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The past 10 days have been truly magical as 325+ people joined me for the 10 Day Gratitude Experiment. Focusing on meaningful giving and being thankful for what I have has reminded me exactly why I love this time of year.

The holidays (for me) mean coming together with loved ones – around beautiful dinner tables, crackling fires, and twinkly trees to slow down and celebrate the season. There’s hot chocolate and the smell of pine trees and jingling bells and cozy knit sweaters. It feels so enchanting and so special.

But every year, I face the challenge of enjoying the season while also feeling the pressure to be perfect.

Plan the perfect menu.

Throw the perfect party.

Wear the perfect outfit.

Buy the perfect gift.

Get all the things done in record time when all I really want to do is cozy up in front of the fire with some hot cider and a good book.

Do you feel that too?

If you are already feeling the pressure building up this holiday season, then I invite you to join me in doing it differently this year with A Handmade Holiday.

A Handmade Holiday is a beautiful program consisting of instructional videos that walk you, step-by-step, through the simple process of making thoughtful, artisan-quality gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season.

You’ll feel tummy-tingling good giving each and every gift and your giftees will be impressed and delighted.

This self-led video course breaks down exactly how to create beautiful gifts, including:

·       Gifts for your boozy friends, your coffee-loving friends and the men in your life

·       Gifts for those who savor time in the kitchen and at home

·       Gifts for their body (but it’s okay to make one for you!)

·       Gifts that will look like you snagged them at Anthropologie (who doesn’t want that?!)

·       Gifts that pamper any room, infused with flowers and oils

·       Gifts which allow you to add a personal touch and explore your creativity


Each gift is infused with love and beauty – and can be done in minutes. If you find yourself constantly on the hunt for the perfect present, you’ll find them here.

After all, they’re made by you, from the heart. Your friends and family will love them as much as you’ll enjoy making them.

So, if you are looking for the perfect way to add more glitter and less stress, more heart and less hassle, more fun and less fret, and more wow and less ho-hum, then I highly encourage you to check out A Handmade Holiday.

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easy autumn centerpiece

The word tablescape used to sound pretty daunting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I lust after beautiful and thoughtfully decorated tables, but wasn’t sure that was something I could create on my own.

Where’s my color matching table runner and chargers?! Why don’t I have brass taper candle holders?!

But perfection or mimicking what you see on Pinterest is not the point, love.

What matters is the intention you infuse into your table so that, when your loved ones come together, they feel the love and meaning you’ve put into that gathering. So a simple candle or a few flower stems in a mason jar just might do the trick.

I was feeling this pressure a few days ago when Tim and I decided we would be hosting Thanksgiving at our magical cottage this year. Knowing this perfectionist feeling all too well, I did what I do best – stood up off the couch and got to dabbling to find something that would look beautiful and (most importantly) feel meaningful to me.

So here is the method for my Easy Autumn Centerpiece:

1. Grab a serving tray, some fresh seasonal fruit, and some greenery (I snipped some rosemary and ivy from the plants in my yard).

2. Set down your tray and place pieces of greenery at all four corners of the tray, draping a bit off. Add to the middle as well.

3. Then place down your first fruit – evenly dispersing and not overthinking it (I started with lemons).

4. Next, add in your second fruit – giving it a good mix of color, shape, and texture. I noticed some of my apples had red in them so I was sure to turn those on their side and move around the tray to even it out. You can even stack the fruit if that feels good to you. Go with your gut!

5. Add in a 3rd fruit, if you’d like (I had to include those gorgeous persimmons) and garnish with any additional greenery throughout.

Place your tray in the center of the table and you’re done!

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Announcing the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment

It happened the other day.

I was just sitting down on my cozy couch with a steaming cup of tea, getting excited to binge watch episodes of Revenge, Scandal, and Parenthood, when I looked up at the TV and I saw it…right before my very eyes.

It was loud.

It was jolly.

It was red, white, and green.

It was a holiday commercial.

And those feelings of panic started to rise up into my chest. I was just getting excited about putting a light cardigan over my tank top. I still had an un-carved pumpkin on the front porch. I hadn’t yet created the menu for Thanksgiving dinner and it’s 20 days away, ahhhh!

