Category Archives: Food

6 Reasons to Write Your Friends This Summer

Guess what?

My new art collection, Eat a Rainbow, will launch exactly two weeks from today on Sunday May 1!

Woo hoo! I’m very excited 🙂

By the way, if you’ve missed the previous behind the scenes sneak previews, you can check them out here and here.

Today, I want to introduce you to my new notecards!

Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Summer Berry, and Tomato Notecards on 19pt Cotton Savoy
Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Summer Berry, and Tomato Notecards!

Just like my new art prints, the notecards come in 4 new designs: Eat a Rainbow, Pepper, Tomato, and Summer Berry. 

These are going to be available as single card or as a set. I mean how could you choose, right?

I love pretty notecards. Whenever I’m at a craft show or visiting a cute gift shop on vacation, I pick up a few. They’re like a tiny gift of art that is also practical.

But I also admit that I have piles of pretty notecards I have accumulated over the years.

If you’re thinking – what do I do with more notecards? Fear not. 

I’ve compiled 6 creative ways you can use these watercolor art notecards this summer!

1. Start a new tradition and send your handwritten season’s greetings to your friends and family during the summer. 

Bell Pepper Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5"
Bell Pepper Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5″

Do you send your family and friends greeting cards during the winter holidays? Well, it’s been almost 6 months, isn’t it?

How would they feel if they received an unexpected season’s greetings from you this summer?

I would think happy, delighted, and loved.

In Japan there is a custom to send a letter or a greeting card to friends and family during the summer months to wish them well – or more like “I hope you’re surviving the super hot and humid summer season OK.” If you ever lived or visited there in summer, you know how miserable it gets… 😀

I love traditions like that where it’s not related to any particular holidays. You simply reach out and say “I hope your summer is going well!”

Help them cool down with these refreshing watercolor art notecards!

2. It’s a perfect summer birthday card.

Each of the notecards feature my colorful and refreshing drawings of summer’s bounty and makes a perfect summer birthday card!

These cards are printed on a cotton savoy card stock and feel very soft and luxurious. It can totally be enjoyed as a framed mini-art after they read your thoughtful birthday message 🙂

Bonus if your birthday people are also into gardening, farmers’ markets, cooking, and, of course, eating good food ❤

3. Write a thank you note to your neighbor who brings you her homemade blueberry jam every summer. 

Summer Berry Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5 "
Summer Berry Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5 “

Are you one of the lucky people who have that special neighbor who loves to make jam with fresh, seasonal berries AND share them with you?? Homemade blueberry jam is my favorite, by the way!

Write a thank you note in my Summer Berry notecard and tell her how much you appreciate the delicious gift!

(Hint: she’ll probably bring you more goodies if you do :))

4. Your tomatoes are doing a little too well and you don’t know what to do with all of your bounty?? Invite your friends over for a tomato canning party!

Tomato Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25" x 5.5"
Tomato Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy, 4.25″ x 5.5″

I have a friend who plants lots and lots (I mean LOTS) of tomato plants every year, and she turns them into delicious tomato sauce and cans them.

If you’re a canner, you know it is a “process.” You need to clean, peel, chop, measure, season, and cook your veggies or fruits. You prepare your jars and lids and can them in boiling water in a hot kitchen.

I love canning but it can be quite time consuming and labor intensive.

It’d be a lot more fun if you have your friends over and enjoy the process while catching up on your summer happenings.

Make it a special event by sending them my Tomato notecard as a handwritten invitation!

5. Send your family an illustrated report of what’s growing in your garden.

Eat a Rainbow Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy
Eat a Rainbow Notecard on 19pt Natural Savoy

If you live in a similar climate to Seattle and have a vegetable garden, you’re probably growing many things (if not all!) that are illustrated on my Eat a Rainbow notecard.

Perhaps your parents are retired in Hawaii, or your brother lives in New Zealand. These everyday veggies we take for granted may be quite interesting to those who are not familiar.

Show and tell what you’re growing in your garden this summer with your loved ones living far away.

6. Invite your friends to a garden potluck party!

Are you planning an outdoor potluck, wedding, birthday, anniversary, or retirement party this summer? Get your guests excited about the fun you’re about to have by sending an invite with these notecards!

The colorful and fresh vegetables and berries on these notecards scream garden party.

