guest blogger | kate ware

I'm happy to introduce a guest today, my friend Kate Ware

Although we've never met in person, I can send her a quick Facebook message or a longer e-mail and she's there. We've even spoken on the phone. She gets me. And she understands, just like in real-life friends do. She doesn't judge when I lapse in communicating often enough and she's always encouraging. So very encouraging and sweet and kind.

Today, Kate is sharing her Gratitude Journals with us, her perspective on the process and what has encouraged her to continue into her 3rd year of journaling her thankful thoughts. 

From Kate
I am grateful for Monika. 

Hi – My name is Kate, and I am so pleased that Monika has asked me to share my Gratitude Journal with you!  We have been {online} friends for a little over two years, but I have to be honest – it feels like we’ve been friends forever!  Monika is so creative, and so very supportive – not to mention a great mama and wife to her Mr.!  I am so blessed to call her friend.  I honestly can’t remember where I first discovered Monika . . . if it was her blog, her Etsy shop, or on Instagram (she was my first follower!).  I’m just grateful that I *did* find her, and that we’ve become friends. 

This is the third year I’ve used her Gratitude Journal, and I have purchased many of her other minis and prints, as well – you just can’t beat her great quality and excellent customer service!  The first year I ordered a Gratitude Journal (2012), it was very touch and go – I would do really well for a week or two, and then I would skip a month.  I think part of that was from going through some personal problems, and there were days that I just couldn’t seem to find anything to be grateful for.  I know, that sounds horrible and very, well, ungrateful!! But when you deal with depression and anxiety like I do, some days are just very dark.  Towards the end of 2012, I recall talking to Monika about this, and realizing it was okay to list something that was seemingly small and insignificant {to me}.  At that point I decided that that would be a resolution of mine for 2013.  I would find something to be grateful for every day. And you know what? I did. 

Journaling is such an individualistic project – there is literally no wrong way to do it!  Here are some things I’ve discovered that work for me:

1.   I keep my journal in my craft room, because I like to add bits and pieces to it – and if it’s downstairs, where I spend a lot of my time, then the bits and pieces migrate with it, and pretty soon it takes over the table.  LOL!  Last year, I started using an app for my IPhone called “Gratitude 365.”  It’s an easy way for me to keep track of my gratitudes, especially on vacation, because my phone is always with me.  I then take my phone upstairs about once a week and write my gratitudes in my journal.  Along with this, I have a reminder set on my iPhone for 9pm each evening that reminds me to list a gratitude if I haven’t already. 
2.   Don’t make it harder than it has to be.  Some days I get really verbose and wordy – other days, I can sum up my gratitude in two words – Take Out. 
3.   It’s easy to think of the obvious things – food on the table, a roof over our heads, clothes to wear . . . and these are important. But sometimes, the gratitude is found in the little things – like afternoon snacks with your kids, or snuggles with your puppies, even comfortable shoes.
4.   Monika’s journals are wonderfully made; however, as I said, I like to add bits and pieces.  Washi is one of my favorite things to add.  I also have used colored pencils, labels, die cuts, and ribbon (added to the tags) to name just a few.  The possibilities are endless to personalize your journal and make it yours.   

The amazing thing is, once you stop each day and look back, and find something to be grateful for, it makes it just that much easier the next day, and the next . . . and pretty soon, your whole outlook on life is brighter.  Whether you use an app on your phone, one of Monika’s journals, or even a little dollar store notebook it doesn’t matter – what matters is taking the time to find the good things in life, and taking a moment to reflect on them.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the little trip through my approach to my gratitude journals – I would love to have you follow me on Instagram where I'm @mnkware where I post photos of my life, my puppies, and my crafts. 

My Thanks
I can't thank Kate enough for her insight and her tips. I especially love that she sets herself reminders on her phone to journal, if she hasn't already done so for that day and that she journals on her phone throughout the week and transfers all her thankful thoughts from phone to Gratitude Journal once a week.
Connect with Kate


  1. i love this post! sorry i have been so long in commenting. things are busy here on the farm right now. the peeks into your journals are lovely. and the thingy with the phone is genius. i have been keeping a gratitude journal for many years but never in a special book, when i found monika's i was instantly smitten. i enjoy recording in mine. thanks again for such a great post.

    1. Thank you Bev! I have to admit, the phone reminder is a lifesaver for me! I get sidetracked so easily, and this way I can keep up with my journal and not feel guilty about it! That's the beauty of gratitude journals - they don't have to be written anywhere special . . . the important part is being grateful! But I have to admit, writing in a cute book sure makes it more fun! :) Thank goodness for Monika!


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