April Colors And Letters~ Starts With the Letter S~ Scones

Scones

These were delicious scones! One was a Ginger Scone and the other Cheddar and Chive Scone.  This is for April Colors And Letters

Photo Of The Day- Sweet~ Monkey Helping Little One Across The Rope

moneky help

 

Photographed at the Bioparco di Roma Zoo in Rome, Italy. This is such a sweet moment of the Mama or Daddy helping their little one across the rope line.  Then in the background, there were other monkeys cleaning each other.

 

This is for CitySonnet Photo A Day- Sweet

Photo A Day~ Adorable Doggies

sleeping dogges

My sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who are no longer with us but I love this photo of them. The bigger Cavalier is Isabella and the puppy is Maximus.  I just think this is the most adorable photo of them and fits the Citysonnet Photo Of The Day- Adorable

A Visit To Chatham Cape Cod

Many years ago, my family and I travel to Chatham, Cape Cod. Here is my photo essay on our visit.

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A lovely gazebo that we would read to our kids in the late afternoon.

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The Lobster boats

Bunny Spring

Bunny visiting the flowers.

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This seal was watching us as we played on the beach.

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We took a boat tour and had a great opportunity to see these seals on a sand bar.

 

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Another peaceful view of the boats.

Chronic Lower Back Pain~ Learning To Adapt

For over 10 years, I have had lower back pain. It wasn’t one thing that caused my lower back pain.  My problem areas is herniated disc at L3 and degeneration at L4-L5.

Thought the years, I have had to apart new ways to move my body, do daily activities and manage the pain as best I can.  Doing all of these with as minimal use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, physical therapist, nurse. I am just a person who has been battling with lower back pain for years.  I am always looking for tips and tricks on managing back pain. I am writing this post to offer to those of you who have pain in their back looking for ways to ease it.

 

Here is what I have found to help me with lower back pain.

 

There are many different creams on the market that I have tried.

 

Here are my top picks-

VAL Lombardi Magnesium Cream

Great cream that I use at night before bed. It helps relax the muscles when I sleep. Sleeping is tough on the back so this is a big help. I have used this on a stiff neck and shoulder. Wonderful stuff!

HEMPACTIVE HEMP CREAM

This is great for all kinds of muscle pain. If I am having nerve pain in my back, it will not touch it but it’s good for mild back and shoulder pain.

Boiron Arnicare Cream

For me, this is good for very mild daily pain and stiffness.

Biotech CBD Cream 1000 MG

Great for nerve pain and when the lower back is on fire.

 

Let’s talk pillows! I find that my problems with my spine happen a lot during sleep. I am a stomach sleeper which is awful for the lower back. Over the years, I have tried so many different pillows. Here are the ones that I find to be fantastic for the shoulder, neck, and back.

 

 

Cervical Pillow Contour Pillow for Neck and Shoulder Pain, Coisum Orthopedic Memory Foam Pillow Ergonomic Bed Pillow for Side Sleepers Back Sleepers, Neck Support Pillow with Hypoallergenic Pillowcase

Ok, I know this might look uncomfortable. BUT, let me tell you that it’s so comfortable and fits the neck perfectly.  It gives a comfortable position for the shoulder to have some support. If you have tendonitis, minor tears in the shoulder or love to sleep on your side,  it takes the pressure off the shoulder.  This pillow has been a game-changer for me.  Slowly it has taught me to sleepless on my stomach and more on my back or side.  It took about 4-6 days to learn how to sleep with it.

 

 

KUNPENG Shredded Memory Foam Pillows for Sleeping – Cooling Bed Pillow Hypoallergenic with Premium Washable Cover for Back Stomach Side Sleepers Firm Soft Adjustable – CertiPUR-US – King Size

This is a great pillow to place between your legs for lower back support. It’s not to thin or thick.  To read more about good sleep positions for your lower back pain- Slide Show: Sleep Positions Mayo Clinic

 

 

The Original McKenzie Lumbar Roll by OPTP – Low Back Support for Office Chairs and Car Seats

This is a much needed lumbar pillow for your driving and sitting needs! Very easy to travel (when you travel again). It gives wonderful lumbar support.

