Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling

I have to share with you the progress our baby Mockingbirds are making. There were 3 babies born around March 25th. Both parents have been feeding these ever so hungry little ones nonstop from sunrise to sunset. Last Friday we noticed the babies had left the nest but could hear them scattered in the bushes in the front of our house.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to witness one of the parents feeding this hungry little one. It was quite a show with the wings spread and the mouth wide open, waiting for food. The tail feathers in the front are from one of the parents coming in to feed. The babies long tail feathers haven’t grown in as of yet.

In between feedings, the parents are teaching the babies to fly. You can see them sputtering about in front of the house. They fly for short spurts and safely land back in the bushes where they’re completely camouflaged.

It amazes me how much they have grown in 2 weeks. The parents started by feeding them little worms and small insects. Now we see them coming in with large dragon flies for the babies to eat, it’s just incredible.

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird fledgling

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Maria Vidaurre – Mockingbird hatchlings

Welcome Little Ones

Last week I wrote about the coming of Spring and the Mockingbirds that made a nest in our topiary just outside of our front door. I still find it odd that they did this with all of the foot traffic in and out of our home, but I guess they felt safe enough.

We’ve been watching Momma coming in and out from the nest a lot from our window. One time we saw her come back with a worm so we investigated once we knew she left. When we walked outside you could hear tiny little peeps. Lo and behold, we had 3 new babies in the nest and I was able to get a quick photo before Momma came back.

Life is beautiful, precious and just amazes me at times. We were blessed to see the birds build the nest, lay their eggs and now welcome the new babies. I’m still in awe with these precious little ones.

Mockingbirds are the Florida State Bird and are here all year round. They are about ten inches in length, sing beautiful songs and are excellent mimics. We’re keeping everyone away from the nest area so the babies and parents don’t stress. We can see that Momma keeps an ever watchful eye over her babies as Mockingbirds are known for fiercely defending their nests.

Take the time to slow down and breathe in the beauty and new life all around you during this very special season.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with life itself.” ~L.W. Gilbert

Photo by Pexels User on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Spring Solstice

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the Spring Equinox is on Saturday, 3/20/2021. This marks the first official day of spring in the Northern hemisphere. On this day, the length of the day and night are almost equal.

The flowers are beginning to bloom and the birds are nesting. We have a pair of what I believe are Mockingbirds that have made their nest just outside our front door in the topiary tree. We’ve been careful to keep the noise down, lights low and the gardeners away from that tree so that we do not disturb them. But it can be a little challenging since they are right at our front door. You can see the momma bird on her eggs keeping them nice and warm. I can’t wait for them to hatch! Very exciting!!

Have you checked your yard for any exciting new babies that may be coming soon? Would love to hear from you.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” ~Charles Dickens

Photo by Mauriciooliveira109 on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Daylight Savings Time

This Sunday marks Daylight Savings Time. We go to bed on Saturday night and at 12 am we are supposed to set our clocks forward 1 hour. An easy way to remember which way to set your clock is think “Spring forward, Fall back.”

But who started this and why? During World War I, President Roosevelt had the idea to follow the European model and suggested to Congress to start one standard time throughout our country. This was supposed to help us utilize our resources better. Thus they enacted the 1918 Standard Time Act which was meant to only be in effect for 7 months out of the year. After the war, the Standard Time Act was discontinued. However, some states still continued to follow it.

When World War II started, Congress imposed new legislation that was basically same as the 1918 Time Act but would be in effect for the entire year instead of only 7 months. This was repealed in 1945, and again some states kept following the Time Act.

In 1966 Congress passed new legislation that would permanently set a standard time for the entire nation. There are a few exceptions to the rule. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not follow this legislation, as well as overseas US Territories.

So don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead 1 hour Saturday night before going to bed. Hope you have a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!!

Sources:

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/daylight-saving-time-instituted

https://time.com/5005600/states-without-daylight-savings-time

Photo by Mat Brown on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Rosana Solis on Pexels.com

Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has become the latest buzz with all of it’s health benefits. Growing up, it was a staple in our house. My mom would use it to make delicious foods and salads, color Easter eggs (my favorite thing to do, although I remember not liking the smell too much) and to clean just about anything. There really wasn’t anything that vinegar couldn’t do.

Apple Cider Vinegar is made from fermented ripe apples. Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, which is cloudy and has cobweb looking pieces in the bottle contain lots of gut friendly bacteria and is often referred to as “The Mother.” The unfiltered variety is considered to be the most nutritious.

Studies have shown that it can help with weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, improve heart health, improve skin health, detoxify the body, reduce dandruff, clean and disinfect fruits and vegetables, soothe sunburns and the list goes on.

Too much vinegar however can cause nausea, itching, sore throat, head aches, loss of tooth enamel to name a few. It can also adversely interact with medications.

I believe that moderation is the key to success with any health regime you start. But always check with your doctor/health practitioner before starting anything new to make sure it’s right for you.

“Nature itself, is the best physician.” ~Hippocrates

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

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

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

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

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com

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!

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!

Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Tamu00e1s Csaba Ku00e1du00e1r on Pexels.com

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!

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by fotografierende on Pexels.com

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?

Thanks for stopping by. Share the Happy!

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com