Send your invitations early before everyone’s calendar starts filling up this summer 🙂

Invitations have already gone out? (You, organized you!) You can send your guests these notecards as a thank you card later for making your party special.

Eat a Rainbow Notecard by Yuko Miki, 4.25" x 5.5" 19pt Natural Savoy
How cute is this??

However you decide to use these notecards, you’re sure gonna make them (and you!) smile 🙂

Order yours on my Etsy shop on Sunday May 1.

xo Yuko

p.s. I’m going to be on my sabbatical week this coming week, and you won’t be seeing any new blog posts from me. Hope you’ll have an amazing week!

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

Illustrated Recipe: Easy and Healthy Avo Toast

I’ve been dealing with a few different digestive issues lately and discovered that eating small meals and munching on snacks between meals help me feel good physically and mentally.

There is a Japanese phrase, “eating until 80% full,” as a good practice for your digestive and overall health. I guess it’s kind of a common sense that overeating is not good for you, but I’ve become more aware of it as it relates to my own health lately.

When I snack (and I LOVE to snack), I try to eat whole foods that are nutritionally rich and filling. I’m a very practical person, and if I can eat only a small portion of food at one sitting, I want more bang for the buck!!

Meet avocados.

I love avocados. I’m sad that we can’t grow them here (who knows what’ll happen in some years with the climate change and everything…?) but we buy them regularly because they’re SO GOOD.

I love its creamy texture and how versatile it is. It’s packed with beneficial nutrients and vitamins (you can learn more here) and goes with practically everything. And the “good” fat and fiber it contains allow me to feel full even if I eat just a small amount of it.

Easy & Healthy Avo Toast Recipe
Easy & Healthy Avo Toast Recipe

This Avo Toast has been my go-to snack between breakfast and lunch lately. The buttery, creamy avocado with a hint of refreshing lime juice and a tiny bit of sea salt on a warm, crunchy toast is simply divine.

And it only takes 5 minutes to prepare, if that! I’m always looking for a recipe that takes only a handful of ingredients to make (I often get turned off when I see 7 or more ingredients in a recipe…:D), and this Avo Toast recipe is definitely a keeper!

Enjoy! ❤

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

Eat a Rainbow Art Collection Up Close and Personal

Happy Sunday!

I hope you got a chance to see the sneak preview of my new summer product line, Eat a Rainbow, that’s going to launch on Sunday May 1 last week. If you missed it, go here to get a sneak preview now!

It’s my first attempt to release a cohesive art product line on a regular basis (my goal is one collection per season). I’m starting small with just a handful of new art prints and notecards.

In this new collection, I’m releasing 4 new designs: Eat a Rainbow, Bell Pepper, Tomato, and Summer Berry. All things I love and look forward to in summer!

For the new art prints, I selected the Premium Giclee Paper as recommended by the printshop I work with (I work with FinerWorks, and they’re great by the way!), and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the products! I gasped when I opened up the mail to see these prints for the first time because they’re so beautiful ❤

The texture on the paper adds so much to the luminosity of the watercolor illustration. To be completely honest, it looks even better than my original 😀

Take a closer look and you’ll totally agree.

Eat a Rainbow Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Eat a Rainbow Watercolor Illustration and Handlettering by Yuko Miki
Eat a Rainbow Watercolor Illustration and Handlettering by Yuko Miki
Eat a Rainbow Watercolor Illustration and Handlettering by Yuko Miki
Bell Pepper Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Bell Pepper Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Bell Pepper Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Bell Pepper Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Tomato Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Tomato Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Tomato Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Tomato Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Summer Berry Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Summer Berry Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Summer Berry Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki
Summer Berry Watercolor Illustration by Yuko Miki

Just picture these vibrant watercolor drawings of fresh vegetables and berries hanging in your dining room. Imagine how inviting your home will be for your friends and family. You’ll be treating them to a feast not only to fill their bellies but their heart, too ❤

Eat a Rainbow art collection will launch on Sunday May 1 🙂 Stay tuned for more updates next week!

Have a wonderful day 🙂

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustrated Recipe: Simple Buckwheat Porridge (gluten & grain-free!)

I’ve been little obsessed with buckwheat breakfast porridge lately.

Buckwheat is awesome. It’s super nutritious (very rich in fiber and protein as well as Vitamin B-6, Iron, and Magnesium among other things), and is a good option for breakfast hot cereal if you’re on a gluten or grain-free diet. Despite its name, buckwheat is not a wheat or grain. It’s actually a seed!

