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Weekly Wisdom :: Maya Angelou

Sunday, October 12, 2014  ::  Written by:

weekly

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Category: Weekly Wisdom

Fresh Squeezed Friday :: Scattered Leaves

Friday, October 10, 2014  ::  Written by:

fsf (2)

 

Happy Friday, friends! This weekend, we have a very full schedule planned with goodbyes to long-time friends as they move far away and a wonderful home-cooked meal on the menu. I’ve been working a lot at night lately and watching tv sometimes distracts me too much so I’ve been listening to some favorite songs on headphones while I work. Thought I would share a favorite with you in the off chance that you might feel this song the way I do and get inspired to create something beautiful this weekend. xo.

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Category: Fresh Squeezed Friday

Pinterest Roundup :: The Halloween Version

Thursday, October 9, 2014  ::  Written by:

Oh, friends, it is time. The decorations have come out and your neighborhood Target is no doubt full of all sorts of goodies to get your house ready for Halloween. For years, we lived in an apartment and never saw trick or treaters to the decorations were minimal at best. For the past couple of years we have lived in a neighborhood that is completely family based and Halloween has become sort of a big deal. Many of the houses decorate more for Halloween than Christmas, even. (Some of them too much, if you ask me, but who am I to judge?)

To that end, I’ve been trying to get my Halloween decoration game locked down. I am a fan of simple, DIY, artistic, not too scary as far as October decorations go so Target has definitely been my go-to lately. And then I remembered Pinterest. Ah, yes. Here are a few great ideas that have got me going!

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pin found here

That spiderweb frame is going to be on my door by the end of the weekend. Guaranteed. And I’m loving the snake wreath but it kind of freaks me out so I’ll just enjoy from afar.

roundup2

pin found here

Love the black lace around a votive. (Also love any decoration that could translate year round.)

roundup3

pin found here

After seeing this board pinned, I REALLY want to go to that soiree.

 

rounup4

pin found here

Now it wouldn’t really be me if I didn’t add some kind of gold-themed decoration, would it? Matte black and gold pumpkins. Genius.

As an extra bonus, here is a gorgeous way to decorate for Halloween that just makes my heart sing:

Gold Faux Pumpkin planter filled with succulents at TidyMom.net

pin found here

Well, friends, what about you? Do you decorate for Halloween? Do you have any ideas you would like to share with us?

 

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Category: Rays of Sunshine

DIY :: Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Wednesday, October 8, 2014  ::  Written by:

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I wasn’t kidding when I said I was on the pumpkin bandwagon. However, the pumpkin spice lattes at most coffee places are a little (a) expensive and (b) laden with chemicals. I decided last year to make some for myself and this year I decided to try to make it even better. Last year’s version was sort of chunky and always sank to the bottom of my cup. Not ideal. This year, I found a way to make it much more like a syrup than a sauce and it tastes amazing.

Combine 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk together until sugar is dissolved. Add 2 cinnamon sticks, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 cup pumpkin puree. Stir together and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. (I did mine twice) and pour into a jar. You’re done! It’s the perfect way to honor October, don’t you think?

I keep mine stored in the refrigerator and it will keep for a good couple weeks.

Happy Pumpkin Spice, y’all!

 

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Category: DIY

October Theme :: Embrace the Fall

Tuesday, October 7, 2014  ::  Written by:

bren

 

Oh, dear friends, the time is here. October. Quite possibly my favorite month of the year (albeit the most deceptive. I’ll explain later.) The shift from summer to fall is one that makes my heart soar. It feels as though the earth is exhaling, stretching, cozying up. There is something so incredibly magical about this time of year and it has nothing to do with pumpkin flavored everything. Granted, I’m on the pumpkin flavored bandwagon, but that’s not my reason for falling in love with this time of year. My reason has more to do with the constant struggle to be human in an ever-changing world.

Fall allows me to let go. I am at my most comfortable in crisp weather that requires layers to get through the day. The soft gauze of a fall morning is one that lingers, coffee brewed and to do lists momentarily forgotten. Summer always feels like I should already be on my way once the sun rises and winter feels as though I should be allowed to stay home hours longer. Fall, however, is forgiving. Celebratory, even. The day stays temperate, full of color and occasional rain. The nights are chilly and allow me to settle into my cage at night satiated. Here, however, is where the deceptive nature of fall comes in. See, I love in Southern California. October is, often, still summer (at least as far as weather is concerned.) However, I’m sticking with my original intention for the month. I am going to “Embrace the fall.”

 

 

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Category: Themes

The Lemonade Stand :: Keeping track

Monday, October 6, 2014  ::  Written by:

lemonadestand

The Lemonade Stand is where we meet to share from our hearts, inspire each other to enjoy the simple pleasures in life, and gather as a community to celebrate the bright side of life.

