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Less expensive gift ideas

With the rapid decline of the economy, money is increasingly tight everywhere. This is greatly affecting holiday budgets as people look to cut costs and limit gift-giving lists.

So I'm offering a list of low cost ideas for gifts this year.

KIDSCollapse )

ADULTSCollapse )

FAMILIESCollapse )

COUPLESCollapse )

That is all I can think of right now. Please, feel free to add to this list in the comments and to link to this entry other places. Happy Holidays!


Journal Color Charts

It's time for a new journal prompt, and this one's made to spark your creativity while helping you get a little better organized for all your other art projects this year.

Journal Prompt #2
Make a page in your journal dedicated to color! Take your favorite or most frequently used artistic medium (crayons, markers, color pencils-- mine is acrylic paints!) and make a shape with each color of your favorite medium. For example, if I use my acrylics, I may make a page full of polka dots, each dot in a different color of paint I have. You can use any shape your choose- circles, squares, hearts, scribbles- just make sure there is one for each color you have. Then, be sure to in some way label each color with its name. This way, when you are doing art journals in the future, you have a quick guide to your colors and what they look like on paper. It's really handy, and you can be pretty creative. After the fact, you can turned your labeled circles into smilie faces or flowers etc.

If you'd like to share your art journal page, simply scan or photograph it and post it here! And by all means, post some other pics you'd like to share, a book recommendation, a piece of art, or any other post! We need some posts by members!! :D

More stargazing!

Tonight is the Quantratids meteor shower! Starting at approximately midnight EST, the shower should last through the night until dawn. Astronomers say that at its peak, there could be up to 100 meteors per hour!

Snuggle up in the backyard, and have some hot cocoa while you're at it!



Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate Recipe

Today is one of the coldest days of the year so far (at least it is at my house!), so I went looking for some good hot chocolate recipes. This one sounded particularly interesting, I thought I'd share.



* 8 oz milk
* 3 tsp chocolate syrup
* 1 tbs peanut butter, smooth
* Whipped cream

Heat milk in a saucepan until hot through. Add chocolate syrup and mix well. Stir in peanut butter and stir until melted. Serve and top with whipped cream.

I'm going to try this one tonight. If anyone else has any great recipes for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, go ahead and post them!

And remember to continue with your Happiness Calendars!! The next journal prompt will be tomorrow!


Finally the first day of the year has come upon us!

Consider today to be a new beginning. The start of your best year yet. 366 (as it is leap year!) days of happiness and love and joy. Put all fears, doubts, and sadness behind you and embrace the beauty and joy of life everyday.

Today is your day. And so is every other day from here on out.

So, as a positive start to this new year...

Journal Prompt #1
On the very first page of your journal in the very center of the page, write a declaration for yourself. Your declaration should promote all the ideas and actions you wish to embrace in the coming year.

Radiate joy. Determine your own happiness. See God's grace in everyday. Find beauty in all things. Let your creativity take control. Shower others with random acts of kindness. Follow your heart.

Those are just a few examples. Your declaration can be as long or as short as you wish and can include absolutely anything, no matter how insane it may seem. After you write your declaration, you may decorate the page around it if you like.

Now you have your declaration for the coming year. Read it often. Remember it. Take it to heart. If you follow your own declaration, you will be well on your way to having your best year yet.

If you'd like to, comment here to share your own declarations with the rest of the community!

And to encourage and inspire you on the day of your new beginning, here are some quotes to reflect on. If you see one that you really like, write it in your journal or on a post-it or note card to place somewhere you will look very often. Remember that positive thinking is the first step to accomplishing all things.

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth... not going all the way and not starting. - Buddha

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. - Lao Tzu

From small beginnings come great things.

He who chooses the beginning of the road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determines the end. - Harry Emerson Fosdick

Every day is a fresh beginning, Every morn is the world made new. - Sarah Chauncey Woolsey

Now I encourage you to make your own posts (get ideas from the info page), continue coming back daily to receive and share life-changing ideas, and embrace all things life gives to you!
*sigh* I found this community and thought it was awesome, such a great concept with endless potential... But it seems that there is no one here. Hello?

When you wish upon a star...

I just thought I would spread the word that the Geminid meteor shower begins tonight at 10 PM eastern time. The shower will continue throughout the night and reach its peak in the early hours of the morning on December 14th. Look towards the Gemini constellation, the origin of the meteors for what astronomers promise to be the best shower of the year!

Lay on some blankets on the lawn. Sip some hot cocoa. Snuggle up with someone special.

Wish on a shooting star!

Our lives are not determined by what happens to us but by how we react to what happens,
not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life.
A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes.
It is a catalyst, a spark that creates extraordinary results.

Dec. 12th, 2007

"Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them."

it's always been one of my favorites. :D
I've planned some ongoing activities that will start on New Year's Day and continue throughout the entire year! Each of these activities will require a few really simple supplies, but you will need to have them by New Year's Day to begin. So, read these short activity description, and if you want to participate, please try to get the proper supplies by January 1st!

One of these activities is a bi-weekly journaling prompt. One prompt will be writing and one will be for art. These prompts are made to promote happiness and creativity while encouraging self-discovery. You may participate in whichever prompts you would like, but it is encouraged that you try your hand at them all.

So, if you'd like to participate, you will be a brand new paper journal! Having one journal for all these prompts will help you gauge your progress throughout the year. When buying a journal, make sure your journal is approximately the size of a composition book and has relatively sturdy pages (sturdy pages will hold art supplies like paint better and markers won't bleed through). Have your journal by New Year's Day because that's when our first prompt will be posted, and trust me- it's an important one!

Daily Happiness Calendar
One of the goals of Happiness 365 is to recognize and dwell on all the happy moments in our day to day lives. A Happiness Calendar is a great way to do this. For this activity, you will buy a calendar or planner specifically for this activity. Every night, you will reflect on your day and then write a sentence or so noting something happy from your day- something inspiring, lucky, fun, or something that made you smile. Then, at the end of the year, you will have 366 days of smiles and laughter. It will also prompt you to find the joy in every day.

If you'd like to participate, you will need to have a new calendar or planner ready for January 1st when we begin! Also, at the end of every week, I will make a post and prompt everyone to comment with their favorite happy thing from their calendar that week and elaborate a little if they wish.

Celebrate the happiness in everyday life with us and get your journals and calendars ready!

Please comment if you are participating in either project! :)