Pallets

Pallets

Recycling is not only thrifty these days, it’s trendy too. There are so many useful things to make with a wooden pallet. Enjoy this list of ideas!

Materials for DIY projects with pallets

Wooden pallets have quickly become a favorite building material for savvy do-it-yourselfers. The pallet wood boards are unique and there is rarely a need to distress this wood since most of it gains a natural, rich patina from exposure to the elements.

There are a lot of fun and economical ways to create a lively home and garden using pallets. Most projects require only tools that you may already have handy. With little more than a prybar, hammer & nails, cordless drill, and saw, you’ll be able to construct most of these do-it-yourself pallet projects in a day or two.

 

DIY Project Ideas using Pallets

Here are some ideas to craft up wall planters, sofas, bookshelves, and so many different things. The only downside is trying to decide which of these awesome inexpensive projects to start with first!

 

Wall Planter

5 11 8

 

Keys/ Mugs Hanger

7 c

 

Bed for Cats

9

 

Outdoor Sofa / Table

16 15 114 13 12

 

Shoe Rack

10

 

 

Bookshelf

6

 

Swing

3 a

 

Desk

2

 

Garden Walkway

b

 

Clock

pallet clock

 

 

 

Yoga

Yoga


Posts related to Yoga:

 

Tantra Yoga
Tantra Yoga is a transformational tool to provide deep happiness, a universal perspective on life, and spiritual awakening. Read about my experience with Ananda Marga here!
Sun Salutation
Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, is a very well known series of postures that warms, strengthens, and aligns the entire body. Check out the flow here!

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils

If there’s a “cool kid” in the social-media wellness world, it’s essential oils. In recent years, these plant-derived extracts have been celebrated on Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds for their ability to do just about everything, be it elevating mood, lowering anxiety, easing heartburn, or cleaning grimy floors.

Indeed, essential oils can play a powerful role in promoting wellness. And research suggests that they have some hard-hitting pharmacological functions.

Using oils safely and effectively requires basic knowledge about what they are, how they work, and how they can be safely incorporated into daily life. That’s because essential oils can be powerful medicine — and irresponsible use means risking overexposure, toxicity, and allergic reactions. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy while sidestepping potential dangers.


How to Use Essential Oils

To safely incorporate essential oils into your daily life, consider these tips:

  1. Dilute the oils. Never put undiluted essential oils on your skin. This can set you up for sensitization and allergic reactions. Essential oils should always be diluted with a carrier oil — not with water or a different non-oil-based liquid, because the two won’t mix. I use coconut oil for example;
  2. Don’t confuse “more” with “better.” The fact that essential oils come from nature doesn’t mean that they are safe. These compounds are highly concentrated extracts that are far more active (and potentially dangerous) than in their as-it-exists-in-nature counterparts. When using essential oils, dosage is critical. Don’t use too much, thinking it’s better;
  3. It pays to investQuality matters, and in the case of essential oils, price almost always reflects quality. Buy the 100% real essencial oils, not the fake ones;
  4. Test your oil’s purity. Paying more helps safeguard against purchasing an oil that’s been cut with cheaper ingredients, but you can also test the quality of an essential oil by placing a drop on a piece of white computer paper. If there is a grease stain on the paper after 24 hours, the oil has been cut with a carrier oil. If it is pure, it will evaporate. You might see the faintest ring, but nothing more;
  5. Choose organic — and look for third-party certification. Organic oils won’t expose you to the pesticides and herbicides used in the conventional growing process. If you still have concerns about the quality of an oil, look for independent lab assessments of the oils as noted on the label. Third parties certify that a specific oil contains the chemical constituents it says it does;
  6. Pick the right tools. Look for diffusers that are made specifically for essential oils. They are designed to break up the particles in a way that makes the vaporized oils easier for the body to process;
  7. Rotate your oils. Give your body a break from specific scents or blends by rotating the oils you use every two to four weeks. This helps prevent overexposure and sensitization;
  8. Don’t use essential oils for everything. When another intervention is appropriate, try that first. If you have a dehydration headache, no essential oils will help you – you need to drink some water;
  9. Remember that responses are different for different people. A scent that relaxes you and puts you straight to sleep might make another person agitated or restless. This is another reason to treat recipes you find online with caution, and to think small when using essential oils.

Uses and Benefits of Essential Oils

Lavender

Image result for lavender essential oil

This is a must-have essential oil. The floral scent makes it one of the best smelling essential oils that is beloved by many. Although this oil is known for being mild and calming, a few people are allergic so it’s important to take care.

  • Calming and relaxing
  • Improves mood
  • Aliviates anxiety and depression
  • Helps improving your sleep
  • Relieves headaches
  • Anti-bacterial and fungal
  • Anti-septic for Skin care
  • Speeds healing
  • Reduces inflammation

While most essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil, Lavender is safe to apply directly to the skin. For promoting healthy sleep, add a few drops to a diffuser and place in the bedroom before sleep. You can also diffuse it into a room for a calming scent that reaches the whole family.


Peppermint

Image result for peppermint essential oil

One of the best smelling essential oils that almost everyone loves, Peppermint offers a myriad of health benefits as well as a boost of energy. Its minty scent is reminiscent of candy canes and fresh summer days.

  • Uplifting and invigorating
  • Alleviates headaches
  • Relieving digestive issues
  • Reduces feelings of stress and anxiety
  • Kills germs (particularly in the mouth)
  • Freshens air
  • Cooling and refreshing
  • Removes redness and irritating skin issues
  • Helps with congestion
  • Good as a muscle rub for back pain

Use in a cool mist humidifier during winter months for fighting colds and cleaning the air. Add a drop to a glass of water and use as a mouthwash. Place a few drops with a carrier oil and massage into sore or tired muscles.


Lemon

Image result for lemon essential oil

Who doesn’t associate the smell of lemons with something fresh and clean?! It takes about 50 lemons to make a small 15ml bottle of essential oil.

