It’s been a long, long time coming! ~ From St. Augustine, Florida

Beautiful
The Bridge of Lions, famous landmark in St. Augustin, Florida.

Hello everybody! where did time go?!   I’ve been really busy lately, traveling and working in a design project, among other things, in St. Augustine, and without realizing I almost forgot I have a blog … Not that I had been writing much since I started, I’ve been rather inconsistent about it, in spite of that I enjoy it immensely… What happens is that I have the impression, or at least I kid my self with the idea that nobody is going to read this, that it is just a kind of personal, kind of private sort of thing… and then I get a bit nervous when I see that I’d had visitors from all over the world…. how did that happened?! How is that even possible?!  I know other bloggers are so used to it, not me, I still find comfort in anonymity and the lack of pressure that comes with not having a lot of people following you… in the other hand, deep down, you have the desire of being validated by people finding some value in your words… It’s complicated…

One of the
A few pictures of my visit to St. Augustine, Florida. This is one of the two Carrara marble Medici lions, flanking one of the entrances of “The Bridge of Lions” One of the prettiest in the country
The second lion, they were sculpted by Italian
The second lion, they were made by the Italian sculptor Romanelli, and are copies of the ones in The Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, Italy.
Bridge of Lions
Bridge of Lions
almost peacefull
Peaceful
....
Open bridge, cars are waiting for the ships to finish crossing, it is a pretty sight! The cars even seem to be enjoying the wait with those views.
The Galleon
The Galleon
Impresive
Impressive
Where two worlds mix together
Where two worlds mix together
What an experience!
What an experience!

I took the time and looked, day by day, where all those visitors came from, WordPress shows all sorts of data like that, (I imagine also every other host in the planet) how many visits you had per day and where in the world your visitors came from… This is so COOL and I can’t believe it!  People from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Greece, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom , Kuwait, Finland, Hungary, Chile, Austria, Kenya, Egypt, Korea,(I assume South Korea, right?!  I don’t think Kim Jong-Un was reading my blog, since he is pretty much the only one with internet access in North Korea …  I don’t take that matter lightly, just not the place or time to discuss it……. – And I went back and looked again, it clearly says: South Korea!)  Perú, Slovenia, Argentina, India, Bosnia & Herzegovina,  Australia, Poland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong SAR China, Serbia, Jersey, Andorra, Iceland, Algeria, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Bermuda, Colombia, European Union, Brazil, Italy, New Zealand, Slovakia, Bangladesh, Romania, Mexico, Turkey, South Africa, Latvia, Czech Republic, Japan, Montenegro, Vietnam, Croatia and Reunion!   Really? Jersey?! Is that even a country?… Never mind! I just Googled it and of course it is … I feel ashamed… (not really, not that much, how can I keep up with the new configurations of old nations and all the changes the world’s had and continue having?! … I should, but I don’t..)

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– AND THERE THEY ARE!  THE HAPPY CITIZENS OF JERSEY! SORRY GUYS…

I still can’t believe that somebody found me and took the time to read what I wrote… shocking…outstanding…mind blowing…scary… humbling…

Impatience has to be one of my biggest flaws. I can’t just write  this and let it sit and then come back later or the next day and finish it.  The way I see it, or I should say, the way I feel it, is that I’m just sharing this with a group of my friends, in a very informal and relaxed way….that’s why I talk about impatience, if somebody else apart from them is going to read any of these posts, I would/should take the time to correct them and try to make them better… But then again it wouldn’t feel right, it is not who I am, I’m not here pretending to be a writer, I’m just trying to share a little bit of my journey “Here on Earth” and the things I love….  My love of photography shows in my life in so many ways… pictures inundate every corner of it, my head and my phone, and I inundate the people in my life with them!   My poor kids complain often, from wherever in the world they are at the time, about me sending too many photos, but I really believe that in time, they will be happy I did, and very glad to have them. There is a reason why when there is a fire, one of the first things people grab is just that, their pictures.  Family is the great motivator in  life, either the family you were  born in, or the family you created yourself with friends and your own family.

I find photography fascinating, I see it as life itself frozen forever in time in a frame …. Isn’t that something?! perhaps that is why it is so popular to share your life in pictures in so many ways through the internet. People have a need to be seen or to be heard and they measure success with the number of “friends” or followers they have…. when success is found in the ability of living your life doing something you have a passion for, surrounded by the people you love, in peace with yourself and really liking the man or woman staring you back in the mirror!

Not to break a good habit, I’m sharing some pictures of the beautiful city of St. Augustine, where I spent my last month and a half, I hope you enjoy it and perhaps get motivated to visit this wonderful place. xx

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My first night,  dinner at O.C. White’s, a really nice place with live music and a dog friendly policy.

