Farm Animals

Today is my last day of my carb-less adventure, and I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed it. I think I’m going to remain mostly bread/pasta/rice-free, but I’m curious about how it will affect me to add them back in, so I’ll probably continue experimenting.

On to watercolor! Since my last watercolor update, I’ve completed a few pieces, three of which turned into a series because I had so much fun painting them! I have a couple more animals I’ll add to the series before I’m done, but I think it’s time to start painting Christmas presents so they’ll definitely be done in time. Here are the farm animals I’ve done so far:

I learned SO much painting these fellas. Just looking at them makes me happy, so I’m hoping others will feel that, too.

Oh! Speaking of happy, I painted a stack of donuts, too. Apparently, my carb-free journey has gotten into my brain:

Donuts

There you have it! I do post my paintings as soon as they are dry on my Instagram page, so feel free to follow me there to keep up-to-date!

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Still Going…

I’m still going strong with my carbless adventure, but yesterday was a truly crappy day. Lots of things happened at work that just overwhelmed and depleted me completely. I had to drive back to the city (we live a half hour away from proper civilization in rural Iowa) to get my husband at what should have been dinnertime, so I took the fam to Freddy’s for dinner. There I discovered that they have the option to replace any bun with a lettuce wrap! Can I tell you that their already amazingly yummy burgers are even better wrapped in a bunch of crunchy lettuce? I would have never known!

However, I did break a rule. I ate french fries. No, they’re not bread or rice or pasta, but they are high in carbs and they were supposed to be off the menu until next week. But I ate them anyway, as though eating those fries would right all of my wrongs. I knew, logically, that wasn’t the case, but my emotions got the better of me and I ate some.

And then I regretted it. I got home and got ready for bed, and then the massive stomach cramps hit. I don’t know if it was the food or the grease or the emotions or if it was just a crazyrandomhappenstance, but I wound up not keeping dinner in my system for much longer. Those fries were most definitely purged.

I like to think that it was the universe’s way of telling me to get my shit together and realize that what I’m currently doing food-wise is the path that I need to continue on. It’s only been a week and a half, but things have changed. I introduced all fruits and vegetables back into my diet again this week, and when I took a bite of corn at dinner the other night, all I could think of was, “Oh my GOSH those are so SWEET! It’s like a spoonful of SUGAR!”

In other news, I got my package from Amazon yesterday that contained a new scale (mine seems to have disappeared in our move) that came with a measuring tape, and a new lunch bag that came with two can koozies and a water bottle koozie. I haven’t weighed myself in aĀ long time and I spent a good amount of time worried about stepping on it again. I mustered the courage this morning and found that I had only gained one pound since the last time I weighed in! I regret not weighing myself at the beginning of October, but I do realize that my October experiment is more about health than weight. The weight will happen if I focus on the health, so I wasn’t worried. However, a lifetime of being on various diets messed with my brain and I HAD to know that number. I think I’ll weigh myself again at the end of October. That sounds like a healthy plan.

Okay, now I’m off to drink some coffee and get some shit done.

Watercoloring for the Soul

Hey, guys! (Guys, to me, is a totally gender-neutral term, by the way. I call pretty much everyone “guy”.)

I’ve been a busy lady lately. When I’m not still living that Carb-Free-October lifestyle, I’m participating in Inktober. But I’m not using ink. I’m getting inspired by the prompts given and producing a watercolor painting every day. It’s been interesting and SO educational! I’m trying painting subjects I probably wouldn’t have attempted otherwise yet and I’m learning so much! I post the pictures of the paintings every day on my Instagram account, so follow me there if you want to play along.

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The next thing I’m going to do is set up an area on my desk so that I can take proper photos of my paintings with my DSLR camera because whatever I’m doing with my phone (which is an iPhone X and has an amazing camera on it) isn’t showing these paintings properly. The colors aren’t the same and it’s driving me crazy.

In other non-painting news, I’m still mostly carb-free. This week I’m incorporating fruits and vegetables back into my diet (I was eating veg, just not the ones with high sugar content) except for potatoes. I went out for dinner with my husband, kids, and in-laws last Friday to a place that had two options for the night: an all-you-can-eat buffet of fried chicken and fish, or pizza. Luckily, I did some research and found that they have a secret menu item they’re trying out: a cauliflower crust pizza! I ordered that and it was SO DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, the meal also proved to me that I am still lactose intolerant. The soft and milky cheeses of a pizza are like poison to my poor stomach, so I suffered later. But the crust was awesome! I’ll be ordering it again and maybe asking for less cheese šŸ˜‰

I really thought I would miss pasta and bread and rice more than I am. I know I’m only on week two, but I don’t feel deprived. I have realized that there are actually some meats that I do not like on their own, which was odd. I’m looking forward to adding the good carbs slowly back into my diet, though, and keeping on with this kind of “aware” eating habit after October. I love that I’m not tracking anything in an app, especially. My anxiety disorder cannot handle that. I become obsessed and worried about tracking my food, which always blows up in my face. This feels way more natural and good.

