Thoughtful Thursday Benefits of Lavender

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Lavender is one of my most favorite herbal plants. There are several varieties, each with a slightly different scent that produce beautiful lilac colored flowers. It has a delightful scent making it the most popular form of essential oil and it has a lot of medicinal benefits too.

Lavender came from the Latin word lavare which means to wash; and yes you guessed it, lavender was widely used in ancient Rome, Greece and Persia for bathing because of it’s disinfectant and antiseptic properties. It was also believed to purify the body and mind.

Dating back to ancient times, lavender has been used to combat a variety of ailments including:

  • boosting moods
  • headaches
  • acne
  • hair loss
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • stress reliever
  • eczema
  • dry skin
  • insect bites
  • wound healing
  • helps prevent digestive issues
  • reduces inflammation

You can use lavender in the form of tea, extract, essential oil or the plant itself. For example, chamomile lavender tea is a quick fix for a sleepless night. You can also put a few drops of essential lavender oil on a tissue and slip it inside of your pillow case to help you drift off into a somber sleep.

Lavender is an all around wonderful herb. I hope you’ll give it try. Just remember herbs can be more potent than we give them credit for so use them in moderation. When in doubt, check with your healthcare provider to make sure it’s a good fit for you.

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“Laughter, joy and kindness are the herbs to gladden the heart and delight the soul.” ~Unknown

Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Time seems to fly by faster and faster because Thanksgiving is here once more. Hopefully you’re able to slow down a bit and enjoy this special holiday. Take the time to really savor the intimate moments with family and friends and create some special memories.

I want to thank you for your continued love and support and for joining me on this creative journey! It really means a lot to me πŸ’–πŸ’–

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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Family Art Journaling

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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought I’d share these special journal pages with you. They were created by my family 😊

It was a fun time talking and laughing as we passed the journal around. The idea was that each person takes a turn drawing a line in the journal. You keep passing it around and adding more lines until it’s mostly filled up. It’s pretty funny to see the images that emerge from all the random lines. You can add some color if you like and you’ll end up with a fun family art journal that you can keep as a memento for your special day.

Hope this inspires you to create some fun memories this Thanksgiving. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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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 Hope

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Hurricanes are not to be taken lightly. They can cause loss of property and life. The state of Florida was hit by Hurricane Ian on 9/30/22, and it caused mass destruction across the state. Now Hurricane Nicole has caused even more. Nicole missed us thank goodness but the east coast of Florida, north of us was battered by winds, flooding and King Tides. King Tides are the highest possible tides in a calendar year and that only compounded the already serious issues caused by the hurricane.

I’ve been watching the news and am horrified to see homes in Daytona that are literally crumbling and being washed out to sea. The devastation is terrible and breaks your heart. One resident, a widow had lived in her home for over 30 years and thought she was in her forever home. But sadly her home is now uninhabitable.

I wish I had something happy to share with you today but I’m at a loss of words I guess. I can’t imagine how these people must feel at this time. My thoughts and prayers to go out to all affected by these storms.

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Share the Happy because many need it now more than ever πŸ’–

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new.” ~Socrates

Thoughtful Thursday Fall Essential Oil Blends

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Living in the South you don’t get to enjoy a lot of the autumn colors and scents so I’m always looking for ways to bring the warmth of the season into my home. One of my favorite ways is to use a diffuser and add drops of essential oils to make some of the most tantalizing autumn scents.

The fragrant oils can affect your mood and give you a sense of complete joy and harmony. They may even bring back some wonderful memories. There are a lot of premixed synthetic oils but most are full with harmful chemicals. Plus many people can’t tolerate them and that’s why essential oils are great because they’re natural.

These are a few fall diffuser blends I found online. If you don’t have a diffuser I would recommend buying one. You can check out the websites below for recommendations or Amazon has plenty to choose from with reviews to help you find the best one. But don’t go crazy buying lots of essential oils. Pick 1 or 2 blends from the choices below and start with that to see what you like. Let me know how it goes.

Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by!!

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EssentialOilHaven.com gives recommendations for oils and diffusers.

CountryHillCottage.com gives easy ideas and recipes for living well.

TheOilDropper.com has useful information on using essential oils.

Candy Corn Witch Hat

When I was a kid, candy corns were one of my favorite Halloween treats. They made awesome vampire fangs πŸ˜‚ So it’s no wonder I used them to make a witch’s hat.

For this project I recommend getting clay candy corns. You can use real ones and coat them in Mod Podge, but they won’t last whereas the clay ones will. If you want to get even more creative you could make them yourself 😊

This is a fun and easy Halloween Decoration to make for your home and is great for kids too.

