Creamy Broccoli Soup made from scratch

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Making your own soups from scratch is easier than you may think.  Not as easy as opening a can, but much more nutritious and you made it yourself!

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli

2 cups water

1/4 sliced red onion

1 garlic clove minced

1/2 cube real butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 can evaporated milk ( can also use almond or coconut milks)

2 handfuls grated cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients

Let liquid cook down on simmer to evaporate and thicken to creamy consistency

Blend in Vita mix or blender

Garnish with grated cheese or parsley

Serve

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A great way to eat more “green” .  I hope you like it.  Please let me know in the comments section any thoughts or innovations you may have tried.

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If you build it they will come …

 

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Found bird nest

The physical Universe vibrates at a slower pace than the mental one does.

Trust in Divine order and give things more time. ~ Sonia Choquette, The answer is simple #21 Be Patient

Today, I got a little off-track.  I was planning to explore all of the TJMaxx stores on the island in search of a couple of office chairs for my daughter’s office.

But then, early this morning a job offer came in.

Now, I’ve been pursuing this job since last year, as some of you may know if you’ve been following my blog.

I was in the midst of the 27 day Feng shui challenge when a former co-worker texted me saying that her company was hiring.

At the time I was planning to return to Hawaii for my daughter’s wedding, plus Hannukuh and Christmas holidays. I really wanted the time off for these special occasions.

I figured surely I could sell enough walnut shells, and miscellaneous vintage items on Ebay and my Etsy shops in order to get by hoping this would get me through the holidays.

After the New Year, my friend was still urging me to apply ~ I went in, interviewed three times with the owner, n February.  He seemed interested, but no offer.

We must have had one of the worst rainy seasons in Sacramento.  Even Folsom lake was beginning to fill up again.

There were threats that the Oroville Dam was at a breaking point, and a lot of homes to the north had been flooded to the point of evacuation.

This was March and the rains came down relentlessly breaking a water pipe in the store where I was hoping to work, and flooding half the store.

The owner called me to apologize that there had been a delay in plans and still no offer of employment.

I was having some success by selling off some items from my storage unit, plus a few items that I had “picked” at thrift stores.

I was already in to the 30 days of Gratitude challenge when I was requested in Hawaii again.

I only promised to stay for April so that I could return if a job offer came up.

By the time May rolled around, I had committed to stay in Hawaii through August, and let the company know that I would come in to see them in August.

 

Here we are in July, and I get a message inquiring about my availability.

So, now I need to know if there is an offer on the table.

One week later, I get the offer.

I am so thrilled !!! and filled with Gratitude for this day.

Just as the hidden roots of a plant are grounded and fed by Mother Earth long before the flower buds and opens into bloom, so too is your Divine creation in the process of becoming a reality. ~ Sonia Choquette, The Answer is simple #21 Be Patient.

Why the Birdsnest? I found this one on the ground with one cracked egg in it.

The birds who built this nest worked long and hard.

I suppose they had set their intention and started to work on it long before the eggs came along.

It’s a work of art in itself and teaches us a valuable lesson ~ Life is continually changing and evolving ~ Why not start building what you want right now?

 

 

 

The Event: The Wave — Era of Light

Greetings! From heart to heart in this moment we speak, I am KejRaj(KayRy). The reason I say ‘we’ speak is because besides my self choosing to deliver this message, I know I am also being guided by other forces in this journey.

via The Event: The Wave — Era of Light

I’m sharing this today, because I want to urge everyone to take time to meditate and become heart centered.  Today, I had a glimmer of this new “wave” that is coming in.  I felt such tremendous love for everyone, and it’s important that you are ready when this comes.  Mahalo

Why Worry? and what you can do about it.

 

Do you ever find yourself worrying about something, imagining the worst outcome of something over which you have absolutely no control over?

I’ve probably spent at least 30% of my life worrying.  No, maybe even 50%!

I’ve worried about my children, relationships, money, health, loss, always fearing what “could” happen.

I even worry about my car getting a flat tire while I’m driving on the freeway.

At some point, I decided that worrying was a futile attempt, as it didn’t do a bit of good for me or anyone else.

I realized that I was only sending the vibration of worry out into the Universe.

Worry is a non-constructive effort.

When my son was in high school was when I finally realized that worrying about him walking the streets at night was pointless.

That’s when I took up water color quilting.

 

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Exuberantcolor/Wanda S. Hanson

I could spend all of that time and energy on something creative.

I could spend the time used for worrying, cutting, and piecing together the pictures that I wanted to create.

