Introducing: 31 Days of Gratitude, Our Daily Calligraphy Project
Gratitude is a good thing. It helps us to appreciate the happy times, deal with the bad times, build strong relationships, overcome the troubles of our past, remain hopeful for the future, and feel connected to something larger than ourselves. At this time of year, we can all take a moment to reflect on all that there is to be thankful for, counting reasons both big and small: friends, family, good health, chocolate chip cookies, even dishwashers.
In that spirit, we're kicking off 31 Days of Gratitude, a month-long exercise meant to bring you daily inspiration. Every day from now until the end of December, check back here for a new word — beautifully handwritten in watercolor calligraphy by Emily of @sizeloveletterco — that describes something we are thankful for. And at the end of the campaign, the collection of words will culminate in a surprise art project that you can make at home! So follow along — and share with us what you are thankful for this year.
[Editor's note: This project culminated in the above Gallery Wall of Gratitude.]
Chocolate chip. Snickerdoodle. Macadamia nut. Vanilla sugar. Peanut butter. Oatmeal raisin. Shortbread. (You get the picture.) We love them all, especially when they're freshly baked from the oven by someone we love or made in a batch by ourselves.
Stand in front of the mirror and take a look at yourself. Your body is a powerful thing that you often take for granted: with your eyes, you observe the world's beauty every day; with your arms, you can hug and hold loved ones; with your muscles, you can exercise, move, and dance. Respect your body, love your body, and be thankful for your body — after all, it's the only one you have.
When was the last time you received a handwritten letter by mail? It's a special moment: opening it from the mailbox, unfolding the paper, reading every word line by line, and feeling happy and loved by your pen pal. While today's digitally-driven world offers instant connectivity — and that's a wonderful thing — a handwritten letter, card, or small note is a little correspondence of love that no technology can replicate.
Think back to your childhood and waking up on a winter morning, rushing to the window, and seeing just beyond the frosted glass... a winter wonderland laden with fresh snow. It was a magical moment, right? And grownup, snow days are just as magical. Think: bundling up in knit layers, having a snowball fight, building a snowman, and sipping on hot cocoa by the fire. And if you're snowed in? No problem by us.
Parents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Siblings. Where would you be without them? Through the years, they've supported you, taught you everything (from driving a car to baking a pie), and motivated you to be your best self, but also loved you just for being, well, you!
Imagine living in a black and white world drained of color — and all of the things you would miss! Color brings magic to everyday things like rainbows, changing fall leaves, sunsets, painted works of art, farmer's market stands, frosted cakes, Christmas lights, big bouquets of flowers, and so much more.
Friendships: New & Old
Life is only as good as the people with whom you've shared it. After all, they're the ones who make you laugh, believe in your biggest dreams, keep your secrets safe (remember that chocolate soufflé disaster?), and have made your happiest memories. (Go on, give your bestie a hug right now!)
Ahhh, inhale and exhale. Breathe it all in. It's the earthy scent of the great outdoors on a cold winter day or a fresh spring morning. It's always in your reach — all you need to do is take a step outside.
Feeling that winter chill? Bundle up in a warm, soft-to-the-touch knit sweater and it's the feeling of being held in a small hug.
No passport required. Take off in the car or down the street, coral your closest friends, and go off the beaten path on the map. There's so much in the world to explore: mountains to climb, oceans to swim, flat plains to trek across... and it's all within your grasp if you only have the courage.
You know those laugh-out-loud, roaring, snorting, make-your-belly-ache, giggle-til-you-cry laughs? Those are the best.
Mom's famous lasagna, Uncle Fred's green bean casserole, Grandma's chicken noodle soup — they all come with a few special ingredients that you'll never find in a takeout box: love, comfort, and familial care.
Who could resist those big brown eyes? That goofy grin? That cuddly-soft coat? Or wagging tail? Pets bring a special kind of love into our lives and teach us several valuable lessons: live in the moment, love unconditionally, and take nice long walks.
Stop and listen. Now, imagine: What would the world be without Christmas songs? Orchestral ballads? Broadway showtunes? Or even our favorite throwback tunes on the radio? Music is universal: it's what brings humanity together across languages, across generations, and across the globe. (Not to mention, who doesn't love to dance?)
It's the secret ingredient to everything delicious. Don't believe us? It's the second half to mac and cheese, the must-have topping on any pizza, and puts the "fun" in fondue. If you ask us, it's always a "Gouda thing."
It may sound silly, but hear us out: the dishwasher is one of our biggest timesavers and stress-alleviators, not to mention one of the hardest workers in the kitchen. It's saved us in our biggest cleanup endeavors: the post-Thanksgiving feast, holiday dinners, family get-togethers, birthday parties, and, well, the every day.
Ahh, fuzzy socks. There's nothing like the feeling of slipping into a comfy pair after a long day, when you're sick, or on a winter day when it calls for bundling up. (You're right up there with cozy sweaters, trust us.)
Oh, the ubiqitous mason jar... how you've changed the way we live. You store, contain, and display dutifully for every need. You hold jam, work-desk salads, pencils, candles, sewing supplies... all sorts of goodies. And we could care less what the world of Pinterest says — you're not trendy, you're timeless.
What's that quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson? "The Earth laughs in flowers." Well, we couldn't agree more. Flowers make us happier, our homes more colorful, and make us feel much more grateful for nature's beauty. It's not a mistake that a bouquet of blooms is a gift of love. And hey, why not buy some for yourself? You deserve them.
#TGIF, right? We live for the weekend: those two days of freedom when you can spend time with family, catch up with friends, or kick back and binge-watch your favorite show solo. Not to mention, it's a fresh start for the week ahead.
Oh, those heavenly sweets of holey deliciousness. We love you cream-filled, jelly-stuffed, chocolate-glazed, cakey, or even stacked in a tiered birthday cake. You're the perfect combo with coffee and you're perfectly indulgent solo. We "doughnut" know what we'd do without you.
That warm, golden feeling on your face? Yeah, we love it too. It's the stuff of beautiful sunrises, even more beautiful sunsets, happy summer days and crisp winter afternoons.
Pizza! We love it cheesy, doughy, topped with an array of delicious veggies, meats, anchovies (some of us, at least), and fresh from the oven. It's the family feast that everyone's ready to dig into and the go-to meal for a Friday night. Now, who's up for a stuffed-crust pepperoni?
When was the last time you opened an unread book? Remember that feeling of being hooked from the first line to the last page? Books entertain, educate, inspire, and transport us to other worlds. So whether you're a fan of fiction, history, mysteries, or romance... the right page-turner can change your life (or at least, an afternoon).
Do you remember the last time you watched a sunrise? Wake up before dawn and treat yourself to daily a sense of wonderment, a spectacular show of color, and a quiet moment of reflection.
Here's the thing about hard times: they always come to an end. With the New Year approaching, we are given a new chance, a new opportunity, a new 365 days to do it all over differently. In the past 31 days, we've given you 31 reasons to be thankful for all you have... but that's not all. There are many "Good Things" in the world, if we only have the mindfulness to stop and see them.