Tag: encouragement

A great find at Dollar Tree

Some days you just hit it big.

I had been to a number of store looking for boxes for cookies. Hubby and I have baked about forty to fifty dozen. I am not exaggerating.

It’s been a tradition for a number of years.

We plan on gifting many of them as usual. But I couldn’t find any cute boxes.

While Dollar Tree would ordinarily be my first stop, it wasn’t this year because I’d just been there a few days prior and there had been nothing I liked.

But I was in for a great surprise.

I mean look at these: They hold about a dozen and a half cookies and a few candies. But my next dilemma was how to keep the cookies separate from each other. I cut waxed paper into squares but that wasn’t the least bit attractive.

Then inspiration hit.

Coffee filters!

Nice, huh?

The coffee filters look all “ruffly”. I love the look.

And, yes, I am keeping some for me for decorations for next year.

Here’s another couple of small ones I found.

God bless and I hope you’re making good progress with your Christmas shopping.

Christmas idea, stones, 2017

Another “almost free” quick Christmas gift idea

Hubby and I traveled north this past weekend to a little town where we used to live.

We wandered up and down the streets and in and out of the little stores. It’s so much more fun than malls.

I miss how Christmas used to be:

……….dashing in and out of the stores,

……….with the snowflakes falling heavily,

……….and the wind blowing.

I miss having to make frequent stops to have coffee.

I miss brushing off the snow as I walked into the stores and saying to the clerks, “Boy, it’s really coming down out there.” And, of course, they would respond, “It sure is.”

It sparked immediate connection and conversation.  A rarity today, don’t you think?

There is just something about trudging in the snow and carrying snow-covered packages and freezing to death because, God forbid, you dressed “cute”, translated, not warm.

It wasn’t as frantic either.

It wasn’t about checking off the list.

It was about looking and really shopping for that gift that caught your eye. It was about the snow and the cold and the greeting people across the street as they trudged along as well.

There was so much more gaiety.

Anyway, back to the shopping. We went to this one store I’d not been in before and I found this basket of painted stones on which various saying were painted.  I love stones.

I keep a stone in my bathroom that sees “Remember”. It’s based on the story in the first few chapters in Joshua. Sometimes I forget all the ways God has blessed me, so I like the visual reminder.

My Pinterest board has lots of ideas if you want to check it out.

But these rocks almost looked like a child had painted them, which made them all the sweeter in my eyes.

So if you are looking for a last-minute idea and you have some rocks lying around, try this out. I would suggest you use a fine-tipped paint marker for writing the words.  A black oil-based marker will work as well.

painted rocks Christmas 2017

There is something about holding a stone that immediately connects us with the earth.

God bless and have a good day.

A DIY Dollar Tree Christmas sign

This is another very inexpensive quick craft if you’re in need of a last minute idea. Everything, except the board, is from the dollar tree.

First, let me share some of the backstory. I had bought these words from the Dollar Tree as soon as they went on sale. I’m learning that you need to act fast at the Dollar Tree. And, by the way, did you know that not all Dollar Trees are created equal.

By that I mean, they all carry different merchandise. So if you don’t find them store, check another if you can.

Anyway. I had some boards (I’m always scarfing up boards from garage sales, garbage day junk, junk pile at the big box stores. The ones for these projects are from the junk pile at a local big box store. The boards were different lengths, widths, and thicknesses.

I painted them red. Didn’t like them. I painted them white. I didn’t like them. I completely covered them with paper with no wood showing. Didn’t like them. Finally, I came up with black. I spray painted them and before the paint was completely dry, I wiped off some paint. I also distressed the edges with a sander.

I should also mention, that I nailed on picture hangers on the back at each end in case the recipient wants to put them on their wall. But because they are one-inch boards, they will stand up on their own.

Like, this one on top of my hutch.

I painted this one white first, then gold, then sanded off wide swaths of paint. The checked strip down the middle is from a roll of checked paper I found at Hobby Lobby for $1.50. There is a lot of paper on the roll and it’s very heavy. Don’t have any idea how it was meant to be used. I’m sure I’m going to find lots of uses for it.

Christmas sign 2017

 

Ok, back to this one. The plaid down the middle of this one is actually ribbon from the Dollar Tree. I used spray on adhesive for all the boards. These letters had jute hangers on them which I cut off but left the “nubs” on the front otherwise there would be a hole. I cut them off so the words would lay flat.

I already gave my daughter’s her sign so she could use it this summer. Naturally, I didn’t get a good picture of it but hers it totally different. It is painted red, distressed, has bright shiny tape down the middle and has Dollar Tree starts between the words. My husband thought it was the best one because it was so bright.

After this next photo, there is a slideshow that shows various views of the board.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This really is a quick project once you have all you need and have the boards painted. But even with having to paint and sand the boards, it’s still under an hour. Of course, I painted these boards when it was warmer so they dried quickly. If you’re having to do this in your home,  use craft paint and they will dry just about as fast.

Anyway, these Christmas signs are one of my favorite crafts this year. But I’m going to show you some more this week that I also think are great and they, too, are very inexpensive. I’m probably hanging on to some of them for next year and hoping no one remembers them.

God bless and keep creating. After all, it’s already December!

hugging

Why touch is so important for mental health

Did you know that humans become nearly unrecognizable without touch?

I found this interesting story. “Over two hundred years ago, French scientists spotted a creature resembling a human running through the forests. Once captured, they determined he was 11 years old and had run wild in the forests for much of his childhood. Originally the child, “Victor,” was determined to be an idiot; French physicians and psychiatrists eventually concluded he had been deprived of human physical touch, which had retarded his social and developmental capacities.”

hugging

Fascinating, huh?

Here’s some other things I learned:

  1. Decreased violence. Less touch as a child leads to greater violence. A child left unhugged, unembraced, feels insecure. Think of any child who has a temper tantrum. One of the best ways to calm a child down is to hold them snugly. Why? Because a firm embrace makes them feel loved. It’s just that simple.
  2. Greater trust between individuals. Touch helps to bond people together. Neuroscientist Edmund Ross found that physical touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, that links to feelings of reward and compassion. A simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin, aka ‘the love hormone.'”
  3. Decreased disease and stronger immune system. Physical touch may also decrease disease. According to research conducted at the University of North Carolina, women who receive more hugs from their partners have lower heart rates and blood pressure: “Hugs strengthen the immune system…
  4. Overall well being. Adults need human touch to thrive. In recent years, a wave of studies has documented some incredible emotional and physical health benefits that come from touch. This research is suggesting that touch is truly fundamental to human communication, bonding, and health.

      6. Less loneliness would add that the more a person is embraced, (hugged, pat on the shoulder, holding hands, etc.) the less lonely they feel even if they are alone.

7.  Older people need touch even more.  A dear friend of mine suggested I hug my mom every time I said good-bye. My mother was not the “touchy-feely” type so I didn’t know if she would be receptive. But by that point, her dementia was getting worse. Not only was she receptive, it did a lot for me as well.  I so wish I had pushed beyond her resistance years before that.

I am thankful for all the embraces I receive but I’m as thankful for all the ones I can give.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of touch to change someone’s day, maybe even save their life.

God bless and have a good day.

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