Dani's Blog: THE JUICE Inspiration

“Life was Sweet” in 2012: My Year in Gratitude

On December 31st, 2012 I started a gratitude journal for this new year. Growing up, I had always kept journals and sketchbooks but once I was out of college, the hub bub of real life halted my journal keeping. Thanks to one of my fave photo websites, Photojojo, I discovered the journaling app called Day One– and immediately downloaded it to my phone. I especially love that I could save a photo to each entry. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to keep the positivity of life going… as we get older, its been difficult to be as “pie in the sky” as I used to be, and I know keeping this journal will help.

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Tree of Thanks Renegade
In November, I put up this “Tree of Thanks” at our Renegade Craft Fair table. My happiness grew as people filled out their thanks cards and hung them on our tree!

Even though 2012 had its difficult moments, I still had plenty of things to be thankful for… here’s just a few of those many moments…

As promised at the beginning of 12, for birthdays we sung it loud and proud. (This year I turn 40- may the loud singing ensue!)

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Bette Donut birthday candles
Bette’s first birthday party was a fun & fab donut theme- here’s a shot of that amazing “Happy Birthday” song moment!
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Bette first cake
It was also at this party, that Bette tasted her first piece of cake- an amazing thing to witness! What a fabulous reaction- I feel like this every time I taste a delish piece of cake!

As a die hard foodie, I could easily do an entire post about all the fave things I ate this year. I loved visiting all my fave bakeries in NYC (there are so many more to add!), I ate lots of delicious things around my birthday… A few of the favorite new things I made were…

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_homemade Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
Homemade chipwiches (which we made all summer) could not have been more perfect!
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_cheddar cheese cookies
A savory cookie? YES please! LOVED these cheddar cheese stars

I already posted about my fave cookies of 2012, but sometimes my cookie characters come to life and inspire other ideas…

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Gnomi and Jar
Here’s a terrarium “card” I made for KF on Valentines day which was inspired by the idea of “Where the Gnomes Live
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Little D Meets Big Little D
In this case, I sketched and crafted this sweet “Little D” doll before the cookie favor… It was super rewarding to see “Little D” meet “Big D“!
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Figgy me kids with our puppets
I could never part with the paper bag puppet I made with Professor Figgy when we worked on this “party animal” themed party together! (The kids loved their puppets too!)
SDB Gratitude Moments_Swirly Design meet
Artisans Lianne and Paul of Swirly Designs invited us to their home for a studio visit and to sign each of the amazing clay “cookie” ornaments they created based on two of my signature Holiday cookie designs. We stayed for hours and chatted for hours like old friends… it was a truly fun and inspirational afternoon!

Sometimes “behind the scenes” is just as amazing as the actual “scenes”…

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Real Simple Marc and Maggie decorating cookies
I loved working with Real Simple on a series of Holiday cookies for their December issue. One of the best parts of the video shoot was coming back into the kitchen after we wrapped to find Director Mark, and Producer Maggie giving cookie icing a try- they said ‘you make it look easy and fun!’
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Martha and Dani Holiday 2012
Its been amazing decorating cookies with Martha for the past few years, but this year we decorated Christmas cookies & cupcakes in the kitchen of her Bedford home- Good times!

Finding beauty in quiet moments, giving thanks and giving back helped me feel so much better about some of the overwhelming sadness of the year…

Freedom Tower, Hoboken NJ
It will always be “the Freedom Tower” to me… a quiet, early moment in Hoboken brought reflection
SDB Phyllis Sky 1
…as did this message in the sky.
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_pay it forward
Doing something” rather than complaining or sitting around being sad, proved to be the best therapy for me

Also thereputic… the unconditional love we receive each day from our cute and totally crazy Jack Russell terriers, Hope & Spot…

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Hope cuddle
In this photo Hope holds a cuddle for over a minute… This was close to impossible when we first adopted her!
SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Spot spilling out of bed
Spot spilling out of bed when it is hot outside became a constant source of hilarity for us. We documented this closely and will be assembling a collage of photos on this subject!

We closed out the year with a beautiful bundle of good tidings… My niece, Cecelia Rose, was born on December 16th…

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Cecelia birth photo
Welcome to the world Cecleia Rose! This first photo was taken by her Grandma Rose the night she was born.

She is so SWEET she smiles when she sleeps!

SDB Gratitude Moments 12_Cece big hat
Don’t look now but I think I have found a new muse!

Thank you to our amazing friends and family who I am thankful for each and every day. In the past year I have got to know some of you out there, and for that I am also so very grateful! I’m super excited about the new year ahead- especially in terms of love and gratitude. I hope you are inspired to take note of all the good things happening around you and to start a gratitude journal of you own… after all, Life is Sweet!  Xo Dani

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About the author



Sweet Dani B is my small business and my mantra is Life Is Sweet! Both my business and life center around celebrating life’s occasions and making those occasions amazing. We design one-of-a-kind cookies, invitations, paper goods and pull them all together to deliver fabulous parties and events.


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  • What a beautiful tribute to a truly wonderful year, Dani!

    WOW! So much sharing, so many things to be thankful for and so many ways you brought happiness to your family and others. Bravo, you!!

    Here’s to an even sweeter 2013… A year that delivers to you and all that love you, perfect health and all the happiness and love you wish for!


  • Beautiful year Dani, May this year brings you good health, happiness peace success and prosperity.
    You are an amazing and inspiring person Dani. Wish you great success.
    Best wishes xoxo