Know the feeling?

The seasons are changing, it’s getting darker and colder outside, and the holiday season (a time of joy and celebration) is just around the corner. And, if you’re like me, you’re starting to get those feelings of panic and stress coupled with the desire to put on your coziest socks and turn up the Mariah Carey holiday station on Pandora.

And, if you’re like me, you want less of the icky panic and more of the steamy hot cider feel goodness this holiday season.

So this year, I’m pledging to do it differently.

Knowing that the most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, I want all of us to get in a better mindset that has us feeling joyful and calm by the time the turkey is carved.

And the key to a happier mindset is gratitude.

You’ve heard Oprah rave about it and you’ve probably made a note to think about it more, but gratitude is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and boost happiness levels (we’re talking happy hormones!) in your body.

Cultivating a grateful heart can be a total game changer this holiday season. So I want you to join me for a little experiment.

I’m calling it the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment.

 

Join the 10 Day Gratitude Experiment

 

For just 10 days, beginning November 17th, we’ll do one simple daily task that will add up to a more meaningful and joyful experience this holiday season. And it’s a social experiment, so we’ll be sharing pictures of our experiences with each task on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #GratitudeExperiment.

I’m giving away some fun prizes along the way, so if you’re the competitive type, then I encourage you to join us!

Join the 10-Day Gratitude Experiment Here

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one year in business

A little over a year ago, I made the choice to step away from life as I knew it and begin my next adventure as a full-time business owner and entrepreneur.

Even now as I’m writing these words, I’m feeling elements of panic creep up.

Even though I can go back through each week and month of the year and see all the progress I made in both my business and myself, I have this nagging voice in my head telling me I could have done better. I could be further along I am. But that’s just the shadow side of me – a part I’m choosing to acknowledge in this post because I strongly desire to be real with you. Real about my choices, my experiences, and all parts of me – the sunny and the shadowy.

The truth is, I pictured this past year going very different than the way it’s gone. I thought cash flow would be higher. I thought I would be online only (with 3 ebooks and 3 courses to show for it), and I thought I’d lose 20 pounds because I’d have all this time to work out and eat healthy and live this dream life.

But you know what I didn’t possibly anticipate?

That I would feel a deeper sense of trust and contentment with the unknown.

That I would feel more comfortable in my body than before.

That I would feel so supported by loved ones all over the world.

That I would end the year as a certified transformational business and life coach.

That Tim and I would finally leave our tiny apartment in Oakland and live in an enchanted cottage in the trees.

That I would be so sure that everything is going to be OK, even with the most uncertainty I’ve ever had in my life.

That I would be celebrating one year of being in business on the beach in Mexico with my love and close friends.

Inspired by Liz Dialto’s amazing year in review post, I’m going to go through each month and highlight some of the big wins, challenges, and important person moments of the year, then I’ll answer some of the questions you’ve asked about the last year.

The Dabblist: 1 Year in Business

Note: These are some highlights and things I think you will find relevant. I’ve left some personal highlights and challenges out because, well, some things just need to be kept sacred.

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My Commitment {to my body & myself}

This is for you. The ones who have it all…on your to-do list.

Because I’m with you, sister. My to-do list has felt a leeeetle longer than I’d like it to be lately, and balancing that with my commitment to health and well-being has been a challenge, to say the least. The struggle is real, friends.

Last time we talked, I told you that my kryptonite is overwhelm and, in order to overcome it, I have made a list of non-negotiables to keep me sane and healthy (if you missed it, check it out here).

One of the items on that list of non-negotiables was to move my body the way it wants.

Now let me tell you something, I have spent many years of my life attempting all sorts of exercises in an attempt to get healthy. Some I hated (running and crossfit) and some I’ve really loved (pilates and yoga). And, what I’ve noticed is that I’m way more likely to do something I love rather than something I hate. So, a few years ago, I stopped the running and intense boot camps and started moving my body in ways I found enjoyable – yoga, pilates, dance, hiking in an inspiring setting, etc.

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