Thoughtful Thursday – Father’s Day

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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

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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Thoughtful Thursday – Happy Birthday Dad

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Today would have been my father’s birthday but he passed away a few years ago. He was a talented man who could fix anything under the sun. He had a superb sense of humor and was a great artist and my inspiration for art.

Dad was very practical and logical in his thinking. He drew this pen and ink picture the day before his 21st birthday. I was lucky enough to find it mixed in with a bunch of other papers he kept. I was in awe with how beautiful it was. Funny enough, he never hung this masterpiece in the house so I hung it in mine.

When I was a kid, I couldn’t draw well. So dad took the picture I was trying to draw and drew a numbered grid on it. Then he drew another grid on blank paper and told me to copy each square, one at a time until I was finished. This made complete sense to me at the time and thus my adventure in art began. Eventually, I got better and didn’t need the grid as much. I really love this piece by dad because you can still see the numbered grid on it which reminds me of my first art lesson with him.

Dad was an oil painter but I never liked the turpentine smell, it was always very strong so I gravitated to watercolors. I started painting with my sister’s watercolor set by Mayflower with 24 colors. I was having a blast with that. Then for my birthday, mom and dad got me a big watercolor set made in England by Page of London with a whopping 80 colors!!! For a kid who was fascinated with colors, it was like I won the jackpot!!!!

Dad kept pretty much everything so lo and behold, he still had the original paint sets from when I was a kid. Sadly some of my pan colors in the larger set broke and got lost over the years but the sets are in good condition overall. I’m so glad he kept these because they bring back a lot of nice memories.

Thank you Dad for all your patience, creativity and ingenuity in teaching me art!

✨Happy Birthday Dad ✨

Bringer of Light Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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Hope your week is off to a good start! This is my latest angel, Bringer of Light that I painted in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal. I played with the angle on this one and had some fun with it. Hope you like her 😊

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Thoughtful Thursday – Earth Day

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Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre, Marco Island, FL

Earth Day started April 22, 1970, as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues and changing the public’s outlook. We are all interconnected on this planet. Every action causes an equal reaction whether it be good or bad.

Everyone chooses their battles to fight. Some battle to reduce air pollution while others battle for the forests. My battle is for the oceans because they are one of the biggest sources of life on this planet. It’s heartbreaking to see the islands of plastic that have formed as a result of dumping garbage into the oceans. Some of the plastic breaks down, pollutes the waters and eventually settles on the ocean floors. Marine animals mistake plastics for food causing them to get sick or even die.

As humans we consume tons of fish, crabs, lobsters and shrimp from the oceans every year. With the amount of plastics, garbage and toxins that have been dumped into the oceans the marine life has become toxic for humans to eat. Yet it still is a very large food source for us, so what does that say about the state of our health?

This is just one small part of a much larger problem in the oceans and I could go on and on about the issues at hand, but I think you get the gist of it. Everyday we wake up we need to be mindful of the role we play on this planet and be proactive in taking care of Mother Earth so we will have a beautiful tomorrow.

What are some of the things you do to help make a better tomorrow?

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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” ~Unknown

All photos above in the slide presentation were taken by Maria Vidaurre, Bahamas.

Snuggle Bunny Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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Hope your week is going great so far! I created this new angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal. I tried something new this time and added a zentangle design to the wings. I kinda like it, and then I kinda don’t.

Also, with the lighter color background, the white detailing got a bit washed out so I used gold for more contrast. Would love to know your thoughts, just leave me comment below. 

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Soap Nuts

Soap nuts, also known as Sapindus mukorossi are native to India and Nepal. They are not nuts, but actually a fruit, a berry to be specific. However, when you dry them, it forms a hard outer shell that looks like a nut. The shell contains saponin, a natural detergent. Saponin gets released when the shell absorbs water, it also softens your clothes. Soap nuts are a great alternative for people with allergies who need a chemical free detergent.

To use soap nuts you would need to put about 4-6 of them in a muslin bag and then toss it in your washing machine with your laundry. If you prefer a scent just add essential oils to the muslin bag before tossing them in. Soap nuts don’t create a lot of bubbles and can be used several times before they break down. They are very eco friendly and cost effective!

You can also use soap nuts to make facial washes, shampoos and natural soaps. I found quite a few site online that sell soap nuts. So I’m going to buy some and see how it goes.

 

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Choices

I think we can all agree, 2020 is a year we will not soon forget. But the New Year has begun and it’s filled with endless possibilities. More importantly these possibilities will be a direct result of the choices that are made.

When you think about it, our lives all boil down to the choices we’ve made through the years. There are the good choices we’ve made when everything was simply peachy. Then there are those choices that when we look back, we question what the heck were we thinking at that time. It would be great if we had a crystal ball to see how things would turn out based on our choices. But where’s the fun in that?

I strongly feel that in the “not so great choices that are made” are important lessons to be learned. Sometimes the lessons are revealed quickly while other times, it just takes a while before it shows itself to you.

Make 2021 a Great Year! Be patient and kind to yourself, as well as with others. Do the best that you can. When faced with adversity, take a minute to breathe deep before responding harshly. Make the choice to have a positive enlightening day! Turn those days into a week, month and year!!

“May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Holiday Indulging

The holiday season is a very special time of year for celebration and good cheer with those you love. But they also can be tough for many reasons and this year goes without saying. I’m always looking for the silver lining in the cloud and I’ve found that for me, all this craziness has meant more time with my family. So tomorrow night we’re doing a little bit of baking, something we haven’t done for the last several years.

I’m not sure how you do with indulging in holiday treats but I know at this stage in my life, the weight goes on quickly and fairly easily but is hard to get off. Sometime it seems like I just look at the sweets and the weight goes on, lol. But seriously, the holidays only come once a year and this year, I’ve decided it’s okay to indulge a little. Now, I’m not going gung ho and eating an entire batch of cookies but I’m definitely going to savor each bite enjoy a few.

The more you avoid something you really want, the more likely you are to binge eat. So having a few sweet treats is acceptable and should be enjoyed guilt free! But then just make sure you get back on track to eating healthy again and exercising if possible.

To compensate for my indulgences, I’m planning on running an extra mile here and there but nothing crazy. So my words of wisdom to you are enjoy this special time of year with loved ones and really cherish these special moments together, and “ENJOY” your holidays treats because I’m sure they’re well deserved!

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