 

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Water color quilt by Wanda S. Hanson

My mind would be healed as I worked with the colors and focused on creating something beautiful.

 

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Color Wash quilt by Wanda S. Hanson

It Worked!

I would become so lost in my art that time previously spent on worry, was replaced with a mind that wanted to create beautiful things.  And the time would pass so quickly!.

I just had to trust that my son would be okay.  And one night, when he arrived home, he sat down with me, and started helping me place some of the squares.  A very special moment for me.

Another thing I learned was to imagine a white light surrounding whatever it was that I was worried about.

Whether it was my car, a person, or a situation, I would call in my angels, ask for their help and protection, and put a white light of protection around it.

Then I would just hand it over to God.

I trained my little ego mind to delegate it’s concerns to the greater power.

I still worry at times.

But now, I recognize what’s happening, and redirect it’s course before it takes over.

I just live one day at a time and focus on the Now as much as possible.

Live each moment to the fullest and let the future take care of it’s self.

Now that I’m older, I even have less lines of worry on my forehead.

They’ve been softened and smoothed by the Angels.

Worry ends when faith begins.

For we walk by faith not by sight.  2 Cor. 5:7

Thank you for visiting my blog.  please sign up so you don’t miss a post.

All of the beautiful Water color quilts are by Wanda S. Hanson, of Exuberantcolor.com  She has tutorials on how to make a color wash quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pushing through adversity

via Daily Prompt: Survive                                                                                                        “Forgiveness is actually gratitude for the gifts beneath the actions; they both set you free.” Kara – Soulstice Rising

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me, age 3 with my Norwegian grandmother

 

I woke up this morning thinking about my dad teaching me to ride my new bike when I was five years old.

I think about this often, as it has been one of my life lessons on using sheer determination, working past obstacles, and surviving in a world of pain.

“Don’t be a quitter” was one of his favorite sayings.

My new bike was  second hand with fat tires and a new paint job in green and cream enamel.  It was a small two wheel bike with no training wheels.

I was a healthy 5 year old with freckles on my nose, amber colored hair from being bleached in the sun, and a very strong will and a fighting spirit.

Dad must have thought that I needed some tough lessons to survive this life.

It was 1958, and I’m not sure if training wheels had been invented yet. ( Actually, it looks as though they were invented around 1950, but there was some controversy as to whether they actually helped.) I don’t think my dad would have thought them necessary anyway, as he was pretty much “old school”.

Regardless, I was to learn to peddle, balance, and steer with a single push off.

That’s how I was taught to ride my bike.

I don’t remember how many times I fell and skinned my knees, only to be told to get back on and try again.

As I held back the tears, I would get back on and keep trying until I learned to ride that darned bike.

One of the worst feelings I remember is skinning my knees again after just freshly skinning them on the rough cement pavement.

It burned a lot as the blood ran down my legs and I peddled furiously to learn this new skill.

The physical pain, the emotional pain of failure, all of these things worked against me.

But my dad kept making me get back on my bike until I learned to ride in my first session.

Harsh treatment for a child, you may think, and it was.

But many times in my life, this story has kept me going, and I survived it all .

In Buddhist teachings we are taught to thank our adversaries, forgive them, and understand that they have been placed in our lives to teach us.

Whenever I’ve been confronted with relationship or material loss, abusive relationships, dire uncertainty, or physical challenges, I’ve been able to keep my focus on my goals, keep my nose to the grindstone, and carry on regardless of what circumstances came my way.

It’s important not to let our lives be distracted by these obstacles that arise to throw us off our path.

We can work through the pain, by keeping a clear focus on our values, plans, and dreams.

Try not to give too much importance to the pain, the drama, the naysayers that rear their ugly heads.

Move beyond it.

Stay focused and firm in your authenticity

You can survive anything.

 

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pillow from Target

 

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Dear Ones,

As you go about your life, take time to choose wisely, navigate with care, and always give more than you receive.  The end result will be a life filled with much happiness, love, and peace.

Thanks for visiting today.  Please sign up so you don’t miss a post.

 

 

 

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 2….

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Banan ~ Food Truck in Honolulu

It’s not that often that I come across a business with so much integrity that I just want to shout it out to the world!

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Banan is located on Montserrat in Honolulu near Kapiolani Park.

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A modest food truck that serves up delectable frozen banana and fruit treats every day.

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Just pure fruit – No Dairy.  The main base is pureed, frozen bananas.

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Prices range from 6 – 12 dollars per bowl.

They’re delicious.

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A refreshing surprise all year long

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And a compost bin for the local farmer’s pigs.