Have a great day, guys!

Carb-Free October

Hey, guys! A little break from my usual art-based posts today. Instead, we’ll talk about how insane I am for deciding to go carb-free for the month of October! Yay!

As I see from my Facebook Memories, this time of year tends to inspire me to do something different. October has been the month when I started walking (which I miss…need to get back on that wagon) and trying a variety of ways to get healthier. This year is no different. I decided, one morning whilst eating a pistachio muffin in a deliciously unnatural green color, that I eat way too many carbs. WAY. TOO. MANY. CARBS. And that’s when I realized that October is the month just before the holidays hit. The carb-filled holidays. And I really enjoy challenging myself (Lent is one of my favorite things and I’m not even Catholic!), so that’s when I decided to be carb-free for the month of October.

So, I’m three days in. And for the first week, not only am I carbless (I lie…I’m actually given 23g of carbs per day), but I’m following that crazy Keto diet. For the first two days of this adventure, I was at a conference for work, which means I didn’t get much control over my food. HOWEVER, I stuck to it!

I was horribly unprepared for that first day. We signed up and they had a table full of cookies and I almost mindlessly took one. Next to the cookies was a big tub of cans of soda on ice. I just grabbed a bottle of water and went about my business. I, however, didn’t bring lunch with me and the food cart area in the lobby of the hotel was 100% carby. I was not smart, and I didn’t eat until dinner. Dumb day one.

Day two was much better! I stopped on my way to work and got two sausage breakfast sandwiches and threw away the bread. At the conference, lunch was almost perfect. There was a cheese plate for an appetizer (didn’t eat the bread) and a salad (no croutons for me!) and then the main dish was a chicken breast with carrots and green beans and….fancy mac & cheese. Yeah, get this. I didn’t eat the pasta. I know…crazy!

We also had dinner at the conference, which was eye-opening for me. Get this – they had a PASTA BAR. I was almost ready to just throw in the towel and sit there eating cheese cubes until my boss suggested I ask the chef to make me a dish without pasta. I was really hesitant…I hate being that person. But I asked him if it would be possible to make me up something with just the chicken and veggies and he was almost giddy to do it! And it was delicious.

Today, while eating a meat stick and some cheese for breakfast, I realized something. While I am already feeling better physically from the carbless lifestyle, this Keto diet structure is not for me. I’m not allowed any fruit and hardly any veggies. I have to eat massive amounts of “good” fat and that just feels foreign and strange to me. So, I am going to finish out this first week of the Keto lifestyle, then next week I’m going to switch it up and just cut out carbs – no added sugar or soda, no breads or grains or pastas. I’m also going to keep potatoes off the menu for a while longer. I’m going to add back in my veggies and fruits, and I’m not going to track my eating like I have been this week.

The adventures of being me…

Almost Two Months In

Good morning! I still suck at consistently blogging, but I’m just going to accept that about myself and blog when I can. I do consistently share what’s going on in my life onĀ my Instagram, so you can always follow me there.

About two months ago, I decided to finally jump in and learn to paint, which is something I’ve wanted to do for eons. I am a graphic artist by trade and I have always felt like I could be a painter. I have paintedĀ things in the past. For a few years when I was younger, I painted ceramics. I got really good at painting eyes on dolls, and a tomahawk I painted won some sort of award. I moved to painting t-shirts and sweatshirts for a bit, but that got boring. I painted frames and boxes and things like that when I worked for Michael’s. But I never had the courage to take paint to a blank page. I don’t know if it was fear of failure or what, but recently, I started watching YouTube videos of people painting. I started with watching acrylic painters (the gateway paint). I mean, who doesn’t binge-watch Bob Ross? Then I happened upon someone working on a watercolor.

I. Was. Hooked.

I then spent hours watching all kinds of YouTubers painting with watercolor. Before I even picked up a brush, I logged hours and hours just watching people do it. I knew techniques before I even picked up a brush.

I had my Amazon cart filled with brushes and paints and paper. Just sitting there, waiting until I had the courage to push the button to have them shipped to me.

Long story a little shorter, I finally did it. And then I looked at the paints and brushes and papers for another while, still watching video after video.

On August 4th, the kids and I set aside an entire Saturday to try out watercolor painting. And it felt like I found a piece of myself that had been missing.

My first painting was of a windmill. I started sharing my paintings with my friends and family on Facebook and Instagram because I wanted to document my progress. I kept reminding myself that just becauseĀ I thought they were horrible, didn’t mean that they actually were. They were my beginning. They would show my progress.