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Illustrated buckwheat recipe with Sakura Koi Pen & Pigma Micron Pen.

I get toasted buckwheat groats in a bulk section of our natural grocery store. I love the nutty, earthy flavor so much ❤

I use unsweetened soy milk for extra protein, and you could substitute it with other non-dairy or dairy milk, of course.

Some chopped walnuts and cinnamon are also good for this recipe! Or add some nut butter…mmmm. I just enjoy the natural sweetness of the fruits in this recipe, but you can definitely add sweetener of your choice if you’d like. Possibilities are endless!

I make my hot cereal/porridge pretty mushy to make it more digestible, so if you want it less mushy, you probably want to adjust the cooking time. Also, pre-soaked groats will cook quicker, so be sure to check after a few minutes if you don’t want yours too soft.

I hope you enjoy this simple and hearty breakfast!

xo Yuko

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Illustrated Recipe: Easy & Delicious Marinated Tofu

The other day, I had a craving for delicious marinated tofu. So I went online and searched for a good, simple recipe. I think this recipe came up at the top – I had all the ingredients at hand and was craving for some Japanese-y, Asian flavor, so this was perfect!

It was super easy to prepare (which is very important to me… I’m a lazy cook by nature.) and delicious! I served it with some rice and veggies, and Dave and I just devoured it like there was no tomorrow.

marinated-tofu-recipe_lores

Definitely making this again! Hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Eat well my friend 🙂

xo Yuko

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My Totally Relaxing Sabbatical Week

I was on my sabbatical week last week, and it was AWESOME.

In the past, I tried to be somewhat productive during my sabbaticals wether it’s learning something new or getting a project done. But this time, I was determined to just do whatever I felt like doing, whenever I wanted to. 

I had no agendas or goals. I just wanted to relax and unwind and that’s exactly what I did  🙂

Here is the report back from my super relaxing week off:

1. I read a bunch!

My husband Dave got me a Kindle for my birthday in January. I’d never had an e-reader before and wasn’t sure how I’d like reading on a device vs. paper books.

Well, it turns out, I LOVED it.

I love being able to get a bunch of books for free from a local library and also buy Japanese e-books through Amazon Japan for much cheaper (and quicker!).

Sadly, they don’t have a very good selection of Japanese e-books at Seattle Public Library, but I got an English version of Haruki Murakami’s book Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and enjoyed it very much.

Normally, I get to read like 15 minutes before I go to bed (if I’m lucky!) but during my sabbatical week, I just read whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted.

I still got up fairly early every morning, but instead of writing, I just read on the couch. It was such a luxury to spend hours reading during the day!

Kindle_lores

The-swimming-book_lores

I also received an advance copy of Lisa Congdon’s The Joy of Swimming the other day and started diving in (pun intended!) during my sabbatical week.

Lisa is one of the artists I admire so very much, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be her friend on the internet. And I’m SO honored to be contributing a book review for this upcoming book!

I’ll write more about this beautifully illustrated book of hers in the coming weeks. But let me tell you it’s so delightful and inspiring ❤ The book will be released on April 17, and you can preorder it now here!

2. Cooking & Eating

You know food is my passion. I’m more passionate about eating than cooking 😀 but in order for me to eat good food, I’m often exploring different ways to cook with fresh, nutritional ingredients.

Kimchi_lores

Growing up in Japan, I had a close relationship with fermented/cultured foods. Maybe it’s wired in my DNA 🙂 but I love the process of making fermented foods very much. Fermented foods are full of flavors and good probiotics that help your digestive functions.

I’ve been making yogurt, bread, fermented nut/seed spread, miso, pickled vegetables etc. for quite some time. Homemade fermented foods taste a lot better than the store-bought ones, and I feel good knowing exactly what’s in it and how it was made.

Yes you do need to put in some prep work, but after that, you just let them be and let the nature work its magic!

I feel like a little kid on a Christmas day every time I open up a crock or jar of fermented foods for the first time. It’s not always successful but after you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ll get a hang of it. I love how everything turns out slightly differently every time even if you follow the same recipe.

Anyway, I made the vegetarian kimchi above with Chinese cabbage, daikon radish, and carrots, and it turned out yummy!

Washoku-breakfast_lores

I was also able to take extra time to prepare yummy breakfast like this in the morning during my time off.

