Thoughtful Thursday – Remembering Cocoa

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Cocoa (left) and Chanel (right)

I have two beautiful American Cocker Spaniel girls, Cocoa (14 yrs) & Chanel (9 yrs). They’re both sable in color but Cocoa has a brown nose and Chanel’s is black. Cocoa loved people but other dogs, not so much. She was somewhat freaked out by them. It was comical to watch when we tried socializing her with other dogs at the park. So one day I had the bright idea to get another puppy to help her get over her fear.

Long story short, it didn’t exactly go as planned. It took Cocoa a few years before she finally warmed up to Chanel. Cocoa turned 14 years old in May, but sadly she went to doggie heaven this past Saturday morning. The end came quickly but she waited for all of us that morning so we could say our good byes before crossing over.

We miss her a lot, especially her crazy antics like helping us unwrap presents, singing Happy Birthday or howling when the phone rang. She was always in the middle of family life and was a super smart pooch that was trained with very little effort on my part. I could just talk to her and she understood what I was saying. When anyone got sick or was feeling blue, she was always there to comfort you. Cocoa was my constant companion in the art studio, always at my feet the entire time I was painting.

One thing her passing has made me think about was how important it is to be in the present moment. I truly enjoyed her crazy antics and how she always had her own way of doing things. I’m so grateful that Cocoa came into our lives as she was a very special and unique girl.

Take the time to slow down and really enjoy sharing special moments with loved ones whether a furry friend or the human kind. Life is ever changing and time doesn’t stand still. So don’t miss one minute of the magic that life offers you everyday.

I know the angels have Cocoa now and it’s all good.

💖 Cocoa, you are forever in our hearts 💖

“Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.” ~ Roger Caras

Thoughtful Thursday – Father’s Day

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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

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Thoughtful Thursday – A Day at Lion Country Safari

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Lion Country Safari located in West Palm Beach, Florida was established in 1967 and sits on a whopping 320 acres. I remember my parents taking me when I was about 8 years old. And no, I’m not telling how many years ago that was, lol. But I remember thinking how cool it was that the animals got to roam free while we drove through the park in our car. They could come right up to us, and many did.

In March of this year, we did a family road trip and visited Lion Country Safari. It’s changed quite a bit since I was there last. Now they have an audio that we listened to through my cell phone that gave information about each group of animals we were seeing. The park is home to over 1,000 wild animals including lions, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, ostriches, and so many more.

The way it’s set up is each group of animals is in a different section, separated by a fence. This way the predators can’t get to their prey and everyone lives happily ever after 😊 Cars slowly drive through on the road and get to enjoy all the animals. As the cars exited the one section, they were all greeted by an ostrich who tapped each car’s windshield as if he were saying good bye. It was pretty funny watching him do this. Apparently, ostriches are attracted to shiny objects and the windshields were reflecting the sun that day.

Once you finish the drive through safari, you can enjoy the walk through section of the park with shops, food and more animals to see. You can even feed the lorikeets which my daughter and I did. They’re so beautiful with their bright colors.

If you have the chance to visit Florida, I highly recommend stopping at Lion Country Safari. It’s a beautiful and unique place to visit!

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“The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.” ~Charles Darwin

The Power of You Mini Book – Quote

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Hope you had a great week! This is the last quote from my mini 3.25″ x 4.5″ book:

“Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” ~Unknown

Really love this quote. The author was unknown but it looks like it originated from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who said “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

Hope you enjoyed these words of wisdom. Have a great weekend!

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Live Life in Full Bloom Watercolor Journal Page

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I love roses and thought I’d make one in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore Mixed Media Journal. I started with a light pencil sketch, then painted it with watercolors. Once that was dry, I used colored pencils for shading and detailing and topped it off with Stickles for a little bling. Last I added my quote using a Sakura Micron Pen #03.

I’m not sure who said the quote “Live Life in Full Bloom” but I thought it was fitting for this page. It was a good warm up for beginning my day in the studio.

Have an awesome week!

