Beautiful Gratitudes

It’s been a full day. Beautiful gratitudes swirled around me as I moved from privilege to task to tea time to a special Girls’ Night with my mom and sister. Take a peek.

Beautiful Gratitudes

The Privilege of Voting

After my discussion with my grandson yesterday, I was ready to vote this morning. Rather than seeing my participation as a duty or an obligation, I felt gratitude for the privilege of making choices.

Others appeared to feel the same way. The lines were long at the voting place and yet people were cheerful and patient. I was happy to add a selfie to my grandson’s Facebook post, letting him know, “I voted!”

Beautiful Gratitudes

Create a Video

One of my blog related tasks today was to create a promotional video to add to one of my social media pages. I write two blogs. This video was for Journey With Healthy Me. Using an app called Videoshop, I put together a short video featuring 14 supplements for general health and wellbeing, as recommended by Anthony William in his new book Liver Rescue.

Technology can be a challenge for me. However, one of my character traits is determination. When that determination is coupled with the strong desire to succeed, I most often do. I’m thankful for fun technology and that I am a continual learner. In a short time I had a cool visual aid.

Check it out HERE.

Beautiful Gratitudes

Thai Welcome Tea

The beautiful gratitudes continued, as afternoon teatime approached. My niece Ashley recently gave me a package of dried Butterfly Pea Flowers. When brewed, the flowers create a dark blue tea. I did research as water boiled, and discovered that in Thailand honey and lemon juice are added to create Thai Welcome Tea. Adding lemon or lime juice causes the liquid to change colors. Intrigued, I made the Welcome Tea.

I poured boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried butterfly pea flowers and covered the mug, allowing the tea to steep for 10 minutes. The water immediately turned cobalt blue. After removing the blossoms, I carefully sipped the hot tea. The earthy flavor is similar to high quality green tea. I stirred in a tablespoon of raw organic honey, with no detectable change in color. However, when I squeezed in a few drops of fresh lemon juice, the color shifted to a rich purple.

I appreciate the gift from my niece and the gorgeous and tasty drink. Read more about Thai Welcome Tea, including its health benefits.

Beautiful Gratitudes

Salad Supper

My sister Linda volunteered to prepare a healthy dinner tonight, at our mom’s house. Of course I said yes!

She combined an assortment of chopped veggies and apples in big bowls, and placed containers of avocado, cucumber, cilantro, black beans, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, salsa, and non-GMO tortilla chips on the dining table. I brought my own salad dressing that I had made at home, and Mom stirred up her own blend. Our stepdad joined us for a satisfying feast. We added additional toppings from the choices on the table while we discussed food and being the healthiest versions of ourselves.

I’m grateful for my sister who blessed us with this great meal.

Beautiful Gratitudes

Girls’ Chat Births a Book Club

After our delicious meal, my stepdad left us girls so we could chat. We covered a wide range of topics, although our conversations primarily centered around family and health. All three of us purchased Liver Rescue, by Anthony William, a truly life changing book about detoxifying and healing the liver and the body.

We’ve decided to get together once a week…perhaps we can take turns providing healthy meals…and discuss the book as we read though it. I’m excited and thankful for the opportunity to learn together and support each other on our healing journeys.

Family and wellbeing are two of my most beautiful gratitudes. I love when blessings flow and when they overlap!

Beautiful Gratitudes

Order your copy of Liver Rescue below.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link! 

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Today’s gratitude centered primarily around my grandkids. Other Yayas, Nanas, Mimis and Papas will immediately understand how rich and precious are the blessings of grandchildren. We grandparents store these memories up and treasure them.

Three of my grandchildren were out of school today, providing an opportunity to hang out on this cool and rainy fall day. And I spent a short time with my oldest grandson this morning, before he heads back to the university tomorrow. To the other grandson, who was not out of school, I sent a text this evening, to set up a time to connect. He responded promptly with a sweet reply.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Discussing Politics

For many people, politics is not a popular topic to discuss right now. However, my college aged grandson loves world and current events, international cultures, geography, and all things political. In our brief time together, we had a wonderful conversation about what’s on the ballot tomorrow.

