Giving Thanks for Peace

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day was filled with warmth, good food, good company and loving family of all kinds.

I am thankful for the love of my family and friends, my happiness and the peace in my heart.

Although our lives may never be exactly what we want, things are always shifting and changing. New opportunities and blessings present themselves as surely as we stumble across old challenges.

My deep peace comes from my knowledge of how the world works, my ability to not take everything I think seriously and knowing how to let myself feel what I feel without struggle. I know nothing lasts long if I don’t resist it and saying three magic words can change everything. Yes & Thank you.

It’s relatively simple but can be difficult to accept if we’ve spent our lives…reacting to every situation, blaming others for our unhappiness and misfortune, beating ourselves up for every tiny mistake we think we’ve made or thinking someone was “out to get us.”

I can relate to all of it. That was how I lived for a while. It was all I knew. Reacting to life. Recognizing I had control and learning to exercise that control was difficult and heart-wrenching before I learned the true secret to letting life be easy.

Here’s to living each day, appreciating the wonderful people, circumstances and opportunities that constantly surround us. They are always there, we just sometimes get side-tracked by things that worry and scare us.

If you’d like to feel more peace in your heart and happiness in your life, I can help. Click the links below to purchase and send me an email to schedule. Crystal@CrystalNuding.com

Give the lasting gift of peace this season.

“Stuff” is nice but, happiness, health and abundance, the natural by-products of true and lasting peace make life a delicious dream.

All my love,
Crystal

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Unexpected

One morning at the lake, Dionne brought me a cup of coffee. We relaxed and enjoyed the morning.

Just relaxing with a cup of coffee...

Relaxing with a cup of coffee enjoying the morning

Imagine my surprise when I saw this peeking up at me through my coffee.

Unexpected Visitor (1 of 2)

It’s nice and warm in here!

It's getting a little chilly...

It’s getting a little chilly…

This was my favorite coffee cup that I went for every morning at the lake. Our last visit, I got the news that my little friend is no longer with us. I’m so happy I have the pictures!

Here’s to great coffee, unexpected companions and morning conversations!

It’s pretty darn wet and chilly in my part of the world. I’m sending you all the warmth of love and compassion as you get ready to host or travel for Thanksgiving.

Blessings, soothing, peace, ease and flow to you today and everyday!

Love you so much!

Crystal

Weekly Photo Challenge – Habit

Oh La Fonda….
How do I love thee?

La Fonda Chips & Salsa - CrystalNuding.com for Personal and Business Consulting

My most important food group.

Let me count the ways.
One, two, three, four, five, six…
Well, hell. It’s a lot!

La Fonda Chicken Flautas! - CrystalNuding.com for Personal and Business Consulting

And the winner is… Chicken Flautas!

This is a weekly habit for Dionne and I. We are never disappointed.

We love the food and the people. We’ve been eating at La Fonda for the past 10 years. It’s a favorite spot that makes me happy just driving there. When we walk in everyone says hi and Sylvia brings out what she already knows we want. We’ve shared this treasure with everyone in our family and anyone that comes to visit. It’s top of the list when folks come to stay with us.

When we order breakfast tacos through the drive through on a week-end morning most times they’ll say… “Is this for Crystal?”

To which I reply… “You know it!”

If you’re driving down I-35 through San Marcos, TX and need your Mexican food fix…. I highly recommend checking out the LF. You can thank me later.

To learn more about The Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

And for throw back Thursday…

Here’s a picture of our sweet weiner dudes Oliver and Zupe from 3 years ago.

Looking dapper in their duds.

Looking dapper in their duds.

When Zupe was just a little pup, he had a round orange toy that held treats. Later basketballs and pumpkins would become the object of his obsession, thinking all he needed to do was roll it around a few times to get a treat. Can you see that glazed look in his eye?

Have a fantastic Halloween with plenty of treats and only the kindest of tricks.

All my Love,

Crystal

Weekly Photo Challenge – Escape

We spent three weeks in Italy last summer with my sister, Johanna. How’s that for an escape?

During our trip, we visited Lago Di Garda with my friend, artist and musician, Elizabeth Lee. We had so much fun watching her perform with her Italian band, Cozmic Mojo. Our day on the beach was wonderful, no sand here, just small smooth pebbles.

Lago Di GardaElizabeth, the sun goddess, was enjoying her time while we had had all we could take. She caught us escaping the sun and heat in the shade.

Lago Di Garda EscapeWe had to have another picture with the beautiful Lake Garda in the background.

Lago Di Garda - EscapeFor more information about the Weekly Photo Challenge, click here.

Go Fly a Kite

Kite on the BeachSeriously. Drop everything right now and go fly a kite. Unless there’s no wind, then don’t, that would be very frustrating. What I’m suggesting is to find simple pleasures that are fun, exhilarating and make you laugh until you cry.

I had never flown a kite until this past week-end. How can I be from some place as windy as Texas and not have ever flown a kite? Who knows. There are a lot of questions like this I ask myself. To which I quickly answer… “Who cares! No time like the present!”

