Follow your Dreams with Dreamlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter.  In the last newsletter, we shared about choosing JOY with the Joyblz!  We hope you had a chance to make a list of all the things that bring you JOY. This month we are focusing on the saying: “You’re not too old and it’s not too late to pursue your dreams!” My Joyblz! character, Dreamlz, loves that adage. No matter what age you are, you can start something new, accomplish your goals and amaze the world! So, let’s follow our dreams with Dreamlz.

Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve had a dream to share my creativity with the world. I’ve been doodling and drawing my entire life. During the pandemic, I realized that dream and created a new entrepreneurial venture where I am spreading lots of JOY and inspiration with my hand-drawn, whimsical Joyblz! characters.

Continue reading to learn more about Dreamlz and ways to follow your dreams…

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Choose JOY with the Joyblz!

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last month, Kuddlz shared about filling your cup with self-love. This month we are focusing on the theme of JOY. If you choose to see everything through a lens of joy and gratitude, you will realize the blessings that come with it. So, let’s choose JOY with the Joyblz!

“Choose JOY” has become one of my daily mantras. I know that life can be hard, but everyday I have a choice: I can let things bring me down or I can choose JOY and be grateful for all that I have. I want to share with you a fun creative exercise where I make a JOY pie consisting of things that bring me JOY. Continue reading to learn about ways to choose JOY and how to make your own JOY pie…

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Practice Self-Love with Kuddlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Happy Valentine’s Day! Last month, Sprinklz reminded you to be kind. We hope that you performed some random acts of kindness. For February, Kuddlz is in the spotlight and encourages you to love yourself first. So, let’s practice self-love with Kuddlz.

I have learned that self-love is something that I have to conscientiously practice each and every day. As Oscar Wilde said, “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” It is an art that can be mastered over time.  By doing so, you cultivate a loving and healthy relationship with yourself and become your own best friend.

My artwork shown above is one of the many love quotes that I posted over the past two weeks on my new Instagram account and embodies self-love.

Continue reading to learn more about Kuddlz, some great ways to practice self-love, and to watch a fun animated video...

Continue Reading ...Practice Self-Love with Kuddlz
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Sprinkle Kindness like Confetti with Sprinklz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Cracklz shared how to crack open Christmas crackers!  We hope you enJOYed either making your own or popping some open for New Year’s! Starting in 2021, our newsletter will be published once a month instead of weekly. Sprinklz is being featured for January as a reminder to be kind to yourself and others. So, let’s sprinkle kindness like confetti with Sprinklz!

My favorite mug has the saying “Sprinkle kindness like confetti.”  I use it every day because sprinkling kindness is something I've tried to do since I was a young girl. It's a way of life I learned from my beloved parents. This motto is incredibly important because it’s amazing to see how much the smallest act of kindness can make a huge impact in someone’s life. Kindness is also contagious, so the more kindness you show, the more it will spread. Do not hold back; a simple act of kindness can create a ripple effect!

And how joy-full is confetti – it’s bright, fun and makes people happy. I believe that we all should be sprinkling kindness everywhere and to everyone. I created the word "kindness" from scrabble pieces this weekend, as shown in the photo above. Continue reading to meet Sprinklz, explore ways to spread kindness, and watch some fun videos to inspire you...

Continue Reading ...Sprinkle Kindness like Confetti with Sprinklz
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Make your Holidays Pop with Cracklz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter.  Last week, the Baublz family shared memories of hanging baubles on the Christmas tree. We hope you enJOYed seeing all the different ornaments. This week, Cracklz is being featured in celebration of Christmas crackers. So, let’s make your holidays pop with Cracklz!

I was first introduced to Christmas crackers when I moved to California many years ago. My friends had invited me to spend Christmas day with them and the table was beautifully decorated with Christmas crackers at each place setting. These crackers have nothing to do with the crisp wafers you eat with cheese!

They consist of a wrapped and decorated cardboard cylinder and resemble a large candy twist. You engage in a tug-of-war with another person to pull the cracker open, and it makes a fun, popping (cracking) sound. Whoever is holding the side still attached to the inner chamber gets all the goodies inside, typically consisting of a corny joke, a small trinket, and a brightly-colored paper crown.

I enjoyed crackin’ them open and wearing my crown during the entire meal. I was inspired to draw Cracklz to honor all my memories of this activity. Although primarily used at Christmas, crackers are also a great way to celebrate other special occasions all throughout the year. I now buy crackers to “crack” open on New Year’s Eve.

Continue reading to learn more about Christmas crackers, watch a short video about how to make them, and indulge in some cheesy cracker jokes …

Continue Reading ...Make your Holidays Pop with Cracklz
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Decorate your Holidays with Baublz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter.  Last week, Chestnutlz shared tips on how to roast Italian chestnuts. We hope you had a chance to enJOY the nutty and savory treat. This week, the Baublz family is being featured in memory of my favorite holiday activity, hanging all types of baubles (ornaments) on the Christmas tree. So, let’s decorate your holidays with Baublz!

