5 Tricks to Get Happy this Holiday Season

 Written by Alexis Sclamberg from Elevate Gen Y. How many times have you caught yourself saying “I’ll be happy when...”? Happiness can often feel like part of some distant dream life. But here’s the truth: science shows us that we can actually raise our happiness levels right now with small, simple tweaks in our daily routine. You don’t have to wait to have the perfect relationship, body, or job to get happy. Try the following 5 tricks, and you are guaranteed to feel happier -- immediately: 1. Give yourself a gift. The holidays are all about giving gifts to our families and friends, but how often do we give ourselves gifts? The key to giving yourself a gift is first considering what gives – or will give -- you joy. Is it baking cookies? Getting a massage? Going to the movies? The … [Read more...]

Our 8 Favorite DIY Advent Calendars

Halloween is behind us and soon it will be time to start an official countdown to Christmas. Advent calendars are a tradition in our house. I love all the different ways you can create your own calendar. Would you like to make something you can re-use each year (unlike the cardboard ones you find at the store)?  I loved the ideas below and hope they will fill you with great ideas and inspiration. Check all these wonderful ways to celebrate the days of December and start your own family advent tradition!  She Knows - so easy to customize this calendar. Easy to follow tutorial. The Thinking Closet - Take a peek at this creative way to use your photos on the flip side of the numbers in this Advent calendar.  Love it! The Snowdrop and Company - I actually think you can find a way … [Read more...]

How to Sew a Simple Bunting

You've seen them all over Pinterest, in Etsy shops and maybe even in your friends homes. You know they've got to be simple enough to make on your own. But, how? I'm here to show you today how to sew a simple bunting in just a few easy steps. If you can sew a straight line then you can sew a bunting. First, gather your supplies. You'll need: Supplies for a Simple Bunting: a sewing machine thread that coordinates with your fabric choices a pair of scissors at least three coordinating prints of fabric {unless you want only one} a self-healing cutting mat* a rotary cutter* a quilter's ruler* {*The last three supplies are optional. If you don't have them, don't worry. You can cut your fabric by hand, it's just easier and quicker with these tools.} Let's get … [Read more...]

Homemade Gift DIY and Tutorial Round-Up

Whether you're looking to create a homemade gift for Christmas, birthday, Hanukkah or other special occasion, these tutorials and DIY gift ideas are sure to have something you'll love. You'll find gift ideas for the Hostess, moms, kids, guys, teens, and of course - a thing or two for yourself as well. This is a great collection of Hostess gifts that you make yourself.   Some very cute and special gifts for youngsters. [nggallery id=14]     Which is your favorite? I see two or three (dozen) that I'm dying to try! Did we leave something out? If you have a favorite Gift DIY leave it in the comments below. … [Read more...]

23 Cookie Exchange Recipe Ideas

  I love this time of the year!  Cooler weather, time with family and holiday baking!  Every year my friends and I have a cookie exchange, a time to get together, catch up and snack on delicious cookies!  The fun part of a cookie exchange is that everyone brings a different cookie to try.  Sometimes there are classic recipes and sometimes people bring new creations that they have whipped up.  I try to bring a new cookie each year and each year it has been a huge hit!  Are you looking for a few new cookie exchange recipe ideas?  I've rounded up some of my favorites! Glazed Butter Toffee Cookies :: Couponing and Cooking Gingerbread Magic Cookies :: The Kitchen is my Playground Chocolate Vanilla Christmas Bark :: The Taylor House Peppermint and Chocolate Cookies :: Pink … [Read more...]

Fun and Quirky Elf on the Shelf Ideas

{image source} It wasn't until a couple of years ago did I notice this little elf pop up EVERYWHERE in my social media feeds. He was all over Twitter and Instagram. You would be hard pressed to miss him on Facebook or Google+. It was like Thanksgiving 2011 brought an army of elves to my daily broadcasts. {Upon further research, I discovered The Elf on the Shelf was actually created in 2004. Who knew?} I witnessed through photos these little elves do silly things and naughty things and sometimes just regular things. Crazy enough, I found myself looking forward to what the elves would do next. Each morning I'd run to Instagram to see the shenanigans. I'm so excited to show you some of those elf shenanigans today. You can recreate these ideas in your home with your elf. You can almost … [Read more...]