Liza Angel Watercolor Journal Page

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I haven’t posted an angel lately and I really miss my girls. I find such peace within when I paint them. It’s pure contentment and joy when I can get them out of my mind and on paper for everyone to see 😊

This is my latest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ Watercolor Journal, her name is Liza. I’m playing with different ideas on the wings to see how I like them.

What do you think? Would love to hear your feedback.

Have a beautiful week!

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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?

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Thoughtful Thursday

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Treasure the Moments

The holidays themselves can be rather stressful, throw our unusual circumstances into the mix and it can easily become mega stressful. But this season, I’m finding the utmost joy in the little things.

I’m slowing down and simply enjoying being in the moment with my family. I’m making the time to bake cookies and cakes which is something I wasn’t able to do last year. I’m watching lots of holiday “feel good” movies and reading really good books. I’ve been playing a lot of holiday music, singing and bopping along as I work throughout the day which makes everything more fun 😊

My creative mind has been hard at work. Instead of buying all store bought gifts, I’m coming up with creative ways to make some unique handmade gifts. I’m even getting back to basics with giftwrapping and using brown craft paper nicely decorated with bakers twine and pine greens.

By slowing down and simply savoring each moment, it has made life more calm. I’m very grateful for that. I plan on capturing lots of special moments with my camera this year, so I can look back and always remember the love I share with my family.

What will you do to find the joy in all the treasured moments this year?

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Thoughtful Thursday

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Power of a Smile

Researchers have found that smiling, evokes a feeling of happiness and has many positive effects on our overall wellbeing. On my morning walks I’ve encountered many people on the road especially these days. But to my surprise, a lot of them were, well, grump misers. I would smile and give them a nice “Good Morning” a few would respond but a lot would just grunt and keep going.

My parents always told me stories of how I was the happiest baby, always laughing and smiling and I still am. Truth be told, it just makes you feel good. Sure, life isn’t perfect and things go wrong for all of us, but it comes down to what are you going to do with that curve ball life just threw your way. Are you going to be miserable or are you going to make the best of it and find something to smile about. Personally I prefer to find that silver lining in the cloud.

With all these morning grump misers, I thought I can’t let them be this unhappy, because happiness and positive energy is contagious. So I upped my game. I started giving everyone a big smile with a resounding “Good Morning!” And if that didn’t work, the next time I’d add in a twinkling little wave along with my big smile and greeting. I was determined to share the happy!

Funny thing started to happen, even the grumpiest people would get happy when they saw me coming their way. The happiness and positive energy has been so contagious, that they are now, seeking me out for that “Good Morning” smile and it’s just really nice to know that your smile and positive energy has the power to brighten someone else’s day.

We have unusual circumstances these days where many of us are in environments where we have to wear masks a lot but you can still see a smile in a person’s eyes and you feel the positive energy radiating from them. So don’t use that as an excuse not to smile and share the happy. Imagine how different the world could be if more people would share a smile and positive energy.

Who did you share your smile with today?

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Thich Nhat Hanh

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Essential Oils to Help You Relax/Sleep

I love how certain scents can take you away to another place or time because of how they make you feel when you smell them. There are many aromatherapy diffusers on the market but you don’t need to spend money on these to enjoy the healing benefits of essential oils. The easiest way is to simply put a few drops (a little goes a long way) on a tissue and slip it inside your pillowcase. This is a sure way to relax and drift off into a blissful night of sleep.

I have to say that Lavender is my all time favorite with Chamomile as a second runner up. However, you may find these scents don’t necessarily appeal to you. I would suggest going to a health food store and test a few scents to see which ones you like best. You can also create blends, but for starters I would recommend going with 1 or 2 oils and see how they make you feel.

Oils that help you relax/sleep:

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Geranium
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Ylang Ylang
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