That could be the title of my blog, not just this post. I believe wholeheartedly that we are the creators of our own joy. Every day. It's up to us to be fully present and paying attention and be of the mindset that the world is a place of beauty and joy.

my giant strawberry, anne butera, fortune cookies

Still my favorite fortune of all time.

But that's not the  kind of DIY joy I'm thinking about right now. I'm thinking about the joy derived from the pleasure of creating, of making things, of doing things. I make things every day (and it does bring me joy), but I started thinking about this specifically because I've done a few things recently that I'd been resisting. Do you do that, too? Have lists of ideas and projects that you want to do but are a little afraid of starting? Or maybe it's not fear, but lack of time or money or supplies or tools or something else that's holding you back. Sometimes it's the misconception that whatever it is that you wish you could do is too hard or can't be done without special training or a special set-up (I wrote specifically about that here).

So how do you get around this? Well, I wish there were some sort of secret. But really, it's this. You just have to do it. Get over your fears or misconceptions, make some time and do it. And you know what? It will bring you so much joy.

Last week I gave myself a haircut. It had been far too long since my last haircut and the split ends were not a pretty sight. I didn't want to go through the stress of finding someone I'd like to cut my hair (seriously, one of the hardest things to do!) and I didn't really want to spend the money on a haircut (especially on one that might end up being so-so, or like my last haircut, terrible). Other than bang trims, I hadn't cut my own hair for many, many years, but I wanted to try it again. After spending a little time searching the internet and reading tutorials, I found the confidence to do it myself. And it did not end in tears. I actually loved it and was so happy to be rid of my split ends. Why didn't I do this sooner??

I had the same thought after Matthias and I decided to make some sushi this weekend.

sushi, anne butera, my giant strawberry

It wasn't hard. And for a first attempt it turned out really good. (If you want to try it and you don't have a bamboo mat to roll it do what Matthias did and use a cheapo placemat). What's awesome about this is that you can create any kind of roll you can imagine. I think the avocado on the counter is now perfectly ripe...

The third thing I made this weekend has to remain a secret until Christmas. Let's just say that I've been wanting to do it for a LONG time. I ordered the supplies last spring. And then... nothing. Fear was definitely the reason here. I was afraid of messing it up. I was afraid of hurting myself. I was afraid of making a mess. None of those things happened. And ever since I finished the project I've been singing and dancing about it (yes, literally).

So, take a look at the project (or recipe) to-do list that's in your head (or on a Pinterest board) and do one of those things today. Or at least start preparing to do it. Gather your supplies. Set aside a time. And then do it! And then tell me about it.


  1. That really makes me want to go out for sushi. I don't know if I could pull that one off at home but I'm impressed with yours.

    I'm also impressed with your cutting your own hair! Wow, that's a big thing. I have the same issue with hairdressers. I was traveling almost an hour to where we used to live because I loved the one I had so much but after awhile it got to be a bit much and I tried to find someone closer but still haven't found "the one".

    I'm very curious about what you secret third thing is. Is it making paper cuts?

    Now I'm wondering what I should try from my own list.

    1. Really, making sushi is not hard! And it's fun. It could be fun to do with your kids. Let them choose what to put in their rolls.

      As for my hair, it helps that it's super long. And that I have waves and curls. Keeps any unevenness from showing. Haha.

      And nope, it's not paper cuts. :)

      Hope you found something fun to try!


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