least 30 something hours because I need the money if I won’t have a job come October.

So I’d like your opinion on some things right now. Black, White, or mixed. I think I like the full white one myself to be honest and I think that’s what I’m going to go with eventually, but I’d still like your input on which you like better. Or if I should change it all around completely. This is something I just threw together quickly because well, I needed to do some art and I always seem to do banners for this page. As a friend just said, “The white eye and bird looks more unsane.” And I kind of like that, and it grew on me more.

unsanebird unsanebirdwhite unsanebirdwhitebe

Well that’s all for now, I might have more tomorrow for you since I haven’t written in a long time, I need to get back on my game and write at least 5 a month to keep those stats up where I like them. It makes me happy that I have so many views on my blog. It’s been 2 years and I’m only now seeing the views come in and it makes me feel awesome that people car enough to read about me.

If you only die one, I want to die with you.

Cheers,

xoxox

||KoralDawn||