Living the Freelancer Dream: Lina Point Business Card Design

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Lina Point Business Card - portfolio

I am that girl living the freelancer dream on an island in Belize!  What could be better than doing what I love in a country I fell madly in love with over 8 years ago!

This one was just a simple project for a friend who’s the Assistant Manager for Lina Point: the beautiful casita’s being built over the lagoon of Isla Bonita. More information about these incredible homes here:  Lina Point Over Water Resort

This was a little bit more of a challenge as I did have to work off pictures from the website and Facebook which resulted in a total re-draw of the logo.  But in the end it met the needs of my client John Lizama.  Capture a captivating picture of the resort, show the logo and add the information for both the owner and assistant manager.

I offer my services virtually worldwide, offer very reasonable rates, communicate with you through out the process and ensure your expectations are 100% met.  To book a consultation or schedule graphic work for your business please contact me at fxinc@outlook.com, or by phone BZ Mobile: 613 8267 or US Mobile: 781-713-4320.

She She Koi x The Subtle Beauty (e-book)

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An honest review on The Subtle Beauty (e-book) written by Ann Hunter

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Disclaimer:  I applied via Tomoson.com to receive this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

I really had a difficult time keeping myself engaged with this book, if it wasn’t for the commitment I made to read the entire book I probably would not have finished.
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The plot is described as an updated Beauty and the Beast which I feel is very accurate, and although well written it was very difficult for me to keep myself attached to the book.  In fairness this really isn’t a typical genre for me, but I am also open enough to explore, as as long as the writer has me captured  I can read for hours.  Unfortunately I felt reading this book more of a chore than a treat to get away and escape.

With that said the author writes very well and I think you can feel her love for writing as she did creatively transform a classic fairy tale.  I felt her ideas are concrete and believable but the writing isn’t fluid enough for me. As I mentioned there wasn’t that feeling of wanting to keep with the book like those ones that transport you to a point where you begin to blowoff commitments to keep reading – bathing the child, making dinner, cleaning the house.  Yep it’s true – i actually at one point in the read stopped to clean my house.

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With that said, I certainly don’t want to steer readers away from the book. I know there are other books in the works for this writer and I wouldn’t avoid trying another one. My suggestion is that if this is your kind of genre you may appreciate the book and should give it a try, as I feel it’s the only way I could recommend it.
Click here to purchase the e-book Kindle version which can be read trough the Kindle App on apple products  The Subtle Beauty by Ann Hunter

She She Koi x Beauty Counter: Join She She Koi’s Movement

New Beautycounter

Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including, but not limited to asthma, learning disabilities, cancer and infertility) are on the rise, and due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals.

The United States has not passed a major federal law to regulate the safety of ingredients used in personal care products since 1938.

The European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 ingredients, the US has only banned 11 to date.

We all deserve something better and She She Koi has joined Beautycounter in doing something about it.

Beauty counter has banned more than 1,500 ingredients setting a new health and safety standard all while ensuring the products perform, and that they’re as indulgent as any luxe shampoo, lipstick or oil in the market.

It’s not easy work, but it’s well worth it.

She She Koi’s Beutycounter page is dedicated to introduce you to the products, as well as an avenue for purchasing them.

Learn more about the mission & buy products here.

Mistress of Improvisation x She She Koi Reboots

When in doubt, use your improvisation skills!

In spirit of my re-boot one thing I wanted to use to it’s full potential is my improvisation skills.  As I mentioned previously our current financial status is undesirable.  The positive in it that it allows me to do what I do best when we can’t splurge and use my creative juices to their fullest!

So this post was inspired by my husbands request yesterday for something sweet – cake, cookies or something coupled with the request to make it homemade.  I definitely have the skills in the kitchen when it comes to cooking meals.  Inspire me with a few items and I’ll create a master piece for you.  Cookies and cakes….yeah I’m not usually on point.  So knowing that a trip down to the local market was not an option due to low fundage, I started googling and found this great blog from Amanda Rettke at I Am Baker – Yellow Cake Mix.  I specifically followed her Homemade Yellow Cake Mix.  After viewing her blog and pictures I know for sure, my cake did meet the taste needs of my family, but I am far from a baker when it comes to making it look pretty.  See her site, view my final outcome you’ll see who is the baker.  Her creations are beyond beautiful!!

