Life Binder DIY

A few months ago I stumbled upon a few Pinterest pins about something called a Life Binder, and I saved these pins to my organization board for a rainy day. Well, that rainy day came this week and I finally made my own version of a Life Binder!

So what is a Life Binder? Well, the goal is to take one binder (usually 1 inch) and fill it with everything that you use on an everyday basis. All of your life resources will be in one place, and even better it’s easy to grab in an emergency situation or to take with you on trips.

As a college student, I have come to realize that this is one of the best times to start organizing for your life ahead. Having a good system for paying bills, maintaining budgets, organizing tax information, and keeping track of other life necessities (wellness, academic performance, etc.) before leaving college will help you to get a head start!

Before I made this Life Binder, much of my documents and important files were stored in a storage bin. While this isn’t the worst way, it isn’t the most accessible either. There would be countless times when I had to dig through many folders to find a piece of information or a record that I new I had, but didn’t know exactly where it was. I realized that I was spending so much time sorting through a system that I thought was organized, and I knew I needed a new solution. So I went back to my Pinterest and finally got the inspiration to change up how I organized my life!

I purchased a 1 inch binder (in turquoise), as well as a set of 8 erasable divider tabs (as life is always changing 🙂 ), and a set of clear paper protecting sheets for important documents. I also was able to cut out quotes and find images in a few leftover magazines that spoke to me for personalizing the tabs and front of my life binder. Below is a full materials list that you can look at for inspiration!

Instructions and How-To: 

I picked a comfortable spot on my floor and put on my favorite Spotify playlist (follow me here if you use Spotify! 🙂 ) for creative inspiration! As many of you know, I have been using essential oils from Young Living as well, and decided to diffuse Magnify Your Purpose while making this binder. (This Saturday and Sunday starter kits are $10 off with this link if you’re interested! This is not a sponsored post in any way, but I saw this promotion yesterday while on their website).

I started by cutting out all of my favorite quotes and images from magazines that I had laying around, and arranging these on the front of the binder. I also decided to place some on each divider tab (the large blank space), by using tape and a glue stick.

I then opened my storage bin and got to work on organizing my files, shredding ones I no longer needed, and hole punching the ones I knew I wanted to include. By organizing all of my files I was able to get a sense of what I wanted each of my divider tabs to be labeled. I bought a set of 8 tabs, and ended up using all of them. The labels that I picked are: Wellness, College Success, Taxes and Expenses, Budgets and Financial Planning, The Wise Willow Blog, Resume and Credentials, Spirituality and Gratitude, and finally To-Do Lists and Goals.

Once I had set up all of the tabs, it was time to get filing! I filed all of my information, and made note of what I needed to track down. I ended up making a grade tracker log for my semester grades (sometimes it’s so hard to keep track of smaller grades!), as well as finding a few online budget and financial planning resources! I also used a few blog planning worksheets and to-do lists to keep track of everything.

Once this was done, I found myself reaching for my Life Binder every day! Whether I needed to look for information to file my tax returns (or file new information to stay ahead on this year’s information), record new grades, or check of to-do list items, this binder has already been well used!

If you decide to make a Life Binder (or if you already have one) I would love to see what it looks like! Tag me on Instagram (@thewisewillowblog) or Twitter (@wisewillowblog)! What have you learned from having a Life Binder?

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


Nutritious Vegan Pancakes

This post has not been sponsored. There are affiliate links within this post, which means that I get a percentage of a purchase you make when you click on them. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make The Wise Willow possible! (Also, as always, everything I promote I personally love! 🙂 )

Do you ever have those days where you start craving something that you wouldn’t normally? Today was one of those days for me, as I was craving pancakes all day (mostly because I was scrolling through Pinterest and kept seeing pictures!). I decided to take all of the ingredients that I could find laying around, and give an experimental recipe a shot! For those of you who have seen me cook, you know that I’m all about experimentation. This is probably why baking goes terribly for me, but cooking is more forgiving in that regard. 🙂

This recipe turned out much better than I anticipated, and I just had to share! It made six pancakes, which were perfect for my dinner. I still have two leftover (since they were quite filling!). They took about twenty minutes once all was said and done, and were delicious! I also didn’t have any non-dairy milk lying around today, so I had to use water. Despite that, they turned out to be great!

