Tell yourself

by Kristen DeLap


Much of how we think about ourselves and the world is simply what we choose to believe of all the things we hear. It's a good reminder to be putting good out into the world, so that others are hearing encouragement and positivity. But it's also a lesson in the way we speak to ourselves and our inner dialogue. You get to control your own narrative. The last Darling magazine newsletter contained this gem: Tell yourself a good story about your day.

(And maybe share it with someone else?)

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Education

by Kristen DeLap


I just paid off my college debt and I’m celebrating. While I certainly use my degree generally, I don’t use it specifically. And I’m glad to not be reminded of that paying a student loan every month.

quote by JW Goethe

quote by JW Goethe


DIY Holiday

by Kristen DeLap


Creating and sending thoughtful packages is my love language. Those who know me can expect to receive random letters and packages throughout the year, but especially around the holidays. It's also a way to exercise a bit of creativity in my off hours.

Throughout the year I collect ideas and keep thoughts in a notebook or a Pinterest board. I try to skew toward homemade or locally purchased items, or finding a book that I think the recipient will love. This year we also received our Kickstarter Glow Forge, so we were able to make some really unique “mass produced” gifts to hand out to my family. More on that later.

But for some extra special kiddos, I crafted some kits that were a blast to put together. The first was a letter writing kit for a kindergartner. I was happy to pass along my love for snail mail in the form of an easy step by step kit.

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The directions page listed the steps to complete, with the corresponding numbered envelope in the binder. A zippered pouch kept some fancy pens and pencils handy.

The directions page listed the steps to complete, with the corresponding numbered envelope in the binder. A zippered pouch kept some fancy pens and pencils handy.

It was fun to raid my stationary stash to find an array of notecards that a 6 year old might like to send!

It was fun to raid my stationary stash to find an array of notecards that a 6 year old might like to send!

The dollar aisle at Target always has great thank you note options.

The dollar aisle at Target always has great thank you note options.

Every kid loves stickers! And allows for some freedom with blank notecards that they can decorate themselves.

Every kid loves stickers! And allows for some freedom with blank notecards that they can decorate themselves.

Preprinted address labels for family and friends make it easy for youngsters who might not be able to write a legible address on an envelope.

Preprinted address labels for family and friends make it easy for youngsters who might not be able to write a legible address on an envelope.

One of the best part of sending a letter is picking the perfect stamp!

One of the best part of sending a letter is picking the perfect stamp!

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I also made some activity kits for some kiddos (including my own!) that travel easily. It was a combination of some activities I put into repurposed Altoids tins, and some store-bought activity books and writing utensils. And the personalized canvas pouches can of course hold any number of additional items.

Spraypainted Altoids tins (I used a metal primer) can be further decorated with washi tape.

Spraypainted Altoids tins (I used a metal primer) can be further decorated with washi tape.

One tin contained tangrams. I used  sticky back magnet paper  to create the shapes from a simple template found  online . And on the inside of the lid printed some more common puzzles.

One tin contained tangrams. I used sticky back magnet paper to create the shapes from a simple template found online. And on the inside of the lid printed some more common puzzles.

Another tin contained a variety of colors of  Plus Plus blocks . These are a great open play activity for toddlers and up - sorting, building, etc. And an off-brand variety can occassionally be found in the Target dollar aisle.

Another tin contained a variety of colors of Plus Plus blocks. These are a great open play activity for toddlers and up - sorting, building, etc. And an off-brand variety can occassionally be found in the Target dollar aisle.

The whole kit came together in a  zipper pouch , which I customized for each kid with fabric markers.

The whole kit came together in a zipper pouch, which I customized for each kid with fabric markers.

And of course, wrapping gifts is as equally important to me. I like to reuse paper, or wrap in fabric, or decorate butcher paper or paper bags. And never bows! This year, for one family of lovely women, I wrote out their family motto on butcher paper. They were thrilled opening that package!

(See previous years gift wrapping posts here and here.)

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