Momma Told Me: How To Live Life #MoreInspired + D.I.Y Necklace Organizer Tutorial

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How To Live Life #MoreInspired + D.I.Y Necklace Organizer Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and LIFEWTR. All opinions are mine alone. #ThirstInspiration #CollectiveBias
My mother always told me the toughest person to be is yourself.

As a young girl, my best friend was a boy. My mother spent nearly every free minute she could with me, typically quizzing me on the dictionary or going over scholastic flashcards. I graduated early, with no idea of who I was or what I wanted to be, and moved clear across country at age17. My early 20's were amazing. I like to think of myself during those years as fearless. There's a fine line between fearless and reckless, of course, fearless means you understand risks and find the potential outcome of higher value. I was 50 lbs lighter, working 3 jobs to pay the bills, staying out on Friday nights and making the most of every minute of life.

Older me might be inclined to be jealous of younger me, but older me is wiser.
I'm a strong believer that you can choose to create happiness. That ordinary days can be extraordinary. Choose LIFEWTR from 7-Eleven to be inspired.

I went through a bit of a slump heading towards 30. It wasn't even about my age, I simply allowed myself to fall victim to excuses. I'd spent the majority of my adult life playing by the rules, working hard, and taking care of others. Often times both physical and mental reflections made me feel overwhelmed and even sorry for myself.

Then, one day after turning 30, I woke up to a revelation. Most of the happiness I recalled, and had created in my young adult years was actually the result of trying to mold myself into roles that didn't fit. Today I might be a little curvier, my hair may not be as long and lush, and I might declare bedtime before 5 am, but that doesn't mean life is over. In fact, I rather choose to think it's just beginning.

That's right, I finally learned to embrace me. And me is colorful. Me is loud. Me is creative. Me is bold.
I like to think I'm a lot like LIFEWTR, and- if I'm being honest as I'm encouraging you to be, I'll admit I was first drawn to this product purely on looks. I know, I know, it's awful of me to judge my water by the bottle it comes in but LIFEWTR uses cool graphics and catchy colors to attract like-minded consumers. Consumers that are just ad-driven to push boundaries, express themselves, and explore life as their positive styling and vibes impress. Their bottles of delicious purified, pH balanced (with electrolytes for taste), water stand out in the cold case of my local 7-Eleven. Their premium packaging isn't just inspiring, it's an expression of who I am.
I've always loved bold, bright colors and busy prints - but only recently have I embraced them in my journey of self-expression through my wardrobe and even home decor choices. For me the thought of being the center of attention has always been a bit frightening, but I've found expression myself in accessories or apparel gives me confidence. If someone is staring, they're probably staring at my purple hair or my rainbow leggings. And, suddenly the nervous woman who felt so exposed once before now feels confident - let them stare. This is me, take it or leave it.

When you make decisions focusing on your own happiness it's hard not to feel confident and bold.
Whenever I reach for my tall bottle of LIFEWTR from 7-Eleven, I always smile just a little. The colors, the prints, the beautiful designs on the front, remind me to act boldly in everything I do. They also make me feel a little bit like I'm accessorizing without even trying!

Speaking of accessorizing - my bestie has recently begun making jewelry featuring gemstones and organic mineral formations. While her focus is on educating people about the importance of positive focus and potential metaphysical properties, I rather find the small pieces of Earth quite inspiring and grounding. That may sound contradictory, but the bright and gorgeous colors really engage my vivid and creative personality, while the physical weight, touch, and shapes of the stones remind me to keep calm and stay grounded throughout the day.
I have tons of these necklaces - seeing as I might be her best customer, so I've been itching to make something just as gorgeous to organize and display them on. As a family, we made a day of searching for the perfect base to inspire my creation. We scoured the weekly Swap Meet, complete with doggy backpack and a bottle of LIFEWTR, then headed up to downtown Santa Barbara for a gorgeous afternoon, and back towards our local harbor and beach in search of driftwood. You can use pretty much anything for your board - I knew I wanted something with a story. Something with age and personality, so we brought back a tar covered piece of driftwood.
Whether you're using an old piece of fence or a knotted block of driftwood, you'll want to ensure that your base sits out in the sun for several days to kill any moisture that may be hiding in the pores.