Funny thing is, I grew up in a household where we ate more western style breakfast (like toast and eggs) but I’ve been getting into eating more traditional Japanese food for breakfast. It’s nice to switch things around depending on my mood 🙂

3. Fun & Unproductive Things to Refuel

The rest of the week, I did things just for fun 🙂

I had a very nice (and overdue) facial at Luminous Skincare Studio using the gift certificate Dave gave me for our anniversary, had tea with friends, had a night out with Dave to watch Academy nominated animated shorts and just enjoyed each other’s company more 🙂

Sheppie_0316_lores

And of course, this guy really enjoyed extended lap time with his mama ❤

Overall, It was soooooo relaxing and exactly what I needed! I’ve said this before and will say it again – Deciding to take every 7th week off was the best thing I’ve done for myself and my creative business! 

Yay for self-care!!

xo Yuko

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DIY Lifestyle: Soaking Almonds

Happy Friday!

How’s your week been? Hope it’s been a good one!

As I’m redirecting my art biz goals this year and subsequently expanding the scope of this blog a bit to bring you more inspirations for creative and happy living, I thought it would be fun to share some of my other creative projects I’m working on from time to time. I always enjoy it when other artists share their non-work-related creative projects, so I hope you’ll enjoy mine, too 🙂

I’m sure many of you creatives can relate, but I like doing/making stuff from scratch (or as “from scratch” as possible). I find it so satisfying and empowering to learn to make something and do it myself. I know it’s not always practical to do things myself, but at least I learn how to do it, and I appreciate having the knowledge.

I’m particularly excited about DIY-ing when it comes to eating healthy. I’m passionate about eating organic, fresh, whole foods as much as I can. Maybe it’s because I’m becoming middle-aged, but I’ve been noticing more and more the effects foods have on my physical and mental well-being. I’m learning to listen to my body more and becoming more proactive about taking care of myself.

I can’t create inspiring and joyful art if I’m not well mentally, physically, or emotionally, you know?

cookbook_cover_black
A fun Northwest themed book cover I worked on a few years ago.

I’ve been learning more about food and nutrition and trying different ways to incorporate more healthy eating habits in my everyday life.

So today, I wanted to share with you how to soak nuts for healthy eating. Enjoy!

First of all, let me confess: I’m nuts about nuts. I’m especially nuts about almonds. It’s kind of an addiction… They’re great snack packed full of beneficial nutrients and taste SO good! Mmmmm.

Almonds-in-hand_lores

As much as I love them and want to keep eating them all the time, sadly, my body doesn’t digest them very well, and I’ve noticed weird taste in my mouth if I eat a lot of them. Yuck.

I’ve been reading about nuts and learned that there are some toxins that are present in nuts, seeds, and grains to protect themselves, and soaking them will help remove the toxins and will help make it more digestible in human body. (Just a disclaimer: I’m no nutritionist and haven’t done any extensive study or anything. I got a ton of information about how to soak nuts, seeds, and grains and nutritional benefits of it on this website in case you want to learn more!)

We usually buy our nuts in bulk at our grocery store, but they don’t carry organic soaked almonds there. So I decided to soak almonds myself and see how they turn out!

Here is an illustrated recipe of how to soak and dehydrate almonds!

soaking-almonds_lores_cropped
Information from healthyblenderrecipes.com. Note: you don’t need to dehydrate them if you’re using your almonds for soups or dips right away.

Here are some actual photos from the process.

CU_almonds_lores
These almonds had been soaked for a few hours already, and you can see the gunk in the soaking water already.
almonds-in-bowl_lores
You want to soak them in filtered water (about 2x volume of nuts) with a tea spoon of celtic salt dissolved in it.
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Cover the bowl with a thin flour sack cloth or other breathable cloth. My 100% cotton block printed artichoke tea towel did a perfect job!
almonds-in-dehydrator_lores
After soaking them for about 24 hours, I drained and rinsed them throughly. Then I put them in the dehydrator to dry.
CU02_almonds-in-dehydrator_lores
They were dried in the dehydrator for about 24 hours. Then I turned them off and let them cool/dry for another 12 hours or so.

amonds-in-pan_lores

This is an extra step, but I love roasting nuts! I think they taste so much better when roasted. So crunchy and extra nutty.