  • Theet whineting
  • Improve skin
  • Freshening air
  • Killing germs in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Aiding with digestion
  • Reducing pain (arthritis, gout)
  • Promoting immune system
  • Increasing energy and uplifting the mood
  • Promoting healthy circulation

Add a few drops of Lemon to water and white vinegar in a glass bottle to use as a disinfecting cleaning spray for kitchen counters and bathroom sinks. Apply directly to the skin for healing purposes (avoid exposure to the sun after use). Add a drop to a glass of water and drink it to give a boost to the immune system (of course you should only ingest oils that you know are 100% pure).


Eucalyptus

Image result for eucalyptus essential oil

The bright and somewhat medicinal scent of eucalyptus is minty with a hint of pine and sweetness. Some people describe the scent as sharp and clean, with a hint of camphor.

  • Natural insect repellent
  • Decongestant
  • Relieves muscular pain
  • Purifies the air
  • Improves concentration
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Reducing congestion and stuffy noses
  • Stimulating the mind and body
  • Reducing fever
  • Eliminating headaches
  • Cooling
  • Boost immune system

At the first sign of a cold or flu, place a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in a diffuser and breathe it in to ward off winter infections and fight sinus congestion. Or add to a pot of hot water, place a towel over your head and inhale the steam. Add a few drops to a carrier oil and massage into tired and sore muscles.


Frankinsense

Image result for Frankincense essential oil

Known from ancient times as a precious commodity, Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the resin of a hardy tree. This oil is more expensive than many, and works well when blended with other oils to make it effective for a variety of reasons. The scent is woody and clean with a warm and spicy tone.

  • Meditative and relaxing
  • Calms anxiety & reduces stress
  • Helps with asthma
  • Aids with digestive disorders
  • Relieves chronic stress
  • Reduces pain and inflamation
  • Boosts immune system
  • Killing germs and bacteria
  • Healing skin and preventing signs of aging
  • Improving mental clarity and memory
  • Balancing hormones
  • Promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain

Diffuse into the air in winter months to kill germs and boost your immune system. Apply directly to the skin on the face before going to bed to keep the skin healthy, prevent wrinkles and fade dark spots. Or apply to warts, moles, and other skin problems. Take a deep sniff of this oil after eating a heavy meal to aid with digestion, or prior to going to sleep to help calm and relax.


Tea Tree

Image result for tea tree essential oil

Another essential oil with a strong odor, tea tree oil is also commonly called ‘Melaleuca’. This scent is very medicinal and acrid with a camphorous odor.

  • Acne and scars improvement
  • Treating athlete’s foot and other fungal infections
  • Reducing dandruff
  • Treating bad breath and killing mouth germs
  • Antiseptic and desinfectant
  • Insect repellent
  • Congestion and cough due to cold

Apply directly to cuts, scrapes, and acne in order to kill germs and promote healthy healing. Add a drop to a glass of water and gargle to kill germs in the mouth. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply topically to skin affected by athlete’s foot, nail fungus, or other infections.


Chamomile

Image result for chamomile essential oil

This oil has a sweet, flowery scent that some people compare to apple blossoms. It’s an earthy, straw-like smell that many people find to be mild and enjoyable.

  • Soothing and calming
  • Reduces stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation
  • Good for headaches
  • Reduces insomnia
  • Anti-inflamatory
  • Lifting mood and relieving depression
  • Fights bacteria (sores, acne, mouth)
  • Soothes digestive problems
  • Promote youthful looking skin and hair

Add a few drops to a cool mist humidifier and place in the bedroom to help calm and relax. Or add a few drops to a water bottle to create a pillow spray or room spray. Add a drop to your favorite herbal tea or apply directly to the abdomen to soothe digestive problems. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Rosemary

Image result for rosemary essential oil

This essential oil has a strongly herbal scent that has a mellow undertone reminiscent of camphor. If you don’t like the scent, blend it with Peppermint or a citrus oil to cut the smell.

  • Indigestion and digestive complaints
  • Detoxification
  • Revilatize thoughts and boost memory
  • Increase focus and mental clarity
  • Promote relax, calm breathing
  • Reducing congestion and sinus problems
  • Soothing headaches
  • Alleviating muscle pain and cramps
  • Healing skin problems

Add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply to the bottoms of the feet or abdomen to aid with digestion. Or apply to sore, achy muscles to help with pain. Place in a diffuser to bring a sense of peace and clarity to the room, reducing tension and fatigue. Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Patchouli

Image result for Patchouli essential oil

This is one of those scents that many people have to get used to as it is very earthy and pungent.  Notorious for being used by hippies in the ‘60s and ‘70s, the scent is not always appreciated by everyone and can be blended with other oils to make it less obvious.

  • Alleviates tension
  • Beneficial for meditation
  • Relieves worry, anxiety and stress
  • Promotes concentration and focus
  • Helps with wrinkles and scars
  • Helps prevent dry, rough skin
  • Massage scalp for healthy hair and no dandruff
  • Reducing bloating
  • Reducing fatigue
  • Balancing hormones

Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil and apply directly to the face to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. For grounding emotions, place a drop in the hand, cup the hand over the nose and mouth and breathe in naturally for a few minutes to receive the emotional and hormonal benefits.


Orange

Image result for orange essential oil

Popular and affordably priced, open a bottle of orange essential oil and the room will smell like you just peeled a fresh orange!

  • Settles digestive distress
  • Invigorating and energizing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-septic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Encourages positve emotions
  • Boosting immune system

Add a few drops of orange essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water to use as a room freshening spray, counter disinfectant, or bathroom cleaner. Place a few drops of orange oil into a cool mist humidifier and diffuse into the room to boost moods, improve blood flow, and reduce stress.


Marjoram

Image result for Marjoram essential oil

This oil made from the flowering marjoram plant has a slight ‘green’ scent that is similar to herbs such as thyme and cardamom, with a hint of peppery and camphor smells.

