Hello Fall

I absolutely love this time of year. I love the change in weather, I love the colors, and I LOVE the decorations.

The summer after I graduated from high school, my mom gave me a bin FULL of decorations, for all holidays, for my Birthday. I imagined that someday, I would use those decorations to create an environment of excitement for the family I would have. As the years have gone by and I have remained single, I am so glad that I didn’t wait to use them until I had a family.  Instead, I have thrown parties and hosted dinners and created a welcoming home for my friends and family to enjoy with them.

Even though I have bins full, I have a bad habit of buying new decorations almost every year (even though the ones I have are perfectly fine) but I guess that is one of the perks of being single… no one to tell me I’m being irresponsible with my money.

This year I am using a fall wreath for my door that I made a few years ago, but I decided to make a new one for Halloween since my 4-year-old nephew and I are throwing a Halloween party. I thought you might like to know how you can make one yourself.

You will need to purchase a couple bundles of flowers and of course, the wreath. I like buying flower bundles because they usually come with a variety of colors, sizes, and fillers. They are also pretty reasonably priced. You can purchase them at most craft stores, but I prefer Michaels because they have a great selection and I always find what I’m looking for there. For this wreath, I purchased 3 bundles and 3 single flowers. I ended up with an unused bundle that I will save for later so that all of my Halloween floral matches.

I started by separating all of the flowers and fillers from the bundle.

 

Then I placed the large flowers on the wreath using hot glue. I chose to place them symmetrically because my large flowers were pretty large. If you have smaller flowers, you can easily get away with a more random placement.

20180919_231126.jpg

Next, I added the medium and small flowers, again using hot glue. These can be placed randomly. Trust your eye to guide you to the right place to put it. Sometimes I will put it in place before I use glue to make sure I like the placement. You really can’t go wrong though.

20180919_231150.jpg

The next step is my favorite. It is where it goes from a simple wreath to a fabulous wreath. This is when you add your fillers. I try to not place these symmetrically. I think it looks better when the placement doesn’t make sense, so I place them where I feel the color needs to be broken up or there is an empty space.

20180919_231200.jpg

Here is a photo of the one I am currently using and the new one on my front door.

Hope you have fun making your own! Don’t forget to follow so you never miss a post. My next one will be all about Disney!

Getting out of my head!

Yesterday, I was talking to my sister on the phone and she asked me a question I knew one of my sisters would ask me soon.

“Jen! I noticed you haven’t posted in a while. Why haven’t you posted?”

I had been dreading this question. I know that might seem silly, but I really had. I am going to do my best to explain why.

Starting a blog is something that I have been thinking and talking about for a long time. I feel like I have a clear, unique message and focus that others can benefit from hearing. As I sat down to write my fourth post a couple of weeks ago, I found myself unable to determine what to share.

I have read tons of information on how to start a successful blog and they the same thing…  you should have pictures on each post, they all need to be a certain amount of words, you need to be consistent, your pictures need to be cohesive throughout all of your posts, etc. And then I thought about how I absolutely need to be true to myself  with everything I share too. I have so many things I am passionate about and want to write about, but how do I find a happy medium? How do I share about my life that includes my faith without being preachy? How do I share my talents and love for paper crafts without seeming like the pushy sales person? How do I share things that I am passionate about without offending someone or making them feel like I don’t have love or compassion for them just because we disagree? How do I balance those things with more practical homemaking and design things? The list goes on…

I had/have been studying and thinking about the effects of social media on the world and how much people pattern their lives after and want to be like social media influencer’s. Women and girls especially compare themselves to others seemingly perfect lives and perfect homes and perfect bodies. It is for this reason that I feel a great responsibility to authentically represent myself here. I don’t have a perfect life, my home is not always put together, and I definitely do not have a perfect body.

Also, fair warning, I don’t have 6 (or any) photos to add to this post as recommended so pretend I posted 1 or 2 here.