Anyway her recipe is very simple and I love that she actually will prepare the dry ingredients ahead of time and store in a glass mason jar for future use.  So for those that are bakers check the link I referenced to make it exactly like hers.  Following below is my lazy baker, improvised version with a few twists which I am proudly dropping the mic for.

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She She Koi X I Am Baker Homemade Yellow Cake Mix Twist

Ingredients (asterisk represents areas of improvisation and/or twists done by She She Koi)

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 1/2 tsp baking powder *

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1/8 cup oil *

1 stick of butter softened *

1 tbl vanilla

3 large eggs *

Cinnamon to taste *

Rainbow and/or chocolate sprinkles *

Notes for asterisks:

  • Baking powder:  I didn’t have it, so I used baking soda which can be used as a substitute, but you will need to use less.  Typically it’s 1 tsp for each cup of flour.  I used 2 tsp and there were definitely no issues with my cake rising.
  • I Am Baker’s post called for vegetable oil.  I used olive.
  • Butter, I only had margarine.  Basically 1/2 cup of margarine melted in the microwave does the trick and is equal to 1 stick of butter.
  • I had one egg left so I used mayo to cover the rest.  Rule of thumb is that 3 tablespoons of mayo equals 1 egg.  So I used 6 to cover what I was missing.  A side note I think the Mayo may have added more moisture and fluffiness.
  • Cinnamon – this is where I am more Chef than Baker.  I don’t measure.  I basically just put a lot in, well cause we love cinnamon.  This is not part of I Am Baker’s recipe just something I added since making a frosting was out of the question.
  • Sprinkles were for additional flavor and decoration.  Again because this is what I had in the house and something our son goes crazy over!

Instructions:

Pre-heat over to 350.

Spray cooking spray (i.e. Pam) on to your baking dish.  If you don’t have cooking spray, just use oil and a paper towel and lightly oil the baking dish.

Mix all ingredients into a bowl, mix with hand mixer, or in my case very well with a big plastic spoon and pour into your cooking dish.

Cook until tooth pick inserted in comes out clean.  In my case, my cake was thick due to a small glass cooking dish so I had to cook it for about 40 – 50 minutes. Cupcake or sheet cake works just as well.  My rule of thumb check with tooth pick every 15 minutes until it’s dry.

About 30 minutes into cooking, sprinkle the cake with sprinkles.  I found it sets in the cake quite nicely since I don’t have frosting for them to stick to.

The final outcome:

Overall taste approved by my husband and our 5 year old.  Two connoisseurs when it comes to sweets in this house.  But I also received praise from our landlord and some friends so I’ll take it as a WIN!  The beauty of it is that it’s much more cost affective than a box cake and very rewarding for the spirt.  All of the ingredients I had at my house so I literally did not spend a dime.  By being the mistress of improvisation (thanks google) I was able to figure out ways to use what I did have in the house to cover anything I was missing.

If you go the straight yellow cake route, I Am Baker suggests using a rich butter cream frosting and has a great recipe to follow if you’d like to make it here:  I Am Baker – Butter Cream Frosting.  I personally love my yellow cake with white frosting although for now I’ll stick to store brought until I have a hand blender to make.

Another great suggestion I Am Baker made is to give this as a gift which I didn’t think of.  Her suggestion is to put the dry ingredients in a mason jar, and make a label with the wet ingredients that need to be added (as well as an invite to come enjoy it!  :)  )  I love this idea as well and will think of another fun way to gift it.  I guess this will be down the road when we have a budget to do so.

I look forward to hearing what you think about this and other ideas you may have done to twist it up.  Please share thoughts, comments and ideas in the comment section and click on my links to follow me.

If you are in the market to buy any tools you may need: (i.e. hand mixers, bowls etc.) you can find the here at She She Koi powered by Amazon.  Just click on the link and happy shopping.

