Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Time seems to fly by faster and faster because Thanksgiving is here once more. Hopefully you’re able to slow down a bit and enjoy this special holiday. Take the time to really savor the intimate moments with family and friends and create some special memories.

I want to thank you for your continued love and support and for joining me on this creative journey! It really means a lot to me πŸ’–πŸ’–

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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Family Art Journaling

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought I’d share these special journal pages with you. They were created by my family 😊

It was a fun time talking and laughing as we passed the journal around. The idea was that each person takes a turn drawing a line in the journal. You keep passing it around and adding more lines until it’s mostly filled up. It’s pretty funny to see the images that emerge from all the random lines. You can add some color if you like and you’ll end up with a fun family art journal that you can keep as a memento for your special day.

Hope this inspires you to create some fun memories this Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Book Review – Grace Notes by Alexandra Stoddard

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With this year coming to an end, faster than I’d like I thought I’d share this book review with you. It’s written by Alexandra Stoddard and is titled “Grace Notes.” In this book Alexandra offers 365 daily meditations of grace, one for each day of the year. So with January 1st fast approaching now is a good time to get the book so you can start the new year off on a positive note.

The book is beautifully written with inspiring words of encouragement, love and grace. She even gives you a few lines at the bottom of each day to write you own thoughts if you like. Alexandra also includes with each day famous inspirational quotes and her own personal insights. You can find Grace Notes on Amazon where you can also preview a few sample pages to get a better idea of what the book is really like.

With as crazy as things have become, this is simply a nice way to start each day. It’s a gentle reminder of how to live life with grace. I highly recommend this book!

I hope you enjoyed this book review, thanks for stopping by!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Vegan Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

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Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite treats for Thanksgiving but that only comes once a year. So to get into the spirit of Autumn sooner I love making pumpkin smoothies.

When you slowly sip this savory drink bursting with flavors of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg you can’t help but to sit back and take a moment to truly enjoy the season. This recipe is very easy to make and is super delicious! I always try to use organic ingredients when they’re available.

Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Can Organic Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Small Ripe Banana
  • 3 Tbsp Organic Rolled Oats
  • 2 Organic Pitted Dates
  • 1.25 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 heaping tsp Ginger
  • 1/8 heaping tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 C Ice
  • 1/2 Hass Avocado (optional) *

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Top with sprinkled cinnamon and enjoy! (Makes about 2 glasses)

* Note: If you prefer a thicker, creamier smoothie the avocados do the trick. They have a mild flavor and give you more of a milkshake consistency. But I would try it first without the avocado because you can always add it later, it should be thick enough without it πŸŽƒ Another trick is to use 2 Tbsp Organic Chia seeds. Soak them overnight in water and add them to your smoothie mix and blend.

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Slow Pace of Autumn

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Hard to believe that autumn is officially here today. It’s the time of year to slow down and really take in the beauty of the season. Before long, Mother Nature will repaint her canvas from beautiful greens to stunning hues of yellow, red, orange and brown. Gentle breezes begin to roll in and rustle the fallen leaves bringing much needed cooler temps.

We bid farewell to summer as we watch the days become shorter and nights become longer. We get our warm comfy sweaters out, light a few candles and settle in for the season. It’s a time to rest, reflect and finish what’s needed.

Although here in the South we don’t really see a change in this breathtaking season, I bring warmth into our home by decorating for fall. Being an avid baker the sweet scents of pumpkin, apple and cinnamon fill our home making it even more cozy. How do you spend your autumn months?

Wishing you a peaceful autumn season filled with joy, love and good health!

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Thoughtful Thursday Book Review

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I finished reading “Gracefully You” by Jenna Dewan. In her book she talks about her family life and her career in dancing and acting. Many think a celebrity lifestyle is easy and glamourous. But celebrities face challenges and obstacles just like everyone else. Some even worse because of their notoriety.

I enjoyed reading the book on how Jenna overcame the challenges she faced both in her personal life as well as her career. But she saved the best for last when she wrote about having grace in the worst of circumstances. Especially when it’s so much easier to just let loose and let it all out. But that’s something most would end up regretting the next day.

Life isn’t always easy but it’s up to you as to how you choose to deal with the circumstances at hand. Maintaining grace can be very challenging but it is doable. If you fail by losing grace and have regrets, do your best to make it right. Life has a funny way of giving us second chances to do better and learn from our mistakes. But most importantly, always have grace with yourself.

I highly recommend reading Jenna Dewan’s book “Gracefully You” which is available on Amazon. It was a great read with beautiful photographs and quite interesting seeing life from her point of view.

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Thoughtful Thursday Scary Truth about Rabies Vaccine

Cocoa

I was horrified when I found out the adverse affects of rabies vaccine on my girls. Most vets give you the option of a 1 year or 3 year rabies vaccine. The majority of pet owners opt for the 1 year vaccine because it’s cheaper and they think their pet is getting a lower dose.

But here’s what you don’t know. The dosage for the 1 year and 3 year are the same. The reason is because the vaccine will stay in your dog’s body for about 3 years. So if you’re getting annual rabies shots you’re basically overdosing on the vaccine.

Adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine can be mild like swelling, lethargy, or vomiting or they can be much more severe. Reactions can show up shortly after getting vaccinated or over a period of time and can cause permanent damage. Dogs Naturally Magazine has a good article online that outlines 65 ways the vaccine can harm your dog including cancers, seizures, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases and so much more.

Sadly I didn’t find out about this until it was too late. I had Cocoa vaccinated annually her entire life. She had the energy and vigor of a young dog until she got her last required vaccine. Within 3 months of getting vaccinated, her health rapidly declined and she passed away within a year.

I miss her a lot but at least now I know how detrimental the vaccine is to dogs so I won’t make the same mistake again. I don’t want you to take my word for it, but do your own research as scary as it may be. Your pup will thank you!

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“65 Ways Rabies Vaccination Can Harm Your Dog” by Dogs Naturally Magazine

Rosie at 9 weeks old

Welcome Rosie

Chanel our cocker spaniel was pretty sad when Cocoa passed away last summer. She got her happiness back to a certain extent but not like when Cocoa was here. So we’ve been waffling the idea of getting a new pup. We finally decided to go for it and this is our new baby. Welcome Rosie, a Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel from Orlando Cockers.

I know our lives will be turned upside down with this new little bambino in the house but she’ll be good medicine for Chanel and all of us, because life is just RosieπŸ’

Wish me luck!

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Cocoa (left / 2007-2021) & Chanel (right) – Sable Cocker Spaniels

Custom Keepsake Ornament

With the loss of my little Cocoa this past summer and being stuck in bed this entire holiday season, my thoughts were on her a lot. She was quite a character and loved to rip our presents open. You can see her ears flying madly as she shredded the paper on this gift. This was serious business for Cocoa, she made us all laugh πŸ˜‚

So to keep a reminder of Cocoa at Christmas, I made this ornament. It’s a beautiful way to remember those we’ve lost whether our furry kids or family and friends. It’s also a great way to create a custom keepsake for special moments. This started as a simple paper mache circle ornament, but wood would work just as well.

Round Paper Mache Ornament - Christmas Ornaments ...
Paper Mache Ornament

Supplies

  • 3.75″ Paper Mache Circle Ornament or Wood Ornament
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paint in coordinating color to match photos
  • 3.5″ circle photograph of your loved one
  • 3.25″ x 2.5″ rectangular/freeform photograph of your love one
  • Golden Matte Medium
  • Posca Paint Marker .7mm
  • Sakura Pen .005 or other Waterproof Fine Tip Marker
  • 14″ Trim of your choice
  • Stickles – Star Dust
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Instructions

  1. Paint your paper mache ornament with gesso and let dry.
  2. Paint your entire ornament, including the edges with the acrylic paint using a 3/4″ flat brush. Let dry. Give it a second coat if needed.
  3. Print and cut your photographs to fit the ornament. The approximate sizes are listed above.
  4. Using the matte medium, adhere your photograph to one side of the ornament. Apply a coat of matte medium over your photograph to seal and protect it. Let dry. {Note: depending on the ink you use to print your photo, you may want to test the matte medium on a sample photo to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed.}
  5. Follow step 4 with the 2nd photo on the other side. Let dry.
  6. Add any names, dates or sentiments with your Sakura pen.
  7. Using the your Posca pen, add little stars and doodles. Let dry.
  8. Accent one side of your ornament with Stickles and let dry. Then repeat on the other side if desired. Let dry.
  9. Last, using Aleene’s Tacky Glue, adhere your trim to the edge of the ornament and cut off any excess. Now you have a beautiful keepsake of your loved one or that special moment.

I hope you enjoy creating your custom keepsake. Keep in mind, these would also make great gifts too 😊

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Thoughtful Thursday History of the Christmas Tree

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For those of you celebrating Christmas, hopefully you’ve set up your tree by now. The tradition of Christmas trees began in Germany in the early 1600’s. When German and other European settlers immigrated to America in the early 19th century, they brought this beautiful tradition with them. Although Americans found this tradition a bit odd at first, it became popular.

The first trees were decorated with apples, candy canes, cookies and pastries in assorted shapes of flowers, hearts and stars. Dyed popcorn also became popular as pieces were strung together with nuts and berries into large strands and hung on the tree.

The trees were originally lighted with with candles but this presented problems like keeping the candles on the branches for starters, not to mention accidental fires. But in 1878, Frederick Artz invented a clip on candle holder. This worked well, but you still couldn’t leave the tree unattended or lit for a long time. Luckily with the introduction of electricity into homes, the candles were replaced with electric lights that could keep the trees glowing for days.

The first Christmas tree farm in America was opened in 1851 by a woodsman named Mark Carr. He cut down trees in the Catskill Mountains and sold them in New York City’s Washington Market.

This tradition of displaying and decorating a Christmas tree has grown in popularity over the years and has become a cherished tradition by many. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of history. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

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“Christmas is doing a little something extra for everyone.” ~ Charles Schulz

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