I’ve been seeing a lot of posts expressing disappointment, frustration, sadness, and anger today. If you’ve been feeling that way–or even if you’re not, I hope you will join me and turn it into/participate in an act of kindness. I recently learned about a wonderful organization called Uplift Charity through my wonderful friend Saira. They are based in Anaheim, CA and assist an average of 85 refugee families every month–most of which arrive from Syria and Iraq. Uplift Charity is collecting essential household supplies for these families and I hope you will join me in donating much needed items listed on the flier below. 
I am collecting items for this supply drive throughout the next few weeks. Please take a look at the list and see if there is something you can provide–just one toothbrush or one pack of diapers can help! If you are in the Orange County area, you are more than welcome to drop off items at my house or I can come pick it up as well. If you are in the South Bay area or further, I am thinking of scheduling a day to do a pick up. At the end of the month I will take donations to UC’s drop off spot. From there, they will distribute the items to the families they are assisting. Please share with your family and friends–the more supplies we can get the better!
I know many of us, myself included, were outraged and upset by all the hate speech and acts of racism and intolerance that have been happening lately. What better way to protest against that than by welcoming and supporting those who need our help? Many of us have read about the events happening in Syria and wanted to help–here is an opportunity to do that! I also know many of us can relate to being an immigrant or a refugee or have family members/friends who are. I’d like to think that if we found ourselves in that situation, there would be kind and generous people who would want to help us.

We might not be able to change the way others may think or act–but we can choose to do something positive to show tolerance and support for our fellow human beings regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Thank you so much in advance!
Uplift Charity - Supplies For Syrian Refugees
Uplift Charity - Supplies For Syrian Refugees


I Am Thankful For...PDF by Atiliay

There’s no better time to think about the things we are thankful for than throughout the month of November! This month’s free PDF download is a way for you to reflect on the things that fill your heart with thanks. The PDF has a line for each day of the month so you can jot down what it is you are thankful for that day.

Download the PDF, print it out, then fill it in!

Share your page of thankfulness by snapping a pic and posting it on Instagram and tag @atiliay and #imthankfuldaily. I’d love to see how you are using your PDF and I hope you like it!

I am Thankful For...Free PDF by Atiliay


I’m very excited to be a part of Patchwork Show this November! It’s fun, free, and one of the best places to holiday shop (or get some goodies for yourself :))!

Atiliay will be at the Long Beach show on 11/13 and the Santa Ana show on 11/27. Below is the lovely flier (I love the constellations!) with all the details and you can find more info at dearhandmadelife.com/patchwork-show as well.

One of my favorite things about doing shows like Patchwork is that I get a chance to see your beautiful face in real life! I hope you will stop by and say hi–I’ll have lots of hand lettered cards and prints available as well as fun goody bags for the first 5 customers at each show! See you then :)

Patchwork Show 2016


The Friday Favorite series features makers, projects, films, books, and other sources of inspiration I have fallen in love with. I hope by sharing them I will be able to bring something new and inspiring into your life!

Favorite Journal / 5 Year Diary by Shopsin’s General Store & The Ice Plant

Atiliay Friday Favorite / 5 Year Diary

This five year diary can be started on any day of any year. Just turn to the current date, fill in the year and write a few sentences about your day. When you get to the end of the year move down the page to the next section. As time goes by you will be able to read past entries as you write new ones.”

I am totally obsessed and in love with this journaling concept! I just learned about the 5 year diary through Rhea, the lovely lady behind @DevotedDiarist (she’s always doing all kinds of cool things)! She had completed her 5 year diary last year and talked about how interesting it was to see the patterns and cycles in her life. When I saw her post, I knew I had to get one!

While I am not always the best at being consistent (I have abandoned my gratitude journal half way through), I think jotting down a few sentences everyday is totally doable! As a teen I kept many diaries and journals and I hope to bring this way of record keeping back into my life. It just so happens that I found out about this diary a few days ago and mine arrived today in the mailbox–on my 32nd birthday! I am very excited to start this writing in it tonight and see where life takes me the next 5 years–and to be able to look back on it (which will be very helpful as I can’t even remember what happened yesterday these days)!

