Wednesday, September 28, 2011

True Colors

Desiree Serrano

In life, there are those who don’t truly value what it means to be true to themselves or others. With many of us who are goodhearted to those without expecting anything in return, sometimes find out who truly is there for us through good and bad times.

I find it is amazing that some people like to portray themselves to be someone they are not, they like to put on a show? What does this accomplish? Sooner or later, your true colors will surface out. Now, I agree there are those who know how to hide their inner feelings really well but, as time progresses in certain situations, those feelings will eventually surface out and that is when you will be surprised knowing that this certain someone could be like that. As I have said numerous times to myself, loved ones and even friends, there is nothing anymore in life surprises me.

God puts us through tests as well as friends and loved ones who do the same and it is key for you to realize what matters most to you is yourself. It is true that some individuals who break under certain situations have finally shown you their true colors, but to those it can also be a sign of weakness especially to those who like to prey on the good people out there.

As we take a step back and search within ourselves, we can also realize that there will be a time where you will not find out until it is too late with some people how they cannot reveal their true self to you and funny enough, you are supposedly their friend or loved one. How can someone justify themselves by acting like that? If you are entrusting them with all of yourself, they should return it back to you?

This is how I look at it, some people show their true colors right away, some people reveal it in certain situations by letting it surface a little bit and there are those who never quite feel at ease to let their guard down and show themselves. What can you be so afraid of? Just remember this, if someone acts this way towards themself or you, is it really worth to be involved with this person? I agree it all depends on the person and the situation, but if you are faced in a difficult situation, you can definitely assume that you are on your own because you cannot rely on someone who can’t reveal their true self to you or themselves.

You are only lying to yourself if you can’t show your true colors. It is not a bad thing or to those who feel that way should realize that they cant be like this all of their life since one day they will have to make an unfair choice and it could burn them bad.

Desiree Serrano

“Speaking my Mind and hoping to Inspire Many”

Anyone who is interested in contacting me

Cell: 203-919-6282

Closed Lids is looking for driven and passionate writers, artists, photographers, musicians, etc to contribute to the blog- daily, weekly, monthly. If you are interested (or know someone), please do not hesitate to either send an email ( or fill out the submission form

Monday, September 26, 2011

Part II- Herbal Preparations: Alcohol Based

Alcohol is the best base to use for drawing out the active ingredient in herbs. 

Alcohol Based


Tinctures are alcohol based herbal remedies that last for several years if stored properly. Depending on the remedy the herb used for a tincture will vary. Tinctures can be taken on an empty stomach before meals. Adults should take about 20 drops in a glass of water two times a day and children less than 10. Babies should not take tinctures, consult your physician. 

To make make a tincture add, approximately 3-4 tablespoons and slightly crush in a pestle/mortar. Place the herbs in a large dark glass jar that holds least 1 cup. Pour about 1 cup of vodka/brandy and cover all of the herbs. Close the jar and leave in a cool dark place. Shake the bottle daily for about 3 weeks. After the 3 weeks strain the liquid and slowly pour the contents into a glass bottle.It is best to get a bottle that has a droplet cover.  Store the tincture in a dark place. 


Remedies can also be made from flowers by placing flowers and leaves in water under sunlight then transferring into alcohol. 

My Recipes

Like I mentioned in my water based herbal preparations post, I mostly make make remedies from horsetail, nettle, and marshmallow root because I am trying to finish my stock before purchasing new herbs. The herbs you use should be for areas you need to improve. 

Part III of the herbal preparations series I will be posting on ointments and macerated oils. These are two methods I have yet to try, so I will get the instructions from the book Herbs by Jennie Harding

What are your favorite alcohol based herbal preparations? 

Stay Tuned for Part III of Herbal Preparations- Oil Based


On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on Facebook, and Twitter, . Join the conversation and interact.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Turn A T-Shirt Into A Bag

Have an old t-shirt you don't want to throw away? No problem, today I will show you how to turn your t-shirt into a bag. These instructions are simple and I mean super simple. I have no sewing experience and no sewing machine, yet I have made several bags that can be used as a replacement to plastic bags. You will be saving the environment in two ways- reusable grocery bag and reusing a t-shirt.


