happy

One of my favorite things to do is give gifts. It’s a wonderful feeling finding the perfect gift for a great price. Most of us are drawn to certain retailers because of their prices. This holiday season I challenge you to not be driven by price alone but, to look at the companies you’re endorsing by giving them your business. I urge you to choose companies that are going beyond to give back to their communities and better the world. Here are some companies I personally recommend that do just that!

keys

The Giving Keys

https://www.thegivingkeys.com/

This L.A. based company makes beautiful jewelry out of keys they engrave with inspirational words. They give back in a big way by employing low-income and homeless individuals. Furthermore, they partner with local organizations and centers to help provide resources to those individuals so that they can achieve a life of self-sustainment.

moorea

Moorea Seal

https://www.mooreaseal.com/

Is a Seattle-based store that carries everything a trendy modern woman would want and then some. Moorea Seal gives back by donating 7% of all its profits to multiple charities and non-profits. The current non-profits they’re contributing to are Brazil Without Barriers, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Washington Trails Association, Best Friends Animal Society & the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

littlemarket

The Little Market

https://www.thelittlemarket.com/

The Little Market is an non-profit organization established by the one and only Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla. It is an online fair trade shop that sells handmade products from around the world. The Little Market helps artisans by providing a platform that helps their products reach a wider demographic of consumers therefore, enabling them to sell more and make a meaningful income. There are endless items on this site but there is definitely something for everyone.

 

 

Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving!!!I don’t think it could have come soon enough for our country this year. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays not only does it take place at my favorite time of year but, it literally involves everything that I love family, friends, food and football! I know it can be stressful especially for those of us that are hosting so here are a couple of décor and recipe ideas to make your Thanksgiving planning easier.

Pumpkin Succulent Arrangements

pumpkins

Anybody who really knows me knows I really love succulents so when I came across an easy DIY pumpkin succulent decoration I had to do it.

Supplies

Pumpkin(s) (the ones used in the pictures were sparkler pumpkins)
Spray adhesive
Glue gun & glue sticks
Moss
Succulent cuttings (assorted colors & types)
Scissors or pruners
Disposable gloves
Disposable paper surface – newspaper etc..
Pencil (acting as a holder)

Note: Succulents can often be purchase at hardware stores, Fred Meyer and depending on the season and location Wal-mart & nurseries.

image

The day before assembling the pumpkin succulent arrangements cut your succulents so the ends have time to dry out.I suggest wearing disposable gloves and spraying the pumpkins with adhesive outside. First, spray a pumpkin top with adhesive than top with moss pressing down securely to create a good flat moss bed for your succulents (more will be added later). When assembling succulent arrangements I think its best to approach them like a floral arrangement preplacing and experimenting are how to create the perfect arrangement.Some vital things to consider when arranging is the style, color, height and size of each succulent for each placement and how it complements the overall look. I had some pumpkins that had long stems and others with no stems at all. For the pumpkins with no stems I chose the largest succulents and glued them to the centered of the pumpkin and then continue to work my way out from the center. It’s a little trickier to start an arrangement for pumpkins with long stems but start by placing bigger feature succulents around the stem you can even tilt them against the stem of the pumpkin working again from the center outward. I used the flat side of a pencil to hold whatever I’m gluing in place for a good amount of time. Use your good judgment to glue additional moss where needed making sure that no ends of the succulents are exposed and ensuring your succulents with have a good moss bed to take root in. These pumpkin succulent arrangements can last for a long time (months) if properly taken care of start by using a spray bottle to spray them every other day, a day after they’ve initially been assembled. When you get sick of looking at the arrangement or the pumpkin starts to go south just slice the top of the pumpkin off (with the succulents) and plant in your garden or in an adequately sized pot.Note: If you live in a colder climate where it freezes and it’s currently fall/winter you want to plant the pumpkin top with the succulents in a pot inside and then transfer outside when it becomes warmer.On the other hand, if you live in a climate that is warm most of the year and is currently warm go ahead and plant it outside.

