DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar

DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar

DIY Decisive Decisions Jar

DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar

Picture this, it’s date night or family activity night and everyone wants to do something different, or not quite sure what to do at all. All you know is you want to have fun together. But, you often spend half of the evening suggesting various activities before finally settling on something lackluster or nothing at all. Well friends, this post is here to save you and your loved ones time spent on deliberations and get you to the quality time faster. Read on to learn how to create a DIY Decisive Decisions Jar for your next family gathering.

Decisive decisions are those that are made quickly and effectively. Often times families are caught in a routine. The days of the week run together and when you finally make time to sit down to hangout, everyone is often exhausted. Tiredness is the nemesis of creativity. Being decisive takes energy, so decision making is more difficult for many when you just want to get to the fun. This leaves many families leaning towards the the quickest and easiest solutions, which often means finding something on TV, the internet, etc. Basically activities that are more of the same. Booorrring!!!

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DIY Decisive Decisions Pinterest
DIY Decisive Decisions Jar
DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar
DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar
DIY Decisive Decisions Activity Jar

Here’s What You Need!

Difficulty- Super Easy

  • A Jar  ( I like the clasp style, but any kind with a lid will do)
  • Small pieces of paper in the same style to prevent cheating
  • Writing Instruments
  • Fun Ideas

Let’s Begin!

As stated earlier, it’s hard to be decisive when you are tired, so you don’t want to do this activity when you are not rested. Actually, it may make sense to create your decisive decisions jar at your next family night. 

Step #1

Divvy up the slips of paper amongst the deciders. Be sure to use a writing instrument that does not bleed through to prevent cheating.

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Step #2

Get creative. If necessary ask some prompts to facilitate some great ideas. For example, ask questions like, what’s a game that you always wanted to play, but haven’t yet? Or if your jar is going to focus on away from home activities, ask questions regarding places you either enjoy going to or want to try. Be sure to be specific on the types of activities you will include in your jar in order to honor the future selections.

Step #3

Each participant writes out his or her activity ideas. When finished, fold the slips and place them in the decisive decisions jar.  Seal the lid and set your jar out somewhere in your home. Be sure each person knows not to snoop.

Step #4 

Set a routine time that the activities will be drawn and determine who will draw each time. 

Step# 5

Spend less time thinking of activities to do with your family and get ready for spontaneous fun! 

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post and will try it with your family! If you do, leave me a comment and don’t forget to subscribe and connect with us on socials. 

Peace & Blessings,

S. Moodz

DIY Spring/Summertime Lemon Wreath

DIY Spring/Summertime Lemon Wreath

DIY Spring/Summertime Lemon Wreath

Welcome the warmer weather with this easy, super cute, wreath!

DIY Spring/Summertime Lemon Wreath

Difficulty- Easy

Materials:

  • Grapevine Natural Wreath
  • Decorative Foam Lemons 
  • Faux Garland
  • Wire Cutters
  • Hot Glue Gun with Glue Sticks
  • 12 Feet of 2” Wide Grosgrain Ribbon
  • Yarn Needle

When I think of warmer weather, thoughts of lemonade, lemon cake and lemon infused drinks shortly follow. Lemons are the introductory fruit to warm weather in my mind. The flavor of springtime and not a bad decor idea for your spring/summer outdoor decor. In this post, I will outline how to make an easy lemon wreath to officially welcome in the spring and summer seasons. 

Here in Missouri, the weather changes as quickly as the wind blows. When spring rolled in in March, the weather seemed like it was ready to give full 60-70 degree days, but digressed shortly after. In fact, we had a snow day in April. Finally it seems the weather is ready to stay warm and I am in the planning mood for my front porch. My husband lets me go crazy with whatever decor choices I make, because he secretly enjoys the finished projects. 

When deciding decor for this spring/summer season, I was drawn to lemons. Mostly because I love everything about them. I love a good glass of lemonade, a lemon in my water, Lemon Heads candy, lemon on certain fish and I’ll fight you over the last piece of lemon cake! Also, because oddly enough, I have never decorated with lemons. Weird right?

You may be thinking, “girl, why make a wreath when you can buy one?” If this is you, then you clearly don’t know me. I will always pick creating my own if possible. Why you may ask? Because it’s more sentimental. Duh! And because every time you look at an item you have created, you will have the memory of doing so. Thus, appreciating your creations more. If you’ve never created a wreath, let this project be your first.

The most difficult part of making the lemon wreath is prepping the lemons. I was lucky to find some very realistic looking lemons on sale. However, they did not have any floral wire or anything to make attaching to a wreath easy. So, prepping the lemons is where this project begins.

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Pinterest DIY spring/ summertime lemon wreath

Instructions:

Step #1: Cut roughly six inches of floral wire per lemon. Insert floral wire into each lemon and secure wire at hole with hot glue. Let glue harden and set aside. Careful not to get hot glue on anything while drying.

Insight: The amount of lemons that you use is solely up to you. The bags that I purchased contained about three different sized lemons, which I liked for scale. My 24” wreath has twenty-four lemons on it. Depending on your lemons, you may need to puncture them with a needle in order to insert the floral wire more easily. Since my lemons were a hard foam substance, the wire went right in. 

Step #2: Cut enough floral wire to secure your garland to your wreath. My wire pieces ranged from 4-6 inches each. As you secure the garland, twist each piece of wire, but hold off on cutting the excess until all items are on your wreath. 

