• Jeanette Miura

Wishing you and yours a very bright day!

From the Galvan-Miura Family



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December 21st marked winter solstice and the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Winter solstice is the day when the sun reaches its most southerly position in the sky, and today we celebrate the lengthening of days leading to summer solstice. Yesterday we experienced a magnificent astronomical event with the Great Conjunction. "On the evening of December 21st, the separation between Jupiter and Saturn reduces to one-tenth of a degree, one-fifth the width of the full moon. They have not been this close since 1623!" explained Griffith Observatory Planetarium Engineer David Nakamoto.


These astronomical events beautifully set the stage for new beginnings as we celebrate the sun balancing the darkness. Winter solstice has been celebrated around the world for centuries. In the Chinese tradition, winter solstice is tied to the idea of yin and yang. The harvest season has ended and the winter darkness is balanced with the light from the sun. At Stonehedge in England folks gather at dawn after the longest night to observe the magical occurrence of the sun rising. And in Vancouver winter solstice is honored with a festival of lanterns illuminating the dark skies on the longest night of the year as they await the birth of the new sun.


The Christmas tree is a winter solstice tradition that evolved from a European pagan ritual. Europeans would decorate their homes with fir trees and branches to add color and light in contrast to the darkness of winter. They celebrated the arrival of longer days and coming bounty. Hand written intentions for the year ahead were then hung on the tree.


Today we celebrate a new beginning as the longest night is now behind us. We are illuminated by the rejuvenating sun and reflect on what we want the coming year to bring. Leave 2020 behind and position yourself to receive all the blessings you deserve. Take time to create your intentions. What do you want to attract into your life? Be as concrete with your intentions as you can, but worry not if you are not entirely specific. Setting intentions signals your unconsciousness to begin moving in the direction of your desires.


Light a candle to honor our life giving sun that balances the darkness in our lives. Then reflect, write, and allow gratitude to embrace your soul as you set your intentions. Hang your intentions on your tree and rejoice in the new beginning that is being offered to you today.


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  • Jeanette Miura

Gift giving during the holidays can be a challenging endeavor especially when you’re on a budget or short on time. We’re down to 4 days until Christmas! For those of us that embrace procrastination as an art form, here are some classic, gift ideas you can easily find at any grocery or drugstore. It’s not the price tag that matters, but the thought and intention behind the gift. Keep it simple and fun this holiday season with these tried and true last minute, east-to-get gifts under $10:


1. Wine

You can never go wrong with wine! I am definitely not surprised that wine consistently ranks at the top of gifts people enjoy receiving. I personally enjoy receiving wine as a gift because I find that I easily get stuck in a rut and buy the same wine! I do love trying new wines and I especially enjoy trying wines from different regions. Getting wine as a gift pushes me outside my wine boundary and gives me a chance to try something new. Go for it! Give a little cheer with a bottle of wine.


Here are a few of my favorite wines that won’t disappoint for the price:


Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon $9.99

I found Ravage by looking through a Sommelier wine list and was shocked to find it at Target! Truly a delicious find for those that like a robust red with deep chocolate under tones. One of my favorites for the price!

Available at Target.


Green Fin Organic Red Blend $3.99

I am almost embarrassed to admit how much we love this wine. It’s a lighter red blend with very berry tones. This is my staple, table wine and if you were to look in my fridge you would find Green Fin. I always chill this wine before drinking.

Available at Trader Joes.


Fetzer Gewurztaminer $7.40

I can’t pronounce it either, but this is a great for those on your list that prefer a sweeter profile white wine. This is such a popular wine that you’ll usually find it chilled at most grocery stores. The only problem I have with this wine is that it goes down so smoothly you easily lose track of how many glasses you’ve had. This is also one of my husband’s favorites.

Available at most chain grocery stores including Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs and Target.


Chateau St. Michelle Riesling $7.89

This Riesling is a little less dry than most, but not to the point that you would call it “sweet”. Great wine to gift if you’re not sure of the recipients wine acumen. Pairs well with every type of holiday dish too!

Available at most chain grocery stores including Trader Joes, Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs and Target.


Cupcake Vineyards Pinot Noir $7.69

This is a very nice blend that balances dry and sweet tones. Ideal for those who enjoy red wines, but find cabs too strong on the palate.

Available at most chain grocery stores including Vons, Albertsons, Ralphs and Target.


Root: 1 Heritage Red Blend $6.99

This Chilean wine brings home the flavor in this red wine blend at an unbelievable price. The price is reduced because Target has re-labeled this bottle, but don’t be fooled. It’s velvety and smooth with some peppery undertones.

Available at Target.


2. Homemade Baked Treats

The holidays must always include indulging your sweet tooth. Nothing compares to the comfort of good, old-fashioned, baked goodies. My favorite thing about receiving baked treats is having them with my coffee in the morning. If you can bake the folks on your list will surely delight in the special treats you deliver and think of you with every bite. Write, “Made with Love Especially For You” on a gift tag and drop off at your friends’ and neighbors’ doors.


3. Books

For all the bookworms in your life, receiving a new book is always a happy moment. I found tons of paperback books for under the $10 at Barnes & Nobles today and some very impressive looking hard cover, non-fiction books too! Every book you read has the power to challenge and move you to new ways of thinking. I was so impressed by what I found at Barnes & Nobles that I even picked up a book to gift to myself this Christmas. And they also have curbside pick up! Win, win!


4. Plants

Plants are life. Filling any room in your house with plants brings the beauty and tranquility of nature indoors. I’m a plant person and there’s never been a plant I haven’t liked. This is a great gift to give someone that enjoys greenery and has a nurturing side. And the best part about gifting a plant is that the recipient will always think of you when they glance at their little-bit-of earth in a pot. My favorite place to buy plants under $10 is without a doubt Trader Joes. I was just there this morning and they have an entire of assortment of plants they have brought in over the weekend. Lowe’s also has a great assortment of plants right now in beautiful potters for under $10.


5. Framed Photo of You and Your Loved One.

Here’s another extremely meaningful, last minute, easy-to-get gift under $10. The beauty of this gift lies in its simplicity. Step one: select a photo of you and the recipient. Go through your social media or phone photos and print the photo you love the most of the two of you. Step two: After printing the photo write a personal message on the back or write an inspirational quote that you feel would be appropriate. This to me is the most important step that adds an extra special boost to this gift. Step three: purchase a frame and voila, your gift is complete. Super cute frames are available at Target for under $10 and I have also found great frames at the Dollar Tree. This gift will require a bit of time to create, but I promise will be absolutely worth it.


So there you have it: The top 5 last minute, easy-to-get gifts under $10. Remember, you got this. Reduce your stress level by keeping gifts simple. If you are honest with yourself you know that this statement is 100% true: It’s not about the gift you give, but the intention and love behind it.


Happy shopping everyone!

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