Thoughtful Thursday Hygge

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I’m sure you’ve seen the word hygge in more and more publications. Hygge is a Danish word, pronounced “HEW-guh.” It refers to coziness and peaceful and comfortable surroundings that invoke a sense of inner wellbeing and contentment.

Most of us may start the holiday season on a slow, joyful note and end up completely frazzled, letting out a sigh of relief that we survived. But it would be so much better if we would allow ourselves the time to just be in the moment. Don’t bite off more than you can chew this holiday season by obligating yourself for too many things. It’s ok to say no and take a little time for yourself.

Why not grab a blanket and cozy up on the sofa reading a nice book while sipping a cup of tea. Or relax in front of a nice, warm fire. Imagine how great it will feel to simply slow down and take in these wonderous moments. It will make your holiday season much more Merry!

A few years ago I came across a publication by Stampington, called the Cozy Issue. It’s an annual publication filled with stunning images and beautifully written words that magically drift off the pages. There are no advertisements in it all. It’s one of my favorite reads to get into that state of hygge. You can find the Cozy Issue on the Stampington.com website, I highly recommend it.

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“Hygge is like a compass, steering us towards small moments that money cannot buy you, finding the magic in the ordinary.” ~Unknown

The Cozy Issue Volume 4 – New!
Stampington Cozy Issue 4

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 – Spaghetti Squash

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With autumn here, squash and pumpkins are in season! Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites this time of year. It’s a round/oval shaped yellow squash that can be light in color or a little more orange. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and is low in calories. It’s also a good source of Vitamin C, maganese and Vitamin B6.

1 Cup Cooked Spaghetti Squash contains about:

  • Calories: 42
  • Carbs: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 2.2 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Manganese: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 8% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid: 6% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 6% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 5% of the RDI

Instead of eating traditional spaghetti that’s loaded with carbs and can be fattening, try making some spaghetti squash. It’s fairly easy to make and quite delicious. Although I must warn you, that cutting the spaghetti squash can be a little hard so be careful and use a sharp knife.

Recipe:

  • Cut the ends off the spaghetti squash and cut in half lengthwise.
  • Remove the seeds with a spoon.
  • Fill a shallow pan with about 1/4″ inch of water.
  • Place the spaghetti squash in the water, cut side down.
  • Bake in oven at 400 ̊F for 45 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. 
  • Once it’s cool enough to handle, gently scrape the inside flesh with a fork lengthwise to separate the spaghetti like strands but be careful not to break the outer shell.
  • Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, if desired and serve with marinara sauce.

You can serve spaghetti squash in a variety of ways by adding different veggies, navy beans, chick peas or anything else that you like to eat. There are plenty of recipes online to get you started. So why not try something new and healthy too! You may be pleasantly surprised.

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“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” ~Buddha

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Watercolor Journal Golden Hair Angel

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When I finished painting this angel the first thing that came to my mind was the song by America, Sister Golden Hair. With that being said, I named her Golden Hair Angel. It seemed to be a fitting name, lol. She is my latest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I didn’t think I would like her yellow hair that much, but it grew on me. What do you think?

Have a great week!

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Watercolor Journal Angel Ariana

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While I loved doing the Color Lovers Challenge, I really missed painting my angels. Before we get too far away from summer and hues of blue, I thought I would post Ariana which I made in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I love all the blues and violets in this one. What do you think?

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a wonderful week!

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Thoughtful Thursday Veggie Soup Recipe

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With the frigid cold months approaching, it’s always nice to sit down with a warm bowl of soup. I always go into soup mode during the fall and winter seasons. It’s pretty warm down here in the south, but thankfully the temps do cool off enough to enjoy delicious soups.

Soups are especially tasty when you’re feeling under the weather. There’s a certain magic to eating a warm bowl of soup. No matter how bad you feel, you always feel better after eating a bowl.

There are many types of soups. Some are served cool or flat out cold while others are served warm or very hot. The consistency also varies depending on what’s in your soup. Personally, I like a soup full of flavor and hearty enough to satisfy my appetite.

You can buy lots of soups in your grocery store. But that’s all processed food loaded with salt and a lot of other ingredients you can’t pronounce. Not to mention ingredients that shouldn’t be in your food in the first place. Making soup is fairly easy and most definitely worth the effort.

The internet is loaded with tons of recipes. I find vegan soups taste just as good or sometimes even better than non-vegan. Forks-Over-Knives has a ton of delicious soup recipes on their website. Whether you’re vegan or not, these recipes serve as good place to start with and then just add a few of your own ingredients.

One of my favorite soups is made in my Vitamix Blender which has a program setting for hot soup. If you don’t have a setting for hot soup on your blender you can still make this soup using your blender and then warm it on the stove for a few minutes.

