I read somewhere that the Japanese have a tradition of watching the sunrise on New Year's morning, so Chris and I decided to try it for the first time last year. Unfortunately, we couldn't see the sunrise too well in our front or backyard, but I thought it was a beautiful sentiment- waking up to the new year with the sunrise... feels like a rebirth almost. Gushy stuff aside; it really is a neat tradition.
So, for this year, we decided we needed to actually drive somewhere instead of rolling out of bed in order to actually see the sunrise. We decided to take our dogs to the Davis Island dog beach/park and start our year that way. Let me just say... what a beautiful start to our year! There were SO many dogs out (which was lovely to be surrounded by) and we had a nice chat with one of the other dog owners. Seeing Nara (our newest puppy) basically live in this water was amazing. Shadow waded in a few times but definitely wasn't all about it like Nara was. We were there for a little over and hour, and I'm planning a trip out again very soon.
Afterward, since we still had our dogs in the car, we went through the Einstein Bagel drive thru (they have my FAVORITE bagel- cinnamon sugar, toasted, with cream cheese) and grabbed a quick breakfast and headed back home to give Shadow and Nara a bath after playing in the water and the sand. We wash them every time we leave a dog park.
For 2018's new year, I would love to do this again, but who knows where we will be (depending on Chris' job), but I think it would be great to always pick a new spot to ring in the new year (but always while watching the sunrise). I can't wait to share where we will celebrate the start to 2018!
Where/how did you ring in 2017?
P.S. Sitting at home with your pets or sleeping is a perfectly acceptable answer! ;)
It's already Mother's day on Sunday... I can't believe it. If your mom is just as hard to shop for as mine, it can take a while to think of a great present- especially if they say they don't want or need anything!
Because my mom is a very practical person (she doesn't even wear jewelry 95% of the time), it's even more challenging to find the perfect gift.
She loves to cook so I got her something for the kitchen- both practical and beautiful! Naturally the Etsy shop owners recommend that you use the back for the actual cutting, since the front design is cut into the wood, but it speaks to both aesthetics and functionality. I got the 12 x 16 Maple board, and I think it's a great size. It's $49 for the size and type of wood that I chose, but they start at $35!
They have many more designs for all occasions, so it's definitely worth checking out.
Staying with the wood theme, this watch is simple and elegant, and at $72, not too bad of a price, either. (especially for a quality watch that helps a small business owner!)
I was blown away by the beautiful use of color on Slaveika's art. These are $25 and definitely worth purchasing and putting in a frame as a gorgeous gift.
While it's not glamorous to get work out items, some moms may love new yoga, weight, boxing, or other fitness gifts! It's all about personalizing any gift to what your mom loves.
For most women, you can't go wrong with jewelry! I think she'll love the personalized touch of you or a loved ones' 'I love you' in their handwriting.
For some other ideas- what does your mom like to do? Find out what book she'd like to read next (or buy her one of the books you love), what play/concert she'd like to see (get her 2 tickets- for you to go with her, a friend, or her husband/S.O.), or a gift card to her favorite store! (to make it more personal, tell her you'll go with her to pick out something special)
You could also stick with the classics: a bouquet of flowers (many are $30 or under at proflowers), chocolate-covered fruit, an edible arrangement, or a handmade card and a small treat/homemade dessert.
What're you getting mom (or treating yourself to) this Mother's day? (:
Maybe you have a loved one but can't be with them on Feb 14, or maybe you're better off alone in this point of your life. Either way, you do you- rock where you are! Here are a few ideas on how to focus on yourself or different ways you can enjoy the day. These can definitely extend past Valentine's day too!
Throw a party | Valentine's day can be well spent surrounded by loved ones. Pick an anti-Valentine's day theme or something mild, like a potluck movie night. There are so many themes you can choose from.
Send happy mail | Make some postcards to brighten up someone's day, write a thoughtful letter or send some beautiful "thinking of you" cards. Everyone loves to get mail!