Step #3: After your lemons are set. Meaning the glue has hardened around the wire and is secure. Begin adding lemons to your wreath. Aim for adding lemons on all sides evenly. Depending on the different sizes of lemons that you are using, arrange groupings in multiple sizes. Don’t cut the excess wire yet.

Step #4: At this point, you should have a wreath with garland and lemons. You should also have excess wire sticking up all over your wreath. Add the ribbon by wrapping it snuggly in the gaps on your wreath. Now, all that excess wire that you have sticking up can be used to secure the ribbon in place if necessary. The gaps in your grapevine wreath is also a good place to tuck away some ribbon.

Step #5: You should have your wreath just how you want it. Now you can trim any remaining excess floral wire from your wreath. Tada! You now have a great addition to your front door to welcome the warm weather of spring and summertime. Enjoy your wreath!

Thank you for reading!

-S.Moodz

Read This Before Starting A Business With Your Family or Friends

Read This Before Starting A Business With Your Family or Friends

Read This Before Starting A Business With Your Family or Friends

Read this before starting a business with your family or friends

If you are anything like me, your brain flows with all sorts of business ideas. Some of them good. Many of them bad, but plenty of entrepreneurial thoughts for sure. You may even have considered taking one of those ideas to begin a venture with a family member or friend. Well if you have…Girl!!!! (Or guy) Read this post before starting a business with your family or friends. 

Before I dig in, I must disclose that I am currently in a business with my spouse and have been since 2011. So, I am writing this post with actual experience and some expertise on the matter. With that being said, no, I am not claiming to be the voice for each person’s perspective. Yes, I do think I will be able to shed some light on the topic of mixing business relations with personal ones.

While listening to my favorite podcast, The Joe Budden Podcast, creating this post came to me. If you are familiar with the JBP, or Joe Budden, you may be aware of the recent tension playing out on social media amongst the co-hosts on the show. Before you think this is simply a critique of their podcast, trust me it is not. 

However, episode 435, the episode which brought back the estranged co-hosts, Rory & Mal, some important business gems were exposed for me. Of course, I have no actual insight on their contracts or issues besides what was shared and this post is not really about that anyway. 

What this post is about, is what to consider before going into business with your family members or friends. You may be thinking, “what could possibly be bad about working with those who know you best?” I would agree with you that in theory, working with whom you know and whom knows you personally can be a great thing.

If we are keeping it one hundred, we know that problems do not discriminate in business. When problems in your business result in blurry lines between your personal relations and business ones, there may trouble afoot. 

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Read this before starting a business with your family or friends
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“Good, open communication is the start to getting you out of trouble with your family or friend who is also your business associate, it is the same ingredient for prevention.”

So what are you to do when your business relationship has jeopardized your personal one? In a perfect world, you would have read this post to avoid this scenario all together. If you weren’t fortunate to derail your ball of confusion, then all roads to resolving conflict start with good and open communication. If you are in the thick of it, you may want to rely on a mediator to help you through, but this post is to help you avoid that type of stress.

Although, good, open communication is the start to getting you out of trouble with your family or friend who is also your business associate, it is the same ingredient for prevention. While listening to episode 435 of the JBP, Mal repeated one word as he was explaining why he left the show six weeks prior. In fact, Mal said the word so many times that I envisioned having to take a shot each time he said it and then imagined being rushed to the Emergency Room to have my stomach pumped from all the alcohol. The word on repeat was R-E-S-P-E-C-T! That’s right, respect! Mal felt so disrespected, I can’t tell you how many times he spewed the word. What I can say is that If the Queen Aretha was still amongst the breathing, she would have sent Mal a cease and desist. Get my drift?

Back to Mal’s major issue between Joe Budden and himself, his perceived lack of respect. Again, I am only using the tension on the JBP to make my point, not to do a deep dive on their show. According to the discussion had between all of the co-hosts during episode 435, it was evident to me that they each had different definitions for what respect looked like to each of them. This is not a unique situation. Most people have their own definitions for words such as respect, love, trust, etc. Or in other words, people set their own standards for what respect, etc. looks like.

All in the Family

When you are family or friends, there may be more assumptions made based on your personal feelings. Now throw a business relationship on top of that. Not to mention, family businesses are notoriously guilty for cutting corners in creating a good organizational foundations because they often feel they are unnecessary because of the personal relationships. This is a mistake.

It is not uncommon in a personal relationship to look at how you treat someone and expect similar in return. This is where we as humans go wrong and where I agreed with Joe. No one owes anyone anything. With one caveat, of course, open communication. When Mal did not get what he felt he deserved from Joe during their dispute, he identified Joe’s actions as disrespect. Joe saw it differently. So how do you decide who is right when two people have two ideals of what respect looks like? You don’t. Instead, you get into your time machine and create shared values for your business.

Shared values are best described as how business associates relate to one another while operating in the workspace. For example, it seemed like the JBP lacked a conflict resolution plan and did not have formal shared values based on how two co-hosts left (one being asked to take a few pods off and the other leaving on his own accord) and returning after six weeks. Granted implementing organizational management is not that sexy when operating in creative spaces, but are very much needed. 

Read this before starting a business with your family or friends-2

See the complete DIY Spring/Summertime Lemon Wreath here!

Set Yourself Up For Success

If I haven’t put you off on the idea of beginning a business with a family member or friend, keep reading. To set your interpersonal venture off on the right footing, begin with creating some shared workplace values. As well as creating an internal conflict management strategy.

