Meet Your Goals by Designing Future Plans

For some people, making plans is an ingrained habit. They like to plan out their lives in detail.

For others, planning doesn’t come naturally and they may need some help to organize their desires for the future.

No matter which category you fall into, you can learn to appreciate making plans as a satisfying activity. The good news is that there’s no one “right” way to make your future plans–do what feels best for you and enjoy the process.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Decide Your Level of Detail

Maybe you want to get a better handle on your day-to-day, short-term schedule. Your future planning might just involve mapping out the next week or month. If you’re more ambitious, you might sketch out your plans for the next year, including life goals and financial targets. If you’re really looking at the big picture, you could draft your 5- and 10-year goals.

Choose Your Tools

There are a lot of different ways to plan, and no method is objectively the best. Pick the tools and strategy that suits you. Do you have an artistic personality? You might enjoy Bullet Journaling, a popular trend of creating detailed planning journals filled with personal touches. If you’re more technology-oriented, you could use a computer to create your future plans. Some people prefer plain spreadsheets while others might appreciate newer apps that can help with planning, like these.

Don’t Give Up!

Making plans can feel daunting, and you might be afraid of failure. But if you don’t set any goals, you definitely won’t reach any. The great thing about designing plans for your future is that it can be a private activity. You can set ambitious goals without telling anyone if that makes you more comfortable. Or you can share your dreams with friends and family so they can help you on your path.

Top Trending Craft Projects to Try For Those Who Enjoy DIY

The history of arts and crafts projects dates back to the Victorian era of jolly old England and continues to thrive as a favorite hobby in the U.S.

There are literally thousands of crafty places to purchase transformative art supplies here in America from leaders in the industry like Michael’s and Hobby Lobby to mostly fabric-backed venues such as Joann’s stores. If you’re a DIY fan looking for new projects to try, check out some of these top trending new favorites.

Dirty Pouring

While it may sound like a filthy mess, dirty pouring is a term used to describe a technique of combining more than one color of paint into a container before applying the mixture to a canvas or another chosen item. How many hues an artist uses in their blend, whether they’re complementary, contrasting or clash is entirely up to the painter. Commonly poured onto a surface, the resulting blends are often unexpected and change when the medium is moved, rotated, brushed or otherwise changed with these added motions.

Pyrography

Another term with a weird title, pyrography is more commonly known as wood-burning or etching. Its description and definition by Merriam Webster also includes leather as a possible canvas and is noted as, “The art or process of producing designs or pictures by burning or scorching with hot instruments.” Artists are able to use stencils or go freehand given tools with a heated tip to etch their designs onto any number of different items from jewelry boxes to cutting boards, purses, wallets, belts and more.

Wabi-Sabi

The ancient Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi embraces and honors the beauty found in everyday imperfections. As an art form, it may include the Kintsukuroi (or “golden mend”) technique that uses silver or gold to repair and rejoin broken pottery. Instead of hiding the flaw, the break is highlighted and becomes the focus of the piece rather attempting to find ways to overlook the imperfect parts.

In an age when we’re welcoming differences and embracing everything unique, recycling is also important for the health of our planet so Wabi-Sabi is an excellent choice. Repurposing otherwise unusable materials by transforming them into a treasured piece of art instead of throwing it in the trash will ultimately lighten the load in our landfills. Try one of these projects and find out if the end result will turn into a favorite hobby you’ll enjoy today and in the future.

How to Make Great Impressions and Cordially Meet Your Neighbors

It’s customary that when you move into a new home or area that you will meet your neighbors in the surrounding homes!

It’s also customary in many parts of the world that if you have someone move in nearby that you would greet them and extend your welcomes to the neighborhood! Meeting neighbors doesn’t mean that you have to become their best friends, but if you are living close to them, at least knowing who your neighbors are can make you feel more comfortable in your new home or help them feel more comfortable in their new home!

How Do I Make Meeting New People Less Awkward?

