Fun on Friday – Links Around the Web

Hey all! I just wanted to pop in real quick and say hello! I’ve been frantically working on lots of new stuff lately, and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Until then, I thought I would share a few amazing things I’m loving right now from around the web:

  1. These Kate Spade wine bottle stoppers make me want to open all the wine in my house just so that I can use these pretty stoppers! That’s a lot of wine!! Well, it is the weekend, right?!
  2. This Magical Disney Proposal Story is the coolest I’ve ever read about. Check out her ring…and those custom engagement MagicBands!!!
  3. Metallic are my favorite. I especially love these gorgeous metallic sequined bridesmaids dresses. Head over to Style Me Pretty for tons of metallic and sparkly wedding ideas!
  4. Ice cream is one of my best friends. Yeah, I befriend inanimate objects! Head over to Sara Harvey’s site to catch an adorable DIY with those pretty little wafer cookies…here’s a hint – she makes them look like ice cream!
  5. I’ve been on the lookout for a crochet pattern for little hexagon pouches. I want to make hexagons that I can stuff like little raviolis and make into a quilt. I havn’t begun yet, but I think I found a hexagon pattern!

Well, my dears, that’s it for today. I hope you all have a happy and healthful weekend! All my love!

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28 Days of Adding Happiness – Deliciousness in Lehi, UT

It feels so strange that this is my final post in this series. It seems so strange that this is the end of the series. 28 days has gone so fast! To end the series, I want to share another little business here in Lehi, UT with you.

My husband and I had been out and about running errands and taking care of some important stuff (aka boring stuff grownups have to do that we wish we didn’t) and we got some pretty great news that put us in the celebrating mood. Now, when I want to celebrate there are two things I do: 1) I go to Dippidee, or 2) I eat ice-cream! That particular day I was in the mood for ice cream, so I made the Mr get out his smart phone and look up a good ice-cream place. The first place that popped up was a fast-food chain that serves some pretty amaze-balls shakes, but I was in the mood for some thick and creamy ice cream, so that was out. The next place was one I had never heard of, Mia’s Italian Ice!2014-07-14 16.42.14Okay, okay, you are probably going to think I’m nuts, but I had no idea what Italian ice actually tasted like. I was kind of hesitant, but the next place on the list was 10 minutes away in the opposite direction and I didn’t really feel like driving all that way either. Yup, I’m lazy, and driving is still no fun for me after having my surgery. So, Mia’s it was.

The great news was that I was completely impressed with this little shop from start to finish! The moment we walked in the door we were greeted with a smile by the owner who obviously loves his shop and loves what he does. His face lit up with excitement as he explained how he makes everything from scratch. Then came the samples…. and we finally made a choice on what treats to order. They were amazing! This is a new favorite place to go, and I’m recommending it to everyone for any occasion whether they are celebrating a summer afternoon or a wedding, Mia’s is perfect!2014-07-14 16.13.03Not only do they offer Italian ice, but they offer custard which they make right there, cakes, and custard cakes. Word around town is that with the falling temps, they are even offering gourmet hot chocolate! Score! Seriously, if you are in the area, you cannot miss this place!

Today might be the last day of the series, but don’t think for a second that I’m going to leave this subject alone. Stay tuned for some more happiness, more celebrating, and upcoming announcements, and don’t forget to continue checking in at Sarah’s blog. I know that even though this fun series is over, she has a heart of gold, a creative spirit, and a lot of amazing ideas that will be sure to become great blog posts for your reading pleasure!

Much Love!

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28 Days of Adding Happiness – 5 Strategies for Being Happier

28 Days of Adding HappinessI cannot believe that it has been almost 28 days already! I really hope that this blogging series has helped some of you and has in itself added some happiness to the world. It has been an incredible project, and I am so grateful for having the opportunity to work with Sarah and to create such a positive project in the blog community.

Throughout this project we have posted up things that make us happy, things that make you happy, and things that make others happy. We have shared positive links, ideas, projects, and posts with each of you. Hopefully each day you were able to look forward to the information and creative awesomeness that we wrote to the world.

