The Beautiful Kiss Of Reality

Well this truthful tale must begin at the beginning and that is with the packing of my suitcase and the swimsuit which went in it.
Doesn't that one word just make you cringe...swimsuit.
You see it was just a few weeks ago on a sunny and steamy day in Puerto Rico I put on my swimsuit in preparation for a seashore experience with my precious family.
It was in that very life defining moment that as I turned around to look at myself in a full length mirror that I came to terms with this fact.

I have never been more unattractive in a swimsuit and yet I have never felt better in one.

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With legs as white as alabaster from the knee up, cellulite visible on the upper thighs and a tummy that refused to cooperate with being sucked in, it all became quite apparent that I could either embrace my 60 year old body and live life to the fullest with this beautiful kiss of reality or I could hide out for 10 days in the dark, shuddering at how the years had suddenly crept upon me.
You know you may be a younger woman reading this but if you are blessed to live long enough this will happen to you too and these thoughts that I am sharing today will be great tools for you to use in the future.
Just think of this as a friendly little chat.
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So of course I did have a small panic attack, and wished that I had a swimsuit in my bag that came up to my neck and down to my ankles to put on.
But I didn't, so I told myself to breathe...
Should I worry what people would think and then miss on out on this precious time with my dear ones.
Or should I just focus on my dreadful appearance and say I am not going to get into the water, but what would that accomplish?
To make matters even worse my hair would not stay in place because of the high humidity and my gray roots were showing terribly.
Rats!! 
You see I truly was in a dilemma I was on an Island with nowhere to run.


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So this is what I did in a almost snip-snap sort of way.
I saw myself for the woman that I am. This acceptance gave me such great freedom to live life more freely, thoroughly and happily.
 I will make no more apologies for my feelings, quirks, ideas, and most certainly not for my appearance!
I have arrived ( well maybe skidded a time or two) to this place just as I was meant to and it is truly a glorious, fabulous celebration of life not a enduring prison sentence.
I have made it to sixty and no matter if you are twenty or ninety, I'd like for you to be just as excited at your spot in life.
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I am so well loved by this little family who lives across the ocean from me that I realized being sixty was right were I was suppose to be.
( Would I like to have my young body back, well of course! But I'll take this one and the acceptance that goes with it.)
I accepted with gratitude and grace that my journey has been a bit of a struggle, but that struggle has made me appreciate the beauty and sweetness of life all the more.
( I am not Cher, and she does looks amazing for a 70+ but I bet she can't grow sunflowers)
I vowed to embrace these precious moments of life with a clear mind, focused on the moment.
Not the past, nor the future.
(But I am considering a spray tan before I put on another swimsuit!)
I would not let fear hinder me from exploring, growing, thriving and engaging in these rare moments of pure joy.
Life is not a competition nor it is a comparison, participating in either one of those mindsets will rob you of joy and peace.
I would travel to  where I was loved, wanted and respected and give back tenfold what was given to me.
The kiss of reality is a gift that when combined with dreams is an awesome combination to create the life that you were always meant to live no matter your age
.
My wish for you is for the Sun to light your path, for the rain to wash away your fears, and for the breeze to bring you the beautiful kiss of reality.
From Jemma's Home to yours with Love,
xo
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DIY -Summer Coastal Wreath

I haven't made a wreath in a while as I have been working in my gardens.
If you enjoy gardening I have a few posts I will be sharing on a variety of gardening topics in the upcoming weeks.
I live in Texas and the temperatures are creeping up into the 90's so I will be back to creating more inside rather than outside.
I have had this Summer Coastal Wreath on my mind for the last few weeks.
While on my recent trip to the seashore I picked up all sorts of treasures, none of them were living not even the perfectly intact tiny sea urchin shell nor the sand dollar, they just washed up on the shore and there they were waiting for me.
I did a little happy dance and then grabbed for them just before the foaming tide came in and tried to claim them back to the sea.
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I tucked my treasures from the sea in plastic bags and cushioned them in-between my clothing in the suitcase then made a little wish that they would make it through the USDA check and then home with out being broken.
To my joy, not one single solitary sea treasure was confiscated and not one thing was broken!
Smiles around at my home!


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I imagine many of you will be taking Summer trips to the seashore this year, so I am happy to be able to share with you a creative way to take those priceless finds and incorporate them into a lasting Summer Coastal Wreath. 
This wreath serves double duty as a great memory keepsake of Summertime adventures no matter where and what you do this Summer!
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I am a little dissapointed in the way the sea glass looks in these photos, as I think it looks out of place, but in the actual scheme of things it blends in very nicely.
I just couldn't leave the sea glass off, it was one of my favorite finds.
I have provided some diagrams for you to follow as sort of a pattern and then you can customize it to your liking!
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Coastal Summer Wreath Supplies
1.   Mossy Peel n' Stick Mat ( I love this, so versatile for so many projects)
2.   20 inch Grapevine Wreath
3.   3 Star Fish
4.   Dried Moss, Basil & Grass
5.   Dried Bell Cups
6.   Assorted Sea Shells, Sea Urchins, Sand Dollars...etc.( you can also purchase them at craft stores)
7.   Sea Glass
8.   Wire Edge Ribbon
9.   Hot Glue Gun/Glue Sticks (this project requires a whole lot of hot gluing)
10. Scissors
11. Florist Wire
12. Florist Wire Cutters
Directions For Summer Coastal Wreath

