DIY I’m Grateful For List Pad

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Moments you are grateful for in your everyday life should be noted. Whether you write it down, type in into your phone, or record it in a gratitude journal, take the time to do it. With this continued practice, your mind and energy vibrations will shift. Your perspective will change. Negativity will find it’s way to the door, and a lighter, happier heart will be full of joy.

The list does not need to be profound, and there’s no wrong answer. It will challenge you on the worst of days. And, on the best days, it will come easy. My {Jessica’s} list this past week included gratitude for two weeks in a row of bright and warm sunshine, no snow on the ground in early November, a good glass of wine shared with friends, a moment of great hope for our country, a phone conversation with my elderly and sick grandpa, kisses from my children in the morning and a husband that loves to cuddle, even when I don’t.

Oprah, a firm believer in a gratitude journal, is quoted as saying, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, never have enough.” We couldn’t agree more.

Yes, it’s true that circumstances are a reality, life can be really, unbearably hard, and our hearts can actually break. But, the one thing we can control is our attitude and the way we look at all the moments in our life. With a grateful mind and heart, life is more likely to have a beautiful view.

We have an easy and cute DIY for you to note all the things you’re thankful for in your life on a daily basis. It’s a DIY list pad; a I’m Grateful for List Pad, to be exact. The scroll means the list can go on and on, and it’s decorated with faux marble and Rifle Paper Co. paper, so it’s pretty to look at…which means it can be carried around with you, or left in a public area of your house.

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Here’s how we did it!

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Cut wood to dimensions you want. Our wood is about 3 inches x 15 inches. Home Depot was amazing and did it for us in-store for free. Gather all other materials.

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Step 2: Cut copper coil with pliers. Measure {eyeball method} the amount you will need for a U shape to reach from the left side of the wood to the right. Test out the width of the copper on the wood, and trim it down if need be.  We liked the copper to hang down from the top of the wood in a U shape, so we could include the vinyl text on top.

 wood-pliers

Step 3: Gently bend the copper in a U shape. Do not bend it into a V because it is difficult to re-shape. This step is easy, and even small muscles can do it. Use the pliers to flatten both sides of the copper so it aligns right next to each edge of the wood.

copper-coil

Step 4: Use a drill with a small metal bit to make small holes on each side of the copper, in the center of the flat part. Press down firmly as you drill so it doesn’t move in the middle of your drilling.

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Step 5: Align the copper piping just the way it will sit on the wood. Use a pencil to mark the spot on each side of the wood, so you will know where to drill the holes to screw it in place.

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Step 6: Drill ‘pilot’ holes in the wood on the pencil marks. Do not drill the entire length of the screw, only about ¼ size of the screw, so you can screw in the screws the remainder of the way. Pilot holes guarantee your screw won’t break off and your wood won’t split.

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Step 7: Insert one end of the copper piece through the center of the thermal paper roll and push it until the paper roll is on the center of your U-shaped copper piece. Make sure the paper roll {the way it rolls out on the wood} lies flat on the wood, which will be easier to write on.

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Step 8: Align each end of the copper to the holes on each side of the wood, and screw the small screws into the holes.

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Step 9: Trace the wood on the back of the Rifle Paper Co. wrapping paper and the faux marble. Add an angle on the top for a color-block effect. For the marble, cut the piece out, remove the backing and stick onto the wood. For the wrapping paper, cut it out, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the wood and the back of the wrapping paper. Place it on the wood and use a straight edge to make sure there are no bubbles. You can add a layer on Mod Podge on top of the paper if you want. We chose not to.

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faux marble

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Step 10: Design a Grateful for design on the Silhouette Software. Follow the vinyl instructions on the box, and look at a previous post here to see how we do it. Add the vinyl on the top of the wood.

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Step 11: Pull the paper down to the bottom of the wood. Wrap the hair tie around the bottom of the wood to keep the paper in place.

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Step 12: Begin to reflect and write down all that your grateful for. Make it a part of your daily routine and it will change your life for the better. Do it once a day, twice a day or three times a day – just do it. Thanksgiving is a great time to start.

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Stay Gold DIY Pencil Pouch + Black Friday Deal

Happy Thanksgiving. May your heart be filled with gratitude today.

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It’s that holiday time of year when gold is everywhere, so start throwing gold sparkles on everything. It’s also that time of year when Silhouette America has an amazing BLACK FRIDAY sale. We couldn’t have made this DIY Stay Gold pencil pouch {nor could we have made other amazing things this year like thisthis or this} if it weren’t for our Silhouette cutting tool from Silhouette America.

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Shop the Black Friday sale today through Dec. 4, 2015. The amazing machine bundles are as low as $99.00 including Silhouette Mint for $99.99, Portrait and Mint for $189.99, CAMEO for $199.99 and CAMEO and Portrait for $289.99. Plus, almost everything in the Silhouette America store is up to 40% off. Use code SORELLE when you check out. For 20% off Silhouette Design Store subscription, enter BLACK at checkout. Oh my goodness, free shipping available to the contiguous United States, too.

Once you receive your amazing electronic cutting tool that will change your life for the better, make this DIY pencil pouch.

When we spotted this gold pencil pouch during back to school shopping in August, we knew it would come in handy some day.

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The reference of “Stay Gold” comes from the book, The Outsiders. The quote in the book stems from the famous poem by Robert Frost.

Nothing Gold Can Stay
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower,
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief.
So Dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.