Think about YOU | Make a plan of how you want to better yourself. Do you need to focus on having a more positive attitude? Eating healthier? Making more time for yourself? Really commit to how you want to improve. Put it online to keep yourself accountable.
Go downtown | Grab some friends and enjoy the nightlife- go clubbing, try a new restaurant or go to a brewery!
Volunteer | Surround yourself with others while making a difference. Making others happy often make you happy too.
Cook a nice meal for yourself | Spending your night in the kitchen can be a relaxing thing. Bring your laptop and watch a show while chopping veggies or dance around while prepping a meal. Take the time to cook something complex that you normally wouldn't cook.
Spend quality time with your pets | Take them to the dog park/beach, buy them a new toy that you can share with them (like a tug of war rope) and a new treat. They'll love it (and so will you)!
Try something new | Today is the perfect day to do so. Be adventurous! Pick up crocheting, sailing, or embrace a new fitness class.
Indulge | Hit up Lush the day of or before hand so you're prepared to have a luxurious bubble bath. Bring a book or place your laptop on the counter to help you relax.
Change your hair | Freshen up and try something new! It's incredible how much a new hairstyle or a different color will do to your self esteem. Plus, it can be fun!
Netflix marathon | Pick up a new show or recommended movie, and enjoy some vegetation time. Also consider Hulu, Amazon Prime and Redbox.
Relax on the beach | Get some sun and take the latest best seller with you. Even an hour or two on the beach can make your whole day brighter (literally and figuratively).
The Small Things | Do some small things that make you happy- buy yourself fresh flowers, splurge on an item you've been coveting and/or get a mani/pedi.
Get creative | Work on projects that you want to catch up on or finally start on some of your Pinterest pins! Play music or a show/movie in the background, too.
Spa day | Grab a massage, have a facial and spend the day in extreme relax mode. This is a treat that we should all indulge in every so often. This'll make you look and feel amazing!
Do any of these ideas appeal to you? How're you going to make this a great day?
Photo credit: Unsplash
Even if you're not crazy about this 'holiday' and you think it's solely for card, flower & chocolate companies, you can still make this day about you and your significant other without the gimmicks. Although you should cherish your partner year round, doing the simple things on Feb 14 can make them feel extra loved- which is the point!
Here are some ideas in case you've done it all, or you're looking to be a bit more creative this year.
Theater Production | Your significant other may not enjoy plays as much as you do, but they might enjoy seeing one thing over another- perhaps a comedy. Check for student, military, etc. discounts, or try will call if you're feeling adventurous. There is always a way to save money!
Scavenger Hunt | Set up a scavenger hunt- either around your town, neighborhood or house, where your love can find small gifts, treats, or just more clues for an ultimate prize at the end!
Split Time | Have you and your partner split up the day or evening with one getting the first part and the other getting the last part. Decide what to do however you wish (each partner designing their half solely with their bf/gf in mind, etc) but keep it a secret so you'll both have surprises for the night. You can be super creative with this one!
A Fun Park | I have one in my hometown with batting cages, mini golf, arcade, and go karts. If you haven't been in a while, this can be a lot of unexpected fun- even for adults (;
Day Vacation | Take a small road trip and visit a city an hour or two away. Either make the day of it and come back the same night or spend the night and have more time to explore the next day. Even being a few hours away can make a difference!
A Night In | Who doesn't love a home-cooked meal tailored to them? You could go classic and do dinner and a movie or make it all about your other half and what they love to do. Maybe try your hand at something they love- video games? Watching an episode or two of their show?
Drive-In Theater | If you have a truck, crossover or SUV, you can open the back and lay with blankets and pillows to watch the movie! Be sure to bring various snacks and drinks to get the full experience.
Dinner & A Walk | Have dinner downtown and explore the town afterward- you may even find a hole-in-the-wall dessert place to enjoy!