1. Supplies

t-shirt- any size depending on the size bag you desire
bowl and plate
needle and thread

2. Cut out collar

 Depending on the size of your shirt, you will either use a bowl or plate. Since my shirt was a medium, I took a bowl, placed it at the collar and traced a half circle. 

3. Cut off sleeves

After I traced the half circle, I cut off the sleeves. Make sure you don't cut off the seams. Cut right after the stitching. 

4. Cut off the collar

This is where what you learned in kindergarten comes to play- cut along your traced line until you no longer have a collar. 

5. Turn the shirt inside out

Yikes! I forgot to take a picture of this step. But I think you get the idea, just turn the shirt inside out. 

6. Insert thread into needle and create a knot at end. 

This is an embarrassing photo and I'm glad there were no video cameras. It took me quite awhile to get the thread into the needle and I also struggled with making the knot at the end. 

At this point, you will take a decent length of thread, any color and insert it into the needle. Then cut the thread at your desired length and create a knot. Make sure the knot is large enough that it does not slip through the shirt. 

7. Sew!

Yet another embarrassing shot. My lines are crooked because almost half way through,  I realized I was not sewing the two shirt pieces properly. I only know two types of stitches, the one above and the type where you make a cross. If you have a sewing machine or sewing experience, I'm sure you can make a different type of stitch, but this one works fine. 

Take the shirt opening at the bottom, connect them and sew until you reach the end. When you reach the end, create a knot. 

8. Finished product! 

Turn the shirt back from being inside out( would that be right side in?). Voila! A bag made from a t-shirt! 
You can see on the bottom left corner where I made my mistake. The perfectionist in me is dying inside.

9. Finishing Touches

I'm sure the creative types could change this shirt into something more colorful. I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with all  that white space. 

10. How Strong

This bag is pretty strong. My other bags have never broken. I usually use these bags for boxed goods and produce, however it can hold many books and even textbooks. I tried desperately to get a shot of me holding the bag with those books inside, but I couldn't manage by myself. 

There you have it! A t-shirt turned into a bag! This is an easy do it yourself activity. You can do this with kids or just for yourself. It is kind of fun, once you get into it. Now when you go grocery shopping, you don't need to use plastic bags! Also, now you can almost immortalize favorite t-shirts!

Let me know if you make any! 


On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on Facebook, and Twitter, . Join the conversation and interact.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's Another Name for Hoarder?

I have been called a hoarder by some, but what they don't know is that I am not a hoarder, I am a re-user! Whenever I see something, I am make mental note of how it can be converted into something useful. I have made magnets from beer/soda caps, grocery bags from old t-shirts, coin savers from old bottles, and more. Not all of my creations are wildly creative, but at least I am not discarding something that can be used again.

Recently, I came across a blogger who enjoys showcasing her creativity through reusing items. Camara from Creative A Day, remixes, reuses, and recreates items. When I became the 25th Like on her Facebook page, I had no idea I would win a prize! Imagine my surprise! I received her gift in the mail yesterday and put it to use right away! I received a magnet couple made from clothespins, acorns, and fabric. Love it! Thank you!!
Magnets on My Calendar

If you would like to connect with Camara you can find her on:

Are you a hoarder or a re-user?


On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on Facebook, and Twitter, . Join the conversation and interact.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Theodore De Dumas

"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value"
- Albert Einstein

In today's modern age, the concept of value, has, well, lost its value. People no longer have the drive to become valuable members of society. It seems that people just want the government, corporations, and other agencies to take care of them, instead of actually offering value to these companies and entities. It is no wonder the world is now manifesting job cuts and shortages. The mass being distracted, forget to sit back and learn the lessons from the daily happenings.

With the recent job cuts in various industries the populace is now realizing that some of the positions that were held in the past, are no longer relevant or necessary, and in fact, weren't really important in the first place. Employees are not being called into meeting, and they are asked what they do for the company. Some draw blanks, or proceed to name a list of what they thought was valuable, all skills that can be learned by anybody off the street. The machines that are currently made to do these tasks are scaring the erudites of today. The outsourcing of basic tasks is frightening many collar workers. Yet, we still are not getting the message, the message of value.