There weren’t any arguments between us or defensiveness. I enjoyed an informative back and forth conversation and gained insights from Dayan’s perspectives. My gratitude for my grandson and his knowledge and political passion continues to deepen. And I am ready to vote tomorrow in this crucial midterm election.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Together We Build

Joey, Oliver and Aubrey are fun to spend a day with. They are close enough in age to connect well and relate well to each other, and at the same time they’re utterly unique individuals. The weather encouraged us to stay snug inside. I enjoyed lively conversations, humorous stories and watching the three of them create in the game Minecraft.

The split screen allows each child to monitor their own progress and also interact with each other. I’m impressed by their building skills. And I’m grateful for the way these kids form a family unit that is grounded in love. Sure, they bicker occasionally, as siblings do. But they have each other’s backs, in virtual realities and in real life.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Spoons Card Game

After Minecraft and game controllers, the kids opted for a good old fashioned card game. I’ve never played Spoons before and my grandchildren were excellent teachers. It’s not a reflection on them at all, that I lost!

Spoons, also known as Pig or Tongue, is a fast-paced game of matching. It is played with an ordinary pack of playing cards and several kitchen spoons or other objects. We used plastic knives.

The game is played in multiple rounds, and each player’s objective is to grab a spoon. No spoon may be grabbed until one player has collected four of a kind, but once the first player to get a four of a kind grabs a spoon, all players may immediately reach out to attempt to grab one. No player may grab more than one spoon at a time.

As in the game musical chairs, there is always one less spoon than there are players, so one player will always be left without a spoon. Depending on the variety of game being played, that player either loses the game and is eliminated, or continues playing but loses a point. When two players are left and one person gets four of a kind, it doesn’t matter who gets the spoon. At that point, whoever gets it the fastest wins.

This was a fun game, easy to learn and yet challenging to quickly get four of a kind as cards are rapidly passed around to the players, and no one knows what set of four the others are trying to collect. I appreciate the kids alternating between their video games (are they even called that anymore?) and group games we could all participate in.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Who Wants to Make a Logo?

At one point in the afternoon, all four of us were on our phones, sharing photos and info. I introduced the kids to the Canva App, and let them study the logos and graphics I’d made. In a short time they each had Canva downloaded on his or her phone.

We had fun discussing ideas and playing creatively. In a few minutes the kids had mastered techniques that took me multiple sessions to get the hang of. Oh, the power of a young brain! I’m grateful for their sharp minds and also their artistic abilities.

I love their eagerness to try new creative projects. Joey put together a Kansas City Chiefs meme, complete with a short poem he wrote. Oliver, whose nickname is Bear, created a bear themed wallpaper that he edited with special effects. He added his completed project to his phone, as a background graphic. And Aubrey texted her finished work to me as I drove home. She came up with a darling logo.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

Thrive, the Art of Entertaining

This last gratitude has nothing to do with grandchildren. I received a magazine in the mail that I paused to thumb through, after I arrived home this evening.

Thrive is a plant based magazine, full of recipes, articles and gorgeous photos. The Nov/Dec issue features The Art of Entertaining. There are ideas for the holidays and gatherings and sumptuous meals. I’ll read through every page soon, however this evening it was wonderful to preview the magazine with a quick scan. I’m grateful for publications that focus on health and wellness without sacrificing beauty.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

These kids, these smart, funny, clever, creative blessings called grandchildren, certainly brightened my day and enlarged the boundaries of my mind and heart. I treasure each one. I value each child and look forward to seeing all that they accomplish in their lives.

The blessings of grandchildren are as varied as the kids are, as endless as their possibilities, and as beautiful as their soulful eyes. I am richly blessed indeed. And I am honored to be their Yaya.

The Blessings of Grandchildren

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

Sunday’s are self care days, special times set apart for focusing inward and on things that bring me joy. Occasionally I work on a Sunday afternoon or at the least do a bit of real estate online. And I always write on this day, no matter what else I do to care for my body, emotions, and spirit.

