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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Photo by Maria Vidaurre

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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Echoes of Mercy Angel Journal Pages

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I bought these embossed angel images on Etsy from a shop called Scrapaplenty. They’re made in Germany and are quite beautiful. I fell in love with them because they remind me of the vintage images used in cards from long ago.

I created this layout in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. The background is painted using leftover paints from one of my canvases. As I looked at this color combination, it seemed to be a perfect fit for the angels. I used a stencil to create the clouds and added the quote “Angels descending bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of Love.”

Hope this inspires you today 😊

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Impossible to Fail Journal Pages

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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

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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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Thoughtful Thursday Back to Basics

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I love listening to Earl Nightingale’s coaching session called “The Strangest Secret” which can be found on YouTube. There’s also a book on Amazon. This was the first life coaching session that was ever recorded back in 1956. I’ve listened to it countless times. I’m often asked “Why do you keep listening to it? It’s basic stuff and you already know all of this.” My answer is always the same, “Yes, I do know the basics but hearing this recording helps to remind me of what they are and keeps on track.”

Let’s face it in today’s world we have hundreds if not thousands of distractions each and every day. With so many distractions, it’s hard to stay focused. So sticking to your goals and having clarity can be pretty difficult when we keep running after each new shiny penny we see.

I recently listened to one of Brendon Burchard’s podcasts and he made some really good points. In this podcast Brendon said “Common sense isn’t always common practice.” And that’s so true. We know we should be doing x, y and z but often we don’t and as a result we fail in life and in reaching our goals.

Earl’s recording reminds me of how easy it really is to reach your goals and create the life you dream of. The power to create is in you, in your mind. If listening to Earl isn’t your thing, that’s ok. Then find a life coach that works for you. Or make a list of reminders that you can look at first thing in the morning to help keep you on track. But be mindful of where your thoughts take you so you can stay focused on what’s important.

Hope this post inspires you. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Perhaps the world isn’t giving you what you want because based on all your distractions and lack of discipline, it’s simply unclear what you are asking for.” ~ Brendon Burchard

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Thoughtful Thursday A Romantic Evening

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, this coming Monday. There’s nothing better than snuggling in front of the TV and watching a movie together for a romantic evening. A simple movie can make for an extravagant and memorable night if you pay attention to the details.

Start by lighting a few candles and serve chocolate covered strawberries with a champagne. Or if you prefer popcorn, serve freshly popped corn with homemade cookies and your favorite candies. The main thing is to use your imagination and create a fun and magical night.

These are my top picks for Valentine movies. They’re all nice, light hearted movies with happy endings:

  1. Pride and Prejudice Starring Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen (2005)
  2. The Holiday Starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law & Jack Black (2006)
  3. Notting Hill Starring Hugh Grant & Julia Roberts (1999)
  4. Laws of Attraction Starring Pierce Brosnan & Julianne Moore (2004)
  5. Robin Hood Starring Russell Crowe & Kate Blanchette (2010)
  6. Sense and Sensibility Starring Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet (1995)
  7. What’s Up Doc Starring Barbra Streisand & Ryan O’Neal (1972)
  8. The Proposal Starring Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds (2009)
  9. Sweet Home Alabama Starring Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey & Josh Lucas (2002)
  10. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Starring Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaghey (2003)
  11. Kate and Leopold Starring Meg Ryan & Hugh Jackman (2001)
  12. Must Love Dogs Starring Diane Lane & John Cusak (2005)
  13. Fool’s Gold Starring Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaghey (2008)
  14. Two Weeks Notice Starring Sandra Bullock & Hugh Grant (2002)

Hope this sparks your creativity for romance. Thanks for stopping by!!

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Love isn’t about the time you spend together. It’s about the memories you create.” ~Unknown

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Thoughtful Thursday Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

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Anna Ruby Falls photo by Maria Vidaurre

There’s something to be said about slowing down and spending time in nature. This past fall I was fortunate to take a hiking trip to northern Georgia with my husband. One of our visits was to Anna Ruby Falls which is in Unicoi State Park, located just outside of Helen, Georgia. It was a stunning drive to the falls as we drove on the windy road through the forest with accents of mother nature’s foliage of yellow, orange and red leaves glistening in the sunlight.