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Thank you again for reading this, I hope you found what you needed and most importantly, enjoy!  :)

She She Koi x Re-boot

She She Re-Boot

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615 Days, or

1 Year, 8 Months & 5 Days, or

440 Weekdays, or

178 Weekends, or

87 Weeks & 6 Days, or

14,760 Hours, or

885,600 Minutes, 0r

53,160,000 Seconds.

It should seem like more than plenty of time to rehabilitate one’s self from trauma caused from living overseas, countless financial mistakes and bad decisions that I will never ever regret.  But so far it’s not!  I’m frustrated, in debt, tired, sick and I just wish I could rehabilitate my life.

When one thinks of rehabilitate they think drugs and or alcohol, but luckily in my case it’s not that.  But just as bad, just as rough and as incredibly difficult to get back on track when its caused by trauma.  The question is, how?

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Long story short, I went on holiday in June of 2008 to an island in Belize, met the love of my life, moved to China together for a business opportunity, had a baby, enjoyed the pleasantries that come with being an expat, explored Asia and worked & worked & worked & worked.  Fast forward 6 years later, told I was too expensive of an employee and it was time to go back regardless of how it affected me, my career or my family – or so it felt.  Coupled with a back story not known to my company that I had gone through emotional distress with a group of Doctors in China that convinced me I had ovarian cancer.  THEN, go back to the US,  put in a position I had absolutely no right being put in (but that was the “companies” objective), deal with a bi-polar (just fact not insult) husband and a son (CRBA – US Child Record Birth Abroad) acclimate to a country neither of them had ever experienced, and then realized I needed a mental break.  8 months into treatment told by both my company representative and an insurance company that I was a liar, a fake and had nothing wrong with me – even though I had medical doctors, 2 psycho-therapists, a pyschiatrist and myself to prove differently.  Well frankly, that’s how the US system works when it comes to mental illnesses such as PTSD, Anxiety, ADD and OCD.  That’s not a surprise to anyone reading this especially if you are breathing and get the news.  The US has systems that don’t support anyone, no matter how big or small the case is.  They just want to sweep it under the rug – ask our Vets, they risk their lives to protect the US citizens and when they come back there is no help or benefits.

That’s fair, or so a diplomatic society tells me and although I disagree I can accept the outcome of my case.  In terms of the support I asked from the insurance system their decision is their decision.  Even after I asked for it to be reviewed again.  There are those that believe in spending time and tax dollars to win a big sum.  That’s not me.  I just wanted help to rehabilitate, got what I could and I will be thankful for that.  But at the end of the day, I  feel I still have a lot of work to do and how did I come to that?  Because 615 Days, or 1 Year, 8 Months & 5 Days, or 440 Weekdays, or 178 Weekends, or 87 Weeks & 6 Days, or 14,760 Hours, or 885,600 Minutes, 0r 53,160,000 seconds I’m sitting here on my couch, back on the beautiful island of Ambergris Caye, in San Pedro, Belize.  Sick with stress, hives and a whole boatload of things that really just need re-booting. It’s kind of an oxymoron no?  Living in paradise, but feeling lost and needing change?

So why am I sharing it?  Because I’ve just had enough hiding, denials and covering up. I also feel I’m not the only one out there and maybe by opening up and sharing it will inspire others in the same boat to realize there is hope.   I’m not embarrassed of my situation, I’m not ashamed it’s just the chapters of the book that have built who I am right – at – this – moment.  I’m not looking to earn millions of dollars in law suits – because that’s not who I am.  It’s just I want a life stress free, debt free, sickness free and just live a simple, honest life and show – god willing  – before mine and my husbands parents are buried, is that all we wanted was a simple life. We both hope with a lot of determination and hard work we’ll be able to give back to them everything they’ve done for us.

To be 100% transparent, I’m definitely not playing a victim here or making accusations.  I also will not use the word that I need to improve my life as I really have had a great life thus far.  But, I am here because of decisions – good or bad – that were made by me.  Those that do know me as a person intimately – not the judgmental cubicle partners – I really am not that type.  There was no harm intentionally done to me to cause this situation.  No company, entity or person deliberately caused me to be here.  It’s just a fact.  Is what it is and I am just at rock bottom, ready for a change.