 

Office Needs

For those who need to work on a computer and have trouble sitting for long periods for time.

 

 

 

Standing Desk: VersaTables

 

Extremely helpful for your back, hip pain-needs.  It gives you options for your pain level needs.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise has been a struggle for me throughout the years. My back spasms very easily and nerve pain follows.   Here is the exercise that has helped me keep moving and not get so stuff.

Scott Cole has such a great way of teaching gentle movements.

Scott Cole- Tai Chi

Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices for Mid-life (40's - 70's) including AM Energy, PM Relaxation, Improving Balance, Relief from Desk Work, Core Strength, and more.

Gentle Yoga: 7 Beginning Yoga Practices for Mid-life (40’s – 70’s) including AM Energy, PM Relaxation, Improving Balance, Relief from Desk Work, Core Strength, and more.

 

Again, very gentle and you can choose how much you want to do.

 

Pain Management

Acupuncture has been very helpful for managing my back pain and anxiety with daily pain. Here are some good articles about how it can help explain how it helps.

Acupuncture for back pain?

 

Healthline: Acupuncture For Back Pain:

 

Fashion

You might think, why is she bringing up fashion for lower back pain? Well, shoes and purses are something I have had to make adjustments with.  High heels and low heels have put a strain on my lower back. There are many different sneakers and shoes out there that are made for comfort. Here are my top ones that take the pressure off the lower back.

[SQUARE]:Natural Grey (Light Grey Sole)

All Birds

The most comfortable shoe/sneaker for walking and staying on your feet all day. I find they give great support for the lower back. I have been able to do hours of walking with these runners and not had strain placed on my lower back.

The loungers and slippers are also made for comfort!

PAIR

New Balance 990v5

These sneakers were the ones that I wore for my Italy trips. They are super comfortable and great support.

 

Purses

 

I have noticed that when in the past I use larger purses, then I have the habit of putting too many things in the purse. That puts too much pressure on my shoulder, throwing off my alignment.

Now with the use of a smaller purse, I put fewer items in there, keeping my alignment in check!

 

Again, I am not a doctor, this is just my advice for managing back pain.

 

I am some of my ideas are helpful to anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Instagram Art Challenges

If you are interested in Art Challenges on Instagram, there are a lot of fun ones going on right now!  I have composted a list below for the April and Quartine Challenges!

Check them out on Instagram!

 

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Miss Honeybug

You can also follow her on WordPress: Misshoneybug On WordPress

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SpringValleyArt on Instagram

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Doodlewash On Instagram

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Elizabethmeyer On Instagram

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Ellolovey On Instagram

 

I hope these help you spend your days doing fun doodles and watercolor!

 

A Dose Of Pure Fun: Cute Puppies At Play Short Story

 

We all need some fun images, pure sweet puppy love. 

 

Maximus is the black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Horatio is the ruby Cavalier.

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Maximus ” Soooooo, do you want to share that bone?”

Horatio ” No, I’m good”

 

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Maximus  “Come on, let’s share!”

Horatio “Bro, I said ‘I am good!”

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Maximus ” I got it now!”

Horatio ” Fine! But I will stare at you and look very cute doing it!”

 

Sunset In Naples, Florida- Water, Water, Everywhere!

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Draw me into your colors of bright orange and yellow. Wash away my pain and stressful life.  Soak my negative thoughts away and leave me with positive ones.  Let the music of the ocean waves lull me into peace and drown out my racing heart.

~Daphsam

 

This is for Photos Of Jez Water, Water Everywhere

Show And Tell Watercolor~ Elephant and Birds

Blue Elephant

I did this last year on my birthday! I was working with a limited color palette.

Flamingo

 

This cute pink Flamingo was inspired by my visits to Naples, Florida zoo.

 

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I took a class on Skillshare for creative whimsical bird watercolor.