We knew it was going to be windy as hell on the beach so we dropped two dollars on a kite at the grocery store as we headed out of town. There were Barbi kites and ones with Monster trucks on them, but the one with the big bloodshot eyes on it conveyed the week-end at the beach feel we were going for.

When Dionne and I took the kite out for our first run, I was a bit apprehensive. I really wanted that kite to fly, but the only other time I had tried(as a child) was a bit of a downer. It didn’t work out. Who knows what the problem was then. Blazing hot sun, stickers and not enough wind, I’d imagine. This time was different.

We were in Port Aransas, Texas and the wind was blowing around 400 mph. (Ok, maybe it was 40mph, we couldn’t tell.) With the first toss of the kite into the air, it took flight. Those big blood shot eyes staring down at us, a sign of what was to come. We laughed and laughed. I was a natural.

When it would start to drop, I’d take some slack out of the string and watch it rise. If that didn’t work I’d take off running and up it would go. We took turns, handing the kite back and forth, running and laughing at the birds that came around to see what we were doing.

By the time we made it back into the house we were absolutely spent. Wind whipped and breathless, we giggled for the next few hours. Laughing about our attempts to actually navigate the darn thing.

Saturday we tied our little grocery store kite to our beach chairs and let it fly. We saw all kinds of fancy kites with long tails and beautiful designs but our little kite with the blood shot eyes fit us perfectly. You could actually see the resemblance toward the end of the day.

We came home on Sunday to my Mom who was babysitting our wiener dog, Oliver. “Mom! I flew a kite! I flew a kite! Did you know I could fly a kite?!” The childlike wonder and joy could not be contained.

If it’s breathtaking and exhilarating, that’s when you know you’ve got it. Do that thing that makes you feel like that over and over again.

We started playing tennis back in January and it has been an endless fount of entertainment and exercise, but there are windy days that make it less enjoyable. We now have an equally enjoyable and laugh inducing activity for those days.

So, get out there and fly a kite. Play tennis. Watch children play. Laugh. Do something that tickles you. Intend right now to find your childlike wonder and see what fun things start showing up to make you laugh even more.

No matter what is going on in your world right now, laughing will make it better. Give it a shot. If you have a hard time laughing because of the situation you might be in, relax. Things can change in an instant.

The only thing that REALLY has to change for you to feel better right NOW, is your perspective. There is one that serves you. What you want is out there. You can have it and it is easier than you think. Lightening up about life and everything in it helps.

Watch a funny TV show or read a funny book. Spend time with people that make you laugh. If you don’t have any friends like that, no worries. Simply imagine how much fun it will be when they show up. It’s just that you didn’t know to be looking for them.

Sending you much love, laughter, peace, ease, flow and enough wind to keep your kite up! Fly high!

Much Love to you,
Crystal

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

As a child, every Sunday we went to Granny and Pop’s (my great-grandparents) house for dinner. Granny’s food was mouthwatering. Our Sunday dinner was almost always fried chicken and gravy. If she had prepared another vegetable that wasn’t mashed potatoes, I’d cry and she’d whip up some instant potatoes that you’d swear were better than the real thing. I also had to have fried cornbread patties, so I could pile my mashed potatoes on them. YUM. I had very specific ideas about what I wanted to eat. And as an adult that no longer gets to eat her delicious cooking, I’m glad I made a fuss.

Week-ends with my mother’s parents, Joycie Bear and Papa, assured we’d have sausage, biscuits and gravy for breakfast, every morning. Waking up to Papa whistling in the kitchen, the smell of sausage and bacon, knowing we didn’t need to do a thing until called to the table. (tickled out of bed, usually… we’d wait for him, giggling)

As I recall these memories of my childhood love rushes in and fills me completely. The love they put into the meals and their willingness and joy to please and make us happy is overwhelming. As much as I knew they loved me (it was A LOT), I felt it in their food.

Cooking is one of my greatest joys, second only to sharing the food I’ve prepared with anyone and everyone that might possibly need or enjoy it. I smell my grandparents in my kitchen often. I’ll stop what I’m doing and take big, deep breaths inhaling it all. The food, the memories, the absolute knowledge that food IS love.

My partner, Dionne and I spent 3 weeks in Italy this past summer, visiting my little sister, Johanna who’s living there for the next year. After weeks of traveling and eating delicious Italian food, I was ready to cook. It was our last few days with my sissy and we were all beginning to feel a bit of sadness in anticipation of our departure.

So, what did we do?

We had three days of good ol’ West Texas country cooking. I fried everything that wasn’t tied down. We laughed and talked and breathed deeply the scent of love. I felt such appreciation for my country roots and the yummy comfort food I was raised on.

This is fried chicken and cream gravy just like Granny and Papa made for us as kids. Looking back at this picture, the hearts on the table cloth say it all.