You see, the new coming age is all about the value of an individual. Since people have stopped reading and now spend most of their time doing brain draining activities like watching television or shopping (frequently) they have lost a vast amount of value.

The Americans who existed in the beginnings of this country were much more skilled. Even those in the ghettos had marketable skills which included a type of trade. Some of the jobs these lower class folks had back in those times are in demand now. Plummers and carpenters are now found making as much or sometimes more then individuals who chose the route of the institution of higher learning (college). It's confusing when looking at it from a close up view, but it makes a lot of sense when looking from the bird's eye view! Simply, plummers and carpenters are necessary! They provide something to society. There job is invaluable in the continutation of civilization. Civilization needs plumbing and as long as there are housing and other buildings, carpentry will be necessary. Then you come to these various "business professionals" that work in Fortune 500 companies, that really don't provide anything to the company other than an opinion, an opinion that is vastly losing its value, as evidenced by studying who these companies are laying off.

These companies are not laying off accountants, those skilled in law, people who provide high quality consultations, etc! These people are one hundred percent necessary to run a business and keep it going forward steadily. There may be some instances where someone who provided "something" was layed off, but if that person truly valued themselves, they wouldn't worry about finding another job. This individual would realize there are hundreds of companies out there who wish to have someone who is valuable. A valuable person is always useful, ALWAYS!

In the early 1900's, when African Americans experienced heavy prejudice, a man named Booker T. Washington came forward and expressed something very interesting. He stated:

"The whole future of the negro rests largely upon whether or not he should make himself, through skill, intelligence, and character, of such undeniable value to the community in which he lived that the community could not dispute his presence."

What was Booker T. Washington saying here? He was expressing the fact that anyone who raises themselves up through study and gains intelligence, skill, and character, will be of value to their community. Thus, they will always have a use. They will have the ability to even bypass a strong form of demographic prejudice, based on the fact that they were needed. You can only mistreat someone to an extent when their service is needed! This is in fact how many African Americans of that age were able to accumulate large amounts of Federal Reserve Notes. It was through self study and a touch of perseverance. This same lesson could be used for Americans in this day and age who are dealing with layoffs and job cuts. This just means that the days where you can sit around at the job and do nothing, or do something mindless, is over.

I hear the complaints of managers who talk about employees who don't do anything all the time! Most are on Facebook during the work day or goofing off, not really doing anything. Now I don't believe in back breaking work, but I do believe that work should add value. How are you adding value when all you do is go on Facebook while at work? One cannot be made at someone for taking advantage of a job where they don't have much to do by logging onto Facebook, Youtube, etc. But when the layoffs come, and companies decide to cut down on your job, you have to realize they could have laid you off any time. These people don't lay off those who are of high value to the company- point blank!

Consciousness must rise! The worth of humanity must rise! Individuals must become more reliable.

Metaphysically, the message from events like high unemployment and layoffs translates to value. Humanity must learn to become valuable again. We must provide jobs, and take part in jobs that are of value to the planet. Humanity must also lose its ignorance, and become educated again, self-educated that is! Most are suprised when they read early United States documents like the Articles of Confederation, or even the Federalist papers, they notice that these people were well taught. These people were well studied and knew their stuff! They spoke elequently and wrote methodically, and one cannot help but realize that these folks were on top of their game. According to literacy tests, people were 75%-100% literate in those times! They were definitely more literate than the new-age Americans, who suffer from aliteracy and get all their information from media outlets (that are largely controlled and sanctioned).  Did you know that before the institution of public schools wordwide, people actually could read better? Yep! The literacy rate was higher.

People like George Washington were taught by their father or had a private teacher. Many others were simply self taught or studied under people. This was very succesful as evidenced by the quality of people in the different colonies.

Ending, please take the time to add value to yourself. Sit down and think to yourself how can I become valuable? Take the time to study various sciences and principles. Read accounting books, read law books, learn about business, learn to speak better, learn more vocabulary words, learn astronomy, learn the cycles in nature, learn everything! Use that time you save for boredom to learn! I promise you, those who are highly skilled will never be out of a job, or if they are, they will have no trouble getting back to where they want to be! It is only inevitable! If people like Booker T. Washington can go against the odds by becoming a better person, than ANYONE can.

