Hello! Welcome to the first Happy List of December.
Holy jingle bells time is moving quickly.
This week on the blog I shared one of my mantels all decorated up for the holidays with kraft paper snowflakes. I also shared a bunch of ideas on handmade or semi-handmade gifts you could make for friends and family.
If you don’t follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook stories, please join us there! That’s where all the spontaneous projects in between the blog posts happen. If we do something you like, it also really helps us out when you share our blog or social media posts. That’s even better than clicking the like button! Weird, but true.
Also, here’s your weekly reminder if you create something that makes you happy however big or small, please tag me! I really do love to see what you are making.
Now, here’s the fa-la-la-la Happy List!
It’s easier than you think to make because the joints are hidden. Check out the tutorial here.
(image: Paper & Stitch)
Scientists at Göttingen University in Germany have come up with a way to turn popcorn into home insulation. Apparently, it has “excellent thermal insulation properties and good protection against fire.” It also repels water. The product has been licensed for production, so won’t it be interesting to see if this becomes a viable alternative to regular insulation?
Read more about it here.
Well, this is the cutest darn checkers board I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know how you could look at this and not smile!
Tutorial on how to make your own can be found at Lovely Indeed.
(image: Lovely Indeed)
WOMEN’S PUFFER VEST
I just bought myself this vest for Christmas. Wrapped it up and everything. That’s how I roll.
It’s not too bulky and has awesome details, like the different colored zipper. I ordered a large for the length because I don’t need a cropped vest, but I could have sized it down to a medium.
THE MIGHTY BEAVER
Did you know there used to be an estimated 400 million beavers in North America? I sure didn’t.
(image: via Wikimedia Commons)
We all know beavers can be a nuisance in developed areas, but they can also restore dried-out floodplains relatively quickly and cheaply.
In one California project, the beavers restored a Placer County floodplain in just three years. The cost was $58,000 to prep the area for the beavers. That’s opposed to the $1,000,000 to bring in heavy machines to try and revive the area. Pretty cool, right?
Read more about it in this article.
WOWED BY A FIREPLACE
I’d like to state for the record that fireplaces in other countries look much cooler (or is it hotter?) than fireplaces in the good ol’ USA.
More pictures of this charming Sweden apartment can be found here. The kitchen is so cozy!
(image: via The Nordroom)
If you need ideas for holiday games for a gathering, the Minted blog has a great list.
My favorite game idea was having guests unwrap gifts wearing oven mitts. I may just have my kids do this for grins and giggles.
I have seen this acrylic birdhouse from Amazon all over social media and it would make a great gift for someone who loves birds.
You can attach the birdhouse to your window so that all creatures living in your home have some entertainment. Last I checked it was $30.
One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is compassion. Perhaps that’s why this poem resonated with me. Also, I related to the tick bite part and the leaky pipes.
Self Compassion by James Crews
My friend and I snickered the first time
we heard the meditation teacher, a grown man,
call himself honey, with a hand placed
over his heart to illustrate how we too
might become more gentle with ourselves
and our runaway minds. It’s been years
since we sat with legs twisted on cushions,
holding back our laughter, but today
I found myself crouched on the floor again,
not meditating exactly, just agreeing
to be still, saying honey to myself each time
I thought about my husband splayed
on the couch with aching joints and fever
from a tick bite—what if he never gets better?—
or considered the threat of more wildfires,
the possible collapse of the Gulf Stream,
then remembered that in a few more minutes,
I’d have to climb down to the cellar and empty
the bucket I placed beneath a leaky pipe
that can’t be fixed until next week. How long
do any of us really have before the body
begins to break down and empty its mysteries
into the air? Oh honey, I said—for once
without a trace of irony or blush of shame—
the touch of my own hand on my chest
like that of a stranger, oddly comforting
in spite of the facts.
Thank you, once again, for reading the Happy List.
Be good to yourself and others this weekend.
I’ll see you back here on Monday.
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