OK, we get it! Sometimes you have to meet your new neighbors and think, “Man, I’ve never met these people, and this is going to be awkward!”

Well, sure, we understand that it can be awkward. However, there are ways that you can make the meeting much less awkward and more personable and friendly than you might imagine!

Introducing Yourself to Your New Neighbors

If you have new neighbors, move in on your street or block or into the apartment complex or area of homes where you move, introducing yourself is a polite and modest way to meet. Maybe you choose to take a small “welcoming” gift. It can be hard to decide what to take to a new neighbor.

You figure that almost EVERYONE takes them food, goodies, desserts, or a meal!

You’re not sure if they drink alcohol (or might be offended to receive it as a gift).

What do you buy them?

Consider something a little “different” such as a $10 gift card to the local grocery store, gas station, movie theater, or to a restaurant in the area. Everyone needs food, gas, or other items like that, especially when they move. The gesture will be appreciated and is fairly appropriate for anyone who might move into the area.

However, don’t feel that you have to take a gift. Just your friendly smile and a “welcome” is just as good! Asking a few not-so-personal questions like how they like the area or if they have kids (and sharing that you do or don’t) can help break the ice without intruding.

If You Move Into a New Neighborhood

Be prepared for people to come by and greet you when you move into your new home! These visits don’t have to be very long but allow people to welcome you to their community as you are part of it now. Thank them for the time they spend coming to say hello. If they decide to bring any small welcoming gift, graciously thank them and express your appreciation for their thoughtfulness (even if it’s not necessarily something you would buy for yourself)!

Get Out & Meet Your Neighbors

Whether you’re moving or having others move in near you, inviting them to over for dessert, dinner, or even a cocktail is a great way to help them get to meet people in the area! If you are inviting them, consider inviting other neighbors you know well to join you! They can meet everyone in the area and get to know their new neighbors better.

If you are moving and neighbors invite you over, accept it as a way to get to know them!

Conclusion

Neighbors have to live in fair proximity to each other! Getting to know people is always nice! It helps you know the people in your area, so you feel safe! It also helps you see where you can turn if you need someone or need help in an emergency!

Music in the Park Concerts

All across America, there are communities that want to bring people together to share the power of music at absolutely no cost! 

Music for all

Music is a powerful tool that unites and transforms people into the best version of themselves. This has long been understood by so many, and for that reason communities seek to provide musical experiences for people.

While there are a number of local festivals that happen away from parks, the notion of “music in the park” is a running theme for many local communities as a way to provide different experiences for residents.

They see their local city, state and even national parks as the perfect venue to bring people together to enjoy the gift of music. 

Variety of Music

One of the best parts of free concerts in the park is the variety you will get in musical performances and styles. These concerts are the best way to discover new talent and experience something unique and different.

You see, getting away from earbuds and the radio and expanding your mind to some different music is always a good thing.

An example is in New York City, where the park system has a number of free summer concerts for all to enjoy. Jazz, world music, R&B, and even Broadway show tunes are just a small sample of what New York City offers its residents and tourists at no charge! 

All Over the Country

But you don’t have to be in New York City to get these kinds of opportunities. St. Louis, Missouri offers a free concert calendar highlighting the free musical performances in the area.

In the Columbus, Ohio area, the community of Whitehall has its own Music in the Park program as well, offering a variety of musical performances at no cost. Programs like this are always well-received by the communities they serve.

People bring their lawn chairs and blankets and get some quality entertainment and enjoy some fellowship with friends. 

History of Music in the Parks

The history of outdoor concerts is a very British one. Every community had a bandstand located in the center of their park. The local concert band would present a concert where local residents would come out and listen.

This tradition made its way into many towns and communities in the United States as well. The tradition lives on through the music in the park programs all over the country. 

Perhaps the most famous “music in the park” in the United States is Woodstock. Located on a 600-acre dairy farm, the event brought out close to half a million people in what was billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music.” 