The saddest part of accomplishing a big project like this though is that it will eventually and inevitably come to an end. At some point there is a stopping point, or a point in which we must move on to the next project or the next thing. As one of my last posts in this series, I want to NOT say goodbye. I am hoping that you will continue to join me here at my blog for positive posts that celebrate life and bring happiness to others. In the mean time, I wanted to share a few ideas/ strategies for being happier:

  1. Choose Happiness – Happiness is a choice that we make for ourselves each day. We can choose to me weak, sad, upset, or unhappy. Or we can choose to be strong, happy, kind, loving, and positive each day. It is our choice and that is what makes it so beautiful! Sure, there are tons of things that can drag us down each day, but if we wake up and say to ourselves, “Today I choose happy!” it’s going to be a huge step toward making that happen in our lives!
  2. Be Grateful – Without a sense of gratitude, happiness can diminish. We become bitter and sad. We can feel alone or grouchy. However, when we learn to be grateful, even the small triumphs, tokens, and achievements become something to celebrate. Be grateful for what you have, who you have, and what you are able to do. Being here on this earth is a blessing. Don’t forget to be grateful for that!
  3. Forgive People – Holding a grudge is such a heavy burden. It brings us down, handicaps us, and eventually defeats us. When someone is truly sorry, forgiving them will free up all sorts of time and energy in your life. You will no longer need to worry about your hatred, your bitterness, your sadness. You will have so much more time for positive, wonderful, and happy emotions. You will feel so much better!
  4. Accept Your Flaws – We are all flawed and that is one of the most beautiful things in this world. Being flawed is what allows us to connect with others! Think about it, if you were perfect in every way, you would never need others to make you feel complete. If you were perfect, you wouldn’t need anyone because you could do everything for yourself and do it perfectly. There is a reason that we have people in this world that are talented in Art or Science, or Math or Writing, and the reason is because we can’t do it all ourselves. Once we accept this, we can begin loving ourselves for our own strengths!
  5. Laugh – Laughter is healing. It gives us the opportunity to feel good. Laughter reminds us that every moment of life doesn’t have to be series. It gives us a chance to let go a little, and as a little extra bonus, it ensures that we smile. Have you ever laughed without smiling? I challenge you to try that! Laughter is a real medicine for sadness and the best prescription for happiness. Do it every day!

 

When We Make Plans, God Laughs!

God_LaughsToday, I have it on my heart to share with all of you an amazing story of love and blessings. One of my younger sisters has always wanted children since we were very young. It was something she always spoke of and could hardly wait for. Her huge heart was ready to love lots and lots of babies, but unfortunately, soon after she was married, she found that her dream family was going to be a lot more difficult than the average family.

After going through all sorts of medical treatments, her and her husband decided on Invitro Insemination as the method to start their family. I wont go into too much detail, but her twin boys were born happy and healthy. A bit later, they decided to have another child through this same method. Another son was born and they now have three beautiful and healthy children.

They felt so blessed and overjoyed to have all those little feet running around. They felt that their family was complete, and they were so blessed. However, just when we decide that our life is exactly how we want it to be and everything is planned out, God tends to laugh, and remind us that really, our lives are in his hands.

Recently my sister called to share some news with me. She was feeling very sick, gaining wait, and decided to take a pregnancy test. The miracle in all of this was that, without any help, any medical care, and certainly without their usual method of invitro insemination and lots of prayers, they had become pregnant! Fast-forward to today when she was finally able to get an appointment with her doctor to check everything out. Today, she found that she has a healthy little baby growing inside her! What a fantastic little miracle.

This little story serves as a reminder that in our darkest hours, we are still loved. When we least expect it, miracles happen. When we make plans, God laughs! And most importantly, love is all around us.

Don’t forget to head over to With Love Paper Goods for Sara’s post today as part of our 28 Days of Adding Happiness series. Much love!

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28 Days of Adding Happiness – Celebrate Everything Printable

Who did not run right out and buy a bunch of apples as soon as they read that post yesterday on Sarah’s blog? Wow! They sound delicious! I can’t wait to bake some up! This calls for a celebration…..in fact, until further notice, Celebrate everything!

Happiness is about celebrating all the little adventures in life, about celebrating the small triumphs, and about making the best of every single day of our lives here together. Happiness is about encouraging those around us, embracing those that we love, and supporting those that love us in return. Happiness is about being positive and giving people hope. It’s  about making this world better than it was when we got here. Most of all, happiness is about love – any and every kind of love that exists in your heart to give, and since I love all of you, I made a printable for you to celebrate with. Yes, I did! I hope you love it!

celebrate_everything

Click on the picture to download the printable!

