Many years back I heard of a chiropractor that had this sign in his office and I never forgot it. I love it when controversy is embraced with humor. Our chiropractor has literally saved Roy from being crippled, all without making a single cut on his body or without a single drug. She’s amazing. If you’d like to give a small thank you to your own chiropractor who has a sense of humor you can print out this high resolution graphic and frame in a nice 5″x7″ frame. It’s sure to make them smile.
OUR FOUR TOP NATURAL HEALING POSTS
If you’ve got adult children living at home, you’re not alone. In fact, almost 40% of adult children do. (1) There are a lot of reasons for this: economy, saving for school etc. But the fact is many adult kids are moving back home so we might as well make the best of it. We’ve had our children live with us at various times after adulthood and in all honesty we were happy to do it. But there are certain inherent issues that can crop up with the situation. So we’ve got a few pointers to help save your sanity and keep your relationship intact.
For more tips on relationships read How To Diffuse an Argument. You can also get our free high resolution frame-able quote at the bottom of the post. It comes in two sizes. 5″x7″ and 8″x10″.
It can be difficult drawing the line between our children being kids and being adults. This means as parents it’s easy for us to overstep our bounds on what we should and should not try to control. Just as it can be hard for the parents to view kids as adults, it can also be hard for the kids to get out of “kid” mode where they expect things from you that you’ve always done.
In reality the rules should be simple and logical. Despite the fact that they’ll always be “your babies”, they are adults and deserve the same autonomy any adult should have. However, you are no longer required to take care of them nor do you owe them. They are adults and need to act like it. They are in your home. So you get to call the shots. The key is to make them fair and reasonable.
It’s a great idea to write up a family contract of goals and expectations.
THINGS YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO REQUIRE
- Discuss their goals and the length of the stay before they ever move in and what their plans are. Revisit that discussion every few weeks to make sure things are on track.
- They clean up after themselves. No ifs ands or buts.
- They pitch in on housework.
- Depending on the situation, they contribute financially. If they can’t, they do extra things around the house to compensate.
THINGS YOU DON’T HAVE A RIGHT TO REQUIRE
- What they do outside the home.
- Who their friends are.
- How late they stay out.
- If they go to church.
- What they wear.
Respect them as another adult and don’t try to manipulate or force things on them that you would not force on another adult. By this point in their lives they have decided if they want to go to church, who their friends are, who they date etc. Setting up rules where you overstep your bounds will only harm your relationship.
Your rules should have to do with what affects your home and those in it. If they smoke and you don’t, then they do it outside. And you don’t give them a dirty look or make snide remarks when they do. If they drink and you don’t, you can request they not do it inside. You can also stipulate they may drink in the home but not be intoxicated.
The key is respect for another person’s rights unless it infringes on yours, just as you should do with anyone. If rules are broken, never get angry. Simply reiterate the rules and if they are broken constantly, then calmly explain they must move out. If rules were set ahead of time with consequence it should not be a surprise. Anger only tears relationships apart, so always be respectful and act with integrity.
Treating your kids with love and respect and not judging choices they make will go far to keeping a strong bond of love and trust between you and make living together a lot easier.
Print and Frame Quote
pdf 5×7 and 8×10 sizes
Need More Help?
Amazon has a couple of great books on just this topic.
During those sleepless nights as parents, we never saw this person coming out of those troubled times. Nor did we see how close our relationship would be. And though at the time we would have opted out at any given moment, we would not trade any piece of the person she is because of those experiences and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t either.
When I think back on my life it does appear to be the really hard times that I grew and learned from. That seems to be part of the human condition as a quite I once saw validated: “Pain Instructs”. It also seems to be how we learn to be less judgmental. We only put ourselves in another’s shoes when we’ve had to walk in them ourselves. Like I said, on this journey, Roy and I also learned a great deal and became better people. Roy talked about one such lesson in “How I Learned to Never Judge a Book By It’s Cover.” Below are a few of the tips that we attribute to why things turned out so well for all concerned.
Tips for Parents
- Know your kids. Know who their friends are, where they are, what they are studying in school etc.
- Spend at least 15 minutes a day talking with and focusing only on them, without judgement.
- Give unconditional love. No matter what they do you love them, even if you don’t love their actions.
- When you have to discipline do it out of purpose, not anger.
- Shower your kids with love and acceptance every chance you get.
- Do not yell or use physical violence in any situation. Walk away until you can be calm.
- Do not be condescending. Be as logical as you can. And yes, that’s hard to do.
- Never, ever give up.
Our daughter told us in later years that even when things were at their worst she knew we were there for her. It didn’t matter what she had done she could come to us when she needed too. We were her safe haven. This is not about condoning bad behavior. This is about unconditional love for your child. Some of these kids will experience incredibly harsh aspects of life. Knowing that mom and dad are there no matter what they do, will save them.
Obviously there are some serious dangers depending on what your child is doing. All you can do is the best you can to keep them safe. (Roy used to nail her windows shut so she could not get out at night!) The worst can of course happen. But by far the largest portion of these kids grow up without serious damage. Keep that in mind.
This trendy Star Wars lamp is easy to make and costs very little. All you need is an old lamp, spray paint, Mod Podge and some Star Wars material. Check out our other Star Wars crafts page including our Star Wars Boots and a Star Wars T-shirt. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s a phenomenal artist and you can find her work at her various online stores.
Star Wars Lamp Supplies
Spray paint your lamp base if desired.
Make a pattern of your lamp shade. This is very easy to do using a piece of butcher paper or newspaper. After you’ve traced it allow 1/2 inch extra on the top and bottom to allow for the fabric to fold over the top and bottom of your shade. Cut out your material then coat the shade with Mod Podge and smooth your fabric over it. No overcoat is needed. Use a small amount of Mod Podge inside the top and bottom rim and fold the fabric over into the inside.