This does not mean to go out and just study everything. Learn your niche, learn what you are good at, and focus on becoming better at that, cultivate your skill! Don't pick up something random that you hate. Don't pick up accounting when your spirit is totally against it. Do the things you know that you are good at. Do the things you enjoy, but become a MASTER at it, there is no room for being mediocre at what you are meant to do, no excuse! If you are good at making shoes, you better make some of the best and most comfortable shoes! If you are good at quoting basketball stats to your friends and you love it, then you better becoming the best scout or analyst, or something deailng with the stats of the sport. You better be a master at it though! No room for lackluster efforts or laziness.

Thanks for reading!

Theodore De Dumas

"We live in deeds, not years. In thoughts not breaths, in feelings, not in figures on a dial."

Closed Lids is looking for driven and passionate writers, artists, photographers, musicians, etc to contribute to the blog- daily, weekly, monthly. If you are interested (or know someone), please do not hesitate to either send an email ( or fill out the submission form

Monday, September 19, 2011

Part I- Herbal Preparations:Water Based

Herbal preparations are easy to make, but take time, patience, and supplies to complete. The 2010 winter season was a rough one in New York and winter did not gradually move into spring then summer, it almost seemed to jump right into summer. Around April, I had an itchy throat and a friend of my suggested a tincture. When I asked her for the instructions, what she described to me was not a tincture herbal preparation, but an infusion. These two preparations are completely different; one is water based and the other alcohol based. Herbal preparations can be separated into three categories: water based, oil based, and alcohol based.

Water Based

Boiling herbs in water is done to draw out properties. From this method you can make a tea infusion, decoction, facial steam, or baths.


Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried herbs or fresh flowers/leaves to a mug/bowl, add boiling water (about 1 cup or desired amount)and let stand for approximately five minutes. To make a stronger infusion add 2-4 teaspoons of dried herbs or fresh flowers/leaves to a mug/bowl and let stand for approximately 20 minutes. These infusions can be used to drink, rinse hair(just increase amount of water to use on hair), or perform facial steams/inhalations.

Facial steams/inhalation

Follow the same instructions for making an infusion. Place the water(about 3 cups or desired amount) and herbs in a bowl. Lean over the bowl with a towel covering the head for approximately 10 minutes. The steam from this infusion will deep clean the skin or clear the sinuses.


Used to make tonics from roots or berries. Add 2 teaspoons of dried root, berries, or wood to a pot and add about 1 cup of water and simmer for 15 minutes on the stove. Drink two teaspoons as one dose.


Add herbs to a sheer bag and place in a bathtub. The herbs will infuse while you take a hot bath to ease any pains or relax your muscles.

My Recipes

I have an excess amount of nettle, horsetail, and marshmallow root that I am trying to get rid of, so I use these three herbs in everything. When it comes time to make your own herbal preparations use herbs that will aid in what you need to improve.

1. Infusion

I mixed my horsetail and nettle herbs and make an infusion to drink. The horsetail from this infusion aids: skin, nails, hair, urinary systems, and provides energy. The nettle from this infusion aids: irregular periods/excess menstrual bleeding, overall great for blood, hair. These two herbs also are great as tinctures, which will be explained in another post.

I also created a marshmallow root infusion to aid with colds and mucous build up.

2. Facial Steam

I do my facial steams with horsetail and nettle herbs. I first rinse my face and exfoliate (lemon, a little honey/sugar, oatmeal). I wash that off and then steam for about 10 minutes. After I steam I lightly pat my face dry, still leaving a little moisture. I then do a mask. If I use Queen Afua's mask- I leave it on for 20 minutes. If I do the Aztec Secret Mask I leave that on for 60 minutes. After I wash the mask off(cool water to close the pores) and dry my face, I add aloe gel. After the aloe gel dries, depending on how I feel I leave my face alone or I add a tiny bit of Shea butter. I do this once a week. To avoid getting sick, don't go outside into cold weather, do it before bed or if you are staying in for the day.

3. Inhalation

If I ever feel like I have a stuffy nose, I drop some peppermint or eucalyptus oil/leaves into water and cover with a towel for about 15 minutes.