These may sound more difficult than they are, but they are not. All it takes is some open communication with or without a third party. If you and your partners agree on what respect is, then go at it, if you don’t, then you may want to bring in a mediator or even reconsider if the business is even a good idea. Take a look at the following steps to help you get started:

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Be clear

Make sure you have your business roles and responsibilities clear. Do this by establishing a business/partnership agreement or contract. A business organizational chart and roles and responsibility descriptions.

^

create shared values

Create workplace shared values.  Use your business’s mission and vision statements as a starting point for what your shared values will be. If you do not have a mission or vision statement, it is a great idea to create one first.

^

decide how to resolve conflict

Create an internal conflict resolution strategy. How will you handle conflict when it arises? I say when instead of if, because conflict is certain to come up while operating a business. Especially while operating a business with your family or friends over a period of time.

^

create boundaries

Create boundaries. Set-up timeframes to discuss both personal and business matters and encourage all stakeholders to stick to what’s created. 

^

define emergencies

Establish what emergency situations can override the boundaries. Be very specific on what these are. For example, if a problem comes up that requires all stakeholder’s immediate input, then tag this an emergency.

^

what does good communication look like?

Determine what good communication looks like amongst the business associates and create multiple opportunities to clear the air before any trouble. For example, a regular team meeting. 

Now that you’ve made it to the end, are you ready to take the plunge? Don’t get me wrong, working with your family or friends is challenging. But, if you follow the tips in this post, building a business with those close to you can be extremely rewarding. Whatever you decide to do, don’t discount your intuition. Good luck in your future endeavors! Thanks for reading through to the end.

DIY Artsy Easter Eggs

DIY Artsy Easter Eggs

Hey Friends,

Can you believe that it is already spring and Easter is roughly a week away? I know I can’t! This year is moving pretty quickly and with the pandemic coming to an end (speaking it into existence), could mean that you can safely get with your vaccinated and low risk family members this Easter, if you are also vaccinated. If covid-19 is not a concern for you, please disregard. Either way, I have the perfect project for you! In this post, I will share a pretty easy and fun DIY artsy Easter egg craft and a few ways to incorporate the finished product into your celebration.

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Pinterest DIY Artsy Easter Eggs

Growing up in the United States, I have memories of both celebrating and not celebrating Easter. My parents tried out a few different religions and as a result my childhood was pretty non-traditional when compared to many of my friends. Because of this, I am attracted to celebrating just about any and every popular holiday! This love of celebration translates into decorating my home accordingly. Easter is no exception. Without further ado, let’s get into this DIY artsy Easter eggs craft!

Fun Fact

Easter fun facts
Source: history.com

Artsy Easter Egg Supplies:

  • White paintable Easter eggs ( I got mine from Target)
  • Wooden skewers (enough for one for each egg)
  • Craft tweezers (eggs should have an existing hole, but it may need to be enlarged to fit the skewer)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brush
  • Soapy water
  • Clean water
  • Wipe-up towel
  • Tall cup or something to hold eggs to dry
  • Craft glue

DIY Artsy Easter Egg Directions

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Get Artsy with your Easter Decor

Now that your artsy Easter eggs are dry, let’s incorporate them into your traditional Easter decor!

Artsy Easter Egg Flower Arrangement

Add some of your lovely eggs to your floral arrangement for Easter dinner. First time doing an arrangement? You can cheat and get a pre-made one from your favorite florist or a store like Costco. See a couple of examples below:

Accent Your Plants

Artsy Easter Egg Hunt

Get the older kids and adults involved in the Artsy Easter Egg Hunt. Paint the tips of your eggs different colors and list prizes per color. You can use your acrylic paint, permanent markers, etc. To hide the eggs, place the painted tip of the skewer in the grass, inside your planters (maybe not for young kids) and any place the egg can stand up while hiding the colored tip. The hostess will assign a prize value per color and or quantity collected. For example, if a person collects a yellow egg he/she will win a $5 gift card. Or you can require numerous eggs of the same color or unique color combinations for prizes. The sky is the limit on how to set the rules and allot the prizes. The most important part is to make memories with your family while having fun! See an example below:

Thank You for Reading!

Thank you for reading through to the end. I hope that you are inspired to incorporate the DIY Artsy Easter Eggs into your Easter decor this year. Feel free to share this project with your family and friends. If you are a fellow blogger, feel free to share this idea with your readers with the inclusion of a source link to this post. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section or if you plan to try this craft, etc. Enjoy the upcoming holiday with your family & friends!

Spring Clean Your Small Business in Three Steps!

Spring Clean Your Small Business in Three Steps!

What is Small Business Spring Cleaning?

Ah yes! It’s getting warmer outside, plant life is beginning to grow again and your allergies may be beginning to go crazy. For many, depending on where you live, these are some of the signs of an emerging spring season. Spring is a time of renewal, with many observing the season as an opportunity to deep clean their homes, put away winter clothing and open windows to let the fresh air in.

If you are reading this, you may be very familiar with what spring cleaning consists of, as you probably have been participating in this ritual since you were a young person. However, if you are a small business owner, you may be thinking, what does it mean to spring clean your business? In this post, I will offer three steps to spring clean your small business to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible.