Black Cap Chickadee Watercolor

A blend of pen and watercolor for this cute Black Cap Chickadee.

 

 

 

 

TikTok Art~ The Latest Rage

So my older kids are always trying to help me with ideas on promoting my art and shops! They told me to take my art to TikTok and create something fast and fun. Well, that is so not easy! It takes me days to create an image with hours of working out the colors, shadowing, highlights etc.  I had to give it a try and see if I could paint on demand.

I thought that doing a loose floral watercolor would be easy. Painting fast, here is my Hyacinths Easter Basket.

 

Getting into it, I decided to do a dog drawing with a coffee cup!

 

After spending a few hours creating some TikToks, it was fun! It made my kids happy since they want to show off my art to their friends.

 

 

“A Photo a Week Challenge: Changing Seasons”

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Getting outside this week was so needed. The days go by and it feels little very little changes from day to day,  Mother Nature is still working! the weather might be a little cold but the flowers and beginning to bloom. Here are my Daffodils and Forsythia reminding me that life is still going on.

 

This is for A Photo a Week Challenge

Stream of Consciousness Writing: Beside You

What is beside me is my chair. Because of my back problems, sitting is not an option for very long. I work on my computer that is a standing desk (VersaTables). When I need to sit because standing all day is tiring, I have my chair right next to me to rest for about 20 minutes. If I go any longer, my back hurts.

 

 

 

 

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Black Mesh Swivel Ergonomic Task Office Chair with Flip-Up Arms, BIFMA Certified

 

So it’s a chair that is there for me when I need to rest.   I use to be able to stand all day but these days I am more tired:(  I do use a Coccyx pain relief pillow on top of the seat.

 

This is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday

March Photo And Colors Of The Day: Bee On The Job

beemine

bee going in

 

I watched this little bee travel over my Rhododendron flowers one Sprig morning last year. I am posting this for March Photo A Day- Hidden    and March Colors & Letters- Bumblebee

“Kammie’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge”~ Animal Odd Funny Photos

Scracthing behind the ears

Tiger getting a good scratch behind the ears!

 

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“Who is the prettiest of them all?”

 

I said Mirror Mirror

” I said, Who is the prettiest of them all?”

 

All photos were photographed at the Bronx Zoo.

 

Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

 

 

Watercolor Appreciation For Nurses

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Nurses don’t wait until October to celebrate “Make a Difference Day”. They make a difference everyday!” – Author unknown

Nurses are out there in the front lines of this Coronavirus. They are risking their health to take care of all who are sick.  I know there have been many nurses that I have had in my life that have made the difference. Their dedication, hard work, and loving care is so greatly appreciated.  I wanted to make a watercolor with the word HERO on their uniform because that is what they are to all of us.  They are Heros!

I will work on watercoloring a Doctor soon as they are Heros to during this health crisis.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Birds: Barred Owl

BW Barred Owl

This Barred Owl has photographed a few years ago in my backyard. This was a crazy morning, it was April 1st. It was snowing like crazy! My husband and I were in awe with the fact it was snowing in April. As we were watching the snowfall, this Owl was sitting in a tree near our house. I quickly got the camera and captured him.  Thank you to the Barred Owl for waiting for me to get my equipment ready to capture him!

 

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Birds

Jigsaw Puzzles to Help With Boredom!

Jigsaw puzzles are all the rage on Instagram! I see many people posting about their latest Jigsaw puzzle they are doing during this stay at home time.

 

Recently, I have had a spike in sales in my Zazzle shops from Jigsaw Puzzle. So I would like to share some of the Jigsaw Puzzles that I am currently selling!

All Jigsaw Puzzles can be purchased with various sizes.

 

Garden Spring Gazebo In Chatham, Cape Cod MASS Jigsaw Puzzle

Garden Spring Gazebo In Chatham, Cape Cod MASS Jigsaw PuzzleSpend your time doing this lovely Garden Gazebo that was photographed in Chatham, Cape Cod.

