Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

My favorite quotes and reminders: Stress and happiness for people who do too much...

This isn't the prettiest topic, but it's something on my mind and probably yours, too. This post has been in draft form for quite a while now but I recently checked something related off my to-do list and now feel like I have something good to share.

I've mentioned before that I was reading and really enjoying The Happiness Project. Really super fantastic book (categorized as "self-help" and "memoir," I think), and I had never read anything like it before but discovered it at the perfect time, since this year has been packed full of activities and goals and to-dos and I've been having a hard time staying calm and upbeat. (I've been trying not to use "the 's' word," but things have been a little high stress sometimes, and I'm getting tired of it! Time to relax, right? So hard for me.)
From our January weekend trip, lots of reading...

So, I really appreciated the academic and logical look the author took at examining happiness (why is it a good goal? What does it mean? Is it an end goal at all? What are the principles and foundation of attaining it?), and I love accepting and engaging with the idea that I can take control of my mood and practice happiness, the same way I approach my goals. I think it's part of the common challenges of our busy lives and having so many interests and so many options these days, it's easy to not think about what we need to live a happy life.

Anyway, I'm really excited to be reading the second by Happiness Project author Gretchen Rubin, Happier at Home, which I first thought was home decorating advice for happiness... turns out it's a second "happiness project," this time focused on home and family. More great pearls of wisdom I can't wait to put sticky flags all over. ;)

These books have also inspired me to put up visual reminders of my goals and principles, or at least of quotes that I really like and want to remember. It's been on my to-do list to make up some pretty posters that I can frame, to look at every day and enjoy. So I finally got to it. And I'm happy to share them with you!

My fave happiness quotes

This one is in both of the Happiness Project books, and I'm still chewing on it, but I like it. One of the Happiness Project goals was changing your life without changing your life, and that sounds good to me--I'm satisfied with so many things about my life, but want to capture a mood that is sometimes hard to remember. But maybe it's with me all the time, and I just need to learn to pay attention!

And here's great one from the second book, Happier at Home. I love this because I do think about possessions and physical things as being really important, and it's nice to remember that there are important reasons for that--it's not just shallow materialism, but a real connection to things I've made and arranged and curated. Obviously as a creative and artistically-minded person, this is important to me, and as a "nester" with my natural urges to create a comfortable, beautiful home, this really rings true. (But also, as she says in the book, possessions can be important for happiness for completely non-materialistic reasons if we engage with them--either by use or by response, like how you feel when you walk past a photo of family. "When I felt engaged with my possessions, I felt enlivened by them, and when I felt disengaged from them, I felt burdened." (page 28) Another underlined, starred, sticky flagged passage for me. I want to surround myself with important, beautiful things and get rid of the rest, the messy stuff I don't need or love.

Another great one about the home. Such an obvious concept, right?! But somehow we needed William Morris to say it to make it sound so universally true.

And, because I am such a huge fangirl of The Happiness Project, one of the core "splendid truths" by author Gretchen Rubin, featured in both books...

Those were the simple ones that I thought would be cute in circles. Wish I had more graphic design skillz ;) so I could come up with something besides a circle. But, hey. The colors and words and font are important, and I've got that part down.

A fave love quote

Another one to remember, not strictly part of the happiness collection... outside of the circle theme, this one I'm still working on (text, layout, photo...), but I want to find a photo I really love from one of our relaxing/romantic trips away and frame it. And add a nice quote and message reminding me to do kind, loving things every day--give proofs of love. Here's where my lack of graphic design skill gets me a little stunted. But the idea is there...

I dream of my gratitude poster!

I also still want to make myself a "gratitude poster," as I've been calling it on my to-do list. A pretty image I can frame and put somewhere I look at every day, to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life I have to be grateful for... but that one may be a bigger project. Want it to be really pretty and really big! So I don't miss it when I walk by. I love the gratitude exercise idea, thinking of things you're grateful for every day, and think it would make me happier to see that list like a mantra.

How do you handle stress and balance your life to practice happiness?


  1. Love these quotes. I collect some and keep them on my Pinterest board and go back to them from time to time. And then there are the Baz Lurmann lyrics to Everybody's free (to wear sunscreen) :)

  2. I really like the idea you proposed of having quotes and principles that you want to remember displayed in frames in the house. I'm going to take inspiration from your inspiration and go looking for what quotes I want to have visible reminders to take a step back and breathe and direct myself towards good things rather then reacting just to the negative- thanks!

  3. A gratitude poster sounds amazing! I may have to make one for myself. Perhaps a collage of photos of all the things I have to be grateful for?

  4. i am in the middle of the happiness project and am loving it. Your quotes are such a great reminder too :)

  5. That would be great, very personal!

  6. Cool that you're also reading it! I keep both books nearby and keep flipping back to fave pages... ;)

  7. Sometimes, these little quotes are whats needed to perk you up again. Thanks!



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