Everyone can use a little more positive energy! You may or may not be familiar with New York Time’s best seller Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work surrounding water. His books, full of photos that you must see to believe, prove the power of words. If it works on water we figured why not food! (Goodness knows our American diet needs all the help it can get.) You can paint or wood burn them. (If you paint them you need to cover them with a food safe sealant or polyurethane. Read details below. )
And even if you’re not into the whole “words are energy” thing they still make a beautiful gift! (Hand wash only.)
From Dr. Masaru Emoto Experiments. Water after Words Place On the Container
Positive Energy Wooden Spoons Supplies
- Wooden spoons
- Wood patterns (optional)
- Carbon or graphite paper for tracing
- Wood burner OR Sharpie Markers
- Polyurethane (If you use markers. Read below.)
*IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT MARKERS & SEALANTS
If you decide to use markers you need to coat the spoons with sealant before drawing on them to help prevent bleeding. You also need to use a sealant afterwards so the markers do not get into your food. I did some research on this topic and what I was told by several people was that using a polyurethane coating to either dip or spray your spoons would work and would not be any more harmful than plastic food storage bags. Do your own research and if its still a concern do the word burning instead!
Hand wash Only
Positive Energy Wooden Spoons Instruction
You can trace the patterns we provide onto your spoons or outline your own words. Go over the words with a wood burner. If using markers coat your spoons with a food safe sealant first to help the markers to not bleed as much. Trace your words with markers then coat 2 or 3 times with the sealant allowing to dry in between.
I’ve had this package for probably 20 years. Pretty sure I still owned a typewriter. But I date myself… anyway it seems it’s called graphite paper now and can be found in craft areas if you need it for tracing.
Cut out the patterns.
Layer your carbon or graphite paper under the pattern.
Trace the words and any part of the design you wish onto the spoon.
Using a wood burner or markers to go on the spoon. Make sure to use a sealant of your choice to seal your spoons if you use the markers.
Create and wear a Star Wars T-shirt with pride! Grab a shirt, a scrap of Star Wars material and some fabric edging. You can use fabric glue or sew it on. Being trendy was never so easy!
Check out our Star Wars Boots which make a great set with your new shirt. You’ll find this and more on our Star Wars craft page. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s a phenomenal artist and you can find her work at her various online stores.
Star Wars T-Shirt Supplies
Grab a T-Shirt
Cut your material into any shape you want. Measure your border.
Glue or sew on your patch.
Glue or sew on the border.
Do you own a pair of leather type boots? Are you a Star Wars fan? Then before you know it you can be kicking it Star Wars style! Star Wars boots are simple and inexpensive to make. All you need is some Mod Podge and some Star Wars fabric. (You can of course use any type of fabric you want, but why would you?)
Looking for more Star Wars stuff you can wear? Check out our Star Wars T-Shirt Applique. You’ll find this and more on our Star Wars craft page. This project is courtesy of our daughter Amy Grace. She’s phenomenally creative and you can find her artwork at her various online stores.
Star Wars Boots Supplies
Mod Podge is not water proof so you will need to be careful where you wear your boots.
Take some paper and lay it over the area of the boot you will cover, then trace it as best you can. Cut your fabric out making it a little larger to allow for trimming as needed for a perfect fit.
Coat your boot area with Mod Podge and lay the material over it, Coat again over the material.
We suggest giving it several coats allowing it to dry in between. Remember, Mod Podge is not water proof so be careful where you wear your boots.
I’m sure you’ve met these little guys… they show up when you leave bananas or other fruit out on your counters a little too long and they are “buggers” to remove. Well, getting rid of fruit flies is not all that difficult and you can do it quickly and humanely. Catch and release, baby!
Supplies for Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
- Plastic soda bottle (16 oz. to 33 oz. size is great.)
- Craft knife or scissors
- Drill (optional)
- Small piece of fruit, the more rotten the better. (banana peel, slice of apple etc.)
Instructions & Printable Labels (pdf)
Cut your bottle into two pieces about 2/3rds to 3/4ths of the way up from the bottom. Place a small piece of ripe fruit in the bottom. Turn top piece upside down and place into the bottom piece. Set it on your counter overnight. The next morning take your bottle outside away from the house and release the flies. If it did not get all the flies set it up again.
- Make sure there is nothing else to attract the fruit flies in your kitchen. You want them to focus on the bottle only.
- If you find the fruit flies are flying out of the larger hole of the bottle you can drill a smaller hole, big enough for them to easily enter into in the bottle lid and screw it on.
- Do NOT leave the trap unemployed for over a day because any eggs in it will hatch. (A single fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs!)
Add some ripe fruit into the bottom. Banana peels are great!
Set it on your counter for a full day or overnight.
Take outside away from the house and release the flies.
A beautiful little DIY necklace to give someone you love, made from a cork, our free printable and a hardware eyelet. So simple but so meaningful! It requires no special jewelry parts other than the chain. We have two different versions and various sizes of the printable used. With a tiny hand-painted heart on the back, it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day gift or any day gift! If you’re looking for more simple ideas check out our Pixel Heart Necklace and our Spice Lid Upcycled Locket. And don’t forget our Good Vibe Necklace!
DIY Necklace Supplies
NOTE: I already had the screw eye bolts and the chain. Make sure you use a small eye screw yet large enough to fit the small size ball chain. Though I link to the general categories below on Amazon, I suggest buying them locally so you can match sizes.
- Wine bottle cork
- Ball chain (It must be smaller in size to fit through your eye screw.)
- Mod Podge
- Hardware screw eye bolts (Small enough to easily go into your cork and also fit your chain. )
- Printable below
Carefully cut a slice off your wine cork. I cut mine with a cheap saw from the Dollar Store.
