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…

Continue Reading ... Decorate your Holidays with Baublz

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…

Continue Reading ... Savor the Season with Chestnutlz

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 …

Continue Reading ... Treat your Holidays with Gingerbreadlz

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

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

Cultivate Gratitude with Boodlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Boodlz shared ways to mindfully explore nature’s beauty. We hope that you took some time to enJOY nature. As Thanksgiving is approaching, it seems fitting to examine the power of expressing gratitude in our daily lives. This week we are going to discover ways to be more grateful. So, let’s explore how to cultivate gratitude with Boodlz!

My grandmother always had a warm smile and a focus on what is truly important in this life. Ever since I was a young child, I remember her saying, “Lick your fingers!" Taken literally, it’s probably not the best advice for these pandemic times! However, she was referring to savoring every moment, being grateful, and teaching me to appreciate what I have.

This attitude of gratitude practice is something that I have been following my entire life. I was inspired to create a colorful drawing, shown above, highlighting some of the things for which I am grateful. Continue reading to learn some tips for practicing gratitude and to watch an uplifting short video about being thankful for the gift of this day...

Continue Reading ... Cultivate Gratitude with Boodlz
Explore Nature’s Beauty with Boodlz
© 2020 Nartooni, LLC ~ Photo by Joanne

Explore Nature’s Beauty with Boodlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy’ newsletter. Last week, you met Boodlz and she shared ways to enJOY this moment. We hope that you did some fun activities to be more present. This week, in addition to announcing the winner of the Joyblz! coloring contest, we are going to use mindfulness techniques to connect with nature. So, let’s explore nature’s beauty with Boodlz!

I got a head start and walked around my neighborhood, bringing my awareness to the many sights, sounds, and smells. Spending time outside in nature was very peaceful and relaxing. I was in awe of the spiny, neon violet looking puffball, pictured above, that caught my eye. When I gazed down, it looked like a brand-new Koosh ball or some type of sea anemone. I couldn’t resist running my hands across it. Would you like to know what this is, view the winning entry, and explore mindful ways to enJOY nature?

Continue Reading ... Explore Nature’s Beauty with Boodlz

EnJOY this Moment with Boodlz

Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, we featured the benefits of coloring with Artistlz and held a coloring contest. Thank you to everyone that has participated, and for those who haven’t yet, you still have another week! The Joyblz! character named Boodlz is now in the spotlight and will be featured all this month. You’ll learn more about her and her gifts. This week, she’s excited to share ways to be more present (mindful) in your daily life. So, let’s learn how to enJOY this moment with Boodlz!

We all know that we should slow down and enJOY life more. I grew up hearing these words: “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think, Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink, The years go by, as quickly as a wink, Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later thank you think.” It’s the refrain from Guy Lombardo's version of the popular song, Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think), that my mother and grandmother would sing to me all the time. I still can hear their voices when I read the lyrics and it makes me smile! It’s a great reminder to live every day and appreciate the present moment.

I was inspired to draw a beautiful flower that is shown in the image above. The inner petals of my flower show the activities that help me enJOY this moment, and the outer petals convey words that remind me how to be more mindful. Continue reading to learn more about Boodlz and how you can enJOY this moment…

Continue Reading ... EnJOY this Moment with Boodlz