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Spring Clean Pinterest Picture

A Little About Me

Before founding Sentimental Moodz, a greeting cards company in 2018. I mostly worked with other small businesses/ organizations to help them with a wide array of operational and organizational tasks. As an MBA, my focus has squarely been on organizational management (OM). While earning that degree, I chose OM as I felt it allowed me to incorporate all of my various career experience (teaching, event planning, customer service, analytical work, etc.) under one umbrella. When working with small businesses on organizational management, my main objective is to understand their company culture and to help them connect their culture into everything that they do.

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Spring clean-- what is your company's culture?

What is Company Culture?

What is company culture you ask? It is best described as the behavior those who operate under your business exhibit. These behaviors are grown from your business’s mission, vision and core values. Sometimes unwanted behaviors exhibit in your business also, but through your company’s sub-culture, but I digress. A deep dive into company culture is a topic for another day. Back to the point of this post, giving your small business a good spring clean!

Revisit your Mission & Vision

Let me tell you how to spring clean your business in three easy steps. Step #1, revisit your mission & vision statements. Sentimental Moodz mission statement is: to create high quality art, greeting cards and gifts that are artistic, creative and evoke a sentimental mood. 

If you don’t have a mission or vision statement, there are many resources available online. A mission statement represents your brand’s external goal. While a vision statement is a goal more for the owner and its employees. Answer the questions below to assess your mission and vision statements:

Mission & Vision Statement Assessment

  1. Is your mission statement short and concise?

    Tip– A good length for a mission statement is between one to three sentences.

  2. Does your mission motivate employees and communicate to the public what your brand is about?

    Tip– Consider a stranger reading your mission statement, is it clear what your brand is?

  3. Does your mission clearly state your business’s culture and values?

    Tip– Identify the words in your mission statement that represent your culture and values.

  4. How is your mission different from your vision?

    Tip– The mission statement is a statement more for the public and the vision statement is more of a goal for the company.

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Get to the Core

Step #2, take a look at your business’ core values. The core values are essentially intrinsic, but they are also what attracts both employees and customers to your brand. For example, core values are what separate consumers who prefer Wal-Mart over Target. Both brands are leading retailers, but they each tend to attract a different type of consumer. Answer the questions below to evaluate your business’s core values.

  1. What are three values that your business currently believes in? For example, does your business believe in being honest with your customers regardless of the results?
  2. How does your business currently act in relation to what you believe? For example, do you honor your employees by paying them a fair wage and benefits?
  3. What do you want your business to represent in the future? For example, you want to be viewed as the leader in customer service in your industry.

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Spring Clean your small business SWOT analysis

S.W.O.T. it Out!

Step #3, complete a slimmed down (or expansive) S.W.O.T. analysis. A S.W.O.T. is a tool to assess your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you have never done an expanded S.W.O.T., can you think of a better time than spring! Like the other steps, there are a ton of resources online that go in greater depth on completing a S.W.O.T. analysis. I personally like to do a slimmed down S.W.O.T. annually as business is constantly changing. Use the table below to guide you in completing a slimmed down S.W.O.T.

STRENGTHS
List your top 3 business’ strengths:
1.
2.
3.


WEAKNESSES
List your top 3 business’ weaknesses:
1.
2.
3.


OPPORTUNITIES
List 3 opportunities for your business:
1.
2.
3.


THREATS
List 3 direct threats to your business:
1.
2.
3.

Putting it All Together

Now that you have completed the three steps, let’s get that business spring clean! Essentially now you will process what you uncovered from the exercises and make any adjustments as a result. As far as the S.W.O.T. analysis goes, you will use the results as a springboard (pun intended) to set some goals. Obvious areas for goal setting are the weaknesses and the opportunities.

In summation, I hope that you benefited from this post: Spring Clean Your Business in Three Steps. My intent for writing it was to create an opportunity for small business owners to get back in touch with the foundation of their business and or to take a moment to begin building one. I strongly believe in good organization being key to a successful business. I hope I proved my point. If this post helped you and or you have feedback or questions, I would love to hear them in the comment section. Until next time…

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Last Call For Black History Month 2021!

Last Call For Black History Month 2021!

It’s last call! We are about to put another Black History Month in the history books. As the month of February wraps up, it’s the perfect time for a friendly check-in. Did you learn anything new in 2021? Did you do anything fun to celebrate? Does your family have any fun traditions that you uphold to recognize the accomplishments of Black Americans? Let’s chat about it in the comment section.

Well if you did not light it all the way up this Black History Month, there is still time to get some celebrating in. In this post, I have a few fun ideas that you and (some) your family can do. Hopefully, if you partake, you will feel like you properly celebrated Black History Month 2021. Of course, feel free to celebrate Black History throughout the remainder of the year. As Black history is American history and should be acknowledged as such, but I digress.

DIY Beaded Wine Glass

The DIY Beaded Wine Glass project is the perfect family activity because you can customize the glasses however you’d like! You can even use kid friendly glasses to get them in on the fun. For this project, I decided to use a black tinted glass that I found at the Dollar Tree. I settled on using an African continent template and chose the Pan African colors–red, black and green in honor of Black History Month. However, there are plenty other pro-Black symbols that you could use to pay homage.