  • Fighting fatigue
  • Promoting healthy circulation
  • Reducing constipation and cramps
  • Uplifting the mood
  • Reducing tension and related headaches
  • Relieving insomnia
  • Reducing asthma symptoms
  • Helping with healthy digestion

Add to a carrier oil and apply to the back of the neck to reduce feelings of stress and tension. Or apply, diluted, to the bottoms of the feet to promote heart health and have a positive effect on the nervous system. Diffuse into the room to soothe fussy children or calm anxious students. Not recommended if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Grapefruit

Image result for grapefruit essential oil

Another oil from the popular citrus family, Grapefruit has an attractive scent that is energizing and affordably priced. Blend with spicy oils such as cinnamon for a balanced, warming atmosphere.

  • Fighting jet lag
  • Disinfecting bathrooms and kitchens
  • Giving an energy boost
  • Aiding with appetite suppression and weight loss
  • Stimulating the immune system
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Helps reduce depression

Diffuse into the room to help balance emotions, boost energy, and suppress sugar cravings when trying to lose weight. Dilute in a carrier oil and apply topically for fighting throat and respiratory infections. Add to a spray bottle filled with water and white vinegar for a germ-fighting counter spray or bathroom cleanser.


Cinnamon

Image result for cinnamon essential oil

With a scent reminiscent of autumn, pumpkin pie spice, and warmth, cinnamon essential oil brings a cozy, comfortable atmosphere. The scent is especially enjoyable when blended with other spices (such as nutmeg and clove) or citrus oils like lemon and orange.

  • Killing germs
  • Treating headaches
  • Calming negative thoughts
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Boosting brain function and clarity
  • Maintaining a healthy immune system
  • Relieving sore muscles and joints

Diffuse in the air to promote healthy blood flow to the brain and reduce headaches, as well as encouraging self-confidence and balancing emotions. Add a few drops to a carrier oil and apply directly to sore joints, or apply to the bottoms of the feet for pain relief throughout the body.


Clove

Related image

The scent of clove is strong and spicy, with a deep earthy tone that can be overpowering to some people. It is often blended with citrus or floral oils to tone down the scent.

  • Reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Relieving sore tooth or mouth pain
  • Treating acne, cuts, or scrapes
  • Reducing stress
  • Treating headaches and sinus congestion
  • Preventing or fighting infections
  • Insect repellent

Add a drop to a glass of water and gargle for oral hygiene. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply topically to acne, boils, sores, rashes, or other skin problems. Apply, diluted, to the bottoms of the feet to promote good circulation, aid in digestion, eliminate toxins, and reduce inflammation or nausea.


Clary Sage

Related image

This plant is not quite a well-known as some of the others, but its powerful benefits make it super popular as an essential oil. It does not smell like the commonly known cooking spice, called sage. The scent of this oil is earthy, herbal, balmy, and woody. Some people do not prefer the aroma and find it more tolerable when blended with lavender or other floral essential oils.

  • Hormonal balance
  • Fighting depression and reducing stress
  • Relieving spasms and convulsions
  • Preventing bacterial infections
  • Promoting removal of free radicals and oxidants
  • Reducing gas
  • Caring for skin
  • Regulating menstruation
  • Lowering blood pressure

If you’re a woman dilute with a carrier oil and apply directly to the abdomen and bottoms of the feet to help promote and stimulate regular menstruation in younger women and hormone balance in menopausal women. This same application on the feet can be used to calm nerves, lower blood pressure, and relieve depression. Apply, diluted, directly to the abdomen to reduce stomach disorders and relieve trapped gas. Use, diluted, as an anti-stress massage oil.


Cedarwood

Related image

Cedarwood essential oil has a woodsy scent. It’s extracted from many varieties of cedar and juniper trees. Cedarwood oil is relatively safe and has many potential uses, such as:

  • Soothing and calming
  • Diuretic
  • Antiseptic and fungicide
  • Improves focus and wisdom
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Has anti-inflammatory agents and stimulates metabolism
  • Relieves spasms

Diffuse it after a stressful day to relax the mind and body. Use with a carrier oil in massage therapy. Add 1–2 drops to facial toner or moisturizer for added clarifying properties. Inhale directly or diffuse to promote healthy respiratory function.


Ylang-Ylang

Image result for Ylang-Ylang essential oil

The canaga tree is native to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. Hanging delicately from its branches are intricate star-shaped flowers that produce a unique element: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

  • Helps with insomnia
  • Beneficial for high blood pressure
  • Helps calm rapid heartbeat
  • Soothing and calming
  • Good for nervous tension and anxiety
  • Antidepressant
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Antiseptic and antiseborrhoeic
  • Sedative substance

Apart from aromatherapy, it can be used in cosmetic applications, Ylang Ylang Essential Oil can be diluted and applied to the skin to maintain its health. To reduce the signs of aging, to soothe irritation, and to generally protect the skin, simply dilute 1-2 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil in 1 Tbsp. Coconut Carrier Oil or Jojoba Carrier Oil, then gently massage it into the face 1-2 times daily.


 

Lemongrass

Image result for lemongrass essential oil

Lemongrass essential oil is derived from the steam distillation of the plant and, true to its name, it possesses a mild, sweet, lemony-yet-herbal aroma.

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Helps prevent gastric ulcers and relieve nausea
  • Helps to ease diarrhea
  • Uplifting  and refreshing

To use lemongrass in aromatherapy, add up to 12 drops of essential oil to 1 teaspoon carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. Mix into a warm bath or massage into your skin. You can also inhale lemongrass oil directly

 

Canva, an amazing tool to create quick designs!

canva

With Canva, you can create beautiful designs in minutes — no design skills necessary. You just gotta have the vision, and Canva helps you bringing it to life. Turn imagination into a finished design in minutes with this amazing free website!

