Happy People!

Happy People!

With the anticipation of all the summer adventures ahead of us, what better time to remind ourselves of all the things that make us happy……and do some of them!!!

Emoji balloons!

“Happiness is not ready made.  It comes of your own actions.” 

Dalai Lama 

If you need a fresh perspective on truly being happy, listen to the lyrics of “Happy People” by the country group, Little Big Town.  The following is one of my favorite lines from the song:

Happy People by Little Big Town.

“Well, life is short and love is rare, and we all deserve to be happy while we’re here…so here’s to whatever puts a smile on your face!”

Here’s To Whatever Puts A Smile On Your Face!

I certainly don’t need to remind you that life isn’t all roses, in fact, it can bring us to our knees (literally) sometimes.  But perhaps we can all do a little better at making a conscious effort at seeing the fun and funny side of life!  So let’s consider a few of the little, everyday things that might make us smile!

1. Setting your alarm to a song that makes you happy to wake up!  I know, that’s a stretch…but I’ve tried it and it works!  I’ll find myself humming or singing some of the words to whatever song I woke up to throughout the day!  The song mentioned above is a good one—and will surely put a smile on your face.

2. A hot breakfast!  Especially if you don’t have to fix it!  On the weekends, my hubby will often make hot oatmeal with blueberries (so good) and wheat toast with fresh jam–eating it out on our patio during the summer months definitely puts a smile on my face!  A weekend brunch after doing some early morning cleaning is a win/win–and sure to have you smiling all day long!

The Park Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah

A favorite brunch spot of mine is the Park Café!  (If you live close or find yourself visiting Salt Lake City, I highly recommend eating here!) 

3. Being outside when the weather is just right!  After a long winter season and a wet, rainy spring here in Utah, it seems that finally being able to get outside has everyone I meet sporting a happy smile!

Adventuring outside up City Creek Canyon!

A recent hike up gorgeous City Creek Canyon on a perfect summer day with two of my granddaughters had us all smiling! 

4. Laughing!  There’s no better way to put an exclamation on your day than laughter!   There are few things in life that lift my spirits more or put a smile on my face quicker than hearing my son’s deep, full-hearted laugh as he shares funny anecdotes from his experiences of living abroad in Germany, or as a dentist for the US Army.  Life can get hectic–we’d all do well to just smile and laugh at the craziness a little more!

5. Growing something!  I learned to love gardening from my grandmother, and my husband and I have planted a little vegetable garden almost every year.  The accomplishment of tending to something, watching it grow and then harvesting the fruits of our labors is rewarding and indeed smile worthy!

Growing strawberries!

I tried my hand at growing strawberries this year and I have to admit, I had a giddy smile on my face when I saw the first few blossoms turn to strawberries and start to ripen!

6. Encouraging others!  Being genuinely happy for others and offering them support and encouragement as they try hard to live their lives to the best of their ability can’t help but put the most satisfying smiles on our faces!

Being happy for others quote.

My parents were always quick to impress upon me the importance of showing love and appreciation for those who were happy to see me make accomplishments and achieve my dreams, as well. 

7. Being curious!  I’m a firm believer that inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish our minds…and that my friends, is something to smile about!

8. Remaining young at heart!  No matter our age, don’t we love to be around those who have chosen to live, laugh and love with the infectious playfulness of a person untainted by the harsh realities of today’s world!  Let’s face it, when we choose happiness, we’re more fun, more childlike, we smile more…and hopefully, those around us will too!!

I love the saying, “Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation.”  It implies, that like most things in life, happiness takes a little work–but living a more fulfilled life is the ultimate reward–that, and a lot of smiles!

Happy looks good on you quote.

Add to the list…I’d love to know some of the little, everyday things you do that help you smile more?

–With love and a big smile, Mary

Hello 2017! Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

Hello 2017!

It was such a fun holiday season…but as a new year gets underway, I’ll admit I’m dragging a bit.  One lazy morning before we had to head back to work, I asked my hubby what he was looking forward to most in the upcoming year…as pragmatic as always, he simply said, Just another great 365 days, if I’m lucky!”  Then he turned and looked at me with that knowing look that says, “I know you hate New Year’s resolutions, so let’s see you answer this one!”  Now, I’m not usually quick with a witty come back, but this time I think I genuinely surprised him with my answer…..“I’m just going to try a little harder to be a little better!” Just try a little harder to be a little better!

Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

While making New Year’s resolutions seems to take on the notion that big changes need to be made in your life…trying a little harder to be a little better seems very doable!  Here’s a few things I’m going to try a little harder at being a little better at:

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more healthy!  A healthy focus shouldn’t solely be on weight loss.  I once heard the statement that we should exercise like a diabetic heart patient with a stroke so that you never actually become one!  While this may sound a bit extreme, taking good care of our physical health should always be a priority.  Starting the year off with an exam from our physician will help determine our present state of well-being and where we can improve.  Doing this doesn’t guarantee a long life, but working a little harder to be better at exercising daily and eating more healthy will certainly make for a more active, enjoyable one.  My son, who is a dentist, would also add to floss and brush your teeth regularly too.  Dental problems are awful.

Exercising cartoon.