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This quote is powerful in our own lives. Our hope is that our children can remain young and innocent forever. As we age, our view of the world ‘hardens’ and we forget to play, imagine, and believe in the goodness in ourselves and people around us. We must always remember and teach our children to Stay Gold – stay good, and stay true!

DIY Stay Gold Pencil Pouch
Silhouette Vinyl
Gold Pencil Pouch, Target
Frog’s Tape
Credit Card or straight-edge

Directions:

Create a stay gold design on Silhouette software.
Print the vinyl according to package directions.
Remove the vinyl backing, and lay front side-down onto rows of Frog’s Tape {you can also use transfer paper, which we didn’t have handy}.
Use a credit card to make sure all bubbles are out, then pull the vinyl paper up. Your words should be face-down on the tape.
Pick up the tape, and place carefully on your pencil pouch. Your words should be legible now, right-side-up. Use a credit card to get out all the bubbles.
Carefully pull up each piece of tape. The vinyl should stay in place on the pencil pouch, and you’re done.

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Now, eat some turkey and pie. Hug family and friends. Rest. Sleep. Wake up. Shop.

Reflection and Being Gratefeul Despite the Circumstances

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We interrupt the usual DIY, cutesy post today to keep it real with y’all.

Just like everyone, life behind the scenes (or blog) is as real as everyone else in the world and we have good days and bad. With Thanksgiving coming up we’ve had time to reflect and feel like sharing. We hope you share your stories of gratitude {the loss and pain that go with it, too} with us, too. Send us an email at hello@jsorelle.com.

No one ever said life was easy. We just didn’t know it was going to be so hard.

As we look at the big picture, yes we are alive and life is good. We all have a place to call home, wonderful and supportive parents, beautiful children, 2 out of 3 amazing husbands, love and each other. At the end of the day, it’s those little things that matter.

But that doesn’t mean we haven’t cried everyday, felt anxiety paralyze our bodies, mourned, felt like we were hit by a bus, prayed on our knees and worried until we lost sleep.

In just one year, we have mourned the loss of our grandma, come to grips with our grandpa’s Parkinson’s diagnosis, tried to make sense of a family member who we loved that lived a double life and deceived and hurt us beyond what our wildest dreams could have imagined, learned the pain and heartache of a divorce first-hand, been shocked by the loss of a dear friend and family member, and heard the stop-in-our-tracks, heartbreaking diagnosis of ‘childhood epilepsy’ of one of our own from a hospital room.

To be honest, some days it’s been hard not to hate and it feels impossible to forgive.

We are not complaining because we know there are stories of hardship and pain that are unfathomable, and for those of you who are in the midst of it, or through it, our hearts go out to you.

A wise friend once said, “When someone’s asks how I am, if I’m good, I say, I’m in between problems…because life has bumps in the road, and in between the bumps, life is good.” In between our ‘bumps’ this year, we have watched our children laugh and grow, witnessed the joy of a 1-year-old take his first steps, help our parents celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary, held each other close, felt the unconditional love of family by our side, laughed until we cried with friends and celebrated the pure joy of a pregnancy announcement (followed by morning sickness).

So are we grateful for his year? Yes. Do we wish it went down differently? Hell, yes. But we will take each breath, step and hope we can muster because at the end of the day, that’s all we have! We have grown closer to God this year and pray we’ve reached our heartbreak limit for the year.

After all this, what we know to be true is that everyday we have a choice. Do we wake up with anger in our hearts, scour at the world and the people who hurt us, hold on to life the way it was? Or, do we wake up with grateful hearts, accept life and who we are, choose to smile, remain humble and kind? We choose the latter {most days}, and that will save us. We will not take love for granted.

We’ve discovered that love, faith and family can get us through it…it doesn’t hurt to have awesome sisters by our side either.

We hope you find gratefulness in your heart this Thanksgiving. Lord knows we’ll be crying, praying and giving thanks as we go around and talk about what we’re grateful for at the table this year.

Keep us in your prayers, and we’ll do the same for you.

Thanks for listening.

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{free printable} I Spy Game for Thanksgiving

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One of our kid’s favorite games to play at the dinner table is I Spy. So this year, we’re happy to bring the tradition of I spy with my little eye to the Thanksgiving table. And, we’re also going retro with the use of a disposable camera. We can’t believe how ‘old school’ that seems with all the high-tech electronics nowadays. But for the kiddos, they can use and abuse the camera, and feel like a professional photographer for the evening, and you don’t have to worry about the state of your expensive phone. And, the best part of all – you can really see Thanksgiving through your children’s eyes. Don’t we all wish we could see the world through the eyes of our children on a daily basis – what a beautiful gift that would be?!

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Fleur de Lis created a cute and FREE printable for you that you can download here.

If you’re up for a DIY, we made the little DIY pumpkin napkin ring from a shower curtain ring. We wrapped the shower curtain ring in yarn, used a hot glue gun to keep the ends of the yarn in place, and topped it with a small branch and raffia bow. It took about 5 minutes!

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thanksgiving i spy and diy pumpkin napkin ring

{images via j. sorelle}

DIY Jenga Game on Thanksgiving

Get your game face ready {with a grateful heart, of course} for a fun game we call DIY Jenga Game of Gratitude. It’s a game the whole family can play together on Thanksgiving. Visit Momtastic to see how we added our own special, Thanksgiving-twist to the classic game.

The memories you will create with your family while ‘prepping’ the game, and listening to what your kids have to say, is reason enough to do it.

jenga game of gratitude

{images via j. sorelle}