Here are a few more photos of the diary so you can see how the layout is like. The diary itself is covered in a cute pin stripe fabric and is about 6″ long and 4″ wide with 376 pages (there is a section in the back to write down books you have read). It’s a bit on the smaller size which I like, because you can easily take it with you when you are away from home or traveling. I also think it makes for a wonderful gift!

Have you ever kept a 5 year diary? If so, I’d love to hear your experiences! Leave a comment and let me know! For those of you who have not done this, I hope you will try it out with me!

Atiliay Friday Favorite / 5 Year Diary

Atiliay Friday Favorite / 5 Year Diary

Atiliay Friday Favorite / 5 Year Diary


The Friday Favorite series features makers, projects, films, books, and other sources of inspiration I have fallen in love with. I hope by sharing them I will be able to bring something new and inspiring into your life!

Favorite Adventurer & Explorer / Sarah Shotts of Love Letter To Adventure

Sarah Shotts www.SarahShotts.com

I virtually met Sarah two summers ago through the amazing #randomloveletters challenge she co-created and hosted! I really enjoyed her #randomloveletter posts as well as as the other things she was sharing on her Instagram–recent projects she was working on, a line from a book she was reading, a recipe she had tried, or peeks of nature and her beautiful surroundings when she was out and about. I noticed the hashtags she was using, #MicroVenture and #LoveLetterToAdventure, and went on her blog, Love Letter To Adventure, to learn more about what she does.

Sarah helps women reconnect to their inner adventurer through daily micro-adventures. How awesome is that?

There was a line I came across where Sarah says, “Taking where you live for granted is universal. Whether in Mexico, D.C. or Great Britain the locals went about their daily lives largely ignoring what made their homes extraordinary.” That really struck me because it is SO true it’s definitely something I am guilty of!  Tourists who come to visit definitely have seen more and know more about Los Angeles than I do–even though I have lived here my whole life!

Sarah has really inspired me to look at my own backyard with fresh eyes and helped me realize that adventure is everywhere! I’m really excited to be able to chat with her and have her share her story as well as some great advice for starting some adventures of your own!

Map via www.SarahShotts.com

 Photo courtesy of SarahShotts.com

What inspired you to start Love Letter To Adventure? When and why did you decide to start sharing your adventures with the world?

When I first started blogging I was trying to fit inside the box of what I thought a blogger should write about. That all changed during the summer of 2014, when I took a course from Mayi Carles and April Bowles-Olin, that really helped me connect with my vision and break out of that box. I blogged widely about topics I was passionate about and didn’t worry so much about what “type” of blogger I was. After exploring with that freedom I began to see a theme emerge… adventure. Whether it was exploring my hometown, planting a garden, trying a new creative process, or cooking a new recipe all of my blog posts centered around this idea of new experiences or micro-adventures. And so Love Letter to Adventure was born.

Your website is composed of three different sections: the blog, the Facebook group, and your Etsy shop. Can you tell me a little bit more about each part and what we can find in each one? 

Love Letter to Adventure (my blog) is the home for stories, adventure prompts, and free printables. It’s where I like to start conversations and did deep about how we can all have more adventure in our daily lives.

My Facebook group is called The Venturer’s Treehouse and its where my community hangs out. We support each other’s quest for adventure, dream big, and share photos and stories within the group. My Etsy shop is the newest addition.

I created Plan Your Adventure when I fell in love with the magic of sticker making (was anyone else obsessed with Lisa Frank growing up!?!). I sell physical and printable stickers to help you plan your adventures and decorate your planner with adventurous watercolor designs.

Camping Planner Stickers by Sarah Shotts

 Yes! I loved Lisa Frank! :) How cute are these camping planner stickers by Sarah?

What has been one of your favorite adventure excursions? Why? 

