Recent Posts

The Chakra Series-The Solar Plexus Chakra

The Chakra Series-The Solar Plexus Chakra

The Chakra Series-The Solar Plexus Chakra We are continuing our chakra series today by discussing the 3rdchakra, or solar plexus chakra. If you didn’t read our root chakra or sacral chakra posts, you can check them out here, and here. In Sanskrit the solar plexus […]

The Chakra Series-the Sacral Chakra

The Chakra Series-the Sacral Chakra

This week in our Chakra Series, we will be discussing the svadhisthana chakra, or sacral chakra. If you missed our first post on the 1stchakra or root chakra, please go read it now here. In the root chakra post I suggest a great book to […]

The 12 Zodiac: Leo!

The 12 Zodiac: Leo!

Hello everyone, and today will begin my 12 zodiac series of illustrations and blog posts!

I have had these illustration ideas waiting for their final phase for quite a while now, so I’m excited to finally be sharing these with you. I spent a lot of time looking up different things about all the zodiac signs so that each illustration would have the right symbols and colors for its corresponding sign.

So to begin this series, let’s talk about our first sign…Leo!


Leo—July 24 to August 23

Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.

Since we are in the month of August, I thought it would be best to work on Leo. Leo’s are characterized as being warm, noble, loyal and humorous while some of their weaknesses are arrogance, vanity, and stubbornness. Do keep in mind though, if you are born August 19-25 then you could be a Leo-Virgo cusper. This means you can present characteristics of both signs!

Keeping these traits in mind I wanted the main lady of this illustration to have a very regal and fierce look about her. Her hair needed to be reminiscent of a lion’s mane since this is the main symbol and animal for Leo’s. She also needed to have the gold and yellow colors associated with the sign.

Work in progress of Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.
Work in progress of the hair.


Work in progress of Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.
Work in progress of the line art.

Orange was another color for Leo that I used throughout the illustration, with a lot of it being seen on the background sun motif and the sunflowers themselves. Sunflowers are one of the main flower symbols for this sign, but instead of making them a bright vibrate yellow, I wanted something a little more muted or closer to a burnt orange/gold. I found some good reference photos to use as a base for this.

Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.
Close up of Sunflowers.


Body & Glyph

Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.
Leo glyph detail.

Something I wanted for each sign was to make sure that their symbol or glyph was in line to the body part in which that sign ruled.  For Leo’s, you rule the heart which corresponds nicely to your “born leader” attitude and affectionate nature. The glyph itself is often interrupted as a simplified lion with other interpretations relating to your ruling “planet”, the Sun, or even two halves of a heart.

In my illustration I placed the glyph as a pendant over her heart with her hands encircling it, which draws your eye to the symbol, but not in an overbearing way. I also made her dress purple to relate back to the royal and regal personality traits of the sign.



Finishing Touches

Leo by Ciarra Stebbins. Find more at and @ciarra_13.
Gold details.

As is typically for me with most of my illustrations, I use a mix of supplies with watercolor being my core component. I also used colored pencils, some alcohol based markers, ink pens, and for the final flair…metallic gold watercolors. These are some of my favorite watercolors because they are rather versatile with how opaque you can make them, plus! Leo’s metal is Gold, so it was necessary to add a lot of this to really drive home the kingly and rich aspects of the sign.

Compared to when I first started this series back in 2017 with just black line art, my style and skill has changed considerably. I didn’t change too much from those original sketches, but I did make some upgrades when it came to anatomy, especially for the face since the original version had quite a different expression and style about the eyes.

I’m definitely looking forward to how all of these will look once finished and how things will change by the last illustration.


I hope you guys enjoyed the first of this 12 part series, and let me know what you thought. What zodiac do you look forward to seeing next? Do you believe in horoscopes, and do you identify with your sign?

Let me know in the comments below! 😉


“beautiful mornings and sweet dreams” love Amy and Ciarra-Come be a part of our community




Anniversary Celebration- Visiting The Wineries Of The Monticello Wine trail

Anniversary Celebration- Visiting The Wineries Of The Monticello Wine trail

This year, to celebrate our 23rdwedding anniversary, my husband, kids, and I decided to head out to visit some wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail here in Virginia. If you have not visited a winery (or now cideries!) in Virginia, we highly recommend them! Not […]

My Favorites for July & Wrap-up!  

My Favorites for July & Wrap-up!  