My favorite blender to use at the moment is the Oster My Blend , because it is perfect for one person! It also has the ability to turn into a cup to bring with you on the go! I also have been loving this Pyrex Prepware 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set, because it has all of the sizes that you could possibly need! It’s perfect for my minimalist kitchen. 🙂 I am also loving all things bamboo (toothbrush for example!), so I have brought that into the kitchen as well! This set of two wooden spatulas is perfect for all types of recipes, and won’t melt like plastic does (which is great for people like me who sometimes leave plastic utensils in hot pans while I change up my Spotify playlist…Oops.).

These pancakes would be perfect for a quick and nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner! In my dorm we have a tradition where we make pancakes for everyone on Saturday mornings, so this may have to be my new go-to vegan recipe! 🙂

If you give it a go, please let me know what you think! And if you make any variations (as I said, I’m very experimental too). I’d love to know! Feel free to tag me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

©2017 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.



How I Organize During Winter Break

I am officially on my Winter Break, and am in the process of organizing after my finals week. During finals week and many other busy weeks during the semester I saved many of my files in the wrong folders on accident, and saved lots of blog images to my desktop so that I could find them again. But it’s definitely time to do my yearly clean with my accounts and computer files to get ready for the New Year! I thought I would go through my typical routine for organizing all of my files and accounts, as a lot of it involves blogging as well!

Computer Clean-Up:

Since I use my computer for my college and blog work, it can definitely get a bit cluttered! I always make new folders before each semester for my new classes, but somehow I always end up with files all over the place despite my attempts at being organized. So at the beginning of break I first go through my old files to see if there are some that I can delete from a year or two ago. I then open up a few Finder file windows to do the rest of the clean-up! With this process, I go though and determine the files that need to be moved to a certain class. I also look in folders that I’ve already created, because the default saving function sometimes puts them in the wrong place.

Once I’ve sorted all of my files, I then create a new folder for the new semester and new class folders for all of my upcoming assignments. This saves room on my computer, and also ensures that I start the semester off organized and sure of where everything is. I also go through all of my blog photos and delete them from my desktop or downloads folder, and start fresh for the New Year. I also backup all of my existing content in DropBox just to be on the safe side!

Email Clean-Up:

Between my email accounts, it can be hard to keep on top of deleting messages I don’t need on a regular basis. Because of this, I make sure to go through all of my email accounts over break and delete unnecessary and old email messages. I also go through my spam folders, which actually accumulate quite a few messages! Having a decluttered digital presence makes me feel much more organized and ready to handle what’s ahead!

Photo Clean-Up:

My phone photos (and photos that get uploaded to my computer) also tend to get quite out of sorts, and cleaning them up makes room for new memories! I also like to save photos to my hard drive and to DropBox or Google Drive to make sure that they last through any mishaps (such as when my phone of almost two years decided to stop working properly a little while back). Sometimes I’ll even edit a few and make fun collages for celebrating the end of a year. 🙂 It’s always great to have a fresh start for a new semester!

Subscription Clean-Up: 

I also take the time to look over my subscriptions for YouTube and other social media sites to make sure I am still interested in them, and take the time to find and follow new ones. It’s always interesting to see how much my interests have shifted in a year! I also like to clean up my Pinterest boards, likes, etc. to make sure that I am up-to-date on everything for the New Year. With Spotify, I clean up my playlists and make new ones based upon my current music interests. I’ve been listening to so much music lately (especially during my delayed travel day) and have been meaning to make more playlists!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m getting back into the swing of blogging, but am also planning lots of exciting things for next year! Stay tuned! 🙂

©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


How I Use My Bloom Vision Planner

bloom-planner-2Today’s post was inspired by the burst of motivation that I currently have (and hopefully will have for the remainder of the semester–I only have three weeks of classes left, which is so hard to believe!). I went through a brief period where my motivation was very hard to maintain, which resulted in me taking a break from blogging and social media last week. Thank you for your support and patience while I re-centered myself and got back on track! 🙂 I am happy to say that my motivation is back, and my writer’s block is gone!