 

What is Canva

Canva is an online graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, presentations, posters and other visual content. Users can choose from many professional designed templates, and edit the designs and upload their own photos through a drag and drop interface.

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How to use Canva

1. Choose your design type

When you log in to Canva, you’ll land on the homepage. To start designing, click on ‘Create a design’ in the toolbar, or simply type your chosen design type into the search bar.

You can create the following design types:

Social Media

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Documents

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Personal

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Education

f

Marketing

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Events

b

Ads

a

Canva has pre-set the ideal dimensions for each design type, whether you’re creating a logo, letterhead or Facebook post. You can also set custom dimensions by typing “custom” into the search box.

 

2. Choose and customize a template

Once you’ve chosen what kind of design you’d like to create, you’ll find yourself inside the Canva editor. This is where the magic happens! To help you get familiarized with the parts of the editor, here are its most basic parts:

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11Menu bar: this is the menu bar on the very top of the editor. From here, you’ll be able to access the features like Undo, Redo, Resize, Share, Download, Order prints, and others. You’ll also be able to see your design’s saving status from here.

22Side panel: this panel that appears on the side of the editor is where you’ll be able to access the templates and elements you can use in your design. It’s divided into 6 tabs dedicated to Templates, Images, Text, Uploads, Folders, and Apps.

33Canvas: at first, this is the blank white space occupying the majority of the editor. Consider this your main workspace since this is where you’ll work on your designs.

Templates are your shortcut to good design (you can also design from scratch, as you’ll later in this post, but templates are the best way to get started quickly). In the side panel you’ll see a range of templates that you can choose from – you can also search for a specific theme in the search bar. Every template is fully customizable, which means you can change the fonts, colors, images – everything! – to your tastes.

Click on a template to edit it. To change an element, click it and then edit it using the toolbar at the top of the editor – this is where you can change things like color, size, transparency, and more.

 

3. Publish your design

Once you’re happy with your design, it’s time to publish it. Click on the ‘Publish’ button in the menu bar and you’ll see a drop down list of all of your options.

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You can download, share to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, or even order professional prints delivered to your door. There are endless possibilities, so head here to read more about publishing your design.

Be careful with one thing: if your design has any premium items (pictures, fonts, etc), you’ll have to confirm the purchase before you are able to download your design without watermarks.


How to create designs from scratch in Canva

Canva’s free templates provide a shortcut to good design: they’re fully customizable, so you can change the colors, images and more to suit your taste. They have tens of thousands of templates for every design need. But sometimes you need something completely custom-made. How do you ensure what you create actually looks good?

 

1. Choose the right dimensions for your design

To begin, choose your design type from the Canva homepage. These are set to the optimal dimensions for each graphic, whether it’s a social media post, flyer or more. Or you can use custom dimensions by searching for “custom size”. You can choose from pixels, millimetres or inches.

 

2. Choose a background

The background for your design could be a color or an image.

Different colors tell different stories. Purple is associated with individuality, orange relates to activity, and green conjures images of nature. Think about what colors best suit your needs. For help choosing a color palette, try Canva’s Color Combinations tool.

To use a photo as a background, first add a grid. Once placed on a grid, photos can be resized, cropped, flipped and layered to create a variety of visual effects. Next, search for images or upload your own. Then, drag and drop your image onto the grid: it will snap to fit. You can add filters to change the brightness, saturation and clarity of the photo. This can help when layering text and elements.

 

3. Add your elements

Your design might include text, icons, photos or illustrations. These need to be combined in a way that is visually appealing.

Keep it simple. Don’t overload your design with too many elements, as it can confuse the visual message of the image. This is something designers call visual hierarchy, which involves the arrangement of elements according to their importance. Try playing with size, color, and placement in order to see what works best.

Harness the power of negative space. Negative space, also known as white space can be any area within a design that is free from text, images, or embellishments (it doesn’t have to actually be white). Designers love it because it can help create grouping, add emphasis and improve legibility.

 

4. Choose the right fonts

The look of your fonts can have a huge impact on your design. Choosing one font is hard enough. But your design may need more than one typeface. I suggest you never use more than two fonts in a design, as too many fonts tends to make a design look “messy”. You’ll want to choose complementary fonts, which add visual interest while working well together.

Canva has hundreds of pre-set font combinations to choose from. You can find these in the ‘Text’ tab, in the side panel.

Canva-Text-Tab

Or you can create your own combination. Again, simple is best: if you’re choosing an elaborate font, ensure you pair it with a simpler font so your design is balanced. Canva’s Font Combination tool can help, and Traditional combinations like a sans serif font and a serif font can be very powerful. Don’t forget about readability. If your fonts are too complicated, they can detract from your message.

Here’s a tip: typographic hierarchy establishes the order of importance given to different design elements. By applying different fonts, color and scale to your text, you can dramatically change the way your message is received.

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You don’t have to study for hundreds of hours to be good at design. But, like most things in life, you’ll get better with practice, so don’t be disheartened if your first design doesn’t turn out perfectly. Instead, keep practicing and keep creating. You’ll be creating brilliant, polished images in no time!


 

Final Notes

Canva revolves entirely around intuitive controls and editing elements on your canvas is almost a no-brainer. It wont replace Adobe Photoshop for everything, but it’s a good alternative for simple tasks!

While many Canva elements are completely free to use, most images you’ll see on search results are Premium, and will cost you $1 per image once you download your design. You can, however, easily upload you own photos or graphics, so you definitely can use it without the Premium paid version. You can find royalty-free images in websites like Unsplash and upload them to Canva.

Canva is an amazing tool for the clueless, and can come in handy for professionals too. The simplicity and richness of the tools will get you coming back for more every day – I personally use Canva to create all the designs related to this blog and its social media pages and it has made my life much easier. I just love it!

Journaling

Journaling

I believe writing can be one of the best ways to deepen our self-awareness and gain clarity about various aspects of our lives. One of my goals for this year is to try journaling every day.