4. Baths/Decoctions

I am not big on baths, when I do take a bath, I just use sea salt and a little essential oil. Decoctions, I have not tried this method because I don't have roots/wood/berries to use.

What are your favorite water based herbal preparations? 

Stay Tuned for Part II of Herbal Preparations- Alcohol Based

~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on Facebook, and Twitter, . Join the conversation and interact.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday Closed Lids!

WOW!! Can you believe I forgot today was Closed Lids Birthday!! I cannot believe it has been two years since I started blogging and interacting with everyone about dreams, spirituality, wellness, and more. 

Last year I made a natal chart for Closed Lids. Below is that post. Enjoy! 

In honor of Closed Lids birthday, this post is Closed Lids Natal chart breakdown. A natal chart is the analysis of a person's personality based on the position of the planets, moon, and sun at the time of  birth. Having a natal chart done delves deeper into astrology. It is more accurate than stating one is a Leo, Taurus, etc. Some people may feel that they do not act like a 'Libra' and write off astrology. These people would benefit from having an in depth analysis done, to go into more aspects of their charts. This detailed analysis would help explain why that particular person does not act like their particular zodiac sign. 

The idea of Closed Lids was created sometime at the end of August or the beginning of September 2009. Since I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I thought of Closed Lids, I like to think of  that moment as 'conception'. I used the exact time I purchased the domain for Closed Lids to represent when Closed Lids was actually 'born'. I used that time to construct this basic natal chart overview.

 Closed Lids was born September 14, 2009 at 2:03 am. Which makes her a Virgo. 

Brief Overview

Sun in Virgo (3rd house)
Closed lids is idealistic, practical, and a perfectionist. With her Sun in Virgo, Closed Lids is more prone to sacrificing her own interests for the greater cause. She is organized, has high standards, and can be critical. Closed Lids is a communicator and careers that she may be prone to are: writer, researcher,  philosopher, teacher, and the travel industry. 

Rising Sign Cancer

Closed Lids is a sweet person, who is very approachable. She is sensitive to her environment and sometimes this can lead her to get nervous in public settings. 

Moon in Cancer (12th house)

Closed Lids is an emotional person, who loves to give affection. However, with all the love and affection she gives, she desires the feelings to be returned. She enjoys having a stable home, she is maternal, and enjoys relaxation. She is shy, sensitive, and often her compassion and good deeds are done in the background. 

Mercury in Libra (3rd house) 

Closed Lids has a very active mind and enjoys studying, teaching, communicating, and travelings. Because she has such an active spirit, she tends to get restless if she stays in the same place for too long. Closed Lids has a careful and balanced mind that she uses to reconcile opposing forces. 

Venus in Leo (2nd house) 

Closed Lids is attracted to social activities and sometimes her relationships can become somewhat of a performance. When it comes to earning money, it is through the arts and partnerships. She gains confidence while establishing partnerships and material success. 

Mars in Cancer (12th house) 

Closed Lids actions are dominated by emotional commitment and imagination versus practical considerations. Closed Lids likes to work behind the scenes when dedicated to a cause. With Mars in the 12th house, if she does not find a cause, she will lack purpose and direction. 

Jupiter in Aquarius (8th house)

Personal growth for Closed Lids is acquired through analysis and use of her intellect. With Jupiter in Aquarius she often is creating new ideas. Closed Lids interests is in the occult and she enjoys gaining knowledge. When it comes to business, she often acquires wealth. 

Saturn in Virgo (3rd house) 

When faced with obstacles at work or financial difficulties, Closed Lids will either experience her self confidence weaken or her capacity to work hard will increase. She has a very structured and methodical mind, which helps when she is solving problems. 

Uranus in Pisces (9th house)

Closed Lids interests are unusual. She enjoys oriental religions and non traditional faiths. She often will travel to foreign countries in search of an unusual experience. 

Neptune in Aquarius (8th house)

Closed Lids has interesting business ideas and is attracted to magic, the occult, and the mysteries of life. 

Pluto in Capricorn (6th house) 

Closed Lids is dedicated to her work and puts in all her time and effort for great results. She has the knack of bringing a healing touch to situations. She needs to be careful that emotional stress does not undermine her health. 