Hello everyone! We have officially wrapped up the month of July, so it’s time to recap some of my favorite things from this month!   Books I Read… Over the past few months I haven’t done much traditional novel reading, and I still have a […]

The Chakra Series-The Root Chakra

The Chakra Series-The Root Chakra

The Root Chakra-part of our Chakra series


Back in February I wrote about how meditation had changed my life for the better (Click here to read). Today I am going to share with you my favorite type of meditation focus-The chakras.

According to Liz Simpson, the author of ‘The Book of Chakra Healing’ “The Chakras are metaphysical vortices of energy originating in the ancient Indian system of healing, which positions them in seven major centres down the body, controlling the flow of subtle energies.” So you can imagine when one of these areas of the body becomes blocked or stagnant. The result can manifest itself in many ways, from mental and emotional issues, to actual a physical health problems. The purpose of chakra meditation is to unblock and/or increase, or even decrease points of energy flow in your various chakra points. Today we I am going to share a little bit about the first Chakra-the Root Chakra….


Location: Perineum

Sanskrit Name and Meaning: Muladhara- meaning “root or support”

Color association: Red

Main issue: Survival and physical needs

Glandular connection: Adrenals

Body parts: Bones and skeleton

Element and Planet: Earth/ Saturn

Astrological associations: Capricorn

Associated sense: Smell

Fragrances/Incense and Oils: Ceadarwood, Myrrh, Patchouli

Crystals: Hematite, Tiger’s eye, Bloodstone

Animals/Archetypes: elephant/ earth mother/victim

Physical dysfunctions: osteoarthritis

Emotional Dysfunctions: Mental Lethargy, “spaciness”, incapable of inner stillness

Sacramental association: Baptism

Foods: proteins/ meat

Developmental age/Life Lesson: 1 to 8 years old, standing up for oneself

STAYING GROUNDED…How does your root chakra spin?

The root chakra is what keeps us grounded to the earth. It has the lowest vibrational rate of all the chakras, and it resonates with the color red. It connects us to our maternal existence, and when healthy can help us to overcome obstacles.

If you chakra is “too open” or spins too fast, one can exhibit certain behaviors such as bullying, being over materialistic, self centered, and engages in physical foolhardiness.

If the root chakra is blocked, or spins sluggishly or not at all, we can become emotional needy, have low self esteem, become fearful, and take on self destructive behavior.

If your root chakra is balanced, and maintains equilibrium and spins at the correct speed, one will achieve self mastery, high physical energy, become grounded, and exude optimal health.

Keeping contact with your root chakra energy brings an awareness to how your physical body and survival needs are affected through diet, exercise, and interrelations with others in your particular group or family.


In Liz Simpson’s book mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is noted that “Psychologists state that babies ‘fed on demand’ learn to trust that their needs will be meant. If this is reinforced, these individuals go through life expecting the same, and are rarely disappointed. Babies left to cry learn to distrust and expect disappointments, believing that they do not deserve their needs to me met. This can affect how they conduct relationships later on in life.”

WOW….that is pretty profound. When you think of all of the generations of people out there who were told to just “let the baby cry”…it is no wonder we find the world in the state it is in. Imagine if everyone took time each day to connect to their chakras and focused on peace and harmony! The world would be a much happier place.

The Root Chakra-part of our Chakra series


What I have written here is just a quick summary to introduce you to our base chakra. If you would like to learn more, a great introduction to the chakra system would be the book I mentioned in this post. Cot obtain your own copy of this book, just click on the photo below!

The Book Of Chakra Healing

Next post in our Chakra series will be about the Sacral Chakra….

Until next post….






My 4 Favorite Graphic Novels for July!

My 4 Favorite Graphic Novels for July!

Hello again everyone! Now that we are well into the summer season, I thought it would be fun to share with you 4 of my favorite graphic novels that I have read for the month of July (so far!). Being both a lover of art […]

All about Succulents & Cacti: What I’ve learned so far (Part 1)…Moon Cactus!

All about Succulents & Cacti: What I’ve learned so far (Part 1)…Moon Cactus!

Hello everyone and in today’s post I’m going to be starting a new series with you where I talk about what I’ve learned about succulents and cacti…so far! I’m still very much a beginner, but I’m always learning more about these fun plants and how […]

Quick and Easy Gluten-free Ramen!

Quick and Easy Gluten-free Ramen!

Quick and Easy Gluten free Ramen

Quick and Easy Gluten free Ramen. Find the recipe at

Hello again everyone, and today I will be sharing with you my quick and easy gluten free ramen! This recipe came to be from an afternoon when I really wanted some soup, but I didn’t necessarily have all of the ingredients to make a traditional miso soup or something along those lines. So I concocted this ramen, and with it receiving the seal of approval from my brother, I thought it would be fun to share it with you all! Let’s get started.