Bubble Sunset In Cayman Islands Jigsaw Puzzle

Bubble Sunset In Cayman Islands Jigsaw Puzzle Relaxing and peaceful sunset in Cayman Islands.

Colorful Blue Exotic Bird Jigsaw Puzzle

Colorful Blue Exotic Bird Jigsaw Puzzle Colorful Blue Exotic bird that was photographed in Disney’s Animal Kindom in Florida.Electrifying Tiger In The Night Jigsaw Puzzle

Electrifying Tiger In The Night Jigsaw Puzzle This Tiger was photographed at Animal Kingdom at Disney’s Florida.

Sandpiper's Morning Walk On Beach During Sunrise Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Sandpiper’s Morning Walk On Beach During Sunrise Jigsaw Puzzle This Sandpiper took a morning walk in Naples, Florida during a sunrise.

Dramatic Pink Sunset Over Ocean In Naples, Florida Jigsaw Puzzle

Dramatic Pink Sunset Over Ocean In Naples, Florida Jigsaw Puzzle A romantic and relaxing jigsaw puzzle to fill your days and evenings with relaxing peace.

Vacation In Paradise, Mykonos, Greece Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Vacation In Paradise, Mykonos, Greece Jigsaw Puzzle Spend your days working on this relaxing jigsaw puzzle featuring a Hotel in Mykonos, Greece.

Resort Escape To Mykonos, Greece Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Resort Escape To Mykonos, Greece Jigsaw Puzzle Image being at this tropical paradise hotel in Mykonos, Greece

 

 

 

RDP Friday- Empty

 

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Empty is the promise that is not kept.

Empty is the words that are spoken with little care to follow through.

Empty is what will be left after the fire you have set to everything.

Empty is what I will feel in my heart if you don’t change.

 

RDP Friday – Empty

On The Hunt For Joy challenge~ “Create abundance out of ordinary things”

Coffeebeans

Coffee beans that fuel our mornings.

 

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Red eggs for Greek Easter that symbolize the blood of Christ.

 

strawberries

Sweet Strawberries that are a welcoming sight in the morning with my cereal.

This is for Cee’s On The Hunt For Joy

“Create abundance out of ordinary things”

Pattern Thursday~ Fun Watercolor Patterns And Fun Recommendations

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Tea Time With Daphsam

Daphsam Tea Time Menu

 

1. Lemon Grass Herbal Tea with chocolate chip scone

2. Earl Grey Tea with English Scone, clotted cream and raspberry jam

3. Green Tea with a buttery croissant

4. Chamomile tea with a fruit tart

5. English Breakfast tea with a cucumber, ham and watercress tea sandwich

 

perfume and nailpolish

Daphsam’s Beauty Store

 

Favorite Beauty Store Recommendations from Daphsam

 

1. Yves Saint Laurent: Libre Eau de Parfum

2. Henry Rose by Michelle Pfeiffer

3. Jo Malone London Honeysuckle & Davana Cologne

4. Cherry Red Nail Polish

5. Le Vernis Longwear Nail Colour in Coralium

6. OPI Nail Lacquer, All Your Dreams In Vending Machines

 

 

 

 

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Countless Branches Haiku

Ragtag Daily Prompt Thursday: Countless Branches

Maze Of Braches

Countless Branches

Twisting here and there,

Countless branches intersecting,

We are all connected.

~Daphsam

Iguana Hanging Out With Acrostic Poem

Blueiganiacopyrightchilling out

Photographed in the Cayman Islands

Acrostic Poem~ On My Own

In the depths of isolation.

Glued to the TV for the latest news.

Usually tired from my inactivity.

Annoyed that every day feels like the same.

No one said this will be easy.

Another day shut away from the world.

                                                            ~Daphsam

Watercolor Birthday Cake & Decorations

pinklayercake

Needing to have something fun to look at all day because the news is too depressing. I love vibrant colors and pink is my favorite. So I decided to work on this pink layer birthday cake.  To increase my concentration efforts, I created the floral icing for the top part of the cake.

