Thoughtful Thursday Happy Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again. The weather has gotten a little cooler, thank goodness and the leaves are changing. But this is a time of warm gatherings and welcoming family and friends into our homes with lots of love. It’s a time to reflect back on the year and give thanks for all that we have.

More importantly it’s a time for you. This is the time to slow down and take in the beauty around you. Catch your breath and nestle in for the winter with warm soups and hot cocoa. Take time for yourself this season to recharge your energy. Find happiness in the simple, small everyday moments. Allow your soul to linger in the joy and peace of the season.

I want to extend a sincere heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you for your love and support. It’s greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a Very Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!

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“As we express our gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John F Kennedy

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Thoughtful Thursday – Mirror Neurons

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What are mirror neurons? Mirror neurons are the part of the brain that cause us to mimic or reflect back what we are seeing in another person. For example when you see some one hurt themselves, you may winch and feel their pain. Or when some one yawns, you’ll have to yawn yourself even though you’re not tired. The same also holds true for when some one is in a bad or good mood. Their mood may rub off on us. This is because of the mirror neurons in our brains.

When I first started my morning walks I’d smile at strangers and most often I didn’t get much of a response, much less a positive one. But I didn’t let this stop me because I was determined to share my happiness.

As I continued my walks day after day, I’d smile bigger and longer. If that didn’t work I’d follow that with a twinkling wave and a cheerful “Good Morning!” I completely understand that not everyone wants to be happy and that’s ok.

But smiles are contagious and are universally understood. If you smile at some one long enough, you’ll most likely get a smile back due to the mirror neurons. Whether you’re in a good mood or not, the fact that you’re smiling instantly raises your energy and you can’t help but feel uplifted.

After a couple of weeks something magical started happening. These strangers who were not the happiest little campers suddenly became friendlier. I began to get big smiles, twinkling waves and morning shout outs of “Good Morning!” So much so that some would go out of their way to greet me. It made me feel even happier that I was able to share my positive energy with others. I may not have changed the world, but I changed my corner of it, just a bit.

Imagine if everyone tried to “Share the Happy” with those around them. Life isn’t always perfectly happy but when we put more of that positive energy out there, it will surely come back to us ten fold. So what are you waiting for, get out and share a great big smile with some one today 😊

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“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha

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Abstract Art Happy

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I’m really loving abstract art more and more. This is my newest piece. It’s similar to my other one but painted with brighter and very happy colors. This piece is simply titled “Happy.” Would love to hear your thoughts.

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Laduree Watercolor Journaling

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Laduree is French for bakery and who doesn’t like a sweet treat now then? Anything with chocolate is good with me.

This is a cute painting I made from “The Artful Sketch” by Mary Phan. It’s a beautiful book with detailed step by step instructions and lots of photos. Mary used Copic Alcohol Ink Markers to color her sketches in this book. However, you can easily change it to any medium you like as I did to watercolor paints.

Mary Phan is a very talented artist and if you want to learn more about her, visit her site VeryMaryInspired.com. I highly recommend her book!

The Artful Sketch by Mary Phan

This was made in my 5.5″ x 8″ Strathmore watercolor journal. After following the instructions, I felt it needed some Parisian flowers to complete the look. So I filled in the top space a bit with colorful roses.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Have a wonderful weekend!

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True Love Art Journal Page (Part 2)

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Last week I shared Page 1 of my journal with you. I had a lot of fun making these tiles using coffee as the background. This flower tile is slightly bigger than the other one as it’s a full 3″ square.

I loved creating with Shrinky Dinks when I was a kid. So I found this heart that I had made quite some time ago and thought it went well with the page as I made it part of the quote “True Love Always comes back.”

Supplies

  • Watercolor Paper, 140lb, Cold Press
  • Micron Sakura Pen 003
  • Assorted Bright Watercolor Pencils
  • Coordinating Acrylic Paints
  • 1 Cup of Coffee
  • Ephemera/Embellishments of your choice
  • Posca Pens: White and Black
  • Pencil for shading

Instructions

  1. Make a cup of really strong dark coffee.
  2. Cut your watercolor paper to the desired size.
  3. Using the Coffee, paint your watercolor paper. Let dry.
  4. Paint the pages in your journal with acrylic paints, let dry.
  5. Using your watercolor pencils, draw and color in your design. Activate the colors with a little water but try not to over mix the colors. Let dry.
  6. Using the Sakura Micron 003 Pen outline your design on your tile and glue it to your page.
  7. Add doodles, embellishments and ephemera to pages.
  8. Add shading with a pencil and highlights with the Posca pen.

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True Love Art Journal Page (Part 1)

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I have a tendency to make little pieces of art, then put them away until I’m ready to use them. I read an article where they made art using coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker but I do love the smell of coffee so I decided to give it a whirl.

I used watercolor paper for my 2.75″ x 3.5″ tile so I could be heavy handed with the coffee and get a nice background color. The trick is to make really strong, dark coffee then paint your paper.

Once the coffee is dry, you can create your art. I used watercolor pencils to make my drawing and activated the colors with water. After the paint dried, I went back over my drawing with Sakura Micron Pen 03. As always, I couldn’t resist adding that little bit of sparkly magic with glitter to the tile. (Note: When painting your tile, don’t be afraid to go bold and bright with the watercolor paints because they become muted and toned down when the colors mix with the coffee.)

For this journal page I used my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. I started by putting a good coat of gesso on my page and let it dry. Next, I used assorted acrylic paints that blended with the tile but at the same time made it stand out. After I was happy with the page, I glued my tile in place, added a few doodles and that was it.

I’ll post the second page of this layout next week so stay tuned as the adventure continues!

Thanks for stopping by!

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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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Thoughtful Thursday

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Holiday Essential Oil Blends

Aromatherapy is defined as the use of fragrances to affect or alter a person’s mood. And it does just that. Smelling a fragrant essential oil can completely change your mood. Some fragrances may even transport you back in time to a wonderful memory.

There are a lot of synthetic ways to bring fragrance into your home but most are loaded with harmful chemicals. Not to mention a lot of people can’t tolerate them and that’s where aromatherapy is a blessing because it’s natural.

Essential oils are a great way to add a nice fragrance to your home with a room diffuser. There are a lot of different blends. If you’re not sure where to start, I found a great website EssentialOilHaven.com hosted by Emma. Below are her 12 Favorite Holiday Blends. Now you can also create your blend. You just need to experiment a little and find what speaks to you. But at least you have a place to start.

12 Christmas Diffuser Blend Recipes

My favorite scents for the holidays are cinnamon and pine. I’ve been enjoying sipping Cinnamon Chai Tea and smelling the fragrant pine from our Christmas tree. It really gets you in a great mood for the holidays!

Would love to hear from you. What’s your favorite holiday scent?

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!

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