For sale now: 'Healing Meals' on Etsy

"What's that little star for?" I asked when my friend Kyra randomly added a * to the title of our book? "That's the sparkle / tear in our eye from all the hard work and jet laggy-ness," she answered. 

Boy, was she right. It's been a long time since I've felt this tired, but two days after returning from my second US trip in a months (so many stories and drawings to share! Soon!), I am beyond thrilled (and a little shaky) to announce the launch of our first e-cookbook Healing Meals. 

The book is available as a digital download and all recipes are vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, and fun to make. The 25 recipes all have one single ingredient as its centerpiece with all the information you need to get the most flavor and nutritional value out of each, and gives you a straightforward list of their individual medicinal benefits. 

So, you know. Buy it now. Click the big button! Shoo!

Sneak Peek: 'Healing Meals' Illustrated e-Cookbook

YOU GUYS! I am so excited! If you happen to follow me on Facebook, you've already seen bits and pieces of the big news floating around, but here's the official official actual real announcement: on October 21st 'Healing Meals', an e-cookbook written and photographed by the award-winning author, naturopath, food photographer & bodymind chef Kyra de Vreeze and illustrated and designed by me (aaah!) will hit the Etsy shop

After a long summer filled with writing, styling, drawing, writing, and tasting we're so incredibly proud to present you with the official cover design. Tadaaa!

© Anna Denise Floor & Kyra de Vreeze

A Little Bit About 'Healing Meals'

In this book, Kyra highlights one ingredient at a time (broccoli, carrot, eggplant, kombu, romaine, shiitake, and 19 more - all illustrated by yours truly, of course) and shows you how tasty and healthy these vegetables actually are. It includes tips on cooking techniques that will help you get the most nutritional value out of each of them and provides you with a straight-forward list of their individual medicinal benefits. 

Did you know the healthiest way to prepare broccoli is by steaming it for 5 minutes? and did you know this technique will boost its wound healing, immune enhancing & detoxifying properties? 

'Healing Meals' features ingredients that promote mental clarity, glowing skin, optimal metabolism & healthy joints. there are ingredients that will help heal arthritis, edema, PMS, restlessness, candida, and insomnia. Kyra shows you which ingredient will act as preventative medicine & what it can be used for, as their healing powers are endless.

Now, I know what you're thinking. You don't have time. You have a job. Children. Hobbies. You need to save the world. Go dancing with friends. Watch a bunch of cat videos. We do to. So we made sure you don't need to have forever to make your meals magical. Good food CAN be quick, simple, and tasty at the same time. We promise.

Most recipes featured in ‘Healing Meals’ take a mere 15 minutes to prepare and only need a maximum of 10 easy and affordable ingredients.

So in short: good, healthy food AND a social life. Eat that!

Journal Pages: Nervous Wrecks & Lunatics

September wasn't great, I'm not going to lie. Lots of little things just kept piling on until I could feel stress bunching up not just in my shoulders and neck, but creeping into my toes and fingers. Turns out you can turn 30 and learn a lot about how not to deal with tension, but somehow forget (or actively ignore) ways to release it in a healthy way. Fortunately, you can always count on some Jehova's witnesses to ring your doorbell when the hour is most tense - reminding you to just shut that door and cuddle a cat instead.  

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

This weekend I had another breakdown after we found out some of our winter coats and books  had grown some additional fur in the form of mold. My colleague says this house is just bad luck and I'm starting to believe her. Instead of throwing myself a weekend long pity-party as would have been absolutely appropriate I think, I went to the art supply store and got myself some fresh inks, illustrated by exhibit A below.

I remembered this story because that same colleague - I'll just say her name: Ingrid - recently tried to get rid of one of her very own fingertips. I remember this incident very clearly. I felt so sorry for my mom for obviously having the IQ of a doorknob. Fingers clearly look nothing like grass, you poor lady! 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Hope you're all having a great start of October so far and I'll be back soon, I promise. Fun updates ahead!

Journal Pages: Stolen Stuff

Last weekend I went to Brussels to visit friends for the first time in almost a year. I hadn't been to the city because somehow I just couldn't deal with it emotionally, but now I felt ready and eager to see my friends, colleagues, and the city again. I almost cried of joy, walking out of the station. Which is surprising, because Brussels train stations smell like piss, mostly. Piss and waffles, to be exact. But you know me, I am nothing if not a little dramatic at times - and drama I would get.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

After dinner and drinks, my friends and I were having one last drink. I went to the bathroom for a minute, came back, and my backpack was gone. With everything in it. Money, passport, phone, laptop, creditcards, ipod, books, sunglasses, my favorite clothes, makeup, medication, tickets, art supplies, and my journal. This journal. 

After hours and hours of waiting and finally being able to leave a statement at the police station, I went to spend the night at my friend D's house. It's a crazy feeling to have nothing on you but the clothes on your back. If you're expecting me to say it felt 'liberating' - wrong blog, dude. I felt absolutely lost and emotional about someone else touching MY stuff with their dirty hands. I told you it would get dramatic.