Head over to Sarah’s blog tomorrow because there are still a few days left of this fantastic blog series. Give Sarah some love!

28 Days of Adding Happiness – Adding a Little Love DIY

I have to admit that I originally wrote this post for the Courage and Dash website that I currently create DIY posts for once per month. Next month I will begin writing over there every-other week. I’m kind of excited! I was planning a new post for today that was very similar but not quite the same. I had planned to DIY a lovely welcome sign for your door. We all know that welcoming friends into our home will add a bit of happiness not only to our lives, but also their lives as well. The problem occurred when I was cutting out the material and completely sliced across the entire project. Talk about some crazy arm strength! So, I decided to share this lovely post with you all instead.

One of my college professors always had us going around searching for inspiration. We were required to find something inspiring or take a picture of something each day and then use it to inspire us on our latest projects. This became such a habit, that I still do it despite not needing to turn in my findings to my professor. One day I was walking through a craft store and saw a really neat piece of artwork for sale. It instantly gave me an idea, and I knew I had to create some artwork for our bedroom.

FoamBoard_Art01Today’s DIY tutorial makes use of a really fun product that I love to use: foam board! Foam board is so versatile. It can literally be used for about a million different types of projects. It works really well in for projects when you want to create dimensional artwork or when a lightweight product is necessary. Today’s project can be created for any room or any occasion. It will work for artwork in your home or for a party decoration.

FoamBoard_Art02 What you will need:

  • 2 colors of foam board (unless you wish to paint it.)
  • A template (unless you wish to use your own handwriting)
  • Sharp Craft knife
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive of your choice
  • Spray glitter if you wish

***Step one and two can be skipped if you would rather use your own handwriting. Simply draw out your word or words of choice onto one of your foam board pieces.

FoamBoard_Art03 Step One:

First, using a document program or perhaps Illustrator, create and print a template. Or if you prefer, you can use your own handwriting. Personally, I do not care for my own handwriting, so I always use templates. They can be so easy to create. I created mine to scale, and then printed it to scale as well in reverse. Then I pieced it together like a puzzle and taped it into place. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect because you can always adjust it as needed.FoamBoard_Art04

FoamBoard_Art05FoamBoard_Art06Step Two:

Cut out your template using your scissors. Don’t worry if it is not perfect. When I printed mine, I used the quick print function so the letters were not quite solid, but it saved a lot of ink. It also didn’t print all the way to the edges. Once your template is cut out you can trace it on the back of one of your foam board pieces. I find it best to trace a mirror image onto the back of the foam board so that there are not any extra marks or coloring on the front side.

FoamBoard_Art07Step Three:

Using your sharp craft knife, cut out the letters from your foam board. Make sure that you push through both layers. Once you have cut out your letters, you may need to clean up the edges. I turned my letters over to view them from the front. It makes it a bit easier to determine whether it looks nice.FoamBoard_Art08FoamBoard_Art09FoamBoard_Art10FoamBoard_Art11

 Step Four (Another Optional Step):

If you are anything like me, I can’t have enough glitter! I choose to use a spray glitter to coat the letters. You could also use spray paint to change the color of the foam board if you only have one color of foam board. Make sure that if you are painting the foam board, you wait until one coat is completely dry before adding a second coat.FoamBoard_Art13

FoamBoard_Art12Step Five:

Using the adhesive of your choice, mount the letters to the second piece of foam board. I prefer to use double-sided tape. Foam board is so light that tape is perfect for this project. I like it for this project because it’s easy and clean to use, and it doesn’t require time to dry!

FoamBoard_Art14Step Six:

Hang your masterpiece and Enjoy!The best part about this project is that you can change the words, change the fonts, change the colors, and change the purpose. You can make literally anything with this tutorial once you figure it out! So, what are you going to make? Leave me a comment, and tell me what you plan to make. I’d love to see your pictures too. Share them with me!

Don’t forget that this week is the last week of this blog series. Are you sad? I’m sad! Working with Sarah has been such an amazing experience. She is a wonderful and beautiful woman both inside and out. Her heart is bigger than the sky and her smile is infectious. Meeting Sarah has been an enormous blessing in my life, and I am hoping that it has been a blessing for all of you considering all the lovely posts she has shared with us on With Love Paper Goods. I can’t imagine not know this lady, and I can’t wait to see what projects we might team up on in the future. Head over there tomorrow to see her latest post.

