i gotta box, gotta box full of sunshine! (DIY Gift Box Tutorial)

Hey there, and welcome to my very first DIY tutorial! I’m very excited to share this simple, cute and cost effective gift box with you all.

So here’s a little background to this project: It’s no secret that being away from those you care about can be a struggle. Not being physically present with your loved ones, family and friends is most definitely not preferred, but I find that the silver lining is that I just have to find more creative ways to show the same gestures that would otherwise be super simple to show in person. That’s where the BOX OF SUNSHINE comes into play.

There was a period of time where someone very close to me was down, stressed and just kind of in a rut. With me being 12 hours away, I couldn’t just do the normal things to cheer them up like I would normally be able to do in person, which left me feeling kind of helpless. When you’re down and out, a text message or phone call can only do so much. That’s when I decided that I needed to find something creative to surprise them with and cheer them up in the best way I know how, without me being physically present. Like every other DIY project, I started with a Pinterest search and after hours of scrolling, I found the perfect pick-me-up gift: A BOX OF SUNSHINE!

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What better way to brighten someone’s day than to literally brighten it?? lol This cute little care package is totally creative and was an unexpected surprise, because who doesn’t love getting surprise mail, packages at that?! I love this idea because it is all purpose, can be given to anyone who needs a pick-me-up, be it a bf, gf, sister, cousin, loved one away at college, a friend in mourning, mom or co-worker and best of all each box can be uniquely tailored to every personality type.

Assembling the box is very simple.

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Screen Shot 2017-07-01 at 6.54.56 PMYou will need:

  • A shipping box (if you’re sending via mail) or a cute basket (for hand delivering)
  • A variety of all things YELLOW; your basket can be themed or random.  I tried to pick out fun things that they could use to relieve stress.  Make your box as big or small as you like! Shipping costs, so I tried to be reasonable (#TeamBallinOnABudget)
  • A handwritten note
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Yellow craft paper, tissue paper, and any other yellow decorations to pretty up your box/basket

The process:

  1. Assemble shipping box:  Use yellow craft paper and school glue to line the inside of the box (The goal is to make the package as sunny as possible.)
  2. Neatly place all of the contents in the box
  3. Use yellow tissue paper to fill in gaps and cover the contents
  4. Add additional decorations (ex. wrapping in yellow tulle or cellophane paper if using a basket)
  5. Seal your box, address, and ship! It’s that easy!

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As you can see, the possibilities of design with this box is very open-ended. My idea is just one of many. So make it your own! The box will look completely different for each person you gift it to and that’s the best part about it! But one thing is guaranteed, they will love it! They were extremely surprised and full of gratitude. It warmed my heart knowing that one of my little cheesy, quick and relatively inexpensive Pinterest projects effected them the way that it did. It’s the little things. So next time someone in your life is feeling down, for any reason, grab a box and all things yellow and deliver a little sunshine on their cloudy day.


If you’ve made a box of sunshine before, comment below letting me know how you assembled yours and the reaction of the person who received it. If you’re a first-timer, please share your experience as well! Also, try out variations of this box with other colors such as a PURPLE BOX OF POWER filled with notes of encouragement, self-help books, goal setting materials, etc. Get creative with it!

Completing this project basically just opened up the floodgates of Pinterest care package ideas for me, and I am now OBSESSED. So be on the look out for more DIY care package tutorials. Until then, have a SUNNY day! 🙂




Here goes nothing…

Hello and welcome to Lean. Green. & Everything In Between!!

I first want to thank you for stopping by and reading my first post. Next, I just want to give you a little more background about myself and why I decided to start blogging.

If you haven’t already checked out my ‘About Me’ section, I’ll give you a little recap. My name is Jasmine. I am 25 years old and was born and raised in the Midwest. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science and am now pursing my Master’s degree in Environmental Science.

Now let’s talk about the blog. For the past couple of years or so, I have been pretty active on social media when it comes to sharing my lifestyle (clean/organic eating recipes, yoga/fitness, natural hair, environmentalism, DIY crafts, etc.) with my peers and I had noticed that I would get a lot of “Where’d you buy that?” “How’d you do that?” “That’s such a cute idea!” “Ooh, I want one!!”. Being excited that people were actually interested in my weirdness, I would always share freely in hopes that it would inspire someone to try something new, improve their lifestyle, have some fun, and of course GO GREEN 🙂 … Fast forward, a few months back I was sharing with one of my friends my latest Pinterest finds and things that I wanted to try when he just abruptly said, “You should start a blog.” The funny thing was that I had never thought about it before. I was just happy doing my projects in my own little world. Then I thought about the fact that staying in my own world wouldn’t help change the real world. In that moment, I realized that he was right. Fast forward (again), when I made my list of goals for 2016, START A BLOG, was one of them. I wanted my blog to encompass everything that is me and to ultimately use it as an outlet or stress reliever to share with the world the things I enjoy in hopes that someone else, like you reading this right now, will enjoy it too. So I went for it….

…and here I am, over halfway through 2018 and Lean. Green. & Everything In Between is finally a thing! Better late than never, right?? lol

The name of my blog is pretty self-explanatory. I can’t promise that I’ll always stick to LEAN. and GREEN. and because I am random, the “everything in between” means just that. It gives me room to be me, write about what I want, and spark the interest of all types of readers. The main goal for this blog is to show you that living green doesn’t have to be complicated. The smallest changes in your daily life can make the biggest differences in your health, your family’s health, and the Earth’s health. Through this blog, I intend to inspire you to lead a clean, natural, and healthy lifestyle (physically, mentally, and spiritually), be creative, love yourself, try new things and do your part to make a positive impact on the environment. It only takes one person to make a difference.

Some things to look forward to on my blog:

  • Clean eating recipes
  • DIY Projects
  • All Natural Product Recipes
  • Eating organic and why it’s important
  • The road to vegetarianism..it’s a work in progress
  • Growing your own food
  • Yoga & Meditation Chronicles
  • Fitness challenges – I hope you join and keep me accountable!
  • My Natural Hair Journey
  • BTRU
  • Travel Adventures
  • Glimpses of my everyday life as a graduate student
  • Sneak Peeks of my family as they are the reason why I do what I do and part of the reason why I started this blog. I want to document their green lifestyle as it relates to mine.

The list goes on and on….say stay tuned!

I hope that something on that list sparked your interest. If not, #JustWaitOnIt!

1- This blog is a positive vibe only zone. I most certainly encourage comments and healthy dialogue but please let’s keep it peaceful 🙂

2- I am an unashamed science nerd, so you will most likely encounter a lot of scientific references and links to articles when I discuss matters of the body and of the Earth. If you’re not a science person, feel free to skip over it or step outside of your comfort zone and learn something new! Whatever your heart desires.

I think that about covers it as far as an introduction goes and wraps up my very first blog post! I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed it and will continue to follow me on my journey. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Thank you again for joining me!
Until next time,