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A bright and colorful seating area with a view of Diamond Head.

Next time you’re in Hawaii, check it out.

I feel so much gratitude for the companies who are conscious of our planet, and give something back to Mother Earth, who think out-of-the-box to offer healthy goodies for us to enjoy.

Mahalo!

This is not an affiliate post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

 

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 3….

As I appreciate the youthful vitality, sense of adventure, and pure joy in laughter, that my grandson brings to my life, I understand how much we need each other.

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I calm him, offer my wisdom to help him understand things, and just hang out with him.

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When I was raising my own children, I was so busy working that there were areas where my mom and sisters often “filled in” for me.

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Even today, we are lucky to have mom, age 89 for her joe-de-vivre and spunk.

 

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Waialae Beach

She adds another dimension to our lives, and helps us appreciate the fact that we all grow old, and that all of us have something to contribute to our family, friends, and our world.

Life is fragile.

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But as human beings as we experience the changing passages of living and dying, of youth and old age, we can realize and have gratitude for each contribution our loved ones make to help us grow into who we are.

And So It Is!

 

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 4…..

Lately, I’ve been missing “home”, my little cottage abode in Sacramento.

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I feel it calling me, with it’s comforting, soft colors, relaxed easy feel, and comfortable furniture.

 

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Dining room

Home is where I have my collection of crystals, needlepoints, and wooden pieces waiting to be decoupaged.

 

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Decoupage table using napkins

 

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miniature fireplace using faux marbling and napkin decoupage

 

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Mixed medium birdhouses

It’s like an old familiar friend calling me.

 

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Old world tapestry over bed

I’m in my second year of living part-time in Hawaii, part-time in Sacramento.

Even though I’m not retired, nor am I employed by any company, I’ve had the opportunity to explore my options, make enough money to survive, and I only have my family to thank for that.

 

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Galley Kitchen

While I’m in Hawaii my family keeps the home fires burning in Sacramento.

Wherever I am, I find ways to generate income by helping others, and selling things I’ve collected.

 

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Radio cabinet found on road and decoupaged

Today the thought occurred to me that I would love to have a home in both places, continue to go back and forth.  Why not?  I’m already doing it.

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View of living room from kitchen

I’ve not been able to make a decision, or choose between the two places, picking one over the other as my destination of choice.

And for now, I’m okay with that.

I feel so much gratitude for the family members who have allowed me to come and go.

 

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Heart ornament on bookcase

I call in blessings to them for their generosity of Spirit, as I have been truly blessed.

 

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Plumeria Offering

Thank you, Thank you Thank you! And So It Is!

Cottage Mavens, maybe you have family or friends that you would like to thank today.  You can offer a blessing to them on a mini-altar, give them a call, or send them a note.

Thank you all for visiting my post,  please sign up so you don’t miss any.  Let’s continue on the Gratitude journey together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Gratitude…Day 6….

How to create a loveable, livable Cottage

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When creating a room to have a cottage look and feel, there are some basic elements that say “cottage”.

The home I’m staying in for the summer is a rental, that sits near the ocean.  It definitely has lots of designer touches, so I decided to shop- the- house, and give this room that everyone seems to love so much, a bit of personality.

It has the “bones” of a cottage, but not the layering to give it that homey feel.

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Before picture

The walls are painted a soft gray. The white slip covered sofa is already in place, with the sisal rug, driftwood mirror, metal lamps, natural wood end tables, and a blue and white theme.

Even though this is a Beach Cottage, you can use these basic elements for your cottage no matter where you live.  Just use natural elements from your landscape and natural environment.

My daughter added the bookcase and the white desk and chair.  She calls this room the library.  The sofa, even though it’s slipcovered, makes out to a double bed to accommodate guests.

Since my sister and mom will be visiting, I wanted to take it up a notch to make them feel more comfortable, and give the room a more “inviting presence”.

Cottage Basics

1. a slipcovered sofa – preferably white, but can also be ticking fabric, or floral, even velvet will do.  Natural fabrics are a must.

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2. Pillows with mixed prints and scale ( too many pillows in the same size can look over crowded). See before picture.  I love floral pillows in a cottage, too.

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3. Details from Nature – blown glass, rocks, shells, metal sculptures, horns, antlers, plants.

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4. Soft lighting – lamps, salt lamps, candles, and lots of flowers.

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5. Bright colors ( since the room was already blue and white, I decided to introduce some pinks and turquoise). Don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit with some unexpected colors!

 

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Something personal – one of my paintings from a trip a few years ago.