Game Night | Check out a local board/card game place- they will probably have games you can play for free inside. Or, if that isn't an option, buy a few games that sound like fun (either on Valentine's day or have them already bought) and try them in the comfort of your own home.
Coffee/dessert Date | It isn't often that couples go out for coffee and dessert. Usually you go out to dinner and are too stuffed for the best part. Either skip dinner or do an early one so you can fully enjoy this part!
Wander through B&N | Or pick another store that you and your partner love and can get lost in. Find funny articles in magazines, browse the popular book sections, or pick a book each and cozy up on one of their couches.
Kayak in the Moonlight | It can be extremely romantic to be outside with your loved one at night. Kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding- something out of the ordinary can really set the mood! And who knows, you might find a hobby to enjoy together!
Go Backpacking/Camping | Chris and I actually went backpacking for our first Valentine's together. It was THE BEST and definitely memorable. Although it was far from glamorous, we shared sweat and pain together and helped each other make it a great time.
Something Wild | Skinny dipping? Rehearsed strip tease? Even if you do something classic like dinner and a movie or just dinner, add a fun and definitely memorable twist!
Be Adventurous | Have you always said you'll zipline? Skydive? Whatever it is, commit to doing it with your significant other and make it that much more amazing!
Sunset Cruise | Or even a casino cruise! Perhaps one that offers dolphin watching? There are many options with this one and is a nice change of pace.
Dancing/Clubbing | This isn't for everyone, especially the clubbing route, but just dancing to a few songs or going to the club for an hour can be exciting. Maybe it's not something you'd do again- but at least you tried it together!
Deep Sea Fishing | Doing this during the day and relaxing at home at night after an exhausting but fun day can be one of the best feelings. Even if this isn't something you're crazy about, if it means a lot to your partner to go, this could be well worth it.
What're your plans for Valentine's Day?
Photo Credit: Death to the Stock Photo
I didn't derive any inspiration from anyone else for this project- everything just came together in my head over a few days! (which can be pretty rare) I experimented with cutting and folding basic folders and eventually decided to put pictures inside rather than words. Another neat thing about this project is that the card stands up well because the folder is naturally pretty thick, so the pictures can be displayed wherever the recipient chooses!
Since I went with a pictures theme, I knew the front of the card had to honor that, so I came up with this design:
I had to trim a few centimeters off the bottom or top of a few of the pictures to get them to fit vertically, but the integrity of the photo wasn't compromised. I used a glue stick to adhere the photos onto the folder.
I didn't take a picture of the red folder that I actually used, but I had a black one lying around so I thought it would be beneficial to make sure you guys knew exactly which folder I used since there are a few different types.
My ruler and pencil were the most helpful tools for this project. I used the ruler to help guide where I would cut off the uneven folder ends (where you'd usually label what is inside the folder) so the ends would look straight. After that, I folded the folder in half hot dog style and cut where I folded. (did anyone else learn that in grade school?! If not, it means fold horizontally(: ) It should look like the card above in size. You'll be able to make 2 cards from one folder if done this way. You can also choose to make a larger card by not taking the easy way out (like I did) and by measuring what size you'd like with a ruler. I like folding it in half because I think it's a good card size.
From here, I just folded in half again from one end to the middle (where the natural crease of the folder is) and then again on the other side to the middle crease. Now your folder should look exactly like the picture above! (:
I went through my computer pictures and found an assortment from different vacations or just random family pictures that I thought my dad would enjoy.
I ordered the pictures from PostalPix as usual, and I'm always pleased with the results. I chose the 2x2 grid and ended up with 36 pictures, which was more than I needed, but it doesn't hurt to have some lying around (: You could also just order 3 of the 2x2 grid instead of 4, like I did. If you do that, you'll only end up with 3 extras instead of 12.
After I cut them, I arranged them how I liked onto the accordion. You can fit 6 snugly or arrange them however you like to make room for words, drawings, etc.