Creamy Veggie Soup Recipe

  • 1 Carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 Stalk Celery, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 Large Pieces of Fresh Broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tomato, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Zucchini, roughly chopped
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
  • 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Tbsp Organic Red Miso
  • 1/8 tsp Organic Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  • 1 Cup Water

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. If your blender doesn’t have the soup feature, then warm the soup in a small pot on the stove for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl.

Extras

  • 1/2 Hass Avocado, sliced
  • Fresh Organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Slice of Ezekiel Bread

Top your soup with sliced avocado and cilantro. Serve with a slice of bread and enjoy!

Try creating your own variations with this soup, like adding some cooked black beans outside of the blender for texture. There’s lots of options, be creative and add what you love to eat.

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“In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” ~Deepak Chopra

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Thoughtful Thursday – Reap What you Sow

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The mind is very powerful. It can create a happy life for us or an unhappy one. But it all comes down to what thoughts are you planting in your mind.

Mindfulness was and still is a big movement. But how often do you mind your thoughts? There is a constant chatter going on in your mind every minute of every day. Experts guesstimate that the brain has an average of 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day, which translates to 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. This in itself is mind boggling, so how can you be mindful with so many thoughts all the time?

Sadly, the majority of our thoughts are negative. It’s how we’re programmed as human beings. So how do you keep your thoughts in check? Because it’s very easy to have your negative thoughts take control of your daily life, which if left unattended day after day, will create an unhappy life.

Here are a few ideas ideas to help you plant seeds of happiness:

  • Before getting out of bed, visualize what a great day you will have.
  • Get up 30 minutes earlier and have some quiet time to relax your body and mind.
  • Everyday write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for.
  • Write down positive affirmations and repeat them to yourself throughout the day.
  • While exercising repeat positive mantras in your mind.
  • Read inspiring quotes and start a collection of them to have on hand.
  • Take time off from social media.
  • Take a break from your phone and set times to check in.
  • Go for a walk or hike outside, enjoy the sunshine and reconnect with nature.
  • Listen to a good Life Coach or Motivational Speaker.
  • Spend a few minutes every morning visualizing where you want to go in life and the person you want to be.
  • Meditate daily. If you’re not sure what to do, then start with a guided meditation.
  • Create art like painting, sculpting or drawing Zentangles.

It’s normal to try something new and go right back to your old habits. But pay attention when this happens and make the decision to get back on track. The choice is yours, sow some positivity.

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“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” ~Earl Nightingale

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Thoughtful Thursday Homegrown Alfalfa Sprouts

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Photo by Maria Vidaurre

Alfalfa sprouts are mild flavored and very nutritious to eat. Studies have shown they are a high anti-oxidant, anti-aging food source. These little sprouts can help fight cancer, lower cholesterol and diabetes, prevent osteoporosis and more.

I used to buy fresh living alfalfa sprouts at my local grocery store but sadly they stopped carrying them. So I decided the freshest and safest way to get them was to grow them myself. I’ve tried several sprouting trays and they don’t always produce the best results.

Getting frustrated, I decided to go back to basics and try using a large, wide mouth mason jar with a sprouting lid. This is working beautifully and is very easy. I only need 1 Tbsp of seeds and in about 4 days, I have fresh organic alfalfa sprouts that are delicious and crisp. The sprouts can be stored in the fridge for about 4-6 days.

Alfalfa Sprouts taste great on salads, sandwiches, in smoothies and anything else you can think of. Below are instructions to grow your own spouts and links to Amazon.com for the supplies.

Instructions to Grow your own Sprouts:

  1. Fill a wide mouth mason jar with 2 cups of cool, fresh water and add 1 Tbsp of High Mowing Organic Alfalfa Seeds (I’ve had good results with this brand, the seeds are sourced in the United States). Cap the jar with a sprouting lid and soak the seeds for 8 hours. Then drain and rinse the seeds keeping the lid on. Store the jar upside down, in a bowl, at an angle so water can continue to drain.
  2. Rinse and drain the seeds with the lid on once in the morning and once at night. And again store the jar upside down, in a bowl, at an angle.
  3. Repeat step 2, everyday for about 4 days until your sprouts are ready.
  4. On the last day, depending on the light in your kitchen, you may want to move the grown sprouts to a window where they can get indirect sunlight to make them a little more green. You only need to keep them there for a few hours and then store them in fridge until you’re ready to eat them (also, I rinse the seeds before eating to remove the hulls).

I hope this inspires you in some way!

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Below are links to Amazon.com for the supplies:

High Mowing Organic Alfalfa Seeds

High Mowing Seed Sprouting Jar Lid

Wide Mouth Mason Jar

“Those who think they have not time for healthy eating, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” ~Unknown

Watercolor Journal Angel Ana

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Having lots of fun painting angels in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I named her Ana and thought I’d try keeping her more simple. Love how the colors blended on her wings.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Have a wonderful week!

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Angel Daniela – Watercolor

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Meet Angel Daniela, my newest angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. I really like the bright green and doodles at the bottom in this one. Hope you do too 💖

Have a wonderful week!

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