Why Gluten Free?

Quick and Easy Gluten free Ramen. Find the recipe at

I have mentioned this in some of my previous blog post but I have never really gone into detail about it. Over the past few years I have developed a gluten allergy. My symptoms and resulting sickness was getting progressively worse, and it became obvious what the problem was—I am gluten intolerant.

I know that I do not have celiac disease (those who cannot have any type of product containing wheat, rye, barley, or any other gluten), because in my case, I can eat some products with wheat but so far only when it’s from France or Italy. I actually learned about this from others with gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

(Please understand that this has been my experience, and not everyone has the same severity of allergy. Find what works best for you, and if you do want to experiment with foreign wheat products, do it in small doses. That is what I did, and I really watched myself afterwards for any of my usual symptoms.)

I still primarily eat gluten free because I don’t want to overload on the gluten products I can eat and then become allergic to those products as well. I always recommend checking the ingredients on products because it’s pretty crazy to see where gluten can be hidden in food.

If there is anything in this recipe that doesn’t agree with your specific diet, it shouldn’t be hard to replace it with something that does! A lot of my recipes come about from experimenting with different things, so please do feel free to experiment and change things in this recipe! And if you do…please do share what you did instead! 😉


Time to get cooking!

Quick and Easy Gluten free Ramen. Find the recipe at


I love soups, and I often find myself craving them from time to time, but since going gluten free, it can be hard to find an “instant noodle” type of soup for those days when I’m just too tired to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

A gluten free stable of mine is Lotus Foods Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen. This ramen cooks in about 4 minutes and works either in a noodle dish or in a soup. My one warning when cooking this ramen (or any Gluten free pasta/noodle in general) is that it is easy to under and over cook the noodles. Definitely keep a close eye on them when cooking!

In this case, I highly recommend to actually under cook the noodles a bit, since they continue to cook in the broth once they are in your serving bowl.

For my soup, I usually make enough to have two large servings—this will require 6 cups of water and 3 of the ramen cakes.

Step 1

In a medium saucepan I put the 6 cups of water and then 1 cup of shredded carrots, 2 celery sticks (about ½ cup), and about 3 green onions (half of a white onion works as well if you don’t have green onions). I will then let that come to a bowl. The vegetables will soften some but will still be crisp. If you would prefer them to be softer, I would suggest cooking the vegetables first in the pan then add the water once they are soft.

While this is coming to a bowl, I will then add my spices and sauces—1 tsp of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of chicken base (I use the Better Than Bouillon Organic brand), 1 tsp of Tamari soy sauce (I’ve been using Tamari low sodium soy sauce for years! Even before going gluten-free. It is honestly the best tasting gluten-free soy sauce I have ever had, and the best soy sauce I’ve had in general.), ½ tsp of onion, garlic (I will use fresh instead if I have it), and ginger powder, and a dash of red crushed pepper flakes to add some spice!  I like a lot of flavor in my soup, so if you prefer less of something or more, adjust accordingly.

Step 2

Once my water is bowling, I will add a can of shredded chicken (about ½ cup to a 1 cup) and my 3 noodle cakes. I follow the directions for cooking the noodles at this point as it tells you on the packaging. They cook fast so don’t get far away from the stove!  Again, I prefer to undercook my noodles in the pan since they will continue to cook fast in the bowl.

Once the noodles are how I like them, I will scoop them all out along with the chicken and veggies with a pasta fork, and then pour the broth over the noodles in my serving bowl. I use a combination of a fork and spoon to eat this soup, but feel free to use your favorite utensils!

Step 3

All there is left to do is eat and enjoy!

This is definitely one of my favorite quick gluten-free lunches to have! As far as total prep and cook time, I would guess its somewhere around 15 minutes, if that.

Please let me know if you try out this recipe and what you thought about it! Would you like to see more recipes in the future? What are some of your favorite meals? 😉

Thanks for reading!

Quick and Easy Gluten free Ramen. Find the recipe at

Recipe~ Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Ramen

Makes 2 large servings:

  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Gluten-free Ramen cakes
  • 1 can of shredded chicken (about ½ to 1 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery (about ½ cup)
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon Tamari soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon onion, garlic, and ginger powder
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Hephaestus’s Story by Guest Blogger Soren Stebbins

Hephaestus’s Story by Guest Blogger Soren Stebbins

Hephaestus’s Story Hello, my name is Soren Stebbins and I am today’s guest blogger. Every now and then, I will return here to share stories from all across the world, from Mythology to fairy tales. Today I will be telling the story of Hephaestus, one […]