After the nuts were completely dehydrated, I roasted these in a baking sheet at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. You need to check/stir occasionally to make sure they’re not burned. When they burn, they burn very quickly and will continue to burn even after you take them out of the oven! I had an unfortunate accident a couple of times before 🙂 I listen for the crackling sound and the aroma of almonds and pull them out when I start hearing/smelling them.

almonds-in-jar_lores
Ta da!

I must say, it was kind of a lot of work just to eat some nuts, but I’d imagine it’ll become less of a hassle if I do it more often and it becomes a routine. I hope it makes a positive difference for my system!

Eat well and have a lovely weekend, my friends!

xo Yuko

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The Journey Within Blog Hop: Holiday Food Drawings + A Giveaway!

03-TJW DEC BLOG HOP

Hey there!

Welcome to my bonus blog post this week! If this is your first time visiting, I’m happy you’re here 🙂 I’m Yuko Miki, an artist, blogger, and a Creative Coach in Seattle Washington. I normally post blog article about motivation and creativity every Sunday.

If you haven’t’ heard yet, I’m going to be guest teaching in Kiala Givehand’s The Journey Within: A Year of Handmade Art Journals in 2016! I’m super pumped for this opportunity and can’t wait to put an awesome teaching material together for you all 🙂

TJW 2016 Teacher Image Yuko flat

To kick it off, Kiala has asked each of the 16 teaching artists to give her a drawing challenge for the month of December. Kiala has been posting her December challenge on her blog here, and you can view each teaching artists’ blog hop on there too.

For today’s blog hop, I gave her this prompt: “Draw your favorite holiday or winter foods!” You know how much I love eating and drawing food… 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, I grew up in Japan, and the biggest holiday of the year is New Year’s Day. We typically eat mochi (rice cake) and all kinds of good foods (“osechi”) our moms have prepared from January 1st through 3rd and visit with the relatives and go to the shrines etc. I haven’t been able to go back home for the New Year’s for many years and miss it every year.

osechi
Photo of Osechi from raku-grill.com. Looks so delicious!

To prepare Osechi is quite involved. It consists of many vegetable, fish, and meat dishes that each signifies good luck, happiness, and prosperity. I remember my mom and grandma working on it throughout the week before the New Year’s. Our house would be filled with the aroma of black beans being cooked in the crockpot and other sweet-soy sauce-y smells.

And I couldn’t wait to eat mochi in so many different ways! We eat them in soups, dip them in sweet soy sauce, soybean flour, or sweet bean paste… Ohhh…. I’m drooling just thinking about it!!!

mochi_web
Mochi sketch from my 365 Day Happiness Project.
mochi_web
Here is another sketch from the New Year’s Day 2015! Obviously, I was very excited about mochi 🙂

I’m fortunate to be living in Seattle, where we have easy access to Japanese food. But it’s still not easy to put together your New Year’s Osechi here. It can get pricy, and I just don’t have the patience to cook hundreds of different little things!

So I normally settle for eating mochi dishes on the New Year’s Day and a few days after that. It does a pretty good job of making me feel like I’m celebrating the holiday Japanese-style 🙂

Another culinary tradition I’ve kept up for the New Year’s is to eat soba (buckwheat) noodle soup on the New Year’s Eve. I don’t know any historical background of this tradition, but I’m wondering if people were gearing up for all the rich foods to come for the next 3 days? Anyway, my family would sit down for a bowl of soba noodle soup every New Year’s Eve. It’s an easy dish to prepare, so I’m able to do it almost every year!

tradition_lores

This year, I was feeling a bit concerned about my holiday food tradition, though, as I’ve been on a special diet of low-sugar and low-carb for the month of December. Yes, I know if I cheat a little bit, it won’t kill me, but I’d like to stay on top of it as much as possible.

Most of the soba noodles you can find nowadays have wheat in it (note: buckwheat is actually not wheat/grain, so it’s OK to eat on my diet.), so I’ve almost given up having the soba soup for the New Year’s Eve.

But I found out our local natural food grocery store carries soba noodles made with 100% buckwheat! Granted it’s more expensive, I was very happy to find an option 🙂

soba-package_lores
Behold 100% buckwheat noodle from Eden Foods.

What is your winter holiday food tradition?? What makes it special? If you decide to try the challenge I gave to Kiala, be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog or a webpage so I can look at your beautiful work! AND, if you post your comment by Tuesday 12/29, I’ll choose one commenter to win a free quarterly enrollment! Woo Hoo!

