Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again. The weather has gotten a little cooler, thank goodness and the leaves are changing. But this is a time of warm gatherings and welcoming family and friends into our homes with lots of love. It’s a time to reflect back on the year and give thanks for all that we have.

More importantly it’s a time for you. This is the time to slow down and take in the beauty around you. Catch your breath and nestle in for the winter with warm soups and hot cocoa. Take time for yourself this season to recharge your energy. Find happiness in the simple, small everyday moments. Allow your soul to linger in the joy and peace of the season.

I want to extend a sincere heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you for your love and support. It’s greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanks for stopping by!

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“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F Kennedy

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Thoughtful Thursday Veggie Soup Recipe

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With the frigid cold months approaching, it’s always nice to sit down with a warm bowl of soup. I always go into soup mode during the fall and winter seasons. It’s pretty warm down here in the south, but thankfully the temps do cool off enough to enjoy delicious soups.

Soups are especially tasty when you’re feeling under the weather. There’s a certain magic to eating a warm bowl of soup. No matter how bad you feel, you always feel better after eating a bowl.

There are many types of soups. Some are served cool or flat out cold while others are served warm or very hot. The consistency also varies depending on what’s in your soup. Personally, I like a soup full of flavor and hearty enough to satisfy my appetite.

You can buy lots of soups in your grocery store. But that’s all processed food loaded with salt and a lot of other ingredients you can’t pronounce. Not to mention ingredients that shouldn’t be in your food in the first place. Making soup is fairly easy and most definitely worth the effort.

The internet is loaded with tons of recipes. I find vegan soups taste just as good or sometimes even better than non-vegan. Forks-Over-Knives has a ton of delicious soup recipes on their website. Whether you’re vegan or not, these recipes serve as good place to start with and then just add a few of your own ingredients.

One of my favorite soups is made in my Vitamix Blender which has a program setting for hot soup. If you don’t have a setting for hot soup on your blender you can still make this soup using your blender and then warm it on the stove for a few minutes.

Creamy Veggie Soup Recipe

  • 1 Carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 Large Pieces of Fresh Broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Red Miso
  • 1/8 tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Cup Water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. If your blender doesn’t have the soup feature, then warm the soup in a small pot on the stove for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl.

Extras

  • 1/2 Hass Avocado, sliced
  • Fresh Organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Slice of Ezekiel Bread

Top your soup with sliced avocado and cilantro. Serve with a slice of bread and enjoy!

Try creating your own variations with this soup, like adding some cooked black beans outside of the blender for texture. There’s lots of options, be creative and add what you love to eat.

Thanks for stopping by!!

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“In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” ~Deepak Chopra

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Thoughtful Thursday – The Magic of Autumn

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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!!

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

Photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It has been one heck of year and we have all been through a lot. But we have so much to be grateful for. I’m grateful for my family and friends and all of you! Thank you for your love and support, it is so greatly appreciated!

I wish you a very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanks for stopping by, Share the Happy!

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Witch’s Brew Art Journal

I created this witch with colored pencil on a 4″ square piece of mixed media paper last year for an art challenge. Sadly, she didn’t win but she sure was a lot of fun to make so I had to find a way to use her. In my stash I found these fun Halloween cut outs from K & Company and thought they went well together. I really loved that some were accented with sparkly glitter so I didn’t have to add Stickles this time, lol.

I used my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal for this layout. I started by coating the pages with white gesso. Once that was dry, I painted the background purple. The darker bottom layer was made using the same purple paint but mixed with black paint. While it was drying I cut a 4.25″ square from black cardstock and mounted the witch drawing. You can draw anything you want on the 4″ square with colored pencils, markers, crayons or whatever strikes your fancy. Just use your imagination and think spooky!

Next I used Ranger Black Soot to distress the edges. I picked the Halloween cut outs I wanted to use and glued them along with the witch to the pages. Next I used a little silver paint for shimmering shadows. Last I added more shading with a dark gray Stabilo pencil and that was it!

Hope you enjoy making your spooky layout. Thanks for stopping by!

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Supplies Used:

  • Strathmore Mixed Media Journal – 5.5″ x 8″
  • Gesso
  • Spooky Halloween Drawing on a 4″ Square piece of Mixed Media Paper
  • K & Company Die-Cut Cardstock (TC Halloween Pumpkin and Friends)
  • Acrylic Paint: Purple, Black, Silver
  • Ranger Distress Ink – Black Soot
  • Dark Gray Stabilo Pencil
  • Paint Brush
  • Paper Towels
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Water

Spooky Halloween Decoration

I found this wooden cut out in the Art and Craft store and thought it would be fun to make it into a Halloween Decoration. It’s fairly easy to make with minimal supplies and would be a great project to make with kids, supervised of course 😉

Supplies:

  • Wooden “Spooky” cut out with hanging wire
  • Gesso
  • Folkart Crackle Medium
  • Acrylic Paint: Red, Black
  • Acrylic Paint Pens: Red, White
  • Stickles: Xmas Red
  • Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • 2 Black glitter pumpkin bell ornaments

Instructions:

  1. Paint the wooden cut out with gesso. Let dry.
  2. Paint cut out with red acrylic paint. Let dry.
  3. Paint cut out with Folkart Crackle Medium. Let dry.
  4. Paint cut out with black acrylic paint. Note: While this layer dries, the paint will start to crack and you’ll see the red paint underneath show through. Make sure to let this completely dry before moving on.
  5. Using the white and red acrylic paint pens, outline the letters a little to make them stand out more. Note: If you don’t have the pens, you can also use a liner brush dipped in white and red acrylic paint to make the thin lines.
  6. Add drops of blood to the letters with the red Stickles. Let dry.
  7. Using the Glossy Accents, go over the Stickles blood drops. Once dry, this will give the droplets a 3D effect.
  8. Last, tie on your pumpkin ornaments to the ends where the wires are and that’s it!

The one who falls – Journal Page

The year seems to be flying by. Stores are displaying fall decorations and before you know, Christmas will be here. So I’m slowly starting to transition myself from summer and into fall. Although I’m a little sad to see summer go, I’m so ready for the cooler fall temps.

I created this spread in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal. I started by coating the pages with white gesso and letting it dry. Next I used Yellow, Fuschia, Orange and Red acrylic paints for the background. Once that was dry, I used black acrylic paint for the tree. Using a white Posca Pen, I added a little detailing to the tree. I went into my paper stash and found pretty shades of green, yellow and orange that I cut into very small leaves and glued them to the pages. I added a little detailing to the leaves with a Sakura Micron Pen 03.

I found this quote which I thought went pretty well with the falling of the leaves: “The one who falls and gets up so so much stronger than the one who never FELL.” I typed it on my old singer typewriter and used pink washi tape to adhere it on the right page.

I stamped a bird with Black Staz On Ink to the right page along with a few circles in pink acrylic paint. I also sprayed a little watered down white acrylic paint to the pages. I distressed the edges and last, I added Stickles to the tree for a little bling.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy creating your journal pages!!

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