pumpkin-top4

I took so many beautiful pictures of various angles. I just love these!!!Please bare with me just a few more.

pumpkin-top2

pumpkin-top3

Make Ahead Breakfast Dish Recipe

My family loves this recipe and its great for the morning of Thanksgiving or the morning after Thanksgiving when you just don’t want to cook anymore. This simple overnight breakfast dish will save you time and energy and still be a big hit. I suggest doubling this recipe and making it in a 9×13 pan.

blueberry-croissant

Blueberry Croissant Puff

(Serves 10)(Vegetarian)

Ingredients

1 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon
3 Croissants, cut up (about 5 to 5 1/2 cups), large (I use the Costco ones!)
1 package Cream cheese
1 cup Milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place croissant pieces in a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with blueberries.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes or soak overnight.
Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center and golden brown. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.
Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Source:

The Girl Who Ate Everything

http://www.the–who-ate-everything.com/2013/02/blueberry-croissant-puff.html

feelin-it

Here is a list of some things I’m feelin’ at the moment. Check them out I’m sure you’ll love them too!

Let’s start off with websites. I’m currently obsessed with the Moorea Seal website!

https://www.mooreaseal.com/

Moorea Seal is known for her best-selling journal the 52 Lists Project. This website showcases her impeccable taste the items range from apparel to home wares.Most recently, Moorea has launched a celestial inspired jewelry line that is fabulous along with her new journal the 52 Lists for Happiness.

The Magnolia Market

https://shop.magnoliamarket.com/

The Magnolia Market is the website of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the very popular HGTV series Fixer Upper. This site features everything Gaines from Joanna’s signature design style to their multiple businesses. Most recently, they have released The Magnolia Story their joint autobiography which is currently on The New York Times best sellers list.

Video

https://www.instagram.com/annettelabedzki/

Recently, I stumbled across these really cool videos of different color paint dabs being mixed together to form a whole new color. These mesmerizing and beautiful paint videos are the work of Canadian artist Annette Labedzki. Watch her work and you’ll see what I mean.

Recipes

Pumpkin Scones (Starbucks Copycat)

http://www.cookingclassy.com/pumpkin-scones-starbucks-copycat/

These delicious pumpkin scones are a big hit in my house and they are super easy to make. A great Pinterest find from Cooking Classy.

 

Combating the Hustle & Bustle

Sometimes as adults we simply lose sight of things. The demands of life fueled by work, finances, family and ambition take over leaving little if any room for rest, relaxation or rejuvenation. This cycle of burning the candle at both ends has to stop or it inevitably for most people will lead to unhappiness, health problems, addictions and burn out. How do we combat this hustle and bustle lifestyle? I truly believe you can remedy this by taking time for yourself in order to feed your inner self/spirit. This can be done in multiple ways and you ultimately have to find out what works best for you.

Here are some of my go to ways to relax and recharge. I like just being alone and listening to music. If I’m in a more energetic mood a spontaneous dance party always nourishes my spirit. Also, reading something that’s positive, inspirational and gives me a different perspective always helps. Incidentally enough, if you’re having a hard time relaxing I find that resorting to childlike activities might actually help. Sometimes I grab a coloring book or engage in a game with kids where my imagination can go wild. I also, make it a priority to make time for hobbies (baking, gardening etc.) that I enjoy.

The whole point of taking time to carrying out these activities is to feed your spirit by embracing rest and relaxation in order to reset your mind, body and spirit towards a healthy perspective. Furthermore, keep in mind that you can’t do everything and pay specific attention to your motivations behind why you do certain things. I suggest honestly taking a look at your lifestyle and maybe altogether eliminating some things and just reprioritizing. In the end, I know if you apply these tips to your life you’ll be on the road to a happier and healthier version of yourself.

I highly recommend this weekly journal by Moorea Seal or coloring books by Leisure Arts!