Thank you for joining me on the Journey Within Blog Hop today! Be sure to check in with Kiala tomorrow to follow along!

And I look forward to seeing you in the class! If you haven’t signed up yet, follow this link to enroll 🙂 Give yourself a gift of art and creativity this coming year ❤

Talk to you soon!

xoxo Yuko

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Let me tell you what I did on my first sabbatical week.

recharge_lores

Hello guys!

It’s so nice to be back from my mini sabbatical week! For those of you who haven’t heard, I decided to take every 7th week off to step back from the day-to-day and recharge. I just had my very first sabbatical week the previous week, and it was really awesome!

As promised, I wanted to report back and share how I spent my week off. To me, this was not a vacation, per se, but an opportunity to breathe and do something I don’t normally get to do.

1) I created a new drawing tutorial.

Some of you may have seen it, but I participated in a blog hop with Kelly Johnson of Wings, Worms, and Wonder on Wednesday October 7 as a guest blogger! I had always wanted to do tutorials, so I was excited and honored when she approached me to join her.

She asked each participating artist to come up with a tutorial that inspires people to connect/re-connect with the nature. I thought about what I could teach people and decided to create this Fall Leaf Marker Drawing tutorial! I’ve received positive feedback from folks that it was very accessible and inspired them to try marker drawing. I really enjoyed the process, too, and hope to create more tutorials in the future!

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2) I cooked more.

I might have mentioned this here before, but I’m not that into cooking. I don’t dislike it but just don’t enjoy spending a lot of time cooking up some gourmet meals (that’s more my husband’s thing, which I’m very grateful for!) I enjoy eating simple tasty meals that are quick to make.

But there is something about non-regular cooking, like making jams, baking, and making fermented foods that I like. It might be because the process is fairy simple, and you get to enjoy the products over time? Canning and fermentation make me feel very empowered, too. You can turn some fresh ingredients into things that last for a long, long time. Magical!

I used to do these things more often before I got serious about my art business. Even though I’m not juggling a day job and art any more, I’ve been plenty busy and was feeling like I didn’t have the energy to do much else.

My husband had been asking me to make more jam because we were out for a while. So I decided to tackle that during my sabbatical week!

We buy fresh fruits in bulk during the summer and freeze them. I prefer to make jam when the weather has cooled down because our apartment gets super hot during the summer, and it wouldn’t be fun to do water bath canning then… :p

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I made three kinds of jams this time! Our all time favorite blueberry, apricot, and I made a new addition, spiced apricot with cinnamon and clove. YUM.jam02_lores jam03_lores

It’s kind of a long story, but I’ve been on an elimination diet of no grain flour for a while. But after making so much yummy jam, I really wanted to have something to eat it with. So I did some research and found this easy almond flour muffin recipe!

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It was really quick to make and was delicious! It has a nutty, earthy flavor, and the texture is very similar to cornbread. It went really well with my jam too!almond-muffins03_lores

And I just generally spent more time cooking during the week. I love to eat and am happy when my creations turn out yummy!

3)  I made art for fun.

I still make something every day, but nowadays I spend much less time making art just for fun. During the sabbatical week, I tried to turn off my work mode and doodled my little heart out.

Here are some of the drawings I made!

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green-blue-bowls_lores green-yellow-cups_lores pink-purple-cupcakes_lores

Aren’t these fun?? As I shared in this blog post, I always get new inspiration and fresh ideas for future work when I’m playing around.

4) More friend/family hang out time

I had a few dates planned with my friends but ended up having just one for one reason or another. It worked out fine because, well, I’m an introvert and I recharge by being alone 🙂 My husband was away for work for a few days too, so it was a good balance between having a nice quiet time alone and hanging out with him when he was home!

5) Veg out!

Don’t worry, I wasn’t being productive and doing things all the time, either. I did sleep in and just veg out too! In one afternoon, Dave and I just watched a whole bunch of Netflix shows on our couch. It was very nice 🙂

He was helping me be a couch potato!
Our kitty was helping me be a couch potato = his special talent

It took me a couple of days to turn off the work mode, but I really enjoyed the slow week. I totally feel more energized and calm this week. I’m really glad I decided to schedule regular time-off and can’t wait for my next mini sabbatical! I’m gonna need it 🙂

Have a wonderful week!

xoxo Yuko

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