DIY Beaded wine Glass Supplies:

  • 1 Wine glass or glass of your choosing
  • 1 Template (African Template can be found here. Please note that you can size it to your liking. The design used in this project is roughly 2″ tall.)
  • Seed beads
  • Sharpie marker (black or other dark color)
  • Painters tape
  • E6000 Multi-purpose clear glue
  • Alcohol wipe
  • Craft tweezers

DIY beaded Wine Glass Video

Tips: once the glue dries initially, you may need to apply more beads for a fuller look. Use the craft tweezers to remove any bead colors that end up in the wrong section. After you are satisfied with your design and the glue is completely dry, use an alcohol wipe to remove any exposed sharpie.

E6000 glue is pretty smelly, but I personally like the hold once it is cured. I understand that not all crafters like E6000, so feel free to use a comparable product. Letting the finished product sit for at least a week before use tends to eliminate the glue odor in my experience. Although, E6000 states that the glue can go through the dishwasher once cured, I opt to hand wash my finished crafts.

Important: be sure not to apply any glue where it will come in contact with your mouth or liquid/food that you will consume. Please visit the E6000 website for a complete list of instructions and warnings.

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Black Owned Wines

What’s a Black History Month themed wine glass without any Black owned wines to pour in it? Exactly! Checkout the list below for some Black owned wine brands to check out this year:

Black Owned Wine Brands

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Wine Down Coloring Page

Now that you have your DIY Black History Month themed wine glass filled with your Black owned wine, it’s time to break out the coloring pencils! The Wine Down Coloring Page is the perfect girl’s night activity during this pandemic. Visit the link below to download your very own coloring page:

Who said it? Black History Month Quiz

Who said it? Was it Oprah? Or was it Gayle? You tell me! Take the fun, Black History Month Quiz and share with your friends.

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Last Call!

Give yourself a pat on the back because you made it to the end! Thank you for hanging in there. I hope that you will try the activities shared in this post. If you do, please tell me about it in the comment section and share with your friends. Lastly, if you do decide to share on Pinterest, pin this:

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Are You a Moody Member?

Are you a Moody Member yet? Sign-up for a free Moody Member account to send eMoodz eCards to as many of your peeps you choose! If you haven’t sent a free eMoodz previously, we just updated our eCard system and the process has been vastly improved. Sign-up for a free account here.

Galentine’s Day Edition: DIY, Quiz & More!

Galentine’s Day Edition: DIY, Quiz & More!

What is Galentine’s Day!

In this edition of All the Moodz blog, the focus is all about celebrating the special women in your life…your girlfriends! More and more women celebrate Galentine’s Day, the day before Valentine’s Day on February 13th. Galentine’s Day is an opportunity for all who identify as female to acknowledge all of the females who have positively impacted their lives. That’s right, this holiday is a bonafide friendship fest!

With friendship in mind, this edition has several fun activities for you and your girls to do. This post contains several fun ideas: an easy and fun DIY, a hysterical quiz and digital greeting cards that you can both send out and share. Additionally, if you are among those who are still not familiar with this relatively new holiday, here is a bit of informal history. Believe it or not, Galentine’s Day was founded by a fictional character on a satirical sitcom, Parks and Recreation. Apparently, the idea was such a good one, real life now imitates fiction! So, get with the women you honor in your life and plan on having a great time!

Friendship DIY BOHO DOORKNOB HEART PILLOW

Friendship DIY Activity Header

Friendship DIY Supplies List

  • 1- 9×12 Piece of Craft Felt (I painted mine with acrylic paint)
  • 1- Tassel (see instruction video here)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Coordinating Thread
  • Heart Template (download here)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Sharpie
  • Quilting Clips (or other non-puncturing clips)
  • 1/4 Cup of Dry Uncooked Beans (per pillow)
  • Note or Affirmation for Enclosure (optional)
  • Shells, Beads, etc. (optional)
  • Yarn Needle and Yarn for Sewing on Adornments (optional)

VIDEO: Friendship DIY BOHO HEART DOORKNOB PILLOW

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Girlfriend Quiz: Are You an Auntie? Or a Niece?

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Send as many complimentary Galentine’s Day & Valentine’s Day eMoodz eCards as you like! Click the link below to checkout the selection:

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Happy Galentine’s Day!

Yay! You made it to the end of this post! I hope that you enjoyed the ideas and even tried (or plan to try) some with your girlfriends. If you did, please let me know how things went or share your thoughts in the comment section below. If you want to easily find this post later, please pin this image:

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Black History Month 2021

Black History Month 2021

Black History Month 2021

Happy Black History Month! Or, Happy African American History Month! Whichever you prefer, I hope that you take an opportunity to learn more about the accomplishments of Black folks in the United States (and beyond). In honor of Black History Month 2021, Sentimental Moodz is celebrating by compiling a list of 20 Black American women who made history in 2020.

Black History Month Origins

Despite my belief that Black history is synonymous with American history, this thought process is in the minority. The disparities in both history collection and telling of Black contributions throughout the decades have made it essential to call attention to the accomplishments of African Americans. In 1926, Carter G. Woodsen believed in the importance of recognizing the contributions of African Americans nationally and succeeded in establishing a nationwide Black History Month celebration (biography.com). Since its inception, a universal theme has been assigned to guide and focus the nation’s learning (asalh.org).

Black History Month 2021 Theme

In keeping the tradition of its founder, Carter G. Woodsen, The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) selects a theme for Black History month each year (asalh.org). For 2021, the theme is The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity (asalh.org). The age old adage of, if momma’s not happy, no one is happy, is the inspiration for our 20 Black Women Who Made History in 2020. As you can agree, there is no family without a mother in the mix somewhere. Even in non-conventional families, the nurturing spirit of the mother manifests itself somewhere!