I'm so pleased with how this turned out, and I can't wait to give it to my dad! I'm also taking him to the movies and treating him to concessions (so naturally, I will be broke come Sunday). What are you guys doing for Father's day? If you replicate this card, I would LOVE to see yours! (and I would greatly appreciate a link back as well, if you do a post on it!) (:
When crafting anything, I think you just have to do the best you can. Afterwards, it's okay to self-evaluate and offer yourself constructive criticism, because no one is perfect, therefore, anything we create cannot be perfect either. That being said, love what you do, love the process, and love what you've crafted. It's not about being perfect or 'good enough', it's about having fun, not staying idle and always improving.
I know my hand-stitches are a little lopsided and probably should be closer, the heart is too smudgy for my taste, etc. I think I'm especially hard on myself sometimes because I put my content on the internet after I'm finished so I always think about my readers and if they'll like what I created. What if it's too plain? Does it look too handcrafted and not professional enough? Did I take enough pictures? Are my pictures good enough?
The moral of the story, whether you have a blog or not, is to just be real, do the best you can, and grow from your experiences. We all make mistakes and everything is a learning process. Don't be too hard on yourselves, no one knows the answer and no one is perfect, only more experienced and more learned.
This card was modeled after this one, but of course, I added my own twist!
I appreciate all of my readers, especially the ones who take the time to comment, it means a lot and helps to keep me going. (: This card was created for my boyfriend's Aunt, Lorie. She's such a sweetheart and always goes above and beyond what she needs to do! I'm happy and grateful that I have her in my life, as well as boyfriend, of course. (;
Hope you all had a great weekend and are enjoying your Memorial Day- let's take a minute to appreciate everything that the men and women in the armed forces have done for us, and how much they, along with their family and friends have scarified for us all. Especially in this day's remembrance, let's think about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice- we thank you more than words can say.
We owe so much to our mothers, and anyone else who fills that spot in our hearts. My mom is tough to shop for because she doesn't wear jewelry or make-up and she's very practical and frugal. Even though she likes to garden and cook, it's still difficult to find something she doesn't already have and/or that she would use or like. So because of that, I tend to get more creative and try to make her a gift. (it also helps with my wallet, though not always: sometimes crafting can be costly!)
Previous gifts include a painted tea cup and saucer, buying a large, floor-standing vase & filling it with rocks, then putting in flower branches with little lights on them (not hand-made, but still designed & put together by me!), compiling photos into a collage frame, buying a large canvas photo print from CVS, and last but not least, handmade cards!
I tend to craft my cards with a cleaner design, which means that sometimes they may appear 'simple'. Hopefully you guys can still appreciate them (: Here is a progression of what I made for this Mother's Day:
Another idea that I had was to make the flower wreath a bit bigger and center that in a horizontally opened card (right now it's vertical), and just fit the 'Happy Mother's Day' in the center.
I like to watch reality tv or something similar while I'm crafting so that it doesn't require my full attention and I have something to listen to in the background. Music also works, of course! I was watching Community as I created this last night.
My mom always taught me to write thank you cards when I was younger, so I always try to craft a nice thank you card when someone gives me any kind of gift, big or small. I liked doing it so much that the practice has continued to this day. It may sound trivial, but everyone loves to receive thank-yous, and it shows that you care (especially when it's handmade).
Hopefully this post helps anyone who is still stumped on what to get such an amazing woman! A handmade card is the perfect gift- if she appreciated our drawings back when they were a bunch of lines on a page, you know she'll love what we can do now! Disclaimer: don't fret if your drawings still look like lines, your mom will love it anyway.
And for all the moms out there, thank you for everything you do ♥
*Along with my card, I bought my mom a huge sudoku book. I think she'll particularly enjoy this one because she's exclusively doing the most challenging puzzles! Most of the books are filled with easy, medium & hard levels.
Post a comment and let me know what you think and share what you got for mom this Mother's Day! Do you guys have any special plans?
Blog posts from 2014-2015 were transferred from my original blog on blogger, Oshiro Design, to my updated website, oshirodesigns.com