Dog friendly restaurants
Dog friendly restaurants
The best part of the night was
The best part of the night was spending time with my daughter who had just moved to St Augustine a few months ago
French
French bakery and pâtisserie, Les Petits Pleasures were we had a really nice “dejeuner”, I didn’t get the name though, half french and half english…
I totally loved the european vibe
I totally loved the european vibe and the relaxed “laissez faire” atmosphere they have
A nice walk after dinner to
A nice walk after dinner to experience the city and the beautiful sites of the oldest european settlement in the United States
a walk to remember...
a walk to remember…
It really was like going back in time
It really was like going back in time, to a place I had never been before, to a time I had never known,  and yet, it still  felt so familiar…

The next pictures are obviously from another day…

Cute little house along facing the Matanzas river
Many pretty houses along the street facing the Matanzas river
Enchanted
Enchanted
I was delighted!
I was delighted!
There were so many ...
There were so many …
Many pretty houses along the street facing the Matanzas river
Many pretty houses along the street facing the Matanzas river
Lovely!
Lovely!

Up to here, all photos are mine.

At this point, after a long day of flying and emotional reunions, my phone had died, so it left me with no choice but getting some pictures from the internet to show you how pretty the city looked illuminated with thousands of lights for the Christmas season. I was told it had been very hard to walk, let alone drive, in the city up to a week before. I arrived on January 20th, so things had calmed down already and I was able to enjoy the sites without the commotion!

..
The Lightener Museum
There is something really special about this city that appears to be frozen on time
There is something really special about this city that appears to be frozen in time
..
..
The Bridge of Lions all decked out for the holidays
The Bridge of Lions all decked out for the holidays, casting it’s spell on the Matanzas river
...
Festival of lights around the holidays
Festival of lights around the holidays
The city has a violent history ...
The city has a violent history …
What a beautiful view!
What a beautiful view!
Bay front
Bay front
Flagler College
Flagler College
Castillo de San Marcos at night
Castillo de San Marcos at night
San Marcos
San Marcos
Bridge of Lions
Bridge of Lions
at night..
at night..
Mysterious..
Mysterious..
Tree covered street in St Augustine
Tree covered street in St Augustine
The Lions
The Lions
Presbyterian church
Presbyterian church
The carrara marble lions , west end of the Bridge
The Carrara marble lions , west end of the Bridge
I'll be coming back really soon!
I’ll be coming back really soon!

– SO…WHAT DO YOU THINK? HAVE YOU ALREADY VISITED ST AUGUSTINE? IF NOT, HOPEFULLY THIS HELPED YOU GET MOTIVATED TO DO SO AND ENJOY ALL THE BEAUTY AND HISTORY THE CITY HAS TO OFFER. I’M GOING BACK AT THE END OF APRIL, SO I WOULD LOVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ABOUT WHAT NOT TO MISS!    MORE PHOTOS TO COME IN THE NEXT POST 😉

AUTUMN CONFIDENTIAL – Fall Front Porch

I finished the front porch’s urn today.   Perhaps I should have waited to finish the door’s wreath to post this but I’m not sure I am going to make one.  The porch is kind of small and since I made the planter pretty big I don’t want it to look like too much for the space!

