Happily Ever After

Happily ever after…take a moment and think about what this phrase means to you? What does your happily ever after look like? Who are you with? What are you doing?

At first, when I think of my happily ever after, I think that it will end with every aspect of my life being amazing. All of my relationships will be perfect, my family dynamics will be good, I’ll be doing what I love, and everything will just seem great.

Chances are, that’s probably somewhat similar to how you imagined your happily ever after.

From stories and movies that end with a happily ever after, the viewer or reader is supposed to infer that from then on, the character(s) live a problem-free-happy life. In reality, this is never true…never possible to say the least. People are always facing different obstacles, and always struggling with something-big or small.

Relating this back to my personal life, I often have the mindset of, when things are totally perfect in my life, then I will be happy. But happiness doesn’t come from your circumstances, happiness comes from what you bring.

But, how can you have happiness when your circumstances aren’t perfect? Fist of all, just look around you. You’re alive, on this Earth. That’s something to celebrate.

Another important thing is learning to be content with what you do have. To every downside there is an upside. For example, even if I didn’t make the school play, I still got the great experience of auditioning. Or, even though I feel like that person doesn’t really like me, I know people who do, or even more importantly, like me. You could think of it as giving value to the positive things.

Another way to find happiness is to let happiness find you, and the best way that I know of for this is doing things for others. It could be small things, like helping someone with their homework, or bigger things, like providing relief to those in need. There are so many ways to make someone else’s day a bit better, and you’d be surprised at how much better it makes your own day. You get happiness by giving it to others.

I want to have the mindset of looking at “happily ever afters” not as, “everything in life is flawless”, but rather, life-even with it’s highs and lows- is good.

-m

Christmas Wrapping

Here are some cool wrapping paper design ideas for this Christmas! To make the little decorations, I cut out shapes and figures from cards that I got from Walgreens. This is a super simple project, and it’s great for customizing your paper. Thanks to Brit + Co for the idea!

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Cards that I used…

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HO HO HO Paper

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CANDLES Paper

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FESTIVE Paper

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TEXT Paper

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Check out my Christmas Wrapping video on YouTube!

Holiday Cards

I love to receive holiday cards. They are so personal, heartwarming, and festive. This year, I decided to make some hand made Christmas/Holiday cards. It’s great to do if you like craft making, but don’t feel intimidated by the word “card making”. It’s easy to think that you have to make extraordinarily beautiful cards with lots of detail, but I find the the best cards are actually the most simple. Creativity doesn’t have to be intimidating or painstakingly hard!

The Wrapped Gift

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Start by cutting out little red squares out of red felt. Then cut tiny strips of gold ribbon. Also cut out a bow shape for the top of the present; I used some ribbon scraps for this. Assemble by gluing everything on the paper, and you have a little wrapped gift card decoration.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

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This one is very simple. Just cut out a circle from any material/paper you would like, and paste it onto the card. Then draw some antlers!

The Snowman

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First, shape two cotton balls. One should be slightly larger than the other. Then, cutout your garments for the snowman; black top hat, red felt scarf, and nose(and also hands + boots if you would like). Paste the cotton balls onto the card, then the hat, scarf, and nose. Paste a little button on the scarf, and then dot the eyes with black pen.

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And you can also use the same decorations for tags!

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D.I.Y. Phone Cases

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of D.I.Y. videos on YouTube, and I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration for gift making this year. This year is going to be my year of personalized, and useful gifts…all made by ME! I’m super excited.

So, I made a few phone cases this past weekend to give as gifts, and I have to say, they are super simple and fun to make. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to have a customized phone case given to them this Christmas. It’s a perfect gift for basically anyone.

Here are the phone cases that I made:

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Let me know what you plan on making on your phone cases! I’d love to know!

What You’ll Need…

  • clear phone case that fits the phone that you’re going to put it on
  • paint brush
  • paint (I would recommend Acrylic)
  • water
  • sharpie (in any color you would like)
  • spray on glaze (optional)

How To…

  1. start off by making sure that the phone case you’re using is nice and clean.
  2. use the sharpie(s) to make the outline of your design. If your make a mistake, use a normal eraser to erase (I know, cool).
  3. now you can paint inside of the outline you made. I would recommend letting one layer dry before putting another coat of paint on. Don’t worry if you make a mistake because the paint comes off pretty easily. Just scratch it off.
  4. make sure to let it dry before use.
  5. And wella! You have you’re phone case! Pretty simple, huh?!