Overall Closed Lids is dedicated to her work, emotional, intellectual, hard working, sensitive to others, dedicated, and interested in the occult.

Sounds like Closed Lids was born on the right day and at the right time!

I would like to thank all my readers who have actively read, shared, and commented on all the posts that have been written on this blog. It is because of you, I continue to write and think of new ways to improve!

Thank you

Natural Cold Remedies

The weather is changing, that means cold season is on its way. A few ways to prevent/ease your coughs/runny noses/colds: 

1. Syrup- Create an elderberry cough syrup from scratch. (great recipe)

2. Steam- Boil water in a pot, drop peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil into the water, put towel of head, and steam for about 10-15 minutes. That will clear up the sinuses. 

3. Tea- This tea works wonders on my family- boil water, put marshmallow root(optional, mixing with other herbs) in the water, steep for about 10 minutes, add honey and lemon. This will clear up mucus in the throat and ease the itchiness. 

What are your cold remedies? 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Stress Can Be Beneficial

Theodore De Dumas

Stress is not always a negative thing. People fail to realize that everything on this planet has a polarity, everything has its own use! As the Book of Ecclesiastics (book that was transmitted from Ancient Egypt) states, there is a time and season for everything, even for emotions such as morose  and anger. They are all relevant to an individual's experiences on Earth.

Lately, all the anti-stress campaigns have failed to address the fact that stress can at time, be beneficial. Without stress, the early human beings would not have made it through various situations. Stress stimulates the need for evolution (by this I mean forward movement).

Stress conceives an itch for change. When someone is stressed out, the body is supplemented with extra hormone and other chemical processes that support action. The insalubrious effects of stress only result when constant stress occurs with no action. This usually happens with people who consecutively hate their lifestyle (especially jobs) and fail to get up and do something about it. The stress is not the problem, its only a means.

The populace should take responsibility for every aspect of their lives (that are within their control). Any bodily response like stress is only produced by the actions and lifestyle of the individual. No chemical reaction in the body can happen without a cause.

The cure for stress is not some pill, or better sleep, the cure is to act upon that which is stressing you out. All other paths are only hacking at the branches and not the root. If you are stressed about a certain job position, sit down and learn what you need to do to be in a position that fits you more, or identify WHY the job is stressing you out. Is it really the job, or is it you?

Now, the real masters know how to use stress properly. They understand that stress is actually a helper to the human being if used correctly. Of course it shouldn't be a daily thing, but if you are working on a project, or want to get something done, and you need to perform at a high level, stress can certainly accomodate your success. Don't believe me? Give yourself a deadline to do something and watch you work towards it like a drug fiend. The chemicals produced by stress have only been found to be deadly if they are constantly released by the endocrine system. Its the same story as the adrenals, in certain situations they are a life savor, but if continually used they will become excausted and cause an imbalance in the body.

Bottom line, don't fear stress! Learn about it. Education beats ignorance. If you are stressed over a situation, it signal the need for change. When you are stressed or anxious about some coming event, don't worry, it is there to help, accept the fact the stress will help, and you will see a transformation of the energy of stress into something useful.

Thanks for reading!

Theodore De Dumas

"We live in deeds, not years. In thoughts not breaths, in feelings, not in figures on a dial."

Closed Lids is looking for driven and passionate writers, artists, photographers, musicians, etc to contribute to the blog- daily, weekly, monthly. If you are interested (or know someone), please do not hesitate to either send an email ( or fill out the submission form

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Avocado Smoothie

I never thought I would drink an avocado smoothie and enjoy it.  A couple of months ago, a family friend gave me the recipe and ever since, when I get the chance I make this smoothie. It is very simple and requires few ingredients.
Photo Credit: L.Marie

1-2 Haas Avocados
2 cups Almond Milk (or milk of choice)
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar(or sweetener of choice)

Blend until smooth and serve.

This is a delicious and healthy snack.


Photo Credit: L.Marie

~ L.

On any given day, you can find L.Marie on her website,, her personal blog,, or on Facebook, and twitter, Join the conversation and interact.
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