My favorite adventure so far was the year I spent living abroad and earning my Masters degree in London, England. There was so much to explore! I remember once I had set foot in three different countries in a single day because they are so close together. You don’t have to travel far to experience a new culture in Europe. I also loved walking London on foot and visiting markets and parks and historical sites. I was surprised to hear from many of the locals that they had never been to the places that I was visiting. Many of my new Londoner friends were finding themselves inspired to explore their own city after hearing about my adventures. And that’s when I realized that absolutely everyone takes where they live for granted (even if they live in one of the most amazing places in the world.) That experience sparked my passion for exploring our hometowns and making adventure wherever we happen to find ourselves.

Sarah at Shakespeare's birthplace!

 Sarah visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace! Photo courtesy of SarahShotts.com.

For someone who may have limited time and / or funds–or just doesn’t know where to start–what are 3 easy ways for them to incorporate adventure and exploring into their lives?

First, it’s important to reframe your idea of adventure. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of world travel or expensive experiences and lose sight of the opportunity for adventure all around you. For me adventure is whatever is daring and exciting for you. That makes it something different for everyone. Start thinking on the micro level about how you can bring new experiences into your life.

Here are three microventure prompts to get you going…

1. Take a different way home. We all get into our routines and pass the same places every day. Taking a different route as you travel home from work or school will expose you to a different area. Keep an eye out for someplace new that you want to explore.

2. Walk on foot. We Americans drive a lot. What I learned living in London is that its much easier to discover the uniqueness of a place if you’re traveling on foot. Find an area of town that you can walk around and explore. (If you already live in a big city you probably already do this so challenge yourself to explore an area you’ve never visited.)

3. Try something new. Expand your experiences by trying something you’ve never done before… this could be using a different art supply, taking a dance class, planting a garden, making a new recipe, or trying a yoga routine from Youtube. The key is to open yourself up to new possibilities.

Image by @SarahdShotts

One of my favorite things Sarah shares on her Instagram are scenes from her walks and around her neighborhood–isn’t this photo gorgeous? Photo courtesy of @SarahdShotts.

What are your favorite resources when planning an outing or trip?

I love how the internet puts everything at our fingertips! I always do a search on Google and Pinterest before a trip to find exciting places to visit. I’m also starting to explore Instagram for this. My last trip to Kansas City involved a special stop at #ThatKCStarWall just for an Instagram photo-op.

How has being an avid adventurer affected you and your life? Has it had an impact on your husband, friends, and family?

Having a passion for adventure means that you’re never bored! There’s always someplace new to visit, something new to try, or some new project to work on. There’s definitely something special about forming these memories with the people you love.

If there is one thing you’d like readers to take away from Love Letter To Adventure, what would it be?

Adventure is all around you. Just reach out and grab it.

Bird's Nest by @SarahDShotts

You can even find adventure literally in your own backyard! Sarah discovered this beautiful little bird’s nest in

her yard! Photo courtesy of @SarahDShotts.

I’d love to know a little bit more about you! Here are a few fill in the blank questions:

When I am not blogging and embarking on new adventures, you can find me: curled up with a cup of tea and a good book.

I am passionate about: slowing down and learning family heirloom recipes… our generation is so busy that we’re letting these important stories slip past.

A project, tv show, podcast, IG/Twitter account etc. I think you should check out is: Right now I’m really into the podcast A Playful Day where Kate explores the idea of putting a playful moment in every day. Listening to those episodes on my morning walk are such a great way to start the day. :)

Recipe photo via @SarahDShotts

 Photo courtesy of @SarahDShotts.

Where can we find you and connect with you?

Blog: http://www.sarahshotts.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/sarahdshotts/

Venturer’s Treehouse (FB Group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/418730398288739/

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PlanYourAdventure

Who else is really excited to embark on a new adventure now?? I know I am! Thank you Sarah for taking the time to share your story, some great tips, and inspiring us to embrace our inner adventurer!