Sand both sides to make them smooth.
Cut out your graphic of choice.
Coat all sides of your cork in Mod Podge and allow to dry.
Mod Podge your graphic onto the cork. NOTE: Let your inkjet image set for a few hours if you have a problem with it smearing. Or you can spray it with a clear gloss to prevent that from happening before using the Mod Podge over it.
Insert your metal eyelet into the top of the cork.
Carefully screw it in as straight as possible.
I wanted a heart on the back of my necklace so I practiced painting a few before actually adding one to the back.
Add the heart and another layer of Mod Podge after it dries.
If you’re a soft-hearted soul who doesn’t like the idea of killing anything unnecessarily and you don’t particularly want to co-habit with insects… this post is for you. It’s also for those who don’t want to use toxic chemicals in their homes. In fact, some of these items are more effective than DEET. No kidding. The ideas below are effective ways for prevention, repelling and chasing seven specific little critters out of your house using very simple methods.
Natural Pest Control Supplies
- Caulk (whatever size works for your needs)
- Bay Leaves (crush for use)
- Peppermint Oil
- White Distilled Vinegar
The Two Most Important Steps To Keeping Your Home Bug Free
#1 Keep them from getting in. Plug and caulk all holes you can find. This takes some dedicated sleuthing. Check inside cupboards, especially under the sinks where the pipes enter through the wall. Check that your doors and windows don’t have gaps. You’d be amazed how many bugs you can keep out just by preventing them easy access. Caulk is super cheap and you can get it in tubes you just squeeze out. This works great for smaller cracks.
#2 Don’t leave food lying around. Food = bugs. If you eat in other places besides the dining room table or kitchen any crumbs left will draw insects. Vacuum regularly and keep your counters wiped clean at all times.
If despite all your best efforts you still have little unwanted visitors, we’ve got some humane and inexpensive ways to get rid of them. All of the methods should work immediately.
Getting Rid of Roaches
Bay Leaves: Purchase bay leaves in the cooking section. If you buy them as whole leaves you want to crush them up to work best. Just sprinkle the crushed leaves where
the roaches are. Place them under sinks and in corners.
Catnip: Grab some catnip in the local pet section. Sprinkle it in areas where roaches are, again, in corners and under cabinets. Iowa State University scientists found that catnip is 100 times more effective than DEET at repelling roaches.
Getting Rid of Spiders
Peppermint Oil: Spiders will avoid this stuff. Fill a spray bottle with water and add in 10 to 15 drops of oil until it smells very minty. Spray the water in cracks and gaps where the spiders enter. You can also place drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and put those in areas where spiders enter.
White Distilled Vinegar:Place 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray and saturate counter tops, cupboards, window frames, door frames etc. Let sit 30 minutes and wipe up the extra, leaving the surface still damp. Allow remaining vinegar to dry. SMELL: if you don’t like the smell of vinegar it will dissipate after a few hours. Respray as needed for your home but this should keep the spiders out a good long while. (Also works for ants. See below.) You’ll quickly learn how often you need to spray to keep your home spider free.
Getting Rid of Ants
Cinnamon: This repels ants wonderfully as it disrupts the pheromone trail they use to navigate. If you sprinkle it around the edges of places they come in and under cabinets, the ants will not cross over it or come into areas surrounded by it. If you have ants, use it and see what quickly happens!
Chalk: This contains calcium carbonate which repels ants (and slugs). You can use regular chalk sticks to draw a line around any place you do not want them to cross.
White Distilled Vinegar: The same as for spiders. Place 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle. Spray and saturate counter tops, cupboards, window frames, door frames etc. Let the mixture sit for about 30 minutes and wipe up the excess but leave the surface a little damp. Allow remaining vinegar mixture to dry. That’s it! Respray as needed for your home but this should keep the ants out a good long while. You’ll quickly learn how often you need to spray to keep your home ant free. SMELL: if you don’t like the smell of vinegar it will dissipate after a few hours.
If you’re a kind soul whose sensitivity extends to even insects, this humane bug catcher might be just what you’ve been looking for. It’s an inexpensive and quick insect removal apparatus you can make with a handful of simple items. It’s perfect for certain types of bugs such as spiders and beetles. If you’re sneaky enough you might be able to catch a fly with it! It allows you to trap the bug at arm’s length, then take it outside for release into the wild. There’s step by step instructions and also a video showing you how to make it.
Humane Bug Catcher Supplies
- 33 oz. plastic soda bottle with straight sides
- Sturdy but thin piece of cardboard
- Craft knife
- 2 washers
- 1/2″ PVC pipe cut to about 30″ long (Cuts easily with any small hand saw)
- Small cork that fits into the end of the PVC (optional)
- Drill (if you use the cork)
- Masking tape
- Clear packing tape
- If you’d rather not make one you can always buy this one.
Though it has several steps, the humane bug catcher is very easy to make. We’ve provided some detailed photos and also a video.
CUTTING THE BOTTLE
SHAPING THE BOTTLE
MAKING THE LID
MAKING THE HANDLE
OPTIONAL CORK STEP: You will generally use these for larger bugs. If you decide to try and catch tiny ones and are concerned about them going into the tiny PVC opening you easily prevent this using a cork as follows.
ATTACHING THE STRING
Start the New Year by inviting good luck into your home with a lucky horseshoe beautifully decorated. If you can get your hands on a real horseshoe that’s great. If not we’ve got a pattern to make one out of foam board. Either way it makes a wonderful decor item with positive energy included!
We’ve decorated several types to show you the wide variety of ways you can make them. Horseshoes can be hung either direction.
Lucky Horseshoe Supplies
- A horseshoe OR foam board to make one
- Pattern below for foam board horseshoe
- Craft knife (for foam board)
- Hot glue gun
- Brown craft string (or whatever you wish to wrap your foam horseshoe)
- Other items to decorate your horseshoe with. Ribbon, buttons, wire, beads, artificial flowers, gems, paint, etc.