So I prepared this journaling challenge for you. It’s a 21-day challenge so you can really implement this as a new habit, with 21 questions for self-reflection through writing.

Some of the benefits of maintaining a journaling practice are:

  • Find clarity about your thoughts and feelings: Do you often feel confused inside without being able to be sure what you want or are feeling? Writing down what you are thinking and feeling for just a few minutes helps bring clarity to all of this;
  • Knowing Yourself Better: By writing regularly, you are able to identify patterns in your thoughts, understand what causes each of your emotions, and resolve issues that you may have difficulty dealing with;
  • Reduce Stress: Writing about negative emotions such as anger, sadness, disillusionment or shame helps to shed weight and reduce the intensity of those emotions. In addition, we often provoke stress reactions in ourselves because we have a constant and endless loop of thoughts that recur inside our head. The act of writing helps to break this cycle, almost spewing some thoughts from within us to paper;
  • Finding solutions to problems or conflicts: Writing lets you put your thoughts in order and helps you make much clearer connections between different concepts. In addition, problem solving is often found creatively and not just analytically, and writing is a creative activity, you are getting in touch with that part of your brain, helping creative ideas to emerge.

 

Week 1

Day 1

What’s more important in my life?

Day 2

My favorite way to spend the day is…

Day 3

What has surprised me most about my life, or about life in general?

Day 4

Today I make a list of all questions I need an answer for urgently

Day 5

How should I live, knowing I will die?

Day 6

When was the last time I left my comfort zone?

Day 7

Today I make a list of all the things that inspire me: people, books, music, art, quotes, websites, etc.


Week 2

Day 8

What worries me about the future?

Day 9

I feel happy and good on my skin when…

Day 10

What were my biggest mistakes so far and what can I learn about them?

Day 11

How much has my life been under my control so far?

Day 12

Is what others think of me really important?

Day 13

What do I want from life?

Day 14

Which is worse: failing or never trying?


Week 3

Day 15

What topics do I need to learn more about in order to achieve a fuller, more fulfilling life? (Hint: Put time on the calendar to do it!)

Day 16

How do I care about what matters most in my life?

Day 17

What am I abdicating?

Day 18

How would I like others to remember me at the end of my life?

Day 19

If I could talk to my “me” 10 years ago, what would be the most important thing I would have to say?

Day 20

What would you do differently if I loved myself unconditionally?

Day 21

Today I write the words I need to hear myself

 

End of Week 3 Challenge: Do a personal SWOT analysis

Reiki

Reiki

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese alternative medicine called energy healing. Reiki practitioners use a technique called palm healing or hands-on healing through which a “universal energy” is said to be transferred through the palms of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.

Reiki is very good for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not.

The Origins of Reiki

Mikaousui

Mikao Usui is considered the founder of Reiki. He was born August 15, 1865 in Japan. In February 1922 he went to Kurama yama, a sacred mountain north of Kyoto to fast and meditate. As time passed, he became weaker and weaker. It was now March 1922 and at midnight of the twenty-first day, a powerful light suddenly entered his mind through the top of his head and he felt as if he had been struck by lightning; this caused him to fall unconscious.

As the sun rose, he awoke and realized that whereas before he had felt very weak and near death from his fasting, he was now filled with an extremely enjoyable state of vitality that he had never experienced before; a miraculous type of high frequency spiritual energy had displaced his normal consciousness and replaced it with an amazingly new level of awareness. He experienced himself as being the energy and consciousness of the Universe and that the special state of enlightenment he had sought had been given to him as a gift. He was overjoyed by this realization.

When this happened, he was filled with excitement and went running down the mountain to tell his Zen master of his great good fortune. On his way down he stubbed his toe on a rock and fell down. And in the same way anyone would do, he placed his hands over the toe, which was in pain. As he did this, healing energy began flowing from his hands all by itself. The pain in his toe went away and the toe was healed. Usui Sensei was amazed by this. He realized that in addition to the illuminating experience he had undergone, he had also received the gift of healing. He also understood that this was his life purpose; to be a healer and to train others.

In April 1922, he moved to Tokyo and started a healing society that he named Usui Reiki Ryoho Gakkai (Usui Reiki Healing Method Society). He also opened a Reiki clinic in Harajuku, Aoyama, Tokyo. He taught many students until the end of his life.

5 Reiki Principles

“Just for today, I will not anger.
 Just for today, I will not worry.
 Just for today, I will be grateful for all my blessings.
 Just for today, I will work with honesty and integrity.
 Just for today, I will be kind to all living beings.”
– Mikao Usui

The Five Reiki Precepts are often ignored – unfortunatelly. And yet in reality, these precepts are an integral part of Reiki practice and Reiki cannot be really used successfully without integrating these precepts into the life of the practitioner.

They are like guidelines, showing you the best way to heal your life, by making changes in five great fields of life –emotions, thoughts, gratitude, self-growth and compassion to all that exists. Usui suggested that the precepts should be repeated (meditated and contemplated upon) each day and each morning, preferable with your hands in a Gassho mudra.

Reiki Levels

Reiki Level I: Also called Shoden in Japanese. This is entry-level Reiki training where you study Reiki history, learn how to perform self-Reiki, and how to give Reiki to someone else, and are initiated (attuned) for life to the Reiki energy.

Reiki Level II: Also called Okuden in Japanese. You learn how to use the first three Reiki symbols and how to perform distant Reiki techniques. You receive further attunements to the Reiki energy. After this class, you are considered a Reiki practitioner.

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Cho Ku Ray
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Sei Hei Ki
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Hon Sha Ze Sho Nen

https://reikiguide.org/reiki-healing-symbols/

Reiki Level III: Also called Shinpiden in Japanese. This is the Master Teacher level of Reiki, and the class may be separated into two parts. You receive the Master Reiki attunement and learn the Master Reiki symbol and how to give the Reiki attunements to others.