I'm not sure it's going to stay like that because it might look too busy or too crowded for me tomorrow. I always need to step back and relax, rest my eyes and then I am able to "edit" whatever I am doing.
I’m not sure it’s going to stay like that, it might look too busy or too crowded for me tomorrow. I always need to step back and relax, rest my eyes and then I’m able to “edit” whatever I am doing.
First I added a few branches I cut from the field behind my house
First I added a few branches I cut from the field behind my house ( the next day they started to die and look bad!) So far for pretending to be Martha! I was feeling so proud and decisive, resourceful and assertive!  I was playing the role of Martha Stewart in my own movie, fake it until you make it! like I knew what I was doing!… Ha! those branches showed me! They bursted my buble.  I didn’t want the neighbors to see!!!  the same ones that approached me the day before enchanted with my creation! I took the compliments graciously!  The next day I was exposed! I’m just a city girl (Girl?… oh well!  why not! you can’t see me from there anyways and that’s the way I feel almost everyday. Almost.) A city girl that ended up living in the midwest, who admires those wonderful master gardeners with their beautiful lush gardens, (they seem to be everywhere here with their additional organic vegetable gardens!)  but who doesn’t know a thing about plants!  I know how to play with them, decorate with them, combine them, create pretty things with  them but It seems I also know how to kill them….Enough said.
I wish I had done something like this...
I wish I had done something like this… When the kids were little I actually took the time and the money to do it, now I just want to be Martha or… why stop at that?! the amazing Carolyne Roehm! Walk graciously through my gardens selecting and picking, ( with no apparent effort and without breaking a sweat) the fruits of my crops and all nature’s bounty that appears to surround them at all times!
Not yet
My gourds, (or little pumpkins thingies) look like duckies or swans! so cute 😉    You see? playing already!
I'm not sure it's going to stay like that because it might look too busy or too crowded for me tomorrow. I always need to step back and relax, rest my eyes and then I am able to "edit" whatever I am doing.
This might look too busy or too crowded for me tomorrow.  It is important to always step back, take a moment or two to relax, rest your eyes, do something else and then you’ll be better able to edit and to judge what is working and what is not. At least that works for me.
Evergreen from the front yard added, check!
Evergreen from the front yard added, check!
didn't wear gloves
I didn’t wear gloves while cutting the evergreen … Oh boy, those needles are nasty and have a kind of glue that stick to your fingers and it’s difficult to clean… All worthy! I love the fresh smell of pine
So cute!
So cute!
Close-up
Close-up.  Ain’t that pretty? Not bad for a city girl 😉
I know, too many pictures of the same thing... my only excuse is that I've seen other bloggers doing the same thing! I happens when they love what they do and they do it for themselves, just for the pure pleasure of creating something, knowing we are simple people enjoying simple things...
I know ! too many pictures of the same thing… my only excuse is that I’ve seen other bloggers doing the same ! It happens when they love what they do and they do it for themselves, just for the pure pleasure of creating something, knowing we are simple people enjoying simple things… and then, there is the Pros, the ones that really know what they are talking about and are here to teach, I admire them, I love them, I am not one of them.  It takes a lot, I should recognize, to get over yourself and just go for it, accepting your limitations, accepting your imperfections, it is ok to sing out of tune! What the heck… if we don’t, we’ll be missing the pleasure of the experience…. Is it worth it? Who do we want to impress? The only ones worth  the effort is our own selves and our families. That is a universal and eternal truth.   I must say, I’m not completely over my self, I still am self conscious and uncomfortable at times but less than expected. The joys of growing up, growing wiser, growing older and LIKING yourself, doing stuff for the pure pleasure of doing, experiencing, living, just because we can and loving the ride!
The big
The big pumpkin on the left looks devastated! Like it had received the worst news and had gotten depressed… it looks like a flat tire, doesn’t it?! It has the same look my dog has when he knows I’m about to leave, a look of sadness beyond believe, all flat and deflated on the floor, a picture of devastation… he deserves an Oscar for breaking my heart everytime!     Have you noticed the more irregular a pumpkin is, the more imperfections it has, the more appreciated, coveted, sought after and expensive it is!…. I wonder… shouldn’t it be like that with humans too?!

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I think I should stop right now and clean up, it's starting to look like a mess here!
I think I should stop right now and clean up, it’s starting to look like a mess here!
I started to take things away....
I STARTED EDITING, TAKING THINGS AWAY…I WANT TO HAVE MY HOUSE READY SOON.
And a very sweet memory of a long time ago... he is 20 years old now!
SWEET MEMORIES FROM A LONG TIME AGO! HE IS 20 YEARS OLD NOW, ON HIS WAY TO BE AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER DOUBLE MAJOR IN MATH AND A MARINE CORPS OFFICER!

Have a great weekend and go somewhere you can admire nature’s ever changing colours….

NEXT DAY

As predicted I wasn’t happy with the end result, the problem is that having a small space and it feels crowded right away. Pictures were taken with my iPhone kind of late in the afternoon so I didn’t have much light to begin with. Today the branches I added from the field behind my house had started to wilt …. I had to take them out of the picture literally. I decided NOT to make a wreath for the front door this year. I went to the basement to find a simple one I could work with, adding real branches and stuff like that, you know, anything that looks and feels autumn, like pine cones, cinnamon sticks, fall foliage, olive branches…. only to realized I had donated most of the stuff to the local thrift stores…. what to do?… so it hit me.  I don’t have to make everything just because I’m trying to write a blog, it is ok Not to want to work and just curl up with a book and a cup of cocoa and read!  Sounds good, right?  Sadly it only sounded good to me, I have homework to do, MATH homework… I hate math… but I have to do it…

Right then I decided it wasn’t bad to use a wreath I found from when my kids were little, who is going to say anything? and if so… who cares?  Simple, keep it simple… that is something I have to remind myself sometimes… it isn’t that I don’t know it, it’s just that sometimes I feel that I have to do everything from scratch and now I don’t want to. And it is ok.