After working on this piece of cake, I was sad to see it finished. I wanted to keep going with this celebration of birth! So hopping online to Pinterest and did some digital window shopping.

 

partydecorations

Here are some of the fun pink birthday decorations I would love to have at a party! I am hoping to work on creating a pattern with these items for some birthday tissue paper or wrapping paper!

It was a  relaxing way to escape from everything that is going around. I might have to watercolor more birthday cakes since it was so much fun!

Motivational Monday Quote Favorite Place~ Mental Break

favorite place

My favorite place in the whole world is Positano, Italy. This is a picture from inside my hotel room in Positano. When things get rough, I close my eyes and take a mental vacation. I lay down on my heating pad, listen to one of the “insight timer” music or guided meditations.

I work on making my meditation area as peaceful as possible.  Sometimes I spray the room with a Lavender spray or coconut room spray. I know Amazon has wonderful options.  I also use an eye mask to make sure that it’s very dark to help me relax even farther.

Also, I use other images from my Pinterest board that I have collected that make me feel very relaxed before going into mediation.

To check out my board~ Pinterest – Peaceful Images

Here are a few of my own photographic images that I hope can create a mental vacation break for you.

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View from my hotel in Positano, Italy
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Cayman Islands
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Greece

So as we approach another week of “Stay Safe and Stay Inside”, use images and videos to help you mentally escape and have a little vacation.

Favorite YouTube Relaxing Escape Videos!

Another fun way to relax and get away at home is to use youtube videos that are peaceful and relaxing.

This is my own youtube video of Venice, Italy.

RDP Sunday- Hang On To That Toy

Hang OnIsabella sleeping with toy

 

My Isabella, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,  who lived 15 wonderful years. She always fell asleep hanging on to her favorite pink purse toy.

This is for:

RDP Sunday- Hang On

 

 

Saturday Morning Baking~ Apple Pie

Apple Pie is one of my family’s favorites!  So this morning I decided to bake one. I use parts of the “Joy Of Cooking” cookbook by Irma Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. Here and there I tweak the recipe.

After gathering all the ingredients, I put the oven on to pre-heat at 450.

The recipes calls for cornstarch but I find that my pie always lands up runny. I find that Minute Tapioca does a better job of firming up the pie.

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After peeling and slicing the Granny Smith apples into slices, I transfer the apples into the bowl and add white sugar, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

 

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For 6 cups of sliced apples, I use 2 tbsp of Tapioca.

I stir the apples to make sure all the slices are covered with the sugar, Tapioca cinnamon mixture.

 

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The first 10 minutes of baking is at 450, then it’s dropped down to 350 for 35-45 minutes.

 

 

Apple Pie Recipe from “Joy of Cooking”  recipe book~ minor Daphsam changes

For a 9 inch Double-Crust Pie

  1.   Peel and slice 5-6 apples ( Granny Smith is great for pies)

  2. Combine apples in a large bowl and add:

              * 1/2 to 2/3 cup white sugar

             * 1/8 salt

             * 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon this is my idea, recipe book ask for 1/4 teaspoon

             * Sprinkle Nutmeg, recipe book ask for 1/8 teaspoon

             * 2 Tablespoons Tapioca, recipe book ask for  1 to 1 1/2 cornstarch

3. After giving a good stir so that apples get nicely covered with the sweet stuff, pour the apples into the pie crust pan that you are using.

~ I have always used Oronoque 9″ Deep Dish Pie Crust.

4.  After the apples are arranged in the pie crust, dot with 3-4 small dots of butter.

5. If your Apples are bland tasting, then you can add some lemon juice or lemon rind.

6.  Cover your pie with the other side of the pie crust and use a fork to make some air holes.

7. Bake on 450 for 10 minutes.

8. Then turn it down to 350 and bake for another 35-45 minutes depending on your oven. I always check after 35 minutes to see how it looks.

9.  When you see a nice golden brown, take it out and let it cool.

10. We always serve our apple pie with some Vanilla ice cream!

 

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