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 – 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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28 Days of Adding Happiness – Around the Web

Welcome back to Pretty Much! Did you absolutely love Sarah’s printable yesterday? I thought it was just darling, and I loved her idea of building happiness within her home by placing inspiring messages where her and her husband will see them most often. We all could use a constant bit of happiness in our homes everyday, so this is such a wonderful idea! I love it!

The Happiness ProjectToday, I want to share some really inspiring links with you. A while back I heard about a book called The Happiness Project. I fell in love with the idea of making small changes each month in order to make my life a little happier and perhaps a little more fulfilling. I read this book from cover to cover all the while taking tons and tons of notes. I took the information and research that Gretchen Rubin wrote about and created my own happiness project. Her book really has changed my life is a very real way. I feel that everyone should grab up a copy and read it. Even if you don’t end up doing your own Happiness Project, the book gives you a chance to reflect on what makes you happy and how you can change your life a tiny bit at a time.

Gretchen Rubin also has a website that she created for her project and continues to update regularly. In fact, she even has a blog! Not only did she write this book, but she also now has journals, print-outs, manifestos, and another book! I’ve picked that one up too, but haven’t had the chance yet to read it. I’m expecting that once I get back from my Walt Disney World trip, (Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m currently blogging from my vacation in WDW?) I plan to read that book cover to cover as well. It is titled Happiness at Home and looks just as good, if not better than the first book. It really ties into Sarah’s blog post yesterday about creating a happier home by placing inspiring messages around the home.

If you choose to read her book, I highly suggest checking out her website as well. The website has all sorts of lists, ideas, quizzes, and much, much more that can help you along your journey to happiness. Trust me, you deserve this! You can even sign up for various emails from Gretchen to include a daily happiness quote in your inbox! Oh, and she has yet another book coming soon!

Have you read any of Gretchen Rubin’s books? What did you think of them? Leave me a comment, and tell me what you thought. I’d love to hear from you! Don’t forget to visit Sarah’s blog tomorrow for another dose of Happiness as she gives some awesome Happiness tips! I love it!

Best!

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One Little Word for 2014: MOVE

Let him that would move the world, first move himself. -Socrates

I told you about my tendency to lay claim to multiple words each year for my One Little Word (OLW) project in this blog post. I also told you about how I was suddenly hit with the notion that I only needed one word for my OLW project this year. This year my OLW is MOVE! So why move? Oh, I am so excited that you asked because that’s exactly what I wanted to talk about in today’s blog post!

First things come first so I better start with the “official” definition of MOVE. According to the big bad search engine, Google, there are quite a few explanations of the word. I’ll only share with you the definitions that really apply to my goals of movement this year. Here you go:

-go in a specified direction or manner; change position.
-change the place or position of.
-change one’s place of residence or work.
-change or cause to change from one state, opinion, sphere, or activity to another.
-influence or prompt (someone) to do something.
-take action.
-make progress; develop in a particular manner or direction.
-(with reference to merchandise) sell or be sold.
-an action that initiates or advances a process or plan.
-a player’s turn to make a change of position.

Alright, so now you are wondering how these definitions of the word Move will apply to my life. Oh wow! Move will apply to my life in so many fantastic ways. This year will be full of changes and movements.

First, I will be moving my butt and getting back in shape. In order to do this, I will be returning to a diet (read: lifestyle, not fad) that works for me. It gives me energy, keeps me feeling positive, and even makes me feel centered and balanced in this crazy world. With that energy I will hopefully be able to physically move my body. I am working on walking every day – I would love to do two walks, but we have to start slow. I also want to start doing more strength training.

A second way in which I will be moving deals with changing my career position. I have opened my own business, Pretty Much, and I want to grow it and grow it like a beautiful garden that blossoms with flowers and gives life to amazing healthy foods that nourish me. This business of mine will nourish my soul and my mind by giving me a way to use my creative energies each day, making others’ dreams come true, and giving me a positive way to support my family. There will be a lot more on this subject later this year. Promise! You can help me with this by helping me “move some product” over at my Etsy shop!

Thirdly, I will be moving my mind. I have been going to school for so long. Every time I physically move locations across the United States, I loose credits in my schooling. It can be so frustrating! This year, I am back at it though with an online school that can travel with me. It will be my second full semester at the Academy of Art University. I’m looking forward to the ways my mind will stretch and the things I will fill my brain with. I absolutely love to learn!

In all of this, the basic plan is to move forward in my life, to make good choices, to be happier, healthier, and more content with what I am doing. I am choosing to make mindful choices and always keep the idea of progress in the forefront of my mind. It’s my turn to move my chess piece. It’s my turn to become something better. It’s my turn to influence myself and start moving in the direction I want to end up in.

What is your One Little Word (OLW) this year? Leave me a comment!

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