For this Project you will need:

  • Large Paper Mache Witch Hat (about 12 inches tall)
  • Acrylic Paints: Folk Art School Bus Yellow and Black
  • Clay Candy Corns
  • 18″ white netting
  • Black Pom-poms: 1 large and 1 small
  • 2 small wiggle eyes
  • 2 Yellow/Orange Chenille Stems Pipe Cleaners 
  • Letter Rubber Stamps
  • Staz On Stone Gray Ink
  • Small Orange Boa, 18-24 inches long depending on your hat
  • Sponge brushes (makes painting big sections faster)
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue
  • Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/2″ flat brush
  • Clean water, paper towels, wax-coated paper plates for paint palette
  • Mod Podge: Matte for sealing (optional)

Instructions

  1. Basecoat the top of your witch hat in black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  2. Basecoat the bottom and inside of the hat with 1 coat of the black paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Let dry.
  3. Basecoat the rim of the hat, on top in yellow paint using the 1/2β€³ brush. Apply 2-3 coats and let dry in between coats.
  4. Using the glue gun, randomly glue candy corns around the top of the hat.
  5. Stamp you letters around onto the rim of the hat. If you’re not going to seal your hat with Mod Podge go to Step 8.
  6. (Optional) Using your sponge brush apply a coat of Matte Mod Podge to the entire hat to seal it. Let dry. Once dry you can apply a second coat of Mod Podge if you so desire.
  7. (Optional) Apply 1 coat of Mod Podge to the bottom and inside of the hat. Let dry      
  8. For the spider, glue the small pom-pom to the large pom-pom using tacky glue.
  9. Using wire cutters, cut five 2β€³ pieces of the yellow/orange pipe stem. Bundle 4 of the pieces and twist the 5th piece around the center of the bundle to hold in place. Spread out the pieces and shape your spider legs. Cut off any excess.
  10. Glue your spider body to the legs with tacky glue. Next glue the wiggle eyes to the front of the small pom-pom. Let dry.
  11. Apply a generous amount of tacky glue to the inner seam of the hat where it meets the rim. Wrap your boa around the hat and cut off any excess. Let dry.
  12. Cut a 12″ piece of netting and tie the center into a knot. Apply tacky glue to the tip of the hat and place the center of the knot over the hat. Let dry.
  13. Gently insert the spider fee into the netting holes and you’re done!

Hope you enjoy making this fun Candy Corn Witch HatπŸŽƒ Thanks for stopping by!!

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Candy Corn Witch Hat

Thoughtful Thursday Book Review

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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Custom Keepsake Ornament

With the loss of my little Cocoa this past summer and being stuck in bed this entire holiday season, my thoughts were on her a lot. She was quite a character and loved to rip our presents open. You can see her ears flying madly as she shredded the paper on this gift. This was serious business for Cocoa, she made us all laugh πŸ˜‚

So to keep a reminder of Cocoa at Christmas, I made this ornament. It’s a beautiful way to remember those we’ve lost whether our furry kids or family and friends. It’s also a great way to create a custom keepsake for special moments. This started as a simple paper mache circle ornament, but wood would work just as well.

Round Paper Mache Ornament - Christmas Ornaments ...
Paper Mache Ornament

Supplies

  • 3.75″ Paper Mache Circle Ornament or Wood Ornament
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paint in coordinating color to match photos
  • 3.5″ circle photograph of your loved one
  • 3.25″ x 2.5″ rectangular/freeform photograph of your love one
  • Golden Matte Medium
  • Posca Paint Marker .7mm
  • Sakura Pen .005 or other Waterproof Fine Tip Marker
  • 14″ Trim of your choice
  • Stickles – Star Dust
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Instructions

  1. Paint your paper mache ornament with gesso and let dry.
  2. Paint your entire ornament, including the edges with the acrylic paint using a 3/4″ flat brush. Let dry. Give it a second coat if needed.
  3. Print and cut your photographs to fit the ornament. The approximate sizes are listed above.
  4. Using the matte medium, adhere your photograph to one side of the ornament. Apply a coat of matte medium over your photograph to seal and protect it. Let dry. {Note: depending on the ink you use to print your photo, you may want to test the matte medium on a sample photo to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed.}
  5. Follow step 4 with the 2nd photo on the other side. Let dry.
  6. Add any names, dates or sentiments with your Sakura pen.
  7. Using the your Posca pen, add little stars and doodles. Let dry.
  8. Accent one side of your ornament with Stickles and let dry. Then repeat on the other side if desired. Let dry.
  9. Last, using Aleene’s Tacky Glue, adhere your trim to the edge of the ornament and cut off any excess. Now you have a beautiful keepsake of your loved one or that special moment.

I hope you enjoy creating your custom keepsake. Keep in mind, these would also make great gifts too 😊

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Thoughtful Thursday History of the Christmas Tree

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For those of you celebrating Christmas, hopefully you’ve set up your tree by now. The tradition of Christmas trees began in Germany in the early 1600’s. When German and other European settlers immigrated to America in the early 19th century, they brought this beautiful tradition with them. Although Americans found this tradition a bit odd at first, it became popular.

The first trees were decorated with apples, candy canes, cookies and pastries in assorted shapes of flowers, hearts and stars. Dyed popcorn also became popular as pieces were strung together with nuts and berries into large strands and hung on the tree.

The trees were originally lighted with with candles but this presented problems like keeping the candles on the branches for starters, not to mention accidental fires. But in 1878, Frederick Artz invented a clip on candle holder. This worked well, but you still couldn’t leave the tree unattended or lit for a long time. Luckily with the introduction of electricity into homes, the candles were replaced with electric lights that could keep the trees glowing for days.

The first Christmas tree farm in America was opened in 1851 by a woodsman named Mark Carr. He cut down trees in the Catskill Mountains and sold them in New York City’s Washington Market.

This tradition of displaying and decorating a Christmas tree has grown in popularity over the years and has become a cherished tradition by many. I hope you enjoyed this little snippet of history. Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

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“Christmas is doing a little something extra for everyone.” ~ Charles Schulz

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