Pattern for foam board (pdf)
Foam horseshoes are perfect for wrapping with string, yarn etc.
To make foam horseshoes trace our pattern onto foam board and cut it out. Lightly sand edges if needed to help remove rough paper sticking out.
You can wrap your foam horseshoe with a variety of things. We found this type of twine is the easiest to work with. The rounded ends of the horseshoe must be covered with small pieces before wrapping. Keep your twine close together. We used hot glue to hold the twine at the ends. Decorate as desired!
For one of our metal horseshoes we painted it with chalkboard paint and then used a chalk marker to decorate it. For our gold dipped horseshoe we used gold nail polish. Our teal horseshoe was spray painted and we used embroidery thread to make a tassel and some wire and beads to adorn it. A few more ideas can be seen below!
Get your family organized with a Star Wars Family Command Center! We made ours from an old magnetic dry erase board we had lying around. (We put chalkboard contact paper on half of it.) There’s a variety of ways you can create yours and we’ve got a printable quote plus printable Star Wars planets you can make magnets from.
We’ll also show you how to quickly turn a plastic chalk holder into a lightsaber! Add a small family photo for each person, a catch all box and some hooks and you’ve got a spot everyone can keep track of what’s going on in the family. (P.S. For those who have a Silhouette cutting machine we have those files for download in addition to the pdfs.)
Want more Star Wars ideas? Check out our Star Wars craft page!
Supplies for Family Command Center
These are what we used for our center. Other options are easily available!
- Large dry erase type board. (You could use an old frame and turn it into a full chalkboard using the same concept and ideas.)
- Chalkboard Contact Paper
- Chalk holder (Many choices for these, some of which already look a bit like a lightsaber!)
- Silver Spray Paint
- 1″ Wood Rounds (for magnets)
- Magnets for back of wood.
- Cup hooks (for keys)
- Small cheap frames, one per family member.
- Mod Podge (for planet magnets)
- Box to use for container. (We used a long shipping box.)
- Downloadable planets and quote below.
We’ve got two versions for you. The first is a PDF. The quote is only the size that a normal sheet of paper will allow. The second is for those who have a Silhouette cutting machine which allows you to cut out longer quotes on vinyl.
Silhouette files (zipped)
Family Command Center Instructions
You can make a Star Wars Family Command Center in a variety of ways. Hopefully ours will inspire you!
THE CATCH ALL BOX
You could use a variety of boxes, even a cereal box, for a holder on your family command center. I had a long mailing box that was the perfect size so I used that. Just cut off the top, cover it something or paint it, then glue it on your board.
PLANET MAGNETS (if your board is magnetic)
We grabbed some small flat frames at our local Dollar store. They didn’t need to be painted as they were already the right color… bonus! You could also attach plain photos to your board with no frames!
If you use chalkboard contact paper, or even paint on your center you can get these nifty little chalk holders. We had one that we spray painted and quickly made into a lightsaber using Sharpie markers!
This shows all the parts to our Star Wars Family Command Center. We used things we already had so use our ideas as a jumping off point for your own center!
The chalk holder and Star Wars magnets you can make using our free printables.
I made soda can carolers when my kids were young and decided to do an updated version here. It’s a great holiday upcycle for both children and adults and I’ll show you a variety of ways to create them. All you need are some soda cans, paint and glue to create your own Soda Can Angel Carolers! (We’ve provided some printable sheet music for them to hold.)
Supplies for Retro Christmas Angels
You have a variety of choices for some items.
- Soda cans
- Paint/Sharpie Marker
- Glue (I used hot glue)
- Printouts of sheet music
- Cupcake liners
- Small paper plates
- Paper doilies
- Pipe Cleaners (We used gold)
- Fake hair
- Spanish Moss
- Wood base if desired
- Free printables below.
These angels are super simple to put together and you can use a variety of extras to fancy them up. You have to bend them carefully and slowly, just enough so they face forward but don’t tip over. It’s a good idea to practice on some plain empty cans before bending your painted ones. NOTE: The hole edges can be a bit sharp so if you’ve having children make these be extra careful.
These show a variety of things you can use to make the wings.
Halos are fun and optional as is hair.
I grew up in Mesa, Arizona and fireplaces were in short supply. I had some pretty cool parents though and they actually bought a fake cardboard fireplace just so we could hang our Christmas stockings.
If you don’t have a fireplace, cardboard or not, you can make your own stocking holder with a dowel and some hooks and ribbon. It’s easy and inexpensive and you can hang it on any wall with a couple of nails!
Stocking Holder Supplies
- Wood dowel 7/8″ x 36″ (size can vary)
- 2 Wood balls with flat side. 1″ to 2″ in size
- Paint of choice. (We used gold.)
- Glue for attaching balls to ends of dowel
- 40″ of 1″ to 2″ wide ribbon. I used grosgrain. (Will be cut in half.)
- Metal cup hooks. I used 1/2″ size
- Drill with tiny bit (optional but helps in inserting hooks)
- Metal grommets (optional)
The sizes can vary slightly on these items.
Paint your dowel and wood balls. Glue the wood balls onto the end of your dowel.
Measure the spacing for your hooks.
If you can, drill a small hole where each hook will go.
Insert the hooks.
Cut your ribbon into two pieces, approximately 20″ each. I had a small grommet set so I hammered those into the ends of my ribbon. However, you can use any method you like to hang your holder to the wall!
Download these free Thanksgiving leftovers labels for a quick way to tell what food is going home with whom and to also know what is inside the containers inside your own fridge. There are three different styles to print and cut. (Also, don’t forget to share the awesome quote at the bottom of this page.)