“Someone’s health can often be judged by what they take two at a time…..stairs or pills!”  Joan Walsh      

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more content!  Life can’t always be a party. Darn!  We need to learn to appreciate the small things and be present in the moment; find contentment in our daily routines.  As Dave Dero wrote in his article,  Advice From Some Old People“We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever, and the greatest pleasures can often be found in the most mundane of activities.  Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone–or better yet, go visit them and have a conversation about nothing in particular.  Those are the moments to hold onto!”   

"Live in the Moment!" quote.

My dad always used to tell me,  “Mary, just enjoy life, don’t waste away your days looking for better ones ahead!”     

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more loving!  We’ve all heard a lot of good advice on this topic.  There’s just no better feeling in the world than knowing that you truly mean something to someone else.  Let’s be unafraid to express and show our love for others!  Let’s plan things to celebrate love!  Let’s make the most of the time we have with loved ones!Funny love quote.

I came across a fun idea for some neat date nights here.

Date Night Jar

Creating a Date Night Jar helps keep the romance alive–especially when you haven’t made other plans!

♦ I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at giving my best effort!  There will always be demands on our time.  Our dream jobs aren’t always a dream every day, family and friends require a certain amount of commitment to help keep the relationships strong–in short, life can get overwhelming.  Let’s all remember to take a deep breath when needed, and simply vow to not make excuses and do the best we can in every situation.  Ultimately, I think when we put our best foot forward, so to speak, we are rewarded by others acting in kind…it’s a chain reaction of good!  No matter what though, it’s just a great feeling when we know we are giving our best under the the various circumstances we encounter!

Determination quote.

♦ What I really want to try a little harder to be a little better at this year is enjoying more adventures, connecting with more people who have good energy and learning a few new things that help me grow.  We all have that list of things we want to try someday…..new experiences we’d like to have, perhaps a talent we’d like to develop more–whatever it is, let’s pick one or two, make a plan and go for it!  I don’t want to wake up one day and be sad that I didn’t try some of the things I’ve dreamed about doing.  My husband and I are taking on something we’ve dreamed about for a few years now–I can’t wait to share more about it in the near future!

Curly Girl card.

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope yours is off to a great start! 

Inspire us!  Share some of your goals and plans for the coming year.

–Mary  

New Horizons!

New Horizons!

Summer is always a crazy, busy, wonderful time of year spent with family and friends, and for the most part a break from our normal routines.  Now there’s a crisp chill in the air and fall is right around the corner.  I love how each season provides a new horizon and fresh perspective with so many neat things to anticipate and look forward to…

New Horizons!

(A beautiful fall horizon in Midway, Utah)

What I Look Forward To In The Fall!

  • Getting Cozy!  While saying this might indicate pulling out fun flannels shirts and warm afghans, (there will surely be plenty of those too) fall just seems to be the perfect time for more intimate gatherings with family and friends, where you share stories of your rambunctious summer adventures over home-cooked meals and spicy, warm drinks!

Grandma Wilding's warm spice punch.

  Grandma Norma’s Warm Citrus Punch  

1-46 oz. can pineapple juice

1-6 oz. can orange juice

3 cinnamon small sticks or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. whole cloves or 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

5 quarts water   5 cups sugar

Simmer for 1 hour, serve hot!  

♥ So Good! ♥

Ohhio knit blankets.

Speaking of cozy and warm afghans…..wouldn’t it be fun to wrap up in this chunky knit blanket from Ohhio’s Etsy Shop while sipping a warm drink! 

  • A Little Slower Pace!  Each season seems to come with its own set of schedules and “to do” lists, but with summer vacations wrapped up and gardens nearly harvested, it seems we’re more inclined to go for an early evening walk, or grab those books we never got around to reading on the beach.

Good reads!

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes and “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman are books I would highly recommend, if you haven’t already read them!

  • A Bedazzled Mother Nature!  No doubt, Mother Nature is gorgeous in all her varied states during each of the four seasons, but she definitely seems to give us a little extra “wow factor” come fall time!  

Fall leaves.

(Fall trees in Park City, Utah)

If your like me and want to bring a little fall foliage indoors, these DIY aged terra cotta pots are the perfect way to display your plants.  They are so simple to make.

aged terre cotta pots.

 You’ll just need to mix one cup of garden lime with one cup of water, stir together well, then using a foam brush, paint the pots with the lime paste mixture.  Let the pots dry good, then sand off some of the lime grit with sand paper around the top edges and bases of the pots and anywhere else you want to give them that aged, weathered look.  There’s really no wrong way to do this, just do whatever looks good to you.  When the pots are done, you can either spray them with a clear matte finish sealer or just them leave as is and let mother nature continue to play her magic on each of your unique, homemade pots! 

Aged terra cotta pots.

Filled with colorful chrysanthemums, I think these pots would be fun on your porch or make a great gift for those with fall birthdays!  

  • A Renewed Zeal To Always Keep Learning!  Fall marks the official “back to school” time of year.  My father, who was a beloved teacher and a dedicated learner, who audited classes at our local university well into his 80’s, instilled in me the desire to always want to be a good student….long after formal education had ended.  My dad often said, “The most valuable lessons learned—are often those taught in the ‘school of life’!”

John Dewey quote on education.

My husband and I have grown children and have become proud grandparents over the last few years; we’re both still working and are enjoying good health, so people often tell us that we’re in the “fall season” of our lives—if that’s the case, it’s all the more reason to really embrace this amazing time of year and the new horizons this stage of life brings!

I’d love to know some of the things you look forward to most as the fall season approaches?

–Mary