Washi Tape

Washi Tape

If you’re not familiar with all the things that you can do with washi tape then you need to start exploring. This is such an inexpensive way to decorate anything!

I’m not even kidding, you can just stick it on and peel it off so you can change it up all the time. It will stick to any smooth surface and it’s removable, so it’s not a huge commitment either.

Washi tape is an acid free tape that is made out of paper. Not your average paper, every paper you can possibly imagine. Every color, every pattern. You. Can. Imagine.

Check out some ideas of stuff you can decorate below and get inspired!


Decorate Keys

Do you always mix up your keys? Use washi tapes with different colors and patterns to identify your keys and to make them pretty.  This should be on every organizer’s list!

washi tape keys

Decorate Tea Lights

With this easy and simple diy, you can perk up your plain tea lights. For a special occasion, you can pop your washi tea light candles into classy glass votives. Then again, dressed up in their washi tape, they will also look great without a candle holder!

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Decorate Notebooks

Use washi tape to trim the edges your notebook’s sheets so it forms a colorful rainbow! Not only does it look great, but it can really help organizing the content and making it easy to find a specific page.

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Decorate Phone Cases

You can pick up a clear phone case and use washi tape to decorate it any way you want.  Or you can just stick the tape right to your phone. You can change that pattern every time you change your clothes!

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Make Postcards

Make your own unique postcard with washi tape. These cards are fast to make and look really nice!

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Make Gift tags

Same goes for gift tags. Next time you have a birthday, why don’t you use the same washi tape for a birthday card and a gift tag to create some nice consistency?

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Organize Bullet Journal

Washi tape can help you creating the layout for your bullet journal while adding a nice pop of colour to it! Use washi tape to make pretty pages or to design the actually boxes and banners for your bullet journal planner. Read my post about Bullet Journal if this subject interests you.

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Make Bookmarks

Just add some washi tape to regular clips and you’ll have some super cool and creative bookmarks!

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Decorate Pencils and Pens

Have old pens and pencils lying around or want to spruce up some new ones? Just add some washi tape around them and they will look completely different and prettier!

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Decorate Cables and Chargers

If you want people at the office to know that the charger is yours, just wrap it around some washi tape! This way it will look really cool and nobody can take it and say it’s theirs anymore! You can also create some tags around the cables at home with the names of the devices they belong to (‘iphone’, ‘tablet’, ‘kindle’, etc.) so you don’t get lost.

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Create Mini Bunting

Bunting is always a fun item to use for decorations and it’s so easy to make your own.  You can make mini bunting celebrations – for a cake topper or on a greeting card.  All you need is some string and some washi tape. Ready, set, go!

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Create Desk Cup

After you have modified your pencils and pens, it’s time to create a nice desk cup for your office supplies! All you need is a simple Pringles can and some washi tape!

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Decorate Frames

Tired of your old plain photo frames? Just give them a new life with some washi tape! Your pictures will come to life and you can match the frames with the decoration theme you have going on.

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Decorate Plant Vases

Are you a fan of plants? If you’re like me, you have a lot of small plants lying around your house. With washi tape you can give them a new look!

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Decorate Nails

This is so much easier than using polish to decorate your nails! Go ahead and stick your pretty tape on and put a coat of clear polish over the top to make them a little more durable. You can make them match or make them all different. This is another project that you can change with every outfit!

Did you know that you can use washi tape to decorate your nails?  via @washimoshi featured on WildflowersAndWanderlust.com

Decorate Clothespins

You can use clothespins for all kinds of things! To close a bag of chips, to have a string across a wall or window with clips, etc. With washi tape they will look even nicer!

Decorate your own clips and  use them for holding photos or chip clips  via @premipro_arts featured on WildflowersAndWanderlust.com

Decorate Light Switches and Outlet Covers

The small details matter too! Decorate your light switches and outlet covers at home and see what a big difference it makes in the vibe of the place!

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Indoor Plants

plants

You don’t have to tend a garden outside to show off your green thumb. There are many beautiful plants which thrive indoors and provide cleaner air while adding a touch of natural color to your home. Find the top picks for beginners!

You don’t have to tend a garden outside to show off your green thumb. There are many beautiful plants which thrive indoors and provide cleaner air while adding a touch of natural color to your home. Whether you are an apartment dweller, a condo owner, or just want to bring a touch of the outdoors in, you’ll be able to choose from plenty of options to find the perfect pick for your personality, style, and experience level.

Some require more light and love, while others are adaptable to a variety of low light and dry conditions. Many plants also filter common contaminants from the air, while releasing extra oxygen for you to breathe. Whether you are looking for hanging foliage, tall plants, or simple succulents, here are the best indoor plants to make your space greener and more lively!

 

Best Indoor Plants for Beginners

 

Chamaedorea

chamaedorea

This plant gained a near-instant following for several good reasons. It’s adapted to relatively low light, can handle lower temperatures, and grows in attractive clumps with light-textured foliage cloaking thin trunks. These factors make the parlor palm one of the most popular indoor palms grown in most temperate countries.

Water: 7 – 14 days

 

Dragon Tree

Dragon Tree

Dragon tree is an attractive, stiff-leaved plant with green sword-like leaves edged with red. In the spring on the outdoor varieties, fragrant tiny white flowers bloom and are followed by circular yellow-orange berries, but on indoor plants, flowers and berries rarely appear. These plants are perfect for a beginner gardener because they’re very easy to grow indoors. Unlike many indoor trees, it tolerates a wide range of temperatures. Dragon trees are tough, drought-tolerant plants with aggressive root systems that make excellent houseplants.

Water: 5 – 7 days

 

Japanese Sago Palm

japanese sago palm

If the Cycas revoluta is your first introduction to the world of indoor palms, you’re in for a treat. Stiff fronds grow in an upright habit from a short, shaggy trunk that resembles a pineapple. This palm is slow-growing and shines when given a site with strong light. Water your sago palm sparingly to avoid problems with crown rot. If you’ve grown your sago palm successfully for years only to experience sudden plant loss, don’t feel bad: the plant has a natural lifespan of about 15 years.