The hike to the falls is about a half mile on a paved path. Officially it’s .4 of a mile, but my Garmin and phone tracker showed it was a bit more. Nevertheless, it was a majestic hike the entire way as the path followed the creek and you were serenaded by the flowing waters. The path was a little steep but there were plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

James H. “Captain” Nichols was a Civil War Colonel who retired and moved to Nacoochee Valley in 1870. Even though he had been promoted to Colonel he was reverently referred to as “Captain.” While out horseback riding one day, Nichols discovered the falls and named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby.

The falls are made up of Curtis and York Creeks that run down the steep slopes of Tray Mountain in 2 falls. In the photo above Curtis Creek Falls is shown on the left and drops 153 feet and York Creek Falls is shown on the right and drops 50 feet. These 2 falls combine to create Smith Creek which is what you see when walking on the path.

I hope you enjoyed this little travel tidbit. Anna Ruby Falls was a beautiful place to visit and I hope you’ll be able to visit it too!

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

All photos were taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday When life throws you a curve ball

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You may or may not have noticed I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks. I ended up getting pretty sick just before the holidays. So Christmas and New Year’s celebrations skipped my house this year. It felt strange but was necessary.

I’ve had people say to me, wow that’s a terrible way to end the year. But I don’t see it that way. Life threw me one heck of a curve ball. Instead of going crazy during the holidays trying to get everything done, I was forced to take it easy. It was the most chill holiday season I’ve ever had. And when someone says it was a terrible way to end the year, I say no it was great because I made it through it all and I’m still here ready to make this a better world, one day at time!

It’s taking a little more time than I expected to get my mojo back. My creative muse has also taken a hiatus. But I’m slowly getting myself rolling again with short workouts and super healthy eating habits. I’m grateful that I can continue to share my happiness with all of you 💖

Today I start a new course called Interactive Abstracts with Jodi Ohl. I’m really looking forward to this class and getting my creative muse back on track. With all of the rest I got I feel blessed to be more focused on what I want to accomplish this year. So you can expect great things from me in 2022!

When life throws you a curve ball, and believe me it will, don’t fight it. Go with the flow. Life is perfectly imperfect. Sometimes these curve balls give you a lot to think about. So find that silver lining in the cloud. Pick up the pieces and move forward with gratitude which is the best attitude!

I hope your holidays were awesome! I wish you the greatest success in 2022!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

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“Gratitude: It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” ~Unknown

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Thoughtful Thursday New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s hard to believe that there are only 23 days until the New Year and then we’ll be in 2022. With the holidays in full swing many of us have busier than usual schedules. But this is the perfect time to start thinking about the New Year and what you want to accomplish.

A good place to start is to see where you are on your resolutions from this year. Did you get to where you wanted to be? If you did that’s awesome! If you didn’t, then take a look at what may have thrown you off course. Think about how you can improve on that for the next year.

When deciding on New Year’s resolutions, choose ones that resonate with you. And I mean something that you “really” want to attain. Don’t make resolutions for things that you feel would be nice to do or have some day. Those half hearted resolutions will never get off the ground because you’ll never fully commit to them. And by not reaching them, it’ll have a negative impact in your mind.

So stick with fewer resolutions that you’re passionate about. Put all of your heart into reaching your goal and you will. Stay focused and remind yourself everyday of what you’re aiming for. Check in weekly to make sure you’re staying on course and if you need to adjust your resolutions a bit, that’s ok they’re not set in stone.

Quick Summary:

  • Set New Year resolutions that are attainable and that you’re passionate about.
  • Decide on 3 resolutions at the most. Too many are overwhelming.
  • Give yourself deadlines to make your resolutions a reality.
  • Look at your resolutions everyday to keep you on track.
  • If life throws you a curve ball, adjust your resolution a bit.
  • Most important, be kind to yourself and celebrate the journey!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks for stopping by!!

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“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what YOU bring to the New Year.” ~Vern McLellan

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