Thanksgiving Leftovers Label Download
If you’re trying to move towards less harmful ways of treating pain and inflammation the herb White Willow Bark is a great choice. I’ve used it for years in place of aspirin and Tylenol. White willow bark can relieve both chronic and acute pain and is used for a variety of conditions from lower back pain, neuralgia, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis to headaches, toothaches and menstrual pain. It can also reduce fevers from colds, etc. Like many herbs, it has a variety of other health benefits.
The bark of the white willow tree has been used for centuries in China and India and by Native Americans to help alleviate pain. Because of how well it works, the chemical makeup of aspirin was actually modeled after the active ingredient salicin that’s in white willow bark. However, as with most chemically synthesized drugs, aspirin has various dangerous side effects. Aspirin and acetaminophen (Tylenol ) cause thousands of deaths per year in the U.S. (FDA/CDC)
You can purchase and take White Willow Bark in a variety of forms including tinctures, teas and capsules. As with most herbs it takes a little longer to work but the effects last much longer. And again, you don’t have the dangerous side effects.
As with pretty much anything, it requires wisdom and not taking it excessively. Below are a few things to watch out for and also an informative link with more details.
- It’s suggested to not give to children under 16 because of the theoretical possibility of Reye’s Syndrome which can develop from taking normal aspirin.
- Don’t use it with normal aspirin or NSAIDs .
- Don’t take it if you have any type of allergy to aspirin.
- It’s possible it can interact negatively with other chemically created drugs.
- For more details on how it works and its interactions read this easy to read article from the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Types of White Willow Bark
I use various brands but the brand NOW White Willow Bark Capsules are highly rated on a variety of herbal shops around the web and I’ve used that one many times. I keep both the tincture and capsules on hand, as seen in the photo below that I took in herbal closet. I currently have a higher mg Vitacost brand but normally I use the NOW 400 mg. Take White Willow Bark as directed on the bottle.
Being grateful is important to a happier life. So here’s a fun unique gratitude activity to encourage more awareness of things generally taken for granted. Grab a tiny inexpensive spiral memo pad and print out the free labels and quotes provided, then follow the simple instructions. These are wonderful any time of year. Give them to your kids. Make a batch for a family or group activity. Or create a basket full to pass out at Thanksgiving dinner. No matter how you use them they are a fun way to inspire thankfulness.
Gratitude Activity Supplies
- Small 3″x5″ spiral memo pads, top flip
- Printables, cut out (below)
- Extras (optional) Washi tape, ribbon, charms, paint for pencils etc.
Gratitude Activity Instructions
Instructions, labels and quotations (pdf)
Get the flip top memo pads.
Cut out the front label in the size you want.
Glue it onto the front of your pad.
Cut out the quotations provided.
Glue them throughout your notebook.
Add a pencil that you’ve cut and sharpened to fit nicely in the metal spirals.
Add extras if desired. The books are wonderful as is but if desired, you can add extras to them such as Washi tape strips here and there, or a ribbon tied onto the spirals. Small charms can also be added to the spiral.
Also optional is spray painting the pencils. Its pretty easy to do. Just cover the top part with tape, spray paint and then cut them down to size.
Do you love bedtime or hate it? If it’s the latter I’m guessing the reason might be that you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. At its worst, bedtime can be a nightmare (excuse the pun.) Considering how important sleep is, you should welcome that time of day so we’ve got some great ideas to help you out in that area.
For myself, I literally look forward to bedtime every day. I’ve turned my room into a mini oasis for Roy and I and just walking into it feels good. At night I have my small ritual of turning down the sheets and brushing my teeth (with this method which can heal cavities). Then I get undressed and curl up under the covers and grab my Kindle that I keep on the nightstand. I usually have two or three things I’m reading at one time… a couple of non-fictions on my current topics of interest and then a novel that I can get lost in. I’ll read a bit in the nonfiction then end up with the novel until I fall asleep. It’s pure heaven, especially after a stressful day.
Unfortunately, sleep problems are fairly common especially when you consider that about 10 million Americans use drugs to help them sleep. A large portion of those who have trouble sleeping is due to lifestyle issues… stress, diet, smoking, caffeine etc. If you struggle with insomnia, or staying asleep, we’ve got some much less harmful ideas to help you out!
Tips If You Have Trouble Sleeping
Most of the product links are to the actual products I use myself or a good quality replacement.
- Darken the Bedroom. Studies have shown that even a small light from a clock can disrupt your body’s sleep patterns. I’ve used these blackout curtains on my windows for years. FYI Blackout curtains come in ALL colors! As I also have some electronics in my room I use black electrical tape to cover the little lights on them. If you have to have a clock consider covering it with a flap of black construction paper that can be flipped up when needed.
- Sleep mask. If you can’t darken your room use a sleep mask. We also have a tutorial on how to make a sleep mask.
- Lavender oil Taking a whiff of lavender oil before sleep. Studies have shown that lavender is wonderful for helping you relax. I normally put some on my hand to sniff as I go to sleep or I’ve put some on a Kleenex and placed it in my pillow. This is wonderful for kids too!
- White noise. I have a fan on me at night which acts as white noise. I love the wind and it helps me sleep. The noise also does. You can purchase little sound machines very inexpensively that have a variety of sounds you can turn on at night. Try falling asleep to the sound of rain or wind…
- Chamomile tea before bed. Warm drinks (non-caffeinated) in general can help you sleep. Chamomile is a relaxing herb so having a cup of that before bed can be very helpful. Sweeten with a little honey if needed.
- Buckwheat Pillow Buckwheat pillows have a myriad of benefits for sleep and many people swear by them. The drawback is they are a bit pricey for good organic ones. Read up on them and see if they might help you.