Black History Month

20 Black Women Who Made History in 2020

The year 2020 was one for the history books. We began the year entering into a worldwide pandemic and ended the year electing the first Black woman to the office of the Vice Presidency. Despite the unprecedented time 2020 brought us all, Black women still found a way to make some Black history achievements. Below is our list of 20 Black Women Who Made History in 2020:

1. Arisha Hatch- Vice President, Chief of Campaigns and Director of the PAC at Color Of Change. The year 2020 was a great awakening for many in the United States with regard to the challenges between police and Black people. Color of Change has been at the forefront of helping to move the Black community (and other communities of color) forward with its powerful advocacy. Their petitions have empowered many and have helped to facilitate change. Learn more about Arisha Hatch here.

2. Stacey Abrams-Founder, Fair Fight. Stacey Abrams was at the center of the 2020 Presidential Election with her efforts of getting the vote out in her state of Georgia. History will reward Ms. Abrams with being at the center of turning Georgia a traditionally “red” state, to “blue” in the 2020 election. Stacey also helped to elect the state of Georgia’s first Black and Jewish Senators. Learn more about Stacey Abrams here.

3. LaTosha Brown- Co-Founder, Black Voters Matter. LaTosha Brown’s Black Voters Matter fund gained notoriety in 2017 during the 2017 election cycle. The Black southern based civic engagement organization played a huge role in voter registrations and turnout during the 2020 presidential elections. Learn more about LaTosha Brown here.

Black Women

4. Patrisse Cullors- Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter. The Black Lives Matter movement went global in 2020 after the televised police killing of George Floyd. Black Lives Matter led a nation (and other countries) wide summer of protest in an effort to bring about police reform. Learn more about Patrisse Cullors here.

5. Alicia Garza- Co- Founder, Black Lives Matter. Learn more about Alicia Garza here.

6. Opal Tometi- Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter. Learn more about Opal Tometi here.

7. Issa Rae, Media Mogul. Issa Rae bursts on the main stage in 2016 with her show, in which she also stars, Insecure. However, Issa has since acted in, created and directed both movies and television shows. Ms. Rae also has a record label, Raedio, that she partnered with Atlantic. Learn more about Issa Rae here.

Black Women Lead

Black Women

8. Keisha Lance Bottoms- Mayor of Atlanta. Mayor Lance Bottoms gained national recognition from here work on Covid mitigation in her city and social justice. The Atlanta Mayor received the Leader of the Year award from Dive. Learn more about Keisha Lance Bottoms here.

9. S.A.W. Arts- Atlanta Artist. S.A.W., an Atlanta based artist painted murals of two of the state of Georgia’s most influential leaders, Stacey Abrams and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Learn more about S.A.W. here.

10. Regina King- Actress, Director and Activist. Regina King has definitely been a household name since she co-starred in the ’80s sitcom 227. She is one of People’s, 2020 People of the Year. Ms. King’s film, One Night in Miami, which was her directorial debut, made history. The inclusion of Ms. King’s film was the first directed by a Black woman to premier at the Venice Film Festival in the festival’s history (people.com). Learned more about Regina King here.

Black Women in History

11. Zendaya- Actress. In 2020 Zendaya became the youngest Black woman to receive the Emmy for Best Actress, for her role in the HBA show, Euphoria (emmys.com). Learn more about Zendaya here.

12. Shonda Rhimes- Showrunner. Shonda Rhimes, creator of some of ABC’s most remarkable dramas (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, etc.) in the past decade, left the network to create new shows for Netflix. Learn more about Shonda Rhimes here.

13. Elizabeth Williams- Professional Basketball Player, Atlanta Dream, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). The WNBA led the way in social action in 2020. Specifically Elizabeth Williams of the Atlanta Dream. The Atlanta team’s social action efforts were crucial in the 2020 elections. Specifically the senate race that ultimately elected the state’s first Black senator. Learn more about Elizabeth Williams here.

14. Kizzmekia Corbett- Scientist. Kizzmekia Corbett is credited as being a lead scientist on the development of the Covid vaccine. Learn more about Kizzmekia Corbett here.

Black Women Make History

Black Women Make History

15. Beyonce’- Singer, Actress, Director and Humanitarian. One of the bright spots in 2020 was Beyonce’s Black is King. The visually beautiful film was a play on Disney’s the Lion King and featured Beyonce’s Afrobeat collaborations. Learn more about Beyonce’s Black is King here.

16. Abby Phillip- Journalist, CNN Political Analyst & Weekend Anchor. Abby Phillip rose to popularity during the 2020 election cycle. Ms. Phillip easily became a favorite as she joined Jake Tapper and Dana Bash for special CNN coverage. Eventually being promoted to weekend anchor for 2021. Learn more about Abby Phillip here.

17. Lavern Cox- Actress & Activist. Lavern Cox is working hard to change how trans women are portrayed in film. Ms. Cox also works hard to get Black trans women recognized in the Black Lives Matter movement as Black trans women are murdered at disproportionate rates. Learn more about Lavern here.

Black History 2021

18. Jurnee Smollett- Actress & Activist. Jurnee is not a new actress by any means, but 2020 was definitely a comeback year for her. Ms. Smollet’s character in the HBO breakout hit, Love Craft Country, provided many of parallels for the actress as she is very active with the Black Lives Matter movement. Learn more about Jurnee Smollet here.

