Happy National Creativity Day – Nourish Your Creative Spirit!

banner for Kara Power Hour2May 30th is the official day to celebrate the creative spirits in your world! It’s National Creativity Day! Raising my virtual glass and throwing some confetti in honor of the musicians, hairstylist, authors, actors/actresses, artist, DJ’s, filmmakers, photographers, carpenters, designers, chefs, caterers, bloggers, engineers, stylist and tons of other creatives in the world. When you really think about it everything besides nature started with a creative thought. What a cool day to stop and take time to toast the power of the imagination!

I have always loved creating things since I was a little girl. I would write, paint, re-arrange my room almost weekly, try to make things, one time at 6 years I even tried to make shoes out of cardboard!  It has carried over into my grown-up life! I LOVE everything about creating events for women and girls and gathering beautiful details and extraordinary content to make my experiences special. I love hosting family and friends in my home – and making everyday gatherings something wonderful and memorable. Why be boring!

Sometimes in life we can bury our creativity with the day to day hum drum of life. So It is important to always make time to be creative and tap into your God given talents that you were born to bring to the world.

Here are 5 great tips to help nourish your creative spirit!

  1. Work when you are inspired and excited! I know there are certain ebbs and flows in my creativity and I am learning that when the spirit is flowing within it’s time to capture new ideas, design new things and take the steps to execute a plan. As a woman I have noticed my natural rhythms and at certain times of the month my energy levels are down, creativity is out the window and I need take time to rest and recharge.  I am learning to not push myself during this time and mother myself if needed.  Then a few weeks later I am the energizer bunny ready to roll!  There are even certain times of year or seasons when I am more inspired. Take note of these times and work with your flow to make the most of your creativity.
  2. Get out of your comfort zone and try something different! Set aside time to write down at least 10 things that you would like to try this summer and get out there and try them!  I am normally a person that does not like to try new things. I always order the same food at restaurants but lately I have been trying new dishes and trying to cook new things.  I am normally a person that always wears black or dark colors but now starting to branch out and wear different patterns and more bold colors. Making little changes in the everyday experiences helps to feed our creative spirits.
  3. Find creativity in the everyday moments in life!  Try and find ways to infuse your creative spirit into the boring task of life.  Find innovative ways to do the laundry, cook, clean, and work to make things more fun and interesting. Changing your mindset about everyday tasks can do wonders!
  4. Find and connect with other creative people on a regular basis!  I was blessed to be a part of Kustom Kreations recent Portfolio and Perspectives event last month where event stylist came together to do styled shoots. The creative energy in that space was palpable and on fire!  I loved seeing all the beautiful details and how they came together. Surround yourself with creative people especially when you are feeling not so inspired! Check out upcoming events on Eventbrite that interest you and get out and connect!
  5. Create space and take care of your creative gifts! I am learning to spend more time in mediation/prayer to get still, quiet and connect with God. He ultimately put every talent and gift in us when we were created. He knows best how to nurture, cultivate and grow our gifts.  Getting the right rest and having time to dream and be still allows things to flow more smoothly. When I am busy or tired I have no space, energy or desire to do anything but the basics. It’s important to take care of ourselves and be replenished! Also, schedule time to disconnect from social media and the busyness of life to find quiet spaces especially in nature to flow in YOUR gifts not someone else’s that you see online.

 

Cheers to your creative spirit – may you unleash more of your greatness into the world today and every day! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what your creative gifts are or some of the new creative things that you would like to explore this summer!

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By Kara Norman- Empower Her, Inc.

 

Kara Norman Atlanta Based Women Empowerment Thought Leader and bi-weekly blog contributor.

 

Kara Norman has been working with Women and Girls for a number of years. Her nonprofit organization Empower Her Inc , have led to many opportunities in the space of making social changes as it deals with women and their many roles in society. You can learn more about Kara Norman and Empower Her Inc. at http://www.empowerherinc.com/

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Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty – Shrimp Avocado Salad

what's for dinner - Cover Photo Blog

Well well, here we are the Tuesday after the Memorial Day Holiday~! So smarty Marty brings us an easy meal idea for this Foodie Tuesday.  Shrimp Avocado Salad. Let’s get started by gathering up the following items.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boiled or steamed shrimp peeled and deveined
  • 2 avocados cut into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion

For the Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

shrimp avocado saladDirections

    1. Add shrimp, avocado, and onion to a large bowl.
    2. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together ingredients for the dressing. Whisk until well-combined.
    3. Add dressing to shrimp avocado salad until it has the amount you desire. Serve additional dressing on the side.

    shrimp avocado salad1shrimp avocado salad3

  • Salad  Prepared By Smarty Marty

    Recipe By: addapinch.com

    Photography & Styling By Smarty Marty

    Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking , photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty

4th Grade Surprise Performance for Parents – Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell

During my son’s elementary schools award banquet ceremony, the 4th-grade class surprise all the parents and guest with a surprise performance of Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell. This was so heartwarming to see them singing!!!

4th Grade Class of Sims Elementary in Conyers, Georgia Surprises the Parents and Guest with a Performance of Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell

4th Grade Class of Sims Elementary in Conyers, Georgia Surprises the Parents and Guest with a Performance of Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell

Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) is an Atlanta Based Photographer Specialing in Social Events, Weddings, Families  High School Seniors & Business Headshots!

We also custom design party supplies for life’s celebrated moments! Live Love Create Go Kustom! 

Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty- Asian Chicken Egg Rolls

what's for dinner - Cover Photo Blog

Ooh wee it’s Tuesday and we have a delicious delight for you today. Smarty Marty whips up some Asian Chicken Egg Rolls! If you are ready to cook you up something flavorful  let’s start first with gathering up what you will need to create  this dish:

Ingredients: 

Chicken Egg Rolls3

DIRECTIONS

  1. Brown chicken with ginger and garlic in pan; drain any grease.
  2. Mix salt, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Add to pork and mix well.
  3. In large bowl combine cabbage mix and green onions.
  4. Pour hot meat over vegetables and stir well. Let cool slightly.
  5. Lay wrap in front of you so that it looks like a diamond.
  6. Place 3 tablespoons pork filling in center of egg roll wrapper.
  7. Fold bottom point up over filling and roll once.
  8. Fold in right and left points.
  9. Brush beaten egg on top point.
  10. Finish rolling.
  11. Set aside and repeat with remaining filling.
  12. Heat 2-3 inches oil in large frying pan to very hot (350ºF).
  13. Fry a few egg rolls in pan at a time, 2-3 minutes per side.
  14. Drain on paper towels.
  15. Serve with sweet and sour sauce, plum sauce, hoisin sauce or jalapeño pepper jelly
  16. Chicken Egg Rolls2Chicken Egg RollsSalad  Prepared By Smarty MartyRecipe By: Geniuskitchen.com

    Photography & Styling By Smarty Marty

    Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking, photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty

Did you work on Mother’s Day?

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My Mother’s Day weekend was wonderful. I made a conscious decision to spend Mother’s Day eve pampering myself by getting my hair and nails done and just spending the day with myself.  It was wonderful! Sunday rolled around and we went to church and then my family took me out to brunch. I received lovely gifts and beautiful flowers.  We came home and I looked around the house and there were several things that needed to be done to prepare for the week.  My family told me to sit down and relax because it was Mother’s Day. I knew that if I didn’t take the time to get things done and plan for the week everything would really spiral out of control. I was refreshed from my self-care day the day before and got busy taking care of things on Mother’s Day evening.  I love this picture below this is totally a mother’s reality! Ha!!

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I went to bed on Mother’s day feeling so refreshed and relaxed. I hit Monday morning ready for the week.  Well it’s only Wednesday and my week has been CRAY – ZAY! My Zen from the weekend has totally evaporated and I am in busy mom, wife everything mode!   I smile at myself knowing at least I tried to prepare before all the wheels came off.  So, on this week’s blog I wanted to remind all the mothers out there to practice self-care daily, heck even hourly during those crazy times.  We are the best for our families when we take diligent care of ourselves. I am always reminded of this principle when we are traveling on the plane.  The flight attendant directs the passengers that in an emergency if you are traveling with small children to put the oxygen mask on yourself first and then place it on your children. We are no help if we are passed out or exhausted mentally and physically.  So, Moms here’s your permission slip to make self-care your daily practice!

 

Happy Mother’s Day/Week/Month and year to everyone!!

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By Kara Norman- Empower Her, Inc.

 

Kara Norman Atlanta Based Women Empowerment Thought Leader and bi-weekly blog contributor.

 

Kara Norman has been working with Women and Girls for a number of years. Her nonprofit organization Empower Her Inc , have led to many opportunities in the space of making social changes as it deals with women and their many roles in society. You can learn more about Kara Norman and Empower Her Inc. at http://www.empowerherinc.com/

Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty- Lemon Pepper Wings

what's for dinner - Cover Photo Blog

This week’s Food Tuesday Recipe Idea from Smarty Marty is one of my personal favorites… Yummy Yummy Goodness Lemon Pepper Wings!

1st Things first gather the necessary ingredients :

Lemon Pepper Wings
1 teaspoon season salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 to 3 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup butter 32419269_2279061688771434_7695404384414334976_n

Directions For Wing Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut wings on each join, there are two joints per wing
.
Coat the wing portions with olive oil. Dredge the wings in seasonings. Shake off excess.

Place wings on a rack on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. When chicken is golden brown combine with melted butter and lemon pepper.

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Lemon Pepper Wings Prepared By Smarty Marty

Photography & Styling By Smarty Marty

Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking , photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty

Foodie Tuesday with Smarty Marty- Summer Fruit Salad

what's for dinner - Cover Photo Blog

Something sweet to eat delicious delights for all … well, we got something natural for your taste buds this week! Smarty Marty gives us a Summer Fruit Salad… Just in time to get Bikini Fine for the Summer Time

First things first we need to gather up all the necessary ingredients for our summer fruit salad:

Ingredients
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1/2 cup mango, peeled and sliced
2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 bananas, sliced
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 cup seedless grapes
2 cups mixed berries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries32150760_2270515409626062_528991154545360896_nBring orange juice, lemon juice,honey, orange zest, and lime zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.

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Layer the fruit in a large, clear glass bowl in this order: pineapple, strawberries, mango, kiwi fruit, bananas, oranges, grapes, and mixed berries. Pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

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Salad  Prepared By Smarty Marty

Photography & Styling By Smarty Marty

Atlanta Based Photography Elisha Akram (Kustom Kreation Photography) weekly food/recipe contributor Smarty Marty(My Older Sister) combines her love for cooking, photography and plating meals each and every Tuesday for this Segment entitled Foodie Tuesday. Join us each week for a variety of dishes prepared by Smarty Marty