Posts Tagged "Gratitude"

New Year’s Gratitude Projects

New Year’s Gratitude Projects

Posted By on Dec 30, 2013

I’m big into Gratitude and the Law of Attraction. I believe strongly that what you think about comes about, and that the best way to predict your future is to create it. These are my favourite quotes (coincidentally, they are both Oprah quotes):

courage gratitude2

I try to teach Gratitude to my kids. One of the ways we’ve done this in the last few years is doing our “Bucket List Tree”. Every New Year’s Eve, we sit down and write down a bunch of things we’s like to do or accomplish in the next year, and beyond. We write them on tags, and hand them on our Bucket List Tree. It’s visual (like vision boards), crafty, and starts great conversations.

Bucket List Tree

You can see more on The Bucket List tree in my blog post from last year.

In addition to the Bucket List Tree, we also did a Gratitude Jar this year. Throughout the year, we wrote down things we were grateful for and stuck them in the jar. On New Year’s Eve (or Day) we will open it, and read through them all.

Gratitude Jar

We also do High/Low every night at dinner – going around the table and saying our favourite thing and least favourite thing from the day. This year Charlie has taken the reigns from Bella being the one who starts it off every night, and I was so proud when he started it on our Christmas Day dinner at his Auntie & Uncle’s house – for a table of eighteen people. That was awesome.

I’m also working on my Vision Board. I do one every year and stick it in a frame on my desk so I see it every day. I love the DreamBoard on Oprah’s Website. It saves your work automatically, so it’s easy to go back and update it. I put things on it that I want to accomplish this year, and in my lifetime. Things like doing some kitchen renos and going to Bali. Both would be nice if they happened within the next year, but they might not!

And to balance the ‘wants’ with ‘gratitude’, this year I am starting a Gratitude Journal. A real, live, paper journal. I toyed with the idea of doing another Project365 with pictures of something I was grateful for every day, but I already take so many pictures, that I want to force myself to actually sit down and write stuff down. If you are interested in an app though, check out HeyDay. It takes your iPhone’s images and puts them into an electronic journal automatically. You can go in and add text if you want. I really love this.

I made my Gratitude Journal after I found the ARC notebook system at Staples. This is really cool people. It’s like a binder, but cooler. I bought a leather cover one that I use as a catch-all on my desk. It holds all my important papers and notes.

IMG_3685 (Copy) IMG_3686 (Copy) IMG_3689 (Copy)

This is the hole-punch thing you buy to punch papers to fit in the disks. The disks come in 3 sizes depending on how thick you want your book: ARCIMG_3678 (Copy)

Update: I’ve created a weekly planner printable for my Arc! Click HERE to get it for free!

Arc template

For my Gratitude Journal, first I made and printed off the sheets. I bought really nice, heavier stock paper for this, and printed off about 100 pages. I’m not going to write in it daily (too much of a commitment), but I’ll be happy with 100 days of Gratitude!

Gratitude Journal

Then I made the front and back covers from cardboard and fancy paper:

Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal

The ARC System has different type of insert pages that I also put in the  journal to hold little keepsakes:

Gratitude Journal Gratitude Journal

With the hole punch, I can also punch photos or just about anything to add as I go as well. Can’t wait to get started. Hope I can keep it up. I’m leaving it beside my bed to remind myself to do it before going to sleep. Might cut into my Candy Crush time, but it’s for the best. 😉

I also did another ARC book for our Christmas Journal. I’ve kept a Christmas Journal since 2004 – Abby’s first Christmas. I write in it every year – things like when we put up the tree, what we did throughout the holidays and it’s where I keep a copy of the Santa picture and a copy of our family portrait or Christmas Card. I was able to take the pages out of the old journal, and punch them to fit into the ARC disks. I also made tabbed dividers with pockets to hold letters from Santa, or whatever!

Our old Journal. Yes, those are foam stickers. I wasn’t all that crafty back in 2004:

Christmas JournalI cut the pages out of the old journal:

Christmas Journal

The tabbed dividers with pockets:

Christmas Journal

Old Christmas Cards and Photos with Santa: Christmas Journal

And the cover:

Christmas Journal

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Gratitude Jar

Gratitude Jar

Posted By on Jan 3, 2013

This year, in addition to our Bucket List Tree, we are incorporating a ‘Gratitude Jar’.

