Tuesday, July 15, 2014

And She's Arsty-Fartsy!

One of the things I started doing in my bloggy absence was painting. I've always been kind of artsy-fartsy. I had never put paint to canvas, though, not even in high school Art class a jillion years ago. Last Fall, as a way to help cope with stress and to try and force myself to be more creative, I bought a nice set of acrylic paints, some canvases and jumped right in.

And I fell in love.

This was my first acrylic painting.
Pam's Flamingo
I think I've improved since that first painting, but I still don't know exactly what I'm doing a lot of the time and I'm still coming into my own style wise.  For the most part, I just try to relax and enjoy myself and the process. I've been fortunate that friends and family have enjoyed my paintings and I've actually sold a few and done some commission work.

Last week I was at my local Fine Arts Center buying tickets for Lyle Lovett & His Large Band tickets(if he ever comes to your town GO, trust me on this) when I came across a flyer for a Juried Art Exhibit. I decided to do something really scary and enter a couple of paintings. It's one thing sharing pictures of my paintings on Facebook with friends and family, but having experts scrutinize my artwork...terrifying!

This morning at exactly 9am(I knew I'd back out if I didn't do it right away) I headed into the Fine Arts Center to leave my paintings. I was a nervous wreck walking in with them, and nearly chickened out when I saw the other entries that were being lined up along the walls. I mean, these people are real artists, I still see myself mostly as an artist at heart. I realized I was out of my league was when I saw the prices of the other works for sale compared to mine. I'm like the Dollar General Store of the Art Exhibit. Sigh.

But I kept my nerve up and left my paintings to be judged anyway. I've sold what I think are better paintings, but these two are the most "me" of anything I've done.
Mama and Owlets
Fox's Forest
I don't expect to win an award, but I am extremely proud of of myself for working up the courage to enter them in the exhibit. I'm  also pretty excited that my paintings will be hanging in an actual gallery!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Seriously Simple Chicken Caesar Wraps

In addition to rebooting this blog, I've also recently begun to reboot my own health. Attempting to steer clear of fast food when I needed a quick meal recently, I thought back to my very first go on Weight Watchers and remembered making chicken caesar wraps fairly often.

This is as close to actual cooking as I have been in quite some time. I'm slightly embarrassed by the simplicity of it, but hey, at least it's a move in the right direction! Here's what I did...

Grilled up some chicken tenders on the stovetop and assembled a Caesar Salad using:
Dole's Classic Romaine Mix
Ken's Creamy Caesar dressing (I've since realized they make a light version which is just as delicious).
Italian blend cheese
Bacon bits

Plopped everything onto an Italian Flat Out

And rolled.

Quick, Easy, and Tasty! I had forgotten how good these are...especially when that warm chicken is combined with the cold salad. Mmmm Mmm!  In case you're wondering, the seven chicken tenders and bag of salad made 3 nice sized wraps and one smaller wrap on a tortilla.

And BAM...just like that, I'm cooking again(sorta)!