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The Power of You Mini Book – Quote by Coco Chanel

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Hope your weekend is off to a great start! A quickie post today with an inspirational quote by Coco Chanel from my mini 3.25″ x 4.5″ book:

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself!” ~Coco Chanel

This is a good quote. So many of us spend a lot of time trying to be someone else and fit in. There are 7.9 billion people on this planet and each one us is unique, how incredible is that!?! It’s time to Celebrate YOU!

Have a great weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday – Keeping a Positive Attitude

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How do you stay on the path of positivity when there is so much negativity around you? How do you find that ray of hope each and every day? It’s hard, no doubt. Not something to be taken lightly either.

I’d like to think everyone starts their day on a positive note but depending on what your day was like the day before, that may be a tough thing to do. You may still be carrying all of that luggage. But I look at each day as a clean slate, a chance for a new beginning and a chance to make a positive change. Leave yesterday’s problem in the past and focus on a better today.

A few years ago I started listening to podcasts and grew to really love them. I go for the ones that grow my mind and spirit and a few business ones. Brendon Burchard is a life coach and is one of my favorite podcasts. He came up with a mantra that he uses first thing in the morning. I slightly changed it to fit my needs but here it is:

“Thank you God for this opportunity to serve today. Grant me the strength to focus. To be mindful and present. To serve with excellence. To be a force of light and love.” ~ Brendon Burchard

These words when spoken from the heart most definitely have a positive affect on your day. They don’t guarantee nothing will go wrong, but if it does, you can get back on track easier.

The podcasts are free and are a great resource for inspiration and spreading the happy! If you don’t have access to the podcasts on your phone, check YouTube.com, you can find a lot there. I highly recommend trying them out if you haven’t done so already. You may be pleasantly surprised!

A few of my favorites:

  • The Brendon Show
  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty
  • The Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose
  • The Marie Forleo Podcast
  • The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley

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“Your life is simply a collection of all your thoughts and actions. Which direction to steer it in, is a choice you make every day and every moment. Be positive, live happy.” ~Unknown

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The Power of You Mini Book – Quote by Rumi

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Here’s another snippet from my mini 3.25″ x 4.5″ book. Hope this quote by Rumi inspires you in some way:

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ~Rumi

Have a great weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday – Give Mom a Gift that Touches her Heart 💖

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Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this Sunday, May 9th. So why not give mom a gift that touches the heart. I have many fond memories of Mother’s Day celebrations but when my son baked me a vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, all vegan from scratch with a beautiful design in colored sprinkles, that really touched my heart 💖 He put so much love into that cake for me I’ll cherish that memory forever. Not to mention, the cake was so delicious we polished it off in only 2 days!!

Another touching memory was when my daughter spent a very rainy Mother’s Day with me watching our favorite movies with popcorn and candy. We had lunch in between and even played a few board games which is something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid. We had such fun together as we laughed all day. She created a wonderful loving memory that I will hold in my heart till the end of time 💖

So what are you going to do for you mom on Mother’s Day that will touch her heart? Here’s a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Cook her favorite meal and serve it on a lavishly decorated table.
  • Bake her favorite sweet treat and serve it up bistro style.
  • Take her on a picnic and spend a quiet afternoon talking.
  • Take an art class with her, whether online or in person and create something together.
  • Make a scrapbook filled with all of your favorite memories and photos of her.
  • Make her a handmade card or mini book with special photos or memorabilia.
  • If you’re computer savvy, create a video slide show of your favorites times spent together.
  • Make her a spa basket with handmade treatments (plenty of recipes can be found online).

Get creative, put a little extra thought into it and give her a gift from your heart 💖

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“When you look into your mother’s eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth.” ~Mitch Albom

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The Power of You Mini Book – Quote by Rumi

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I can’t believe how the month of April just flew by. Here’s another inspirational quote by Rumi from my mini 3.25″ x 4.5″ book:

“Shine like the universe is yours.” ~Rumi

Have a great weekend!

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