Today was no different, except that I was very mindful of blessings throughout the day. Because a definite food theme came together, I thought of the day’s gratitudes as a smorgasbord of blessings, with so many delightful choices. And then suddenly, an invitation threw in a bit of rhapsody.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

Aloe Vera

The first gratitude arrived as I stepped through the doors of Joplin’s Natural Grocers. I love this health conscious store. The aroma of fresh herbs and produce greets me and makes me so thankful that I have this shopping option in my city.

I selected an aloe vera leaf and dropped it into my cart. Check out the health benefits and then you too can appreciate why it is a blessing that Natural Grocers carries these huge leaves. I can’t find them anywhere else in town. A two inch section of fresh aloe vera gel goes into my fruit smoothies each morning.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

Milk Thistle Display

The next gratitude in my smorgasbord of blessings occurred before I got out of the store. I’m reading Liver Rescue by Anthony William. Greg noticed an end cap display featuring the supplement Milk Thistle. This herb benefits the liver by expelling old red blood cells and detoxifying toxins and debris from the hepatic veins.

It makes me smile and feel gratitude to see this healthy grocery store in sync with what I am learning. Plus they have Milk Thistle, in capsules and tinctures, on sale.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

Comfort Food, Healthy Style

Continuing an emphasis on a plant based lifestyle today, and self care, Sunday lunch featured one of my favorite meals, Broccoli & Peas Macaroni Bake. This easy to prepare one pan meal pairs the satisfaction of a comforting meal with the health boosting nutrition of veggies and gluten free pasta in a yummy cashew based sauce. Find the recipe HERE.

I am truly thankful for healthy pasta options. I buy the Natural Grocers house brand of brown rice macaroni. It cooks up just like regular pasta and tastes the same. And I don’t suffer ill effects from gluten.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

A New Dark Chocolate Bar

No smorgasbord, blessings or buffet, is complete without a bit of dessert. I don’t indulge in traditional desserts, preferring healthy versions without the refined sugar, eggs and dairy products. I do, however, occasionally enjoy a small amount of dark chocolate.

As we headed to the check out, I spied a new-to-me line of dark chocolate bars, with a twist of unusual flavor combinations. I chose a dark chocolate with blackberry and sage to sample. The Endangered Species Chocolate Company has this mission statement on their website:

“10% of our net profits are donated annually to current 10% GiveBack Partners;  each is guaranteed a minimum annual donation of $10,000 and is free to use the funds on projects they deem most important. With over $1.3 million generated in the past three years alone, each chocolate purchase adds up to big support that helps wildlife thrive.”

I am thankful that my purchase of a treat supports endangered species and other organizations that help wildlife and the planet. For afternoon tea I ate a few small squares of the dark chocolate and sipped on an herbal tea from Yogi. The treat was pure bliss.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

Bohemian Rhapsody

Lest I get into a rut today, an invitation came this afternoon from my grandson Dayan, who is home from the university this weekend. The film Bohemian Rhapsody released in theaters Friday and Dayan invited me to join his mom and him for an evening viewing.

I am a big Queen fan, having appreciated their incredible music since my late teens. I’ve been excited about this upcoming movie that tells the story of Freddie Mercury and the formation of the band that would shatter stereotypes and expand musical boundaries. I’ll post a review of the film tomorrow.

Tonight I am grateful for Freddie’s willingness to unwaveringly be who he was, and to offer to the world the gifts he was uniquely created to give. He inspires me and I am still experiencing a range of emotions from the movie.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

What a delightful day, this smorgasbord of blessings. Gratitude flowed for a place to purchase healthy food and supplements, great comfort food and a surprising flavor combo in a treat, and the power of a musical film experienced with my grandson and daughter.

Blessings abound, but they don’t pile up. They flow…to me…through me…and beyond.

A Smorgasbord of Blessings

The Colors of Autumn

This was a perfect fall day, cool without being cold, breezy with a promise of rain cloyingly in the air. And everywhere, the colors of autumn awakened the senses.

It’s easy, on such a glorious day, to find much to be grateful for.

The Colors of Autumn

Anthony William Live

I just happened to be on Facebook when my health mentor popped up with a brief live video. Anthony spoke, with enthusiasm, about several foods that are extremely beneficial for liver health. Among those was dragon fruit, also known as pitaya.