19. Rashida Jones- President, MSNBC. Rashida Jones is taking the reins as the president of MSNBC beginning on February 1st, 2021. Ms. Jones is the first Black woman to serve in the role of president at the network. Learn more about Rashida Jones here.

20. Kamala Harris- Vice President of the United States of America. Madam Vice President Kamala Harris definitely made history twice as being the first Black and South Asian woman to be elected to the 2nd highest office in the country. Learn more about Kamala Harris here.

Black History Month 2021 Recap

Thank you for reading through to the end! Before you say it, of course more than 20 Black women made history in 2020. So please do not assume I mean for this list to be complete. With that being said, I hope that you learned something new to help kick off Black History Month 2021. What do you think of the list? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Are you giving me the side eye right now? Either way, I want to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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DIY COFFEE LOVERS- CUP OF THE MONTH CLUB!

DIY COFFEE LOVERS- CUP OF THE MONTH CLUB!

My husband and I both got into coffee much later in life…I mean we were both well into our 30s. Unlike me, he REALLY got into coffee. So much so, that I decided to create the ultimate gift for him this past Christmas. A cup of the month club! What is that you ask? Well, it is an idea that came to me after realizing I was truly out of gift ideas. If you are anything like me, I simply get what I need instead of waiting on gift giving holidays. Yeah, I know, getting older is not as exciting where gifts are concerned! But I digress…back to the cup of the month club!

Coffee Lover Image

Great idea, but…

You may be thinking, I love this idea, but how do I put together a cup of the month club? I will outline 3 easy steps for you to create your very own cup of the month club gift. I will also provide complimentary coffee graphics that I used that will help you tie everything together (I hope).

Let’s start from the beginning!

My initial planning began with asking myself some basics questions.

Some Questions I considered:

  • What types of coffee does my husband like?
  • Where does he buy coffee regularly?
  • Is he open to trying new local coffee shops?

Depending on your answers, you may approach the 3 steps slightly different. However, I believe the steps will still be pretty easy peasy! Equipped with the answers to my questions, I set out to transition my cup of the month club idea into a coffee lovers reality.

How does the Cup of the Month Club work?

The whole allure of the cup of the month club is the mystery and excitement your recipient will feel each month. With the gift cards being presented in individually sealed coffee bean bags (nice touch right?), your coffee lover will get a nice surprise every time they get to open a new pouch. If your coffee drinker is open to trying new coffee shops, then an adventure awaits him or her each month. If they are a little more reserved, their favorite coffee should still put a smile on their face. A solid gift either way!

Step #1: Establish How Many Months & Budget

Determining how many months that you want to include in your cup of the month club (and budget) will make the remainder of the steps flow like a bottomless cup of Joe! Cheesy, I know, but hang with me. Because I intended for the coffee to really be the star of this past Christmas’ gifting, I opted to gift my husband 12 months worth of cups. I assigned a budget of $5 per cup, which seemed to be sufficient for trying a new place. Although, a couple of the coffee shops I visited had a $10 minimum for gift cards. So allow for some flexibility in your budget or call ahead (hindsight is 20/20).

Step #2: Schedule the Cups

You may be scratching your head after reading this step’s title, but I promise you that it will all make sense when I’m done. I admit that this step is the most complex of the 3, but with a little organization it should be a breeze. To facilitate your planning, use this fillable PDF that I created to help you organize what coffee shops that you will send your coffee lover to each month. Essentially, step #2 is all about finding the coffee shops and buying the gift cards.

How I approached Step #2

multi-month coffee pouches

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, my husband was constantly talking about his desire to try many coffee shops in our city of Kansas City, MO. Lucky for me, I found many coffee shops in our area that he hadn’t tried yet. With the added bonus of supporting local small business during the pandemic, I devised a plan. Now, I won’t lie. Getting out and driving around the city to purchase 12 different gift cards took a few days. However, I welcomed the adventure as it allowed me to spend some time outside of my home. Especially important to me during these strange times when I find myself working, living and playing all under the same roof! If the idea of driving around is a turnoff, the majority of the coffee shops I visited offered gift cards on their website. The planning sheet will help with keeping everything straight.

Step #3: Put it All Together!

Now that you have planned how many months your gift will run and have the coffee shop gift cards in tow, let’s put your gift all together! I opted to assemble the coffee gift cards into individual coffee pouches that I found on Amazon. Each pouch is decorated with a cute coffee cup graphic that I use for one of Sentimental Moodz’ eMoodz eCards. I printed out on sticker paper and cut with my Cameo 3. Each sticker states, “Cup of the Month Club!” and references a month.

You can download the coffee cup graphic here. For me I ended up with 12 different pouches for each month of the year. Your total count will depend on how many months you decide to gift your coffee lover! I did not pick a particular order for my hubby to visit the coffee shops with one exception, I selected for him to visit a Black owned coffee shop in February, which is Black History Month. Feel free to assemble your coffee shops however is best for you.

Wrapping Up!

As you see, I added a few coffee gifts with my coffee shop gift cards. As I mentioned earlier, this gift was my main Christmas gift for my husband and I wanted it to be extra special. I found a cool coffee roasting journal at one of my husband’s favorite coffee shops and added some small coffee bags/pods of his favorite beans that I did not include in the cup of the month gift cards.