- The Bedroom. Make your room a place you love being in. You can see how I did this on our Budget Bedroom Makeover Series here.
- The Ritual. Bedtime needs to be a special event and setting up a ritual can help. For example soaking in a warm bath with candles before going to sleep. Put a special lotion on your hands and arms. Wear nice pajamas. Listen to soothing music. Do a short meditation or pray. Many things on this list can be part of your ritual. Doing the same thing every night can be comforting and calming.
- The Right Temperature. Keep the room temp no higher than 70 degrees. Studies show people sleep best in cool rooms.
- Ear Plugs. If you wake easily to small noises a high quality set of earplugs will fix you right up!
- Read a book. Reading makes many like myself sleepy at night. Also, if I wake in the night and my mind is racing I will actually read on my Kindle a little to put myself back to sleep. As it’s back-lit I don’t have to turn on a light.
- Socks. Wear extra soft and cozy socks. If you have trouble with nighttime waking, wearing socks to sleep in can help. Cool room… but warm feet!
- Melatonin. This is a wonderful supplement that I’ve used on occasion with great success. Melatonin is a natural hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain to help you sleep. Taking 1 to 3 mg an hour before bed can help induce sleep naturally. (It has a variety of other health benefits including fighting cancer.)
- Quick Meditation. If you wake during the night do this instant meditation to relax you and help you fall back to sleep. As you lie in bed with eyes closed pay close attention to your normal breathing. As you breath in, silently repeat in your mind “breath in”. As you breath out, silently repeat “breath out”. Do this over and over with each normal breath until you fall asleep. This is a powerful quick form of focused meditation to clear your mind and relax your body.
- Acupressure. Massage your earlobes SLOWLY between fingers for about 30 seconds each before bed. Press the wrist points on each wrist as shown in the picture before bed. Doing both of these should help you sleep better.
If the reason you can’t sleep is tied with worry and not being able to shut your brain off you need to distract it. As I mentioned I do this by reading on my Kindle if I wake up in the night and my brain is trying to worry. I love Dale Carnegie’s quote. You don’t’ have to actually get up. You just have to distract your brain.
If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there
worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.
Of course a good diet with exercise will also greatly help your quality of sleep. When you don’t get enough quality sleep it effects every aspect of your life and your health. We hope some of these ideas will give you a boost and help you get the much needed rest your body, mind and spirit needs!
If you’re someone who doesn’t ever get stressed then you don’t need to read any further. OK… now that 99.9% of you are still here, I think we can all agree that worrying now and then is pretty normal. The problem arises when you have more negative thoughts than happy ones.
So I’ve got a few tips for you to help stop the worrying habit and help you get a handle on those negative thoughts. These are things I’ve researched and used with great success myself and continue to use. (Being someone with a serious condition of “freaking out”.) You may recall we did a post on healing traumatic events titled “Free Yourself from Suffering in One Minute”. That tool is generally for heavy duty issues whereas this one is for smaller day to day worries that come up.
Ideas to Stop Worrying
Having tried many things through the years to help me get a handle on my thought, these ideas are the ones that work for me. I was skeptical of some of these things when I first learned of them. But seeing is believing.
TAKE A HUGE DEEP BREATH
We know you’ve heard this before but there is science behind it. Taking a deep breath has a physiological purpose and powerful effect on the body. When you take a very deep breath, filling the lungs as much as you can, and then slowly let it out, the body literally releases stress and relaxes. You can immediately feel it. To prove its value just try it the next time you’re super stressed, paying close attention to your body as you do it. You’ll quickly see just how potent it is. So ALWAYS start with this then move on to others if needed.
HAND ON CHEST
This has worked for me forever. I’ve even used it on others. Oddly enough only my right hand works for me but the effect is instant. I simply place my right (dominate) hand over the middle of my chest and a sense of peace overtakes me. Try it and see if you have that ability. Use each hand to determine which works best.
Interestingly enough I recently learned there is validation for doing this. During my studies this year I read a highly rated book entitled Beyond Will Power by Alexander Lloyd, Ph.D. I was very surprised to learn he uses this exact method on people and he also stated that Sigmund Fred used something similar to help patients.
When I have an overall feeling of anxiety that won’t go away I pull out my tiger’s eye. This is the only crystal that has a noticeable effect for me as far as any healing goes. But it’s effect is immediate. I have different sizes but the larger unpolished version is the one that works for me. I lay it over my solar plexus and I can feel the anxiety drain away. You can find these at any rock or crystal shop or purchase them online. Buying from a local shop gives you the ability to get a “feel” for it before purchasing.
I had someone who was very skilled in energy work give me this information saying it was a way to “ground” yourself when you’re having emotional issues or feeling out of sorts for various reasons.
To do it you take your index and middle finger together (i.e. the Cub Scout sign) and place the back of those fingers over the middle of your forehead. Hold it there for up to 30 seconds. You should feel a calming.
LEMON & LAVENDER OILS (Aromatherapy)
There are quite a few essential oils that help alleviate depression or fear. I’ve used these two for a subtle but noticeable difference. The links below are to some fairly inexpensive but highly rated oils on Amazon. You can use any type. Even smelling a fresh lemon will help!
Other Oils for Emotions: Vanilla, Rosemary, and Frankincense
How to Use Oils
You can place the oil anywhere on the body but typical locations are the bottoms of the feet, top of the head and over the heart. I usually place it on my wrists and then under my nose so I can smell it easier. If you have a diffuser you can also use that! It’s the smell that affects the brain.
Feeling concerned about certain problems in your life is normal. But when you worry all the time about minor things and your thoughts run away with you it makes for a stressful and unhappy life. The more we worry the more we literally change our brain and remap our synapses to actually make it easier to worry in the future. This is why change can be difficult. But not impossible. If you’ve been a worrier it will take some regular work to remap your brain and change that habit. But it is doable and these ideas will be a huge help on your way to a more peaceful life!