Note: If you would like to put a finishing glaze on top, use a glaze that dries clear.

Christmas Gift Planning 2016

So, for this Christmas, I decided to start planning more in advance. I know that many of us cram to get all of our gift shopping done the week before Christmas, but I decided that this year would be different for me. Other than planning in advance, I also want to get my family gifts that are personally thought of + minimal cost…and so I decided to give D.I.Y. gifts this year!

I’m hoping that by D.I.Y.ing most of my gifts this year, I will be able to make the gifts as personal as they can be. When I buy things offline or go to a store, the gifts are personal, but by D.I.Y.ing, you can always add that extra little touch which makes it even more perfect for the person that you’re giving it to.

I want to share with you some of the D.I.Y. gift ideas that I have found from YouTube and Pinterest, and I hope that you find some of them helpful for your own family.

For the SIS…

College Cook Kit: Mug Cakes

My sister is in college right now, so I thought that it would be a good idea to get her some gifts that would be helpful while she’s there. My sis’ loves quick meals. She rarely has time to cook(and she never cooks in general), so a college cook kit would be perfect for her.

It would consist of…

  1. mug
  2. mug cake mix

For the mug cake mix, I would mix together the dry ingredients of the mug cake, and put them in a baggy. I was thinking of making her three different mixes; chocolate, vanilla, and confetti. Then she would just have to add milk, canola oil, water, and vanilla extract; then microwave of course.

For the mug, I would decorate the mug with the instructions on how to make the mug cake. Then she would have it right at her fingers:)

mug cake recipe

my inspiration

Lip Scrub

So, my sister and I really like the store LUSH. It has all of these really cool body products such as soaps, bath bombs, makeup, and scrubs. One thing that we both really like from LUSH is their lip scrubs, mainly because they taste really good. Since it’s basically just flavored sugar, I think it would be simple enough for me to make! Hopefully it turns out well.

my lip scrub vid

p.s.you can use coconut oil as substitute for olive oil

Phone Case

It’s really easy to customize your own phone case by getting a clear phone case, and sticking a photo/sticker inside of it. My sister is obsessed with Pusheen cats, so I’m just going to print out a photo of Pusheen from online, and then I’m going to stick it into the clear phone case so that she has a PUSHEEN PHONE CASE!Image result

For Mom…

Succulents in a Jar

My mom is obsessed with succulents, and so I decided that it would be a cool idea to plant some succulents in a glass jar. I think that the end product looks really pretty and modern, and it’s really simple to make.

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Wood Slice coasters

My mom always gets upset when I don’t put a coaster under my cups, so I think that it would be a great idea to make her some stylish coasters out of wood slices. To make a design on the coasters, I would probably make stencils by tracing an image onto a piece of stiff paper + cutting it out, and then using the stiff paper stencil to paint the design onto the coaster.

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For Dad…

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I’ve done this in past years where I’ve just made a bunch of tickets and gave them to my dad. Not just any tickets though, tickets you know your dad will really enjoy. For example, I gave my dad clean the dishes tickets, walk the dog tickets, “be nice to sister” tickets…

It’s a fun way to give your dad something he’ll enjoy.

For the Dog…

Don’t forget about the dog! I always like to wrap the gift that I’m giving to my dog with wrapping paper, and put food inside it so that my dog rips it open. It’s the cutest thing and it makes for a great vid.

There’s no better way to show your dog that you love them by giving them a tasty treat! This year I plan to make my dog PUPCAKES! My dog loves loves loves peanut butter, so that’s the direction that I’m probably going to head…

peanut butter pup cake recipe 

p.s. For the recipe, I would exclude the vanilla and honey because they can be harmful to your dog. Instead, I would substitute the sweet honey with some banana. The rest of the ingredients should be fine for your pup.

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For Friends…

There are countless different friend D.I.Y. gifts possible to do for friends! I always like to keep it low-key and simple to do because I find that those gifts are the most meaningful to receive.

Wood Transfer

I found this really really cool thing on Pinterest that’s called a wood transfer. You take a photo and a piece of wood, and you transfer the photo onto the piece of wood. This is a great gift because you could use absolutely any photo that you want, and personalize the gift as much as your heart desires. I’ll probably use little blocks of wood for the photo transfer to make it easier to give as a gift.

Mason Jar of Stuff

I think that mason jars are the artsiest thing, and so I thought it would be cool to give little gifts in a mason jar…but not just a normal mason jar… a really cute-decorated one so that the mason jar itself is also a nice gift.