Here are some pictures of my simpler front door urn. I edited a lot and I feel more comfortable with it. My house is way too simple and small for the first one I made.

I love Eucalyptus, everything about it.
I love Eucalyptus, everything about it.
Another one of the same thing..
Another one of the same thing… the evergreen is coming back, I know, I need to fill those gaps.
How pretty does the little urn look like?
How pretty does that little urn look like?!  Those orange gourds, with long twisted necks and bumpy skin look like swans to me, don’t they?!!!  I feel like a proud mother…
I think I like it
I think I like it, it just needs more eucalyptus as a filler to bring the whole thing together… but that won’t be happening today! I’ll buy it when I get a chance!
Not to disappoint,  I'm adding a couple of pictures of really pretty fall planters!
Not to disappoint, I’m adding a couple of pictures of really pretty fall planters!
Why am I doing this to myself ?! This is gorgeous.
Why am I doing this to myself ?! This is gorgeous. Those master gardeners I was talking about… I’m telling you…
I hear the angels singing !
I hear the angels singing !
I'm done.
Awww!  Now my little display looks almost funny …. I’m done. Happy Harvest xx

Legends of the Fall

FITZGERALD SCOTT

AUTUMN …. What a magical season!  Everything feels calmer, kinder and softer.  There is a quiet feeling of reflexion and introspection in the air and in our souls. Despite the crispiness in the air, there is a warmth inside of us that grows every day with anticipation…  The leaves are falling, sign that all is going to be made anew again… what a promise!

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PUMPKINS AND MUMS…

WARM CLOTHES AND WALKS IN THE PARK WITH YOUR FAVORITE PERSON
WARM CLOTHES AND WALKS IN THE PARK WITH YOUR FAVORITE PERSON

Home becomes once more the center of our lives, we grow closer to our families, we  reconnect with our friends …. We feel more than ever the need of meaning and purpose in our lives … a nesting feeling comes back stronger than ever…. Books and blankets, boots, sweaters and scarves, go together perfectly with apple cider, hot cocoa, hearty soups and warm apple pies ….

There is a stillness in the air that reminds us of a time, when priorities were quite different and life made more sense!

SEEING THE WORLD IN AMAZEMENT
SEEING THE WORLD IN AMAZEMENT THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES…

We borrow nature’s colors to cover ourselves, inspired by the ever changing leaves of the Fall … we fill our homes with the intensity of Autumn and it’s jeweled and earthy palette and with the quietness and muted tones of golden fields of wheat or greyish heavy skies that often look like they are about to cry… we just don’t know why… Is it from sadness or joy?… or just to wash away our worries and doubts … I wonder… 

Hoping to inspire you to fill your homes with the glow that these Legends of the Fall will cast into our homes and into our lives!  After all change is always good, right? Change makes us grow because it challenges us.

MAGICAL MOMENTS FOREVER IN YOUR HEART...
MAGICAL MOMENTS FOREVER IN YOUR HEART…
THE RED DOOR...
THE RED DOOR…

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SWEATERS AND MITTENS, CHICKENS AND KITTENS…

Soft leather riding boots!
SOFT LEATHER BOOTS!
How something so small can be this beautiful?
HOW SOMETHING SO SMALL CAN BE THIS BEAUTIFUL?!

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HUNTER BOOTS!

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LONG WALKS WITH YOUR BEST FOUR LEGGED FRIEND, PRICELESS!

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PENDLETON BLANKETS!

A VIEW FROM THE TOP
A VIEW FROM THE TOP

 

COMFORT FOODS…

Pumpkin Soup with Sage and Bacon
serves 4

2 T butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 lb. floury white potatoes
2  1/4c of pumpkin flesh, diced
2  3/4c vegetable soup
1c cream, not low fat
2 t freshly grated ginger
1/2 t lemon juice
1 pinch grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 sliced bacon, diced
5 fresh sage leaves
1 T extra virgin olive oil
-Heat the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic
-Add the potatoes and pumpkin, cook for a few minutes, stirring
-Stir in the vegetable stock and cook for 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft
-Puree all in a blender, return to pan and add the cream
-Add a bit more stock if desired
-Add the ginger, season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg
-Fry the bacon in  small pan in the butter until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towel
-Add the sage to the pan and fry for 30 seconds
-Add the bacon and sage to the soup, drizzle with the olive oil and season with fresh pepper
FOUNDED THIS IN 5TH AND STATE BY DEBRA PHILLIPS, I still can’t figure it out how to link to other people’s websites or blogs. Sorry!

http://5thandstate.blogspot.com  I hope this works!

vellutata zucca speck anteprima
VELLUTATA DI ZUCCA E SPECK  La ricetta saporita

Deliziosa, dolce, gustosa, la vellutata di zucca è un ottimo primo piatto, ricco di vitamine e sapore. Questa portata si può facilmente personalizzare, a seconda dei gusti di ognuno, impreziosendola con dei Porcini, o ancora con formaggi come il Taleggio o il Pecorino, oppure optando per preparazioni più leggere e delicate con i porri, le patate, o lo zenzero. Oggi scopriamo una versione saporita: la vellutata di zucca e speck.

