Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Water What Matters + Coupon Code

As we all know, you can't effectively give people with developing brains all the wisdom you've accumulated. They have an immunity to sound advice until some chemical transformation happens to their little brains at a certain age.

I know because I've been given lots of great advice too that I was immune to.

And sometimes now I give myself outstanding advice and then have conversations with myself about how awesome my advice to me was.

One particular piece of advice I have today thankfully has always come naturally to me.

It came in handy when I started working for Splitcoast - managing that online community. Managing an online community can be challenging, because - well, because people are involved. People you can't see.

My approach to that job has been the same as my approach to my life - a zero tolerance for drama. It's just not necessary. I have always believed that I should let people personally disappoint me - meaning, not let someone else's opinion of someone I don't know shape my treatment of them. If they then do disappoint me, then I've given them a chance and I can go on knowing that I did, which is important. Also, then you know whether the person that advised you gives sound advice - and we all need those people in our lives.

When I look around Facebook and other social media, I see little hotspots - maybe in groups for common interests (food allergy groups and cooking groups are most of the groups I'm in aside from true crime and craft groups) where regular drama occurs. And I see a philosophy that is true no matter what in life you apply it to. And that is this - what you water will grow.

Do you love peace? Humor? Water those. They will grow. Simply don't water anything else.

I don't remember when I started applying this with real vigor in my life because I'm old and can't remember things anymore - but it's been years - more than ten.

I very, very deliberately chose to only spend my energy on things I really loved. Art, making my house the way I wanted it to be (not living in it for the eventual buyer or any other assorted people who don't live here every day), learning activities like online and in person classes, gathering cardmaking friends regularly.

I deliberately didn't water things that didn't bring me joy. Nextdoor, for example, where America keeps all the crazy neighbors. Politics. The news. Any online drama.

You don't have that many minutes on earth. Why in the world people want to spend them arguing with strangers about Instant Pot settings on Facebook is really mind-boggling to me. Especially with the sheer volume of cat photos and hilarious memes virtually everyone has access to.

I used to purchase stamp sets primarily for the images. But now that I'm well into my stamping career, I'm more drawn to unique and interesting sentiments, like the one I'm using today.

It just spoke to me, as it's really something I wholeheartedly believe, as a human and as a gardener.

I have a video for you below, but the process is simple. I used my dimensional gel pen to mask out the beautiful wildflowers from this set, and then colored the background with my brush markers on this hot press paper - so far this is my go-to with these markers. I have a few more I want to compare, but they blend beautifully on this paper and it's a very luxurious soft hot press. This stamp set does have a really pretty, intricate matching die.
I really love how these colors blend like watercolor. Makes for such happy coloring sessions. And guess what? I have a coupon code for you! Good on these markers or any other brand on the site!

To get your discount - click here and use code UNDERSTANDBLUE at checkout!

So here's the quick video, with the supplies below - and I have a great soup recipe for you today! Stay tuned after the video!

In the Weeds by Brandi Kincaid,...
[ ELH ]
In the Weeds By Brandi Kincaid,...
[ ELH ]
Amazon.com: Sakura Pgb10c51 Aqualip...
[ MRK ]
L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage...
[ BLIC ]
Art Anthology BIG CRAFT MAT 24x36 311473
[ SSS ]
Heavy Base Weight Card Stock- White
[ GNK ]
MISTI Stamping Tool
[ MSP | HA | SSS | ELH | MFT | UNT ]
Rotatrim Professional Series Cutter -...
[ BLIC ]
LightView 2in1 LED Magnifier for...
[ BRG ]
Teflon Bone Folder - Ellen Hutson LLC
[ ELH | SSS ]
Crafter's Companion GEMINI...
[ SSS ]
Scor-Pal MINI SCOR-BUDDY Scoring...
[ SSS ]
Essentials by Ellen Storage...
[ ELH ]
Die Storage - Clear Storage Pockets...
[ CHC ]
XL Stamp Storage Pockets
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Mermaid tidy towel case and glue...
[ ETS ]
Lawn Fawn STAMP SHAMMY Cleaner LF1045
[ SSS | CST ]
Airtable: Organize your stamps & dies
[ ART ]

So I have a lifelong obsession with soup. When I was little, three hundred years ago, canned soups were actually good. I have fond memories of Chicken and Stars and tomato soup, all of which are awful now. After I moved to Austin, I started making soup frequently, until I had perfected some of my favorites - tortilla soup, split pea soup and my nearly world famous beef stew. These became part of my regular rotation. Over the last few years, I've added a yummy vegan Tom Kha that's amazing, as well as a lot of squash-based soup - I love butternut squash.

Having a local service like Farmhouse Delivery lets me eat what's in season, and soup is a fabulous way to get the most out of your vegetables. Watching Salt, Fat, Acid Heat helped me understand better what a new soup recipe is missing and I can quickly jazz up something that's just not quite there. If I were only allowed one food genre for the rest of my life, I'd most definitely pick soup. Yes, even in my hot climate. I find the longer process of making soup and developing flavor very satisfying as well.

So I came across a vegetarian version of tortilla soup last week, and I created my own vegan version (since I have a dairy allergy), and holy cow is this delicious.  So here is a link to the recipe, and my modifications are below. If you can have dairy, I'm sure that version is delicious - I used to love half and half in soups! My mom made delicious lentils, which was pretty unusual back then - and I love adding lentils to anything I can.

Here's my actual first bowl of soup.

And here's my version.


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp oil (or if you're oil free, heat pan to medium for two minutes. Add veggies and stir. Use water or broth if anything wants to stick)
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth (More like 3.25 C.)
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste (I use Mutti Verderine)
  • 1 can Hot Habanero Rotel
  • 15 oz can black beans (drained + rinsed)
  • 15 oz can pinto beans (drained + rinsed)
  • 2 C. Frozen super sweet corn
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (generous)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (scant)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. Real Salt
  • 1 can coconut milk (Unsweet, no guar, full fat, Native Forest)

Saute onions and bell peppers until soft. Add broth, Hot Rotel, beans and spices. Bring to a boil and add lentils. Simmer covered for 25-30 minutes. Add coconut milk and frozen corn and bring back to a simmer and serve.

I hope you try it! If the habanero is too hot for you, use mild Rotel or a can of tomatoes and a can of mild green chiles.



  1. Great post Lydia. You are so right about watering what you love. 100% right!!

  2. Such wonderful sound advice - reminds me of the old Indian tale of two wolves warring inside us and which one wins. And the art of course is beautiful!

  3. Such good thoughts. I feel like I have totally learned how to stay out of FB drama from reading your posts throughout the years. People are always surprised when I tell them I only have happy things in my FB feed! Your card is gorgeous and what a great sentiment! Isn't it interesting that the heat of the south is not keeping us from our love for soups! I make soup all year long. I just need to find a few more recipes to keep it interesting. I make a soup very similar to the one you have listed. It's actually my favorite soup I currently make since I no longer create cream based soups. I have never added lentils to mine though so I am looking forward to making this soon and adding lentils! TFS!

  4. I don't like drama either, and I love that sentiment. Gorgeous card!


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