The new travel mug was absolutely needed, as my husband has a habit of taking “non-travel” mugs out of the house. The coffee colored vegan leather envelope pouch was the perfect solution for gift card storage post opening of the gift, which I found in some unsold merchandise from a past craft show. The same goes for the pocket envelope I used to present the coffee shop gift cards in with a letter that outlined the cup of the month details. I have included a PDF here for you to create your very own instructions to include in your gift.

Well, What Do You Think?

If you are still reading, then I assume you’re up for this DIY Coffee Lovers- Cup of the Month Club! Am I right? The cool thing is that there are so many different directions that you can take this gift idea in. With nothing being right or wrong. For example, you could apply the cup of the month club concept to other types of gift cards. How about a burger of the month club idea? I’m jotting that one down for next year!

If you have a coffee lover in your life, remember all it takes is 3 steps (establish how many months & budget, schedule the cups and put it all together) to make their wildest caffeinated dreams come true! With that being said, the important thing to remember is that this gift idea is all about being creative and having fun! If you put your heart into it and your recipient is anything like my husband, they will be full of excitement and joy!

Thank you for making it to the end of this post. If you enjoyed the DIY Coffee Lover- Cup of the Month Club! gift idea, please be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to the newsletter. Don’t forget to pin this idea for later! Until next time…

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DIY BOHO Ankara Fabric Christmas Ornaments

DIY BOHO Ankara Fabric Christmas Ornaments

DREAMING OF A BOHO CHRISTMAS…

MISSING THE BOHO

My design style has always been pretty eclectic and my new home is no exception; playing up BOHO, earthy elements and modern to mid-century modern themes. I found a lot of interesting Christmas decor items, but I could not shake the feeling of, “something is missing.” I needed more BOHO with my Christmas!

FINDING THE BOHO

While chatting with one of my sorority sisters, this project hit me like a ton of bricks! Upon looking at the fabric ornaments, I suddenly remembered making the exact style a couple of years ago for a trade show that Sentimental Moodz participated in. I made a bunch of BOHO Christmas ornaments to sell along side my greeting cards. After completing a mental survey of needed materials and steps to create the BOHO Christmas ornaments, I knew that once I found a stash of Ankara fabric*, these could be the Holy Grail to my decorating woes.

Let’s Get Crafty!

DIY BOHO Christmas Ankara fabric ornaments by Sentimental Moodz

Supplies List:

  • 5×5″ Squares of Ankara Fabric (or another BOHO cotton fabric style of your choice)**
  • 3″ Plastic Christmas Ornament(s) (this is the size I used, you can use any size you like)
  • Christmas Ornament Hook(s) or Other Hanger (I used cute beaded ornaments to give some bling)
  • Mod Podge (matte or gloss)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Paint Brush or Craft Brush
  • Drying stand (egg crate or something similar)
  • Paper Plate or Surface protector
  • Alcohol wipe to clean ornaments
  • Acrylic Sealant (not completely necessary, but the ornaments will last longer this way)

**The amount of fabric needed will depend on the size of your ornament. I used around two squares per ornament.

STEP #1

Take your fabric scissors and begin cutting the 5×5″ squares into smaller shapes. Keep in mind, if your pieces are too large for your ornament size your fabric will not lie smoothly on the ornament. You want it to lie smoothly. Depending on your design style, it may be helpful to keep your different fabrics separated.

STEP #2

Wipe off your Christmas ornament(s) with your alcohol wipe and let dry.

STEP #3

While holding your ornament by the top, take your brush and apply Mod Podge (MP) to the bottom of the ornament. You will need to apply the MP in segments in order to allow each portion to dry by resting on an uncoated section. Begin adding scraps of your fabric. The great thing about decorating with BOHO elements is that you have the freedom of self expression. Brush on MP after each fabric scrap, paying close attention to any frayed edges. Once you have fabric covering the bottom portion of your ornament, apply another coat of MP and set them on your drying stand until dry. Be sure to rinse your brush out between uses.

STEP #4

Once the bottom of your ornament is dry, repeat step #3 until you have transformed your ornament into a beautiful BOHO fabric Christmas ornament! Be mindful to arrange the fabric around the top of the ornament nice and neat. You can also remove the top portion and replace when you are finished. Whichever way is easiest for you. I found that the topper was more difficult to remove in the plastic ornaments that I purchased, so I opted to leave it connected. Just remember to leave a dry spot to rest on your drying stand to prevent messing up your hard work!

STEP #5

After your BOHO Christmas ornament(s) are completely dry, spray them with an acrylic sealant (optional). Although, this step is not entirely necessary to display your ornament(s), they will last longer if you do so. Once the sealant is dry, add your favorite ornament hook (or other hanger) and add to your tree and other decorations! I hung my DIY BOHO ornaments with some really cute BOHO-ish Christmas ornaments from At Home store to help tie my eclectic theme together.

FEELING LIKE A BOHO CHRISTMAS…

Thank you for getting through this DIY BOHO Christmas Ornament craft project with me. I hope that you enjoyed yourself and are inspired to create some fabric ornaments of your own. Be sure to leave me some feedback in the comment section and share your DIY BOHO Christmas Ornaments if you decide to make them. Happy Holidays!

*Ankara Fabric is wax printed, 100% cotton and colorful African fabric. The fabric is commonly found in West African countries and is used to make clothing and other accessories. I chose Ankara for my ornaments to pay homage to my West African ancestry.

boho Christmas fabric ornaments

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