Granny's Fried Chicken and Papa's Gravy

Granny’s Fried Chicken and Papa’s Gravy = Love

(You can see more pic’s in Johanna’s Comfort Food Sessions photo album on FB!)

Create Your Own Happiness Revolution

Many thanks to Daphne Gray-Grant (I get her Power Writing Newsletter) for bringing this Ted Talk to my attention. I love, love, LOVE when someone with lots of credentials and fancy schoolin’ comes to the same conclusions as little ol’ me. 🙂

Get happy and productivity follows!

Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret To Better Work

Here’s to your happy life!

Part Deux

We got so wrapped up in our family holiday that very few pictures were taken. (I love/hate when that happens.) And the ones that were taken weren’t amazing. But. Never fear.  We had our Thanksgiving ReMix last night and it was delicious.

I made some fresh turkey gravy with onions, celery and fresh herbs and put the turkey breast in to heat gently. We had brussels sprouts and red potatoes that didn’t get made on the actual day that got their turn to shine. Brussels sprouts with bacon and a few cherry tomatoes and the red potatoes got a bath in milk, butter and rosemary. Delish. I wanted to make some fresh rolls but didn’t have the energy. Ha! That’s because I’ve already had enough rolls… (although Dionne is off work today and I can hear her in the kitchen making bread… I’m smelling cilantro, yum.)

Turkey Day ReMix

Turkey Day ReMix

So that was dinner last night and lunch again today. We ate all of the brussels sprouts last night so we did have to make more rolls for lunch. I mean, there they were just waiting to have butter melted in them. What would you have done?

The next and final stop for this fabulous turkey from Richardson’s Farm will be a yummy turkey pot pie.

Oh, and did I mention Dionne made bread?

Fresh Baked Bread

Cilantro, Dill & Green Onion Cottage Cheese Bread

Giving Thanks

What a wonderful holiday, Thanksgiving. I hope you all had fantastic meals and good quality time with the people that mean the most to you.

Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. This holiday isn’t about spending money and buying a bunch of gifts, it is about appreciating and enjoying what you already have. Spending time in the presence of the family and friends that make our lives beautiful.

Dionne, Al, Joycie Bear & Crystal

Dionne, Al, Joycie Bear & Crystal – That sun is bright!

This Thanksgiving, as with most, I cooked for my Grandparents – Joycie Bear & Al, my mom, my sister Johanna, partner Dionne and my son, Quentin. We had a local organic meal this year using veggies from my Greenling local basket, and a free range turkey from Richardson Farms (which I ordered through Greenling as well, YAY, YUM and Thank you!)

When I was a little girl, I would wait all year to eat my Joycie Bear’s Thanksgiving dinner and now as an adult, I wait even more anxiously to cook it for her. I learned to cook from her and her mother, my Granny. I felt the absolute love they had for me in every tasty bite. It was a gift I am driven to pay forward to everyone I can. I LOVE to feed people.

My grandmother, Joyce, is the most precious woman in the world. Strong (though she doesn’t see it) and quiet, she has been the rock in our family. She is kind, loving and compassionate, willing to help anyone who needs it and has been a steady beacon of support and love throughout our (at times tumultuous) family history.

I spent my Thanksgiving exactly how I wanted to this year. I was not working for someone else worrying about sales, money or deadlines. I planned the meal, cooked and cleaned my house, all the while bursting with love and appreciation, preparing my home to host my sweet family. I said about a million times, “I’m so happy to be me! Thank you God for putting me here on this earth at this time with these fantastic people.”

I love who I am and where I am and what I’m doing. I appreciate my life so much and the people with which I choose to fill it. Nothing is missing. It’s all here. Perfectly imperfect in every moment.

Do I have everything I’ve ever wanted? No. Is anyone’s life ever completely, 100% exactly what they hope for? Probably not often, but there are always so many things to love and appreciate.

What do we want and why do we want it? These are the only 2 things we should ever concern ourselves with. We could write a novel about what we don’t want or what’s wrong. We can blog about our troubles and issues and tell everyone we know how sick we are or our child is, but that never makes those problems go away. To the contrary, it only spotlights them and adds more energy to the situation, expanding it and making it bigger. We must stop chronicling what we don’t want.

Spend more time thinking about what you have to love and appreciate and less time worrying about what hasn’t shown up yet. Our focus and attention on what we appreciate and want more of will expand and more of that will make it’s way into our reality.

Throughout my past week of giving thanks, I would laugh as a new wave of appreciation came over me; I wondered how many people felt the same as I. How many of us love the food we grew up on and love even more feeding the wonderful people that fed us for so many years.

I give thanks today and everyday for all of our lives. I give thanks for the joy we are free to feel and share. I give thanks for the kind, compassionate love we are capable of cultivating, and that when we extend first to ourselves, can overflow to all others.

I am overflowing today and each new day with love and appreciation for life and everything in it.

Life is good and life is easy. If it’s not for you, it truly can be.

I’m here to help.