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!

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!

Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 5: Squares

This week's theme was "squares."  I don't typically use squares, as I prefer to design around freeform shapes.  However, I did have this fabulous, square shaped labradorite with lots of flash BEGGING to be made into something.  :)

Bonus- since this stone is a lot larger than most pieces of sea glass, the backplate is large enough to try some fancy cut out work.   What do you think- does it look like a mermaid?

Year of Jewelry 2015 Week 3: Try a Tutorial

It took me a few a while to get through Week 2's project.  Week 3's theme was "Try a Tutorial."  There are tons of jewelry making tutorials on the web. I get a lot of "brain pickers" at art shows- people who are either "competitors" (their perspective, not mine) or do-it-yourselfers.  For some things, I gladly refer them to You Tube or various websites.  When it comes to metal work, however, I highly encourage people to pay for live instruction.  You really should have experienced supervision when starting out with torches and power tools.

Ok, so now that I've advised caution to anyone who might be a complete newbie, here's the tutorial I selected for this week's project:  Inside Out Pearl Ring (Part I and Part II) by Soham Harrison.  Mr. Harrison has dozens of terrific video tutorials on his You Tube Channel that don't require really expensive, high end equipment.  (I suppose "expensive" is a relative term.  Traditional jewelers like you'd find in a store typically have access to things like laser welders, high end computerized engravers, etc.  Handmade jewelry artists can still easily spend thousands of dollars on hammers, saws, punches, pliers, mandrels, etc.)

This particular piece was made using half round sterling wire, sterling sheet and a freshwater pearl.  I didn't follow the exact directions, but love the result!  It reminds me of a lotus seed pod.  I love lotus blossoms for a number of reasons, but mostly because they start out in mud, then grow their way to the surface, where they bloom magnificently! 

What's your favorite flower and why?