Ok, I confess I’m a chocoholic. But who doesn’t like chocolate? I mean it’s just awesome! There are so many varieties of chocolate out there like white, milk, dark and all flavors in between.
Besides tasting so delicious, studies have shown that dark chocolate, at least 75% or more has some pretty good health benefits too like reducing stress and food cravings, fighting fatigue, improving blood circulation and so much more. It’s even considered nutritious and contains nearly the full RDA of copper and manganese, plus it contains descent amounts of magnesium, iron, fiber, zinc, selenium and potassium.
The 75% dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar as compared to white or milk chocolate. So it won’t contribute to weight gain as long as you don’t over do it. What I have noticed personally is that the more sugar that’s in the chocolate, the more I’ll want to eat it. I find that with the darker chocolate I only need 1 square to satisfy chocolate craving and I’m good to go.
As most of you know, I’m vegan so I’m always looking for vegan chocolates. They do make more of them now and they’re very tasty but a little more pricey than regular chocolate. With that being said I’m always on the hunt for new ways to satisfy my chocolate cravings.
I found a great smoothie recipe online that I tried. It was good but just wasn’t satisfying that rich chocolatey flavor I was looking for so I made changes and came up with this delicious Vegan Chocolate Smoothie that has a rich chocolate flavor and contains about 16 grams of protein:
1 C Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any unsweet non-dairy milk of your choice)
3 Tbsp Organic Gluten Free Oats
2 Tbsp Organic Cacao Nibs or 1.5 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (see note below*)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp No Salt or Sugar Added Almond Butter
2 Tsp Organic Chia Seeds
1 Organic Date (pitt removed)
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Instant Espresso Coffee
1/2 C Water
1 C Ice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!
(*) Although I love cacao nibs and all the antioxidants they provide, I found that using Cocoa Powder gives the smoothie a richer and creamier flavor.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Thanks for stopping by!
Share the Happy!!!
“I’d give up chocolate, but I’m not a quitter.” ~Unknown
Last week I shared my first journal page using Spirograph. This is my second journal page. I had so much fun creating these two pages. I love how they turned out and hope you do too!
I made this page the same as the last. I created the background with a watercolor wash and while that was drying I made my Spirograph designs on coordinating cardstock, cut them out and glued them into the journal. Next I drew a few doodles and inspiring words. I topped it off with a shading, highlights and stickles for a little bling.
You can have some serious fun with a Spirograph set. Just use your imagination!
I wanted to try something different in my journal so I looked around my studio and found the Spirograph set. I hadn’t used it in years. I bought this for my kids when they were little and luckily it was passed back to me when they grew up.
I started this page with a watercolor wash for the background and set it aside. While that was drying, I searched my paper stash and found coordinating sheets to create a couple of Spirograph designs. I cut them out and glued them onto the page. Next I drew in doodles, wrote a few inspiring words and of course added stickles for a little bling. Last I added a little detailing with shading and highlights and that was it.
You can make some really interesting art and cards using a simple Spirograph set. Just let your imagination run wild and have fun!
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.
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
Thanks for stopping by!
Share the Happy!!
“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
Sometimes when things get a little too chaotic and hectic we need to remember to quiet our minds and simply breathe. This helps to bring you back to your calm center.
My newest angel I created in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal called Breathe. One of the fun things about watercolor paints is that they sometimes have a mind of their own. I love how colors mingled at the top of her wing.
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!
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 😊