As the title implies this challenge is quite easy. Just write down one thing a day that you’re grateful for. We’ve even given you a nice little printout sheet to do it on plus some reminders you can make to put around the house. The only requirement is that this activity must be done with thought. None of this quickly writing down the standards to fill a slot. You have to ponder your choices and they have to be things that make your heart swell up when you think of them. That’s what true gratitude feels like.
We know that you’re most likely thankful for your spouse, children, God etc. Those are givens. Try to go deeper with this challenge. For example rather than “family” choose a specific family member and WHY you feel grateful. i.e. I’m grateful for my daughter because of how kind she is to strangers and never judges anyone. Or, I’m grateful for my husband because when I’m feeling bad he always does silly things to make me smile. Get the picture?
Remember: You can’t just think about what to write down. You have to FEEL it.
Small Challenge, Big Impact
I’m sure you’ve heard about how important gratitude is. That’s not just a made up idea to get people to be nicer. Being grateful has a physical and emotional effect on your body and overall life. Though many studies have been done on this subject, Professor of Psychology, Robert Emmons is acknowledged as the pre-eminent expert on gratitude. He’s done experiments on gratitude for more than a decade and the results are amazing. “Gratitude is one of the few things that can measurably heal, energize and change people’s lives. It is a turning of the mind, not what I don’t have, but what I have already.” Dr. Robert Emmons This 4 minute video explains what gratitude can do for you and what the studies have found. It’s a scientific fact that people who express and feel gratitude on a daily basis are happier, and happier people live longer, make more money, have less illness, sleep better, are more resilient, have better relationships, are less stressed, are overall healthier, have better outlooks, get better grades, make better decisions, exercise more (because they want to), have better self-esteem… to list a few.
Instructions (Using the Free Downloaded Kit)
Each day write something down on the free pages below that you are truly grateful for . You cannot just think about what you are grateful for. You must FEEL it deeply. Ponder your choices and choose things that make your heart swell up when you think of them. That’s what true gratitude feels like. For example, we know that you’re most likely thankful for your spouse, children, friends etc. Try to go deeper with this challenge. Rather than “family” choose a specific family member and why you feel grateful. i.e. I’m grateful for my daughter because of how kind she is to perfect strangers and never judges anyone. Or I’m grateful for my husband because when I’m feeling bad he always does silly things to make me smile. CALENDARS There are two calendar sheets provided. One is a guided sheet in which you are given a topic. The other is blank which lets you choose your own topic. (You can use the guided calendar sheet for ideas.) FOLLOW UP After your month of diligently doing this, determine if you feel better overall or not. If you truly did it with feeling, you will. Post this list somewhere you can see it regularly as a reminder.
So get out there and practice deliberate gratitude for 30 days! And you know what they say about doing something for 30 days… it becomes a habit!
Download Gratitude Challenge Sheets
To help you remember to be grateful, print out the tags provided in the downloadable kit and make some simple binder clip holders. Then place your reminders around the house where you’re sure to see them!
You can decorate these however you want but we kept it simple.
- We used medium size binder clips and spray painted them gold
- Glue a small charm in the center.
- Print out the free reminder cards on colored cardstock of your choice. We used gray.
- Cut out and place in your clips as shown.
The power of imagination is undeniable and this Positive Magic Potions kit might just be the little boost your child needs! You can use any size clear bottle and we have two sizes of labels you can print along with an instruction sheet that details the ability of each potion. FYI: We also have a tutorial on how to make the Upcycled Celtic Box shown. It’s super easy!
Going to the dentist? Take 4 drops of Bravery. Studying for a test? A few drops of Mind Power should do the trick. There are a few fun one’s too such as Fairy Vision and Laughing Brew. 25 labels in all.
DISCLAIMER: Only to be used for good. Results may vary.
Supplies for Positive Magic Potions Kit
There are 25 labels to pick from. Use as many as you wish depending on how many bottles you have. This kit can be given with the food coloring in it for older children. That way they can mix their own.
- Small clear bottles. I purchased these: Glass Cork Bottles, Glass Dropper Bottles (Plastic bottle from Walmart. Set of four.)
- Printed labels and instruction sheet below. (You can use parchment paper for the detail sheet.)
- Clear packing tape
- Box or container for potions (optional)
- Food coloring gel. I purchased these: Wilton Primary Colors Gel, Wilton Neon Colors Gel.
- Toothpicks (for dipping into gel)
- Distilled Water (Regular water will work but distilled keeps longer.)
- Optional: Here is how to make the Upcycled Celtic Box shown below. A simple and fast upcycled project!
These are the exact bottles I used. I painted the lids of the plastic ones black.
Print out the free labels and cut out the size you need.
Use clear packing tape to attach labels to the bottles to protect them if they get wet.
Fill with distilled water. Regular water works too but distilled stays fresh longer.
For small bottles dip a toothpick into the food coloring gel.
It doesn’t take much to color the water!
For larger bottles use a drop of gel or regular food coloring. Mix colors if desired.
Print out the detail sheet to use with the potions. I used a light brown parchment type paper for effect.
We have a full tutorial on how to make this simple Upcycled Celtic Box. Quick and easy!
Don’t forget to check out our Upcycled Small Celtic Box Tutorial!
Some small but annoying thing happens. You know it’s petty but it bugs you. The more you think about it, the more it bugs you. And you’re thinking about it a lot and getting angrier and angrier. Now you can’t stop thinking about it.
Or maybe it’s a larger problem you’re facing, but before you know it its consuming your thoughts day and night. That, my friends, is tunnel vision. It occurs when we focus on something until it becomes the only thing we can see.
