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 – 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 – Benefits of Ginger

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Photo by Angele J on Pexels.com

Ginger root has been used for centuries as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The first time I tried ginger, I wasn’t too crazy about it. I loved the scent but the flavor, not so much.

Over the years, I’ve grown to really love ginger. I’ll put a few small pieces in my salad or add some to my veggie juices. I even make fresh ginger tea which is very aromatic and quite delicious (recipe below). I’ve learned and personally experienced the healing powers of ginger and I can say in all honesty, it’s truly a Superfood.

Ginger has many benefits and can help the body heal from a number of ailments naturally including:

  1. Aids in Digestion
  2. Regulates Blood Sugar
  3. Reduces Inflammation
  4. Lowers Blood Pressure
  5. Helps with Nausea
  6. Antibacterial Properties
  7. Reduces Menstrual Pain
  8. Aids in Reducing LDL Cholesterol
  9. Anti-Cancer Properties
  10. Aids Weight Loss

Before making any changes to your healthcare regime, always check with your doctor/health practitioner to make sure it’s right for you.

Ginger Tea Recipe:

  • 4-5 quarter inches pieces of ginger, slightly crushed
  • 2 Cups Water
  • Sweetener (honey, stevia)

Add ginger and water to a teapot. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 15 minutes. Strain ginger pieces, add a little sweetener and enjoy.

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“Our Food should be our Medicine & our Medicine should be our Food.” ~Hippocrates

Photo by Mareefe on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Keeping a Positive Attitude

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

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

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Bliss Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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Pure happiness is such bliss! I’m having lots of fun with the new turquoise blue paint I bought. It’s such a bright and happy color and it blends well with my other colors so far.

This is my newest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal called Bliss. I hope you like her 😊

Have a beautiful week!

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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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The Power of You Mini Book – Quote by Rumi

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Hope you had a great week! Just a quickie post today with an inspirational quote by Rumi from my mini 3.25″ x 4.5″ book:

“Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the world.” ~Rumi

Love this quote by Rumi, it makes you think a little and realize how important and unique each of us is. So shine your light brightly for the world to see!

Have a great weekend!

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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?

Thanks for stopping by!

“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.

Thoughtful Thursday – “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich Recipe Review

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Vegan Chickpea "No Tuna" Salad | Forks Over Knives

I’ve been exploring more vegan recipes, especially the ones that don’t necessarily appeal to my tastebuds. And I must say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. So far, they have all been quite delicious and tasty.

My family likes to eat tuna fish sandwiches but tuna is one of the most toxic fish you can eat. They’re high in mercury and other heavy metals because of pollutants in the water. So I wanted to find a vegan alternative. I finally decided to give this recipe a try and I’m glad I did. It’s a “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich. It’s great because it doesn’t have that fishy smell like real tuna but it’s super delicious and quite filling. Plus it’s quick and easy to make.

The recipe was published in the latest Forks Over Knives, “100 Best Plant-Based Recipes,” 2021 and it can also be found on their website “No Tuna” Salad Sandwich.

Forks Over Knives  100 Best Plant-Based Recipes  2021 image 0

The main ingredient is chick peas aka garbanzo beans which is not necessarily my favorite but they work well in this recipe. I served my family these sandwiches and they were a hit! Lots of flavor, very filling and satisfying, vegan and most important, No Mercury! It’s a win win.

I recommend getting a little crazy and giving it a try. You may discover new flavors on this adventure!

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“Good nutrition creates health in all areas of our existence. All parts are interconnected.” ~ T. Collin Campbell

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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