As I started the week, I realized that I would be so lost without my Bloom Vision Planner! As you have probably gathered, I am definitely a planner. I love to plan everything, though a little spontaneity is always good! One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my college career is balancing all of my activities, and remembering important due dates and events. I thought that I was busy in high school, but as soon as I got to college I realized that my schedule was even busier: night meetings and classes, regular class meetings, office hours, other appointments, extracurriculars, meals, blogging, social media engagement, emails, and more! It can get quite overwhelming at times, but my planner has helped to keep me on top of everything.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a pen and paper type of person. Even though there are many amazing apps out there for scheduling and making calendars, I was never able to keep on track as well as with a planner. I absolutely love bloom planners, and their Vision Planner is perfect for scheduling all of my events!

About the Planner:

15135671_1637283229902320_265458046_nAt the beginning of the planner, there is a section for planning out your goals and visions for the entire year. I am someone who lives on dreams and goals, so this was perfect for me! It also gives you space to add your “mission statement” for an ideal year. This year, my mission statement is To live a fulfilling life that encourages me to live my dreams, follow my passions, and live simply so that others may simply live. This statement combines all of my favorite inspirational mantras, and is something that will apply for the entire year. 🙂

This planner also features a 2016 and 2017 yearly view, which is perfect for when I’m not near my phone or computer to plan events holistically. There are a few pages of notes at the beginning of the planner, which I have been using for my daily class schedule and room numbers (which was especially useful at the beginning of the year!). At the beginning of each month, there are a few pages dedicated to your visions and goals for the month. I have academic and blogging goals each month, and love to look back at old goals that I have achieved! One of the pages is broken down into four week sections, which lets you plan your goals week by week in one place! Following these pages is one of the most useful features of the planner: the monthly view page.

15086977_1637283236568986_111696361_nI am someone who believes that colored pens and pencils should be used whenever possible in life, and this is the perfect place to do just that! I use a different color for each type of event (appointment, blog work, small assignment due date, large assignment due date, or quiz/exam/project due date). This helps me visualize what the month holds, and what the balance between types of work is. It also lets me glance at my day in the morning, and prepare for what’s ahead!

15134234_1637283249902318_132133518_nThe daily view is also something I use quite frequently, and it has so many amazing features! It has a “Weekly Goals & Notes” section, where I love to write my big academic and blogging goals, and remind myself of them throughout the week (examples from this week: 1) Plan ahead for large projects and 2) Self-care and wellness. There’s also a place to write “This Week’s Focus”, and mine for this week is re-centering and goals. 15134303_1637283256568984_741498516_nBeneath each day is a section for additional daily notes (I use this for appointment reminders, keeping track of emails, etc.). There is also a water glass tracker, which lets you keep track of how much water you have had each day. I always try to reach the minimum eight glasses, and it’s great for reminding myself to stay hydrated! 🙂 There’s also a super adorable “weekend” banner over Saturday and Sunday, which captures my thoughts about the weekend perfectly!

How I Organize:

Balancing college coursework and blogging can be challenging at times, but having it all planned out on paper helps keep me on track! Ever since I started blogging, I’ve found that I can use my study breaks to post on social media and write posts. This helps me use my time productively, and follow my passions academically and creatively!

15058547_1637283233235653_1763634276_nEach week I will take the time to think through my academic and blogging goals, and will write them in for the day/week/month. This helps me figure out my direction, and focus my energy on working toward my goals. I also write blog post ideas as I get them, which is usually very random times of the day!


Though it may seem difficult to balance college coursework and blogging, prioritizing is key. Completing everything that is a priority maximizes your productivity, and lets you accomplish what is important. Blogging has given me a wonderful community and way to communicate my experiences with the world, and I’ve loved being able to pair it with my college studies!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I highly recommend Bloom Planners for those of you that love to plan and organize your life on paper! 🙂

*This is not a sponsored post, all thoughts are my own*



DIY Dorm Decor: Inspirational Quote Wall

DIY Dorm Decor-5The other day as I was sorting through my belongings to pack up for college, I stumbled upon a book I had bought awhile ago called Think Happy Be Happy. As soon as I saw it, an idea popped into my head. I am a bit obsessed with Pinterest, and I remember pinning a bunch of quote walls on my home boards for future use. As I flipped through this book, I new that a quote wall was exactly what I needed to finish off my dorm room decor!