As much as I love the Bucket List Tree, it’s a lot of ‘wanting’. The Gratitude Jar balances the want with gratitude.

The jar will hold the things we are grateful for throughout the year, and we will read them next New Year’s Eve.

To make it, we took a huge jar that I bought at Michael’s, using a 40% off coupon, so it was about $11 I think. Then I applied stickers, because it was less hassle than embossing or stamping.

Next I added ribbon and bling. Because it’s all about the bling.


Gratitude Jar

Bella helped me punch the tags, which we will write our messages of gratitude. They’ll be kept in a pretty box next to the jar.



Here’s a video of Bella explaining the whole thing:

And where will we keep it?
On the kitchen table, of course.
At dinner time, we do the ‘High/Low’ game, where we go around the table and tell what our best & worst part of the day was. This often leads to discussions about gratitude, so the Gratitude Jar will be right there!


Gratitude Jar


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Bucket List Tree 2013

Bucket List Tree 2013

Posted By on Dec 30, 2012

Last New Year’s Eve, my family sat down and came up with a bunch of ‘Bucket List’ items. Things we’d like to do in 2012, as well as bigger goals that we’d like to do – some day. We are big believers in the Law of Attraction, and I’ve always kept a Vision Board, and this was a great way to get the kids involved.

We crafted up some tags, and hung them on some branches and stuck them in a bucket. Voila! Our ‘Bucket List Tree’ was created.

Bucket List Tree

Did it work? We took 14 tags off the tree this year – we accomplished 14/16 of the things we wanted to in 2012. We missed out on Mike’s Brewery Tour that we wanted to do, and I didn’t lose the 20lbs I wanted to lose (ugh). Those things will remain on the tree, along with the bigger things, like ‘Go to an American Girl Doll Store’, ‘Go to New York’, ‘Buy a 4 Bedroom House’ – things that we want to do, but don’t have to be right away.  

Bucket List Tree

The kids and I sat down this morning to make our tags for 2013’s items, which we’ll write out tomorrow night, New Year’s Eve, after our ‘Fun-do’ (fondue) dinner.
This year, we are also going to do a ‘Grateful Jar’. A big jar (or box, or vase – haven’t figured the details out yet) where we will stick the things we are grateful for – written on strips of paper, as they happen, throughout the year. Then next New Year’s Eve, we will pull them out and read them. I think it’s a good balance to the Bucket List Tree – where we want, want, want. The jar is where we will record our Gratitude.

I will keep the jar close to the kitchen table – where we do our ‘High/Low’ game during dinner. We go around the table and discuss our ‘High’ and ‘Low’ for the day. Often these discussions turn into talks of gratitude, and now we’ll be able to record all the things that we are grateful for. (I recently read the novel ‘Slammed’ by Colleen Hoover. In the book they also do High/Low but call it ‘Suck/Sweet’, which I thought was clever.)

I’d love to see what you do with your family to help you achieve your goals or teach gratitude!

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Friday’s Favourite Finds

Posted By on Nov 9, 2012

FridaysFavouriteFinds copy

Welcome to my 1st installment of ‘Friday’s Favourite Finds’ on this blog. I used to do this occasionally on my Photography blog, but it really isn’t business related…so now I”ll do it here! It’s a collection of things found on the internet that make my life better, or that i just love.
  • First up today is Songza. If you haven’t become a fan of Songza yet…you need to try it out! It’s simply the best music site on the Internet. It has no ads, and can match music to your mood. Go try it out. There’s also an app for that! While using the app, you can even head right to iTunes to download a song you’re listening to, with one click.
  • Letterpress is my favourite game of the week. Was a little hard to figure out in the beginning, but quickly became very addicting!
  • An app that I discovered a few weeks ago, and just love, is the Gratitude App, by Happy Tapper. I’m a strong believer in ‘Thoughts become Things’, and the Law of Attraction. I believe that what you think about, you bring about…so the more you think about things you are grateful for, the more you will have to be grateful for. This app gives me a reminder every night to take a couple minutes and document what happened that day that I’m grateful for.
  • Another photographer in Calgary, Michelle Wells, blogged this week about a physical Gratitude Journal to do WITH your family. I really REALLY love this idea. I hope to start something like this in the New Year. What a great way to teach Gratitude, which turns into a fabulous keepsake!
  • And finally – this blog post I found on Pinterest – about telling your kids the truth about Santa. I recently re-read it because I’ve been getting some questions from my oldest daughter…and I want to be prepared.


