This past week, my husband and I celebrated our 5th anniversary. It’s hard to believe that much time has gone by! I wanted to make a special anniversary decoration to hang up, and I love how bunting looks, so I decided to make anniversary-themed bunting.
I designed and cut everything out using my silhouette cameo (LOVE having that machine!), and then sewed all the pennants together with my sewing machine. I love how it turned out! (Scroll to the bottom of this post to get the free downloadable file).
Making the World a Little Sweeter this month is all about gratitude.
Ah, Gratitude: a virtue too often overlooked, when it should be a fundamental part of our way of thinking, no?
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” – Cicero
You may already know that when you have an attitude of gratitude, you tend to be happier and more content with life, but did you know that making gratitude a habit actually improves your physical health and brain function? (according to research done by Daniel G. Amen, MD) Of course, expressing that gratitude has the potential to lift and inspire others. Think of a time when someone thanked you for something you did- even if you were not expecting anything in return. You were probably surprised and touched, right? So by focusing on gratitude- and expressing it- we are going to feel great and help others feel great too.
First- on cultivating an attitude of gratitude, I suggest starting a gratitude journal. This is something I have done in the past, and it really made me think every day about the good things that happened. I have enjoyed going back and reading things that I wrote way back in the day. If you want to start a gratitude journal, all you need is a notebook or a scrap of paper, but if you want to motivate yourself with something cute, why don’t you check out this tutorial with free printable pages from Small + Friendly.
Second- We have so many opportunities to uplift others by simply saying thank you. Most of us are probably on our best behavior much of the time, and we say our pleases and thank-yous when we should- mostly. But I would bet that if you think about it, you will be able to come up with someone who you’d still like to thank- or at least thank better. At first, when I started thinking of people who deserve my thanks, I realized there wasn’t really any dramatic instance where someone saved my life, or did something that changed my whole life, but there were so many people who performed small acts that really did change my life in small ways… The woman whose friendship meant the world to me at a time when I was a newcomer with no friends and few acquaintances. The youth leader who listened to and encouraged me during my painfully shy and awkward adolescence. The first friend I made as a student in a foreign country, who opened her heart to me, and who is still in my heart these years later. The boss who wouldn’t let administration cut my part time job, and who supported me in wanting to be a mother first and foremost. The casual friend I didn’t know too well, but who let me cry on her shoulder during a tough time, and then called me up later to find out how I was doing. All the people who have genuinely cared about me when they didn’t have to. Whether they knew it or not, they all left positive impressions on my life. Some of these wonderful people I have thanked recently, and some I still need to seek out.
My challenge to you this month is to thank someone in your life- either someone from your past, or someone who is making a difference to you right now. Could be a friend, family member, or acquaintance… anybody who has done something positive for you, or for your family. You could surely send a thank you card, write a letter or quick email, make a phone call, or drop off a plate of cookies to that person who has made your life a little sweeter.
And, dear readers, I must thank you. I appreciate your sticking with us, reading, and commenting. So, just for you, here is a free printable- a thank-you checklist style card- just click the picture below, and it will open a google doc that you can then print from or download the card. I hope you enjoy it (and use it)!
PS: You can make an envelope by trimming and folding a 12×12 piece of scrapbook paper to fit around it. As long as the finished dimensions of any envelope are less than 6 1/8″ x 11 1/2″ and it weighs less than 3.5 oz, you should be able to mail it with one stamp- currently $0.44- in the U.S. You don’t necessarily have to put it in an envelope though; you could punch a hole and thread some ribbon through it and attach it to a door, or a treat to give away. Any other ideas out there about presentation?
Thanks to those of you who entered our first giveaway!
I am pleased to announce the winners of my crochet headband pattern! – they are:
Megan, Amanda and Kate! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can send you the PDF pattern for my headband ASAP!
As many of you know, I recently started an Etsy shop, selling hand-crocheted headbands, earmuffs, and scarves. I have had a lot of fun with it! A few of you mentioned that you would love to have a pattern for my headbands. Well, I have been working on it for the past couple of weeks, and without any further ado, I would like to announce that I have my first pattern written out and up for sale! Now, here is the BEST part:
Because we love our readers so much, I am giving away one of my headband patterns for FREE to 3 lucky people!!!
(Also, for those of you who do not crochet, I am clearing out my shop for the spring, so I am giving all of you a special code for 25% off of everything in my shop! Feel free to share it with your friends! Use HSH25OFF at checkout!)
So, here is what you do to enter the giveaway – you can have a maximum of 3 entries total (comment on this post, telling us what you did):
1. Blog and/or facebook about this giveaway with a link back to this post
2. Blog and /or facebook about our Etsy shop sale (homesweethomebodies.etsy.com)
3. Become a follower of our blog (or just let us know that you are already following!)
**This giveaway has been extended to accommodate more of our wonderful readers! It will now end on March 15! Hurry and enter!!!
I have been in major nesting mode for a while now, and to me that includes all sorts of organization. One thing I have been working on is getting our important information updated and gathered for easy access in the event that we have some sort of emergency or crisis. Of course, it’s nice to have it all together for handy reference at other times too.
Here are some blank forms you are free to use and edit to meet your needs.
In Case of Emergency– this is great to have laminated or in a sheet protector that you can pull out for the babysitter, or as the need arises.
Important Numbers and Other Information– a place to compile insurance policy numbers, the location of important documents, loan information, utilities information, numbers to call if your credit card is lost or stolen, etc.
I have a binder that I am using to keep track of this kind of stuff. It also has calendars, current receipts and coupons, and cleaning checklists (which haven’t been used in quite a while- ha!) and I want to get some sort of rotating meal plan in there too. I know that is way more planning than many people like, but what can I say? I am a list person. I’ve got lists of my lists. I like having my life organized, but many of those things are non-essential. However, I think it is a smart idea to give yourself easy access to important information for those times when stress may prevent you from thinking clearly.
If you are like me, and want tools for organizing every aspect of your life, but don’t know where to start, check out The Executive Homemaker Binder or Fly Lady’s Control Journal.