This inspirational quote wall is very easy to make, and is a wonderful way to relieve stress or back-to-school anxiety. It’s also a great way to turn your dorm room into a sanctuary, where you feel inspired to pursue your dreams 🙂

What You Need:

Supplies you will need
Supplies you will need
  • A large gluestick
  • A pair of scissors
  • A cloth (if you are messy with glue, like me)
  • Craft paper of your choice (I got craft paper by Hot Buy at Michael’s for $5 instead of its regular $20!)
  • Print outs of quotes that inspire you (Pinterest and a color printer are a great way to go, or buying a quote book to repurpose)

What To Do:

First start by cutting out your favorite inspirational quotes from your quote book, or from print-outs. Some of my favorites are “You are free to fly” “Find beauty in rain” “Encourage each other daily while it is still today” and “Live simply so that others may simply live”.

You can either do a simple backing with one layer of craft paper, or opt to offset two layers for a more detailed look. Since I have more space on my wall, I decided to go for the double-layered craft paper design. To do this, first select your two pieces of desired craft paper. For a quote about stars, I picked craft paper with a sparkling night sky and another piece with fireworks. Pick the layer you want to go directly under the quote, and cut about half an inch of a border around your quote.

Alternate patterns to create unique backings!

Then, apply glue to both the back of the quote paper and the front of the craft paper (to form a double bond, and make the glue last longer). Press the quote paper onto the craft paper and use the cloth to smooth over any bubbles or excess glue. Now for the second layer! Start by offsetting the quote paper by one inch and cutting another layer of craft paper with a half inch border. Then apply glue to the back of the first layer of craft paper and the front of the second layer, and press the two together. And you’re done with your first quote!

Repeat this step for as many quotes as you would like to include. I’m going to space my quotes out between my coloring page frames and inspirational wall hangings to truly customize my wall! 🙂 (I think I’ll add fairy lights as well to brighten up my space).

Once they’ve dried, affix them to your wall and enjoy your inspirational space! 🙂

This is a super easy and budget-friendly DIY to customize your space, and make it a place that inspires you. Most college dorms require that all wall hangings use removable fixtures, so I recommend poster adhesive or command strips to hang decor on your walls.

I hope you enjoyed the last post in my DIY Dorm Decor series! I would love to see how you decorate your dorm room this year! Leave a picture in the comments, or tweet it at me/tag me on Instagram! (Twitter: @alyssa_debella, IG: @thewisewillowblog) 🙂

©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


DIY Dorm Decor: Coloring Page Frames

Coloring Page Frames-2It’s hard to believe that the month of August is passing us by already! For many, this means that school starts in a week or two. I will be moving into my dorm room on the 23rd of August, and DIY dorm decor has been one of my pastimes in the past few weeks to prepare for move-in day. My other two posts in this DIY series covered DIY Washi Tape Mason Jars and DIY Inspirational Wall Art. In this post, I am going to be going over an easy and fun project to add personalized art to your dorm room walls!

Materials You Will Need

I’ve always loved coloring, especially in times when I’m stressed about schoolwork and other commitments. One of my favorite pastimes is to color and listen to podcasts (my current favorite being podcasts from!). It allows me to focus on other things while still feeling productive 🙂 This DIY is very simple, and can be a project that extends over a larger period of time (a few weeks out of the semester, for example).


What You Need:

  • 20160806_130452_HDR
    I love my colored pencils from eeboo!

    Colored pencil set (mine is from eeboo®) and sharpener

  • Coloring page and matching frame (I found a set at Michaels® by Time-Out Color-In®)
  • Your favorite snack and drink (optional but I love to color with snacks and drinks! :))
  • Background music, an audiobook, or a podcast (also optional, but great for feeling productive and learning something new!)

What To Do

My first coloring page

Start by disassembling the frame if necessary, and position the coloring page on a clean surface with your colored pencils and other necessities within close reach. Envision what the rest of your dorm decor looks like, and plan your color schemes accordingly. Alternatively, you can wing it and get creative with your muses in the moment, which is what I chose to do for my three coloring pages.

