Watercolor Journal Angel Ana

Featured

Having lots of fun painting angels in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I named her Ana and thought I’d try keeping her more simple. Love how the colors blended on her wings.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a wonderful week!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

Thoughtful Thursday – The Magic of Autumn

Featured

Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre

Summer is officially coming to an end on September 22nd as we welcome the Autumn Equinox. Here in South Florida, we don’t really experience a change in scenery. The weather cools a bit but there is no major change in season visually.

This was a photo I had taken while hiking 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia with my husband. The air was cool and crisp on the morning we embarked on our hike and the scent of wet leaves permeated the air. Mother nature had graciously painted a stunning canvas of yellow, red, orange and brown for us to enjoy. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the trail.

It was a magical hike where I found myself again and remembered what I was made of. There were parts of the trail where I had to dig deep to find courage and endurance to push on. One section had a small brook covered with leaves which were very slippery. Even though I was super careful, I ended up taking a fall but luckily it was nothing major and just ended up with a bruised knee.

The most treacherous part of the trail was a section that was covered with large boulders from an avalanche that wobbled and moved as we crossed them. This part slowed us down considerably and the sun was setting soon.

To say the least, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting stuck on the mountain, at night, out in the cold. I much preferred my warm bed that was calling my name back at the lodge. So with all the grit and determination I could muster, I forged on to reach the end of our hike.

As the sun started to set in the horizon, the temperature began to drop pretty fast and darkness was setting in. Just when I thought we wouldn’t make, we came to the end of the trail. I was so happy and soooo relieved. We did it 😅

Looking back on our hike I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was quite the adventure and I loved every minute I spent with my husband. Time on the trail renewed my energy and sense of wonder. It was a great recharge for my mind, body and soul.

We’re going on another hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail this fall but it will be at a different section of the trail and a shorter hike. Really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful colors again!

What do you like most about autumn?

Thanks for stopping by!!

Share the Happy 💖

“Notice how autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~Freidrich Nietzsche

Photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday History of Labor Day

Featured

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

In the late 1800’s, during the industrial revolution, workers were subject to some pretty fierce working conditions. The average adult worked everyday of the week for about 12 hours which gave them just enough for a mediocre life. Children as young as 5 and 6 years old also worked in the mills and factories but for a fraction of what the adults made.

The environment in the workplace was normally not safe nor did workers have sanitary conditions. Labor unions became more popular and more vocal as a result, and they organized workers to carry out strikes and protests. Some of these rallies became violent and sadly even led to death for some.

The first Labor Day parade was held on September 5, 1882. There were approximately 10,000 workers who marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. It caught the attention of industrial centers all over the United States and as a result, many states passed legislation recognizing the first Monday in September as the “Workingmen’s Holiday.” However, Congress did not legalize it as a holiday for another 12 years which was under President Grover Cleveland.

So take this coming Monday off and celebrate. Celebrate for you and for all those in your community who work so hard for the rest of us. Also, remember those who voiced their concerns over years to improve working conditions for everyone.

I hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Have a Happy and Safe Labor Day!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Share the Happy💖

“Success will always come down to this: Focus and effort, and we control both.” ~ Dwayne Johnson

Sources:

https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day-1

https://www.employmentlawhandbook.com/resources/the-history-of-labor-day-in-the-united-states/

Thoughtful Thursday – Adverse Affects of Dairy

Featured

Photo by elif tekkaya on Pexels.com

As most of your know, I went vegan about 4 years ago. Not because it was the “in thing” to do but because of health issues I was having at the time. I drank lots of milk when I was a kid and I think we’ve all heard the slogan, “Milk, it does the body good.” But does it really?

I grew up thinking that cows were put on this earth to give us milk and that was that. But when you think about it, the only reason a cow produces milk is to feed their calf. So their bodies have to be in a continual pregnant state to produce milk for us.

There’s been a lot of research done showing milk may actually do us more harm than good. For starters, one of my problems with milk was that I was constantly congested. When I’d get a cold, the congestion would get really bad. I thought by drinking only organic milk and eating only organic dairy products, I was being healthy. But my congestion just kept getting worse even though I wasn’t sick. After reading an article in a magazine I decided to give plant based milk a try and found that my congestion completely cleared up in a few weeks.

After experiencing that I started doing research and found that milk contains harmful hormones which are given to the cows to increase their milk production. Even the organic milk still has hormones in it. I also learned that milk causes your body to leach calcium from the bones which in turn can make you more susceptible to osteoporosis. Not to mention, that milk and dairy products can cause cancer. Yikes! And these were just a few of the adverse affects of dairy that I stumbled upon in my research.

There are a lot of documentaries that you can watch like Food Inc., What the Health, Forks Over Knives, Plant Pure Nation to name a few. These films were a real eye opener for me and although I didn’t go vegan initially, the more educated I became, the more I realized I needed to stick with it to stay healthy. Once I did that, I was living proof that what they were expressing in these films had a lot of truth behind it. Granted a vegan diet isn’t for everyone but there’s always room for improvement no matter what diet you consume.