Security Concerns

Because of the nature of a free concert, crowds and security can be something of a problem. Public gatherings of any kind in today’s world create a certain level of fear for security. Law enforcement agencies are relied upon to keep the area safe and secure.

Many of the concerts don’t allow alcohol in an effort to keep crowds under control. Largely, these events are fun for the whole family that let kids run and play, dance and visit. Keeping the crowd under control is rarely a problem, but law enforcement and emergency services are ways that communities have evolved to make sure that everyone feels safe. 

With parks all over the country offering free music concerts, there isn’t one far away from you. For many, they signal the beginning of summer for a community. People create memories and develop a love of new artists and a new appreciation for different types of music when attending a concert in the park.

Finding opportunities around the area for free music concerts will only open doors to wonderful new musical experiences. 

The Secret Tiled Staircase in San Francisco

A gorgeous mosaic tile staircase in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood that is well worth the hunt is as mysterious as it is beautiful.

Residential Masterpiece

Located on Moraga Street between 15th and 16th Avenues in San Francisco, lies one of the most beautiful displays of city art you have ever seen. The 16th Avenue tiled staircase is a work of art created by neighbors that wanted to make something beautiful for people to see and enjoy.

Beyond this gorgeous mosaic tile staircase, there are beautiful gardens where you’ll also see many Green Hairstreak butterflies.

But there is more than meets the eye with this secretive masterpiece that you’ll definitely want to know before you visit. 

Labor of Love

What began in 2003 with volunteers from the neighborhood, turned into the masterpiece of this secret tiled staircase.

As Atlas Obscura writes, the staircase is 163 steps in the middle of the quiet Sunset District in San Francisco. Two local residents, Jessie Audette and Alice Yee Xavier, decided they wanted the neighborhood to create something special. They enlisted the help of artists Collette Crutcher and Aileen Barr, and the project took flight. 

Completed in 2005, the tiled staircase has a definite theme. The base of the staircase depicts images of the sea, with beautiful blue colors that rise up the staircase, eventually becoming the sky. At the top, you’ll see the sun as the highest point in the sky.

Those that purposely find or stumble upon the staircase have been completely awestruck. You see, once the sun goes down, the tiles reflect the moonlight in a beautiful glow-in-the-dark way that is simply amazing to see. 

Positive Reviews

Local Google Guide Angela reviewed the staircase saying,

“This is one of my favorite places to go for my walks in the morning. It’s like paradise, seeing all the beautiful succulents alongside the steps and then being able to capture the view at the very top!” 

Indeed, the top of the staircase offers a wonderful view of the San Francisco skyline. There are additional steps at the top of the mosaic staircase that will lead you to even better views of the city including the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Warnings and Guidelines

In the years since the staircase was completed, the neighborhood has posted signs warning visitors of car theft. Because the staircase has been and continues to be an all-volunteer effort in this residential community, you are on your own to protect your belongings.

With more visitors finding the staircase than in the past, the neighbors have also established some guidelines they would like people to follow when visiting. These are generally respectful requests to help maintain the fact that it is a neighborhood. The neighbors have specifically requested that buses not drop off visitors within two blocks of the staircase.

They also identify the area as “drone free.” 

Community Volunteerism

Despite the added rules of conduct and warnings of car theft, the staircase continues to be a point of peaceful beauty for all that visit. The gardens surrounding the staircase and the tiles themselves are all maintained by the neighborhood volunteers.

Because the word is out about this gem, more financial assistance to maintain the project has been provided over the years. A list of sponsors identifying a number of institutions and individuals appears on the staircase website, signaling the massive efforts to create and now maintain this local treasure. 

While the secret tiled staircase isn’t a complete secret any longer, because it’s not in a tourist area, it takes some extra searching to find. Once you are there, you’ll appreciate the beautiful gardens, spectacular views and the majesty of the 163 mosaic tile staircase that transformed this quiet neighborhood into a true city treasure!