As embarrassingly humbling as it would be to just ask for a handout,  I’m sure both my husband and I feel the same – it SUCKS ASS – to owe people money.  And trust we me do!  For those that we do owe, and you are reading this:  we do at some point, when we aren’t strugglingplan to reimburse, not to mention pay it forward.  In the meantime, if anything in this blog resonates with you, hits a chord, or really you just want to help, here are some links where you can purchase things you need for yourself, friends, family and loved ones that will support the small business we are trying to manage as we rehabilitate our lives.  (Just click on the hyperlinks and please feel free to share with friends.  :) Said with a very grateful Thank you!).

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Logo  GSDA Martial Arts & Fitness San Pedro Belize

 

 

So to answer the question made earlier, how do I intend to rehabilitate? Appreciate the small things, not that I don’t, but I’ve been too consumed with finding ways to bring money to our family I put the time where I should do that to the side.  Appreciate my husband, our son and not that I don’t, but again I let the unimportant consume me, and they both definitely  deserve more.  Take time to communicate with family – especially mine where cousins are literally almost an extension of your siblings, well because our Grandmother – God bless – wasn’t raised with cell phones, computers and excess.  So she bestowed in us that important trait of communication, love, appreciating and having fun with your family.  Committing to being healthier, finding ways to better my life, proper nutrition, contributing to the community and those that need it more than me.  Not to forget mentioning exercise, diet, prayer, meditation, go to church and REST (big one for me) I don’t sleep well. So obvious right, but so easily not maintained when you let yourself get over-consumed with something else – especially if like me you have OCD tendencies.  Again things a system want to say I don’t struggle with, but I’m living proof that’s not the case.  In short, I want to learn how to simplify and minimize my life for our family.  A few things anyway that have popped in my head as I was writing this.

images-3So, in the days, weeks, months, and years to come I plan to use this outlet as my place to share what I’ve been working on to rehabilitate my life.  If something pulls at you, please share.  Comments, suggests, ideas.  I’m open – I can’t do this alone, and nor do I have the answers.  I know there are others out there that may be in the same exact position, just not sure what to do.  Let me be that ounce of faith you need to know it’s possible and I’m here to prove it one step at a time and your are welcome to join me.

 

 

 

 

She She Koi x Amazon Daily Lux Fix

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She She Koi daily lux fix online for sale at She She Koi powered by Amazon

Click on the URL by each picture to be directed

51WVNe34gTL._SL210_ Chinese Laundry Jolly Pop Wedge

Jimmy Choo Shoulder Bag 416m8HQHkFL._SL210_

51OJzDm2waL._SL210_Alexander McQueen Cuff Bracelet

31gUwErzBrL._SL210_ Prada Sunglasses

See more Lux Items here:  She She Koi x Amazon

#ComfortfoodMonday

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Fun tip about our Spicy Ramen Soup:  it helps cure a nasty hang over!

At She She Koi, we are all about offering you the yummiest of comfort food to compliment the drinks at Lazy Pelican Bar.

The coming days and weeks,  we will be offering you fun tips about some of the plates we offer like our featured hacked Spicy Ramen Soup.  Some think of Ramen and remember those days in college, living on a budget and relying on the $1.00 bags to satisfy hunger.  They were alright, but after so many it got boring.  We get it.

So we took it a step further to make it a satisfying meal to compliment your buzz from drinking.  Chicken broth, spiced up with Marie Sharps Mild Pepper Sauce, and complimented with our beach meat of the day (usually slices of pork or chicken and the occasional steak), fresh chopped vegetables and topped with a fried egg.

Right now it’s offered as a daily special and we promise hung over or not it will satisfy you at $15 a serving, available for eating in or take out at the Lazy Pelican Bar @ Ocean Tide Beach Resort on Boca Del Rio. Call 615-8892 or email:  fixinc@outlook.com.

 

She She Koi Facts

Popcorn

Fact:  100% of those that come to The Lazy Pelican Bar to partake in any icy cold adult libation get complimentary popcorn!

Why?  Because we are all about comfort and service!  Our popcorn is popped fresh daily and  delicately season with salt and garlic salt to just give a nice salty taste in the back of your throat so you can enjoy your cold drinks.