6. Interesting wall art ie. vintage prints, words, wall decals

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7. Simple accessories

 

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Something hand made

8. A laid back look and feel with a place to put your feet up.

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9. Natural fragrance – herbs, moss, fresh flowers.

 

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Vintage surfer print

 

10. A space that says you!

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A way to express Gratitude to your self, or your guests, is to make your rooms as beautiful as you would like them to feel.

Each one of us is the King or Queen of our castles, and we can live in a special happy space, and feel gratitude every day.

You’re worth it!

A few words from Sonia Choquette “The Answer is Simple” oracle card deck:

“The Spirit is a sensitive light body and is influenced by the environment it finds itself in.  Dreary, dark, messy, cluttered, un-clean surroundings send the Spirit out the door and invite the goblins and trolls of negativity to move in and camp out in the corners.

It’s time to set this right:  Open the blinds, clear the decks, paint the walls, change the lightbulbs, and decorate the atmosphere where you live. Make your environment a proper home for your Spirit. Your Spirit must dwell in  a cheerful and festive place, filled with color and live plants, fresh flowers, clean windows, and bright light.

Your Spirit is a holy guest in your body and must be treated as royalty. You wouldn’t disrespect visitors with an unwelcoming environment or expect them to dwell in your mess, and you shouldn’t disrespect your Spirit by giving it less than the tranquil setting it deserves, either.  Take the time to create a festive and bright atmosphere for your Spirit.  Be happy to welcome it home. Give it the proper surroundings, and put out the best you have to receive it.

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30 Days of Gratitude…Day 8…..

The process of letting go, and knowing what to keep.

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My daughter said “It feels good to let go of things!”

This last week has been a busy one.

Last Wednesday, I met with the movers to empty an office space that was being used for storage.

We would be bringing all of it to the house we’re staying in to prep it for a yard sale.

I was flown to Hawaii specifically for this purpose.

My daughter had been paying for the storage for 6 years, since her divorce, and wanted to use the space for a photography studio for her business.

There were 20 stairs to climb and it required 6 strong men to move a three bedroom house that had been crammed into a 10 x 17 foot space.

Living on an island, I discovered that it was harder to come by furniture, and there are many transients, who don’t really invest in the good stuff.

The furniture we would be selling was all solid hard woods from Bali, some antiques, and some upholstered items.  And we were hoping to make some money.

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As we neared the date, the housekeeper offered her 19 year old son’s help, and I agreed.

After the first day, we started getting a different perspective on what we had, and how much we were willing to part with it.

We extended the yard sale to the second day, as we still had all of the upholstered pieces and most of the case goods left to sell.

Since my daughter is in the process of looking for a house to buy, she decided to keep all of the case goods if we could find a spot in the current rental for them.

The second day, our young man, helped us move the bookcases, night stands, and consoles to various rooms, to be stored until her nest move.

We had visited a consignment store as a backup plan, as the furniture left from the sale needed to be gone before the next weekend as there would be a party.

The consignment store would charge for moving the furniture and keep 50 percent of the sales.

We decided that this would be a last resort.

If the “last resort” was to go to consignment, I figured that even if I slashed our prices we would still make more than if we used consignment.

I was listing on Craigslist and Facebook local sale pages.

 

We had two balmy days with fragrant tropical breezes, and no rain.

It was like a revelation for my daughter to realize that she could actually keep most of her cherished pieces and make use of them now.

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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Lesson learned – – –

  • storing furniture for 6 years, you’ve paid for it 10 times over at $500 per month
  • It cost over $800 to have it moved from storage
  • we paid our helper $100 for two days at $10 per hour
  • Our profit was about $700
  • my daughter now has nice furniture for her new home that she loves, and she will only have to buy some key pieces to fill in

Cottage Mavens,

When considering what to let go of and what to keep:

  1. Try to invest in solid wood furniture with classic lines – it will last your whole life, and has better resale value if you decide to sell it
  2. Before considering storage, unless it’s for a short period, let your stuff go.  Sell it, give it away, consign it.
  3. The money spent on storing items can go into your savings account and give you a new start later on.   Think of the fun you’ll have buying new stuff with all the money you saved.
  4. It takes a strong back to move furniture.  I’ve been sore for two days working that sale, helping to move all of that furniture.
  5. It costs more money to pay someone to help you move it.
  6. It’s better to donate useable stuff, than to throw it away.  Someone less fortunate can always use it, and it won’t go the land fills.

We took two carloads to the donation center.

I have much gratitude for this valuable lesson.

I met some really nice people in the last two days.

We got to know the neighbors a little more.

My daughter is no longer paying for storage.