 

 

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We all have our to-do lists, don’t we? The daily tasks we write to make sure we stay on top of business. I have kept a running to-do list since college. It makes me feel in control of my life to mark each little line off, one by one. (Truth be told, I have been known to write things down that I already did, just to make myself feel better.) This little ritual of mine, the list keeping, is something that tethers me to the present, keeps me focused on the future. It is therapeutic. My current to do list is a bit in flux and I’ll admit it has my game a little off. In the past, I always kept everything written in a day planner. It was my calendar/to do list all in one. Lately, though, I don’t always feel like carrying tons of stuff in my bag. Besides, with two kids, a day planner just doesn’t cut it. I have a family calendar that houses all of the appointments/schedules/activities. So the to-do list ended up in a notebook in my purse. Long story short: I need a new system. I have a document on my computer that holds my to-do list now and I erase/add as needed. (My computer is used daily so it seemed smartest to keep it there.) I just wish there were a way to marry the two. The calendar/to do list with the ease of a word doc. Sigh. As technology advances, it seems my ability to keep up recedes. Am I the only one in this boat? What do the rest of you out there do to keep track of your lives? Are you as obsessed with finding the perfect system? Please. Tell me your secrets.

 

 

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Category: The Lemonade Stand

Weekly Wisdom :: Grace Murray Hopper

Sunday, October 5, 2014  ::  Written by:

weekly

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Category: Weekly Wisdom

Fresh Squeezed Friday :: 1000+ Coffees

Friday, October 3, 2014  ::  Written by:

fsf (2)

 

For those of you on Facebook: how many of your “friends” are actually your friends in real life? How many do you actually speak to or interact with? How many would you actually want to sit down and have coffee with?

Described as:

A project by Matt Kulesza started in September 2014.

I plan to have a one-on-one coffee with every single one of my 1000+ Facebook “friends” over the space of the next three years, or as long as it takes to complete.

An exercise in remembering to socialise with and get to know people outside of the ‘book.

 

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Friends, I can’t tell you how inspired I am by this project. Matt has stated that one of his ways to keep his friends list in check was to say ask himself if he could have coffee with that person. If the answer was no, they would be deleted. Such a smart way to keep the list in check and also a very easy transition to keeping the reason behind our “friends” list true. Granted, there are a lot of my online friends that live nowhere near me so actually having a coffee date would be a bit troublesome. (Although there is always Skype…hmmm.) Regardless, I’m looking forward to following Matt’s journey and learning more about the relationships behind the screen and watching them unfold in real life.

Follow 1000+ COFFEES on Facebook here. 

You can also follow 1000+ COFFEES on Tumblr here.

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Category: Fresh Squeezed Friday

Giveaway :: Natalie Wargin

Thursday, October 2, 2014  ::  Written by:

giveaway

{website :: shop :: Pinterest}

Art is one of the greatest sources of healing we, as humans, have. From the creation to the display of, the role of art in our lives is one of beauty, of grace, of peace. It incites us to feel more and to check in with our hearts and our feelings while reflecting the way in which we view the world. Art is, unequivocally, the single most important source of the fundamental definition of what it means to be human.

Natalie Wargin is a graphic designer and artist with a serious resume. After a brief hiatus, Wargin pulled out her watercolors and started journaling her environment. The result was an astonishingly beautiful homage to the natural world around her. I won’t pretend the Snowy Owl print isn’t my favorite. Any long time reader knows of my deep seated love for owls and Natalie Wargin captures the magic with every stroke. Also be sure to check out her paper mache pieces and you will find yourself swimming in the heart of the matter. That’s the power of art, friends.

Natalie Wargin is giving away one 14 x 11″ print of “Snowy Flight” to one lucky winner. To enter to win, please answer the following question no later than Thursday, October 9th. *Open to US residents only.*
Please visit Natalie Wargin and tell us: What piece of art speaks to you the most and why? It could be a famous painting, a song, something in your home…we just want to know what means the most to you.
Start checking the winner’s box on Tuesday, October 14th, to see if you’ve won!

 

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Category: Art

Sunshine Post :: Natalie Wargin

Thursday, October 2, 2014  ::  Written by:

Today we are honored to introduce you to Natalie Wargin.

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Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.

I’m an artist and graphic designer living in the Hudson Valley, chronicling in my paintings my transition from city mouse to country mouse. Until six years ago I had lived all my life in Chicago — I moved east to be closer to my sister. Last year I pulled out my watercolors, which I haven’t done in years, and started painting. My watercolors and prints are a journal of the rural woodland and the many new birds and animals that I now see everyday, so different from life in a big city. This past April I decided to take a chance and I added some of my paintings and prints of my paintings to my Etsy shop. I have been surprised by the response. People tell me my images are calming and reminiscent of places they’ve visited.

 

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We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?

This has always been my philosophy about the work I do. It was my philosophy about what I studied in school. I was so very lucky to have parents who encouraged me to pursue the things I enjoyed, the things I was good at.

 

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Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?

I find them in my new surroundings and in my family and friends.

 

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On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?

I love a dreary day! It’s the best time to escape into a painting or a good mystery.

 

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What are you most grateful for?

My family and friends.

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Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Natalie Wargin!

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Category: Sunshine Posts