My craft room doubles as my  Laundry room so I like to keep the counters as tidy as possible which when working with dried products and moss is nearly impossible. So I always cover my work area with a towel or clean old rug. 
You will be working with hot glue so be very careful.
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Basic Steps for Making Coastal Wreath
-Hot glue Sea Glass onto Bell Cups and sea shells and set aside.
-Cut Mossy Mat into even sections, peel off back of moss and place on grapevine wreath and press into place.
-Using florist wire trim dried grass into desired length and then divide into 6 bunches.
-Wrap wire around the dried grass bunch and wire to grapevine wreath.
-Hot glue small clumps of  dried moss into place.
-Separate dried basil and carefully place into open spaces on grapevine wreath.
-Begin layering sea shells.
-Make bow and then secure it to the side with florist wire.
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This Summer Coastal Wreath took about 4 hours and even though I did become a little tired of gluing, I relived the entire trip all over again, so it was well worth it!



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Thank you so much for joining me today and have a wonderful weekend!
Xo

Please Join Me~
Life and Linda
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Ocean Fun, Joy & More In Puerto Rico (Part I)

I had fully intended to be sharing my Puerto Rico trip with you while I was on this beautiful archipelago Island, 980 miles away from the Mainland. When I last wrote I included Five Tips for Creating a Playful Life, well I think that is exactly what we did while we were in Puerto Rico!
 I really did take my computer, plugged it in and then I never even turned it on! How is that for unplugging from the world, (it did feel so good) well except for Instagram where I did share much of our exploring, visiting, and time well spent  with my family and Island living.
So, welcome to a little Island joy today where I am sharing part one of my trip with Ocean fun and some traveling tips to the Island of Enchantment.
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The island of Puerto Rico is not very big, it is approximately 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.
On the North side of the Island is the Atlantic Ocean and to the East shore is the Caribbean.
The North side of the Island has stronger currents and the the East is calmer.
Puerto Rico is close to the deepest submarine depression in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Puerto Rico Trench with depths exceeding 8,300 meters.
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Travel by Ferry

I fully believe that when one travels to an island one simply must travel to nearby shorelines via a ferry. For me this is how I get a  true feel for the sea without being in it and also a sense of what the Island is all about.
We took two ferry rides one to Old San Juan and one to Gilligan's Island.
So let's begin with the Ferry Ride to Gilligan's Island, which naturally has been nicknamed after the popular TV show.
Cayo Aurora, is the cay's formal name. It is a mile off the coast of Guanica on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. This is also on the Caribbean side of the Island where the waters are calmer and turquoise. 
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Meet my fellow travel partner and grandson Wyatt. His Mother and sister are of course traveling with us and are on the other side of the boat. You might just notice the knot and scab on his forehead... Wyatt was riding his scooter and toppled over right in front of my eyes.
Of course I was watching the children that particular afternoon when the accident happened.
Well, being a Grandmother this is one thing that you do not want to happen, especially upon your first few days of arrival!
But we got all of  the injuries out of the way at the beginning of my visit and no hard feelings were harbored either.
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Explore a Mangrove Lagoon

Naturally you cannot travel this distance and miss the Mangroves, you must explore a Mangrove lagoon. These channels provide homes for Iguanas, fish, birds, and various sea creatures, they are like an intriguing labyrinth of discovery and adventure.
There are nine protected Mangrove areas on the Island of Puerto Rico.
I am not certain if the one along the edge of Gilligan's Island is one of them, but we all enjoyed this Magical Mangrove.
The tide was out on our visit here and gave us great access for exploration and swimming.
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Wear Sunblock, Be Happy & Don't Worry

This is my granddaughter Avery and she is the best little traveler. We lathered her in sunblock and she still tans so beautifully and too easily. Most definitely a Coppertone baby.

Puerto Rico is pretty close to the Equator  (1277 miles) Texas (7942 miles) and the sun is shining brightly at 5:30 a.m.

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Forget your Hairstyle & Bring Your Teddy

Puerto Rico falls in the tropical climate zone and there is no way you can keep your curls in place.
Oh, and even Teddy deserves a trip to the beach, in the sand and ocean too.
(Wouldn't you agree....)

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Quiet water, quiet times with baby and Mimi.

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Sea Glass

Searching for sea glass is great fun and when you gather up enough of the muliti colored and tumbled glass you can even make  sea-glass  jewelry .

We traveled to Old San Juan twice while I was visiting, however on this particular day we combed the beach at San Juan Antiguo-Puerta De Tierra for sea glass.
It is a mesmerizing and relaxing project.

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A great way to sift through the sand in search of sea glass is to use colanders.

Always wear a Hat
Protect you eyes, hair and face from the intense sun.

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I will be sharing a few more posts on Puerto Rico which will include a little shopping, some of the History, Churches, and some hands on crafts that Amanda did using natural finds from the Island.
I can't wait to show how to make your own sea grape leaf coaster!


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Thank you sweet family for making this Mimi feel so loved and I might add young!
Of course Ponce De Leon is buried on this Island of enchantment and you do know he had inside information on the fountain of youth!


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Thanks for joining me!
xo


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