Water: 14 – 21 days

 

Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Despite the creepy-crawly name, the spider plant is among the most popular (and easiest to grow) of all hanging or trailing houseplants. While these exceptionally hardy plants will survive in less than perfect conditions, in perfect conditions they are stunning. A mature plant will form tight rosettes of arching leaves with a profusion of hanging plantlets on long stems, up to three feet, somewhat like a bushy green mane.

Water: 5 – 10 days

 

Weeping Fig Tree

Weeping Fig Tree

Weeping fig grows as a large broadleaf evergreen tree in tropical and subtropical climates, but it is more often grown as a houseplant in homes, offices, and is a popular feature in interior commercial landscaping. It is a rare tree that has a good tolerance for the limited light conditions of indoor environments. Weeping fig is one of the best plants for improving air quality indoors. It has one of the top removal rates for air toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

Water: 7 – 14 days

 

Philodendron

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

The Philodendron genus contains some of the most beautiful foliage plants in the plant kingdom. Their glossy leaves add a touch of indoor jungle to your home, reminiscent of the tropical areas of the Americas to which they are native. For indoor use, there are two basic types of philodendrons: the climbing varieties and the self-heading (non-climbing) types. The climbing varieties are often used in hanging baskets or trained along a trellis. The non-climbing ones provide excellent upright foliage plants in pots on the floor or table. Often they are valued for their ability to clean the air in your home.

Water: 5 – 10 days

 

English Ivy

Devil's Ivy

English ivy is a very vigorous and aggressive woody evergreen vine. Outdoors, English ivy is used as an ornamental ground-cover or elegant green covering for stone or brick walls. This is the plant that gave Ivy League colleges their name. English ivy is also a very popular indoor houseplant for hanging baskets. English ivy is frequently used as a dense ground-cover in places where turfgrass and other ground-covers do not readily grow. It is also used as an ornamental climbing cover for fences, stone walls, and brick facades.

Water: 7 – 10 days

 

Chinese Evergreen

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For a home that doesn’t receive a lot of natural light, the selection of indoor house plants that will thrive is more limited—but there are still some great choices, mainly this Chinese Evergreen. This plant has variegated green leaves and will produce white blooms and occasionally red berries, which is relatively unique for an indoor plant with low light needs. It does require some humidity, so you may need to mist the plant with a little water if your environment is dry. Note that the plant arrives in a ‘grower pot’ that you will most likely want to replace at some point, but wait until the plant has adjusted to its new environment in your home. The Chinese Evergreen does contain calcium oxalate, so it is poisonous if ingested.

Water: 7 – 9 days

 

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachias​ features pointed, broad leaves in a variety of combinations of green and white. A large, well-grown dieffenbachia can reach five feet, with leaves of a foot or more. However, the plants will rarely reach this size in typical indoor conditions. The name of dumb cane comes from the dieffenbachia’s milky sap, which is a mild irritant and should be kept from bare skin. The sap can cause temporary loss of speech. Consider avoiding dieffenbachias if you have small children or pets around the house.

Water: 7 – 9 days

 

Snake Plant

snake plant

Snake Plant is one of the most popular and hardy species of houseplants. An architectural species, it features stiff leaves that range from six inches to eight feet tall, depending on the variety. Sansevieria was first cultivated in China and kept as a treasured houseplant because it was believed the eight gods bestowed their virtues (long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health, and strength) upon those who grew the snake plant. Sansevieria also is among several plants chosen by NASA for a study on how plants can be used for air purification and to combat “sick building syndrome.”

Water: 10 – 15 days

 

Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Aloe vera is commonly grown as a houseplant and gained favor because the gel from its leaves makes a soothing skin salve, although some people are actually irritated by the gel. There are over 300 species of Aloe vera, but the one most commonly grown as a houseplant is Aloe barbadensis. It has thick, succulent leaves that are plumped up with a watery gel. The leaves grow from the base of the plant, in a rosette, and have jagged edges with flexible spines. Young plants don’t generally flower and aloe grown as a houseplant can take years to produce a flower stalk.

Water: 10 – 15 days

 

Bamboo Palm

bamboo palm

Also known as the bamboo palm, the areca palm Dypsis lutescens is popular because of its soft fronds and tolerance of low light. The areca palm prefers a moderate amount of water, although it does tolerate occasional drought. However, they need fairly bright light and they are especially sensitive to the buildup of fertilizer salts. But if you are looking for a good short-lived palm for indoor growth, the areca palm is a popular and relatively inexpensive option.

Water: 5 – 10 days

 

Boston Fern

boston fern

The Boston fern is one of the most well-known ferns and admired for its desirable traits as a houseplant. Boston ferns are typically attractive, with long, graceful fronds bedecked with tiny leaves. It is a relatively tough fern, with a higher tolerance for light than other species, and as far as ferns go, they are more tolerant of dry conditions and easy to propagate. An added bonus is that Boston ferns can be displayed in any number of ways, including on pedestals, in hanging baskets, as part of a grouping, or as lush specimen plants on the right windowsill.

Water: 1 – 3 days

 

Echeveria Succulents

echeveria

Echeverias are one of the most popular types of succulents and are frequently featured in succulent gardens, floral arrangements, terrariums, artwork, and even wedding cakes. Their stunning rosette shape, plump leaves, and large variety of colors give them a striking resemblance to flowers which makes them easy to decorate with. Their unique appearance and low maintenance needs have made Echeverias widely popular. Watering is the most important aspect of proper Echeveria careEcheverias, like most succulents, do not require much water. It is better to under-water Echeverias than to overwater them, as they can quickly succumb to root rot if overwatered.