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Fortunately I watched a lot of Disney when I was little and this story ends well, with a knight in shining armor and fruit smoothies. 

When Jochem came to pick me up the next day (he drove all the way down here), he had good news: the police had called him to tell him they had found most of my personal belongings in a little park next to the police station, a few blocks from where my backpack had been stolen. Those personal belongings included my journal! We went out for smoothies to celebrate, drove home, and I collapsed and lived happily ever after.

The End.



Journal Pages: Up in the Clouds

I've been feeling better (my flu has a great work ethos and only grabs me on weekends and holidays) and I have been traveling for work quite a lot. It's been busy but good. There are a lot of moments in my life right now where I take a big breath in and feel insanely happy and blessed to be where I am at. My life is made out of pretty amazing stuff and I'm enjoying every bit of it. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Journal Pages: I Gave You Fever

It's been full on fall here in Holland this week and fall means flu and phlegm. I know, I know. You live for these kinds of blog posts. Fortunately, over-sharing is my middle name. Also, that's how Mr. Floor got the flu. We're like communists, sharing everything even if it makes no sense and it takes away your will to live. 

In any case, these were again done in watercolors and Copic markers and I had real trouble getting the colors just right, but I just couldn't be bothered. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click to enlarge

Keeping a Travel Journal: Art Supplies & Tips

© Anna Denise Floor

Keeping an illustrated travel journal of your journey can be incredibly rewarding and romantic. It is an amazing souvenir and the process of creating will help you be more attentive to the little things and big sights you'll see on your trip. You'll remember and appreciate everything around you that much more.

It can also be hard and annoying. Why would you spend all this time drawing and sitting around when there's so much to do and see? Why carry around a notebook and paints and pens, when you can just bring your phone and take a quick snapshot?

Good point and this is why I believe in having a good travel-ready journal kit with you wherever you go. 

 © Anna Denise Floor

My Travel Journal Kit

The kit fitted comfortably in my small backpack and weighed next to nothing. 

© Anna Denise Floor

Top Travel Journal Tips

  • Draw a little every day - and don't forget to bring your kit! It'll help you to quickly get into a habit of observing the world around you more closely. 
  • Take your time and make sure your travel companion knows what he or she is in for! Nothing is worse than feeling rushed when you feel like drawing, so discuss this in advance. Jochem usually brings a book to read (or occasionally joins me by doing some drawing or writing of his own!), but you can also just agree to meet each other again in an hour or so. Finding a comfortable drawing spot on a terrace of a wine bar usually helps, too. 
  • Just pick something to draw, anything. In the picture above I'm drawing one small part of a gorgeous old Roman ruin. It had much better parts and the view of the ocean on the other side was no doubt better as well, but I picked this bit of wall because, well, there was a bench in front of it and there weren't a million tourists around taking selfies. Looking back at the postcard I drew there, I remember the whole place, not just the wall, so mission accomplished, I think. 
  •  Write down in your journal what you did that day if you really didn't have time to draw (or just didn't feel like it). It'll help you remember - plus it'll make your trip seem that much longer. 
  • Be flexible. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. And always bring along a headlamp when you go camping in a tiny dark little tent and you want to be artistic after sundown. You sexy thang!

© Anna Denise Floor

Need More?

I made a little zine about how to keep a journal on the road. It's not huge, but it's got some good tips and fun illustrations! You can buy it here, in my Etsy shop. 

Bits & Bobs

I would actually never say 'bits and bobs', but in preparation of our move to London I'm trying to catch up on British slang. Obviously, this will most likely turn out to be a disaster in which I say mostly Irish or Australian things in entirely wrong contexts with a terrible faux-British accent (one person actually said my British accent sounded like a drunk American trying to speak French, but hey - I happen to like Americans who at least try to speak French so whatevs, brah)  and lose more friends than make them, but failure is the key to success, no?

Anyhow! Here are some bits:

© Anna Denise Floor & Kyra de Vreeze - Click to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor

I'M WORKING ON A COOKBOOK with the talented and inspirational Kyra de Vreeze!!!
We're keeping most of it a secret, but it's going to be an e-book, in English, available online starting sometime late September. The book will feature quick, easy, and tasty recipes (99% vegan & gluten free), tons of information on health benefits and nutritional values, plus plenty of essential culinary inspiration. All of the recipes and photography are done by Kyra, who has written three amazing books (two of which I have and use often) on food as finger-licking medicine. I am working on the accompanying illustrations and layout, which means I get to draw food all day! Yay!

I'm also working on a private project - ILLUSTRATING A CHILDREN'S BOOK written by my brother's father-in-law. It's a time consuming process as I am determined to make the backgrounds look amazing and well, that means I spend most of my free time drawing leaves. It's a miracle I still know what those look like. Obviously, they look like multi-colored stripes. We'll first just print copies of the book for ourselves, but if there's demand - who knows!