For some reason it seems to be human nature to hold a magnifying glass to all the nasty things that go on in our lives. I’m not sure if we subconsciously think we’ll change things by intensely focusing on them or what. But all that happens in the end is we feel worse and worse.
I blatantly admit that there are plenty of times when I get caught up in the stressful things in my life, as a recent exchange between my husband Roy and I illustrates.
ROY: It’s you and me against the world!
ME: I think the world’s winning.
Though I’m as guilty as the next person in doing this I’m getting better at taking steps to offset it. The key here is to STEP BACK and I’ve got a few ideas for you.
How To Step Back
Sometimes, all that is needed is a shot of perspective. One way I do this is I look at photos of the universe. I’m not kidding. I do this all the time. In fact, during particularly stressful times I set my computer wallpapers to photos of the universe. Here are some great photos from the Hubble Telescope. While you’re looking at them ponder these facts:
- Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains about 100 BILLION PLANETS. Of which we are one.
- In the Universe there are an estimated 100 BILLION GALAXIES of which ours, The Milky Way, is just one.
- Each of those 100 billion Galaxies has billions of planets.
A 3.5 minute video that will blow your mind!
- If you’re worried about financial things ask: Have I ever been homeless? Have I ever starved? (Acknowledging that there are those who have had these things happen.)
- List the things in life that are currently good and that you’re thankful for. i.e. You have a roof over your head, food to eat, family you love, etc.
- Think back on the good things that have happened in your life.
- Think back on the bad things that have happened and realize that you lived through them and your life went on.
- As you remember other difficulties you’ve had, think about what you learned from them. Many times it’s our troubles that give us the knowledge, perspective and character.
- Remember a key phrase: “This too shall pass” or “All things come to an end” .
Tunnel vision is curable if we just remind ourselves to view the bigger picture. We need to recall things we’ve come through in the past, think on the great things that we do have in our life and know that nothing lasts forever. Life’s too short to spend it dwelling on the negative. We’ll enjoy the journey a lot more if every once in a while we remember to step back!
Free Reminder Quote
5″x 7″ Printable
Share the quotes below to remind others to STEP BACK!
I can be as guilty as the next person when it comes to getting annoyed by petty things. Let’s face it, being human and living in America, we can be a little spoiled. It’s easy to focus on small things that don’t matter, forgetting to step back and view the greater picture. It ends up, how to be happier is much simpler than you think.
This was made very clear to me one day when I was sitting in the front yard of our home with my two year old granddaughter Alyssa Mae. We lived in the most beautiful area with our small house situated on top of a hill and completely surrounded by trees, so much so that you couldn’t see any other houses or even the road below. It was a truly magical spot.
As Alyssa and I sat there enjoying nature and the peacefulness of the day I began to feel a low thumping in my chest. What caused it slowly grew louder until I realized that someone was driving down the street below us and had their windows open. They were blaring rap music so loud I’m pretty sure their own eardrums had long since disintegrated. I was immediately pulled out of my peaceful state, and thrown into anger… “How dare someone ruin my peaceful time with my granddaughter! What kind of jerk has such little concern for everyone else around them? People are so stinking rude…”
As my brain took a breath in it’s tirade against this horrible injustice I glanced over at Alyssa. She was sitting there with her little legs dangling over the edge of the lawn chair swaying back and forth joyfully in time with the music. It brought me up short.
The car was gone in a minute along with the beat and Alyssa stopped swaying as if nothing unusual had happened. But the lesson in that tiny moment stuck with me. Now, whenever I find myself getting upset at small things, that vision of Alyssa pops into my head and I’m reminded to step back and choose to view things differently.
Big lessons can come in small packages and that little girl reminded me that perspective is a choice. We just need to retrain ourselves to look at things differently and be more aware of this miraculous world we live in and of the wonderful things we do have. I promise you that there is not a more powerful tool that allows you to live a joyful, peaceful life. By practicing it you just might be the perspective that someone else needs.
This topic was humorously and effectively illustrated by comedian Louise C.K. when he visited Conan on the The Late Show one night.
This is the end of our Tolkien Week & Hobbit Day Celebration. We’ve had a blast creating these ideas and sharing them and hope you’ve enjoyed reveling along with us in the joy of all things Tolkien.
In each of our weekly newsletters we’ve given away a free high resolution printable quote. During our celebration those were all Tolkien quotes. We wanted to give this last quote to everyone, not just our subscribers. We felt it was a fitting end to the celebration.
If you missed any of our Tolkien Celebration posts please click the link below to see them all! Thank you so much for being part of our online lives. To share a sentiment from Bilbo himself “May your beards never grow thin!” Metaphorically speaking that is.
Tolkien Quote Download (pdf)
If you like creative gift wrapping ideas, this one will be remembered by the receiver as much as the gift itself! It’s perfect for giving a set of small items such as office supplies, makeup, jewelry, etc. They are fun to make and can be decorated in a variety of ways for any occasion. We’ve included some printable tags and adornments below but there’s no limit to how you can decorate these. Let your imagination run wild!
Creative Gift Wraping Ideas Supplies
- Tag printables, download below.
- 1 16 oz soda bottle. Any size can work depending on the gifts given! (Straight sides work the best.)
- Goo Gone sticky stuff remover (optional)
- Various ribbons, lace, tags, bells, etc.
- X-acto type knife
- Hot glue if needed
Tag Printables pdf
Remove the label from your bottle. There is always some residue that will not come off. I’ve yet to find anything that works as well as Goo Gone. Rub a little on and in 4 seconds the hard sticky stuff wipes right off!
Cut a vertical slit in the side of your bottle large enough to accommodate whatever you will be stuffing into it.
Insert whatever goodies or treats you like.
Make a gift tag. Use your own or grab our free downloadable ones.
Now these are creative gift wrapping ideas! Decorate your bottle and fill with anything that fits!