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 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 Finding your Purpose

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It seems that as human beings we are on a perpetual path of finding our purpose. Why am I here is a very big and important question we ask ourselves. Yet some of us feel the search is pointless because we feel we’ll never find the answer. I’ve been traveling on this path for quite some time now and this is what I’m realizing.

Each of us is absolutely unique, much more than we ever could imagine. And we bring our own uniqueness into the world to share with others. Even though the gift we bring may seem small to us, it can be monumental and life changing to some one else.

I’m also finding that our purpose can change as we grow and evolve spiritually. Nothing is set in stone. You may start with a strong passion for something and travel one path, only to find that your passion fizzles and you embark on a new path with just as much passion as the first. It doesn’t mean you got it wrong, but only that you’ve fulfilled your purpose and are now ready to move on.

You’ll know if you’re on the wrong path when everything in your mind and body just feels off, like something isn’t right. I’ve learned that you need to follow your heart and do what makes you happy. Share your special gifts with the world in a positive way and your heart, mind and soul will feel fulfilled!

Have a lovely day, thanks for stopping by!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Social Interaction

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I walk about 2.5 miles a day, 6 days a week. On some days I walk by the kids waiting for the school bus. It didn’t dawn at me at first but then I noticed something odd. It was super quiet and there were about dozen or so kids there.

When I used to wait for the bus there were about 8 of us at the bus stop. We were loud, laughing and carrying on. We told jokes or talked about the latest events going on at school. But all of these kids had their faces buried in their cell phones. They wouldn’t make eye contact with each other much less me as I walked by.

As human beings we crave interaction with others, yet here all they all were in absolute isolated silence. It makes me question if the use of cell phones especially at a young age is beneficial. As a parent I can say they do come in handy with changes in scheduling or for any emergencies. But we all got along great without them for years.

Texting on the phone, surfing the web or hanging out on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is not the same as interacting with others. It’s kind of a form of isolation. Studies have shown that isolation can cause depression, anxiety and low self esteem.

From my daily observations, these kids didn’t appear happy. They were more numb and zombie like as they clicked away mindlessly at their phones. Would it be better to limit the use of the phones to certain times of the day or maybe just for emergencies? Or maybe go back to not having them at all but then kids want to be like everyone else and simply blend in.

It makes you question what will these kids be like when they’re grown. Will they be well rounded adults who talk to others and learn from life? I’m not sure but one thing’s certain, they’re our future. To really appreciate and live a happy life you need to be involved with your world using all of your senses. Trying to live life through your phone leaves you feeling rather empty and and unhappy.

Many times I’ve even seen families out to dinner and everyone is busy on their phone. There isn’t much interaction between them. This can’t lead to a balanced life filled with joy. Maybe, as adults we should lead by example and use the phone less and interact with our kids and surroundings more.

What are your thoughts?

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Thoughtful Thursday The Road to Happiness

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It seems that most of us are in a perpetual state of searching for happiness. If I only had that car, owned that house, had more money I’d be happy. But is this truly what happiness is?

For some, the material world and all it’s contents define their happiness. But happiness looks completely different from one person to the next. For me happiness is the scent of warm bread baking in the oven. It’s hearing the wind gently rustling the leaves on the trees. It’s seeing the sunlight sparkle and dance on the waves in the lake. It’s completely losing myself in my art, painting and letting the outside world with all of it problems simply fade away, at least for a little while.

Don’t get me wrong, you can buy “things” that make you happy, but the happiness is short lived. Although these “things” are nice to have, they don’t make you feel alive. They don’t bring that sense of joy and wonder into your heart and soul, filling every cell in your body with true happiness.

So what is happiness for you? What does it smell, taste or feel like? What makes you smile from ear to ear all day long? Have you found happiness or are you still looking for it? Would love to hear your thoughts….

Have a beautiful day, thanks for stopping by!!

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Impossible to Fail Journal Pages

I had some leftover paint from one of my paintings and didn’t want to waste it so I used it in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. I tried a new face stencil by Jane Davenport and loved it! I added a quote by Dorothea Brandt that reads “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, Act as though it were impossible to fail.”

What would you do differently if it were impossible to fail?

Hope this inspires you today 😊

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Make a New Ending Journal Pages

I was playing with my paints and wanted to try a new color combination. I loved how the background turned out so I started working on 2 canvases. Stay tuned for those.

I just got some new artsy ephemera in the other day and thought I’d use it for this layout. I found this quote by Maria Robinson that resonated with me “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Hope this inspires you today😊

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Abstract Art Paintings

I recently joined Jodi Ohl’s Abstract Interactive online course to further my knowledge of art. Painting abstracts takes me out of my comfort zone but Jodi is an excellent instructor and artist which makes it easier. This is a 10 week course with lots to learn so I’ll be posting a more paintings from the class.

I have to say I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with colors and learning to paint abstract art. The funny thing with abstract art is that everyone sees something completely different. These are my first three paintings I did on paper. What do you see?

Thanks for stopping by!!

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Art Journaling

When I was a kid and the teacher would bring out the scissors, paper and glue I knew it was going to be an awesome day because we would create some type of art. Sometimes it’s fun to go back to the basics and cut out pictures and simply glue them in a journal.

I’m not a textile artist but I look in awe at the quilts others make. I came across these photos in Quilting Arts magazine and decided to make journal pages from them. These were images of quilts created and designed by Jean Impey. They were simply stunning!

I onced used a hand wipe to clean inks from my studio table and it looked pretty cool at the time so I kept the wipe and let dry so I could use it for my art. It ended up finding a home in my journal 😊 The leaves and the heart were made using the recycled wipe. I thought they went well with the images and background color.

Hope this quote and happy journal layout inspire you in way today.

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Santa’s Workshop Joy to the World Christmas Wreath

My latest canvas, Joy to the World Christmas Wreath. It’s painted on a 5Γ—5 inch square canvas with acrylic paint and is accented with red glitter. It’s sealed with a matte finish and comes ready to hang.

Available for purchase in myΒ Etsy Shop.

What do you think? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a super weekend!

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