Water: 10 – 15 days

 

Lucky Bamboo

lucky bamboo

You don’t have to look very hard to find lucky bamboo nowadays. These plants pop up in offices, on desks, in businesses, and in homes pretty much everywhere. An important part of feng shui, lucky bamboo plants are said to bring good luck and fortune, especially if the plants were given as gifts. It also helps that they have a well-earned reputation as nearly indestructible; these tough stalks can survive in vases of pure water or in containers of soil, and in a wide variety of light conditions. Even a poorly kept lucky bamboo plant will live for a long time before it finally succumbs.

Water: 7 – 10 days

 

ZZ Plant

zz plant

Looking for a low-maintenance houseplant to spruce up your space without a big commitment? Look no further than the infamous ZZ plant, also known as the zanzibar gem! Characterized by their shiny, oval-shaped deep green leaves, ZZ plants make excellent additions to any home or office. ZZ plants are tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions which makes them well-suited to indoor growing. ZZ plants are extremely drought-tolerant and can handle infrequent watering. In general, ZZ plants should be watered once the soil dries out completely—usually once every week or two depending on their growing conditions.

Water: 7 – 14 days

 

Ficus Ginseng (Bonsai Tree)

ficus ginseng

A bonsai tree can create excellent feng shui energy/associations. Bonsai tree plants can be fascinating because you are basically looking at a whole tree in a miniature version. Bonsai come in all shapes and sizes, from one upright tree to a small forest of mostly horizontal shape trees. Many trees and shrubs are trained to grow in a miniature form, from California redwood to cypress and juniper. At their best, the bonsai trees are a beautiful work of art that requires patience and sensibility; at their worst, they can be an eyesore and a source of pain if neglected.

Water: 15 – 21 days

 

Pachira Aquatica (Money Tree)

pachira aquatica

The Money Tree is a species of tree native to Central and South America that has become an attractive houseplant thanks to its hardy nature. First popularized as a houseplant in Taiwan in the 1980s, the Money Tree is prominent among those who practice Feng Shui and is believed to create positive “Chi,” or energy in the home. This has made it a staple in offices, banks, and homes alike. Guiana Chestnut is most commonly sold as a small plant with a braided trunk made up of three, five, or seven stems. The trees are braided by nurseries when they are young and will continue to grow this way as they mature

Water: 10 – 15 days

 

Cactus

cactus

All cactus plants are members of the Cactaceae family, and there are thousands of species of cactus. There are two large groups of cacti grown as houseplants; both are popular and familiar, and both can thrive indoors with relatively little maintenance. The desert cacti are the more “traditional” cacti, usually covered with spines or hair and often growing in paddles, balls, or obelisks. Forest cacti grow in wooded areas, ranging from temperate forests to subtropical and tropical regions. The most well-known forest cacti may be the Christmas cactus. Both desert and forest cacti boast beautiful blooms, but they have very different growing habits.

Water: 15 – 21 days

 

Peace Lily

Peace lily

The peace lily is a tropical species that is a favorite flowering houseplant. The peace lily blooms in spring with long-lasting flowers that hover gracefully over the leaves on the stalks. A well-grown peace lily may bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers. Peace lilies filter more indoor pollutants than most other plants, so are great for bedrooms or other frequented rooms. Inside the tropical plant’s pores, toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are broken down and neutralized.

Water: 5 – 10 days

Macramé

Macrame

Macramé may be the millennial DIY of the moment, but it dates back centuries! It is a form of textile art produced using knotting (rather than weaving or knitting) techniques that have been around from as early as the 13th century.

The primary knot of macramé is the square knot. However, many forms of knots can be used in different combinations to form different designs.

Types of knots
Different types of knots

The materials used in macramé are typically the 3-ply cotton rope, made of three lengths of fiber twisted together. You will also need a wooden stick and scissors:

Macrame materials

There are many amazing things you can do to decorate your house – from wall hangings, to plant hangers, shelves, swings… you name it! You can see some examples below:

Want to give it a try? Here are the instructions to do a Macramé Wall Hanging for beginners. For this macramé wall hanging you should use 4 mm cotton cord.

Macramé Wall Hanging for Beginners

  1. To determine the length of the cords to cut, measure 8 times the length you would like your project to be.
  2. Measure and cut 12 strands.
  3. Begin by tying a separate strand at each end of the wooden dowel.  Secure to a heavy object or hang.
  4. To attach each cord to the dowel, you’ll be using the Lark’s head knot.  Fold cord in half and wrap folded center  loop across dowel. Pull ends up through loop.

5.  Attach all cords to dowel using the lark’s head knot.

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6.  Using 2 of the lark’s head knots (4 strands), make a square knot.

7.  Repeat square knots across dowel.

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8.  In the second row, make square knots with two strands of each previous row square knot.

9.  Continue the row across dowel.

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10.  Repeat first two rows until desired length.

11.  Fray or unravel cord at ends before hanging or leave as is.

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You can see below some of the things I did so far. If you don’t feel like doing a wall hanging, you can do a cute key chain like the one I made, following the same steps. Check Pinterest for more inspiration.

Key chain

Easy right? Once you get used to it you can try more complex knots. If you are looking for a new hobby and you love DIYing your home decor, macramé can be perfect for you!

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on low-cost unconventional marketing tactics that yield maximum results.

This alternative advertising style relies heavily on unconventional marketing strategy, high energy and imagination.

Guerrilla marketing is about taking the consumer by surprise, make an indelible impression and create copious amounts of social buzz.

Guerrilla marketing is said to make a far more valuable impression with consumers in comparison to more traditional forms of advertising and marketing. This is due to the fact that most guerrilla marketing campaigns aim to strike the consumer at a more personal and memorable level.

Here are some of my favorite examples:

Guerrilla marketing is often ideal for small businesses that need to reach a large audience without breaking the bank. It also is used by big companies in grassroots campaigns to compliment on-going mass media campaigns. Individuals have also adopted this marketing style as a way to find a job or more work.

If this is something that interests you, you can click on this link to see more examples of creative guerrilla marketing campaigns.