Please don’t take my word for it but do your own research. You may be surprised and shocked at what you find. Your diet is the foundation to your health as well as your happiness. Because the bottom line is, if you don’t have your health, nothing else really matters. You can’t bring joy to the world if you don’t take care of yourself first. Hope you found this information helpful.

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy and Good Health!

“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” ~Ayurvedic Proverb

Sources:

Forks Over Knives: “7 Ways Milk and Dairy Products are Making You Sick

The Miter: “Harmful Effects of Cow’s Milk on the Human Body Becomes More Prevalent”

Dr McDougall: T. Colin Campbell, PhD: Link Between Dairy Protein, Casein, & Cancer

Photo by Darwis Alwan on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday Vision Boards

Featured

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Vision boards are a way of putting your goals and dreams into one place so you can focus on them everyday and bring them to fruition. There are no rules for creating vision boards. They can be big or small, neat or messy, on a wall or foam board. You fill them with photos, words or both, it’s entirely up to you. Personally I like to use photos from magazines or the internet. They help me visualize my goals more easily.

Think about what you really desire in life maybe it’s better relationships, a better job, more time with the family, finding love, etc. Then find photos that relate to your desires and put them on the board. For example, if I’ve been dreaming about taking a cruise, I’ll look for an ad with a cruise ship and the destination I want to go to and put that photo on my board. If I want to get healthy and in shape, I’ll find a photo of an athlete and put that on my board.

The vision board will help you to attract the right circumstances in your life to make your desires a reality. It will also help keep you focused and on track. The photos will help you to visualize yourself in the circumstances you desire. But what is even more important is that you feel the positive emotion related to your desires whether it be joy, elation, happiness or any other strong positive emotion. And I don’t mean just think about the feeling, I want you to really feel the emotion in every cell in your body. Imagine yourself attaining your goal and think how good you’ll feel when your desire becomes a reality.

You want to keep the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday so you stay focused and have clarity on your goals and desires. The vision board will help keep your passion and energy fueled so you can attain your goals. Imagine the possibilities. The sky’s the limit so dream BIG!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walter Elias Disney

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Earl Nightingale on Goals

Featured

Quote of the Week: Earl Nightingale - Authentic Medicine
Earl Nightingale

I was listening to Brendon Burchard the other day when he recommended Earl Nightingale. I hadn’t heard of him before so I did a little research.

Earl was at Pearl Harbor on the Arizona during the attack which thankfully he survived. Shortly after the war, Earl was obsessed with learning how the mind works and how one person can create wealth while the next is penniless and stays that way. In 1956, Earl recorded one of the first ever life coaching sessions called “The Strangest Secret” which can be found on YouTube. There’s also a book on Amazon.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Goals. The reason I bring this up again is because Earl makes an excellent reference in his recording about goals. Here’s a snippet of what he says:

“Have you ever noticed that a man who becomes successful tends to continue to become successful? And on the other hand, have you noticed how a man who’s a failure tends to continue to fail?

Well, it’s because of goals. Some of us have them; some don’t. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

Now think of a ship leaving a harbor and think of it with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where it’s going and how long it will take. It has a definite goal. 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will get to where it started out to get.

Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go.

I think you’ll agree with me that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach, a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance.”

Earl puts it in very simple terms but he’s 100% correct. Goals are the foundation of your life because without them, how do you know where you’re going? It’s so important to set your goals, focus on them and work towards reaching them however big or small they may be. You don’t want to spend 10 years of your life only to find that you’re still at the starting line and have gone nowhere in all that time.

Think about what it is that you really want out of life. What is your passion? What makes you come alive? What gets you excited and eager to start your day? Then set goals and work towards them. (If you need a little more help on goal setting, you can read my post on Goals and hopefully that will steer you in the right direction.)

Live your life with passion while expanding your mind and soul, and have fun in the process!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Happy Birthday Chanel

Featured

Chanel

I want to introduce you to Chanel, my other Sable Cocker Spaniel who is turning 9 years old today! She is a very special little girl who is my daily inspiration.

At 3 years old, Chanel went completely blind. At first she was upset and frustrated but a few days in, she mapped out the house by following the walls with her nose. She went around again mapping out where the furniture was and used her sniffer to determine what room she was in.

Chanel maintained her status as the alpha and learned new commands like follow me, stop, turn and listen to name a few. She had every reason to wake up unhappy with the hand that life dealt her, but she chose happiness. You see, Chanel never got the memo that she was blind and life should be over because of her disability. The only thing she knew was that life was going to be a little different from here on out. She still plays fetch but instead of looking for the ball with her eyes, she uses sound and smell to find it. It’s incredible to watch.

