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A (Craft) Room of One’s Own: Craft Room Ideas, Inspiration, and Eye Candy

Creativity and Crafts, Home Matters
craft room ideas
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In my recent post, Crafts and Creativity: The Secret Ingredient for a Life of Joy, Fulfillment, and Eternal Youth, I made a couple of blanket statements that I stand behind one hundred percent.

  1. Human beings are hard-wired for creativity.
  2. Crafting is good for the soul.

I truly believe this. If you’ve read my books, you know this is a theme I’ve explored more than once.  I also believe that every creative woman (which, as I’ve explained above, means everybody. Including you.) needs a craft room of her own. continue reading

The cutest of all the DIY bookmark ideas

Creativity and Crafts
DIY bookmark ideas
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During my last book tour, one of my readers gave me a beautiful bookmark, made with pretty batik fabric. I was fascinated with the clever latticework design and thought it would be fun to make some myself.

It’s not shocking that a craft project combining pretty fabric, book accessories, and sewing techniques would pique my interest. In fact, those are truly a few of my favorite things!

It took me a few tries to figure out the technique. And once I did…Well, I may have created a monster.  I am now completely addicted to making these bookmarks! Dear family and friends, you will now receive a bookmark as a gift for each holiday. There is no such thing as too many lattice batik homemade bookmarks. It’s common knowledge. continue reading

Crafting: The Secret Ingredient for a Life of Joy, Fulfillment, and Eternal Youth

Creativity and Crafts, Learn for a Lifetime
creativity and crafts, good for you
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What would you say if I told you there was something you would truly enjoy that would make you feel happier, more fulfilled, and youthful?  (I mean, besides chocolate.)

As it turns out, there actually is such a secret ingredient for a more joyous life.

It’s called crafting.

In addition to providing you with a supply of adorable, one-of-a-kind handmade gifts for people you care about, crafting can increase your happiness, lower your stress levels, and keep your mind sharp.

Don’t take my word for it; ask science.

continue reading

Three Perfect Recipes for World Baking Day (Plus, My Favorite Baking Cookbooks)

Books, Food for Grownups
best cookie recipes, best baking cookbooks
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Cookies, banana bread, muffins, oh my! Today is World Baking Day and it’s time to fire up those ovens, Fierce Friends. Don’t tell my Weight Watchers Freestyle Plan, but sometimes I just need sugar. And carbs. And butter. And joy.

Here are a few of my go-to recipes when those cravings hit and a few baking cookbooks that have guided me along the way.  continue reading

Flower Pot Ideas from a Master Gardener (with Deer Resistant Flowers!)

Home Matters
deer resistant flowers, flower pot ideas
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It took its sweet time getting here but I say, “Hooray for Spring!”

I don’t know about you but I am more than ready for sunshine and flowers. The sunshine is definitely here but the flowers have proven a bit trickier.

Though our new neighborhood is surrounded by forests and plenty of common space, the lot is much smaller than our old one, really too small to put in a proper garden.  Even if it were otherwise, the hordes of deer that populate the surrounding forests seem to think of gardens as their personal salad bar.

But deer or no deer, acres of land or gardens the size of a postage stamp, it’s spring. I want to plant flowers. I need to plant flowers. continue reading

Garage Makeover – Part 1

Home Matters
garage makeover, garage organization tips
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When we moved into our new home on May 28thof last year it wasn’t exactly finished.

The trim work, tile work, and interior painting weren’t quite finished. The upper kitchen cabinets had yet to be delivered and installed. And the built-in bookshelves hadn’t even been started. Oh, yes.  And there were no rods or shelves in the bedroom closets.

Move in ready? Uh…no.  Not quite. continue reading

DIY Mother’s Day Card Ideas To Show Your Love

Creativity and Crafts
homemade mothers day card ideas
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Have you ever stood in the aisle reading card after card and feeling like none of them really hit the right notes?

Too generic. Too clever. Too millennial. Too expensive. Too. Much. Glitter.

For the moms in your life, whether they are your actual mom, an honorary mom, your daughters, daughters in law, or your friends, sometimes a homemade card is the best way to show how much you care. continue reading

The Best Memoirs, Autobiographies to Read, and How to Write Them

Books
autobiography memoir how to write
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I love books.  All books. Between the pages of a book always has been and will always be my happy place.

Though I love fiction and have spent much of my life writing it, I read a ton of non-fiction, especially memoir and biography.  As I gain more perspective and wisdom about my own life story, I am even more intrigued by true stories of other people’s lives.

Reading memoir and biography gives me a chance to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, to experience other cultures through the eyes of a first-person guide.  Reading memoirs can be inspiring, eye opening, heartwarming and, sometimes, heartbreaking.  No matter the writer, tone, or subject, I always learn something. continue reading

The Best Carry On Bag (That’s Completely Fierce) 

Adventure and Travel
best carry on bag
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The second I saw it, I was pretty sure that the Travelon Underseat Carry-on was going to be my new favorite travel accessory. Now, after three weeks, six states, five flights, and so many hotels that I’ve lost count, I can state unequivocally that my instincts were spot-on.

This bag is fierce, fabulous, and basically the greatest piece of luggage I have ever owned. And I’ve owned a LOT. continue reading

Starting (or Joining) a Bookclub: Friends, Food, and Fellowship

Books, Friends and Community
how to start or join a book club
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One of the biggest pleasures of reading a good book is discussing it with other readers.  There’s no better place to do that than a book club.

There really aren’t any downsides to joining a book club. I mean, sure every now and then you might not love one of the books. But even that can have its benefits.  Sometimes, discussing a book or character you didn’t care for can be even more fun than talking about one you did! Who doesn’t love trash talking the villain you love to hate? continue reading