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Why 2011 Rocked

Why 2011 Rocked

Posted By on Dec 30, 2011




I really hate to see 2011 go. It was an amazing year for us. If I could sum up 2011 in one word, it would be: Surreal.

-Saw the amazing Sir Ken Robinson speak in February.
Disneyland Surprise for my kids in March (& tons of shopping in Palm Springs).
-Hubby chosen as a guest and then taping the Oprah show in April.
-Oprah Media Blitz in May (sorry a lot of links have expired).
-I was Published in July & August
-Saw the iHeartRadio and Garth Brooks concerts in Vegas in September.

I’ve  met a lot of awesome new people, who have turned into friends, whether they be parents of my kid’s friends, or Tweeps. One of my Twitter BFF’s, Buzz Bishop has invited me to co-host the XL103 Morning show with him for a couple days next week, and I couldn’t be more excited. What a cool way to start 2012.

I’ve learned a lot about people in 2011. I’ve also learned a lot about myself. I have some talents that I didn’t know I had (like PR and self promotion – ha!). I discovered my ‘Love Language‘, and how that fits with all that has happened this year. My love language is ‘Words of Affirmation’. Hence why I love egocentric Social Media sites.

I struggle daily with being egotistical vs. being proud of myself, my life and my opportunities. If I can’t be proud of myself, who will be? I’ve learned this year that a lot of people won’t be. And that’s okay. I choose the people I want in my life, and the ones I want to spent time with. Those are the people that cheer me on, and push me forward. They don’t hold me back or make me second guess my accomplishments & opportunities.

Looking back on my marriage in 2011, I am reminded that I am so spoiled. My husband is the best. Works so hard and does so much to help me out too. I think I only grocery shopped three times all year. He also loves to cook and pretends not to mind that I’m the worst housekeeper ever. (In my defense, I’m also running 2 businesses of my own, helping out with his company and raising 3 kids. I promise I’m not sitting on the couch eating bonbons while he does all the work! I also got him on Oprah and bought him a 60″ TV for Christmas, so we’re even.)

And now I am looking forward; what will 2012 bring? I know of two trips we are planning this year, maybe three. We want to take the kids to Mexico, and we want to go somewhere fabulous for our 10 year anniversary in September. We are also considering a mini vacay to Seattle in the spring.

My personal goal this year is to be comfortable with my weight by my 35th birthday in April. Either I lose some weight and get in shape, or I come to terms with my post-three-baby body. Maybe it will be a little of both.

I will continue to do the Project365 this year – a photo every day. I did this in 2011 and loved it. It not only helped me document our lives, but made me take notice. I realized that even the boring day to day things that happen in our lives, are pretty cool. Especially when you look back at them. I would like to be IN more of the pictures though. I would like to not worry so much about the extra pounds or the blemish on my face. In 25 years, my kids aren’t going to care (they don’t now, either). And even if they do, I’d rather have myself documented fat and pimply, then not at all. Here’s April – it’s pretty cool to look back and be reminded:

Project365 - April

(The 15th was the day Mike was upgraded to an actual guest on the Oprah show, that’s how I was feeling!)

I will continue to teach Photography classes. I am both terrified and in love with teaching. It’s one of those ‘face your fears and do it anyway’ things with me. And, like I said after the Oprah taping, if I can do THAT, I can never be nervous about anything again.

I hope the awesome opportunities keep coming. I can’t wait to see what’s next. I am open to anything and welcome new challenges.

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