Until next time,

Love!

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28 Days of Adding Happiness – 12 Links From Around the Web

So, last night I was trying very hard to finish up yesterday’s 28 Days of Adding Happiness post, which I have been super excited about and looking forward to for a while now, but I could barely see! I’m seriously not exaggerating. You see, ever since we moved to Knoxville in 2010, and then, even more so since we moved to SLC area in 2011, I have been stalked like prey by allergies. They have chased me tirelessly no matter where I run or where I hide. I’ve managed to remove myself from their radar through the use of incredible vacuums, out-of-this-world air filters, essential oils, local honey, and what I considered to be the greatest allergy medications ever, but this year, they have caught me by the shirt tails and dragged me down to my knees where i grovel and beg them to release me.

DeathtoStock_Spring1Last night was completely and utterly horrible with eyes so itchy and watery that i could barely see and sneezes coming at regular intervals. I had taken two different allergy medications (don’t worry, the double up was approved by my allergist) in addition to a nasal spray, but nothing was giving me any relief. the misery was over the top, and there was nothing I could do.

I’m so sorry. Can you all forgive me? Please? Oh thank you a million times over!

Okay, so moving on….the post!

Here are the links that I’ve been dying to share with you all:

This woman’s slightly harsh but very real talk about business has helped my so much! (some foul language)

I have been dreading my next birthday, but this post has me feeling a little bit better about it all. I feel like I’m actually prepared!

Success is something we all aim for, right? Here are some secrets to it!

I’ve been waiting very impatiently for this book to finally go on sale.

I’m pretty certain that fitted sheets are the enemy of all women, but this just might even the score.

I love this lady, and this idea is the greatest thing ever! What a grand idea!

This Oat and Pecan cake with vanilla ginger frosting recipe that is nothing but raw vegan goodness! I can’t wait to try it!

This sugar rush in a box!

Bugs have never been this cute!

Loving this adorable and simple garland DIY!

These awesome party favors can make any party that much better!!

And finally…. cupcakes are my favorite, but this cupcake kit brings them to a whole new level!

Happy weekend, and don’t forget to hop over to Sara’s blog to see her awesome posts tonight! I happen to know that you will not be disappointed! She has some A-MAZE-ING stuff going up tonight!

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28 Days of Adding Happiness – 28 Ways to Bring Happiness to Others

DeathtoStock_Spring7As I read Sarah’s post yesterday, I was so touched by her honesty. She is so right about our purpose here to love each other. If we are all honest, isn’t it really the relationships that we have that are what make life worth living? Its the people that we love and the people that love us that make each day worthwhile and that make our lives complete.

Lately, I’ve been feeling that stretch she talked about. In a year’s time I’ve gone through two huge yet rare medical diagnoses, a major life changing surgery, losing my job due to disability, my husband getting laid off a week after my surgery, learning to walk again, opening a business, going to school full time, and testing our vows in our first year of marriage. Every day I go to bed exhausted! I go to bed wondering how I’m ever going to get up the next morning and face the world again. But, each day I wake up next to my best friend, and I know that no matter what, he is going to love me, and no matter what, I am going to love him!

That relationship is what makes life worth living. It’s what brings a smile to my face throughout each day. Most of all, it’s the thing that life is beautiful, and crazy, and wild, and fun, and adventuresome, and perfect in its imperfections!

Sarah’s post yesterday leads right into what I wanted to share with you today. Other people can be a huge part of our lives, yet we don’t always show them how much they mean to us. It’s important to show people, whether they are our spouse or the stranger that took our order at the ice-cream shop, that they are important to us. Who knows, you might be the only person that shows them a smile today or the only person that thanks them for working so hard.

I’ve compiled a list of 28 awesome ways to show some appreciateion to others and give them a reason to smile. Today is about not being happy yourself, but about spreading that happiness out and sharing it with others. Today is about adding happiness to our life by adding happiness to the lives of people who matter. So, here you go, 28 ways to show some love:

  1. Call a family member.
  2. Compliment a stranger.
  3. send a handwritten note.
  4. Ask people for their opinion. It will make them feel valuable!
  5. Leave a positive comment for management about a hard worker that you noticed.
  6. Bring a treat to work to share with your coworkers.
  7. Leave flowers on a neighbor’s front porch.
  8. Give out a hug!
  9. Send a text to let someone know you are thinking of them.
  10. Send flowers to you mom for no reason.
  11. When somebody helps you, thank them, and use the name on their name tag.
  12. Leave some change at the vending machine.
  13. Sing and dance in the car at a stoplight. Instead of stopping when somebody looks at you, look them in the eye, smile, and keep on singing!
  14. Leave a note for your loved one where they will find it later.
  15. Walk an elderly neighbor’s pet for them.
  16. Buy an extra newspaper at the dispenser machine and leave one for the next person.
  17. Tie some balloons to the playground equipment at a local park.
  18. Donate to a local food pantry.
  19. Drop some quarters where a child might find them.
  20. Send your pastor or church leader a card.
  21. Tip your grocery bagger.
  22. Help a mother by taking her cart back to the cart corral.
  23. Leave a note on a public bathroom mirror.
  24. Write “thank you” on your restaurant receipt and leave it for the waiter or waitress.
  25. Leave one of these for someone.
  26. Hand out these to someone.
  27. If you and your spouse or your roommate have designated chores, go ahead and do theirs without telling them. When they realize what you’ve done, it will make their day!
  28. Go ahead and hold hands! It reminds people that you need them!

I agree with Sarah that this experience of blogging back and forth with Sarah and sharing all of this happiness with each of you has been such an awesome experience. It has been both challenging and rewarding. This series has made me realize some wonderful things, and I’m having so much fun. I hope each of you reading our posts is loving the series just as Sarah and I are loving the experience of sharing each post. Stop in at With Love Paper Goods tomorrow for Sarah’s new post, and don’t forget to come back here on Friday for some great linkups around the web! I can’t wait to share some pretty things I’ve found with you all!

28 Days of Adding Happiness – Kale Chips that Taste Good? Oh, yes!

I just love Sara’s unique style! Her flowers are always so pretty. Wasn’t that flower frame she made with paper flowers, just stunning? I loved it!

This Labor Day weekend, how many of us overindulged in all kinds of yummy picnic foods like hotdogs, hamburgers, cookies, or chips? It’s so easy to do, especially when we are surrounded by friends and family members that are eating the same things. As somebody that regularily eats really healthy foods like fruits and veggies all day every day, I can understand how hard it can be to eat healthy in social situations, but I’m also here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be hard.

Two years ago when I switched over to a raw vegan lifestyle, I had a ton of friends that were actually very curious about the food choices that I was making, so I decided to have a dinner party and share my lifestyle with them. I went all out with fancy table clothes, real dishes and glassware, etc for 17 people! It was a ton of work, but I prepared 5 courses (3 of which had more than one option) plus, tons of appetizers for everyone to munch on while we waited for everyone to arrive. Yes, I might be insane! The best part was that everyone loved almost everything, and several people left with recipes so that they could make some of it at home.

One of the favorites that night were the kale chips. There has been a ton of chatter about Kale lately both in and out of the health food world. People are finally starting to notice it for the amazing nutritional value and for its awesome versatility. These kale chips were a huge hit, not only because they shocked everyone with their taste, but because everyone was interested in actually eating this healthy little plant and couldn’t believe how easy it was to prepare!

I originally got my recipe from Carmella at her blog, The Sunny Raw Kitchen. She has a ton of yummy recipes, and I’ve used several of them. Check out her website, and try some of them yourself! Her recipe was found on another site called Raw Food Talk which is another really great source for raw food ideas. For more sites or more information about vegetarian eating, veganism, or Raw veganism, check out this previous post I wrote.

Here’s the recipe:

Chrissy’s Goddess Chips
Posted by Chrissy on Raw Food Talk

2 bunches kale, broken into large pieces by hand (preferably dino kale)

Dressing:
¾ cups sesame tahini
¼ cup nama shoyu
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water ~ more if needed
2 scallion
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
¼ t. sea salt
¼ cup fresh parsley

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. You may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale.

Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 4 hours @ 110 degrees. You’ll need to use two trays. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, HAVE NO FEAR! You can still create this yummy snack. Use your oven on the lowest setting and crack it open so that it doesn’t get quite as hot. Keep checking on the chips until they are light and crispy. They will nearly fall apart in you mouth when they are done.

If you try this recipe, leave me a message and tell me what you think, then head over to With Love Paper Goods tomorrow to see what Sarah has in store for you. Don’t forget to come back on Wednesday for another dose of Adding Happiness!

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