Each Christmas I look forward to decorating my tree with a huge assortment of baubles. It brings back wonderful childhood memories of proudly hanging my handmade ornaments, created out of dried pasta, cardboard, gold spray paint, dough, glitter, felt, and pine cones, on our family Christmas tree. I also love hanging my vintage glass baubles, which inspired me to draw the Baublz family, and that have been passed down through the generations. I came across the large colored baubles, shown in the photo above, as I was riding my bike this past week and wanted to share them with you.

My tree is an eclectic hodgepodge of memories— every ornament tells a story. And each year decorating the tree is like a walk down memory lane. Continue reading to see some photos of my favorite Christmas ornaments that are hanging on my tree, watch a video of how glass baubles are made, and view a singing Christmas tree…

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Savor the Season with Chestnutlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter.  Last week, Gingerbreadlz shared some delicious Christmas cookie recipes and a life-size gingerbread house tour. We hope you enJOYed some holiday cookies, whether you baked them yourself or not. This week, Chesnutlz is being featured in memory of my favorite seasonal treat, Italian chestnuts. So, let’s savor the season with Chestnutlz!

You've probably heard or sung the opening line of "The Christmas Song": "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire." But there's a good chance you've never cooked a chestnut in an oven, let alone on an open fire. It’s during this time of year that chestnuts are at their peak and they make a great addition — particularly a great ending — to any meal. Chestnuts were a part of every Thanksgiving and Christmas during my childhood. The sweet, nutty aroma of roasting chestnuts brings back so many happy memories and time spent with family.

My grandpa would buy many big bags of castagne (Italian for chestnuts) since he knew they were my Dad’s and my favorite. Then he would cut crosses on the sides and roast them in the oven. After a huge day of eating a three-course meal, we would have chestnuts with tangerines, pomegranates, assorted nuts, Amaretto, and Italian pastries for the fourth course.

I just roasted some chestnuts yesterday and they were so sweet, buttery, toasty, and nutty. I drew Chestnutlz to honor our family tradition. Continue reading to learn about my best tips for roasting chestnuts, other ways to use them, and to view photos of my sweet treat…

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Treat your Holidays with Gingerbreadlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Lightlz shared ways to be merry and bright. We hope that you found some holiday lights to enJOY or put some up yourself. This week, a new holiday Joyblz! named Gingerbreadlz is being featured. Gingerbreadlz reminds me of the JOY of baking Christmas gingerbread cookies. Let's treat your holidays with Gingerbreadlz!

Some of my fondest childhood memories were of making Christmas cookies with my Mom. Christmas cookies have been a tradition in our family with recipes being passed down from one generation to the other. Of the eight different kinds of cookies my Mom and I would make, gingerbread cookies were always my favorite. Every year, I create dozens of gingerbread cookies in the shapes of Christmas trees, snowmen, gingerbread men, and snowflakes to carry on our cookie baking tradition. I drew Gingerbreadlz to honor my holiday baking memories.

Sharing my Christmas cookies and some family recipes always brings a smile to my face and warms the heart of those who take a bite into the scrumptious delights. Continue reading to download these recipes, read more about my memories, and see a life-size gingerbread house …

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Be Merry and Bright with Lightlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Boodlz shared ways to practice meditation. We hope that you took some time to meditate. The holiday Joyblz! are now in the spotlight until the end of December. I created these Joyblz! to honor memories and traditions from the holidays since I was a child. This week Lightlz is featured and reminds me of the magic and JOY of holiday lights. So, for a little extra sparkle, let’s be merry and bright with Lightlz!

One of the first things I remember most when it comes to the holiday season is lights. For me, it’s very nostalgic and connects me to my childhood. Some of my fondest memories are driving through neighborhoods to see the festive lights, going to view beautiful light displays at different venues, and watching my Dad precisely hang the colorful lights on our Christmas tree. I have a special place in my heart for those old-fashioned over-sized Christmas bulb strands with individual screw-in sockets. It was this memory that inspired me to create Lightlz and Li’l Lightlz, shown above.

Continue reading to view a spectacular light show, learn more about my memories and share some of yours…

Continue Reading ...Be Merry and Bright with Lightlz
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Practice Meditation with Boodlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Boodlz shared ways to cultivate gratitude. We hope that you took some time to be grateful. This is Boodlz’ last week in the spotlight and, for the next month, we'll surprise you with different holiday Joyblz!. This week, we are going to explore how you can become more aware and focused using mindfulness meditation. So, take a seat and let’s practice meditation with Boodlz!

I had never tried “formally” meditating until this year. When I first started, it was difficult to sit even for just a few minutes. However, it became easier the more I practiced each day. People often think there are many rules around how to meditate properly, but meditation is meant to be flexible and personalized.

I’ve found even doodling my characters, singing in the shower, and swimming to be meditative. I had fun drawing the above image after thinking about how meditation affects me. Continue reading to learn more and watch an animation with two adorable, meditating mice…

Continue Reading ...Practice Meditation with Boodlz
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