I know that if this would have happened to me I would’ve had a very hard time adjusting. Everyday I watch in awe as she navigates her day with courage and a heart filled with love. Chanel has a super wonderful attitude that gets her through life.

I wish we all had more of Chanel’s positive attitude. Life will always throw you curves balls and even knock you down sometimes. But you always need to find the positive in every situation, especially the challenging ones. Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing, it just means it’s time to adjust to something new and see where that takes you on this incredible journey we call life. Remember, it is your attitude that determines your altitude.

Happy Birthday Chanel!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

“A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.” ~Joyce Meyer

Thoughtful Thursday – Happy July 4th!

Featured

Photo by Elizabeth Iris on Pexels.com

Independence Day is this Sunday, July 4th. Many will kick off the day being outside enjoying fresh air, sunshine and having a good old fashioned barbecue with delicious apple pie for dessert. At night, the skies are filled with stunning and spectacular fireworks. But how did all of this get started?

Lets go back in time a bit to July 2, 1776. On this day the Second Continental Congress declared Independence from Britain but no one signed the Declaration of Independence which was primarily written by Thomas Jefferson.

July 3, 1776, John Adams one of the founding fathers and members of Congress wrote a letter to his wife Abigail which in part read:

“The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

Congress made a total of 86 changes to the original declaration and the final draft was completed and signed on July 4, 1776. This marked the beginning of the war for freedom and it lasted 7 long years until 1783.

Although we were at war, it was reported by the Pennsylvania Evening Post that July 4, 1777 was celebrated with demonstrations of joy and festivity. Armed ships fired a 13 gun salute in honor of the 13 colonies. Festivities included an elegant dinner, military demonstration, band performances and fireworks. These celebrations continued annually thereafter.

Hope you enjoy your holiday and have the opportunity to see a beautiful firework display. Wishing you a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has places us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.” ~Thomas Jefferson

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Goals

Featured

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At the beginning of the year, most of us set goals, our New Year’s Resolutions. Hard to believe that the first half of the year is coming to a close in another week. Where do you stand on your goals? Are you on track, or did you lose sight of where you wanted to be by now?

Life has a tendency to throw you one curve ball after another. But that’s okay as long as you don’t lose sight of your goals. It can get pretty frustrating when you veer off track and if you go off too far, then you may quit. But I’m here to cheer you on! Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s been so much going on in the world so staying on track towards your goals can be rather difficult.

I know for me, I’ve had my fair share of curve balls thrown my way. But I decided to go easy on myself, it is what it is and I am where I am. I can’t change the past, nor does it do me any good to cry over spilled milk as the expression goes. So I’m looking ahead and making a few changes to help get me back on track. Here are a few pointers:

  • Start by reassessing where you currently are with your goals and where you feel you should be by the end of the year. What do you still need to do?
  • Next break down your goals into smaller attainable monthly goals. Notice I used the word “attainable.” Be honest with yourself on what you can accomplish in the next 6 months. Don’t set yourself up for failure by piling too much on your plate. For example if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t plan on losing 30 pounds in a month. Realistically, women lose an average of 3 lbs a week (12 lbs p/month) while men lose 5 lbs a week (20 lbs p/month). So be realistic with your goals and set yourself up to win, but at the same time still challenge yourself.
  • Next, take it another step further and break down your monthly goals into “attainable” weekly goals and schedule those into your week. Try to schedule 1 hour every day, more or less to work on your goals.
  • Before starting your day, review your schedule and get your mind ready to tackle your goals and cross that finish line victoriously by the end of the day!
  • At the end of the week, you should have made some progress towards your goals. If you went off course, take a look at the why and take action for the next week so it hopefully won’t happen again.

Your schedule will change because that’s just the way life is. So adjust course and keep going. You’re stronger than you thought and you need to give yourself credit for the wins, however small they may be, they all count!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in NOT reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” ~ Benjamin Mays

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Father’s Day

Featured

Photo by Josh Willink on Pexels.com

Father’s Day is fast approaching on Sunday, June 20th. It’s a day to remember and celebrate those great dads who are here with us today and also to honor those who may have passed.

It’s been said being a mother is one of the toughest jobs and it is, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park for Dads either. They work hard to protect their families and pass down to their kids the knowledge and skills they acquired throughout their lives. Dad’s also pass on their life long passions and hope that one day, their little ones will follow in their footsteps. So how will you honor that great man in your life?

If you’re stuck on what to do for dad this Father’s Day, here are a few ideas:

  • Make a handmade card with a personal photo.
  • Make a photo collage of memorable moments.
  • Have an outdoor celebration in the park, beach or your own backyard.
  • Take dad out on a sporting adventure of his choice.
  • Go camping for a night.
  • Cook his favorite dinner.
  • Build something fun together.
  • Spend a nice day together talking about fun memories.

“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” ~Uknown

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com