Color away to your heart’s content, and remember to take breaks and enjoy the project in the moment. Coloring is something that can definitely get boring after awhile, so feel free to use it as a break from other to-do list tasks that you may have.

Using a darker line to emphasize borders

You can use different shading techniques to achieve different looks and patterns. For example, you can use the edge of the pencil to create a soft texture. For bold colors you can use a damp paper towel to transfer moisture to the pencil lead. Feel free to add glitter and other add-ons as desired! 🙂

When you are done with your coloring page, simply place it on the cardboard backing and secure it in the frame. You can buy command strips to affix it to your dorm room walls on move-in day! I chose to create three very different coloring page frames to add a unique vibe to my room decor.

London coloring page

The first coloring page I did says You Are My Sunshine, and I used yellow, orange, and red hues. The second page says Choose Happiness and features cooler pastel tones (pinks, purples, blues, and greens). The last page I chose to do features common landmarks and sayings of England. I chose this because I remember my trip to London in 2012 very fondly, and loved the layout of the coloring page. I used an assortment of colors on this page, making it very bright and intriguing 🙂

All three coloring page frames

I hope you enjoy this simple but fun DIY project! If you decide to recreate it for your dorm room, I would love to see it! Tag me on Instagram and Twitter (IG: @debellita, Twitter: @alyssa_debella)! Do you have a dorm room decor theme for this year? Let me know in the comments!

© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


Inspirational Wall Decor – DIY Dorm Decor

DIY DORM DECOR-3Back-to-school season is in full swing, and DIY Dorm Decor has been one of my top priorities as the new school year approaches. I’ve realized the importance of having a space that speaks to your interests and passions, and have created this series to show you what I’ve come up with for my dorm room this year 🙂

I have been loving pastel color themes lately, and that has been my inspiration for the projects in this series. For this DIY project I created three inspirational wall hangings that I am planning to place next to a photo collage on my wall 🙂

What You Need:

  • Acrylic paints in your favorite colors (I got the colors light pink, lavender, ocean breeze, and pale blue from the craft smart® satin acrylic paint line)
  • Washi tape in your favorite designs (I got the bohemian design from cre8ted space®)
  • Wooden wall pieces in designs or expressions that speak to you (I decided to get one that says peace, one that says laugh, and letters that form vibes when put together)
  • Paint brush set with sponges and regular brushes
  • Newspaper or other paper base to prevent spills
  • Container for paints
  • Old cup for paint water

What To Do: 

I started with the peace wall art, and opted to use my ocean breeze, and pale blue colors. I also decided to opt for an ombre design, in which the two colors would blend together between each letter. 

I started with my ocean breeze paint and used the smallest paint brush to paint the P completely with an even two coats. I then used another small brush and took my pale blue color to paint the E. With both letters evenly covered with two coats of paint, I then took my blending brush and gently blended the two color borders together to make an ombre look. 

I repeated these steps for all of the letters, alternating between colors and blending the borders. I then checked all of the edges for extra paint, and set it out to dry.

I repeated this process with my next laugh wall design, but used my light pink and lavender colors. I also opted for a more washed-out look and decided to use the sponge to apply the paint, rather than a paint brush. 

I started with the lavender color and used a small paint brush to apply this first coat (the sponge needs a little bit of paint to work with). I then used the sponge for the rest of the applications, and flipped sides between light pink and lavender. I used the border blending technique again to create an ombre blended look, and the sponge added a softer texture and appearance to the paint. 

Finally, I took my five letters (that spell vibes – one of my all time favorite words) and applied strips of washi tape in randomized sections. I applied the washi tape to the letters before painting them because the tape does not stick as well to painted surfaces. I then painted the uncovered areas with alternating colors to create a mix-match effect. If you don’t want to use washi tape on your design, you can use regular masking tape, then peel it off for well-defined striped patterns. 🙂

I decided to film a video (see below) for this week’s project as well to give you an idea of what the process was like! I hope you find it helpful for if you want to create these projects on your own! 🙂

And that is it for this week’s DIY Dorm Decor project! I had a lot of fun making these wall designs, and I’m so excited to show you the final decorated result in a few weeks! How are you planning on decorating your dorm room this year? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

© The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


DIY Dorm Decor: Washi Tape Mason Jars

DIY-2It’s hard to believe that August is almost here! With August comes back-to-school season, and recently I’ve been reflecting on how to make this year the best one yet. I am a huge fan of Pinterest and of DIY projects, and as a result decided to start this DIY Dorm Decor series! I hope to inspire you to DIY your dorm room decor, and to show you how fun and cost-effective this can be!