My interest was piqued because I’ve felt drawn to purchase dragon fruit and try it for the first time. Now I know why! I noticed the fruit in the produce section at Walmart recently. I’m looking forward to trying it by creating a dragon fruit smoothie. The fruit’s deep magenta color certainly fits in with the colors of autumn.

The Colors of Autumn

Restoring What Was Broken

I have a mug that I use often for brewing tea. A mesh infusion basket holds loose dried or fresh herbs and fits within the mug. The ceramic lid caps the mug so the tea can steep properly.

Back in May I tried unsuccessfully to find the same mug for my mom. The kitchen store I purchased mine from had closed. I could not locate a similar mug anywhere, at that time, and bought a different type for Mom.

Every time I use the mug I mutter that I hope I never break it, as it seems irreplaceable. The inevitable happened. I dropped the lid and it broke into two pieces.

Rather than tossing the broken lid, Greg glued it back together for me, using a non-super glue type of Gorilla brand adhesive. I’m so grateful! And beyond that, he found a similar mug online, when I could not last spring. I’ll be ordering a “just in case” replacement!

The Colors of Autumn

Bloggers Helping Bloggers

I’m very thankful for a new Facebook group I joined. Founded by Sasha Cristina, her intention is to encourage other bloggers who self host on WordPress.

If you have a blog, or you are thinking of starting one, check out Sasha’s FREE 30 Day Hustler’s WordPress Challenge, on Eat, Travel, Hustle. I’m on Day 3 and even though I’ve been blogging for five years, this info is helping me take my blogs to a higher level.

The Colors of Autumn

All the Colors of Autumn

After spending several hours on the computer this afternoon, I surrendered myself to the outdoors. The grey clouds piling up provided a neutral backdrop for the brilliant foliage and tall, waving grasses.

Greg accompanied me. We chose to walk in the neighborhood. Recently work was completed in this area, after months of labor, resulting in new sidewalks and curbs, and the resurfacing of the streets. Finally, the neighborhood is looking finished, after the tornado of 2011. It won’t ever look the same…that old neighborhood is gone. However, it looks inviting with blocks of new houses, young trees and signs of life and activity.

I’m grateful that the twigs planted seven years ago are maturing into trees and that children laughed and played in yards today. And I appreciate that I can walk the neighborhood again without concern about stumbling over broken, uneven sidewalks.

The Colors of Autumn

Wearing the Colors of Autumn

The cooler weather invited me to don a hoodie. I love the colors of autumn and I love jeans and boots, hoodies and layering on clothes. Fashion wise, this is my favorite season. Perhaps because of my hygge tendencies, being cozy is so centering to me.

Today, in honor of the season, I wore an orange hoodie that my friend Cate gave me a couple of years ago. She gifted it to me because Journey was my word for that year.

Wearing the hoodie brought back memories of my dear friend, who has since moved away, and appreciation for how far I have journeyed in the last two years. I am deeply grateful for Cate and my progress.

As the rain moves in, I am snuggled beneath a blanket. The wind is scattering the colors of autumn as the leaves let go of branches and dance wildly.

“Autumn paints in colors that summer has never seen.”

The Colors of Autumn

Counting My Blessings: 5 Daily Gratitudes

Working in my creative studio today, appreciating the sunlight streaming in and my little gratitude pumpkin, I realized I was counting my blessings, literally. November brings with it Thanksgiving, a holiday grounded in being grateful. I’m inspired this month to practice intentional gratitude, in a new way.

In the past I’ve kept a blessing journal, writing down five or ten things daily that I’m grateful for. If you’re never kept a gratitude journal, it’s harder than you think to come up with new lists of blessings each day.

This year I choose to use the blog to chronicle five blessings a day, five things I am thankful for, and capture them by way of photos and a few words.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

5 Daily Gratitudes

This exercise raises my awareness of the many blessings in my life. When I keep a journal, I may write down things I’m thankful for that are unconnected to the day I just experienced. Mountains may go on the list, or Scotland, or walking in nature.