So there you have it. The reason I haven’t posted in a while is that I got in my own head about it. I became so overwhelmed with the expectations I am supposed to have for this new endeavor I have chosen, that I could not find a starting place to continue. I don’t ever want to be an “Infuencer” but I do hope that by sharing about my life in the most authentic and honest way possible that I can positively influence others to just live happily each and every day.

Pretend I posted 2 or 3 photos here too please.

I hope you will all help me by letting me know if there is something you would like me to share or write about. Please leave a comment and SUBSCRIBE so you never miss a post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selfish Service

I know what you are probably thinking… Selfish service?! How’s she gonna spin that? Well, let me tell you that it is this exact phrase, and subsequent action, that has contributed greatly to my happiness.

I have been taught my whole life to love others and to serve them. Sometimes, service is not fun and it is hard. It often puts us in uncomfortable situations, but it is also something that teaches us many lessons, adds to our self-esteem, and of course, helps others. I feel lucky to have grown up around so many great examples of service-oriented people.

A few years ago, a ton of changes happened in my life all at once… Haha, imagine that. I had recently changed jobs, I was struggling with my living situation, and all of my close friendships were changing.  During this time, I also had a calling in church where I was responsible for preparing and serving a meal for on average 100 people after church, once a month. I had a committee who was happy to help set up, but I was often times left to clean up by myself. To say that I felt all alone was an understatement, my entire friend support system was gone and the people who were supposed to serve with me left me to do all the work.  I don’t remember a time in my life where I had felt lower or more alone, and I felt let down. I could not understand why the people in my life that I loved and served didn’t give anything back when I needed it the most.

After a rather embarrassing cry during the sacrament hymn in church one Sunday, I decided I needed to speak to the Bishop of my church congregation. I was grateful for the opportunity to explain how I felt and was reassured by the peace I felt during our conversation. Before I left, he suggested I begin serving selfishly as a way to improve my situation. I was caught off guard by this suggestion… Serve selfishly? Service is supposed to be selfless, isn’t it? He explained that service is service no matter what, but that selfish service would benefit me AND the person I was serving. Which is what I needed at that time. I left that meeting determined to feel better. I can’t tell you how much those two little words have helped me become the person I am today.

I am pretty sure every person experiences similar feelings in one way or another. I imagine it is a feeling a mother feels often after a long day with her children or someone who has lost a loved one, or gone through a break-up, etc. There are so many reasons why we feel alone or lonely or let down.  We all need to experience those feelings so we can learn and so that we can have empathy for others, but most importantly so we know when someone else needs a little service.

So, my friends, that is the secret to my continued happiness… Serve selfishly. I know that when I am feeling down, that is when I need to serve the most. I serve because it makes me feel good and because it is crucial to my continued happiness.

There are the obvious ways to serve like helping a friend move or raking a neighbor’s leaves, and those kinds of service are important. I personally feel that service can also be a much smaller gesture like bringing someone some cookies or homemade bread or sending someone a card in the mail. Service does not have to be big, it just needs to be sincere.

20180807_222157.jpg

As a side note, making cards is one of my favorite things to do. Here is an example of some of the cards I have made. It is such a small thing that can really make a big difference. If you want to know more about how you can make some handmade cards, leave a comment.

As always don’t forget to follow me so you never miss a post.

 

 

 

 

Decisions Determine Destiny.

We make decisions every day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. Of course, not all of them will have a huge impact on your life, but some will. I can think of a few specific decisions that have shaped the destiny of my life.

The first is my choice to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I can remember the specific moment when I decided that it was going to be a part of my life, for my whole life. I know that my faith has greatly shaped my life and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

The Second was a few years ago. I had just turned 30 and attended my first Close to my Heart Convention with my mom (one of my favorite trips ever). All attendees at this convention received a necklace. I have to be honest, I did not like it, at all. I thought it looked cheap and juvenile. But, I wore the necklace throughout the convention (as all the other attendees did) and by the end of the trip, I felt much different about it. When I returned home, the necklace held a different meaning for me so instead of worrying that someone would see me wearing a juvenile or cheap looking necklace, I wore it with pride. That was the moment I decided I no longer cared what people thought of me or how cool I am. I live for myself and I like myself more because of it.