Inside the mason jar…

I would put lots of little things into the jar that I think would be meaningful to that friend. A lot of my friends are really into soccer, so maybe I would stick a pair of soccer socks into the jar. Putting a wood transfer photo in too would be a good idea! Pencils are always something that I’m low on, so I’d stick a few pencils in as well. I’d also put in a lip gloss/nail polish. Maybe I’d put a few little decorated tiles inside too(little personalized charms).

Bracelets

These bracelets are really stylish, and I know that I would love to recieve one as a gift!

marble bracelets

Oreo Pops

This is a really simple treat to make, and it’s a cute little twist on cake pops. I’m probably going to put the little pops into a plastic baggy, and tie it with a decorated ” christmassy” ribbon with a tag that says “Happy Holidays!”

oreo pops

Easy and adorable Christmas tree Oreo pops. Fun to make with the kids! Would be a cute Christmas gift.

photo in courtesy of it’s always autumn

Spirit Week 2016

What a week! This past week it was spirit week at my school, and it was a lot of fun. Spirit week is basically a whole week of fun and games. Each day, every grade level is assigned a different theme/costume to dress up as, and then at every lunch there is a rally full of cheering and activities out on the football field. I think my favorite part of Spirit Week would have to be how it unifies the school together. Even though we are mildly putting different grade levels down in our cheers, we are all still coming together to celebrate and enjoy ourselves.

So here’s a quick overview on Spirit Week 2016…

Monday… 🚒

Monday was class themes day. Each grade level had their own theme that relates to a specific color. For example, the sophomore color was red, and so we chose our theme to be fire fighters. This theme actually ended up being really great because it’s relatively easy to dress up for,  a great theme for making cheers at the rallies, and you could relate lots of things to fire. I was surprised to see that some of my fellow classmates actually wore real fire fighter attire; suit and everything. That was really impressive, and it made my red t-shirt, black pants, and plastic fire hat look a little pathetic. But that’s the thing about spirit week, people won’t judge you. As long as your showing a little bit of spirit, it’s still spirit. And also spirit week gives you an excuse to look totally crazy. Some people even go naked… well at least those streakers do…

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Tuesday…Face With Cowboy Hat on Google Android 7.1

Tuesday had kind of a wacky theme. It was salad dressing themed(IKR…). Freshman were Healthy Choice, sophomores were Ranch, juniors were Thousand Island, and seniors were Greek. I have to say, whoever came up with that theme had to have been very creative. For Ranch, sophomores dressed up as cowboys. Simple and doable. We all looked really great with our cowboy hats on.

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Wednesday…🌜

We didn’t have school Wednesday! Well, the Juniors did because they were taking the PSAT, but all the other grade levels got a nice day off. There was a rally at night, sadly I couldn’t make it, but I heard it was really fun. Each grade level was supposed to dress up according to their class color. I watched a short clip of the rally, and a few lucky people got to run in huge-blow-up hamster balls…now that would’ve been fun. Maybe I’ll ask for one for Christmas🤔

Thursday…👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

This had to have been my favorite theme day. It was generations day. Freshman dressed up as babies, sophomores as teeny boppers, juniors as business people, and seniors as senior citizens. It was so funny to see all of the dedicated grade levels going all out in their themes. For teeny boppers, I wore some hippie-like leg warmers that were actually part of my sister’s old tap dance costume. My mom said that leg warmers were popular back in the 50s-60s so I just took her word for it.

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Friday… 💚

The last day of spirit week was a lot of fun. It was PALY pride day, so everyone was supposed to wear green and white(the PALY colors). I saw some really spirited costumes, and I’m probably biased but I think that sophomores were best dressed for PALY pride. What can I say? We’re just a spirited class.

Not only was there a lunch rally, but there was also an after school rally too! This was by far the most exciting one because we got to see each grade level’s spirit dance. All of the dances were supposed to relate back to class themes, and so the sophomore dance revolved around the idea of fire and emergencies. Last year I didn’t participate in the dance, but it looked really fun, so I decided to try it this year. We had to practice almost everyday starting three weeks before spirit week. All of the classes wanted to make their dance really good. For the sophomore dance, we included songs like Fireball, Fire Burning, and Girl On Fire. That was another perk of our theme: there were so many good songs that had to do with fire. I really really liked being able to participate in the dance, and I think that it came together really well. Even though I’m almost sure that got 50% of the dance moves wrong(I didn’t know a lot of it😅), I think that it was a really great opportunity for our grade level to come together in unity.

Videos in courtesy of The Paly Voice