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6.28.2019

PALM SPRINGS PHOTO DIARY


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The starting point of our warm weather vacation season always begins with our annual spring break trip to Palm Springs. It’s a getaway that we're always itching to make by March of every year, after the long winter stretch of hubby’s extremely grueling tight busy work schedule. One way I make the most of our travels is to reminisce about them afterward. I love to take the downtime to go through the pictures and allow my mind to soak in the experiences all over again by reliving the memories, the learnings that I didn’t get to fully process while enjoying what’s happening in the moment of the journey. 
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I didn't want to begin our summer vacation coming up swiftly in a couple of days without reliving the wonderful memories of this trip once again by documenting some of the moments captured in this Palm Springs Photo Diary post. I hope you’ll enjoy them just as much as I do.





One of the main highlights for me was the intimate dinner at the Purple Room, a throwback to that old-school supper club with live jazz music. I can easily flood this post with so many favorite shots but for the sake of inspiring and keeping this post brief, instead of boring you, I've decided to keep the photo sharing to a minimal here.


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6.21.2019

SO LONG SPRING 2019 PHOTO DIARY


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Well, folks! We are halfway through the year already. This is the time that I like to stop to look back and reflect on some of the sweeter moments of the past six months just to help me not forget why I need to count my blessings given the recent conversation I had with my husband




This spring was probably one of our favorites for several reasons. For one, we had real springlike weather this year in our neck of the woods which seemed to have lasted well beyond what is normal compared with previous years. For that reason, we got to enjoy plenty of solitary, relaxing meditative time in our newly redone front courtyard as well as entertain friends out there, chatting up well into the cooler evenings. Secondly, we were able to revive an old tradition we once enjoyed years ago, which was going for tasty dollar oysters. This spring, one of the prettiest restaurants in town started a happy hour with dollar oysters all day, and the good ones to boot! Whoop! Thus, we resumed our old mid-week outing tradition break we so needed. I’m not going to lie, having that to look forward to again sure helps to make the start of each week a whole lot easier. Also, the pleasant weather seemed to encourage a couple of our friends to want to get together and go out to dine al fresco. All those life’s little moments surely made this spring special for us, as it helped us to slow down, and take a breath before the sweltering heat of summer runs us out of town to cooler pastures elsewhere (although this summer's vacation itinerary includes a lot of countries with hot temps).





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We weren't ready to let go of the cooler breezy spring days just as yet, but as I'm going through these photos, it helps make saying so long to spring 2019 a little easier as it's now time to look forward to the new memories that will be made this summer and the rest of the year. 






Hope you all had a superb spring season. Until next springtime, wishing everyone a splendid summer! 


6.17.2019

THE DAILY RECIPE FOR A HAPPIER LIFE


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A few days ago, as the hubby and I were driving, I was complaining to him about all the reasons why I feel like a big ball of failure despite all the hard work and effort I've put into my work projects all these years. I still feel like I have nothing to show for it. And without skipping a beat, he started enumerating the many blessings I was overlooking in my life. And you know what? In the manner he presented his rebuttal, it quickly shifted my mindset in that moment and made me realize that he was right. (Yes, honey, I said it. “You were right.” Relish in this moment, because it may never happen again. Ha!) I am blessed - something that although I know, I sometimes tend to lose sight of. That’s when I realized I needed to get back into a daily and weekly practice I stopped doing - taking the time to write down things I’m grateful for every day. I know taking as little as 5-10 minutes a day to write down what I’m grateful for can help me be more optimistic (something I struggle with) and reduces negativity, which is a huge reason for me to get back to making acts of gratitude a daily habit. As imperfect beings living in a world full of noise and distractions, it’s very easy to forget all the positive, satisfying things in our lives.

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It's been said: “Energy flows where attention goes.” When you sit down and think about what you’re grateful for at least once a day, you begin to recognize and prioritize the things that are most important which results in having more clarity and joy. Another huge benefit to this too is that you find when you’re grateful for what you have, it alleviates the desire of always wanting more. And let’s face it, always wanting more is a never-ending cycle that doesn’t stop nor does it bring true satisfaction. You never get to be happy because you’re always chasing the next thing.

In my stories recently, I asked: “when are you most happy?” It was delightful to read the responses. For me, I’m most happy when snuggling 'couch time' comes at the end of the day to watch movies and/or our favorite DVR’d shows with my hubby or getting dolled up for an intimate dinner date night out at one of our favorite speakeasy restaurants.

These days, I feel like we’re all so busy talking about what we want that we forget to feel grateful for what we already have. Creating such a simple daily gratitude practice as part of a self-care routine is the daily recipe for a happier life for it can help you flourish, increase your level of happiness and align your thoughts and desires to help you have a more positive mindset, even changing how you look at an entire day and/or your life in general.

Starting today, list three things you’re thankful for every day, either every morning before starting your day or every night before you go to sleep. Eventually, it will become second nature. Don’t ever forget the power of the pen!


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6.12.2019

MOOD BOOSTING CHOCOLATE DATE TRUFFLES


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I’ve been on an intense cleanse to help reset my body and gut for our upcoming summer getaway that will consist of a lot of the most memorable part of any vacation - eating, wine tasting/pairing and thankfully more than enough walking to burn off the calories from all that food. Even though this cleanse hasn’t been an easy feat, the results are so incredible, it's motivating me to stay the course and see my goal through to the end. Just not feeling bloated alone is an accomplishment! However, if you are a health-conscious individual who has a sweet tooth like me in need of a healthier non-sugary sweet treat; this tasty mood-boosting chocolate date truffles dessert is the perfect little pick-me up that will satisfy any sweet craving. Not only are these nutritious desserts high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium but they’re quite energy dense – making them an excellent guilt-free, mood-boosting indulgence. Scroll below to see how to make these tasty morsels:




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Ingredients

12 Medjool dates, pits removed and soaked in water for 4-8 hours
1 cup toasted walnuts
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp cold-pressed coconut oil
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus another ¼ cup for coating
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp walnut extract
½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

Add all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the dates form a thick paste with the walnuts and coconut evenly distributed throughout. You may need to remove the blade in between pulses and stir to ensure an even mix.

Put the reserved 1/4 cup shredded coconut into a small bowl. Form tablespoon-sized portions of the paste into balls and roll in shredded coconut to coat.

Arrange the truffles in layers in between parchment paper in your food storage container, leaving a centimeter or two between each to avoid sticking. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours before eating. 

Enjoy!