The first project in this series is Washi Tape Mason Jars (with matching school supplies). I spent quite a bit of time at my desk last year (especially during the snowy months!), and often found that its level of organization would decrease as the week progressed. What was once organized chaos became complete chaos. I would lose pens as I was using them, only to find them at the end of the year. Because of this, I thought I would find a way to make organization more seamless.

I love mason jar crafts, and found a simple DIY to make mason jar school supply holders for a desktop or windowsill. I loved this idea so much that I decided to make some of my own! These are perfect for holding pencils, highlighters, and pens in an organized place, and they eliminate the need for opening drawer after drawer in hopes of finding a lost pen.



What You Need:

  • Pint-Sized Mason Jars (I used 3)
  • Variety of Washi Tape in Colors/Patterns that Inspire You
  • Craft Paper
  • Stickers (if desired)
  • An assortment of pens, pencils, and highlighters
  • Scissors


The first step for completing this DIY is to unscrew the caps on all of the mason jars, and remove the small metal insert in the lids. You should now have a cap with a large hole in the middle, and this will be where your items can be placed into the jar.

You can leave the lids off for the moment, and gather your first mason jar, washi tape, scissors, and craft paper. Now for the fun part! I’ve been loving pastel colors and inspirational quotes lately, so I chose to use pastel colored craft paper and inspirational washi tape for my mason jars. 🙂

My Mason Jar Design

Select the washi tape you would like to use, and cut strips in sizes that reflect the design you desire. Place the tape onto the jar, and secure by flattening with your fingers. Repeat for all of your washi tape until you have created your ideal design. You may also use stickers or other decorative materials to personalize your jars.

Once the jar is designed, fold up a piece of colorful craft paper in the shape of a telescope. Place the rolled up craft paper inside of the mason jar to see where it needs to be cut (at the end of the glass section of the jar). Use scissors to cut the craft paper tube to the correct size, and secure the shape with strips of washi tape. You should now have something that resembles a paper towel cardboard insert.

Place the craft paper tube inside the mason jar and you’re done! 🙂 Now for what will go inside of the jars. This next step is optional, but is a fun add-on if you already know what school supplies you will be using this year.

Washi Tape Pen Designs

Gather your pens, pencils, and highlighters and place them on a flat surface. One by one, cover the barrel of each writing utensil with strips of washi tape to create unique designs. Repeat this step until all of your items are customized and ready to go. I love this step because not only is it a lot of fun, but it makes your items easily identifiable in a crowd of similar pens, pencils, and highlighters.

The final step is to place your writing utensils in the jars, and admire your creation! I love how my jars turned out, and I’m so excited to have a clutter-free desk space and a set location for all of my writing materials! 🙂

If you choose to do this DIY, post it on Instagram and tag me (@debellita)! I would love to see what you come up with! You can also Tweet me (@alyssa_debella) a picture of your DIY. What will you use your jars for? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Washi Tape Pencil Designs
Finished Mason Jar Project
Mason Jar School Supply Storage Ideas









©2016 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


DIY Quote Cards

December has been flying by, and the New Year is just around the corner! I realized that I have not done a DIY post in quite a while, so I thought I would write a post about one of my favorite crafts: making quote cards. This post is holiday themed, but you can use these cards for any occasion. I will be giving these cards alongside gifts this holiday season, and making them was a great study break from my Finals Week. So, without further ado, let’s begin! 🙂

What You Will Need:


  1. Unwrap all materials, and set to the side. Browse through and select your favorite quotes from a quote book or the Internet (you can print them out on a colored printer, just make sure that the sizes line up).
  2. 2015-12-12-23-42-19Cut out your favorite quotes, and adjust as needed to fit on the front of the card. Here is where you can be creative! I chose to cut the corners off of mine to give them a more unique shape, but you can use patterned scissors and other techniques to get the desired effect. Set these quotes to the side.
  3. Put down a piece of printer paper or thin cloth as a gluing surface (to protect surfaces from glue messes). Using the glue stick, apply glue to the back of the quote and affix where desired on the front of the card. I am a fan of the purple glue sticks as it is easier to see how much glue you have applied. Smooth out any wrinkles in the image, and set to the side to dry. Repeat with as many quotes and cards as desired. 
  4. Once the images have dried onto the cards, take a hole punch and punch two holes along the crease of the card (the lefthand side). These holes should be about an inch and a half (at least) apart, but can be made in unique configurations for each card. Once you have two holes punched in each card, gather up your twine or string.
  5. Choose your desired twine or string color for each card, and cut sections of about nine inches for each card. Thread the twine/string through each hole, beginning at the bottom of the card so that both ends of the twine/string are coming up through the card. Tie the ends of the twine/string into a bow, and adjust as needed for the desired look.
  6. Now for the really fun part! Take your sequins, stickers, glitter, and other accessories and decorate each card as desired. For some I used a lot of additional decoration, and for others I added more simple details. It is completely up to you!
  7. Set the cards out to dry completely before writing in them. Draw festive designs on the front of the envelopes using the silver sharpie if desired.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s DIY post, and let me know in the comments if you would like to see more posts like this in the future! If you decide to make cards of your own, I would love to see them! Tag me on Twitter @wisewillowblog with your designs! 🙂



©The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


DIY Gratitude Journal


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In the summertime it is easy to forget about the rapid pace of life that takes place in the winter and spring. It is a time where the weather, vacations, and new adventures make us feel at ease and content. Given that summer is almost over (I know, how did that happen??), I thought I would share with you one of the most beneficial additions to your school or work schedule: a gratitude journal. 

A gratitude journal is designed to bring you out of the chaos of everyday life, and it provides you with a time for positive reflection. We all have those days when life becomes overwhelming, and a gratitude journal helps you focus on the little things in life. The guidelines for such a journal are very simple:

  1. Write at least three things you are grateful for at the end of each day
  2. Aim to write in your journal every day (this will help establish a positive habit!)
  3. Don’t overlook the little things, as those are often what we are most grateful for!

I know you might be thinking “what if it is impossible to write down three things on some days”. Well, it may seem impossible at first, but there are actually many simple and ordinary things that we overlook in everyday life that we can be grateful for. Here are some examples for reflection if you are ever stuck: coffee-843278_1280

  • Morning coffee
  • Comfort food
  • Having enough energy (even if barely!) to get through the day
  • Finishing a tough assignment
  • Sunrises and sunsets
  • Beautiful weather (or your favorite type of weather)

A gratitude journal can be made out of any type of  Journal  –from a daily planner to blank paper (I love this one because it reminds me of Tangled, and who doesn’t love Tangled! 🙂 ). Just remember to write the date (if it’s not already on the page)! I began writing gratitude journal entries two years ago. It was difficult at first to come up with three things on certain days, but before I knew it my lists were growing longer and I looked forward to my time of reflection at the end of each day. If you continue to write in your journal you will begin to look for the good in every day, even if you faced many obstacles. This positive mindset allows you to reflect on the day in a good light, and takes the focus away from potentially negative challenges. Here is a sample of one of my journal entries:

Sunday August 9th, 2015: 

What I was grateful for today: 

  • Making pancakes for breakfast
  • The support of my family and friends
  • The beautiful sunset


Now that the summer is ending, create your own gratitude journal and start recording the best moments of every day! 🙂

[Let me know in the comments what you are grateful for, I love to read them!]

©2015 The Wise Willow and Alyssa DeBella. All rights reserved.


Alyssa DeBella

21 | Lifestyle blogger | Minimalist | Dreamer ✨| Language Lover 💕| Animal Obsessed ❤️🐶| Double Major 📚| Vegan 🌱 |Traveler ✈️ (currently in: Europe)
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