And now for some bobs!

So, that's all for today, but fret not - I've also been working on a boatload of new journal pages that I'll share with you soon. (If you wonder why I'm so productive these days, it's because I've developed a cocaine habit, obviously. No, I kid. I'm way too cheap to maintain those kinds of habits. It's vacation, folks, vacation. It's the cocaine of the people who are scared of drugs, haven't you heard?)

Happy weekend, all!

Journal Pages: Italian Summer!

Buongiorno, folks!
How is everyone? I hope you're all magnificent! We just came back from our delicious Italian adventure (gelato! pasta! pesto! gelato!) and you'll be glad to know I spent a lot of time drawing this trip. 

The drive to Italy is quite long, so we decided to stop over in Annecy, France on our way there. The weather was terrible, but Annecy is a lovely little town and I definitely want to come back for a weekend and explore it further. Next day we set up camp in Tellaro, Italy, on the Gulf of Poets. Sounds so romantic right? I thought so too, until I read this story about Shelley drowning and being eaten by fish before his body was dug up from the sand and burned on the beach in a brain-fizzling fire. This detail was in our guidebook. Wtf, folks. Anyway, our campsite overlooked the Mediterranean and it in fact was quite idyllic. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

Our first day in Tellaro, we spent on the 'beach' (mostly rocks) and thought about languages and they way they sound. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

The Gulf of Poets is near the Cinque Terre, so we had planned to go there and do some hiking, but once we got to Lerici where we wanted to catch the boat there, the weather had turned dreadful. We turned back and drove to Genua instead. Pretty city, but a little dirty and very busy, so after visiting some palaces and having lunch, we decided to picknick in Portofino for dinner. Portofino is supposedly one of the most picturesque harbors in the world and is dominated by big yachts and tan people in white clothes and loafers. We watched the sun go down behind the multicolored houses while eating ciabatta bread with artichoke and pistache pesto. Heaven. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

The sun was back on the 25th and we decided to grab the boat to the Cinque Terre and do some hiking. The Cinque Terre are five adorable little villages on the rugged Italian Riviera. The surrounding area is a Unesco-protected national park, and officially the villages are not reachable by car (although it doesn't seem like this is true any longer). You can tour the villages by boat or train, but you can also walk the journey. Or so we thought. Apparently a flash-flood took out half of the paths a couple years ago and instead of 5 hours, the new trail (which was much steeper and longer) would take almost twice as long. Because we depended on the boat to take us back home before dusk and because my knees were not loving all the steps, we did about 5 hours of the trail (3 out of 5 villages) and did the boat/train route for the rest. It was a sizzling hot day with some amazing views, rewarding mountain tops, and a glass of local wine at the end of it. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

Camping just wouldn't be the same without the tent flooding, of course. During the night, our (borrowed) tent gave up the will to live and broke in the heavy rain. Everything was wet and in the morning we evacuated everything in garbage bags and fled to nearby Sarzana, where we walked around, had some coffee, enjoyed the sunshine, and eventually bought a new tent. It was a blessing in disguise, as the new tent was much bigger and so much more comfortable. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

Venezia! Jochem had never been, so we had to make a stop here. The city was lovely as ever, but the camp site was terrible. Even though I had been there before and hadn't remembered the camp site as such, it was dirty and swampy and the mosquito's were killing me. I was quite miserable for a little bit, but Venice was worth it. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

The camp site was so terrible that for some reason we left a day too early - by accident! We had the whole journey planned out and camp sites reserved everywhere, so our next stop actually wasn't available for the night and we decided to drive towards Verona and see what was available. We ended up staying at a farmhouse (or 'agriculturismo') called Alle Torricelle, which was just amazing. It was just the most gorgeous place, with an impressive 'certified' herb garden. All the snacks and food were home made by the matron of the house, and we were shown around the herb garden by her. Verona was also a pleasant surprise. Such a pretty place  and definitely worth a visit. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

The last week was spent on Lake Garda where we took three days of windsurfing classes. It was much easier than we anticipated, and so much fun. We also visited some little towns and ancient ruins while there, as the area surrounding Lake Garda is just gorgeous. I didn't do much drawing because we were out on the water all day, and I was working on some watercolor post cards (more on those later).  

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

And then we got home. We did stop over in Strassbourg on our way back, but I didn't do any drawing then either, as I had to get back to work the morning after. 

© Anna Denise Floor - Click image to enlarge

I'm happy that I got to do quite a lot of drawing on this trip. I think usually my trips are a lot shorter and I feel like I would rather spend time doing things than drawing them, but this vacation had a nice mix. I'll write another post on my travel art kit and how to work outside, but in general let me say it was great to draw 'in the moment' more than usual.

Have you been drawing on your trip? Please share, I LOVE travel journals!