Gli ingredienti

200 g di polpa di zucca

un porro

150 g di speck a dadini

uno scalogno

500 ml do brodo vegetale naturale

sale marino integrale, pepe bianco

olio extravergine di oliva

20 ml di panna fresca

rosmarino & timo, q.b.

A piacere formaggio a scaglie

FOUNDED AT:   http://blog24x7.altervista.org   -postato in cucina

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HOMEMADE COOKIES AND MILK

I actually found the recipe a year later here:

Pumpkin Cookies- Hey, it’s fall!    

GLAZED PUMPKIN COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar (make sure this is all white sugar)
  • 1 small can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups oat flour (blend oatmeal in a blender)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups crushed pecans (the original recipe called for 3c chocolate chips, but I thought it was too sweet with the glaze and I love pecans, so there you go.)

Mix wet ingredients, then add the dry ingredients; mix well.

Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes.  While baking, make glaze:

 Glaze
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Mix well and immediately frost warm cookies.  (If this seems thicker than a glaze, just add a little more milk- I can’t attest to the consistency if you’re somewhere drier than Dominica)

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– SHAKESPEARE COULD HAVE WRITTEN A NOBEL ABOUT HER BEAUTY! THOSE LOVELY COLORS! SKY AND FIRE…

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FAMILY PICNICS! LOTS OF BLANKETS, HOT CHOCOLATE, CRUSTY LOAVES OF  BREAD!

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CARAMEL APPLES!

LAVENDER, WHEAT AND PUMPKINGS
LAVENDER, WHEAT AND PUMPKINS

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FIRST FROST OF THE FALL….BREATHTAKING

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ROADS ON FIRE !

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PUMPKIN CINNAMON ANYTHING!

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HOT FREAKING CHOCOLATE!!!

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APPLE TARTS…

Gatherings around
Gatherings around the table, outside, enjoying this magic season

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GOLDEN BUNDLES OF WHEAT AND FIELD FLOWERS

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THERE IS A SEASON FOR EVERYTHING… TIME FOR CONTEMPLATION, TIME FOR INTROSPECTION..

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A PERFECT MOMENT FROZEN IN TIME..

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PRINCETON’S IVY

Mums on fire
GORGEOUS URNS WITH MUMS ON FIRE
SIMPLICITY, BACK TO BASICS
SIMPLICITY, BACK TO BASICS
WORN OUT MEMORIES
WORN OUT MEMORIES
ENCHANTED PARADISE..
ENCHANTED PARADISE..
A NEW SEASON, A BRIDGE TO A NEW LIFE.
A NEW SEASON, A BRIDGE TO A NEW LIFE.
CHILDHOOD REVISITED..
CHILDHOOD REVISITED..
BLESSINGS AND BOUNTY
BLESSINGS AND BOUNTY

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– THE NOTEBOOK

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A DEAR JOHN LETTER … THIS TIME WITH A TWIST…  I DO LOVE YOU!

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– THERE IS SOMETHING SO ENCHANTING ABOUT PENCILS AND PAPER…

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Beautiful Inspiration

SOMETIMES A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, SOMETIMES A FEW WORDS ARE WORTH A THOUSAND PICTURES…

HAVE AN INSPIRED AND GREAT WEEKEND!

Gratitud changes EVERYTHING
Gratitud changes EVERYTHING

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You are a LIVING magnet...
You are a LIVING magnet…

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Be happy for THIS moment..
Be happy for THIS moment..

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The creative adult is the child who SURVIVED!
The creative adult is the child who SURVIVED!

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I AM more than what you SEE..
I AM more than what you SEE..

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Tough times don't last; Tough people DO
Tough times don’t last; Tough people DO

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.
Imagination encircles the world….

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You
You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful….
You
You 
you are
.
The earth has music..
The earth has music..
Don't
Henri Cartier-Bresson 
Just three things...
Just three things…
There are
There is only one happiness in life…
There is only one
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.

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She turned her can't
.
She turned her can'ts...
.

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