You then have a few options to really personalize the base. I chose to stain the wood without entirely changing the personality or presence of it. For this, I used something called a Pickling Wash- but you can achieve the same results typically by making an acrylic solution that is watered down 1:1 parts water and paint.

Lightly brush the color in key areas, typically raised areas, edges, and crannies where the color will act as a highlight. Then take a damp cloth and wipe the color away. Allow your base to again sit in the sun for an afternoon to ensure the staining has dried. Add a clear top coat to seal your base if desired.
While you may find hooks the natural progression for this project I actually had a bit of fun hunting down some mismatched knobs. In order to secure the knobs to the base I 'drilled' a screw slightly larger than the knob's threading circumference into my wood by hand. Because the wood was soft I could essentially use a bit of force to screw into and out of the wood effectively creating a hole to thread my knob into. You could also use a drill to make the process a bit easier, but you would then likely need to glue your knobs into the created holes.

A single bracket screwed into the back (keeping weighting in mind for positioning) was all I needed to call my project done.
I have to say I'm pretty thrilled with how my necklace organizer turned out. It's definitely a focal point on my wall, and now I don't have to worry about the cat coming across my necklaces and doing cat things (eating/hiding/mauling) to them. In fact, I've been doing a lot of DIY lately. I take on a lot of projects where I begin with absolutely no plan outside of a vision and time after time I'm impressed with how they turn out. If only I had learned to be this fearless sooner!
There's no magic elixir for confidence, of course, but I can remind you that you are the most powerful resource to your own success. And I'm not talking about the number of dollars reported on your income tax, or how large a house you live in. No, success is directly related to happiness. If you can learn to be happy with what you have, while still striving to constantly be greater and never compromise who you are, you'll surely be the biggest success story there ever was.
It's not easy to be bold and fearless. It's human nature to question and second guess. After all, if there weren't risks to every decision what fun would life truly be? My biggest advice, to living a brighter, bolder, more truer you is to start in your own home/office/car. Slowly express yourself and live out your true desires where you feel most comfortable and confident. Then, when you're ready, let the world see you shine like you were born to, even if it's just a little at a time.

When I stopped focusing so much on how others were seeing me and started focusing on what I wanted to see and experience my entire world expanded instantly. I began creating without hesitation, spoke up where I'd otherwise been silent before, and most of all I learned to embrace life.

Explore more Thirstpiration inspired by LIFEWTR at 7-Eleven by visiting the Social Hub.


  1. I don't think I've seen this yet in stores but I will keep my eyes open. Love the necklace organizer you made!

  2. I have not seen Life Wtr, but I love the bottles. No 7-11 in my town. Your necklaces, the holder you made, and the pretty knobs you used are beautiful. I'm feeling inspired.

  3. That necklace organizer is so cute! I love it. It can't compare to the cuteness of your dog being carried around in a backpack, though! <3

  4. Cute new designs on the LIFEWTR bottles. That necklaces organizer is cute too!

  5. I love this post so much! Your attitude towards life is infectious. I would totally buy that water for the bottle, too! ;) I'm going to take your advice and start living bolder and brighter TODAY!

  6. My daughter would love this for her bedroom. Very hip looking and I love the graphics on the water bottles!

  7. I cannot even tell you in words how much you rocked this post! I am in LOVE with your necklace holder. You are so creative Jenna! #client

  8. I saw this in a local convenience store the other day and thought about trying it. I think I will next time. It sounds good!

  9. I was interested that lifewtr is purified (vesus spring). I like that it has electrolytes. The necklace organizer works for me as well. I am a door knob addict.

  10. Great job on the necklace organizer. I love my jewelry! I was well into my late 40's to early 50s when I learned to love who I was! I had been through so much that I had not even considered that I needed to like me. I was too busy working, raising kids and getting through a given day. Enjoy who you are and don't let anyone take that from you.

  11. Ok, now I gotta make me one!!! Thanks for posting.. Always watching for new ideas

  12. Thanks for posting; I must make one. The ongoing search for fresh concepts.
    Fence Installation