A Happiness Manifesto

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
~Brother David Steindl-Rast

simplyleilani_thankful_heartA short sea story: During midshipman cruise, one of my more ambitious peers asked the Commanding Officer (CO which jobs were best for promotion potential.  The CO's advice was to choose the job that sounded like the most enjoyable because it's easy to excel when you're having fun.  

Fast forwarding twentysomething a few years, I've decided that staying happy and energized is my #1 business priority.  Why? I've spent a lot of time and money learning everyone else's "shortcuts to success" and "right ways" to do things.  The simple truth is that a genuine and thankful heart radiates happiness.  More than anything else, I want to encourage others to be sincerely happy and to share their best selves.  Life is short.  The time passes whether you enjoy it or not.  Why not make the most of what's in front of you?

Helping other people find their hidden superpower energizes me.  Missing my kids' soccer games to "hustle" at craft shows does not.  

If taking breaks to meditate and study yoga means less product and less money, so be it.

Serving others by listening to them and helping them dare to dream big makes me happy.  Making the same pair of earrings over and over does not.

I will strive to find new ways to bring positivity, self-confidence, and happiness to others.  If there's one thing I'm excited about offering in 2016, it's a genuinely supportive and diverse community of people helping each other make their lives better.

I will be jamming out to Maroon 5 or maybe Guns N Roses while I do it.  You're welcome to join me!


Will you be joining me with a happiness manifesto of your own?  Need help putting the words together?  Here's a start, feel free to comment/discuss below:

This year, I choose to be happy because ________________.

Doing ________________ energizes & excites me.  _______________ does not.

I will make time for _____________.  It's ok to say no to _____________.

Wanted: Bloggers

Are you a blogger focused on positive women who seek to serve others in a coastal or beach community?  Are your readers into yoga, surfing, or chasing their kids on the beach?  Do they seek out genuine relationships without undermining, catty competition?  Is your superpower finding the hidden strengths in others or seeing opportunity where others see nothing but walls? 

If so, then Simply Leilani is interested combining forces with YOU!  

Please email Mandy at simplyleilani@y a h o o (dot) c o m and let's chat!

PS- Added bonus if you're a military spouse blogger!

November 08, 2015


simply leilani starfish jewelryYou may have noticed that many of my pieces feature starfish.  Also known as a "sea star," they are said to represent the Virgin Mary, interceding to protect and guide those who travel over troubled water or make a living by going to sea.  On a more practical level, starfish are cool because they can grow back severed arms and even vital organs...

Resilience is critical to success.  I have two random superpowers- one is the ability to see potential in others.  The world is filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  If they can do it, you can do it too!


The Starfish Story (adapted from the original by Loren Eisley)

A man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. "What are you doing?" he asked the boy.

"Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die."

"Don't you know there are miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can't make a difference. Why bother?"

The boy smiled, picked up another starfish, and threw it gently into the surf. "I made a difference to that one."

Don't let the grumpycat naysayers derail you.  You can shine like you're in the Katy Perry Fireworks video if that's what you decide you want to do.

April 24, 2015

Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 17: Embrace Nature

This week's theme tied into Earth Day.  It's not a huge stretch for me, since nature heavily influences my design process.  Here's a special beachy bangle- the shell was found by my cousin while we were beach combing for sea glass near the sugar plantation our moms grew up on.  
We had to off-road to get there, but the kids really enjoyed the tide pools.  Hermit crabs, tiny fish and shrimp, lots of things to look at... and of course, pretty little shells and really round sea glass!
This one is going to be a surprise Mother's Day gift for my cousin, but there are other beachy bangles to choose from.  Just browse through the "broken beauties" collection for available bangles or email Mandy directly if you're looking for something in particular!

Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 16: Made of Thick Wire

If you've looked through my website, you'll know I don't typically do a lot of metal stamping.  However, a childhood friend asked me to make her a sterling cuff with a movie quote on it years ago.  (You don't want to know how much sterling I wasted trying to get the entire thing stamped straight.)  I decided to keep it simple.  One word on a solid, very sturdy sterling wire.  
Yes, I know happiness is spelled with an "i."  :)
Any guesses as to which movie inspired her to ask for this piece?

Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 15: Story of Me

The double infinity bracelet is my all time best seller, and its success is what gave me the confidence to take my hobby and make it into a business.  It has also been copied dozens upon dozens of times, which discouraged me from sharing my ideas for a time.  In the end, I took a lesson from Elsa and "let it go."  My style is evolving away from simple wire shapes and I don't make many of these anymore. 
When I first started out, I tried anything and everything.  Now that I have some experience, I am more confident of my "artistic identity."  Through my journey, I've met some extremely talented jewelry artists.  They are my mentors and friends, not my competition.  If you have a particular concept for custom design, please let me know.  There are many, many different techniques- more than any one person can master in a lifetime.  If it's not something in my "wheel house," I am more than happy to refer you to another highly skilled artist!
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