While learning with watercolor, I have found myself testing myself, too, in a way. I am a graphic artist. I am so used to everything having a border and a hard edge. Watercolor doesn’t like to live that life, so I’ve had to work on retraining my brain to see that that is okay. Going with the flow is an actual thing.

Anyway, this past weekend, I decided to paint a few things with a photo for a reference. My other paintings have been either looking at other paintings or trying to recreate what I’ve seen done in a watercolor video. This time, I was determined to just look at something in real life and paint my interpretation of it in watercolor. And I can say that I actually liked these two paintings!

I’m only two months in on this journey, but I have to say that I love it. I love practicing. I love that it’s so mobile. I paint in bed while watching tv. I paint on the couch with the kids painting with me. I took my painting supplies to my sister’s house this weekend and my niece and daughter painted while my sister and I baked. Painting makes me feel alive, and I’m not even that good at it yet. But I will be. I’m going to be good at this because I’m going to give myself permission to keep practicing and keep growing. I’m not going to give up. It’s therapy in a brush.

I am such a nerd.

Watercolorist in the Making!

I have officially picked up a new hobby. I had this secret desire, as I do with most artsy things, to just start and be a complete natural. Honestly, with most artsy things this is true for me.

This is so not the case with watercolor. Everything I have painted looks very elementary, which is normal, right? I have zero training (unless you count watching numerous YouTube videos). I did do a lot of research. I love the look of watercolor paintings. They just seem more free and flowing than acrylic or oil. I need more free and flowy in my life.

As a graphic designer by trade, I am finding it outrageously difficult to escape the bounds of my usual black outlines.

I just bought myself a book of watercolor lessons, so I’ll post more of my progression and all that stuff.

Currently, my favorite thing about this new hobby is that my two youngest children (7 and 10) have also been playing around with it. It’s a nice bonding time that we get to spend together each weekend (Saturdays are for painting!).

Anyway, here are the paintings I’ve done so far. I’ll get better.

Eventually.

Ainā€™t No Rest For The Wicked

My dad slipped two disks in his back and was suddenly unable to help my stepmom finish up their move from one apartment to another, so I packed the kids into the car and we went over to help.

A little backstory: a few years ago, I fell down my cement basement stairs and hurt my ankle. I thought it was just a bad sprain, but when it was still bothering me a year later, and had caused enough problems that my opposite’s leg’s knee was now also giving me problems (popping out of socket and the most inopportune times), I had x-rays done. That’s when I found out I had actually broken my ankle and now had arthritis in both of my knees and my ankle. Most of the time, it’s not a problem. Today was not most of the time.

See, I was going up and down stairs all day and my knees weren’t bothering me at all. I was reveling in this. I carried boxes all day like a champ! Then, at the end, they suddenly let me know that I’d looked the proverbial gift horse in the mouth. By the time I got home, I could barely make it up the short flight to my apartment. I had run out of spoons, as they say.

However, I was glad to use up all the spoons for my stepmom. She was outrageously appreciative, which made it all worth it. My kids worked their butts off, too. And we got pizza and use of their pool!

Now I just need to take it easy tomorrow. But the laundry will not do itself, no matter how I will it so.

Here are a few photos from today:

Dawson found his next Halloween costume.

Elee and Tux admired themselves.

Malcolm let me know that she loves the new apartment and was glad I showed up to help.

Dancing on My Own

I’m starting back to blogging again. Again. And again. I really want it to eventually stick, so this time I’m not focusing on any one part of my life. I’m going to go old school and pretend like this is my LiveJournal all over again, hence the name. Have you followed me before? Are you new? I would love interaction.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lindsy, but my nickname is Tanjalin. This happened a long time ago when I first became obsessed with the color orange. I even had (and still have) the tangerine clamshell iBook. Me beingĀ ever so clever, I created a new email address: tangerinelindsy, which was ridiculously long. One of my even cleverer friends (who is still one of my best friends), shortened it to Tanjalin, and it stuck. She even shortens it further to Tanj these days. It’s my blog name. My graphic designer name. My Xbox gamertag. Me on Instagram and Twitter and Goodreads. Chances are, if you see it somewhere, that’s me.

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That’s me. I’m a ginger with glasses and a nose ring and gauged ears and freckles. I’m 43, but no one ever believes me on that one. I have four kids, one husband and two guinea pigs. Oh, and a hamster, but he’s a jerk. I love to read and cook and design things. I’ve recently started this journal of self rediscovery, hence the blog, so I’m hoping people will enjoy going on that trip with me. I have an anxiety disorder and a coffee addiction. I love hugs and laughing and watching YouTube videos with my kids. I work at a college in the bookstore, where I’ve been the buyer and operations person for nine years.

That’s me in a nutshell. Thanks for being here.