The Third was when I decided that I need to plan for a life where I don’t get married or have children. Of course, there is always hope, and I am optimistic that it will happen someday, but planning for a life without it has given me a lot of peace. There is nothing scarier than the unknown for a person like me who is Type A, planner, organizer, leader, etc… So I decided that I was going to turn my unknown into a known. I know that I can provide for myself. I know that I can create a happy space to live in, I know that I can save for my retirement, I know that I can love my family and spoil my nieces and nephews, I know that I can travel to new places, and I know that I have a family and community of support around me if I need it.

And finally, was when I decided to love myself. I don’t know exactly when this happened. Truthfully, it is probably a decision I make every day. But even though it is a decision I make every day, I know that I was born with the ability to love myself, as we all are. I feel like perhaps it is a gift God has magnified for me because he knew I would need it as a single woman.

We are all destined for greatness, but I truly believe it is the decisions we make that take us there. Decisions Determine Destiny, it is this quote by Thomas S. Monson that inspired my newest DIY project.

IMG_20180730_190859_256.jpg

I purchased the hexagon whiteboards at Target for $3 each. They were neon colored so I covered the whiteboard and spraypainted the frame with Rustoleum Gold Metallic spray paint.

I LOVE this Rustoleum Spray Grip accessory from Home Depot, but you can get it at Lowes, and Amazon as well, for about $2.50. It makes using spray paint so easy.  The only gold hooks I could find were $5 a piece and I did not love them, so I found some that came in a multi-pack (for about $7 a pack) and painted them gold as well.

Next, I took the piece of wood that I purchased for $8 (I had it cut while I was in the store) and sanded the edges and blemishes out. It only took about 3 min to do this. Then I took some wood stain I had and stained the wood.20180729_154348.jpg

I let the stain and the paint settle overnight. One of the mistakes I make commonly in my impatience to see the finished product is I don’t give an item enough time to really dry and settle. I am learning it makes a ton of difference in the finished product.

Once everything was dry I placed the hooks on evenly starting with the two in the middle and moving out.

I cut out the quote in vinyl using my Cricut in Babette font. Then put it all together.

I’d love to hear about what DIY projects you are working on! Make sure to follow my blog so you don’t miss any posts!

The Single Homemaker is born.

It doesn’t make a lot of sense for a person who hates writing about herself to be starting a blog, but I have had this idea simmering around in my head for a while and feel compelled to make it a reality. So, here goes. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jen. I have a few great passions in my life which are my family, who I love fiercely, my faith, and making my home beautiful. Of course, that includes baking, party planning, and paper crafting.

Jen R.Single

I feel like it is important that you understand that I have made the choice to be happy in this phase of life, being single. I have chosen to embrace the things I love with an extra passion to fill the void of not having a family of my own and I have learned to be grateful for my status as a single person.  I think it is important that you know this about me because I want you to know that it is not always easy being the single one at family dinners or sitting alone in church. It is not easy dating or making friends (because we are all guarding our hearts). It is not easy watching mothers love their children or holding hands with their husband. But, I also know that no matter what phase of life I am in, there will always be situations I am in that are not easy. The grass is not always greener on the other side, so instead of looking and longing for the “the other side, I’m choosing to be happy with the side im on.

 

Homemaker

I decided a while ago that I am a strong, confident, capable, and beautiful woman and that I will always be those things regardless of the phase of life I am in. I don’t need a husband and/or children to be a homemaker. I get to enjoy a beautiful home that I create out of love, for myself.  I am so grateful that I am capable of doing handy things and that I get to enjoy the beauty and fruits of my labor. I hope that I can share what I learn and inspire others to be creative in a new way.

Is Born

It is hard putting yourself out there in such a personal way and I would not have had the courage if it were not for my amazing family.  They are all my biggest fans and best friends. The Single Homemaker would not have been born without their encouragement and praise.

I am so excited to share my love and passion for DIY and Homemaking with you. I hope you will choose to follow along on this journey with me, The Single Homemaker.

FamilySisters