The difference this year is that I’m taking a photo of each person, thing, place or experience that I’m thankful for. These will be real time blessings, encountered throughout my day. Such a game keeps me mindful, engaged, in the flow and open to receive, since I can’t plan every blessing in advance.

Today’s blessings:

1. Appreciation for My Creative Studio

I recently cleared this room of clutter, again, and added inspiring items to keep me motivated and moving forward toward my dreams. I’m dearly loving this space, and spending a great deal of time in this pretty little room. In the afternoon sunlight filters in through the six windows, enchanting me and reminding me to take a break and have tea time.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

2. Hibiscus Lemonade

I made this healthy, easy to prepare drink this afternoon instead of hot tea. The recipe comes from Anthony William, and it’s included in his new release Liver Rescue. I’m grateful for the delicious tart flavor and the healing benefits of this lemonade.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add 2 teaspoons dried hibiscus or 2 hibiscus tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes at least. Strain tea into a mug and place in fridge to chill.

In a small pitcher whisk together 3 cups of water, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice and 4 tablespoons raw organic honey, until honey is dissolved. When hibiscus tea is cooled, stir into lemonade. Enjoy! Makes 2 servings.

Read about the health benefits of hibiscus.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

3. Liver Rescue

I just received this new book on Tuesday. The fourth by author Anthony William, this book focuses on healing the liver, which in turn heals a host of health issues including aging problems, brain fog, cancer, eczema, psoriasis, gallbladder disease, gut problems, hormonal disorders, inflammation, insomnia, mystery hunger and many more.

I’ve learned so much about my body and what’s going on within it through Anthony’s books. I’m grateful for the incredible healing I’ve experienced as well. The information within Liver Rescue will take my health to a new level. I’m taking notes as I read.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

4. Sweet Potatoes from My Garden

As cooler weather arrives, my garden is slowing down. Last week I dug up the sweet potatoes in the raised bed veggie garden. What a treat it has been to prepare baked sweet potatoes. Tonight I felt such a sense of accomplishment as I washed up a batch of these little blessings, in preparation for trying a new recipe featuring sweet potatoes. I grew this food!

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

5. Chili Sweet Potato Fries

I checked out a plant based cookbook from the library. The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook, created by Melissa Costello, offers planet-friendly fare that is easy to make and so delicious, while boosting health as well.

Chili Sweet Potato Fries

2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick lengthwise fries.

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 teaspoons chili seasoning

Sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cut potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle fries with with chili seasoning and salt. Toss potatoes to cost evenly. Spread potatoes in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until fries are browned on outside and tender inside. Let cool 5 minutes.

I served the sweet potato fries with:

Lemon Dill Aioli Sauce

In a blender (I used the smaller attachment) blend 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped, 1/4 cup vegan mayo, 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 garlic clove, finely minced. Makes a little more 1/4 cup of sauce.

The sweet potato fries and aioli were so good! The chili seasoning adds just a touch of spiciness that pairs well with the sweetness of the potato. And the lemon dill aioli…yum!

I buy Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise, from Natural Grocers. It’s made from aquafaba, the water off of cooked chickpeas, and it is vegan, non-GMO, and egg, soy, gluten and sugar free. And I promise, it tastes like mayo! I use it as a base for several sauces.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

Let’s Play a Game of Blessings

The idea for the 5 Daily Gratitudes came to me this afternoon, as I paused to appreciate the sunlight streaming in and expressed my gratitude aloud. The Dream Giver whispered to me, “Do you want to play a new game?”

I always do. I’m always ready to play games that teach me new truths as I learn and grow and have fun.

Play along with me, during Thanksgiving month. Find one thing, or five, or ten, to be grateful for each day. Write them down in a journal, make lists, draw pictures, take photos…keep some kind of record of the things you are thankful for. Count your blessings, one by one. And I’d love it if you shared some of them with me.

Counting My Blessings 5 Daily Gratitudes

Order Liver Rescue and dried hibiscus by clicking links below.

I am an Amazon Affiliate and may earn a commission on purchases, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for considering making a purchase of this product, or any other items, through my Amazon link!